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RLY240

'71 903 Blue 240z

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I really should have started this thread 3 years ago when I bought this car but never seemed to get around to it.  So now that it's almost finished it will be a much shorter thread and you don't have to wait years to see the finished result.

Picked this car up in 2015 from a fellow racer in SA after a 15 year rest in his shed following a disagreement with the Armco. Panel damage down the RHS, some tweaks to the chassis too and the usual amount of rust where the floors and sills used to be.

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Some archaeology revealed the original 903 blue under the red paint and the matching numbers L24 block and most of the original trim and other fittings although there would of course be the usual amount of searching for missing parts as with any project.

Once home it was clear a full restoration was required so a rotisserie was sourced and the shell stripped of every nut and bolt. While in hindsight we should have blasted or dipped the shell at the outset in my defence I thought I had a good handle on where all the rust was so we could work without it. We ended up blasting the shell before paint anyway so lesson learned.

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I already have a 240z rally car so this one was envisioned as a rock stock Sunday driver, not a concourse or 100% accurate resto but something tidy that I would be happy to actually drive rather than just look at. I also had a range of spare bits that had fallen off the rally car as it was developed so I pretty much had the running gear covered already, just needed to sort the bodywork and convert from auto to manual.

The primary issues would be familiar to all S30 owners, the floors were gone (fibreglass and text books instead of steel) as were of course the doglegs and sill ends.  The firewall had been cut open by the PO before realising the extent of the rot and the amount of tricky work required in this area, the plenum was rotted through and as usual the doors were rotten and the rear slam panel needed work too.

The rear quarters were also very bad, with the RHS being beyond repair thanks to the accident and the LHS inner and outer arch almost all bog from a previous "repair". The sunroof also had to go and there was some chassis repairs required to straighten the front rails and pull out the rear quarter around the filler neck where the outer and inner had met and kinked the boot floor.

The car came with a donor or sorts, another 240 that had already donated the roof and all hanging panels to someone else and would supply me with the rear quarter I needed plus a manual gearbox and the other bits needed for the conversion before the remaining rust went off to the recyclers.  Replacement panels for the floors, doorskins, sills, doglegs, slam panel and lower guards all came from Rare Spares and a rear guard section from Tabco in the US and a rear valance from Gav. Everything else got made up from 1mm steel sheet and it's amazing how much of this stuff you can go through.

I started with the floors and sills and all the smaller patches before tackling the rear quarter as this was the first time for me getting this deep into a repair.

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Removing the rear quarter from the donor was a challenge as it transpired that it had already been transferred from another car so this panel has now been on at least three different cars.

For me this was the trickiest part of the resto as the structural damage had to be repaired accurately enough such that the new  quarter would fit up and maintain all the right gaps to the hatch and light cluster as well as the wheel arch.

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By the time I have finished up the smaller repairs (guards etc) it was clear to me that I didn't have the skills to fill the sunroof or finish the body to a sufficient standard for paint so I engaged Mick from the SA Zed scene to fill in the roof, patch the LHR guard and then prep and paint the car.

 

 

Edited by RLY240

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Part 2 - back from paint.

I'm very grateful for the work Mick put into this car on his weekends and days off, I certainly can't do the quality of work that he does and the end result speaks for itself.

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And so begins the biggest jigsaw puzzle.

All the bolts and fittings went off for zinc plating (I prefer this over the yellow passivate even if it's not the correct look) and the dash and seats (which were actually blue) sent out for recovering.

I started with the interior (as the bolts hadn't come back yet :() and used dynamat on the floors, carpets from Ausclassic and then hand made all the firewall trim and 'A' pillar vinyl etc while the original diamond trim mostly cleaned up and was reused as were the door cards.  Unfortunately all the rear plastic trim panels have been covered with vinyl that won't come off so they just have to stay that way for now.

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And then the original hard lines and wiring went back in (after a cleanup) and the rest of the mechanicals started to go in.  The suspension is lowered King Springs and Koni red dampers, Toyota 4 spot front brakes and R31 rear discs and a 15/16 master with poly bushes and eccentrics in the front and rear arms. Interestingly I found that at some point the original master had been replaced but the installer didn't realise that the front and rear brake outlets were reversed on the master so the front was plumbed to the rear and vice versa. During assembly of the booster it was also apparent that the pushrod in the booster was about 20mm too short so the pedal had way too much free play and the master didn't get near full stroke.  I wonder if these two combined had anything to do with the accident damage on the car and the fact that the owner never bothered to get it repaired, must have been pretty sketchy to drive especially in the wet.

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New front glass (professionally installed) and the rear glass removed from my rally can and used in this one (good excuse to put a polycarbonate rear in the rally car!) as well as new door glass and all the rubbers and seals etc.

While I do have the matching numbers engine it's in bits and needs a rebuild so in the meantime a spare L28 is going to provide the forward momentum.  It's a bit of an unknown as it was in the rally car when we bought it over ten years ago (from this forum, it was a daily driver of a member before we transformed it) but I think it's got flat tops and a mild cam and it runs well with the Hitachis and extractors although it's not going to win any races.

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Skip a few pages and now the car is on the road (although not quite finished, are they ever?) and finally hit the streets for the first time this weekend almost 20 years since it was last on the road.

On the first drive we set off without as much as a screwdriver and after an hour or so cruising the Adelaide hills nothing leaked, fell off or got hot, all the gauges worked (although the speedo is out) and even the home brew wheel alignment kept us pointing straight.

There are still a few ideas to play out on this car, I have a set of triple 40mm Mikunis sitting on the shelf and the EPS on the rally car might get replicated on this one too but otherwise it's time for a drive.

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For the full timelapse of the build check out the video here 

For the first drive video see here 

And for more photos and blogs check out our website at rally240.racing.

Roger

 

 

 

 

Edited by RLY240

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Fantastic 8)8)8), the car looks great, and i am sure she will give you both many years of awesome Zedding and hope hopefully i get to see her one day

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53 minutes ago, 24 Dat said:

Fantastic 8)8)8), the car looks great, and i am sure she will give you both many years of awesome Zedding and hope hopefully i get to see her one day

Thanks Dave, as much as it would be great to bring one each to Bathurst in November this one is staying strictly on the road.

Roger

 

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12 minutes ago, rajon1972 said:

Yes looks awesome. Did you make or buy the fire wall insulation?

Thanks, I made the firewall insulation from some 2mm vinyl / rubber glued to carpet underlay insulation. I cut out the two materials separately and then sprayed contact adhesive to join them, once joined I used various punches and chisels to cut the smaller holes and fine details.

For a pattern I used a combination of the remains of the old insulation and the patterns created and posted by (I think) George on his awesome build.

Came out really well and only took a couple of hours. Pictures in the second post show the parts coming together. Might not be a faithful recreation of the factory items on a concourse build but close enough for me.

Roger

 

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Top job Roger. I look forward to seeing the car in the flesh.

 

Cheers Jeff

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