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Fenders welded on!?!?!? 280Z (OK no, just... bondo...)


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Hey all,

So I'm in the process of tearing down my '77 and it's looking like these fenders are welded onto the rocker panels and maybe the subframe.  Here's a closeup of where the seam should be between the fender and the rocker, and some photos of the underside where the bolt(s) should be attaching the fender...

Is this a typical repair?  I had a '77 before and it wasn't like this so I'm certain it isn't factory.  

At this point I assume I'll be cutting this puppy off.  Any advice from you seasoned Z folks?

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Edited by ArcticFoxCJ
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Well they might have been welded on but at the moment all you can see is where the seam has been mudded over, get your knife out and start digging out all the filer, I have a feeling you are going to find a lot of rust behind it. Anything is possible with POs

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Yeah also gonna need to strip the paint away form the area where the seam is supposed to be.  I've removed all the bolts and the headlight cases and both fenders still feel pretty solidly attached.  At this point I'm assuming the worst and that I'll be cutting it out with a grinder.  Praying I can save the fenders.

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I agree with GK get a grinder with a flap disc and a dust mask and work your way down. If I had to guess, I would say a previous owner used bondo or fiberglass to attach them to the car. Fiberglass holds pretty good and would make them feel firmly attached

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18 minutes ago, Patcon said:

I agree with GK get a grinder with a flap disc and a dust mask and work your way down. If I had to guess, I would say a previous owner used bondo or fiberglass to attach them to the car. Fiberglass holds pretty good and would make them feel firmly attached

Yeah that makes sense, especially since fiberglass was used on other parts of this car, like completely encasing the center console and the dashboard...

 

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1 hour ago, ArcticFoxCJ said:

Yeah that makes sense, especially since fiberglass was used on other parts of this car, like completely encasing the center console and the dashboard...

 

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WTF 

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5 minutes ago, grannyknot said:

Whoa, looks like you have your work cut out for you, please post more pics once you have dug in.

Yeah I have a build thread on another Z car forum as well.  Always happy to share pics.  Helps me stay motivated.  B)

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6 hours ago, Freez74 said:

Someone was a big fan of bondo! Interesting effect on the dash.

It's a lot uglier in person.  Just can't wait to scrape all that off.  I did get all the fiberglass off of the center console.  That was so much fun...

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You can probably plastic weld that from the backside and make it presentable. Several ways to do it if you're interested

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5 minutes ago, Patcon said:

You can probably plastic weld that from the backside and make it presentable. Several ways to do it if you're interested

Definitely.  I'd like to salvage as much of the original stuff as possible.

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A soldering iron with a flattish tip will work. A small piece of stainless mesh can be embedded from the back side across the crack using heat. The metal strengthens the joint. There are hot staplers available that do a very similar thing. Hot wire staples would really beef up the repair. You might find it necessary to paint the whole thing when your done to fully conceal the joints and get an even finish. Be carefulful of using too much heat. You can distort the piece of lose the finished texture

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Interesting that the previous console repairman didn't fiberglass the inside of the console instead of the outside.  A few strategic patches and reinforcements on the underside would have saved it.  I patched mine from the inside and filled cracks and holes with epoxy from the outside surface. Painted it and reinstalled.  Looks fine.  I touched up the silver highlights with a fine tip silver Sharpie.

 

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On 7/18/2021 at 5:07 PM, ArcticFoxCJ said:

Hey all,

So I'm in the process of tearing down my '77 and it's looking like these fenders are welded onto the rocker panels and maybe the subframe.  Here's a closeup of where the seam should be between the fender and the rocker, and some photos of the underside where the bolt(s) should be attaching the fender...

Is this a typical repair?  I had a '77 before and it wasn't like this so I'm certain it isn't factory.  

At this point I assume I'll be cutting this puppy off.  Any advice from you seasoned Z folks?

20210718_155105.jpg

20210718_155131.jpg

20210718_155139.jpg

Ewwww

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Well.... didn't see this coming...

They filled it...  with bondo.  And it looks like it's that way all along the bottom of the fender.  You can see where it's swollen in the front and where I picked some of it off.

 

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Two steps forward, one step back...  Or is it the other way around...  Eventually I'll have this car so far apart there CAN'T be any more surprises...

 

...right?  

 

:wacko:

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  • ArcticFoxCJ changed the title to Fenders welded on!?!?!? 280Z (OK no, just... bondo...)

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