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Skipz Snail Project


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#1 skipz

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 08:12 AM

Thought I should kick off a build thread - a restomod of a '73 currently all stock, matching numbers, bit of rust, falling apart interior etc.  This will be my first z, and second attempt at a resto - the first getting back on the road, but never quite finished.  I hope this is not the case this time!  So I'll certainly be looking for some guidance from you experts out there - thanks in advance.

Overall goal is to get a nice street car, a cruiser that maintains the original 70's feel but has a few modcons.  Its highly unlikely to ever go on the track or autox.  It will be a complete strip down and rebuild.

So here's the rough plan at the moment:
Engine - need input here.  I'm keen to keep the matching numbers, which is driving my thinking a bit.  Complete rebuild, bore out (how much??), mild cam, EFI.  Aim is to get as much reliable power as I can.  Not sure it's worth it or just go to an L28. [currently thinking of following Jeff's L24 stroker build, Haltech ECU, sequential]
Drivetrain - CV conversion [WC kit in hand], Quaiffe torsen [Quaife QDF4L in hand], diff and transmission [S14 with modified 71B bellhousing in hand] rebuild
Suspension - lowered king springs or equiv.  Sway bars dunno.  Strut bars likely. [T3 coilovers & strut bars in hand]
Steering - EPAS going in (I know - "go to the gym blabla") [EZpowersteering in hand, another option planned]
Brakes - vented front conversion [S12+8 vented & 300zx discs in hand], rear disc conversion [S14 calipers, MM adapters, 300zx discs in hand].
Body - add front air dam [Kameari in hand], all locks shaved.
Electricals - rewire all (want to build my own wiring harness for some reason) - [Infinitybox multiplex system]
Interior - mx5 seats (or rebuild originals) [originals rebuilt - currently contemplating BRZ seats], power windows & power locks [SPAL kits in hand], alarm [no longer required with multiplex system], stereo (that works) [retrosound unit in hand], speedhut gauges [installed], aircon [vintage air Gen II in hand].

I'm sure there's more that I'm missing - devil in the detail and all that. 

Keen to hear opinions.  Its dismantle time only at this stage so its open to change.  Can't wait for the build  :D

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Edited by skipz, 06 August 2016 - 12:57 PM.


#2 bryan3976

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 09:38 AM

we need some more pics

#3 Brabham

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 05:10 PM

My vote goes to keeping it original - I think zeds look nice as they were. If you wanted to do the engine, my advice would be to keep the matching numbers engine in the shed and build an L28 with tripple carbs - you can get 350HP with this if that is what you are after. It is getting hard to find original zeds these days and it will be more valuable if you keep it this way.

Power steering? Turn the wheel harder ;D Cheers and good luck with the build - nice color too.

#4 skipz

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 07:07 PM

More pics of day 0. 
Interior currently being gutted.

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#5 skipz

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:14 PM

Update (on my slow progress).  Interior is being gutted.  Just have the passenger door and dash to do.Most of the interior panels were cracked or broken so they were tossed - to be replaced later.  Have only found one area of rust of concern so far, above the drivers quarter window.  There's a bit in the door, but hopefully just surface.

Have bought an electroless nickel plating kit with the hope to plate some stuff - will have to see how that goes.
Plan from here is to continue with the interior gutting, followed by fitment checks of interior 'upgrades/mods', then on to suspension & drivetrain teardown, then ... 

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#6 skipz

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:19 PM

Tought I'd show a pic of the indicator, combo switch after teardown, clean and rebuild.  Didn't take too long, and I'm quite happy with the result - its all clean  :D (pic doesn't do it justice).  Amazed how much dirt and grease build up there was even though it didn't look too bad to begin with.  Also handy to check the level of wear on the mechanisms & contacts.

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#7 chris240

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:06 PM

looking at your bay pic, was the original colour gold or mustard ?

#8 skipz

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 07:23 PM

Original colour was 114 Brown Metallic.  Has been oversprayed at some point, the blue it is today.  In some light it actually looks tolerable.  Its actually got me considering the final paint colour to be some modernish tribute to the old colour.  Will see - thats ages off.

Dash is out and stripped.  Yay.  Have speedhut gauges which I'm going to have to make some brakets to mount to the dash - will CAD those up shortly.  Will be attempting to make custom indicator pods to fit in behind the speedo & tachs clear facia, for the lost warning lights found in the original gauges.  Planning on having 6  in total (3 per gauge pod): indicators, pbrake, high beam, low/high voltage (i.e. check charging system), and check engine (i.e. EFI system fault - supposedly doable).  I also have this desire to make the centre instrument cluster lightup at night, like the 73's do (or so I've read from US forums) - so am looking at ways of making a copy of the cluster (e.g. silicone mould and PU cast) and using EL film as a backlight, driven by the speedhut dimmer switch (have proven thats possible with films from elec2go).  Just have to figure out how to copy the centre panel.  If the I can manage to make the vision reality, should have a centre console that lights up and dims with the gauges, the same colour as the gauges (i.e. white), that doesn't look like a bastartised centre panel (ie looks like the original).  Will see how that goes over the next couple months.

