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Project THESEUS: A '74 260z


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3 hours ago, slowlearner said:

 

It's up to you... but the first thing I did when I got my car was find a Subaru R180 LSD. I saw a torsen LSD on market place for $300 the other day! If it hadn't been interstate I'd have grabbed it as a spare. The clutch style LSD I have in my car is rare (only in particular JDM STis) and I've probably spent $AU1500 on it. However, there's torsen and viscious LSDs available for not much cash from import wreckers.

 

Yeah, longer term and higher power I may very well end up with the STI setup, it's damn pricey to get all the bits though and my goal was just 3.9 gearing and "decent enough" for now. As mentioned before, even if I blow a diff up as long as I don't do it every month it's no biggie to buy a new junkyard one and swap the bits over as needed.

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Muffler I ordered a while back showed up today. It's not exactly going to be the quietest thing in the world lol, but it and the resonator I also have should cut out the drone which is all I really mind. I'll be welding some 3" stainless tube to the back as a muffler tip so it extends far enough.

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On to some actual work on the car. Mounted up the rear gas tank pipe shield (obviously not the final hardware I'll use):

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I had ordered a bunch of hardware from McMaster Carr a little while back, and it came in today. Mostly boring stuff, but one of the things was some 5/8 bolts instead of the spindle pins:

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Also got these, because there were a bunch of threaded holes for p-clips for brake lines that had bolts broken off in them and I didn't feel like cutting sections of subframe out just to weld new captive nuts in.

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Drilled holes in the correct spots, welded them in, and cleaned them up:

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Next up, the handbrake captive nuts were toast, so I made some new ones and welded them on:

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Lastly, I welded some captive nuts into the rear trunk floor so if/when I eventually go to a small rear-mounted battery I can make a bracket easily without having to drill any holes in the car:

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Not too much left now before paint can happen.

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Posted (edited)


I'm on to the boring-but-necessary stuff before paint; today I finished stitch-welding the d/s inner arch, welding the bottoms of the camber plates, and getting rid of all the remaining undercoating. That really sucked, but at least it's done now.

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The (hopefully) final list of things to do before painting the underside of the car:

- get some snapped off nuts out of a couple of the brake/fuel line mounts, and remake one of the mounts entirely
- finish up the repair on the d/s (lower) dogleg and build the inner arch out to match
- make a couple of those bendy wire holders and weld them into the trans tunnel to replace some rusted-off ones.
- finish the last front tube bracing
- general weld cleanup inside and out
- degrease/acetone to remove all the undercoating residue, then scuff everything for paint.

Edited by Noll
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Decided to head out to the garage for a bit to plug away at the list of jobs a little more.

Drilled out/retapped a couple of the brake/fuel line brackets that had bolts snapped off in them, and then re-made the rearmost one entirely because it was rusted to nothing:

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I then made up some new wire ties for where they had rusted off here:

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Skib said:

Your level thoroughness is commendable. 

This is going to be such a nice car when you done. 

 

Much appreciated, and here's hoping haha. I'm trying to do everything now (even if sometimes the work sucks to do and/or makes stuff take a lot longer) so 6 months from now (or way sooner while assembling stuff) I'm not going "damn, wish I had done that". Buy once cry once, but with welding 🤣

 

The car's going to be far from perfect when done, but it'll be rust free, mostly straight, and most importantly on the road and mine 🙂 .

 

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The (hopefully) 2nd last bit of welding on the underside is now complete. Cleaned up the d/s dogleg (may revisit once the car is the right way up):

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And got the front lower section of the inner arch all made whole again. a replica of how the original went it is not, but will work just fine. Didn't want to spend masses of time making something that's hidden look perfect and the stock overlapping-flange layout has eventually rusted out in every car I've ever had. Separated, stitch-welded, and (soon) seam sealed, water/grit should now have nowhere to get stuck while flowing down and out.

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Edited by Noll
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You’ve definitely gotten better as you’ve progressed through this project.  Keep at it and you’ll be a master metal worker.
 

When you get to the end of it you’ll have so much time on your hands you won’t know what to do with yourself.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Soundline said:

You’ve definitely gotten better as you’ve progressed through this project.  Keep at it and you’ll be a master metal worker.
 

When you get to the end of it you’ll have so much time on your hands you won’t know what to do with yourself.

 

Thanks! Yeah, there's definitely a huge difference between now and the early pages of this thread in terms of weld quality lol.

 

Yeah, it's been a bit of a constant every week, going to have a lot more time once its done (although is it ever really done?). I have other projects that need love though, will be back at work on my Lada etc.

Edited by Noll
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I do this same thing.  Between the Toyota, Datsun, Subaru, remodeling my shop, and remodeling my house it seems I’m always going in a different direction.
 

