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Old 04-26-2005, 04:42 PM
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Project planning

Hi all...

First, I want to say how much I appreciate forums like this and the knowledgeable people that contribute to them, and the fact they are willing to share the years of experience they have with others. Anyway, I'm new to the forum, 45 and am both financially able (still within a budget) and have some spare time (in between TKD and Brownies), that I can now start a fun project for me. I guess my wife got tired of me talking about how much I wished I had a car to work on again, because she told me to just go get something... so... I did...

I started looking for an early Camaro/Firebird, and found that the initial cost, even for a beater was more than I wanted to spend to start off with. So, then I went Vega hunting (I had a ’74 with a 327 and Hooker conversion kit when I was younger)… I would have had more luck trying to find a 3 headed chicken… lol. Only Vegas I could find were already converted and were bracket cars or collector Cosworth models that were way too much money for something I was going to cut up. So, I kept looking for my new toy…

Long story short, I decided on and bought an early Datsun Z... a 1974 260Z to be exact, for $500. They look good, are light weight and there are SBC conversion kits made for them. The car I bought has an almost perfect interior (only needs driver’s seat cover and the center console is cracked) and the body only has minor door dings which I can repair myself and has very minimal surface rust (rust is one of the major issues when searching for an early Z). The reason it was so cheap was that the motor was seized (a donation to the local Z club and I now have an empty engine compartment).

So, at this point, my project Z car looks like this… a total restification involving minor body work (I will do all the prep work up to paint myself), minimal interior work, complete swap of the drivetrain… engine (SBC), transmission (Tremec 5-speed), Diffy (ZX 3.90), removal and rebuild of suspension including urethane bushings and coil over conversion, new front disc brakes and rear disc conversion.

What started out as a simple small block Chevy into Z project has now turned into a ‘long-term project’ with a life of it’s own and I’m finding myself in need of advice as to what order should I plan this project??? Engine and drive train first??? Body first??? This is my first attempt at a total project car and am getting a little confused on where I should start????????

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Old 04-26-2005, 05:28 PM
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Call or log onto Summit Racing, I was in one of their stores recently and they have a manual for the chev into a Z-Car conversion that lists all the parts and has pictures with circles and arrows.
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Old 04-26-2005, 05:57 PM
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Hey Jalopy45...

Thanks for the info... I'm waiting as we speak for a catalog from JTR (Jags That Run) that pretty much completely covers the V8 in Z conversion, plus they sell the mounts and such. What I need is some advice on where to start on my project... since I have to budget money as I go, should I start with doing the body work, start with the engine and drive train.... etc.
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Old 04-26-2005, 06:34 PM
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If it were me, I'd get the engine, trans, drive train in finished condition. Then I'd pull the engine/trans and assorted hardware and go at the body work. If you do the body work first, you got a good chance of dinging things up as you fabricate the rest. I did a 307 into a Mazda RX-7 some years back - and that's the sequence I used for that one.

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Old 04-27-2005, 02:02 PM
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Do it once and do it right.....

with the engine pulled do the engine compartment...cleaning and painting it. Then install the SBC and trans and do the body work...The the suspension and brakes......then finish off the interior...now its time for wheels and tires....Save some $cash$ for this one!!!


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Old 04-27-2005, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tm454
with the engine pulled do the engine compartment...cleaning and painting it. Then install the SBC and trans and do the body work...The the suspension and brakes.....
Tazz,

Not a huge disagreement but one advantage to doing all the paint and body work at one time with the engine and tranny pulled is that, if you are being real particular about your color, you can get one nice fluid transition from your fenders to your engine compartment with everything out of there. If you paint it at two different times the color match up may not be quite right. Like I say, just a minor thought. Of course if you are not even trying to match colors then it's no problem.

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