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240Z_au

Andrew's 240Z, Sydney Australia

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Hello everyone. Thought to share with other Z owners my latest project. I have owned 240's since I was 17 y.o, I'm in my 40's now. I bough this car on ebay about 3.5 years ago.

 

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It was a site unseen from country Vic. owner who had the car stored in a shed for 5 years, this was after buying the car from a friend of his only a year earlier, the friend had it stored for 11 years prior. (combined 16 years in storage). In the last 3.5 years I drove my Z occasionally with  group of Z owners here in Sydney and on some selected weekends.

 

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Late last year, I took the car on a 7000 km drive (in 6 days) in the outback. This was a very first drive of this kind for me in a very old car.

 

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The car is a 1973 build. For the last 3.5 years I slowly worked on what I though needed attention at the time, there was a small oil leak from the rear seal, which encouraged me to drop the entire gearbox and recondition all of the synchros and put a new clutch and a lightened fly wheel . I have also replaced shock absorbers (adjustable koni) as well as fuel pump, all of the engine seals and gaskets (still running original L24).  Earlier this year I decided to tidy the interior up and bring it up to its original look. I've replaced all carpets, vinyls and re-trimmed seats. Everything on the car was in a reasonable condition, but I really wanted to have a very clean looking Z with as much of the original character of the car left over as possible (not looking for pure originality per say, just clean, tidy, period look with everything in great shape, working and without any obvious signs of things being worn out). I will post some pictures of my rebuild progress as I go along. This time I'm looking to change the color of the car (wont do the engine bay just yet as I know when I decide to pull the engine out it will be a mater of months before I get it back on the road and I will want to place a high level of detail, replacing or renewing all of the tired looking plastics, rubbers and coatings.

 

On Friday I decided to get the car ready for the paint shop. As the panels have been removed, the condition of the car is nothing short of remarkable in terms of the metal panels and the lack of any rust. Having owned several 240Z's, I was aware of the usual trouble spots, but this car as can be seen below has literally no rust.

 

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Above, my 240Z getting stripped yesterday among some notable exotics, I've been hooked on 240's since my late teens and my very first car was a black 240Z, thinking going black again, but I know the pain of the dark colour, so haven't decided on the final colour yet.

 

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G'day Andrew

 

Welcome to the forum, your car looks fantastic. Would love to see it in person, so if you're about any time at the weekend/s drop me a PM and I can come and have a look.

 

Doing that trip looks a hoot, how did she go, and what sort of fuel consumption did she give you? Did you use Yellow Koni's that are externally adjustable, or the red's? I am planning on getting a set, so would be interested in your experience.

 

This is a great forum, that you'll get a lot from.

 

Enjoy it, and well done on saving another great 240Z.

 

Cheers

 

Adam

The Brown Hornet

 

 

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welcome.  :D

1st question....whos workshop is that !!!  :o  you could buy 128 zeds for the price of those exotics  ;)

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Awesome car Andrew I love it. I think I recall when it was for sale on eBay.

 

Looks very tidy as you mentioned and just needs a refresh. I particularly like this photo:

 

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I know there was discussion of a cannonball run, not sure how things are progressing with that, but I'd like to drive a 240z through outback Australia. Although I imagine it wasn't an air-conditioned palace and it can get quite hot in a 240z. I recall driving my 240z on a 40 degree day in Melbourne and absolutely roasting. Had the windows down and was on the freeway going at 100 km/h and just recall the heat on my face being like a blow dryer ahaha.

 

Was the car originally red from the factory? Sure looks like it was.

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Adam. The drive was the best thing I have done with a car for a while. One notable experience was pulling over at a road house about 100km's from Tennants Creek. I was told that TC is a "black fellas town" and that I was mad to drive there at night and park anywhere (threats of seeing my car burned out or on bricks in the morning). Happy to report the car was not burned or stolen, and TC is not as bad as the road house would make you believe, drinking with locals in a pubs in the middle of no where was a hoot. A friend of mine (964 Porsche Turbo) and I ware told that we look like we came "out of space". There ware places where the local teenagers have never seen a 2 door car (mostly 4WD's anyway), let alone a vintage Japanese red sports car. I did not measure fuel consumption, carried 2 x 20l fuel cells with me, but only had to use one once. I was getting somewhere between 400-500 km per tank, although in N.T. pushing the car along at a higher then 'normal' pace, increased consumption drastically. (I don't encourage or condone speeding on public roads, but I can confirm the 240 is a genuine 200km/h car IF the GPS system and following car are to be believed.)  The shocks are yellow KONI adjustable from top. The difference was huge. Car sits flat, corners beautifully (King springs). I have it set on medium and all works very well as I tend to drive on a sporty side (own and race other cars).

 

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In terms of the workshop, I own it, my guys work mainly on European cars, my 240Z is an exception and for a good reason!.

