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Project THESEUS: A '74 260z

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Just a wonderful and delightful thread to observe and follow. 


Truly great body work!


I've noticed you use the 'Patch' word a lot. Seems only fair to suggest it becoming the vehicles new name? Just a thought, no disrespect, just saying.



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On 8/29/2020 at 12:35 AM, Rat-a-tat-Dat said:

Just a wonderful and delightful thread to observe and follow. 


Truly great body work!


I've noticed you use the 'Patch' word a lot. Seems only fair to suggest it becoming the vehicles new name? Just a thought, no disrespect, just saying.




Many thanks, I'm glad others are enjoying it too. I've honestly considered that, but I already have a friend who has a vehicle they named "Patches" - an early Bronco that is similarly welded back together from many vehicles like my Z.Would feel wrong to use the same one even if wasn't an intentional copy.


On 8/29/2020 at 12:42 AM, Draker said:

Do they slide in and bind or do they not go in at all?


The latter, here's a pic. I forced it around in the bore a bit to get a better idea of how far it was going -just past the thinner-walled section where the threads are and no farther.





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1 minute ago, Draker said:

Dang.. I you might just have to find another insert. 


Does indeed seem to be the case. not the end of the world, but a hassle for sure.  Just need to do a bunch of research and possibly some trial-and-error to find a pair that work and fit well, but the upside is that once I do find a good option it'll hopefully help any others in the future going the DIY route now the BZ3099's are long-since NLA.

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3 minutes ago, Draker said:

Kyb adjustables fit but are tight. The super cheap rock auto cheapies fit a bit better. 


Good to know, and those are both for housings that are shortened (hair over 13.5" inside tube length now vs the stock 15")? I don't mind cheap for now as long as performance isn't god-awful. I'll have a look through all the old 510/zx strut threads again too to see what other possibilities are there I may have glossed over the last time I looked into inserts in detail


Someone elsewhere recommended these (also a tight fit but he verified he's used them in  240 casings before) and they seem great, but 320$ CAD per side is rather steep for my current budget.



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No I didn’t shorten either set of mine. I’d assume the kyb would come in several lengths though. Same with the cheap ones, maybe look for the same brand for an mr2.


also buy from amazon for no hassle returns if possible. If your local parts store has a good offering (doubt it) you could bring the strut in and test fit it. 

I looked at koni shocks as well. Look a great product but I just drive my cars occasionally. I can’t justify it.

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Fair, and amazon is always a good bet. I've had good luck with Rockauto thus far too and they're also good with returns, so will come down to price. Sadly my local autoparts stores will probably need to order stuff in, and it'll likely get a little scratched once I test-fit so they probably wouldn't want to. Likewise about Koni -  possibly eventually whenever whatever I go with wears out, but I can't justify the cost currently, as much as I may want to.


I just sent KYB tech support an email to ask for more info about a couple options I think should work - namely the tube diameter and body length. With any luck I'll hear back and one or the other will work, or they'll have another recommendation that will. For reference, the options I've found so far are KYB 363046  and KYB 364014.

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Ok, got a response from them; I'll stick it here in case it helps anyone else searching in the future - If anyone has a better place to put the info I'm all ears but I think most of the old strut dimension threads are now locked/stickied so I can't comment there.




Based on the details you have provided, I would recommend taking a look at our 365041. Below are the requested specs:


Part Number

Extended Length

Compressed Length

Body Length

Body Size (Outside)


















The 365041's are for the front of an AE86, definitely something I should have considered in my research before but good to know now regardless.  The '85 MR2 rears (363046) will be a tad long (although might work if I shave the bottom "cup" down) but would be a solid option for someone who doesn't want to cut their housing as short as I did, and the 364014's (late 80's VW jetta) will work in my case with a spacer or for anyone who wants to cut even more out.

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On 8/31/2020 at 8:10 PM, Draker said:

Glad to hear the company was willing to help you out. Sounds like great customer service!


Indeed, and they got back to me pretty much immediately which was great. I have a set of the AE86 inserts on the way now, hopefully to arrive within a few days.




Haven't posted much progress for the last little bit; not because I've not being doing anything but rather that it's not been anything particularly interesting. Finished taking apart the rear CVs, removing rear springs, cleaning up the bushing seats on the rear LCAs, and going general cleanup. Back to more welding now though!

Made some front bumper mount plates:



Welded on, as well as the front upper frame horn section.



Mostly cleaned up:



Just a couple more small things to do and the driver's side of the engine bay will be all done.

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Realized that before I go any further with finishing adding structure to the front end, I should fit the fenders and hood to make sure everything lines up. Small amounnt of tweaking was required, but it all sits nicely now.


