General Update – Dyno and future modifications

Hey all, I just wanted to give a small update.

Since the new gearbox and clutch has gone in, the car’s been great. I can shift into second gear again without cringing at the crunch it used to make, and the clutch no longer slips. The only downside is that the gearbox does not sound like it’s been refurbished as 5th gear has a slight bearing sound. Other than that and the reverse lights not working, the gearbox/clutch side of things has been great.

I managed to finally dyno the Z as well at Road Track Rally.

It pulled a surprising 84rwkw from the standard L28 with SU carbs! Besides the slightly lean mixtures, after a few adjustments, she pulled very nicely although idle is now a little rich. I unfortunately don’t have a dyno graph.

Now onto future plans, I have done some research into purchasing a set of triple carburetors and I am leaning towards new OER or Weber carbs. Both in kits so that it will be a simple bolt in affair. Only thing holding me back at this stage is the large cost of it, about $2300 for the goods and then another $250 or so for jets to tune.

Along with the carbs, I have also wanted to buy the OEM headlight covers for the Z which has the chrome trims, but again, high cost of about $800 a pair, second hand. I feel like I need them to finish off the look of my front end though.. 

TIme to save!


FS5W71C gearbox conversion – Part 2 and engine overhaul

This post will be continuing on from the previous post about the FS5W71C / RB gearbox conversion which can be seen HERE, and I will also be going through a quick guide of how to change basic maintenance items on an L28 motor. The change in seals, etc, should be the same for the L24 and L26 motors.

Okay, so continuing from where I had left off, to check and see whether your modifications performed on your bell housing is correct, you will need to try and spin the input/output shaft and shift into each gear. If the input/output shaft doesn’t spin, you have an issue or if you can’t shift into any gears, you’ve got an issue. I had those above issues lol I must have bumped a shifter rod and the box felt like it had seized.

If you’re in the same position, you will have to follow the below procedure. First, open your shifter cover and while using a punch, tap the pin down and out.

Once the pin is removed, slide the ‘unknown named’ piece off.

Once that piece is off, you can take the back half of the gearbox off. No other bolts needed to be removed.

If you can’t select any gears, you need to make sure the rods are all lined up. One of my rods, I believe 5th and reverse, were pushed back and so therefore jammed everything else up. Knocking it back into position, I was able to rotate the shaft and select gears again.

Having it in this position, you are in neutral.

If you are mechanically minded, I think you will be able to understand how the gearbox gets into gear, etc. Having never pulled a gearbox apart before, I sure learnt a bit from this small exercise.

Once you’ve knocked the rods back into position, you should be able to put everything back together or make further modifications to your bell housing and making sure everything moves freely.

Only requirement now is to modify the gearbox cross member and cut the dust shield off the tail shaft which will be illustrated in a moment. For now, I wanted to pull the motor out to freshen up a few areas which needed attention.

Just want to say thanks to Tony for lending his brand new engine crane to me and lending a hand! Cheers.

Motor’s all out.

Keeping in mind that I pulled everything out, changed gearboxes because I needed to change a clutch, and what better time to do everything while it’s out… I ended up ordering an Exedy Heavy Duty item.

There are different clutch kits which fit the Z and it is important that the clutch diameter matches your flywheel, and that the pressure plate height remains consistent otherwise you will need a new throw out bearing carrier also.

The clutch kit came with a new clutch, pressure plate, spigot bush, alignment tool and throw out bearing.

Back to the motor, I first pulled things not needed out of the way and gave it a light scrub.

The goal here was to give the motor a fresh lick of paint, change the water pump, welch or better known as freeze plugs and front/rear main seals. I had bought the water pump a while back but never got around to installing it as the previous one never gave me any issues.

New water pump, bolts, front and rear main seals, and welch plugs. The welch plugs, ten are 35mm and 1 is 50mm.

First up, the water pump. Simply unbolt and take off.

Installation of the new item should be a straight forward bolt on. I threw out the gasket and just used a gasket maker which I’ve had better success with.

Next up are the welch/freeze plugs. I have given the block a few coats of Ford blue.

To remove the welch plugs, simply use a chisel or screw driver and a hammer, knock one side of the plug until it falls into the block.

Use a pair of pliers then pull it out. As you can see, they’re already corroding. Better to replace them now than to wait for them to rust through and leak.

