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1973 240z Hobby Car/SCCA Autocrosser

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Don't go as a spectator. Register as a novice, do the novice walk thru and race. The guys will help you and I promise I will kill more cones than you. Go to run. You will be a spectator 50% of the time anyway. Total driving time for the day is 6-8 minutes. You will be standing around a lot! That's solo.

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Looking good, what are you planning for holding the battery in place?


It's really a tight fit, so I didn't plan on putting anything to hold it in. If it comes down to it, I will fashion a piece of metal with rubber on it to bolt to the box itself and hold the battery in place.




After finishing the battery box, it was time to pull the engine and paint the engine bay. The first step was using the pressure washer, which actually worked quite well. I then pulled all of the old stuff that I wouldn't need out and started on modifying the harness. Ended up shooting it with some primer and painting. Think it turned out pretty nice:





This is a really good shot of the hole where the battery acid/water rusted the metal through the years resulting in a hole:



I'm really disappointed in my patch of the area. I really underestimated how hard it would be to bend the metal to the shape of the wheel well. I also cut myself short resulting in a need to add a second strip of sheet metal. Honestly, after all of the body work I did on the rest of the car I was getting pretty tired of the metal and bondo work. This impatience is what really led to the mess up here. It actually blends quite well if you could see it painted and cleared, but I don't have a picture of that yet. The wiring harness also hides some of my mistake here as well.



Next time I move onto mounting the seats and fabbing a harness bar.

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Well I had some old APC racing buckets laying around for my previous Camaro build. I had decided that the seat and harness look wasn't for a Camaro and this I put them into storage. First thing was to make a seat bracket for these seats. Thankfully, I had already had some pre-cut 1/4" steel adapters for the Camaro. Just had to mount these adapter plates to the seats, find the correct distance for the Datsun mounts/sliders and then bolt them into place. Everything worked great:



The center 1/4" adapter running across the front will also make a great place to mount the "submarine" strap on my harness if the rules will allow. I may have to end up mounting it to the floor.


After the seats were installed my next dilemma was mounting the harness. The two side holes worked great for the lap belts, but finding a  mounting point for the shoulder straps was another story. The shock tower mount wasn't long enough, nor was the existing hole for the factory seat belts. As you can see the shoulder harness is way too high:



After some searching I decided to fab a harness bar, using the existing holes in the body, just below the quarter windows. Apparently these were the mounting places for a factory roll bar back in the day. I started by making a trusty template and punching out the correct bolt holes:




I then ordered the appropriate tubing, plates, mounting tabs, and bolts. After welding and installing I was left with this:



After paint I installed the harness, and everything works great!


I also had some excess tubing so I went ahead and fabricated/welded in a rear strut bar.




Both seats installed:


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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got around to putting the New Tilton Clutch Master Cylinder in:




I then Installed the Caprice/Monte Carlo Throttle cable:



I couldn't really understand the JTR book when it came to installing this cable. I read some threads and got an idea of how to do it, but in the end I think I ended up doing it in a unique way. May have to end up changing it though.



As you can see I ran it through the firewall and clamped it to the pedal itself. Hopefully this way will work.


I also finished painting the interior:




The engine and heads are still at the machinist and I am hoping to have them back Monday or Tuesday. Wired the engine bay per JTR book, but that doesn't make for any cool pictures. I guess the next thing is to remove the differential to have it welded. She is starting to come together, and I am running out of things to do on my "to do" list.

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  • 2 months later...

Well it's been a long time since my last update and I'm a little behind on things. The machine shop had the block for 5 weeks, and once I got it back to build it, I realized that I had bought a lot of the wrong parts. Fortunately a SBC is a common engine and with help from the David Vizard "How to rebuild your small block chevy" book, I was in business.



Parts, A.K.A "Christmas in June"



The block (.030 over) machined and painted.



Bottom end assembled with an LT1 forged crank and main studs.



Top side with head studs. You can see one of my mistakes here, I didn't thread the studs into the block all of the way. This caused clearance issues with the rocker arms later on. Fortunately, it wasn't that big of a deal. 




Good shot of the clearance problem. Also note the thread hold in the head above the intake. The heads are made for a vortec or traditional intake. Unfortunately, some of those bolt holes are opened into the lifter galley. Used hex head screws and sealer to plug them.



Yet another mistake. I thought a quiet timing gear set would be better than a chain. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it to work right, spent 3 days before I decided to go with a chain.



Got the rocker arms on and realized something didn't look right. Turns out I needed to get some pushrod guides.



The next problem was with the starter. Since I'm using a T-5 I had to go with a 153 tooth flywheel. Turns out the 010 block only had staggered starter holes which only work with a 168 tooth flywheel. Had to flip the engine and hand drill the hole. A helicoil and new starter later everything worked fine.



