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Just call me Harada - My 1984 50th Anniversary Edition Z31 300zx Build

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Just call me Harada - My 1984 50th Anniversary Edition Z31 300zx Build

Old 03-13-2014, 10:11 AM
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Just call me Harada - My 1984 50th Anniversary Edition Z31 300zx Build

Just picked up a new side project....

a 1984 300zx 50th Anniversary Edition Z31.

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Originally wanted a 240sx (who doesn't nowadays) then looked at 240z's. Both were more than I wanted to spend for such a project. So, I looked at the often-overlooked and underrated Z31 300zx. The VG30ET attracted me for it's easy power gains after a few minimal mods. The only problem was finding one in good enough condition for what I wanted to pay.

Ended up picking up a local Roller with stock T5 transmission as well as some maintenance/mod work like poly bushings, lowering/sport springs, d/s brake rotors, lightweight Z wheels (not sure from what generation but they are pretty light) plus he claimed all the electronics worked, etc. and it came with tons of extras.

His plans were to drop in a 302 with T5 from an '88 Foxbody mustang...however he stopped after fabbing custom engine mounts because he probably saw that it was more than just a DIY-in the garage project at that point.
So, I bought it off his hands (originally wanted the v8 but after some input from other Z31 drivers and 302 people alike, I decided to stick with the VG30ET...plus I wanted a turbo)

My plans? Right now they are to get the car actually running and to somewhat bring it back to it's former glory....with a "modern" touch. Yes, I plan on being able to drift it, yes I plan on trying to make a good amount of power. However, this will be no beat-up drift missile. It'll be a classy b****. (this is subject to change, budget pending)

Let the pictures begin:

Picking her up

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first night at the shop...
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LET THE STRIPPING COMMENCE

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re-aligned the hood so it would actually latch closed...test fitting the poly lip kits

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same for the hatch...
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started grinding and sanding away some of the rust while I wait for the heart transplant VG30ET...beginning the prep process for a full paint job... (not 100% sure on color...was thinking of sticking to the 50th AE theme, however.)


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the heart donor:
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Motor should be in by the first week of April...trying to get it up and running by mid-april.

This is where the project stands now....

here are a few pictures that inspired me...

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and if you don't get the Harada reference, familiarize yourself with "Wangan Midnight" - the character drives a Z31 that has a similar style to the USDM-only 50th AE (although his is not an AE but is two toned, etc.)

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to be continued.......

--
UPDATE 4/11

I've just finalized the motor (100k mile VG30ET with accessories, etc. delivered to the shop), and a Clutch LSD from an 87T Z31 (came with a clutch LSD from the factory in 87-89, and are highly sought after...got a great price)

I won't be working on the car for a week and a half since I go home friday for spring break...but when I'm back, the motor should be in within a week or so so I want to try and finish up the seats (trying to fab custom rails for the racing seats) and the bracing before that happens so that I can at least work on getting it driving/driveable before painting and finishing up the body details (don't want to that before all the heavy mechanic work) Plus, I need to reinstall the OEM engine mounts, or get custom ones for the OEM motor fabbed and installed (the p/o put custom 302 mounts in)

I'm also trying to locate some liberty walk/rocket bunny style pieces ...I may go that route too (larger over-fenders, ducktail extension, etc) prob will just order the knockoff parts for now to test-fit... I dig the vintage boso/drift look on these older cars

Also need to find a rear bumper midsection with a sunken-in license plate slot, because I have the "JDM" Kaminari center light for the rear which goes over the OEM plate relocation, however usually people just bolt the plate to the bumper... of course, that's not clean enough for me... will prob try and find a 240 bumper to use and will graft it in...

I'll be running a 3" full exhaust (or just down pipe to side exit for now) and luckily the car is very close to TurboCIV's shop... so will definitely be utilizing many of his services...

stay tuned.....looking forward to checking out this site


--

update 4/12


thanks!

Was doing a little research of what I can use on my car, since the aftermarket is very small for Z31s..
I want to run fender flares - although the 50th AE already comes with a rear flare look, I feel that I want to do the riveted flare styling for the front and back.
Apparently the ones at JDMflares.com work on the Z31 $170 for a set of fiberglass (ugh) flares that are 2.25 front 2.5 rear

here's a picture of the "ZG" style JDMFlares on a Z31:

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Still need to hunt down a usable ducktail, or keep the factory spoiler. Up in the air.

