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Swedish Datsun 240z Restoration

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Hello everyone, 


Thought I´d finally start actually posting a bit about my restoration project, telling the story as it goes and hopefully also get some well needed advise on the way. It will be intermittent updates as I don´t have constant access to the car.


Through a friend I got wind of a Datsun 240z for sale just 20 km away from my parents home in southern Sweden. I decided to drive over and have a look. To be honest I did not check all the items which probably should be checked before making such an investment / expense, but the owner gave the right impression so I decided to go for it almost instantly. 


The car is a Datsun 240z from 1973 imported to Sweden from the Netherlands in 1983. The owner drove it until 1990 from when it was put into warm storage. There it rested until I bought it in the summer of 2014. The L24 drive train was swapped for a complete L28 drive train from a 77-78 280z including an upgrade from SU to Weber carbs. The cam is mildly aggressive, but I don't know any numbers. 






post-53082-0-01501600-1472536910_thumb.jpg -> L28 + triple Webers


With the car I also got some additional parts.


post-53082-0-42030300-1472536959_thumb.jpg - Original L24 block. It has taken a hit during storage while sitting without the head on. Would require substantial work to get going again. 


post-53082-0-02352700-1472536973_thumb.jpg - Mixed parts from 280Z and 240Z drive trains. 


post-53082-0-01035800-1472536991_thumb.jpg - New Rear panel. There is some rust where the rear hatch meeting the rear panel, and a panel was bought to fix this. 

post-53082-0-78997700-1472537001_thumb.jpg - New cowl cover panel. There is some rust in this area, not too bad what I can see.


post-53082-0-63001600-1472537023_thumb.jpg - New front left fender. There is a parking damage and the previous owner bought a new panel to fix it. 


post-53082-0-80404700-1472537041_thumb.jpg post-53082-0-79087900-1472537059_thumb.jpg - New heater hoses


post-53082-0-12462700-1472537144_thumb.jpg post-53082-0-33253600-1472537092_thumb.jpg post-53082-0-61691600-1472537080_thumb.jpg post-53082-0-91689500-1472537068_thumb.jpg - Weather stripping


post-53082-0-85904400-1472537153_thumb.jpg - Extra rear lights


post-53082-0-41706600-1472537166_thumb.jpg - Tool kit


post-53082-0-55548600-1472537177_thumb.jpg post-53082-0-58911800-1472537195_thumb.jpg post-53082-0-05948800-1472585454_thumb.jpg post-53082-0-18070900-1472585466_thumb.jpg post-53082-0-33472900-1472585477_thumb.jpg - L28 Dished pistons, extra valve springs and 2 sets of valves. 


post-53082-0-49635100-1472537214_thumb.jpg - New head / rocker cover gasket


post-53082-0-50677400-1472537227_thumb.jpg - Chrome lists were taken off and stored away. Not sure if it is a complete set, but they are in good condition. 


post-53082-0-35358700-1472537235_thumb.jpg post-53082-0-64123200-1472537260_thumb.jpg - Original airbox and SU carbs with intake. 


post-53082-0-95681100-1472537248_thumb.jpg - Anyone know this steering wheel? It is made in France if I remember the writing on the back correctly.




Since purchase I have started collecting the items required / wanted for the European roads. In Sweden the law is quite strict so the re-registration of the car after all the mods have been completed must go through a special process (sort of like a one off homologation). Luckily the car is old enough that no smog laws apply which makes things a bit easier, so I can keep the carbed L28 without much fuss (the engine can also be tuned to give maximum 15kW / 100 kg as the rules are now). The rules state that for the vehicle to be legal with the L28 engine the whole 280z drive train must be installed (L28 + gearbox + differential) in addition to 


1) the complete brake system exchanged from the donor car / or generally upgraded


2) the steering rack upgraded. 


