A Zed is Reborn - MaygZ Folly
Posted 02 October 2010 - 08:48 PM
Firstly some disclaimers:
This will not be a fast build!!
1. - I have a full time job that involves shift work, including weekends;
2. - I run a small unviable farm in central Victoria that requires constant management in such things as fencing and livestock management (and eradication of Onion Weed!!)
3. - I'm married and whilst my wife is very supportive of my need for a hobby, she doesn't like the shape of the Zed and therefore doesn't understand my fascination with it (She found me an LH Torana!!)
4. - I'm not a wealthy man
5. - I have skill/equipment and experience limitations that combined with my natural fastidiousness, create a slowness of it's own.
These excuses will be added to as required.
On with the story .....
My wife and I bought a very tired farm in Central Victoria about 2 years ago. The wife loved the house and I loved that it had an old shed, so in we moved! The shed had a dirt floor and was full of mouldy Hay, 30 years of accumulated junk from the previous owner and numerous birds, several snakes and assorted rodent nests in the roof sisilation! It had large wire mesh doors, that let wind and the above rodents/birds/snakes in! It had 2 GPO and two Flouros, so at least it had power!!
Three 8 metre skips of rubbish out and a concrete floor poured in we were on the way. EBay provided some lights and a sparkie mate who helped me rough in some more power and I now have light and GPOs everywhere (even a 15Amp outlet!). I found a caravan and annex, so the annex, made of freezer panel, was attached to the side of the shed to create an office/bar/thinking/planning/relaxing area (Bloke's room). My daughter and I then came up with a somewhat unique fix for the breezy door problem. She learnt to use a drop saw as her first power tool! (measure twice ....Thumbs always stay .... etc)
This was my first shed (larger than a garden shed), so I had very few tools (toys). Much time and money has been spent accumulating some basic tools.
All the while hunting for a project car. Now I will be honest at this stage and admit that it wasn't always going to be a Zed. The Zed was one of four possibilities (Mark 1 Escort, Datsun 1600 and Ford Capri made up the others) but as I scoured the internet looking for cars and information, it was the discovery of this forum that knocked the others cars out. the information and community hooked me in. (My wife says thanks - she liked the Escort more!!)
Posted 02 October 2010 - 08:53 PM
Posted 02 October 2010 - 09:15 PM
I was getting desperate and this one looked pretty good through my rose coloured glasses. It was bought and towed home. The PO kindly threw in some spares including a dash, steering column and a few other bits.
Now the shell was in a combination of very tired silver pain't and primer. It had some collision damage to the front left. This had bent the front rail and twisted the radiator support. Some rust repairs had been started around the battery tray that consisted of simply cutting the whole area out!!
The bonnet didn't fit due to the damage and was in the car.
The floors had rusted out and the bottom rails had been cut out and it appeared that a rail had been welded back in one of the holes upside down to fill the hole.
The doors frames were pretty good, but the skins were badly rusted. There was small spots of rust in the doglegs and bottoms of the front guards.
The PO also dropped off a 240Z half cut a few days later, to help with the repairs.
I was assured that these were not major problems, but I had no idea what I was doing.
Back when the 280ZX was a 'new' car, I was an apprentice motor mechanic. You know back when cars were simple machines, so I am confident that I can deal with most mechanical problems I find, but I had never used a MIG and had no idea about body repair.
So I did TAFE courses in both - I highly recommend these courses - so now I have enough knowledge and confidence to get into trouble!
Posted 02 October 2010 - 09:18 PM
Posted 02 October 2010 - 09:37 PM
They set it up on the jig and pulled the rail straight. They were a little concerned about how thin the rail material was and even more so at the kinks in it, but the worked slowly (not in comparison to me) and got it straight. Then they needed to pull out the firewall a little to square of the front and the rail tore as they did. Bugger.