Time to put the motor in the car!



Short water pump mount for the alternator wouldn't fit so I had to take the alternator off before the engine would go in the car. Also had to go out an buy a new water pump/alternator mount.



Here is a shot of her in the car after I got the new alternator mount.



The headers were a tight fit and I had to re-route the wires, should have listened to the manual!



Also had to dent in the header a little to clear the steering shaft.


Video of her running:




Here is the interior now!


Fired the engine up and did the break in. Water/Oil gauge wasn't working correctly, but I have been able to keep track of both while I tune the car. I since replaced the valve cover bolts with T-handles, due to the fact that I have a solid lifter engine and I wanted something that would be easier to take on and off when I have to adjust my lash. The bad news is that when I installed the drivers side t-handles I was impatient and cross threaded all of them on the handle side of the studs. The drive-shaft came in this afternoon and I was planning to make sure the clutch is functioning correctly but as soon as I fired it up the drivers side valve cover had an oil leak due to the fact that they are cross threaded and I couldn't tighten them down all of the way. I had purchased a new set of t-handles in the meantime and decided to go ahead and put them on. I take out the top two t-handles and studs no problem. When I go to take off the bottom two they ended up snapping off so I'm going to have to hope I can drill and extract the broken studs without damaging the bolt holes. At that point I was so frustrated I just decided to push the car back in the garage and cal it a night.


Here is the specs on my engine:


Block: 010 4-Bolt main

ARP main and head studs

Crank: 1182 LT1 Forged Crank

Rods: 90's LT-1 Powdered Metal Rods

Pistons: Speed Pro Flat Top Hypers (.030)

Cam: Comp Cams Magnum 12-224-4 Solid Lifter Cam 294 duration

Heads: Aluminum (Cant remember brand) 64cc, 190cc runners. Angled Plugs.

Rocker Arms: Comp Cams Energizer 1.6 Full Roller Aluminum

Pushrods: Comp Cams One Piece

Lifters: Comp Cams 986 Solid Lifters

Headers: Stainless Steel off of eBay.

Intake: Edelbrock Victor 4x4 (Smaller than Super Victor but bigger than Victor Jr.)

Carb: Holley 750 double pumper

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  • 6 months later...

After having the car running for a few months now I have decided to pull it in the garage and start on the winter project list. The first thing on the list is to completely re-do the suspension. My plan is to strip everything down, paint and re-assemble. In the process I will be putting in new coil-overs and Bilstein struts.


I realized that I never showed any pictures of the finished car so I figured I would go ahead and post these first. These were taken in September at a small import meetup at a local shopping center.





Now here is a before shot of the suspension:



You can also see a little bit of the rust hole plaguing the inner fender, these will be getting patched up as well.


Some of the front suspension after sandblasting and priming:



Golden Mist Poly. Wanting to strip and repaint the wheels at some point this Winter so I decided to paint the suspension the same color. I originally wanted to have it powdered, but they were unable to match the gold color so I decided to paint myself instead, and save a lot of money in the process.



Here is a shot of the pieces after paint. I didn't blast the rear drums because I was worried about blasting the aluminum and you can't really see them behind the wheels anyways. Also, I didn't want to put more on myself at once so I'm just doing the front suspension for now. I will do the rear after I get the front fixed.


What isn't pictured is the front cross-member and steering rack. They were both cleaned and painted flat black. I didn't want to paint them gold because I felt that it may take away from any engine dress up I do. I am also regretting purchasing the red poly bushings earlier in the year as they don't really match the gold and green scheme. However, it is what it is. All new hardware is coming in tomorrow. I wanted to go all stainless, but finding the threads and appropriate strengths needed was almost impossible. Instead they will be high class yellow zinc, which should fit right in with the gold.

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  • 1 month later...

very nice just read your whole thread so far


Thank you!


Here is the painted front suspension with the coilovers installed:



Now a before on the rears:




And After:



All new Yellow-Zinc Hardware on the Suspension bolts. On the few bolts I couldn't find, I just painted them the Nissan Golden Mist.


Now for the wheels. My original goal was repaint the inners gold (like they were originally) and polish all of the outer flat lips and just leave the rest of the wheel, the "iron cross" part bare aluminum. After they started soda blasting I noticed that the flat parts were just going to be too much work to polish. My guess is that the wheels had been blasted before. It wasn't a flat machined surface, but but more of a very fine sandpaper surface.


Anyways, I just had them hit the wheels with the finest sand that they had since I couldn't (a.k.a. didn't have the patience) polish them at this point. Fortunately, there is a metal flake look in the aluminum and it looks amazing. You can just barely see it in the photo below:




Once I got them home I masked them off and re-shot the Golden Mist:




I'm looking to pull off all of the masking take and clear coat them this afternoon.

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