Tech Posts to the IZCC mailing list
97 to Oct 98)
page contains miscellaneous Tech Posts and Replies sent to the IZCC (Internet
Z Car Club) mailing list which I have had the good fortune to be a part
of. They are primarily related to the 70-78
240Z, 260Z, and 280Z models.
learn more about joining the IZCC mailing list click here.
most posts are responses to other tech threads on that list and may not
seem to be the definitive answer to what may interest you about the topic,
these posts are offered as mostly unedited text write-ups on a variety
of Z Car topics that I thought were not always addressed adequately.
Some of these topics are important enough that I may address them more
thoroughly in the ZP TECH SECTION at a
later date. Others are merely my drop in the Z water bucket.
New Door Seal Problems
I installed the driver's door seal (weatherstrip)
last night and it fit pretty good, but...... I can hardly close the door.
It came from the ol' 'bag of rubber' brand. It take serious effort to
close the door (not sure I'd be able to close it from the inside). And
once closed, it is far from flush with the rest of the body. Will
this stuff ever compress or loosen up? Will it ruin the hinges or something
if I use it like this? Anything I can do to to fix this?
door under so much pressure does not sound healthy to me. If Nissan
stock rubber is installed it will be noticeably tight at first if
the door latch, hinge and window frame have not been readjusted
from the settings for the old compressed rubber. Have you done those
by loosening the door latch on the door jamb and making adjustments there
you can significantly reduce the pressure, but if your door is sticking
out past the door jamb body lines more than perhaps 3/8th of an inch then
something may not be correctable. Nissan new rubber will compress
after awhile and re-adjustment will be necessary, but I have not seen
the density difference or rubber characteristics of the "Bag 'O Rubber"
that you bought and hence, can not determine if it is inherently improper
for the car or not.
will mention one important place to look for damage due to this "pressure"
problem. At the forward part of your door, above the top door hinge
at the point where your window frame enters down into the door shell there
is a thin rubber weather-strip that covers that area and the weld that
joins the outer door skin metal and inner door shell. Under this
rubber an early Z owner will often find that the door skin has either
partially or totally separated near the weld.
think this is because when the upper window frame is adjusted to lean
in too far at the top or if the weather-stripping in the upper door entrance
body frame is improperly installed, it creates tremendous leverage
against the upper window frame which causes it to pry against the door
skin weld below.
see many owners with new weather-stripping come in here that keep slamming
their doors closed really hard to make the door latch. What
often develops is that they end up opening up or totally tearing the door
shell loose because of the window frame prying effect. Be careful
about this. You can adjust the upper window frame outward at the
top to reduce this potential problem after installing new rubber.
Then readjust it inward later on.
There also is the matter of door "sag"
due to worn hinge pins that can contribute to binding and other door problems
on an older Z car. I have a technique for salvaging those worn door
hinges and will post that solution and other tech posts like these to
my ZP Tech Section on my website as the year goes on. -EBN
> From reading the Z news group, it seems
like your the guy to ask. If at
>all possible, could you tell me the gear
tooth count for the different ratio's available in the R-200?
believe some of the tooth counts are 11:39 (= 3:54), 11:37 (=3:36), 10:37
(= 3:70), and 10:39 (= 3:90)
those are the main ratios available. There are some 4:11's available
in some hard to find vehicles I understand. 3:36's are the rare
in the R-200 unit, but very common in the R180's.
There are or were more extreme ratios, but they
are mostly available through Nissan Motorsports and even some of those
are reported to be no longer available.
are 2 methods to check your differential ratios.
With the unit off the car or the rear cover removed and rotating the gears
until a stamped number like 10:37 or 11:37 appears on the left flange
surface on the vertical oriented ring gear. You may need to wipe
the thick oil off or wire brush this surface in order to read the numbers.
When you find the numbers divide the larger one by the smaller and you
can calculate the differential's ratio.
With the unit on the car you can jack up the car, put the trans in neutral,
and put an index mark on the driveshaft. Turn a rear wheel one turn
and count how many complete and partial turns the the driveshaft turns.
The last turn of the shaft needs to be given a guesstimate in % to correlate
the ratio to one of those listed above.
believe I have 3.90. Having a V-8 and a four speed, the car is pretty
much useless on the highway. Do you think things will start to break with
think that 3:36's are excellent for a V-8 Z on the street after you get
tired of of terrorizing your neighborhood with low-end
ratios. You can only
race to the grocery store so many times in your
life before you get to
feeling kinda stupid. Any Z with a 200+
HP engine in it will be more than
enough for 3:36's 3:54's are not
bad, but you still get a "buzzy"
freeway experience and not the best gas mileage.
The bad news is that the 3:36 geared R200's are
very hard to find these days. I stock them whenever I can find one.
number of years ago I put a 3:54 R200 in my inter cooled, turbo 240Z with
a 5 spd and decided it was too low a gearing.