Figured while I was at it I might as well throw the rest of the front end together.




Now that I've adjusted stuff a bit the rad support sits even better which is nice.


The ae86 inserts also just arrived, and the fit perfectly which is awesome. I'll need a ~2mm spacer at the bottom of the strut tube so I can properly snug up the gland nuts and then the front will be complete.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Lots of small stuff that needed doing in the engine-bay area today. Removed the wiper linkage at long last, ground off a bunch of captive nuts with snapped-off-bolts in them from the fenders and welded in new ones (no pics, because that's boring), and then addressed the rust around the hood latch mount:



too pitted for my liking, so time for new metal.




And back on, using the spot welds as a reference point.


Finally got around to fixing that  hole in the strut tower:



This part of the windshield frame was always slightly off, and I didn't want to have to build up masses of filler to make the seal fit properly when the time comes for reassembly.


And so, much shopping and welding later, we have this. Still imperfect, but a whole lot closer to how it should be. May do another round of tweaking, or might just call it good and either lead it or use some filler to finish (I have no experience in lead filler but I'm sure I can figure it out).



Compared to the other side:


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On 9/16/2020 at 12:49 AM, Lockleaf said:

Duncan did his whole 510 using non lead metal body filler.  You can look at his thread and probably hit him up for some know how.



Oh sweet, that'd be some super useful info. Happen to have a link to the specific thread?

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Thanks! Shame most of the early pics are seemingly broken, but ah well.




Continuing on with the  "boring but needs to happen" stuff.

Welded up the spot-weld holes in the battery tray, and drilled some holes for bolting it in instead. Will need to do the same on the car side, as well as some captive nuts.


Then spent a couple hours vibrating my hands apart using an oscillating tool to remove the remnants of undercoating from this side:


and everything on the passenger side too. This sucked, but needed to happen so I can weld on this side of the engine bay without the welds being contaminated. Still a bunch of ugly welds etc to clean up as well here.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Yet more little stuff done, should be back on to the more meaty work soon though.

With the undercoating gone, I welded up a bunch of holes and spot-weld marks:



Not perfect, but good enough.


Got the battery tray sitting level and all the captive nuts welded on:


And bolted on. Pretty happy with how this went. There's enough play in the mounting holes I can probably put some thin rubber on the tray so it doesn't do paint damage when I'm putting everything back together for good. Will also make a future battery relocation super simple; I'll drill an extra hole for the cables before paint and then plug it for now.



Definitely will need some shorter hardware.


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Got the heater matrix out today, happily no surprises behind it.


and a demonstration of why I'm planning to temporarily cut off the top of the cowl panel. This is probably the worst of it, but there's a few spots like this inside the cowl that I need to get at and clean/paint, and I have no access to do that as things are currently. It'll suck to do, but needs to happen so I can ensure that surface rust doesn't eventually become holes.


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Figured I should finally get the rust on the d/s inner wing fixed, so made a couple cuts and a lot of holes:


Mmm, crusty.




Even Better.


Cut out even more to fix some pitting on the pillar than went all the way through.


Much better, and sealed + a drain hole to hopefully prevent this happening again.


And made a bunch of templates. 4 in total (not shown). Next up will be to transfer to metal and then a bunch more welding.
Oh, then I need to fix the inner wing itself before I weld it back on, because of course it's rusty.


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Got all the patches welded in, ran out of time to clean up the welds properly and do some hammer/dolly work though. That'll be next time.



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Finally got around to pulling the oil pan off the L28. Surprisingly, it doesn't actually look that bad; might just be a case of new bearings and a polish. Still undecided between the L26 and rebuilding this, thoughts?


After some degreaser the oil pan turned out to actually be basically brand new; needs a couple small dents tapped out but otherwise perfect. May swap this one onto the L26 if I end up going that route.

Hard to get a good pic, but cylinder walls look decent, just a small amount of surface rust. The cylinders that were down may be a different picture though, don't know till I get the head off.



I also revisited the front strut cutoffs with the stuck gland nuts. The rears are also very stuck, so I figured it'd be easier to try to remove them from the small tube sections first instead of the heavy and awkward complete assemblies. I'm cutting/welding the tubes anyway to shorten them, so it's not like it's any more work.

Broke out the MAP torch and heated the tubes for a good while, in the process burning out the penetrating oil from my previous attempt a while ago.


Rigged up this janky mess so I could get some good leverage on the nut without just spinning the tube in the vice. It worked a treat for both, although I was concerned I'd rip the vice out of the bench.


Success! The new nuts I have thread in smoothly which is great.


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Got the rear strut tubes shortened and new spring perches welded on. All that's left now is to clean and paint it all properly, then assembly and the coilovers will be complete all round.


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