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Zeta GT - 260Z 2+2 1977 T6

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Hi all,



I have been a reader on this forum from 2013 and now decided to transfer my blog also to here in hopes that someone finds it useful and



Hopefully you have some good feedback and also criticism!

This is my first car project and first time welding on a car or with a MIG so all help is appreciated!



Best regards,





My quest to find a suitable project started when I saw a article/video called "Dare to be different in a Datsun 240Z" (Dare to be different in a Datsun 240Z). Although my goal was not be different but the lines and the body of the Datsun appealed to me so I had to find one.


So the quest to find a suitable car from Finland started, because it looked that the prices abroad  were higher than in Finland.

As by order, there were two specimens for sale on Nettiauto (Finnish car-sale site), that piqued my interest. Both of them were in a reasonable condition and so was their asking price... that is if project cars can be reasonable priced.

After few events, it was time to decide which of them I would like to go to see. The choice was to see the car in Eastern part of Finland which was a 1976 Datsun 260Z 2+2. This decision was based on the fact that the car in question was priced better and it was in "better" condition. By better I mean that the condition was good but not too good not to warrant a full going through and to build the car just the way I would like.

Added bonus was that car was reasonably rare: the car was sold new in Germany in the year 1977 and for the European market there were 454 cars made that year.  (ZHome - Production numbers).



The car changed owners after few hours of negotiation and kicking the wheels.The fact that the car had been in a garage for the last eight years, caused a bit of a problem to get the car on the trailer, because car did not move on its own (gearbox was broken and fluids had been drained from the motor) and the trailer we had did not have a winch.

With the car came a "new" transmission, all of the parts that were needed to make the car run again and a rust free right fender.  The seller also had all of the cars original documents and a Factory Service Manual, which was really nifty!


All in all, I drove about 600 km to get the car and all of the driving was done in the worst weather that early winter 2013 had to offer... It snowed very heavily and it was slippery as... well it was very slippery. We did manage to get the car to its resting place without huge problems and the "great journey" towards Gran Turismo could begin...









Edited by OPTaiva

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The agenda for the weekend was to empty out an old boiler room.


Because my goal is to blast Zeta to bare metal as soon as I have stripped it down and therefore I will be needing a warm room where to weld all Zetas seams before base coating, I volunteered to help my friends empty their old boiler room as they built a power plant to replace it. This warm room should be extremely useful in preventing rust because of the damp and warm winter we are experiencing in Finland.


My friends got their new power plant up and running just in time for the winter and the old room was going to be a workroom from there on out so I asked if I could bring my project at their place during the welding and base coating phase.

The room is located in an old stone barn with my friends carpenter's workshop (Retulansaaren Puusepät Oy) and the room is just large enough to fit Zeta in (or so my measurements told me).




Here is the starting point. In the room we had one hot water tank (about one cubic meter in size), boiler and wood chip tank. There was also an industrial size washing machine, but that got thrown out first.



Second to go was the hot water tank, but only after we had cannibalized it for all useful items. Fortunately my friends had thought things through and they had emptied the tank beforehand!



After the tank, we moved on to the boiler. Apparently there is not many things in world that can not be moved with brute force and pump trolley. It must be said that the move took four guys and equally as many breaker bars and a few sledge hammers, but we got it moving.



A small additional excitement was aroused when no one remembered the covered manure shoots that lay on our way. The end results can be seen from the picture, a big hole in the floor and the flooring in bad shape.



On the next day we moved out the last item aka he wood chip tank. This way we had a good and reasonably large room for my Zeta and a room where I could weld and do the body work. Additionally there is a roof fan that is connected to an air outlet in the roof. This helps in keeping the welding fumes in bay.

The foundation, that can be seen in the picture, will be "exploded" with an expandable chemical, because it is so hard that our tools did not even chip it.


The rooms measurements are about 460 cm x 460 cm. As Zeta is about 440 cm with bumbers, the room is a bit tight, but fortunately Zeta shortens when it is stripped.

For moving the stripped shell and for turning it to the right positions, I will be building a spit (rotisserie). I am making the plans and iterating them for countless times, but when they are ready I will post them in an separate article.


And so was the weekend over, but fortunately I got to go to our cabin in a really good company.

I'd like to thank my friends and company Retulansaaren Puusepät for providing the workroom!

Edited by OPTaiva

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The door of Zeta had taken a hit some time in the past so it was decided that a replacement was needed.


A door in good condition was found from Karkkila, Finland. The pick-up trip took its time, but fortunately a fitting door was acquired and taken home.