For one, turbo lag windup is
often reduced by having taller gears in the rear
because the counter
leverage of the tall gears causes the turbo pressurizing
to be quicker.
the amount of torque that your V-8 Z has you should not have much
disappointment with the 3:36 gears. And no,
I don't think you will have
problems with breaking the 3:36's. Nissan
made the R200 very strong. If
you like to "slam it" a lot then the solution
will be simple. Just budget
in a replacement rear end every 6 months. You are
more likely to have your
stock u-joints fail before the R200 unit.
>Joe Ragno >327
260-Z >IZCC #2686
everyone, just last week I strutted to do my turbo conversion on my 240Z
>8-), when I pulled out my 5spd tranny I noticed
it said said "L20 5spd."
>This 5spd tranny is of the ZX style 5speeds..
If you have a 5spd in your 240Z that says L20 you
most likely have a 5spd tranny from a Nissan truck or other car that had
a L20B 4 banger in it. The import used tranny places were full of them
and many were put in Z's unknowingly in the early 1990's.
Only a slim possibility that L20 references a L20a six from a Fairlady
remember that someone said that if you soldered the
connection on the underside of the 240 fuse box you wouldn't get all that
heat and melt down. My question is do I need to drill out the rivets
before I soldered the connections or can I just solder over the
>Thanks, Pat Drayton
>IZCC # 768, ZONC
You can do it either way, but if you solder with
the metal riveted together and next to the plastic cover you risk melting
the plastic and not achieving a reliable solder contact unless you are
experienced in using a heat sink compound on the metal around the solder
area and a fast heat solder gun.
the other hand drilling out the rivets and removing the fuse prongs and
wires is time consuming and problematic for some. Using a strong
metal prep chemical first will improve your odds of a reliable solder
Someone on the list later made a good suggestion of soldering a solid
copper wire to all the backside rivets as a second bridge piece to the
first. That seems like a good idea if the above cautions are followed.)
information and photos
Engine Cam Removal & Installation
am about to take the head on my car (74' 260) to a local machine shop
to have it resurfaced. First I have to take the cam off. I understand
this isn't difficult, but has to be done exactly right or the engine,
once it's put back together, will go bye-bye. Any hints or tips?
If you are intending to re-use the old cam and rockers I would suggest
The main concern when removing a Z cam before head work is to take the
time to mark all of your rockers so that they can be re-installed matched
up with the cam lobes that they have previously established a wear-in
pattern with. I use a # stamping kit to number them 1 through 12 starting
with the #1 cylinder at the front of the engine. Do this BEFORE you remove
the retention springs to make the job go smoothly.
Afterwards I use a tool made out of a high-tensile steel phillips screw
driver that has had its phillips tip cut off and ground down to a tight
fitting taper so it will fit into the hole drilled into the pivot end
of the rocker. By inserting the tool deep enough into the hole and then
levering toward the cam you can cause the ball and socket end of the rocker
to lift up and to the side of the ball, thus enabling you to easily remove
all of the rockers without a valve spring compressor. This tool also is
excellent for checking rocker wear on a used engine before doing a valve
adjustment in the field.
Try to keep each rocker's lash pad matched up to it's original rocker
tip, but don't # stamp the lash pad surface. This last precaution is not
too critical to reassembly, but it never hurts to follow it.
The next precaution regards the removal of the sharp-edged forged steel
cam through the soft aluminum cam towers. Slide the cam toward the front
of the engine very slowly so as not to have the steel cut a nasty gouge
in the aluminum bearing surfaces. Be sure to oil the bearing surfaces
well before sliding the cam out.
Lastly, the removal of the cam towers from the main head block is somewhat
controversial in some Datsun engine rebuild shops. Several rebuild manuals
recommend against the practice because the cam towers were originally
factory line-bored to exact tolerances. If this inline center cannot be
re-established at reassembly time the cam will bind causing the rapid
destruction of the cam tower's bearing surface.
On the other hand, many excellent Nissan engine re-builders that I deal
with, have no qualms with removing the towers, because there is a technique
to re-aligning the bore centers that works well for them. But they are
experienced. A less competent beginner might be wise to not remove them
if the resurfacing shop does not require it. Either that or let them take
Valve removal is usually accomplished by using a valve spring compressor
of which there are 2 prominent types, the overhead and the "C"
clamp type. The overhead type must be used BEFORE you remove the cam from
the towers. Both types can usually be rented at your local tool rental
Reassembly of the whole head is a reversal of what I have just described
with all the precautions still applying. Often the head shop will do the
reassembly for a small fee. At least if something really comes apart at
start-up time you can blame the shop instead of yourself and maybe get
your money back!
