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Project THESEUS: A '74 260z


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Decided to turn my attention to this rusty mess as it needs to be fixed before I can weld the panel back on.

 

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Made in 2 parts, section 1 welded in. As you can see, the old section looked way worse on the inside.

 

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All welded up.

 

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Just need to make/weld on the bottom flange now, and it'll be good to go (after cleaning up welds of course)

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4 hours ago, slowlearner said:

Nol, I reckon you'll have the stiffest 260z in the world, with all that seam welding. 😉 Great work as per usual.

 

Many thanks! Here's hoping haha, I'll be going over all the usual areas and stitch-welding stuff once the rust repair is finally done, as well as front/rear strut tower braces, so should be plenty stiff where it matters. The rear strut brace will be especially important as I want to make sure the usual cracking doesn't occur in the lead above the rear quarter windows as there will also be some filler there from my quarter replacement.

Edited by Noll
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Got the frame horn section completed today.

made the flange:

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Mocked up:

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And on. This was a very good thing to finally have done, not too much more left to do in the engine bay now.

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The (sometimes ugly) welds tell the tale of just how much I've replaced at this point.

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Inside mostly cleaned up too. Not sure how I'll be able to clean up the welds in the alcove on the right, might just seam seal them and call it good because they'll be pretty hidden once everything is back together, doesn't need to look perfect.

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On 10/16/2020 at 3:28 PM, Homeboyx said:

Getting to pro level now! 👌

 

Many thanks! I sure wouldn't call myself a pro, but definitely better than when I started. Still always more to improve on.

 

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The fender support pads had pretty bad bubbling rust under them, so I decided to pull them off and clean everything up properly.

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Welded back on, and also cut off the rear pad that I had re-made for this side a while back and wasn't happy with.

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Same deal on the passenger side, removed it all.

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Cleaned up and made a new pad mount for the driver's side.

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And all welded back on.

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With that done, I turned my attention to the last broken bolt remaining in the firewall.

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Much better.
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Next time I work on the car I'll finally be on to the passenger-side inner skin at long last.

 

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Got to work on patching the p/s inner skin today. Started with a template:

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...And then forgot to take more pics until it was welded in and (mostly) cleaned up.

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Still will have 4-5 more patches to make for the frontmost section (to get the curves right), as well as one for the rest of the strut tower skin that was also cut off.

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On to repairing the front section today.

Started with this:

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Hammered it back into shape.

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Made up a template for the outer strut tower skin to patch the other side, and marked/drilled holes.

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Moved on to making a template for the front. I was going to make this area in a few different sections welded together, but realized that doing it all in one was viable and would make life easier.

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Made both templates into metal:

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And welded in. made the strut tower section a tad too thin, but I'll build that up with some weld so it looks right without a jog where the 2 sections meet.

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Ran out of time to finish the front section, but it's all bent up and where it should be. Pretty happy with how it turned out, should be pretty clean once the welding is done/cleaned up.

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Finished up welding in the repair of the front p/s fender skin:

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Cleaned up, pretty happy with how it turned out:

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Marked up all the small stuff I need to do to finish this side, and also drilled the holes for the data plate (not the stock location, but I like this better) and mocked up the wiring harness mounts. Obviously won't actually be using self-tappers for the final install.

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Compared to before.
This brings up a question - Now that I'm getting close to done with the engine bay I'm making 100% sure that I'll have all the bolt holes I will need while deleting everything that I can. As such, I've been pondering eliminating the vapor line from the tank - as you can see in the pic it goes farther forward than the feed/return lines, requiring a couple extra captive nuts as well as generally cluttering up the engine bay. Removing it would clean things up and save me the effort of having to bend up another hardline running all the way to the back of the car. Obviously I'd need to change the evap canister stuff and possibly run a vented gas cap etc, but that's all totally doable and simplification doesn't seem like a bad thing. Thoughts? I know Zs are already notorious for gas fumes even with the vapor stuff in place, but I'm sure I could mitigate that.

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Again, compared to before:

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On 10/29/2020 at 3:19 AM, Homeboyx said:

Beautiful stuff! Sheeesshh!

 

Many thanks! It's not perfect by any means, but I'm happy with it and a skin of filler will sort the imperfections. Better for the join to need some filler than to grind the metal too thin after all.

 

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Bunch more little stuff done today.

Didn't see any reason to buy repro wiring harness clips when I could make my own, so I did just that.

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and welded a bunch of them in where they were missing from my car:

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Welded on the main wiring harness mounts too, as well as cleaning up a few pinholes, welding in a few more captive nuts, and drilling/re-threading a couple bolts that had nuts snapped off in them.

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With that out of the way, it was on to the front upper frame horn section at long last. Hard to show in the pic, but on top of the rust it is also seriously bent and wavy from old accident damage being repaired poorly.

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After some cleanup.

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did the initial round of straightening of the fender skin, more to do before it's good though.

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Edited by Noll
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Welded the brake line brackets back on to the front arches today:

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Made up a new bit for the front upper frame section that was rusty.

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Didn't bother making it perfect as it'll never be seen anyway, but it will work well enough.

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Welded in a patch for the front inner skin:

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And got the frame section and bumper mount welded on. Also a bit ugly, but never will be seen so I'm fine with it.

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Next up (at long last)  - the upper rad support!

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Finally got around to refinishing my front hubs and getting the new studs in. Just need to wait on a rockauto order now for a couple bearings and I can get them on the spindles.

