My first feature article – Estblshd

Hey all, not much new here since the installation of the exhaust.

I did get asked to write up a story about my car though!

Organised for a photoshoot with one of Estblshd’s photographers and got a few photos.

Anyway, the article for my car was posted last Wednesday and you can view it here!

432 exhaust and Trust headers

This post is of my latest purchase for the Z. It was a bit of a Christmas present to myself, the last thing I bought were the wheels so why not..

Before I get into it, here’s a pretty cool phone picture my girlfriend took of my car on a drive for my birthday.

Back to it, I ordered a brand new 432 style exhaust off Yahoo Japan and while I was at it, why not buy the rest of the exhaust system and add a Trust header to the mix?! I’ll be honest, the main reason was so that I didn’t have to modify the front half of the existing system to be able to run the 432 exhaust.

For those who don’t know, 240z also had what was called a 432 version which came equipped with the S20 motor, same as those which came on the Hakosuka GTRs. Well the exhaust I bought are the same as the ones which came on those lol It’s a twin 2″ system to a twin stacked tip muffler.

Anyway, I placed the order before Christmas and naturally at that time of the year, people were on holidays, etc. So the exhaust didn’t get sent out until the second week of the new year, and to my surprise, the exhaust arrived from Japan to Melbourne in less than 3 days! Sent out Monday, and it arrived Wednesday morning.. How quick was that!?

Enough chit chat for now, here’s the system when I took delivery.

Even though I didn’t wait all that long for them (in comparison to the wheels), I still felt like a kid at Christmas when it rocked up.

The headers were dented so I had to cut and weld a new section in which wasn’t too bad..

So I got onto installing the system as soon as I could.. the following day.

No time was wasting taking the old system off. Pretty straight forward with only one broken stud.

Since I was also changing the headers, the carbs and standard manifold had to come off.

They all came off smooth enough!

Now here’s a few pictures of the new exhaust ready to go on.

And here’s one beside the old system.

The rear muffler was installed first to see roughly how it would look. Massive improvement over the old item.

And so after a lot of stuffing around, exhaust leaks mainly at the headers.. I got everything sorted today and managed to retune the carbs to suit the more free flowing system. Here’s how she sits now.

And here are a few from a distance.

And one from underneath. It could get tucked up a little bit which I may get onto later on.

Overall, the exhaust looks a whole lot better, it is louder, sits higher so I’m happy.. I just hope the exhaust leak doesn’t reappear.

Reversing out of the driveway and scraping the exhaust for the first time wasn’t a good feeling though!

Power wise, I honestly haven’t noticed a difference. I was hoping to free up the top end but I think my carbs may be the issue.

And that’s it! I think this is it in terms of mods for this car. There’ll be minor things done here and there but I don’t see myself buying triple carbs or anything like that.. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Just want to say thanks to Tony who lent me his gas bottle so I could fix up the headers and for lending a hand getting the exhaust installed!

Engine bay finally painted

With uni break and nothing really much to do, after many umms and ahhs, I finally bit the bullet and started taking the car apart to paint the engine bay. I really couldn’t be bothered but I was so embarrassed every time someone asked me to pop the bonnet so I used that as my motivation.

First up I had to pull off all the front panels to get easy access and to avoid any over spray.

It was good to see the suspension under load, there’s not much travel at all before bump stops will hit! Surprisingly haven’t bottomed out yet.

Here’s a few shots of what the engine bay looked like too by the way..

Note the green and over spray when I painted the body.. Oops.

Anyway, I moved the car into the garage and started pulling things out.

After a bit of a scrub.

So I was at the point where I could pull the motor out and paint the engine bay or keep the engine in bay and paint around it.. Well I don’t have an engine crane and I couldn’t be bothered bothering others for one so I went for option 2.

After a light sand, wax and grease remover was used and some of my left over epoxy primer was applied.

I wanted the engine bay the same colour as the body so I went with the Body Shop again for 2 cans of colour coded paint. That went on the following day.

So that’s basically all the paint work done. A few areas were missed so they were sprayed and some over spray were removed with thinners.

Time to remove the covers.

Gee the motor looks dirty! I gave it a light degrease and tried to clean it up, but yeah.. decided to get everything back together.

It was then time to slap all the panels back on.

And it was all back together!

I’m very happy with how the car looks now! I am no longer embarrassed to pop the bonnet and show them my WHITE engine bay :)

Plan now is to clean areas of the motor and polish up that cam cover for it to blend in with the radiator.

One thing I should have done was paint the front section black instead of white. You can see here through the grill all the white.

I’ll have to get onto that at a later date.. It’s good enough for now!

So that’s it, I have won Trust headers and a 432 style, twin stacked, exhaust from Japan and they will hopefully be hear early 2014!