There is one important check to make at this point. After a Z head has
been shaved (surfaced) it will sit closer to the crankshaft of the engine
causing the cam center line to be close enough to the crankshaft center
line as to cause a worn cam chain to have too much slack. If this slack
is too great it could cause havoc in a fast revving engine, not to mention
throwing off the timing of the cam and valves. The common solution is
too reassemble the cam towers with the proper thickness of shims installed
at the base that are specifically made for the Datsun L-series engine.
It is the inclusion of these shims that often can make it difficult for
an beginner to align the towers properly so be careful.
You might want to consider several other great improvements to your head
and performance potential when going to the time and expense to do the
necessary head and valve job. While you have the head off, doing some
clean-up of the casting obstructions in your intake and exhaust ports
and around the backside of your valve mating surfaces is an excellent
way to improve your heads air flow and engine performance. Just don't
get carried away with a die grinder or you will do more harm than good.
Especially in your intake port. Don't do more than lightly clean up the
casting bumps and match up the inline surfaces of the port and the matching
manifolds and gasket. For good gas mileage you need the rough factory
casting inside the intake port. The exhaust port can be ground and polished
to a greater extent without penalty, but making it larger than the intake
is not much help.
Recently, I acquired several new Nissan rebuild gasket kits for Datsun
4 & 6 cylinder L-series engines as well as about 15 Nissan intake/exhaust
manifold gaskets. All are OEM new Nissan factory gaskets from a dealership.
The kits are in original Nissan boxes. If any of you are going to be installing
headers soon or doing an engine rebuild you might want to check out what
I have. Some of the kits have not arrived yet, but if you let me know
what engine kit you need I will have the inventory checked and reply to
you in a couple of days.
to this URL to see the entire list of gaskets in stock http://www.zparts.com/tables/gaskets8298.htm
Eric Neyerlin - Z PARTS
Exhaust System Experiments
there anyway to improve my stock 240Z exhaust system without ending up
with a loud and obnoxious exhaust tone?
time to tone down: Any thoughts on how to tame the loud exhaust sound
from the Twice Pipes I have had for two years now. I would rather not
have to replace the whole pipe section from header back, but rather just
replace the silencer. I haven't had any luck in finding a muffler that
has two inlets that could pick up from where the twice pipes feed into
the glass packs that are on the car right now. Is there any way to quiet
down the glass packs that came with the Twice Pipes set up? -Gord Thorne
all you want is a stock exhaust then just about any shop or mail order
house can supply you with a decent one. You may also want to explore the
added benefits of a header, larger mandrel bent pipe and complimentary
muffler. I recommend 2 1/4" pipe for stock L24's and 2 1/2"
or larger for L28's. Flowmaster and Super Trap mufflers are nice
additions at the rear of such an exhaust setup.
have had good luck with the Thunderbird line of headers and dual exhaust
tips such as MotorSport Auto in LA sells. If you go with glass paks at
the rear be aware that the "blatting" and gurgling noise
at the rear tips may become annoying. My experiments with adding a "baby"
turbo muffler in the transmission tunnel area has greatly enhanced my
240Z's exhaust sound to the point that many have thought my L24
engine sounded like a small V-8. Seriously! The sound is now
quite smooth and low without any high pitch or blatting sound. What
this addition does to performance would have to be experimented with,
but on the well setup L24 that one
muffler shops will make up the entire setup if yours is rusted out, but
keep in mind that theirs usually are made with a bending machine that
will add a neck down restriction at every bend. This is not good for smooth
flow. If you run a stock engine this may not matter to you.
If you have a high performance engine and can afford a setup that uses
all mandrel bent tubing then I would encourage you to do so. It is far
superior to crimped bends when it comes to smooth exhaust flow.
Neyerlin - Z PARTS
vs Triple Carb Setup:
Economy & Performance Questions
>The SU type carb on a 2.8 engine is not "laying
over due to a lack of fuel".
> It is actually too rich with fuel.
If the carbs are right for a 2.4 ( which
>they are ) then the air hole in the front
of the carb will really be too
>small for a larger engine. Think of
it as a restrictor plate.
>The SU carbs will run on a 2.8, but it runs
much better when the correct size
>carbs are in place. The Weber and Mikuni
carbs work fine once you get them
>set. There is a formula for getting
the correct size choke insert for Mikuni
>& Weber carbs. From this formula
the initial jet sizes can be determined
>also. Works great as a starting point.
>Back in the early eighties I took off a set
of SU carbs on a 2.8 Z engine.
> We put on a set of 40 mm Webers. I
forget right now what chokes and jets,
>but we got an 11 mpg increase on the highway.
These were still small for the
>engine. They were available for the
customer, so we set them up. The same
>guy now has a 3.1 with a set of 50mm Mikunis
on a matched E -31 head from
>It is easy to think the more gas bigger fire.
Internal Combustion engines
>have to operate on a ratio of air to fuel.
