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Noll

Project THESEUS: A '74 260z

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I think I've figured out the cause of the taillight panel fitment issues. Pics (and hopefully a solution) tomorrow, because it's currently 2am.

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Ok, taillights fit properly! As with many things in life, a large hammer was (part of) the solution.

Pushed in this corner a bit with said hammer and a railroad spike (because I still don't have an actual cold chisel):

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And then took the arguably overkill step of lopping the outside bottom corner of the taillights off. The taillight panel here wasn't allowing them to sit properly, and reshaping it wasn't really an option as it's a pretty impossible spot to grind welds down. Not sure if the fitment issue was because of something I did or the 240 outer curve being different than 260/280, but it is what it is and this was the easiest way to fix it. Just cut the outer "wall", doesn't affect the sealing of any part of the taillights. That said, I'll whip up some 3d-printed filler panels at some point to tidy the look up.

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and now, it all fits! Waiting on hardware to arrive to actually bolt them in, once the squish in the gaskets is taken up they will sit farther in and I can tweak them to sit exactly where I want.

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Bunch of misc stuff to do tomorrow, hopefully including the dogleg panels and the p/s doorjamb curve where it meets the rocker. Then on to the engine bay!

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Got a lot done today! Massive pic dump, sorry.

Threw the rear together again to make sure I got the hole location correct for the license plate light:

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Cut out the old side flange and made a new one:

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Lotta cleanup to do back here:

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Same deal on the other side. Didn't bother making the bottom corner curved because there's no way it'll be seen and doesn't affect anything.

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Extended both drip rails:

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With the rear done, it was on to the d/s dogleg. It was missing the flange that goes in the wheelarch, so made one and welded it on. Did itr from the inside so I had enough meat in the weld to make the outside radius correct.

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Lower bend was too wide, so cut and welded it:

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super rough mockup:

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Also dug out the spoiler I got with the car when I purchased it 3 years ago. Dunno if I want to run it or get a BRE one, the one I have is kinda growing on me though. Thoughts? I think it will work better with the lines once the bumper is on.

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Near as I can tell, it's this spoiler: https://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/PROD/classic02a01e/50-1575

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3 hours ago, BrothersGarage said:

I'd say run the wing. I haven't seen many like it and I think it looks good. 

X2 on that.  Looks right for the car and you don't see that design everywhere. 
I bought a pair of Tabco dogleg patches for my car and there will be a lot of tweaking to weld them in- which I have been avoiding.  Seeing you fab up your patches like this is inspiring me to press on with it.

 

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On 6/5/2020 at 7:36 PM, Noll said:

Thinking about relocating the battery, and using this:

https://www.amazon.ca/Odyssey-PC680-.../dp/B0002ILK6I

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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That is a great battery choice, I know several guys who are happy with them.  Regarding  battery location, with weight distribution and chassis torque in mind you might be better off placing the battery on the passenger side rear of the car.  This offsets the drivers weight a bit but more importantly when the driveshaft rotates counterclockwise (as seen from the front) the torque at the rear differential wants to unweight the passenger rear tire.  Having a few extra pounds over top of it will improve handling and overall vehicle balance. Also, you only need one long battery cable as you can ground the battery to the frame out back. Hope that's useful.

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Nice fab work Noll, I'm looking forward to seeing it in person.

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I'm usually not a fan of spoilers, but that one looks cool. 

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On 6/11/2020 at 10:28 AM, BrothersGarage said:

I'd say run the wing. I haven't seen many like it and I think it looks good. 

 

On 6/11/2020 at 2:23 PM, ShawnM said:

X2 on that.  Looks right for the car and you don't see that design everywhere. 
I bought a pair of Tabco dogleg patches for my car and there will be a lot of tweaking to weld them in- which I have been avoiding.  Seeing you fab up your patches like this is inspiring me to press on with it.

 

 

7 hours ago, Z23T said:

I'm usually not a fan of spoilers, but that one looks cool. 

 

 

Thanks all! Yeah, It's definitely growing on me! My only trepidation is how to go about mounting it - it's flexible urethane so I'll need to either glue it on the whole hatch, or use rivets (or rivnuts) all the way long (so as to eliminate warpage). Given the hatch is likely to need a bit of filler I dunno if the latter is the best option. Hmm...

 

@ShawnM - Yep, gotta love even 'new' parts needing work haha. If I can manage this restoration as some schmuck with basic hand tools and no prior experience, I'm sure you can get those panels sorted! Just a ton of test fitting and tweaking.

 

21 hours ago, grannyknot said:

Nice fab work Noll, I'm looking forward to seeing it in person.

 

Thanks! I'm still aiming for Zcon in sept, going to be a close one though, and comes down to if I have $$ for all the new parts I need (hardware, gasket kit for doors/hatch/etc).

