EK9: Electrical gremlins part 3 – Problems solved

After one of the massive return springs at the Garage door burst, i wasn’t able to Access the Garage, then i got hit with a summer Influenza and daily duties so this got a bit delayed. However i’m happy that i was finally able to fix all the electrical issues on the EK9 and have her back in full running mode.

Ordered a new brake light Switch. Turns out Honda Switzerland is charging 68.- CHF for a new one and has a 5 weeks delivery time for this. I would have preferred an OEM product but since summer in switzerland is short i didn’t want to have her in the Garage all the time. So i decided to purchase a similar third-Party Switch on Ebay for half the Price and a 3-days delivery time:

Here we had the old Switch still installed above the brake pedal:

New vs old:

New one installed:

everything back together, and it works – yay πŸ™‚

Time for a spirited test-drive.

whats up next? I think it needs a thorough cleaning inside and outside and probably a bit of photoshooting πŸ™‚

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EK9: Electrical gremlins part 2 – Brake light switch

Well OK. last post i told you about the three problems i have with my EK9. While the Battery was solved, i later found out i’m an idiot and problem Nr. 2 was not even a problem. Just me being stupid. The parking light would not light even after replacement of the bulb. A four hours later it turned out that i replaced the wrong (H4) bulb istead of the correct 12V 5W bulb. Well two dollars later i had that one solved too πŸ™‚
The first, wrong (headlight) bulbs which i exchanged instead of the small one:

Now to problem Nr. 3 (a real problem): The brake lights mostly don’t work. Curiously they sometimes DID work after a long drive…
Since i’m an electronic engineer i decided i’ll have a look at the schematics before i bring it to the workshop…
As you can see the orange (brake lights) and red (signalΒ  horn) circuits are connected to the same fuse. So when i hit the Horn and it worked, i knew the fuse for the 24V DC supply to the Brakelight swich must be OK as well…

What worried me a bit that not only the brake lights won’t work if the “stop signal” is missing, but also the ABS unit is connected to it and won’t work either since the schematics revealed it’s connected to the brake light switch directly as well.
Double safety issue here! I really wanted to fix this ASAP!
Since i knew the lights were OK and the 24V supply is OK too, the most possible reason (aside from wires, which rarely fail on a car this age) would be the brake light switch (“brems schalter” in the german schematics above). How can you check that?
First, remove the cover below the steering wheel (three screws and a few clips):

Have a look at the wiring mess underneath πŸ™‚

Search for the Brake light switch, witch is mechanically connected to the top of the brake pedal (when pedal is pressed, the brake light switch is actuated):

Remove the two-pole connecting-plug from the switch and make a short circuit at the two poles using two measuring heads / pins and a piece of wire connecting both of them.

If they’re short-circuited you directly feed the 24V DC to the brake lights and ABS unit and the brake lights should turn on now. Which they did in my case. So it’s clear: The brake light switch does not make contact when the pedal is pressed anymore. Solution? Get a new one. It seems to be an easy install so i decided to order it myself:

Partnr: 35350-S04-003

Well let’s complete this job once it arrives here. I guess i saved some money by investigating myself. For additional fun here’s a picture of the complete wiring harness in the car. Β 


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EK9: Electrical gremlins, part 1: The Battery

Lately my car is having some electrical issues. The bad thing: Electrical issues on a car are most probably the most complicated ones to find. The good thing is I’m electronic engineer in a service department, so looking for broken down circuits is kind of my thing since many years πŸ˜€
I had three major problems:
– The car would not start anymore after leaving the car off the battery charger for only a few days.
– The brake-lights don’t work anymore (sometimes they do after a long drive work, tho)
– The left low-beam headlight doesn’t work (even after exchanging the bulb)

The first issue was solved during the last days.
It used to start great a few days befor i left the car in the garage without connecting it to the battery charger and suddenly nothing happened when the key turned. The battery was flat. However i wondered what could cause this and so i measured if something would drain the battery. but a current of somewhat 6mA (DC) shows that there is no leaking current when the car is parked.

So the only possible answer is, that i somehow must have left the headlight switch on or something else that flattened the battery during these days. Or it just was old. Since i not drive the car daily i guess the battery is easy to stress after staying in the garage for a long winter. even when hooked to the battery charger.

I was afraid since this (a bit special sized) battery was quite expensive last time (250 bucks or so). But a bit of googling revelaed that https://swissbatt24.ch/ would supply it within two working days for only 97.- CHF. great deal and great service! It even came with a free bag of battery connecting terminal lube.

