inline6

Restoration of BringaTrailer 240z - HLS30-35883

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    I took apart the the speedometer gauge assembly to freshen it up.  While apart, I reset the odometer to all zeros.  I took a reference pic showing what was there before setting to zero, though that is likely of no worth.  The car as purchased didn't have documentation of mileage.  All of the repair bills that came with the car indicate 130,047 miles on it.  

    While apart, I cleaned the gauge face lightly with Windex (had some light oil on it around the needle anchor point), and cleaned the housing with a bit of soap and water.  I took the working gauge out of the metal backing, and cleaned inside where the white paint is (for back lighting).  The white paint was in good condition so I did not respray.  And, I buffed the clear lens/cover with a foam pad and Meguiar's 7 glaze.  That stuff is awesome for polishing clear plastic.  Use a power buffer and have some patience; you can remove all of the little scratches that were put into the face of the lens/dust cover over time.  My buffer has 6 speeds, and I can lock the trigger on.  I used setting 1, put the buffer on the work bench, pad side up, and hold it steady with one hand while working the lens across the pad with the other.

    Reference shot, and after "rolling back the odometer".  Since this is a full restoration, and mileage is unknown, I think it makes more sense to set the odometer to zero as the car will begin a new life. 

    IMG_20200424_202406.jpg  IMG_20200424_205216.jpg

    Next up is the Tach.

    IMG_20200424_210042.jpg  IMG_20200424_210052.jpg

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    Restored the tachometer today.  First pic shows cleans len/cover.  Note the haze from tiny scratches over 50 years. Background is my dirty Honda Accord.  Middle pic is after buffing.  Quite the difference.  Third pic is half on and half off the lens.  You can see the distortion in one of the leaves (just off center left) on the pavement where the edge of the lens is: 

    IMG_20200425_123907.jpg  IMG_20200425_125552.jpg  IMG_20200425_125612.jpg

     

    The hazard switch was missing almost all of the white paint in the imprint.  So, I sprayed a bit of white enamel into the spray paint cap and used my finger to load up the switch (after cleaning thoroughly).  I use enamel thinner.  Lacquer thinner is too aggressive and will attack the plastic if you use more than a whisper.  After the white enamel dried, I used a low lint paper towel with just a couple of drops of enamel thinner and wiped the top surface lightly and repeatedly, until the only paint that remained was that in the recesses.  You have to go slow.  If the paint in the grooves gets thinner on it, it gets tacky and will start to pull out with the wiping action.  Also, the tachometer had some of the white paint (inside the back housing) cracking and coming loose, so I removed all that was loose with 320 and re-sprayed white inside to restore the factory appearance.

    IMG_20200425_132809.jpg  IMG_20200425_133446.jpg  IMG_20200425_134424.jpg

     

    The tachometer after reassembly.  Note clear plastic tape put in original locations (It seals some holes and keeps out dust).

    IMG_20200425_142816.jpg  IMG_20200425_142855.jpg

     

    Edited by inline6
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    1 minute ago, siteunseen said:

    These work good on the bigger lines. Oil based fine point sharpie, silver and white. Heater panel, radio and the console, horn pad etc.

    Thanks for that tip @psdenno

    20200426_082152.jpg

    Nice.  Thanks for sharing.  

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    For the work today, I transitioned to the bottom of the car again.  I spent a good bit of time cleaning the floor and tunnel with Purple Power.  The inside of the tunnel where the back of the transmission sits was coated with grease and dirt which had petrified.  Fine steel wool, brass brushes, a scraper and rags were employed.  Interestingly, you can see how the car had a very large amount of over spray from the factory on the bottom.  Impact areas have required attention.  I have been using hammer and dolly, and other tools to straighten the metal.  In some places, I have had to use the stud welder (in heat shrinking mode) to shrink the metal.  This removes "oil canning" areas that have stretched and been worked. 

