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Tj's '77 260Z 2+2


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#21 Tj

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:23 PM

Once again it's been sometime since I posted.
In fact, I completely gave up on the car not too long after making that post back in December.

The thing was driving me nuts. Once that new engine was in it was running like shiver. I dropped it out to Stewart Wilkins who's been looking after my sister's and brother in-laws rally cars for years and got them to re-jet the carbs. The old duck managed 140HP at the wheels (their dyno's old school I think) and the guys told me that they had no problems doing power runs with it and were happy with the mixtures. I was a little disappointed that was all  :-\
Problem is, power runs on a dyno don't really emulate driving to and from work everyday in traffic. It stammers, has a minor flat spot down low and carbons up the plugs fairly quickly.
On top of this it developed an issue of vanishing water and a few minor electrical gremlins and then one day I took a good look at it in the garage and decided that I just didn't want anything to do with it anymore.
I figured to get it running "right" and looking how I wanted it to look would cost me thousands and I just wasn't in the mood to open my wallet.

So I put it up for sale  :'(

I was convinced that this was the car that broke my heart. I was full of hope and admiration when I brought the thing home from Melbourne nearly 12 months ago now but that had all but disappeared. All I saw in the garage was a time bomb. And in fact I'd grown to hate the look of it. The munted front bumper, the crappy wheels, the 2+2 hunchback.
I convinced myself that a 35 year old car was no sensible thing to be expecting to be usable daily transport and then I'd gone and dropped in a cantankerous, stroppy and completely inappropriate motor into the thing expecting an improvement. What the hell was I thinking, I needed another car.
The thing is though, I have a bit of a problem. I can't have boring cars. They irritate me to no end, I just can't stand being forced to do what I enjoy most in a mechanical beige cardigan. So the hunt was on for something interesting.

I looked at XR4 Fiestas, thinking that back to modern was the way to go. I'd come from an XR5 Turbo focus (a phenomenal car by the way) and figured it's little sibling would be the trick. Too expensive it turned out, I'd still be forking out money out of my pocket.

Then I started looking somewhere between my 70's J-Tin wish list and the modern crop of cars. I looked at a GTI-R pulsar for a while. Had the potential to be a brutally quick car that was also not very common and laden with stigmata from the tuner scene (a la WRX, EVO, GTR etc...) but it also had the potential to be a massive money suck. Fixing one would be mega costly if it went fritz.

Then I turned my attention to an AE86. "here we go" I thought, best of both worlds!. Classic Japanese sports car, but more modern but still simple mechanically. I was so convinced that I singled one out that was a japanese import that had been built as a streetable track car. Had all the go fast bits, a supercharged version of the 4AGE, LSD coil overs etc etc.

Problem was, it just didn't do it for me when I went and had a look at it. It was quick. Astonishingly quick actually, but it was rough, noisy and missing half of its interior. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't some half arsed drift pig slapped together out of spare parts, it was well built but it was too far over the track car fence for my liking.
I could have bought it, softened the suspension, sourced an interior and made it into a quick street car but again, that meant spending more money on it. Plus it was interstate so I'd have to add a full years rego plus engineering certificate costs to it. It was a great car, but not great enough to go and spend all my money on.

Mean while, over the course of maybe three months I had one serious enquiry about the Zed. One. And even then, after grilling me on the phone for a few days (dude knew his way around zeds) and setting up a meet (meanwhile I spent an entire day detailing the car) he came out, walked around it once and then told me it wasn't what he was looking for  >:(  fkn time wasters.

I started weighing up options. Should I sell it cheaper and wear the loss? should I pour some money into dressing it up to make it a bit more attractive? (should I just set fire to the damn thing  :P ) but all of this meant spending money and not getting it back.

And then one day I saw this photo:

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Sweet Jeebus! It's from an old classified ad on zclub.net from the UK. At first I had to double and triple check that it was a 2+2, it just looks to mean

I fell in love all over again. The Zed stays. And I'm doing THAT to it  ;D
Well, close to that anyway.
That car is orange for a start, but the wheels I later found out after a bit of digging are 15x9 Minilites (which I believe are a little different to superlites) They, and/or 15x9 Watanabe's are just too expensive. Especially for a daily. I'm not going to put $2500 worth of wheels on a car and then be terrified of hitting a pothole (I DO live in Sydney after all) or gutter bashing them. So I've settled on the Rota RBX.
I couldn't give two shiveres about the whole Rota hate that gets around sometimes, they look great and are affordable. Thats all I need.

