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Project S30Z (my Swiss Datsun 240Z 1972)

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  • Since i have all of my body panels together, i wanted to have a look at the last possible "unknown" area.
    The front grille. I never had a close look at it and wanted to make sure it's OK. Well it's not (of course ).
    Started like this. It seems like there are various versions of the grille around, but it apepars that this is a fulyl original one. the middle finis shorter, which also seems to be original.

    Everything is just plugged together and then secured with four long and thin bolts on the back of the horizontal fins:

    Onfortunately it's all just made out of cheap and thin sheet metal, so quite prone to bending:

    Luckily the most delicate parts (the fins) are ok, and the rest is quite easy to fix or make on my own (i guess). the rest of the parts are just riveted together, so i probably give it a try and make my own grill.
    Need to think about it and see if i'm able to find the horizontal U-shaped fins in the correct size.. guess i will send the available parts for rust and paint-stripping and then see what i can do seems to be a fun DIY project - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


    • So yesterday i got the box with parts back from the plating company. Everything got cleaned, zinc plated and yellow passivated. The colour is slightly different then last time (more redish). Probably due to the changed regulations for the mix of chemicals used for this procedure.

      Still quite happy with the result. Took me a while to sort through all the parts, but mostly figoured it out by now

      Started with the re-assembly of some parts. From this...

      To this (Hose brackets)

      From this...

      To this (hood closing mechanism..)

      This (the other part of the hood closing mechanism... (x2)

      And then finally got all the parts ready to re-assemble the shifter with the new bushings and some bushing grease. Before...


      And because fun, i decided to test-fit the Kameari Z-Shift knob as well. Thiss will be a perfect match once it's in the car

      Still have some parts to sort through and a lot to assemble. but need some pre-work on some parts first... - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


      • I've been super busy with dozens of small 240Z projects, but unfortunately it's two steps forward and one back at the moment so i haven't really completed anything noteworthy to post here. Nevertheless i left some parts at the paint-stripping company today and should be able to pick them up early next year. And then suddenly i got a picture from my Panelbeater with a small update: The outer radius on the Tabco rear quarter panel has been corrected to give it the factory-like sharp edges (the tabco is a bit too soft) and the welds have been cleaned. Hope to have more updates soon. really working on a few ends at the moment - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


        • Today i was finally able to complete a little project on which i've been working over the past few weeks. I completely reworked the Inspection Lamp.
          Remember a few weeks ago when i posted this pic? This is how it all started. Rusty, Painted over a few times, and in bad shape. didn't even work:

          Of course started to disassembly everything first

          Then had the housing tubmlered to remove old paint, dirt and rust (picture has other parts included as well, which don't belong to the inspection lamp):

          And got it zinc-replated and yellow passivated to get back the origina look. Then started to source the missing parts.

          Even if i'm in the business i failed to find an original green twin-wire with the original thickness. but since the original wire was still in good shape i decided to just clean and keep it.
          The bulb was a bit of a headscratcher too. but after i figured out the Keyword was "BA9s" (9mm bajonett-socket with single base connector) it was easy to find a fitting bulb, 12V, 8W as the manual states. Nowadays you even could replace it with a lot of less-power consuming LED bulbs, but i decided to keep it oldschool in this case
          The switch was the most tricky part. the original was toasted (see left). It could be saved and restored but then you still have a completely brittly 40 year old piece of plastic in an outdated electronic design, so i decided to replace it with a newer style switch. The first generation of inspection lamps had a metal switch too, so it's not a completey wrong look.

          The switch needs a 12mm thread, but must be small enough to fit inside the housing (most 12mm threaded switches are too big) and it should have the little notch in the thread to secure it properly in correct position. After trying various options i figoured out this one would fit perfectly (Available at farnell)

          While the original one is an ON-OFF switch, this one is an ON-ON switch, but if you remove one of the outer pins you have an ON-OFF function again:

          First the little nipple has to minimized by 0.5mm or so to fit the slightly smaller notch in the new switch:

          Then prepared all the cables. Cleaned them first with a rough side of a dish cleaning sponge, cut off the ends, removed insulation ca 1mm at each end with a special tool and then pre-soldered the ends to make it easier to solder it later.

