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I've been having fun putting together the wiring harness. I completed the rear section of the car (reverse, parking, turn signals etc). Everything is soldered and shrink wrapped. The wiring kit I used has some amazing think gauge wires for just powering tail lights, I'm impressed. I like the look and feel of LED lights, especially since they don't really have a downside to speak of. I've been looking at these: http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/index.cgi?action=DispPage&Page2Disp=%2Ftail-brake-turn.html They sell drop in replacements for the stock bulb! I've heard good reviews so I may have to give it a shot.


The harness I bought uses the stock GM plugs for the steering column stuff (ignition, turn signals etc.) and alternator. This would seem like a good thing until I tried to go to Jalopy Jungle and look around for a decent quality, nice feeling lever. Every turn signal stalk, every wiper stalk I came across felt like some F!@#$-up fisher price bull!@#$ piece of garbage. GM should be embarrassed. The play in every single one was awful...I couldn’t feel good about putting that in my car. I think there was more play in the GM turn signal indicator than the entire sweep on the one on my 350z, uh it’s just gross. I know the hot rod guys make aftermarket levers and assemblies that are replacements for the GM ones so I might have to track one of those down.


I'm starting to get the dash area back together (still needs a dash cap): 2012-03-03_20-49-47_458.jpg



Despite being 36 years old, the fit up of the parts is amazing. Every piece still snaps and bolt together like a new car would (try that with an American car from 1976). Nothing feels tinny or fragile. I cleaned the HVAC parts, re-greased the motor and the cable actuators, cleaned and re-felted the duct parts and soldered the motor into the new harness.


I had planned to reuse the stock gauges but the new gauges really are light years ahead of the stock ones in terms of well...everything. I wasn't a fan of the dim green light either. I'm thinking about getting these:

I like the stepper motor function with the ceremonial opening and the blacked out look when they are off. I think they will look great in the stock gauge pods. I'm still open to opinions though.


Oh I wired the front the car too but it’s completely tucked and hidden so there isn't really much to take a picture off. That’s it for now.

Edited by nick-james
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There is one small detail that for the life of me can't figure out! And it a pretty dumb one:


I bolted up my steering column to the firewall with the normal 4 bolt flange attachment. It's pretty hard to screw that part up, there really is only two ways to bolt the steering column up. Obviously the shaft is at an angle to the flange plate and you want that to protrude up towards the roof and not down towards the floor as shown:




(I feel dumb even explaining this by the way)...why is my steering wheel so low then? It can't be right but the flange is bolted tight to the fire wall. Maybe something got caught between the firewall and the flange? It's so simple I don't really have an explaination. I'll look at it closer this weekend and report back lol!

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No, its just bolted to the firewall and not the dash. I dont think it would really matter as everything ahould line up together. The more i think about it, there has to be something jammed between the firewall and the flange.

When I was putting my dash in my 240z, the column sagged probably 1-2 inches while I had it unbolted up top. That's why I asked. The firewall is known to be pretty flimsy in these cars, so like I said before, once you have it bolted to the dash, it should be fine.
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  • 5 weeks later...

Make some progress on the little things. My friend was nice enough to let me have his cool aluminum battery box. It should fit great tucked into the rear quarter panel. After some thought, I think I'll go with a full size optima. I like how small some of the new batteries are but I've heard that you really have to be carefull with the braile's and other small batterys because they can run down fast if you have your radio or lights on for an extended time. Being that this is going to be a semi-DD street car, I wanted some insurance. I've got the main positive wire routed up through the frame along with the positive for the stereo.




I went over to aspen sound (in Boise Idaho) for some advice. Nice guys but they are really expensive. I wanted to convert the factory cubby compartments to 6x9 speaker boxes. They happen to be the perfect size.






The speaker cover is just for mocking up. I needed a template for cutting the hole. The vertical wall right in front of the speakers will be a perfect location for two amps. I don't think I'll be running a subwoofer simply because I don't have the room and 2 6x9's can still thump good enough for a white boy.


