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Restoration of BringaTrailer 240z - HLS30-35883


inline6

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I had today off from work, so I worked on adjusting the tail light panel to make the trim panels and license light fit better.  A straight edge laid across the hatch latch opening revealed a slight gap on the left side.  Because the top panel of the tail light panel is not flat, I used sections of flat bar and a good quality C clamp to persuade the low spot upward.  The hole just to the left of the flat bar in the third pic is the license light (left) mounting hole.   
 

IMG_20220117_113937.jpg  IMG_20220117_111514.jpg  IMG_20220117_111532.jpg

 

After raising that up, I had improved things by about 1/32".  I reinstalled the license light and the measurements on each side were equal.  

IMG_20220117_114650.jpg  IMG_20220117_121739.jpg  IMG_20220117_121625.jpg

 

Unfortunately, I still had a gap between the license light assembly and the left tail light panel (first pic).  The right side still fit nicely (second pic).  Given that the license light was level, I pointed my attention at the left tail light panel.  A little work with hammer and dolly and the "ledge" was brought downward to meet the license light assembly (third pic):  

 

IMG_20220117_122019.jpg  IMG_20220117_122030.jpg  IMG_20220117_125310.jpg

 

Here is the license light assembly after finishing the fitting work:

IMG_20220117_125414.jpg

 

Next, I turned my attention to the bottom of the three trim panels.  I measured the depth of the middle license panel at the left, center, and right - the right side was pushed in by 2 mm compared to the left and middle.  So, I had to work a bit on the "stand off" to which the right side of the license panel secures.  

 

IMG_20220117_152038.jpg  IMG_20220117_152016.jpg  IMG_20220117_152231.jpg

 

It was still not 100% right, even with the work I had done on it originally (it was squashed a bit when the car was hit).  I was able to straighten it out the needed amount so that the depth readings were the same: left, middle, and right.  Finally, I test fit the hatch and looked at the gaps at the top and bottom of the three panels:

IMG_20220117_155157.jpg  IMG_20220117_155110.jpg 

 

IMG_20220117_155442.jpg  IMG_20220117_155506.jpg

 

The fitting of all these bits took many hours, however, I think I finally have it.  Next, I will pic back up on filler work on the tail light panel and get that looking really nice.

 

 

Edited by inline6
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  • 2 weeks later...

  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

It's been too long since I provided an update!  Well, I have worked on the car very little in the last month.  I was sick for a couple of weeks with a cold (or Covid19 - who knows) and also injured my wrist in a soccer game (I'm a keeper 😛), and it has been pretty dang cold, so I haven't been spending many hours in the garage.  I also was busy (and stressed) with the process of buying another car to add to my collection, however it is not a Datsun, so it might not be interesting to y'all.  Its a P car, so if you have interest: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/11TKy03xPCheKGSkzxDvpRYW0BNLmyCSn?usp=sharing

Steve at Precision ran into some equipment issues, so plating the parts has suffered a delay.  Hope that the parts are being plated soon.  With warmer weather arriving and delivery of plated parts imminent, progress should resume soon.  
 

 

Edited by inline6
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46 minutes ago, inline6 said:

Thanks.  It is similar to my favorite toy from my childhood - a Remote Control car I had when I was 12:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1j8jiEC7IjXTNtWj_4ekyiU77dE3rFqWe/view?usp=sharing

That's  my story too. I had a Ruf 911 slot car body on a Whisper Jet frame. 20 years later I bought a '82 911SC. Kept it 10 years or so then got my brain back and bought my high school car, #305 280Z. Best decision ever, eh one of the top 10. LOL

 

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2 minutes ago, siteunseen said:

I bought this 25? years ago.

20220305_084418.jpg

Finally got a real one.

20170505_140235.jpg

 

Nice - I like that you got the matching plate in place there too.

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

I guess I have taken a pretty long break.  Looking back over the last couple of months, the progress has been little and the updates few.  I have, however, been waiting on some hardware to be plated, and quite bit of it showed up on Saturday!

I spent many hours on my living room floor hunting down fasteners using my spreadsheet and ruler, and putting them back into their respective zip lock bags with labels which identify where they go on the car.  I have many hours to go!  

None of the larger parts have come back yet, but I was in desperate need of the fasteners for the hood, hood hinge plates, fenders, inner fender supports, cowl, inspection doors, and hatch hinges.  Especially for the inner fender supports and the fenders, I am proceeding with my plan to do final assembly before paint, meaning these parts will not be coming off the car when it goes to the booth for paint - nor after.  Final primer coats, sanding, etc. will be done with all fasteners torqued to spec.  The inner fender supports and foam rubber seals push on the fenders when the fenders are bolted in place.  The fender panels, therefore, "move" a little when bolted down.  To get them as straight as possible, I need them fully secured when doing final sanding.  

