With the rust now dealt with, and the clutch now fixed, attention was turned to the car’s running gear. Translation: are the wheels going to fall off?
Well…I hope not.
First, the brakes. Now the clutch hydraulic system was pretty worn out, and since the braking system is the same technology and potentially the same age, the stoppers needed to be checked out. If the clutch was ruined by a long period of inactivity, then the brakes could easily succumb to the same fate too.
First the back. These, ladies and gentlemen, are drum brakes (which you may recall from your history classes!). The shocks are KYB adjustables, but the adjuster dial is stuck, so the shocks are possibly due for replacement. I’m not sure what brand the lowered springs are, though…..and yes we did the “spin the wheels” test and sadly no, she doesn’t have an LSD.
But it seems to be in good shape…the shoes are about 70% and the wheel cylinders look quite new. No leaks.
At the front, it’s the same story, the rubber seal looks like it’s only a few years old and there’s no leaked fluid behind, so it looks like the calipers have had a seal kit put in quite recently. Pads are about 70% too, and still had a fresh looking smear of copper grease on the backs of the pads.
Since the brakes seemed in good shape (they must have been refurbished during the resto 2yrs ago), I decided to put these in. I’ve had them on many cars, and they’re great for one-person bleeding. I took a chance on the 240Z part number but they fit perfectly.
But while bleeding the brakes, the master cylinder started to make moaning noises when you depressed the pedal (possibly the fluid leaking past the internal piston). And it does look a bit leaky. So off it comes for a replacement.
Again, I took a chance on the 240Z part number, but it was quite different (even though the twin piston calipers and rear drums are the same as 240Z). It turned out that the master cylinder is shared not with the 240Z, but the Fairlady 2000 Roadster of the same era. One of those wasn’t available new, so the brake specialist is boring out the old mastercyl and rebuilding it. So far I’m discovering that a lot of parts are definitely shared with 240Z, but lots aren’t. So getting maintenance parts will probably be a bit of trial and error from now on…it’s a good thing the guys at my local parts store are patient…
One discovery which surprised me was these…grease nipples!
Nowadays (well the last 3 decades or so!) cars have had balljoints that are sealed for life with grease inside. But back in the Hakosuka days, you had balljoints with grease nipples. You attach a greasegun, and squirt in fresh grease until you see the old dirty grease ooze out the top. Then you’re good to go for the next 5,000kms. But since it’s a maintenance item that hasn’t been necessary for a few decades, many new owners of classic cars don’t realise that these is something that you should address with every oil change. But the grease looks clean and caramel coloured, so it looks like the previous owner took care of this. I’ll have to buy a greasegun though….probably from a museum or something…
But one job that I did with pleasure was to remove the three Omori vacuum gauges. Not only did they rub on your clutch leg, but they were possibly the nastiest wiring/install ever. Garbage ties, twist n’ tape wiring, the whole nightmare.
In theory they would be great for balancing carbs if you hooked them up to each inlet manifold runner (that’s how the bike guys do it) but in this case, they were connected to the manifold balance pipe (and hence all 3 gauges read the same). No great loss taking this mod out!
The carbs are still being restored, the brake mastercyl is also still being worked on, but the car looks like it’s good to go. Just got to fix a minor issue with the throttle pedal and linkage, replace some fuel hoses, and pick up some new tyres on Wednesday. With any luck the car will be firing again in a couple of days.