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Zetsaz

A musician's therapist (The $300 Z)

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Sorry to slightly thread hijack, but maybe useful for Zetsaz as well. 

 

jpndave, what do you suggest for an entry aluminum capable TIG setup? Just your average hobbiest, Everlast has come up. Once again Eastwood has the cheapest option with the manual knob adjustable unit, but I stand by my former statement. Your thoughts?

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I'd stick to a name brand, better machine even if it costs a little more. The Lincoln 210 machine is nearly impossible to beat right now - and I'm a Miller Blue guy. I have a Dynasty 200DX for TIG and a 350P for MIG. Love the TIG but that MIG has a lot more capacity. Aluminum is tough as it draws heat away so fast. You need a really powerful machine if you are going to do any thickness to speak of. Argon or a mixed gas for steel is really the only way to go but gets expensive especially for TIG work even where I can buy it a fraction of retail. The Inverter machines have come a long way, that's all I own now. Gave my 250 to my dad when I got the 350P. I'd stay away from the cheaper machines.

 

I welded up a complete exhaust in Hawaii with a Miller 211 using flux core wire. I kept telling my friend that he needed to get gas up there so I could do decent welds and I was quite surprised that the flux core did fine in that machine. I've used flux core before when I was starting out in the 220 volt starter model Miller and had a horrible go of it. That 211 just compensated and ran great. More spatter but the welds turned out fine. Would they have been better with gas? I'm sure, definitely would have saved my clothes from as much spatter but it did the job much better than expected. I was impressed by that little machine.

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If I was buying a machine in this range and didn't care about it doing TIG, I'd buy a Miller 211 (like I said, I'm Blue). However for the money, the Lincoln 210 will do everything that the 211 will and has TIG capability. That's what I'd get. If I had to save a little longer, so be it. If you are scabbing together farm parts or a trailer or something rough, maybe you could get by but we're talking permanent restoration here and maybe some delicate fabrications down the road. A cheap machine is just going to be a frustration. Once you have used a good machine it's really hard to fight with junk. My 350P is pretty much the ultimate for this stuff but WAY out of the price range you are talking and honestly for the things you are wanting to do the 210 will be perfect, you probably wouldn't know the difference. With all the automation and simplicity, it might even be better. However, I am looking forward to playing with the pulsar on my sheet metal in the Z, just need some time. That's one of my justifications for picking up that machine, that and I got it for a song. The 250 I had welded beautifully.

 

Oh, and get a cylinder. I know I mentioned the flux core works on those machines but you'll get better welds and be a lot happier with gas. I have a bit more experience with them and that helps. Omar, I might have a tank here I could let go. I own all of mine and have a few tricks to get another if need be. I have been shifting all mine to the larger sizes and likely have one that would be perfect for your needs. I like keeping a spare on hand as you always seem to run out on a weekend when they are closed and it's also nice to back purge things too.

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Bigg-ish puchases today. Dave, that roof you wanted might be unusable for your needs. I'll send you pics later and you can decide based on the rust on the top. Not sure quite how clean you want it, but it's hard to tell how pitted it is right now. 

 

Bought a xenon front air dam, stock brake stuff from rock auto, Mooneyes GT071 mirrrors like the ones on Kazuaki Kadowaki's old Z, a weatherstripping kit, and the missing roof emblems. 

 

Hoping to sandblast and at least get an epoxy primer on it while I finish things up. Might even try to go for paint if I can figure out what I want to do with the floors. 

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Feels like I'm dumping money at this thing this month. Doesn't look any prettier yet but lots of good progress is being made.

 

Partially sandblasted most of the shell. Dad didn't want to tear the whole thing apart, so we just covered as much as we could as heavily as we could and went to town. Tried not to go strait to bare metal on everything, especially since there was some pretty well done body filler on areas with small dents. Brought it mostly down to bare metal or at least oem primer/basecoat when we ran out of sand. Mostly satisfied with the result. Found about as much body filler as I was expecting and surprisingly only a couple spots with pin holes blown through the rust, all in very low easy to reach areas.

 

Only a couple in progress pictures currently. We were literal shade tree mechanics for a while haha

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Spent Monday and Tuesday redoing the front bushings and brakes. Finishing up the brakes now. All the front bushings took WAY longer than expected. Installed the new ball joints as well.

