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Is there meant to be a rubber stopper in this hole?

I think there is - one of these?

Yes. But IMO they need gluing in place as they are so easily flicked off when getting in or out of the car as clothing catches on them.

Great work BTW, especially your metal shaping skills. A real credit to you.

Edited by gilltech
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It's about time I documented my 240Z restoration project. People have been hassling me to do youtube videos, but since I hate the sound of my own voice, I have decided that words and pictures set the

Chapter 4 - Well, Wheely Wusty Wheel Well.   Last chapter, we finished taking stock of the rust that we could see. All in all, and compared to other 240Z's that I have seen

Chapter 12 - Glacial Movement is still Movement Its been pretty slow progress on Z of late. I've been heading to and from Canberra every second weekend to visit my mother in hospital (yes, smokin

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8 minutes ago, gilltech said:

Yes. But IMO they need gluing in place as they are so easily flicked off when getting in or out of the car as clothing catches on them.

Great work BTW, especially your metal shaping skills. A real credit to you.

Great tip! Glue it I will!

And thanks for the encouragement! I'm definitely aiming for quality over speed; if I was being paid for the job, I'd be flat broke by now!

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1 hour ago, 240ZBUILTBYME said:

Are you writing as you go or are you writing retrospectively?

Retrospectively - playing catchup. I think I might just go fast forward for a couple of chapters, if only so that I can get some feedback on some of my current difficult areas that I'm working on!

In terms of progress, I think I am about 11 months ahead of you but way less organised! (plus I've been racing mountain bikes and helping my brother build his house extensions).

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Chapter 8 - The Guards of the Galaxy

Last chapter we tackled the RH rocker panel and rear dog leg. This chapter, I'm going to tackle the hatch and both guards. Why? Because I'm sick of doing side-situps; I now have the neck of a formula 1 driver!


In between racing mountain bikes with my son, interviewing for and getting a new job, driving down to Canberra to help my bro build his house extensions, and being a dad, I've been working on Zee.



My Son and I racing in 38 degree heat in Canberra.



Some pitted surface rust, and some holy surface rust.



A previous repair. kind of.


The rear hatch had rust holes in the back and in the bottom corners where the window goes. And a bit underneath. So I tackled those with mixed success.


A bit of stretching coupled with some Fitze for the bottom.



Such a nice fit!


The window corners went pretty well.


The underneath went kind of average. While the rust is repaired, there was a bit of distortion. And the top was ok, however I don't think I went far enough. I have repaired the rust, but the overall shape was (and still is) a bit rubbish as it dips down a bit where the latch button is. I think I need to cut out that section over the latch button and all around it - basically the height and width of the bracket underneath it. I'll come back to that I think...


OK from a rust perspective, still more work to do from a shaping perspective.


I also need to work out what shape that is meant to be; is it meant to be flat or slightly curved when looking side on? I'm guessing its meant to be slightly curved - like the edges are??


I then thought I would move onto the front right hand guard. I literally told my wife this would be a small patch and take an hour and a half to fix. Funny me. Once I had stripped back the paint and bog, it revealed the shonky job that was done before-hand - someone had literally jammed in a chunk of steel behind the rust and bogged over everything. And I thought the Bog Monster was a fictional character!




As it turned out, I had to remake the bracket/brace thing (the thing that bolts onto the rocker panel plus has the skin folded onto it). I drilled out the spot welds and it came off pretty easily. Problem is that the bottom section was so bad I had no idea what it should look like, so I just made something that I thought was fairly close. I also made a new bottom section of the skin, welded it all on, folded it back onto the "bracket thing" and test fitted it to the guard.



Change in method - I'm attempting the "Rob's Shed" tight fit method (aka no gaps)



And it worked out pretty well. Its way straighter than it looks - no daylight under a long ruler.



Sideways, Mr Squiggle! The bracket-thing sits flush up against the car, and wraps around the rocker (on the right).