I found some for the 240z that I can probably make work
like these:

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I think I want to do the flares/ducktail/low front splitter style, slam it, but retain the 50th AE paint scheme with a little twist.... blend of old and new.
first things first - I need to get it running.....

Last edited by Jbaker1121; 04-09-2014 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:14 PM
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300zx Goals for this week:

BODY
- Attempt to finish all the rust repair and rustproofing before motor comes
- Clean and paint engine bay in order to be Clean/pretty/ready for transplant
- Bondo and sand; primer spots left from rust removal

ENGINE BAY
- Repair 302 engine mounts, go back to stock VG mounts
- put brakes booster / lines back together
- repair cut EFI/Engine harness wiring
- Clean up wiring; paint bay
- Exedy Clutch/Flywheel

INTERIOR
- get seats in and working (or say screw it and use stock seats for now to get the car running)
- Respray rearview mirror black to match interior
- Remove more panels/dash to clean/rustproof

CLSD should be in by friday - Want to try and install it before the motor/trans go back in
VG30ET should be in on saturday along with a Kouki (87-89) front end conversion (Bumper, hood, headlights)

Crossing my fingers, hoping that everything goes smoothly.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:40 PM
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Cool

Grats on the 300zx, looks like you have a few other projects in your shop. Wish I had that kind of space, I would love it. Keep us posted, and thanks for all the pics. I always thought the rear fender flare looks way to much like an after thought.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:43 PM
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I second PredatorZ.

Amazing work under way there, Harada!

I didn't know so many trim variations were even available still.

I got so inspired I ordered myself a set of TURBO stickers today. Them Honda guys always ask (before they run me! Haha). Now they can just read it on the side and slink quietly away into the night...

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Old 03-25-2014, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by PredatorZ View Post
Grats on the 300zx, looks like you have a few other projects in your shop. Wish I had that kind of space, I would love it. Keep us posted, and thanks for all the pics. I always thought the rear fender flare looks way to much like an after thought.
thanks! The other cars are actually my buddies' projects - I share the shop space with some drifting fanatic friends (1jz soarer, e36 getting an Ls1, 240sz Rb25)

Im still on the fence about them - will probably blend them into the body but am unsure yet because of the way they go with the styling of the car...

Originally Posted by zxguy1986 View Post
I second PredatorZ.

Amazing work under way there, Harada!

I didn't know so many trim variations were even available still.

I got so inspired I ordered myself a set of TURBO stickers today. Them Honda guys always ask (before they run me! Haha). Now they can just read it on the side and slink quietly away into the night...
Thanks! I'll probably be taking mine off, actually, since you'll be able to hear it want the look to be a bit cleaner..

updates:


Spent a good 5 hours last night doing rust removal and trying to cut out the 302 mounts that were put in - they were sloppy but think metal so my cutting wheel wasn't doing much. May just have them cut out when I bring it in to get factory mounts put in. (donovan)

I have maybe 5 more rust spots that need some attention then I want to clean up the engine bay so that after the mounts are in place I can spray it.

Also figured out the part of the harness cut is the EFI so I only need a new EFI harness, not the entire harness. (sort of good news) going to see if a local yard has it before spending $150ish on a new old stock one.

Was trying to make these sport seats work but they are a bit wider than stock and it seems the way to make them work may be structurally unsafe because it involves welding an additional bracket to the OEM seat rails for them to bolt to the rails. I want to be able to adjust the seating position still, so trying to avoid straight weld-in.

Tomorrow I'm going to try and get to the rest of the rust spots that are bad then purchase rustproofing paint. I forget the name but apparently you can spray on rust that is already there and it will stop it from spreading. this seems fine for some of the more simple spots but there are some spots that need some metal patching (the A pillars where they meet the hood, and the rear driver fender under the antennae where the bad leaking was.

Other things that need immediate attention are the EFI harness and a few other things to get the car running. would rather have the engine bay sprayed then drop the motor in to get it running before trying to get the body to 100%...
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:00 PM
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LOL on the 'hear it' instead of see it. Very good.

