Whilst not being anything special, and very inexpensive rims, they really look the goods in my opinion!
I will get clearence pics on the rear when I get home in a few weeks and some shots of front suspension, but without front guards, can't get front clearence to guard shots.
The wheels are 16x8. I was thinking 17 but I decided that it would be too big on the car visually and along with the extra rolling radius raising the COG and rotational axis thus reducing performance, that the extra cost per tyre would be a step backwards in building a cheap competetive car.
I have another minor update today. There is currently the last round of the regularity season being run back home and the guy who trucked his car from Perth to Stewart Wilkins for a motor has picked up 2 seconds, down to 70s laps and a guy who I haven't seen for a while who used to run around in a 3.2L Porsche 911 seems to have bought a 240z! The first I heard was seeing his name on the time sheet today! Either way, he is lapping low 69's, 2.5s faster than my PB. Hmm, time to get the car finished and show these guys what a 67s zed looks like!
For anyone interested, Production Sports (Note 8 zeds in a 16 car field, all within 5 seconds. Battle of the zeds!)
Also, My Dad (John) is running his Supra in Modern Regularity, fighting for 1st in class for the series!
If there is anyone from Perth reading this thread, you really are missing out and should come along, even if just to watch the regularity. If you think you aren't up to it, Ken Lyons runs essentially a standard car and last year finished 1st in class if I remember correctly! Also look how Howard is going in regularity terms, even tho he is lapping 10s off the fastest 2 zeds. There is no such thing as a car that can't compete in regularity.
3 October 2010
Well there were multiple requests and PM’s so here they are: Pics of the clearance of the Rota’s with the guards, with tyres on this time. PLEASE NOTE: I have extended the track on the front by about 1.5-2 inch’s over standard and have adjustable suspension all around. The car is also rolling Commodore brakes (negative offset on the front rotors compared to standard) and R31/280zx rear discs. The tie-rods for instance didn’t fit and I had to custom make new ones with all the extra track I’ve given the front of the car!
Here are the pics tho, Wheels to front suspension:
Wheels to rear suspension:
As you can see, everything fits fine with commodore fronts and skyline rear brakes. These wheels look like they’ll fit on a standard brake’d zed without any issue to suspension!
My issue however, is the clearance to the guards. On the rear, from above (mind the feet, couldn’t get a decent shot without them in )
And to the front guards:
As you can see, I’m in need of zg flares to clear the front wheels, it is simply too much space to make up with rolling guards. Otomoto, have you got some carbon fibre flares in stock?
Here is the car as it is at the moment, new wheels and guards:
Please note that I have not yet properly fit the fiberglass fender, it needs some material cut away to sit flush at the front, so the fit is not representative of the actual product. These guards are from Alfa Fiberglass and I must say they are FANTASTIC. I haven’t yet properly tried to fit them, but with them sitting on the car, they look like they’ll be perfect. The gaps are all good and the finish on them is great, let alone the price of the pieces! I’ve had very bad experience with fiberglass stuff in the past and this has re-affirmed my love for it all over gain. I’ll post back how much work they are to fit when I get to it, but I don’t expect they will require much work, they look like they’ll fit straight on!
Another issue I noted with the increased track on the front:
In case you missed it, the issue is going to be keeping stones from ruining my paint work with how far the wheels stick out past the guard. I got a quote at $1000 per litre for paint, so I don’t want to be re-spraying the doors in a couple months due to stone chips, that’s for sure! I’m going to have to get some rally style mud flaps I’m afraid. As much as I hate them I’d rather not stuff the paint in one track event If anyone knows where to get rally style mud flaps for a zed then please shout out, I have no idea.
excellent write-up ! well done.. youve answered the question thats also been bugging me for a while regarding 7 or 8" wide rota Rbs on the front....I'll definetely be going 7"s up front with the stock perches.......(its such a shame Rota dont make a 16x 7.5 :'() I even noticed that even the Yankee mag sellers are mainly offering 7s (fronts) & 8s (rear) as package-deals for 240 & 260s..
Indeed, the Commodore brakes push the wheel away from the struts. With standard suspension the clearence to struts on the front would be less, about 5mm I think, which would fit by a bee's whisker, but it would fit.
The issue I have with clearence to the guards is all the extra track I've wound into the suspension, which pushes the bottom of the strut outwards.
On a standard zed, with standard suspension, I would go on a limb to say you would fit these wheels with only requiring a guard roll, which is simple and easy.
Well, the initial target of Christmas 2010 to be finished has been well and truly past, quite entirely due to the fact that I got pushed down the order by the panel beater and the car has literally been sitting idle with almost no progress since the last update back in October.