If this engine gets too much
>fuel the power will fall off. It is
also easy to get fooled by the larger
>engine. Even with poorly set carbs,
it may run better than a 2.4 that needed
am puzzled by your analysis of the fuel efficiency of SU's compared to
triple Mikunis. Perhaps you can show me my
error in reasoning.
it is true that the smaller 240 SU's can not supply the amount of air
an L28 engine needs above aprox. 4500-5500 rpm,
how does a 40+ triple
Mikuni carb setup ever get better gas mileage on
the street than a properly
adjusted SU setup if all else is equal? If
the mixture is set correctly, I
have always known the SU setups to be the most fuel
efficient carbs for an
L28 on the street other than perhaps the Weber DGV's.
if a tuner of SU's installs performance needles such as the SM's
or KM's, does not "massage" the carb and
manifold turbulence bottle necks
and does not add a hedder, it is likely that the
L28 engine will "lay down"
early in the higher rpm ranges. This is an
error of the tuner, but not a
case against the fuel efficiency of the SU compared
to triple setups.
SU's, by their design, have always been known for
their tendency to achieve
very respectable gas mileage when properly tuned.
(The driving habits of
heavy foots and feather foots is a variable to the
equation that no tuner
performance above the street needed rpm's it is obvious that the
triple setups have the advantage. They can
definitely out flow the SU's.
But in gas mileage? I can not see the
logic in that statement.
Triples make more power over SU setups only (see
note below) at the point
when they flow a larger volume of an optimized air/gas
mixture than the
SU's if all other variables of engine and exhaust
are equal. Below certain
rpm's the difference in power is mostly in the ability
of one setup to
"flow" air more efficiently than the other
and to have it pulled out the
other side of the engine by a complimentary exhaust
"scavaging" system that
"pulls" the exhaust according to certain
principles of physics. The one
variable between the 2 setups in the low ranges
is that the triples can be
dialed in more accurately for each rpm transition
range that is critical to
transmission shift points and engine power bands.
On the street these
differences tend to be of marginal importance.
On the track is another story.
for the performance potential of the SU's versus triple setups, it would
be good to remember that stock SU setups can be
" massaged" to increase
their airflow noticably. Mated to a cleaned
up and match ported E33 and
E46 intake manifold and a proper street header flowing
to a 2 1/2" exhaust
system can bring about a very powerful L28 powered
Z car as well as one
that gets very respectable gas mileage.
an example I would point out that Rebello Racing has been massaging SU's
for years with very noticeable performance improvements.
His customers tell
me that these SU carbs still pass smog in California,
but really kick ass
on the street .
anyway these are my thoughts. If you can point out my errors in
thinking about your SU post please do so.
I am always interested to
improve my knowledge of this subject.
(ZP Note: In
rereading the above I see I missed a bit of Alan's point at first about
the the richness of SU's being because of engine size, but I still would
debate the improved mileage claims for the Triples especially in light
that the needles can be changed in the SU's to flow different rates of
fuel at specific lift.)
Keep up the good posts. I enjoy reading them.
Eric Neyerlin - Z PARTS firstname.lastname@example.org
an Engine after long periods of non-use
>I don't know if you got my message last week,
but remember when I asked questions about starting a Z that had been sitting
for a couple of years? Well, I leave Florida for NC to do just that
this week. I had a few more questions so here goes: Should I run
a light grade of oil in the crank case for when I first get it going?
Not in the crankcase. Especially if you are going to run the
car in hot weather. My reference before to light oil was about prepping
the pistons and rings and cylinder walls for initial start up only.
After you have the car running decently you should change the oil to a
20-50 type for driving back to Florida. Even in a tired engine you
need fresh, proper weight oil.
WD-40 soaking treatment for a day or 2 was meant to loosen rust and un-stick
rings due to old, dried oil and carbon deposits that collect in a sitting
engine creating rust rings on the cylinders wall. Rings sometimes
become locked back into the ring lands as well on a long sitting engine,
preventing them from sealing well after start up. The precaution
above is also to safe guard you from breaking a ring on a "rust groove"
on the cylinder wall. After that treatment you can squirt
in a gush of light oil to chase the WD-40 a bit. I would suggest
that you crank it a few times with the coil wire disconnected in
order to get a good coating of light oil on the rings and cylinder wall
before trying to fire the engine. Do the light oil chase 2-3 times
before a firing. When you first fire it, be very alert for any strange
or loud ticking sounds or high pitch sounds. Shut it down immediately
if something seems improper.
will probably get a lot of smoke from all the oil in the cylinders when
it fires. If the fire dept doesn't show up then keep the engine
running at about 1200 to 1800 until the smoke dies down.
all that WD-40 and light oil has gone down into your crank case your oil
will be getting dangerously thinned down from the weight it should be
at and you could wipe a bearing if you run it too long or drive the car
without changing to a good oil.
