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On 12/1/2021 at 8:40 PM, 240ZBUILTBYME said:

This is terrifying to watch for me lol just seeing what I’m going to have to go through....:-\

inspiring work Lachy 

This is why I tell people to spend more buying the best example possible..I suspect this car was in a humid Queensland region most of it's life. Which probably contributed to the rust situation.

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The RH A-pillar was still in good condition (apart from surface rust on the inside), so we kept it.
However the bottom section was rusted out, so we decided to replace it.
It's a slightly heavier gauge in 1.2mm, so it's a little harder to work, but we managed to fabricate up a replacement section in one piece.



We then media blasted inside the cavity:



Linished back and given a temporary coat of silver zinc.


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Well these cars weren't being dipped back in the day. So the only 'rust proofing' was the paint coating. All the areas that the paint couldn't reach or properly cover remained as basically bare metal. Maybe some kind of phosphoric coating in some areas. But yes, the shell sweated and, bingo, corrosion soon formed.

And from what I've seen on my own RS30, Nissan weren't generous with the paint either, the colour coat only being applied where it needed to be.

Edited by gilltech
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  • 1 month later...

A small update: After all the remaining repairs were completed, the front end was reunited with the rest of the body.
No real issues, apart from getting it into position because everything is a snug fit now...
It's now off the jig and onto the rotisserie to be media blasted again - lots of mismatched primers, paint and surface rust meant that it's easier if we get it blasted now. Then a fresh coat of Epoxy can be applied.




Edited by C.A.R.
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12 hours ago, csp-311 said:


I would love to see how the chainsaws (hanging up above left) are used in the Z body restoration, used for cutting the rust out??!!

They belong to a mate of mine - that's where he stores them.

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I would have like to have bought new doors, but they have been out of stock since 2020 with no ETA able to be given.
This has forced us to repair the original door shells and fit the horrible Rare Spares door skins...




The original door skins were were beyond economical repair, so they were removed to expose the previous "repairs".






On with the repairs. As The LH side was the worst, we removed the bottom section of the LH door, then a new repair section was fabricated and tacked into place.


This photo shows the another section of the door frame that requires replacement:








We removed the top reinforcement gusset to expose the rust underneath and it was around this time that I decided it would be easier if the doors were nice and clean, so I had the shells media blasted and locked up in Epoxy.


This was cut out and a new piece fabricated and welded into place:



The internal gusset was beyond saving, so a new one was made and welded into place.


And the remaining repairs to the bottom of the shell:



The door glass bumper mount was gone in the RH door so a new one was made and spot welded into place:



Once the repairs were complete the doors were sanded, given another coat of Epoxy, then this was sanded again before a coat of KBS Rust Seal was applied:



Edited by C.A.R.
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  • 1 year later...

Time for an update!
Back in March '22, #211 it went into storage because we'd gone as far as we could with the chassis repairs.
This was because of the rear 1/4 panels...

Yasee I deemed the originals beyond economical repair, as due to the previous 'repairs' to them, I had to more or less butcher them to remove them from the bodyshell.
We toyed with the idea of making them from scratch (we have the capability), but when I estimated the hours require to fabricate them, it would not be cost effective.
However I'd heard a rumor that KF Vintage in Columbia - who make the green panels - were nearly done prototyping FULL 240Z rear quarter panels. Joy!
And so we waited. And waited... And finally at the end of '22 they became available to purchase!
I placed an order and got the freight quote... I nearly fell off my chair: Nearly $7000AUD just for the air freight!
This was outrageous and the owner of the Z agreed.
I contacted the owner of KFVintage & he agreed to look at other freight options and failed.
Apparently getting freight out of Columbia is an issue due all the corruption (this is a story all on it's own).

I had to do something so in January I retrieved the Z out of storage so I could reassess the situation:


We looked at other options... Somehow repairing the originals. Looking again at making our own.
But neither of these options appealed to us, so the shell was pushed around the shop for a few months while I did other jobs on the project (more on these later).

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In May a friend of mine mentioned that global freight prices were slowly coming down, so I decided to take a look again at the KFV rear quarters.
KFV had changed freight company's and to my great delight the cost had come down to $1200AUD!
Still expensive, but at least it was palatable...
I spoke to the owner and he agreed to the purchase and continuing the project, so he sent me some more $ and I went and ordered the rear quarter panels.



They duly arrived in June and I sat them on the bodyshell.
They were good but they were going to need work to make them 100% right.

The two glaring issues is the US spec side repeater hole would have to be filled and the quarter vent hole also filled as the early Zeds had the vents in the hatch.
Some main bodyline was far to sharp.
The pressing around the tail lights was not consistent and to wide.
The step joint to the tail light panel was in the wrong spot.




Fixable but also annoying...

Edited by C.A.R.
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Once these manufacturing 'defects' had been identified, we started on rectifying them.
The vent hole and side repeaters were filled, the filled smooth.


