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december 2020: shell update

The shell was transported to a specialized media blasting company to remove all the layers of old paint, bondo, under sealing,… Nothing better than bare metal to start building a “new” car.

After I went to see and inspect it, the naked shell was then transported shortly after back to the resto shop where they instantly put in epoxy primer to prevent any oxidation while the works have to be done. All in all we found a few bad repair jobs, some minor rust spots,… Nothing major and nothing shocking. The guys at the resto shop are quite satisfied with what they have to work with.

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december 2020

To change a bit from blasting and painting I started to fab some cupro brake lines and fuel lines from scratch. I reused things like the T-piece, the pressure valve,…

rear brake lines, refurbished T-piece (blasted and clearcoated)
In detail, the refurbished T-piece
Fuel supply line and clutch hard line
Heater box. Media blasted, primered, painted, new seals, new foam, new hardware. And new heater valve (not shown)
Heater box. Media blasted, primered, painted, new seals, new foam, new hardware. And new heater valve (not shown)
Fuel tank straps. Media blasted and powder coated, new foam.
NEW hardware. Yellow zinc plated where available

And sometimes you need to find new motivation. To do so I just assemble some parts and enjoy myself.

Front subframe powder coated, steering rack greased, newly painted, new steering bellows, new balljoints, LCA powder coated and PU bishings, tension rods blasted and coated, outer tie rods cleaned and clear coated, new hardware.
headlights
Pedal box. Disassembled, media blasted, coated, greased and reassembled. New datsmo rubber pads on all 3 pedals

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november 2020: meanwhile at the garage

While the shell is out, there is plenty of space to start organizing and refurbishing parts. Some parts went of to powdercoating, other stuff will be sandblasted and painted/coated by myself. But where to start? It isn’t easy when you have all the elements on the shelves, floor, hanging from the roof,… So I picked the most random part I could think of. The interior blower fan.

The stock unit
Disassembled and media blasted
2 coats of primer and 2 coats of black paint, new foam, new gaskets, cleaned or renewed hardware
All back together and ready to be mounted in 2021 or 2022 ๐Ÿ˜€

After the start was made I wrote a list of elements that needed to be refurbished, what parts needed to be ordered, what parts I wanted to have a makeover. So now, everytime I go to the garage I just choose a task and get work done. As there is so much different things to chose from, I can match the work to my mood ๐Ÿ˜‰

The parts which I dropped of to powder coating
More parts that I media blasted
Aluminium drum brakes blasted, cleaned and painted
Calipers: Disassembled, media blasted, cleaned, painted, new seals, new hardware, new pads
Fabricated some new rubber gaskets myself
And the parts are already back with fresh black powder coat

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november 20th 2020: the shell is with the wizards

One major step. I brought the shell to the resto guys of SLG classic cars in Belgium. This will be a first for me. I never done anything quite as exciting (and expensive) to a classic ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I’m really looking forward to it.
Whats’s on the menu?
– remove all paint (inside, outside, underside, engine bay)
– repair where needed (the old school way! by metal shaping, heat shrinking,…)
– some random metal work (close side marker holes, close side molding holes,…)
– prepare for paint
– paint it ……… (insert color here. I’m still not sure what color I should go with)

For now, enjoy some pics of the delivery:

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Project TOSBO: Sep&Oct 2020 – tear-down

As I got the yellow ’70 to a point where I really enjoyed driving it around it was time to make a decision. Keep it as it is for at least 1 more summer or to bite the bullet and start my adventure of a nut&bolt resto/rebuild.
I decided it was now or never, parked the car in our shared car shelter and got the tools out. I started with the engine and the interior so I had a rolling shell until a later state. My goal was to get everything out of the car, EVERYTHING except the front and rear glass. As I’m to afraid to break the 1970 glass and as I’m to unsafe to get it back in after the paint once has dried, I talked to the ‘classic’ bodyshop guys. I arranged they would take it out an put it back in after their metal and paint wizardry was done.

In the front of the cabin you can see the only remains of the original ‘universal blue’ paint the car was delivered in.

Oh, I’m really not looking forward putting the window mechanism or the opening/locking mechanism back in the doors!

Last but not least I got the axles and suspension components out of the car

I ordered some scaffolding pipes and clamps and fabricated a rolling jig. This way it can easily be adjusted to later projects, disassembled for storage, extended,… And it is sturdy enough to be rolled on/off a car trailer.

The shell is now ready. Just waiting for ‘SLG Classic Cars’ to call me. As soon as they have a free spot, we will bring my car to their shop. The shell will then be media blasted, epoxy primered, rebuilt (where needed), prepped, painted, …

By now I’m like 95% decided on the final color, but this changed like 50 times during the last months.
As a color recap:
1970- approx 1991: Datsun universal blue 903
1991-2020: RAL1028 melon yellow
2020-forever: Datsun 907 or Datsun 920

It just has to be an original 1970 S30 color and I narrowed it down to racing green or safari gold.
These colors were available in 1970: 901 Silver gray (metallic) ; 903 Universal blue (metallic) ; 904 Kilimanjaro white ; 905 Monte Carlo red ; 907 Racing green ; 918 New sight Orange ; 919 Sunshine yellow ; 920 Safari gold

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Project TOSBO: Jul-Sep 2020 catch up

As I want to have these post in chronological order, here a little catch up for the months of July-September.
Biggest change and quite a questionable one was to retrofit original Hitachi SU carbs. Building this car by the expression: “keep it stupid simple” As the SU are so easy to live with, easy to tune,… I decided to ditch the DCOEs. IMHO the driveability was less good as my SU equipped 1973 240Z, performance wasn’t any better with the Webers (on a stock engine) and the mileage was way worse. On the positive side there was the looks and the noise, but that wasn’t enough to convince me.
So I found and bought a set of quite early Hitachis and installed them asap

Airbox and heatshield were mounted shortly after tuning.

