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Lukas

Lukes '73 240z

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Hello everyone,

I was going to start with a little bit of history on how i got into Z cars but I think i've covered that already in my 2 "I'm new here" posts so instead I'll start with when I got my 240z.

 

After about 1 1/2 years of looking for an s30-series Z, I finally found a nice lime-green 240z for sale at a reasonable price. It was about an 8 hour drive just to get there, but we hired a car trailer and went anyway. To begin with we were a little hesitant as there was a reasonable amount of rust, but we decided it was nothing un-fixable. The interior was actually in pretty good condition apart from the seats, it ran but wasn't registered, automatic transmission worked albiet a little clunkily, no cracked glass or anything like that... So we paid for it and went on our merry way :).

 

What We've Done So Far

 

After that we had a little bit of re-organizing the shed to do so we could fit it in (Dad also has a z31 2+0 waiting to be restored. We're sortof in a race to see who can get theirs finished first). We've started stripping it down now, front exterior is fully off but the engine is still in for the moment. Not sure if we will attempt to recondition it or just take it to a mechanic at this stage. Interior is fully out except for the dash and the centre console.

 

Luckily the rust we've found isn't so bad. We've found that it's been resprayed in the past and there are several bits where rust has been "repaired" (Some parts dodgier than others). The only bog we've found so far is in the hatch and sill panel. otherwise it's rusty in both floor pans, back LH fender section, a little bit along the front windscreen RH corner which is concerning but hopefully only minor, battery tray, and another section towards the front of the engine bay but i'm unsure of what to call them (the front of the under-fender section?).

 

Plans for the Future

 

Not really sure to be honest.  Aesthetically, I'm undecided on the color and on whether to get flares or not, I want to get some super wide wheels (Looking like good ol' wats at this point), definitely keeping the interior stock, and probably getting fender mirrors. Mechanically, not really much of a speed freak so keeping the l24 or going l28, refreshing the suspension but keeping it original, refresh brakes, etc etc.

 

After reading that I suppose it sounds relatively boring, but things may change as the build progresses. Definitely won't be turning it into a track/drift car though! :)

 

Questions

 

I'm going to have a lot of these over the course of the resto but for now...

 

1. What do you guys do with the interior vinyl pieces during restoration to keep them safe? I've given them a quick clean with armorall, making sure to fully dry them afterwards, and now i'm thinking maybe it would be a good idea to cling-wrap them to keep any dust away from them. I'm just scared cling-wrapping them will deprive them of oxygen or something like that? I tried searching the net but couldn't find any info on this.

2. Does anyone know where to get rust repair panels for these cars? I've tried contacting the local rare-spares distributor and I was told it would be a couple of months before they could get me a LH floor pan..?

3. I've found i need to move the auto shifter back to take the center console out. Probably a stupid question but is it ok to change gear while the car is on stands?

 

I've attached a couple of pics. Congratulations to anyone who actually read the full post! :P

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Hey Luke,

Great write up.  Your Vinyl pieces are just best stored in one of those cheap plastic white containers worth about $10 from Supa Cheap.  Floor Pan you should check on ebay or get a panel shop to make you one up, Lurch who is a 'Mod' on the forum may also be able to give you some advice. Lastly yes it's fine to shift the Auto selector whilst it's on stands, while you're at it why don't you shift the whole auto out and drop in a 5 speed manual whilst you're at it!(much more fun).

 

You will get heaps of great advice on this forum and don't forget to contribute, you may learn some stuff in your rebuild that can help us all.

Cheers,

Rev.

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HI Luke

Don't change the colour , Lime looks sweet.

But I'm biased

 

Regards

Paul

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Hi Luke,

 

nice looking zed there. All Z Parts at Hornsby do zed panels which I believe are the closest to factory of the main suppliers. My advice would be to steer away from flares and fender mirrors, wherever you drill holes in your steel it may start rusting. Whereabouts are you in Sydney?