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Welcome mate, very interested in the build and subscribing to see how it comes along.

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Hey Andrew

Looks like Zs are on a roll here in Sydney (and red ones at that). Where abouts are you? I'm Northern Beaches and use my '72 daily. Be good to meet and swap ideas?

Cheers

Martin

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Hey Andrew,

 

awesome looking zed and amazing condition, excellent find. Good to see that there are more Sydney zeds coming out of the woodwork, I almost thought they had all gone to Melbourne. ;D. Where are you in Sydney? I would be keen to catch up with you and Adam sometime. Cheers. :)

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Hi Andrew, Looks like a fantastic trip, us Victorians go down to Tassie every second year and do a lap around the Island in about one week. your car looks very original and in good condition. I love those photos to. Cheers.

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Thank you All for your kind words and the enthusiasm. I'm up for a meet with other owners when the car becomes one piece again (this may take a little while). If there are any opportunities to meet up in or around Sydney I can always join if cars other then the Datsun's are allowed. :) I'm still contemplating the colour change for this 240. I will post some more pics tomorrow of the strip.

 

Meanwhile, some additional pics from the trip as few have asked. I'm open to any future trip suggestions.

 

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Coober Peddy

 

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Outback drive in the Z

 

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I did not wash the car for the entire trip, but the red duco still looks clean next to the muddy 4WD's

 

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Extra fuel does come handy on a trip like this.

 

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Outback sunsets are something else.

 

Oh, news just in (had to post online to get a response). My new Watanabe's are ALMOST there (waiting fr 4 months now!)

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Hi Andrew,

 

First of all I would like to apologize and I'm very sorry if I haven't been able to answer your email for the past few days. I just got back home today here in Alameda from our warehouse in LA as the container from japan has arrived for this month at the port a couple of weeks ago and have to handle all the release of parcels and deliveries. Once again I sincerely apologize if I haven’t responded to your emails for a while, just been very busy lately.

 

As for your wheels Andrew I also got a call from the watanabe factory in tokyo last week and said that your wheels have just finished the final stage of polishing the barrel-lip this past week. They did 3 stages of lip polishing they said to totally remove the grainy finish residue made from its sand-casting process. All 4 wheels' spokes are now painted in dull matte black and will be packed and ready to ship by next week according to the dispatching department. You should be receiving this soon. Your package will be in 2 boxes to be sent thru EMS air to the address that was indicated on your paypal. They said they will be forwarding to me your package tracking number as soon as it's released by next week.

 

Just a little more wait Andrew and I'm sure by the time you see your wheels all the waiting would be worth it. Once I receive the tracking number within the week I'll forward it to you immediately so you can also monitor your package. If you need to reach me my contact details are below. Many thanks.

 

Best regards,

 

-----------------

 

 

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OK, My 240 went off to the paint shop on the truck this morning. I think I've decided on the final colour, its going to be red again, but much deeper. I wont say I've decided on a final shade, but I think red will stay.

 

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Hi Andrew,

 

I think staying roughly the same colour is a good idea, especially with red too, a colour thats very hard to beat on a 240Z. For what its worth, I think the best red on the market now is that used by Honda on their brand new range. I've seen it on an accord Euro and a Jazz, and its definitely a darker hue than your typical bright red car, and looks very smart in the flesh. I'd say its got a bit of a blood colour to it. Probably reasonably accessible too, being a Honda colour. Have a look for yourself, its very nice.

 

Good luck with the final decision anyway.

 

Adam.

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Hello again. Have been busy with life and away in Europe for the last 6 weeks, so has been hard to catch up on all things 'Z'. I visited my painter today and I was blown away with the end result. After close inspection I was able to pick 3 fine dust spots, but that will be buffed out shortly. The entire car is so straight!. I'm scared to ask how many hours of work it took for the car to be as it is. I really pressed upon the panel guys that I did not want to see any bumps, orange peel, ripples (I see them on many older cars where the panels just don't look 100% flat) and wanted the car to look as new from the panel perspective. Colour you ask?..Well, I did think about this on and off and was swaying toward a black (my other 240Z I never quite got into showroom condition, but my very original and first 240Z I owned at 17 years of age).  I also considered burned orange from a Porsche GT3 RS. At the end I decided to go for red when a friend pulled up in his F360 next to my 240. The painter added some additional spice and the result is just what I wanted even though I did not see the final colour blend when I was away in Europe. The car will be towed back to my place on Friday. I will take some pictures and post. Now I'm getting anxious about placing some of the old parts back on, I don't want to be overly pedantic, but some new rubbers, trims and chrome bits are definitively on the cards.

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Just ordered new plates from RTA online. OLD240, premium black with white letters. The old 'rusty' plates just just wont work anymore.

