Exhaust–Out with the Old

Next I removed the exhaust from the frame. I had already detached the exhaust manifold when I removed the engine, so the only connections to the frame that remained were the exhaust hangers and the fact that the exhaust actually feeds through a hole in the crossmember of the frame. I don’t know if this is the original exhaust, but I don’t think it is because it is missing the distinctive “megaphone” tip. It is quite rusty, though, but that is fairly typical of an exhaust.

Here are a couple of pictures of the rear and mid-sections of the exhaust, where it runs up over the rear axle.

I began at the rear of the car, removing the nuts that held the brackets welded onto the exhaust to the frame’s exhaust hangers, which had rubber blocks to make them flexible. I removed the nuts using a 13 mm socket. There were two sets of hangers, one at the very back and one just in front of that one.

Moving towards the front of the car, the exhaust then feeds through a hole in the frame’s X-shaped crossmember. I removed the nut from the rear of a pair of straps of metal holding the pipe in place.

Then I used what is, in my experience, the single most useful tool for demolition work, my crowbar, to pry up the rear section of the metal strap and then the front section to expose the other nut.

I then removed the other bolt and pried up the strapping to free that section of the exhaust pipe.

Between the two pieces of the frame crossmember was a resonator that was clamped into place between the two straight pipes. I removed the clamps by loosening the nuts using the 13 mm socket.

With all the rust, however, I was unable to remove the pipes from the resonator. So I used what is, in my opinion, the second most useful tool in demolition, my reciprocating saw to cut the resonator out.

At the front, where the exhaust mounts into the manifold, there is another bracket on the frame. However, the exhaust was not connected to this bracket. This was probably to allow the engine to move a bit without tearing the exhaust free, as there was no section of flex-pipe.

With the resonator, which was clearly too wide to pull through the holes in the frame, cut out and all of the exhaust-mounting brackets disconnected from the pipes, I was able to pull the whole exhaust off the frame.

As you can see below, the existing exhaust had an external diameter of 1 3/4″. This 2-liter engine begs for more exhaust flow than that.

Frame Pads

This afternoon I got started on stripping off the pieces remaining on the frame. I need to strip down the frame in order to clean it up and get it sandblasted and painted. I started with the frame pads, originally made out of horse hair, that cushion the body against the frame. Here is a picture of the frame with all of the components remaining attached. Also to the right is a picture of the VIN stamped into the frame, which is located at the front right of the frame just next to the engine on the driver’s side.

The horse hair frame pads I mostly removed by scraping under them with a putty knife. I wore gloves because there is a lot of rust and grit and, although I had a tetanus shot a couple of years ago, no good can come of cutting your hands with rusty metal.

This page from 311s.org has a good diagram of where all of the frame pads are located, which is especially useful when putting the car back together when the pads will be long-forgotten. After removing the frame pads I started pulling off the rubber squares at the location of each frame-to-body bolt. The rubber squares have holes in the middle through which the bolts go.

I also removed the rubber squares by working the putty knife underneath and prying upwards. The squares towards the middle of the car were mounted onto the frame by these metal clips that slid onto brackets on the frame.

I pulled off all of the brackets as well.

Here is a look at all of the rubber squares and the metal frame clips.

Engine on its Stand

This afternoon I hoisted the engine up onto the engine stand. My plan is to pull the cam cover and have a look underneath and, assuming everything appears to be fine inside, nothing more. I would like to clean and detail the outside of the block and head and probably paint the cam cover an original color.

I found some bolts at Home Depot that fit the mounting holes for the bell housing into the block. I took a bell housing bolt to the store to find the closest match and bought two sets of bolts. The ones that turned out to fit were 10 mm 1.5 bolts. I got 100 mm lengths, which were sufficiently long and tightened down nicely with three washers on each bolt to keep everything tight.

So I hoisted the engine up to about the level of the engine stand, then removed the black mounting bracket from the stand in order to start bolting it to the block. With the mounting bracket bolted loosely to the block I then worked the black bracket arm back onto the red engine stand and worked the alignment pin back through both pieces.

The engine number is located at the top of the block between the second and third cylinders, atop a protruding tag pieces. It is located on the non-manifold side, shown above right. Unfortunately my engine number is nearly impossible to read, having been worn down or ground off the block.

Dashboard Prep

This morning I spent some time readying my dashboard to be sent off for restoration. This entailed removing all of the bits and pieces, such as knobs and gauges, so that the dash foam and covering can be replaced.

