Datsun 240Z Restoration: Coming Home
After many years of anticipation, HLS30-93069 finally made the 90-mile trek to its new home yesterday. As shown above, I loaded it onto a car carrier and borrowed my dad’s truck for the event. Naturally, it poured down rain the whole drive. Completely dry before and after, of course. I was more than a little frustrated with that turn of events given that it was moisture that caused the bulk of the 240Z’s current issues.
I waited until this morning to enlist my brother-in-law’s help in rolling it off the car carrier and into the garage. Fortunately, 2350 lbs or so isn’t a whole lot of car to push around, so I don’t foresee any issues rolling it in and out of its spot by myself when the need arises.
In the garage, still drying off. One of the prerequisites to actually digging into the restoration is building storage shelves and racks around the perimeter of the garage. We need space for the bits that get removed from the Z as well as general storage for the house itself.
After a gentle bath to remove whatever remained of 8 years of dust the rainstorm didn’t wash off last night, the Z was tucked in under an old car cover. Truth be told, it’s more there to protect my family from the car’s disintegrating rubber bumper strips than to shield the car from inadvertent kid scratches.
Cleaned up the engine bay a bit and reinstalled the factory orange air cleaner. Interesting Z tidbit: According to a reputable SU carb expert, the simple sheet metal air horns built into the inside of the air cleaner box flow somewhat better than any aftermarket units. Many early Z owners install non-factory air horns in pursuit of a looks and performance upgrade, but for the latter, there’s really nothing better than the orange OEM piece.
A shot of the cause of many of the car’s issues: A rusted-out inner fender directly beneath the battery tray, up against the firewall. Driving the car in the rain, water has a direct path through the fender and firewall, down into the passenger floor pan.
I also completely removed any vestiges of the ill-advised electric fan conversion and its associated wiring, and drained the oil. The oil looked clean—there were no metallic flakes at all, but I doubt that’s conclusive as I’m sure I changed the oil immediately following the engine fire incident. I racked my brain trying to remember if there were any visible particulates in the oil then, but for the life of me I can’t recall. In any case, the engine’s coming out and going to be torn down and checked. At least it’s home. Feels good to have the Z where it belongs.
Editor’s note: This post is Part 5 of an ongoing series chronicling my efforts toward the restoration of my 1972 Datsun 240Z, originally my father’s. Read the other installments here:
- Part 23: Gutting the Interior
- Part 22: The Teardown Begins
- Part 21: …And the Engine Comes Out
- Part 20: Treasure Hunting
- Part 19: Beginnings
- Part 18: VIN Discoveries
- Part 17: The Bad News
- Part 16: On The Road
- Part 15: Getting It Back On The Road
- Part 14: It Lives!
- Part 13: Restoring the Fuel System, Part I
- Part 12: Meat on the Wheels
- Part 11: Inspiration (Sort Of)
- Part 10: Carbs’ Return
- Part 9: First Triad Z Club Meet
- Part 8: Wheel Work
- Part 7: Tactical Changes
- Part 6: Little Things
- Part 4: The Rollout
- Part 3: Confessions of a Poor Car Enthusiast
- Part 2: Opening the Tomb
- Part 1: Projecting Forward