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Project THESEUS: A '74 260z

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9 hours ago, BrothersGarage said:

Check out this build thread about repairing and refinishing your dash - page #7 starts it, and then he redoes it.




Thanks! I'll be sure to check that out.


Got the remains of the outer rocker removed today, and cut out some of the badness of the front corner as well:



Going to go to a local metal supplier tomorrow to get them to bend up the sections of the inner rockers that I need to replace. From there I can better mock up the fitment of the outer rocker, and make all the other repair sections that will be required before I can weld it in place for good.

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Alright, new rocker sections are being made! Had to hunt around a bit to find somewhere that could make bends that small, but found a roofing supply place that was able to do it for me. Only downside is that it's going to be galvanized metal, so I'll need to grind most of the galvanizing off for welding. Still, total cost was 36$ CAD for two 6-foot sections bent up to my drawing, so that's not bad at all! I'll be able to pick them up Monday.

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Didn't really feel like lying on a cold concrete floor and welding today, so I started stripping the 7 layers of paint off the hood.



First layer off. I realized that this would take forever, so I broke out the grinder after this:


It was at this point I realized that

A) I'm really glad I wore my respirator


B) this is going to take forever to clean up


After spending the next hour sweeping the entire garage, I decided to go back to paint stripper.

I ran out of paint stripper after getting to this point, so will finish up the job tomorrow. Happily there are only two layer of paint on the bottom, so it should be much quicker.


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Thanks! Still a way to go, but any progress is better than nothing. Always seems to be a new hurdle whenever I do something with the build, but I'm getting there.





Mocked up the rocker patch.


and welded in (mostly) a section of front firewall and the flange that ties it in to the inner rocker and other bits.

Or, more accurately, I welded in a smaller section, ground it too thin when cleaning it up, blew 3 million holes in it, got annoyed, hit it with a hammer, cut it out, realized I could save some work by making it one big piece instead of doing other smell patches nearby, and then made the larger patch.

I still need to go back and fill a few pinhole areas I missed with the welder, but otherwise I'm happy with it.


Before I make a replacement for the rest of the flange, I need to make a patch for the inner fender liner section, and before that I need to fix the gaping rusty hole visible above the patch.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Been a busy week, but I was able to make some progress today.

Got the rear glass and front windscreen out:



I knew this would need repair, as there was a patch riveted on next to the window rubber.


Happily this was the only other spot that will need work here; I was expecting it to be worse.


Once cleaned up that first spot got a lot bigger:


I also noticed some bondo on the inner doorjamb, so I broke out the wire wheel. More hidden hackjob fixes, this never ends...



Luckily, I have purchased a local club member's 280z drag-car shell, so will be cutting the bits off it for the repairs instead of having to fabricate my own parts. Going to tow that home next weekend.


After that I decided to strip the hatch and roof, as I was tired of the ugly red. Some finishing yet to do.


The hatch is mostly solid, with some exceptions:



This is all pushed up and oil-canned, so will have a decent amount of work ahead of me:


I also got the fuel filler neck out in preparation for dropping the tank. This seems to be in pretty good shape, so I will probably reuse it.


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Weather was great today, so made more progress.

Started by stripping all the flaky paint and rust from the underside of the hood.


There's a couple areas with pitting/minor rust, so I'm probably going to fix the worst of it, POR15 the whole thing, then topcoat it black. This is the worst part; happily this section on my spare bent hood is in good shape, so I'll weld in that section.


Next, I removed the radiator and cleaned the crusty rust off the front rad support.



Some of the rust areas:



Looks like the car has been hit at some point, the flanges here are not attached to the other panel:


More evidence of a past hit:



I'm trying  to decide if I want to fix the rust, or get someone to cut the front ~18" off a parts car for me to unpick the welds and weld in place of my rad support. Thoughts?

With the radiator out, i was able to take a decent pic of the frame rail rust. The other side is basically the same. Should be a relatively easy fix as it's only the top/side, not the flange where it's spot welded.


This is why I think the fuel tank and related stuff may have been replaced at some point:


Tank is out now too! One bolt had to be cut, the other one undid nicely.


Seems pretty solid underneath, happily.



Got the bumper-mount off:


Got pretty lucky with this bolt:


Rear tow hooks removed too. Unfortunately 3/4 bolts snapped, but I'll deal with that at a future date:



And removed the crappy patchwork on the rear floor:


Is there any desire for the front bumper mounts (in good shape), or should I toss them? I'll be going to early 240z mounts.


A pretty productive day all-in-all, I'd say.

Edited by Noll
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I decided to delve into the first of the radiator support repairs today:

This is what I was starting with:


Removed the corner gusset:


Cut out the bad, and re-made the rusted front flange:


Made a new bit and mocked it all up:


Welded in:


And the corner bracket back in:




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4 hours ago, Maschinenbau said:

Nice repair. I love watching tin work like this. It's basically metal magic.


Thanks! I still have a ways to go before I am perfectly happy with my metalworking skills, but getting there! Eventually I'd ideally like to be able to just grind stuff flush and have it be a completely seamless transition.

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Picked up and brought home the 280z shell. Now to get started dismantling it for the bits I need.



And my haul from the meet. Lots of very useful stuff!



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Got the rockers cut out of the shell. They will need a decent amount of prep work before they are ready to be fit to the car, mostly to remove the bracing mounts and other misc.


