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I'm back at it, I have purchased a second 240z because my RB project is taking forever and I am itching to drive a Z again. Here in Michigan it is very difficult to find early s30 with enough metal left to weld on to. Luckily i found a car that was driven here from Texas, parked in a barn (2009) and not really exposed to much of the snow, salt, and moisture. It still is not rust-free, far from it, the floors were patched at some point with fiberglass ( which is lifting off) and the clutch master leaked into the drivers floor and the brake fluid ate away whatever was left. But let's concentrate on the positives


She is a 10/71 production date, in orange with black interior. The engine was swapped to a L28 out of a 75 or 76 it seems based on the intake manifold that came in the trunk, sporting some round top SUs. The trans is a 5spd, and the rear end is an open R200 unit, still need to find out about the ratio.


To get the engine running all i had to do is drain the fuel, and hot wire the starter. She came to life but wasn't too happy about it. Got new plugs wires, rotor and cap and she purrs like a kitten. Still have some carb tunning to do but onto the next thing. 


Dropped the fuel tank and cleaned the inside. actually wasn't as bad as i thought, cleaned the outside and got some skillard stainless straps for it. Still have to paint it before i reassemble. 


The brake master and the clutch master cylinders were no longer holding fluid. For now i opted to replace both units with cheap rockauto parts. I'm saving the oe units for rebuild later down the road. I also opted to replace the slave cylinder on the clutch and the rubber hose going to it as there was a leak there as well. New fluid through the system and all is working as it should. 


I had some Epsilon Meshies that i was prepping for the RB car but since it won't need them anytime soon, they'll look good on the orange car for now. 


We had an odd 65degree day in middle of February in Michigan so i had to drive the car out for a wash.


The next steps are interior, as with most barnfinds, the car was home to a family of mice. I found 4 skeletons and the air ducts are full of stuff, not to mention the wonderful aroma of mice piss through out the car. 


And here is my boy trying to take my car keys



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  • 1 month later...

Just a little update, have had a couple of busy weeks at work so not much got done during the month of March. But I did put in a new MSD Blaster 2 Coil to pair with the e12-80 280zx ignition, i finished painting my fuel tank and installed it. I tuned the SUs and checked the timing. My vacuum advance doesn't seem to be functioning. Hope to find just a new vacuum diaphragm but have been unsuccessful up to this point. 

I did pull the dash to clean all the air ducts, and leak check the heater core. I do have a spare so that one may go in. I picked up a set of seats from a local datsun enthusiast for a great price(thanks Jose). 

I'm picking up my floorpans on thursday, and i have an order in with John at Bad Dog Parts and the fun will start then. 


Picture of the seats


Edited by theczechone
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Well I was taking apart the interior to redo the floors in the car and I found out that the interior used to be white. grr i love white interiors on orange cars, and someone savagely painted the interior black. oh well I think i will start searching for white interior bits, can only imagine how hard is it going to be to find.

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Just a little update, I started working on the floors, which as usual includes replacement of the battery tray and half the firewall... why did I think this time would be any different. grrr


If you are reading this and think about repairing your floors with fiberglass....DON'T!! New metal is the only way. See Exhibit A:




Anyway this is what the passenger floor looked like after the fiberglass removal. Note the dark spot in the upper left. Lots of moisture here. Which i don't understand because the car hasn't seen rain in over 7 years!!!!




if you notice there is also a big hole next to the wire harness hole and i was able to push through the battery tray with my finger. so all that needs to be replaced as well. 


I got to cutting, here is the passenger floor out, still have more trimming to do and have to replace the section of the firewall before the floor can go in.




I got some floor pans for Classic2Current Fabrication. They are local to me so i was able to go to their shop to pick up the pans. I'm happy with the quality, just missing the dimple on the outboard sides like you get with zedd findings.



Edited by theczechone
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  • 3 weeks later...

A little update, progress has been slow but finally getting somewhere. Due to rust i ended up replacing half of the firewall and the battery tray. new metal is now welded in. Also the new frame rail from John at Bad Dog Parts has been installed along with his rear subframe connectors. The final fitting of the pan on the passenger side should happen tonight and welded in hopefully this weekend. Etching primer and seam sealer after that and it's off to the driver's side!

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  • 1 month later...

Looking good!  Always encouraging to see another Michigan Datsun lover out there, since we have very limited time to have them on the road!  I just sold an RB to a kid out of Cedar Springs that he is swapping in to a 76 280.  So there are a few of us up here.  


The guy that hooked you up with the seats, does he sell seats, or have a way to get any more?  Just curious, always nice to know people.  As I am looking into the cost difference of purchasing new seats (aftermarket) or reupholstering my stock seats.


Either way, thanks for the updates!



