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Hey guys, not sure if there will be any interest but I want to post up my build here just so I can look back through it for whatever reason.  I am starting with an almost completely rust free 240z I picked up for a decent price here in phoenix and have plans to daily it, more or less stance, and eventually make it a nice little track rat I won't feel bad about beating up on when I go road racing.  Just recently sold my c5 Corvette after feeling bad about beating it up around the track and the high expenses of everything motor and trans wise so I found this and immediately knew I was going to have a blast driving it (outside of summer, it just got to 115 F here  <_<.  Working outside yesterday in that was NOT fun.  Bought the car a few weeks ago and it was running and driving, albeit it smokes a little which I think is because it is running very rich, and the radiator leaked so I couldn't drive it before buying, just hear it run.  Body is in great shape with the exception of the roof which has some dents.  Don't ask me how they got there I have no clue haha.  Guessing it wasn't treated right as there is a trucker lady front license vanity thing, HUTCH written on the back, and mud flaps when I got it.. 

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Here are the pics of where I first got it and then of me using my first AAA tow.  I was amazed at how fast they got there to pick it up!  Definitely hasn't been moved in a while, but that will change!

First order of business was getting it running and making sure it wouldn't overheat in the brutal Arizona summers.  I originally was going to get the original radiator fixed and save me some money.  $75 to clean it and get it going so I figured sure why not, save myself some money.  Got called back and apparently it would be another $125 to rod it out... so $200 into an old brass radiator when I can get a nice aluminum 3 core for $140.  Easiest decision ever!  decided now is a good time to put new hoses on as well and I found these gems...

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Totally rotted out and broken.. so time for a new replacement!  Ordered those in along with a new thermostat and were ready to go!... or not.

Temp gauge wasn't working so after checking all the wiring I found the gauge was bad and more than likely the sender too.  So after trying to get it out unsuccessfully, sorry no pics of this,  It was so badly gouged I needed a new lower thermostat housing and temp sender.  Yay!  Got those in and found a 280z gauge on craigslist and swapped out the front so it would fit behind the cluster like my original gauge and then now we have temp! Does not overheat! I will not mess with cars that overheat, after having severe issues with my big block cutlass and a number of other cars, it just isn't something I like to touch anymore.  

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After this I decided it was time to get keys for the car as I was given none when I bought it.  Looking online and at local auto part stores I was not able to find any door lock cylinders for a 240z that could get here in a reasonable amount of time and I was not about to spend bookoo bucks on a full complete set.  SO I found that lock cylinders from a 80's 510 fit perfectly if you do very minor work to it.  I can take pictures of this if anyone is interested in a cheap way to get new door locks.

Onto the hatch lock... I was able to take it out and find a guy on craigslist who makes keys by feel alone!  He had a few blanks and a file and in under 10mins made a perfect key for my trunk.  What an art!  I now have a car I can start and lock  :D

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Here is a few more pictures of the car and a pic of the seat I will be putting in it out of my c5. Sparco Sprint V and I fit SNUG.  Totally holds you in around corners.  The old seats are roached and this will be perfect.  I will be making a bracket soon to fit in in.  I also took the rear bumper off and cut the ridiculously long muffler off!  

I've always loved the look of ZG flares and only ever had deep dish wheels on one other car and those only had around a 2 ish inch lip so this time I wanted much more. I had thought about getting diamond racing steelies and ZG flares but there are already so many of them and being as cheap as I am there had to be another way.  I was able to find some Eagle 028's for $130 on craigslist off of a Cherokee and they had the dish I was craving!

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I was hoping they could just be redrilled to 4x4.5 but they already had so many bolt holes there was no room to drill.  These are 15x10 with -44 offset (3.5 backspacing or 3.25 I forget exactly).  They stick out quite a bit!  I decided I am either going to spend a lot of money on rims that I like that fit or spend a little bit more on 5 lug swapping the car.  I like the 5 lug look a little more anyways and this would let me inspect a the car a little more and keep me occupied over the summer.  I have some of the extra wide ZG flares and 5 lug front hubs on order and they should be in soon!  

I will be taking pics of the rear soon.  

For the rear the drums were shot and I don't want to get old drums redrilled.  After looking at the prices of how much new drums and pads were.. around $150.   Thats assuming everything else was still good. Not going to happen.  I decided a disc brake conversion was in order.  I bought new rotors for $22 each, both front calipers off a 1985 Maxima for $15 and $6 for some 1/8 inch sheet metal.  Just finished building the bracket and it looks... interesting.. but it will work and hold everything exactly where it needs to be.  Only downside to this is I no longer have an E-Brake.  Which to me is a plus because I would just pull it and try to do something stupid anyways..