I’ve decided to go with Dashboard Restorations to rebuild the dash. I’m committed to a fully restored dashboard because it will be such a focal point of the new interior. I’ve checked around and Dashboard Restorations had the most reasonable prices and has experience doing roadster dashes. Additionally, a number of folks from Classic Z Car club had their dashes restored by Dashboard Restorations and had very positive feedback.

Here are pictures of the assembled dash, front and rear.

I began by removing the two dash vents blow air upwards out of the top of the dash that defog/defrost the windshield. I used an 8 mm wrench to remove the nuts from the studs that are attached to the dash. There are two vents and two nuts on each vent.

Then I removed the clock. It was held in place by two nuts. I used a 10 mm socket with an extension to remove both of the nuts. With the nuts removed the clock came right out.

Then I removed the two metal brackets at the bottom of the dash, below the clock, that the heater mounts to. These brackets were each attached by two bolts which I removed using a #2 Phillips head screwdriver.

Then I removed the oil pressure/temperature/fuel/amperage gauge. It was attached by two wing nuts, which I loosened using a pair of pliers.

The tachometer and speedometer I removed the same way, moving from left to right across the back of the dashboard and removing the wing nuts.

Next I removed the “S-brake” light. It simply unscrews from the back of the dashboard.

And I removed the knob that controls the brightness of the gauge lights. I had removed the knob prior to pulling the dash, so I just needed to remove the small nuts that held from the back of the dash (using a 5.5 mm socket) and pull it out from behind. Then I went to work on the trip odometer knob. It was fastened to the rear of the dash, also by two 5.5 mm nuts mounted on studs in the dash itself.

With the small nuts removed I could pull the bracket that held the odometer cable to the dash away (that cable connects to the speedometer). I then popped the knob off the front of the dash and used a Flathead screwdriver to pry the post back through the rear of the dash.

Inside the glove box where two bolts, one on each side, that held the cardboard box in place. I removed these using a #2 Phillips head screwdriver. Then I removed the four knobs off the top of the dash using an 8 mm wrench.

Finally, here is a picture of the stripped dash, ready to be sent off for restoration. It will get new, crack-proof foam and a new space-age vinyl covering.

Carb Disassembly

Today I pulled apart my carburetors. I plan to clean them up and replace a lot of the parts, essentially do a full re-build. I need to pull them both totally apart in order to send the bodies off to Keith Williams, who has agreed to rebuild the throttle shaft bushings which tend to wear out over time preventing the butterflies from closing completely.

If I weren’t sending off the carb bodies I would only disassemble one at a time so I’d have a working model in front of me making it easier to put them back together. I think I have enough guidance from my manual and the ZTherapy videos to get them back together, though. I will also probably send out some of the parts to be replated in yellow zinc to make the carbs look brand new.

Here is my box of supplies. It includes my hand tools, a couple of cans of Berryman’s B-12 carb cleaner (very good stuff, less than $6 a can at Walmart), lots of paper towels, and a pair of safety glasses and rubber gloves to keep the carb cleaner out of my eyes and off my skin. I set up a work table on two sawhorses using a sheet of plywood that I placed inside a garbage bag so the wood wouldn’t end up soaked in carb cleaner. Also here’ s a shot of one of the carburetors before I started.

First I removed the throttle return spring, which I will replace with new ones from Keith Williams.

I began disassembling the carbs by unscrewing the dome plunger from the top of the dome, making sure I got the plunger gasket that fits around it.

Next I unbolted the four bolts that hold the dome to the body using a #2 Phillips head screwdriver. I pulled off the dome and set it, along with the large suction spring, aside.

Then I slid out the piston and began unbolting the cover from the float chamber.

I pulled off the float assembly and removed the float chamber lid gasket, which I will replace with a new one from Nissan along with all of the other gaskets. Then I set aside the float chamber and went to work on the carb body.

The way the choke works on the carburetor is this: pulling the choke knob inside the car pulls the choke cable that pulls back on an arm that causes the nozzle on the bottom of the carburetor to move up and down. As the nozzle moves up and down on the tapered needle, more or less fuel is allowed into the fuel/air mixture. I next removed the bolt that connected the spring-loaded actuating arm to the nozzle.

The nozzle is connected to the float chamber, which holds the fuel, by a fuel pipe that I had to remove in order to release the nozzle.

The nozzle rides only as high as the idle adjustment mechanism allows it. This is a spring-loaded bolt that goes up and down when you turn it. The bolt is mounted to a sleeve that threads into the carb body; it is through this sleeve that the nozzle rides up and down. I removed the idle adjust bolt by hand and the sleeve using a 19 mm wrench.

