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About AtticusZ

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    Fort Worth, TX
  1. AtticusZ

    77 280z Tear Down and Build

    Ok, so for my last post of today... I started tear down this weekend. I ensure to take a picture of each component on then as I take off each bolt. I usually take more than one picture. I place each bolt into a ziploc bag that is named for the component. I try to label the bolts if there are more than one and different sizes. If you need any pictures or bolt sizes I would be happy to add them here or send them directly to you. I have omitted some (allot) of pictures so this post isn't massive, but if people are needing more information, I will add more detail (like bolt sizes) as time permits. I didn't remove everything in the order I describe here, I jumped around a bit, but only out of ignorance and difficulty. If I get stuck with a part, I tend to take a break from that part and come back to it. Hopefully I will break less things doing it this way. I started with the seat belt receiver on the passenger side. The driver side is the same, but it has a wire that connects on the passenger side. You have to trace back to the plug on that side (Center console and seats need to be removed first). Off to a great start! So easy.... This will all be a cinch! 🤦‍♂️ Onto... Quarter panel trim. Let me just say, I already hate the push pin rivets that were used on these cars. I have used a small screw driver to push the small pin but it takes so much force I have cracked and broken several connection points and interior panels. I think this also has to do with how brittle the interior plastic pieces are, but still! This rivets are a pain! There are two screws, one for the coat hangar, one in the middle towards the front. The rest are the push pin rivets. Also, note, the overhead light panel has to be removed first. (You can see the push pin rivet at the top of the picture above.). The rear hatch trim should be removed first, but the quarter panel trim can be removed without it removed. The speaker and lower portion can be removed next. They are attached by some rivets that are not visible. You have to slide the panel up then pull. I don't have great pictures of this. There is serious potential of damaging the holes that the rivets slide through if you are not careful. I will probably make new panels out of plastic and a different cover as well. I didn't take a picture of this, but I can if someone needs to see the back of these panels as it could help you understand the removal process. Another portion I didn't take a picture of is the vinyl wheel house covering. It is pretty easy to remove using a plastic spatula and then just pulling it slowly. It came off slowly and easily. Passenger/Driver side Seatbelt Male end removal: There are two 16mm bolts that hold the portion mounted to the floor. You have to remove the two screws on the cover to get to the second 16mm bolt. I had to use a breaker bar for one the visible 16mm bolt. It was stuck in there! For the screws, on both the passenger and driver side I had to use a wrench to turn the screws. A screwdriver would have stripped the screws. Below you can see the second "hidden" 16mm bolt. Below are the washers attached to the "hidden" bolt. Next up is the retractor part attached to the rear shock towers. It has a 16mm bolt that attaches the retractor and a 12mm bolt that attaches the retractor base plate to the shock tower. The retractor blocks the 12mm bolt, so it has to be removed first. Once the retractor and retractor plate bolts are off, you just give the plate a bit of a tug and it should come right off. Both passenger and driver side are identical to this process. Center Console: My center console is in bad shape. It is cracked right before the arm rest portion. I had to be careful not to break it in half during this process. The first parts that have to be removed for the center console are the piece on driver and passenger side below the steering column and glove box, respectively. Each have two screws that need to be removed. After those pieces are removed, I would suggest removing the AC knob and undoing the nut that holds it to the center console. Also, unplug the electrical harness connections ( you can see these on the passenger side picture on the left side). I found it hard to disconnect the AC knob wires and easier to just undo the knob from the console. Then remove the screws (two on each side and three in the arm rest box). I thought I had pictures of the screws inside the armrest, but I can't find them right now. Still transferring pictures over and labeling them. That is where I am now more or less. On a fun note, during the disassembly, I found a spare key that fits the car, a quarter made of silver, hornet nests, a lizard skeleton, and a snake skin! This car hasn't been registered since 1999, so it sat for a while here in Texas with who knows what making it their home! One question, I can't open the glove box with the key or turn the knob. Any suggestions or ideas?
  2. AtticusZ

