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A visit from an old friend...

Many of these Datsun Z cars have been with their owners since new.  Some owners had a Z car once years ago and couldn't shake the feeling, so they found themselves buying another one. And even more owners are finding their way into their Z car for the first time after seeing them from afar for years and loving their style.  Each time we see one of these cars, it’s like seeing a “blast from the past”, and experiencing all the nostalgia and funny stories that accrued over the years.  While it has only been a few months since the Silver 240Z left the shop, we recently had the opportunity to revisit our old friend, take a few moments to reflect on all that was done and go for a drive on the edge of town.

Now this visit wasn't all just for fun.  We did have some business to tend to while the 240z was back in the shop.  We fitted one of our new 70-72 7" Brake Booster and Master Cylinder sets into the car on this visit.  This part was in prototype and manufacturing while the silver car was in for its restoration and wasn't yet available.  Once installed and bled, the car has a very solid pedal feel and all new components from the clevis pin through to the existing proportioning valve.  That translates to a new Brake Master Cylinder, Power Booster, Hard Bent Lines, and Clevis and Pin.  A truly inclusive setup.


Out on the road this thing is a blast.  We took a few minutes away from the desk to just enjoy the sounds of the inline 6 and the sights of the desert.  If a film was being made, we could easily have been the cheesy background actors in a cross country driving scene.  Open winding road, vintage car in a sea of minivans pointed toward the Grand Canyon.  This car just makes for good times and fun mental imagery. 

Enjoy the photos and give us a call if you have any questions about our new Brake Booster setup for your early 240Z.

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On to the Rust Repair...

 If you have been following along with the rebuild of this original 1973 Datsun 240Z, you may have seen that we do have a bit of rust repair to contend with.  As we have been working away we have found that many sections of sheet metal will need replacement.  All areas of concern have been pretty typical of a vehicle of this age from the climate it came from.  No real surprises came about.


 Area 1:  The floors.  This 240Z needed the front Floor Pans replaced.  There was rust through beneath the seats and where the panel did the bend up toward the firewall.  We removed all of the rust areas and installed a new Floor Pan Replacement Kit with Frame Rails.  These pans are a good option to take care of this area, without the contours and bends of the original floors.  Problem solved.


Area 2:  The front lower fenders.  Both sides had excessive perforation so Lower Fender Repair Panels were installed after trimming off the lower area.

Area 3:  The left lower area from the rocker to the rear inner wheel housing.  While the right side was in solid condition the same could not be said of the left.  To correct this we installed a combination of body repair panels.  Directly beneath the door a replacement Rocker Panel was installed, followed by a Dogleg Repair Panel and an Inner Wheel Well Arch.  A fair bit of time was invested over here to get everything back to square.  Time and weather took its toll through the dent on the rocker, which compromised the metal and allowed the oxidation to spread.


 Area 4: The front frame rails.  Both sides had some perforation and/or extremely thinned metal.  This required some hand shaping and repair.  This is a vital area for the nose of the car and leaving it go is not an option.  Our rule of thumb is:  Make every repair to factory standard or better.


  With the rust now addressed, we can move on to other parts of the Restoration process.  Stay with us as we approach our next post on the progress of this 1973 240Z.  For the sake of using a pun, We will keep you in SUSPENSE…

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Next step - investigate state of major components...

Since we have completed our initial inspection of this 1973 Datsun 240Z, it is time to start disassembly and cataloging all of the parts.  Having a complete and original car in the shop is always nice.  As you are pulling things apart you discover various little bits that are often lost or simply removed from these cars from years of use.  It serves as a pleasant reminder of what was really in there off the assembly line.

Inside the cabin there are a few things very apparent in need of attention.  The most obvious is the dash that has a few cracks present.   Our 2 recommendations in this situation is for a fully Refinished Dashboard and high quality glue down Dashboard Cap.  These solutions fit various needs and budgets and both yield great results for their respective price points.  Our customer has elected to install a Dashboard Cap, which will be installed once we come to working through the interior.  With the largest, most time consuming part of the interior planned, we take note of a handful of other items requiring refreshing on the interior, but we will touch base on those in another post.