 

Scraped and cleaned areas as I was there and sprayed some rust reformer over them then later used 3M undercoating. We'll see how it holds up. Down the road I'll probably wire wheel a lot down and use some better product like lizard skin. For now budget is focused on a couple patch spots left and hopefully priming it soon

 

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This would have been an ideal time to start coilovers, but again... Budget. Those will likely have to wait until December or maybe even next summer. Been thinking about waiting until I get a good set of wheels and tires to really tie things together. Looks fine right now and the stock springs and struts are doing surprisingly alright. Fairly firm for stock springs and no leaks anywhere.

Edited by Zetsaz

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Slowly but surely! Some people have had success and enjoyed the 3M undercoating and I was reading a lot of other restoration boards and most rust reformers are pretty much identical products. The combination should be alright for now. Floors will definitely have lizard skin instead.

 

Anyway, here's this thing... Really glad I went ahead and bought new bushings with the brakes

 

https://youtu.be/alSr-YbIEAs

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Nice progress Omar! Are you going to hit the cruise-in this weekend?

I'm really hoping to! Probably won't get everything I'd like done, but I'll probably just throw on a coat of high build primer and head over late afternoon on Friday or just early Saturday then go cruise down Main.

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Minor project to keep me motivated recently. There was a ton of play in the shifter, so I went to an auto parts store and picked up an assorted pack of door hinge bushings. For those curious, the write-up is on Atlantic Z. Took less than half an hour and it feels much better! The order I do some of these random side projects is probably not the "right" way to got about a restomod, and maybe it slows down other things, but honestly if it keeps me motivated and stops the whole project from stagnating that's all I really care about. In my mind as a relative amateur, all progress is good progress. 

 

 

Best $5 I've spent.

 

Had a friend that was going to let me borrow a mig welder, so we'll see if I can learn a thing or two in the next couple weeks on some of the portions of the car that aren't as critical and are out of site. 

Edited by Zetsaz

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Been getting held up on welding up some remaining patches from being out of town for a bit. Will hopefully be getting at least most of that done this week. I'd like to have the car primed before I head back to washington.

 

In the meantime I've been reconsidering flares. I hate how wide flares stick out so far past the stock body lines. Standard width ZG flares are the only thing I'd consider otherwise I'd rather go to some kind of widebody, but most cars I see run stretched tires or excessively wide wheels that stick out past the flare (or worse yet, both) which I'm not a fan of and it always puts me off. 17x9.5 -20 with a 255/40/r17 tire. Only .3" taller than the stock tires but with MUCH more tire. The 255 might be excessive for the front end, but I prefer the square setup and might deal with it for the sake of being able to rotate the tires and making everything look even.

 

Probably not that far off what some of the guys from the rota RB group buy run, but I honestly don't like that wheel despite being pretty similar to this style. 

Edited by Zetsaz

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Held off on welding the back end because I want to get it fixed properly which will involve redoing the rear lower quarters. 280's had extra metal to form a sort of V shape meeting at the bottom of the rear lower quarters and the rear valence. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but this doesn't seem to be structural and the 240s didn't have this. It's mostly rotted away so next time I'm home I'll just be chopping all that off and putting in extra metal between the rear deck and the rear quarters parallel to the ground to seal off the inside just like the 240 (at least the series 1 parts car) has. 
 

On my way back up to Washington I got a full AC system from a facebook datsun parts member while I was passing through Boise! I only needed the compressor, but I'll probably run it next summer and cruise around a bit more comforably while I finish up metal work and hopefully paint. Will probably keep the L series with AC for the time being until I really build up the rest of the car to hold up to whatever I decide to throw in the engine bay in the future. 

 

Here's a couple random pictures from my last week in Utah, including a rock chuck (?) that was wandering around the garage and seemed to enjoy the Datsun. 

 

Hasn't been a month and I already have more parts ready to go for next time I'm home. 

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Edited by Zetsaz

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3 hours ago, Jboogsthethug said:

Glad to see you're still chipping away at the ole datsun!! I wish I was able to make it to the Cache valley cruise in, but glad you got to at least! Did you prime it after you sandblasted it or just tuck it away in the garage??