As usual, thanks to my brother Evan for lending a hand with bleeding my brakes/clutch and sorting out some of my wiring issues.

A quick before and after comparison

Instead of studying, I thought I’d put together a little comparison of what my car looked like a year ago and how it looks like today.

Not the best photos but it shows how far the car’s come along.. Still a few little things to go over but I’m happy with how she looks at the moment.

Christmas has come early – Wheels and Radiator Arrive/Installed

I think the biggest news in a while, my wheels have FINALLY rocked up!

After almost 20 weeks since placing the order, my wheels finally rocked up this afternoon..

Here’s a sneak peak..

But before we get onto wheel business.. I had to get the guards rolled.

Stupid me, I didn’t do any guard work before paint because I was sure on going flares. So I copped a bit of paint cracking doing it myself.

I tried using the heat gun, it worked for a few minutes but in between rolling and needing to heat the guard back up, the heat gun.. overheated..

And so the guard started to crack. It didn’t help that there were spot welds underneath or the fact that I didn’t prep this area properly.. Oh well! Live and learn.

Next up was Fairlady Z badges I bought second hand.

They weren’t in the greatest nick but it will do..

Next, there was an idea of doing the Great Ocean Road cruise here in Victoria and that had me a little worried about my cooling system.

My ‘standard’ radiator never had a over flow bottle and even when I put a bottle there, it never ‘sucked’ any of the coolant back up when the motor cooled down. Coolant came out, but didn’t go back in, so I used this as an excuse to upgrade.

I hadn’t heard bad things about the cheap alloy radiators on ebay so I thought why not and bought one, it came in pretty much the next day!

To be honest, it didn’t look like anything special. Welds weren’t all that great but for $150 delivered, who can complain..

So while waiting for my wheels to rock up, they were due the same day, I got around to installing the radiator.

The old to get pulled out! *Ignore the green engine bay, plan is to pull out the motor and paint it white this Christmas/New Year break.

Few minutes later, the new one was in. The mounting holes needed to be extended towards the middle of the car, but besides that, it fitted fairly well.

The car never came with a radiator shroud but thermos with an electronic switch is on the list of things to do.

While I was waiting around for my brother to get back from the shops with coolant, this dude appeared..

All I can say is, I felt like a little kid at Christmas.. Having waiting 20 weeks for the wheels with multiple delays, I was bloody happy to see him rock up.

No messing about, I got onto opening them up to double check their specs, colours, etc.

All looking good, no time was wasted getting these babies to the tyre shop to fit them with rubber!

I ended up with a set of Bridgestone RE002s which I picked up for a bargain few weeks back.

I dropped the wheels and tyres off, went and had lunch and came back to find some.. ‘bad’ news.

The guys struggled to get ALL FOUR wheels to balance.

I honestly didn’t know what to say or do at that point and so I just paid the guys and took them home. Surely it wasn’t the wheels fault because they’re brand new.. I’m pointing the finger at the tyres but I won’t know until a new set goes on..

Cool little valve cap that came with the wheels.

Quickly slapped them on with new wheel nuts and before I could go for a drive on them, I needed to fill and bleed my cooling system.

Yeah, handbrake doesn’t work all that well hence the bricks with weeds growing through them.

The radiator bled fine, no leaks from what I could see.. Great $150 spent!

Ended up going for a drive once that was done and the amount of stares and jaws dropped.. it was unbelievable. I got home and agreed with my brother that the rears could come down a few mm so I lowered it and below is pretty much how it sits now.

Photos don’t do it justice.

I need to get my front lower control arm ‘camber bolts’ in because that zero camber looks terrible.


So there you have it! Wheels finally rocked up along with my new radiator.

Final specs on the wheels are as below,

RS Watanabe R-Type
15×8.5 -6, 195/55 RE002s
15×8.0 +0, 195/55 RE002s

Ground Control Coilover Kit

What’s next is definitely going to be finalising the wheel setup, ride height, camber and other alignment issues. And I have bidded on a Fujitsubo exhaust for the car. Once that’s on, it will most probably be triple carbs or something while motor’s out.

Let’s wait and see..


Coilover install and front wheel bearing replacement

Instead of spending my time studying, I used last Saturday’s beautiful weather to install my coilovers.

I started off with the rear end since everything was basically ready to go..

Driver side out.. And then passenger..

Next thing I had to do was swap the strut top and brakes over to the new struts. Drums, shoes, wheel cylinders, the lot.

After a bit of stuffing around, it got done.

Once the brakes, strut tops and stuff were transferred over, they were pretty much ready to go into the car. Thanks to Evan for lending a hand here.

Gotta love the bright red against the ugly underbody!

At this point, Trung dropped by to give a hand and take photos.

Here’s a picture of the amount of droop my suspension had.

Once lowered it looked a little something like this.

