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Datsun310Guy PowerDork
12/12/11 4:58 p.m.

It's a Z car - great job!

PseudoSport Reader
12/18/11 10:19 p.m.

I started working on the Z last week and was able to remove the intake, exhaust manifold, head, and timing cover. I wanted to pull the head just to see what’s going on and I’m glad I did. First all the head bolts felt like they were not tightened the same. Some felt normal but about 4 felt like they were maybe 30 ft/lbs. Once the head was removed I noticed mouse poop in cylinders 3 and 4.

Not sure how it got there because there was nothing in the intake or head. I also noticed a few of them had marks from where they made contact with the intake valve. That's not a good sign.

Timing cover took a little effort to remove. I broke 2 bolts but I was able to get them out. One held the oil pump to the front of the timing cover. I had to hit the pump to drive it down off the snapped and rusted bolt. The pump is aluminum so I think I’ll be swapping it off the other motor since I’ve been hitting it with a hammer. Once it was off I found the timing chain did drop down and the timing chain tensioner came apart locking everything up. I should be able to just put everything back together and reuse what’s there. In the picture you can see where the spring just popped out.

I then went and inspected the head and checked the valves for leaks. When I sprayed some carb clean in the ports it poured right past the valves. Looking at them closer I noticed they were bent and not sealing all the way around the seat. Not really sure what happened to this engine since all the gaskets were new and it was never started after the head was put back on. Instead of thinking about it I'm going to clean up the other N42 head.

Also thanks guys for the parts offers. Not really sure what I'll need yet but I'll let you know.

Curmudgeon MegaDork
12/19/11 7:49 a.m.

Most likely when the engine was put back together it was timed wrong. If that engine has the cam gear that can go on multiple ways, that's probably what happened. The idea is that if the head is decked or the timing chain stretches you can swap the gear position around and keep the timing accurate.

About the tensioner: when we pulled the head on the L16 that was in my b-i-l's car we got a piece of 1x3, cut it so it would fit lengthwise down in the t/c, then kept trimming the sides until it would fit between the chain runs. Then we were able to yank the head without the tensioner coming apart like yours did.

I'd recommend looking real carefully at the #6 cylinder. It's furthest from the radiator (duh) and as such will run hotter than the others. My 280Z had lower than normal compression and burned oil on that cylinder only and I've seen others which did something similar.

PseudoSport Dork
12/20/11 9:52 a.m.

Leak checked the valves on the spare head and they were ok. After about 10-20 seconds I did get a slight drip on some. Over all the head was very dirty and the exhaust ports had a lot of carbon built up. I disassembled everything, wire wheeled the valves, and cleaned up the head the best I could. GF went out shopping so I decided to bring the head into the living room and lap the valves.

Valves and seats cleaned up fine and none of the valves were bent. They all made full contact with the seats and pass the roll test. I then installed all new valve seals which came with the closeout head gasket set I got from RockAuto for $23. I only got 2 springs installed before the GF called and said she would be home soon. Hopefully tonight I can finish up then install the head back on the car tomorrow. I’m going to wait to install the cam so I can do a compression test before dealing with everything else.

As for the timing chain the car actually came with 2 pieces of wood to hold the chain in place, one on each engine. Hopefully with the timing cover off I can insure everything is lined up correctly and not have to worry too much about the tensioner.

miatame HalfDork
12/20/11 10:04 a.m.

Sweeeet! Now destroy the evidence of the head being in the house! lol

Brotus7 Reader
12/20/11 11:40 a.m.

Pseudo, I may be interested in your busted head if you don't need it. I have a pair of N47's, but they've been bashed around outside an engine for a few years before I got the car. I could take your head, check the flatness, drop my valves in it and have a head for the spare engine for my LeMons car. Let me know if that's a possibility.


PseudoSport Reader
12/20/11 1:31 p.m.

I don’t really have any use for the other head. Besides the intake valves everything else looks ok. If you want it you can have it.