I'm starting to re-assemble the interior so I can wire the gauges/stereo/lights/switches etc.




The only thing on the wiring harness that was holding me up was the GM turn signal switch. Every switch I found felt cheap and nasty. I thought it would be cool to stick with nissan and use a modern 350'z switch. It's better/crisper than anything GM can make and it looks cool. I need to take a dremel and slim down the bracket (it looks bigger in the picture). Overall, the bracket I made is about the same size as the stock lever's. I can slide it up and down the shaft or in and out to my preference. I will have to make a new molding piece to cover the steering column since I won't have a key ignition or the factory switch*.





*That shiny knob sticking out of the cigarette lighter hole is going to be the starter switch. I don't like the look of it yet but it does work! It controls everything a key does, off/acc/on/start. I have some aluminum billets around that I could take to the machine shop and make me something really cool for the switch. I get caught up in little **** like this and spend all damn day on it lol.


Here's something I've been debating...


The fuel cell looks **** flush with the floor IMO.




When I have the upholsterer do her magic, I was going to have the carpet hemmed maybe an inch or two over the fuel cell so the cell would be exposed and part of the carpet. The problem is, its a big fuel cell (15 gal). When it's flush with the floor, it sticks down past the rear of the car.





Part of me thinks it might look cool to have the exposed polished fuel cell but this car won't have much ground clearance and the rear overhang is pretty prominent in these cars. I think it may raise it up just a little. It would be awful to scrap the tank. It won't be flush with the floor anymore but it would still look alright. It would be easier to fill too.


Next on my plate is:


Gauges (Delphi)

Dash cap

Finish body work/start guide coating

Mufflers/exhaust system

Find a q45 rear diff

Fuel pump, filter, route fuel lines to engine bay

T-56 master clutch cylinder

280zx brake booster


Sometime down the road I guess I should start looking for an engine too.

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  • 4 weeks later...

4/29/2012- Anthony is continuing with the body work. The most labor intensive area is the engine bay...lots of little spot welds and brackets to grind smooth and cover. The battery area was completely rusted though so we had to weld in a new patch panel and then fill in the remainder with "kitty hair" (gross looking stuff btw) and filler. It's super smooth and almost ready for primer.









I went to pick up the engine. I had some question if my little truck could haul it or if the engine would make it ride on the bump stops the whole way home. To my surprise, the thing is a feather. I had a fridge that sunk the bed down more.




Here she is! Low miles out of a 2002 camaro SS, ls6 intake and zo6 clutch. I've already taken off the A/C compressor and the power steering pump. I still have to take off the EGR emmissions stuff. There are only about 5 wires + fuel line to get this thing running.




Here's the mounting brackets for the LS motor:


This is the driver's side. I forgot to snap a pic of the passenger side so just use your imagination.




Here is how the new transmission cross member is suppose to sit




The problem is that the span is designed for the stock frame rails. I have after market ones that are larger so the mount is too long.




Its an easy fix though.


This is me just messin around. It's sitting on wood and not in the correct location at all but there is a lot of room! I suppose a guy could even stick a turbo in there if he wanted to! :awesomedance:



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5/3/12-we started priming the engine bay. To get the really hard to see imperfections, it helps a lot to have a uniform surface. I know its just primer but it got me excited to see part of the car one color even if its gray. If you remember when i got it, the corner had been rusted through. We patched a 1'x1' square section into the firewall. You could never tell it wasnt factory. My friend has some impressive body working skills from what ive seen so far.







We left the frame rails in POR15 because the **** is awesome and i like contrast.



