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Project Theseus

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  • More head work tonight.

    Lapped all the valves, was a bit worried that there could possibly be some misalignment in the guide i replaced and I'd have to get that seat re-ground but happily it was dead on:

    All valves done and in. I guess they must have given me one valve from a different batch as #2 intake has a different face than the rest, but all other specs are the same.

    New valve seals too, no reason not to while it's apart for the price they cost.

    Had to rig up a slightly sketchy setup to use my clamp with the head the right way up to install the keepers, but I was careful and it all worked out fine. All valve springs are in.

    next up is cam, rocker arms, and lash adjustment (I'll have to re-do the lash when hot after install I realize), and I can bolt the head back on once I make sure the block side of things is good to go too.
    Last edited by Noll; 07-26-2021, 11:09 PM.


    • Cam and rocker arms in, and lash adjusted. Just need to make sure the block is 100% ready to go too and slap it all back together.


      • A lot more engine stuff today. Head on, torqued, and timing done. The timing was dead easy as I knew it was correct when I took everything apart so I just paint markered' the correct location of everything.

        New crank seal in and inserted to a different depth than the previous one to hopefully solve the leak issue.

        Got the fuel pump, water neck, fan, etc all on, and temporarily threw on the intake/header to see how it will look. I'm rather happy with the end result, not gonna lie.

        Perfect? Nah, but it's a hell of a lot better than when I started. New gaskets, head refurbished, new HG, carbs rebuilt, intake/engine/head cleaned and degreased, etc etc.

        A local friend wants to buy my ZX 5spd so I'm going to use that money to get the 240sx transmission conversion complete, should be a good way to future-proof and i get a short-shifter etc.


        • Made some progress on bodywork, spent too many hours sanding the heck out of the engine bay in prep for high build primer etc.

          Also got all the dents in the roof fixed. Before pic here, hit each one with a file to see the exact location of the high spots and then some careful body hammer work got them to a point I'm happy with. No after pic because it doesn't really show up well in pics.


          • Was going to make my own mount to make the universal washer fluid bottle I have bolt up in the stock location, but found a CAD file for an adapter on thingiverse that someone had already designed, so I just 3d-printed that instead. Works just as it should, one more thing off the list.


            • Got a bunch done today but it was a lot of stuff that doesn't look like terribly much progress despite being so.

              Started by stripping down the hatch channels on the body because they were full of old sealant etc. Got everything removed and applied seam sealer on all the joins.

              Seam sealer'd the engine bay too, so that's out of the way now which is nice.

              started doing a bunch of necessary exterior work too. Not sure if I've mentioned it yet, but I've come to the conclusion that if I fully strip/prep/paint the car there's no way I'll be driving it before the snow hits (both for money/time reasons), so I'm just sealing everything up well enough that I can rock it as-is for a while. Some exceptions obviously, hatch area and engine bay are getting paint as taking stuff apart again in the future would just be more work for no reason.

              Roof coated and looking pretty decent with all the dents tapped out.

              And did a lot of pretty much invisible work to the exterior of the shell. sprayed a bunch of filler primer on areas that had previously been welded to eliminate pinholes that would trap water, then scuffed once dry and went over it with the zinc primer (my Niva sat outside all winter with just that stuff on a bunch of bare metal and had zero surface rust so it should do the job just fine here for a while).

              I don't think I'll paint the doorjambs now as they're not that much of a pain to pull apart later by comparison to the hatch seals. Fenders/hood need final work and the hatch needs some bodywork, but nothing super major. Still need to figure out what I'm doing for/with doors.

              If anyone has a half decent set of doors for sale let me know - 240z work fine as long as they come with all the mechanism stuff, or 260/280z doors up till the end of 76 when they changed the latch mechanism. Don't have to be perfect or complete (I have all 260z door winder bits) although if they were that would be nice.


              • Great looking progress, Noll! It's starting to look like a car more and more all the time.


                • Originally posted by KeithZed View Post
                  Great looking progress, Noll! It's starting to look like a car more and more all the time.
                  Thanks! It is really coming together, lots still to do but it should speed up considerably once I get the engine/trans in soon.


                  More done today, started by sealing the area behind the taillights and painting it black. Partly to seal it better but mostly so there isn't any light-colored paint visible through the gaps in the taillight trim panels.

                  With that done, moved on to some filler application. The stuff on the roof joins is probably eventually coming off eventually when I paint for real, just wanted to smooth it up a bit for now.

                  From there, painted a bunch of stuff. rear bumper mounts (still need to make the fronts), swaybar mounts (had to make one of the flat plates as it was MIA), etc.

                  Pulled the wiper motor stuff apart to check it; I'm dumb and didn't take a picture but the motor was in immaculate condition with all original zinc coating intact so I just put it back together after painting the bracket, motor bag (just do it blends in in the cowl), and re-wrapping the wire loom.

