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Project THESEUS: A '74 260z


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On 2/18/2021 at 10:16 AM, 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.

 

 

On 2/18/2021 at 10:39 AM, jagman said:

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!

 

On 2/19/2021 at 3:08 AM, 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. 😞 

 

On 2/19/2021 at 5:36 AM, Racer X 69 said:

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.

 

Oh for sure, would be using my respirator with the correct filters for organic vapors etc. MEK/MPK is a good suggestion, I've used it (MEK) for years as a ABS glue for plastic (way cheaper to buy it in bulk vs buying hobby cement with the same active ingredient), so know the precautions to take etc.

 

I may get the bottom of the car blasted instead, just remembered that there's someone 800m from me that does mobile dustless blasting, so would be easy enough to slide the car out into the driveway to get that done. Need to give them a shout and ask about price, and would want to do that after all welding so I can then just prime/seam seal/paint.

 

On 2/19/2021 at 10:41 AM, EDM620 said:

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.

 

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.

 

Nice! If I'd have thought ahead I might have built something like that, as it stands I have to take apart 70% of the jig to reassemble it the other way to flip the car the other direction for a few bits when the time comes for that.

 

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Didn't feel like doing more undercoating removal today, so on to the front chassis legs. Before:

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Cut off everything bad/un-needed, and dig some general welding/cleanup/prep work:

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And where I'm at currently. In the interest of overkill, and of not having them get crushed again like they were when they are inevitably used as lift points on a hoist, I have made everything out of 3mm (1/8) plate; bit more weight but worth it for peace of mind. I'll also be using the same plate in a few other spots on the car to reinforce/create jack points as from what I've heard Zs are notorious for them sucking.

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Still need to finish the upper (p/s) one, one more plate to cut then it can all be welded back together. Then probably on to stitch welding the middle 1/3 of the car and the aforementioned jack point improvement.

Also, good lord there are a lot of ugly patches under here. A natural byproduct of having learned to weld on this part of the car a couple years ago I guess, but still annoying. I'll clean it all up as much as I can and then seam sealer/paint will do the rest. The front lower footplates that meet the floorpans aren't exactly the same angle either side-to-side, but nobody but me (and now all of you) will have a reason to know that haha.

 

 

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Got the middle 1/3 of the car stitch-welded today:

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And started mocking up the rear subframe connectors:

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The stitch-welding continues. Did all the front inner arch stuff:

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Welded up the bottom side of the camber-plate and cut out the inner fender liner bolts to replace with blank plates:

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Did a bunch of cleanup to the under-floor weld seams too, not sure how much it comes across in pictures but it's, if still not amazing, a lot cleaner than before. Seam sealer will hide the imperfections 🙂 .

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Next up is reinforcing the rear jack points and possibly making some in the middle to easily lift one side of the car at a time to swap tires etc, then everything from the seatbelt mounts forward will be done (while it's flipped this way anyway, more to do up front once I flip it the other way)

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A bit of an interlude from the underside work. Decided to fix the rear hatch for good (it was warped for a number of reasons), and as I couldn't get access in behind to hammer, I took the nuclear option of cutting the entire lower skin off:

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Re-shaped it, cleaned/primed the underside, and mocked it up with the spoiler and left it overnight:

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The next day, started welding:

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Mocked up the spoiler again to make sure all was well.

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And done. There's still imperfections, but it's a thousand times better than it was before, and there is no oil-canning at all etc. Considering it was warped to the point where it was slightly concave before (as opposed to convex), I'm more than happy.

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Posted (edited)

Decided to do some digging at the filler on my replacement doors to see just how much work they'd need; when i got them I knew there was some below the lower body line both inside and out so figured that area would need the usual amount of attention. I might have underestimated a bit:

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Other side isn't quite as bad but still not ideal:

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So, uh, yeah. Not great. Keep in mind that there were meant to be the replacement doors. As of right now I think my plan is going to be to fix the frame of my original doors (they still need a decent amount of work but not as bad as these are), and then reskin those doors using the known-good skins from these doors as the original doors are dented and oil-canned to oblivion. That also gives me the benefits of the bigger 260z crash-bar in the doors, I can more easily put sound-deadening in before I attach the new skin, and there's enough little differences between the pictured doors (off a 240z) and my 260z doors that keeping the door winding mechanisms with the doors they came from will probably be easier.

Edited by Noll
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Have you watched the Fitzees Fabrication video about reusing door skins?