Big question is what colour do I go? I was originally set on matt black because of that photo, but then I see a few cars with black and polished lips on them and that makes me doubt my choice.
I pitched the idea to the little lady about this and she reckons polished lip. In fact she photoshopped this for me.
She took this:
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Yeah I know they're watanabes but they look similar and are sized similar

And stuck em on my car..... Apologies to the owner of that stunning 240 :/

Posted Image
Not the greatest but it gives you an idea.

I still can't make up my mind though, what do you (if you're still reading this far down) think?

#22 Tj

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:38 PM

I forgot to menton, the Rota RBX's I'm looking at are 17x9 -13 fronts and 17x9.5 -19 rears. No half measures, right?  ;D

Also, I scored a set of sweet fender mirrors on ebay that'll be arriving in a week or two. They look pretty close to factory
http://www.ebay.com....#ht_3486wt_1348
Also, I bought a pair of used bumpers off Carlos out at Sportsclassic too. I got a straight front bar that I'm going to paint black as well as a shabby but straight rear bar that I'm going to weld up and make into a one piece bar and then paint. My rear bar is way too nice to molest like that.
I still need to source a front air dam, the one from Fibresports in Sydney looks ok and I'll save a swag on postage as I can pick it up, I can source flares locally too but for the mean time I'll run without a rear wing. Carlos showed me a BRE style one he had and sat it on the back of the car but it just didn't sit right, was too short. He started talking about getting a run made for 2+2's but who knows if that'll ever eventuate. I'll look at it later.

All of the fibreglass will be painted in matching black as well as the bars. I'm thinking a semi-gloss of some sort, not too glossy but not completely matt as it will show all the dirt and marks.

#23 peter t

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:23 PM

Don't give up mate. My BUS is great. You just have to renew everything then it will go all day and any where you want to go. I have kept mine pretty much standard and is so reliable but with a few mods looks great. 8)

#24 peter t

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:49 PM

Pics of mine. 8)

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#25 EMPRACING

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:05 PM

I love that orange I can't wait to see how yours comes out with the rotas etc I wont flare my 74 but the newly accuired 76 its open season  8) between us all we can claw back some respect for the bus..s

#26 Tj

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:47 PM

Well that's the thing. I realised one night that it does drive great. It's just the driver that needed some adjustments.
I realised I was expecting too much from it, probably because of the way my GF's galant turned out. That's a fantastically reliable and easy to drive classic but that's because it has a modern efi motor in it. I was expecting it to drive like that.

The car and I had come to an agreement. I don't expect the unreasonable from it and it behaves. Once I adjusted my attitude I really started to have some fun driving it.

Just ordered some clear headlight covers too  ;D

#27 chris240

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:54 PM

Stunning car Peter T...
If i had a 2+2, thats exactly the look and colour Id choose.

#28 peter t

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:13 PM

My rear wing should be here next week from MSA and will set the BUS off real good after I paint it and the front spoiler. Will post pics on my own thread. Sorry to hijack this one. ;)

#29 Tj

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:32 PM

No problem Peter. I'd be interested to see your wing, I think to make them sit properly on a 2+2 they need to be modified a bit. It's something I'll look at down the line a little.


#30 luvemfast

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 08:39 PM

Great to see you're keeping it and have re-fallen in love with it.
But as a daily, I'd reconsider the fender mirrors IMHO.
Have you driven a car with them? Would be fine for a weekend warrior, but for a daily driver, battling Sydney traffic? Your call.

#31 DTF260

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:55 PM

Tj, I have a set of them Rotas I'm going to be replacing soon if your after a set and aren't in a hurry? Mine are gunmetal w/ polished lip.

#32 handsandwhich

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:47 PM

Good to see you decided to stick with it. There's some serious photoshop camber put in on that pic also.

