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Gollum's Never Ending 280Z

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I just don't get the point of dumping rubbing alcohol into your tank, especially if you'll never run it that way.


Tune it for pump E85 and extrapolate your timing and fuel tables from that. Fill up and do your tuning at the end of summer when ethanol content should be highest.  Start with a few gallons of E85 in the tank and then mix in E10 to tune at lower ratios. That alone will take you at least 3-4 hours on a good dyno to get it close, and that's if you're starting from a decent base map and just doing WOT tuning. Expect the better part of a day to get part-throttle, accel enrichment, etc. mostly dialed in. With what you want to do, you'll need multiple days of dyno time to do so, and for what purpose...?


I've done many similar projects, just trying to give you some perspective. ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been working on the car in tiny bite size bits, and it's coming along. Both headlights are wired up now, I have some interior lights wired in, but I don't have them on a switch yet, but I'm getting close to done for the chassis wiring.


I didn't like the OEM horns much, so I picked up some new ones yesterday.



I really like how well this worked out with such ease.


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  • 1 year later...

Holy lack of update batman!


So July 2016, I was prepping the MN47 and removing one of the exhaust studs and it broke... A good 1/4" under the surface too. So, pull out the drill, put a hole in it. Done. Make it as big as you can comfortably get. Done. Use an easy-out to extract it and make sure to use one that is getting good depth. SNAP! MO#@)*I)$$ That sent me into a bit of a spiral and the project stalled. A few months later we were looking at buying a house, and in October 2016 we purchased and I moved the garage and such. Between family life and work I just wasn't motivated to solve the problem. I felt the best option was to just drop it off with a machinist, but local labor rates are high, and I don't want to gamble with what could be a "quick" $250 solution, or a $500 "OMG Stop spending my money and give it back!" because they couldn't remove it all after the first two hours of labor.


Come last summer I felt like I needed to really give it a go again, so I did what any good DIY'er would do. I worked up the motivation and spent most evenings out in the garage while the kids played out front standing over top of my head on the bench with a drill. Drill for a few minutes, check progress, sharpen bit. Drill for a few minutes. Check progress, sharpen bit. Eventually (about two weeks later), I got all my failures and tears of sadness removed from the head and was left with a not-so-round 3/8 hole. This was now a solvable problem, but I'd need a drill press or milling machine to get a TRULY round hole and not wobble another oval into the head.


Another few months passed, mostly due to work transitions, and eventually (about two weeks ago), I bugged someone about borrowing his bench height drill press. I went out, bought a tap and corresponding bit and went to work. It was a bit butt clenching at first but after I felt success the motivation momentum drug started taking effect. In one week I had the hole round again, tapped, plugged, new hole drilled and tapped with a fresh stud ready to go. Now the head is back on and torque, manifolds are on ready for final torque down and I'll be finishing the last of the prep work before doubling down to do the EFI.


Which brings me to the major changes. I'm on a big "forget all while I'm at it's" kick right now, and I'm forgoing sequential fuel and spark in the name of running. I'm just going to control the OEM dizzy directly (same as the DIYautotune write up) and run batch injection. E85 can wait. Boost control can wait. Sequential fuel can wait. Coil on plug can wait. Those are all things I'll be far more motivated to do, once I'm driving this thing again.



...pics to follow.

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Glad to see you’re back at it , Nathan.  It is amazing how a simple thing like a broken stud can cause so much anguish.  And I certainly understand how moving can interrupt a good build.  It’s been almost four years since our move with no progress on the VR.  Waiting for some dry weather so I can start framing the shop.


Are you still local?

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Tonight's update: got the manifolds torqued to (my) spec (oem is too low imo and prone to leaks at raised boost levels), fuel rail installed, and tossed on the j pipe for a more complete look.


I'd have tossed on the thermostat housing... if I could find it... Same with that damn front cover for the head. So I spent about as much time cleaning/organizing as I did working on the car. I feel like there's a box of parts hiding somewhere. Probably time well spent still.



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Not much done tonight but I spent some time cleaning. The below pic represents a lot of work, despite a lot left to do.


I also started going through the first parts bin and found a lot of things I'd need, so that's hopeful. A lot of things just need to go away. Garbage bin will be full this week...


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Small update:


So I've found my missing cam inspection cover as well the thermostat housing. Also reconnected the coolant inlet at the rear of the head. Dizzy cap is back on, as well as the coil. I'll be using MS's built in ignition driver so I've removed the OEM ignition module from the bracket. Radiator is back in too.


Little by little.





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  • 6 months later...