Well, not entirely true: since October I have finished stripping the interior, fuel tank and brake/fuel lines and removed the last of the tar from underneath the car (Effort!!). With the car now a complete bare shell with absolutely no attached parts I was able to assess the rust. Please bear with lots of photos, but honestly, for an English car there is almost no rust!
This next one is not very clear, it is the passenger side tool box, you can see there is some rust at the seam where it joins the floor. There are a couple of holes here, but nothing huge.
This is also not very clear, but it is the passenger side of the boot, looking towards the side of the car, a couple of pin-holes above where the exhaust is underneath the car:
The panel beater should be able to sort out most of that pretty easily. I have access to a good condition spare wheel well, depending on if the panel beater wants it and I also bought from the states a brand new replica rear hatch panel, so he can just cut out the old one and weld in a new one. $120 from MSA, an absolute steal!
Whilst I’ve been waiting I also ordered a few extra goodies. I always was sick of the crap headlights in the car and the shiverty method of the headlight current traveling up and down the steering column, so I bought some 8000 Kelvin Xenon headlights with all the proper relays to re-route the current away from the steering column so that I can see at night I also finally got around to getting some plastic windows, fully formed, shaped, holes drilled and cut to size. The windows are all the same thickness as the standard glass (well, 4.5mm versus 4mm with the glass) and are moulded to the shape of each original window. $350 got me the rear hatch, door windows and quarter windows all done in acrylic with tint! Here is a quick pic of a rear quarter window with the tint:
So that should be winding plastic windows ticked off the list.
I then got a phone call from the mechanic: Engine is out of the car and what do I want to do? Well, got plenty of time, but here is a new API Racing Harmonic Balancer. 3 Piece Ally construction with a new crank adapter, good for warranty with 1200 HP But then came the bad news, engine builder got on to stripping the motor: Pistons are all scored (ie, air filters are f’d), couple of bent rods and the big end bearings about to seize. Just think, Dad set a PB at the last event before the motor was pulled. Bring on the rebuild! So, currently trying to get new pistons @ 87.5mm, new rods, new rings, bearings, stud kits, and some head work for more compression cause at 240psi the motor was still screaming for more advance with the dizzy wound off the dial.
The best news of all of this though: On Australia Day I got a call from the panel beater and the car is due to go in to his workshop in 10 days!! Aside from the fact that he did 2 joba ahead of me, I’m just excited that the car is finally progressing again! Now I just need to purchase the last few bits and pieces to get the car sorted. I finally got the paint code so I can purchase the paint, I ordered new Redline Filters. I wouldn’t normally think enough of filters to post pics, but I got these from the states, with 3 replacement filters for $200, where the EXACT same with K&N stamped on them would have been more like $500 locally . Here are the pics of these blatant knock-off, yet same quality products:
The final thing to do was to get new nuts and bolts. About a month ago now I took my box of sorted and labelled bolts to some friends of mine who trade as the “Metric Men” who are also datto nuts and sell nuts and bolts for a living. I walked in, dropped the box on their desk and told them I need new of EVERYTHING in the box, brand new nuts, bolts, washers, grommets, the works. I’ve not been back since, but I’m sure they are working on it. This is shaping up to be one NICE build, despite the budget blowouts….
Well, that’s it for now. This weekend I need to remove the last tar from the wheel wells before the car is trucked to the panel beater where he will soda blast the car, replace the roof, fix the rust and repaint it. Be sure, plenty of pics will be coming your way in the next couple of weeks/months as I keep track of the panel beaters progress
PS, Oh, one last thing, first round of the local regularity series isn’t until June now, looks like that’s the new deadline to be finished and have the car complete, together, shaken down and ready to race.
21 Feb 2011
Well, still waiting on the panel beater. I put that at 6 months now….
Well, to be on with it: I realised the other day that whilst the car is still doing nothing that it would be a convenient time to measure up the suspension to work out how much needs to be taken out of the struts when it goes back together. The car was bottoming out on the front suspension REALLY badly over big pot-holes, so I pulled the suspension out of the car and found that it had no bump stops… Well, that’ll do it!! The rear suspension had bump stops tho, so I dunno what the previous owner was doing to the car, but that seems a bit weird…
Either way, I purchased new urethane bump-stops from MSA as part of the rubber kit I purchased and so I have 4 of them to go on all corners. However, if I’m adding bump-stops to the front I need to allow that I have lost the thickness of the bump stop in free travel, so I need to shorten the struts to the point that the chassis hits the ground, plus the uncompressible thickness of the new bump stops. Working out that bit will be a bit of black magic, but for now, PICS
The first thing I did was jack up the rear suspension to check the clearance of the new rims to the guards:
The tyre JUST hits the inner lip of the guard at what is a ridiculous suspension travel length, but not bottomed out. So, roll the guards nice and simple and the rear wheels will fit a treat, just like expected
Whilst I was taking the springs out to measure the max suspension travel, notice the difference between front and rear springs, front on the right, rear on the left:
Rear definitely needs to be stiffened up! However, for now I’m not expecting rear binding issues, so that is good
An idea of how close the engine cross-member comes to the ground, I think this will bottom out first:
The clearance of the front tyre to the chassis of the car with the suspension fully compressed: also notice the rusty brake disc from lack of use
And a few happy snaps of the car sitting on its tits:
And an idea of how small these cars are when dumped, this is a photo I took standing upright with the camera held above my head, perhaps just over 2m above the ground:
So, I haven’t measured anything before I ran out of light, but I’m thinking 50mm section on the struts is required, This is a guestimate of 30mm travel till the chassis rails hit the ground and 20mm uncompressible thickness of the bump-stops. I have thin strut-tops for the rear, so that is the 20-30mm till it hits the ground and so I need to take only 20-30mm out of the rear struts. So, 50mm out of the front struts and 20-30mm out of the rear plus the proper strut inserts and I should have the suspension sorted I’ll put the car back together and see how the rear springs go, if the car is under-steering, then I’ll get some stiffer springs made up, but for now it was a pretty well sorted car.