>Is there any additive that would work best to get the gas crud out
of the >lines when I first get it going again? Is there anything
that can dry water, >stop rust and clean my fuel system all at once?
are so many products out there that are similar. Your local auto
parts or body shop supply store will give you as good a recommendation
as I can. They will be more up to date on what is best to use.
I pull the injectors and try to clean the tips to get them going or will
the gas cleaners more than likely do the job?
you can, but it takes a lot of time and you risk the possibility of making
matters worse. All the corrosion where the harness plugs into the
injector and inside the typically cracked rubber harness boots may
be more of a problem than the injectors. Check those first and clean them
out a bit first.
and clogged injectors may be of serious concern, but you can not really
clean them in the field properly unless you have good products and experience.
A lot of that injector cleaner products that you can buy locally just
do not work like promised. After attending to more logical concerns
deal with this matter last. If it runs OK to drive it away and will
accelerate adequately to drive it home then the injectors will clean up
partially just by adding a good de-varnish additive to the fresh gas that
you put the gas tank that you should first drain of all old gas if feasible
where you are.
What is more important for the drive home is to
have new gas filters installed. Be sure to buy at least one extra
one to have in the car with you and have the tools to change it where
ever you may start to have problems. As you drive more and more
crud from the tank, lines, pump and injectors will come loose and flow
toward the new fuel filter, hence rapidly causing the filter to get clogged.
You may have to change it more than once in the first couple of months.
> >Whish me luck,
good luck and let me know how it goes?
Worn Datsun Z Car Ignition Locks & Keys
Powell wrote: >Eric, thanks for your recent comments on pulling the
280 ignition switches. My 83 ZXT switch is worn enough that I can pull
the key out while it's running - it actually must be pulled back about
1/4" to turn and often must be jiggled to turn on the radio, fan,
etc. It's clearly near the end of its service life. When this switch is
changed, can the tumblers be transferred to the new switch to keep the
key same as the doors??
my view and suggestions on dealing with worn Z car keys and ignition switches.
may also need to replace the electrical switch on the back side of the
ignition lock, but I will not deal with that question here. It is a seperate
problem that may be involved from what you describe above, but can be
keys and locks often wear to the point that the key will slide out without
resistance and even open another Z Car with ease. I used to shock a lot
of my new customers by illustrating this fact with a little surprise.
I would ask them if they would care for me to inspect their "new"
Z car for any "unkown problems". When they answered "Yes",
we would go out to the street where their locked car was parked. While
they were trying to get out their car keys to unlock the car I would pull
out my own set of 2 personal Z keys and insert them into the customer's
door lock. My guess is that 80% of the time I was able to open the customer's
door with no problem and was usually able to get into the car and start
up his engine instantly with one of my 2 keys. I did this with new customers
to illustrate how easy it was for a car thief to steal an older Z car.
After my demonstration their car project priorities shifted from hot rodding
to theft prevention rather quickly. Too bad I didn't sell alarm systems
at the time.
renew everything to factory freshness there are several things that you
Some Nissan dealers and repair shops have a special key making kit that
can stamp out an original key shape as opposed to a copy, from a worn
key. To do this the original key code must be known because it is used
it to look up the proper cut out templates. In some 70-78 Z cars it is
printed on a fragile, white piece of paper often glued to the inside of
the glove box . I do not know if that is true of 280ZX's. The dealer should
be able to tell you. If you have an original factory key or ignition switch
it may have that code engraved on it as well.
many cases having one of these "cut-out" Z keys made will improve
your situation noticably. Do this first.
If your tumblers are badly worn or the ignition switch is becoming quite
sloppy you may be able to have a locksmith that specializes in automotive
locks, disassemble your switch and install brand new tumblers for approximately
$25. - $45. The new tumblers that he uses will be the same length as your
old ones and will allow you to use your original key. That beats the cost
of a new Nissan switch which lists for around $175.00.
you do not get a fresh, "cut-out" key stamped out first by the
#1 method you may still have problems, because a key copied from a worn
original and then used with new tumblers may still be loose and slip out.
With luck the locksmith will know how to make you a factory "cut-out",
but they are not always authorized to have the Nissan key kits.
The last consideration is to have a new ignition key that fits both of
your doors and hatch as well. The above approaches will usually get you
there, but be advised that door locks sometimes wear out at a peculiar
point. Not inside the tumbler mechanism, as many would suspect, but at
the back of the lock where there is a pressure point on a half circle
section of soft metal that must rotate the door locking lever mechanisms.