                  Got the bearing I need for the ZX5spd bellhousing with the 240sx trans today too. This was a suprising pain to find as rockauto has the wrong size bearing listed for all the Z/zx transmissions, but I figured out the bearing spec in the end and got one from a local bearing house. Will remove the shields as it's internal to the transmission and doesn't need to be sealed. In case it helps anyone in the future the bearing spec (trade number? idk, it doesn't match the actual dimensions) is 63/22/C3 .


                  • Got the hatch painted today. All masked off, primer, and paint.

                    The camera doesn't really do a good job of showing the exact tint of the color.

                    Got the fuel filler area all masked off in prep for paint too, it'll get done at the same time as the engine bay. Don't mind the ugly seam sealer spread, wanted to make 100% sure it got everywhere it needed to over all else as it's not a visible area.

                    From there, moved onto getting the front end panels actually fitting properly - previously stuff has just been thrown on/ziptied for pics and gaps/fitment has left a lot to be desired.
                    Went pretty darn well overall, still need to do a little work to the door gaps (and finish the hood modifications so it sits right).

                    Got the front spook all mounted up too, will make some reinforcing brackets that tie in to the bolt holes in the bottom of the lower crossmember for a bit of extra resistance to bending.

                    Front bumper mocked up at the same time, will make mounts for it tomorrow.


                    • Super hot and humid today, but still got some stuff done. Masking (most of it anyway) removed from the hatch area, and got the rear bumper mounted up. This was a bit of a pain as it's bent 6 ways to sunday, but I got it fitting decent in the end. P/s side bolt was a pain too, had to jack the car up, pull the wheel off, and remove the cover in front of the fuel filler to be able to get it in.

                      A friend stopped by and bought my 280zx transmission - 250$ and some parts I needed (wiper linkage and an ignition switch with key) was a good deal on both sides IMO.

                      Got the front bumper mounts mostly made too before I ran out of time - just need to tack weld the stuff that's currently vice-gripped together then pull it all off and finish weld/paint.


                      • Bumper mounts complete (and painted after this pic):

                        Wiper linkage and motor all in too. Made sure to oil the various pivots before it went in, everything is smooth as can be so I imagine the wipers should work decently even without the motor replacement mod that's common.

                        Got the taillights and license plate on too, as well as the hatch latch and the two side buffers (missing springs but I have some in the mail that should work):

                        The rear of the car is definitely coming together now, need to let the paint cure a bit more before I put in the hatch seals (which I still need to buy), and then the hatch and spoiler can go on too.


                        • Got the underside of the hood painted today. Nothing fancy, just wanted to make it a bit more presentable. Also made some cutouts for the strut top nuts - longer term I dunno if I'll be using this hood so didn't bother making them super pretty.

                          Got the 5spd bellhousing all ready to go too.

                          Drilled out the top shift rod hole to 16mm:

                          From there, marked off the area from which to remove material for clearance for the thicker gear the 240sx trans has behind the countershaft bearing. This was just making space so opted to break out the angle grinder instead of paying a machine shop.

                          And done. Decent enough considering the tools I had, the nicks in the side of the case are just that, no depth to them.

                          swapped in the 56mm Z countershaft bearing:

                          And with the case parts all tapped together, perfect fit and everything spins freely with no binding.

                          All (temporarily) bolted together. Need to pull everything apart slightly to seal the case joins, then get the front bearing cover and circlips etc on. It also needs a good clean, someone painted over grease and oil for some reason and it's all flaking off. The short shifter feels super nice, close to on-par with the STI 6spd in my old wrx.


                          • the green/yellow color is awesome


                            • Originally posted by vvise View Post
                              the green/yellow color is awesome
                              Thanks! Should be pretty neat once the whole car is eventually all the same color. I'm waffling a bit as to if I want to do the engine bay in it or in black though, black is pretty universal and would definitely show off the header/engine paint/etc more. If anyone has opinions, let me know.


                              Continued on with transmission stuff today, despite the brutal heat/humidity. Tore it apart again, put sealant on everything, and bolted it up properly. circlips, spacers, and front cover on too:

                              Got the 4spd removed from the L26, clutch looks fine so going to run it. Worst case I'll have to pull it apart again and replace the clutch, hopefully not.

                              Swapped the TOB, fork, and reverse/neutral sensors over, and installed the new clutch slave cylinder.

                              And all together. All ready to go in the car once the engine bay is ready for it.


                              • Originally posted by Noll View Post

                                Thanks! Should be pretty neat once the whole car is eventually all the same color. I'm waffling a bit as to if I want to do the engine bay in it or in black though, black is pretty universal and would definitely show off the header/engine paint/etc more. If anyone has opinions, let me know.
                                I wanted to paint my engine bay black while i had the motor out too. In the end I only didn't because it was less work to just leave it. Since you have to paint it anyways, black would be a cool choice. It helps hide wiring and makes the engine "pop" in the bay imo.