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This is a build thread to document the progress on my 1977 Datsun 280z 2+2.

We've never done any car restoration work before so any pointers would be appreciated. The long term goal is to swap a LS v8 engine (probably a 5.3L or 4.8L), upgrade the suspension and brakes, and have a solid daily drivable Datsun. Currently, we are about 6 months and we have completed the following:

Stripped the interior and exterior,

removed the engine, tranny and engine bay wiring,

misc metal work (cutting out the usual Z rust and welding in patch panels),

coated all internal frame rails and cavities with east-woods internal frame rail coating or POR-15.


Here is what we started with.







Inspiration / Goals


possible paint color



Pulling the engine - relatively easy.



Cutting out the rust



Here's some of the welding / patch panels. We used weld through primer so the the welds won't rust through.


Battery Compartment


The front nose area - patched on both sides




driver's side floorpan (not nearly as bad as passenger side just one patch panel near the seat mount).


Passenger floorpan - we fabricated a floorpan that was mainly plug welded in place and also replaced a rusty spot in the trans tunnel.



a shot of some POR-15 rust convertor work


That brings us up to present time, lots of work to do still.
















Edited by Whitley_280z_2+2
remove blurry pictures

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Did some more work on the 280z today.

Finished welding the last piece for the battery area.





Here is what it looks like from the outside. To weld this metal, I am mostly using plug welds because I only have access to a flux core 90 amp welder and I am new to welding. So, I purposely left overlap on some areas so that I can fold it up, weld it in place, and then apply seam sealer. 




Now, we are going to work on the rear of the car... filling the holes in the bumper, repairing some rust areas in the rocker panels, and there is some rust behind the rear wheel wells. 

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Since we finished all the welding / metal work in the interior, we went ahead and primed it. For the worst spots with surface rust, I wire wheeled all the rust off and then coated it with POR-15. Now, these spots will be extra protected from rusting in the future. For the rest of the interior I wire wheeled all surfaces to remove any left over sound dampening residue and prepped the metal for primer. 


Here is the finished product:




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