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mattbibbey

Datsun 240Z Barn find Restoration! cont.

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    I think Alan might be on to something. I am shocked by the rust in your car. If you are willing to do all the welding in of the new parts and spend the money then go for it.

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    I couldn't agree more alan! And no worries about the reply. I was doubting whether or not to buy it at an early stage any way LOL.

    The more time i spend on the car the more encouraging, rust free stuff i find. I believe that i've discovered the worst of it now so that's the air tubes ( which may be repairable, i think they're holed and not totally shot away), that front right chassis member that the picture shows by the sway bar, the floor pans and the rad support panel, small patches under the drip rail above the doors. other than that there's just the odd small bit here and there.

    My doors are in mint nick with not a patch of rust on them. The wings are rust free too. The car going backwards from the fire wall really, isn't too shabby. The only rust visible from inside the car is the floorpans, granted they're pretty bad.

    I'm in the fortunate postition where my friend (also in the army) and his father, used to restore classic cars for a living so they will help me free of labour charge as his old man is retired now and it will keep him occupied. Plus if i need a cash injection, i can always volunteer for a tour of afghanistan! I have to go anyway, might as well use the money for good. Haha.

    I am a realist and i fully understand the implications of all that needs to be done so i haven't ruled out the idea of getting a different car.

    I am quite overwhelmed by everyones help and advice so i thank you all!

    Matt

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    The air tubes on my car were fairly rotted too, but i got the ones currently on the car from my parts car, i shelled out i think around a grand just for the body shop guys to cut these off the orange car and weld them to the white car.

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    when i finally get the wings off my car, and everything else, how do i go about cutting out the old chassis legs and welding in the new ones? i'm a competent welder but i'm not sure on the best method and order to do it. If anyone has done this before i'd be grateful for some pointers!

    Matt

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    Ahhh... English terms and Yank terms.

    I know "wings" = "fenders", but am at a loss to for "legs". Unless you're referring to an old ZZTop song, in which case I'd suppose you're referring to the tires (tyres?).

    I'm not trying to be offensive, but could you elucidate on "legs", that being the term that has me at a loss.

    In very broad general terms, measure between key alignment points, measure and compare to the FSM (Factory Shop Manual) dimension sheet... you may have to do some basic number crunching, and clamp, support and otherwise rig up a frame to hold it all together before you do your first spot weld to hold in position. Then once you've done enough of these to hold the pieces in position, re-measure and adjust if necessary.

    With your experience as an armourer, you know that it only takes a gnat's width to cause problems.

    Hope this helps.

    E

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    Yes, unfortunately i do know only too well about small things making big problems haha!!

    The leg i was refering to is the front portion of the chassis member, the part running from the front towing eyes to the floor pan supports. The part that includes the sway bar bracket, the engine mounting brackets and so on. I found some from a UK company fpr 300 pounds each. datsun 240Z parts aren't common here.

    Thanks for the heads up about measuring before and after the spot welds! Probably would have overlooked that.

    Thanks

    Matt

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    Not sure if I mentioned that I may (perhaps only in the short term) rescued my dash board. I used some boot polish, it isn't sticky or slippery but i'm going to leave a test piece in the sun for a couple of days. See how it turns out. Any other ideas?

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    Wear dark clothing when you're near your dash.

    Seriously, if your UK boot polish is anything like the boot polish I remember from my Air Force (US) days, there's a bunch of wax and other petroleum distillates in it. As such, when it gets HOT, as black tends to do, it will get soft (unless it is an extremely thin film) and smudge anything that comes near it.

    As an alternative, don't use anything with Silicone in it. Here in the US we have Armor All, which DOES have Silicone Oil in it.

    Armor All unless it is used.... religiously, that is, on a very strict and fixed schedule, is NOT good for vinyl. There will be those who swear by it... I used to myself. The problem isn't WHILE you are using it.... it's when you don't do it for some time. Kind of like Heroin... you think everything is psychedelic and cool... until you go cold turkey. Then the problems creep in, cracks, shrinking, discoloration, chalkiness... need I go further?

    I've been using several products to try to ascertain the one that gives the best result, and while results vary, others have their choices as well. That we're on different sides of the "pond" (and I'm on the "left" side of the US as well ...on the map not politically), makes it difficult to recommend one product over another.

    Turtle Wax used to sell a product called Clear Guard. Excellent stuff, lasted forever... they took it off the market... poor sales, the product was too good. Clear Guard left a nice matte shine that repelled dust, lint and lasted for MONTHS.

    POR-15 sells one called Boss Gloss... again very nice, but don't put it on anything you don't want to be extremely slippery... seats, steering wheels, rubber foot pads, you get the idea. Doesn't last very long, but it gives an outstanding shine... but it IS shiny, and IMO seems to catch small dust particles easily.

