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Datrot71

First datsun , first problem.. Rust

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Hey everyone! I'm new to the group  and new to Datsun's in general. I have a automotive background so I kind of know what I may be in for, ultimately challenging my skills with this new project, a 71' 510. First thing I learned about these cars is that Rust is a huge issue due to thin metal used. The first and biggest rust area and maybe most common from what I read is the lower front corners of the frame. hopefully the provided pictures will show. My questions are.. is this amount of rust repairable? do I need a donor car or can I get away with making my own pieces? and can anyone point me in the right direction to start repairing this level of rot. Thanks everyone!http://unnamed8_zpsxp5lzfbd.jpg

 

http:// unnamed_zpszj0vgepp.jpg

 

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Yes. I've seen worse. Do you have a welder?

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Not at the moment but I plan on purchasing one in the next week. Just doing a little bit of research between tig vs mig ,also brand wise.. lincoln , hobart, or harbor freight’s brand 

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As you say the metal is thin .Meaning youll burn a hole thru the car. as the rust you see and the rust under you dont see is the key.

 

If this is a east coast car better find a better one from the west coast where rust isnt much of a concern. otherwise it never sleeps. I would weld it up if possible as a daily driver ratsun to get it abit more secure but if wanting to do a total rebuild your waisting your time. start with a better car.

 

 

PS those Optima batteies dont last long either if you drain the battery a couple times. I wont buy another again esp the Red ones.

 

 

I have a vedio on YOUTUBE just put n "Hainz L series" and shows my doing a L16 basics

Edited by banzai510(hainz)
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There are lots of you tube videos on welding and welding machine reviews.  Keep in mind, a lot of reviews are sponsored, or ways for people making you tube videos to get a free welder, and I am pretty sure welding machine companies are letting their welding machines go to better, experienced welders to show their machine in the best light.

 

Another option is to look into a welding class at a local community college.  That will expose you to some welding machines, and actually use them.

 

I strongly suggest you get some welding practice NOT on your car, before you start to weld on your car.

 

MIG will be easier to learn at first, but TIG gives you more control, but more difficult to learn.  If you work the weld, with a hammer and a dolly, TIG welds work easier.

 

I have a Millermatic Autostart 180.  I believe Miller still makes a Millermatic Autostart 120.  These machines are really easy to set up, you can put them in a mode that automatically adjusts wire speed and voltage.  A disadvantage of my machine is the initial current ramps at the beginning of the arc, before it hits the normal running a bead speed.  A lot of autobody welding is done in very short spot or tack welds, and you are done with the weld while the machine is still ramping up, and a minor change in the time on the weld greatly changes the heat put into the weld, and there is a very fine line between getting good penetration, and blowing holes in the metal.  Especially if there is rust damage on the metal you are welding.

I have used the Millermatic 120 in some auto body classes I have taken at my local community college, and it is better for welding Datsun sheet metal, and also can run on a 120 volt circuit.

 

I could babble on, but I want to go and work on my Datsun.

Edited by DanielC
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Scale rust like that means its been in a very humid and wet environment for a long time, like a marsh.

 

You will have to strip down to bare body and sandblast to fix this, and what you see is only a fraction of where the rust repair will need to be cut out and patched.

 

Its doable and will take time and materials.

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I'll agree with the notion that this can be patched, but if you are restoring a 510, this is the wrong frame to start with.  I'd say you will end up frustrated a give up if restoring.  If just making it go, go for it!  Have fun with it and never worry about it.  If that picture is the by far the worst spot on the car, fix it up.  If the rest of the car is kinda bad too, don't aim high.  

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Thanks everyone for the info! Yea by no means is this car ever going to be “Barrett Jackson” worthy. This is just strictly a personal project to have fun with driving and going to local shows. The rust you see there is the worst of it . Luckly the driver side is soild ( poking with a screw driver and taping with a hammer) . The other swiss cheese rust areas are under the rear seat where its rounded but not off to the sides or forward of the rear support which litterally was a surprise when i lifted the sound deading, the trunk floor and spotty areas around the rear tail lights and front rad support and lower rear quarters. I’ll try to take pics later in the week as the weather has been nasty. 

 Also welding wise i have a friend who is teaching me welding with a mig and tig while i wait to start welding school. So far tig seems hard to pick up but looks great when it goes right. I’ll let you all know which machine i’ll end up getting and update as i go along.

 Btw what guage steel is generally used in this area for repair? 

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I just grab any scrap sheet from local metal supplier, anything structural will need to be thick enough that requires you to bent it using a tool.

 

If you get scrap that bends fairly easily, that would be good for body panels.

 

MIG is great for 1/4" steel or larger plate is where its best used.

 

TIG I like as its versatile with mild and stainless, just change filler rod, perfect for most anything car related which would be a Miller 200, good all around unit.