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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

With the engine bay painted, it was time to put the motor and tranny in. I'm really, really glad I got an engine leveler for the job since we had fresh paint on the firewall and I was more than a little nervous about banging the tranny against it. I used JCI engine and tranny mounts and they worked perfectly despite terrible instructions. It really hit me when I stood back and just thought "my datsun has a v8 now!" One of the nice surprises is how little wiring is showing. The only part of the engine harness that will show is about a 4" section between the motor and the firewall (I mounted the ECM inside the passenger compartment). All of the wiring for the front of the car (horns, fans, headlights, turn signals) runs under the quarter panels so there won't be any wires at all in the engine bay. I'm really trying to resist buying useless parts like AN fittings for the coolant lines and things like that. Oh well, half the fun is brainstorming about "what-ifs".



Edited by nick-james
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  • 3 weeks later...

Man, I like how I don't post an update for a weeks or two and I'm on page 4 or 5 of the posts! It's nice to see the project area is that busy.


Well I found out that the engine cranks over ok. It was purely an accident. I was finishing up the major wiring and testing some circuits for power when I pushed the ignition switch and...whacha know! She lives (sorta). I still need to finish my fuel routing.


Here is my new fuel pump relay: 60 amp relay with inline fuse. It will be nice and hidden behind the plastic insert. It would be pretty easy to add a kill switch on the backside if I were inclined to.




Believe it or not, those wires are all for the turn/light switches. It's a low priority right now but I might hook them up sooner just to get them out of the way. I really like this dash, its molded perfectly for aftermarket gauges. I'll probably use a different tach but this size (5"?) fits perfect.




This is the transmission cross member. It was a pain in the ass to get in. I have aftermarket frame rails which overlay the existing rails so I first had to shorten the support so it would fit. The support is held in place by four bolts on each flange, each requiring drilling. It was no fun drilling through both sides of each frame rail twice. That's 4x4x2=32 5/8" holes laying on my side trying to drill straight.




One wiring question I haven't resolved yet is the cooling fans. They are variable speed and controlled by the computer. The computer doen't draw the current but uses a series of relays to power the fans. Relays to me mean binary, either off or on. I'm not sure how they can ramp up and down with a couple of relays. I'll find the answer.



^Got my coilovers!


Something has been bothering me. I had a conversation with some car guys that were telling me I absolutely needed to plumb my recirc line into the top vent of the fuel cell and not into the bottom (the sump has two -10 AN fittings). I wanted to plumb both the pump suction and recirc into these two connections off the sump until these dudes sought to steer me straight. They argued that by plumbing the recirc line into the bottom of the fuel cell it would cause "catasrophic pressure" which I took me mean that it would 'dead head' the pump. They argued that liquid is incompressible and you can't pump fluid into fluid. I didn't have the heart to tell them how wrong they are (ever fill a pond with a hose from the bottom?) The tank is atmospheric pressure and has a breather valve on the top so it will never build pressure. The fluid will simply displace some of the air. With the engine running, you will always be recircing less volume back to the tank than you will be taking out so I'm not sure what they were on about. I could argue that dumping the recirc line into the top of the tank is worse for the pump since it has to constantly overcome a static pressure head caused by the elevation change no matter what the fuel tank level is at. It's only a about a foot so the pump doens't really care. The pump will be running at around 58 psi which is about 130 feet of head (ok I used water properties but they should be similar for gas). Either way, the pump will be happy.


These two guys were so confident in their ignorance that I doubted myself so I needed to prove the world of physics wasn't folding in on itself so I setup a quick model using some of software at work:


My assumption:


Walbro 255 lph => 1.12 gpm

1/2" ID hose

no pressure drop from fitting (minor losses)

pressure regulator set to 58 psig.,

fuel level in the tank is at elevation = 0.5 (half full)

engine is using 0.6 gpm


Here is the setup I want to run, the recirc line goes to the bottom of the sump




Now here is it recirculated to the top of the tank (elevation = 1)




Exactly the same as I had thought. Same discharge pressure on the pump. The only concern I might conceed is there is no siphon break but the pump acts as one anyways.

Edited by nick-james
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