My wiring still isn't 100%, bit it's near enough I'm not so ashamed of it. The loom routing is a bit of a mess, and if I did it all over with $300 to blow on dedicated wiring supplies I'd have done it differently. All in all, not bad for 90% recycled supplies from donor cars (other than the diyautotune wiring which was loathsome to work with).


Still need to tape the driver side engine harness, as well as some of the other bits, but you get the idea.


One less todo before drivable.




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  • 2 months later...

Car's running pretty good, despite tuning without a wideband for the tine being. I'm still regularly tidying little things up, and it's coming along.


I've got the wheels in my car so I can drop them at the tire shop later today with my "new" (been sitting in the garage forever) tires to be mounted. That's a huge milestone to making the thing driveable.


I also need to attach the hood, and I ditched the front brackets a long time ago, so hood pins it is. You might say it's because I'm cheap, but I think it's also due to just wanting to get something done and not bother with buying something, I'm making my own hood pins. I think the bolts are old LCA bolts. They're plenty strong enough in any case, and I've got all four mounted on the chassis side. Now I just need to cut them down enough so I can rest the hood in place and get some marks to drill.


Once tires and hood are on, I'm going to do a quick alignment, put the air dam on, and she's pretty close to road worthy!

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I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea, but I went ahead and made my own hood pins. I doubt I "saved" money even if my time was free, since I'm likely going to go buy a kit of clips to replace my temporary clip solution. The pins themselves turned out okay, and the hood fitment is passable. My lower pin placement ended up spot on which is great since they'll take the brunt of the lifting load, but the rear's I didn't take my time with enough and I ended up putting my holes in about 1/4" or more too high (towards the windshield. This caused a lot more work than necessary getting it to fit decently, and larger holes than preferable, but I'm not sure I really care as long as it stays on tight.


Also spent time yesterday mounting my own tires on my wheels. Not exactly fun, but with decent manual tools it's not too painful (even the harbor freight stand isn't the worst thing in the world). Reason I ended up doing this myself is because though my tires I had already looked fantastic, had been out of the sun in a garage their whole life, and never under extreme temperatures, they were more than 6 years old (close to 10 years actually) and thus no shop in the area wanted to touch them. I don't plan on doing any competitive racing on them, or any serious street shenanigans, but they'll likely be fine for daily driving for a year or two, which is all as long as I need them to last.


I ordered speed bleeders because I still felt my brakes were a bit mushy and wanted to be able to bleed them myself with confidence. Boy do these things work great! I can't say enough about them. Lucky me with the S13 rear brakes I use the same bleeder on all four corners which is handy, and once installed I was able to bleed my brakes myself in about 5 minutes. Granted, the car was already on stands with all four wheels off, but you get the picture.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So my battery still needed some work to be mounted a bit more "properly" compared to how I had it last time I was daily driving this car. My "long term" goal was to square out the passenger foot well and make a little enclosure for it with panel mount terminals. This would make it racing body legal, but also putting the weight as low as possible, while being between the wheels. I'm not a huge fan of putting the battery up high in the back, as I don't NEED more weight in the back per se, since I can always tune the front/back grip with the same measures it'd take to balance the car if I put all the weight in the back. Anyway, I'm rambling.


So I still had a ton of dynamat on the floorpans from a PO (I think it was hybridz member FlatBlack or it had to have been before him even maybe). I didn't want to look at even a temporary riveted or bolted in solution for a tray in the eventual battery space to be with the crap in the way. Well, so I got to removing the dynamat... and just.... yeah.




Nice hole up in the top right of the image, and I have to wonder if dynamat was intended to just hide rust that someone didn't want to repair. I haven't had the car stored outside, I've never seen/had standing water in the floor... Yet... Healthy rust, growing like mold in a forgotten fridge.


And to add some insult to the mix, I confirmed a suspicion that my floors weren't exactly flat.




And after some more grinding (flap disk) , more sound deadening removal, and more grinding (flat disk), and the some pounding, I have a more flat floor, and a heavy desire to go buy a wire wheel for the angle grinder. All my existing wire wheels are for drills or die grinders. Which, I guess I could use the die grinder with a wire wheel, I'd just be running the compressor pretty hard for a few hours to get this really cleaned up.





So, I'm really tempted to wire wheel the rest of the rust away, cut and weld the minimal spots, spray on some weld-through primer, and build a temporary battery mount where I want it to end up. That "temporary" solution is likely kicking the can down a year or two at the rate I've been going this last year, but I think I'm okay with that. I'm not building this to sell, or for someone else. And I'm not going to be competing in it anytime soon. I'm going to be driving it, putting miles on it, to work, to play, etc. I'm mostly just interested in "safe" and "don't lose objects to the road through the floor" status.

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  • Gollum changed the title to Gollum's Never Ending 280Z

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