I installed some front camber top hats which lowered the front by another 15mm and resulted in a more even drop front to rear.

Got in touch with these awesome guys, but more on that later

An somewhere mid September I drove the car for the last time before ending it’s 2020 driving season.

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Blackforest-trip 2020

Due to Covid our yearly roadtrip adventure was kind of canceled. There was a travel ban for Switzerland. As I still wanted to do a Datsun Roadtrip in 2020, I planned an alternative trip to the blackforest (Germany). In regards to Covid the trip was planned with only 1 hotel for the 5 days to restrict contacts, yadda yadda…

So my buddies Steve (240Z) and Paul (BMW) decided to leave on Aug 25th and be back home on Aug 29th. Destination and homebase was the Hotel Saigerhรถh near Titisee-Neustadt.
We decided to take the scenic route and limit our time on the highways as they are really boring in vintage cars.

The drive was smooth without any hassles. We had quite good weather along the way. The hotel was nice, not to may guests and lots of local Gins to taste.

As I forgot to turn on the location marker for my photos, I’ll thro them in a gallery below. But let’s start with the maps of the 3 loops we drove.
Every morning we were greeted by the sun. Perfect to do the daily routine checks before leaving. Checking the oil, coolant, brake fluid levels, visual inspections of your nuts&bolts,…

On day 2 we did the southern part of the blackforest. In my opinion it was the coolest of our 3 day trips. Small roads, no traffic, lots of technical driving.

Day 3 was the short drive. As we wanted to have a few hours to visit Titisee, do some shopping, …

Day 4, the northern part of the blackforest. There were super nice (and smooth) roads on this daytrip, quite some scenic views and there would have been quite some cool landmarks to visit. Unfortunately we were completely rained out and reduced our stops along the way to a minimum.

Before this roadtrip I had no real idea what to expect as I never really visited the blackforest. But honestly: the roads are great, the drive was awesome. But the views and sensations can’t be compared to the alps. As you are mostly below the tree line, the really nice views are a bit rare compared to the alps. On the upside there is way less traffic and way less cyclists ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Project update, small changes for Tosbo

Before tearing the car completely apart sometime next year, I’m trying to repair, retrofit, modify, optimize a few things.

As the car wasn’t that nice to drive, so first thing was to remove the cut springs and replace them by some new ones of the same brand. Of course it now looks to high, imho, but it drives way better. Cut springs had no preload at all, and no real travel, as the slightest compression would let it sit on it’s bumpstopts.

I also removed the slightly worn steering wheel and fitted my Nardi ‘deep’ wich I had laying around. I’m not sure what steering wheel I’ll mount after the resto.

Ordered and mounted some Ramair filters for the DCOEs and repaired the water temp.

I sourced a non series 1 driveshaft, moustache bar and rear transverse link. This is all thats needed to change the rear drivetrain to the later geometry. While at it I also changed the diff support for a hangingt RT diffmount. No more straps or rubber bumbers for Tosbo.

In my quest to optimize the driving sensation a bit more, the car needed a rear swaybar. As it hadn’t any at all. I ordered a complete ST suspensions swaybar set from the US.

And I played with wheels, a lot ๐Ÿ˜‰ Work, Rotas, Konig and JBW

Removed the bumperettes.

Oh, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Now I’m waiting for some camber tops for the front axle and the car definately needs an upgrade in the seat department!

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BIG UPDATE: New Datsun 240Z New Project, the dream-datsun

Big news, I acquired a second Datsun 240Z. At the end I couldn’t resist any longer and had to buy this yellow beauty from my best mate!
So a few months ago my mate Yves decided to sell it, what a bad decision ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hesitated to long, and it was pretty much sold, but I’ve been given a second chance and now it’s mine. Couldn’t be any happier.
1970 series 1 240Z, originally in universal blue, but refinished 30+ years ago in yellow.

Cool story bro: Back in 2004 (or was it 2005) this particular car was my first real encounter with a 240Z. I knew since circa 2003 that I would love to own one, but as they aren’t really common here in Europe this yellow and a purple one which was parked just next to it where the first S30 I really laid my eyes on. Even took 3 picture of it back then, so here is one of them.
And yes it’s 100% the same car my best buddy bought about 13-14 years later.

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I’ll drive it ‘as is’ for at least this summer, which gives me time to establish a plan for it’s ‘nut&bolt’ resto.
As my blue 240Z now has Work Equip wheels I instantly mounted my 14″ wheels:

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