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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I'm out of my area of expertise here but would a mild cam grind fix that lobe rust? My plan is to get a "stage 1" cam grind when I get to the point I'm doing engine work but luckily, my cam looks good already.
In talking to the guy at the machine shop that idea came up, but I'd also have to match the difference in geometry with rockers that would be matched to the now undersize lobes... Which isn't necessarily a deal breaker, but that does affect the way the engine runs. Plus, without knowing how much metal would have to come off, it would be simpler (and possibly cheaper) to just replace it and the rockers as a set, and know that the valves are opening to spec.
 

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I've read that you'd just need thicker lash pads and in the case of a mild grind, you might not need new lash pads at all. The more one strays to a "race" type cam, the more one needs to replace things like valve springs and retainers. One such source: How to Modify Your Nissan & Datsun OHC Engine by Frank Honeowetz.

Love your posts! Very informational and fun to follow!
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I've read that you'd just need thicker lash pads and in the case of a mild grind, you might not need new lash pads at all. The more one strays to a "race" type cam, the more one needs to replace things like valve springs and retainers. One such source: How to Modify Your Nissan & Datsun OHC Engine by Frank Honeowetz.

Love your posts! Very informational and fun to follow!
That very book is on it's way to my house and should be here tomorrow!

Thanks for the kind words. I'm having one of those "omg what have I gotten myself into" moments and it helps :LOL:
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
More evidence that this engine has been worked on before... yesterday I was tinkering around and felt for the ridges in the cylinders to see how bad they'd be. Gonna need a ridge reamer anyway but was just curious. And what I found was... no ridges. I could feel the change in the surface of the metal between where the rings were and what was the ridge, but there was no lip. Gomer's been into this engine before... and there haven't been many miles put on it since.

Couple that with the head bolts... They seemed WAY tighter than they should have and the one broke off in the block...

I was tempted to put the head back on the engine as is, but that's gone. I want to get it apart and see what else has been "fixed."

Now I just have to figure out how to pull the engine without the head on it, since the slingers are on the head and I'd rather not put it back on just to pull the engine out.
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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Wow, you keep finding stuff. Now it sounds like it might be smart to pull the engine and check bearings on the crank and conn rods.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Wow, you keep finding stuff. Now it sounds like it might be smart to pull the engine and check bearings on the crank and conn rods.
Oh yeah I'd already decided to do that. I just called a machine shop to see what it'd cost to get them to recondition the block. Since I already got the head done I want to make sure the block is also 100%, so I'll essentially have a new engine when all is said and done.

They want to bore out the cylinders and put in oversize pistons... deck it, freeze plugs and rebalance the crankshaft. I was thinking I'd rather just get the cylinders sleeved but having a little extra displacement wouldn't be so bad. ;)

By the time all is said and done I'll have spent more than I would have on a used engine, but a lot less than a reman crate engine. I think it's a good way to go.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Gonna change course here and prioritize getting the parking brake working. Now that I have 4 inflated tires, I need that car to reliably hold still. I have 4 kids still living with me.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Got set up to pull the engine, but I may have to do some repairs to the engine crane first. Nothing huge, but that might also include replacing the hydraulic cylinder.

In the meantime, the car is lifted up in the front and on jackstands so I can get under there and remove the lower transmission bolts. I intend to pull just the engine without the transmission. By tomorrow hopefully I just have the other 4 bolts, the starter, a heater hose, and the A/C lines to disconnect. Then it's just a matter of unbolting the engine mounts and pulling the engine.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Well, today I disconnected the remainder of the bits and bobs that needed to come apart to get the engine out.

Broken bolt count for today: 2

A/C lines: No problem
Alternator nut/bolt: No problem
Heater hose: sliced it to get it off.
Starter connections...

Well that's odd:
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I used to be a Nissan tech so I feel comfortable saying that there's just no way that's factory. It's fun to imagine that conversation. "Well I just can't find that upper starter bolt." "Here, use this!"

Thank Merciful God in Heaven that bolt came out easily. I was dreading what would happen if that hex opening rounded...

So I pulled the starter and took a little peek into the hole...

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I don't even.

I mean, seriously. How does that stuff get in there? It isn't like the flywheel is exposed anywhere. The cover plate is in place. I just have no idea, unless it had sat previously with something exposed and then someone came along and put it back together that way... I mean, at this point, given what I'm seeing with this car...
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I think it's bits of leaves, an acorn cap, plant matter...

Once I get the engine out maybe I can figure out where it all came in from.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Hoo boy.

Well, I went ahead and took a suggestion to use the head bolts to attach the engine crane to the block and it worked like a charm.

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After pulling the last transmission bell housing bolt that I had missed before (The one behind the clutch slave cylinder) It came out easily.

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Got a look at what was in that bellhousing.... Holy smokes...

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Those are helicopter seeds. I was really scratching my head to figure out where they came from. Then I realized... The rubber boot that goes around the clutch release lever was rotten and falling off. The wind must have, over the years, blown these things through the opening and into the bell housing.

Started removing all the accessories and brackets. Man, that water pump was nasty.

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Other than that, not too awful.

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The engine is now in a jumbo tote from Home Depot to keep it safe and dry until I gather enough cash to take it to the machine shop.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I've been disassembling the front and have chosen the first place to try out my fledgling welding abilities:

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What's going to make this extra challenging is the bolt holes/nuts for the hood hinges.
 

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I wonder if nutserts are strong enough to hold the hood hinge. It might be easier than trying to weld nuts in the right place... Also, getting the welder set up properly helps a ton! On jobs like this, I find some scrap of the same guage to practice on making sure I get penetration without blowing through.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Today was not a good Z car day.

Got the headlight cowlings off both sides to inspect and start prepping for some rust repair. Driver's side came apart fairly easily. Passenger's side...

I have to wonder what idiocy drove Gomer Pyle to install FLATHEAD screws tiny enough to use 8mm nuts (with a bunch of washers) to secure the headlight cowling to the fender. Oh yeah, somebody's been into this before. I also found out today that there are apparently people living in this world who believe that an appropriate method of dealing with rust is to smear some bondo over it then spray paint it. I mean, I already knew that, but every time I encounter it, it amazes me like it was the first.

The driver's side was overall halfway decent...

Outboard:
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Inboard:
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But the passenger's side is... Not so good.
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And this is the part I'm dreading:
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I don't know what that extra rail/bracket is called but that's a separately welded component. Notice the color of the paint? Black. This car was originally green. Somebody not only got into this before, but they put on bondo (behind the headlight mounting) and painted over it.

Is this a replacement part that's available? Like the floorboards or battery tray?
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Picked up a piece of 4'x8' 20 gauge steel today to be cut up for all these repairs. Not cheap. Hopefully it'll go a nice, long way.

Probably not.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
So today my goal was to remove the fenders, especially the passenger's side, so I could go to work fixing that rust hole.

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But then... And this is bizarre... I realized that on this car, the fenders are not separate parts. They are continuous to the rocker panels, and on to the rear quarter panels. Here's a picture of where the seam should be between the fender and the rocker panel:

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I can't tell whether that was welded and smoothed, or what... What's worse, I think the bottom of the fender panels are welded to the frame. The panel is firmly attached and there's no bolts down there at all...

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Anyone seen this before? It looks like I'm going to have to cut the fenders off. Joy.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Well... check this out:

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The fender was apparently rusted and dented at the bottom, so they decided to just fill it all with bondo.



It goes along the whole bottom of the fender, with it swelling at the front. I picked some of it off, and it's bad rust under there.

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