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andyk_79

Andrew's 1972 240

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A warning up front - I expect this to be a highly boring project for quite some time (no engine swaps in the foreseeable future) but I want to journal for my own sentimentality what happens with the car and this looks like a good spot to do it.

 

So, the story so far:

 

I have been an admirer and desirer of a 240Z since I was 19 (15 years ago now) when I first knowingly observed one and though it was one of the "coolest" (hey I was 19) designs I had ever seen.  After I did a little more research and found they were also quite well powered for the time and are considered one of the quintessential sports cars of the time my opinion and obsession was sealed.

 

Fast forward 15 years when (just after I had learnt the number for my annual bonus) I did my usual wistful look at what was around and spotted what was described as a bare metal resprayed (6 years ago) 72 Z with a claim that the body was still in excellent condition.  Car unregistered with unknown work required for rego.

 

After discussions with SWMBO I bought the car on eBay site unseen (I can hear the "oh my god you idiot" groans now - I did at least do a PPSR) for what I believe was a reasonable price ($13k).

 

When I picked up the car on Saturday the body was as good as advertised so I am a happy man.  My own assessment:

 

- the interior is rough (carpet, seat foam and seat skins have already been ordered)

- the mechanicals in need of some love - no oil leaks but was running very rough (obviously had been sitting for a while)

- It is all matching numbers and the engine reasonably good

- Rubber seals pretty much all need doing

- Rattles and squeaks like a bastard - partially due to current lack of carpet, partially the virtually gone seals and partially I suspected some suspension work needed

 

It is already in the workshop with my mechanic.  The list of things to do for rego:

 

- Suspension and steering all needs rebushing

- Brake master cylinder needs replacing and because it has leaked into the booster the booster needs to be overhauled

- rear brake hoses split

- Head lights and park lights not working (I actually suspect they are unplugged somewhere)

- Heater valve leaking - someone has previously bypassed the heater altogether but did a shoddy job on the bypass.  I'll work to getting the heater running for blue slip

- Diff is leaking oil - needs to be dropped and the seals replaced

- tyres all round

- exhaust has a couple of leaks - will probably replace the whole lot rather than play the patch fixing game

 

So a very rough estimate is about another $5k of money to the mechanic to get roadworthy.  Whilst there are bits and pieces I could have a go at doing myself I am spending the money because otherwise I could be still here posting next year about what I still need to do to get roadworthy.  I have set myself the goal of being roadworthy and registered for the Sydney event in August.

 

Post rego my shortish term wishlist:

 

- Rubbers all done (if not required for rego)

- Locks etc sorted - I can't lock the doors at the moment (suspect this is because the door cars seem to be warped into the door cavity) and I would prefer some more modern security anyway

- Dash repaired/replaced (been looking at the guys at Penrith that offer an exchange)

- Console repaired/replaced (I like the look of the custom jobs from the Department of the Interior)

 

Down the track:

 

- some mild work on the engine to get a little more out of it

- Coil over Suspension and some nice rims

 

Anyway a couple of photos:

post-8745-144023752605_thumb.jpg

post-8745-144023752612_thumb.jpg

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After discussions with SWMBO I bought the car on eBay site unseen (I can hear the "oh my god you idiot" groans now - I did at least do a PPSR) for what I believe was a reasonable price ($13k).

 

 

Not that unusual! You have to take a chance sometimes and increasingly so to get a good bargain with 240's. The demand out there is far outstripping the supply and it will only get worse.

 

Congrats again Andy and hope to see you at one of the meets soon with the car and a smile from ear to ear.

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congrats looks nice where are you getting the seat foams ??

Linton

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Congrats Andy

 

Nice looking car, I too look forward to seeing you and your Z at one of the future meets

 

Cheers

 

PB

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congrats looks nice where are you getting the seat foams ??

Linton

 

Ordered them from The Z Store. They haven't come back to me on shipping costs yet so will be interested to see how that goes.

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Seat foams and seat skins have arrived!!  My wife gave me strange looks at how excited I was but my 3 year old daughter was jumping up and down with excitement that a "present" had come in the mail for daddy's car.

 

The car is still with the mechanic - Stewart Wilkins and Carlo (can't remember his surname but he's apparently well known in Sydney Datsun circles) are sourcing the parts that are needed and I don't even know the final price as yet.  In some respects I'm kinda now wishing I had of taken on more of the initial work myself, but fear was a big factor (I've had mixed success with DIY car maintenance jobs in the past and my dream car is not something I want to botch) along with time.

 

The carpets are expected in the next few days so as soon as "Fern" (why do women insist on naming cars !! green car so my wife considered Olive or Fern as the options) returns from the workshop I'll be sorting those out to go get a blue slip (at least I'm doing the seats and carpet myself!).