Moving outside of the car, we take a look under hood and see this car is equipped with a set of Weber 32/36 Carburetors.  These are a nice change from the flat top Hitachi SU carburetors that were originally in this 1973 and can be so finicky.  Many 1973-74 Datsun 240Z and 260Z owners installed the 32/36 combo into their Z’s or moved to the early (1970-72) dome-top Hitachi SU carburetors.  Rather than replacing the carburetors, the units in this 240Z will be receiving a light refresh and rebuild using our Carburetor Rebuild Kit as they are in pretty nice condition.  Keeping carburetors running smooth and balanced is key to engine longevity.  Running lean on one carburetor will have half the engine running at a different cylinder temps on those 3 cylinders compared to the other 3.  Healthy carbs make for healthy cars. 


As highlighted on our last post, it is known that we have an engine that is in need of rebuilding.  With this in mind we are giving this rotating assembly the attention it needs with a Master Engine Rebuild Kit, which is essential to our Engine rebuilds.  (If rebuilding an Engine yourself is not in your expertise, our Rebuilt Engines and Cylinder Heads for the 240Z, 260Z, 280Z or 280ZX are great options.)


With the Engine separated from the transmission, we now have the opportunity to do some basic inspections with the 4 Speed Gearbox.  While this unit by appearances is in workable condition and just in need of a good cleanup, we are prepared for any trouble that could arise.  A Transmission Rebuild Kit is at the ready if any crunching or whirring is observed once the 240Z is road-going again. Just behind the transmission, are the driveshaft and the rear differential.  These too are in a state of limbo pending getting the car back to proper health.  If concern is present with either of these components, U-Joints, Halfshafts, Driveshafts, Complete Differentials, and Rebuild Kits are all waiting for a call to the bullpen.

We are progressively chipping away at the rehabilitation of this time capsule 1973 Datsun 240Z.  Stay tuned to follow our progress and see this journey continue...


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When one is over, another one begins...

As we complete one Datsun 240Z, another 240Z arrives.  It is a 1973 Datsun 240Z and this particular 240Z is a time capsule - the interior, paint, engine, and everything is all original.  Coming in at sixty-eight thousand miles, coated in a very 70's green and outfitted with a butterscotch interior, this beauty is ready for our check in and inspection.

Initial walk-around on this 240Z shows that we will have some rust to contend to and a bit of damage in two main areas.  The left rocker panel and just below the right tail light have a dent in each location.  The floors will require replacement as will the lower fenders and dog legs.  Overall, for a 40+ year old survivor that has been parked for quite some time, this is a typical example of a plains state Z car.


As we open the doors and take notes we see that the interior is in pretty good condition.  There are cracks on the upper dash, the driver bolster in the vinyl has split and the center console has cracked in a few places as well.  All of these items are not out of the norm and will be very straight forward for us to repair.  The diamond vinyl is complete and without damage.  Much of this portion of the restoration service will be focused on basic repairs and refreshing the existing pieces.


Mechanically it will require a fair bit of attention as it has sat for some time.  Compression and leak down checks are performed to determine the relative health of the engine.  These tests yielded some less than stellar marks as only one cylinder had passable compression.  It seems the air is escaping past the cylinder rings or valves depending on cylinder.  The fuel tank metal is in passable condition but the lining is broken down and the carburetors will require a freshening up.  It looks like we will be tending to these items before digging in any further on the driveline.  An overview of the electrical shows the car is complete with no splices having been made to the original wiring and all pieces are present and in place.

The suspension and brakes are complete factory original.  The struts still contain the factory oil fill and many of the bushings show major signs of wear.  The Brake system will be receiving an overhaul and that is what we will be highlighting today.