I don´t have the book with me so if any Swedes know better please don´t hesitate to chime in. :) Currently I'm looking at doing step 1 meaning I'll have to completely upgrade / replace the original break system. Some parts have already been acquired, but I'm learning that it is dangerous to own a car you are passionate about. There is always something new that you "need"  :D.


More updates to come!





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Update 1;


To further catch up with my progress - some parts which were acquired so far for installation after ground up restoration are. 




New vac booster and wilwood 1" brake master cylinder. The vac booster is 8.5", so a slight upgrade from the original 7", but I hope it is sufficient to soften the pedal. Otherwise I'll work up a nice right leg  :lol: Do you typically keep the brake balancing block? I.e. the block which houses the pressure imbalance switch between rear and front circuits. I have issues finding replacements for this items, plus the absolute recommendation from Nissan / Datsun is to not refurbish it.. I guess I could live without it. In addition I swapped the front / rear brake proportioning valve to a Wilwood product so I can adjust the bias later on. 




New Hella H4 head lights and horns (air horn was installed..). I decided to also rewire the main headlight as the original wiring was quite butchered. I suppose it wasn't easy to get hold of proper connectors and color coded wires resulting in wiring all over the place. In the end I managed to find a kit in the US with original Japanese connectors and new properly color coded wires from England. The housings were also sent for sand blasting.




As you can imagine the engine harness in this region was also in bad shape. I decided to install new connectors and order them in such a way that it suits my needs. I decided to wire the side marker conversion kit directly into the harness. In addition I got the headlight harness upgrade kit as well as the parking light upgrade kit.


I haven't yet sealed or put dielectric grease on the connectors, anyone aware of good products available in Europe (or perhaps the US)?




The original wheels are unfortunately too small for my brake plans. The original wheels say "Shelby" on them, however I have no clue from where they originate. Anyone familiar with this type of wheel? The new set of wheels are Rota RKR in bronze and the tires are Toyo Proxes.




A nice present arrived from the US as well  :D


* Rear disc conversion kit with calipers

* Front / Rear brake rotors

* Front calipers

* Eibach progressive springs

* Tokico shocks

* New set of wheel bearings

* Urethane bushings all around

* Clutch master / slave cylinder, throw out bearing, fork etc

* Some additional small goodies


That's it for today. 




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  • 2 weeks later...

Update 2;


After some well needed vacation in the north of Italy I can continue to catch up with the progress on the car. In the meantime I have ordered and received a number of items such as e.g. a A.F.R probe and gauge from Innovate motorsports (MTX-L) for carb tuning, a new windscreen, exhaust header from MSA as well as engine rebuilding kits (gaskets etc) and some additional other items. I'll document these items a bit better once I have access to them.


During winter 2015/2016 I started to dismantle the car, but not before testing to see if there was any life in the engine. The previous owner stated that he had started it before selling it, but that due to evaporation of light hydrocarbons in the carbs they were heavily clogged and he only ran for a few moments to confirm that it fired up. Summer 2015 I had the carbs refurbished to see if I could start the engine before tearing everything down. Before starting it I had the oil changed, coolant and gas changed. The engine fired up and was run for some 30 seconds to confirm oil pressure and generally check how it was running. I have a video from my Canon but it is way too big and would require editing to upload. If anyone is interested I could try to download some editing software. By my own take of things it seems to fair pretty well. It will still be dismantled and sent to an engine shop for a proper check and refurbish. 


Best pictures of before and after carb refurbishment (filter boxes will go back on at a later stage);


post-53082-0-78293500-1473624428_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-18176100-1473624443_thumb.jpg


I have tried to document the body and chassis status as much as possible during the teardown. Unfortunately I don't have access to the car lift yet as we are still setting it up so pictures of the underside might not be as good as I would have hoped (hopefully still visible). As this is my first restoration I'm not familiar with the status of bad rust. I can judge if there is heavy pitting, holes or bad damage obviously, but when it comes to light damage that requires little to no attention I'm more uncertain. However, if you see any damage that definitely requires heavy attention, please let me know. The car will be sand blasted by a professional shop later on and I guess some areas might not be visible until that is finalized.