 

On 6/11/2020 at 2:52 PM, ShawnM said:

 

That is a great battery choice, I know several guys who are happy with them.  Regarding  battery location, with weight distribution and chassis torque in mind you might be better off placing the battery on the passenger side rear of the car.  This offsets the drivers weight a bit but more importantly when the driveshaft rotates counterclockwise (as seen from the front) the torque at the rear differential wants to unweight the passenger rear tire.  Having a few extra pounds over top of it will improve handling and overall vehicle balance. Also, you only need one long battery cable as you can ground the battery to the frame out back. Hope that's useful.

 

Good to know, glad it's a good one. Good point about the weight distribution, if I go with that battery I'll definitely make sure it's on the pass. side. True enough about only needing one cable, I've heard of some people having issues when using the chassis as the ground though, so figured it'd be cheap insurance to run a cable up to the engine block.

 

 

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Didn't do much today, but started on some beefy rear bumper mounts:

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Since your tray cleaned-up so nice I say leave the battery box in the front....out of sight/out of mind is a recipe for disaster.

I hate long battery cables running all over and under -  the old VW Bugs all caught on fire at least one in their lives due to this (and crappy fuel lines)

 

Vicdat610

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2 hours ago, vicdat said:

Since your tray cleaned-up so nice I say leave the battery box in the front....out of sight/out of mind is a recipe for disaster.

I hate long battery cables running all over and under -  the old VW Bugs all caught on fire at least one in their lives due to this (and crappy fuel lines)

 

Vicdat610

 

That's a solid option too, something to think about I suppose. Not an easy choice to make haha,  both are very good options.

 

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Finished the bumper mounts. Should be suitably overkill.

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And mocked up! I have barely any actual bumper hardware yet, but just enough to get it on the car.

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It'll need a bit of tweaking. I got this bumper for dirt cheap or free (can't recall at this point) and the plan has always been to eventually find a straighter, less rusty one. Will clean this one up a bit in the meantime.

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Not bad, only a little bit of bending required.

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And threw the spoiler back on to see how it looks with the bumper:

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It's still super nice to see it all coming together!

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D/s dogleg successfully welded in today.

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You can see here that the gap at the corner is a little funky. Pretty sure that's just because this door has been patched and repaired a ton, but if it's still a problem when I get the new doors on I can always do a bit of slicing and welding.

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Leaving this open for now, as it will be  much less of a pain to make once the car is on its side. Same deal with the p/s once I do it.

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Started cutting the unneeded metal off the 'new' engine bay frame rails:

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Passenger side dogleg tomorrow, then on to the engine bay.

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Got a good chunk of the passenger side stuff done today.

Cut out the bad:

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Took this:

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And turned it into this after a couple hours:

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Tacked in the upper section of the main repair. Will finish it and the main lower section in the next couple days, ran out of time today.

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Finished the dogleg today:

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threw on the door, all seems well. Don't mind the lack of gap, just holding it on with my elbow for that pic.

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And my new radiator showed up!

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Finally got an electric impact, best purchase I've made in a while.

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Decided to get the front suspension off the car today, had to start by removing 1/4" of bathroom caulking from the bolts on this side because of course the previous owner would put that over rust....

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Went smoothly otherwise though, god I love power tools. The subframe/rack/etc is all in great shape happily, should just be a case of clean/scuff/paint.

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All up on stands:

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And had another look at all the rust areas I'll need to deal with:

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Next up will be to remove the rear suspension the same way, then brace the front and cut off the rad support.

Anyone have tips for order of operations for removing the rear? Looks like a lot of bolts blocked by other things that are blocked by other things lol.

Edited by Noll
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On 6/18/2020 at 9:35 AM, slowlearner said:

you're a better man than me Noll. So much rust...

 

Ehh, it's not too bad haha. I have replacement frame rails and upper rrad support, the rest of the rust is mostly straightforward patches. Going to take time, but nothing too technical thankfully.

 

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Worked on getting the rear subframe out today.

Super high-tech jacking points:

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Got it all out. This would not have been fun without the impact, with it it was a breeze.

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Got the diff separated. I'll have to deal with the pain that is the spindle pins soon, and the outer axle bolts are also proving a pain. Thinking I might just grind the heads off, although they aren't exactly the world's cheapest bolts to buy replacements for.

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Got the fuel lines out too. I wire-wheeled them a bit, and other than where they rotted out above the rear diff they're super solid .Probably will clean them up and re-use to save the effort of re-bending new ones as they are so good.

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Next up, back to the regularly scheduled welding. Need to rip out the old rad support and frame rails so I can get started with the repairs.