 

It's lightly primed just with some rattle can stuff for the time being. I'm currently debating whether or not I even want to proceed with more rust work. After the sandblast and doing a lot more work underneath, there's even more rot than I suspected. The outside of the car is passable now that it's even with the primer, but at this point there's just so much work or money involved just to get the shell to meet my standards that I'm looking into sourcing a better shell instead.

I already have something potentially lined up that is going to be more cost effective for me and turn out better in the long run, and in the meantime I'll actually get to go out and enjoy this thing for a bit without worrying about rust for a while. Current plan is to just focus on anything that can be swapped over to a different shell, which is actually what most of my money has gone into anyway, so I'm not at a big loss right now no matter what I choose to do. 

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On 12/29/2017 at 4:49 PM, Zetsaz said:

 

It's lightly primed just with some rattle can stuff for the time being. I'm currently debating whether or not I even want to proceed with more rust work. After the sandblast and doing a lot more work underneath, there's even more rot than I suspected. The outside of the car is passable now that it's even with the primer, but at this point there's just so much work or money involved just to get the shell to meet my standards that I'm looking into sourcing a better shell instead.

I already have something potentially lined up that is going to be more cost effective for me and turn out better in the long run, and in the meantime I'll actually get to go out and enjoy this thing for a bit without worrying about rust for a while. Current plan is to just focus on anything that can be swapped over to a different shell, which is actually what most of my money has gone into anyway, so I'm not at a big loss right now no matter what I choose to do. 

 

That's a bummer man, I was lucky that my car didn't have more rust. It definitely has some rough spots but nothing I wasn't ok with. I'm glad you've potentially got another shell lined up though! Are you looking for a 240 only or 280 or what? If that doesn't go through, I may have a couple of options in mind down in SLC or Lehi! But I think that's a good plan, I'm jealous yours is up driving! Mine will be tomorrow though, so I'm almost there after the long haul!

 

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Yeah, it's a bit of a bummer doing some of the visible metal work on the original car and then deciding it's not gonna be worth it for me, but I figured I'd cut my losses. At the absolute worst I'm maybe $1k plus my time into the shell I've decided isn't worth it. It's really not terrible considering most of that I can pay myself back in the experience and knowledge I've gained, plus the original parts that were in the car that I'll be swapping over. I've been pretty frugal and found a lot of deals where I could to make this thing work, and most of the bigger money I've spent on it has been on stuff I can very easily swapped over to another shell. 

 

Hard to go wrong when you start with a $300 car with a running engine!

 

To be honest this was sort of the original plan. Buy this for how complete the interior/running gear was, swap over to another shell. Somewhere along the way I decided it could be saved, and to be honest it can! Just not by me. I'd have to invest a fair amount in tools that I'd only use maybe a handful of times after this project, my own time and mistakes, or about $8k in metal work from a shop to get it to my standards. I'm much farther ahead buying a really nice empty shell. 

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Quick picture and video with my brother driving after doing a quick adjustment on the AFM. Doesn't look half bad as is... just ignore the pitting and holes on the rear valence.... and don't open the hatch... and don't lift the carpet among other things haha. Gonna enjoy this for now and make it my base for all things mechanical until another shell is ready to have everything swapped over. 

 

 

IMAG0073[1].jpg

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11 hours ago, Zetsaz said:

Yeah, it's a bit of a bummer doing some of the visible metal work on the original car and then deciding it's not gonna be worth it for me, but I figured I'd cut my losses. At the absolute worst I'm maybe $1k plus my time into the shell I've decided isn't worth it. It's really not terrible considering most of that I can pay myself back in the experience and knowledge I've gained, plus the original parts that were in the car that I'll be swapping over. I've been pretty frugal and found a lot of deals where I could to make this thing work, and most of the bigger money I've spent on it has been on stuff I can very easily swapped over to another shell. 

 

Hard to go wrong when you start with a $300 car with a running engine!

 

To be honest this was sort of the original plan. Buy this for how complete the interior/running gear was, swap over to another shell. Somewhere along the way I decided it could be saved, and to be honest it can! Just not by me. I'd have to invest a fair amount in tools that I'd only use maybe a handful of times after this project, my own time and mistakes, or about $8k in metal work from a shop to get it to my standards. I'm much farther ahead buying a really nice empty shell. 