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Hi Curtis,

Indeed good to see other Michiganders with z cars! There is a club with quite a few s30s. And they have a decent size show at the automotive hall of fame in Dearborn coming up in August 18th. https://www.facebook.com/groups/GreatLakesZClub/


The guy was just selling the seats because he got new ones. I am going to use the seats for a couple of years but eventually I will restore the stock ones.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Progress is slow but things are happening!

I painted the engine bay and underside. Because I had to repair the battery tray are I needed a new tray or repair the original one.

I opted to try the z car depot's stainless tray. I like the looks of it and I might choose to move the battery to the rear of the car at some point. I think it turned out great.


I also installed some sound deadening and heat insulation. I would like this car to be more of a GT car than an all out racer.



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  • 2 weeks later...

The sleepless nights continue as i try to get the car ready for Midwest Z heritage show in 2 weeks. Mind you this car has still not driven more than 10feet on it's own power.

But the interior is coming along well i haven't been taking  pictures at every step but here is a short summary.

- Installed carpet padding on the tunnel (the stuff is called Victoria's Pad .... I wonder if they meant to do that)  apparently it's costco required under carpet insulation got it for $10 at my local flooring store.

- Installed new vinyl kit from MSA, overall good fit but it's a pain to do and also very time consuming

- Installed a refurbed pedal box that i had in my other car

- Swapped all the gauges and wiring from the original dash to another one i had laying around that's in much better shape (forgot to swap the vin plate ... grr of course realized this after dash was installed

- Installed the Dash

- Connected all the wiring, checked each system for operation and checked for any loose wires that may  be hot. I am not running a heater core or a blower motor at this time so i have some dangling wires right now

- I installed the steering column with a Peyton Steering wheel (it's ok for now but i am keeping an eye out for a wood grain nardi in 13-14" diameter

- I installed the center panel and console after thorough cleaning of these parts, they are not in best shape but they will do for now.

- I got all the rear panels installed

- Got my driver's seat mounted and finished off with some embroidered floor mats



As for next steps, finish up the interior work, i still have the passenger seat to mount and the lower interior dogleg panels to install, i am also waiting for my harness bar from T3 and my takata harnesses are ready to go in.

I have discovered that the mechanical pump has been leaking fuel into the crankcase by a strong fuel odor in oil. I will have to swap in my electric pump, something i planned to do in the future but now has to happen.

Also have to swap all the suspension to my BC coilover setup which is welded up ready to go in. and swapping the R200 (3.54) with a rebuild R180(3.7) that i have on the shelf.

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  • 4 weeks later...

well after resolving some brake issues she has made it to work.

I installed my BC coilovers that were meant for a previous project but that's gone now and with that i also installed the toyota 4x4 vented brakes in the front and maxima rear disc conversion in the back. Now supplied by a rebuilt booster and a 280zxt master cylinder.

The wife and the little guy were helping to bleed the brakes,


It still needs some dialing in but it's awesome to be back on the road!



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  • 1 year later...

It's been some time since i posted last, life has been busy while the car mainly looks the same I have added tripple 44s and am currently in process of building an engine. I sourced a LD crank... ouch ($$) and a set of 240z 9mm rods with 240sx pistons, still not sure if i want to run that combo or switch to a forged setup from kameari. Mainly just trying to keep her on the road as much as possible. 


And what would be an update without some pictures! 



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  • 1 year later...



You have done an incredible job with the Z! It looks better than ever. 


The seats are a great choice. I always imagined replacing the original seats with leather miata seats but could never do it. I can still feel my skin sizzling from the infernal seat vents on a 105° Texas summer...


This is a very special car and you have treated it with passion,  love,  and respect. I was really sad when I was forced to let it go,  but now I am thrilled to see what you have done with it.


When I first got this car, I was a teenager with no money and no brains but an endless love for Z's. In particular,  this Z. It is extremely special to me. I found this post because I googled the VIN on a whim... It's still etched into my brain after all these years. That special. 


I drove it daily out of necessity for many years.  It suffered from heat soak in the hot Texas weather and I had to park it when I moved to Michigan. I had a deal with my grandfather in law that we would fix it together over time,  and in it went into his barn. Four years of working full time and going to school full time left me with no time,  and after graduating I moved across the country with little stability. The car sat and my grandfather in law's health degraded quickly. After he passed,  negative family dynamics and a long distance forced me to let the car be sold. I was afraid that it went to someone who didn't care about Z's, or worse,  for parts. 


Now,  seeing what you've done,  I'm relieved and rejoiced. 


I would love to trade stories sometime.  I just moved back to Michigan... maybe we can meet when the time is right. 


Take care and keep it up! 




P.s. check it out on chrome wheels.  I borrowed those from my 280zx.







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