Next I began removing the throttle adjustment arm from the body. First I released the spring that returns it to position and then I used a 12 mm socket to remove the mounting bolt.

Then I pulled the assembly off the body. It is composed of many pieces.

I then removed the float chamber from the carb body. I removed the nut from the end of the mounting bolt that feeds through the carb body using a 10 mm socket. Then I pulled the float chamber off the body with the mounting bolt, which threads into the float bowl, intact.

At the bottom of the float chamber is the fuel pipe connection. I removed this using a 12 mm wrench.

Opposite the fuel pipe fitting is a drain bolt. I also used a 12 mm socket to remove it.

Then I removed the bolt that mounts the float chamber to the carb body. I used a 14 mm wrench and a lot of force to get it off.

Next I focused on the float chamber lid assembly, that holds the actual float. The float moves up and down with the fuel level and operations a float nozzle above it that allows more fuel to enter the chamber when necessary and shuts off the fuel supply when the chamber is full. The fuel inlet had two halves which I separated by removing two Phillips head bolts.

With the inlet separated into two pieces, I then removed the banjo bolt (using a 17 mm socket) and the small screen filter inside it.

I then removed the float by sliding out the mounting pin. I removed the float nozzle using a 10 mm socket.

Then on the float side of the body I removed the throttle plate and the nut on the end of the throttle shaft using a 12 mm socket.

From the piston I removed the needle by loosening the set screw on the side and then I made sure to pull out the plastic washer that sits at the bottom of the piston shaft.

Essentially that completed the disassembly of the carburetors into seven pieces (six for the carb not shown). I spent some time cleaning up the aluminum pieces inside and out using the carb cleaner. I used two full cans, but the pieces got fairly clean.

Removed the Transmission from the Engine

After removing the engine and transmission from the frame I need to mount the engine on my engine stand and do some work on the transmission. This necessitates removing the transmission from the engine block.

I began by draining the transmission oil. Before removing the drain plug it is always a good idea to make sure you can remove the fill plug in order to be able to refill the transmission. The fill plug was located towards the back of the bell housing on the driver’s side. I removed it with no problem using a 20 mm socket. Then I replaced it again.

The drain plug was located underneath the bell housing, also towards the rear. I removed it using my 1/2″ drive ratchet with no socket.

This picture is out of focus, but it shows the drain plug after I removed it. The plug is magnetized to catch any metal shavings or metal dust that grind off the gears when the transmission is operating. Mine had a few rather large chunks of metal and lots of shavings attached to it. As I’ve said before, the shifting was sloppy on the car when I drove it. I cleaned off the plug and replaced it after the oil had drained.

The transmission bell housing is connected into the engine block by a grand total of six bolts. Four of these are large bolts around the perimeter of the bell housing. I removed each of these using a 9/16″ socket.

The other two are smaller bolts at the bottom of the bell housing. I removed these using a 1/2″ socket and a 1/2″ wrench to hold the bolts from spinning.

At this point the transmission was disconnected but didn’t want to come free. The starter was bolted into the bell housing from the front, so I decided to remove it in case that was what was holding the two pieces together. The starter is just held on with two bolts which I removed using a 14 mm socket.

The starter came right off with those bolts removed. You can see below, right the gear on the starter motor that engages the teeth around the edge of the flywheel to get the car started.

A couple of taps with the mallet and a bit of prying and I heard that satisfying “thunk” of the transmission coming off the engine.

I slid the transmission off the crankshaft and put is aside for now.

The pressure plate and clutch disc were held in place by six bolts that I removed using a 13 mm socket. The flywheel wants to turn when you try to loosen these bolts, but I was able to either (1) hold the flywheel in place using downward force at the time I turned the wrench or (2) use a quick bump on the wrench to work the bolt loose while inertia held the flywheel in place.

You can see how worn the clutch disc is. I think a new clutch is in order when I put this all back together. Below, left is a shot of the flywheel.

Pulled the Engine

This afternoon I pulled the engine and transmission off the frame. It was difficult, especially removing the bolts from the transmission mount, but I can imagine that it was infinitely easier than doing so with the body still on the frame.

The engine mounts are located on either side of the block a bit closer to the front of the engine than mid-way. The mounts have studs that protrude through rubber blocks and nuts that hold the engine to the mount. I started on the passenger side, removing the two engine mount nuts using a 14 mm socket.

One the driver’s side is a similar set-up but the nuts weren’t recessed as far down.

The transmission mount is located at the front of where the “X” of the frame comes together. There are two bolts that mount through the frame into the gearbox from below, one on each side.