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Ripped the old rad support off today. Started by cleaning up the old "patch" on the passenger side to reveal this lovely workmanship:

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Main stuff roughly cut off:

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The 260z bumper mounts that weld on top of the 240 sheetmetal weren't in the best shape so I decided to rip them off too, I'm going to proper 240z bumper mounts anyway.

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And all off:

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It looks rough, but all the annoying stuff to re-make is intact, should be easy patches.

now the fun part, as I thought was the case, the p/s frame rails is bent. Driver's side:

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Vs the passenger side:

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Front and rear measurements:

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You can kinda see it here (don't mind my crooked braces). I measured the top frame horn, and that's all as it should be, although I'll be checking the FSM measurements to be sure before I finalize anything.

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"new" bits:

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Bit the bullet and cut out all the bad on the passenger side.

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Old and new:

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Whole lotta rust came out of the old one:

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I made a super simple template to use for  marking the rails to cut - makes sure I get the cut angles the same on both.

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Had a more in-depth look at the TC mounts, and it would appear that one of the bushing mounts is trash, and the other 3 are missing . The actual main skin of the mounts is fine, seems like the outer sections became un-welded and cacme off when I removed the rest of the bushing stuff.

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I also need to fix this at some point, the TC mount structure is fine but the frame rail skin above no so much. Going to need to cut a lot out to get at it which sucks.

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Welded in a patch for the new rail:

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And made some SUPER beefy towhook mounts. More to do before they go on.

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Also trying to decide if I want to reinforce the swaybar mounts. These rails are from a 280 so there's way more internal bracing than a 240/60, so not sure if it's needed - most of the "frame rail ripping from upgraded swaybar" issues I've heard about were on 240s. Thoughts?

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Mocked up the new rail. I need to extend it by around 55mm as it was cut off a car too far back, you can see the (mocked up) tow hook mount as a reference:

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made and welded on the missing front section of the frame rail:

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Turned out pretty well, in my opinion:

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Took it off, and cut out more metal to get at this:

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Cleaned up:

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Made some templates, mocked stuff up, and called it quits for the day because I'd been going for 7 hours at this point and was dead tired.

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Back out to finish the job today. I've spent 14 of the last ~30 hours welding on this thing at this point lol.

Made the two templates from last time into metal, welded them on, and welded the outer rail back on top:

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Carefully-made template for this void, and made into metal:

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Still need to make/weld the brace on top of that layer of metal, and decide if I should leave the stitch-welds as-is or make one continuous bead. Thoughts?


And, after measuring about 3 million times throughout the process, I welded the rail on. All is perfectly in place, although the front end of the rail is slightly corkscrewed. I'll reef on it a bit with some vice grips to straighten it up before I weld anything else to it. Also going to bolt up the front subframe crossmember to make sure all is well, although the measurements do all check out so I see no reason it wouldn't fit

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And cleaned up. Pretty happy with the way the day went all things considered. Next up will be to decide what to tackle first - the other rail, front lower crossmember, inner skin for this side, inner wheelarch brace, etc.

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Man, the things that you tackle are priceless. We're learning quite a lot, precariously, through your experience. Kudos, and thanks for the inspiration.

 

May I add one more suggestion to the rear spoiler wing?... just spit balling here

The length of the wing is very long, so why not split the outer left and right wings to match the hatch. When the hatch opens, the two outer wing tips are securely fastened to the rear quarters and the middle section stays with the hatch door?

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On 7/2/2020 at 12:15 AM, Rat-a-tat-Dat said:

Man, the things that you tackle are priceless. We're learning quite a lot, precariously, through your experience. Kudos, and thanks for the inspiration.

 

May I add one more suggestion to the rear spoiler wing?... just spit balling here

The length of the wing is very long, so why not split the outer left and right wings to match the hatch. When the hatch opens, the two outer wing tips are securely fastened to the rear quarters and the middle section stays with the hatch door?

 



Many thanks! Long road to get here and I've made some mistakes, but getting close. That is a good idea, something for me to consider for sure. I'm kind of leaning towards the wingless look now, so we'll have to see.

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Nothing super groundbreaking today, cleaned up (mostly) the new d/s rail. It'll need some stuff cut out and other stuff welded on:

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And got the front suspension further ripped apart so I could test-fit the main crossmember. Happily, everything lines up perfectly.

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I'm thinking I'll cut the inner fender skin around 15mm above the frame rail and rebuild it from there. Should be less work overall vs trying to make a number of patches to the rusty metal that's there.

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On 6/12/2020 at 2:53 PM, Noll said:

it's flexible urethane

I had one of those on my '77 200SX a few decades ago. Like you say, they're pretty heavy. I think there is a metal plate embedded in the bottom of the spoiler to you might be able to screw directly into it and not have to rely on adhesive alone.

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