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Kevin McSweeney

Looking for advice on sequencing of restoration work

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So I'm getting started of the restoration work of my 1978 280z.

The chassis repair and rust removal (replacement of floor pans and frame rails) and undercoating should be complete in a week or so.

I am wondering what my best option is for the interior (top side) of the new floor pans. I am not planning on painting for a few months and I do not want to risk the floors rusting again. Should I apply undercoat (POR-15) to the interior as well? Also, I have access to a lot of Dynamat Xtreme and Superlite. Should I consider applying this to the interior while it is stripped? Basically I am a little confused as to the sequence of work on the interior now that the rust issue has (for the most part) been taken care of. This is my first real restoration.

 

When I do come to paint the car, I guess it would be wise to paint the interior as it is already stripped? Also – looking for suggestions for color. The car was originally silver but has been badly repainted blue at some point (engine bay and interior are still silver). I’m thinking of a gunmetal gray with bronze wheels and all trim powder coated black. Any thoughts?

 

At the moment I do not have the time or space for a frame up restoration (I am very aware that it would be a better way to do it but it’s not an option at this point so I don’t see the point in talking about it). So the order in which I am planning to do things is:

 

·         Frame/Rust removal

·         Brakes

·         Suspension

·         Exhaust

·         Bodywork

·         Paint

·         Engine (L28 is running well but at some point I may consider a rebuild)

 

Apologies, this post is very messy, I tried my best to organize my questions but I want to do things in a logical order and avoid repeating or missing steps in the restoration. Any help would be appreciated.

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In the current state (pictures above) I would pull the motor and transmission now.  Pretty easy to get all that out of the way now. Your going to paint the engine bay and the steering rack will be accessible.  Front suspension would be easier without the weight too.

My $.02.

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There's lots of ways you can tackle it but if your interior has been removed then that's as good as any place to start.  Remove all the sound deadening tar that originally came on the car, it was installed over bare metal and sometimes you'll find big patches of rust under it. Clean all the interior surfaces with wax&grease remover, scuff it up well with 80 grit and clean it again before priming, Por15 can work well if you follow the instruction exactly but for my money you can't do better than 2 part epoxy primmer.

By the way, that's a good choice on colour and wheels;)

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Thanks for the replies.

 

Ok, so does this make sense as a rough plan moving forward:

- Once floor pan and frame rail work is done, undercoat using POR-15 (A specialist is doing this, not me, so I believe POR-15 is a good way to go).

- I'll clean up the interior and get it ready for primer. Dynamat Xtreme on top of primer.

- Take care of some bodywork such as shaving and filling, fix any dents, etc.

- Pull motor and transmission and send body for media blasting.

- This would be a good time to do brake and suspension work.

- Paint exterior and engine bay. 

- Assembly.

 

Couple of questions:

1. grannyknot - what epoxy primer do you recommend for interior application?

2. grannyknot - Beautiful car, is that an original color? If so what's the code/name?

3. After media blasting, am I right in saying I need to get the car to primer straight away? (In my experience after sandblasting, steel rusts extremely fast as it is so exposed)

4. Is the interior typically installed over primer, or is there a finish coat applied on the interior aswell? I normally see cars being painted with the interior taped and covered so only the exterior and engine bay receive color?

 

Again apologies if some of these questions are pretty obvious to some, as I said, it's my first restoration and I'm keen to learn the process.

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If you don't mind doing some reading, there are several extremely well documented restorations on this forum that have all the information you are asking for in great detail. We are all very helpful people here, but having us regurgitate all of this info in every new rebuild thread is overkill. Look at Grannyknots rebuild thread, check out Hazmatt's awesome thread and maybe even mine. Lots of info that will answer all your questions. Or at least help refine your questions... 

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2 minutes ago, wheee! said:

If you don't mind doing some reading, there are several extremely well documented restorations on this forum that have all the information you are asking for in great detail. We are all very helpful people here, but having us regurgitate all of this info in every new rebuild thread is overkill. Look at Grannyknots rebuild thread, check out Hazmatt's awesome thread and maybe even mine. Lots of info that will answer all your questions. Or at least help refine your questions... 

Fair enough - I know it is pretty annoying to have to keep repeating oneself!

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13 hours ago, Kevin McSweeney said:

Couple of questions:

3. After media blasting, am I right in saying I need to get the car to primer straight away? (In my experience after sandblasting, steel rusts extremely fast as it is so exposed)

4. Is the interior typically installed over primer, or is there a finish coat applied on the interior aswell? I normally see cars being painted with the interior taped and covered so only the exterior and engine bay receive color?

Again apologies if some of these questions are pretty obvious to some, as I said, it's my first restoration and I'm keen to learn the process.