    Another observation of note: the factory undercoating, which is hard as a brick by the way, was applied on the bare uni-body.  You can see where I sanded through it in the impact areas, and there is no primer underneath.  So, the floor was sprayed first, then the car was primed with red primer, then grey primer.  Apparently, they somehow protected the coating on the floor from the primer over spray, as there is none of that visible on the floor.  But when the car was painted silver, the bottom of the car was fully exposed.  The over spray when practically everywhere.  Additionally, the inside of the front and rear fender wells were intentionally painted with silver.  

    Cleaning up nicely.  Any areas where impacts distorted the sheet metal are being straightened:

    IMG_20200426_163427.jpg  IMG_20200426_163446.jpg  IMG_20200426_163456.jpg

    Third pic above and first below are of a spot that took a pretty sharp impact.  Lots of work has been done here to straighten and shrink the metal.  Third pic shows well the over spray and texture:

    IMG_20200426_163516.jpg  IMG_20200426_163524.jpg  IMG_20200426_163545.jpg

    Still have a bit of work to do to fix that floor that was welded a bit out of alignment at the factory (first pic - top left corner).  Second pic shows an impact that needs to be straighted (right side of pic).  Third pic, I wonder why they used a brush and put black paint there?

    IMG_20200426_163612.jpg  IMG_20200426_163629.jpg  IMG_20200426_163651.jpg

    Any chipped areas a being sanded down - feather edged in prep for a touch of primer and the new coat of "bed liner":

    IMG_20200426_163710.jpg  IMG_20200426_163736.jpg  IMG_20200426_163748.jpg

     

    IMG_20200426_163806.jpg  IMG_20200426_163816.jpg  IMG_20200426_163828.jpg  

    Note the amount of silver paint (second pic).  Starting to feather driver side floor front.  A couple of dings need tapping out (third pic).

    IMG_20200426_163854.jpg  IMG_20200426_163940.jpg  IMG_20200426_164148.jpg

     

    And looking here, it is obvious that the bottom of the rocker has holes from the factory which let water in as you drive. I will be sealing most of these up. with sealer.  First pic is the front, driver side, second pic is the rear, driver side.  The small round holes in the rear are from me drilling out the spot welds when I did the sheet metal repairs.

    IMG_20200426_164224.jpg  IMG_20200426_164240.jpg

     

    I have been researching undercoats and truck bed coatings from time to time for months.  I would like to find something that looks like the factory coating on the bottom of the car.  I have watched a lot of Youtube videos and have a game plan.  I plan to use Raptor liner.  I will buy a $20 HVLP gun from Harbor Freight, and drill the hole in the cap to 2.0 mm (increase from 1.4 mm) and then experiment with thinner and pressure to try to get a finish which looks like the factory stuff in the pics. 

     

    Edited by inline6
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    I got the seat belts out and took some pics.  These things are in rough shape.  I'd like to get them restored.  I came across another ClassicZcar forum thread in which a member had his 1972 belts (with retractors) rebuilt by a company called Snake Oyl, but it was like $750.  🥶  I'm wondering about alternatives. 

    For example, I might be able to send off the chrome parts to be replated... buy some seat belt webbing , or buy some late model seat belts from a salvage yard and reuse the webbing, refinish the black painted parts myself, etc.  Pretty sure that an industrial type sewing machine would be needed.  

    It took me a while, but I figured out how to get the buckle apart. 

    IMG_20200426_120824.jpg  IMG_20200426_114529.jpg  IMG_20200426_114525.jpg

    Shoulder straps are missing plastic end caps (first pic).   Lot 0506 - 6/1971:  

    IMG_20200426_120000.jpg  IMG_20200426_120040.jpg  IMG_20200426_120231.jpg

    Luggage straps are in need of refreshing also (second and third pics):

    IMG_20200426_120517.jpg  IMG_20200426_120526.jpg  IMG_20200426_120536.jpg  

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    I don't advise re-using the webbing. It could be stretched from a previous accident or so old that it will break before it stretches enough. 

    How period correct are you trying to be? Several of us have installed the roadster seatbelts sold by Wesco Performance. https://www.wescoperformance.com/seatbelts.html

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    6 minutes ago, SteveJ said:

    I don't advise re-using the webbing. It could be stretched from a previous accident or so old that it will break before it stretches enough. 

