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Project THESEUS: A '74 260z


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20 minutes ago, Bleach said:

Stop the welding right now and go buy that car. 😄

 

Lol! Even if I had 30 grand I've put too much effort into this shell to give up on it now haha. That is a nice car though,  if I didn't have a Z and had the money it'd be sweet.

 

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Didn't feel like doing a bunch of weld cleanup, so built some stuff today instead. Started with the rough panels I made a while back, and finished them.

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Fitment test:

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Not perfect, but pretty happy with how they turned out.

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On 6/9/2020 at 10:50 PM, Noll said:

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. 


A rotary file on a die grinder would work perfectly for areas like that. There are many shapes and sizes, as well as different cutter configurations for various materials. 
 

image.thumb.jpeg.ee0b3499cc3cf093ba4e81d4e9f42b54.jpeg

 

Awesome work on the car, especially considering you’re workshop is limited, and the resources available aren’t the same as a fully equipped fabrication shop.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing the final result too.

 

Cheers,

Racer

 

 

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On 7/8/2020 at 4:45 PM, Noll said:

 

I couldn't for the life of me get the strut gland nuts off, even with a pipe wrench. Anyone know if I NEED the originals, or if the ones that came with my new strut inserts will work? If the latter I'll probably weld a bar on the old ones for leverage + heat, but if I need to save them I think I'll bring them to a local garage and pay them a few bucks to get it all apart for me.


There is a special tool for removing and installing them. The ones I have are made to fit several different gland nuts.

 

image.jpeg.f7e5841689c3b2c28d96721b5cdd7045.jpeg

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11 hours ago, Racer X 69 said:


There is a special tool for removing and installing them. The ones I have are made to fit several different gland nuts.

 

 

 

Do you happen to have a link to where you got those? I know Zcardepot sells some but not sure what other quality options there are in the 52mm (I think) size without the word "datsun" driving up the price lol. The old nuts were totally hashed and I ended up welding them off as you might have seen, but would be nice to put the new ones on somewhat properly.

 

13 hours ago, Racer X 69 said:


A rotary file on a die grinder would work perfectly for areas like that. There are many shapes and sizes, as well as different cutter configurations for various materials. 
 

Awesome work on the car, especially considering you’re workshop is limited, and the resources available aren’t the same as a fully equipped fabrication shop.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing the final result too.

 

Cheers,

Racer

 

 

 

Yep! I've since picked up a couple of those bits for my dremel, as well as a 1/2" finger sander which is super handy for tight spots like that. 

 

Many thanks! A lot of stuff is far from perfect, but for my first project and the fact that I'm building it in a garage with limited tools I'm rather happy with how it's been going. Here's hoping it's not too long before it hits the road.

 

On 2/4/2021 at 12:12 PM, Lockleaf said:

I'd say pretty nice for hand formed pieces.

 

Thanks! They're not perfect, but for something made with a hammer, vice, and block of wood, I'm pretty happy.

 

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Acquired tubing today (1.5" .120 wall DOM) , and mocked some stuff up. Rear strut tower bar (obviously top bar won't be sitting that high):

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And front braces. Still debating as to if I want to do these, while the rigidity would be nice and I probably should, they'd make using the factory plastic fender liners a pain and make routing the drain hoses forwards even more of a hassle.

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Edited by Noll
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7 hours ago, Noll said:

 

Do you happen to have a link to where you got those? I know Zcardepot sells some but not sure what other quality options there are in the 52mm (I think) size without the word "datsun" driving up the price lol. 

I bought mine from the SnapOn dealer that came to the shop I worked at 30 years ago.

 

Today, SnapOn sells tools online, so you can buy directly from them.

 

SnapOn.com

 

I made a fixture to bolt the front struts to using the bolts for the steering arms, that clamps in a bench vise to hold them.

 

For the rear struts I still had them mounted to the rear suspension lower control arms, which were still attached to the car. Since you have yours disassembled, you might make something that attaches to the face where the brake backing plate mounts.

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18 hours ago, Racer X 69 said:

I bought mine from the SnapOn dealer that came to the shop I worked at 30 years ago.

 

Today, SnapOn sells tools online, so you can buy directly from them.

 

SnapOn.com

 

I made a fixture to bolt the front struts to using the bolts for the steering arms, that clamps in a bench vise to hold them.

 

For the rear struts I still had them mounted to the rear suspension lower control arms, which were still attached to the car. Since you have yours disassembled, you might make something that attaches to the face where the brake backing plate mounts.