 

Also make sure you label everything when you pull it apart and put all your fasteners in zip lock bags etc. Good luck with the resto :)

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...After reading that I suppose it sounds relatively boring, ...

 

Hi Luke, I don't think you'd find anyone on here that thinks any project featuring a Z is boring  :D

 

Best of luck with it, the competition with your dad sounds like a great way to keep you both motivated, friendly competition never hurts.

 

Any idea on what you're going to do with the colour? I quite like the lime!  8)

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Hi in answer to question 2 yes they are out of stock with rare spars but they told me that they were only a couple of week away? 3no problems moving it back and forward because there is no other way

Bruce   

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Welcome Luke...

 

Great to see another zed resto; they are never boring! I'm with Paul..keep the Lime!

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Hey lukas...

 

Great intro, welcome, and that pic with you and the car "A boy and his toy" thats a keeper buddy, look back on it in years to come.

 

All the very best with your build.

 

Cheers

 

John

 

+1 Karma

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Hi Luke,

great write up so far, keep the progress reports coming.

From the pics it looks like a pretty solid original car?

while you're at it why don't you shift the whole auto out and drop in a 5 speed manual whilst you're at it!(much more fun).

+1

 

+1 for the lime ;D

+2

all the best with it

Bruce

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Hi again everyone, long time no post.

Due to life in general I haven't been able to get all that much done on the zed over the past few months. I have managed to do the following:

  • Bought LH/RH floor pans. Cut the LH floor pan out and also repaired the LH dogleg. It isn't fully welded in yet simply because we were unsure of how to seal the metal underneath. What would be better, cavity wax or something like por-15? And is it possible to seal the back of the outer panel before putting it on, or should we put a hose in there after its welded and spray some por-15?

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  • Stripped out the front suspension and have started to refresh some of the components. Haven't thrown any money at it yet, mostly just cleaning gunk of everything and recoating with por-15 or KBS where I can. I have been thinking of what I'd like to purchase though and will probably ask your opinions before it comes time to buy. (And yes dad did a dodgey job with the sandblaster at his work :P)


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  • Most recently I've started stripping away all the under body seal from the front RH fender. I'm starting the think this wasn't such a good idea. It's been 99% rust free and now I'm worried whether i'm going to be able to seal it as well as the factory did? It's 99% stripped, it's just taking forever to get the last of the gunk out of seam lines and the like. Does anyone have any idea on how to get it out other than hard work? :D


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What I'm starting to realize is that even though I might look at, for example, the suspension and think "Holy shiver this is so complicated, I'm screwed", once I actually have a read and then take a crack at dismantling/fixing it, it turns out to not be so hard. It's encouraging.

And, yes, of course I am putting a manual in it :D.

Any questions, critiques, tips & comments are appreciated.

Luke.
 

Edited by Lukas

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hey Luke

 

well done mate, the work is looking good, we are all here if you need any help

 

Where in nsw are you from

 

 

Loui

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Hey Luke

 

Regarding stripping body sealer, a wire brush in an angle grinder (125mm in a 5"grinder) does a fine job. You are wise beyond your years to question removing all the factory coatings and rust protection. While the early Z's had some characteristic rust areas (some of which you are now repairing), other areas lasted quite well, so it doesn't make much sense to remove the finishes that provided the protection. In the area you are now working (fender wall area), you can undercoat with primer, then spray a black body sealer over that (can be very smooth finish if you do it well), and then paint either body color if you like, or leave it black. The provides fair protection going forward.

 

Cheers

 

Jamo

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Nice work Lukas

 

With the seams that you have removed the corking sealer from, simplist way to re-seal the joins is to use masking tape 2cm's either side of the join, then take a tube of Urethane and run a thick bead over the center join, after which you use a strong bristle brush and spread the urethane evenly across the joins.

 

Do no more than a meter at a time, and remove the tape slowly bit by bit before the skin dries. afterwards etch prime the lot then go viral if you like with a stone guard finish or primer followed by color coat.

