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bstallion

'75 280z 350sbc

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I have an rx7 I'm rebuilding, formally an LS6 swapped car I may be going 2jz with. I know it would be a long time before I'll be driving my FD and wanted something to drive for now while I take my time building the rx7 so I starting looking into something else. After a few hours of searching I found a 1975 280z for sale on CL and moved forward into making a deal for it. It was described as perfect running and driving with only needing minor interior work and new brake pads. This will be picture heavy and a little bit may be out of order.

 

The rx7

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These were the images posted in the ad.

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Went check it out, it had no major rust visible so that was a bonus. It ran and drove under its own power so I loaded it up and took it home.

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Got it home and starting looking over everything more thoroughly.

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Gave it a wash for the first time. Also removed those lights and spoiler.

 

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Under the carpet most of the wiring was spliced, wire nutted, and taped together. After a little scraping on what looked like surface rust I found a few bad rust spots. The brake pads were fine, the calipers were seized. I ordered some new ones and replaced, maybe later I'll upgrade them and do a five lug swap. This car needed a lot more work than what was lead on to believe.

 

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Moved the car under my carport to work on it out of the sun, need to strip the interior and some exterior to plan for POR-15 and Lizard Skin. For S&Gs i put an FD Seat in to get an idea of what it would look like.

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Most of the interior has been removed. During the first few days i made a list and big order for replacement parts, most of it has arrived and stored until the car is ready for them.

 

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After a few weeks of stripping the factory sound deadener, paint, and rust the interior was ready to be prepped for POR-15. I put an FD roll bar inside just for the fun of it, no plans on using it in this car.

 

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I did order a roll bar made for the S30 but not sure if I'll use it or go with something else. Pulled the car out of the car port to give me some room to move about while applying the POR-15. I got new bumpers in so went ahead and removed the factory ones.

 

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To make working in the sun bearable and to provide the cars with a little protection from the weather I ordered a canopy. With the wife's help I had it assembled and set into place within a few hours and was happy with the result. Will make working a lot easier during hot or rainy days, and I can reinforce it in the future to make it a more permanent set up.

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There were a few small rust spots, I didn't see the need to cut a whole floor pan to weld in new pieces. I used fiberglass and resin for the repairs, it was only in 3 places. After the rust repair I used metal prep on the bare metal to get it ready for POR-15, this was my first time using it, I'm sure it won't be the last.

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I applied two coats with a brush 6 hours apart. I think it came out good.

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After giving the POR-15 a few days to dry I went right into masking and filling threads with tape before spraying the Lizard Skin, also my first time using Lizard Skin. I have another kit to use in my FD for later, I used Fat Mat originally for that car but will remove it for Lizard Skin.

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I went with the sound deadener and ceramic coat kit, 2 coats of each. Pictures are between coats and cured of each. POR-15 and Lizard Skin are probably overkill.

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Next thing to focus on is Wiring, being that the majority of the cars wiring was loose wires with wire nuts i removed everything and decided on a 21 Circuit E-Z Wiring Harness. The Harness using factory connectors but I didn't have much to go off of so order 3 prong and 2 prong connectors and some assorted grommets.

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Got a new Air Dam in, still need to mount it. Decided on using Riv-Nuts to mount the 3 Piece Spoiler. Z battery tie down will be used, the battery was just sitting in place. Got some Z coasters just because.

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The interior is mocked up temporarily so I get see where and how to route the wiring. I'm doing a lot for the first time on this car. The FD Seats fit good, almost a direct swap. I'm waiting on SpeedHut Gauges to come in to finish wiring up the dash.

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The only thing keeping the car from driving is to finish the wiring and install the fuel tank, i took it off to clean it.

 

Current build list:

Engine/Trans:

JTR Swap Kit

350 SBC

Holley Street Avengers Carburetor

Summit Racing 3 Row Radiator

New Battery/Tray/Cables/Connectors

Ceramic Headers (Need to Install)

TH350 Transmission

B&M Shifter

 

Interior:

Motorsport Auto Carpet

Motorsport Auto Floor Mats

RX7 FD Suede Seats

NRG Hub and Steering Wheel

EZ Wiring Harness

POR-15/ Lizard Skin

Zstore Vinyl Kit

Half Roll Bar

 

Exterior:

Side Skirts

Rear Louver

Honda Accord Wiper Motor

3 Piece Rear Spoiler

240z Front Bumper

240z Rear Bumper

Xenon 3125 Air Dam

 

Brakes:

Cross Drilled/Slotted Rotors

New Calipers/New Pads

Edited by bstallion
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The ball valve might not last long with gasoline flowing through it instead of water.  Wire nuts are always bad.  Weird that somebody would remove fenders to put louvers in that spot.  Looks like a Baja rig, but with potential.  Can't tell if your pictures are before you got it or after.  Good luck.  Edit - not trying to be negative.  But you have a curiosity there.