Hydraulic System: 

Because this 240Z has sat for quite some time, that translates to one very important concept in braking systems - Moisture.  Brake Fluid absorbs moisture and this is not a good thing.  Many of the hydraulic bodies on these cars are made of aluminum and therefore will corrode from the inside.  A new Brake Master Cylinder, Rear Wheel Cylinders, and Front Brake Calipers are to be installed.  Supplying the fluid from the original chassis hard line are now new rubber Brake Hoses and Brake Tube Bridges.  The Brake Booster is being replaced with a unit supplied by the customer that he had purchased from us prior to deciding on his full restoration.

Friction System: 

At the front of this 240Z are new Brake Rotors and Brake Pads.  The rear is receiving new Brake Shoes and Brake Drum Hardware Kit.  The Drums are in good condition, and will not need to be replaced.

Stay tuned as this is only the start, and we have a long way to go on this 1973 Datsun 240Z.  The journey has only just begun…

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It's finished!


Over the past few months, we have been working on restoring this 1971 Datsun 240Z.  From its arrival until now, the transformation has been remarkable.  We have gone through everything from the body with repair, rust removal and paint, to the interior, brakes and so much more.  Since our last blog post, we have been toiling away putting the final touches on this machine – from the small details like making sure every handle and knob works properly to the final polish and shine of the engine compartment.


 Upon start up, we discovered a few hiccups with the electrical system and one of the wiring harnesses.  A quick swap was all that was needed.  We tuned the carburetors to the hotter cam, got the ignition timed in, tended to a few minor drive test bug fixes and polished the new paint job to a shine.  Now, we had a car that is everything a Z Car was off the assembly line…and more. 


 As we prepared to release our latest project, our customer made one final request.  This Datsun 240Z and its owner are Arizona residents, and to make this car enjoyable through all 4 seasons of the year, a new Air Conditioning Kit would be the icing on the cake. 

Z Car Source builds Air Conditioning Kits in-house for the 1974-1983 Z Cars, with each kit including a compressor, condenser, receiver/drier, and the necessary lines to connect it all together.  These kits are designed to fit vehicles that had factory A/C and retain some of the original components of the car while retrofitting it to R-134a refrigerant.  While a 1971 240Z did not have factory Air Conditioning, we were able to modify, fit and install an Air Conditioning kit for our customer’s enjoyment.  Now she’s ready to go home.


So, we wave goodbye to this 1971 Datsun 240Z, and wish our customer many years of driving fun.  While we will miss this project, we won’t have much time to reminisce.  Our newest project has already been rolled in and is ready to start…


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The exterior is coming all together on our 1971 Datsun 240Z restoration...

On a Restoration project, a nice coat of paint is not all an exterior needs.  There are many fine pieces and parts that make your Z car whole.  As we continue to work away on this 1971 Datsun 240Z, we have been refinishing and replacing many of the exterior pieces to create the final amazing look of this restoration.

When reassembling and fitting all the body panels back in place, it is always nice to use new pieces for setting the panel gaps and making sure nothing rubs or chatters.  New Hood Height Adjusters and Hood to Side Fender Rubber Bumpers allowed us to install the hood in a nice level and even fashion and a new Hood to Cowl Seal will keep moisture and dust out of the engine bay from the top side.  In the rear, new Hatch Rubber Bumpers were installed and all new inner and outer Hatch Seals were fitted to keep water out of the refreshed interior.  Simple things like the Wiper Arm Boots, Fender to Inspection Lid Bumpers, Hood to Inspection Lid Rubber Cushions, and Door Lock Cylinder Pads contribute to great fit and finish and a factory original look.


In earlier blog posts, we have referenced that we would be using one of our Deluxe Plus Weatherstrip Kits.  All of the pieces from this Kit have been fitted to their corresponding homes on the car and all of the glass has been reinstalled.  A high quality weatherstrip kit is a must in any restoration project.  Good seals will keep dust and moisture out, reduce wind noise, and can make something simple like closing a door feel more solid.