 

Good idea, getting them to torque will be a fun task otherwise - the rears I might be able to just assemble everything finger-tight on the car and then use that to stop the rotation while I tighten, but the fronts I'll definitely want to make something like that for (although I suppose I could make a bar that bolts to the knuckle and front crossmember to prevent rotation and also allow me to do it on the car).

 

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This saturday's project was the rear strut brace. Welded in some mount plates:

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And cut up and welded in the tubing.

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Really happy with the outcome, both in terms of look and function. I can already tell the increased stiffness - I had carefully ground down the top tube till it was a perfect slide fit between the two towers, and when I climbed into the spare tire well to weld it in my weight tightened the gap up so I couldn't pull the tube out. if it does that with just me in the back then obviously cornering forces would cause a lot more flex without the brace.

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On 2/5/2021 at 7:22 PM, Noll said:



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Take a look at the bracing the SCCA Trans Am and IMSA Zs used here, and also ahead of the strut tower, before they went to full tube frames. The tubing was passed through the sheet metal the cuts following the tubing tightly, and the sheet metal stitched to the tubing, as well as at the ends.

 

Really stiffened that huge box of an engine bay.

 

Triangulate.

 

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On 2/7/2021 at 6:44 PM, Racer X 69 said:

 

 

Take a look at the bracing the SCCA Trans Am and IMSA Zs used here, and also ahead of the strut tower, before they went to full tube frames. The tubing was passed through the sheet metal the cuts following the tubing tightly, and the sheet metal stitched to the tubing, as well as at the ends.

 

Really stiffened that huge box of an engine bay.

 

Triangulate.

 

 

Indeed, was just having a similar talk with others at another place I have this build thread. I've opted to put the braces in and delete the fender liners (the bolt holes for the liners seem to just be a rust trap anyway, so win-win).

 

Between that, the bracing I've already done, and the front triangulated strut brace I made a while back it should do rather well IMO.

 

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Cleaned up the welds on the cowl today (and on the lower rad support, but no pic):

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Got the remaining stitch-welding done (for now, will do the rest once the car is flipped):

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And started on the rollover jig. Wish I could have used Grannyknot's rotisserie, but covid stuff locally isn't really conducive to traveling the distance I'd need to to go get it right now. will 100% go get it for future projects though when able.

The bottom corners will be a curve made out of layered plywood to more easily roll it over and a lot more beefy, everything's just mocked up right now.


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9 hours ago, Lockleaf said:

You pick that idea up from that Camaro video?

 


Hmm, have a link? Can't remember exactly where I first saw an example of it being done.

 

I've had the rough plan in mind for quite some time but recently stumbled across this vid of someone making one specifically for a Z, so as it worked for them I decided to just roughly copy their design, no sense reinventing the wheel. His design has the front/rear transverse planks a bit shorter than mine meaning that the pivot is a little more inboard, but I don't think it should be much of an issue considering I'll be using my engine crane to lift the other side of the car - at worst I'll take stuff apart, cut the doubled 2x4's shorter, and go again.

 

https://youtu.be/D0uTuamJR60

 

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Spent today building the majority of the rollover jig.

Started by making some mounts to bolt up a pair of 2x4s to the front end; they tie into the tow hook mount holes. I've seen people do them to the bumper mount holes, but that area doesn't seem beefy enough to do without worrying about stuff bending.

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Not half bad for something made out of old fence posts and scraps I had lying around I think.


After that it was just a matter of spending a lot of time measuring/cutting/bolting wood until I had this:

50940940961_071759570a_b.jpg


Tomorrow I'll run some more bracing between the two ends (another line of 2x4s and then some braces in the shape of an X between them), then have a go at rolling it over.

The pivot point being relatively far out means that doing it by hand is definitely not going to happen, plan is to hook up my engine crane to the p/s doorjamb and lift from that.

 

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43 minutes ago, Noll said:

 


Hmm, have a link? Can't remember exactly where I first saw an example of it being done.

 

I've had the rough plan in mind for quite some time but recently stumbled across this vid of someone making one specifically for a Z, so as it worked for them I decided to just roughly copy their design, no sense reinventing the wheel. His design has the front/rear transverse planks a bit shorter than mine meaning that the pivot is a little more inboard, but I don't think it should be much of an issue considering I'll be using my engine crane to lift the other side of the car - at worst I'll take stuff apart, cut the doubled 2x4's shorter, and go again.

 

https://youtu.be/D0uTuamJR60

 

-----------

 

Spent today building the majority of the rollover jig.

