1973 240Z Restoration - Another One Begins
When one is over, another one begins...
As we complete one Datsun 240Z, another 240Z arrives. It is a 1973 Datsun 240Z and this particular 240Z is a time capsule - the interior, paint, engine, and everything is all original. Coming in at sixty-eight thousand miles, coated in a very 70's green and outfitted with a butterscotch interior, this beauty is ready for our check in and inspection.
Initial walk-around on this 240Z shows that we will have some rust to contend to and a bit of damage in two main areas. The left rocker panel and just below the right tail light have a dent in each location. The floors will require replacement as will the lower fenders and dog legs. Overall, for a 40+ year old survivor that has been parked for quite some time, this is a typical example of a plains state Z car.
As we open the doors and take notes we see that the interior is in pretty good condition. There are cracks on the upper dash, the driver bolster in the vinyl has split and the center console has cracked in a few places as well. All of these items are not out of the norm and will be very straight forward for us to repair. The diamond vinyl is complete and without damage. Much of this portion of the restoration service will be focused on basic repairs and refreshing the existing pieces.
Mechanically it will require a fair bit of attention as it has sat for some time. Compression and leak down checks are performed to determine the relative health of the engine. These tests yielded some less than stellar marks as only one cylinder had passable compression. It seems the air is escaping past the cylinder rings or valves depending on cylinder. The fuel tank metal is in passable condition but the lining is broken down and the carburetors will require a freshening up. It looks like we will be tending to these items before digging in any further on the driveline. An overview of the electrical shows the car is complete with no splices having been made to the original wiring and all pieces are present and in place.
The suspension and brakes are complete factory original. The struts still contain the factory oil fill and many of the bushings show major signs of wear. The Brake system will be receiving an overhaul and that is what we will be highlighting today.
Because this 240Z has sat for quite some time, that translates to one very important concept in braking systems - Moisture. Brake Fluid absorbs moisture and this is not a good thing. Many of the hydraulic bodies on these cars are made of aluminum and therefore will corrode from the inside. A new Brake Master Cylinder, Rear Wheel Cylinders, and Front Brake Calipers are to be installed. Supplying the fluid from the original chassis hard line are now new rubber Brake Hoses and Brake Tube Bridges. The Brake Booster is being replaced with a unit supplied by the customer that he had purchased from us prior to deciding on his full restoration.
At the front of this 240Z are new Brake Rotors and Brake Pads. The rear is receiving new Brake Shoes and Brake Drum Hardware Kit. The drums are in good condition, and will not need to be replaced.
Stay tuned as this is only the start, and we have a long way to go on this 1973 Datsun 240Z. The journey has only just begun…