Brotus7 Reader
12/20/11 2:36 p.m.

Awesome. I'm off next week and can take a ride up there to pick it up. I'll take this offline to PM's now.


PseudoSport Dork
1/2/12 9:30 a.m.

Weather has been very mild this winter so I’ve continued to work on the car.

I chased the threads of the head bolts, installed the cam, torqued the head down, and installed the timing chain.

Installed a battery hoping I could finally do a compression test but when I grabbed the terminals there were 15 extra wires going to the positive and all the wires on the negitive fell apart. They both had those bolt together repair terminals. Fixed the ground but the positive had a bad connection so all those wires had to come apart. Since it was a mess of old speaker wire, inline fuses, and some other random ones I decided to trace them back and get rid of what I could. It's also now dark and 34 degrees out. Turns out most of the wires were going to where the stereo use to be. Noticed the car also had 2 sets of foglights at one time, some kind of fan control, an old radar detector, and a car alarm. Here is a picture just so you can see what I'm dealing with.

I think there are more wires here then the whole fuel injection setup.

Anyway ripped out the ones that no longer go to anything. Hooked the battery back up and the coil started buzzing. Hmm, decided to disconnect it for now. Dash lights came up along with the annoying key chime thing and I have power to most things. Turn the key and everything goes dark then slowly comes back. Put my meter on the battery and jump the starter terminals and voltage goes to 3V. Blah, Dropped the battery off to be charged at AutoZone then spent the rest of the night going over wiring diagrams.

Next day I picked up the battery and it load tested fine. Put it back in and did the compression test. All cylinders were in the 140 psi range which I think is fair since all the valves are way out of adjustment from installing the cam. Since the engine tested ok I started putting everything else back together. Installed the timing cover, new front seal, oil pump, distributor, A/C compressor, exhaust manifold, and intake manifold. Intake still needs some more bolts but after that it should just be radiator, hoses, some wires and valve adjustment. I'm sure I'm going to have some trouble shooting to do before its running but so far so good.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid Dork
1/2/12 10:12 a.m.

Sounds like everything is going together good. Can't wait to see it running.

FlightService Dork
1/2/12 10:37 a.m.

Cool car

jr02518 New Reader
1/2/12 11:32 a.m.

The oil pressure on these motors, at idle and warm, can be very low on a motor with high miles.

You might add Rod bearings to your "refresh" list.

PseudoSport Dork
1/2/12 12:06 p.m.

The mileage on this engine is unknown. Original motor was replaced somewhere around 130K and the car now has 160K. I was told the engine in the car was used but over all it looks like it’s in fair shape since there was no sludge, timing chain was not stretched and cover has never been off, no ridge at top of cylinder, etc. I’m hoping to get lucky and have everything be else be fine but who knows. I could fire up the car only to find it has a spun bearing. Once the car is running I’ll make sure to test oil pressure.

miatame HalfDork
1/3/12 2:00 p.m.


Javelin SuperDork
1/3/12 2:05 p.m.

Good updates!

PseudoSport Dork
1/11/12 4:48 p.m.

Car is not running yet because I need a new fuel pump and there are a few wires left on the engine that I don't know where they go. Tracing them back has been tricky because all but 2 wires going to the computer are white.

I also started picking at the rust around the passenger quarter window. With the window removed the rust hole under it is about the size of a dollar. No one makes a patch panel for this area so I was expecting to have to make my own. Then about 2 hours later I find these on craigslist.

Quarters have some rust on the bottom but the window area and taillights are fine. Best part was they were $40 for the pair!

I also went down to the RMV today to apply for a title. It was kinda of a pain since I bought it from Maine and they don't issue titles for anything older then 1996. I had to get a letter from Maine's RMV saying they don't issue titles and only use a bill of sale, when it was last registered, and who it was registered to. Also MA RMV says the car is worth $3,900 so that ended up costing me $318 for tax/title on a $500 car.

belteshazzar SuperDork
1/11/12 5:04 p.m.

i like this

SyntheticBlinkerFluid Dork
1/11/12 5:58 p.m.