Apologize for lots of pics! Better too many than too few  :D


post-53082-0-22372600-1473624651_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-22494200-1473624660_thumb.jpg - Status beginning of 2016


post-53082-0-43461500-1473624929_thumb.jpg - Battery tray area.


post-53082-0-98832200-1473625217_thumb.jpg - Rail below front fender (passenger side is in same condition).


post-53082-0-03231900-1473625710_thumb.jpg - Area around brake booster / cylinder and clutch master cylinder.


post-53082-0-14561800-1473625766_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-10163200-1473625774_thumb.jpg - Mounting areas for hood brackets


post-53082-0-74801600-1473626114_thumb.jpg - Frame rails and steering rack


post-53082-0-28731000-1473626168_thumb.jpg - Driver front suspension area


post-53082-0-60500700-1473626223_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-46742100-1473626231_thumb.jpg - Transmission tunnel area


post-53082-0-89143600-1473626239_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-39185200-1473626249_thumb.jpg - Frame rails plus jack lifting damage. Think a new piece has to be welded in here.. 


post-53082-0-63186300-1473626255_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-32069600-1473626274_thumb.jpg - Floor pan area from below


post-53082-0-01387300-1473626261_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-56748300-1473626266_thumb.jpg - Rear suspension area


post-53082-0-70954900-1473626304_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-38636100-1473626311_thumb.jpg - Silencer (muffler) and spare wheel well. Think the exhaust system is a non-stainless steel aftermarket (or homemade) system which started to rust early on. 


post-53082-0-89157300-1473626317_thumb.jpg - Rust damage next to silencer (muffler). This is next to the strut tower on the driver side and will require new panels to be made. Not sure if this is caused by the high mounting of the silencer? Can the heat have damaged the under-seal and allowed the rust to get a hold? 


post-53082-0-94559900-1473626332_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-32722600-1473626348_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-80245300-1473626363_thumb.jpg - Suspension, differential and parts of the spare wheel well


post-53082-0-59121100-1473626339_thumb.jpg - Area above fuel tank


post-53082-0-97385100-1473628639_thumb.jpg - Splash shield in driver side front fender area


post-53082-0-96568000-1473626378_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-20249400-1473626387_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-23011600-1473626399_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-68692900-1473626406_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-16094000-1473626413_thumb.jpg post-53082-0-57095300-1473626420_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-62376400-1473626426_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-37857500-1473626433_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-97738700-1473626439_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-60580000-1473626447_thumb.jpg post-53082-0-31061600-1473626456_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-17462800-1473626463_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-67022400-1473628624_thumb.jpg  post-53082-0-47503300-1473628629_thumb.jpg - Status of panels from the interior side. Driver side seat bracket is welded in rather than bolted..




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Do you plan on sandblasting before you tear into the rust repair work? Might be worth it, wish I did on mine. Though I am always afraid of the person blasting warping any panels.


Based on the Pictures you provide it seems your car is in alright shape overall minus the rotted areas.  The darker the rusted area looks, the worst it is and should be replaced, the lighter the rust color is, chances are its alright, just surface.


Looking forward to your build, keep it up.


Edit: hehe just read the part you said the car will get blasted.

Edited by disepyon
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Long time since my last update... glad to say that progress has not been completely stagnant. :P


The latest status was approximately



I decided the next step was to remove the all components underneath the car to make it more accessible for sand blasting. I started by supporting the front of the car on jack stands and removing the front wheels.



Once on jack stands I could access the front suspension and steering rack components. While removing the stabilizer bar one of the bolts started turning inside the frame rail box. I cannot inspect it in detail but I believe the plate containing the threads inside the box has come loose and spins while trying to undo the bolt. After further inspection the box is flaky in front of the steering mounting location on both sides (bottom piece, inside and top of the box is still solid, but rust has attacked the sides towards the wheel well). I intend to have the box opened and the rusted out areas replaced as well as refix a new plate for the stabilizer bar.