Just thinking about the rust. Technically, I think you can 'stop' further rusting on a rusting part if you can prevent ANY MORE air or moisture (O2 & H20) from getting to the metal. Basic chemistry there. Not that easy to do when you think about it. Sealers and paints often cure and work best when they 'breathe' a bit. Any breathing will let some O2 and H2O in. So the rust can continue, if only a bit slower.

I guess your call there is whether you are doing a 20-yr job or a 5-yr job - or maybe a 2 yr job. That's probably why rust repairs are such a pain in the butt - and such big $$$ - because you want to get rid of any sign it was ever there. Requires some classy body shop type work, a real pro with the tools and the time. Way over my head.

But don't stop with the pics no matter what ! They are a hoot.

Last edited by zxguy1986; 03-25-2014 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by zxguy1986 View Post
LOL on the 'hear it' instead of see it. Very good.

Just thinking about the rust. Technically, I think you can 'stop' further rusting on a rusting part if you can prevent ANY MORE air or moisture (O2 & H20) from getting to the metal. Basic chemistry there. Not that easy to do when you think about it. Sealers and paints often cure and work best when they 'breathe' a bit. Any breathing will let some O2 and H2O in. So the rust can continue, if only a bit slower.

I guess your call there is whether you are doing a 20-yr job or a 5-yr job - or maybe a 2 yr job. That's probably why rust repairs are such a pain in the butt - and such big $$$ - because you want to get rid of any sign it was ever there. Requires some classy body shop type work, a real pro with the tools and the time. Way over my head.

But don't stop with the pics no matter what ! They are a hoot.
I agree with everything you said. Im just trying to get rid of most of the imperfections to get the body fairly straight, and stop the rust from spreading further - although some spots are tough.

I did more research on the rustproofing paint and POR 15
problem with these is they are a pain to paint over and the paint will keep flaking. Would rather just get rid of the bad stuff and get paint over it and get the dents out for now.
This is all DIY but may end up getting it painted 'professionally' after it's running etc. For now I just wanted to take a crack at some of the rust etc. I have a Kouki conversion coming in anyway so need to paint it all to match.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:37 PM
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Buddy of mine did a quick photoshop for me:

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This is a 50th Anniversary Edition (like mine) with the updated Kouki front bumper. I'm glad that I am going this route. It looks killer. Liking the two-tone with no gold 'turbo' too.

Also came across this 1986 200ZR-II with added on molded-in rear flares, but "looks" similar to how mine should with the kouki front and AE flares, etc.
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I love the look. Inspiration to keep on going!
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:31 PM
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Was pretty busy Monday and today. The rust problems are 80% sorted out.
As shown in the pics below, I attacked all the spots with rust down to the bare metal, then
used a Rust spray (the purple/black looking stuff in the pics below) that forms a chemical bond to the rust in order to keep it form spreading. You can then sand it down and paint over it. For most of the spots, this is OK. For a few, however, there needs to be some filler/bondo added over this to get the body line straight, or in the case of the rear bottom 1/4, sheet metal welded in because the rust ate all the way through.

Since the motor is now coming next weekend instead of this weekend, I will try and have the entire car at least primed or maybe even painted (weather permitting) before dropping the motor in.
Before priming, I want to get the entire rear interior hatch area bedlined after repairing the interior rust, which I have also sprayed with the Rust spray but is much harder to work on down to the metal due to its location in the rear area.

I also want to get the seats figured out so when the motor does come in and we finally get it running, there's somewhere to sit

As far as getting her running - Still need to get an EFI, but now I have another week and a half. Motor should now be coming on the 5th.

Enjoy some pictures of the carnage/progress:

spots needing filling:
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dent in this section that will need bondo
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I'm planning on deleting the antennae (that hole was the cause of most of the rust issues back here, anyway.)
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Also, The existence of a Kouki Z done up in 50th AE style was brought to my attention:
The front of the car is essentially how mine will look (minus the 200ZR vent, I'll be re-using the 50th AE vent in the zenki location over the turbo...just pretend it's over to the right)

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the rear, however, is Kouki of course....