    Protectant 302 is purported as SPF 30 for vinyl. I bought it at a shop that sells Hot Tubs, Vinyl Pools and the like. What I've seen I've liked. Lasts a good time, and you usually find yourself re-applying because it looks good and not because it's faded away (except for seats which are being wiped down with your clothing... no stains or problems there either).

    Meguia's Leather and Vinyl Protectant is also an easy to apply and use product. I've used this on the Roadster's vinyl top with good results and haven't found a need to switch, it's also relatively inexpensive compared to the other ones. Biggest drawback seems to be that after a week or so, it tends to "evaporate" and leave a non-shiny surface which will show you how evenly you did or did not apply it.

    Mother's also has a Leather and Vinyl product, but I have not tried it yet.

    Others will no doubt chime in with their preferences and why.

    But to clean off your dash board, use some Mineral Spirits (oil-based paint thinner) NOT Lacquer Thinner (that would dry out the vinyl), then use a soft spray on degreaser like Simple Green, or the like to remove the last of the oily residue. Apply your vinyl cleaner/conditioner and you should have a nice finish.

    FWIW

    E

    Edited by EScanlon

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    Well i'll definately be able to get hold of the meguia's product range so i'll keep it in mind so thanks.

    Does anyone know a person who wouldn't rip me off for all the kits that i need to recondition the brake master, clutch master, brake calipers, and so on and so on? Alternatively, does anyone have these items they'd sell to me?

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    Once again i have to send you to Zclub and get hold of mister F, he is a vendor there and being you are in the UK, i think it will be your best choice.

    He have a exchange rate that is 1:1 but he takes care of tax and shipping from US, it's not my first choice and that is because i have to pay international shipping once more if i buy from him.

    Chris

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    This was only really an option for me last year. In order for me to now buy a rust free californian car and convert it to right hand drive would be far beyond my finacial means LOL. I had a quote for left to right conversion last year of £2000. Then i'd have to buy a car, ship it here and pay all the taxes, duties and any other charges, i'm a soldier, i can't afford it! ( sadly)

    So in light of all that i feel that i HAVE to crack on and make do with what i have. To that end I've been in contact with a company called Fourways Engeneering. They have a lot of experience with Z's but also Classic Aston Martins and Ferraris, so they're obviously good. To fix the two floor pans, the two front chassis member/rails and the radiator core support panel he has quoted me £1600 for the manufacture and about £2000 for the labour cost. This sounds like a lot but i suppose that a rust free 240Z chassis is worth more than what it will have cost me to that point. My next tour of Afghanistan will pay for it.

    At the moment I've been struggling to find places to do the work in the UK. If anyone else has had any structural work done on their Z in the UK i'd appretiate some numbers! haha. So far I've found Auto-active ( based in bristol), Fourways Engeneering and the Z farm ( based in Yorkshire). The Z farm have sold a few of their fully restored cars for £23,000+ ! these Z's are getting rare over here i guess.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read and respond!!

    Matt

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    I have encountered another problem tonight! Shock! I'm trying to get the tail lights off the car but the screws just turn and turn. I can see the end of it that's outside and it is turning also. I'm not sure what to do. My rear panel is rust free so i don't want to damage that and the european tail lights are about 200 pounds ( 320 US) each so as you can imagine, i don't want to damage those either! I would get a junior hacksaw in there and saw the heads off the screws but as you know there isn't enough room.

    Grateful for ideas. Hope someone has done this before.

    Matt

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    What you see turning from the outside, are acorn nuts. The sides of their individual pockets in the light housings are supposed to hold them fast while you insert/remove the screws that hold the light in place.

    Unfortunately, sometimes the nuts get corroded in place on the screw and you have your result, a spinning nut that is stronger than the surrounding plastic which is supposed to hold it firm.

    If the condition of your light gaskets is such that there isn't anything to save, then peel off the rubber around the nut and insert a flat tipped screwdriver, or if you have a long needle nose pair of pliers use it to grip the nut with them. Then you can, hopefully, unscrew the lights from the body.

    The nuts are encased in the plastic, which might mean you will have to remove them once you have the lights out. It's tricky, but you can do it.

    HTH

    E

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    yeah, i've got a pair of snipe nose pliers but it's difficult to get them far enough into that reccess to grip the acorn nut. I'll keep trying but i think the nuts are siezed on too which is always helpful haha! As long i'm not the only one who struggles with these things I don't mind so much.

    Cheers

    Matt

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    Sadly no, you're not the only one that has had their share of "fun" with those.

    You might get a grip on them, and see if by "tightening" them just a tad, you might break the screw loose from the nut and can then remove the screw normally.

    It's not impossible to remove them, just a regular Pain In The Arse (PITA).

    E

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    To that end I've been in contact with a company called Fourways Engeneering. They have a lot of experience with Z's but also Classic Aston Martins and Ferraris, so they're obviously good. To fix the two floor pans, the two front chassis member/rails and the radiator core support panel he has quoted me £1600 for the manufacture and about £2000 for the labour cost. This sounds like a lot but i suppose that a rust free 240Z chassis is worth more than what it will have cost me to that point. My next tour of Afghanistan will pay for it.