Removal of the steering rack and suspension components was accomplished in one go. Since I was alone and didn't fancy hanging the suspension solely supported in the steering rack I tied some lines to the top of the shock towers. This way I could remove the large moment force while at the same time lower the complete package without additional manpower.



Front suspension and steering rack off the car.



Next step was to remove the rear axel, differential and suspenion components. Before I started I noted that the car was now extremely light in the front end and relatively heavy in the rear resulting the front jack stands loosing contact with the frame rails. Luckily I noticed this before I actually mounted the jack stands in the rear and solved it by placing some heavy components in the passenger and driver foot wells.



Location of the rear jack stands. Being a 73 I had to first remove the rear stabilizer bar to position them properly.



Final look after removal of all components.



I had now removed everything which was practical based on the access. So now I had to assemble some more new tools! I bought myself a rotisserie which after assembly looked like this



Ready to attach the car.



Car lifted.



With the car on the side I started to remove the under seal to reveal any rust and prep the car for sand blasting. The guy doing the sand blasting for me prefers to have the underseal removed because the sand tends to bounce and generate heat. I did unforunately not have the time to remove all of the underseal, but the contracted company will take the rest. Noted after removing the underseal was that the rust in the spare tire well was worse than expected and had rusted through in a few spots. Similarly the





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Beginning of December the car was delivered to the sand blaster.



Now I'm just ilding until the car can go to the body repair shop, however doing that you can accomplish other tasks, e.g. such as taking deliveries and repairing broken stuff. :lol:


To properly tune and monitor the operating conditions of the carbs I bought AFR and data logger kits from the UK. I didn't want to mount the AFR gauge in a very visible place to avoid any temptation for thiefs. I decided in the end to mount the gauge in the sidewall of the glove box where it should be visible from the driver position. To avoid having to look at it constantly the logger will log any data during normal driving. To complete the trend I will later also log RPM so that I can see in which range the AFR goes out of range to allow fine tuning.



While also installing the logging equipment I swapped out any worn contacts and broken lamps. From the US one can source a nice kit of new 70's style contacts and crimping kit which will fit perfectly together with the original Datsun 240z electric system. This way one can keep the original look and refresh the electrics if required. Wiring with the correct coloring code and gauge was found in the UK to allow correct replacement of damaged wires. While at it I installed a new fuse box as well as a relay kit for the hazard lights. Full beam relay kit as well as marker flasher kit were also installed on the engine harness.


The seat brackets that came with the car were quite badly worn and partly broken. Since I really hate bad sliding mechanisms I decided to try the Corbeau custom brackets. They have had mixed reviews, but I decided to try them anyway. Time will tell if it was a good idea.



The wiper motor was quite tired. Reading online I have seen multiple thread regarding replacing it with a honda motor which is significantly stronger. A bit of rewiring is required, but since I already aquired original coloring wires from the UK I could easily fabricate a small harness extension which allows mounting of the additonal relay that is required to make the wipers park properly.



The original header was quite rusty, but to my knowledge still usable. Plan is to blast it and save it for use with the original L24 engine at a later stage. The new L28 will get a Zstore 6to1 header with 3 inch exhaust.



The original windscreen was cracked and needed to be replaced. I sourced one from the UK and it arrived well packed!



Most of the weather stripping was quite badly worn or dried out. I decided it was a good idea to replace them all to avoid any leakage into the new car. I also got a bit of weather stripping from the previous owner, so at a later stage I will decide which components to use.



The car only had one driver side mirror mounted which looked like it was from a 90's Audi. That had to go and I bought both driver and passenger side mirrors. I was playing with the thought of having fender mirrors but decided to stick with door mirrors.



Bolt sets, new engine, transmission and differential mountings, side markers and window winders (mounted was a very cheap type of aftermarket electric winders).