So, here are a few pics. 

IMG_20220423_142114.jpg  IMG_20220423_142211.jpg  IMG_20220423_142353.jpg

IMG_20220423_142406.jpg  IMG_20220423_142444.jpg  IMG_20220423_142621.jpg

IMG_20220423_142626.jpg  IMG_20220423_142701.jpg  IMG_20220423_184529.jpg

 

I am pleased with how most everything I have received looks.  Part of what is special about this car is how little rust it had.  That carries over to the fasteners as well.  For me, there is substantial value here when it comes to the fasteners because they haven't suffered the rust pitting that many do. 

The olive drab doesn't match the factory color well, but it looks pretty nice as the only reasonable alternative I think.  I didn't send anything else to get that color - I missed including a couple small brackets, but those look ok as original anyway.  Only a small number of bolts do not look as shiny as I would prefer.  And for some reason, hex nuts came out exceedingly shiny. 

I am hopeful that the large parts will come out nice.  
 

 

Edited by inline6
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  • 2 weeks later...

Some actual assembly has occurred.  It's been almost four years since I bought the car, and so much of my time has been spent tearing it down, stripping, sanding, etc., but I finally got to put something back on the car!  Pics showing the repainted driver side inner fender support, rubber seal to seal against the inside of the fender, along with original clips to hold it in place, and pics of newly plated outer fender hardware:

IMG_20220507_134531.jpg  IMG_20220507_154957.jpg  IMG_20220507_155007.jpgI

IMG_20220507_155011.jpg  IMG_20220507_155014.jpg  IMG_20220507_155025.jpg

 

I'm not sure why the factory put a flexible sealer along the top edge of the pinch weld on the inner fender area, but I replicated it as best I could.  It is interesting to note that underneath the old material was bare metal.  I scrapped it away and used wax and silicone remover to clean the area.  I then used Eastwood Flexible Strip Caulk to replicate the original.

IMG_20220507_143518.jpg  IMG_20220507_143552.jpg  IMG_20220507_143921.jpg

 

I added as many strips as were needed and then hand formed them together in one solid mass to cover up the pinch weld area (third pic is the finished product):

IMG_20220507_143931.jpg  IMG_20220507_143944.jpg  IMG_20220507_145624.jpg

 

Interestingly, you can see that the original material got pushed downward where the clip is located (see third pic here):

IMG_20220507_145632.jpg  IMG_20220507_145637.jpg  IMG_20220507_150350.jpg

 

Something I did that is a bit different than factory - I added some double sided 3m tape so that the rubber seal would be more securely fastened than would be otherwise with just the little "s" clips.  In the third pic, you can see the caulk was displaced in a similar way when I pushed the clip "home" into position.

IMG_20220507_150847.jpg  IMG_20220507_150857.jpg  IMG_20220507_151513.jpg

 

The seal doesn't do a particularly good job of sealing the "upper shelf" area from dirt and debris coming from in the wheel well area, but it helps.  Maybe with this 3M product the sealing occurring here will be slightly improved.  Pic of the product I used, and rubber seal installed.

IMG_20220507_150156__01.jpg  IMG_20220507_151605.jpg  IMG_20220507_151610.jpg

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Very good work, I will be using this as a reference when I get there on my resto. You're lucky that the clips were in good shape, most of mine are not salvageable. Hopefully I can find some.

Here is my before, hopefully my after will look at least half as good as yours.

image.png

image.png

Edited by CanTechZ
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2 hours ago, CanTechZ said:

Very good work, I will be using this as a reference when I get there on my resto. You're lucky that the clips were in good shape, most of mine are not salvageable. Hopefully I can find some.

Here is my before, hopefully my after will look at least half as good as yours.

Yes, it is some of the benefit from my car being from AZ originally and kept in a garage in CO for 28 years after that which allowed my clips to survive.   Some clips are available in the aftermarket - just fyi as options:

Ebay auction 6 for $32.95 and free shipping
Vintage Rubber $35 for 12 of them if the page will load for you (it was not fully for me)
Datsun Garage (or sub-vendor) $6 something each

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40 minutes ago, inline6 said:

Yes, it is some of the benefit from my car being from AZ originally and kept in a garage in CO for 28 years after that which allowed my clips to survive.   Some clips are available in the aftermarket - just fyi as options:

Ebay auction 6 for $32.95 and free shipping
Vintage Rubber $35 for 12 of them if the page will load for you (it was not fully for me)
Datsun Garage (or sub-vendor) $6 something each

Thanks, I've been planning to place an order with vintage rubber but I didn't notice they offered those clips. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bodywork is once again under way.  In this video, I am checking for unwanted undulations in the surface of the outer panel of the door. With a large panel like this, it can be difficult to get it perfectly flat.  I am finding that a suitably coarse grit of sandpaper has to be used (I am using 240 grit) and movement of the sanding block as the area is sanded must cross over from high point to high point "bridging" them.  Sanding high points down, and filling low points (with more primer in my case) is how I will resolve the undesired distortion that can be seen in the lower half of this door panel.