 

In the meantime when time allows (or the boss isn't watching - jokes) I'm furiously reading through other people's build threads and lots of other threads on here and Hybridz to get ideas for what my future plan might be.  At the moment the thoughts are that I will go for an old school-ish build that retains a lot of originality (see what changes over time) - constructive opinions welcome:

 

Engine - Go for a mild old school build on the L24 (I'm not out to race)

- Mild cam, porting etc

- Triples

- Maybe some bore work but again quite mild

- decent headers (although someone has told me the 6 into 2 into 1 I've got are pretty good)

- 2 1/4 exhaust

 

Suspension/brakes etc:

- retain original struts but upgrade shocks and get lowering springs

- Hilux 4 pot calipers and DBA slotted rotors on the front

- maybe a disc conversion on the back but probably not

- I've considered (although this moves completely away from the originality factor) getting one of the complete coilover and brake kits from AZC but one thing that deters me would be dealing with inspection stations/engineers/police who are wrongly convinced that Wilwoods aren't legal in Australia

- other thing I'm considering (again outside of originality) is the bolt in strut kit from Techno Toys but still not sure on this.  If the Techno Toys one is genuinely "bolt in" and I don't have to stuff about with it I might do it but I suspect that as with everything bolt in there is some flexibility in the definition.

- Rota Grid 16 x 8's in the gunmetal finish

 

Body

- Nice front air dam (been reading the sticky thread on this)

- Rolled guards to fit the wheels

- considering one of the whale tail spoilers but not convinced on that yet

 

Interior:

- other than seats and carpet already mentioned, fix the dash and either fix or replace the console

 

So that's it - a fairly basic plan with nothing that will particularly excite on the dyno or the racetrack, but will be fun for me to cruise in and I'll definitely know I'll be driving my Z............ with a smile from ear to ear

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Sounds like a completely sensible and achievable plan Andy, good luck with it. It will be a fun car for you!

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Suspension/brakes etc:

- retain original struts but upgrade shocks and get lowering springs

- Hilux 4 pot calipers and DBA slotted rotors on the front

- maybe a disc conversion on the back but probably not

- I've considered (although this moves completely away from the originality factor) getting one of the complete coilover and brake kits from AZC but one thing that deters me would be dealing with inspection stations/engineers/police who are wrongly convinced that Wilwoods aren't legal in Australia

- other thing I'm considering (again outside of originality) is the bolt in strut kit from Techno Toys but still not sure on this.  If the Techno Toys one is genuinely "bolt in" and I don't have to stuff about with it I might do it but I suspect that as with everything bolt in there is some flexibility in the definition.

 

 

Earlier you mentioned that it's not a race car. What is your intended use for the car?

 

If you're only going to use it for the odd cruise then spending money on brake upgrades and suspension upgrades seems like an unnecessary expense to me. Again, that all depends on what you intend to do with the car.

 

Fern is a good name. :)

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New struts, lowered springs and hilux brakes hardly make it a race car. I would say that is the minimum level you want to be at just for spirited driving on the road?

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Very nice car with some great plans. I have always liked that colour, you don't see many these days.

 

As for the suspension, if you do want to keep a relatively OEM look, I cant speak highly enough of lowered King springs with Koni adjustable yellow shocks and white line bushes throughout. Simple, effective no squeaks and not harsh, all important for road use. One extra thing, I find the car handles and rides better on the road with 60 series tyres, plus it also looks a little more period. Obviously wheels and tyres are a very personal choice.

 

Enjoy what looks to be a great car.

 

Billy.

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If you're only going to use it for the odd cruise then spending money on brake upgrades and suspension upgrades seems like an unnecessary expense to me. Again, that all depends on what you intend to do with the car.

 

Yeah realistically I probably won't go the coilovers, and from what I read the factory twin spots when in good condition are more than adequate for even something driven relatively hard on the street.  I like the idea of the Hilix conversion because it is one of the few things I read and think "yeah I could do that", but if I'm happy with the factory brakes then I may not go down that path.  You're right it will be mainly cruising and for fun

 

As for the suspension, if you do want to keep a relatively OEM look, I cant speak highly enough of lowered King springs with Koni adjustable yellow shocks and white line bushes throughout. Simple, effective no squeaks and not harsh, all important for road use.

 

That's the option I've been looking at a lot and probably the one I'll go with.  Trying to work if I'm capable of doing a shock and spring changeover myself (I think I can, I think I can).  It's mainly to get that aggressive look that comes from a lowered car and I think this set up would suit.  For normal driving comfort I will probably even keep some of the bushes as rubber but see how I go !

