Sunday, April 20, 2014

Reading Rainbow

It might look like I am not doing doing a lot at the moment, well because I am not.
The last post was sitting here for two weeks before I published it. Again this is a slow project.
I am actually reading quiet a bit. This might sound odd, but I have the Hayens manual and I have the Factory Service Manual and I am not reading those.
What I am reading is this classic. Frank Honsowetz - How to Modify Your Nissan & Datsun OHC Engine
 This might sound like a funny or odd thing to read, but honestly it isnt.
So far I am a quarter of the way through the book, and he does talk about the Datsun/Nissan L4 and L6 OHC motors, he really seems to love the 4 cylinder motors but he does completely miss the RB series engines, and I think that is before they came in both Dual and Single overhead cam. Either that or the engines were very popular here in the states because they seem to be prevalent in the Nissan Skyline, and that car was completely unavailable in the US. Though it is a pretty common motor swap into the older 240z cars. 
I have also decided, after the last post, to do a full engine pull and rebuild. I have a garage so why not just pull it out. 
Some other reference material I am using is 
These references have helped me figure out the basics about how to remove the intake manifold and the ever popular debate about what type of oil to use in the car after I get it rebuilt. (I'm going to go against tradition and use Mobile1 synthetic, just for the record) 

Also, trying to source parts on the 30+ year old car, ebay has been a huge help as well. Just be specific what you are searching for, and expect some junk yard worthy parts that need to be cleaned up. 
I live in an area where I havent been able to find any good junkyards. 

This is just a simple time.

Sometimes, we have simple plans to make things better.
I had those plans then it bit me when I was putting the intake manifold back in.
I was hoping to have this happy blog post that everything just went back in place without issue, and that the car started right up, and maybe of a video of it running and doing the minor adjustments.
I wish I could tell you that dear reader but alas I cannot.
Turns out there are two broken studs in the head, one on each side of the exhaust, along with two holes that need to be re-tapped. One on the shared bolts and one of the header bolts.
So I have been looking up videos on how to do get broken studs out, and how to re-trace bolts, and it looks like I am going to take the head to an engine rebuilders to have the removed, because no matter how much I want to, I cannot do it all.
Also, I had to buy the chain shim tool, from amazon just to hold the timing chain.

As for why there was not a weekly update, this is a slow project, I am not giving all of my free time to it, I am not going overboard trying to get it running by trying to get it running quickly, I would rather do it right.

As for doing it right, here is my first mistake, and its a painful one.
I bought a head from Craigslist, an n47 because I want to see if i can function at the ~10:1 compression that is listed, and see if it gives me that kick in the seats that I am wishing for.
It was dark, I bought it from a guy a few miles away, and it was in his shed.
I missed the crack on it.
See it? Right there? Bottom of the cam tower?
I completely missed it, and it was not a cheap mistake.
So what to do now?
Tuck my tail between my legs and give up?
Hide from the world because I am not perfect?
Nope, not even a little. I am owning up to this mistake. Yeah I do not like it, and no it was a craig's list deal, I wont even try to get my money back, because that would be useless.

I have been told that I cannot swap the cam towers because "they are factory machined when the engine was built"
I am having a hard time with this one. This was not a multi-hundred thousand dollar sports car. It was an economy sports car.
So with me luck dear reader, "Allons Y!"

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lets make it a better place

When we last left our heroine, she was in it bad. Not running, all types of undiscovered issues, broken parts.
So first we should start by cleaning things, this way you know what is broken and what you need to order.
I pulled the fuel rail off first, in retrospect thought I should have pulled the entire intake manifold off first.
During the testing stage we saw some magic smoke coming from the fuel injectors, so i was looking for obvious signs of wear, I didn't see any at this stage.

The next stage was to pull the heat shield from the exhaust manifold, after that I was able to remove the intake manifold itself.
There are four bolts on the top of the intake manifold, and six shared bolts on the bottom. The top bolts are 14mm and the bottoms are 12mm.
There are no bolts in the middle where the two banks of the exhaust meet up. (see pic below)
After pulling the intake manifold, it wasnt exactly happy looking.
It was pretty dirty, you can also that from the water inlet (on the left/front of the motor) water was run through it for an extended period of time.

These are the before and after cleaning the intake manifold. I also replaced all the vacuum lines and hoses on it since it was out of the car.

For the record, the fuel injectors I ended up getting, BWD new fuel injectors part number 57519P, and they came with the o-ring kit, part number BWD 274031. So I ended up with six o-ring kits that I do not need.
Also, inspect your mounts, I needed to buy one mount kits with it. The parts store had them listed as Fuel Injector Seal kit, BWD Part number 28412,  I needed one, so I bought two of the kits.

The injectors were not in the greatest shape when they came out of the car. Specially number 1 injector.
The one on the left  was injector number 4, then injector 1 in the middle, then a new injector.

Here it is all together again.
Im not totally happy with some of the hose bends but we will see how it plays out after I get it back together.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Taking it all apart

So While attempting to work on the car before sending it to its final location (in some perverse hope of driving it maybe?) We were able to get the car to start, but not run. It would run under its own power for almost 30 seconds, then choke off and die.
Poking my nose in and around the engine compartment I discovered a piece of broken plastic from what looked like one of the fuel injector housings, maybe. It was hard to tell without pulling it apart.
I made the choice to wait till the car was home before taking anything "large" apart. So the magic smoke that I was seeing while cranking it would have to wait.

When I finally got the car to my house, I decided that instead of "just making it run" that I would spend some time with the car, and get to know it if you will, and make it a bit better than it has been in years.

The previous owner of the Z was driving it when the thermostat housing exploded. He was going at a good clip and it was a miracle that he didn't crash when it happened. This did happen to leave the car in bad shape. So the car sat for a while until I bought it, and shipped it around my parents house until getting it home with me.
This is where things get sketchy, it took me three tries to ship it, but when I finally did it was fast. Like I called to arrange the appointment on Monday and the car showed up on Thursday.

After getting the car home, I stared at it for a bit, cleaned out some room in my garage, hung some lights, and moved it in.

With it in the garage, let the staring begin.

Oh look an engine!

Monday, February 24, 2014

A first post - Delivered

Since it wont let me check themes or settings without posting something, here is a picture.

Before going on, I think I should provide a little history.
This is a 1983 Datsun 280zx N/A 5 speed manual. This particular one I am the 3rd, 5th, and 8th owner of. Yes I have owned this car three times before. And now it is time I do something with it.
At the time of delivery, it was a stock, non-running car.  When I bought the car, it wouldn't even start, so the first week I had it before shipping it home, I made some good progress with my pops. We pulled the fuel system apart till we found the issue.
Things we checked before finding the issue

  • Spark - yup got it from the plugs and the coil 
  • Air - yup can feel/hear it sucking in air 
  • fuel - nope, trickle from the out line 

Once we found it wasn't getting enough gas we replaced the fuel filter, replaced some fuel lines, and still nadda. Even gave the fuel pump a "technical tap" with a hammer.
A wild thought hit me to check the fuel sending unit in the gas tank. Then I wished I had reassembled the gas tank and never opened it.

The mesh pickup screen was clogged solid. I pulled the screen off the sending unit and it floated in the goop that was in the bottom of the tank. The tank still needs to be boiled.

Here is a before and after with the fuel screen. The after was 45 minutes with a wire brush and a dremel wire brush.

And the back together with it all a bit cleaner.

And for the record, it started after this. Didn't run, but it started.