The door is a complete package with glass, door card, lock and arm rest. I don't necessarily need those as I already have them in my old door. If someone feels that he/she would need them, they are for sale.


Colour of the door is fine and dandy... One almost could consider that kind of color for Zeta's color. Well time will tell!

Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part I



A lot of different things has been going on with the Zeta. Well technically not "a lot different things", but a lot of stripping of the car to the bare metal.


The de-assembly started by taking off the hood, front bumper, lights, light buckets and fenders along with the front air dam. Almost all bolts opened up just fine and only few bolts caused trouble. The bolts of the left fender and one of the bolts that keep the light buckets attached, had to be cut off.







Right light bucket removed. Those nuts inside the wheel well are a pain in the back to take off. This light bucket was replaced in the past, as it was fiberglass. Left bucket was made of sheet metal.






A few rust problems were discovered when taking the fenders off. Nothing alarmingly serious, but something that must be remedied and corrected after sand-/glassblasting.



Right fender was badly eaten in the bottom. No problem as the car came with a replacement panel.



 Rail under the left fender was missing a piece.



A rust spot that resides at the top of the frame, under the right fender and right above the battery tray.



Another rust problem located at the back of the right wheel well. Left rail in the same spot was in perfect condition. Well as perfect as a 36 year old car could be.


In the next part, it is the interiors turn to get ripped apart.

Edited by OPTaiva

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Sourcing the parts - Rear differential and drive shafts



I got a good deal for Z32 differential (with LSD) and drive shafts from a friend and I could not let that one pass. I'm aware that those parts are not a straight swap but it should be interesting to mate those parts to Zeta.

Probably (definitely) going to need parts cut with CNC and drive shafts shortened, but at least the differential should hold to the end of time with the power goals I'm having right now.







See Sourcing the parts - Limited Slip Differential

Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part II



As I mentioned in the previous part, next up was the interior.



One can see some of the rust problems I'm facing in the interior in the foot wells. Because of the sound proofing mat, water has been sitting between it and the sheet metal, so rust has been taking its toll.


Also the dash was broken in the middle... A common problem with these Datsuns. We must decide with the co-owner what we are going to do to the dash but leather upholstery has been talked about. Also interior is going to undergo other changes too. Better to do things right the first time around!


Next up was the motor. The previous owner had disconnected the transmission as it was busted and almost all ancillaries were also taken off already. The rest I stripped off and then we used some heavy machinery to hoist the lump out of the engine bay.





The engine stand I bought for 60 € was not a very good one... It was promised to hold 450 kg, but it buckled a bit under the load of the L-26, so we added a jack to hold the weight. That did the trick!

Now all that remains (I wish) is to decide, that should we keep the old motor and make it ITB or change it out for a more modern motor while still keeping it Datsun/Nissan.



Zeta looks a bit sorrowful with its engine removed and paint all tattered, but fortunately this will change!



At least there is amble room in the engine bay... for a RB20DET or perhaps even for a RB25DET.

Might just have to go to an inspection office to find out what could be the biggest motor that could be registered legally in this car here in Finland.

Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part III



This time I'm concentrating to the sound proofing mats.


I'm taking the mat off because there is a lot of it and when sand-/glassblasting, it could be a problem (and drive the price up).




My modus operandi is that I heat the mat with a heat gun and then scrape the mat off with a metal scraper. Slow and tedious work, but my time is free compared to the blasters time. Another way would be freezing the mat, but unfortunately the weather is a bit warm for that and I'm not going to buy dry ice, if heat gun does the trick.



The residue that my method leaves behind should not be a problem, because the residue will come off when blasting.


After all is said and done I'm thinking that sound proofing mat should be installed and for example Dynamat could be a solution. This will need some thinking and researching as I would not like to add a lot of weight to the car... also not introduce another potential rust problem.



See Taking Zeta apart - Part IV

Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part IV



The work continued with the soundproofing mat. Fortunately the weather got colder and as the thermometer showed -20 centigrade, I began to chisel the mat away. This clearly was the better way compared to heating the mat, because when the mat is cold, it just lifts off and brakes to pieces like glass when hammered with a paint scraper and hammer.


Results can be seen below:










I also went through the paint and body filler/bog layers in a few places, because I wanted to see how thick the layers are. 

All I can say is that the paint layer is thick!

One can count the different layers themselves... My guess is 12 layers, but I could be wrong! 

My guess also is that the car should shed few kilograms when the layers are cleaned and the car is properly prepped and painted. The decision to media blast the car looks even better!






 These two above pictures show the right C-pillar. About 12 layers of paint and body filler!