To my dismay, it just wouldn't fit. I had neglected to realise that this "bracket thing" also acts like a seal and sits perfectly flush against the side of the car and the rocker panel. Bugger. So I had to undo my rosette welds, pull it apart again and make another one. Version 2 worked perfectly after a while.




When I moved to the other side, it was much easier. I repeated the process - replaced parts of the "bracket thing", replaced the bottom of the skin, put it all back together and test fitted. This panel was also a bit funky in other parts - it had a bunch of dings, high spots and low spots. With the help of a hammer, dolly, a heating disc, some texta and soapy water, I brought it all back into "skim coat of bog" category. There was also a rusty strip along the top that I had to cut out and replace.



As straight as an arrow ... after the arrow was driven over by a convoy of trucks.



A longer patch than the other side, also using the "tight" method of butt welding



And also worked out pretty well. I like the "tight" method - there's less distortion due to welds shrinking and pulling things around.



The rusty top bit that fit into the rusty engine bay area. Notice that blue filler in the background - that's the original filler that blocks the fender mirror holes. I'm getting rid of that too...



New piece in place. As good as new, and in a place where no-one will see anyway. But I'll know...


While I was over this left side, I also fixed up the front of the rocker panel in a similar way to the other side, but for a different reason - both bolts were snapped off inside and fused solid. I drilled one out - perfectly drilling through the centre of the bolt, but the other had rust around the captive nut, so I just replaced the bottom section.



No I don't have a rotisserie. I took this photo upside down so I could see the bolt holes underneath.



And repaired. There's still some surface rust with light pitting there - not sure how to 100% get rid of that.


Lesson's learnt this time around:

1. I'm liking the method of having no gaps when butt welding, but it requires solid steel to weld to otherwise I can't get the heat up enough to penetrate both metals without blowing through the old metal.

2. When distortion occurs, its usually from the weld itself shrinking. Get a hammer and dolly and squish that weld and the distortion will disappear

3. Keep on top of distortions and misfits. Don't think "I'll keep welding for now and fix it later" because the fixing will become harder and harder the more weld you lay down (which kind of reinforces the wrong shape). Fix the distortions immediately and there will be less to do in the end.

4. Keep learning!


So, this was a bit of a "fast forward" chapter. Next I'll tackle part of the roof, and discuss why its only "part" done (spoiler: Lurch has convinced me to go further down the rabbit hole). And then, onto the firewall, under the cowl, and the battery tray area.



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Just now, CBR Jeff said:

Willow this weekend?


I think so! I will enter tomorrow and probably do the 50km. My good bike is getting a fork and shock service (which gets sent down to Melbourne) so I'll be doing it on my old 29er hard tail. Also not 100% sure if I should enter my son too, given he's in year 11 and they get even more homework. We'll see tomorrow night!

Are you going to head out?

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I'm having coffee with Bob from RT in the morning and will probably  give a hand organising things on Sunday but know more tomorrow. If I'm coming out ill chase you up.

I haven't raced for some time just enjoy social riding, particularly going down hill :-), organising events and officiating.


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4 hours ago, MikeFarkas said:

Retrospectively - playing catchup. I think I might just go fast forward for a couple of chapters, if only so that I can get some feedback on some of my current difficult areas that I'm working on!

In terms of progress, I think I am about 11 months ahead of you but way less organised! (plus I've been racing mountain bikes and helping my brother build his house extensions).

Nice work, you’ve documented it well, I was hoping you were going to say retrospectively! otherwise your speed of progress is somewhat ridiculous! Lol

i don’t think I will make as quick progress as you are, your metal work skills are quite amazing considering you haven’t done this before, well at least you made it sound like you hadn’t. 


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Chapter 9 - Roofus Interruptus


Last chapter we went in fast forward to cover the half-done rear hatch, and the fully done front guards. This chapter, I want to cover an area that I have been too afraid to do since the beginning - the upper corner of the windscreen and roof.


Why have I been too afraid to tackle this? Well, when I took the sunroof out (yep - I've got one of those...) I noticed that the roof itself was paper thin! Welding onto this was going to be nigh impossible, and unfortunately I had a repair to do...