26 May 2011
Another 3 months between updates… This is getting to be a habit these long breaks… Well, for my sanity’s sake I really hope it doesn’t continue!
On a positive, my car goes to the panel beater this Saturday 28 May!! I have booked the tow truck, mounted the rotisserie, adjusted it to find the center of gravity of the car and am all ready to go! Let me just stop you for a minute tho and say that things have actually still been moving slowly in the background and so I apologise in advance for the flood of pictures I have taken in the past 3 months. You have been warned
Rotisserie? Yep, that’s what I said. I put up a post a few months ago looking for a rotisserie to buy/borrow and a VERY generous boyblunda offered to purchase a rotisserie and let me use it! The catch? I had to fit it to the car and I’ll have to demonstrate to him how to use it… What could I say but yes! Another big thanks to boyblunda, this generosity has really made my project for me. I’ll be happy to catch up any time now the car is on the rotisserie and demonstrate how to use it.
The rotisserie is an Ebay unit, which from my understanding is built in Australia. You can pick them up for about $1000 delivered to your local courier depot and they are amazing value! You get a fully functional, constructed, hydraulically jacked rotisserie with almost infinite adjustment. Rated to 1000kg they are more than capable of holding on to a zed shell without a worry. The small amount of work I had to finalise on the car was made MUCH easier with the aid of the rotisserie and for such good value I couldn’t recommend them enough to anybody thinking of doing even mildly serious under-body work.
Here are a few pics of the rotisserie when I got it:
And what is inside this wonderous black box:
Several hours of trying to work out what goes where, why I was short on a few nuts (I wasn’t, I just lost them on the ground for a while ) and I present: The ultimate blue twister!
A couple of days later and the ever faithful hand, I mean Dad , had managed to construct a set of mounts and had them plated. The front mounts bolt to the front of the chassis rail, where the horns mount and the rear mounts bolt to the rear bumper mounting points, which are attached to the chassis rails. Unfortunately, I only managed to find 1 picture of the mounts, but I will get more I promise!
Unfortunately this turned out to be less than ideal on the first trial lift. Check out the deflection of the rotisserie on the front of the car in this pic!
Indeed, that is not a normal angle!
So, it turns out that even tho that is frame rail there at the front, the captured nuts are actually only welded to some 1mm plate steel and this plate just bent something chronic when any load was put on it. Needless to say, some more work was required. So, it was back to the drawing board and the man that is came up with another idea: The same mount, but this time with an horizontal plate that bolts vertically to the chassis rail itself and some more bracing on the mount to minimise sheer forces on the welding holding the vertical plate. Just imagine the same mount in the pic above with a horizontal plate butting up to the radiator mount and a bolt through the chassis rail holding it against the top of the chassis rail. Unfortunately it requires drilling the chassis rail, but that’s an easy fix with a welder later compared to some of the rust on this car… I didn’t grab a pic of the new mount, but I will on the weekend after the mounts have been re-plated. Regardless, the new modified mounts work a treat and it wasn’t long before Dad and I had the rotisserie sorted and were spinning the car like a game wheel.
But enough ramble, time for some more pictures! (I did warn you…)
Super human strength! Also about the best reason for having a sunroof
So, the car was up in the air and everything was going great, well, until I realised that now I had much better access to the underneath of the car and all the tar that still remained on it Back to my favourite game of all time; Heat Gun & Spatula vs tar (no, not anywhere near as exciting as it sounds!):
I’m just gonna go and huddle in the corner now, don’t mind me….
I’m back! Not to worry tho, Ashley & Martin didn’t get any of my zed fund And the greatest achievement of last weekend: NO MORE SUNROOF!!!