In reply to PseudoSport:

$318? Because they think the car is worth $3900?

Wow thats a bunch of bullE36 M3.

Osterkraut SuperDork
1/11/12 7:07 p.m.
SyntheticBlinkerFluid wrote: In reply to PseudoSport: $318? Because they think the car is worth $3900? Wow thats a bunch of bullE36 M3.

Blue states.

PseudoSport Dork
1/27/12 11:24 a.m.

It’s been cold out but I’ve been working on the car a few minutes at a time few small things. All the wiring is sorted out. Fixed a few grounds and the coil is no longer doing that buzzing thing. I had to replace the water pump because the shaft was bent. When I spun the pulley it has a slight wobble. There were 2 in a box that came with the car and I guess I picked the bad one.

Since everything was almost back I wanted to see if it would at least fire up. The fuel pump has been ordered so for now I used some starting fluid. First try resulted in a backfire out the intake. Well at least that confirm the ignition system was working. Turns out the distributor spins counter clockwise not clockwise. Blah, guess I’ve been working on too many Jeeps. After rearranging the wires I did get the car to fire up and idle for a few seconds.

Now that there was a sign of life I installed the radiator, filled it with coolant, fixed some coolant leaks, replaced some vacuum hoses, drained out the old gas, and adjusted the valves.

It was 20 degrees out when I adjusted the valves, hope that’s cold enough for the cold adjustment specs

Depending on how this goes I might be interested in doing the BABE rally. So far I’ve only replaced what’s needed to make it drivable. Not sure how strict the rules are but here is my budget so far.

280Z $500

Gasket set from RockAuto $29 shipped

Vaccum hose $1.98

Heater hose $1.19

Coolant $11.99

Fuel pump $48.00

I think thats it since all the other parts came with the car.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid Dork
1/27/12 11:42 a.m.

Dude, I'm gonna take a flight out there just to go for a ride.

Matt B
Matt B Dork
1/27/12 11:46 a.m.

Threads like this are dangerous. It puts thoughts into my head like, "hey, that looks easy enough" or "I bet I could nab my neighbor's Vanagon for a song and fix the stalling problem in a like, an hour" hehe

PseudoSport Reader
2/4/12 3:22 p.m.

Installed the fuel pump and finished up a few other small things. I did have to trim the metal mounting bracket to make the hose clear but other then that it was straight forward. Pump is an Airtex E2182 which flows 190 LPH / 50 GPH and has a 1/2" inlet and 5/16 outlet which are the same sizes as the stock lines. After a few tries and some starting fluid I got it running but not on all cylinders. I had to clean up all the fuel injectors and their connectors. After that it idled smooth and would fire right up. New problem is there is a lot of blue smoke out the exhaust. I pulled all the plugs and #5 was oil soaked. The rest looked normal. When cranking the motor over it just sprays oil out #5 plug hole. I checked compression on that cylinder and it showed 190 psi.

Another problem I noticed is the cluch master is dry and there is no pressure. I put the car in gear and started it up and it didn't move. With the car running I then shifted through all the gears and nothing happened. No grinding or drop in engine RPM.

thunderzy Reader
2/4/12 9:47 p.m.

Great build. Keep it up.

PseudoSport Dork
2/5/12 3:07 p.m.

Messed with the car somemore today. When I rev the engine it makes enough blue smoke to block out the neighbors house. Still disapointed because other then the smoke it runs great. Currently I'm trying to decided between re-ringing the spare engine or having it bored.

Here are some pictures of everything back together.

As for the transmission I found that the slave cylinder was rusty and stuck fully out. I just unbolted it from the transmission and the clutch fork return to its normal spot and the clutch engaged. First time I've seen a slave cylinder fail like that. I'm also going to need a new slave cylinder hose too.

Also while I was under the car installing the fuel pump I noticed someone had installed polyurethane diff mount bushings.

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