However, I thought my skills had improved enough to give this a fairly solid crack. The question was around what technique was I going to use??


Looking at this part of the roof section, there are angles going in every dimension:

  1. The part that the windscreen rubber attaches to gently arcs downward.
  2. The next, horizontal part, got marginally thinner and also gently arched backwards, but forward again right at the corner.
  3. The top corner also gently arc's backwards, but also slightly downwards.
  4. The roof skin bit also changed its shallowness the closer to the edge it got.




And, this was super visible, so getting it wrong would make Zee look like Frankensteiness.


Once again, after assuming foetal position again for a while, I figured I should be able to create the patch without needing to cut into the roof. This was perfect, because it allowed me to have several attempts at the patch if I needed to, which took that part out of the "how to stuff up your car" equation.


I used what I call "the Fitze method". Rather than trying to bend the piece in all of those dimensions (I just don't have that kind of skill ... yet), I decided it would be easier to make it out of 3 pieces - 1 for bottom, one of the vertical part, and one for the top. I started with the bottom, making a piece that slotted in perfectly over the existing spot-welded piece. I clamped it in place. Next was the vertical piece. I massaged it with a flap disk until it perfectly mated with the bottom bit, and then flexed it backward so it fit perfectly with the existing roof. This piece extends way past the roofline, but that is fine. I then created the roof patch, which I painstaking mated perfectly with the horizontal piece, and also clamped it in place.




Like a diamond in the rough, it looked ugly but had the right angles to work with. I tacked it with the welder in many places (while clamped), then pulled it off and welded all of the corners a la Fitze method, and ground them back to the shape I wanted.





The top edge is currently way to sharp, but its easier to make blunt than it is to sharpen...


Next step was to cut the roof. I didn't need to go back very far, maybe 3/4 of an inch, but wanted to go along far enough that I had good metal to work with.  Once that was done, I took a photo, then nuked the insides with S50 Cavity Wax (I'd run out of Eastwood Internal Frame Coating).






Post nuke. That cavity wax gets into everywhere!!


Once done, it was time to cut back my patch, then carefully massage it until it slotted in perfectly flush.




Welding was done very slowly. Literally 2 spots at a time, then let cool until I could hold my hand on it. Then another 2 spots. I kept doing that until complete, then just as carefully flapped back the welds and dressed with anti-ox to stop from surface rusting.




I think it came up well, and I was super proud of myself! I even "showed it off" to the Aussie Z facebook group.



Front all finished (except for the corner welds which need cleaning up)



Side View.


Its at that point that Lurch noticed the high amount of surface rust under the roof skin, and strongly suggested I take the roof skin off. I spent a day in complete denial, and then relented because he was right - unless I deal with the cancer lurking under the roof skin, its just going to come back again.


At which point, I enthusiastically moved onto the battery tray area!


While that is the truth (the part about moving onto the battery tray), I'm actually procrastinating on the roof. I will do it, but I need to decide whether I want to keep the sunroof or not. If I don't want to keep the sunroof, then I have 2 choices:

  1. See if I can source another roof skin off a good quality parts car. (unlikely??)
  2. Create a patch for the sunroof hole, and bond it in place. (its way too thin to weld, and metal bonding is meant to be just as good these days).


Or, I embrace the 70's, grow a mow, wear some vinyl, and keep the sunroof. Arg. Decisions decisions...


So, next chapter my son and I get the Engine and Gearbox out (making the exact same mistake as Ryan did with the engine leveler) and then I find more rust with the added challenge that its kinda hard to get at.


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5 hours ago, MikeFarkas said:

So, next chapter my son and I get the Engine and Gearbox out (making the exact same mistake as Ryan did with the engine leveler) and then I find more rust with the added challenge that its kinda hard to get at.

Great work on the roof patch. Looks like your roof is much like mine, probably less rusty. Mine has surface rust hiding between the frame and skin too, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a spare replacement skin in decent enough condition. 

Hahahaha it’s such a silly mistake, and once you make it you’re like “how could I have been so dumb!?” I guarantee neither of us will make that mistake again...