The hole is also not too bad. The roof is a little warped, which will probably require some of our best friend ‘bog’ to get perfect, but the new roof is in fantastic condition so it is certainly salvageable. I’m honestly surprised how little rust there is given how dodgy the install was considering the sunroof installer couldn’t cut more than 5cm at a time in a straight line! On a side note, I have a perfectly functional, reasonable condition LE VAN Sport T Top twin window sunroof for sale if anybody is interested, just drop me a PM and I can send through some more pics.
So, that brings me (and you too of course) up to date with what honestly seemed like a neglected rebuild thread. I’ll be dropping in on the panel-beater weekly to keep the pressure on so expect PLENTY of photos over the coming months as the car is transformed from a rust-bucket to what I envision to be a real show stopper. After the panel beater and paid labour, the fun starts all over again with the reconstruction of the car. I managed to bag and label every screw into small sections such as “fuel filler cap” or “pedal box” and take over 500 photos of the car as I stripped it, but somehow I still think that won’t be enough when it comes time to find where all those screws go after so long since taking them out! However, that’s a story for another day. For now, Tom out.
PS, to anyone who has followed this whole thread to date, Congratulations! You have just cracked 10,000 words (10,412) , or 35 pages, lovingly typed by yours truly Hopefully you enjoyed all of them! (10,429).
4 June 2011
9 days until the next update, that sounds more like a project getting back on track! I like where this is going My new goal is to have the car ready by Christmas. Aside from certain religious and social implications of that time of year it also happens to be the latest that I can enter into motorvation, Perth’s biggest import and aussie car show. I entered several years ago after I had the motor rebuilt however this time will be slightly more significant and so I would really like to make the end of the year!
So, since the last update the car has indeed been delivered to panel beater! Success! Hooray! Happy Dance! And so on and so forth
You read that right ladies and gentlemen, after 6 months in an idle state in a driveway collecting dust, the car is now sitting in a panel shop, idle collecting dust…
Not to worry, despite the panel beater being busy this last week, I haven’t had that luxury and work is progressing.
Not to get ahead of myself tho, we will return to the scene of the crime 7 days ago: I got some pictures off of dad that he took of the car on its final day in silver and so I figured it would be a good idea to post them up for sentimental reasons. Silver was never my favourite colour; however it worked well, was individual in regards to colour choice’s in Perth and was remarkably cheap to buy in a spray can for touch-up jobs….
Here is the ‘ole zed on its final journey to the panel beater. Goodbye old girl, bring on the rebirth!
On arrival at the delivery location, dad and I… well… dad, worked hard to get the car mounted on the rotisserie. Whilst one of us was working hard, I broke out the camera and managed to grab a couple of pics:
Go you good thing! … That was all well and good, however on close inspection of the under body by a foul mouthed, disrespectful panel beater Silver Bullet was left heartbroken at the diagnosis: “It’s a pig. You need more than you want to spend, it is FAR too rough to get finished on that budget” … :,(
None the less, we continued on the inspection, with Will giving me a real no-holds-barred inspection of the body. Here he is in full swing:
Despite many negative words, it didn’t go unnoticed by the onlookers that Will was excited at the prospect of having a rotisserie to work on again after so long working with jack stands. I will apologise in advance to boyblunda tho, the rotisserie may come back with patches of odd-coloured paint itself. This body needs a good blasting and avoiding the rotisserie is hard. None the less, the rotisserie is simply a tool and what a fantastic one at that. With the car positioned as it is I was more than able to rotate the car myself with no assistance and no bias towards top or bottom heavy, talk about infinite adjustability working to an advantage!
So, today I got up at 630 to get an early start on the car. About 3 and a half hours after convincing myself that it was actually a good idea to get out of bed (it really wasn’t!) and cycle 23k’s to the shop, I finally arrived! Hoorah! … It might not seem like much, but that was probably the hardest part of the day those few hours getting ready, making lunch and cycling in what felt like sub zero temperatures. Don’t worry, I checked the Bureau Of Meteorology website and it was actually more like 10 degrees. But that’s beside the point; it was just damn freaking cold alright!
12 hours after getting up I finally arrived home again, but I have to say, I had a pretty big win today. Will had some super-dooper paint stripper made of all sorts of extra-ordinarily environmentally harmful chemicals that worked an absolute treat on the car. Will himself exclaimed that it shouldn’t have worked so well and he was stumped at what crap quality the paint was…
Again with the bad words to the poor girl!
None-the-less, 7 hours later and I had the entire engine bay stripped of paint, back to bare metal. Will passed his experienced eye over the metal and the job I’d done… The words used are not possible to spell, so I’ll just summarise as “needs plenty of attention”
Now is the point where I would happily show off the hard work I’d done all day, however, I couldn’t fit my camera in my bag. Honest. nothing to do with forgetting it despite charging it the night before or anything like that!