Another forum member Jmai86 I believe did a coilover conversion using cheap ebay Emusa coils and that is the option I will be doing.  They are on order and should be in soon and I can take pics of the conversion as well if anyone is interested.  I can post pics of the disc brake conversion as well if anyone wants to convert the rear to disc for under $100 depending on how much the proportioning valve runs me I should be able to keep it right around there.

Also just got my tires in!  225/50/15 khumo ecsta.  $86 each from online and they look cool.  Will post pics soon.  Actually a very minor stretch, I wish I went to 205/50/15s to be honest.  Cheaper tires like $50 each so thats a plus.  Well I will go take a few more pictures of the conversion and the tires all mounted and interior stuff.  Let me know if you guys want to see more or any questions and if there is interest I will post the build as it happens!


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Looks good so far, Build threads are cool so keep us updated.


My Drivetrain swap is slowing down because of this heat, working on my car after hours. WIll post a build thread when im almost finished.

 Im in a shop but we only have swamp coolers, they are working ok for now but not when the humidity comes at the end of the month.


Where are you in AZ??.. Im in North Phoenix.

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What swap are you putting in?  I'm planning on staying almost stock for now.  It already has some headers and 2.5 exhaust and to keep it cheap and make sure I like it it'll stay like that for now.  Planning on road tripping it the last week of june or early august to see family in Illinois so that should be interesting!  I'm in Surprise living with my parents over summer to cut costs down and have a solid place to work on it.  I'm 20 and going to be a junior at ASU in Tempe so I'll be moving back over there in august for school.  Do you ever go to pavilions? I'm part of a car club at ASU called Streetrefined and we go to shows and stuff all the time.  We just got our 240sx that looks like a rat rod/pos thing with the old school jaws painted on if you've seen it.

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As promised here is a little more info on the car and some progress that has been done.  I will be finishing up the rear tonight, except for getting the rotors drilled that will have to wait until shops are open tomorrow.  Heres the rear stub axle with the new bearing pressed on and drilled for the new lug pattern.  5 lug here we go! Also got my khumo ecstas mounted and there really isn't too much stretch which I like.  Just enough to where the tire will help fill out the flare and wheel well.  225/50/15 if I haven't already mentioned it.

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Also I was looking around at the engine and found some great news.  Apparently at one time the P.O. put on a N47 head!  That should come in handy, just checked the casting today and was pleasantly surprised because I was interested in doing that mod. 

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the second picture is l24 followed by a few numbers that do not match the vin numbers so I'm going to assume NOT numbers matching?  Eh oh well. I won't feel bad if it blows now!


Another thing I did today was check out some of the ac system that was installed on this car by someone.  Doesn't look like a sketchy install so I'm going to assume dealer or port installed and not a home job.. Let me know what you think from looking at the pictures!  Another thing, where does the compressor mount if the alternator is taking up space on the passenger side of the engine bay?  I found 4 bolt holes into the block on the drivers side which looks like a great mounting place for the compressor but all my lines are on the passenger side.  

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I found this thing.. not entirely sure of its purpose... first impulse is to not trust it..

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Found RAFAS written on the transmission.  Don't know who or what RAFAS is but I like the sound of it.  Definitely going to keep that on there.
Now onto serious matters.  These are the first pictures I took of the disc brake upgrade for the rear and it shows the bracket, crude but effective, and the caliper brackets.  I will be welding a bar across to make up for the material that I took away from the bracket.  If you google 1985 maxima caliper bracket you will see I cut out the beam connecting the two bolt holes together.  But with the added strength from re welding on a new one but up top it will still be safe and cheap.  

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should have both mounted tonight with the stub axles put back together ready to rock and roll once the rotors get redrilled


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I recently found out it has one of those steering metal things (sorry I really can't remember what they are called, I'm sure excessive heat kills brain cells) to replace the old rubber that might be there.  Another mod I was looking into not very seriously but nonetheless it has it and won't need another!
Alright thats all for now, I will be working on it tonight and taking some pics.  Might pull the valve cover and see what it looks like or try reading a part number on the cam.  
OH I almost forgot!  NONE of the spark plugs were even tight!  I noticed that black goo/oil stuff running down the block and loosened all the spark plugs by hand.  They looked brand new so I figured why bother checking them.. THANKS HUTCH.. hopefully that might help my over rich situation with some new plugs that are gapped correctly and at least tightened haha.


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On the North American Market cars, there was both a VIN and ENGINE number related to the vehicle. Look at the ID Plate on your right strut tower, you should find a VIN (HLS30-XXXXXX) as well as an ENGINE Serial Number (L24-XXXXXX)


The VIN should match the one on the firewall near the brake booster, the tag in the driver's door, and the dashboard tag.

The ENGINE serial number is only on the engine bay tag, and the pads you mentioned in the engine.


In 77 or 78 they stopped the serialized listing of the engine on that plate, stating just "L28" so there is no real way to certify a "Numbers Matching 1978 Black Pearl without the original documentation (copy of Nissan MSO) or other archival documents.