I removed these bolts using a 17 mm combination wrench. The area was too narrow top-to-bottom to get a socket in there and I don’t have a 17 mm wratcheting wrench. It took a lot of time and sweat to remove these bolts. Note to self: buy a 17 mm wratcheting wrench before re-installing the transmission! I looked around the engine and found one hose still connected to the frame. Everything else appeared to be free.

So I hooked up the chains of my hoist to the brackets that came attached to the engine (this engine has clearly been out in the sun before–I know it has been rebuilt once by the PO) and started hoisting. The engine came free after a little hesitation and there were no connections I’d missed. If you look closely at the picture below, right you can see some of the coolant that spilled out of the block upon hoisting the engine. It seems like there is always more coolant hiding somewhere and just waiting to spill on your shoes.

Once it was airborne, I backed the hoist up into the garage to lower the engine and transmission on some wood blocks.

Here is a close-up of the transmission mount. Below are some shots of the frame with the drivetrain removed.

Drive shaft

This week I am off from work for a bit of a summer vacation. I don’t have any travel plans and hope to spend some of these days making some progress on the roadster. I need to start pulling pieces from the frame so that I can clean it up and eventually paint it. The frame is covered in a thick coating of grease, dirt, and road grime. Although there is some flakes of rust, overall the frame is very solid.

This morning I began by removing the drive shaft. The drive shaft transfers the engine’s rotating motion from the crankshaft through the transmission back to the differential, which then spins the rear axle and tires. The drive shaft is connected to the transmission and the differential by four bolts at each end.

I removed all four of the bolts using a 12 mm wrench and a 12 mm ratcheting wrench to loosen the nuts. Then I dropped that end of the drive shaft, which is hinged at each end allowing it to pivot out of the way.

Here is a shot of the end of the differential where the drive shaft mates to it.

Next I proceeded to the connection between the drive shaft and the transmission. It was connected by four of the same-sized bolts.

I removed all four of the nuts and bolts using two 12 mm box wrenches. Below, right is a picture of the transmission where the drive shaft connects.

Then the drive shaft was entirely removed. I put it aside for cleaning and painting. The shaft actually is composed of two pieces that slide together with groves and teeth to prevent one section from spinning on the other.


This afternoon I removed the intake and exhaust manifolds from the engine. Although it took some time, it was much easier given that the body is off the frame. Even so, some of the bolts were difficult to reach.

Mounted on the intake manifold are the carb spacer blocks and then the carburetors and the air filter assembly.

There were two hoses that feed engine coolant through the intake from right to left.

I removed both hoses by first loosening the hose clamps with a Philips head screwdriver. Also, on top the manifold is the bracket that the choke cable actuates to operate the carbs.

I freed the choke cable from this bracket by loosening the Philips head bolt that tightens the upper cable bracket and then loosening the lower bolt that holds the end of the cable. I used a 3/8″ socket on the lower bolt.

I then began removing the nuts that hold the intake manifold on the head-studs. I started with the middle and worked outwards using a 13 mm socket.

After I removed those four nuts the manifold didn’t want to come off, so I started removing the bolts for the exhaust manifold, not sure if there were some fasteners that held both manifolds in place.

I removed the top outside nuts using a 13 mm socket and the top inside nuts using a 13 mm ratcheting wrench because the choke bracket prevented me from getting a socket in there.

There were two lower nuts on the outside of the two inner exhaust runners. I was able to remove these using a 13 mm socket with a long extension.

Tucked-in just behind the outer exhaust runners were two more studs (one each side). The manifold prevented me from getting a socket in there to loosen those nuts, or even a ratcheting wrench over the end of the stud. I had to use a box-end 12 mm wrench to loosen the nuts, and it was slow-going.

But that completed the removal of the hardware connecting the intake and exhaust manifolds to the head. The exhaust manifold had three (at first I assumed there were just two, but there were three) bolts attaching it to the exhaust pipe. I removed each of these using a 14 mm wrench and a 14 mm socket with an appropriate extension.

Then I was able to work the intake manifold off the studs.

And next I pulled the exhaust manifold off.

I took both manifolds out to my stripping station. I then realized that the exhaust manifold is covered with some sort of high-heat coating that is bonded to the metal (it is made of steel while the intake manifold is aluminum). I will probably either leave it as-is or coat it with another high-heat coating because there are some voids in the finish. I did apply a coat of stripper to the intake, which appeared to have the same paint as the heat shield.

The intake manifold cleaned up nicely but will need another round of stripper to be fully clean. Note the shiny copper plugs on top of each side.

Once I’ve stripped the remaining paint the manifold will match the rebuilt carbs (once I rebuild them).