#3. Yes

#4. Either way.  Interior finish coats look great for resto pictures but not absolutely necessary IMO, Especially if you are going to Dynamat the interior.  But a lot of folks do that because it complete's the process to a high standard. Whatever you are doing, do it well kind of thing.

And, no apologies needed. It makes us feel useful and smart........sometimes......maybe.......or not......

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1 hour ago, wheee! said:

If you don't mind doing some reading, there are several extremely well documented restorations on this forum that have all the information you are asking for in great detail. We are all very helpful people here, but having us regurgitate all of this info in every new rebuild thread is overkill. Look at Grannyknots rebuild thread, check out Hazmatt's awesome thread and maybe even mine. Lots of info that will answer all your questions. Or at least help refine your questions... 

If you follow Wheee! deja vu restoration you will see a clinic on the best way to restore. from that you can decide where to go, follow that order and you have the best it can be.

 

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44 minutes ago, Dave WM said:

If you follow Wheee! deja vu restoration you will see a clinic on the best way to restore. from that you can decide where to go, follow that order and you have the best it can be.

 

...blush... 

 

all of my tricks I stole from the masters before me on this forum....

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8 hours ago, wheee! said:

If you don't mind doing some reading, there are several extremely well documented restorations on this forum that have all the information you are asking for in great detail. We are all very helpful people here, but having us regurgitate all of this info in every new rebuild thread is overkill. Look at Grannyknots rebuild thread, check out Hazmatt's awesome thread and maybe even mine. Lots of info that will answer all your questions. Or at least help refine your questions... 

What about me?  I still lurk around here ya know!

Knock yourself out!

 

Edited by ksechler
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20 hours ago, Kevin McSweeney said:

Couple of questions:

1. grannyknot - what epoxy primer do you recommend for interior application?

2. grannyknot - Beautiful car, is that an original color? If so what's the code/name?

3. After media blasting, am I right in saying I need to get the car to primer straight away? (In my experience after sandblasting, steel rusts extremely fast as it is so exposed)

4. Is the interior typically installed over primer, or is there a finish coat applied on the interior aswell? I normally see cars being painted with the interior taped and covered so only the exterior and engine bay receive color?

There are quite a few 2k epoxy primers brands, any good paint shop can put you on to them. But once you have picked a brand stay with it for all the different coats, don't mix and match different companies, it's just safer.

Thanks, not original, Jeep colour, anvil grey.

If you are going to media blast then I would say do it all at once, interior and exterior, then prime the inside and outside at the same time.   Personally I would skip the POR15, it won't work well with standard primers and paint and won't offer more protection than a properly prepared body with standard products

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Here is a resource for paint:

https://www.paintforcars.com/auto-paint-car-paint-automotive-paint.html

This is what is used.  For sequencing I painted the interior and underbody.  This included primer, finish color and undercoating the bottom.  Then I partially reassembled the car (fuel lines, suspension, brakes).  The suspension had been restored (by me) previously.  

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16 hours ago, ksechler said:

What about me?  I still lurk around here ya know!

Knock yourself out!

 

My bad! Your thread is a great resource too!  So many good resto threads, I reference them all on a regular basis or sometimes just to give me motivation to get things done!

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Suggested Sequence

1. Do you plan to install ZG flares, front air dam, spoiler, bumper change, new performance parts like aluminum radiator, wide/bigger wheels, exhaust, french/delete parts, etc?  If so, fit these parts/do work before you strip the car to ensure they work and roughly line up with no interference.

2. Once you have this done then strip the car completely.

3. Address the body work first on stripped shell.

4. In parallel you can work on refreshing the systems (brakes, cooling, wheels, engine, lubrication, steering, ignition, fuel, drive train, wiring/electrical)

5. For reassembly, some like to install engine and suspension/wheels before painting, I like to do this after.  Be sure to install the brake and fuel lines before putting engine and drive train in.

6. Do the interior before the glass and trim (except of course door glass and quarter windows which go in before the adjacent interior parts).

7. Put dash in after interior trim and windshield is in place. (put wiper motor and linkage in before windshield).

Edited by 240260280

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KEV

You are on the right track............YOU HAVE BEGUN!.....I began with getting rid of the cancer on mine, and trust me mine had quite a bit. I wanted to get it squared away before beinning the final touches. It just made sense due to the amount of sandblasting required. Accumulating parts for the final assembly has been ongoing (8 years) and everyone here will tell you tweaking your rig will be ongoing because there is always something new being developed or always something you want to do to persoanlize it. Remember.......THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS!......but quite a few repetitive ones. Above all make it your own because it all really comes down to how much time you have and how much money you want to spend. It should be challenging but fun. STAY ON IT!

