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Moving Forward - '78 280Z

Davey G

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After getting initial engine tuning (including reworked AFM), and the struts and bushing work done I'm moving on to some minor body improvements.

The paint was freshly done just before I got the car. No, it is not the original color, nor did they do the door jams, door ends, or engine bay. With the engine running well it will be a while before the engine bay gets painted since this is currently a daily driver.

The paint job was so so, but in a color I liked - let's call it grey metallic (not silver, as it is a much darker silver than the original silver or even the BMW silver) as you see in my avatar. I dropped it off with my paint and body friend this morning to get a few nicks worked on and a final light sanding (2000 grit) and polish. He will finish door jambs and door ends in the process as well. When done the new weatherstripping will go on - not every piece, but everything that is damaged/torn/missing. Once I know it'll shed water I'll move to the inside.

???Should I do the seat upholstery, or the CD/MP3 player, or the carpet/insulation first???. The carpet is new, cheap, and with completely botched installation. But being new...and black, no one can tell but me right now.


Edited by Davey G
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I'd vote for seats, then carpet, then tunes.

Well, it needed the taillight gaskets as well. It's a small fortune in rubber for these things! But I can't wait to get it all on and drive it to test wind noise. I got the J.C. Whitney window channel seals that have been suggested, so that should help.

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  • 2 weeks later...


The door jams are repaired and painted.

The interior of the doors are painted.

Rust repaired (welded) at hood front corners.

Hatch frame rust repaired and painted.

Underside of hood needs to be done. Rear panel needs to be done. Everything still needs to get a final polish, but it's looking good. Then the new weatherstripping. As I said, rust on floor pans is fiberglassed (and dry with new rubber), but needs better repair, including pan rails. Also, when engine needs rebuilding I'll paint the engine bay and rear deck, as they are still the original wine metallic.

It's entirely drivable, but will get carpet and upholstery upon finishing the paint and weatherstrip.

Edited by Davey G
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When I removed the hood I found some rust where the left hood hinges attach to the front body. There are 3 nuts welded to that body piece for the hood hinges to attach. The metal between the 3 nuts is badly rusted, including some holes, though the welded nuts are very secure. It looks like there was a minor fender-bender at the front left corner at one time, and the two pieces of metal that are essentially glued together to make a strong support for the hood were repaired.

However, when the repair was done the now missing filler was not filled in, and a gap between the two pieces has been letting water in between the two metal pieces with no where to drain to, hence the rust. After eating the rust away with some acid wash, a piece will be added that will also have the 3 bolts going thru it, strengthening all of it, and filler added to waterproof, then paint.

I thought I'd be back on the road by now, but I'm also glad to find what needs fixing. I can hear my dear departed Dad now "Patience boy, patience."

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How aout some pics??

Will do. I took some 'before' pics, but will get some with finishing touches done. The left side is polished out already and looks good. I've ordered carpet and upholstery which will be in next week, about when the weatherstripping is put on.

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