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I love the photo of your car on the trailer, I hope mine is like that shorty on the waynto the panel shop!

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Yeah, its my 5th or 6th respray job, this one is totally hands off (no time). The paint is totally flat (no orange peel, usually seen even on new cars). It will look relly nice when put together. Cant wait to drive the thing again. This is my favorite Z

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Andrew

 

The anticipation is killing me .... can you PLEASE stick some photos of your car up?

 

I'm sure i'm in good company here ... we want to see it !

 

Adam 

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Sorry, just too busy. Car back in a garage. Ordering new rubbers etc. I'm away this week so its going to be hard to do anything in the next few weeks, as soon as I get a chance and roll the car out of the garage, I'll take some pictures and post here.

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OK, so I have not time, but I love my Z too much to just do a quick respray...SO...Yeah, I've swollen the restoration bug, again. I'm only limited to time again on what I will or will not do, but finally managed to spend some time in the garage yesterday and though to start on the rear end. Took one look at the rear lights and decided to bring them back to as new condition. Mud from my outback trip last year, slight exhaust residue on the left side reverse light (you know that side always looks darker) and 5 hours later, the lights are still not on, BUT!, they are like new again  ;D  Will be detailing chrome, black paint in between lights and reassembling the lights etc this week. The rear light panels off to the paint shop. Not sure if to keep original colour or go black, we'll see.

 

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Love your work! Do you have any hints or tricks about cleaning these lights? Did you take the lenses apart and then stick them back together? Cleaning the tail lights is on my to do list along with a few other things

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Love your work! Do you have any hints or tricks about cleaning these lights? Did you take the lenses apart and then stick them back together? Cleaning the tail lights is on my to do list along with a few other things

 

+1 would be good to get a tutorial on what you did. It's s small thing, but man it makes a difference to the rear of the car.

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Yeah, the difference is HUGE!.. Well here I go.

- Removal of rear lights is pretty straight forward. Once you remove the interior plastic panel and the surrounding exterior light surrounds (3 pieces, left, right and centre) the bulbs and the electric harness just come away from the light assembly. Old twist and pull bulb holders are nothing complex.

- I have soaked the entire light assembly in very warm, slightly soapy water (Palmolive!) for few minutes. Just wanted to loosen up stubborn inside stains and the lens glue. I used a soft paint brush to then clan external rubber and plastics (grey plastic which holds the amber, red and white lens was full of red dust and layers of general dirt & grime. Pay attention to the reflector surrounds on the red brake part. The parameter of the reflector has a 1mm gap all around, if you want that perfect finish, get in there with your soft paint brush and remove years of grit build-up from all 4 sides of the reflector.

- With the lights dried up, I proceeded to remove the back clip which protrudes through the grey casing.

 

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This is right in the middle of the rear of the light, you can see little plastic stump and a metal clip. Remove the clip with a modified screwdriver (2mm flat driver, slightly bent at the end,  this is not easy, you can brake the stump as the clip fits tight and you have very little room to move. Few lights I have bought before have them broken already. Not a big deal as you can seal with silicone from the back if you break the stump head, but if you prefer things to remain the same even in the places you don’t see, do take your time and be patient.

- Next, you need to pull away the lens from the grey body/casing. I was lucky here as one of the sides was little loose already, but I have previously warmed the light up in the over (150C, checking softness every minute or so) The lens is attached to the casing with a white, softish compound. It is NOT rock hard. If you place the light between knees and pull away both the casing and the lens, while someone else (yes a 3rd hand does help) pushes through the reverse light bulb entry with a rubber padded stick (I used my 20 y.o hand held valve seat grinder (wooden with rubber top), you should be able to break the white ‘silicon’ tension and pull away the corner of the light from the rest of the casing.

 

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- Clean the casing channel and the matching edge of the lens with “Desolve It”, an orange smelling stuff you spray on and leave for a few minutes, did not damage my light ( tested this on an old light first) and took all residue off easily and any other lens dirt with it.

- I used AutoSol (yeah, I know it’s for metal, but works a treat on my lights also) and buffed the inner and outer lights.

Watch out for original felt inserts in the bottom drain holes. If you don’t have them, I recommend you buy small scraps and make some up.

 

I haven’t re assembled the lights as yet, but I plan to inject a small amount (1mm thin) of windscreen sealer (black) into the casing channel, which should do the job, being easy to clean up and remain flexible for future removals.

While there, check your metal reflectors and the chrome divider (external part between the lower and upper section of the light). You can remove that also and give the part new black paint (between the chrome bars) and gently clean the plastic chrome.

Have fun. I’m amazed I got sucked into this job, but it was like a disease I had to cure. I could not help myself with a new, clean paint job, new re trimmed interior, seats etc to just put these dirty old 240Z lights back on.

 

 

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