Pulling the motor and attending to the rest of the 240Z chassis

Now that the main mechanical assemblies are complete, it's time to pull out the engine again, and handle the rest of the things that need to be done on the car.

I jacked up one end of the car at a time and pulled out all the suspension. I decided to go through it, replacing all the rubber bushings with urethane equivalents, rebuild the brakes, and replace the brake hoses. Getting the old suspension bushings out was a real bugger. I ended up making die sets, slightly different between the front and rear:

And even with this, it took a cheater bar on my powerful milling machine vise to get them out. Here's my wonderfully understanding wife helping to hold a strut assembly while I attack the vise with the cheater bar (a chunk left-over exhaust tubing, my other favorite breaker bar is a leg from the engine hoist):

One by one the suspension assemblies start to look like this (note that honking Ford station wagon driveshaft in the background):

I had a comedy of errors when I reassembled the rear end. When I was doing one side, I looked at the other and noticed that the lower control arm had its formed portion down, so that's the way I assembled this side. Then I found that the two didn't match, one of them must have the formed portion up, so I changed the other side. Well, when time came to install them into the car, I found that now both sides were wrong. Another reason to take lots of pictures (and use them) as you disassemble and reassemble a car.

The Z had an aftermarket 1 1/8" sway bar, but I decided to go back to a stock one since I wouldn't be racing, and I thought that with no rear sway bar and that huge front one, in conjunction with a car with slightly more rear weight distribution, the large bar would be the recipe for under steer.

As I finished each section under the car, I applied rubberized undercoating. Since the car was originally undercoated, I didn't feel like taking it all off, and felt like the car might be quieter as a result. And it would preclude any future rust issues – not that I plan on driving it in the rain except of I get caught in it (not unimaginable in the Seattle area).

In the engine compartment, I removed a number of extraneous tubing and wiring clamps. After first using a drill bit for spot rivets (and going right through in some cases), I bought a spot rivet removal tool from Eastwood, and was very satisfied with using it:

I also had marked where the top bell housing bolts were very close to the firewall, and gave a few light taps with a hammer there to give a bit more clearance.

Then I scrubbed the engine compartment really well with gas, a little brass brush, and scotch-brite pads, then masked it. This is the best use I've ever had of golf tees.

I used pickup bed paint. It gives a nice durable finish with a pebbly appearance:

Then I rerouted the brake lines that went behind the motor since the motor was so close to the firewall. The lines needed to be routed slightly higher over the top of the tunnel. I moved the front brake line on the passenger side further away from the headers:

If you see some unpainted areas down in the tunnel, don't fret, I got to that later. On the right you can see that I installed a Tilton ¾" clutch master cylinder. We will get to the clutch later to discuss that.

It's about time to address the wiring issues. There wasn't a lot to be done in this area. My car had an aftermarket one-wire 105A alternator when I got it, so I decided to mount that on the Ford engine and use the original wiring to it. I ran large electric fan wiring (more about the cooling system later), and wiring for an MSD-6 ignition box to the driver's side, just behind the radiator. I also routed the temperature and oil sensor wires around in front of the radiator to the driver's side so that they would have access to the motor. Then I used plastic wire sleeving to cover all the wiring, to make things look neat and tidy.

Now it's time to send off some parts to make them pretty.

I bundled up some parts for the powder coating shop, and sent the headers off to be ceramic coated.

Here are the headers along with a few other parts from the powder coater, I must have already installed the engine mount cradle in the car, I don't see it here. I did quite a few parts, and it was still within the $75 lot charge for the powder coater. In retrospect, it would have been better to put both ends of the car up on jack stands, disassemble all the suspension at once, then and send all of those parts off to the powder coater.

The Weber manifold is sitting there because I had it already (left over from my racing days), and I thought it would be a nice addition to the car. However, it turns out that there are a couple of problems trying to fit it. First, the rear velocity stacks run into the hood latch, and if not that, they would probably hit the hood brace. I would be hesitant to put shorter velocity stacks on them since in my experience, Weber's like longer stacks to run well. I'm sure these problems could be solved one way or the other. Next time!

Note: by now, you have noticed that "Next time" already came and now it has Webers, although they are tipped on their side rather than downdrafts.

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