Right now, it’s the house, then back to the shop, then the Datsun.

Edited by Soundline
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5 hours ago, Soundline said:

I do this same thing.  Between the Toyota, Datsun, Subaru, remodeling my shop, and remodeling my house it seems I’m always going in a different direction.
 

Right now, it’s the house, then back to the shop, then the Datsun.

 

Yep, such is life haha. I need a goal in whatever I'm doing, so it's not a bad thing for me by any means.

 

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Some late night Z stuff today, my new headlight buckets came in so I degreased, painted, and assembled everything with the vintage Bosch E-codes I snagged on ebay a while back 🙂 . Trim rings are the ones on the Z when I got it, hit them with some steel wool and they cleaned up nicely. Couple minor dings but nothing really visible.

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Did the very final welding job on the shell today, 22 days shy of it being exactly 4 years since I bought the Z. It's a nice milestone to finally hit, almost never thought this day would come when I first started working on the car.

The welding in question, some final tubular front bracing. Made some mount plates:

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And after a lot of cutting and grinding to get it to fit right, welded on the tubing:

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Next up, a lot of weld cleanup, then scuffing, de-greasing, and generally cleaning the interior and underside before paint.
 

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A preview of what I plan on doing tomorrow, going to clean and paint as much stuff as I can. all U-joints in the axles/driveshafts have zero play, so a rattlecan rebuild it is for now. I'll ofc re-grease everything where possible.

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Posted (edited)

All painted! Didn't do the fuel pump bracket as I'll be modifying it for the electric pump I'm running, will do that when get all the fuel lines and tank in place.

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Took 5 hours all in (most of that properly removing rust and generally cleaning before primer/paint). My back is not happy, but hey, the job is done.

I'll do the diff cover once the paint cures, waffling between silver or gold for it.

Edited by Noll
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So, figured I should have a peek inside my fuel tank to make sure the inside condition matched the outside (which is pretty darn good). Spoiler alert, it doesn't:

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The bottom of the tank and about 1" up the walls is like this, everything else is perfect in there. This is still very much a bit of an issue though.

I suppose my options are:

- call a radiator shop and see if they'd take it on and what they'd charge
- throw some gravel in there, try to knock all the loose stuff off, and use a fuel tank coating kit to seal it
- cut the tank in half at the seam, clean it out with a wire wheel on an angle grinder etc, and re-seal
- ditch the stock tank altogether and get a fuel cell (might have to remove the spare tire well for this, but that's not a huge deal).

Any thoughts? I'll be starting by stripping the paint off the bottom of the tank to see if there are any pinholes visible.

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Personally I've had fuel tanks with pin holes and repeating the process of draining it (probably self-draining LOL) and taking everything apart again just isn't worth it. IMO if the tank cleans up good and don't be gentle with the cleaning process, then you may choose to use it, I'd replace the tank though if it still begs you to question it.

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Fill it with vinegar and let it sit. See what happens?

 

Maybe throw some gravel in with the vinegar and you can even give it a shake

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4 hours ago, EDM620 said:

Personally I've had fuel tanks with pin holes and repeating the process of draining it (probably self-draining LOL) and taking everything apart again just isn't worth it. IMO if the tank cleans up good and don't be gentle with the cleaning process, then you may choose to use it, I'd replace the tank though if it still begs you to question it.

 

Oh for sure, don't want to risk dislodging something later and a leak starting if that's the case. Tanks aren't cheap though, if the bottom is rotten I'll probably just cut all the bad metal out and weld a new 'floor' into the tank, it wouldn't be too much work.

 

27 minutes ago, hobospyder said:

Fill it with vinegar and let it sit. See what happens?

 

Maybe throw some gravel in with the vinegar and you can even give it a shake

 

Yeah, I'm thinking that or evaporust + some gravel is going to be the first thing I try, there's nothing to lose by doing that anyway.

 

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Minor update, pulled the fuel sender out again to see if it was usable at all. It was covered in crud, sediment, varnished gas, and who knows what, but after some wire-brush cleaning and some sandpaper on all the contacts it seems to read correctly throughout the whole travel (10-90 ohms). I'll get a new o-ring and rock it for now, if it proves unreliable it's not too much of a pain to swap a new one in at some point.

Maybe I'll get lucky and a lot of the tank crud is just sediment and varnish? Here's hoping.

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6 hours ago, Noll said:

 

Oh for sure, don't want to risk dislodging something later and a leak starting if that's the case. Tanks aren't cheap though, if the bottom is rotten I'll probably just cut all the bad metal out and weld a new 'floor' into the tank, it wouldn't be too much work.