Replaced the battery and car starts and runs again as it should.
Will adress the other two problems later.Β  have to investigate a bit first, but at least i can drive her around again πŸ˜€
Currently i’m guessing that the Brake-light switch might be broken and that some connector / wire problem is causing the low beam left to stay dark.Β  we’ll see πŸ™‚

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OTHER: I’ve got world’s first turbo Kit (HKS C100 Skyline L20 Street Turbo)

If you’re familiar with japanese cars and Turbocharging, HKS is THE brand to know. What many people don’t know ist that Mr. Hasegawa (The “H” in HKS) was the very first one in the world to develop and sell an Aftermarket Turbo kit in July 1974 for the JDM-market Single-careburated C100 “Kenmeri” Skyline. And this is what i just got in my mail today πŸ™‚

Appereantly it’s the second version with the HKS brand, since the first version came non-branded as seen in the picture from the HKS website history part below. You can clearly see the later design of the better known L20 Surge-tank kit in the lower left pecture and the very first version with only “turbo” on the top.

A bit of Japanese googling revealed some more pictures of the very first HKS demo car πŸ™‚

Unfortunately a request at HKS revealed that all of the old drawings, partlists and marketing information has been scrapped and they were not able to provide useful information. However i will try again. This is how the kit looks from the Top, saying “Street, HKS and Turbo”. The housing is Cast aluminum and surprisingly light for that age:

The black Can on the back is an overpressure-valve and the white thing on the left most probably a pressure-sensor (You can see the tip of it in the center-hole).

I guess the lower hole was connected to the turbo, while the hole on the side was connected to a Turbo manifold:

It once was clearly painted in black wrinkle-paint whilte it appears the letters have been unpainted. It seems obvious that this is the original paint. at least what is leftover from it.

This is how it looks disassembled:

Here’s some information roughly translated from this japanese website: http://yamada25tm.exblog.jp/5910080/

There was a Kenmeri turbo that FET and HKS jointly developed and produced. This is an introduction of the actual test article!:
This Kenmeri Turbo is based on the Regular Gas Model of the JDM 2000 GT (Single Carb, L20 engine), the compression ratio has been changed to a low pressure of 8.0:1 by the original gasket.

Power specifications are 160PS / 6000rpm, 23kgm / 4500rpm! . Performance is 0 – 400 m at 16.9 seconds and the maximum speed is recorded at 180.90 km / h … (both measured values). This spec value lightly surpasses the Japan turbo appearing 6 years later, and it exceeds the Kenmeri 2000 GT – R equipped with S20 unit.

First of all I’m asking anybody who has more information on this to contact me. I’m interrested in anything from Pictures to ads to more information on this. This is the only i’ve ever seen.
Depending on what information i find i will have it professionally rebuilt and try to source or recreate the other parts, Or i will just paint it back to original glory and use it as a decorative wall art and piece of automotive and JDM history goodness.
Of course im also willing to sell if the price is right and i know it will end up in good hands…

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EVENT: 50 Years Toyota Switzerland exhibition at Emil Frey Classic cars

This year “Emil Frey”, the holding which also owns toyota switzerland is celebrating 50 Years of toyota Switzerland. They have a special “classic Car” center in a beautifully restored old industrial building.

Normally they have changing exhibitions from the various brands they import, but this time around one floor was dedicated to Toyotas of all ages. A reason to go, me and my buddy Daniel thought, and hopped into his awesome RHD Prodrive P1 Impreza Coupe:

After entrance there is a small shop with clothes and various goodies celebrating all their brands:Β 

There is a “used car” shop too (with some nice classics) but i’ll focus on that in a special installment, since it’s more about exotics and less about japanese cars.

In the entrance hall this first ever importted Toyota Corona with a picture of Emil frey himself in the back greeted visitors and let them know about the special exhibition:

After paying the 10 bucks entrance fee you get this booklet with the whole history and some background information about how toyota came to switzerland and the whole exhibition. really interresting and funny how a swiss guy learned about a brand called toyota in Africa, flew to japan and after twoo weeks of negotiating goth the swiss importer of the brand, which than became one of the most successfull business stories in switzerland…

In the ground floor there is the standard rotating exhibition with all kind of cars, before i start with the toyotas i’d like to point out some other rarities we saw there first:
A subaru Impreza Rallye car, which was raced in various races in switzerland:

And one of the first Subaru Wagons, in absolutely mint condition. As it seems it’s still road registered. What a stunner!

After rushing through the mostly british cars in the first floor, we were finally greeted with this in the second level:

And then suddenly: BOOM!

