Rear Differential Replacement

The while I am here bug seems to have reared its very ugly head these last few weeks. Since I have the gas tank out I am able to see all of the rear end parts. Naturally since they are all in easy reach I thought to myself while the tank is out I will go head and replace the rear differential, lower control arms and perform the disk brake upgrade.
Saturday started out well. The weather was warm and sunny and this gave me promise to make a start on the rear differential replacement. I got the car a bit higher up in the air and loosened up the sway bar and removed the u-joint bolts at the wheels end on both sides of the car. Initially, these gave me some trouble but I was successfully able to get them all off. These were the only jobs I was able to accomplish on Saturday as I had to take my Buick to get new tires. Michelin by far makes the best tire.
Sunday I wanted to make some marked headway into this project. Seeing the car up on jack stands reminded me of last year and not being able to drive the car most of the Spring/Summer. I am determined to finish this and be out on the road soon. I start off each day looking at the job ahead of me. I laid under the car for about 30 minutes surveying all the things I have to do. I frequently read the book to see the steps I need to take and lay out my plan. First off I removed the drive axles from the differential to the wheels. The 260Z has an interesting layout. Instead of having 4 bolts at the differential end it has a single 14mm bolt through the middle of the yoke. This made removal quite easy but means I will have to find different ends to use with the 3.9 differential. Next, I had to take down the rear sway bar so I am able to get the rear end out. The rear exhaust was my next task and I am happy to say I am very pleased with myself to use locking nuts and anti seize because they came right off. Following the exhaust removal I was able to get at the driveshaft flange. After the 4 bolts were removed from the driveshaft yoke the driveshaft was out. Now the differential is just sitting there with nothing attached. This job is easy if you take it in steps. Slacking the front traverse link bolts was next on the checklist. I do not have a socket that small nor a wrench to loosen it. I will have to pick up the required tools and continue my project. I am hoping to have the new rear end out and the control arms out of the car by the end of the week. With any luck I will have the new differential and control arms in the car by Easter.

Gas tank, Air Cleaner and More parts

I was so excited I found a hole saw to drill the hole and start putting the fuel system together. That tank is made out of some tough material. I attempted to try drilling the hole and the pilot hole walked about 1/8th of the way through the tank. I was afraid of messing up the tank so I decided to take it to the professional, Chad Ernst at Fat Cat Fabrication. He is going to drill the big hole and the smaller holes so I can mount the Aeromotive Phantom fuel system. I am going to pick up some fuel tubing to make the connections to the fuel tank and to the Fuel pressure regulator at the front of the car. This will be a big piece to put together.

I also picked up a 75-76 Air Cleaner off of E-Bay. It is in great shape but I am going to take it over to Linda and have her clean it up and powder coat it black.

To go along with the air cleaner I went ahead and ordered some of the rubber bits that go on the air cleaner as well as the intake manifold. I got the fuel level sensor O ring and securing ring. I also picked up a new tank strap rubber.

Fuel Tank Removal

Today was one of the first nice days we have had this spring. A buddy of mine came over and he helped me take the gas tank down from the Datsun. I have read multiple times all the different articles about removing the tank and all I can say is most of them are lacking. There was no real explanation on how to remove the vent tubes. The FSM doesn’t explain this at all. So I was up to my own devices on how to get the vent tubes off. The car is being converted to Fuel injection so the supply and return tube I just cut off. There is no need to keep those on the car anyway. Next I moved to the end of the tank and got that one off. Next I pried off the gauge connectors and hit the J bolts holding the straps up with my impact gun. I tried with a socket but it was just torquing the straps so I use the impact and they came right off. I did presoak them in PB Blaster a couple of hours beforehand. I removed the back wheel cover by taking off the 4 sheetmetal screws and was able to access the filler tube. I pried it off and was only left with the top two hoses. These were an absolute nightmare to get off. I finally grabbed a hold of both and realized the were almost completely gone. I tore both off pretty quick and the tank came out. Last, the tank got a quick pressure wash and it looks very good to go. I need to get the hole drilled and clean up the tank a bit and I am on my way. I will end of making the -AN fitting on the hard lines while the tank is out since I have all that room at the moment. I snapped a couple of pictures. Have a look.