So, no photo’s, however, rest assured that the car is coming along well and that the engine bay is ready for some new metal, welding, grinding and painting to make it look ship-shape again
Wow, all this makeover work makes me I feel like I’m in the middle of a nip-tuck episode Almost as expensive too…
I’ll be spending next Saturday at the shop too and this time I’ll get photos to update on how things are going. I suspect Will will have done little-to-naught on the car by then, however, I’ll keep going with paint stripping and with any luck I’ll get most of the rest of the car back to bare-metal in another day’s work.
As a present to all those following this thread, as I promised in the last update, here are some pics of the rotisserie mounts. A massive thanks again to dad for manufacturing the mounts and even going to the effort of getting them plated so that they won’t rust. Without his help, this project simply would never have left the phase of ‘pipe-dream’!
The front mount:
Here you can clearly see how the horn mounting points are utilised and also the vertical bolt that has been installed in the front of the frame rail to hold the weight. The bolt holds the mount to the car and the horn mounting bit basically keeps the square tube from deflecting from vertical. It works an absolute treat and although some temporary modification of the chassis rails is required, I would highly recommend this mounting procedure.
The rear mount:
The rear mounts are very basic, using the rear bumper mounting points. These points are bolted to the chassis rails from factory so they are super strong and amazingly simple to produce brackets for mounting.
Hopefully these pics are helpful to others who are looking to build rotisserie mounts. With the car connected at these points and with the center of rotation about 4 inches’ or so above the mounts the car is perfectly balanced. This is with a cage tho, so a standard zed might be a little bottom heavy. None-the-less this is a VERY simple way to mount the car out of all of the methods I came across when trying to build blue-prints for this car.
Another update. I will just start here and notify you that this is 3 updates in 1 and is STUPENDOUSLY long. Like 8 pages in word long... Enjoy
31 August 2011
Well, I think it’s the 31st at the moment. According to my laptop it’s 12:56am on the 31st and according to the little screen in the back of the seat in front of me it’s 5:56pm on the 30th… These 32 hour days are just bizarre and hopefully you’re all as suitably confused as my body is at the moment. Not to worry, I have 3 hours left in this forsaken seat so I figured that was enough time to finally sort out the next update so that’s good news for everyone who has been waiting for the next update. At least, I hope people have been waiting eagerly for an update, it would certainly be a shot in the motivation if nobody was…. Either way (please be the former!) Ladies and gentlemen, I present The Rebuild!
It’s been the better part of 3 months since the last update and work has finally started on the car, 200+ hours of it in fact. The panel beater has been hard at work and the new car is starting to really take shape. I will apologise in advance for the onslaught of photos, but I really feel this rebuild deserves it. Or is it that the wallet demands it for justification? I’ve sorted through the photos I’ve taken on multiple trips to the shop and I feel the best way to present them is in chronological order, so that’s how I’m going to tell this story. Without further ado:
2 July 2011
This was a painful day. Almost exactly one month since dropping the car off for work to start and we’ve hardly started. I spent a weekend working in the shop with Will and a bucket of ammonia based paint stripper (I really advise you don’t play with this stuff, it’s REALLY nasty, however amazingly well it works it’s SUPER nasty!) and came away with the engine bay and roof back to bare metal:
23 July 2011
That’s right folks, a new roof! I will finally be able to enjoy a drive in the rain with the rain staying on the OUTSIDE of the car! Also, did I say that the car now has a roof?!
It’s even made of metal! A metal roof, who would have thought that I would be putting metal into this car considering all the plastic coming it’s way. Perhaps I should have used carbon. Hmm, that’s an idea… Actually, that’s a ridiculous idea, this is a 70’s classic and it deserves METAL:
Roof aside, Will has been busy with a sandblaster and taken the rest of the body back to bare metal so that we can get the work really going. By going back to bare metal Will can fully assess the shape of the car and get down and dirty with it. You’d be surprised at how bent the car is too
Here is the car as I found it in the shop on the 23rd:
How the engine bay turned out: You can quite clearly see the work that Will did on the car 5-odd years ago when he replaced the entire length of chassis rails from the firewall forward, note the different colour of the metal. Surprisingly, not too much rust in this part of the car which is fantastic to see, a couple of holes that need patching, but nothing too major.
Other door: Note how some dodgy bugger has ‘repaired’ previous accident damage:
Dog leg rust: Did these cars come with rust as standard?!