But all was not lost ... in came the half cut. They cut it up and used the whole front tower and rail from it to replace the now limply hanging original. The half cut also provided the radiator support and the bottom rail. They were still concerned about the value of the replacement bits, due to possible concealed rust. they didn't want to cut up the original, weld on the replacement, only to find it was no good due to rust. we were standing out the back discussing this problem, when I looked over at the factory next door and saw the owner sandblasting, so a quick chat and he was now sandblasting my replacement parts. They came up well and were welded on.
The bloke fitting it all together finished it quickly, but wouldn't stop apologising as he couldn't get it spot on. He was 1.5 mm out in the diagonal from 'A' pillar to radiator support!! I told him I forgave him and took my car home. The bonnet, that wouldn't go on as it overlapped the guards by more than an inch, now fitted beautifully.
With this done, I now started stripping paint and bog (lots of bog) off the back. Now I find that it has been hit in the back left and has a fair bit of rust in the rear arches. Oh well nothing's perfect. It would have been boring if it all just bolted up together easily.
Nothing to hard to to repair, so I'll keep stripping to get the big picture, spraying etch primer as I go.
Posted 02 October 2010 - 09:39 PM
Posted 02 October 2010 - 09:41 PM
Posted 02 October 2010 - 09:55 PM
Many of you will know that I have been hunting very hard for a donor car. There don't seem to be many 240Zs out there that fit the category of 'Donor'. Most are either fully schmick or they just don't seem bad enough to cut into bits to build my car - and of course most are priced to high for what they are. I had all but given up and was looking at a 260Z that fitted the bill, allbeit and bit pricey.
Then one of the guys on the forum contacted me - have I metioned I love the community of this forum? He knew of a rusty, but otherwise complete 240Z that was for sale. Contact was made. A reasonable price negotiated - pretty basic negotiation really; he said how much he wanted and I beat him down by saying OK!!
So it got trailered home today.
My gosh she's rusty. The rear hatch has rusted shut! It's easier to say the body sections that aren't rusted beyond repair and as soon as I find one I'll tell you!!
BUT, it's complete! Seats are in good nick, the interior (with the exception of the throw away carpets) are all in a good state of repair - even the door trims are good! Jelly bean wheels with centre caps intact and with roadworthy tread - they were still inflated after more than 12 months in the front yard of the PO! L28 with P90 head! Round tops with filter box. As you can tell, I'm a bit excited. The only downside that I know of so far is - it's an auto, so eventually I'll need the bits to convert to manual - but that's just more fun!!
Posted 02 October 2010 - 09:57 PM
Posted 03 October 2010 - 05:13 AM
I have a bit of land too and apart from being a Tardus for time and money it is good place to be for the kids. My wife, like yours, thinks the zed is a waste of time/money and space but lets me have my toy.
Let hope no ones build is as long as mine (14 years and counting now but I did move to Australia and back again, build two houses, got married, had kids, still having kids number 3 about 7 weeks away now and getting well baked ) so keep the up the good work don't give up (I never have) and think of the end game at all times
Cheers from across the ditch
Posted 03 October 2010 - 07:19 AM
The trials of owning and maintaining a piece of land bigger than a suburban house block! Welcome to the club.
Don't be afraid to tackle anything, the encouragement and reassurance from this forum is phenomenal and as long as you think, plan and take your time you will amaze yourself with the quality of work you can produce.
Get into it!
Posted 03 October 2010 - 09:57 AM
Posted 03 October 2010 - 09:26 PM
Posted 04 October 2010 - 07:11 AM
It seems to be common for the wives to wonder why we love the Z's, for me its the way they drive and handle.
Posted 04 October 2010 - 07:32 AM
i cant wait to drive my first z
Posted 05 October 2010 - 09:17 AM
awesome write up, you have a great work area/shed there ( my rotissere would look good in there )
might have to came down and sit on that deck and enjoy the chimera and a few beers
well done mate looking forward to the build now that you have a parts car
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