    How period correct are you trying to be? Several of us have installed the roadster seatbelts sold by Wesco Performance. https://www.wescoperformance.com/seatbelts.html

    Thanks for info and the link!  It's not really critical that the belts be reproduction - to look like originals.  I mean, I'd be willing to spend about $300 total to get them like new if I could - not $750.  

    I checked out that link.  I didn't see anything called "roadster".  Are you referring to the standard 3 point type non-retractable in the "passenger car replacement" section?

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    Finally time to epoxy prime the engine bay.  I had a handful of holes that had to be filled.  They were extra holes that were drilled in the bay for the A/C that was added to the car in 1971.  After filling and grinding, I spot sanded some areas that had a touch of surface rust forming since I sandblasted the bay a long time ago.  I taped up all of the plastic coatings on the wire clips.  I will be painting them body color as was done by the factory, but no sense building up a layer of epoxy primer on them now.  

    IMG_20200503_162958.jpg  IMG_20200503_163012.jpg  IMG_20200503_163016.jpg

    IMG_20200503_163022.jpg  IMG_20200503_163027.jpg  IMG_20200503_163036.jpg

    Very minor pitting in the battery tray.  I elected not to remove and sand blast between the tray and the inner fender as it think it will last another 50 years after my work here is complete. 🙂

    IMG_20200503_163041.jpg  IMG_20200503_163047.jpg  IMG_20200503_163053.jpg

    IMG_20200503_163057.jpg  IMG_20200503_163103.jpg  IMG_20200503_163239.jpg

    IMG_20200503_163349.jpg  IMG_20200503_163358.jpg  IMG_20200503_163423.jpg

    Sand blasting effort was put into reaching all areas, even inside the front lower box section:

    IMG_20200503_163431.jpg  IMG_20200503_163436.jpg  IMG_20200503_163449.jpg

    Glasurit epoxy primer applied:

    IMG_20200503_181254.jpg  IMG_20200503_205443.jpg  IMG_20200503_205453.jpg

    IMG_20200503_205512.jpg  IMG_20200503_205501.jpg  IMG_20200503_205526.jpg

    IMG_20200503_205541.jpg  IMG_20200503_205521.jpg  IMG_20200503_205554.jpg

    IMG_20200503_205608.jpg  IMG_20200503_205631.jpg  IMG_20200503_205652.jpg

    I will be touching up just a couple of areas with bondo and then spraying with high build primer as is on the rest of the car.  

     

    Before and After Videos:

     

     

     

     

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    I found a bit more rust that needed to be taken care of.  These "reinforcement" plates above the compression rod box are not sealed well from the factory.  Water coming down the inner wheel well goes in between the plate in the inner fender and sits.  This is the driver side.  I cut away the rotten portion.  In the first pic, the rectangular section in the middle that has a different sheen is a sectioned replacement.  I just didn't show the work involved with that.  The inner fender panel had a couple of tiny perforations from rust, so I replaced this small area.  I then used a small hand held belt sander to clear away the surface rust from the remainder of the repair area and fabricated a new panel.  Extra effort to clean all the sheet metal very well makes welding much easier and the outcome better.   I *think* this is the last of the metal work!  Holes drilled in replacement are the factory spot weld locations.

    IMG_20200516_164721.jpg  IMG_20200516_164744.jpg  IMG_20200516_164752.jpg

    IMG_20200516_170404.jpg  IMG_20200516_170414.jpg  IMG_20200516_172204.jpg

     

    Sanding of the high build primer is ongoing.  Here are a couple of pics showing guide coat.  I am just using black spray enamel.  

    IMG_20200517_161349.jpg  IMG_20200517_161356.jpg

    I'd say it is going well, but unfortunately, I will need to apply some more high build primer.  I will get some pics up soon that show how the sanding is going.  Maybe some video as well of sanding guide coat.

