Monday, February 5, 2018

280Z Winter Update

Winter is definitely here in Minnesota.  We've been hitting under -30°C on a regular basis, and as the car is stored in some unheated storage, progress has been slow.  I've been slowly picking up parts from sales and stuff to fit when it gets a bit warmer.
That hasn't stopped me visiting the car and starting it up every couple of weeks to make sure everything is still good.

Sure, it's a little dusty, but it's been surviving winter just fine.  It's actually fired up first time every visit.

First up with the purchases - I got a replacement dashboard from Facebook for a steal, with the eventual plan of tidying up all the cracks and refinishing it.

Next up, I finally fixed the crooked steering wheel.  I managed to do the hub up so tight that I had to use a hub puller, which involved pulling off a bit more interior than expected.

And fixed:

Also, I finally took stock of some of the parts that came with the car:

I've never been happy with the driver's seat in the car, as it has a metal bar right at the base of my spine, which makes long journeys less than pleasant.  I've always had a thing for fixed bucket seats, and wanted something period correct that I could fit without modifying the rails in the car.  Enter Planted Technology:

They make brackets that bolt into the original locations in a car, and then provide mounting points for aftermarket rails.  Initially, they sent me the wrong bracket, but quickly resolved their mistake.

I test fitted the bracket in the car, and it lines up perfectly with the bolt holes from the original seats.  No pictures of that, as it was freezing and I couldn't feel my fingers.

Next up, we'll need a seat.  

I ordered a Cobra Classic RS, made in the UK, along with some universal sliders.  I'm 99% sure this will fit in the car - I might lose a little leg room, but I'm not tall enough for that to be a concern.

The build quality of the seat is excellent, and it is very comfortable.

For the price, and limited room available in the cockpit, I think this is a perfect seat for the 280Z.

However, I ran into a problem when it came to fitting the Planted Technology seat bracket - the holes are about 1/8" off lining up with the Cobra rails.

I contacted Planted Technology with the photos, and they discovered that they have an error in their design for these particular adapters.  It's not a big deal for me, as I can just drill the hole out in the rail to fit.

Next time, hopefully I'll be putting the seats in the car!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

UK Visit, Part 1.

This post covers my trip back to the UK.  We flew in over Thursday night, and got to York at around 2pm on Friday.  After a nice quiet early night, and about 11 hours of sleep, we drove up to Edinburgh the next day in the mighty Vauxhall Mokka.

I didn't take too many pictures up there, as it was a bit of a frantic visit for selling my old MX5, clearing out a storage unit and catching up with friends.  We stayed out near Currie on the West of Edinburgh, near the countryside.

After Edinburgh, we drove back to York via Berwick and Bamburgh castle.

Once back in York, we did a loaf of day trips to places in Yorkshire.  First up was Fountains Abbey.

The road in is surrounded by a deer park, with plenty of them lounging around in the sun.

Fountains Abbey has a huge grounds, with loads of wildlife.

Around the grounds there are loads of smaller buildings, all immaculately maintained.

Walking up higher into the gardens gives some great views of the ruined abbey.

Walking towards the ruin gives you an idea of how big the ruin is.

Under the abbey is a well preserved undercroft.

Some of the other buildings have similarly stunning stonework.

Finally, a quick wander out to St. Mary's Church.

That's it for part one, next up is more of Yorkshire.

Bison in Minnesota

What better way to get over the excesses of Thanksgiving than a hike through a state park on a nice crisp November day?

We headed to Minneopa, a place I'd been a couple of years ago, where I took this image of the upper falls:

The weather was a little colder this time, and the trees a little barer.  We got closer to the lower falls:

One thing I completely missed in 2015 is the Bison Drive.  This is a 2.5 mile road through a stretch of prairie where there's a small herd of bison roaming wild.

There's a cool radio station you can tune into as you drive down the road, and listen to facts about the herd and conservation efforts.  The bison have right of way, regardless of how big your truck is.

We ended up pretty close.  

At the end of the road, there's an old mill called Seppmann Mill, built in 1862 by a German immigrant.