LOST DOG

LOST DOG

Missing: 3 legged dog. He’s blind in one eye, missing his left ear, has a broken tail, and was recently castrated.
He answers to Lucky.

I suppose that one reason I can’t part with the 240Z is that I can’t kill it, though it seems that I and others have tried on various occasions.

The car wasn’t in very good shape to drive when I bought it, but it survived until I got it there. Bald tires, missing master cylinder caps, a clutch master that was full of sludge, rotten hoses…What did I get myself into 20 years ago? I still haven’t quite figured it out.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I lost the radiator hose in 1994 and drove a couple of miles to home without warping the head. I caught the electrical system on fire. I think it was in 1995. That is when I learned about crimping wires. I got pretty good at it, too.

In 1996 I thought it would be a good idea to get the engine redone. (Unless you have a competent mechanic tell you an L series motor needs to be rebuilt, DON’T.) I had to move before it was ready. A friend picked up the car for me, and while it was at his house, someone backed into it. The woman was backing out of his driveway, cut across the yard and hit my car, though the car was parked at least 6 feet from the edge of the driveway. Well, the right fender and headlight got fixed from that.

My friend brought the car out to Texas for me in December of 1996. The following July, I was sitting in the 240 at a gas station when this large taxi van comes around and slices into the left rear quarter panel. I delayed getting it repainted because I wanted to return it to its original color. (That still hasn’t happened.) Yep, it’s still bondo there.

In 2000, I thought I would try to get rid of the slow blinker by upgrading the electrical system. At the parts store, the guy told me he had a 60 amp alternator for my car. I converted the headlights to relays at the same time. The relays worked perfectly, but then one headlight blew out with the car running. I checked the voltage at the battery. It was over 17 volts. I quickly turned off the car before I fried anything else. I researched the issue and jumpered out the voltage regulator.

Some time in there I also dented a frame rail significantly from putting the floor jack in the wrong spot. I’ve also had to replace the brake booster and master cylinder (and need to do so again). The Crane ignition installed in 1997 gave up the ghost in 2011. The car was trapped in my one car garage in Virginia for several years, blocked by our other cars, except for special occasions. Still, when it was time to move, it started up and drove right onto the truck to go to its new home (and more spacious garage).

Despite this neglect, it runs. I put a ZX distributor in earlier this year, and the car started up. It was spitting fuel out of the carbs, but I got the floats unstuck, eliminating the problem. I’ve dragged the car all over the place. It kept running when maybe it shouldn’t. When my MkIII Supra needed to be worked on, my mechanic asked, “Do you have the Z running?” I told him I wouldn’t have called him to work on the Supra without the Z being ready to jump into daily driving status. The car has been like a loyal friend.

It’s just not right to turn your back on such a good friend, is it?

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