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This vehicle, which has always resided in Florida is in excellent condition compared to other Datsun 240Z's which are often found rusted out. The owner bought this (nearly) rust-free car as a project destined for a performance build. Being mechanically inclined, the customer is going to be doing all the assembly and upgrades but wanted us to take care of the body restoration.

 

 

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Neat.  But it looks like an ad for a shop.  If it is, the OP should just say so.  

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Neat.  But it looks like an ad for a shop.  If it is, the OP should just say so.  

No. Mostly, I'm trying the highlight the hidden rust damage and the restoration process. In addition, I'd like to show the process of restoring a vehicle as close to the traditional methods as possible. 

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Looks like you are off to a great start. It is rare to see such a fine shell!

It is most definitely a beautiful piece of art. :)

I'll update daily with news and photos of the progress.

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Looks like a great starting point! If it can be of any help, I documented a bunch of my '71 240Z restoration. WoodWorkerB.com.


'71 240Z
WoodWorkerB.com

Edited by bvolken

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Agreed from above! I look forward to your progress. bvolken your Z looks awesome too!

 

I filled up "Kiddy's Classic - Automotive Restoration Cost Calculator" to the way i would want my project Z to be stock original show quality and it came to $79,525 and it's not even Concours! :o Man I need to win a lottery :unsure:

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I kept an Excel spreadsheet of every (and I do mean EVERY) dime I spent on my resto. I N S A N E. Your estimate is not far off.

'71 240Z

WoodWorkerB.com

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When we stripped the paint from this vehicle, we found no visible rust and very little body filler. Those who are familiar with these vehicles, will tell you that finding an almost rust-free Datsun 240Z is near impossible.

 

 

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Looks like a great starting point! If it can be of any help, I documented a bunch of my '71 240Z restoration. WoodWorkerB.com.

'71 240Z

WoodWorkerB.com

 

That is an absolutely beautiful vehicle! Wonderful job!

Edited by KiddysClassics

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Compared to most other vehicles that come in, media blasting this 240Z was relatively quick and easy due to the lack of rust. We did find some areas of mild concern that we will be repairing.

 

 

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Edited by KiddysClassics

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These openings in the firewall were originally made to allow the HVAC lines to be run inside the vehicle. Because the owner no longer tends to use them, we fabricated patch pieces and welded them in.

 

 

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Upon inspection of the rear valance, we noticed that the panel was being pushed up between the spot welds - which usually indicates that there is rust beneath the surface. After carefully removing the rusted panel, it was media blasted, repaired and re-installed.

 

 

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So nice to see a Z restored "the right way". I hope your painter is as good as your body work!

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Beautiful work!  Man is that thing clean.   

My Z is fairly rust free, but I think I have more rust showing then that one stripped!

Edited by HuD 91gt
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How did you treat the bare metal between the panels? Are you TIGing or MIGing?

Charles

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How did you treat the bare metal between the panels? Are you TIGing or MIGing?

Charles

 

Every panel prior to reassembly is first media blasted clean, if the panel is going to be welded those areas that will be affected by heat are coated in a weldable primer.  If the area is not going to be welded and/or will not be affected by the heat of the welder, such as the inside section of the new frame rails below the flange. (we will post pictures of those later after they are finished with them) Then those areas are coated with epoxy.

 

As for our welding methods about 90% of the work we do in the shop is TIG welded.  If I can get the back side of the panel to hammer and dollie my weld seam I will always without question reach for the TIG. 

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While inspecting the vehicle, we noticed a large rust hole under the cowl. We scraped away the seam sealer and revealed a significant amount of damage compared to the rest of the vehicle. We removed the HVAC duct and repaired it and the surrounding area.

 

 

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The rear wheel well on the passenger's side was badly rusted. We cut away the damaged area and fabricated patch panels to replace it. Currently, we're working on ensuring the contours match the factory look.

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Thanks for the info. I thought it looked like TIG. I have a MIG rig and have never tried TIG. Working in the front cowl area is no fun but the worked turned out well. Did you consider using the Tabco patch panels for the wheel arch and dogleg instead of fabricating from scratch? They are pretty close...

Charles

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With any patch panel, we look at how much time it takes to make a patch panel vs. how much it costs to buy one - many times, the aftermarket patch panels require a lot of work to make them fit to the body of the car - often taking close to the same amount of time it would have taken to fabricate a completely new one. If we see that the cost of the panel is close to the cost of the labor to create one ourselves, we often go with fabrication over purchase. 

However, if buying an aftermarket panel is obviously cheaper due to the complexity, we will always head in that direction or try to find a donor

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