Datsun Z cars are incredibly enjoyable to drive.  But the more frequently you enjoy, the more wear and tear over time.  The shiniest of pieces aren't always in the brightest of condition after 40 + years of keys, hands, and other things brushing against them.  Many chrome pieces can be re-plated & refinished such as Front and Rear Bumpers, while others have budget-friendly replacement options.  New Exterior Door Handles and a new Door Mirror keep the car looking bright as you glance across the profile.  Polished Slotted Mag Wheels ties it all together to brighten the look.  New or refinished Windshield Chrome Trim will bring the gloss back to what all those bugs have taken away over time.  There are so many pieces available to revive these cars - it is astounding!


One of the easiest ways to freshen the look of your Datsun Z car is to replace the emblems.  Our 240Z received a full Emblem Set, all new pieces to complete its new shiny look.  These emblems pop against the deep silver paint, beautiful fresh gel coat and clean chrome! 


With all of the fine little pieces going into place there have been a few more major installs happening as well – most notably, Lighting.  The Exterior Tail Light Panels have been refinished by having their plastics repaired and a new coat of paint applied.  Front and rear Marker Lights have all been re-inserted, the Turn Signal Assemblies are nestled into their home.  The final piece in the lighting pie is the headlamps that are being fitted with a new HID Headlight Set. A touch of modern lighting will make this car far more enjoyable, and safer, to drive once the sun goes down.


Here at Z Car Source, we enjoy keeping these vintage Datsuns on the road and restoring them to their former (and some times slightly modernized) glory.  It may be the slick new headlights beaming out but we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We may be on the tail end of this project, but there is still more to do...

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Interior Re-Assembly has started on this 1971 Datsun 240Z...

With the mechanicals back in place we now turn our focus to the re-installation of the interior on this ‘71 240Z.  A beautiful interior is one of our favorite parts of the Restoration process.  From the comfort of the seat you sit on, to the feel of the steering wheel in your hands, nothing has a greater initial impact on your driving pleasure than the interior!

While working on the body and paint, we were able to spend downtime refinishing some of the interior components (as discussed in our previous blog post).  Now we are ready to install. Our rebuilt Seats with new Seat Foam and super soft Leather Upholstery are fitted into place and bolted down – and look gorgeous!  All of the seat mechanisms are cleaned, greased, and operation is verified.  Between the seats the refinished console has been outfitted with its Emergency Brake Boot and Outer Shift Boot – both were in nice condition so the customer elected not to replace. 


The Interior Vinyl Trim inside this 240Z were in solid condition and did not require replacement.  Just a little bit of time and elbow grease to clean them made them look like new again.  The Carpet on the other hand showed enough wear to warrant replacement.  As such it was replaced with a new Sewn Molded Carpet Kit.

The headliner and pillar covers are going into place.  Patience and care when installing these goes a long way.  Working meticulously and progressively to ensure all the gaps and lines are symmetrical on the A-Pillar Trim is especially important for an impressive finish.  Our Headliner with Roof Pillar Trim kit includes a nice padding material to create a soft pliable touch and the adhesive needed to bond and install all of it to the car.  Excellent quality products make working on the car so much easier!


The newly rebuilt Interior Door Panels have been mounted, along with the Door Handle Escutcheons & Handle Covers, Window Cranks & Clips -  all are now secured.  Even the simplest of things make all the difference.  Using new hardware, Door Panel Receiver Cups, Window Crank Door Panel Protectors and Lock Trim Rings makes the assembly less frustrating and the attention to detail is noticeable!


With the beautifully Refinished Dashboard installed, and all of the Gauges and Switches in place, we fitted the Refinished Steering Wheel and Steering Column Cover.  Truly the Icing on the cake!


Wow, this 240Z is really coming together!

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It's Painted...so we are ready to reinstall!

We are forging forward on the 1971 Datsun 240Z that we are restoring.  Now that the car is painted in the customer's favorite silver, we are reinstalling the powertrain and drivetrain.  When doing a restoration, it is always best to take the opportunity to replace parts and pieces that are not as easily accessible in a completed car.  It is never fun to have to disassemble what you have recently put back together to fix something that would have been easy earlier on.  Doing it once with patience is always better than twice with frustration.