A legit Yamaha Equipped Toyota 2000GT. The one million dollar car in all it’s stunning beauty! What a machine!

Next to it was this less rare but not less attractive Celica GT:

We were not sure what to expect before we went there, but it was definitely not dissapointing. We drooled over this absolutely mint FJ

And remembered when we were kids seeing the awesomeness of an 80ies Hilux with matching orange striped decal package too πŸ™‚

Or how about a pickup a bit more oldschool? This would be the perfect shop hauler i think, if it just wasn’t that rare and nice πŸ™‚

Some more toyota pickups. Remembers me about my childhood in L.A. πŸ™‚

The center stage was reserved for this beutiful old Celica racecar.

The decal says Swiss champion winner 1976

Finally some overfenders where they fit πŸ™‚

It wasnt all about the old cars either, there was this absolutely mint and low mileage manual transmission targa top JZA80 Supra MKIV too. rare to see one in original state these days…

And then an absolutely mint AE86 corolla too. the stickers hints it has been on the NΓΌrburgring once in a while πŸ™‚

Next to it was it’s rear enginned brother, the AW11 MR-2. Absolutely love the boxiness of these πŸ˜€

Right behind it was the Bubble-styled Sports 800 which is a fun little roadster and then right behind it a car that also remembered my about the soccer-mom cars back in the day πŸ™‚

A side from all the cars they also had an exhibition of old marketing ads, which was pretty cool to see..Β 

Same car in real life πŸ™‚

A slightly more american inspired toyota:Β 

This ad is specially for Renè: 

They had really a beautiful selection of cars.

And i know they even have some more which are shown every now and then in the exhibition.

The exhibition is open to the end of June, so if you have time i definitely recommand to have a visit. see all the details here: http://www.emilfreyclassics.ch/sonderausstellungen/japan-trifft-die-schweiz-50-jahre-toyota/

Will post about the other cars in the museum in another post soon πŸ™‚

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240Z: TABCO vs Klokkerholm & other Rear quarter panels Comparison

One of the most problematic area in any 240Z restauration are the rear quarter panels. The problem is, that during the years it has most probably been repaired with cheap patches and a ton of bondo. Even the so called “rust-free” cars, since honestly most of them have rust in that area. It’s not the best design which datsun made back then and it just starts rusting. Compared to the front body panels it’s quite tricky to find a suitable solution and of course the best thing you can get is an original rear quarter panel, like i got for the left side:

But it can get pretty hard to find that, so the most common replacement panels used are made by TABCO USA. These are the ones that are sold by most Z-shops and the ones i got first as replacement panels:

Then there are the ones made by Danish company Klokkerholm. They’re still in business but the rear quarters are not produced anymore. I was lately able to get a set of these from some old stock.

Another option is the belgian company “VanWezel”. Same as above they’re still in business but do not support old cars like the 240Z anymore. Probably you’re able to find a set in some old storage somewhere:

And then there’s the Canadian “Wolf steel” Brand in Quebec, Canada. Which officially only has the 280Z chassis parts for sale but it appears that they can make 240Z panels upon request too.

It seems however that the part for the bumper at the rear is missing and some people pointed out it seems to be handmade. Might be an interresting option though but i thought it may be a bit of an overkill for me.

Today i had the possibility to compare both my Tabco and Klokkerholm Panels with my Panelbeater: Generally they both look totally the same, but it’s about the details. Black is klokkerholm, Silver is Tabco:

Both have the same edges. I feel like it’s probably even the same die-press design they’re based on. as they all have the same shape, inkluding the VanWezel panels. However the Tabco is made out of thicker gauge steel compared to the thin Klokkerholm:

And if you look close enough you can see some kind of “dents” or warps at the Arch, which may come from the pressing procedure. This is exactly where the paint shop later has to add Bondo. and i prefer my car to be out of metal and not Bondo. Not very well visible in the picture but it’s full of them and needs plenty of time to get it nice.

Someone pointed out that Klokkerholm and Tabco may have slightly different shapes and radius’ around tha rches but here are both on top of each other and they’re nearly the same:

My bodyshop told me he preferred the Tabco panels because it’s thicker steel and overall in a better shape:

So I’ll end up with the original rear quarter on the left sind and most probably the Tabco panels on the right side. Here’s alittle mock-up by my Bodyshop guy. as you can see even the Tabco’s need some love to fit like t he OEM panels…

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240Z: NOS Air filter

Nothing big, but at the recent Japanclassic.ch show i met my buddy Stefan who had a little gift for me: A NOS Air filter complete with factory boxing. I love this kind of stuff and another piece in the puzzle πŸ™‚

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