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9 hours ago, 240ZBUILTBYME said:

Can anyone comment on whether that join that mike is working on, is the join of the roof skin to A pillar skin is meant to be lead filled? Or welded together? 

Its a bit hard to tell, but that last picture ("Side View") has a slightly different hew on the pillar and up the side. I was being super careful when I welded near there not to get that hot enough to melt, because I didn't want to have to do any lead work. Unfortunately, I think I am now committed to taking the roof skin off so I will be doing the lead-work anyway.

I guess the next question is: does it need to be lead? Are there "flexible bondo" options that would achieve the same (or better) results??

Edited by MikeFarkas
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17 hours ago, 240ZBUILTBYME said:

Hahahaha it’s such a silly mistake, and once you make it you’re like “how could I have been so dumb!?” I guarantee neither of us will make that mistake again...

The other mistake I made was not getting the gear stick out. That made it 100 times harder than it should have been.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Chapter 10 - All caught up


Last chapter we patched the roof skin, and while I was in denial about the need to remove the entire roof skin, I decided it was a good time to tackle that small piece of rust on the firewall.


First step was to get the engine and gearbox out. In order to achieve this there were 3 things that I needed; an Engine Mount, an Engine Hoist, and a Son. So, I went upstairs into one of the rooms that I have up there, scrounged around in all of the mess and managed to find a Son. Tick! We then went to Total Tools and bought an Engine Mount, and then swung back via a mates place to borrow his hoist and engine leveler.


Interesting fact for the physicists out there, especially those interested in "conservation of energy". When smashing your forehead into a fully loaded engine hoist, there is zero energy transfer. No heat, no movement, not even a satisfying "dongggg". Nothing. Ask me how I know...


Anyway, my son and I carefully disconnected all wires and hoses off both the engine and gearbox, and labelled them so that I had a fighting chance of putting it all back together again. For added insurance, I also took a bunch of photos. Some stuff came off easily, and other stuff just fell apart such as the hydraulic clutch hose (that looked as though a rat had eaten it at some point) and some other wires that went into the gearbox.


To get the engine out, we first needed to get the radiator out which was pretty easy, and then disconnect the gearbox from the car. I couldn't seem to get the shifter off, but it looked like I had enough room under the car, especially since I had to raise the car a bit anyway to clear the legs of the engine hoist.




As it turned out, we made 2 mistakes. Mistake 1, I should have tried much harder to get the gear stick off as that would have made things waaaaay easier. Mistake 2, I put the leveller on back to front (had the handle to the front of the car instead of the back), so after a certain point I could no longer wind the handle. Doh! Lucky there was two of us getting this all out, so one of us could lever down the end of the gearbox so that we could angle it all correctly to come out. But it came out without too much fuss. I also left the headers on because I didn't want to, aherm, exhaust myself.




After an evening of hi-fiving, I moved onto the rust! I first had to ascertain what I was dealing with, so I removed the battery tray and also cleaned the paint off 2/3 of the firewall. There was cheese under the battery tray, and more rust along a horizontal line along the firewall, which unfortunately incorporated the bonnet latch mount.



Battery induced cheese! Is it battery acid or that battery powder stuff that accumulates on the terminals that causes this?


Since, apparently, I was now into taking things off cars that were never meant to be removed, I removed the hood latch mount from inside in the engine bay, and then the wiper engine mount and something on the cowell that was covering the air hole for the heater.



No pressure, but if I don't get that back on just perfectly, I won't be able to close the bonnet.


Under the air/water cover thing was a rectangular tube which was really rusty on one side. Seam sealer was everywhere, haphazardly applied in big random chunks by a gorilla with parkinsons disease.  It was not a surprise that this had caused a build up of crap that had caused things to rust out, and I could now see into the cabin AND into the engine bay from outside the car. That was not good.



Air Vent Rust.


To tackle this beast, I decided to cut strips out of the firewall, then cut out the rusty cowel behind it, fabricate and weld in new cowel, then fabricate and weld in new firewall. Once I had done all of that, I'll then re-spot weld the firewall to the cowel.


