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A musician's therapist (The $300 Z)

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On 6/11/2020 at 2:57 PM, jpndave said:

Comparing the power/acceleration of the FR-S is a very low bar. My son Colton has one and I love the car but power is severely lacking. He recently picked up a Triumph Spitfire that I think will replace the FR-S, largely because of what it would take to get it to satisfactory acceleration on top of the cost of the car compared to a complete build on the Triumph.


True, but at least it makes me feel better while I work on other things haha. I drove a BRZ exactly once and it was ... disappointing for a modern sports car. Being comparable power with more torque and lighter chassis I think I'll be satisfied for now.


Did a few more small things this weekend. 

-Fixed a short in the rear right side-marker

-Swapped all the cheap spade connectors on the sidemarkers with weatherpaks

-Replaced burned bulbs in the rear housing

-Got tachometer working (it was turned off in my tunerstudio settings... 🤦‍♂️)

-Got an improved fuel map and corrected my VE table a bit.

-Cleaned/degreased the bell and tail housings on the 5 speed. Still debating replacing the bearings for security or just running as is until something goes wrong.

-New wheels and tires should be here tomorrow or Tuesday :) 


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On 6/15/2020 at 7:16 AM, Jboogsthethug said:

Man, this is motivating me to finish my garage and get back to the Z!


If I can get the 5 speed in and run some test drives to seattle and back by the end of the week maybe I'll have a chance to stop by and see yours! have been seriously wanting to get it good enough to drive to visit my parents. We've hit what Washingtons not-so-endearingly refer to as "Juneuary" and it's been raining a fair amount 😕 

Those of you who know me well know that half the reason this poject has taken so long (aside from mental setbacks and money) is my agonizing over every major item on the car. I spent entirely too long choosing wheels. Quite frankly, expensive wheels with high quality rubber aren't in the books right now considering how far I have to go to make it pretty so I stayed with 15x8 rota RKR. They're a period correct look at a reasonable price. Knowing I want some mileage out of the tires since I want to drive this as often as possible, mostly on the street and a bit on some winding roads, means I was able to just stick with the Kumho Esta "high performance all seasons" for now. Looks like I'm waiting another day for the tires to arrive at my closest tire place though.


Maybe sometime another 5 years from now the car will be in a position where I can justify spending on some refinished vintage 3 piece wheels that suit the car, but these will look great for now and won't look out of place agianst the somewhat 'rat rod' appearance I have going on.





Edited by Zetsaz
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5 speed is in.

New wheels and tires on (with appropriate lug nuts that I forgot about initially..)
Exhaust adjusted. Y pipe wasn't as far in as it should have been and the muffler is no longer fouling on the valence.
Decided that gauges were low priority, so a new speedo cable is on the way and some other small odds and ends.

Will be adjusting height slightly tomorrow then hopefully getting an alignment.



Edited by Zetsaz
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4 hours ago, seattlejester said:

Picture is broken :(

Updated. Seems like it was trying to link to my google account when I posted it and I have to edit sharing settings. Just uploaded them instead.

Notice I did a little bit of cleaning on the 5 speed before resealing it. I hate greasy cruddy car parts, so I try to at least clean most of the bigger grime and dirt that's accumulated over the years on anything I ever pull or work on.

Unfortunately no new flywheel or cutch right now. I firgued the expense isn't currently warranted. Everything is fully functional and the current clutch isn't slipping so I figured I'll put that money elsewhere for now and save that money for when I commit to turbo or swap. In it's current form I don't think there's anything more I care to do to the engine. It's all quality of life stuff now.

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I'll try to get some video sometime!

So many small adjustments to make. I lowered it just slightly. I think this may be permanent for a while. It's just baaaarely touching gravel on my way out of the carport but not on the way in (can't get the angles right) so I'm not going any lower unless I move somewhere else haha. 

I'm a bit upset that my silicone couplers for the intake filter that shipped weren't the correct ID... so now I'm waiting on new ones that are hopefully correct this time. In the meantime, here's another gratuitous pic of the car in all it's ratty glory (will probably adjust the hood tomorrow... it's bugging me haha)



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8 hours ago, Boben said:

At least from this angle, not ratty at all. Very nice looking car. Congratulations! 👌


Pictures and angles can hide a lot haha.


Occasionally tempted to leave it ratty, but have a nice quiet interior with AC and audio then pursue more power, but I'm spoiled and part of the reason I like the car to begin with is the aesthetics. If all I cared about was speed i already have something better and more comfortable and for the same money could have just done a twin turbo kit or supercharger on that or called it good. 



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19 hours ago, jpndave said:

Looking Great Omar! When are you bringing that old girl around so I can go for a ride?


15 hours ago, 1969honda said:

I'll stand in line behind Dave!


In about a week actually! I just got the new correct speedo pinion gear for the 3.9 and a new cable. Two summers ago when I last drove down in my hardbody, the speedometer was inaccurate, and I got a ticket going 83 in a 65 down a hill in middle-of-nowhere eastern washington. Speedo needle turned out to be bent and started sticking past 65, never saw it go past 70. Not taking the same risks in the car and don't want to run a gps speedometer off my phone the whole drive haha. 



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On 6/22/2020 at 12:03 PM, seattlejester said:

Looks real good Omar, definitely the right choice!