Repeat another 10 times. To install the new plugs, get the largest socket you can fit into the new welch plugs, and hammer them into the block. Simple as that! It is recommended that you sand the hole down a bit so that the new welch plugs don’t leak or pop out.

Moving onto the rear main seal.. The best way to remove these I have found is to get a self tapping screw, a drill bit to suit and drill into the seal, making sure you don’t scratch any surface of the crank or block.

Screw the self tapping screw into your new hole.

And using pliers, pull the seal out.

To re-install the new seal, find something of similar diameter, I found a pot which broke after a few taps lol

Place new seal over your crank with a bit of engine oil to lubricate it.

And then use your pot or something similar in diameter to knock it in evenly. You can use your old seal, placed on backwards, to help push the new seal in. Tap it in until it sits flush.

All done!

Now, the front main seal. Your first step is to remove the crank bolt, it is 27mm. You can stop the crank from spinning by installing two old fly wheel bolts on the crank at opposite ends, and put a pole in between them and wedge it on the floor.

I re-installed the bolt without the washer.

You will need a puller to take the pulley off.

This little thing was leaking oil all over ever since I got the car. I’m happy to be changing it!

For the front main seal, I just pried this one out with a screw driver.

To install the new seal, same thing as the rear main seal, find something of similar diameter and tap it in evenly.

Here’s a poor photo of the motor with the pulley and water pump back on.

The following day’s work was to put the motor back into the car, here’s a picture of the accessories back on the motor. Ignore how I’ve lifted the motor, I didn’t trust the manifold bolts.

Time to put the flywheel back on. I bought brand new ARP bolts, they’re the same thread and pitch as those used on 3SGE Toyota motors or RB Nissan motors.

Don’t forget to place your backing plate on first before installing your flywheel.

Using some locktite, torque them up to spec.

Next up, install your new spigot bush.

Grease it up a little bit, find a socket of similar diameter and knock it in gently.

You are now ready to install your clutch and pressure plate. Don’t forget to wipe down the surface of your newly machined flywheel with brake cleaner. They’ve sprayed something on it to reduce corrosion and leaving it on will result in slippage and shudder.

Remember that the fatter end of the clutch faces the pressure plate. See below.

So what you do is place the clutch in between the pressure plate and flywheel, lightly tighten up the pressure plate to hold it in place. Once it’s held in position, before you torque it all up, insert your alignment tool. Make sure it sits snug and tight.

You’re ready to torque up the pressure plate bolts. Tightening them in a crisscross direction to avoid uneven pressure on the clutch.

Take out the alignment tool and this end is ready!

Before you can bolt your gearbox up, you will need to change the throw out bearing. To do so, you will need a socket of similar diameter to the bearing carrier and a few planks of wood.

Rest the bearing on the planks of wood and knock the bearing carrier out of the bearing. Install the new bearing by knocking the carrier into the bearing. Pretty straight forward.

Give the carrier a light grease and install it with the clutch fork in the bell housing.

And then bolt your new gearbox onto the motor.

The motor was then put back into the car as one. Had a few issues, engine crane didn’t clear the car underneath, length of the crane was a tad too short which meant taking the motor and box which was halfway in engine bay back out, resulting in scratches etc..

The damage.

But the motor ended up going in.

Now onto the final part of this gearbox conversion! Finally..

As you can see, the gearbox cross member needs to be modified. The mount on the gearbox sits about 25mm further back compared to the original box.

What I did was section an area of the cross member and shifted it back 23mm from memory and welded it in place. Looks a bit dodgy with the wet paint in the pictures, but it was pretty solid.

I installed the cross member and realised the bolt to tighten the gearbox mount bolt wasn’t accessible, so I had to remove a bit of metal.

I have seen people completely remake their cross member but I don’t have the skills for that lol This will do..

Install it and it should all fit!

The last part to this conversion is the tail shaft. Simply remove the dust shield on the end which goes into the gearbox.

I only removed 10mm to clear the diff mount but I soon realised this wasn’t enough, take my advice, remove the entire cover!

And you’re done… I still need to paint that airbox and polish the cam cover though..

With the RB gearbox, although you don’t need to shorten the tail shaft, your shifter does sit further forward. The below photo is of the shifter in neutral.. It looks like it’s in first or third! Your hand might hit the climate control, you can cut and shut the shifter to reposition it or bend it.. I haven’t decided what to do yet.