So, I did a photoshop to see how the rear should look on my Zenki w/ Kouki bumpers:
50th AE, Kouki rear bumper, low on bronze watanabes.
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After seeing this mocked up I may stick to a recess in the bumper for a plate - not kouki rear.(those damn humps ruin it for me) This way I can still utilize the MSA XENON rear valence I have for the zenki rear bumper. (I'll have to cut into both pieces for a bumper recess )
However, it is pretty cool to see how my car may look when completed

I'm excited to get back in the shop Friday (warm weather ahead) to finish up the body prep.
Stay tuned.....
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:31 AM
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Agree on the rear bumper 'humps.' I think every time I see them that they would look better and make more sense if they had an inch-or-two thick black rubber bumper on them. I would buy the thick rubber sheet, cut it and stick it, even if it wasnt in the color scheme. Exposed urethane bumper cover makes no sense if it cant take a bump without cracking or peeling...

Awsum work! Waiting for the finish fotos. Could be one for the records, Harada!

Last edited by zxguy1986; 03-27-2014 at 03:36 AM.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:37 AM
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That last picture looks sick! You're making me want to do more than just a restored stock look!
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by zxguy1986 View Post
Agree on the rear bumper 'humps.' I think every time I see them that they would look better and make more sense if they had an inch-or-two thick black rubber bumper on them. I would buy the thick rubber sheet, cut it and stick it, even if it wasnt in the color scheme. Exposed urethane bumper cover makes no sense if it cant take a bump without cracking or peeling...

Awsum work! Waiting for the finish fotos. Could be one for the records, Harada!
Yeah man, not sure about the humps. Mocking up a photo now with a recess for the plate. I think it may be cleaner without having that "stuck-on" look that people usually do when they use the kaminari read center tail. Just need to figure out how to wire a plate light down there (most bumpers like that have humps with lights in them...)

Originally Posted by 50SEVEN View Post
That last picture looks sick! You're making me want to do more than just a restored stock look!
I know, right. stock is nice, but I like a modified stock look, not too crazy.
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:46 PM
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Spent a few hours today sanding the entire exterior of the car - trying to get it as smooth as possible. Got any un-poppable dents down to bare metal in order to apply bondo. Next week a friend of mine is plastidipping the entire car for free (I know, I know, it's plastidip. I'm holding off on a real paint job for now. plus its free) so I want to have the car primed and ready to receive a fresh coat.

Sanding
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made a bit more work for myself since the p/o had painted the door handles, I used paint remover. A bit too much, since it screwed with the paint surrounding it. Nothing some serious sanding couldn't fix.
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these areas are still a big concern. was thinking of just filling the gaps in and sanding/priming for now. (like this on both sides)
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after sanding everything (including trim) I masked off and plastidipped the window trim/moldings and the side mirror
(ran out of 'good' tape when I got to other side - long story short it was too cold for cheaper painter's tape to work right and the 1 roll of 3m was the only one that would stick - heated the can of plastidip before using for the most even coat possible from a can - when my buddy sprays the car he'll use it from a gun with some thinner for an even coat)
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Dry after about 4 coats. there were a few spots that were pulled because I waited too long to remove the tape. Will simply redo them later.
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Then, I mixed some bondo and filled in the more serious dents around the car nice and thick to ensure even lines.
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letting it cure overnight/for a day before touching it to make sure it's solid and ready for sanding.

I removed the front bumper in order to pull the radiator and look for any hiding rust while I was sanding the car... can't wait for my motor to come in!
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I got a 240 rear bumper from one of the guys I share the shop space with - the license plate recess should work perfectly for my plans to graft it into the oem bumper.
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Yes, the bumper does not fit - I'm not using the entire bumper, however. Just the part where the license plate goes. Going to cut a hole in the oem bumper for it to fit in, and set up license plate lights for a nice OEM look. No license plates screwed into the bumper here. I want my Z clean.

Should be back at the shop in the next few days or so to finish up the body work and lay down some filler primer, sand, and prime again.

Also, my CLSD came in today. I will probably not install it right away - my motor comes in next weekend and there are a few other things that need to get done in order for the install to go smoothly. I still need my EFI harness, which is pretty important for the motor

I also need to get these seat brackets done so I have somewhere to sit in the car that is actually attached to the floor....