Started by making some mounts to bolt up a pair of 2x4s to the front end; they tie into the tow hook mount holes. I've seen people do them to the bumper mount holes, but that area doesn't seem beefy enough to do without worrying about stuff bending.

50941050737_8fcaf3bee1_b.jpg

50940246193_49febc2315_b.jpg

50940941256_05ba925ae7_b.jpg

Not half bad for something made out of old fence posts and scraps I had lying around I think.


After that it was just a matter of spending a lot of time measuring/cutting/bolting wood until I had this:

50940940961_071759570a_b.jpg


Tomorrow I'll run some more bracing between the two ends (another line of 2x4s and then some braces in the shape of an X between them), then have a go at rolling it over.

The pivot point being relatively far out means that doing it by hand is definitely not going to happen, plan is to hook up my engine crane to the p/s doorjamb and lift from that.

 

 

I think it is awesome all you younger guys resurrecting these old cars. The thing that impresses me the most is how many of you are doing it in a small garage designed for parking a couple of cars, not restoring them.

 

Such ingenuity, and making do with limited resources. 

 

Hot rodding at its best.

 

I've already came up with a few mods to this design, and may build one for my next major build.

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3 hours ago, Noll said:

 


Hmm, have a link? Can't remember exactly where I first saw an example of it being done.

 

I've had the rough plan in mind for quite some time but recently stumbled across this vid of someone making one specifically for a Z, so as it worked for them I decided to just roughly copy their design, no sense reinventing the wheel. His design has the front/rear transverse planks a bit shorter than mine meaning that the pivot is a little more inboard, but I don't think it should be much of an issue considering I'll be using my engine crane to lift the other side of the car - at worst I'll take stuff apart, cut the doubled 2x4's shorter, and go again.

 

https://youtu.be/D0uTuamJR60

 

-----------

 

Spent today building the majority of the rollover jig.

Started by making some mounts to bolt up a pair of 2x4s to the front end; they tie into the tow hook mount holes. I've seen people do them to the bumper mount holes, but that area doesn't seem beefy enough to do without worrying about stuff bending.

50941050737_8fcaf3bee1_b.jpg

50940246193_49febc2315_b.jpg

50940941256_05ba925ae7_b.jpg

Not half bad for something made out of old fence posts and scraps I had lying around I think.


After that it was just a matter of spending a lot of time measuring/cutting/bolting wood until I had this:

50940940961_071759570a_b.jpg


Tomorrow I'll run some more bracing between the two ends (another line of 2x4s and then some braces in the shape of an X between them), then have a go at rolling it over.

The pivot point being relatively far out means that doing it by hand is definitely not going to happen, plan is to hook up my engine crane to the p/s doorjamb and lift from that.

 

 

Is that Douglas pine? I mean, as per usual I'm astounded by your ingenuity, but I wouldn't trust that stuff told up a body shell. I guess it holds out houses together though... 

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On 2/13/2021 at 10:20 PM, Racer X 69 said:

 

I think it is awesome all you younger guys resurrecting these old cars. The thing that impresses me the most is how many of you are doing it in a small garage designed for parking a couple of cars, not restoring them.

 

Such ingenuity, and making do with limited resources. 

 

Hot rodding at its best.

 

I've already came up with a few mods to this design, and may build one for my next major build.

 

Thanks! Just doing what I can with what I have, time but no money and a desire to have/build cool cars means I have to get creative sometimes 🙂 . If you want dimensions or anything let me know, would be happy to provide.

 

 

On 2/14/2021 at 12:51 AM, slowlearner said:

 

Is that Douglas pine? I mean, as per usual I'm astounded by your ingenuity, but I wouldn't trust that stuff told up a body shell. I guess it holds out houses together though... 

 

Just whatever the cheapest 2x4's I could buy, yeah. Should be more than fine, I've seen some pics of some seriously sketchy setups on heavier cars with no issues; mine feels really sturdy and I've done a lot of doubling-up of the wood and triangulating, so should be more than fine to leave it for a while. That said, yeah, there would definitely be some trepidation if I hadn't seen it done before.

 

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Flippage occurred today, and went very well. Guess I did something right in regards to the pivot point etc, as I was able to flip it over by myself without the crane.

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All the ugliness on the bottom is now exposed. First order of business will be undercoating removal, then a lot of misc welding and cleanup.

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On 2/15/2021 at 1:14 AM, Noll said:

time but no money and a desire

Amazing how time & money are never in abundance together, projects are built this way. 

 

I'd considered the same tip-over jig but since I still need the other half of my garage for parking the wife's car I ended up doing a rotisserie, likewise built primarily of lumber I had on hand. Since I'm only working with the weight of the cab (660 lbs) my structural needs are less.

