So I started cleaning up the engine bay. I wanted a faster way to remove paint then wire wheel/brushing. After some searching I decided to try some aircraft paint stripper. Word of warning, this stuff is really bad for you. Take extra precaution, use respirators, double/tripple glove, cover exposed skin, work in a well ventilated environment.

The results are pretty ridiculous. Paint just crumbles.

While cleaning up the engine bay, I found some parts were just difficult to get to with a wire brush/aircraft stripper. I decided why not have a go at it with the sand blaster since I bought it. I set it up and started blasting. Doing it in the garage in hindsight was a terrible idea, but once I got started I couldn’t stop.


It leaves behind a real nice finish and just blows years of crud off with ease. It did leave me with about a whole days worth of sweeping and wiping, but I think the results were worth it.

Now once again my favorite scene in car movies/shows was not the typical hit the nitrous button or long drift, it was in fact the scene where it showed the parts stashed in the room waiting to go in. By far my favorite scene in initial D was when it showed Wataru’s room with seats/suspension/wheels all piled in the corner. My favorite scene in fast and the furious was the big order at the speed shop.


I was really blessed to have chance to live that reality. I had been ordering parts since I bought the car and they were really stacking up. Suspension, bushings, brakes, tools, the list was long (and pricey).

The internet also yielded quite the interesting upgrade path. Given the age, a lot of manufacturers shared suppliers, thus calipers from a toyota 4x4 would fit easily onto the front. The rear came stock with drums, but with a conversion bracket could be swapped for discs. Wheel studs from a nissan quest would also be an upgrade in newer material and slightly longer length. Brake master from a later 280zx would also supply a little more displacement to help out with brake feel in the rear discs. My wallet was screaming, but my car was getting closer to a new lease on life. While being put together from a variety of cars it would run and hopefully run better then it ever did.


Things I learned:

The internet has a lot to offer, spend some time, ask around you never know what you will find.

When a safety label says, it can cause nerve damage, take precautions. Don’t be an idiot.


Make sure you open the box to check all the parts arrived. Having to call back a month later and point out a missing item can be sketchy and embarrassing.

Sand blast heavy duty parts when you can. It cleans it up real nice and the finish actually won’t rust.


500 - struts and springs

250 - weather stripping kit

600 - rear disc brake conversion kit, extra rotors

150 - new toyota 4x4 front brake calipers

80 - new front rotors

60 - new ball joints

200 - energy suspension bushing kit

150 - steering wheel, boss adapter, quick release

100 - stainless steel brake lines

100 - wilwood rear proportioning valve and fittings/adapters

40 - jamar hydraulic line lock

200 - MSA adjustable camber tops

50 - new steering rack boots

80 - new pads

150 - brake booster rebuilt

100 - 280zx 15/16 master cylinder rebuilt

Subtotal: 2810

Total spent: 5865