PLus, still need to get those pesky 302 mounts out, install factory mounts, and cut out the super-rusty rear passenger quarter panel piece and weld in some sheet metal in order to have a nice solid body back there (as well as some other repairs)

Stay tuned....
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:46 AM
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Looks like is coming together nicely! What color plastidip are you using, and what do you want for the final car?
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by 50SEVEN View Post
Looks like is coming together nicely! What color plastidip are you using, and what do you want for the final car?
For now, I'm going to adhere to the factory paint job with a silver/black two-tone. Not sure if I'll do the gold pin striping or not, and I don't really want the Turbo decal. I think a clean two-tone will be nice and still pay homage to the original 50th AE paint job. I'm leaving the 50th AE badges on the sides, anyway.

When I eventually get to a real paint job, I'll likely stick to the original scheme, although the car will be modified from the original spec, I would like to stick with the two-tone. May use a slightly different, more metallic Silver however.



Here's a new, more accurate "final product" render:
MSA Xenon rear lip on 50th AE zenki rear bumper, with license plate recess I plan on creating from 240sx rear bumper (I got one) - Just need to cut rectangular hole in bumper, put recess in, and graft/bond them together. Not sure on exact height/location of plate recess compared to where the MSA lip attachs (I'll try to keep it clean!) but for the render let's hope for a clean straight line...
The hatch is black because the hatch on my car happens to be black. I like it because it sort of flows well with the spoiler into the taillights without the break of body color silver.....
I think it's going to look great.
Now I just need to play with wheel ideas.....

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Stay tuned....

I've figured out that I want to run some Epsilon/Southern Way mesh deep dish wheels. I've found a set "local" to me (45 min from home, but right now I'm 6 hours from home at school) These wheels were built in the same era as the car, so would be a "period-correct" set of wheels to run. they are also pretty rare.
If you scroll up, they're actually the same wheels on the 50th AE (black mesh w/ lips) that I did the kouki front photoshop of.

here are the wheels:
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Last edited by Jbaker1121; 03-29-2014 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:47 PM
  #16  
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Nice! That is actually the same plan for paint as I had. I like the original colour scheme, but the pewter metallic is a little lackluster, but then again that's how pewter is. Nice wheels!
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:55 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by 50SEVEN View Post
Nice! That is actually the same plan for paint as I had. I like the original colour scheme, but the pewter metallic is a little lackluster, but then again that's how pewter is. Nice wheels!
Yeah I want a silver that pops a bit more eventually. for now just going with plastidip lol
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:32 PM
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Yo, I'd recommend you switch from using photobucket. It won't let us view the pictures after a certain bandwidth limit is reached. It's stupid as hell, and makes rereading this almost pointless!
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:44 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by 50SEVEN View Post
Yo, I'd recommend you switch from using photobucket. It won't let us view the pictures after a certain bandwidth limit is reached. It's stupid as hell, and makes rereading this almost pointless!
Not if you fork over the $2.99 a month for +20gb like I did

anyway,

HARNESS CAME IN!
MOTOR CAME IN!

Now I just need to do some wrenching to replace ~20 gaskets, some studs, do some maintenance, spark plugs, oil, etc. And I should be good to drop the motor into the car.
This is the first time I’ve gotten this “deep” into working on a car.
First time doing the bodywork, first time stripping a car clean,
First time working on a motor to this extent… it’s a steep learning curve.

MOTOR!
A 1986 VG30ET with 92k original miles. No problems other than a leaky valve cover. With these motors, the problem areas are the exhaust manifold gaskets and the valve cover gaskets. On this motor, both needed to be replaced due to small leaks, however I would want to replace these anyway because I would like to clean up the valve covers (shine up that red color!) and have the exhaust manifolds “easy” to remove when needed.

The cool thing about this motor is that it’s from an AUTO zx, so it come with a clutch cooler and an oil cooler, both which didn’t come with the Manual cars. So, I’ll have the benefit of extra cooling parts without needing to go aftermarket. I just need to ditch the auto flywheel for a proper m/t one, and change the bushing/bearing.

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The hairdryer
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First thing I did was ditch the Air conditioning. I may regret it later with summer coming up, but the lines in the engine bay were cut anyway so that would be more money out of my pocket to get it working rather than just hooking it up again. Removing it makes the motor look cleaner anyway. (and shaves a few pounds…. Power/weight yo!) plus I have T-Tops!