 

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I sanded for about 8 hours today.  Most of the left side of the car is straight.  The right side is not quite to the same quality just yet.  I hope that 3 more coats of high build primer in the low spots will be enough to bring the surface up to where it needs to be.  I feel like I am closing in on finishing the bodywork - which means I might only have another 50 hours to go! 🤣  
 

 

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Posted (edited)

I talked with a painter about a week ago.  His shop is only a few minutes drive from me, surprisingly.  Went by the body shop he owns, and I talked with him for about 10 min.  I told him that I was doing a "rotisserie restoration" and I had stripped the car to bare metal and was getting close to completing the bodywork.  Before I could get another word out, he mentioned bare metal body restorations start at $48k.   I said, right, but I will have done all the body work and I am just looking for someone to spray it.  I mentioned I was using Glasurit products and that I wanted the paint and clear to be Glasurit also.  He said I was looking at $4-6k if I provided the paint/materials.  Well, I said I had budget $3-4k, but that I honestly thought that with me providing materials, that was too high.  Then we talked a bit about "my bodywork".  I let him know that I get it... someone comes in and claims they have done the body work and just want him to spray it - that person may not be capable in the slightest of doing bodywork.  It could be all wrong.  Wrong in hundreds of ways.  And these could show up after it is painted.  And then he is worried that I will blame him.  I mentioned that I have experience with bodywork, but understood the position I was putting him in.  After the 10 minutes, I mentioned I wanted to be respectful of his time.  He offered me his cell phone number and said he would need to see the car.  So, that was a positive outcome, if we had a shaky start.   

We arranged a time a couple of days later.  He showed up on time and I took him to my shop at the back of my property.  While looking the car over, he provided a few comments.  He pointed out a couple of areas where the body line down the side of the car was not as sharp as in other places.  He said that I had done a really good job, and saw the Glasurit containers and mentioned his approval.

I figured now that he had seen the car... oh, and I further explained to him that the only part that was to be sprayed separate from the car was the hatch panel - fenders weren't to come off, doors weren't to come off, etc.  And, no color sanding... and no buffing... just spray it with base coat, spray it with clear coat, and I can take it from there... I figured, surely, the price would come down?  Eh - no.  It seems that $4-6k was the minimum.  But... he did say he knew someone that he could refer me to who would be cheaper.  So there is that.  

In the end, I may be able to get that referral and I may not, but I appreciated his time - thanked him many times for stopping by and having a look.

So, I continue to work on a few panels to flatten them out to perfection.  I've lost count of the number of primer coats I have applied.  It seems I still have a lot to learn about sanding a panel.  I think (no really this time) I am close to finishing up the bodywork - a couple of months of weekends more is my guess.  And as that milestone approaches, I find myself thinking of a few other areas of the car that need attention, like chrome parts.

I took a look at my nos rear bumper pieces today.  It is a real bummer to see very slight signs of corrosion on them.  Looking at the stickers on the boxes, it appears at least one of these pieces dates back to 07.

IMG_20220707_213951.jpg  IMG_20220707_214012.jpg  IMG_20220707_215202.jpg

Note the white spots which I think are tiny holes in the chrome leading to the base metal:

IMG_20220707_214121.jpg  IMG_20220707_214134.jpg  IMG_20220707_214151.jpg

Also, the bumpers have imperfections like these two high "waves" in the white part of the light shining in the reflection (first pic); center pic shows similar corrosion on the center bar; new bumper bar vs. old bumper bar (third pic):

IMG_20220707_214512.jpg  IMG_20220707_215134.jpg  IMG_20220707_215001.jpg

 

The original bumper was damaged in a light rear end collision.  I have straightened it a bit, but I think it needs a bit more work.  At this point, given the corrosion showing up on the new one, I think it best to send all the parts of both rear bumpers to be re-plated (along with the front bumper).  I think I will have them address minor issues with the new old stock one as well as work on further salvage efforts for the original one.

Edited by inline6
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Posted (edited)

In addition to working on the doors and front fenders, making progress towards addressing the minor imperfections again today, I had some downtime waiting for 3M platinum finishing glaze (fine filler) to dry.  So, I decided to pull the cover off of the engine - Ah ha!  That (center pic, first row of pics, holding the manifold to the engine) is where my two intake bolts that were missing went!  Unfortunately, they didn't make the trip to the plater.  I am thinking there will have to be one more shipment to them for a few parts that I accidently left out.