Have vintage air gen2 mini unit coming soon as well so will start to fit that up over the next while.  Plan is to have all elements of the instrument cluster done, and then send the dash off for recovering, then pipe in the VA gen2.  Get the interior "fitted & ready" and then move underside.

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#9 skipz

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 07:34 PM

Thought I'd also post my current inspiration pics.  Basically, the orange one, with SSR professor SP1 wheels (as on the white one, but silver not chrome), and a two tone interior somewhat like the red zed (but likely tan/black not white).

At least, thats the current inspiration - it seems to shift every month or so, although slowly honing in on that final look.

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#10 skipz

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 09:33 PM

Have added a bench grinder to the mancave, so of course I had to play and see what polishing is all about.  Thought I'd post my first attempt on the engine bay light.  Original condition is on the right.  Not a mirror finish by any means, but its coming along and a massive change from what it used to be. 

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#11 skipz

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 10:10 PM

Need some wisdom from the panel...
Jacked up the car tonight and placed it on stands to finally start taking apart the underside.  Once up though, I noticed that one of the jack stands is not under load - only 3 of the 4 stands are holding up the car! :o  All stands are placed in the same spots and all adjusted to the same height.  But on the rear drivers side stand there is about a 1mm gap - not much, but enough to have no load on the stand.  All the cars that I've had worked on, on stands before (only 3 mind you), I've never come across this before.  So, from what I can tell, either the garage floor is a bit off (floor could have shifted a bit - there is a crack running through the garage floor), or the car is twisted.

Car feels solid enough on the stands (no movement), but its a bit nerve racking when you're under the car, nudge one a stand and the stand moves!  And to think I was so careful placing each stand only to find one not utilized when all said and done...

The passenger side floor panel and frame rail have been replaced at some point.  The front bumper, drivers side has had a hefty nudge.  But those appear to be the only 2 structural type past issues I can see at this time.

Anyone ever experienced this, or any words of wisdom?  Just wondering if this is one of these 240z oddities I've read about, or a sign that the frame is twisted... or hopefully neither and the garage floor or stands are off. Cheers.

#12 FLEXZED

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 10:19 PM

hey Mate

1st thing i think you should do is measure each stand and make sure they are the same height they might be out especially if they are a supercheap brand or chinse engineered

then start looking at the floor


Loui

#13 skipz

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:54 PM

Its been a while since the last post.  Progress continues, albeit slower than hoped.  So, since last post:

I've pulled apart the suspension, front and rear, including the fuel tank, diff and drive shaft.  Essentially everything (or almost everything) from the underside of the car, transmission back is out.  Once out and fully dismantled, I took most parts back to bare metal.  I've had a lot of parts put through an alkali dipping process to completely remove dirt, grime, grease, rust etc (redi-strip process).  From there I've degreased again, acid etched and painted (por15).  On parts where I couldn't get the paint to (e.g. inside the control arms) I've covered with cavity wax.  So hopefully these parts won't rust [easily] for some time.  On parts that I didn't dip, I've followed a similar process, degreasing and prepping back to bare metal followed by painting.  Any surface not painted is now coated with oil or grease to hold off rusting, waiting for assembly of bearings/struts etc.  See the pic below for how they turned out. 

For the brakes, I've decided to go with the S12+8 vented caliper, 84 300ZX NA rotor and the 240sx caliper and 300ZX disc setup.  The calipers are rebuilt units that I ordered from the States (figured it wasn't that much more than finding something at the wrecker and rebuilding, given how strong the dollar is at the moment).  Unfortunately I've been waiting over a month now to get the Modern Motorsport adaptors.  Its taken a while to firstly place the order, and secondly, waiting to see them shipped.  Really these adaptors are the parts that are slowing things down. 

I've got the energy suspension master bushing kit (again from the States) waiting for assembly.  I'm also in the process of putting on new bearings all round.  Front hubs have had the bearing races put in (See pic).  Next is the rear stub axle bearings.  New ball joints as well (again see pic). 

I was pleased to see that there were Koni reds already on the car, so I've had them rebuilt - which saved quite a bit of cash.  :)  They are now sitting awaiting assembly.  For springs, I ordered a set through K-mac along with a 22mm sway bar at the same time.  This was a mistake.  Unfortunately the springs were of the wrong diameter (rear) or quite short (front).  So I've been trying to get some kind of word out of them for the past month as to if I can return them - so far no word  >:(.  Should've gone with Kings to begin with - which is likely what I'll go with soon. 