New suspension and drivetrain components, protective rubber parts as well as miscellanous engine and body components.



My intention was to break the engine and replace all the seals, bearings etc... however after a call with the previous owner I found out the engine is very fresh. Originally it was bought with low milage on it and directly broken down for full refurbishing and tuning. New bearings, seals, pistons, auxiliaries etc were installed and the engine broken in (approximately 20000 km of driving). Since then it was stored in a warm garage. I will break the engine and swap some of the gaskets, but I will not touch bearings or rings. The second sealing kit I intend to use to refurbish the original L24 engine.





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Hi Erik.


I´m from Sweden as well so lets do this is swedish. If some of you nonspokenswedish guys do mind let me know and I will do it in english in the future.


Intressant bygge och detta kommer följas.

Hämtade själv hem en 260z från Usa tror det det var 04-05 någonstans. Sen har den tyvärr stått still mycket de sista åren men nu har intresset vaknat till liv igen.

Min var ganska "kittat" med mycket godis som du nu sätter på din. Under vintern är mina planer att- 

- Laga all rost i skärmar, huv och framvagn.

- Nya fendermirrors

- Nya skivor bak.

- Nya fälgar och däck runt om (17", har idag 15")

- Fenderflares.


Vart håller du hus, lät som du var någonstans i söder, är själv i Malmö. Hade ju varit trevligt att komma förbi och kika på bygget.


Vart köper/beställer du dina grejer ifrån. Behöver själv ett nytt bultkitt, var köpte du det?


Du lycka till med bygget så hörs vi framöver.



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Hi Erik.


I´m from Sweden as well so lets do this is swedish. If some of you nonspokenswedish guys do mind let me know and I will do it in english in the future.


I can understand why you'd want to speak swedish if it's easier for you to articulate your thoughts, but in the future, it would be better to use english. Some of us may have had your same questions, but can't read them without a translator, so it doesn't do the rest of us much good. If you visit the rules page on the forum, you will see that this is addressed in rule #5.

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Hello Anders!


Malmö is definitely close by. The car and the garage is located in the Österlen region, however I live in Switzerland so I only work on it from time to time (not often enough in my opinion) when I visit my parents. Do you have any nice pictures of your 260Z to share? I spy some "raps" fields in your profile pic so I guess this is your car ;)


- How bad is the rust on your 260Z? Mine doesn't seem that bad chassi wise, but I haven't actually sanded down any of the panels yet to see if there are any hidden surprises. 

- You are not happy with the 15" rims? I bought 15" rims (14" installed) to ensure I can fit the brake upgrades while still retaining some tire wall as I prefer this over low profile tires. In hindsight I might later on go for 16" rims. 

- In terms of fender flares I will not do these. I like the original look of the Z and I don't want to cut into the fenders. 


Most of my purchases are from the US and my preference is for ZcarDepot. If I cannot find everything I need there I use theZstore as they have almost everything you can ever imagine for your Z. 


Edit; The bolt kit is from the ZcarDepot :)



Edited by Tebirkesueth
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  • 5 weeks later...

Minor update;


The car body and frame is finish at the sand blaster. Since I'm not personally picking up the car I only have 3 pictures to show for at the moment. I have to trust my dear dad about the actual condition until he manages to fully document everything. Some small surprises were revealed so you never know what you'll find once all the dirt, paint and rust comes off. Better get it all off so that a proper repair job can be done before starting to put it together again. 








I'll post some more photos as they drop in. 


On the basis of what can be seen in the photos, are these the normal problem areas? 



Edited by Tebirkesueth
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Yeah, all the usual places, as mentioned, that pic of the P/S front rail looks like a patch has been welded on and it has rusted through as well. Once you start peeling back that Swiss cheese sheet metal I think you are going to find a lot of rust the sand blaster couldn't get to, prepare yourself :rolleyes:

How are the floor pans?

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