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Rat1314

Rats Restorations: Project 280zx

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This is another 'copy and paste' from another site, this is the car that I am currently working on and the one that is stopping me from working on my Z31.

 

 

Well as the title suggests this isn't a Z31 but I thought some of you guys would like to see what I get up to in my 'spare' time. I've had a post going on this project for a while on another forum so I'll just copy from that one to start with then update it as I get more work done. There is a lot here so go now and grab a drink go to the toilet come back and enjoy.

 

Well this car belongs to my future brother in-law (my fiance's brother). He never had an interest in cars until he started working for me part time (doing car detailing) A few years ago. When he started working for me he realized that cars are more than a mode of transportation and he started taking more of an interest in them. As he got towards the end of high school he started looking for a car to buy, he has a camry to drive around in that his parents own so getting something that is registered was not a priority. He decided that he wanted something more than your 'common' car, a commodore or falcon would not do, nor would a little buzz box with a overgrown whipper sniper engine.

He started looking on the internet at cars that he liked the looks of. The first car to cross his eye was late 80's supra (I don't know what year, It had the first DOHC 3.0 motor in it). After pondering that for a bit and more internet searching he come across the 280zx. With no influence from me with whatsoever he decided that a 280zx was the car that he wanted. I was obviously happy with the choice having owned my Z31 for about 4 years by this time.

Then the search began for a 280 within budget (we didn't really have one, just reasonably cheap) and not falling apart. One of the first leads we got was on a white one at a car yard at Stafford. We went around there and had a look. The car wasn't up for sale yet (they had only just received it obviously). After a look at it the car a salesman came over and started asking Michale and Katie (my fiance and her brother) some questions as I was still looking over the car. We had been looking at this car for a while so I had an idea at the condition it was in an had told Michale $2000 would be a good price for it. The sales man was giving them the typical sales pitch... 'it's a classic, can't find them any more, doesn't need anything, I've driven it and it's great' bla bla bla and then insulted the Z31's when Michale told them I had one. I'm still looking at it and wasn't involved in the convocation. Michale asks a price and the sales man told him he had an offer made to him of $10,000 and if he wanted it we had to better it. At that point I popped my head out of the engine bay and said we're leaving. After 12 months of sitting in the lot I think that car sold for $1200.

After that experience Michale was a bit upset and was wondering if he would ever get his 280. All of the cars that were advertised were either too expensive, at least $3000 and that **** head at the car yard had his up for $10000. About 2 weeks later one pops up on E-bay, starting bid was $500, un-registered, not running and at Russel Island. After a phone call we jumped on a ferry to go and have a look and it seemed alright for the price. $650 later and Michale is the proud owner of a 280zx. We went to Russel Island with a car trailer and towed it home. The non running issue was apparently a warped intake manifold, that wasn't the case, just a blown gasket. Took me 4 hours to have it running.

We started working on the car for a while but work stopped due to various reasons. It was originally in his grand dads front yard (not the best for working on a car) but since I now have a house with a garage and I have finished my car we towed the 280 around here on the weekend and the work has begun again. I'm hoping to have it done within 12 months given my experience with my car.

Sorry for the long intro but I thought it was necessary for this car as it has been a mission not only finding it but buying it and also moving it from place to place.

well some pictures are in order now

 

When we picked it up

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The 280 and my 300 in the same garage

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After about 30 minutes of having it here

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Well there has been some work done, I hate rust by the way.

 

Rubbish through out the car, the carpets are screwed.

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Not too much rust in the back

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Fixing panels, these didn't have too much rust on them and were really straight to begin with

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One door etch primed, the door jam hasn't been striped yet...

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Random shot of Michale trying to reach something while he was in the car

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Now the fun begins

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And is was here we went 'oh **** this is going to be fun'

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The only way to get to the rust was to remove the panel under the windscreen. this meant drilling out all the spot welds, took me a few hours to do

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Michale: So how are we going to fix this?