My speedo cable plugged right in, so did reverse switch BUT.. The reverse lights stay on the entire time.

I had read that 5 speed boxes don’t require any modifications to the reverse switch on the bell housing, only the 4 speeds do, but I ran into this issue of it staying on. I should have double checked myself, but I can say that 5 speed gearbox will require you to move the switch location forward 25mm or so. I will have to pull the gearbox back out and apart to fix this :(

Other than that, the gearbox has been good. I just need to run in the clutch. There are heaps of articles and documentations on this conversion but if there’s any questions, feel free to ask.

 


FS5W71C / RB gearbox conversion – Part 1

Hey all,

So it’s been a while since there has been an update. For the regular followers, you would remember from my previous post that my clutch has started to slip and my 2nd gear synchro is causing me grief. Well I have since done my research and gone ahead with a gearbox replacement while I’m changing the clutch.

I have decided to go and do a FS5W71C gearbox conversion. It is better known as the gearbox which came out of the RB, SR or even KA powered cars. The boxes which were installed in the 240z’s were basically the older models of these gearboxes so conversions aren’t ridiculously difficult.

The box I have picked up is out off an RB30 powered Skyline, gearboxes off an RB motor are known to be shorter in length than the SR/KA gearbox. Having gone the RB route, this will allow me to run my current tail shaft instead of needing to shorten it if I were to go SR/KA.

So with this little project spanning over a couple of days/weeks, I have decided to park the Z in my messy, dusty, little garage.

I couldn’t figure out a way to jack the front end up once the rear was up so I left it like that and squeezed underneath to pull the exhaust, tail shaft and eventually the gearbox, clutch and flywheel.

I just want to take a moment and say thanks to my mate Vinh for lending a hand!

So in about 2 hours, we managed to pull the gearbox out from under the car. The bell housing got caught on the gearbox cross member mounts, but after jacking the rear up, we managed to drag it out.

Here it is.. the dirty old FS5W71B.

Next, it was time to pull off the pressure plate and clutch to find out what size flywheel I had and pull that out.

So the rear main looks to be leaking, it’ll be replaced when the motor is pulled out in a few days. You will probably notice there’s no spigot bush.

Well… it kinda broke apart some time ago and it fell out.

After a quick inspection, the clutch appears to have been only contacted the flywheel/pressure plate on its outer edge.. Wonder what happened there.

Anyway, the whole point of this day’s exercise was to find out the flywheel diameter so I could order a new clutch to suit.

The flywheel measures out to be 225mm.

I had a bit of a worry after seeing a few hairline stress fractures on the surface of the flywheel but after having it machined, it’s turned out good as new! I had planned to go a lighter flywheel but I’m too poor.

Okay, back to business. Gearbox conversion, what do we do? Well firstly, we need to pull off the existing bell housing and modify it, and then transfer it over onto the RB gearbox.

First, you should pull out the reverse switch.

Go and look inside your bell housing, undo the 5 bolts to the plate. Ignore that I’ve taken off the fork pivot, you’ll need to put it back.

Take off the plate once the bolts are off, if you’re having trouble like I did, you can go and look through your clutch fork hole, and use a hammer to knock it out and off the input shaft.

And she’s off!

The next step is to remove the two circlips around the input shaft. You can make it out in this picture.

Once the circlips are out, time to undo the bolts holding the bell housing onto the rest of the gearbox.

Once they’re out, stand the gearbox up on it’s input shaft, on a piece of wood or something, and give the bell housing a few hits with a mallet. It should all break loose.

Take a quick look at your gears and bearings!

Here’s a quick side by side comparison with the new RB box. Sorry I forgot to take photos of them together before the bell housing came off.

Same lengths..

The RB box looks a little fatter than the L series. Probably just an illusion since the RB box still has its bell.

Once you’re done comparing the two boxes and inspected the gears, it’s time to repeat the above process on the RB/new gearbox.

Less than 5 mins later..

The two gearboxes side by side. Dirty gearbox is the L series one from the car.

Here’s the two bell housings side by side, I basically need to have the left bell housing looking like the right, minus the counter shaft bearing hole since I will be using the L series bearing to save me some trouble.

