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Whittie

Dadson Racing: 2010 Revival

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Thanks :)

 

Yeah, the rotisserie certainly makes things a LOT easier when trying to work on the car. Hopefully the panel-beater feels the same.

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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 :D

 

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!

 

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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:

 

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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” … :,(

 

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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:

 

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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:

 

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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:

 

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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.

 

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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:

 

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23 July 2011

Roof!

 

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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?!

 

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A roof!

 

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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:

 

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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:

 

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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.

 

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Cowel:

 

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Door:

 

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Other door: Note how some dodgy bugger has ‘repaired’ previous accident damage:

 

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Sand

 

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Dog leg rust: Did these cars come with rust as standard?!

 

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Quarter window:

 

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More previous accident ‘repair’ at passenger side lower edge of windscreen:

 

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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:

 

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Will knows what’s hidden here, despite my ignorance and so grabs the sander to prove his point:

 

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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:

 

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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:

 

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How it looks done properly:

 

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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

 

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Acid killed rust around the passenger door frame:

 

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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:

 

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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.

 

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20 August 2011

Rust gone!

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:

 

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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:

 

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The sum of the parts:

 

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Bring it on baby, yeah!

 

27 August 2011

Body smoothing.

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:

 

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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.

 

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You’d never know anything had been done here if I hadn’t told you, would you?!

 

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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.

 

Rear Panel:

 

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The straightest roof I’ve seen in a long time:

 

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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!

 

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Great write up and progress  :)

Great build for a track car  ???, sure you're not going to put it in car shows?

 

Cheers :)

 

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.

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I enjoy reading every update.. It's good to see another zed get the rotiserrie treatment! Glad to see the sunroof gone!

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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!

 

Tom Incar:

John Incar:

 

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.

 

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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!!

 

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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…

 

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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:

 

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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:

 

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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…

 

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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:

 

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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…):

 

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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:

 

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The doors are now smoothed and in primer, looking fantastic.

 

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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:

 

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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:

 

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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):

 

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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:

 

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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)

 

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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.

 

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(15,000 words :o )

 

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:

 

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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:

 

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The floor is also back together and looking like a factory product that was meant to be there:

 

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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:

 

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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 :P

 

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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:

 

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Will has also still been keeping the ever growing pile of rusted metal of the car. Here it is at the last count:

 

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Just notice how bad some of the metal in the car had been eaten away by oxygen:

 

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Today is the 7th of December and I am a week late for seeing Will (ANOTHER late progress payment :o ) 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.

 

 

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Thanks all or the very nice comments, it means a lot!

 

I am sure that the very first couple of trips to the track will be VERY... interesting, experiences. On my part, I am going to line up 3 friends to come and do some professional photos shoots before the car travels it's first 10 k's. I want to be able to capture the perfection of all the work the moment it will look best, when it is very first finished. After the photo shoots then it's fair game and rocks will surely take their toll on the panel and paint. However, with the finish on the car and the rust work that's been done I've been assured of 15+ years of trouble free motoring and then the rest.

 

Well, time for another update:

10 December 2011

Well, I went to see Will again today, I even decided it would be a good idea to do the 47k return trip on my push bike in 30 degree weather, and I have no photos because there has been no progress. It’s been 3 weeks since the last visit and Will has been busy with other projects and tells me he needed a break from such a long and drawn out car. I think this has been his longest rebuild to date and he’s a bit sick of working on it. None the less, I’ve been promised the next 3 weeks exclusively so I’m sure there will be some good progress next visit.

 

Unfortunately, Will has found quite a few flaws with the fiberglass parts on the car. He showed me some spider looking cracks in the gel coat and he says that usually when you see this, rather than just coating it, it means that the part needs more work or to be re-done. I didn’t pay much for the parts and Will tells me that these sorts of issues are why you can’t charge a lot for parts. If the parts had come in ‘Ready to be painted’ condition then they would command a premium price and would be true ‘paint and go’ material. Not to worry, Will will be sanding back the gel ever so carefully (It’s see-through in some parts!!) and then going over it with bog to fill and fix all the imperfections.