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    I am again reminded how how inefficient I am at doing high quality bodywork.  I am now on my third "last" application of high build primer.  I am obviously repeating this process too much.  I don't know how many coats I have put on the body now.  If I had to guess, I am at like... a coat of epoxy primer, a layer of body filler, (then a round of sanding), another coat of epoxy primer, more body filler, (another round of sanding),  two full coats of high solids primer, (more sanding), spot primer in low areas along with another 2 full coats of primer on the body (5 coats in areas), (yet another round of sanding), and now, two more full coats of primer with certain low spots getting a total of 4 more coats.  I have run out of my gallon of HS primer.  A gallon without hardener costs $360.  So... this is a very expensive way to build up low spots.  Take my own advice.  Apply as skim coat of bondo to the whole panel and then sand it down one time.  Apply several coats of high build primer, and then guide coat and sand that to perfection.  This will save you massive amounts of time and money.

    And again, I will certainly experiment with spray filler with the next time I do a full respray on an old project car.

    With all that said, I have learned a couple of things that might be helpful to others.  First, I can now say from an experienced standpoint, don't use commercially available sanding blocks as they come straight out of the box.  I have bought several, and most of them have needed to have their sanding surfaces "trued".  Take a look at this Durablock, for example:
     

    IMG_20200530_125153.jpg  IMG_20200530_125235.jpg

    Hard to see from those angles... but here it is on a long level:

    IMG_20200530_125343.jpg  IMG_20200530_125403.jpg  IMG_20200530_125333.jpg

    Durablocks are "pretty firm", but they are also easily bent with standard sanding pressure.  So, you can imagine how flat your panel would not get when using this.  With light pressure, it sand with more pressure at each end.  Hard pressure will allow it to conform a bit to the panel's existing surface.  Softer foams are even more problematic.  They can be useful in various contours, but they should not be used on large flat areas, not if you are trying for perfection.  For those areas, use rigid sanding blocks.  A block of wood that has been sanded flat is a great choice!

    Switching gears a little bit, (I find it best to rest my shoulders, elbows, and hands after 17 hours of sanding time over two days of the weekend), it is about time to put the new sound deadening mat in.  I have choices!  Not sure how I will proceed just yet.  

    I don't think I have yet shared the pics showing my template creation.  When I bought the car, the tar mat was gone from the floor surfaces and almost half of the tunnel.  I spent many hours marking off lines (based on paint lines and existing tar mat pieces).  As the tar mats are applied from the factory before primer and paint, some of the pattern was easily determined by looking at where there was over spray and where there was not.  Other than those two things, I stared at pics online to determine the shape in areas I could not decipher.  The templates are made from masking paper and masking tape.

    IMG_20191005_104746.jpg  IMG_20191005_145006.jpg  

     

    IMG_20191005_152727.jpg IMG_20191005_172715.jpg  IMG_20191006_141746.jpg

     

    IMG_20191116_174403.jpg  IMG_20191116_174421.jpg  IMG_20191116_174429.jpg

    IMG_20191116_174444.jpg  IMG_20191116_174514.jpg  IMG_20191116_174531.jpg

     

    Regarding sound deadening, I originally planned to put the OEM stuff that I was able to source, but it is only about .060" thick.  The original bits I have (mostly from the tunnel) are more like .130" thick.  So, I could try to double up (I have four sheets like the OEM one pictured, which should lay down flat and be usable after sitting in the sun for a bit.  However, being that we are now 50 years later than the original build date, there is some stuff on the market now like Damplifier Pro.  It is a butyl rubber product (no asphalt - and not bitumen) with a thick piece of aluminum foil on the top.  It would be far better for sound dampening and for heat insulation.

     

    IMG_20200601_204533.jpg  IMG_20200601_204546.jpg

    IMG_20200601_214500.jpg  IMG_20200601_214559.jpg

    I used my template and cut one piece for under the driver seat.  It is not glued in place yet however.

    IMG_20200601_214736.jpg  IMG_20200601_214754.jpg

     

    I will think on how to proceed some more.