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On 2/15/2021 at 12:14 AM, Noll said:

 

Thanks! Just doing what I can with what I have, time but no money and a desire to have/build cool cars means I have to get creative sometimes 🙂 . If you want dimensions or anything let me know, would be happy to provide.

 

 

 

Just whatever the cheapest 2x4's I could buy, yeah. Should be more than fine, I've seen some pics of some seriously sketchy setups on heavier cars with no issues; mine feels really sturdy and I've done a lot of doubling-up of the wood and triangulating, so should be more than fine to leave it for a while. That said, yeah, there would definitely be some trepidation if I hadn't seen it done before.

 

-----------------------

 

Flippage occurred today, and went very well. Guess I did something right in regards to the pivot point etc, as I was able to flip it over by myself without the crane.
 

 

I'm glad I looked at your thread I was going to buy or build a rotisserie but when I saw your turn over fixture it reminded me of the Liqui tilter. I'll be copying you.

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On 2/15/2021 at 7:20 PM, slowlearner said:

I'll eat my words... again. You've outdone yourself once more @Noll. 😄

 

Thanks! Not all my silly plans work out but it's nice when stuff comes together 🙂 .

 

On 2/16/2021 at 11:52 AM, EDM620 said:

Amazing how time & money are never in abundance together, projects are built this way. 

 

I'd considered the same tip-over jig but since I still need the other half of my garage for parking the wife's car I ended up doing a rotisserie, likewise built primarily of lumber I had on hand. Since I'm only working with the weight of the cab (660 lbs) my structural needs are less.

 

Ain't that the truth haha! Sure would be nice to have more money for parts, but I'm not about to let that stop be trying to build something cool. Wooden rotisserie sounds like a sweet idea too, have any pics? Happily my jig ended up being light enough that I was able to slide everything over after flipping so it only takes up one half of the garage again.

 

On 2/16/2021 at 12:31 PM, Ooph! said:

 

I'm glad I looked at your thread I was going to buy or build a rotisserie but when I saw your turn over fixture it reminded me of the Liqui tilter. I'll be copying you.

 

Awesome, glad I could inspire others!

 

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Spent 5 hours today removing undercoating. To say that this isn't a fun job would be an understatement, but it had to happen. probably 70-80% done, will do the rest soon. anyone have tips for removing the residue? I have a vague recollection from somewhere that lacquer thinner will work, but can't remember where I read that.

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On the plus side, everything seems in good shape. There's a couple small brackets I'll need to re-make and one or two I'll temporarily remove to deal with surface rust underneath, but no real rust issues to speak of (notwithstanding the stuff I already knew about).

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Yes, lacquer thinner should work, or acetone, or MPK (methyl propyl ketone).

 

Bring lots of elbow grease, disposable rags, and plastic scrapers.

 

Hard work, worth the effort.

 

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Don't forget to ventilate the work space and make sure you have no spark or open flame when using the suggested liquids to cut the undercoating.  Don't ask why I am concerned about this!

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16 hours ago, Racer X 69 said:

Yes, lacquer thinner should work, or acetone, or MPK (methyl propyl ketone).

 

Bring lots of elbow grease, disposable rags, and plastic scrapers.

 

Hard work, worth the effort.

 

 

I'd give the MPK a miss. Got a mate who's skin has never recovered from using it only a few times. 😞 

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2 hours ago, slowlearner said:

 

I'd give the MPK a miss. Got a mate who's skin has never recovered from using it only a few times. 😞 

Yes, one must make use of proper PPE when using any solvents. I use MPK every day, but always wear gloves that prevent getting it on my hands. Not only does it do a great job of removing dirt and grease form the work, it also is good at removing the natural oils from skin, and will be absorbed into the body, ultimately passing through the liver.

 

Nasty shit.

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On 2/17/2021 at 7:31 PM, Noll said:

Wooden rotisserie sounds like a sweet idea too, have any pics?

This is what I made. I'd guessed at the COB and was off, so it's a bit top heavy. Had originally intended to design in some adjustability but decided that I really only need it flipped once (we'll see how that goes) and I still have my gantry to help rotate it around.

843531865_IMG_6930small.jpg.e5b6514e16be278afbdf1f775d6ed05a.jpg

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The 620 KC cab is shorter than your Z and weighs just 660 lbs, so this is quite manageable. The rotisserie works very well and spins easily, I made it so I can pin it every 45 degrees but can clamp it at any position. The span is adjustable via UniStrut, and it's on casters so I can easily move it about in my garage.

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