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Rust question


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I am looking at getting my family's old 71 240z back on the road. It has sat (or rotted) in a garage for about 15 years now and I want to run the attached picture by you guys to see if the rust I have found is something that would make any sort of restoration impossible.

The body was redone back in mid-80s, so the rust around the wheels, etc was dealt with. Since then some of the edges of the sheet metal to the lower half of the car is beginning to rust, but this does not concern me too much. The rust that concerns me is located behind the right front wheel inside the wheel-well. It appears that the frame is rusting apart (more than the wheel-well itself is rusting through). I am also including a picture of the left front wheel well for the sake of comparison.


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Repairable? Yes,

Cheap? Hmmm...not necessarily and it depends on what you would consider cheap.

I think you need to help us more by letting us know what kind of experience YOU have as far as welding, bodywork, mechanical etc.. That would allow us to take a blind stab with at least a chance of hitting something. If you're asking how much to have someone else do it, then I'll ask how much money do you have to spend and how critical are you going to be about the job.

I'll leave it at that and let others chime in.

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I agree with escanlon. Looking at the picture as i am typing that whole section needs to be replaced. The inner fender well and frame rail both tie into the toeboard and essentially the firewall. The seam where that all ties together is gone and I can imagine how soft that whole area is. Since the cancer has gotten as bad as it is, I'm sure once you get undereath the undercoating you'll see just how far the rust has spread.

If you have welding experience this isn't that bad as far as repairs go, honestly more time than anything to fabricate new metal and not just patch panels. however if you are looking to have someone do it, I know that Auto Rust doctors here in jersey (same shop Wick Humble had his car done) charges about 1500 to do the floors and frame rails with a 5 year warranty. This place specializes in gluing these things back together and I imagine would be much faster and more precise than just any old shop.

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Thanks for the advice. My experience with working on cars is limited to repairs like water pump replacing, new rads, etc. I do not have any welding experience and would more than likely outsource this repair. My concern was that the rust itself was so bad as to make the car unsalvageable.

As for the comments about the propagation of the rust. I have attached a shot of the holes in the passenger side floor well which should give an indication about how bad it is.

Oh yes, thanks for the help!


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The more pics you post, the worse it gets... at least from a labor point of view.

Looks like you'll be needing floor pans, along with rails under the floors. The biggest concern I see right now is the condition under the battery tray. If it's bad, then you really will have your hands full. It's gotten into the firewall to some extent, along with the floors, and the frame rail.

What part of VA are you in? We might be able to find you someplace to have it looked at and get an estimate on repairs.

The good floor pans are approx. 350 bucks, and if the rust is in the front half of rails in the engine compartment you're looking at another 250 or so.. plus the labor for installation and metal for making patch panels....


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It's hard to tell without digging a little deeper but the floorpans could possibly be saved. The ones that I would consider definate goners are the Flinstones floorboards. You've still got a lot to work with. If there's anything left after scraping the putty and sandblasting you may be able to seal it up nicely with POR-15 and POR power mesh. Then again, POR products aren't cheap so maybe new metal would be the way to go - then again again, I'd POR-15 new floors too! GOod luck!


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Wow, well thanks for all the help guys. I am hoping the car can be salvaged and would like to know one way or the other before I start. I am in Northern VA is any knows anyone who could look this over.

Also, my plan was to get her running before starting the body rebuild process. Is this a good way to do it, or should i worry about this rust first?

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I'd do the rust repairs first as you will need to do a fair bit of disassembly of the interior and engine compartment to do the repairs correctly.

There are two Z clubs in your area, the MD Z club and the Z Car Clib of Northern VA, so if you contact them, perhaps someone in your area can take a look and possibly offer a referral to a good place to have the repair work done.

I'm not too far away if you are on the west side of DC if no one else can do it locally...:ermm:

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