More previous accident ‘repair’ at passenger side lower edge of windscreen:
So, what was a month ago now, the car was back to bare metal and the roof was in (METAL!). In talking to Will and assessing the work to be done in the future I got motivated and ordered some Bad Dog frame rails for the car. There are a LOT of bent things under the car, such as all the sway bar mounts and the chassis rails are collapsed due to be used as jacking points so there will be a heap of work required under the car as well as the body. The Bad Dog frame rails are awesome and will be several kilo’s very well spent on the car. They are 2-3x thicker than the standard rails and should be fairly simple to install due to the way that they weld in onto the current rails. You sort-of take an angle grinder or similar to the current rails and leave perhaps 1-2cm of frame rail protruding from the chassis which you then use as ‘tabs’ for the Bad Dog rails to fit over and weld to. It’s a very simple concept really and for something like $250 delivered from the states is also great value.
7 August 2011
What do Rust, bog and dodgy rebuilds have in common? They’ve all occurred in the last few weeks on this car! Read on:
Another trip to the panel beater and another clue to the history of this car has been uncovered: It’s been back to bare metal before! I don’t know who did the work, but for the whole time I have owned this car, going 8 years now, it was NEVER apparent that this car had had any decent work done to it. I can guarantee the previous owner of 10-odd years didn’t do it either; however I do know he did a dodgy respray a few years before I bought the car. Well, I suppose decent work isn’t really the word to use here anyways, seeing as the fool who did the work used acrylic primer, which I’m told is porous and hence the car continued to rust and as Will tells me, it looks like the apprentice worked on the car: Good intentions, but massive short-cuts seem to be taken. Here is a great example of what I mean by that. I present exhibit a: Rear drivers side quarter panel. When it was painted, nothing could be seen, however without paint there is a pretty suspicious spot of bog:
Will knows what’s hidden here, despite my ignorance and so grabs the sander to prove his point:
The same story is repeated along the doors and the rest of the rear end of the car. It will take Will a week to go around and clean and PROPERLY repair the dodgies that have been done to this car. But hey, it’s all part of the fun of restoring these old cars and it’s good to know that when I’m done this will be one of the nicest zeds I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.
The roof is coming along with every visit:
And every visit this car is slightly more and more rust free, but there is still a long ways to go yet. You can see here the rust that was cut out of the passenger side quarter window:
How it looks done properly:
The driver’s side was not quite so bad, but this is a great shot to see Wills work process: Sand Blast, acid wash, cut, repair, reshape. It’s a whole lot more work to get it done right than I thought it would be but the result is fantastic
Acid killed rust around the passenger door frame:
You can see in this photo how Will is allowing the body to oxidise after he’s cleaned all the paint off. He assures me this is all part of the process despite it being backwards to me! Allegedly it’s a fantastic trick to show up any blemishes in the metal work and you can see here what the bare steel looks like under that light coat of rust:
More dodgy repairs: Here it looks like the ‘apprentice’ has tried to braze the split panels back together instead of properly shaping and welding them back together, hence why they split again. This seems to be the result of someone backing the car into a curb, under the big patch of bog on the right of the picture is a big, dead straight, buckle.
20 August 2011
That’s right folks, 2 weeks since the last visit and the majority of the rust in the ‘body’ of the car has been removed. Lots of pics:
Fixed rear panel, done right this time:
The rest of these pics are pretty self-explanatory and probably don’t need any more explanation than the 1000 words inherent to each of them:
The sum of the parts:
Bring it on baby, yeah!
27 August 2011
This week seems to have been all about finalising the contours of the body following all the good work that’s been done on the rust. First point of call tho has got to be the newly rolled rear guards to clear the new wheels with the extra track that I plan on giving the car:
Body straightened back up after will gave it the ‘ultimate’ fender roll. Allegedly he’s given it around an inch of clearance under the guard and that any more without splitting the quarter panel will bend the body panels too much and ruin the body of the car.
You’d never know anything had been done here if I hadn’t told you, would you?!
That Buick in the background is a car that Will has been building for a customer for the better part of 5 years now. It’s been a full custom build because the entire original chassis in it was falling to pieces when the owner brought it in to Will for his expert care.
The straightest roof I’ve seen in a long time:
Will tells me that despite things looking pretty bog covered at the moment that by the time he has finished shaping the panels with a hammer, touching them up with bog and then sanding it all back to a final product that the car will have less than half a tin of bog ON it in its entirety. That’s less than 1kg of bog over the entire car… Sounds like a deal to me!
Well folks, that’s been one hell of a long update and it’s time for this plane to land (quite literally) so hopefully that’s been enough to tie you all over for the next 5 weeks before I get back to town and can go see the car again. With any luck the body will be in primer, the chassis rails on the car, the fiberglass parts fitted and the entire car ready for paining. Time itself alone will tell, but here’s to hoping!
Great write up and progress
Great build for a track car , sure you're not going to put it in car shows?
Haha, I'm sure I'll be putting it in several shows for a while. At least while the paintwork is still looking good anyways!