    Edited by inline6
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    Tonight I cut a matching piece for under the passenger side seat.  And I experimented with stacking the OEM bitumen on top of a piece of scrap of the second skin material.  I think this will work nicely for the tunnel and maybe the floor as well.  First, I like that the aluminum foil gets completely covered, and that the OEM piece really looks like the original mat.  Second, the thickness of the two stacked is "close" to my original mat that was on the tunnel.  The original pieces vary in thickness a bit, but around .130" is close.  The stacked pieces are right at about .150".

    IMG_20200602_223149.jpg  IMG_20200602_223210.jpg  IMG_20200602_223309.jpg

    Original scrap from the tunnel:

    IMG_20200602_223351.jpg  IMG_20200602_223504.jpg

    Also, the OEM sheets are pretty large, so for the bigger pieces, I will be able to cover up some of the joints between sided by side pieces of the Second Skin Damplifier Pro.  

    And one would have to assume that the damping will be even more with stacked pieces, but I don't care so much about that part.  

    I don't have any pieces of scrap from the floors, so I don't know the original thickness there.  Anyone know?

     

    Edited by inline6

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    9 hours ago, inline6 said:

     

    I don't have any pieces of scrap from the floors, so I don't know the original thickness there.  Anyone know?

     

    I just removed a few pieces from my floor in front of the left seat and the thickness measured about .090", my car is a 1970 #6521

    Edited by CanTechZ

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    6 hours ago, CanTechZ said:

    I just removed a few pieces from my floor in front of the left seat and the thickness measured about .090", my car is a 1970 #6521

    Thanks for that info!  Now, I need to decide between going with stacking what I've got (and ending up at .150" thick), or maybe buying some regular Damplifier (.040" thick instead of .080" thick) and then covering that with the OEM stuff for the floor panels...   That would put me around .110" thick.

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    Almost a month since my last post - lots more hours on weekends and some weeknights as well have been spent.  My body work videos aren't very exciting.  I just can't seem to get the motivation to set up a tri-pod and show work being done.  Video editing will be a necessity in the near future.  For now, I have these raw videos I uploaded.

    Before spraying: https://youtu.be/CGWh34rB_uE

    After primer has been applied: https://youtu.be/qJSDRZAOv-U

    It is astonishing how not flat the panels were before I switched over to a very straight and rigid sanding block.  A huge number of hours later, I have sanded the entire car again, applied and sanded more body filler (premium, light weight), and applied seam sealer in most external body seams, and started in underneath seams as well.  

     

    Edited by inline6

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    Starting to put in the sound deadening which I cut from the patterns I made.  First layer of sound deadening material (standard Second Skin) has been installed on the front floor sections.  I did buy the 1 mm version for the floors, so that the thickness after installation of the  OEM stuff over top of these pieces will be closer to original:

    IMG_20200630_214358.jpg  IMG_20200630_214416.jpg  IMG_20200630_214423.jpg

    The floor (inside) has been sandblasted, straightened and sprayed with Glasurit 801-703 chromated epoxy primer.  I will be applying seam sealer to the edge of this matting (and to the seams/gaps between the individual pieces used) after I install the OEM bitumen material on top.  Then I will spray with a coat or two of primer in preparation for paint which will be done by at the same time as the outside of the car (same color).  Hope it looks like factory when I am done.

    IMG_20200630_214434.jpg  IMG_20200630_215235.jpg

    Edited by inline6
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    Great work on the floors. I will be using this as a reference when I get to this point on my restoration. I'm going to make templates from my floors soon, before I remove the existing sound deadening material.

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    On 7/1/2020 at 11:30 AM, CanTechZ said:

    Great work on the floors. I will be using this as a reference when I get to this point on my restoration. I'm going to make templates from my floors soon, before I remove the existing sound deadening material.

    Nice.  Someone should make the templates available on eBay.  Mine are kind of "deduced" too much from the old paint lines - the original mats were installed prior to painting the car at the factory.  It would be better to have templates made directly from the original bitumen before it is removed.