 

Will’s mate over the road, who is a fiberglass specialist, will also be having a look at the panels and devise a method of how to ‘roll’ fiberglass guards. I have a feeling it means cutting out a section of the panel and re-moulding a piece that the wheels will fit under.

 

 

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8 January 2012

Well, we’re now into the New Year and the project is coming up to a year late on my ideal finish date. However, soo much more work has been required that the original goal for finish was never going to be achievable without an army of people and a bottomless pocket. Believe it or not, despite the build to date, my pocket is not bottomless!

It’s been a month since the last update on the diary so here is a recap of a few visits: A little bitter-sweet really, the car is approaching being finished and yet at every turn more rubbish previous repair work is found. Read on to discover the next chapter:

 

24 December 2011

I went to see Will today, he’s been working hard and will be over Christmas so the least I could do was drop in a carton to help it through it. No photos, I left the camera at home, but WOW do I need to get some photos ASAP for you guys!

 

The fiberglass man and Will had a look at the panels and the decision has been made that it would be far too difficult and expensive to do what I wanted with them and it would be easier and cheaper to just use steel guards. I really didn’t want to use steel guards on the car, but having talked to Will at some length, it’s going to make the whole process much cheaper. I dropped the panels off a week or two before this visit, in their ‘virgin’ heap-of-a-condition because I hadn’t stripped them as I was never planning to use them. Will has got them back to bare metal and tells me they weigh at least half of what they did with all the bog/tar/rubbish on them. At the end of the day, it’s not ideal for weight loss but a much better solution overall. I like efficiency and this is it playing in full. Pics next visit!

 

On an even less exiting note, on this visit it turns out that the reason the fiberglass guards didn’t fit on the passenger side is because of the accident it had way back when by a previous owner. About 6 years ago Will replaced all of the front chassis rails due to a near roll-over in the sand I had caused them to crack as they had rusted through. These repaired parts of the car were straight but the dodgy repairs from when the car was hit in the front meant that the entire passenger side of the engine bay was bent. The rails are straight, but the reinforcing bar at the top is bent and therefore the panels don’t fit…. Yay????

 

So much for a good body, Will now has to spend a couple of weeks cutting up the front end, pulling it straight and welding it back together.

 

29 December 2011

The Christmas rush is over, I finished moving house for the second time in 8 months and I managed to fit in a visit to go see Will! The guards are coming along well, but like the rest of the car, they were in TERRIBLE condition and it’s taken a fair whack of time to get them going. Here is a pick of the drivers side:

 

IMAG0269.jpg

 

Looking AMAZING!!!

 

Oh, that’s right, I forgot to mention that using the steel guards means that I can now have the vents that I originally wanted, they couldn’t be moulded in to the fiberglass, but you can weld them in to steel. I didn’t get the weight out that I wanted by using fiberglass, but aero efficiency is back on the agenda for this build. Yeah baby!

 

The passenger side has also had some work but isn’t finished yet:

 

IMAG0270.jpg

 

And the inside of the passenger side guard before venting and rust replacement but after Will has ground all the tar off:

 

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2 January 2012

The second day of the New Year and parts are going back to Will to be installed on the car! This is a pretty momentous occasion; the car is going back together! I had nothing more to show than the wheels and suspension loaded up in the car waiting for delivery to Will:

 

P1030819.jpg

 

He’ll be using the stuff to work out how much the guards need to be adjusted to get it all to fit. It could be an interesting discovery, another to add to the list at least. Keep posted.

 

7 January 2012

I popped in today to see Will and to keep him motivated with some of the cold hard stuff. Progress is going well and the front end is finally straight and fits together!

 

Dad took the last photos and so this was my first trip to see the steel guards: Wow was I impressed or what! I was greeted by this site on walking in to the shop:

 

P1030834.jpg

 

It looks AMAZING in the flesh. The other side of the car is not looking as good tho, here is the passenger front guard: Rust

 

P1030836.jpg

More bogged up rust from previous repairs:

 

P1030837.jpg

 

More rust:

 

P1030838.jpg

 

VENTS!