Hmmmm… A little too low I thought!

Anywhoo, it was time to start on the fronts.

Once it came out, I had to transfer the hub and replace the rotors and while I was at it, I thought I’d change the bearings..

What you need to do first is pull off the dust cap.

Pull out the locking pin.

Then nut.

Once the nut comes off, there’s a washer that comes out along with the bearing.

The hub and rotor should slide off the strut now.. Here’s a picture of the backside, showing the other bearing and seal. Undo the 4 bolts to remove rotor.

It may need a bit of persuasion to get it off, so get a hammer..

Time to take out the seal from the hub and bearing..

Dirty old grease!

Time to clean it out so it doesn’t contaminate the new stuff.

I heard changing the wheel bearing races were a bit of a pain in the ass so I didn’t bother with it. Hopefully it’s okay..

From here on in, it was just a matter of packing the new bearings with grease and putting it all back together!

Make sure everything’s filled with grease then slap it all together.

Front coilover strut ready to go!

Put everything back in before it got dark and this is how it sat on the ground.

As you can see, it sits a lot higher than the rears. Both front and rears were sitting at the beginning of preload.

Rears at the above height would have been nice if I had wheels on and the fronts had room to go lower so I was happy with that.

A few issues I had, rear brakes were rubbing. I believe it was the drum rubbing on the backing plate. I have cleared it but yet to go for another drive to see if it’s gone.

Another issue is I couldn’t close my bonnet….

This fucker was sticking out too much. What had happened was the strut top was pushed down onto shock shaft reducing my travel, the nut went right to the bottom of the threaded section. What I should have done was put some sort of spacer to prevent it going past the threaded section on the shock. Ended up doing that today and it looks like this now.

Did it all round and it gave me over an inch and a half of droop back into my suspension.

Here’s a few pictures of how the car sits now, with front and rear springs just off preload.

Rears, it’s just tucking tyre.

And fronts are a few finger gaps.

Not too bad now.. Pretty happy with how it sits at the moment. I will finalise height once my wheels rock up and I test fit them. Rears at the moment look to be spot on where I want it, fronts could come down an inch.

And there you have it! Coilovers are finally in.. An alignment will be done again soon and another test drive to see how the new suspension feels.

I’ve got news that my wheels are on their way to Australia, not long now. The next post should have photos of my car with the wheels on!

Rear lower control arm bush replacement

A small update.. For the rear pair of coilovers to be ready to be installed in the car, I needed/wanted to freshen up the bushes in the rear lower control arms.

Old bushes to be removed.

New bushes to go in.

If you’re looking to change these bushes as well, DO NOT! If I could do them again, I wouldn’t! I was lucky enough to have a few helping hands tackle this pain in the ass of a job. Massive thanks goes out to Evan, Ricky, Trung and of course my girlfriend Valerie for getting their hands dirty.

So first up, the outter bushes which hold the strut in were the biggest bitch. They’ve got an inner metal sleeve, rubber bush and outter collar which needs to be removed. The inner sleeve can easily be removed by burning them out or by a press.

Let the rubber melt and simply push the collar out. Next step is to get that metal collar/sleeve that hugs onto the hole of the lower control arm. Massive pain in the ass.

You need to put a hacksaw through the hole and cut the sleeve in several areas, get a big hammer and screw driver and knock the bastards out.

This is what they look like removed..

And they came from,

Ricky did most of the hammering, if it wasn’t for him, I would have probably gotten T3 adjustable arms lol

Next up, with everything out, you want to push in your new polyurethane bushes. It comes in 3 parts per bush, 2 pieces of rubber/plastic and a metal sleeve. The trick is the push in the rubber first.

You shouldn’t need a press for it, I used a vice and/or a G clamp to press them in.

Next up, the metal collar will most probably won’t go in, so what I did was drill the opening up a little for the collar to slide in a little.

Once it’s in like the above, use your vice or G clamp to press it in.

It should look a little something like this once done.

Once that’s done, simply slide your strut in, making sure it’s the right side/direction. Both arms are identical, just flipped upside down. You might need to trim the inner rubbers down a bit if it doesn’t fit.

Slide in your new spindle pin, remember that the pin only goes in one way, the locking bolt won’t fit otherwise. The slot in the spindle pin isn’t in the centre. Put a nut on with your new rubber washer and steel washers.. Tighten until the slot lines up with the hole and slide in your locking pin.

Tighten everything and you should have coilover/struts ready to install in your car!

Note the camber/toe bolts on the inner arm. Hopefully they will give enough adjustment to get the right toe setting, not too worried about camber.

And yes, I should have sprayed the backing plate and lower control arm but the rest of the underbody needs a spray so I just left it so it blends in hahaha

That’s it so far, probably install the coilovers this weekend.. And still waiting on my Watanabes -__-


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