Saturday, July 29, 2017

Storms and Fireworks

We had some impressive storms rolling through Minneapolis a week back, and I grabbed this picture from my apartment's rooftop:

The whole sky was lit up an eerie shade of purple with every lightning strike, so after a few attempts (about 200) I finally managed to capture it.

A couple of nights later, there was a fireworks display for the Aquatennial festival.  Unfortunately, I had to work, but I set my camera up in my window and took a few shots.

I also managed to get a couple of bits and pieces done on the 280Z.

First up, the odd spark plug is now no longer odd:

Next up, the spark plug wires were all over the place:

You can see the left over brackets that should be guiding the wires over the cam cover.  I sourced some replacements and...

Much better!

Final little piece was swapping the throttle body for a modified one with no BCDD valve:

Very simple job, new gasket fitted as well and happy to report there's now no sticking throttle and the car drives very, very nicely.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Valve Stem Seals

The 280Z burned about 1L of oil across 500 miles, and a quick Google indicated that the problem is likely the little rubber valve stem seals are old and have perished.

$18 later and I had twelve new stem seals and thanks to my lovely parents sending me a OHC valve spring compressor tool, and a set of instructions borrowed from the internet.

First thing's first, cam cover off:

Oily bits!

Everything looked in good shape, so time to look at getting the springs out:

Pull all the plugs to make turning the engine easier:

Notice anything unusual?  Spark plug 3 is different to the rest!  So I ordered a replacement, and it turns out that #3 is correct, and the other five are the wrong type.  Great.  The HT lead also fell apart when I took #5 off, so a replacement set of them was ordered as well.

Carrying on - get the first piston at TDC (the cam lobes point to roughly 11 and 1) so the valves are as far up as possible.

Put the car in fourth to stop the engine moving, and then shove about 4 feet of rope in the spark plug hole.  This is what's going to keep the pistons in place.

Take the retaining springs off the rocker arms:

Then using a 14mm and 17mm spanner, back off the locking nuts and screw the lifters down:

Then compress the valve spring with a screwdriver and take off the rocker arms:

This also exposes the lash pads, which come off nice and easily with a magnet tool.  Everything removed so far:

Attach the valve spring compressor:

Push down and the collets are exposed for removal.  Again, the magnet tool makes pulling them out easy:

That will let you pull the valve springs off, and the valve stem seals pop right off:

And there we go!  You push the new seals on, and then just put everything back together.  Took seven hours to do the entire engine.  Will see if it's fixed the oil burning issue over the next few weeks.

I mentioned earlier that one of the HT leads basically fell apart, so I got some nice NGK replacements - turns out the clip that holds them in place is missing, so I'll try and source a replacement.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Arboretum, Cabin and Wisconsin

This is going to be a bit of a longer post with a few more pictures, covering the past few weeks.

I got a second hand 75-300mm lens, and went to the arboretum to test it out:

Yup, that works!  I went away for a weekend at a friend's cabin, up near Brainerd.  This was the first journey in the 280Z of any great distance with the new exhaust, so it was a good test.  I didn't really take many pictures, apart from a couple over the lake of the sunset:

For July 4, we went camping in Wisconsin Friday - Monday.  Saturday was spent hiking around a few state parks, which were a little disappointing, however that was completely made up for by Palfrey's Glen:

It was about an hour's hike alongside the river to get up to the waterfall, well worth the trip.  

The next day we headed over to the house on the rock, which is a complex of buildings housing collections of... well everything.  It originally started as an artist's retreat, built and designed by Alex Jordan Jr in the late fifties, and slowly expanded in size and complexity along with the collections it housed.

There's three main sections to the house on the rock; the original house which was built as an artist's retreat, the old American street, and then a large room of.. stuff.

All the instruments are automated, so you put a quarter in and then it plays some music (and yes, every thing is lit up in a special Amsterdam-red).

There's a massive room of just random stuff.  I don't even know what most of it was.

The largest musical display was this full orchestra:

And for American Gods fans, here is the famous carousel.  I believe it's the world's biggest:

And just for fun:

The whole place is a complete sensory overload, and takes around four hours to get around.  There's load that I didn't picture, like the replica American street, or the giant blue whale being attacked by a squid - that's about four stories high.

Manifold and Exhaust

I had the car booked in to have the new manifold fitted and exhaust fabricated.  I didn't want anything too loud, so opted for a 2.5" stainless system with two mufflers.

Unfortunately the exhaust shop didn't reconnect the coolant sensor, leading to a poor running, impossible to drive car.  The exhaust shop couldn't work out what happened, so I ended up having to get it towed to another garage and fixed.

Here's some shots of the finished product:

And what exhaust post would be complete without a video?

The idle on the car has been sticking on deceleration, which a bit of research indicates the Boost Control Deceleration Device is a likely culprit.  I scored a replacement throttle body from eBay for $15:

The BCDD is the valve on the bottom.  Three screws later:

And fitted (it's in there, I promise):

That appears to have cured the deceleration issue.  I removed the dashpot as well to avoid any interference that it might cause.  Unfortunately now the throttle is sticking open a little bit, and I'm kicking myself for not cleaning the throttle body out whilst it was off the car.