Tips for young players: Weld the cowel piece in BEFORE welding in the firewall, so that have better access.



Cut the rust out, but make sure I cut far enough back that I can get access with the welder and the sander.



get the fit. This first time I fixed the firewall first, and it was a pain in the butt.



All welded and cleaned up. I need this pieces to flow the water out of there nicely.



Firewall patch underway.



All cleaned up.


The theory worked, but it was a pain in the butt. It was quite hard to get the welder into many of those places (either from above or from below) and even harder to clean it up with any kind of grinding or sanding tool. But, with a tonne of patience, I got there in the end.



SO much rust in there.



Fabbing the new piece. Bend the outer, weld the inner.



Looks just like a bought one.





I now need to make a new rectangular tube, which is fairly easy. This is what it looks like so far. But before I weld that in, and remove my access to the passenger side cowel area, I want to rust protect and seam-seal. So, I then sanded the inside by hand and nuked it all with a rust encapsulator.



There's nothing quite like a random piece of poly pipe for getting the perfect corners.



Making the new piece.


There is also an extra strip of metal inside the cowel that doesn't seem to do much except to funnel water into the join between the firewall and the cowel, but was shaped "just right" to run some seam sealer in there. Channelling the above Ape with a neurological disorder, I attempted to put "brush on" seam sealer there, and failed dismally. So now I need to ctrl-z that piece of work and try again with a caulk gun seam sealer. I love redoing stuff.


Now onto the battery tray area. First of all, I know I'm going to have to replace a bunch of that guard, so I made a cardboard design, making relief cuts everywhere to get the right shapes and sticky-taping it together. The cardboard looked so awesome I wish it would weld onto metal, but alas I had to transfer onto 18 gauge and made a piece that approximated what I needed. Its coming along nicely, I think.




Then I tackled the rust where the guard meets the firewall. I cut away the guard so that I could access the firewall and then proceeded to cut out the rust. The firewall itself wasn't flush - it was bowed in towards the passenger a fair bit. I hoped that with the heating and cooling of the welding, it would shrink the metal into place, but I wanted it to shrink to the right place, so I set up a dodgy rig to push the firewall to square. Then I welded in my new pieces. To my delight, when I removed my rig the firewall was square again! Yay!



Using a level as a lever, so that we can straighten up the firewall from inside the passenger footwell.



Firewall is now much better, and I'm ready to finish off the battery tray area.


The battery tray itself had seen a previous repair, but wasn't too bad. It needed a tidy up, but instead of using the usual methods I had to my disposal in my garage, I decided to use magic instead. I pulled out my longest screwdriver, waved it in the air like Ronald Weasly, and chanted Rustiest Expeleramous! Booof! To my amazement, a package from Columbia immediately arrived!



New battery tray, all the way from Columbia! Glad I didn't try to order coffee...


Yeah - creating my own battery tray would have taken waaaay too long. Also, I think i sorted out a lot of my mess on the back right hand side too! Yay!




So, now you're all caught up!


What is next for me to do on this build?

  1. Finish under the battery tray.
  2. Re-seam seal the cowel area
  3. Finish off the rectanglular breather tube thing and weld that into place.
  4. Add some more rust proofing paint around that
  5. Weld the cover back onto that thing
  6. Weld the wiper mount back into place
  7. Weld the bonnet catch bracket back on
  8. Tackle the roof skin
  9. Tackle a small amount of rust above the rear quarter windows
  10. Tackle the back right hand side
  11. Floor Pans
  12. Doors


A question for you guru's: I have noticed that people have taken to bolting on the battery tray instead of welding it on. Why?



Edited by MikeFarkas
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Great work as always mike, I have to do something similar with my firewall cowl area. I’m playing with the idea of removing the top panel of the cowl/drain area for easier access. 

I believe most bolt the tray in as it needs to be removed to properly paint the underside of the tray and area underneath tray. Also gives access after painted to clean up any spilt battery acid etc. 