Rear valence off too. It looks like the replacement valence was shortened for some reason (vs my cutoff from my replacement quarters). I suppose I could try to add a metal strip on the bottom to bring it back to spec, but I get the feeling that will warp like a mofo when welded. Might need to pick up a replacement lower valence when I get new floors. thoughts?


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I've been pondering how best to align the new rocker to ensure it's in exactly the same place; I'm thinking at the front I'll measure the other side for the distance from the front arch overlap to the bottom of the doorjamb panel.

At the rear I'm going to spraypaint over where the inner rocker is spot-welded over the inner tie-in panel, so when I remove the inner rocker I'll have a cutoff line of paint to allow me to align the new inner it exactly as it was.


Temporary sharpie mark where the paint line will end up being after panel removal:


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Removed the plates leftover from the tube-frame mounting jig:


And cleaned up:


As the seatbelt mounts were removed and replaced with future mounts for the chassis this body was going to be placed on, I'll be cutting that section out and replacing with the good bit from my inner rocker. Some fabrication will be required for the lower bit, but at least I have most of it:


Removed the front mount pocket too. Should be pretty simple to bring back to stock.


I'll be cutting off the rear of my replacement rockers to weld in here (unless anyone has some spare tabco sections, seems a shame to cut up my complete replacements for a few sections).


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Did some repair work to the rear of the door opening so that I actually have somewhere to weld the new rocker to.

Not perfect, but pretty happy with it.

Started with this:


Did this:


And complete. I'll be dealing with the swaybar mount rust later, as I can't really jack the car up until it has structural rigidity again.


Got the flange for the outer section of wheel arch in place, as it is sandwiched between the inner section and the rocker. Will be seam sealing/painting everything before it's hidden under the rocker.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Decided to bite the bullet and get a better welder, as even at max power I can barely get penetration with .030 wire, and nada with .024. This was an awesome purchase, I wish I'd done it earlier.

Got this for 300$ off; it was far cheaper to get the combo kit than the standalone welder for some reason.


.024 with the old welder VS the new lincoln:



Started by filling the hole that was cut into the rocker for the intended drag car chassis mount. From this:

To this:


Next up, the outside. Started with this:


Did some measuring and cutting, and had this. Fixed the cutout of the center brace too; not pretty as it is never seen.


All welded up.


Made a piece for the inside to bring it out to the length of the outside:


And compared to the other side:


Next up is to do the same process to the rear, then prep it all to be welded to the car.

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12 hours ago, Lockleaf said:

Nicely done repair there!


Hooray for new toys


Thanks! Not perfect, but nothing a skim coat of filler won't sort when its time for that.


Yeah, I'm really liking this new welder. Figured that with how much time I want to spend on this car this summer, I don't want to be fighting my equipment, and I want to be 100% sure my weld penetration is good before welding the rockers on.

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Cut out the inside section to weld in the seatbelt mount, then realized I should do the outside 1st to ensure I get it aligned properly.


Got the outside on and tacked. Decided to do the cut/weld after where it steps down so that it will be hidden if I didn't ground it down perfectly.


All welded up and sanded back. This is where I unfortunately ran out of shielding gas, and nowhere to get more with it being a holiday.


Happily, the welding I did get done allowed me to do some measuring, cutting, and then mock up the rocker fitment on the car!



I still need to take about 1/8" off the door pillar for it all to fit perfectly, then tack it (after doing the bracing finally), and mock up the door to see what adjustment is needed.

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More done today, as I have welding gas again.

Tacked in the seatbelt mount:


And fully welded/ground down. Rather happy with this, no visible difference at all!


Made 2 other patches and welded them in:


and ground down. I'll need to get a bit for my die grinder to get the recessed section prettied up:


And then, the moment I've been waiting months for! Got the rocker tacked in place and aligned. Only took a little tweaking to get it lined up properly, which is nice. Door opens and closes as it should. Bottom of door is bent for unrelated reasons, but the gap is even all around.



On Monday I'll weld it on for good, then I can move onto the rear quarter at long last!

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Got the fender on, and the gaps are all as they should be. It's not hugging the rocker as tightly as it should be at the botttom, but I believe that's from the rockers' weight being on that section for a while, bending it a bit. Should be an easy bit of tweaking to do when I get to the fenders.


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Got the rocker fully welded on.


All seamsealer'd and primered:


Probably going to redo this patch at some point, as it was done before my new welder:


To  finish this section up and get the floor in I'm going to need the seatbelt mount/swaybar mount section from a parts-car. If anyone knows of a car being parted out with this bit (both sides) let me know! If need-be I'll repair it all with homemade patches, but just replacing the entire section would be nice.


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Didn't have a massive amount of time to work on the car this evening, but still got some stuff done.

Cut out the bad section of cargo-area floor on the driver's side:


This is what the frame rail under that looked like. I'll definitely need to source a new rear bumper mount. Going to try to get the whole section from a parts-car if possible, but cam fabricate it all no problem if not. Surprisingly the frame from the cut forwards looks to be in perfectly fine shape.


Cut the inner arch to match my replacement section, and mocked it up. Will need to do some patches on the "new" section, but nothing major. Can't really weld it on yet until I fix the floor behind, and need to do some other stuff before I can do that either.


All cleaned up for now. bracing and then more cutting to come.


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