    Edited by inline6

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    23 hours ago, inline6 said:

    Nice.  Someone should make the templates available on eBay.  Mine are kind of "deduced" too much from paint old paint lines - it would be better to have templates made directly from the original bitumen the factory used.

    My plan is to trace the original tar mats on my car before I remove them and if I have time, create cad files from the tracings. If I am able to make the cad files I will upload them to our cad files section in downloads here.

    Edited by CanTechZ
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    I find myself looking at certain body lines and wondering exactly how they should look.  For example, the "belt" line on the side of the car originates in close proximity to the front fender well.  But how close?  And how sharp should they be?  Consulting earlier pics of fenders in bare metal gives me some idea, but my car had light impact damage to both front fenders that had to be straightened, so, I am not certain. 

    IMG_20190605_210657.jpg  IMG_20190605_210716.jpg  IMG_20190605_210738.jpg

     

    Currently:

    IMG_20200630_214537.jpg  IMG_20200630_214638.jpg  IMG_20200630_214735.jpg

    IMG_20200630_214803.jpg 

     

    This original paint car currently on BringaTrailer looks like a good reference car.  This pic is a nice one, as the lighting is contrasting the above and  below belt line nicely. 

    1970_datsun_240z_1583543715ff9f98764da1970_datsun_240z_15835437135ef66e7dff9f98764d2c3f935d-2e53-4a87-b650-55ed5c1e356e-9bkuJK.jpg

     

    Also, this area of the A-pillar needs to be done right.  Light sand blasting of the original revealed this on the passenger side - the sharp line down the outside of the pillar appears to soften just before the top edge of the passenger fender:

    IMG_20191125_212800.jpg  

     

    How it looks now - but I have seen pictures of other Z's that show this line stays sharper than this.  

    IMG_20200630_214457.jpg

     

    Here are a couple that show this area "ok" (the same car on Bringatrailer.com):

    1970_datsun_240z_1581047064d565ef66e7dff9fIMG_1410.jpg

    1970_datsun_240z_158354386508495d565e1970_datsun_240z_1583543863ff9f98764da9ce66b9e-6db4-4d7c-ab1a-8fc14db9bdae-cfG13u.jpg

    Anyone out there have an original paint car and who would be willing to take some detailed pics for me?

     

    Edited by inline6

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    I suggest asking Chet for some close-up looks at his cars. 

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    I think you fender line looks good

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    11 hours ago, SteveJ said:

    I suggest asking Chet for some close-up looks at his cars. 

    Hmmm.  Good thought.  

    9 hours ago, Patcon said:

    I think you fender line looks good

    It might be close.

    I continued with the sound deadening mat today.  Unfortunately, one of my packets of OEM stuff had only one sheet inside instead of two like it was supposed to.  Too late to do anything about that, as I have had it for maybe a year now.  I will have to order another two pack and hope it is still available.  

    Damplifier Second Skin being installed - seam sealer applied to crevices between individual pieces.  I did not use the heat gun for these pieces as they have a thick foil layer on top.  I used a roller with a hard rubber wheel to conform the sheets to the metal.

    IMG_20200703_151258.jpg  IMG_20200703_151312.jpg  IMG_20200703_151329.jpg

    OEM bitumen material put on top.  You can see the difference as the logos are present on the foil, but obviously not on the OEM stuff.

    IMG_20200703_205319.jpg  IMG_20200703_205344.jpg  IMG_20200703_205352.jpg

    I cut the bitumen about a 1/16" of an inch larger than the pattern which ensures that the piece underneath doesn't show.

    IMG_20200703_205417.jpg  IMG_20200703_205622.jpg  IMG_20200703_205643.jpg

    The bitumen shapes nicely with the heat gun - looks better than the foil with the wrinkles.

    IMG_20200703_205655.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

    Edited by inline6
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    I have a brand new factory fender and hood, still in the boxes (bought in 2003).  They're for a 280.

    I'll get them out and shoot some detailed pics of the body lines, if that'd be helpful.

    Edited by ETI4K
    Edit: Added hood

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