Bolts and Nuts that have been sitting untouched for ~30 years (motor is an ’86, ar is an ’84) really need some “convincing” to be removed…and now I see why it’s sort of a given that you need to replace the studs on the exhaust manifold after you remove it for the “first” time…. All but 3 of them came right out. Luckily none broke, and the only bolts I stripped were ones that are easily replaceable.

Due to my inexperience and the lack of organization of my friends’ tools, it took me ~4 hours to remove a few things from the motor. This included spraying PB blaster + waiting, searching for the right extension, staring and trying to figure out what needs to get removed first in order for the thing behind it to be removed…
However, I’m glad I stripped it all down.

All the gaskets should be in by Friday, and I should have them replaced, new plugs in, new timing belt/tensioner and hopefully all other motor “stuff” finished by this weekend, including the harness wiring. Hopefully I can even attempt to drop the motor into the car by this weekend!



BODY!
As for the car itself: ready for paint/dip
Going with an Aluminum/black two tone with silver metallizer gloss topcoat.
factory look with a little bling. Sort of like the GTR super Silver w/ black on the bottom.

Sprayed some aluminum on the headlight cover/fender to test it out. It should look great with about 4 more layers and some silver metallic flake.
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Plastidip gallons cost a lot more than I thought, but it’s still cheaper than getting the car painted. After all, this is sort going to be a drift car/car to tinker with. However, after masking the car all up and preparing for paint, I found out it would cost me $500 to get it dipped “professionally” so I said “screw it” and I’m going to do it myself. We have a compressor in the shop anyway, I just need a regulator and paint gun with a 1.7-2.0 nozzle. (I know it sounds “easy” but we shall see)

For Dip materials in the color I want, it is still about $300. Maybe I’ll hold off until after the motor is in since there are still things I need to purchase (plugs, fluids, etc)

The parts for the Kouki front in came in, but one of the headlights is cracked and I need to wait for a replacement. The hood also needs some body work. I may hold off on these for now until the car is running since I would rather devote time to that.

I also haven’t even begun to work on the modified rear bumper w/ license plate recess, although I have everything I need to get it done. Again, I’d rather devote my time to getting it running

So, how the car sits while I’ve been wrenching away at the motor:

dat bondo
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cut out the rusty section. There was much less rust through the metal than I cut, but at least the rear valence covers this area :-/
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kouki bumper:
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PERFORMANCE PLANS
As far as plans for the car, popular upgrades are Holset HX35 turbos “relocated” to a top mount location for cooling / awesomeness. However, that’s another ~300 in piping (ss) then the downpipe needs to be altered, another ~$300. For now, I just want to get her running, so it may be best to use the factory turbo in the factory location and turn the boost up a bit with a manual boost controller. I have an intercooler for it (plus the oil cooler!) , so this should be good for ~9-13 safe psi now until I have the money to throw at aftermarket goodies. Plus the stock ECU map doesn’t really handle boosting over 13psi, - the car will run too lean. This should set me at approx. 275hp at the wheels with an open downpipe.

The goal now is to do maintenance, drop the motor in, and get it running. The car needs to be running for the aftermarket goodies to do anything, anyway.

So, this is where the project stands. Tearing down the motor, waiting for parts to arrive, but still trying to hurry this along to get it running very soon.
Unfortunately, this week is a little busy at school so I’ll probably only get 1 day in besides the weekend. This gives all the parts time to arrive, however.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:41 AM
  #20  
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All the gaskets came in, so I took a day off studying for finals to try and get few of them out of the way.
Did the valve cover gaskets and got to the intake manifold gasket (also removed the exhaust manifold and have the gaskets ready)
Painted the valve covers in Gold to match the 50th AE gold trimming around the car, and did those gaskets. I think I may do the spark plugs before putting the intake manifold back on, plus I want to polish it up a bit more.
It seems like somebody has been in here to replace these gaskets before. One of the valve cover gaskets was very new, while one of the heads also seems to be newer than the other (although the EGR is on the 'dark' head so that may be the reasoning for it's color)
A lot of the bolts also seem to be new.
I'm happy about this - seems at least one of the previous owners was taking care of the engine.