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32 minutes ago, Lockleaf said:

Have you watched the Fitzees Fabrication video about reusing door skins?

 

I don't believe so, do you have a link? I have seen his one where he made patch panel for a Z door, but nothing about replacing/removing skins. Shouldn't be too hard, going to make a flat pick to bend up all the flanges uniformly.

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I will look but i the main offers is just how he welds on the flange if that proves useful to you.

 

In my quad cab build i stripped 2 doors completely. I made a pair of flange pliers to get the lip raised.  You can see those in that thread if you are interested.

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57 minutes ago, Noll said:

 

I don't believe so, do you have a link? I have seen his one where he made patch panel for a Z door, but nothing about replacing/removing skins. Shouldn't be too hard, going to make a flat pick to bend up all the flanges uniformly.

He's a great source for fabrication, another Canuck too. Hopefully the link works.

 

How to repair rusty door bottoms - YouTube

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Lockleaf said:

I will look but i the main offers is just how he welds on the flange if that proves useful to you.

 

In my quad cab build i stripped 2 doors completely. I made a pair of flange pliers to get the lip raised.  You can see those in that thread if you are interested.


Sweet, thanks! I'll have a look through for them, I have a basic set but always good to see a better way to do stuff 🙂 .

 

 

19 hours ago, EDM620 said:

He's a great source for fabrication, another Canuck too. Hopefully the link works.

 

How to repair rusty door bottoms - YouTube

 

Indeed! Wish I had found his channel when I was first starting out, it's still a great wealth of knowledge though, always more for me to learn. I'll have a watch of that vid, seems like it'll be useful. EDIT: That's the one I saw already, still a useful watch though.

 

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Removed the skins from my original doors today. They are totally trashed, so just went around the folded lip with a sanding disk to remove them quickly, worked perfectly. Both had damage as you can see (the reason for the absurd amount of bondo they had on them), and the driver's door had evidence of some interesting bodywork - holes drilled to pull the door back out (badly), then the holes brazed up.

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Chucked those in the trash, and had a look at the door frames. About as bad as I'd expected, definitely workable. before anyone mentioned it, I have much better replacement glass, so not too fussed about grinding sparks getting on these windows (they are already covered in bad tint and paint overspray).

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I then drug these in out of the snow. These were left over bits from the 280z partial shell I cut up for parts; I've been making a point to hold onto anything usable until I'm 100% done with metalwork, and it paid off.

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Why, you may ask? Simple; the later Zs had nicely-formed speaker mounts in the inner structure there. From what I've read, they kinda just put sound into the side of your seat there, but the metal bits themselves will be useful. I want front speakers, and Zs are not exactly known for having extra space up front for them. Plan is to graft these into the door frames to run speakers in the front of the doors; should be a whole lot cleaner doing it this way than the 'ol "holesaw and tinsnips" method, and I'm probably making my own doorcards anyway so I can make them look nice and stealthy.

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That's about where I'll leave the doors until the car is back on its wheels; need to be able to fit them on the car before I re-skin them to make sure all the door gaps end up correct.
back to the underside work, got the  rear subframe connectors all welded on and cleaned up. Many thanks again to @grannyknot for giving me the subframe connectors last year, they needed a little tweaking but saved me a ton of time and effort vs making some from scratch.

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Edited by Noll
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You're most welcome, I knew they would be put to good use. They look great. Maybe when the world returns to normal and you're down this way for Zfest we can swap cars for a little drive.

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15 hours ago, Noll said:

Wish I had found his channel when I was first starting out,

I agree totally, I would have made my floorpan and cab mounts differently, meaning more like his!

I also have some regrets that I hadn't built my rotisserie earlier, life would have been much easier.

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2 hours ago, EDM620 said:

I agree totally, I would have made my floorpan and cab mounts differently, meaning more like his!

 

Fitzees 620 videos have been awesome.  I keep thinking about starting a thread for those videos here, but never seem to get to it.

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17 hours ago, grannyknot said:

You're most welcome, I knew they would be put to good use. They look great. Maybe when the world returns to normal and you're down this way for Zfest we can swap cars for a little drive.

 

Thanks, and that would be extremely awesome! Here's hoping that Zfest can happen this year, seems still up in the air at this point. I still have a lot to do before this car will be ready, but getting there.

 

 

16 hours ago, EDM620 said:

I agree totally, I would have made my floorpan and cab mounts differently, meaning more like his!

I also have some regrets that I hadn't built my rotisserie earlier, life would have been much easier.

