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Project Theseus

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  • Originally posted by vvise View Post

    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.
    Yeah, that was my thought too - hides the unimportant stuff and highlights the good/interesting bits. not "factory" maybe but the rest of this car sure isn't either haha. I have a bit more prep work to do yet, so I can think about it a bit more before buying paint.


    • Ton more done today. I mentioned that I want to drive this thing soon, and I meant it. It's not going to build itself, so out to the garage once again. I probably lost about 10lbs in sweat today lol, will be glad when this heat is gone a bit.

      Hatch seal, hatch, spoiler, struts, etc all on.

      Quite the change from a few years ago:

      On to the interior. Wiring harness ziptied to the holders I welded on for it when I did the floor. Don't mind the mess to the right, that's the seatbelt interlock stuff that I'll just be hiding under the seats unused.

      Heater matrix, blower motor, and steering/brake booster brace all in. Or rather, I put stuff in, realized half the heater motor controls were siezed, removed it, fixed it, added closed cell foam to the mating surfaces, and put it back in. Only thing that doesn't work is the fresh air door (broken pivot tab), but I'll have it open 99% of the time (other then cold mornings early spring/late fall) and I can actuate it manually under the dash so no big deal.

      And dash, steering wheel, and seats in. The dash was a pain to do solo, let me tell you. Got it in the end though. Other than the obvious cracks, the dash is pretty faded, will want to do something about that.

      Another before/after just before I put the seats in. first pic is 2017 sometime I believe, before any rust repair.

      And a bunch more interior pics. I'm super happy to get to this stage, feels like it's all coming together. Hadn't sat in this thing properly with everything there in over 4 years.

      Funnily enough the pic above was basically the same as (I think) the first pic I took after getting the car home. A lot has changed since then!


      • Bodywork time today. Got the rear quarter seam filler all sanded down and sealed, turned out decent. The 'pitting' visible is the leaded joint.

        Quarter windows in, as well as the door catches and vin plate. Used screws instead of rivets as it makes it easier to remove it later when actual paint happens. It's kinda lipstick on a pig currently, but oh well lol.

        From there, on to engine bay stuff. Dropped the front struts, tension rod bushings, etc, and masked everything off:

        And in primer (multiple coats). There's a couple runs I need to sand but nothing major.

        paint and clear soon, possibly tomorrow if time allows. It's not going to be a perfect finish, but should be decent for a driver, which is what this is after all.


        • Shorter day today, but still lots of progress.

          order of DIY exhaust tubing showed up (1 day shipping!). plan is V-band from the header, then a flex pipe,2.5" to the resonator I have, 2.5" from there back under the rear diff, then step it up to 3" for the two bends and the connection to the muffler. Should help keep ground clearance good but mean I can reuse the muffler + rear bends if I eventually need a bigger exhaust, as I'd be replacing the resonator anyway.

          Back to paint stuff. Base coat on:

          And clear. There are imperfections (mostly a few spots where I didn't feather the edges of paint enough and the high-build didn't do enough work to smooth things out), but for my first-ever attempt at painting something nicely (suspension parts etc don't count), I'm happy. Should be decent for the car it's for after all.

          And another obligatory 'before' pic:

          Also remember that these are the conditions I'm painting in lol:

          Got the gas door area painted/cleared too, it's obviously a bit ugly due to the seam sealer, but that was already known and it's hidden anyway.

          Probably no work on the Z tomorrow as I let things cure, then on to fuel/brake hardlines (and putting in the booster/mc/clutch cyl).
          Last edited by Noll; 08-13-2021, 07:36 PM.


          • Got all the masking stripped off:

            And designed some 3d-printed bits to replace some of the brake/fuel line isolators that were missing and/or in poor shape.

            Will 3d-print them tomorrow then try to get going on the hardlines on monday.


            • Was going to take a day off, but ended up doing stuff on the Z anyway. What can I say, I want to drive it .

              Suspension all back together, as well as swaybar on and calipers too.

              Noticed that the wheel was actually rubbing on the powdercoat(?) so I shaved those nubs a tad. Painted after the 2nd pic.

              Pedals and steering column in properly. In hindsight I should have put the pedals in before the dash, but oh well. Got the bolts in eventually

              master cyl, booster, and clutch cyl all in too.

