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Hello all,


I've been lurking on the site for awhile, and finally decided to take the plunge and pick up an S30 Z-car from a fellow forum member over at OntarioZCar, along with my brother (Adrian Z). (If you're in ON, and not on that forum, I highly recommend it - great bunch of guys). This is going to be a dedicated build thread, I will try to make it picture-heavy, as those are always the best ones.


She's a 1974 260Z with 46k miles on the ODO. I thought it was mostly original, but on closer inspection in the shop it's had some work done on it (not good either, going to be a bit of a pain to fix). The front frame appears to have some damage and they fixed it poorly. The floorpans are shot, there's typical rust everywhere you'd expect from a 40 y/o car in Canada, but nothing that's not fixable with a bit of work. The bigger issue is that it was sitting neglected in a barn for the past 15 years, and the engine seems to be seized. Clutch is unresponsive as well, breaks nonexistent (work on moving first, then worry about stopping). The previous-previous owner jimmy-rigged the wiring, so that needs to be redone, and he took the stock carbs off in favour of a single-weber setup - not sure why.


So far I've just been inspecting and figuring how deep of a hole I've dug for myself. I washed the car, drained the goopy old oil, and slapped a new oil filter on. Filled it with 10W-30, not sure if that's best, but some forum folks seem to think it works, so that's good enough for me. I'm pretty sure the rings are rusted to the bores, so I pulled the plugs and filled each cylinder up with WD40, leaving it overnight to try penetrate the rust, see if it feels like turning tomorrow...





Taking her home



Weird single-weber setup



Interior - Driver's seat shot, the rest is ok



Badly repaired front frame under the engine (not going to pass safety here...)



Rotted floor pan



First of many oil changes




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After letting the engine sit in rust penetrant and WD-40 for 3 days, we tried to get it to turn over - no luck. This engine is just plain stuck, going to need a full rebuild or a scrap bin. Looking at the price of a L28et versus the price of a machine shop to rebore it, I think I know which route to go... (more HP is a good thing anyways eh)


We pulled the L26 + 4spd tranny that night. Everything went pretty smoothly, just keeping track of what hoses go where, and which ones will need replacing is a bit of work. Having a pit and forklift makes the engine pulling process go pretty fast, no complaints.

post-47042-0-77824100-1433615269_thumb.jpg post-47042-0-94313400-1433615322_thumb.jpg post-47042-0-38869100-1433615298_thumb.jpg


Over the past couple days we've been stripping the interior to get ready for some serious bodywork - replacing floor pans, possibly rocker panels, remaking the front frame rails, and sucking both bumpers closer 2" closer to the body. Once that's done, we're whipping up a rotisserie for the frame to do the more intricate bodywork, sandblasting and paint.

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Some small rodents decided to make their home in the car during its sitting life, one stuck around for the long haul

post-47042-0-31576000-1433615451_thumb.jpg post-47042-0-38155100-1433616015_thumb.jpg


Getting the front dash off was a bit of work, but I think I did OK. I'm planning on fixing the cracks rather than getting a cover.

post-47042-0-92578800-1433615694_thumb.jpg post-47042-0-60784500-1433615727_thumb.jpg


I know that it's a lot faster to clear the car out than put it back together, but I don't think it'll be that bad. Whenever we disconnected any wires, or took off any part, we labelled them. Any screws that were removed were zip-tied to the part they were supposed to hold on. I've found this to be a great way to keep track of hardware.



Progress has been made, enjoying the project so far. The goal is to have the body finished by August-September, I don't think that's over-ambitious.



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Caig deoxit would be the stuff to use for cleaning electrical contacts. I feel your pain on the hacked up wiring. Just get the factory diagram if you haven't and take your time, you'll get it fixed up soon enough!

Yup, I'm planning on getting the factory diagram (there should be one floating around on the forum somewhere, just haven't looked for it yet) and double checking the whole harness. Job for later on I'm thinking - after bodywork



If you end up deciding the wiring is too far gone, I have a 95% complete harness for the whole car out of my 260 parts car. 

Thanks NW240Z! If I end up giving up on the harness, I'll give you a shout



I am pulling my working engine from my 1974 260z today of maybe this week.  I will be selling it.  Let me know if you have an interest in it.   I will also be replacing my electrical.

xringx: I suspect shipping will be significant cost from Ohio across the border, but let me know how much you want for it. My original plan for the car was to just get it going and slowly improve it over the next few years, but it's turning into more of a ground-up build, so I'm seriously considering getting a bit bigger engine for her. What drivetrain are you putting in yours?


Also, just a general question - what's everyone opinion on the brown-orange interior? I didn't really like it when I got the car, leaning toward black, but it's growing on me. Maybe I'll put it back in when I put the car back together and change it in a few years if I find a complete black set for sale, I dunno...



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Serious question: If I do some body work on a smaller panel, get it cleaned up and looking how I want, I'm going to want to primer it so it doesn't rust. I probably won't have the whole car primered, ready for paint for months yet. Is it bad to leave parts in primer and not paint? I read somewhere that moisture can get absorbed into the primer and ruin the paint job, but I'm not sure I believe that. Maybe if I store the parts inside a dry shop it'll be fine...


Lemme know what your experiences have been! (I have access to a full professional paint shop, so I'll be painting it myself)



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Spent more of the weekend pulling the rest of the interior out of the car, it's nearly ready for sandblasting/paint-stripping and bodywork. Should be nice to stop going backwards and make some positive progress on the car.



Found where the mice made their comfy home, in the passenger air ducts. Pulled an excessive amount of lint and corncobs out of there, but it should be rodent-free now...



Primer "can" soak up moisture in the air and cause rusting underneath if not properly applied, if it will never be out in the rain I would worry too much though.

Yeah that's what I thought. The parts will be stored in a controlled environment, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Edited by Eric Z
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Depending on the level of body work, the little spray can primer will all be removed by the body shop that tackles the job. If this is over a long haul, you might just consider primer/paint combo cans to just coat it a bit to keep the moisture out and expect them to sand blast the car before paint in the future. 


Seems like you have a good groove, keep it up!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So midterms are happening, and the car isn't quite getting the attention I'd like to give it. I've managed to sneak out to the shop for a few hours now and again to finish clearing out the shell. That's what it is now, just an empty shell, I don't think there's anything more that can come off - now to start the actually fun part  :D


Here's what she looks like right now:

post-47042-0-59822900-1434769358_thumb.jpg post-47042-0-99986900-1434769380_thumb.jpg


I've been trying to find a good way to support the car while I replace the bottom and front frame rails to ensure it doesn't bend/warp the body. What I've come up with is whipping up 2 brackets that will be mounted to the tops of the front and rear strut towers, tying them together securely. The car will then be flipped upside-down, resting on these brackets. I'll make the frame rails up, and weld them in solid (besides to the floors, those are getting replaced too). After that I should be good to make the rotisserie, mounting it to the front and rear frames so I can flip the car around as needed and access all the hard to reach areas. 






Depending on the level of body work, the little spray can primer will all be removed by the body shop that tackles the job. If this is over a long haul, you might just consider primer/paint combo cans to just coat it a bit to keep the moisture out and expect them to sand blast the car before paint in the future. 


Seems like you have a good groove, keep it up!

Thanks seattlejester. I hadn't thought of just putting on a quick primer for now, then taking it all off and repriming it before the final paint - good idea!



All I see is potential!!

Haha, that makes two of us.

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