Welcome to Project240Z.com

Project240z.comThis website was dedicated to our 1973 Datsun 240z build. The car is long gone, but the website remains. We may build another 240z again in the future. For now you can find all the various posts and videos we made back in the day.
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Check out some of our other projects www.project350z.com and SpecFRS.com

Two years ago today was the day that the Datsun toasted Motor #1 on it's first autocross run! Here’s a shot of that first competition run.

IMG_3199 by you.

And then a short time later (same run) here’s my getting out to push it

IMG_3242 by you.

Here’s what we found when we just happened to pull plug #2

This isn't good by you.

And then this is what it looked like when I went to drain the oil from the motor

Drained by you.


A few things have happened in the two years since that fateful day. A few months later I purchased a 2004 Corvette Z06 and autocrossed that for a year.

I sold the Corvette.

I got the Datsun running again with another motor, same turbo setup.

We moved to Colorado. www.going2colorado.com

In the next few weeks I hope to get more of the 240 back together, starting to work on the electrical system and such. Then during the first week of September the car goes to www.hanksvillehotrods.com for a new exhaust, maybe I can talk them into a cage too ;)

So I loaded the car up on the trailer tonight after work (well, between work actually). I’m going to take it to a buddy’s shop for a few days as we get the house packed up and everything loaded onto the moving (horse) trailer. Tuesday I’ll go pickup the car and we’ll hit the road for Colorado on Wednesday.

I even drove it up on the trailer under its own power!

@project240z is loaded for trip to colorado. #going2colorado

So today was spent packing the garage (read about that over here). While getting things packed up made it a productive day, the real joy was with the car. I drove it today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has been over 23 months since the car last moved under it’s own power, so getting it out of the driveway (harder than it sounds) and driving it around the circle made for a great day.

The car is still hard to start, but once it starts up the first time it generally starts up easier (as you will see in the video). I then had trouble trying to get into gear, keep the car running, and letting off the brake as the ebrake isn’t strong enough to keep it at the top of our driveway. I finally just let the car roll down the driveway and started it at the bottom before driving it around. If you want to see it running and driving skip ahead in the video to around 6 minutes. Commentary provided by my beautiful wife Natalie.

The video is in HD, so watch it that way ;)

After driving it around I even got more of the front end put together, with a grill and air dam installed, I’ll get a picture of that configuration tomorrow.

So just an FYI so others don’t waste money like I did. The steering column off a 1978 280Z will NOT fit on a 1973 240Z. I contacted the ebay seller to check before hand and was assured it would, unfortunately upon reciept and attempt at putting it in the car it does not fit :(

I guess I’ll just have to rig the bad 73 column for the haul to Colorado and look for another solution in the coming months.

Lesson learned, don’t trust ebay sellers to know what they are talking about.

Tonight I came home and started putting the suspension back together. Fortunately I hadn’t gotten too far with taking it apart, so I didn’t have too much to put back together. I decided since we only have a couple of weeks left I won’t try getting the other suspension under the car, I’ll just worry about getting it together and secured for the trailer ride to Colorado (http://www.going2colorado.com) later this month.

I got the front suspension bits together, though I didn’t bother to put the sway bar on for now. I then decided to pull the steering column to get the new one put into the car. That was easy, at least the pulling it out process, I stopped for dinner, but it sure looks like the replacement column isn’t going to work :(

I’ll have to try to get that in later this week.

So I finally got some more time on the Datsun over the past few days. Friday I went down to my boss’ house and used his bead blaster to clean up some of the suspension pieces (photos of those later this week).

Today I needed to relax a bit (for the reason read this blog post) so I went into the garage and decided to pull the rear hatch off the car. I’m going to try to get rid of all the extra parts I have in the next week or two, and a hatch is one of the extras so I wanted to get the one off the car. That process went pretty quickly, and here are the results:

Hatch Removed Old (blue) and New (brown)

The blue one being the one I will be getting rid of, and the brown one being the one I want to put on the car.

After that I started playing around with some paint stripper.Here’s the result of that.

Paint Stripper

I don’t think I want to buy enough stripper to spray down the whole car! That’ll be a lot of chemicals, though it does end up cleaner than if I went to completely sand the whole car down.

More work later this week.

We got back from Colorado on Saturday night. Sunday afternoon I was out in the driveway power washing the extra suspension for the 240z. I got quite a bit done, it looks a lot better than before, and I also managed to get most of the disassembled so that I could get it sand blasted. I did manage to get grease all over the driveway though, which then go on the dogs when Natalie decided to try to wash the dogs in the driveway while I was out there. Whoops! Lesson learned, grease gets everywhere.

I’ll hopefully have some time this weekend to get down to Egypt (my boss, with the sandblaster, lives way down in the sticks of MO) to work on sandblasting some of the parts so they can be painted and then reassembled. I’ll take pictures if any of that happens!

With the success last night I decided I had to work on the car this evening a bit. The first thing I did was get it up on all four jack stands so that they were under the frame and not under control arms of the car. This would allow me to begin working on the suspension pieces.

When I got the car from Jeff, uhhh over three years ago now, it came with a second suspension that had been pulled off another car. This other suspension has springs (yellow), new(er) struts, a larger front sway bar, and also the addition of a rear sway bar. It also is a lot cleaner then the current suspension. So tonight I started pulling off the front suspension, starting with the sway bar, and moving on to removing the rest, at least what I could, of the right front.

I got stuck at the tie rod, but I did manage to get most of the other bolts removed. I came to a conclusion though, I’m going to likely just drop the whole front suspension out, including the cross member as the second suspension has one as well. In order to do that though I am going to have to dismount the motor. I will attempt to do that by lifting the motor up off the mounts with the cherry picker, hopefully without having to disconnect the transmission and not removing the whole thing from the car.

Before I do that though I will likely fully disassemble the other suspension and take it to a friend’s house to sandblast everything. I’m heading to Tampa for a conference tomorrow, so that will have to wait until the evenings next week. I’ll try to get everything disassembled during the week, both front and rear suspensions, and then probably go down to his place Saturday if he’ll be around.

So tonight after work I came home to get the starter out of the car and took it back to Autozone, fortunately the lifetime warranty was honored! Though I did have to run off to the Autozone Hub to get the replacement starter. The guy at the hub was kind of lost, but he eventually got everything worked out and I headed home with the new (remanufactured) starter.

So the last starter started off working, but after a few days just started spinning without engaging the flywheel, no grinding either. This one, once all wired up worked like a champ. I even got the car started up for a minute or so. I did all this without hooking up the computer, so I didn’t want to spend too much time keeping it running.

So now was the time, time to hookup the laptop and get the video camera out and record the car actually running! Well I am proud to say it was successful, here’s the video below.

So last night after work I came home with the intention of trying to figure out why the car wouldn’t start. My intentions were to check the positioning of the 36-1 wheel for the VR sensor that drives the Megasquirt/EDIS setup. After checking the positioning of the sensor I was going to do a compression check on the motor. Well I threw those intentions out of the window, I wanted to see if after charging the battery the night before things would be better as the changes from the night before were not completely tested due to the drained battery.