The first show I'd like to enter is in January, but we'll see how the car goes, I suspect it won't be ready by then. Really tho, I just want to own a really nice car that's been done properly. For me it's about personal enjoyment rather than shows, however the car will be show worthy when it's done, I'm sure.
7 December 2011
Wowsers, why is it that 5 weeks always turns in to 3 months for me!
If it wasn’t clear from the last post, I was on an aeroplane. Not any aeroplane, Dad and I went to Europe for a month. The trip was a belated graduation gift with a catch: Get first class honours in chemical engineering and I would earn a trip to France. To drive Formula 1 cars! Well, short of the long and we were on our way to France! This really was the trip of my life. A day does not go past where I do not think of the main day of this trip. The whole trip was fantastic (London, England, France, Holland, Hong Kong) but that 1 day in France. The best day of my life. Bar None.
The in car videos showed up and however irrelevant to this build thread (blog/life story) it’s going to get a mention. Have a view here, just unbelievable!
Well, enough of the self-promotion and on to the car-promotion!
I’m in a strange spot here at the moment because I remember all of the last 3 months like it was yesterday and yet so much has happened that I haven’t written down. For starters, my last visit was 3 weeks ago and will had logged 515 hours on the car… Yup, 515 hours of professional restoration. And he wasn’t even finished!! More on that later tho. I guess the best spot to start is the first visit after the euro trip. THE euro trip…
As always, Dial-up is pointless and I do not apologise for the onslaught of pictures because I can almost guarantee that is why most of you are here regardless of how good (or bad, probably…) my words are.
30 September 2011
My first day back in town and stop number 1 after dropping my bags is to see Will and how much he’s done in the last 5 weeks since the last visit. A lot (I think, time is merging here for me).
Will has put 4 solid weeks in to this car since I left and the rear end is fully in primer and starting to really look good.
You can also see some good progress on the inside of the rear wheel wells. I didn’t just take this photo to show off the job he did of rolling the guards, I promise!!
The roof is also looking better since the last visit and from the outside you would never know that it was ever removed in the first place. Unless of course I showed you pictures of it before/after, which I have…
Will keeps all the rust he cuts out of cars until the end of the project. It might seem strange but it’s actually a fantastic guide to just how much work has gone in to a car. Here is the pile as it stands on this visit:
I would normally talk about where it came from and how hard it was to remove and replace, but to be honest I can’t place it at all. I just know it came from my car….
The cowl has finally seen some love and is looking fantastic in a thin veil of primer:
Will has also finally spent some time working on the doors, which were probably in worse shape than the rest of the car. Or actually, maybe, just similar shape to the rest of the car…
01 October 2011
Well, there are a lot of things I wrote down on my “To Do” list when I started this restoration. There are also more than a couple of things that I most certainly DID NOT put on the list. They either didn’t make the budget (HAHA!!!) or I decided that they weren’t necessary because they were already upgraded and I couldn’t justify spending the money on them (BAHAHAHAHAHA!!).
I would list the list of “not necessary” upgrades, but most of them are already covered in the above 50 (yes, 50) pages of the word copy of this diary/life journey and so I won’t bother you. 1 thing that I was ADAMANT I would not touch, however, was the suspension on the car. That was until one fateful day. One this day, some time ago now (or not, I’m still confused by dates) I was unpacking my draw to find all my tax receipts. In this fateful draw was my last car registration paper. Normally these are not exciting pieces of paper, least of all because all of mine generally seem to have a bill of $500 attached to them. This one, however, was special. It wasn’t because of any reduction in the bill, infact that probably went up, or any changes in the colour of the paper used (works for some people I’m told). No, this was special because it was the first I’d actually ever interrogated. If it weren’t for the fact it was tax time and I literally couldn’t find enough things to waste time on then I would never have read this unassuming bill. However, I did read the paper, even, including, the fine print. WELL, wasn’t that a delight worth reading!! Listed in a little box near the bottom of the form is a ‘notes’ section and what do you know, it has something in it….
I know, I know, “GET TO THE POINT”, I hear you scream. This is worth it, trust me. Listed in this box are the greatest words I’ve heard about this car in a long time: “Personal Import. Exempt from compliance to Australian Design Regulations”.
That’s right folks, EXEMPT from compliance to Australian Design Regulations!!
This probably rates as close to, now, the second greatest day of my life. Bring on a history of being able to do whatever I like to this car without risk of B-Reg or getting yellow stickers that can’t be removed. I present, the (almost) un-defectable zed!!! It’s not defect proof, but as close as one can get.