Ran into some issues because one of the guys let our neighbor use the engine crane so I couldn't move it up to the engine stand to access the oil pan etc.
(changing those gaskets too)

It's also an issue to find the correct size bolts to mount the transmission to the motor, and the motor to the engine stand. The local places didn't have the right size.

Anyway, here's some pics.
Finals are coming up so I won't have a chance to work on the car until afterwards.

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Old 04-27-2014, 02:18 PM
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Lookin' real good, Mr. Harada! If you get a straight A on every exam coming up, your Z will start on the first turn of the key. I guarantee it.

That car will be very special when you're done. Congratulations on superior work.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:56 PM
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You're painting the valve covers gold too? **** man, our Z's are going to look too similar. I'm not liking this...
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:12 PM
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Found this on Craigslist. I guess he's selling it now. Shame.
1984 Nissan 300zx (Z31) 50th Anniversary Edition restoration project
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by zxguy1986 View Post
Lookin' real good, Mr. Harada! If you get a straight A on every exam coming up, your Z will start on the first turn of the key. I guarantee it.

That car will be very special when you're done. Congratulations on superior work.
Yeah, I hope. keep running into stuff. See below.


Originally Posted by 50SEVEN View Post
You're painting the valve covers gold too? **** man, our Z's are going to look too similar. I'm not liking this...
Yeah man, gotta match the striping

Originally Posted by 50SEVEN View Post
Found this on Craigslist. I guess he's selling it now. Shame.
1984 Nissan 300zx (Z31) 50th Anniversary Edition restoration project
not actively selling it, it's up there an if someone pays asking then I don't mind getting rid of it. Wanted it to be running and drivable LAST WINTER and after this winter I am not sure I'll be able to have an extra car let alone a single car because I'll be graduating and moving back home / moving to NYC for work....

so, I'm getting close to having her running again.

This past weekend we got the new wiring harness in, engine back together and were ready to bolt it to the transmission + drop her in, but realized (after a deep clean) that the flywheel I had bought second hand was toast. hairline fractures, scorch marks, etc. not resurface able, and likely not safe. So, I've been trying to find a replacement. OEM flywheels new from Nissan cost $269....but for $340 I can get a fidanza aftermarket 11lb flywheel, so I think it's worth the extra few bucks to go aftermarket.
My pressure plate was just as bad, so I've decided to get the AMS clutch kit for a new one (although the exedy clutch I have is actually fine/ pretty new)

I also need new plugs and wires. So, there's another $500 i reluctantly need to spend just to get the motor and tranny ready to go in...

Besides that, the z31 bolt guide I found on xenon gives the wrong size for the bell housing bolts - it says m10 x 20 while I think I need closer to m10 x 90mm to bolt the bell housing to the motor block. So, I need to verify the size and get that bolted onto the motor.

After this is done, Should be a straightforward drop-in. driveshaft is already on car. However, I am still missing a few random things here and there that weren't in my shell nor came with the motor when I got them.

I have an intercooler, so it's okay that I am missing the entire stock intake system because I have the FMIC anyway.

Another issue that came up (although this could be caused by not having everything plugged back in) was when we got the new harness in and connected the battery, the fuel pump did not turn on at all. (also, the digi dash did not light up besides security lights and a few others...no green)

so, looks like there are a few hurdles to jump over before the car will be running, but we hope to get it at least running this weekend after parts come in by friday.

This will decimate all, after you ... overnight parts from Japan.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:27 PM
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Very impressive, the amount of work you have put in. All I can say is that it would be hard to stop now... if I were you. The real value of that Z is in a well-running machine - whether you want to sell her now or drive her one day in the near future. You could do both - drive her and sell her - but you have to get her running first. Wish there were a short cut I could think of - but the max bucks you can get for your work will be for a Z that runs. Many of us have put huge hours and piles of money into a Z and discovered that the pride in driving it after all that is very big compared to the money you can get for it when you sell. You get insulted. Life is not fair. unless you are enjoying the work all by itself. No price for that. And you are clearly good at it.

Gonna be one gorgeous Z when you're done. Hope you can keep going on it.

Last edited by zxguy1986; 10-13-2014 at 10:04 PM.
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