Rear fender areas are chock-full of body filler. Above are pictures of the right side and below are pictures about the left side. In one picture one can see that the full thickness of the paint and filler layers is about 5 to 10 mm... a BIT much I would say! Also there is rust... Nice!

I just have to see after the blasting what is the extend of the damage and do the necessary repairs.






That's all folks for this time!

Edited by OPTaiva

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Sourcing the parts - Limited Slip Differential



As I read more information of this differential "swap" I noticed a very critical error in my plan, Zeta already had the mentioned differential aka R200. The only difference was that Zeta has the "long nose" -version and no LSD.

As Zeta has this part as an OEM part, swapping to this differential does not give any real advantage and so it went back to my friend as went the rest of the parts that came from his Z32.

I highly urge anyone that is interested in changing their differential, to read this thread in Hybridz: Differentials 101. It will make everything much easier.


I'm planning to add a Limited Slip -lock to my differential with an OBX unit. One can read all about it in these threads/links: OBX Differential Inspection and InstallationHow to Rebuild your OBX Differential and OBX vs Quaife (with pixors).



This unit is made for the Nissan 300zx and 240sx and it should be a direct swap. Just got to make sure that the unit is meant for the non-lsd version of the 300zx or 240sx, because factory lock is not interchangeable with the normal differential. At least according to the Hybridz forums! 

There also has been some problems with OBX units but with proper installation and tuning it should be "just what the doctor ordered"!

Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part V


And the saga continues...


During the weekend I removed the "aircon" from the Zeta, pedal box and the full wiring harness.





To get the pedal box out, one must remove few bolts and the same bolts keep the master vacuum and master clutch cylinder in place



The master vacuum is, at least to my knowledge, the 10'' model, so stopping power will be reasonable, even with upgraded brakes. All I need to do to ensure this, is to upgrade the brake master cylinder to bigger one, at least in theory. I'm using these as reference for my brake plans: Help! What brake options are available for S30 Z cars? and Brake upgrade FAQ.

Also I must see that the clutch cylinder is OK.




I removed the whole wiring harness and noticed that it was a bit worn and cut up. 

My intention is to redo the whole wiring with universal wiring harness. My help in this will be the FSM one can find in the following website: Xenons30

I'm thinking something along these lines for the universal harness: Universal Wiring Harness

To mate the possible RB-engine to the engine harness, I will be using this guide on Hybridz: Chris Rummel's easy follow RB into Z wiring guide.





Wire mess was and is a bit daunting...



Not many surprises were uncovered during the weekend but one very unfortunate one came up... Rust.



The rear of the car is in good condition as far I can tell... Hope the blasting does not reveal anything too bad!


My girlfriend did a huge job by removing all the body filler from the right rear fender. The tools used were hard labour, heat gun and sharp chisel.



This uncovered few rust spots. Lover panel is eaten through and needs to be replaced. Also the arches has been repaired... badly. I'm hoping that they can be remedied and that I don't need to find replacement panels for them. Other way is to cut them up, patch them and put on huge fender flares.

Next up is the left side!


Also the fuel tank was taken out. It has been replaced sometime in the past but I still need to do few modifications in order to keep the old tank and use fuel injection.

The trick is to use a fuel surge tank and additional fuel pumps for example Bosch 044 or similar. I might do the surge tank myself or buy it (if price is right). 

If I do it myself, I will use this guide as my aid: Building A Fuel Surge Tank. I already have sourced a used fire extinguisher for this purpose.




Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part VI



Just a small update before a a bit bigger one.


Weekend is over and the front suspension assembly is detached from Zeta. One bolt on the front stabilizer bar had to be cut of but all other bolts opened up nicely. Also I had to cut the "lowest" brake lines on either side because the flanges did not want to budge... No big deal, because I planned to replace all of the hard lines anyway.


Below one can see the whole front suspension assembly and part of the right door.



Work continued also with the rear fenders and as a new project with the right door. From this I don't have any pictures because no-one likes to see yet another picture with rust and body filler!


Next up: "New" engine!

Edited by OPTaiva

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Sourcing the parts - Engine aka RB20DET



As one can deduce from the headline, I have bought an engine swap for Zeta.


My choice was a RB20DET because of its stock values. With the RB20DET all of the requirements that Finnish law has to "offer" to register Zeta will be met.


The swap came with motor, almost all of the auxiliary parts and gearbox.

Turbo was not a part of the deal, but that would have been upgraded anyhow! What did came with the kit was stainless exhaust flange to make new exhaust manifold and a stainless surge tank.