          It probably helps if you have a full high-end soldering workstation like i have at my office and 20+ years of daily soldering routine skills

          All parts ready? Here we go. The fun part begins - assembly (got a new replica lens and rubber insulator from ebay, plus additionally a piece of black heat-shrinking tube and some red electronic wrapping tape).

          First i installed a new rubber insulator grommet on the bottom of the back housing. the original one was falling apart by just looking at it. New ones can be found easy in any electronis speciality shop.

          The removed the old wire-end from the connecting plate and cleaned it.

          resoldered the new wire-end to it and cleaned it with flux remover (removes flux from the soldering, which may decrease the electric connectivity! see bottle in the back)

          Soldered the other wire back to the hook and attached some black heat-shrinking tube like it was in the factory setup:

          Next was soldering the wires to the switch and protect the solderings with some black heat-shrinking tube:

          Also added the red electrical tape as it was in my factory setup (it goes inside where the clamp is to protect wires):

          Soldered the wire back to the little Clamp

          And installed the clamp back to the bottom and secured the cables inside with it. Done

          Apply 12V DC to it (ground to the housing, plus to the red wire, switch on - YAY!

          assembled it to gether and still everything works as it should:

          So here's the result. Quite the difference when compared to the first pictures, which was the same item!

          Spent quite a few hours sourcing parts and getting everything cleaned and so on, but honestly it was totally worth the work

 - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


          • Christmas comes one day early this year After a four-week long wait, a little Box from Japan finally arrived here with some Parts for my MK63 brakes:
            1) Project u MK63 Solid disk type NS street brake pads:

            2) NOS Nissan Sumitomo MK63 Brake pistons

            I think i have everything ready now for assembling the Brakes over the holidays
   - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


            • Last post of the year. Nothing huge, but wanted to share the progress.
              This week i visited the bodyshop to pick up some unused parts and had a look at t he latest work: The rear quarter panel is in, as is the inner arch. The outer arch has ben reshaped to fit the original bodylines. The repair panels have a different "softer" shape, compared to the original lines. but only visible if you know the details.

              Currently he's reworking the think soft "edge" (where the black line is). Most of owners probably haven't even noticed there's an edge. but my bodyshop guy is a perfectionist. that's why it takes a lot of time. anyhow. The body is getting a concours level restauration Also the tank filler "pocket" has been removed to get a little rust treatment, and to have better access to the inside of the rear quarters.

              And at home i've been puzzling together various parts laying around. Like this Differential strap mounts:

              Now freshly assembled with fresh zinc plated bolts and tubes and powdercoated base mounts. Perfect.

     - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


              • Woohow! Another one of these little long-term projects finally completed.
                I failed several attempts to paint the ignition-switch surrounding ring and the Turn signal switch stalk by myself. The paint would be so easy to scratch off (with fingernails) afterwards that it would immetiately look terrible once you touch it with anything hard.

                So after i realized i suck at painting, i decided to hand it over to René, the paint wizard at Autolackprofis which i know from the Honda-scene back in the days and is one of the most recognized paintshops in (and outside) switzerland. He's also in charge of painting the car once it's ready (if he isn't retired by then :P) The result is stunning. We decided to go for an industrial grade paint which is stronger and more scratch resistant compared to normal car paint. Perfect

                So first in installed the painted ignition switch surrounding ring back to the switch:

                Then started to re-assemble the turn signal switch (See previous steps here)
                First installed the wire back completely with the switch contacts and the plastic spacer:

                Added dielectric grease to all the contacts to make sure they will operate smoothly and contact well for a long time:

                At the bottom end in added the little contact back to the spring and added dielectric grease as well.

                Added the switch plastic housing and the inside mechanism back to the stalk and measured. Unpressed: Infinite Ohms (no connection)

                Switch pressed: Zero Ohms (Short). That's what the switch does. if you press it it will short the 12V applied to it to the chassis-ground. So it works perfectly (Always check before doing next steps, you will hate yourself for not doing so if you figure out once it's installed)

                Install the stalk back to the switch assembly. Since i wasn't able to find a similar bolt used in the the original assembly, i just took a zinc plated nail in the same dimensions, cut it off and made it fit

                After that it's time to get the wires back together. Don't forget to add the heat shrinking tube before you solder...

