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Project THESEUS: A '74 260z

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On 5/14/2020 at 7:05 PM, slowlearner said:

Re your motor, you might well get lucky and find out you have a good runner there. I was told my L16 was seized. Turned out to be an L18 with plenty of life and oil pressure after sitting around for 20 years doing nothing. If your compression is bad doing a quick hone with new rings is not super hard.


On the subject of bodies, I got my first repair panel yesterday. I couldn't help thinking w.w.n.d., that is, "what would Noll do?" 😆


Here's hoping! At worst I'll spend 500 bucks for a l28 and swap all my carb stuff on. Lol, that is pretty funny.


On 5/14/2020 at 7:47 PM, Lockleaf said:

What would Noll do?  


He wouldn't buy no stinking repair panel! 😁


I mean, that would be the easy route, but where's the fun in that? 

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Got closer to having the taillight panel on for good today. Remembered I still had these cutoffs, so I used them for the taillight seal mounts.


Flattened out the sections where the center section overlaps to re-bend them to the correct size:


Forgot to take another in-progress pic. re-bent, welded in the bits from the other cutoffs, and generally finessed things so the panel would fit:



Last thing I need to change is this - the 280z indent is longer than the 260z one so I need to extend the corresponding area here so the panel sits flat. Easy fix.



Nearly done the rear now.





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1 hour ago, slowlearner said:

Have you got a colour planned for this? Or are you going to sand it shiny and spray clear over it? 😄 



Current plan is either a metallic blue like what's on the rear quarter, or possibly a lime green/yellow similar to what some Zs had from the factory.


That said, I may end up just painting the bottom/engine bay and throwing it all together temporarily if I run out of time before the 50thZCON show in september (if that ends up still happening with covid). Hopefully not, but I'll be driving the damn thing one way or another.

Edited by Noll
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13 hours ago, slowlearner said:

I  vote for the green. 🙂


I am leaning more towards the green to be honest, would be a fun stand-out colour. Just not sure if it'd be the best colour to work with the silver wheels, might be best with blacked out chrome and gunmetal wheels.




Finished up welding the taillight panel, and did a (mostly) final mockup.



As you might be able to see in the above pic, there is a problem. Namely, this:


I knew the car was rear-ended at some point, but I didn't realize that the passenger-side rear was pushed in this bad. Driver's side is fine thankfully, but stuff does not line up on the p/s as you can see. I welded in the new frame rail too far back due to not knowing that it was off.



Upper flange is fine, happily:


I'm thinking the best course of action is going to be to drill out the spot welds on the bumper mount and fuel tank mounts, move them back the 5-6mm they need to go, and extend the flange the same amount. I'm open to better ideas though!

Also rattlecanned the rear quarter blue for the hell of it, still undecided on final choice as mentioned above.


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Borrowed a fender roller from someone and did the rears today. passenger side will need a bit of massaging back into shape, I was expecting this as the inner arch repair I did changed some things.


(driver's side):


I also rattlecanned the quarter in the green I am thinking of doing the car in, and honestly I think I'm pretty sold on it. Works well with the wheels and should just be something a bit different from the norm.


And of course I had to do a 'lil photoshop:


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22 minutes ago, BrothersGarage said:

Color looks good!

Thanks! I had to see it on the car to really 'get' it, I think it should be a fun choice.

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Thanks guys! The photoshopping is a fun way to see how it will look without having to pull out springs etc just yet.  Not sure exactly what shade I'll go with yet, this was the test paint I used:




Took a week off from the Z while I thought about the best way to fix the flange. Ended up deciding to fix what I have, as the lower panel is more complicated than it may look.