With the advent of reproduction plates...it makes chicanery in this region easier.

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Looks like either way it didn't end up being numbers matching.  Either way it wouldn't really have meant much to me.  Hoping this motor might have some head work or something of that nature.. once its all ready to go I'm going to run it at one of those cheap dyno days for like $35 just to see where I'm at.  

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Did some more work on the car tonight.  The rear stub axles were being such a NIGHTMARE.  First the dust caps wouldn't go on and I forced one and it bent so I'm waiting for a replacement  :angry: Got one side on and then after I tightened the stub axle all the way the stub axle was almost impossible to turn.  So after finding out the dust seal wasn't all the way in and after fixing that it spins perfect!  Much more annoying than I had imagined!  I hope the fronts are easier!


Here are the brake caliper brackets on so you can get an idea of what they look like.  This is a very cheap way to get disc brakes.  Total cost well under $100 so far.  

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Check your brake lines guys!!!! These things could kill someone!


Also got my flares in today from silver mine motorsports and wanted to see how they looked

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Should have a good look once its low. 

Have some friends coming in for backup tomorrow so I can get it ready for coil overs!

Should have the coil overs in tomorrow and have the rotors getting machined as well tomorrow AND get my other dust cover in so I can finally finish up the rear.  Coming together, should be on the road in 3 weeks or less.  That is a personal goal just so I can keep myself motivated. 

Also have been researching AC for the car but I wouldn't do that until I know for sure that I'm keeping the car for a long time.

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You got me thinking. RAFAS

Runs As Fast As Shit

Return And Finance After Saturday

Runs After Friday And Saturday

Runs As Fast As Susan (that's the guy Bruce Jenner beat in the Decathalon)

Run Away Fast And Scared

Reverse And First Are Shot

Reefer And Fat Ass Sweet

I dunno what it means. Kinda fun to try to guess.

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I hope that Reverse and First are shot is not the case!  I can attest to first working for about 15 feet.  Hoping for Rebuilt and Furious as supercars.. yeah.. no :rolleyes:

Got some more work done on the car tonight and last night.  Actually got the girlfriend to do some car work!

So I finally finished the stub axles and they turned out great.  Zero play and they spin smooth as butter!

Also I got my coil overs in.  Yes they are super cheap EMUSA coil overs but for $449 with the extra front brackets include for FREE how could I pass it up, budget build right? Speedyracerparts is the ebay username I bought off of.  Ask for Ryan.  He's the man.  Unfortunately the extra front brackets were forgotten in the shipping order as its an unusual request but no matter they will be here soon enough.  

The bottoms of these coils slip right over the cut strut tube like a glove!!! I will attest to Jmai86 which I believe was the first person to do this, not sure, but his idea seemed great and cheap.  I did not have to get mine pressed on like he mentioned, after I removed the paint to get a good weld the bracket slipped over and fit perfect.  Oh I should also mention I did only get the rear right mounted and welded tonight.  I also did cut off the old brackets that are used for these if you install on a 240sx.  If you want these coil overs they were from an s13 240sx so 1989 is what I ordered them for.

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I figured while I'm at it I can take a few measurements if anyone wants to do this swap in the future.  I believe this is just about as cheap of a coil over option for our cars as you can get.  $449 with all the brackets that you need is hard to beat.  I believe this will be safe as well, there is no reason that under normal or stressed circumstances that there would be any way the welds would break or fall off so I feel safe recommending this to anyone else.  They are essentially the same as a few other kits but with extra brackets you need to cut off.  Laid a nice thick bead all the way across and my welds may be ugly but they have never broken.  LOTS of practice building and repairing a go kart and friends exhausts.  No pics of the welds yet... not sure if I want to show that hahah!
I cut my strut tube to 1.4 inches just to have a little extra going into the tube and with the coil over bottomed out on the strut tube it measures 17 inches including the bracket.  

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The stock one measured I believe 22 inches

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Also just for anyone else's sake that wants to go LOW I put the coil overs as low as they would go (keep in mind the studs were not sticking out past the holes in the top mounting so there is about another .75 ish inch that it can go lower.  This thing will get VERY low if you want it to with these coils.  Once its all done I will slam it and post pictures as I know being so low you scrape frame on a piece of paper is appealing  :D

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After I took off the old strut I was able to jack up the suspension with a wheel on and place my wide zg flares on and see what it looked like.  The rotors are not back from the machine shop so the wheels will stick out a hair more and fit with less than a fingers width to the flares.  I have a few pictures of these I will post soon but in the pictures it looks like they barely stick past the fenders which is NOT the case.  -44 offset on a 15x10 definitely has some poke.. thank goodness for these wide fenders or I would have to run a ridiculous amount of camber on pulled and rolled fenders.  Which is appealing..