Very hard to describe in words, but when this metal area wears too far
the key turning in the lock will no longer be able to either lock or unlock
the door. You can not repair this problem. If you buy new door locks you
will again be faced with the problem of not having a matched set of locks
to one key.
other main option is to buy an entirely new, Nissan matched ignition,
door and hatch lock setup from the dealer or MAS. Very pricey, but very
"tight". Unfortunately, a Z thief's badly worn key may still
be able to open a few Z's with new locks installed so be sure to take
other precautions as well.
hope this answers most of your questions and then some. Eric Neyerlin
Lock Factory Screw Removal
Being as my 280Z was recently stolen, in the process the thieves managed
to mess up the ignition pretty badly. Upon removing the column half-shells,
I find 4 screws holding the switch unit to the column. Two of them
have phillips heads, and two have no heads at all. Any tricks on how to
remove the two that are sans-head?
Here's the procedure I use.
Tighten up the 2 philips head screws just a bit to help take pressure
off the non-philips screw heads that Nissan installed as theft prevention.
Use a small metal chisel to either notch a cross wise slot across the
problem heads or use a very sharp, hardened metal point such as can be
made from an old metal punch to gouge a small notch at the outer edge
of the soft metal head. Make either the slot or the notch is deep enough
that the same tool used to make the indentation can be then angled opposite
from the direction that the screw has to turn to be backed out. Gently
tap on the the tool with a modest weighted devise, such as a hammer or
crescent wrench, until the screw head starts to turn. Be careful not to
pound too hard or at too oblique of an angle lest you either destroy your
notch or bend the screw in it's threads. Just be patient and tap gently.
It will start to move. Keep following the notch around counter-clockwise
as it moves.
Once the head turns aprox. 1-2 complete turns it probably will be quite
loose to the touch. Take your thumb or a piece of rubber such as a pencil
eraser to bear down on and unscrew the screw the rest of the way.
If you can't find a used replacement ignition switch for your car locally
you could check with me later. I usually have some decent to very nice
used switches in stock. I also have 2-3 of the very rare type for the
70 240Z's that used a one-side key..
up comment to a second post:
i've removed dozens of the switches and here is my quick and easy technique.
I use a dremel (or similar) moto tool with two of the thin cutting wheels.
Never put three together but that might be even better. I use two because
one is just too darned thin and subject to breaking. Then I just cut a
slot for a screwdriver in the head. Quick, easy, and works like a charm.
If ya ain't got juice handy, then your technique is definitely the way
to go. -------------------------------------- Ron Millik,
I have used your technique in the past and it can be a rather quick way
to remove damaged ignition locks on cars at my shop, but I prefer the
punch or small chisel method for
The problem of not having electrical power on location as you state.
A dremel tool and wheels often are not available and the costly little
wheels frequently break.
3. With the punch method I often can avoid chewing up
the soft, cosmetic aluminum of the ignition switch housing on a good switch
that I am removing for re-sale. The dremel wheel often cuts up the surrounding
area in a way that makes the switch look like it possibly came off a stolen
I agree with you though, that the dremel method is quick and to the point
when you have everything handy.
is one more method that I did not mention before that is similar to yours,
but a bit more accessible for home mechanics. It is the "easy out"
If one has a small "easy out" tool and appropriate drill bit
handy he can stake a centering guide hole in the ends of the screws, drill
a small hole in the end and use the easy out tool to unscrew the 2 problem
The biggest problem with this approach is in getting drill and bit into
position to drill the hole straight into the screw head. It can be done
easily with a 90 degree angle drill, but then again, how many of us have
one of those handy either?
Neyerlin - Z Parts
Suspension Hinge Pin Removal
Am having trouble removing the transverse link pivot bolt on my 74 60Z.
It connects the transverse link to the rear strut/hub assembly. Haynes
makes it look like all you have to do is "remove" it. Maybe
I was using the wrong hand. If anyone has any suggestions they would be
greatly appreciated. >Curtis
Removing this long "transverse" or "hinge" bolt can
be one of the most difficult jobs on the 70-78 Z car. Many long-time early
Z car owners regard it as one of the major rites of passage in owning
a Z car. The main problem results when the bolt becomes rusted into
the long, tubular hinge holes of the upper strut unit. If this area is
not rusted together then removal is usually easy. Some owners also
think that this pin becomes stuck due to being warped by the pressure
from the retaining bolt in the center.
saturating any exposed hinge pin areas with hourly doses of Liquid Wrench
or WD-40 for a day or 2 often makes the difference as to whether the pin
is removed successfully or not.
Before removing the center alignment retainer pin in the center area first
back off the nuts at each threaded end of the hinge pin until they come
out flush with the ends. Leaving the nuts at the end protects the fine,
delicate threads and provides a surface to tap on. Warning:
you tap on these threaded ends without the nut in place you will most
likely expand the metal ends or damage the threads, making the pin unusable.
are 2 better approaches to pounding on the nut at the end.