Armed with this new-found glory I got a little carried away and paid a visit to one Stewart Wilkins on the recommendation from my primary sponsor, Wheels World. Stewart and I talked for a while and 2 weeks and some pay-cheques later I brought home a little treat:
That’s right folks, Adjustable coil-overs. Totally unnecessary and yet totally appropriate. 250Ib fronts, 300Ib rears, 300zx adjustable koni yellow shocks all-round, custom top-plates to lower the car without sectioning struts, weld-on sleeves. What Stewart calls ‘The ultimate zed package’ and now I cannot (I believe, yet to be proven in court) get defected for it Talk about win-win.
For reference here is a shot of the old springs and struts (which are available for sale for anyone interested by the way, just PM me…):
22 Oct 2011
Ok, time to get this diary/blog moving again and hurry up. On 22/10/11 I went to see will again. Now that the zed is his sole source of income he’s actually getting some work done on it. Another shot here of the cowl, not sure why I took it, but it looks good:
The doors are now smoothed and in primer, looking fantastic.
Will has also, through-out the whole project, been going back and touching things up as he progresses. One of the many areas to feel his gentle caress is the fuel filler cap, which now actually fits the car:
That was all really for this trip. It doesn’t look like much for 2 weeks work, but I’m told there has been a lot of ‘going over’ that will pay dividends in the final product that don’t look like much now.
28 October 2011
Well, only 1 week since my last visit and that’s, unashamedly, because I was late for a progress payment….
Will has been busy as always (working 7 days a week, he really can get stuff done!). This time I was VERY surprised to see some real progress. I wouldn’t say I was happy, more shocked. Here is why:
That was a floor and rails once!!! What is happening to this car?!!
After my initial shock died down and I got myself composed I was able to appreciate the work that was being done. I even managed what I would call an artistic shot (by my standard anyways):
I call this one “Inverse manufacturing” owing to what was once a lack of a roof and is now a lack of a floor…
Here are the left-overs of what was cut out of the floor. You can see just how bad the car was and how masked it was until Will cut it apart to reveal the true Frankenstein:
The ‘floor’ that Will insists was done by ‘the apprentice’ (He has said this about most of the car, especially considering the poor state of repairs when it was back to bare metal last time)
Here is the crushed in part of the engine bay where the battery tray used to be. It is understood that this car had a front end bingle that resulted in the wheel crushing the metal underneath the battery tray.
(15,000 words )
That was it for this visit, a very insightful indication of the low quality of repairs done on this car in the past. However, given this car was an English resident in its first life, with all the salt roads and snow, it’s really not that bad!
20 November 2011
Almost a month since the last visit and things are still moving along well. Will has spent most of the last month re-doing the work some ‘apprentice kid’ did to the car in the past, along with fixing up all the damage that Dad and I have done to the car in the past 8 years. No, we didn’t do dodgy repairs or have an accidient: The forces we have exerted on the car have stripped threads and torn diff and gearbox mounts. Will has spent a lot of time remanufacturing the sway bar and diff mounts in 1/8” steel to ensure that they don’t bend again in the future: Old mount vs new steel used to replace it:
Not only that, but it turns out that the Bad Dog frame rails are useless in this build. The whole point of the Bad Dog rails is that you cut off the original rails, leaving a ‘tab’ to weld the new rails to. Unfortunately for me, the old rails were so rusted that even with 1/8” steel the Bad Dog rails would have been even weaker than the rails on the car due to the poor state of any tab that would be left to weld to. (Unsurprisingly, I have a pair of bad dog frame rails sitting unused in perfect condition looking for a new home. Make me a silly offer, they are worth nothing to me sitting in a box). Here are a couple shots of the new rails that Will bent up himself for me:
The floor is also back together and looking like a factory product that was meant to be there:
Will really knows how to please a man and is making me very happy showing off his skill and proving just why he is panel-beater of choice for DADSON racing (This is his third project for us).
He even got around to the front wheel wells and that busted battery tray:
Despite how vehemently will detested having the car on a rotisserie, you can see by the burn marks just how much he’s been spinning the car around whilst working on it. He really can’t help himself
Also note how a replacement floor should look, none of this bendy flat plate nonsense, only the best will leave Will’s shop.
Here are a couple photos I took of a couple spots of work I spied that Will never pointed out to me:
Will has also still been keeping the ever growing pile of rusted metal of the car. Here it is at the last count:
Just notice how bad some of the metal in the car had been eaten away by oxygen:
Today is the 7th of December and I am a week late for seeing Will (ANOTHER late progress payment ) and so I’ll be stopping by his place this weekend to get a progress update. When I left on the 20th October he was promising that the engine bay would be done, he’d be starting on all the fiberglass parts and that he’d be doing another round on the car with bog to get the final shapes correct before some more undercoat and then a round of final colour (Which is still a secret I believe, you’ll just have to wait to see it!!).
Bonsoir friends, my glass of red wine is empty, my warm bed is waiting and the sleeping cat in my lap and dog on her bed are all telling me it’s time to call this one to an end and check back in another time.