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With that dealt with, I started work on the rad support. Before it could go on, I needed to change this - the new rad support is off a 280z, which had a larger hole on the driver's side for the air intake. This doesn't work with the 240z/260z air ducts that lead to the inner wings, so some chopping was in order. Thankfully this section was salvageable from the old rad support, so easy enough to section it in.

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Much better.

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With that done, I drilled a bunch of plug-weld holes in flanges, spent a bunch of time with a hammer and block of wood to put the rad support in just the right spot, and welded it in.

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With it in, I immediately started cutting it up. I plan to make the center section removable (shoutout to Grannyknot for the idea) for easier engine install/removal, so it was angle grinder time.

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Next up will be to make some plates with captive nuts here. That'll be next time.

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Threw on the panels to test, and all fits as it should. There is a cutout on the right side in that wind-deflector panel for where the intake bracket would have bolted on to - I think I'll make a bolt-in panel there to complete the shape and allow me to use the holes for other stuff if I eventually go efi/turbo etc.

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Nice to be able to look in here and have everything be as it should, finally.

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Even on jackstands and with half the panels missing it doesn't look half bad.

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Continued on the rad support today. Made a template and then two pairs of plates with welded nuts:

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Welded them to the outer sections:

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Tacked to the inner section after shaving it down to fit, before removing it all to finish welding.

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Pretty happy with how it turned out overall.

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Very nice.  I'm also a big fan of this mod.  My saab 97x (trailblazer) came this way from the factory and removing the radiator has made many repairs much easier

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Started on the lower rad support today. The first of three sections to build was the inner skin for the lower crossmember.

Made a template and transferred it to metal:

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Did a bunch of measuring, and dimple-died some holes for the first time with my cheap hydraulic dimple-die setup:

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Welded in. Rather happy with how this turned out.

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Made a template for the lower rad support skin sections:

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Rough-cut from metal. Ran out of time today, so will do the bending/folding/etc next time .

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Didn't feel like finishing the rad support today, so worked on some other stuff instead. Made a much beefier replacement for the lower grille mount:

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And new upper mounts:

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Fits well, and looks good:

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Just tacked the upper brackets for now as the hood hinges are in the way, will finalize them next time.

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The reason that the hood hinges were bolted on was the other thing I did today - removing the torsion bars and replacing them with some gas struts. Shoutout to Grannyknot for the idea to do this, it's a really good idea.

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So much room for activities now, way easier if/when I need space for an intercooler or anything else.

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New tool day today, and man oh man is it a useful one. Have wanted a decent finger sander for a while, but most were either air powered (my compressor isn't good enough to run one properly), or super cheap ebay stuff that looked like it would fall apart instantly so I shelved the idea for a while. Went hunting for one again recently, and found a decent-looking electric one.

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After maybe 15 minutes of testing it out it's probably my favorite tool already.

Remember these ugly areas on the inner wings that were too tight for me to get an angle grinder to to clean up?

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No longer an issue (just did a super quick pass as the proof-of-concept). This thing is going to be invaluable for tight areas and all sorts of general finishing work that still needs doing.

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2 minutes ago, EDM620 said:

That's an excellent tool! I have a few spots that are as you've mentioned too tight for an angle grinder to get into. What did that cost?

 

About 75CAD all in, plus about another 30$ for a large pack of belts that should last me quite a while. So far quality seems good, and it has a nice latch/spring mechanism for changing belts easily.

 

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B072Q2FTLY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Thanks for the lead. I'm envious of how well your body patches are going, I'm struggling a bit with mine (I hate doing bodywork) as a result I'm a bit less motivated lately 🙄

Lol - squirrel! 🤪

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4 minutes ago, EDM620 said:

Thanks for the lead. I'm envious of how well your body patches are going, I'm struggling a bit with mine (I hate doing bodywork) as a result I'm a bit less motivated lately 🙄

Lol - squirrel! 🤪

 

No problem, and thanks! Yeah, when it's not a part of the build that you enjoy it can definitely drag on. Thankfully, I rather enjoy the metalwork stuff, but it definitely requires a certain type of mindset and there are often times where I need to go work on something else because I'm getting burned out on a certain area or job etc.

 

Especially now, I am so close to being able to flip the car on its side to do final small repairs and strip/epoxy/paint the bottom, but there's still seemingly so many little fiddly bits that need doing before that can happen.

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Today's project was the front camber plates. Cleaned up the strut tops and got rid of the center hump so I could mock up the new plates flat:

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Mocked them up, cut out the metal underneath, and then re-aligned them and tacked in place. Did a ton of measuring to make sure they were parallel to each other.

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Welded in. Not sure if I want to build up the top area with more weld so I can try to clean it up and have it all be seamless, or just add a little bit of filler to smooth everything out. Thoughts?

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Lightly shaved the fenders so they'd clear the now higher strut tops.

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With those in, I was able to roughly get a front strut in so I could get an idea of what ride-height will be with the shortened housings.

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No hub on the front currently, but I did a rough mockup of what full droop looks like:

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And possible ride-height.

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With the bolt-pattern of the strut tops now obviously being different, the front strut bar no longer fits. I'll likely just cut off the mounting points from the bar and make new ones to utilize the T3 bolt pattern, easy enough. Just gotta make sure there's still hood clearance (the bar is effectively moved up ~10mm due to the new tops), and possibly make the bar sit that much lower if not.

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Edited by Noll
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