One is to use a deep socket to slide over the threaded end. The socket
chosen must fit loose enough to not damage the threaded end and yet tight
enough to align exactly on the solid shoulder of the hinge pin inboard
of the threaded end.
Some owners go to the trouble to make a special tool that is the exact
outer diameter of the pin, but drilled and sometimes tapped on the inside
so it will screw onto the threaded end of the hinge pin, but still will
butt up against the shoulder of the pin shank.
Next, remove the center retaining pin. It's inside end has a tapered,
flat tip that must be reinstalled in the position that it came out.
If gentle tapping on the pins ends does not cause the pin to drive out
with ease you are faced with the typical problem. First spray WD-40 or
like into the retaining pin hole and all along the hinging areas and threaded
ends. Let stand. Repeat this action every several hours for a day or two.
This may free the bolt, but usually it does not.
At this point there are only 2 more approaches that I can recommend.
Go to a shop and have them heat the outside cast metal hinge until it
expands enough to release it's grip on the pin and then tap out. The heat
method often damages the plastic/rubber bushings in the control arm section
so be prepared to buy new ones from the dealer (which rarely has them
Have a shop with a proper press setup press out the pin using a pipe-like
tool end that fits over the threaded end and onto the machined "shoulder"
of the hinge pin end. Such a tool can be useful in pounding out the pin
with a hammer. Do not pound the threaded tip end of the pin.
Once you get the pin out and have replaced the bushings I recommend that
you lightly sand off any bad rust and reinstall the pin with anti-seize
compound. Be sure that the center retaining bolt installs with the flat
tapered side facing the correct way.
Good Luck, Eric Neyerlin - Z PARTS
to Early Z Car Theft Prevention
Nothing will prevent a "pro" from getting your car if he really
>it. Regardless of what you do, they will eventually find everything
>feel it is worth their time and risk. However, there are several things
>can do to discourage all but the most determined thiefs.
> A hidden battery disconnect.
> A hidden ignition disconnect.
> A hidden gas line shutoff (mechanical)
> A hidden gas pump shutoff for electric fuel pumps. >
> There are also electronic tracking devices that can be used to recover
>a car after it is stolen (e.g., Lo Jack)......
Carter, IZCC #3749, ZCCNoVA#306
I was about to list almost all of what Arnie posted above, but he beat
me to it. I'll try to broaden the discussion a bit.
1. Hidden battery disconnects are helpful, but often are a hassle to install
effectively and can be easily circumnavigated by a talented car thief.
They can be part of an effective defense, though.
2. Same for hidden ignition disconnects. The success of this approach
is determined by how shrewd the installer is in first camouflaging the
disabled stock ignition setup and then hiding his ignition disconnect
replacement. I most like the approach of some where they actually make
the ignition turn on easy to find, but use an electrical fuel pump timed
delay that then shuts off within 2-4 minutes when some kind of code or
special key is not in the circuit. In it's absence the car runs out of
gas in the middle of the street or at an intersection where the thief
least wants to be seen trying to get the car started. A thief faced with
a sudden shut down of the car in traffic will often abandon the car and
flee rather than continue to try and get the car started.
This kind of defense often results in the least amount of theft damage
to the car. At worst you have to worry more about the towing company that
tows the "abandoned" car to a tow yard where it's goons often
damage the car or strip it themselves. What a nightmare it is to have
your car towed away in SF these days. You'll be lucky if you get it back
for less than $100. (first 4 hours) with the stereo and personal belongings
all intact. Ah, but I digress!
3. A mechanical fuel pump shut off is OK, but is not difficult to find.
A Z set up with either an electrical fuel kill switch or gas line turn
off valve works better with the #2 solution. If the Z is running a mechanical
pump then the thief can come with a small gas can and fuel line, quickly
disconnect the gas tank line hose and hook up his can and start the car.
A rubber strap is all he needs to secure his gas can near the altenator.
If the mechanical pump has been replaced by an electrical one he has to
get juice to it first and that takes up valuable time that a thief often
does not have.
4. I love the James Bond image of electrical tracking devices and they
actually may be affordable enough these days as to warrant their use on
more valuable Z cars, but I have never experienced them. Remember though
that professional car thieves are aware of the hi-tech era as well and
can possess scanners that can detect and locate these devices in your
car. If they are hidden in your dash or your interior panels the thief
may use rather brutal methods of uncovering these devices so as to disable
them. The damage done to your car may be worse than having just a stereo
or some rims stolen. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I would offer some less drastic solutions for consideration.