 

As you will see in the pics  of mine, you can barely see the seal lines under the finish I applied

 

Cheers

 

John

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Hi again everyone,

 

Wow, it's been more than 2 years since i updated this thread! Unfortunately, not much progress on the 240z has been made until the last couple of weeks. Instead, Dad and I decided to focus our attention on our Fairlady Z31. The good news is this has taught the both of us a lot about restoring a car and now we can put this to good use on the 240z!

 

Having recently finished Uni, and with dad on an extended holiday, we can now dedicate a lot of our time over the next 2-3 months to getting the 240z back on the road.

 

While most of the car interior has been dismantled from when we began work on it nearly three years ago (!!!) there was still a bit more to do. So out came the windshield and dash. This is how it currently sits.

 

 

 

 

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One of the rustiest area's on the Z so far is the rear hatch area. When we bought it, this was entirely covered up with bog.

 

 

 

 

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We set about cutting the rust out and replacing with new steel in sections at a time, trying to simulate the factory build where possible.

 

 

 

 

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We still have a fair bit to do in this section, but after all the welds were ground down it looks pretty good. We have purchased the top section from Rare Spares and have it ready to go. Does anyone know if the black primer on rare spares parts is weld-thru primer? I am wondering if I need to strip it off before/after we weld it in place.

 

Speaking of Rare Spares, we have also cut the LH floor pan out and have the new one ready to go. It required a bit of trimming to fit, and as the LH side also features the central hump (which wasn't present in the original?) we had to cut a notch out of the cross bracing.

 

 

 

 

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I have purchased some Wattyl Super Etch Primer and intend to coat the repaired area's as I go. I would like to use Epoxy Primer as I have read it is non-porous and you can apply body filler over it, but our spraying area lacks adequate ventilation and we don't have an air-fed mask, so etch primer sounds safer... thoughts? Also, where do you buy Weld-Thru primer from? I've been to a couple of auto and tool stores so far and no one even knew what it was...

 

One thing I can never get over is just how beautiful the s30 series Z's are. Even in its half-dismantled state, I still find myself staring at the profile for ages, lost in thought about how awesome it will be once I can drive it around.

Thanks for reading,

Luke.

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Mind if I use this photo for a Facebook page? Love it :)

 

Hey George, yeah that's fine :). Datsun in Motion, right? I will let Dad know he is soon to be famous haha.

 

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Hooray progress, good to see more rusty zed repairs done right. I'm going to be in the same rusty boat as you shortly.

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Hey George, yeah that's fine :). Datsun in Motion, right? I will let Dad know he is soon to be famous haha.

 

 

Yeah, that's right. I'll post it tomorrow night. Thanks :)

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Hey Luke,

 

Any updates? Just looking at your thread and saw the rear hatch slam panel repair work.

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Hey Gav,

 

Only just saw your reply, sorry for slow response.

 

Work is slow and not-quite-so-steady. When I look back at these posts though I see a fair bit of work has been done since. Actually, yikes, that was 2 whole years ago!?!?! At least there is progress  :-[. No pictures at the moment.

 

  • Virtually all parts off car, now suspended in a custom built rotisserie based on 2x engine stands purchased on ebay. Seems to do the job!
  • Purchased most things needed for suspension overhaul. Koni yellows and king springs (low, of course). Poly bushings, all new wheel bearings, etc. I was about to purchase a big brake kit from america when our dollar plummeted... Think I'll get some 15x8 Rota RK-R's. Would love genuine wats but can't justify the price difference for what this car is.
  • Also cleaned up all the suspension parts, engine mounts etc and painted.
  • Purchased a full bolt kit for the car from ebay (I was a little disappointed in this actually, as it doesn't come with any of the "unique" bolts, just the regular ones, if that makes sense).
  • Rebuilt forward most parts of chassis rails + welded in rare spares chassis rails (the ones that came with the floor pans).
  • Other bits of rust work here and there, haven't actually finished the hatch slam panel yet, it's sitting in wattyl etch primer for now.