#33 Retro Z

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 11:34 PM

Good to see you came to your senses and keeping the Z. I'm doing the same wheel and colour combo aswell and i think you cant go wrong.

#34 Bozo

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:31 AM

Then again after reading your journal Tai, I am more than convinced to scrap the ugly looking roofline for the 2-seater  :'(
I mean our vehicle's did not come with a retro HKS turbo setup or anything, and the amount of problem's that TJ (and I) have encountered with these dodgy L26's... Just puts a bad taste in your mouth (thinking of) driving these vehicles...

No TJ,you are not the only one - My 2+2 has minor flat spots every now and again and carbons up the plugs aswell. I wonder if the elec dizzy will correct these issues though  ::)

#35 Tj

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:43 PM

While an electronic dizzy has made a noticeable improvement it didn't cure it. It's all in the mixtures. What I really need to do is invest in a wideband O2 sensor, a laptop with appropriate data logging software, a swag of assorted carby internals and then someone to explain to me what it all means. Honestly the only pricey bit in all that (considering I already have a spare laptop kicking around) would be the jets and so forth for the webers. They're silly expensive.

As for the fender mirrors no I haven't tried using them and yes I am aware they're different but I've heard varying opinions on them so I guess its a personal thing. I guess I'll find out

I still can't make up my mind on wheel colour. On one hand the polished lip looks great and really announces your negative offset, but the matt is not as common and that in itself appeals to me.
Still conflicted  :-\

#36 EMPRACING

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:29 PM

Go black you could get them polished later if you dont like it? Ps stop picking on the roof already we might get a complex or something  ::)

#37 Retro Z

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 09:11 AM

I reckon go black. As you said it appeals to you. Go with what you really want, as everyone has different tastes.

Also have you considered going efi? Should cure most of your problems. Worth it in the long run.

And guys don't get me wrong. The 2+2 roofline doesnt look bad, just look at the one in this thread or the grey on on the intermanets..it just didnt tick the boxes for what my goals were which was a 240z..its essentially the same car under the skin anyway, if not better. ;)

#38 Tj

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:09 PM

Yeah, I think I've settled on Matt Black. It's just different enough.

And yes I had considered EFI but when I bought this motor I recall saying something to myself along the lines of "I want to keep this old school" (on account of just having gone to great labours and expense to put an EFI motor into my GF's Galant) but I think it may have actually been "It'll be great to have three of Bologna's finest howling Hell's national anthem from under my bonnet"

In retrospect I sound like a dumbass  ;D
Anyway, I'm sure with more tinkering it could run a whole lot better.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but I'd need to run an EFI head to use the factory EFI setup due to the little cutouts at the tops of the inlet ports made to physically fit the injectors into the head, right?
Anyway, I was thinking about this the other day and I think if I were to make another engine for this I'd seriously look at a mild L28ET setup. I think for a street car it'll net similar power with a lot more drivability than a highly strung N/A EFI (as much as I do love a grumpy sounding N/A) plus it'll keep it old school and simple to work on as opposed to an RB of some description.

I'll be ordering bits soon so hopefully after I get settled into the new house I can get some work done  ;D

#39 EMPRACING

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:25 PM

Man my first engine was a flat top f54 p90 and twin carby it went hard then stocko zx n42/54 went well now I got a l28et in the second z I can say you wouldent think it was the same engine god damn do they go Haha makes the stocks rb25det that I wanted for the first z seem like silly talk  :P

#40 Retro Z

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:29 PM

Im not sure about the injector holes on the head..i remember reading a thread about it recently by Dat2kman. It'll probably be easier to just get a complete l28 or buy a complete 280zx and use the engine and sell the rest.

I've been in a couple of Z's including my own with efi and can say drivabilty wise they are better compared to stock carbs..but then again im from the new school, so its more familiar to me. ;D

As for the l28et, although i only had a few short drives with the l28et/auto in my car before removal.  I reckon it was faster than my old stock skyline and 180sx. I think a stock l28et has like 140kw, which isn't much off a sr20/rb20 that are in heavier bodies. And the l28et although not as good sounding as triples, sound better than most cars on the road :).

Also my bro imported a good condition 84' l28et from usa landed at his door for $1100 for his 240k. Which could be something for you to consider doing.




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