Seller was a real pleasure to work with because as soon as we showed up to look at the motor, he offered to open it up so we could see that it is okay and so we could see what we are buying. Also the price was more than reasonable... with the price difference to other engine swaps, we can machine the engine and rebuild it and still have money left for a new turbo. Also ceramic coating would be nice in the engine (Martelius - Keraamiset pinnoitteet).

We are also upgrading the bolts, nuts and seals and gaskets of the engine so that it will be like brand new!


The kit also lacks coils. I'm going to buy a coil harness and do this mod: How to Install a LS2 truck coil plug into the RB20DET/RB25DET/RB26DETT engine. This way the engine will get stronger spark (more power) and the parts are cheaper to buy than "inferior" coils. Also this would be "the place" to look for new coil harness: Wiring Specialties.


The motor in question has produced ~240 hp to the rear wheels with the stock turbo. RB20DET should hold about 300 hp with right turbo and mods (intercooler) so plenty of room to improve.

On street the car will be producing just shy of ~215 hp, as this is the max amount that can be registered.


Now some pictures:















I now have to find a suitable turbo for this motor. Also the oil pickup and oil pan has to be modified so that the engine can sit as low and as back as possible. Now it has a front sump and because of this it does not clear the steering rack in Zeta. One could use these two parts from Nissan: #11110-20P00 (oil pan) and #15050-20P03 (rear oil pickup), but unfortunately they are discontinued products so they rarely show up.


I'm looking with interest this thread in regards to the engine modifications: RB20 Big turbo - Big power, but small budget. The power he gets from this little motor is stunning! 

I'm thinking that I might ask a few questions from Turbotekniikka about suitable turbos as they seem to be big players in this field in Finland.

Driftworks forums also suggested a turbo from Cosworth Sierra or Escort or some kind of hybrid one... That would be interesting! As would be twin turbos from Maserati Biturbo... but thats just a fools quest I guess and not a real advantage over one good turbo.

Edited by OPTaiva

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Sourcing the parts - Misc. parts



Progress with Zeta has been a bit slow during the last few weeks. Have been staying in Helsinki, so time with Zeta has been a bit limited.


Regardless of that, I have made few purchases for the project.

The most important purchase was a coil harness from RB26, because our engine did not come with one. It is in good condition as far as I can see, but prior to the LS2 mod (My previous post), I will be going through the harness with a multimeter and check every wire for continuity. Better to be safe than sorry!




When it comes to the actual placement of the RB20DET to the Zetas engine bay, new mounts will be needed. I have sourced new mounts for this usage and they come from a Jaguar XJ6. They should drop the motor suitably low, but small fabrication work will be needed to the metal work. This is because I would like to get the motor as far back or as close to the firewall as possible. If the engine height is not suitable with these mounts, I could try using two hockey pucks as isolators!






Tthe third thing I have found is a "new" brake master cylinder.

The cylinder comes from a Nissan Patrol GR (pre. 1997) and its bore is 1''. This ensures that braking force is adequate with coming brake upgrades. The cylinder is horizontal mount but the bolt spacing (~92 mm) is the same as the horizontal bolts in the brake booster.

The booster is a bit sorry looking, but its just superficial and the bores are as clean as a whistle so it's nothing a bit of TLC (or repair kit) can solve.




Also I purchased new side mirrors. They are cheap knock of mirrors from eBay and they are ment to be used in motorcycles... I just have to see if they suit to this application! At least they are small and can be painted to suit the final color of the car.





Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part VII



We continued Zetas deassembly during the previous weekend and I can now say that taking Zeta to media blasting has never been this close.


Almost all parts that can be taken off has been taken off, but few small items still remain attached to the body.


I took off the rear suspension assembly as a whole unit and it came out very easily. Again only few bolts had to be cut but nothing major. If someone else likes to take the rear suspension and drive gear out as I did, be prepared to lift the car at least 50 cm.

This is needed because the strut tubes don't turn to the sides very much and because of this the assembly is stuck in the wheel wells.

Fortunately we have a JCB (same one that was used as "engine crane") so we could lift the whole car very easily and then move the rear suspension out from under the car.






The suspension assembly has a bit of surface rust all over and pitting in the lower control arms. I will attack the parts with wire wheel so I can assess the damage the rust have caused and what needs to be replaced.


As a side note the shell of the car is very light! One can lift the rear end if you put your back in to it and front end lifts with one arm. So weight/power ratio should be fun!


My girlfriend still continued with the paint work or rather taking it off. She still encountered very heavy layers of body filler. Also rust spots and holes were found... Surprise, surprise!



