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crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/19/20 8:46 p.m.

While the car is getting worked on, I ordered new heater hoses and heater valve to replace the frayed 47 year old ones.  It would suck to have one let go in the few miles I get with the car.



The washer dilemma is fixed and the next issue that arose was the header hitting the intake on 1 and 6.  indecision



A couple gentle love taps and she is all buttoned up. 


First though let's look back to page 1 in 2013 when I first got her (Good God even my phone sucked back then):






Mechanical fuel pump added to supplement the electric clicky clacky:


Datsun Spirit wrap around plug wires added and headshield back on:


There is NOTHING going over the top of the valve cover and only necessary wires and hoses left. I just love how L series look that way. Idles at 900 rpm and no more intake leaks. Further road testing will iron out the rest of the powerband but it looks like it should be ready for me to put some miles on it in August when I get in town.


It's lipstick on a pig but it's my lipstick and my pig.



It's a mighty cute pig.

Love the Z

CaprockFabShop New Reader
5/20/20 11:32 a.m.

Good call on the heater hose upgrade. I had the hose along the passenger side of the block fail on my 1972 240z and lost pressure so fast that the head was warped by the time I noticed and pulled over. 


crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/1/20 3:53 p.m.

Had to post the picture of the Z getting towed back home by my buddy Dans blue ford. Just a pair of haggard legends. Now the car is back in the garage.


Apparently I'm running on the lean side despite timing being spot on, fuel pressure being spot on, and jets (120 mains) should be spot on for a stock 2.4. Notice a little fuel spitting out of the carbs:

I'm bringing a set of bigger mains (130s) to try when get in town in a few weeks. I hope to fiddle with it some more and get the fine tuning closer. 

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/29/20 9:19 a.m.

I know that I'm a ricer and the progress on this thing has been pretty lackluster. I get fixated on one part I really want to get done and then that's it for the year. It makes it easier to take care of long distance to just set a goal of one thing. This year I feel like I'm a rock star because I'm doing TWO things to the Z.


I love old wheels and browse for them nonstop so though wheels have been taken care of on this car, I couldn't resist a set of authentic staggered Watanabes for it.


14x6 0 Front

14x7 -10 rear


rears: (subtle concave on the spokes)



I'm flying in to town for two weeks starting this Saturday and I'm hoping that I don't leave before these arrive so I can get them mounted on but I can't do much about that now.


These should fill the fenders but not have the tires poking like my current BFGs that rub everything. Once these are tucked inside the fender wells, I'll be able to get suspension and an actual big brake kit for the front taken care of.


TurnerX19 SuperDork
7/29/20 11:24 a.m.

In reply to crankwalk (Forum Supporter) :

Make sure you run metal valve stem caps with functional seals on the Watanabes. Centrifigal force wants to open the Schraders when they are located that way!

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/29/20 2:49 p.m.

In reply to crankwalk (Forum Supporter) :

I'm not a Ford truck guy, but your buddy has a cool truck..yes

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/1/20 10:16 p.m.


Got the Weber's doing ok on the 120 jets so they aren't spitting fuel. I'm going to keep the 130 main in the glove box and try to do some long pulls and see how it does at temp.

I've got another fuel line pinhole leak at the rear by the diff that I need to investigate and a dragging brake caliper (of course). Still rock solid 3.75 psi fuel pressure at the carbs though. Goes up on stands tomorrow to take a look.

No longer:


That's more accurate now:

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/10/20 10:02 p.m.

Crud in the rear filter after firing it up for the first time in a few months:

I noticed a small fuel leak in the rear by the fuel pump and I see that I missed a small section of 48 year old fuel line when the electric pump went in. (Note the Nissan hamburger logo on it) Whoops

It's such a difference when I swap these filters. They stay clean when I drive it for a few weeks straight but when they sit it really pulls up some gunk the first 5 minutes. 

New heater hoses on from the work that was done at the shop and I changed the oil/filter with my old baby blue filters I've kept. 


This brings us up to speed for the engine bay. Header:

Repetitive engine shot because I love seeing it in person:

First trip was to the tag office to register my new "old" tag:


crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/10/20 10:37 p.m.

Since I'm cheap, I decided the best course of action was to save $700 on a rental car for the next couple of weeks. I really only wanted this trip to be shakedown runs around the house but I have a perfectly fine untested car that is a half century old that I just fixed fuel leaks and a stuck parking brake on so.....LET'S GO DRIVE IT IN ATLANTA TRAFFIC.

Met up with some of the crew for a lake trip. All made it with little drama.


Over to my buddy Dan's and got to finally ride in his 60 Caddy he's been finishing the last couple of years:


After about 150 miles, I'm hearing my alternator belt squealing. I pop the hood to tighten it and it has decided to vacate the premises somewhere on I75. Luckily, everything was so crusty it was held in place by grime and years of being happy in that groove.


