Sunday, August 25, 2013

The New Hood

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After several unsuccessful attempts to find a hood still in good shape, Lenny came to the rescue.  The hood was solid, no rust, no damage, but after 40+ years, ain't nothing perfect.  It still took a fair amount of body work to get out the waves.  But it's done, installed, trimmed and lookin' good.
When I purchased the Z originally, it came with a box of extra goodies, including a new hood emblem.
It looks awesome!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Datsun 240Z Quest for OEM Hose Clamps

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It's time now to move to OEM-style braided hoses and OEM-style 2-wire hose clamps.  Easy, huh?  NotSoMuch.  I found a good supplier for the black-cloth-braided OEM-ish fuel hose (see post 240Z Gas Tank & Hoses Refurbish).  The hose clamps, however have proved elusive.  Scored a few from a Z at the wrecking yard, but most of them were in too bad of shape to restore.

I was excited to find some on e-bay at a reasonable price.  Photos looked good.  Excited when they arrived today.  Then I saw them.  Sadly, they are not "close enough" to match the OEM look.  Also, the sizes are just a hair off.  They come yellow zinc coated, which can easily be coated in plain zinc.

Top = OEM    Click for larger image
Here is a photo of the smaller clamp (3/4 inch) taken apart (on bottom) and compared to an OEM clamp (on the top).

This one is almost passable, in a pinch.  The screw is a round-head, it could be shortened with some grinder work.

The rectangular block through which the screw passes is HUGE compared to the OEM version.

Left = OEM
Click for Larger Image

Here is the larger (1 inch) clamp.  It is an oversized monster of a clamp compared to the OEM.

The screw is a hex head and it is huge compared to the OEM version.

I'm sure these new clamps are sturdy and well designed.  It's just that they won't do for the OEM replacement requirement.

Top = OEM
Click for Larger Image

Thursday, March 28, 2013

240Z Custom Light Control Computer

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When I got my Z, the headlights gave off a soft yellow glow.  Nothing comforting when driving on the highway.  I did the relay upgrade, and that worked fine, but I still had the problem of forgetting to shut the headlights off and coming back to a dead battery.  Also, I wanted the side markers to blink with the blinkers and hazard lights.  While I was at it, the Z is small - or, stated another way everything else on the road is bone-crushingly huge.  When I stop, I want everyone to know.  I've seen brake lights that flash quickly when the brakes are applied - I wanted that too.  While I was at it, a 10 second delay before the dome light shuts off would be nice.  I also threw in a 2 second delay before the accessory relay turns on.

Bottom (Click for larger view)
I created a custom lighting computer based on the Microchip 8-bit PIC microcontroller and the International Rectifier IPS6031 High Side Intelligent Power Switch.  Although this is the prototype, it is working well, so I'll leave it in place until I finish the final version.

I have a main-board (the larger one) with all the opto isolators and power switches.  A daughter board contains the CPU (small black diamond in the image to the right) and a few other parts.

Top (click for larger view)
The top of the main board is where the blade fuses go (which, it turns out are not necessary with the High Side Switches I used - hence the name "Intelligent").  I also put in small LEDs next to each fuse - fuse blows - LED goes on.

Side (Click for larger view)
I am not thrilled with the wiring.  It works, but it is not very easy to work on.  Revision 2 will make use of a different connector approach.  The right and left sides are symmetrical.

Enclosure (Click for larger view)
The whole thing mounts in an engraved aluminum enclosure, 3 x 6 inches by 1.5 inches thick.  The fuses are accessible through the 4 large rectangular holes.

Engine Harness

Naturally, this also required extensive modifications to all three wiring harnesses - front (shown on the harness board at the right), rear and dashboard harnesses.  The result was effective but not as pretty as I would have liked.

So, at the end of it all, here is a short video showing some of the features in action. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

240Z Wheels & Tires

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I went with 16x7 rims from XXR wheels (XXR 513 16x7).  My tire guy (Action Tires) took the Z for a few days and tried on different tires until he found a nice 'fill' for the wheelwells.  These are zero offset wheels.

He settled on a 205/55R16 91V.

I think the combo is respectful (enough) of the vintage (1971), keeps handling good and matches my Red/Black color scheme.

Sadly, the dust cap on the front wheel sticks out too far, preventing the use of the nice snap-in logo/cover/finishing cap.  I painted the dust cap black and that's going to have to do for now.

240Z rebuild Tips - Cool Tool and Door Damage Prevention

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