Edited by 240ZBUILTBYME
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Battery tray part II

Remember when you were in school and you thought "I'm never going to use this! I'm quitting!". Yeah, that was me in Kindergarten. And yet, look at this...


I'm using my skills! Thank you Mr's Kindergarten Teacher!

This is filling in a "relief cut", because I don't have an english wheel to make nice neat hollows in metal. As a reminder, this is the piece fitting pretty neatly under the battery tray.


Once I had the relief cuts welded in, I next had to make the flange, which I did by putting a large piece of metal up against the firewall (held on by magnet), putting the new guard piece in place and then spot welding the two together. Then I took it off, welded the inside, ground back the excess on the top, welded the corner, and then ground it all back into a nice neat corner.

Then, it was test fit time again, complete with my magic green battery tray.


Then came the scary bit, which was also the slow bit. I cut the original guard away and slowly but surely fit the new panel in, grinding away metal on one or the other until it all fit perfectly.


This took me hours, where I must have refit the whole thing about 100 times, slowly but surely inching my way forward. I'm sure "Fitze" would have "cut and butt" and had it done in 15 minutes, but I am far less brave.

Once it was in, I tacked it, made sure it fit again, massaged some of the curves so that they flowed without any low spots where the weld was going to go, and then put more tacks in, before welding sections between the tacks. This is how far I got before "Sunday night family phone calls" kicked in.


I should be able to finish this off tonight.

The funny thing is I was expecting to complete this on Saturday. Yeah-nah.

I hope you all managed to stay dry over this crazy weekend, and that none of your precious Z's got flooded!

Cheers, Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Chapter 11 - Easter Eggsistentialism


I enjoy working on my car - I really do - but sometimes I catch myself chasing my own tail. And sometimes, as a result, things can start to get a bit overwhelming.


At those times I like to stop and take stock - I ask myself the important and deep questions like; Why am I feeling this way? What am I concerned about? Is this a problem of my own making, and if so, what is it? How much time is this project taking? Is that the right amount of time? Does time really exist anyway? What is 'reality', and do we truly make our own decisions? And what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen European Swallow?


At the point, I usually realise I am just procrastinating as a result of having too much unfinished stuff on the go while also being super keen to start on the next bit. So, I just need to knuckle down and finish some stuff off! And that's how I spent literally 1 afternoon in Easter.


Battery Tray area spot welded in. Tick.


Next step, which seems to be the trend, is to bolt the battery tray in place. Hmmm.


Scraped back the shonky seam sealer inside the cowl area and repaint. Tick.

Allow to dry before doing a better job with the seam sealer. Tick.


Finish off the air tube thing. Tick.


This is the bottom of it, which will be spot welded to from beneath. Wish me luck with that one...



Does this have an actual name, or is "air tube thing" about as good as it gets?


Put some paint on the air tube thing. Tick.

Put some paint on the inside of the Bonnet Latch Bracket. Tick.


So, why haven't I done more?

  1. I've been going down to Canberra every second weekend to visit a sick parent in hospital.
  2. Bike riding, Bike Maintenance, kids and household maintenance.
  3. A cable on my garage door broke. What a pain in the butt that was to fix!


But, I have a plan of attack!

  1. Utilise 1 hour each evening to do stuff on the car (when I'm working from home).
  2. Weld in the Bonnet Latch Bracket.
  3. Seam Seal the inside of the cowl while I have full access.
  4. Weld in the Air Tube Thing.
  5. Weld in the Air Tube Thing Cover.
  6. Weld in the Window Wiper Motor Bracket.


If I can do that by the end of the week, I'll be happy, because I might be driving back down to Canberra on Friday night (assuming my Outback gets repaired - someone rear-ended me on the M7 a fortnight ago).


So, question of the day. I need to weld that Bonnet Latch Bracket in place. I still have indents where the original spot welds were and the associated holes in the bracket, so it should line up pretty nicely. But - how accurate does this need to be? If I get this wrong, will that mean that bonnet won't close, or will close crooked or something? Thoughts?