 

P1030839.jpg

 

Some of the rubbish cut from the guards alone:

 

P1030840.jpg

 

Will spent a lot more time over the last week straightening the front passenger side of the car. He tells me that the rails were straight (he did rebuild the front rails 6 years ago, so that’s to be expected) but forward of the suspension towers the entire front end had concertinaed on top of itself and was pushed downwards. Will measured it all up, got cutting and welding and now it’s straight again. Not an ideal situation, but I’m super happy to know that at least the car is now perfectly straight, free from Bog, super light-weight and rust free! Here are a couple snaps I managed to take of the remnants of his hard work on the front end:

 

Behind the headlight bucket:

 

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P1030844.jpg

 

It’s all now dead straight, check out the gaps:

 

P1030848.jpg

 

Considering that 2 weeks ago the panels wouldn’t even fit and allow the bonnet to close, that’s one hell of an achievement right there.

 

The passenger guard is not rust free yet, but here are a few pics of the rubbish that came out of the driver’s side panel, including remnants of SUPER dodgy previous repairs that were just begging for rust to set in:

 

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The headlight bucket is not bolted in place and I snapped this pic before Will could position it where it will end up, but check out the gap on the guard, how amazingly straight!

 

P1030855.jpg

 

The next job is to finish the rust in the guards, mount the suspension to determine how much work needs doing and ‘pump’ the guards to tuck the wheels.

 

That was it for this last visit, however I got home today (day after these last pics) and I have a missed call from Will from this afternoon, so I’ll be getting back to him in the morning but hopefully it’s good news for a change and not more completely f’d body/chassis notifications!

 

Oh, the interior is in primer and now Will is just working on rusted guards and then paint!

 

P1030847.jpg

 

 

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The vents on the guards, according to the sticker on them are: holden hk ht hg gts. I got them from rare spares for about $50-$70 each or so. Not too expensive, but more than I thought they would be when I originally bought them.

 

Here is what they look like done, should look ripper on a zed!

 

holden-hk-monaro-gts-01.JPG

 

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They are the same vents used in my 260Z build years ago and suit the S30 very nicely I think. One thing with them, the openings are quite narrow, if it is not too late you may want to open them out. From memory mine were done using a cutting wheel on an angle grinder.

 

Bathurst this year, Nationals at PI in 2013?

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the openings are quite narrow, if it is not too late you may want to open them out. From memory mine were done using a cutting wheel on an angle grinder.

 

They are quite small aren't they, I would like to do that very much. I was told it would be too hard, but now I know how to do it I'll make sure they get done!

 

Nationals at PI again sounds like a winner. I did the last one there actually (2007??), see if I can't make it 2 from 2!! More "Longest Distance Traveled" awards always look nice :P Doubtful for bathurst (easter?) far too soon and far too much left to do still.

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From memory after cutting the gaps wider a grinding wheel was used to smooth the ends, using the edge of the grinding wheel. Be careful of course, the edge could catch and bite you.

 

PI in 2013 sounds good.

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I'm going to have a mould taken of the front spoiler before I inevitibly bend it on the track considering Will spent a couple of days making it fit the car now that it's straight again. I compared it to another, as-new, spoiler that I borrowed from a friend and they are the same size, so I know the spoiler will fit on other straight cars.

 

This spoiler is now a full custom job that is not available anywhere else. I can guarantee that it's also going to be FAR cheaper to buy one of these than to buy another and have it customised, trust me...

 

These fit a zed VERY nicely with the aggressive attitude it gives the car. If you'd like to get yourself a copy of one, I can have them made from the mould. If I get any interest I will find out about a group cost, for now just send me PM's and I'll take it from there.

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Looking good.

Spoiler looks good, looks like it will block off some more air to the engine bay which is a good thing.

I have been thinking that a spoiler like that would be great if it extended into the bottom of the chrome bumper so that only air entering the engine bay would be from the top of the bumper, that way it would be much easier to direct the air to where it is needed.

 

Might need a ms paint picture to explain what I need.