 Thanks! You were the one that pushed me more that direction :)


Didn't bother with an extensive alignment since I don't have a lot of correction to be made in some areas, but I did have a local shop a few blocks down from me adjust my front toe so i'd at least be close and wouldn't wear my tires so much.

Some small issues creeping up as I've tried more short test drives

-Replaced brake lines coming off the master cylinder, seems like I'm still getting a leak from the reservoir...
-Installed the heat shield, along with the smaller shield for the PCV hose that a friend got me.

-I was so sure that I ordered the correct speedometer pinion gear, but it looks like my speedo is reading 7-8 miles high on cruise! 
     I did the math and should be just over 70 at 3k rpm, but I'm reading 78, which puts me closer to what a 3.7 pinion gear would show... but the color/teeth are accurate.
     I checked against a gps speedo on my phone that's showing 70-72 range at about 3k rpm. Not sure what the deal is, will have to look more into it.

-Fuel gauge doesn't seem to be displaying correctly. checked resistance at the plug that's wired all the way back to the tank and it's showing about 50ohms which should put it at roughly half, but it's only ever reading full or empty depending on calibration, which makes me thinking something isn't wired right at the gauge and it's reading 0 resistance as a result. Kind of confusing since it should only depend on the plug going to the sub-harness leading to the tank, but I've been meaning to rewire it properly into the plug for the clock instead of being spliced in elsewhere so it's a good excuse to get that done.

Need to route new vent hoses from the tank up to where the vapor canister will be, and new (hopefully correct ID) intake elbows should be here Friday and I'll hopefully have some of the small things worked out by this weekend. If all works out on longer cruise locally it should be good to go to make the 13 hour drive to my parents'!

Edited by Zetsaz
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FINALLY got the silicone couplers in the correct size. No more IAT sensor dangingling in front of my throttle with a zip tie. 




Next small steps

-Cousin will be printing me a new cap for the distributor from a shared file I recently found.

-Drop the tank to check fuel pump clearance, I think I might have the pickup too close to the bottom of the tank and it's creating flow resistance.

-Bleed brakes again. I think I MIGHT have finally fixed the brake leak issue.... maybe.... need to bleed the brakes again and confirm, the lines aren't wet.  I adjusted the clamp on the reservoir, but it seems like it might have been the fitting that the line goes into. If I continue to have issues I may just be replacing the brake master.

-Purchase clamps for valve cover hose and pcv hose. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Nearly 1000 miles covered over the past few days  between testing and tweaking, then driving home to see family after having nearly totally self isolated for a few weeks.


I'm bold or crazy, but either way these cars were meant for driving and that's fully what I intend on doing.  First fill up on a long trip. Having to be super careful since the vapor tank isn't in yet.



Middle of Nowhere in Eastern Washington 



The ONLY hiccup along the trip. My speedhut fuel gauge calibration doesn't seem to be close enough. I also experienced first hand the wild swinging people were talking about. It's not fast, but it would go down by an 1/8th or more before settling back in! Not happy about it right now and it's making me consider going back to the stock gauge since I'm back to a stock tank and not the camaro one anymore...

Home is just over the hills though, so fortunately my sister was able to come get me quickly.  Whole trip went great until I was on this ramp connecting to I-15. Otherwise, car is doing great :)




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Dang you're ballsy! Glad to hear the trip went well! I had this motorcycle that the fuel gauge didn't work, so I would run out of gas all the time. I ended up getting a gas tank and strapping it 100% of the time to the back for when I ran out ha. It worked well since it was outdoors, but may be worth considering for a bit while you sort it out. Or just fix it quickly, I guess that's the proper way to do it ha.

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On 7/9/2020 at 9:26 AM, Jboogsthethug said:

Dang you're ballsy! Glad to hear the trip went well! I had this motorcycle that the fuel gauge didn't work, so I would run out of gas all the time. I ended up getting a gas tank and strapping it 100% of the time to the back for when I ran out ha. It worked well since it was outdoors, but may be worth considering for a bit while you sort it out. Or just fix it quickly, I guess that's the proper way to do it ha.


Will probably just deal with it for now and avoid going under 1/4 tank. I'm running a new oem 2 pin sending unit, but considering how messy the gauge functions, I might just get the more expensive, 3 pin sender that belongs to the 280z and go back to the stock fuel gauge and fuel warning light, then put a boost gauge on the 3rd spot down the road. 


On 7/10/2020 at 12:22 PM, seattlejester said:

Definitely bold. Glad you made it!


It was an alright trip! The speedometer reading 6-7 mph over actual was really bugging me though, especially in Idaho where it was showing 95 to keep up with traffic. I did the calculations and 3k rpm should be right about 71 with my whole setup and that's what gps speedometers on my phone show (that I've confirmed to be close in my Infiniti), so I don't know what the deal is. Didn't count the teeth, but the pinion gear I bought is new OEM and was the right color for 3.9.... frustrating. Might try the old crusty speedo cable and see if that changes anything while I'm here, though I'm not sure why it would. 


Trying to get a quote in the area for paint. If I can get a better price here, I'll probably get it painted while I'm down here. Not exactly anywhere to go right now, and I can always borrow a car from a family member if I need to do anything, so it's the perfect time. 

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