one man. two cars.

zero cash.

"Self indulgent bollocks"

"Expected more drift videos"

"Not even a series one"

These are just a few of the stellar reviews avid readers of the galaxy's foremost Datsun 240z build blog, twentyfourounce, have not left. 

If you came here expecting twin turbocharged, RB swapped, soda-blasted, blue annodized everything, you're going to be bitterly disappointed. This is the story of a Datsun 240z restoration done an a shoestring budget, over a painfully long period of time. I suspect the build will outlast this ridiculous blog by a period of years. Hell... it'll probably outlast your humble narrator and droog.

This blog / page / website... whatever... is mainly about me documenting the process of rebuilding my Datsun 240z. If any other fellow zed restorers out there find any of the information on how I've done things so cheaply useful, that's awesome. Failing that, if my shamless corner-cutting gives seasoned campaigners with deeper pockets than mine a bloody good laugh, then my work here is done.

About me

My first trade was as an auto electrician, so I'm OK at wiring and alternators and fuses and shit.  For 7 years I looked over the shoulder of a good number of mechanics, so I guess I am kinda like a theatre nurse who learned surgery by proxy. I am not a mechanic's left buttock, but I understand the basics. I know UNF from UNC, SAE from metric, and a box of sparks from a left-handed screwdriver.

Four careers and 30 years later, I work as a web developer, prior I spent a few years building interactive web content for a certain large media organisation you probably hate. Being a dev is actually still fun sometimes, but I do love the contrast of rolling up my sleeves and immersing myself in the sweet aroma of degreaser and lithium grease on weekends. I do as much work on my car(s) as I can, including my daily driver which gets occasional mentions here.

Exoplanets interactive - News Corp Australia

The car

Chassis HS30-1804 came into my posession around 1994, purchased after about 6 months of searching, and 5 years after I sold my first 240z. The former owner was Shane Gosling, and I think I paid $6800 for it. The price had been dropped from $7100 - which put it among the most expensive s30's I'd ever seen sold in Adelaide. I was not a fan of the 14" Centerline style mags, or the sunroof, and least of all the fact it was an automatic. The tiny sports steering wheel made maneuvering the car at low speed practically impossible, and the stupidly low front spoiler made shopping centers with spoon drains and speedhumps a no-go.  But the interior had been nicely restored by a good motor trimmer, and the paint looked great. There was no rust in all the bad places you expect to find it, and this is probably because the car spent so much of its life undergoing restoration. The L28 upgrade gave it plenty of poke, and nolathane bushes in the front stiffened it up. It was nice to drive, and it looked great.

The original 112 Yellow factory paint had been replaced with a metallic red that I was told was a Toyota factory colour. Recently I narrowed it down, and decided it's most likely 3H4, known as Red Pearl or Red Mica. A pro painted it and did a fair job, I can see where corners were cut but overall it's nice to look at. 

Manual conversion is a major segment of the restoration, I was lucky enough to pick up an FS5C71A 5 speed transmission and short propeller shaft 20 years ago but I've had to buy everything else. Engine rebuild was also a must, it'll stay pretty much standard with just some minor port matching and combustion chamber work to improve flow. Suspension and running gear will be inspected, dismantled, cleaned, serviced and painted, working from front to rear. 

Where possible the original parts have been re-used, which means a lot of degreaser and wire wheels have been consumed. 

The goal

The main aim of course is to just get the car back on the road and driveable, but I'll do a few minor improvements along the way. Some will be mechanical, some will be invisible, and some will be purely asthetic. 

I'd love to have the engine + gearbox mounted by Xmas 2018, and I'd love to drive it in the Bay to Birdwood in 2019.

Wish me luck... I'm gonna need it!