The owner of this 240Z reported that it ran well without indication of Transmission or other troubles prior to dropping it with us.  Compression and leakdown tests affirmed this at check in.  With that in mind, the Engine and Transmission were degreased, cleaned, and painted.  The Engine Block got a coat of custom blue that the customer selected while the Transmission and Cylinder Head were given a touch of machine silver to freshen their appearance. 

A new Clutch Kit was added to the cleaned components, allowing them to mate properly and provide clamping power when the go pedal is pressed.  New Engine Mount Insulator and Transmission Mount Insulator complete the installation. 

While reinstalling the customer's Header, we found that the flange was not true.  No worries - our Intake / Exhaust Manifold Gasket for Warped Heads was made for this very situation and complete the seal.  We also attached the recoated Header and the Carburetors.  This 240Z’s carbs were in good condition and did not require more than a cleanup.  With all of these components now in place, we got to plumbing them for fuel.  All new Hose has been installed as well as a new Fuel Filter.

For the Heating & Cooling system, new Radiator Hoses and Heater Hoses are put into place with the remanufactured Radiator, Heater Core and Heater Control Valve.  The new Starter and new Alternator have been mounted with a new V-Belt run for the Alternator.  A new Air Filter was installed into the refurbished Air Cleaner Box as well.  Things are really starting to take shape.

New NGK Spark Plugs were threaded in and paired to new Ignition Wires, Distributor Cap, and Rotor.  An oil pressure problem tipped us off to an Oil Pump issue, so a new Oil Pump was installed.

Time to make it breathe fire!

First startup yielded a bit of a rich condition just based on how bad all of our eyes were watering.  Maybe it was joy – but really it was running a bit rich.

After some tweaking and tuning it was discovered that timing was just not wanting to get dialed in.  Rather than fight the old points style distributor any longer, we retrofitted it to a Pertronix unit and everything is happy.

The re-installation process moves quickly, but there is still so much to do.  Check back next time to see what comes next!


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Bodywork and paint prep...

Approaching this 1971 Datsun 240Z, we knew we were going to be working with a reasonably rust-free car.  This 240Z was in relatively good shape for a 40 year old car. There were some known areas that would require attention; primarily in the rear of the vehicle.  Sometime in the past it had been rear ended and seemingly repaired as fast as possible.  The results were pleasing to the eye but some intense scrutinizing revealed that the hatch and rear quarters would need some attention to work back into proper form.

The prior repair work had been completed quickly with no concern for the hatch and bumper alignment. The lower valance was drilled and pulled with filler pushed through the pull holes. The hatch had been shaved off in the upper right corner so as to not contact the roof line when opened.   In short, the car needed rear alignment to straighten the rear end, a new hatch and a whole lot of body work from the quarters back.  We obtained a hatch from our used panel inventory and got to work making the gaps right and the rear properly aligned.

  As we prepared the vehicle and began knocking down the previous repaint, it was uncovered that there was an adhesion issue - the paint was coming off in sheets.  Since we are repainting the entire car, we decided the best long term solution was to do a full strip to prevent any future delamination concerns.  The best results will always come from starting fresh and clean.


The hood, doors, fenders and other miscellaneous body parts were then removed from the car and plastic bead blasted down to bare metal. This also meant removing all existing filler that had been put in place to straighten the panels.  We knew before we started the project that this car was loaded with filler - many old cars are. What we found were body panels worked incorrectly to the point of oil canning. When the metal gets to the oil can stage there is no major metal repair that can be done. Only filler or panel replacement will make that panel flat again.  So we started with oil canned panels, reworked as much of the metal as possible, filled, and sanded from there. 

Re-assembly preparations are well underway at the same time.  The weatherstrip is all set aside, the bumpers re-chromed, new door handles, mirrors, glass and rubber, and all the other pieces, big and small, await our re-coated car.



Now, with everything smooth on the body and dressed in primer, we are ready for paint...

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What's going on behind the scenes...