 

 

Yeah, I'm thinking that or evaporust + some gravel is going to be the first thing I try, there's nothing to lose by doing that anyway.

 

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Minor update, pulled the fuel sender out again to see if it was usable at all. It was covered in crud, sediment, varnished gas, and who knows what, but after some wire-brush cleaning and some sandpaper on all the contacts it seems to read correctly throughout the whole travel (10-90 ohms). I'll get a new o-ring and rock it for now, if it proves unreliable it's not too much of a pain to swap a new one in at some point.

Maybe I'll get lucky and a lot of the tank crud is just sediment and varnish? Here's hoping.

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My sender looked a lot worse but works well. Course I put it back in upside down... #derp

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15 hours ago, slowlearner said:

I've treated two tanks very successfully. I'd try an epoxy treatment that is ethanol resistant.

 

14 hours ago, slowlearner said:

 

My sender looked a lot worse but works well. Course I put it back in upside down... #derp

 

Yeah, if I decide to pay to get it done that's definitely the plan, reducing the damage moisture can do just seems like a good idea. if I DIY, I'll see how much of the origional coating is left and decide. Yep, that'll be something I'll need to make sure not to do haha, just need to remember which way is the right way up.

 

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Tank update. First up, good news, I poked around at the bottom with a metal rod and it seems to just be about ~4mm of sludge and crud as opposed to rust. Phew. Going to wait to hear back on a quote from a local radiator shop for cleaning, and if that's too pricey I think I can get good results DIYing it.

Started to clean up the exterior to see how it really was in relation to the exterior. The whole tank had this rubbery coating on it, definitely had been sealed or something by someone before.

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Pulled off a lot of it and didn't notice anything untoward in terms of rust, some minor pitting but nothing big.

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The one thing I did find was this patch, which seems a bit sketchy but doesn't seem to leak any (some gas left in the tank so I flipped it over to test). If I end up doing the tank refurb myself I'll either epoxy over the seam just to be safe, or cut it out and redo it. The sharpie marking on the top of the tank is not mine - I assume a previous owner got a junkyard tank after the car was rear ended or a radiator shop or similar marked what it was for when they did the coating.

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The bottom is in nice shape, no big dents etc.

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Once I hear back from the rad shop I'll ask them if their hot tank will remove the coating too (would save me work if  I go that route), if not I'll tear the rest of it off.

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Looks like you might be lucky & dodge a bullet on that tank. Are there local rad shops near you that'll do that (in Ontario)? Buddy of mine restoring a Mustang said finding rad shops near him is tough.

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46 minutes ago, EDM620 said:

Looks like you might be lucky & dodge a bullet on that tank. Are there local rad shops near you that'll do that (in Ontario)? Buddy of mine restoring a Mustang said finding rad shops near him is tough.

 

Indeed! Happily yep, there's a good one (going off google reviews anyway) about 45 min from me: https://www.axleautomotiveinc.com/gas_tanks.php . They do CV axle rebuilds too apparently, so that's nice to know.

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Painted some more stuff today, I think other than the fuel tank and the stuff I need to buy still (hardlines etc) that should be pretty much everything ready to go on once the underside of the shell is painted. I know I'm missing a couple of the brake line clamps but I'll make those when I assemble everything so I don't make ones for the wrong spots.

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Posted (edited)

Stripped the bottom of the shell, and started on the painting.

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First coat was mostly just on/around seams, once this cures I'll apply seam sealer then do a 2nd coat on everything properly.

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I think I have enough paint to do all the underside and interior, but in order of priority I'll be painting the underside, the inside of the floorpans, and then the rest of the interior. If it comes to it I can always do the rest of the interior later, the high-foot-traffic spots are the most important for now for that extra strength (vs using just spraypaint).

Edited by Noll
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Seam sealed and painted the shell today inside and out, pretty happy with the end result. The brush marks should even out as the epoxy cures, and I'll be spraying some sound deadening in the wheelwells and a couple other places to avoid tinniness.

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This half of the paint went farther than the first which was nice, was able to get all the interior done too:

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I also did some stuff to the gas tank while waiting on the seam sealer to dry, poured a bunch of heavy-duty cleaner in and a couple bolts and shook it around for a while.

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It did enough to show me that the bottom of the tank seems it be in good shape, so that's nice. The radiator shop asked for some more pictures and info on the tank, so I've sent that off to them and am waiting to hear back. There do seem to be a couple of pinholes near the top of the tank (I think from moisture trapped between the coating and the tank on the outside), but nothing major. Also, interestingly, the patch on the tank looks normal on the inside there, so my assumption is that it was put on over some pinholes. With any luck the rad shop won't mind this, I can always braze/solder over the pinholes if they don't want to once the tank has been cleaned.

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