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Project THESEUS: A '74 260z

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Built and welded in the side kick panel section:


Cleaned up, prepared the inner wing cavity, and used my portable hydraulic ram to make the hole for the sill drain.


And welded the repaired section in. I had to slice it in a couple places to get fitment spot on, but all worked out in the end. I'm thinking I'll plug-weld a reinforcement plate over this whole bit (both sides), as while it's back to stock strength now, I's heard that the inner wings are one of the weakpoints in the front of theZ chassis. more strength never hurts.


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Why not install a fender brace of some kind?


This is one example, though I don't know that I would run it so far forward.


Edited by Lockleaf
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On 2/12/2020 at 3:49 PM, Lockleaf said:

Why not install a fender brace of some kind?


This is one example, though I don't know that I would run it so far forward.



On 2/12/2020 at 6:39 PM, grannyknot said:

Good idea, go all the way,




Great suggestions guys, I'll most likely end up making some variation on that. @grannyknot - I see that you deleted the cowl vent tube hole - where did you re-route that to?

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On 2/14/2020 at 7:05 PM, grannyknot said:

This is not the best pic but I funneled those 1.5" drainage holes down to 1/2" copper pipe and have it exit down the front of the

foot well.  No more rusty fenders for me.



Thanks for the pic! That would work well; not sure what exactly I'll do but that's a good starting point. Tires don't kick up mud into it?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/16/2020 at 6:57 PM, grannyknot said:

I don't drive my baby through mud.  It has been there for 4 yrs and no problems yet.

You can also do something like this, just as long as the drain water is pouring down between the fender and the body.



Fair, I was more thinking of just road grime in the rain etc I suppose.


That's also a good option; I've deleted those splash panels pictured there so I'd want to either do the route in your first pic or make a U-bend from the side to have it end up roughly where the copper drain lets the water out. What did you use to neck the hole size down to mesh with the copper pipe?




Was away on a roadtrip, so no progress the last couple weeks. I did get a new taillight panel while I was away, so need to start welding that tomorrow.

Today, I used a spare 280z speedo face I had to apply my kph sticker - this way I still have the original if/when I ever want to swap it back.


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Got the passenger floor and subframe in today. Due to the trans tunnel repair I did on this side, I was able to eliminate the curve of the new pan entirely on that side, which should make for a more seamless repair once completed. It's a nice milestone to hit; just the firewall, a few misc bits, and the seat mounts, and the middle third of the car should be DONE.

Did a whole lot of marking out:


And in. Weld cleanup is next up.




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Great progress!  It is interesting to me to see how Datsun updated their design over time.  I'm stitch welding my unibody right now and added a couple of flared holes to the rear bulkhead.  I notice that your car doesn't have anywhere near the amount of cutouts that my '70 build does. I'm heading back to the garage now! 👍

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6 hours ago, ShawnM said:

Great progress!  It is interesting to me to see how Datsun updated their design over time.  I'm stitch welding my unibody right now and added a couple of flared holes to the rear bulkhead.  I notice that your car doesn't have anywhere near the amount of cutouts that my '70 build does. I'm heading back to the garage now! 👍


Thanks! yep, they made a lot of little changes over time, the biggest jump being after the series-1 cars. This also has different seatbelt mounts on the rockers etc. Nice, good luck! Progress is always a good thing.




Finished up the floor today, and cleaned up most of the welds. Just seat mounts now then on to the rear quarter.




It's kinda odd (but very nice) to look into the car now and not be able to see the ground or any rust.


And to put into perspective just how much metal I've replaced:




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5 hours ago, grannyknot said:

Noll, have you noticed you are now twice the welder you were when you started this project?


Thanks! I've had a whole lot of opportunity to practice haha. it is cool to see how my skills progress; the first floorpan/firewall took me a couple weeks I believe, whereas this one has been two afternoons in a row and I should have the seat mounts in and done next time I work on the car later in the week. Still far from perfect, but hey, I can stick stuff together solidly without it being too ugly.

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Getting closer to done, that's for sure 🙂 .


Today's project was the front p/s seat mount. Started with this (had someone cut it off their parts-car as my mounts were just not there any more):


And a few hours later, fixed and in the car. Rear ones are next, but they just need a cleanup and to be welded in; no repairs required.


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Rear seat mounts all cleaned up and in:



And with that, the interior metalwork is pretty much done. On to the rear quarter!


The bumper mount is not the best, but I have a section to replace it with and convert this side to 240z spec too.



This and the inner wheelarch are the first orders of business:


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Today was one of those days where it doesn't seem like much major progress happened, but a lot of little things got done that need to be before I can progress.

Cleaned out all of the interior, including finishing cleaning off all the remaining undercoating that had been sprayed inside for some reason. This picture doesn't show it too well, but the car has definitely been hit in the rear at some point; the hatch floor is dented in a few spots and a little wavy.

49649226303_701fc2a5eb_b.jpgIMG_20200311_162119132 by Oliver Barber, on Flickr

This stuff isn't honestly that bad:


Potential new frame rail section cleaned up. You'll see why I say potential in a couple updates from now, possibly.


Stowage compartments aren't too bad. Need a good sandblasting at the seams as I can't really get a wire wheel on a grinder in there.


Not sure how this rusted; I'm guessing water from a leaking window seal being trapped by the house carpet that was plastered everywhere here? It'll be a fun fix, I think I'll need to cut out some other stuff to properly get at it all. May go in from the outside as the quarter's off anyway.



I also started disassembling the replacement quarter to separate the inner arch and other stuff from it. Next day's work will be patching the floor and inner arch, then fitment prep for the quarter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's going to take more than a worldwide pandemic to stop me getting this thing done to drive this summer. more welding on the rear today.

Started with a cardboard template, as usual:


Made the new part:


In, cleaned up, and mostly completed rebuilding the inner wheelhouse too:


pretty happy with how it all turned out:


You may have noticed that the strut tower has a cut; this is why. Need to remove a section, fix this, and weld the bit back on.


I'm thinking the easiest way to remove the old frame rail section to replace is going to be to cut the entire corner off as marked, take the frame rail off, and weld it back on then add the new one. If any one has a better suggestion, I'm all ears.


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Thanks guys! ever closer to being finished with the rust repair.





Cut out the floor section featuring the frame rail to be replaced:


New rail welded in, featuring the 240z bumper mount:


floor cleaned up and back on top:



If you're wondering why I haven't fixed the ratty-looking flange on the floor edge, the replacement quarter has about 2cm of the floor left on it so I'll be cutting off the rust from the car and butt-welding them together. Should be nicer than having to drill out the spot welds just to weld them back together.


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