 

yeah, a solid plan I think! and 1k is not bad at all, I would have loved to find a z for $300, that is seriously a steal in consideration of the current prices you find! I mean looking at the picture it looks solid!  Even mine was 2700 out in the boonies of Idaho. I could've probably gotten a cheaper one, but I would've had to wait and I didn't want to ha. Watching your video makes me excited! I actually started my z yesterday for the first time since tearing it apart originally! I have so much to update on my thread! 

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Update time:

 

5a94ee7edbb63_280z-front-driver.jpg.e98164b178385dafb4a1c6a8f3d3e1571.thumb.jpg.b48658e5765615ed19a07f605204d4a8.jpg5a94ee8946f91_280z-rear-driver.jpg.5a1b78d11f17cf02d24a539c65f986ab1.thumb.jpg.92636aa7f691401d4af1204dd4c02fc1.jpg

 

This is the new shell that is now safely at my house taking up more space in my dad's garage haha. (Fortunately my first car, the Celica that spun a bearing before I moved was scrapped over the holidays when I had a chance to get it there. The Maxima I moved to washington in is also in a junkyard somewhere now).

 

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It feels really satisfying to know this thing is comfortably stored now waiting for some work. User Madovic from here is who I purchased it form and honestly I wasn't expecting nearly as much stuff to come with it as I got. 

 

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I also went for the freshly rebuilt R200 CLSD he had. He  dropped the price on the LSD substantially since I was buying the shell and gave me a rock bottom price on the shell to get it out of his way for his new project. I'm not sure I could even properly redo the floors and rails on the other car for what I got the shell and LSD for, so I'm really happy to have done business with him. Genuinely one of the most honest private sellers I've ever dealt with for anything, but I digress.... I also got some other fun goodies....

 

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I got a lot of fun goodies, the most expensive of which will be transferrable to other things I might want to use in the future, but in the meantime will help me learn a whole lot more about EFI tuning:

MS3X

2 sets of harnesses required for MS3 and MS3X

Coil on Plug setup using LS coils on a custom braket for the L series

ZXT distributor with diyautotune optical trigger wheel ready to send signal to MS

Fuel rail with modest 315cc injectors since I'm not going turbo (yet at least...) 

60mm throttle body with 240sx TPS

GM idle air controller and DIYautotune bypass block

A few other things I'm probably forgetting. 

 

Some of my favorite cars recently have been the MZR roadsports Zs. Nothing outrageously different done as far as styling but much more modern tech running everything, which has always been my goal. In the future I might go a different direction with the engine down the road, but finding deals like this, especially when the most expensive portion of the stuff (MS3) is transferrable will allow me to learn more about engine tuning and let me enjoy my current engine even more while not making me feel totally tied down by the investment I've made. Some pictures of the MZR cars to get an idea of the style build I'd go wtih if I stick with the L series long term. Obviously some of this stuff is way above my budget and the engine "shaving" is on the extreme side but it's nice to find cars like this that are subtle and follow similar mindset to my own. 

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Edited by Zetsaz

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Dang man!! That's awesome! As soon as I saw it I knew it was familiar, I bought a few parts from him as well! That's rad you've got yourself a solid shell to work on! And those Zs below are dang clean! That shave is so dang perfect, I really don't know how they got it so clean. I've shaved and tucked mine and it doesn;t look nearly as good! either way, glad to see you're on the road towards progress again!

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2 hours ago, Jboogsthethug said:

Dang man!! That's awesome! As soon as I saw it I knew it was familiar, I bought a few parts from him as well! That's rad you've got yourself a solid shell to work on! And those Zs below are dang clean! That shave is so dang perfect, I really don't know how they got it so clean. I've shaved and tucked mine and it doesn;t look nearly as good! either way, glad to see you're on the road towards progress again!

 

Yeah, a lot of it is just for show though and really isn't practical. I LOOKS easy to work with until you realize that a fair amount of stuff that could go bad is tucked away in hard to reach places. I wouldn't quite go to the extreme they've gone, but I think they're great modernizations of the Z in many ways. 

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On ‎2‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 12:31 PM, Zetsaz said:

 

Yeah, a lot of it is just for show though and really isn't practical. I LOOKS easy to work with until you realize that a fair amount of stuff that could go bad is tucked away in hard to reach places. I wouldn't quite go to the extreme they've gone, but I think they're great modernizations of the Z in many ways. 

Great stuff! And I agree...I love modernization of the Z :D

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