 

hindsight is 20/20, right? We make do with that we have, and that includes the knowledge we have at the time 🙂 .

 

 

14 hours ago, Lockleaf said:

Fitzees 620 videos have been awesome.  I keep thinking about starting a thread for those videos here, but never seem to get to it.

 

I didn't know he had some some on 620s, will have to have a look.

 

 

2 hours ago, slowlearner said:

@Noll here's another horror story for you to enjoy...

 

1976 Datsun 280z - Will It Run? - YouTube

 

 

Oh yeah, I saw the video Junkyard Digs did on that car a couple days ago. Poor thing seems to have even more rust than mine, or at least in different spots.

 

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Some misc work today. Made a patch for this subframe section:

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Did most of the remaining stitch-welding:

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And cleaned up the p/s wheelwell and cut out some of the lower lip to expose some more work that I need to do.

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On 3/2/2021 at 3:48 PM, Noll said:


before anyone mentioned it, I have much better replacement glass, so not too fussed about grinding sparks getting on these windows (they are already covered in bad tint and paint overspray).

 

The window tinting can be removed, the overspray cleaned off, but damage from welding and grinding not so much. With the supply of good, usable parts dwindling, taking care to save what can still be cleaned up and reused is important. Even if you don’t see a use for these items, others might and they present a potential source of revenue for your build.

 

But it is your stuff, so do as you wish.

Edited by Racer X 69
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2 hours ago, Racer X 69 said:

 

The window tinting can be removed, the overspray cleaned off, but damage from welding and grinding not so much. With the supply of good, usable parts dwindling, taking care to save what can still be cleaned up and reused is important. Even if you don’t see a use for these items, others might and they present a potential source of revenue for your build.

 

But it is your stuff, so do as you wish.

 

All solid points. I suppose I omitted that I had done a fair bit of work with the doors on back when I first started a few years back and didn't know the sparks could cause issue, so that's a good part of the reason why I was a bit lassiez-faire about the glass now.

That said, it's a good point that this sort of stuff should be saved if possible, will do so and should be able to get most of the metal off (if any) with a razor blade.

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Some non-metalwork stuff done today, got around to installing some longer studs in the rear end. From the rear of a S14 IIRC, I did the research when I bought them to make sure they would work but that was a while back.

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And a blurry pic of my janky setup for installing the new studs. A lug nut, a deep 21mm socket, a shallow 21mm socket, some washers and a bunch of lubricating oil to make sure the threads didn't get galled. Nothing fancy, but it worked, I should get a proper lug tool with a bearing etc eventually though.

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More misc. stuff today, picking away at stuff slowly.

Welded up the inner/outer wheelarch joins on both sides, and cleaned up all the welds on the easy-to-get-at passenger side. It's still far from the prettiest part of the car, but ehh. Next up will be to fix some more stuff in the wheelarch then on to the dogleg re-do.

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Posted (edited)

Bunch more wheelarch stuff done. Made a patch for the gaping hole at the top of the arch:

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Not an invisible patch, but this inner arch is so far beyond that I didn't think there was a point.

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On to the front section repair. Some misc stuff fixed to have a good baseline to work from:

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The new flange welded on:

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And made/welded on the top layer:

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With that complete, on to the dogleg re-do. Made a replacement panel, then cut the old section off. I plan to cut the entire bottom flange off and re-make it in the correct spot.

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Replacement dogleg is made out of my old hatch skin (the original hatch that was rear-ended), amusing that it will live on in some small part in the car.

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Edited by Noll
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Nothing major today, just painted a bunch of stuff black after cleaning off surface rust (or in the case of the grille, overspray).

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Also slotted the holes in my wilwood 1" mc to fit, and mounted it up/adjusted the pushrod.
Interestingly even with the old MC the pushrod was adjusted 4mm too short, so the last time this car moved under its own power the brakes wouldn't have been great. I think the old mc is an early 70/71 one (by the large nuts on the outputs), so might have been swapped in after the stock one went but they never adjusted anything?

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Will need to take it apart again to polish up the spacer, then this part of the brakes is done.

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Back at the welding, it never ends. Cut the bottom flange off the bent portion of the rocker, and made a new one. Had some 14ga lying around, so used that as there's no harm in making stuff stronger in this area.

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Finished boxing it all in and doing some misc patchwork/cleanup work:

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Some minor hammerwork required but it's dead straight relative to the rest of the rocker now, so I am happy.

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The new dogleg nearly complete, this and one last patch for the inner wheelarch and this section of the car is complete.

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