I sat down to write this post and I tried to recollect what I had accomplished this past winter. I feared another season had slipped by without much progress and I would need to squirm my way around this update. Fortunately my photos tell a slightly different story.
It starts with some work on the half shafts. I have two sets and for some reason one of the four half shafts is shorter. I suspect it’s a later model shaft that was on the parts car. In any case, I battled with all of the uni-joints and only had to bring the grinder out once! Two matching sets are ready for media blasting and a fresh coat of paint.
While I’m on the half shafts I figured I’d do the prop shaft as well. I have all the necessary uni-joints and will be tackling this job in the coming weeks. My only concern here is that I’ve moved the diff in the rear position which means the splines will engage further down and this might introduce some (more) vibration. Hey, it’s a ’70’s car – NVH is not a consideration.
I then moved on to the wiring. Years ago I comissioned VinWire to completely rebuild the 3 harnesses. They did a fantastic job, albeit very slowly and charged me more than they originally quoted. I see on their website that the 240Z early harness now costs almost double what they quoted me exactly 5 years ago. Yet more proof that restoration costs for these cars is increasing in line with their resale value.
Prior to the wiring I was looking for a good alternative to the rubber sleeves that cover the metal wiring tabs. I found some in the States but at US$5 a sleeve, and counting more than 30 required in just the engine bay, I had to rethink how badly I wanted them. I briefly explored Plasti Dip but unable to find tins (I doubt spray cans will work) I decided to try simple black shrink wrap. Unfortunately you can see the white text but with some careful placement and tab bending it will be hidden. Certaintly passable for all tabs bar the engine bay where sourcing proper ones might be my only option.
Scattered across half a dozen boxes I found a variety of air duct hoses. A thorough clean left me with mostly usable parts. The two that I’m not happy with are the ones in the engine bay that are highly visible. I tried cleaning them up but in the end reproduction ones will replace them.
My transmission is with a mechanic being rebuilt at the moment so it was about time I took the clutch apart. The car came with a later B-type transmission but I sourced an A-type years ago. When they converted the trans they thankfully retained the A-type fork and collar so they’ll be cleaned up and reused.
While rummaging through boxes for the ducting I also pulled out all of my gauges and have started the tear-down process. This is what I’ll be working on next in order to put the dash together. So far I’ve only cleaned them and had new lenses cut for the small gauges.
That’s all for the Z for this season. While initially I thought I had done very little, it turns out it was a productive quarter in the cold garage where I spent even more time working on the MX-5. The crank seal was leaking so a full service and degrease was carried out. I’m sure the car drives exactly like it did before the service but it feels just so much smoother and better… you know.
Let’s not forget Vivid on a cold Sydney night, spotting Mac on the streets of the CBD, a trip to our capital, taking part in a wedding party with the MX-5, building a cool wooden train set, and my little boy picking out a Skyline and a Fairlady from the Hot Wheels bin at the local auto parts store. That was a proud parenting moment.
Oh, and both my kids got to take Miki out for a spin…