Finally, I've got my hands on a pair of MX5 seats.  NB's I think - the style that I was hoping for (don't really like the seams on the NA seats).  They have a few tears in them, but long term I'll be recovering them in leather, so I'm not too bothered with that.  Unfortunately, the runners are not flat.  This is the part that is quite annoying.  I've read that the NA and NB runners are direct swappable (from the MX5cartalk site) and that NA seats fit easily with a bit of drilling.  So this won't be as easy an install as I was hoping.  Looks like a bit of seat rail modification is set for the future.  For now, they'll sit on the sidelines for the next while.

So now I'm ready for assembly of the suspension.  But not before I've wire brushed all bolts clean and prepped.  I have an electroless nickel kit that I think I'll play with on the bolts.  (could always buy new bolts...)  Will post results next time. 

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#14 skipz

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:55 PM

more pics

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#15 skipz

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:58 PM

Forgot to mention - anyone interested in some cheap front hub dust caps to replace old dented ones, check out Repco.  45mm trailer grease caps = $6.  (see pic above for the caps). 

#16 Zedman240®

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:09 PM

Well done..keep up the good work!

#17 skipz

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 11:47 AM

About time for another post - no pics this time unfortunately.  Progress has been severly hampered by my ever worsening arthritis, so I've been taking on more of the little things as time progresses.  Here's whats been going on since last post.

Engine and drivetrain is completely out.  The only thing remaining on the shell is the brake and fuel lines, and the front and rear glass.  There were a few rusted bolts that I came across when removing the fenders - they've decided to stay with the body for now.  I noticed during this tear down that the car has definetly been in at least two accidents: 1) the entire passenger side front wheel well has been repaired with new panels (pretty crap weld job too), and 2) the front driver side bumper mount is torn and will need to be re-welded before the rotisserie job.  In short, the body is pretty much stripped.

I've had all the undercarraige bolts zinc plated along with a few other parts like the headlight housings and hood hinge.  I still need to dig up the reminaing parts to be plated.  In prepping the wiper linkage arms for plating, the housing holding the ball at the end of each link was severly rusted and destroyed.  So they didn't go to plating and will have to be rebuilt (most likely with some form of rod end fabricated in place). 

The pedal box and pedals have been stripped to bare metal and repainted (they were a bit rusty, with the old paint flaking off).  Just awaiting new pedal rubber to complete the box rebuild.

I've just started restoring the horns, stripping back to bare metal and respraying as they are quite rusty.

I've also been looking into my electrical and engine management plans.  On the electrical side, given the old harness is out and I'm updating and adding a number of components, I've decided to go with a multiplexing system rather than a standard wire/relay setup.  Here's what I'll be using http://www.isispower.com/.  This ISIS system seems pretty powerful in terms of the degree of flexibility that you can manage.  e.g. it will provide a complete native security system (door lock, windows, starter and ignition) without extra wiring, will control the flashers and hazards without relays or additional wiring, all while monitoring the system and assisting with debugging.  It can be completely programmed so that any switch input can control any output with whatever behaviour you desire (after custom programming).  It also pulls switches to ground with minimal current draw, so the existing switches will breath a sigh of relief.  Seems pretty good to me - pricey, but should be pretty robust and gives something to play with.  I'm also honing in on using a Haltech EMS for the fuel injection.  So there will be two main electrical systems in the car: the ISIS and the EMS.  Way overboard in terms of $$ to be spent on the system - but it tickles the 'toy' factor nicely and fits with the 'modern version of an old car' theme. 

I've also started CAD'ing up some custom gauge mounts for the Speedhut gauges that I've bought to replace all of the gauges.  Gauges I'm going with: speedo, tach, fuel, water temp, oil pressure - amps are indicated off the alternator (like any modern setup) and the clock is removed.  Trouble is when you replace the gauges, you lose the dash indicators (flashers, p-brake, high beams etc) and direct mounts to the dash.  So the plan here is to have a custom gauge mount that replaces the existing one, but mates to the existing shell (creating a seemless looking integration of the new gauges) and provides 3 dash indicator lights per speedo/tacho gauge.  The indicators will use a standard T5 wedge socket and light so they can be replaced if needed.  So that gives 6 indicator lights: L & R flasher, high beam, p-brake, EMS ECU warning light, and alternator.  My first version of the CAD is quite costly to produce a one off, so I'm looking at doing the same concept in a different way.  I'll post a pic in a bit. 

I think thats about all that I can think of for now.  Until next time.

#18 skipz

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 11:58 AM

Pic of gauge as it currently stands

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#19 skipz

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 12:41 PM

Its been a long time since I last posted, but work has not (completely) stopped.  Thought it'd be good to post again. 

Since last time, the car went in to be blasted to get it back to bare metal.  I was suprised to see how much bog was covering up previous issues.  There was rust in all the usual places, some dodgy body work done previously, and it was clearly evident the car has been in at least two frontal impacts.  The whole front passenger side has been replaced in the past, and the bumper obviously took a hit.  Body wise, there were scrapes hidden under bog, running down both the front and left hand sides. 

A small sampling of pics:

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#20 skipz

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 12:43 PM

And some more:

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