Edited by NewZed

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On 12/15/2018 at 5:57 PM, jhm said:

Nice progress!  Looks like you're really making quick work of it.  Keep the updates, and pictures, coming!

Thank you, I hope to get far with it soon.

 

On 12/15/2018 at 6:51 PM, NewZed said:

The ball valve might not last long with gasoline flowing through it instead of water.  Wire nuts are always bad.  Weird that somebody would remove fenders to put louvers in that spot.  Looks like a Baja rig, but with potential.  Can't tell if your pictures are before you got it or after.  Good luck.  Edit - not trying to be negative.  But you have a curiosity there.

I don't know why a lot of things were done the way they were, I'll continue to correct what I can.

 

 

Been bouncing on and off between this and the rx7.

I did some moving around and cleaned it and the rx7 up a little. I also need a nice warm day to take the carpet and vinyl out to sit in the sun to fit right. The new interior went straight from the boxes to the install. Then I have the bumpers and front air dam to put on to complete the exterior. I'm thinking once its done I may list it to fund the rx7 once and for all, or at least trade it for a running one to be driving an FD again a little sooner, no telling.
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Got a Lizard Skin hat since I used there product for my car.

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Received my Speed Hut gauges and brackets after a few weeks of ordering.

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I let the vinyl and rx7 carpet sit out in the sun to make them easier to work with. Haven't had a sunny day in weeks.

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Roll bar is powder coated black

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Got some JLs for a little extra bump in the hatch

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Took all the interior parts out of storage to clean and have ready for when they go back in.

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Designed a Logo and printed it from my Cricut
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That's where I leave it for now, I'll get working on the wiring again next week.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WZYIxMJ1pU&t=2s

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I was supposed to get the fuel hoses done, I ordered 5/8" and was sent 1/4" so I'm put off another week from finishing my fuel system. Still have plenty to do so next on the plan was to get the wiring done. This week I was able to get the rear section done. This is the first time I ever rewire a car and I think I'm doing pretty good from the condition the wiring was in before. I reused the old connectors with new terminals where I could instead of splicing new wires with old wires. It doesn't seem like a lot but it took a lot of time to research and plan what wires from the EZ harness goes into factory locations. Next week I'll have the front finished then may need help from a buddy to do the ignition and dash. 

I'm just saying, if I ever get rid of this car the next person will get a deal, the interior has been stripped, POR-15'd and Lizard Skin'd, new wiring and new interior ready to go in. And that's just a start.

 

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Video below, Subscribe if you don't mind. I'm working at getting better at making them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQTnTDAq1U8&t=9s

Edited by bstallion
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Moved on to the front of the car, mainly the lights and horns. Will be deleting the side markers in the future so I didn't bother splicing them in the loom. I couldn't run wires directly to the turn signals, they have to be spliced and aren't pretty but you won't be able to see it from an airplane. After cutting wires to length and attached connectors I wrapped the front section, but I'm not a rapper. The alternator is wired, the starter needs to be finished, I need to find out how an HEI Distributor system works to finish that. The battery is in place and just need a few more wires added to it, its coming along, it takes me hours of planning and research just to get a few minutes of work done, sadly. 

Next time I'll finish up under the hood and connect my fuel hose since it came in. The plan after that is to knock out the dash then move on to installing the rest of the interior, Sooooooooo CLOSE. Then of course there are things like paint, coating the wheel wells, 5 lug swap, manual swap, so much to do, but that can be done while the car is drive able.

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPjo87d1Pz0&t=17s

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I found where the HEI pigtail went and spliced it into the harness which was tach and coil pos, got passed that wall I was stuck behind. Worked on wiring the fan switch, this was a little bit of a project on its own. The diagram included didn't match the instructions on the back side of it but figured it out. I didn't originally plan to have one or I would have ran the fan wire through the passenger side, all good though.

 

The E-Z manual had no instructions on how to wire the starter so I referenced the Painless manual and asked around, just needed to put the Ignition Switch Start (Purple) to the prong on the right side of the solenoid and the red was optional to the starter power or battery, I went to the battery.

 

Circled back around to putting the fuel hoses on the tank and deleted the Evap Tank. I'll probably clean up a few wires on the pump and sending unit another time, while I was under the car I saw that they were also as messy as the rest of the car originally was.

 

Overall I could have planned better but very happy with everything so far. I looked at the before and after of the engine bay and it is sooo much better now and I won't have to be scare of something setting fire.

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uozU-nQx-Yo&t=2s

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Since I created a logo and had some heat transfer vinyl I tested it out on an old dry fit shirt and the test was successful.
I grouped the wires required for the ignition switch and put them in a 6 slot connector, there is a total of five wires to go to the ignition switch. The ignition switch now has power, I thought the engine would start right up but I was wrong. I figured maybe the battery was weak since its been sitting for a few months, I put it on a charge but the engine still wouldn't start, just turns over. While the battery charged I mounted the shifter. The fuel pump primes and pushes fuel and I put fresh plugs in and still not starting, I also tried starting fluid. I'll try to figure out what the problem is, I'm a little disappointed, I wanted to have it ready for a car show next weekend. I mention in the video that coil pos is top left but its top right, the car is briefly starting, I'm so close to having it running.