                Soldered wires back together and heat shrinking tube is shrunk to the original shape:

                And secured using the small little clamp:

                Think it ended up really well. checked all the functions and everything works, feels solid and looks great...

                and definitely much cleaner compared to the original dusty switch, which was completely covered in old dirty grease. I'm super happy to have completed another little project that took my quite some time

       - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


                • Nothing big today, just picked up a bunch of parts at the paint stripping company. The green colour is wash-primer to protect it from rust.
                  The grille parts. have to straighten a few things, waiting for two small vertical parts to be fabricated and then it will be ready to get assembled back together:

                  And a set of front lower valances, the gas door and two front tow hooks:

         - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


                  • I'll write a huge Post about the MK63 brakes soon (just waiting for some details), but one thing i can tell already is that they're usually installed without the backing plate. The brakes fit perfectly with the OEM Brakes (see below):

                    But don't fit with the bigger MK63 brakes anymore, due to their bigger size. (see below)

                    Also one of my backing plate was a bit denty....

                    So i decided to bring 'em to the bodyshop and have them modified to fit and straightened:

                    Also made sure he puts back the "lip" that was there originally. He told me the lip is there in case of someone gets into the disk so it's a bit of a protection and safety thing...

                    This is the result. Honestly i was hoping for a bit tighter fitment, but since you won't see it once the disk is installed it doesn't matter anyway. just my OCD calling here
                    Next i will have it sandblasted and powdercoated.

           - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


                    • One common rusty area of most S30 Z's are the floors. The only supplier of floor pans i know is from zeddfindings ( ). The Problem is. they look good at first sight, but upon closer inspection they don't fit really well.
                      The main Problem beeing the longitudial Bump in the the middle which should be above the frame-rail isn't aligned proper. So basicall you have to cut it up and re-do most of the work. That's what the bodyshop told me when i brought them my floorpans for repair. And 240Z restorers told me the same. so it wasn't just my part which was bad.

                      So a while ago i looked for another solution and came a cross datsun Club Hungary. They restore a few cars a year and make their own floorpans. while not officially for sale in a shop or so, they offered me one set when i asked them. Not cheap, but worth the Money. and they appear to be mostly hand-made too. The reason i trusted them to make good Quality stuff is mainly because they make their floorpans for their own concours-Level restaurations useage and not just for selling them to People with no clue...
                      Here's a Little comparison. First difference you will immediately note is the size difference. with the Hungarian floorpans there is some spare metal to Play with.

                      Another big difference is the "dent" on the Driver side seatrail which is there originally in early z-cars, but non-existant in the american floorpans from Zeddfindings.

                      last but most important: The longitudial "dent" is perfectly aligned with the Frame rail and no additional cutting-up and welding needed aside from the usual fitment work...
                      I really hope with the increasing Prices of the Z that manufacturers start to build Quality sheet metal stuff. the parts available currently are sadly of terrible fitment and Quality...
             - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


                      • I got a request for a 240Z Rear window for sale, so i thought it might be a good reason to get my small power supply and Multimeter out and check them.

                        Unfortunately i didn't even need my tools. It was already clear by visually checking them that both window defrosters are toast, even if the glass was OK on both. The resistive threads have oxidated and vanished in large areas:

                        It even seems like one of them had some kind of burn at one point:

                        You can't really see it bot some of the threads are almost gone totally and there's only some leftovers from the original glue. Really wonder how that could happen. but it seems to be a common problem.

                        One of them even had one of the bigger threads loose. I know it's all repairable with stock-on thread wires, but not sure yet how nice i can do it and if it's worth the effort. Either i need a new glass or have it repaired by a pro.

                        Strange enough i figoured out i have both a vertical and a horizontal wired hatch glass. even if both my cars were built in late 1971. so either they were used longer than mentioned everywere, or it has ben swapped at one point in the past. strange enough the one with the vertical lines (the earlier version)is in way better condition with only one small area damaged and the rest still quite solid...

               - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


                        • Sometimes you find the coolest things when you don't even search for them. I always thought the "euro" front lip / chin spoiler was cool but it's somehow rare these days to find one and i thought i go the route with the xenon front bumper. However when i was searching for some other parts i accidently stumbled upon a pretty rough looking but still salvageable OEM front spoiler lip. I contacted a few people to confirm it's the real deal and then made the payment. few days later and i could pick it up at the postal office today:

                          One of the mounting brackets is missing (broken off) and another one seems to have been replaced with a custom made piece over the years. but otherwise it's in quite good shape, as long as the old paint gets removed.

                          It's made from Urethane rubber so pretty soft and you can bend it like you want

                 - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


                          • This is another little project that has been under work for a while and is finally completed
                            A while ago i wanted to re-assemble the transmission crossmember with the new Energy suspension polyurethane bushings. They're stated to fit all 240Z years on their website:

                            However, when i tried to install it, it didn't fit at all... The metal tube was too long to fit inside the outer mounting bracket and had a wrong diameter, the bushings had a completely wrong shape too and didn't fit anywhere....

                            It was only then i figoured out there are at least three different types of transmission crossmembers and they do not fit the type i got i got:

                            I tried to find a supplier, but they weren't available. But when i asked Jakub Nurzaj from DPAN Europe he immediately told me that he could make a set for me... So i took some measures and we double checked a few things, before the first series went into production.

                            Yesterday i was finally able to pick them up at the postal office and the first look was promising.

                            Here's a comparison between energy bushings (left) and Jakub's bushings (right) the difference is small but i can assure you the ones to the left don't fit at all...

                            So today i was finally able to install them (use some bushing grease!)

                            Fitment is spot on and tight. perfect!
                            I cannot thank Jakub enough for the work he put into this and i'm happy i could support him. The bushings are now available from Jakub Nurzaj from the DPAN Europe facebook page. Contact him if you need these.

                            Here's how the crossmember looked before restauration:

                            And here's the completed, freshly powdercoated transmission crossmember with freshly zinc plated bolts and the NISMO / Kameari Transmission mount. Looking cood. Another Puzzle-piece complete. Thanks again to Jakub for the awesome work!

                   - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


                            • A while ago i discovered some NOS parts on a german Sales ad website and contact the seller. few days later i got some NOS parts in my mailbox
                              A 5-speed transmission clutch fork incl the retainer spring:

                              two drum-brake slave cylinders (keen-eyed readers might note that i got two left-sided items)

                              And a set of drum-brake hardware:

                              More parts are on the way from japan currenty. and while waiting, i decided to strip the various layers of old paint from the Euro-chin spoiler with the simple use of some pressurized air and a spatula. before...

                              at least five layers of different primers and paint:

                              and here's the result. yeah, still two layers to go, but this one is tuff. even the paint stripper didn't work on this. wonder what it is.. probably have to sand it down by hand.. no hurry though, at least i don't have old paint peeling off from it and messing the storage space now anymore...

                              Oh, and almost forgot i had all the parts for the doglegs ready since a while but never assembled them...

                              So did that today, freshly powdercoated doglegs, zinc plated hardware and new Polyurethane bushings. next to a pair of old unrestored doglegs

                     - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog


                              • Time for a little more knowledge today After i posted pictures from my T/C rod bushings in various forum-threads, people replied that i should swap to rubber in the back. After discussing a few topics i figoured out that original rubber bushings are still available new from Nissan and ordered a set, which i was able to pick up today:

                                The problem: According to many people, the T/C rod tends to brake at the yellow area, when PU-bushings are used both in front and rear of the Frame-rail mount. This due to much counterstrength whith the hard PU-bushings.

                                For sciences' sake i decided to compare both setups with an original NOS 240Z frame rail i have in my shop.
                                Top: Front PU / rear Rubber
                                Bottom: Front PU / rear PU

                                1st: Both PU. Fits perfect, but it's very stiff, both compression and angle-movement wise.

                                Second: Front PU / rear rubber.
                                You still have the advantage of PU-front (less rearwards movement during compression, red arrow), while having more freedom of angle-movement (yellow arrow) and therefore minimized the chance that the T/C rod will brake.

                                So thanks all for the inputs and advice and i'll definitely stick with the PU / Rubber combination for best performance and with least failure rate
                       - My real JDM RHD EK9 & S30Z Project build Blog