There is no such thing as downtime when it comes to vehicle restoration.  While progress is being made on the body work and prepping for paint, we also preparing everything we need on other areas of the car to put it all back together.  We all know no restoration is complete without a proper interior and this 240Z is no exception.  While there were a handful of prior repairs done, there is still much work to do on the main components of the interior.  Let's start with the seats...

At first glance, the seats in this 240Z don’t look so bad.  But a second glance tells a different story.  The vinyl on the seats was very hard and unforgiving and the seats had been taken apart before for some foam repairs.  The combination of these issues has left them feeling very hard, the upholstery worn through on the driver's side, and the aesthetic very flat with the bolster contour completely gone.  Our customer chose leather upholstery to be installed rather than reproduction vinyl, and opted for a new set of replacement seat foams.


As you can see by our disassembly and inspection photos, these seats were very due for the attention they are receiving.  The prior repair also featured using seatbelt material as banding.  While we applaud the creativity in that fix, it left no give or flexibility to the seats, compounding the foam and vinyl issues we have already highlighted.  We also replaced the clear nylon that sits between the mechanisms and the seat materials. 



In addition to restoring the proper shape and feel to the seats, we applied the same treatment to the most important "touch" on the interior.  When you look across a car as you drive down the road the first thing you see is the steering wheel.  We take the worn and weathered and put life back into it, bringing out the original beauty of the 1972 steering wheel.  The depth of the woodgrain is present again and the feel is nice and smooth in your grip.


While looking at the steering wheel, the steering column cover is another part that takes a beating that we focus some attention to.  On many of these cars the plastics have cracked or warped from many years in use and sun damage.  The unit in this car was too warped to repair.  A used part was sourced and properly restored.


Looking back and reflecting on the rich history of the Z car is a wonderful segue into the next small feature - the rear view mirror.  While many mirrors have become pitted and dried from years behind glass getting cooked in the sunlight, we can restore the vibrancy and depth to the housings.  The shell of our subject was so tired it had pitting holes in it.  Through our plastics repair operations we were able to fill and finish it back to new.  Any one dingy component can detract from the full scope of the work performed, so no detail is overlooked by our trained eyes.


As we continue to talk about the finishing touches around the driver there are two more that we will provide focus to: the interior door panels and center console. 


The door panels in many older Z cars have started to break down.  The outer skin material felt as though it was the same plastic that covers your standard office store binder and the slight bit of pad present breaks down over time.  We are recovering these panels with our 70-73 interior door panel kit .  As you can see from the pictures it has a nice match to the original stamping textures at the inset and outer areas.  The stitched border is a nice detail that is not original but corresponds to the seats well and adds a continuity to the interior.


Over the transmission tunnel is home to the center console.  These often are cracked.  Years and weather are not friends to interior plastics.  This piece, much like the mirror, received our interior plastics treatment and has been thoroughly repaired and refinished.  Check out the fine detail in the texture – Beautiful!


While we showed you a few of the “Before & Afters”, we will wait to show you the finished seats, rear view mirror and steering column cover until the end.  You’ll just have to keep watching, and see how it all comes together in one fine finish!

 All of the parts listed above are available on our website for purchase.  And to inquire about our Custom Refinishing of your parts, contact our office for a quote.  We love bringing new life back into tired parts!  And, if you mention this Restoration Blog post, get 10% off the Custom Refinishing of your part!

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1971 240Z Restoration - and now, on to the Suspension!

As we are moving along on the Restoration of this 1971 Datsun 240Z, we want to go ahead and take a good look at the suspension. So, let's start with the Suspension Bushings. Generally, suspension bushings on any car older than 15 years need to be inspected. Original Equipment (OE) bushings on the Datsun / Nissan Z cars are usually made of rubber which can dry rot, tearing away from their metal shells and translating into a harsh and imprecise ride. This is also the case with outer tie rods and ball joints since the rubber boots sealing the greased surfaces can erode and allow road grime to interfere with the socket joints, accelerating wear. So, what is the best solution? Replacement.