Me: Get the grinder and cut out the rust, cut some new steel and weld in place

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And after

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Some more rust that has been cut out and replaced, the lower part of the 'A' frame was rusty as well

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I have more pictures that need to be uploaded

 

Well some more work has been done. We're getting there slowly

Some of the repairs that I had to do to the drivers side door

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You would not believe how awkward it is to cut rust out of a door jam (on the door itself and not the body), I tried my best to keep clean cuts but given the awkward angels that was not possible with a grinder.

Another random shot

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This area has had about 10 hours put into it, I'm not kidding either there was a lot of work that was done that will never be seen

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The front passenger side guard ready for paint

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And the drivers side door is now ready for paint, surprisingly this took many hours to finish (see the first pics in this post)

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Well since that section is under control we move on...

Michael is now dealing with this

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And I an dealing with this...

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Yes I know I'm crazy taking on a project like this but whats life without a challenge?

Also Michael is learning alot as well so I think it's worth it.

 

More rust repairs, well that's about all that will be happening for a while.

 

Michael finished the top corner of the windscreen surround

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And some of what I'm dealing with at the moment, I decided not too work tomorrow so I'm hoping to have this section done by the end of the day

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This is whats left to do

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And the 'O' that you see I mark that on the new steel after I mark out the shape of the piece I need so I know what way faces 'O'ut. There has been many times I've cut a piece, place it down then pick it up and go 'F**k what way does this go'. It help alot and saves on frustration

 

Things are getting there slowly, Michael started back at uni just a few weeks ago so he hasn't got as much free time now to help so I'm doing more work on my own at the moment.

Right onto the pictures...

 

This is what it last looked like when I posted

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And finished, this took a while

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Another section in the same area

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Some new brackets I have to make up to replace the rusty ones, they help hold the lower windscreen cowl to the car

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This is the color we are painting the car

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and this is how it looks in a cup before spraying, all of the metallic flakes in the paint kept on swirling around while it was just sitting there... it was kind of weird and hypnotizing

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And the lower windscreen cowl is now rust free

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ready to be put back on the car, just need to attach the brackets first

All of the areas with filler on them have had rust removed and new metal welded in, I forgot to ge a before pic of this bit

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Right time to show you guys whats been happening. Well not long after my last post I was at the wreckers and I stumbled across a 280 there that was really clean and really straight, it looked like it was a unfinished project and it was FULL of parts. I asked the owner of the yard about it and it apparently was a abandoned project when a bloke had to move interstate. I asked how much for the whole car just out of curiosity and he replied with 'well I think that one owes me $500 at the moment so I'll take 500 for it'. I immediately called Michale and he came down for a look and then that weekend we picked it up and took it home. So after getting the gray car home we decided that would be the better shell to use so the blue one is now the parts car. All the parts that the gray car is missing the blue car has so it all works out quite well

 

Here's some pics of when we got it back home and all the stuff it came with

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It was around here I moved house and had a garage built as well as a million other things in life happened but their over now so work is happening a lot faster now

 

 

We picked up 2 bonnets a while ago and decided to use the red one as it seemed to be the cleanest underneath rust wise. I don't know why but there was about 1cm of body filler over the whole bonnet. That made a huge mess while I was stripping it.

280zx108.jpg

 

It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it

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And now it's all striped, the haze in the photo is body filler dust in the air. The bonnet looks like it was hit with hail but nothing too serious

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My floor after wards

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I don't know how to shrink metal yet so I'm just using fillers to fix the dents on the bonnet

Put some primer on it so I can start working on it bit by bit

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Me working away

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Getting there

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Still getting there

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Almost there, the filler that is on there isn't that thick

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Just put the vents in for the hell of it

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Gone over it with blade putty to fill the little imperfections

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Right the cars ready lets go!

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Bonnet ready for paint

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Almost finished, these didn't take much work

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Now their ready

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Just sitting them on the car to have a look

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Next we pull it all apart again, doors off this time

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Doors undergo my usual treatment

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Now their ready

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Now we thought of doing something a bit different, well not for me anyway. To make it look a bit smarter we decided on fitting a body kit. Well we weren't going to buy one new so we've started adapting one.