    77 280z Tear Down and Build

    The current state of the car is worse than I originally though. I read through a lot of "what to look for" when buying and found this car has a lot of surface rust, but minimal rust holes (Battery tray, three holes in the floorboards, two holes in the dog legs). It seemed like enough that I could do my self but not so much it would be crazy extensive work. Well, I didn't think about the the condition of the plastic being super brittle would mean replacing a lot of parts I hadn't originally counted on when I crack them taking it out. I also didn't think about the parts that are already disassembled will mean I have no reference on how to re-install. Oh well, live and learn! My Tear down plan in order is: Interior Engine Compartment External Panels Window Glass Electrical Wiring Steering/Suspension/Brakes I have included some more overall condition pictures. As you can see, part of the interior has been removed already, the engine and transmission have been removed. The previous owner did the following to the front suspension: Prothane Urethane bushings Techno Toy Tuning Tension Control Rods Techno Toy Tuning Z Rotor Spacers for S12W 4 Piston Toyota Caliper Conversion 85 300ZX Rotors 89 Toyota 4Runner Calipers Stainless brake lines Eibach Lowering Springs New Strut tubes Rach & Pinion cleaned and lubed. He also included the following for the rear suspension: Eibach lowering Springs Stainless brake lines 83 280ZX Rotors 85 Maxima Calipers Aluminum Caliper Adapters New strut tubes
  3. Hey everyone, this build will document my tear down and rebuild of a 1977 280z. This is my first restoration project and as such, I plan to take this slowly and methodically so I can remember how to build it back up! My goals for this build: Complete teardown, soda/abrasive blast entire body Fix any rust and dents Paint - Not sure what color yet, but factory color is blue. I like the blue color and might think about a white racing stripe, but again, I am not 100% on the color scheme yet. Install a 5.3 LS (LM7) engine and t56 6-speed (eventual power goal is 350-400 hp) Install a R200 LSD (final gear ratio TBD). The car has a R180 open diff most likely, I will confirm as I get to removing the suspension. Refinish the interior - Most the plastic is in terrible condition, everything is very brittle and the center console and dash are cracked pretty badly. My goal is a light tan leather interior with some modern updates (power windows, locks, seat heaters, new head unit, racing wheel). The interior is white/tan currently and I like the white with blue combo so that is in the running. I feel I am about 1-2 years, at least, away from having to decide on this. Complete everything myself so I can learn about each and every aspect of this process. I might consider farming out engine rebuild because I really don't want to mess that up, but my initial plan would be just to use stock internals on the engine, and rebuild the engine after the car is up and running for a while. Have Fun! Don't get too frustrated or more importantly take a break when stuck. My next post is going to detail the current state of the car. I welcome all input, advice, and suggestions!
  4. Hi all, I recently bought a 1977 Datsun 280z to embark on my first restoration project. This is my second Z car, my first being a 1986 Nissan 300zx that I bought in high school. Unfortunately, that didn't last long as someone T-boned me in a parking lot and totaled the car (what do you expect from a car I paid $1200 for in '05). I have always loved cars of all kinds and wanted a project car to work on, but never went for it until now. Last year, my wife and I had a disagreement on whether or not I should get a motorcycle. We compromised when she asked what was one thing I would want instead of it. Tearing down a car and building it back up was it. Even though the cost is significantly more for rebuilding a car, she figured it is still better than me dead (we haven't been married long enough I guess! 😂). I know this is going to be a LOT of work! I know this is going to be a LOT of money! I know this is going to be hard, difficult, and slow. I have read so many places where people try to discourage newbies from taking on something like this. But you have to start somewhere. I have a full time job in the consulting engineering world, I have two kids and a wife (four counting the dogs), and friends that will all take my time away from this project. However, I have been looking for a good long term hobby and this is something I am very passionate about. I would rather learn about LS heads more than pro football teams or other things. I am excited for this journey, I have been researching the heck out of this, and I have a plan (ask me about my gnatt chart, or pricing spreadsheets). I am a bit on the wordy side, so please forgive me. I will promise to google search 50 ways to Sunday the issue I am having prior to asking a question. The goal of this car is going to be a 5.3 LS (LM7) swap with t56. I am trying to break new boundaries or go where no man has gone before. I am just wanting a fun fast car somewhere around 300 to start. I like a bit of modern touch to the interior and will not be doing any roll bars or fuel cells. Color is undecided at the moment, but the factory blue on the car with a white racing stripe is winning me over right now. I am open to any and all advice and if you are in the DFW area and need some help I am happy to come learn! Anyway, before you fall asleep reading my novel, I will sign off and get to working (After putting my daughter down to sleep tonight)! -Atticus