That bracket shouldn't have an inch gap and I realized it was mounted in the front of alternator instead of behind the housing. Once flipped and a new bolt installed, I'm on down the road. 

Getting a wee bit dark but I've got lights and wipers. (Speedo cable burnt on the old exhaust manifold so I don't have that)


All of a sudden, I'm driving west to east in this line of red for about an hour. 

All good until wipers became "wiper". Driver's side flew off in the downpour.

Good thing there is a spare on the passenger side. That must be why they have two. 

We are 300 miles in the family distancing tour and so far so good:


Once I make it back to NE Georgia, I realize the Watanabes and modern tires have arrived. That would have been a big help in the horrible weather I just went through but what are you going to do?

Dropping down to the 14s and lower profile tires makes this thing not even look lowered at all BUT this fitment is what I really needed. The mesh hit everything up front and with these offsets, I'll be able to lower it more without hitting fenders and suspension. I know it looks a little goofy now but stick with me and hopefully next year I'll have the suspension and brakes sorted further. 


Lastly, I have a brief compilation of some driving sounds this past week. The 120 jets went back in and I realize with running the vacuum advance on these I have perfect drivability everywhere except WOT above 4k. Everything I've reading is DCOEs don't like vacuum advance. It sounds like I may need to have a distributor recurved because this timing curve just goes flat with WOT and no vacuum. I'm going to look in to a 280zx electronic unit or having mine recurved. I'm still on points and otherwise would see no reason to change anything. So far, I have put close to 350 miles on this thing last week and I still have another week to play with it. Loving every bit of it so far. 





BrianC72gt (Forum Supporter)
BrianC72gt (Forum Supporter) New Reader
8/11/20 3:16 a.m.

I had a single 45DCOE on my 72 MGB GT's 1.8 when I got it for $500 with a blown head gasket in 1991 ish.  I ended up operating on the plates and springs in a spare distributor to get the response I was looking for.  Mapped it - roughly - with a timing gun and tachometer by trial and error.  It vastly improved the responsiveness off idle.  What with cheap electronics, is there no way to swap the distributor guts for a timing signal and black box?  Love your car.

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/11/20 9:33 a.m.
BrianC72gt (Forum Supporter) said:

  What with cheap electronics, is there no way to swap the distributor guts for a timing signal and black box?  Love your car.

Yeah I can add a Pertronix or a factory 280zx electronic ignition but I need to read up more on vacuum advance on these things. Spark plugs look perfectly light grayish brown so I'm happy with everything but WOT.

Justjim75 Dork
8/11/20 12:47 p.m.

Easily one of the top 3 best sounding cars EVAR

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/14/20 8:25 p.m.
Justjim75 said:

Easily one of the top 3 best sounding cars EVAR

I think so too. I spent a LOT of time above 4K this trip.  400+ miles with no real issues over the last two weeks. 

I did need to tighten the bolt for the fuel filters on all three carbs after a couple hundred miles as I am not a fan of fuel dribbling out. It has new washers but I never torque these things down too much as I've snapped a couple banjo bolts even torqued to spec. Glad I had the heat shield or that would have dropped right on the header. 

I also added a super custom overflow reservoir:


The next things I address will be actual brakes and suspension. Now that I am comfortable with the car and it's making decent power(even with the timing curve feeling a little off at at WOT), the suspension and brakes aren't really adequate anymore. This was a budget build almost 8 years ago but my carbs and wheels are double what I paid for the car. I'm attached to this particular car now and it's no longer about getting it running cheaply.


For the brakes, I'm going to be limited with the 14s but not totally out of luck. I think I can completely fill the Watanabes with the T3 micro big brake kit:

I may have to add an additional 5mm spacer as even the factory caliper is extra close to these front spokes.


For suspension, I'm debating coilovers or a Koni/eibach strut/spring combo. I don't think the latter will get me low enough for the 14s and though the coilovers will be more expensive and more work (welding with 280zx strut tubes) I think it's the direction I really want if I do ever time my visits to do an autocross with this thing.

Blown shocks and sagging 30 year old Tokico springs aren't cutting it anymore and I need to lose several inches up front and maybe 2 in the rear:

Did my ritual of the battery tender, a full tank of ethanol free fuel with Stabil, and fogging the motor. Make shift covers for the intake and exhaust and I have a note with my keys to remove the Saran Wrap before turning it on next year:



COVID test came back negative from a couple days ago and I'll have to take another when I get back to AK tomorrow. It's been a different kind of visit but even with the precautions and distancing, it's been great.

Until the Mitty next April, adios til next year. Check the mail for boxes from Alaska in case I do some more mail order modding. wink

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