Mike found a front spoiler on ebay off a 180sx, damaged for $70. I'll let the pics show you

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Hmmm close but needs some work

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And how the car looks at the moment

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It still needs some work but it's getting there

 

Well I should do a bit of an update, nothing too exiting. Just been stripping and repairing the shell bit by bit. There is some rust that was previously repaired but I decided to cut it out and fix it properly, takes a bit longer but at least I know it's being done right.

These are all the pics I have at the moment, I'll have to see if Michael has more and upload them.

 

I've been working on this side, it had more rust on this side then the other.

Every where there is filler the metal was cut out and replaced

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Now it's primed, still needs a bit of work and for the primer filler to be applied

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We have also got the doors, front guards and bonnet painted. I have some pics somewhere I'll have to find them and put them up as well.

 

Found some more pictures on my phone, I thought I had more.

 

This was about the worst of the rust on the front end, it was the same on both sides

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All fixed

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Just a random shot

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Fun times

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And this little bit was a very time consuming little (insert inappropriate language here) to make up and I have to do the same on the other side

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And a couple of the painted panels, not too shabby for my first time using 2pac and the color contains a pearl in it as well. I still want to wet sand, spray another 2 coats of clear, wet sand with much finer paper and then cut and polish. My aim is to have it as smooth as glass. I know it's going to be very tedious and time consuming but that's just me being a stubborn bastard.

280zx188.jpg

280zx187.jpg

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Well it's been a little while since I updated this. I had to stop work on the car for a little while before easter as I had a few other things take priority before the long weekend, but thats all done now so I've started on the car again.

 

First things first, I finally dropped the fuel tank. The f***ing bolts on the straps were seized, had to get the heat gun onto them to help loosen them up a bit but it's out now.

280zx179-1.jpg

 

Already been cut out and fitted with new metal

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Started stripping some more of the body

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Yep thats me, covered in dust, notice the haze? Thats dust in the air from stripping the old paint and body filler.

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This is how the rear quater looks at the moment, still have a lot of sanding to go to take a lot of the filler down. And I haven't really started on the lower section yet either.

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Pulled apart the front bumper to start mocking up the one I'm going to make.

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Starting to line them up, cut, shame and attach. This is going to take a while

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More to come soon...

 

 

 

Been doing some more work, it's getting there slowly.

 

The whole lower section of the quater had rust, not much but still, so I cut it out

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New steel welded in

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And a new outer skin that I fabbed up and welded on, it took a little while to make

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More rust.

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And there was a bit of the floor that was rusted in the corner

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Most of it fixed now

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And what the car looks like at the moment, I've got the spare guards on the front for lining up the bumper(more on that later)

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There has been some more work done, just no pictures yet

 

 

Ok well more work has been done, I'm not liking the cold weather and it getting dark at 5:30. I need to line the inside of the garage at some point. But anyway onto the car...

 

Mike has been working on this side while I was working on the other, his side has a LOT less rust then the side I was working on.... I wasn't too happy about that.

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And now the rear quaters are primed

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There is still a lot to go before we think about applying colour but it's geting there slowly

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Ok well I've been working on the car again and have some updates. Mike hasn't been helping as he is busy with uni and then he is off on the 28th overseas for a while so it looks like I'm going to be working alone on this car for the next couple of months.

 

Any way, I've been messing around with lining up the front bumper and it's going to be more time consuming then first thought. All of the origional bumper suports we have are too rusty to use so I'm going to have to make up a new one.

Lining it up with one of the origional bumper supports that I was trying to repair, I had to line it up so I know where to weld the brackets on.

As you can see getting it right involves grabing what ever is lying around to prop it up at the right height and angle.

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It was at this point I cracked the shits with it and decided I'll make up a new support from scratch.

Starting over, I seperated the two halfs of the bumper so it's a bit easier to handle

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And some 100x50 C chanel that I had lying around that I'll use to make my support. I need to get some more cutting discs for both the grinder and drop saw before I can do any more.