              With that all done I should be able to just start on the brake/fuel lines next time.


              • Got the car turned around today in preparation for the engine going in:

                Even in it's current mismatched state it's not a bad looking car

                Engine bay hardlines all ran. My back is a bit sore now to say the least, but hey, it's done!

                Next step will be to get it all lifted up on blocks, then engine in! The upper rad support mod means that lifting it up prior to engine/trans insertion isn't an issue as far as angles go, and means that I can get at the transmission crossmember bolts much easier. Would need to lift it up to make the exhaust anyway, so may as well kill 2 birds with one stone.


                • Engine and transmission are in! Removable rad support was a lifesaver, made it so much easier.

                  Bottom flange took a little damage when I had to let go of the transmission to re-position (even though it was protected decently wall and it wasn't a drop, just the weight of it), but nothing really in the grand scheme of things.

                  The transmission mount was a bit of a bear, but got it in the end.

                  And in! Looking pretty snazzy if I say so myself. I think the black works well, the engine almost looks like it's floating.

                  Sitting decently without any coilover adjustments too, will let it settle for a while then decide where I want it. Next up is all the stuff required to get the engine running - driveshaft, engine/trans fluids, wiring harness in, make the exhaust, etc.


                  • Driveline-related stuff today. Got engine oil, trans fluid, and a couple fuel filters.

                    needed to get the driveshaft in before putting transmission fluid in, but the shorter driveshaft I had was apparently not short enough by about 5mm. Yay.

                    Got a quote of nearly 200$ for shortening/balancing it, so I decided to take a change and DIY it. I'm sure peeps will have varying opinions on this, but I did a bunch of research first, and it seems relatively common in the american hotrod world. Did a ton of measuring to get it as aligned/phased/square as possible, and I think it turned out well. Only time well tell if there are vibrations, but worst-case I'll pay to have my other driveshaft done and swap it in. Took about 2cm out overall.

                    With that done, filled the trans through the shifter hole, and put the shifter back in. filled the engine up with oil too, so other than coolant (the rad isn't in yet) all fluids should be good to go.

                    Got the wiring harness roughly in too, not going to strap it down tightly until I hook everything up so I know all the wires reach.

                    Fuel filler neck, cap, and door on too, as well as the quarter badges. put some sealant on the clips for those for good measure to prevent them going AWOL.

                    Next up is exhaust fabrication and wiring stuff, then I can crank it to check for good oil pressure and try to get it running.


                    • I fabbed up a driveshaft for my 60 Plymouth when I was about 18. It went into some kind of second harmonic at about 100 MPH and when it finally let go it cut the back seat floor to shreds and tore off the exhaust pipes. It was wrapped in a ball around the snout of the differential. The vibration split the transmission case. Didn't make a very good impression on my date, who became my wife two years later.
                      Eric Zondervan
                      72 240Z
                      11 Sierra 4X4
                      14 Kia Rondo EX
                      18 Audi SQ5
                      18 Polaris Switchback XCR 800
                      18 Ducati Multistrada
                      65 Honda Moped


                      • Awesome looking work, Noll. The car is really looking like a car again. I think I've said that before.
                        But it is a huge step as it starts to come together, as some people (not us car guys) might see it as a pile of junk, then even the uninitiated can see it's a car!


                        • Thanks peeps! Regarding the driveshaft I suppose only time will tell if there are issues, but given that it's not on a solid-axle car shifts of driveline angle should be very minimal (poly bushes everywhere and technoversions diff mount means that diff deflection under load should be very minimal.

                          And yeah, while the cosmetics may not be at 100% it sure is a car again, and a rust-free and quite reinforced one at that .


                          Not much picture-worthy today; installed a bunch of rubber plugs and seals (firewall, hatch, etc), ran the hood latch cable, speedometer cable (that one was a pain), and choke cables, and got the horns bolted on and radiator roughly in place. Need to get some proper-length bolts and rubber isolators for it tomorrow.


                          • More misc. today. Coil cleaned and in, and plug wires in too. Properly mounted the radiator as well, using fuel hose as spacers so it's not hard-mounted.