1. Using too many heavy duty lock down prevention methods may lead to
more damage in the end than allowing the thief easy access. If a thief
can not easily unlock your door many times he will just break your window
on the spot. Once inside a modestly intelligent thief knows that he can
pull the ignition switch wires off the back of the ignition lock and hot
wire it either from that point or from inside the engine compartment with
a few clip wires hooked up to the correct contacts. Only the most ignorant
of thieves needs to have a key to your ignition lock to start your early
As a case in point, I once had an ugly Z car parked behind a 12' high
locked cyclone fence in the industrial area near Candlestick Park in SF
waiting for a shop to do some more performance upgrades to it. My folly
was that I could not wait to put on some exotic looking BBS rims and new
tires on the car while I was building this project car. The car was sitting
in plain view to many street people and industrial workers that passed
by daily. Anyway, one or more thieves cut the fence chain one night, jacked
up the car and used some heavy steel pipe or such to try to break the
window for access. Well the idiot missed his first try and hit the door
panel put a nice gouge into the metal exterior. Then he tried again, busted
the glass, brutally wrenched my stereo out of the dash leaving pry marks
and gouges all over the dash front.
Next they hammered on the right sized socket onto the mag rim locks until
it jammed on tight and then he unscrewed and removed all the rims without
difficulty. Once the thief (s) had every thing off they placed some crude
rocks and other steel objects from the industrial yard under the car at
indiscriminate points to hold up the car enough for them to remove their
jack. When they let the jack go the car came down on the lower door rocker
area, badly crushing it and the lower front fender area as well. So I
lost the rims and new tires, the new, but cheap stereo, a fender, a door
and it's glass and incurred a huge body shop bill as well.
footnote. Several months later a woman came to buy some Z parts from
me and drove up in a ZX with the same BBS rims and tires on the car. I
would have known these rims anywhere. While I put her off for a moment
I called the local police. The officer arrived in time, but after a bit
of discussion, informed me that because I could not point out any absolute
mark of identification such as a metal stamped on serial # he could not
detain the owner or press charges. The further irony turned out that the
lady reported that she actually worked for a police deptartment, but claimed
that she bought the rims and tires from a neighbor just down the street
from her house (and not far from where they were stolen!) .
My point here is to caution owners of older Z cars not to get too carried
away in how they implement theft prevention techniques. Suggest ion #
2 is one of the better ideas I know of where the thief is made over confident
by relative easy access, but is then trapped by the errors that come with
Another thing I used to do in one middle class neighborhood that I lived
was to take out all my valuable tools, stereo and such, remove the distributor
to coil wire and leave the car unlocked with a few quarters left out in
plain view on my console ash tray lid. I did not drive these cars often
and left them parked on the street, but I would check them every morning
to see if the quarters ever disappeared. If they did I knew that there
were thieves in the area casing my cars and I would then take more prudent
steps to protect them after that.
A master Nissan mechanic I know once made up an inexpensive electrial,
red-blinking light device similar to the kind of blinking light that installs
as part of a totally armed alarm system. By drilling a small hole in a
console cover plate, interior windshield metal heating vent cover or upper
door panel the little blinking light could be activated just by turning
off the ignition or a pressure switch located under the driver's seat
cover when the driver got out of the car. This light easily will catch
the eye of a would-be thief and make him think twice before deciding to
try to break in by any means. If he looks for a way to disable the "alarm
light" from underneath he will not succeed and may decide to move
on to an easier target. I remember that the mechanic installed several
of these devices in his friend's cars that lived in bad areas of Oakland,
CA and I don't think any of those cars were ever broken into?
My mechanic friend once talked about making these devices for resale on
a casual basis, but I don't know if he is still interested in doing so.
I would estimate that they would sell for around $25.00 if he did. If
I get enough serious requests I would forward them to him to see if he
wants to go into limited production.
PS, About those StarLocks. They sound great and I have tried to import
them for resale, but hit a stone wall just like Bill. After some thought
though I have wondered whether they make sense because of the cautions
I have mentioned above. They really lock your door tight, but then the
thief most likely will break your glass. Where are you after that?
Lastly, I used to lock up a lot of my cars with the kind of device that
has a U hook at one end that hooks around the brake pedal and clamps around
the outer part or a steering wheel. I still like them, but don't have
as many cars to protect as before. I have 2-3 of these here at the yard
for sale with keys for $20. each in case anyone is interested. I think
they are better than the CLUB device ( which is not very effective on
an early Z Car by the way)
Lastly, Lastly. I must put in a plug for all the early door glass that
I have here for sale. I have a huge selection of most R&L door glasses
for 70-83 Z & ZX cars as well as 2+2's. I think I would be willing
to risk shipping some of this glass if anyone is interested. Coupe windows
go for $45. and 2+2's go for $65. If you have an interchange manual like
I sell or a fiche you probably know by now that all the 70-78 door glass
looks and measures the same from the outside of the car, but are not the
same nor are interchangeable between many of the models. You can easily
get screwed buying door glass from a private party with honest intentions.
OK, gang , it's lunch time for me. Gotta go. I hope this helps some of
you trying to deal with the theft prevention problem and solution.
Neyerlin - owner of Z PARTS