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Now onto the body, Ive just been working on the rear quaters to try and get them as smooth as I can, it's a bit time consuming.

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And now with that done I have applied some primer filler that'll needed to be sanded down and to help check how straight it all is.

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And thats about it at the moment, now it's time for a lot of sanding.

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Some more work has been done.

 

Just finishing off some panel work, not quite finished yet but getting there.

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And also got the old motor out today

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I already had most of the engine ready to be pulled just had a couple of things left to undo.

 

Well time for an update, pictures do most the talking so here they are.

 

I thought I had some 'before and during' pics but I must have deleted them by accident but you get the point.

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A bit of rust that was cut out

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Me welding

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Welding finished and welds smoothed out

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Then we stripped all the paint from the engine bay

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Painted the bay

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Striped and painted the engine crossmember

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And the brake booster

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My fastener supplier is a 15min drive away and I couldn't be bothered going there for four nuts so I ended up cleaning these ones up, all the parts/hardware stores around here didn't have these exact nuts and since it holds in the crossmember I wasn't going to use a weaker nut. (I want to use all new hardware where i can in the engine bay)

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And this is where I left it tonight, I started feeding all the wiring back through and mounting some of the components in the bay

P1250029.jpg

 

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Great to see that some people are willing to fix up a shell like that as it keeps a lot more alive. A lot of people would have said it was all too hard and just scrapped it and bought a nicer example (definitely the quicker way).

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Man!! where did you find these two ZX's, in the middle of a salt pan on a tropical island surrounded by ocean??

 

I hope these cars serve you well, because you've lost a lot of years restoring them.

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Judging by the XXXX cans in both threads, I'd guess northern QLD?

If youre after anything Z31, Im about a week away from sending one to the scrappers....

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Brilliant!!!!!

 

I'll be watching this for sure.

 

You make stripping paint look so easy, some magic trick you would like to share with us?

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I applaud your persistence. Did I read right that after you put so much work into the first car, you ditched it and are using it as a parts car? I reckon I would be in tears.

 

And this is all for your future brother in law? You got any more single sisters available? I'd like to marry into your family as well :-*

 

Keep up the goodwork.

 

 

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Awesome good to see you have done some more since I last looked at it.

Yea I've been plugging along at it but I haven't touched it for almost two weeks now, just needed some time away from it but I may venture out to the garage and do some more work.

 

Man!! where did you find these two ZX's, in the middle of a salt pan on a tropical island surrounded by ocean??

 

I hope these cars serve you well, because you've lost a lot of years restoring them.

Yea the blue car was quite bad, didn't seem that way when we bought it. But the grey car really wasn't that bad, when you go looking for rust on a old car you will find some.

 

Judging by the XXXX cans in both threads, I'd guess northern QLD?

If youre after anything Z31, Im about a week away from sending one to the scrappers....

 

They're cans of VB Gold not XXXX. Let me know what Z31 stuff you got before getting rid of it, I might be interested.

 

Brilliant!!!!!

 

I'll be watching this for sure.

 

You make stripping paint look so easy, some magic trick you would like to share with us?

 

No trick, just wire wheels and strip it discs on a grinder, oh and I used a paint stripper for the engine bay (that was a messy job)

 

A credit to your patience and persistence :)

 

Thank you, I'd still like to see your car one day.

 

I applaud your persistence. Did I read right that after you put so much work into the first car, you ditched it and are using it as a parts car? I reckon I would be in tears.

 

And this is all for your future brother in law? You got any more single sisters available? I'd like to marry into your family as well :-*

 

Keep up the goodwork.

 

 

 

Yea after all the work on the first car we did decide to use it as a parts car but it was a good learning experience. Michael is now my brother in-law, I've been married for 2 years in June (we had my car at the wedding). And yes I do have a sister who is single

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Farkkk...

 

I admire your persistence guys, but I even I would have found a better shell...!

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Great to see that guys are prepared to spend the time and effort, on what was once classified as not worth it.

280ZX's are really starting to gain a cult following. And some respect.

Your efforts are inspirational.