                            Fuel filter added before the electric pump:

                            And all fuel plumbing done up front too:

                            Upper and lower rad hoses in too, as well as the inspection light.

                            Heater hoses too:

                            Most of the throttle linkage in as well. Need to get an e-clip for the pivot, and wait for the paint to dry on the main rod to the intake (not going on untilI build the exhaust though):

                            Also got a ton more under the dash all hooked up, flasher/blinker relays, engine bay wiring harness plugs, etc etc. Only things that I can see that are still unplugged are the connectors to the center sub-harness (radio, console switches/lights etc), and one unidentified 6-pin connector I'm currently looking through the wiring diagram to figure out.


                            • More done today, some frustrations too though.

                              Started by extending the wires to the transistor ignition unit so I could put it somewhere that actually made sense:

                              The voltage regulator was rattling, so pulled it apart to reveal a blown cap. I have a probable lead on a replacement regulator, although the cap might just be to smooth things out a bit for all I know.

                              The shunt for the ammeter was in rather bad shape, although the internals looked good so I cleaned it up and threw it in the car for now (more on this in a sec).

                              Horns all wired up:

                              Hooked the alternator up too, although I had to weld a bolt on the end of a terminal that had snapped off halfway down before I could attache the connections properly:

                              Batt tray in, and fusible link box in place:

                              And hooked up a battery with some cables I found. Initially had two positive ends so had to use the vise grips for a good connection for the neg. cable. Initially I messed up and had the + cable on the wrong side of the starter solenoid, so it immediately started cranking when I connected the cable to the battery. I had made sure the car was in neutral just-in-case before though, so no harm done and the engine sounds healthy when cranking which is good.

                              This is where the frustration starts. After hooking the + to the correct side of the starter solenoid (as well as the main harness positive and the starter trigger wire), there is nothing whatsoever in any key position.

                              I did some sleuthing with a multi-meter, and while the rear (larger, blue in the below pic) circuit has power, the other smaller one that does, well, everything, has no voltage at all. Both fusible links tested good for continuity, so I know that's not the issue.

                              As far as I can see, the only place the WR wire (red circuit) can get power from is inside the shunt itself (makes sense, that's how the ammeter compares the draw to the direct-from-starter circuit), so the culprit must either be the shunt or the wire from it to the fusible link (I have yet to check both for continuity, that's next on the list.

                              If the shunt is bad, it looks like I can just splice together the two circuits at the spot circled in blue and unplug the other 2 wires and I should have power to everything but no working ammeter (no biggie). If anyone thinks that this isn't the case or that the blue circuit (WR wire, front smaller fusible link) gets from somewhere I'm not seeing, I'm all ears.

                              Oh, and to add to the annoyance, I unplugged the voltage regulator while the battery was connected (to check for voltage there) and the rear (larger, blue circuit in my diagram) started smoking. Not entirely sure how disconnecting the regulator resulted in that; the car was not running so it's not like the alternator would be overcharging suddenly?
                              I unplugged the battery, checked the affected fusible link for continuity (read 3 ohms, so fine), plugged the voltage regulator back in, and then the battery.

                              This resulted in the fusible link melting in half. Really confused as to why - if unplugging the voltage regulator caused a short etc, then why did it continue to melt after stuff was restored to how it was??? Continuity in the link was still good etc after the first smoke. Just annoying as Now I'm not sure if the voltage regulator being unplugged was the culprit and I really don't know what made it happen if not. Oh, and finding a replacement fusible link around here might be a pain.

                              Full-size image here:

                              Anyway, called it there for the night. Might do some troubleshooting as to what caused the fusible link issue tomorrow, or just leave it till the week when I can (hopefully) get a new one and work on the exhaust.


                              • Hey Noll.... amazing work, as always. You have to be happy with your progress..... it's looking like a car. I know finding fusible links might be difficult. I replaced my fusible links including with a fuse box designed for a stereo system but have plans to go back to factory fusible link box. (76 280Z). I soldered up some push on connectors back to back to plug onto the female connectors in the fusible link box and to accept a modern ATO (think that's what they are called) fuse. Picture shows my connectors with a 60 amp fuse. I haven't made the change yet (too many house repairs!) but I'm pretty sure I did a test fit way back when and they fit quite nicely inside the factory fuse link box!
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