There are two main options available for replacing Suspension bushings: replace worn bushings with original rubber type bushings, or replace with a Urethane or Delrin option. (Delrin is not a very common option, so we will focus on Rubber or Urethane options). Rubber bushings have some flex, whereas Urethane types have no flex. New Rubber Suspension Bushings will produce a nice, compliant ride that is smooth(er) in potholes, and will track straight as required. But, Rubber Suspension Bushings tend to be a little less durable over time, leading to a shorter lifespan. Urethane Suspension Bushings provide a solid ride with precise handling, but can be squeaky and less smooth. With that said, Urethane Suspension Bushings tend to last longer, as they are impervious to deterioration caused by oil, grease and the elements.

Many cars as old as our 1971 Datsun 240Z have a mix of parts that have been replaced over the years. Such is the case with our '71. The original owner has replaced various bushings with Urethane and left remaining rubber bushings, that are in serious need of replacement. Our customer opted to keep everything consistent, so we went with Urethane Suspension Bushings wherever replacement was required.

In our 1971 240Z, the entire front suspension (control arms, steering rack, tension rods, sway bar mounts and ends, etc...) was replaced not that long ago, along with the outer tie rods and ball joints. In the back, the inner control arm bushings (front and rear) were also replaced. The spindle pin bushings are relatively new and look good, as well as the mustache bar bushings. All of the struts and springs were recently replace as well, so all was good there too.

Removing the suspension and breaking it down into individual components can be a big and time consuming project, especially when they are dirty and greasy. Besides replacing Suspension Bushings, you need to consider inspecting and replacing outer tie rods, ball joints, the steering rack and if your rack is good, possibly just the steering rack boots. Also, its good to look at your strut cartridges, strut boots, strut mount insulators and front strut bearings, as all of these components will wear out over time. When it comes to the Suspension, there's lots to think about!

Oh, and while you are at it, one last thing: what about all of your metal suspension components? Are you going to reinstall them dirty and rusty? Considering Hot tank, blast and paint or powder coat? Now, if you're painting or powder coating, what color is going to be used? Are you going to re-plate all of the hardware back to original specs? Or try something exotic? What about the floor pan and rail detail too? Oh the choices are endless!

If you haven't figured it out yet, the underside of the car is a favorite of ours. There are so many different options to choose from and we do them all. We have a full selection of Suspension Bushings, in Rubber and Urethene, as well as everything from Ball Joints, Struts, Insulators, Steering Racks and so much more. If you want parts refinished to OEM specs, or want to try something custom and exotic, Z Car Source is here to customize all of your parts, to make your Z just the way YOU want it. Whether we restore your Z for you, or work with you on the parts for your own restoration, we are here for you with everything you need to keep your Z running beautifully.

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1971 240Z Restoration - next stop: Body & Rust Repair!

Great news! A "rust-free" Z car!

This 1971 240Z has no rust in the battery box, K-box area, doglegs, rear deck support area, fender walls, fenders, etc... The only rust we found were 2 small areas in the floor pans and a larger area at the drivers side firewall to floor pan seam. Due to the minimum rust issues, we were able to patch the floor areas with sheet metal and skip the full floor pan / frame rail kit!

As many of you know, it is not uncommon for Z's to have major rust issues in or around the wheel wells, Battery box, K-box, rockers, doors, hatch and, well, virtually anywhere you can imagine! Correcting these rust issues on a uni-body can be very time consuming to perform. Because of this, many find that the easiest way around this is through "band-aid" repairs. But remember, this is only a short term solution to a long term problem, and will most likely lead to labor intensive and costly repairs in the long run. So, when replacing rusted metal, it's important to maintain or improve the structural integrity of the original design, and install it so it looks like the damage never occurred. Not a small task, but definitely worth it in the end!

While the rust on this 1971 240Z has been extremely minor, the body has been a bit more of a challenge...