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As I wanted to powdercoat all my suspension components and have the hardware re-plated, I just dropped the struts off to the suspension shop that supplied all the parts. They fitted up the new springs and shocks, then I re-fitted to the car with all my newly painted and plated components, along with the new bushes and wheel bearing. Finally I supplied the car back to them to complete a wheel alignment. Really quite straight forward and easy if you are well set up with good tools and good quality stands. Mind you the actual labour costs if the suspension shop had done all the work wouldn't of been that much extra, maybe few hundred dollars. I did the work myself because of the time to have components painted and plated. Remember, if you undertake the work yourself, and its not something your experienced at make sure all your torque settings are correct. Also if you run into trouble its very hard to get the car to someone with the suspension half out of it.

 

Oh also, while the rear suspension is out, not a bad idea to have new uni-joints fitted to the prop shaft and then have it re-balanced. Also check the uni-joints on the half shafts as well and check the grease in them.

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Soooooooo the mechanic called me today after getting the parts quote from Stewie Wilkins.

 

$9,000 parts and labour to do what needs doing to get it roadworthy and functioning, except for:

 

- bend up of a new exhaust

- new tyres

 

Catching up with him tomorrow to see the proposed shopping list.  Now definitely considering how much of it I would be willing to attempt myself.  Most complicated thing I've done before is change a brake disc (and have done general servicing stuff).

 

Given he reckons I need new struts (along with other suspension bits) I'm thinking the longer term plans might be rapidly changing.

 

Thinking this thread I should be change the title to Project Bolt on because I can't weld or do any fabricating with unsteady shaky hands so I'll be looking for aftermarket solutions that bolt on !!

 

Prepare for more noob questions from me !

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Ouch  :o

 

Get the list and have a go yourself. Start with the easy things and build your confidence up, then jump in the deep end and have a go at the struts, diff seals etc. You might surprise yourself and there's always plenty of help/advice here.

 

If those things end up being too difficult you can always trailer it back down to the mechanic, you'll save a heap either way. Be interesting to see the list.

 

EDIT: I assume by 'new struts' he means new shock absorbers?

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^^ Agree, from the sounds of it you bought this car as a way to learn and dive in yourself so no time like the present to give it a shot. These cars are relatively easy to work on and if you don't rush there is no reason you can't do a lot of the work yourself.

 

I didn't know how to weld (some would argue I still don't) until I started the Tafe course, but slowly I'm learning new skills. The only way to learn and get better is to give it a go and start somewhere, yes it can be frustrating but there is a level of satisfaction you just don't get when you pay someone else to do the work for you.

 

It's hard to explain, but when you drive the car down the road after completing something on it you did yourself, it's a great feeling.

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Thanks as always for the comments all. I really do appreciate the community on this site and the sharing of experiences!

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SW gear whilst good, is ridiculously pricey mate.... $9000 for all that work and parts? WTF??

 

Have you tried maybe a home mechanic or as the others suggest, A LOT can be done yourself...

 

Source your own parts - Ebay (here/usa) MSA etc, forum members.... You should save a significant amount of $$ DIY

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Hey Andy,

 

 

Put the list of items the car needs doing up on here so we can all gauge where to start, what parts you should use etc.

 

 

How equipped are you tool wise? Do you have the Haynes 240z manual yet?

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9k sounds expensive to get the car roadworthy unless it's got some rust issues. As other people have mentioned on here these cars are so easy to work on.

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Thanks D3c0y.

 

Haynes Manual - is on the way.  I've also started downloading the PDFs of the factory manual.

 

Tools - I've got the basics from stuff I have done before but was thinking of going to Supercheap or similar and spending a few hundred on getting a much more comprehensive set up.

 

The approach I'm thinking of taking - if it's something that needs doing and in my long term plan I was going to upgrade I'll do it now rather than replace it with OEM/reproductions and then have the expense again to upgrade later.  Also - I am officially declaring this Project Bolt On - I want to avoid having to have something custom made if at all possible.  Might mean I spend more on parts but it suits my confidence level !  Hopefully other unco office workers like me can gain something from what I do!

 

I can afford the 9 grand quoted but we're close to having a deposit for a house so I am concious of how much I spend and on what on the car.  I can justify spending that now if it means I am bringing forward some of the upgrades I would have liked to do later.

 

Parts List

 

Suspension and steering bushes - I've been reading through the threads and anywhere I found someone mentioning an eBay supplier that supplies a bushing kit that fitted their Z I have been checking it out.  In a lot of cases the eBay supplier doesn't exist any more.  I've been warned that some of the bushes for USA delivered cars were a slightly different size to AUS delivered.  I wanted to go a mix of rubber and nolathane to avoid too stiff a road ride, but given it will be a weekend cruiser and won't be a daily driver and with the number of full nolathane/urethane kits available for convenience I am thinking maybe something like this (appreciate if anyone has used this can confirm bushes are right size!!):

 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ENERGY-SUSPENSION-HYPER-FLEX-MASTER-BUSHING-KIT-NISSAN-240Z-70-73-BLACK-7-18101G-/180735011444?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2a14a56a74&_uhb=1