The RH panel aalso had the fuel filler 'bucket'(?) fitted. This was removed from the original quarter panel, media blasted, repaired and welded into position:



While the Z was in storage in 2022, I was informed via socials of a company in Atlanta USA called 'Resurrected Classics' that were having other 'difficult to obtain' panels made in China.
Items they were having made were - amongst others - early vented Z hatch's, tail light panel and reproduction tail lights..

This was a HUGE bonus as this Zeds hatch was pretty bad - rust, bog and lots of damage.
The rear valance was also toast and I'd consigned myself to remaking it, but with a suitable one-piece tail light panel now available, it was going to be much easier and cheaper.

So I ordered them during this time, and fitted them up together with the rear quarter panels.
These panels also needed work to make them nice, but it was a great start.



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With the rear quarters clamped in position, then next thing we had to do was fit the rare spares door skins.
Rare Spares has a sticker on ALL their panels stating that:
"This is panel is only a vague approximation of an OEM panel and shitloads of work will be required to make it fit correctly."

Paul clamped them onto the rebuilt door frames to check fitment and... well... there were issues.
The door handle recess was 'low' in one skin in relation to the body line.
The door handle recess in both skins was 'sucked in' when a ruler was run across the body line.
The handle holes were in the wrong spot.
The upper body line was not sharp enough or not there at all...
Paul spent 3 days rectifying these issues - we worked out it would have been quicker to make new ones from scratch!
But eventually they were fitted to the frames (after I removed the e-coating):








Before the skins were fitted I Epoxied the insides of them and applied a coat of KBS Rust Seal to (hopefully) keep them rust free forever.




We are aiming for a 5mm panel gap and it appears we will succeed in obtaining that measurement.

Edited by C.A.R.
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  • 5 months later...

Time for another update.

With the door gaps sorted, we turned our attention to the quarter panels.
I can sum them up as being 90% good - they had issues like most aftermarket panels, but nothing horrendous. But it would be nice if they could just be 100% spot on...
* The top body line was too sharp
* The pressing around the tail light apparatuses were different from side to side
* They had ripples around the arch lips
* The step for the tail light panel was in the wrong spot.
* The LH recess for the tailgate opening was too 'short'.

Lots of panel beating and farnarkling took place, but we finally got them to fit after a number of days.
We couldn't have left these issues as they would have stood out like dogs balls once the car was painted and assembled...





Then we test fitted a bumper to make sure our fitment was correct:


With all that done (it took a LOT of hours), and all the gaps looking within tolerence, we could now begin prepping to weld the quarter panels into place.
But first the inner rear 1/4s were sanded and a fresh coat of Epoxy applied. The green coating was removed from the inside of the new quarter panels and these were also Epoxied.
Once the Epoxy had cured overnight, KBS Rust Seal was applied to the insides of both the 1/4 panels and internal structure (taking care to stay away from the panel joins) to seal them from any future corrosion (hopefully!).






The roof frame and skin also got the same treatment, before they were welded into position:



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With all the prep work done, we commenced welding the topside of rear quarter panels back on with a mixture of Mig plug welds and spot welds.
With the quarter panel welds around the tail light panel linished smooth, we then set about prepping and welding into place the rear tail light panel.



Unfortunately the manufacturer of the tail light panel got the hatch lock receiver mount AND the slam panel welded in the wrong spot, so we had to unpick it and weld it back on in
the correct position - 12mm to the left! - so the hatch lock could engage...
Annoying but straight forward enough.



The roof skin was then screwed into place, the windscreen & seal were installed and checked for fitment, then the removed so we could weld the skin into place:


Next, the body shell was returned to the rotisserie so the underside of the rear quarters could be welded into position:




The previously fabricated A-post drip rail extensions were then welded into place:





Then the underfloor rails were adjusted, prepped, welded into place and the welds linished smooth. After which the underside of the bodyshell was scuffed with 240g and given a coat of PPG finest Epoxy:


Along with the rear quarters, tail light panel and roof once they were taken back to bare metal:



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So that's the body shell repairs story completed, but for the next part of the restoration we need to go back in time a bit as I've omitted other parts of this 240Z's restoration.

In August '21 I was looking into rebuilding the door hinges as they were quite sloppy from years of use.
I came across this bloke on ebay in Malta(!) who makes Datsun hinge repair kits, so I placed the order and he posted me enough kits to rebuild all 4 door hinges.
I disassembled the hinges, media blasted them, then installed the new pins and bushes, they were then put aside until they were needed.



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Also in '21 we stripped down all the parts that required electroplating including ALL the bolts that are used.
This was all given to my Hydro-Jet blaster to take them back to raw steel again before being sent off for re-plating in silver or gold as required.



And back from the electroplaters a few months later - Shiny!



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