I figure it couldn't hurt to post a build thread here, they're usually a fun read.
The car is a 1977 280z with a 4-speed manual. The only real significant change to the car is that the stock EFI has been replaced with SUs from an early 240z. I and my bought the car in September of 2012 and I've basically been working on it since then.
I had been looking at Craigslist ads since I decided to sell my first car, which was a 2000 V6 Mustang Convertible (that should be enough to tell you why I wanted to sell it :P ). Then little bit before it sold, my dad started looking for old Zs with me. There was one Z that I had found that was reasonably priced, as well as in relatively good condition.
After it sold, he proposed the idea of getting a cheaper car for a daily, and to have something to drive, while we continued looking for a Z. The daily ended up being a manual, 1992 SC300 (feel free to ask about it if you want). After another month, that same Z from before was still for sale and looked good, so we jumped on it.
The seller sent us these pics, among others:
We bought the car!
On the way to a Wednesday Cars & Burgers the alternator died, which also fried the new optima battery :evil: We took it to the local garage to figure out what was wrong as I had no idea what it could be at the time. We got it back it and it ran great, but the speaker wouldn't make any noise. At the time, I didn't think much of it as I couldn't hear the radio anyway, but I wish I would have disputed it with the garage. A little bit after this, I realized there was a battery draining issue. Oh well, lesson learned.
The car had started to run worse and worse, and after talking with a local S30 guy, we determined that the intake/exhaust gasket needed replacing.
Off came the hood to begin removal of the intake and header.
Got everything off. I took the valve cover off as well as I wanted to sand blast the kinda poor paint off (it was crackle on 60% of it, smooth on the other 40%.
I took all the intake things up into my room to for cleaning.
I then took the head off as an exhaust bolt and thermostat housing bolt broke off during removal and had to be extracted.
Ordered new gaskets and head bolts from a local Nissan dealership
Charlie wanted in on the picture taking.
One of my friends is the head lot tech at fairly large dealer in town, so I went over and he let me use the sand blaster for the valve cover, as well as some acid solution that they use to clean brake dust off of wheels to clean the intake and balance bar.
I had gone to a boarding school in the middle of February, so work on the car slowed waaaay down. (Though looking back, it was already pretty slow, haha). Sometime between that time and april, I decided to go ahead and rebuild the engine. This was due to a few reasons:
1. The engine was 35-years-old and I had no knowledge of its past, so a rebuild couldn't hurt. Plus, I could make sure everything was in working proper condition.
2. I, at the time, was worried about coolant and oil that had spilled into the cylinders and into each other's passages.
3. I could get the block tanked and thus rid of rust and whatever yellow stuff coated the water jackets.
4. Probably the biggest factor, I really wanted to build an engine. Cars are my passion and I really wanted to start really working on engines.
I took the dizzy out to rebuild it as I stumbled upon Kev's build thread and got to the bit where he rebuilds/cleans his.
I never ended up rebuilding it, however, as I couldn't figure out how to get the main shaft out. The dizzy worked fine before, so no harm in not fixing what wasn't broken.
I prepared the engine bay to pull the engine.
I then had the great idea of pushing the car into the driveway to take some photos...
... Until I tried pushing the car, by myself, back into the garage. There's an every so slight incline into the garage from where the car was in that second picture. Just that little incline made pushing the car waaaaay too hard!
I ordered a few things for the car whilst at school. A Kameari water pump and strengthened timing chain.
Then another sticker, this time it wasn't one that ended up getting removed.
I finally got home for summer!
Put the shakotan sticker on.
My dad and I then bought a stand and rented a hoist to pull the engine.
Yes, I used a carabiner as I did not have a hook.
I tore the engine down to just the crank. I had trouble getting the mains off, I figured I'd just have the machinist do it as he had waaaay more experience that I, as well as more tools.
We sent dropped off the block, crank, rods, pistons, timing cover, and head with Mike at All Pro Engine, which is a smaller, good old shop in town. He checked everything out, tanked the block, cleaned the timing cover and head, and removed a couple broken off bolts/studs. Due to the wait time, as well as a summer vacation for mike, everything was there for about a month and a half.
Swapped in the new engine :P
The car sat without much action for the month and half everything was off at the machine shop.
Now its gets fun, parts orders start coming in!
First were rings and bearings.
I took a bunch of stuff over to my brother''s place for cleaning. He was (and still is) rebuilding a 4.0 from a '92 Jeep at the time and had stodard solvent.
Various bits of hardware, a rear engine hook, gaskets, ARP main studs, an L28ET oil pump, and freeze plugs came next. Also an issue Super Street for breaks from building!
Then some random night whilst waiting on the call from Mike to pick everything up, I decided to strip out the rear. Partially because the raised panel in the boot to provide room for the spare, which I didn't have, just took up boot room, and partially because I was curious if my Z had the two little compartments behind the seats, which it does.