Assembly of the intake manifold.  For those that do not know, studs can be installed using two nuts on the end of the stud tightened up against each other.  Locked together, they won't spin and the outer one can be acted on with a wrench to wind the stud into position:

IMG_20220709_144444.jpg  IMG_20220709_144835.jpg  IMG_20220709_144826.jpg

 

Four studs in each intake manifold, gaskets and the heat insulator blocks installed.  I rarely see people remove the coolant tube from the manifolds during restorations.  It was a pain.  I destroyed the old tube, and mangled the original fittings.  But, the tube is basic, and a replacement is easily sourced.  The outer diameter is 10 mm.  The fittings at each end are very odd.  I remember spending a lot of time searching the internet, trying to get info on them.  Eventually, I figured it out. They are "Male Inverted Flair - Tube Nut - M16 Threads x 10mm Tube"  The factory ones have a 19 mm size on the hex, but I couldn't find ones like that.  The replacements are 16 mm hex.  Additionally, what makes a water tight seal at each end of the pipe is an o-ring.  Originals were hard as rocks, and crumbled.  I was able to source some Viton O-rings that I am confident will work (see third pic in the row of pics below). 

IMG_20220709_150109.jpg  IMG_20220709_150714.jpg  IMG_20220709_152732.jpg

There is an angled (chamfered) shelf that the o-ring seats against.  The nut compresses against the o-ring.  The chamfer forces the o-ring to push against the outer diameter of the shaft to create the water tight seal.  First pic is 5.9X magnification of the o-ring in place.  Second and third pics show the intake assembly.  Unfortunately, the rubber fuel tubes got kinked a bit during storage.  Will have to see if that resolves itself now that they are installed.

IMG_20220709_153811.jpg  IMG_20220709_161545.jpg  IMG_20220709_161559.jpg

 

I sanded the 3M glaze and applied 3 more coats of high build primer which I will sand tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that I can finish the doors and fenders tomorrow.

Edited by inline6
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A bunch of pics today.  As always, click for a larger version if you like.  

I like the original style intake/exhaust manifold gaskets like this one.  Notice that I have alignment dowels for the intake manifolds.  These positively locate its position relative to the ports and facilitate installation.  I believe I mentioned before that mild porting would be done to work with the mild cam (not stock, but stock duration).  Studs for manifolds shown: there are 7 of one type, 3 of another, and one odd one.  

IMG_20220710_213226.jpg  IMG_20220710_213256.jpg  IMG_20220710_213738.jpg

 

I believe they go in locations as follows:  3 for the three holes closest to the 3 and 4 exhaust ports - these secure only the exhaust manifold; 6 (of the 7) for the studs that will hold the thick washers which bridge front intake to exhaust manifold; and then I put the 7th one on the back most hold which is where the rear engine hook (for hoist) goes, and the odd one, I put in the very front where the exhaust manifold secures under the thermostat housing.  

IMG_20220710_220313.jpg  IMG_20220710_220326.jpg  IMG_20220710_220407.jpg

 

Instead of the stock exhaust manifold, I am using a Zstory stainless steel header:

IMG_20220710_220714.jpg  IMG_20220710_220723.jpg  IMG_20220710_221205.jpg

 

IMG_20220710_221424.jpg  IMG_20220710_221436.jpg  IMG_20220710_221452.jpg

 

Bolting new and reconditioned parts on is ridiculously easy compared to bodywork.  It is going to be very satisfying work putting this car together after I get the body back from painting.

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Posted (edited)

Before I put the front cover on the engine, wondering if I can get confirmation that this chain guide and tensioner alignment is good.  What do you think?

IMG_20220716_114539.jpg  IMG_20220716_114645.jpg  IMG_20220716_114623.jpg

 

More pics:

IMG_20220716_121517.jpg  IMG_20220716_121849.jpg  IMG_20220716_121845.jpg

IMG_20220716_121943.jpg  IMG_20220716_122424.jpg  IMG_20220716_122951.jpg

IMG_20220716_123140.jpg  IMG_20220716_123218.jpg  IMG_20220716_125112.jpg

IMG_20220716_142522.jpg  IMG_20220716_142531.jpg  IMG_20220716_143230.jpg

IMG_20220717_211243.jpg  IMG_20220717_211409.jpg  IMG_20220717_211649.jpg

IMG_20220717_212628.jpg  IMG_20220717_212634.jpg  IMG_20220717_212727.jpg

IMG_20220717_213057.jpg  IMG_20220717_210405.jpg  IMG_20220717_210355.jpg

 

Oil pressure senders aren't available new from Nissan anymore, however, this "Sankei" from Beck Arnley looks like it could be an original one?

More progress on both door panels and fenders this weekend as well.  Getting panels flat is hard!

 

Edited by inline6
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