Final plans for this car are up in the air at the moment. I really just want to get the damn thing on the road at the moment haha. I'm thinking it will be a mostly stock car but I'm not aiming for perfect or concourse condition. The 300zx will be the performance car  :).

 

I am in the middle of holidays at the moment and have put 3 solid days of work in on it. I will try to take some pictures.

 

Cheers,

Luke

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This is a visual follow-up post to my last. I'll let pictures do most of the talking (Though I'm lax with the picture taking as well!)

 

Cleaned up all the suspension parts. I did all of this with a grinder... went back to bare metal. I used two different products for the final coat, but I forget the names, I think one was Rustoleum somethingorother and the other was Eastwoods... ????? One went on shiny and metallic with a slight bumpiness. The other (my preference) went on matte black with a finer, but still bumpy, texture. It was SUPER sticky for about 24 hours but seems to have dried nice and tough. I really like the finish. In hindsight, I would NOT do this with a grinder again. Sandblasting would have saved me so much time, and probably not cost much more than all the wire brushes I had to buy :, not to mention do a better job. I don't have a full set of pictures but we also put new wheel bearings in, new tie rod ends, ball joints etc etc. These cleaned up parts are now packed away awaiting reassembly.

 

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Awaiting the Koni yellows and king springs 8)

 

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Built the rotisserie from 2 engine stands. Seems to work pretty well!

 

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THENNNN..... I got a motorbike and I did a bit of work on it...

 

As I bought it. Was in pretty rough shape. Blinkers were practically invisible in the day, speedo didn't work properly, frame not welded up properly, tank was plasti-dipped, lots of overspray. But overall I liked the style...

 

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So I made some cover plates to hide exposed wires, Dad welded the frame up, integrated the brake light better, new blinkers, grips, took the plasti dip off (was an ugly red stripe I had to get rid off underneath...), new quality speedo and tacho, yada yada:

 

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Back to the Z. With the car on a rotisserie we were able to continue finishing off the underside. Installed new floorpans and chassis rails. The chassis rails were from rarespares (came with the floor pans), bought about 4 years ago : :)

 

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Before spraying the stone guard I tried a technique suggested to me by a painter friend at work. I made a thread about it here and there were divided opinions but I thought I'd give it a shot.

 

Essentially we sprayed fish oil in all panels, particularly crevices, followed by thicker Tectyl or Fergusons Knock-Out Rust, in the crevices. The plan was to let this harden well and truly before applying the stone guard... Unfortunately, I was off to Malaysia a few days afterwards and, being impatient, I wanted to see it finished. Which meant we had some problems... Namely cracking/splitting, which was to be expected as the fish oil had not hardened much at all in a day or two. I flew off to Malaysia and in a few weeks time Dad went over it again. No cracking this time, but you can still see where previous layers split. Only time will tell if this works or not. The plan is it won't see rainy days anyway, so hopefully a moot point!

 

You can also see I have brought the stoneguard up partially into the engine bay. I saw a 510 coupe with the entire engine bay done in stone guard and didn't mind it. I think these areas can be susceptible to brake fluid leaking and generally rusting due to that? Hopefully this provides a little more protection.

 

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I would have liked a more lumpy texture to match the original stuff we decided could stay (no rust or flaking). Hard to work on it being in another country but Dad finds time where he can - he does all the welding anyway!

 

Bonus Story: There was a super-pimped red 280zx 2+2 parked across from a friends place in Malaysia. I tried to talk to the owner but he wasn't home. It had huge wheels/flares, big exhaust, small bullet-style mirrors, paint looked schmick, super dark tint (common over here). A ferrari was parked next to it but all my attention was on the Z O0

 

Luke

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You silent achiever you !

 

Nice work Buddy ;)

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