Since I will be using the L series counter shaft bearing, I will only need to bore out the 1-2 shifter rod hole in the bell housing, from 13mm to 16mm. But first, I need to remove the counter shaft bearing from both the L and RB gearboxes and put the L series bearing on the new RB gearbox.

Use whatever method you can to get these off, a bearing puller, press, etc. I just used a screwdriver and puller. After a few minutes..

And repeat on the RB gearbox,

You can see that the L series bearing is smaller than the RB. Some people keep the bigger bearing on but you will be required to bore out the hole on the bell housing, from 55mm to 61mm or so.

I don’t have the equipment or hookups to do that so I have just transferred the bearings over and left the bore size.

Simply place the new/old L series bearing over the new RB gearbox’s counter shaft and tap it on evenly. And you’re done.. for this stage.

Now onto the bell housing modifications. Here’s a view of the L series bell housing, no mods yet performed.

So of the two large holes, hole on the left (smaller one), this is the counter shaft bearing hole. Since I am keeping the standard bearing, this does not need to be bored out. If you kept the RB counter shaft bearing, this needs to be bored out.

Although I don’t need to bore out the hole, you will have to remove 1mm or so of material to accommodate the larger gears from the RB box.

Of the three smaller holes at the bottom, you will be required to bore the far right (1-2 shifter rod) hole out to 16mm.

Below is work where I’ve just grinded down the counter shaft bearing hole to accommodate the larger gears.

And this is all so far for Part 1 of the FS5W71C / RB / SR / KA gearbox conversion. I don’t have access to a 16mm drill bit to bore out that shifter hole yet. Once that’s done, I can trial fit this bell housing on to the RB gearbox to see if everything clears. That will be covered in the next post.

For now, I need to find a replacement clutch, currently looking at an Exedy item from an R32/RB20det. A gasket set will be purchased to replace the rear main seal and spigot bush etc.

I have forgotten to mention it but this gearbox conversion (as well as SR or KA) will require modifications to the gearbox cross member. It needs to be shifted back 35mm or so. I will cover this as it comes.


Drama free ownership has ended

Hey all,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. There just hasn’t been much going on with the car.

Installing the 432 style exhaust was really the last major thing the car needed before I was happy with the car and wanted to just enjoy it.

I ended up dropping by an Import Monster and Grip Shift Slide meet a few months back. Got a few nice pictures of the car and complements.

It was a great afternoon out, met a few nice people who asked questions about the car and wanting one of their own. Quite a large turnout, it was a warm summer day.

A few weeks later, my girlfriend’s dad asked me to enter my car into the last Toyota Family Open Day’s show and shine event.. It was good to see other enthusiasts appreciate other makes and models of cars because I did ‘invade’ a Toyota day with my Datsun!

Since the day started early, it finished early and wanting to drive the car a little more, a few friends and I went on a little drive to the beach. There was no better way to make the most of the last few warm days of Autumn.

A quick check up of the carb’s mixtures..

And a top up from the long day. One of my favourite shots. I really need a high resolution of this.

Finally, the biggest news of this post. I was going to take the Z out on a Sunday drive with a few turbo powered imports. Filled her up and double checked the carb’s mixtures where I noticed something strange.

The clutch started to slip. Giving the car WOT, the motor just revved out while the car didn’t move anywhere fast.. Tried again in fifth gear and there was no doubt the clutch was on its way out.

So after rocking up at the meet spot, I had to take the Z home and drive my JZX instead. The drive was great, really missed that sort of driving.

I should also mention that before any signs of the clutch going was obvious, the Zs second gear synchro felt like it was on its way out. Issues getting into second gear, getting into second gear with a crunch, etc..

Now that the clutch is showing more serious signs of wear, there’s no better time to replace the gearbox while it’s all out.

I’m currently tossing up the idea of going with an R32/RB20 gearbox with modifications to the bellhousing or an S13/14 SR20 gearbox. With the RB box, there’s no need to shorten the tailshaft while the SR box I will need to shorten it by 35mm or so.. And it’s also more expensive.

And then of course the idea of changing motors completely has crossed my mind but money will be the biggest issue with that option.

We’ll see how things go. The car will most likely sit now that the weather’s gotten colder.


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!

http://www.estblshd.com.au/enter-the-zed/


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.


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