Moved the p/s bumper mount back ~6mm, and welded on a new flange section. Tacked the rest of the flange in place to see if it would line up:


Whole lot of welding later. This will never be seen so I wasn't going for aesthetics; I'll be cleaning all this up and seam-sealing etc before final assembly. I didn't want to try to un-bend the valence support bar from the old accident, so just made the new patches work as-is.


all lines up now:



I'm still somehow surprised to see the car in this state, it's been a hell of a long road to get here:



Edited by Noll
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Dude, you are truly an inspiration. I know that sounds trite, but if it were me I would have cried and run away. You've pitched in and saved something that might have ended up in the crusher. Which is great for all manner of reasons, the planet, your skills, our encouragement. I just need to work myself up to do some on my car. 😄

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1 hour ago, slowlearner said:

Dude, you are truly an inspiration. I know that sounds trite, but if it were me I would have cried and run away. You've pitched in and saved something that might have ended up in the crusher. Which is great for all manner of reasons, the planet, your skills, our encouragement. I just need to work myself up to do some on my car. 😄


Thanks man, it does mean a lot! I have no doubt that it would have been a parts-car at best if someone else bought it (even here in the land of rust), but as I've mentioned previously I guess I'm too stubborn to back down from the challenge that saving it posed lol. And as you said, helps improve my skill (I could barely weld when I started), keeps another car on the road etc.


Go for it! Worst thing that can happen is you weld something in the wrong place and have to cut it off and weld it back on. Not a big deal at all 🙂 . Lord knows I've done that enough at this point. Just make sure the critical dimensions are correct and eyeball the rest - usually if it looks right it's in the right spot. If I can bumble my way through this resto starting with no bodywork skills at all, anyone can.


Edit: and trust me, there's days where I don't want to work on it because of the mountain of stuff still to do, but I push on because I want to drive the goddamn thing and any progress is better than none.

Edited by Noll
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1 hour ago, Lockleaf said:

Looking mighty fine.

Thanks! Not perfect when you see it in person, but it'll work. Better than the nothingness that was there before lol.

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5 hours ago, Homeboyx said:

Could’ve fooled me, I thought this wasn’t your first rodeo. I’m more in awe now. Lol


Many thanks! yeah, I've just been learning as I go, did a ton of research before starting the build but had basically no practical experience on the bodywork side of things.




Suckered my dad into holding up the bumper for me to grab a pic. Not sure yet if I want to buy bumper mounts or make some from bar stock. Also not sure if I want to keep the bumpers chrome or paint 'em black - might go well with the silver wheels but could also seem like too much with the green. This rear bumper isn't in the greatest shape anyway, so I have no issues painting it.


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Thinking about relocating the battery, and using this:


Thoughts? Seems like it'd fit well here (see green sharpie marks), or in one of the stowage compartments or under a seat. more $$ over leaving things stock, obviously ( battery + cables + ends + crimp tool).


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Welded up and re-drilled the taillight mount holes, and of course had to throw it all together to see the final product . Man oh man am I excited, it finally all looks like it should! Been a hell of a long road to get to this point.


Mocked up the slam panel too after cutting the rear flange down to the correct size, will need to get it welded in the right place and then add the holes for the taillight trim plugs and license plate light assembly.


Welded in the start of the patches on this side, fitment is decent. Little close at the corner there, but I don't see any way to change that without either reshaping the whole thing or shaving the cornet of the taillight bezel - as I cut that entire corner out of another car whole, nothing I have done would have changed the geometry there. Don't mind the mess left of the patch, that is next to be cut/replaced entirely and is all bent anyway.


And made up a simple rain gutter extender. Need to get the slam panel on first so I can see if I need to make another one slightly longer etc.


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Rear quarter corner repair today. Driver's side:




Passenger side:






Going to be altering this section next, as the 240z outer curve is obviously very different than 260/280 and only 1/3 of the gasket has metal to seat on.


Still need to sort the fitment issue here on the pass. side. I'm wondering if I added some filler to this corner of the trim panel when I redid them, would explain why there is the fitment issue even despite the corner repair being OEM metal. Should be able to sand it down without it really looking visually different:


You can see how the driver's side sits in farther due to the lack of fitment issue, even though the corner is close.


Drilled approximately a million holes and welded in the hatch slam panel:


As above, you can see how the p/s panel won't sit properly on the taillight panel due to the corner not allowing it to slide in far enough.



Old and new:


Now I have both corners fixed I can see an issue that I thought was the case - the driver's side quarter where it meets the hatch for some reason sits high  for the middle 1/2 of the seam.  Bottom and top are a-ok and the passenger side is fine. Debating if I want to cut the quarter and smoosh it down a bit, or just add a bit of filler to the hatch. Former is probably the better option, not sure if filler there would be a) noticeable and b) somewhat likely to crack due to the stresses the hatch is under. Thoughts?


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