Looking forwards to seeing your projects progress.

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Nice work and nice photos

 

Thanks

 

So you're from the northen territory then ;D

 

Actually I was born in Victoria and raised in WA, you've been wrong twice now  :D

 

Farkkk...

 

I admire your persistence guys, but I even I would have found a better shell...!

 

The second one really isn't that bad we are just being thorough and also given the budget is between f**k all and nothing for a car I think we are doing quite well so far. In a ideal world we would like to have a perfect shell to start with but we are being realistic here.

 

Great to see that guys are prepared to spend the time and effort, on what was once classified as not worth it.

280ZX's are really starting to gain a cult following. And some respect.

Your efforts are inspirational.

Looking forwards to seeing your projects progress.

 

Thanks for the kind words. If I get the time I'll get some more work done on the car soon

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Been a little while, had to go looking for my thread. Anyway, I have been a bit busy lately. Been doing a fair bit more riding over the past few months and that means more work on the bikes, trailer, cars and the list goes on. Might try and get some more work done on this now as I'm itching to start working on my car again but I don't want or have the room to work on two cars. Onto the pictures, that's what your here for isn't it?

 

What my garage has been looking like lately

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Finished off the inside of the rear hatch, the bracket is welded back on and primed

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Also finished this section and it's all primed

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Done a few touch ups around the body, just about finished them all

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Haven't done too much work with this at the moment but I cleaned it all up so it's ready to go

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I have done a bit of work on the side skirts, well just one at the moment, first one takes the longest time.

Just cut down to a 'rough' legnth

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Eyeing up what needs to be done

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And this is one skirt trimmed to fit, just need to do the same to the other one then finish them off.

P5250273.jpg

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Might have to have a look and see what their worth. We haven't thought about flairs for it.

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Been a little while, I've done a bit of work and I am hoping to get more done ASAP.

 

Well I'll start with the side skirts, their 'done', just need to be sanded all over (I'll get Michael to do that) then paint and mount them to the car

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And we got a media blaster off ebay, one of the '10 gallon' units. It's f**king awesome. We can get crushed glass for very cheap from one of Michael's friends so I've been having a 'play' around with that (crushed glass doesn't have the 'free silica' that sand does) and the results so far have been awesome.

 

This was a quick test, about 10 seconds. Compared to the other one...

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So anyway today I started to disassemble both the front struts

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And I ended up with a bench looking like this. The front shocks look like the originals and are shot.

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After a few minutes with the media blaster, both sides are done.

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One cover painted, there is some pitting on the cover from rust but that doesn't matter.

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Finished cleaning up the front suspension

P8100056.jpg

 

Started working on the front tension rod mount

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Yea it was a bit stuffed

 

Sitting on the steel I'm making the new one from

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And now it's ready to be welded in

P8180062.jpg

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Long time over due but I have been doing a little bit of work on the car here and there.

 

Media blasted and painted the inside of the car, I found one small rust hole so that got cut out and new steel welded in. This is the inside just in primer. I have put a top coat down just haven't taken any pic yet

 

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Other things that have been done include removing the whole rear end to be inspected, cleaned, repair where necessary then reinstalled.

 

And that's about it for now. Mike is going overseas for 18 months so I'm going to get stuck into it while he's away and I plan on picking him up from the airport in it when he returns (don't know why but I seem to get more work done when he's away).

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So I've started working on the car again after a long break. I've had a lot going on and things have finally settled back down now so I'm hoping I can continue working on the car more.

Anyway, I'll get stuck straight into the pictures as thats why your here really isn't it.

 

So to start with I've been working on the front end. I lined up the front spoiler with the side skirts and found I needed to take another 3cm off the top of the spoiler so it wouldn't hang lower then the bottom of the skirts.

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So now the front's inline I need to clean up the cut a bit

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Just with more of the front end mocked up so I can take some more measurements

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And marking out how much of the rear has to be cut off

20130829_183337_zpsf826c20b.jpg

 

Looking better

20130829_185135_zps6addcfff.jpg

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