There is very big dent or hole in the rear valance. Might be that the easiest fix is to cut the whole valance off and make a new one. That way the right side would also get fixed, because that side has received a hit some time in the past.



A hole in the left door opening. This was covered with layers upon layers of paint and body filler. Nice workmanship they do in Germany... Well car still is in reasonably good condition as a whole and for its age!


Next weekend my goal is to finalize the deassembly and take boot lid off along with boot glass and windscreen. That should be fun and I also will try to get the rotisserie made. I guess that taking the suspensions apart would also be mighty helpful and good work.


So there is still lots of work to be done!

Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part VIII



I'm hoping that this would be the second to last update that deals with taking the car apart and on the following updates I can concentrate on other things... hopefully more interesting things.


During the weekend I got the front and rear suspension assemblies dismantled and the parts washed. Also I test fitted the Patrol brake master cylinder... Did not fit :D This was because the bolts were few millimetres off. The old saying that "measure twice (or in my case thrice) and cut once" still rings true. The fix for this problem should be easy, just drill or elongate the mounting holes of the brake master cylinder by few millimetres and it should fit. Also the aluminium plate, that the OEM solution has on the master vacuum, needs to go but fortunately it is held on by two nuts and easily removed.


Regarding the dismantling of rear suspension, my god they used soft bolts and nuts when putting Zeta together. The bolts were a bit stuck on the left hand drive shaft and when trying to open them 50% of them got rounded. I soaked the bolts with WD-40 before trying to open them but no luck. On the other hand bolts on the right side drive shaft were finger tight. Might have been a nice surprise if I had not gone through the car and just started to drive it.

With the front suspension the same trend continued. Not cutting bolts but stuck parts. The steering rack ends were on so tight that I could not get them to separate from rest of the assembly... In other words work continues with it!


So few cut bolts and few choice words later, I had loads of parts to clean and more bolts to change when putting the car back together. Not a problem because all bolts will be changed for better ones.


















Putting these photos here as a starting point to see what kind of results can be had with citric acid, water and 200 litre plastic drum. With these ingredients I'm aiming to eradicate rust from these parts and then paint them with zinc and 2k paint.


If someone that is reading these updates needs 97 % citric acid, just ask me. I have about 5 tons of it and it needs to go. Product is located in Naantali and comes in 25 kg bags. It is a bit hardened but it's nothing that sledgehammer can not solve and this does not affect its ability to eat rust. Price is between free and whatever one likes to pay!


On side note, I might want to check my phones camera... Almost all of the pictures are blurry and flash does not work as expected. Or I just don't know how to take photos.


PS. Did not get the rear spindle pins out undamaged... No surprises there! Next time should use this: Datsun Lower A-arm Spindle Pin Puller.


PPS. Leaving these two three here for future reference. Disregard the "stance" and the lowering of the Kenmeri... One might see a pattern emerging.






Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part IX



Quick update about last weekend and sadly Zeta is still not ready to be blasted.


Weekend was a bit busy one and I got to work with Zeta only on Sunday so progress was a bit limited.


My father had bought pallet shelves and the day started by installing those. Now we (or I) have plenty of room for engine parts and misc. parts. During this project the shelves are filled with Zetas parts. They sure give plenty of extra room!






Other work was comprised of taking the front suspension to pieces. It was bit of a tricky task because the joints and bolts were original... or at least that is my guess because they were so stuck to each others.

Steering rack and lower ball joint were stuck to the steering knuckle and to get them to separate I soaked them with Korrek Multipurpose (similar to WD-40) and heated them with hot air gun. Once the parts were heated enough and rust bind was broken, I threaded the castle nut on the joints bolts and applied pressure.




The pressure did not work... So I took a hammer and hammered the parts to submission. Then they gave away and parted ways. Unfortunately on the right side the castle nut did not survive this and got itself jammed on the lower ball joint. To get the steering knuckle out, I had to cut the castle nut and at the same time the ball joints bolt. This means I need to change the ball joints...

Well that's not a huge loss because there would not have been any sense to change all other parts and then put the old and seized ball joints on the car.

Also sway bar end links got broken. Lucky that the suspension bushing kits usually come with those also.

After messing with the front suspension for hours, we were left with the following parts.




In other news... I today got 100 kilograms of Citric acid so now when work continues, I can kill the rust on the suspension parts and drive train parts. Just got to remember to take aluminium parts off before I dump the parts to the acid. Citric acid and aluminium doesn't mix very well (aluminium darkens) and also all grease must be cleaned thoroughly before acid bath because Citric acid can't penetrate grease and it doesn't dissolve grease either.

Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part X



Now follows a mid weekend update.


I have been dismantling the front suspension pieces to "atoms" and also the old motor got moved to a pallet so I could free the motor stand for the new motor.


The front suspension is covered in rust proofing and oil so it's a very messy job to dismantle it. Bolts have been coming off pretty nice but the bolts that keep the brake shield in place very so rusted that I had to cut them... Now I must drill them out. Nice!


Here's some pictures:




















On second note, I received Zetas new front brakes on Tuesday and all I can say is that they are massive! They are a set similar to this  Front Big Brake Kit (stage 4), but I got a good deal here from Finland, because he who had purchased this kit had a change of heart. Only difference of my kit to Silvermine kit is that my calipers are red and the brake disks are not drilled.



The disks are from Nissan 300ZX (z31) NA and the calipers from a Toyota Hilux/4Runner 4x4. They are stamped as S12W and are one of the biggest calipers for Zeta... well apart from fully custom systems. Here is bit of background info about the Toyota brake swaps: S30 Toyota Brake Upgrades.


Here are the left side brakes test fitted:




Looking good, but the brake shields have to be butchered to be able to mount these brakes properly. Sacrifices have to be made!

Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part XI



And the story continues about the last weekend...


Sunday was a bit shorter day with the car, because we fixed our pier. Few telephone poles were driven to the lake bed and they lifted the pier nicely.


Well back to the car. I started with the rear brakes. The brake drums were on very tight but few taps (well a lot of them) or better yet blows later and the other brake drum was open. After the brake drum was dismantled, we opened up the hubs locking nut. "Some" force was required to get the nut open. We had to use a socket wrench and pipe wrench that were over a meter long. Very effective locking nut!

Here's some pictures about that carnage.








On Saturday we also opened up the new engine. It's in a bit rough state, but very good still. The previous owner had told us that the motor had had some blow through and we guess that we found the cause of this. One piston was a bit crummy looking and seemed that it had been damaged. Also the valves were covered in soot in that cylinder.

Well the machine shop should be able to tell what is going on with the motor. Some photos of the motor...

















It's a bit tricky to balance the manifold with one hand and operate a camera phone with other so sorry about the poor photos!


Hoping the crap that is sedimented on the motor comes off with a little elbow grease and the machine shop deems the motor OK.

Edited by OPTaiva

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Taking Zeta apart - Part XII



Battle continues with dismantling.


During the weekend I took apart the front and rear suspensions, took of the boot lid, cleaned up the engine compartment and took of all remaining fuel and brake lines. By removing all the brake and fuel lines as a whole system I got a model to follow when making new lines.

I'm going to do the lines from pipe and making sure that they withstand ethanol.


Did not have a "rear axle stand" or "sliding hammer" so I just placed the rear suspension so that the rear axle could move freely. Then I threaded one of the lock nuts on it and placed wood block on top of this assembly. Then I whacked solid blows to the wood block and the rear axle came out unharmed.


Not very much more to tell so here is a "picture dump":

















Taking Zeta apart - Part XIII (added as it was missing)


I think everyone is already sick n tired about these dismantling updates so I keep this one short.


As we have established, Zeta is ready to be media blasted and now are the doors also. Windscreen and door glasses came off during the weekend. Windscreen got broken but "no use to cry spilled milk". Now I at least can get a heated windscreen if possible to Zeta so I can be sure that it stays fog free. Zetas are a bit poor to keep the windscreen clean in the rain, I have heard...


Dismantling the doors were pretty straight forward:

First take all screws off that keep the glass attached to the window lifter or what it is called and the window frame, after that take the glass off. Then take the window guides and window lifter off and lastly the handles and locking mechanisms.

Here is a pictorial review of this story...




















And the casualties of war:


Last owner or someone else in the past had taken the window moulding off and never put it back... Guess I will need some luck finding another!


Also I purchased a dishwasher to clean all the junk I have taken off Zeta. Interesting to see how it performs... and how long it will last! The model is Whirlpool ADP 7519 and it cost only 45 euros... So no huge harm done if I only get one wash out off it.


And lastly a picture to show why I get so little done in the weekends... One has to take time off as well!



Hoping that the next update would be the media blasting!

Edited by OPTaiva

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Fabrication - Making of Rotisserie aka Body grill



A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since last update, but fear not; project has not been abandoned.


Since last time Zeta has been moved to a different location with a very simple "trolley". The trolley consist of one pallet and pallet sheet that has been outfitted with wheels.





As one can see, the wheels were a tad tiny to work in gravel so the trolley got stuck. Again JCB to the rescue!