 

Shocks/Struts - Still not sure if he is just saying the shocks or what here.  For bolt on factor I like the coilover kits from Techno Toys Tuning and reading on some other threads here they seem like a good option.  I want to lower the car at some point anyway.  Again probably a more expensive option but I do like the look of them !  (bowerbird moment - attracted to the shiny).  Just not sure if that then means replacing tie rods etc (which I think the mechanic reckons I need to do).  If that's the case I'll probably order all the bits from TTT so that I know they all go together.  A big move away from my original old school thought but my mindset changes every day!  Alternatively I'm thinking I'll order a set of Kings and some Konis.  The mechanic was saying something about something that needed to be fitted to the top of the back struts (that otherwise replacement shocks won't fit) - I seriously don't understand what he's talking about here as I have seen a lot of people on this forum who've done the Koni and Kings changeover.  Tried reading through other people's threads and still can't work it out !

 

Steering Rack - I need to wait to talk to the mechanic if he just means the rebush, or if he thinks the rack itself needs work.  If the rack needs replacing then I like the bolt in electric power steering kit and a couple of people in the threads here have said it works well.  I know it's more expensive than some of the other options but again it is straight bolt on with no fabrication or fiddling (apart from the wiring) and it's something I would have liked to have done down the track anyway :

 

http://zpowersteering.com/

 

Brake Hoses - These are all cracked.  This is one job I am very confident doing myself.  Thinking of getting the ADR approved braided option from these guys.  Need to speak to them but given they are Australian manufactured I would hope the fittings are same as factory:

 

http://www.helcarkits.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=363_553_554&products_id=10679

 

Brake Booster - Stuffed.  Found a few places in Sydney that do a full recondition including blasting and painting around the $450 mark, but thinking ordering one from the USA will still be cheaper.  Found an online place below offering replacements from the USA for just over $100, but haven't found any mention of this place on any forums so I'm a bit wary of using them:

 

http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/shop_parts/brake_booster/nissan/240z.html

 

MSA obviously also have rebuilt boosters from the USA - I've already had good experiences with them so am thinking they might be the goods.  The shipping was expensive but they got what I ordered to me faster even than some Aussie supplied stuff I ordered.

 

Break Master Cylinder - these seem to be on all of the Z shops so I'm sure this will be fine.  Anyone who can suggest best option here ?  I was thinking of getting the bigger 280 one in case I do upgrade the brakes later but I don't want the car to be constantly locking up the stock set up.

 

Diff seals/gaskets - all need replacing.  To be honest dropping the diff doesn't really sound like my cup of tea to do this job so I might get the mechanic to do it

 

Exhaust - since it needs replacing and it'll need to be custom bent up anyway I'm thinking I'll get a 2 1/4 inch.  Just need to work out someone in Sydney who does good work at a reasonable price.  I'd love to go stainless as well but I'm guessing this have a marked impact on cost !

 

Miscellaneous electrics - issues with lights, has an aftermarket ignition barrel on it which the key can be removed while car is running, not sure what else.  Thinking at the moment it might be best just to spend the dollars to get a sparkie to sort it all out.  Save my sanity

 

I reckon if I do most of it myself, even with the extra cost of bolt on parts and the fact that I would now be upgrading rather than just replacing a number of the parts I can still end up on about the same budget (especially given the 9 grand quote does not include exhaust and auto electrician)

 

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Hey mate, great detail & thread.

 

I got a new brake booster from ABS Auto in Richmond.

 

Might be worth maybe calling one of the Sydney Branches.

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I will not be the only one here who will fail to see $9000 in what you have mentioned. In most cases parts are the same price as labour so is there $4500 of parts there? I think not.

 

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Hey Andrew. To me it sounds like you're a little overwhelmed at the moment and you're not exactly sure of the direction for your car.

 

I understand you wish to get the car on the road and enjoy it ASAP but it sounds like you need to take a step back, do some more research, ask a lot of questions and then with a direction in mind tackle one job at a time.

 

You'll find that tasks such as dropping the diff are a lot easier than they first seem. If you know which way a nut turns you're capable of doing it.

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Hey mate, something to think about:

 

- there is no such thing as bolt on!!! trust me ive been there. It may be designed and made for the z, but from my experience (dealing with quality parts/companies) they almost always need some sort of jigging etc to make right!

 

- get your house first... Will be smartest, cheapest and best option. You have done the hard work and secured a tidy z... The build costs are endless, especially if your not 100% on the avenue you want to take and are unable to do a lot yourself...  Get your place witht the mrs (with a shed or DLUG), do some research as to what style/them your car is going to be and then go for it!!!

 

And think, while you research your car/gather tools etc and start paying your mortgage at todays price (not another $100,000 or $200,000 on top) your z is appreciating in value too.

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