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I vote to wait till the Harbor Freight 90a/125a (Same Model Actually) goes on sale for $89 and may get away with a 20% coupon eventhough it says not used on Welders, Gens, etc...

 

Grab an extra 2lb welding wire 0.030 and practice away, maybe if you have an extra $50 get the auto-darkening mask, frees up a hand.

 

For quick sheet metal tacking on Min/Low and Speed at 2, you can do pretty well, it will do up to 3/16" thick steel really well for short burst and let the unit fan cool it for a few minutes.

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13 hours ago, nl320what said:

I vote to wait till the Harbor Freight 90a/125a (Same Model Actually) goes on sale for $89 and may get away with a 20% coupon eventhough it says not used on Welders, Gens, etc...

 

Grab an extra 2lb welding wire 0.030 and practice away, maybe if you have an extra $50 get the auto-darkening mask, frees up a hand.

 

For quick sheet metal tacking on Min/Low and Speed at 2, you can do pretty well, it will do up to 3/16" thick steel really well for short burst and let the unit fan cool it for a few minutes.

Great idea! I have a helmet someone gave me thats auto dimming so i can save a couple bucks. I have to get this welder soon since i knocked some rust loose i feel like time is ticking , especially since winter is right around the corner 

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Sand down the whole area that has the cancer rust and where it becomes clean steel, mark an extra inch past it with a permanent marker and outline with a ruler with straight lines so you can measure out the same pattern and cut out on the sheet metal.

 

Makes it quick and you can prefab the replacement piece to weld right in after cutting the bad section out.

 

Save up for a good TIG machine and Argon/CO2 tank, the Miller 200 on a cart is what we use at the Jelly Belly factory shop to repair 90% of the parts their, never let us down. It does stick welding from the same machine too.

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http://<iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://s1174.photobucket.com/user/robby2210/embed/slideshow/"></iframe>

 

hopfully again these come out, but all the areas i took photos are where rust is most visable and starting to get deep in the metal and or need to be cut out. The driver rear area with all the blue tape is just a quick temporary fix. I sprayed rust converter after sanding it. I noticed the paint was cracked bc of bodyfiller and started to collect water and started to rust that area out. Since winter is coming my goal is to prevent rust from continuing or atleast slow it down since “rust never sleeps” so i can focus on one area at a time and repair it properly. 

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Great pictures, I love body work and the satisfaction of welding in a new piece to look factory.

 

Keep up the progress!

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I certainly don't want to bring you down, but that is a lot of rot. The best way to tackle that job is going to be by sending it off to get blasted first. The blasting does two things: obviously it cleans the metal for welding and body work, but it also tests the sheetmetal and will expose problems you weren't aware of. Some people may disagree with the blasting recommendation and they might say that it warps the thin body panels, in which case, you can tell your blasting shop to stay away from exterior panels or to focus on specific areas. My blasting shop will apply a epoxy primer for me, allowing me to take longer to do the repairs, not having to worry about flash rust.

 

For making panels, you will need a good hammer and a couple of dollies. Don't buy the cheapest set you find, they actually break. You may come to a point where the dolly selection you have isn't enough, in which case, I male my own dollies specifically for that job. A piece of round stock bent at the corners welded onto a piece of flat stock makes a pretty good dolly for pounding out radiused pieces.

 

A cheap sheetmetal brake will also help you tremendously. Some of those panels need a flange bent on them, and you can do it with a hammer and dolly, or even a hand seamer like roofers use, but the brake will do the best job.

 

Another tool that can be indispensable is a shrinker/stretcher. I know...you've now got enough tools to start your own fab shop, but the tools do make the job.

 

All of these tools can be found at places like Eastwood, or Trick-Tools, and they are not as expensive as you may think.

 

Good luck with your restoration. I love sheetmetal repair. It is one of the most rewarding parts of a restoration job.

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One other thing I forgot to mention: Stability.

 

Get the car set up on some jack stands, then level it out with thin strips of sheetmetal between the body and jack stand. Then don't move it. Once it is level and square, then you can take your measurements before you cut anything. Use a plumb bob and drop it to the concrete floor and mark out critical dimensions on the floor. A tape measure is your friend on this job as so much of the car needs to be cut away. You don't want it to be crooked when you're done.

 

 

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Much work you may want to get a spot weld remover- basically a mini hole saw a drill bit and remove sections that are worst and re-create frame and spay or paint por inside frame when opened up , do able if you have time and ability.

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I find that the spot weld remover leaves too big a hole, especially if you're going to try to re-use the panel. A simple drill bit will do the same, and leave a much smaller hole.

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I split the metal with a chisel or putty knife , it pops and never makes a big hole just a stump  ,almost !

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