Zeta was moved because we removed paint and body filler with nylon wheels. Here is "Dexter" in her work.






Then the work continued by doing a rotisserie and taking the car to the blasters.

















The height of the rotisserie is about 110 cm and the width about 120 cm. The profile that has been used was either 40x40x2 mm or something along those lines... Some of the steel was scrap, so it's not uniform.

Lucky thing was that we did not have the chance to test the grill, but the blaster said that it worked flawlessly and was good to use even when alone. Nice!


Next up: Pictures about the outcome!

Edited by OPTaiva

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Fabrication - Soda/Glass blasting



And now a "picture dump" about the blasting outcome.


The car was blasted with soda and glass and took 21 hours. Almost half of this time was spent by working with the underside, because the rust proofing was so tough and did not budge easily.

Doors and tail lid took 3 hours each so it took its time!



Well packaged because of the looming rain and wet road surface. The tarp did not let any water through. I might say that I was very pleased.





















Not many holes were uncovered but quite a few patches... Need to sort those out! Also some caulking and silicone was left behind but not a huge problem!


I'm pondering if the metal could be left as is and just sprayed with clear coat... Then I would paint a Pin-Up to the doors and call the car Zero. Just a thought...


One last photo to show our "shop dog" Kähmy in training or better yet travelling:


Edited by OPTaiva

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Fabrication - Blasting aftermath



Not a lot has happened since last update.


Zeta has been lifted to the rotisserie and I have been looking the carnage of previous "fixes". The chap that has been welding Zeta before was certainly a bit of a poor welder... I'm hoping I can better him.


Frame rails are unfortunately shot... these I'm going to change to a steel profile and extend them to the whole cars length. Also I'm going to change the seat rails to steel profile and add one more "cross member" to both sides of the car. Should stiffen the car nicely.

Also the floor pans are going and I will replace them with suitable pieces of sheet metal or ready made pans if they can be found. More likely will be the sheet metal option.

















Frame in front of the doors has received a blow and the other side is rusted. Both of them needs to be replaced with sheet metal. Should be interesting.









Both of the wheel wells are patched with multiple pieces... Better to make them from one, I would guess.





The front has been patched with multiple sheet metal pieces. I would guess that this has been done in order to prevent mud and other substances to enter the gusseted member.





Nice touch... Cement in a hole in the rear valance.







Left hand side frame... A bit knackered one would think.





 Some misc patch work around the car.









Lastly one shot of the car in the grill. The grill should help in the restoration... Hope the welds are strong enough so the car stays on the grill!



Edited by OPTaiva

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Supporting tasks for the project - Preparing a warm workroom - Mark II



So, no updates for four months...

Time has slipped away and project has not moved forward very much.


Time has went to real work and preparing a warm garage for the winter. This garage is Mark II, because if the reader remembers, this was the first idea for a warm workroom.

Well that fell through, because it would not have been very practical.


Luckily my father saw my predicament and suggested that we might build a warm room to our machine hall.


The room is the same where the journey of Zeta started 364 days ago, but now one can say that the room has improved a lot and it can't be recognized as the same.


As they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words"...



Floor is coated with epoxy and saturated with quarts sand for added toughness.



Lighting is handled with five 2x58 watt fluorescent lights. Probably going to need few led spot lights as well.



There's even a gym... if one has the time to use it. Also the door is a lift door with an access door and heat insulation. The whole garage is insulated and heating is handled with 6 kW electric heater.



Here's few of the tools that will be used in this project. Got to say that the Esab is one fine machine! Also if someone has the need for 2 ton engine crane, I can recommend Jago24. Pricing is very good compared to Finland and delivery time very fast.



These two cabinets I bought for 80 euro per cabinet and they will be used as tool cabinets. They have two roller bearings on either side per drawer so the drawers slide very nicely.

I welded casters on the cabinets so they can be moved freely. Not that there is going to be much need for that.



Here is Zeta in her new home... Probably a long time home!






Hopefully now the project can get moving again and it will be on the road some time in the future. There is still work ahead with the garage, but welding phase is nearing...

Edited by OPTaiva

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Fabrication - Welding practices and rotisserie I



I'm on a roll, as here comes yet again an update!


This week we achieved a start of a rotisserie (for the frame work), installed an exhaust fan and shop computer, made a holster for the welding gun and generally "dicked" around in the garage.



After the first welds in the garage, it was obvious that an exhaust fan would be needed.

So we drilled a 100 mm hole in the wall, stuck a pipe through it and mounted a fan to it. Might have to add some ducting to it as to gather the fumes more efficiently.