    Matt,

    Geoff and his team at Fourways Engineering are good friends of mine, and I'd certainly recommend their work - as long as you don't ask them to cut any corners due to costs. They know what they are doing, and have done the same repairs on many similar UK market cars. To repair it all properly, and with structural integrity as well as accuracy, is a really big job.

    They replaced the floors on my Fairlady Z-L project car some years ago, and did lots of other prep work on the body before they painted it. You'd be very welcome to come over to my garages and see the car in person if you have time.

    I've got a good bonnet and tailgate that you could buy if you really think you need them. No need to take them yet, as they are not going anywhere ( they are hanging on the garage wall ) and you will need to do lots of other work before you need them. They are there for when you need them.

    I'm still worried about the true condition of the air tubes / upper supports. Have you investigated them fully yet?

    Cheers,

    Alan T.

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    Alan,

    Really grateful ( as always) for your comment and offer of a good sale! I will definately take you up on both offers. But, like you said, i've got it all to do first. Bonnet and tailgate are a low priority. Geoff at fourways seemed like a nice guy and i looked at their website. If someone trusts them with their Aston Martin DB4, then they must be really good. And like you said, I don't want any corners cut. I want a really good, original example of a 240Z. If that costs me an enormous amount then (grudgingly) so be it!

    At the moment, i'm still struggling with the wings, a few of the bolts sheered off and others just won't budge. I'm going to have to cut off the bolts securing the front of the wings to the headlight cowl and the bit underneath that. But it's a bit tricky in my small garage LOL.

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    The cars are garaged in the N13 postcode, and I live just a few miles down the road now.

    Quite easy for you to get to I think. Take the M40 down to M25, go clockwise, off at Junction 24 and then south on A111, which takes you all the way there. Drop me a PM here if you want to set something up date / time wise.

    Cheers,

    Alan T.

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    Alan,

    N13, is that Enfield? I'm thinking about getting the whole car dipped in whatever it is that stripps all the paint and rust off. A friend of mine had his 60's dub camper van dipped and he was really pleased with it. Obviously my engine and everything else would be out. Is there any good reason why i shouldn't do this?

    Cheers

    Matt

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    Those siezed acorn nuts holding the tail lights in are not budging! I'm going to have to cut the screw heads off to get them out. Any ideas how i can do that. It'll be very difficult to reach the ones at the bottom edge of the lights.

    Cheers

    Matt

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    I don't know what tools you have available to you, nor if some of the names I will use will "translate".

    When I had this same problem on my 71 refresh years ago (8 or so), I used a DREMEL tool with it's cable attachment in conjuction with a needle nose VISE-GRIP. (I used caps on the brand names that have become accepted as identifying the tool. I'll presume you know them by such, or if not you can look them up by those names.)

    The Dremel was used to grind out the indent in the screw head to ease the introduction of a drill bit. Then I replaced the grinding stone attachment with a drill bit until the screw head was removed. The Vise-Grips were used to grasp the screw head while I ground and drilled.

    That was the procedure on the hard to reach screws (the lower and extreme outside). The easier to reach ones, I was able to grind off the screw head with a 4" Grinder and a cut-off wheel disk. I also tried the Dremel with cut off wheels, but ended up chewing up a lot of wheels and little progress, your results could differ.

    In both cases, while the screw head WILL get very hot, try to minimize the length of time you grind so that it won't melt the plastic base of the light.

    I wish there were an easier way, but there isn't. Sadly, with the fuel vapor hoses, the supports for the tail-lamp plastic cover and the hatch shelf overhang.... it's a very tight fit.

    Hope this helps.

    Enrique

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    It does, thanks! I've got a mains electric powered drill with the cable thing so i'll try that. Also my grinder will work ( i hope) on the easier to reach ones.

    I haven't even started to remove the stuff under the car! Like the fuel tank, any running gear oh god!! AND the engine. Aarrgh!

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    Well, the car tried to kill me a couple of times last night. I was removing the bonnet (hood), and the car tried to swallow me whole!! haha. Now I must start with those blasted wings! I won't let them defeat me again!

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    Ok, update time. The bonnet and tailgate are off now. I can properly see the the radiator support panel. It's a bit lacy. None of it is distorted so replacing it won't be too challenging. The radiator itself is in a good state. The underside and outside edge of the airtubes looks ok, it'll just be the top that's in a bad way I reckon. I've removed the exhaust system and it's going in a skip. (I wanted a stainless one anyway.) I've drained the fuel tank so that's next to come off. The fuel was really red, a cross between red diesel and red wine!! Wierd. Now I'm struggling to release the wing from the headlight cowl. I know how, it's just siezed like everything else. LOL

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