Chrome Chisel End

The chrome chisel end for the fender bumper guard came in! Huh.. Oh yeah, it’s gonna be shiny and new.. So it’ll stick out like a sore thumb on the side of the 280z – nice.

On a side note, on the site i purchased this from, they used my picture in their installation notes! That nice.. Would also be nice if they comp’d this chisel end too. Who knows how many referrals came from here to CustomAutoTrim.com

  
Installation goes in first thing tomorrow morning!

Ready for the road!

The first chapter in this Datsun 280z’s story is all about getting this thing back on the road where it belongs! Seriously, when driving it, I feel like I want to take it on every road I’ve ever driven! But can’t do that without getting it from non-op to registered at the DMV. And can’t do that without passing smog. Which can’t be done till that EGR valve is replaced. So let’s get to it!

This past weekend I replaced the EGR valve (exhaust gas re-circulation valve) which basically puts hot exhaust gas back into the intake air mix in an effort to help reduce emissions. If you saw the previous post about failing that portion of the smog test, you’ll notice that the EGR valve area was rusty / corroded like crazy. I can’t imagine what i’m going to find inside. Since there was a significant amount of rust around the bolts, I let some WD-40 penetrate the nut before trying to crank that thing off. Once i got the old EGR valve off, i can see why it failed – a ton of carbon build up like arteries from a fast-food-obsessed!

Interestingly, there seems to be an EGR manifold between the intake manifold and the EGR valve… Not sure what this does but help distance the valve from the manifold, as no re-circulating parts connect to it. It DID allow collection of carbon build up to happen along it’s walls as opposed to the valve itself (though the valve was pretty far gone). Also strange that the manual doesn’t have this part in it.. just shows EGR valve placed onto the intake manifold.

I decided to leave the EGR manifold and cleaned it out vigorously with a wirebrush, toothbrush and a vacuum. The manual says while cleaning off the old gasket NOT to let any pieces fall back in or it may clog the re-circulation system. I assume same goes for the carbon build up on the manifold walls. Wouldn’t want the 280z to have a heart attack! Just take a look at that thick black ring in the left picture – it looked like a black hose. So with the vacuum just above the manifold, i picked / brushed / cleaned out the build up.

EGR Valve – Since i’m new the parts scene, I’ve been trying the gambit of distributors. This time it’s Rock Auto. They had a good selection of EGR valves and good range of pricing. I’m a firm believer in ‘you get what you pay for’, so I went with the cheapest. Why? Because it’s a 1977, and according to the CA DMV this car should be smog exempt the next retest in a few years. EGR valve kit came with valve, gasket, and orifice washers to further optimize the valve opening. Only thing is that the picture shown on RockAuto had a heavy orange tint, making the silver valve look brass-ish (which is what i would’ve wanted.. but hey, at only $26, can’t complain. According to the instructions, there’s a parts reference chart to which you match your existing EGR valve manufacturer number with the orifice washer number… After much searching, there seems to be two EGR valve part numbers for the ’77 280z (early and later year), however both part numbers pointed to the same washer #34BECK/ARNLEY Part # 0460065

8:30AM – Rolled into Smog Test Station 1 to see Zack. He seemed excited and chipper to see the 280z back in to re-test. PASSED!

1PM – Rolled into the CA DMV off Flora Vista – in and out – REGISTERED!

Ready to tear up the street!

Thanks to my cousin Nick, who gave me that sweet vacuum for Christmas a few years back! Super handy for all of our car / motorcycle projects we’ve had! Not to mention, the use on the EGR valve. I’d highly recommend: ShopVac.

Battery tray!

This is the battery compartment – definitely has seen better days! Rusted wall (the most rust on the body), old tray, and just check out that orange bungee strap holding it place! So part of thursday’s daily datsun restoration also included taking care of the battery compartment mess. Let’s pop this battery out and see what we’ve got!

These progression shots show the battery area from original to prep’ed. Supposedly Z cars are notorious for having major rust around that battery area – this 280z isn’t an exception. Not the best job of scraping and sanding down the rough patches as i would have liked, but it’ll do for now. Someday i’ll be painting the whole engine bay.

Got the battery kit from Motorsport Auto – pretty good. Came with battery tray, tray mat, battery frame, and necessary bolts. The complete kit was only $50, and will replace the bungee cord nicely. My only compliant would be the sizing of the battery frame (as seen below); it’s just too big and not fit for a modern battery.

 

Manual and EGR arrive

Datsun Z car Haynes manual finally arrived – took a while but can’t beat the $11 deal from a 3rd party on Amazon. (11/8/11 edit – dammit, the manual says 240z / 260z.. NOT the same as it’s picture – crap, i’ll have to check to see if ti’s still applicable… no wonder i didn’t see the EGR manifold in there… 11/27/11 – looks like the 280z stuff is added to the back of the manual as a supplement – okay.. good enough). Luckily still in good shape and only a few greasy finger prints! EGR valve came in too – got it from Rock Auto for ~$30. Time to get this smogged and registered!

“First Rain” post follow up – good and bad: GOOD – replaced wiper fuse, wipers work! BAD – took a left turn and water dripped pee’d onto the carpet from under the dash… Uh, that’s not suppose to happen! Although it was only a small amount, it’s bit worrisome!

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Smog-tastic

About 8:15am, rolled into Smog Tech (Test Only Station No. 1) in downtown SJ, warmfully greeted by technician Zack – very helpful, very knowledgeable – exactly what I wanted from this visit.. and passing would be nice. Wild Bill, who sold me the car, danced around the smog question, said it might need a new catalytic converter as the original is still on there, so don’t get your hopes up when you smog it. And guess what, Zack said no different – “not in your favor”. Fingers crossed, probes everywhere like an alien caught by scientists – Well what do you know, it passed emissions! I was jumpin’ up and down, happy, fist pumpin’, but then he said, ‘But you didn’t pass smog’.  Doh, failed the EGR test. Haha! Already had the phone out, on the web looking for an EGR valve :]

~$25 – $60 part, and it should pass, ready for the street.

Fusible Links – Put the correct fusible links on, w/ their brand new fusible link covers. Looking from the passenger side toward the oil filter, clockwise starting from top right it goes, RED, BLACK, RED, RED. They look funny because the rest of the engine is still in it’s crusty state. I imagine as the car progresses this is just going to be the way of things till things get polished up! Cover, Nissan#B4021-N4200

Air Filter to ACM – Cracked hoses aren’t good; luckily this one is just for air, but still a vital part of engine efficiency. Popped off the old one, brush cleaned the wire clamps, and put the new one on – easy. Mounting Rubber, Nissan#16577-N4201

Blog update – you’ll notice i’ve put part no.’s after the adds. I saw on a forum people asking for such, so hopefully this’ll make it easier for people (and myself) for ordering things.

Smog Tech. Love that logo.