First welding project/practice was to make a holster for the welding gun.

Datsun's original front brake disc was sacrificed on the Altar of Fabrication and a few scrap pieces of pipe found their new homes. Welds are bit rough, but they get the job done.



Next up was to weld a start for my rotisserie.

I used a pallet shelving beams, as they are rated for 3000 kg's per piece and they were readily available. Also they are reasonably rigid and don't flex under load.

Scrap pieces were used for the cross members. This factoid could have been guessed from the rust on them!


Pallet beams are spaced so that the distance of the beam centers is 130 cm. This way the seam beneath the doors and running under the cockpit of the car, is on the center of the beams and can be interacted with clamps, that fix the car on the rotisserie.

I also might have to study fixing points where I can bolt the car to the frame even more rigidly.



The situation where the project was left after the weekend.

After checking many times, the frame of the rotisserie is true down to the millimetres. Should be adequate... I hope.


Next goal for the project is to make adjustable feet for the rotisserie.

These I'm going to do by taking two square profiles of steel that overlap. Weld a cap on the inner one and a nut on it, so that a threaded rod can go through the cap and the nut. The threaded rod is to be mounted in a way that it stays fixed, but can spin freely on the assembly.

This way I can extend the legs as I wish by ratcheting the rod (limited by the designed max. height of course) and also level the whole contraption.

I'm thinking between 50 to 100 cm for the max. height. This would mean between 4 to 8 metres of two different square profiles.


With the rotisserie, I'm aiming to keep the car square and level during the welding phase of the project. Hopefully, I even can fix the crookedness of the shell, if there is any, and make the car better than new when re-doing the frame beams and floors.


Similar rotisserie is used on a project I'm watching on Youtube, called Project Binky by Bad Obsession Motorsport. Thanks go to those guys for the general idea!



More light!

The lighting in the garage is pretty good as it now stands, but one can never have too much light! This system was on sale and features two 50 watt LED work lights and a tripod stand. The tripod is a bit flimsy, but the lights are very powerful.



Shop computer under updating...

I'm planning to use this as the source of music (Spotify), database for manuals and instructions, as my project planning/tracking platform, as Nissan FAST machine and also as a VAG-COM and ElsaWin computer for my dd-Audi. Hopefully the VAG-COM cable likes cable extensions...

Don't mind the cable management; this is only the first try and cables will be and are neatly packaged.


A side note:

I'm sweeping the floor after every major day and organizing the tools, as this way the work is much more enjoyable and faster. The 5S-principle is mighty fine in this!

Now only if I could follow it in our/my daily life also...Well, I do try!


So lots of words for such a mundane tasks, but "slowly and surely" is my motto in this project!

Edited by OPTaiva

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Fabrication - Rotisserie II



After the last update I have made the feet for the rotisserie, cleaned up the garage and made an auxiliary tank for the air-system. Also a lot of time has passed since last update!



Here is a start for my auxiliary tank for the air-system (all installed now, but no picture)

This way the capacity is doubled to 100 litres and the compressor need not to run as frequent as before when using air tools. These tanks will be connected with a hose and therefore will run in parallel. After the tear-down, I also have parts for the running compressor as the units are identical.



The raw materials for rotisseries feet, a part of them at least.

The profiles are 50x50x3 mm and will go inside 60x60x5 mm profiles and they will together make a "sleeve feet". The height of the feet will be around 90 cm when fully extended.


I also need to strengthen the rotisserie. It flexes about 2 to 5 cm when lifted from the corner and this is not preferable, as one might guess when trying to square a car.

So much for the thought rigidity of the pallet shelves...

I'm thinking that I will "cage" the rotisserie by welding profiles between the bottoms of the feet. This should make the whole contraption more rigid (see next update in the possibly near future).


Now some pictures about those feet and "wheel feet".



































A lot of pictures that just describe the making of one lousy rotisserie... At least the adjust-ability of the feet is about 40 cm so it should be "enough". Although few cm would have been enough!

When you retract the feet fully, the wheels will contact the ground and rotisserie will be movable.



Next time on Zeta GT:


I will add crossbeams between the legs of the rotisserie on the long side and this should stop the flexing.


After this, it is time to lift the car with the engine lift and ceiling pulley to the rotisserie, clamp it down and start hacking the car to pieces (and weld repair patches to the car).

Also the measurements of the car will have to be checked.



Lots of work and not a lot of forward motion regarding the car, but at least the facilities are shaping to be very good!


Lots of work still ahead!

Edited by OPTaiva

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