Should be putting the coil overs on the front using my other bracket as soon as I get the rotors back and install the front hubs so I can see how much fender I'm going to be cutting exactly so I can get these flares on!!!

I hope this thread helps some people.  When I was doing my research a few of the posts were getting old and the pictures no longer remained so if you need any other pictures while everything is apart let me know and I would be happy to oblige.  So far I've been able to disc brake convert it and put coil overs on for under $575 not counting grinder blades and a few hours of measuring of course so I'm fairly satisfied.  Always looking for new and interesting ways to keep it fun, cheap, and safe.  We actually have the EMUSA coil overs on a club car we have as part of our car club at ASU and they seem to do the job.  Should be taking that 240sx to the drift event in June with the club if we can get the gas tank replaced in time!






Edited by ryanabab
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While I'm posting I have always loved the look of the Hayashi Racing 505's on these cars and looking at the Eagle series 028's that I bought I think it would be VERY easy to clone them.. I believe these might be forged.. not too sure honestly, they are heavy either way.  But the 505's are 3 piece and pretty pricey. By that I mean I found a set with similar offset for $2500.  No way I can spend more on wheels than the entire car.  So here is my idea.  I can get aluminum pieces made that would start thin and end thick to give it the recessed look at the edge of the spokes like the 505's then get a circle made to go around the inside of the rim so I can mount some bolts and give it the nice 3 piece look for a 1/10 the price.  Might be a little rice but its not in the budget to get expensive rims and this would work in theory.  After this I would probably get them powder coated black if I went that direction.  Let me know if you think this is cheesy or in my opinion a great idea to get a cool look without the price tag.  Here are some pictures I grabbed off google that you can clearly see the resemblance and visualize my idea.  

IMG 9477 shakotan Z hayashi overfender copy


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  • 5 months later...

Progress with the brakes! Fitting a Wilwood Prop valve, deleting the block under the MC the brake lines feed into with the power wire, and bleeding with a handheld mighty vac seemed to make the car bleed correctly for the time being.  Pedal has held pressure for a week now, with no leaks I can see, and when driving I hit the brakes hard and locked up the front wheels so its looking like I might have finally fixed the brakes for the most part.  Small tweaking with uneven pad wear on the right rear but other than that I'm hoping I will be in the clear.  Its been a long semester at school and a few weeks off to work on this and also my Dad's Model A is going to be a fun time.  Paid a shop to fix the brakes while I was at school, only to have them work just as bad and thats what made me put the other parts in and do it myself.  Lost all faith in shops now.. but its finally coming together.  On the last drive back I hit a bump and all my gauges except speedo and tach (which never worked) went out.  So I'll be searching for a loose ground or blown fuse possibly tomorrow.  Ordering in a 4in 1 tach gauge 5 inch as well soon so I have all my gauges with newer senders in a very simple little place for reliability and ease of getting it on the road faster.  

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  • 1 month later...

After some consideration of what I wanted to do with the motor/carbs I was introduced to someone who rebuilds the SU for a decent price.  The $700ish price tag on some of the popular rebuilding sites made me look into completely different motors.  I researched the Ka24de like a lot of the 510 guys do and man it is a simple swap.  Even the wiring doesn't seem too bad.  However, I am moving the car to the lot close by my house (was at storage at my parents house) and without any electricity in the lot I think that swap would get annoying fairly quickly, especially if I need to weld or use power tools for extended periods of time.  Keeping the motor seems like the only sensible option at this time.  It is running so poorly I don't know if I'll be able to tell if the throttle shafts are worn (the rebuilder does not do the throttle shaft fixes and it used to idle quite well before I gunked everything up from sitting so I think it is good enough to get it on the road with a good cleaning and rebuild.  Getting the carbs clean and gas tank cleaned should put me on the road.  Brakes are finally done (what a nightmare) and it of course started running bad soon after from possible debris in the tank.  Hoping to get this started on sunday and get the old stuff out for cleaning!

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  • 1 month later...

Well to give this thread an ending I took the car as far as I was able to.  I finished the brakes, suspension, and got it looking the way I wanted but it started to run like crud right as I was leaving for school.  Carburetor and gas tank needed to be gone through.  I didn't have a good place to store it and work on it anymore after my parents were getting ready to move so I decided the best course of action was to sell it, instead of it just sitting for an unknown period of time until I could work on it (maybe several months to a year or more).  Tried to sell locally and some jokers kept lowballing me, some of the Datsun crowd in AZ are morons.  Popped it on eBay and ended up getting almost every penny back out of it that I put into it, so that was nice.  People really loved that it was an almost ZERO rust 240z.  Some kid and his dad bought it for what I'm guessing was his first car, so that will be cool that it will have new life being one of the coolest cars at his school.  

Till next project fellas

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