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18 March 2012

Hi folks,

 

Well, as promised, I have plenty of photos and some more updates from the last 2 months. Bear with me on this one, it might be a little disorganised as I try and remember WHAT exactly went on over the last 2 months, it’s all a bit of a blur for me. Here we go:

 

27 January 2012

Well rusty, bent and disfigured guards are still the star of this visit. They are coming along nicely but the offshoot to making sure they aren’t filled with bog is that bucketloads of time is required to get them in to good enough shape that they can just be painted without being touched up. Here is how they look now in the raw:

 

P1030886.jpg

 

The flare doesn’t look like much in the photos but looks TOUGH on the car

 

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P1030889.jpg

 

The vents have been shaped to match the curve of the guard, welded in place which buckled the entire guard and then hammered back in to shape again:

 

P1030890.jpg

 

You can see here the amount of heat-shrinking that was required to ‘de-bend’ the guards after they were flared. Will is never shy to remind me how thin the steel is on this car which makes it almost impossible to work on. It was designed back in the day to be light for a fast car, but they were only ever designed to be stamped out of a mould and as such any heat from welding in new parts or even using stiffer steel welded in place plays havoc with the shape of the panels and makes it very difficult to work on the panels and maintain the shape of the car. This is not a new discovery by any means for anyone that has read about restorations on a zed before, but it makes the process painfully slow.

 

P1030893.jpg

 

Here you can see how the vents have been shaped to the guards:

 

P1030898.jpg

 

About a month ago Will finally had the internet connected at his shop and as a result discovered this thread and the celebrity that comes with being featured in so many photos. As such, Will requested I put this photo up on the net for him and mention that any interested ladies can contact me for his phone number ;)

 

P1030896.jpg

 

19 February 2012

 

Well we’re getting to the pointy end of the panel beating part of this rebuild, but it’s dragged on so long that other customers of Will’s have started throwing their weight around and pushing for work to be done on their own cars. As such, things on the zed have sat on the back-burner for a little while. Not to worry, I still have some more photos to show off the finished and primered guards:

 

P1030945.jpg

 

P1030949.jpg

 

15 March 2012

Will has been working hard lately and sent me these phone happy snaps of the front end of the car in primer and ready for paint!

 

IMG00735-20120315-1228.jpg

 

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IMG00738-20120315-1230.jpg

 

I don’t know about you but I am VERY excited about this project now!

 

18 March 2012

Well it’s been a month since the last visit but things are moving along with the car. All of the fiberglass panels have been fitted and shaped to the car, the bonnet pins have been installed, all steel panels are in primer ready for paint and the car is ready to go back together! Here are a few sneak peak photos of the car as it stands today:

 

Bonnet:

 

P1030951.jpg

 

Hinge pin cut-out

 

P1030952.jpg

 

Fiberglass parts :)

 

P1030953.jpg

 

More fiberglass:

 

P1030954.jpg

 

I don’t think I’ve spent a lot of time emphasising the fit of the panels on the car, but here is an example of how the headlight buckets fit:

 

P1030955.jpg

 

These have ZERO bog on them. It’s hard to get an absolute perfect fit on such intricate angles, but I must say, for no bog, that’s a pretty damn good fit.

My favourite part of this now has to be the vented guards, here they are installed on the car in all their glory

 

P1030956.jpg

 

During the trial fit a couple of days ago Will tells me that the point of it is to man-handle the panels and simulate some of the forces they will encounter during racing. As such, a couple of seams and creases have cracked a little bit and require some more work, but here is a quick snap of the fit of the guards from the engine bay side of the car:

 

P1030959.jpg

 

As I mentioned in my last post, Will has spent a lot of time working on the customised front spoiler and so I will be having a mould made up and copies will be available for sale. I haven’t spoken to the fiberglass shop just yet, but Will had a quick few words with them and it looks like $300-400 should be a good indication of what they will cost to make up if you’re interested. More details will follow in the next few weeks, for now here are some close-up photos of the front spoiler ready for primer:

 

P1030960.jpg

 

P1030961.jpg

 

P1030962.jpg

 

P1030964.jpg

 

Until next time folks (18,059).

 

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