Oh, and I saw these meme which pretty much spells out my Z journey so far.



Edited by Mike_F
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Entertaining as always mike.

Determinism is the only truth. We are nothing but chain reactions. Oh and google says 11 meters per second for the European swallow.... ;D

I have to remove my bonnet latch too so I had created a mental plan for when the time came to take measurements and run a metal scribe around the outside of the bracket. I’m assuming you did neither? 

someone may be able to take some measurements for you to double check your positioning before burning in? I would be happy to but I just got back to site... 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 240ZBUILTBYME said:

I have to remove my bonnet latch too so I had created a mental plan for when the time came to take measurements and run a metal scribe around the outside of the bracket. I’m assuming you did neither?

In my infinite wisdom, I used a texta. Which has now completely disappeared. But, I do have 4 spot weld holes!


But, those holes seem to "mate" nicely with one another, so I think I'm sorted


Also, is it just me or does everyone think this bracket is a beautifully sculpted piece of art?


Ok, its just me then.

Edited by Mike_F
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Also, is it just me or does everyone think this bracket is a beautifully sculpted piece of art?

I've just touched up the paint on mine so I took a close look at it again. I totally agree, someone put some design effort in there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Chapter 12 - Glacial Movement is still Movement

Its been pretty slow progress on Z of late. I've been heading to and from Canberra every second weekend to visit my mother in hospital (yes, smoking causes strokes), race mountain bikes, help my brother with his house, and even found some time to visit CBR Jeff.

With all of those km's being racked up on the car and the bikes, I have managed to move forward with Zee. I figure its better to do bits and pieces than do nothing at all.

I welded the bonnet latch bracket back into place:


I put RivNuts in place for the Battery Tray using my brothers broken RivNut tool (ie a Hex Bolt with a big free floating nut that to pull against):


I have prepared the inside of the cowl area for some seam sealer, and I figured I would do some more seam sealing around the battery tray area (on both sides) where it meets the firewall. But, before I can do that I need to lay down some primer, so I cleaned up the engine bay a bit and primed half of it:


Why didn't I just prime the whole engine bay while I was there? Well...

1. I hate having things half finished, and I want to finish the Cowl area off, which has a sequence to it which start with Seam Sealer. So that's priority.

2. I need to repair some of the bracket that the front guard hangs over - the same bracket that is welded onto the strut tower.

3. I would need to get the front suspension components off to do the engine bay in its entirety, which I don't want to do yet.

This weekend I intend on being in Sydney, so I want to get a bunch more done - hopefully zip that cowl area up for good. I also want to make a start on that back RH guard now that I have the green repair panel from Columbia, which will remove much of the crumpled mess there.


Now, onto a serious note.

My mother has finally decided to stop smoking. She is 69 years old, and started smoking when she was about 9. But, unfortunately for my mother, this decision has come too late. In January, 1/3 of her brain was damaged as a result of the blood clot induced stroke. He left arm doesn't work, she's blind in her left eye, and her left leg isn't too good at the moment either - after about 3 months of rehab, she can struggle to pull herself from a seated to a standing position. While she still has her excellent sense of humour, her cognitive ability has suffered significantly - snakes and ladders is a big challenge, as are children's puzzles. She has a very long and tough road ahead of her (years of rehab), and so does my Dad who is always at her side.

My message to our Z family: If you smoke, don't wait until a debilitating stroke forces you to reconsider your health choices - because by then its too late for both you and your loved ones who will be looking after you. Giving up smoking will not be easy - the nicotine receptors in your brain, which are like ticks that suck the life out of their host, will fight you at every step. But over time, you will starve them to death and their need for your smoking will become less and less. But, it will be worth it. You'll look back in amazement at how good you feel once you have given it up. And you will have a much better chance at living out your days healthy, and on your terms. Hopefully, for us, that means still hurtling our Z's along winding country roads, windows down, listening to that roar echoing through the trees as we shift back a gear and allow the engine to rev back up towards redline - Grinning from ear to ear as we do it. That should be our twighlight years - doing that, not wishing we could do that.


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