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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, some of you might know me for my 12' STI, but the star of this build thread is my 74' Datsun 260z I picked up right here in Colorado! It's been a very fast few months on this build starting from a rust riddled frame to what is now on its way to becoming a great car. There is so much planned for this little Datsun so stay tuned as I try to run you through what I have done up to this point and onward as the evolution process continues.

I've always wanted a Z car...the shape was all I needed and the sounds an S30 series motor can produce is just fantastic. The next step was to find one but these cars are known for rust so the trick was either find some barn find locally or outsource from one of the dryer states.

After some hunting I came across this:


After a little massaging, and some PROPER mirrors, I was left with this as a starting point:


Now the goal for this:

I want a mean fighter. I'm talking fender flares, wide tires, modern brakes, coilovers, stripped clean interior with a roll cage, just an all around, mean car with handling emphasis to throw around the track and canyon roads. Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So first things first, lets get that ugly front air damn off.



Get it up in the air and lets see how 40+ years have treated the metal:


After a few chats, I persuaded the air damn to come off....and by that I mean ITS DREMEL TIME SON.


After some test fitments, and figuring out where to drill the mounting holes, I think I have everything lined up where I want


After its down on the ground, a much needed face lift I think. I like where this is going...
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
And then suddenly I DON'T like where this is going....I hate body work but a necessary evil. The body was riddled with surface rust and a few holes here and there to bondo and patch.


After some rough moments with the block sander, I decided to buy a random orbit sander and the tools I needed to get it done properly:


Some of the earlier stages of primer and sanding. After some more priming I went 120 -> 220 -> 400 grit in sanding and decided to leave it there after I was satisfied...
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
For paint, what I wanted would have easily ran over 5 grand, so for now I settled with something experimental and decided to try the route of plastidip (yes yes, just bare with me and see the final results!) I figured it will save the surface from rust, preserve the metal and let me build up the rest of the car till I can afford a full frame restoration on the car.

Anyways I cautious of dip at first because most turn out very flat with a wrinkled look, so I browsed the menu till I settled on a custom mix that would produce the results I wanted utilizing the latest clear coat tech that dipyourcar released.


We call it Flash Copper which is a custom mix of burnt copper and other pearls to produce this unique color. Combine it with the new dip coat that just came out and the results were very impressive in the sunlight.

Work was underway at a local paint shop from my subaru club:


And the results speak for themselves:


 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
After I was satisfied with how the exterior was moving along, I decided to turn my attention to the engine bay. I noticed that there was an oil leak that decided to coat the entire underside of my precious so I dug deeper.

Looking near the water pump revealed two problems actually, a leaking pump and what appears to be a leaking front main oil seal that was the cause of my woes:


A little further down the rabbit hole confirms my suspicions:


So I began to do my favorite hobby; spending money on car parts.
I ordered a new 3-row champion radiator, new thermostat, new gaskets, new water pump, new front main oil seal, new belts, and decided to even upgrade the front braking a bit:



So after a few hours of work, and A LOT (I'm talking whoa amounts here) of degreaser, I had a good starting point for the engine bay:
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
After driving around for a bit, the exhaust leak I was hearing started to develop over time and eventually it was something I could not ignore anymore.


I decided it was time to dig down and really see what was going on:


To do ANYTHING with the exhaust system in these cars, you need to pull the intake manifold, and datsun in their infinite wisdom routed coolant lines through the intake to bring the carbs up to temp quicker....however what this meant for me was dealing with brittle rubber lines carrying an all too familiar green friend.


After pulling the intake, I have discovered my precious Z suffered from a common issue of exhaust studs breaking off in the block due to heat and stress. This also caused a massive crack and blowout in the gasket that joins the intake and exhaust manifolds...I was horrified of the idea of using EZ outs and the potential disaster that could follow so before we dive into that I decided to be bold and SPEND MORE MONEY YAY.

Let's stare at the shiny and forget all about those broken studs, that's a problem for future Micahl, he's a smart guy...he'll figure it out somehow!

Delicious MSA 6-3-2-1 headers, jet hot coated and MSA twice pipes with 14" dual glass packs


No more emission fittings, no more cross pipes, just pure performance flow goodness:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
After getting everything off, I cleaned up the block and bit and saw what I had to work with:


With a little luck, and a lot of heat/Kroil Oil (this is magic in a can folks) I got the studs out, 2 in total:


With that out of the way, assembly began with the new headers and intake:


I made cuts in the bumper to accommodate the new twice pipe system. I fitted the twice pipes with twine and a lot of bump adjustments here and there, then I carefully drove to a local shop to have hangers made and the welds I needed:
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I also bought a Gunson color tuner and a uni-syn balencer so I could now properly tune the car with all the modifications I've done and make sure she was in good running shape...the results? Combustion perfection:


I got rid of all the old emission hardware that no longer worked. I also deleted the A/C out of the car and overall removed nearly 80lbs worth of crap out of the engine bay!

I also took the time to replace the oil pressure sending unit so I can get correct readings out on the roads for this beast....a little worn out wouldn't you say?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Next up is a complete SU carb rebuild and refurbish for my 240z carbs I have on the car, and I also scored a rare 5-speed transmission out of a 1982 280zx with the close ratio gear ratio. Will be a direct remove and replace with the current 4-speed manual.

Over the winter I have plans to finally get some fender flares on her with a nice selection of rubber and fix some of the handling bits for next summer fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think I am going to go with Techno Toy Tuning for upgrades in the handling department:

My shopping list so far, I will source sway bars from MSA.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I narrowed it down to what exactly I'll be picking up. I will do all the work except for welding:

Rotenza RE 11 Tires 225/50/16
Rota RB 16x7 wheels
Ground Control Coilovers (175lb front/200lb rear)
MSA Sway Bar Kit F 1" R 7/8"
KYB Struts Front Pair
KYB Struts Rear Pair
Techno Tuning Front Brace
Techno Tuning Front Brace Tri Bar
Techno Tuning Rear Brace
Techno Tuning Rear Brace Tri Bar

Total for parts comes to $2457, plus $250 for rebuilding the carbs and $120 to have the coilovers welded up

Overall vehicle overhaul total: $2,827

Not bad for completely changing the way this datsun will handle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Lots of progress:

Started tearing out the suspension, got the front two control arms and struts out after tearing out a lot of stubborn bolts and brake components.


Here is the front, definetly exposed the ball joints that were all jammed and broken.


This is what was left of a ball joint for the control arm to strut. Not good.


You have to sawzall out the rear brakes in order to remove the backing plates for the drums. This was a lot of jankey cutting to not damage the knuckles but got everything off and cleaned up.


The bushings for the swaybars and endlinks were definitely done. A few were completely ripped in half!


Having to remove the strut tower from the inside, I took this chance to pull out all the rotting carpet and insulator


Clean! I'll detail the inside bay later on, but its in pretty good shape....a little parts here and there that are concerning but nothing that demands my attention till I decide to tear the frame down for the full resto.



Parts have been ordered as well. Full disc conversion for the rear has arrived!



Plenty of other parts have been ordered and should arrive any day now, I'll post pics of all the new gear as it comes in!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Tires came in, pretty sizable difference in tread width and rubber quality! 260z gonna be haaaaappy!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A lot of progress made:

Finally tore the rest of the suspension out, here is basically everything that makes a datsun handle:



Took the oil pan out too, stripped it, painted and new gasket:



A pic from the sand blaster, a lot of the components are cleaning up nicely:



And finally parts started showing up!

 
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