When we received the car, there was collision damage on the passenger side that was significant enough to bend the rear frame rails, and bring the car out of spec. It had been poorly repaired long ago and repainted up both quarter panels to the edge of both doors. At some point, the doors, fenders and hood had also been repainted to match the rear end repair, but the paint job was so shoddy, we were able to strip most of it with only any air hose. The paint was coming off of the car in chips the size of a baseball!

Once the doors, fenders and hood were stripped, we found many dented areas that had been fillled with sub-par bondo work. There was no attempt to remove the dent first, just bondo filled over it. We performed dent removal and straightening, along with additional fillers to bring the panels back to their correct specs.

Another area of concern were the body seams at the top of the hatch and quarter panel. Both of these factory leaded and filled seams had undergone an enormous amount of stress due to the collision. We ground down both seams to metal, welded and re-leaded them, and filled to a clean finish.

So those are the main points of the body work for this 1971 240Z. Tune in next time where we talk about the condition of the Suspension, and what components we replaced!

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The project continues...and now we are looking at all of the major components!

The 1971 240Z Restoration continues...

When we received this 240Z, it had not run in quite some time. So the condition of many of the major components was unknown, outside of what the owner had recalled from many years ago.

Engine: In all of our restoration projects, we perform a Leakdown test on the motor. This is a quick test that gives us a good idea of the engine's current health. In this 240Z's case, the engine tested well across all cylinders so a rebuild was not required. We cleaned it up and it is ready for future install.

Transmission: This early 1971 has its original "A box" type 4 speed transmission. Since the car was not in driveable condition, we decided to consult the owner's input on the component. He advised us that he had not had any prior issues with the transmission before the restoration, so it will be cleaned up and reinstalled.

Clutch Assembly: After splitting the transmission from the engine, we noticed excessive wear on the clutch disk. We also performed a run-out test on the flywheel, as well as inspected the ring gear and flywheel for heat checking and worn or chipped ring gear teeth. The flywheel inspected as acceptable to reinstall with a new clutch kit. The hydraulics (Clutch Master Cylinder, Slave Cylinder and hose) were also found to be very old and corroded, so they were replaced.

Driveline & Halfshafts: These parts were recently replaced and in good working order so they will be left as-is.

Fuel System: When we received the car, the gas tank was removed and cleaned, but the vent lines were original and need replacing. The condition of the mechanical fuel pump is currently unknown and will be diagnosed as necessary when the car is running again. As for the Carburetors, they were original to the car and while they were rebuild at one time, they were left exposed without an air box to protect them from the elements. So we will do a basic breakdown and rebuild to fix this.

Dashboard: The customer alerted us of the condition of the dashboard from the beginning, and the presence of the cracks that commonly occur in most old Z's. He requested that the old dash be removed and completely refinished to look like new. This option is expensive and takes several weeks, but it is really the only option if you want your dash to look like it did from the factory. An economical option to cover an old dash's cracks is a Dash cap, which is a hard plastic cover, but even the most perfect installation will show edges when installed. Because of this, our customer elected to refinish - and the results are beautiful!

So that's a highlight of many of the major components. Check in next time when we will explore the body for rust and necessary repairs!

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A new Restoration project is underway!

A customer brought us his 1971 240Z to restore and this fun project has begun...

When we received the car, it had been in storage for many years. The right rear brake drum was frozen and had to be removed. So, we made the decision to go through the entire brake system and bring it back to its original working condition.

Here's what we did:

  • Complete replacement of the front brakes including calipers, rotors, pads and hoses:

  • Complete replacement of the rear brakes including drums, shoes, hardware, wheel cylinders and brake tube bridges:

  • The original brake lines were still full of contaminated brake fluid so we removed the brake fluid switch and proportioning valve for a good cleaning and rebuild, and flushed out the brake lines.

  • Once we got everything cleaned up, we ran new fluid through the system with a pressure bleeder, to get the air out of the system.

  • Luckily, the brake master cylinder, check valve and brake booster checked out as working properly, so we did not have to replace these parts.

Now that the brake system has been gone through, its on to the next part of the project!

Check back next month to see what is next!

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