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3 hours ago, 240260280 said:

Suggested Sequence

1. Do you plan to install ZG flares, front air dam, spoiler, bumper change, new performance parts like aluminum radiator, wide/bigger wheels, exhaust, french/delete parts, etc?  If so, fit these parts/do work before you strip the car to ensure they work and roughly line up with no interference.

2. Once you have this done then strip the car completely.

3. Address the body work first on stripped shell.

4. In parallel you can work on refreshing the systems (brakes, cooling, wheels, engine, lubrication, steering, ignition, fuel, drive train, wiring/electrical)

5. For reassembly, some like to install engine and suspension/wheels before painting, I like to do this after.  Be sure to install the brake and fuel lines before putting engine and drive train in.

6. Do the interior before the glass and trim (except of course door glass and quarter windows which go in before the adjacent interior parts).

7. Put dash in after interior trim and windshield is in place. (put wiper motor and linkage in before windshield).

Yes, I am planning to install the ZG flares, MSA urethane front air dam, ducktail rear spoiler, and do some shaving on the bumpers, etc. 

Interesting because I was almost planning to do that work last, after all the mechanicals were done. The order you have listed makes more sense though now that I've done some reading and some time thinking logically about it.

 

3 hours ago, esmit208 said:

KEV

You are on the right track............YOU HAVE BEGUN!.....I began with getting rid of the cancer on mine, and trust me mine had quite a bit. I wanted to get it squared away before beinning the final touches. It just made sense due to the amount of sandblasting required. Accumulating parts for the final assembly has been ongoing (8 years) and everyone here will tell you tweaking your rig will be ongoing because there is always something new being developed or always something you want to do to persoanlize it. Remember.......THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS!......but quite a few repetitive ones. Above all make it your own because it all really comes down to how much time you have and how much money you want to spend. It should be challenging but fun. STAY ON IT!

Thank you! Making good progress on the floor pans and frame rails - will post pictures soon - appreciate all of the comments and thread links, I've been doing a lot of reading in the last couple of days!

 

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Bit of an update:

Drivers side floor pan and frame rail (along with some additional work to the front rail and firewall) is almost done. Just need to grind smooth and tidy up.

Working on the passenger side now as you can see from the last photograph. There have been bad repairs done to this previously, including what looks like some aluminum and fiberglass work on the floors. Hopefully I've got the worst of the rust!  

Not sure whether I was sent the wrong year floor pans or whether it's just the way they are, but they needed a lot of work to fit and I still needed to do additional metal fabrication. 

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1 hour ago, wheee! said:

You at least avoided the "bump" for the catalytic converter in the floor.

Lucky!

What I'm going to have to deal with soon. The "bump"

Good progress man, keep it up.

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Nice work KEV. There is something to be said about someone that knows kow to use a MIG on paper thin sheet metal. Although I must say that the areas you are working on are a tad thicker but nonetheless tricky. Looks like my floors a few years ago. STAY ON IT!:victorious:

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Nice work KEV. There is something to be said about someone that knows kow to use a MIG on paper thin sheet metal. Although I must say that the areas you are working on are a tad thicker but nonetheless tricky. Looks like my floors a few years ago. STAY ON IT!:victorious:

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Kev:

Looking good.  You might consider taking that front fender off.  I think that you will find the front of the rocker is rusted out too.  You can get new rockers from tabco.  I cut the front off of these and used them for a replacement.  It's a pretty common trouble spot.

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22 hours ago, ksechler said:

Kev:

Looking good.  You might consider taking that front fender off.  I think that you will find the front of the rocker is rusted out too.  You can get new rockers from tabco.  I cut the front off of these and used them for a replacement.  It's a pretty common trouble spot.

Currently home in Ireland for a few days, I’m planning on taking the fenders and hood off next week as I have a bit of work to do on them. I’ll definitely look at the front of the rockers. The back portion, and actually the back of the car in general looks largely rust free which is nice!

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34 minutes ago, Kevin McSweeney said:

the back of the car in general looks largely rust free

That's amazing considering it spent some time in Nevada. Mine is a CA car as well but has quite a bit of rust because it was in Nevada for 17 years. And yes it does snow in Vegas. And freezes. 

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11 minutes ago, rcb280z said:

That's amazing considering it spent some time in Nevada. Mine is a CA car as well but has quite a bit of rust because it was in Nevada for 17 years. And yes it does snow in Vegas. And freezes. 

Yeah, i don’t know the entire history of it, but I know it was garages in Reno for quite a few years! And of course I may find more rust as I strip, but so far so good. 

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