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF8iJBNfBaY

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It was power to the distributor, the coil pos in the ez harness, the ignition switch is partly faulty.


I drew up a diagram to follow on the ignition based off of some other diagrams posted on line. Picked up a multi meter and all my wires were getting power but the car would only now start for a split second. I felt soooo close to getting it running. Every time I found some new info I'd go try it out, even if it was midnight, I was determined. I remembered that when I got the car it had a toggle switch on and required a push start to start, turning the key did not start the car before I removed the junk wiring. So with that I wire it with push start and toggle, toggle being for the coil pos to get power when the toggle switch was on, and it fired right up. I was very happy to hear it run again. I ditched the old used connector I had for the ignition switch and replaced with a new oem style connector and kept the toggle switch to power the coil. It can be hidden and used as an extra theft/security feature.

 

I took a break and went to a local car show/drag event. Got a video below of the test runs, has an FC and FD run.

 

I moved on to the headlight and signal wiring, I used a 6 prong and 4 prong connector for the combo switches, and they work. The muffler sticks out way too far since I removed the bulky stock bumper and I'm been needing the shorten it. When I got under to take a look I noticed a large hole in the muffler so I just cut the thing off. I have two good mufflers that I can use to replace the removed.

 

Next I'll work on completing the dash wiring and get this Z ready to drive. This is a huge milestone for me, I'm not electrical or mechanical savvy and I got this car to run from having no wiring, plus the lights work.

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--3i9mrUOpU&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LoMd8n2E3A

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Getting the gauges in was next on my list but before I got to that I changed out a seized caliper with a new one and fresh pads w/ hardware, I did one side a few months ago while I had the wheel off. While this wheel was off I routed the cable for the shifter since the car was jacked up. So brakes are new and shifter is hooked up.

 

I pulled the dash out to removed the factory gauges, I figured this way would be much easier vs trying to work in tight spaces. The Speedhut Gauges slide right into the stock housings and I have brackets to keep them in place. I have 2-1/16 gauges for oil temp, oil pressure, and water temp for the 3 smaller gauge pods. I mounted these inside the factory housings also but I had no special brackets for these, I was able to modify them without needing brackets somewhat. All the gauges slipped right in to place and are ready to be wired up. The fuel level is with the speedometer and I have a volt gauge I'll mount on the pillar.


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzKfWObWPj8

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Last time I only mocked the gauges up in the dash, now they are actually installed properly and wired. I took the time to clean the dash and cap while I was prewiring the gauges. After the gauges were in placed I used some black permatex and clamps to secure the cap to the dash. It went back in easily and I plugged the gauges to the harness. I turned the key and they came on, started the car up and they work. I need to put the panel light wire to the fuse box for the lights to work. In between I had to get some yard work done, been putting a lot of effort into that, better now before it gets too hot. I also picked up a Nissan D21 Pick Up, all it cost me was the U-Haul rental. I plan on using that as a daily driver alone with the Z, I'll save the FD for special occasions. That's it for now.

 

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On 4/13/2019 at 2:43 PM, torotra said:

Great Job With the EZ Harnes! I'm currently struggling with mine. 

Thank you, so far so good.

 

My Hardbody took a little more of my time than I expected but I made time for the Z again. My next biggest objective was to finally get the birds nest mess of wires situated near the fuse box and I did just that. It looks much better and cleaner.

 

Since I pulled the calipers off the brakes needed to be bled, the pedal is still kind of soft after a bleeding. I'll change the master cylinder out, I'm pretty sure thats the issue, and if not then I'll know its not and will have a new part.

 

I used the battery for the Hardbody being it didn't come with one but now it has its own. I put the battery back in and put a fuse on the power wire that goes to the ignition for extra protection. I also put a circuit breaker on the negative side to make things more convenient. 

 

Part of wrapping up all this wiring is installing the stereo and speakers. I got some harnesses from for a 350z to use as my "factory" harness with Nissan pigtails for the stereo side, I didn't want to hard wire the stereo in.

 

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Update on the Hardbody:

 

 

 

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I had my eye on my air dam for the car that has been sitting up collecting dust for awhile and I'm waiting on other parts so now was a good time to get it on. It was kind of a simple install even for one person. A total of 6 bolts w/ washers and bolts, an 11mm wrench, socket, 5/16 drill bit w/ drill and clamps are request for the job. I mocked the air dam in place and marked where I wanted/needed the holes with a gold sharpie. After I made my marks I drilled the holes, 2 on each side at first. I installed the with the four bolts then after getting it on with those to get the last two. Then that was pretty much it. It fits and looks good and is a big part of having the front complete, even without the bash bar that I'm waiting on.


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBLdHDD02jE

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