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1971 Datsun 240z resto.project [vids/pics]

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#1 mull


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Posted 16 December 2005 - 03:53 PM

Hey there,

Welcome to my project, for whatever reason named "Hugo"

This story begins somewhere here and there. "There" being the first time I saw
Darius bad a§§ 240z tearing up the streets. Guess he's to blame anyway. A friend
in Sydney, Australia, is to blame as well. Got acquainted with his first 240z
when visiting aussie-land for a 4 month long vacation. That Z was pretty much
stock. Orange. Sweet enough! After me bumming around the country for a month
or two - George (that's the Z-holics name) - let me know that he'd sold the 240
and gotten... Another 240z. This one sporting custom wishbones, a V8, custom
fuel cell, etc etc. How could I not be hooked?

I just had to get one of my own!

This is where I ran into problem No.1 - There aren't any 240z's in Sweden.
Well, there are - but they're pretty rare and don't often come on sale, and if
they do, they're a bit pricy.

What to do? Import of course. Me and Ebay are friends, so that's where I headed.
Found me a black 1971 240z that I thought would be an ok object to start out with.
I bought it and had it shipped to Sweden. While in Gothenburg harbour, some smart
a§§ ran a forklift into my Z

This dented the hood, crippled the right front fender and light bucket - breaking
its cover. Yay! Or maybe not. Anyway. I got the car back to Stockholm, after
driving it there (about 350 miles) at 25 mph due to the transporter not performing
its very best...

Then came the tear-down. Lots of interesting materials were found. Not much of it
was metal. Tons of bondo, fiberglass, epoxy, etc. The floors had been patched up
with pieces of sheet metal - riveted and screwed (regular philips head scres) to
stay put. On top of this mess was fiberglass.

The car had lived its life in Missouri, and it was probably happy to see Chicago
and a way out - cause man, this Z turned out to be pretty rotten (which was funny
cause the ebay auction said "NO RUST").

I'm a bit tired, writing this, and I'm sure most of you will just skip straight
to the pictures and vids anyway - so I'll keep it pretty shirt from here.

The body was stripped and send to sand blasting. It came back from sand blasting.
It went south, to Swedish Composite Engineering (www.sce.se), where the likes of
Michael and Richard were to bring the Z back to life. You might think "What the
heck has 'composite engineering' to do with panel beating and rust repairs?".

The answer is that Richard also works as a sheet metal worker (mostly doing roof jobs -
church-roofs/details, etc) and therefore pretty handy with fabricating parts
and welding. Later on SCE will support the project with custom carbon fiber parts.
For instance, the dashboard has been restored by permanently glueing a dash cap
to the original (which looked like utter crap) and then sanding out the major
differences in height - after which fiberglass bondo was added, sanded down and
a little more bondo was added, and sanded down. And so on. It's now ready for
paint - in order to make a mold - to make a carbon dash.

More parts, like the rear hatch, hood, center console, etc - will hopfully also
see molds and carbon fiber copys made. Still a bit of time before the project
gets that far.

I'll keep the car looking pretty stock - keeping the side skirts, front air dam
and hatch wing that came with the car. Rear flares will most likely be added to
accomodate a wide set of 18" tall rims/wheels.

Not much else will be left stock. The plan is to switch all gauges from original
to Autometer Pro Comp Ultra Lite. Throw out the old engine/gearbox and replace
it with a RB26 with a RB25 gearbox. How original eh?

This is part of the recipe: Modified RB26 N1 block. ARP studs for head and bottom
end, modified cylinder head, Crower billet rods, wiseco pistons, Nismo bearings,
N1 oil pump, N1 water pump, HKS steel gaskets everywhere. That's the start of it
anyway. Responsible for putting the engine together is my sponsor, Performance
by Z - pretty appropriate name eh? More to come on the engine. Project is still on
rust repair... Speaking of which - special thanks to POR-15 Sweden for hooking me
up with paint! And speaking of rust - after sand blasting - there wasn't much of
a car left (as you'll see in the pictures).

Yeah, well... Bla bla bla. Check out the movies (they'll STREAM) and have a look
at the pictures to get an idea of where the project is at now.


——Pictures (some of 'em)——

1: Car arrives in Gothenburg

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2: Teardown

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3: Somewhat... Stripped ;)

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4: Sand blasting

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5: Not much Z left :)

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#2 mull


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Posted 16 December 2005 - 03:54 PM

6: Going to the metal "spa" at SCE (www.sce.se) in Norrköping

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New floors on the way

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The reinforcements, that along with a subframe, will be mounted underneath the floor pans

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Who needs gas anyway? New cap and placement coming...

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Metal termites?

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Work in progress!

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New high-tech wood/metal chair :)

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More work in progress

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Reinforcement plate...

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...for the rear hatch plate :)

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Woop woop ^_^

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Richard is the **** - no doubt about it. Mr Metal :)

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New battery tray coming along well - battery will be placed in the hatch though

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——Video Updates [click to stream, or right click and save it——

——Project forum [click "uppdateringar" and have a look around...]——

#3 Guest_ON3GO_*

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 04:33 PM

very nice!
gonna be a nice car!


#4 Vintage-TechZ



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Posted 16 December 2005 - 04:36 PM

Firstly.....WELCOME to HB-Z family of enthusiasts. Next....I am not laughing AT you,rather WITH you about the rust on that car !!! HOLY CRAP ! I've lived here in Missouri for the better part of my life and have only seen rusty Z's like that come from New York or the East coast primarily affected from the chemicals and salt products they spread to aid in the melting of ice and snow.
Even my early 70 Z's look like diamonds compared ......but it looks like your going to be able to save her and thats all that counts right now with their scarcity over there.
There are several of us here in the US and abroad doing the RB26DETT swaps into our S30's and doing all of the killer upgrades. It seems to be a common dream to bring to life these days and we wish you the best in your project.
BTW.....I really dug your video's .....thats a really neat way of catalogueing your new experiance.I was laughing while watching some parts. You made it interesting to watch.
I'll stay tuned with your efforts !!
...............Vinny 8)

68 2000 - Roadster,V6 turbo-VG30det-SOLD
73 240Z - 3.0,T3/T04E,Tial 44mm,Wolf-3D,
Veilside 18x12"3-piece, Z4M seats, Veilside exhaust & Steering wheel
RB33dett drivetrain waiting to swap in.

#5 Sumo


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Posted 16 December 2005 - 05:12 PM

It's a good thing that you got some sponsors, i think all that rust just sucked up most of your budget. It looks like it's going to be a nice car when you get done. I look forward to more videos too, maybe you can make a DVD movie and sell it as the "Chronicles of Hugo". Good luck:2thumbs::rockon:

#6 Sparky



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Posted 16 December 2005 - 06:07 PM

wow, who knew rust repair could be so entertaining. nice vids, good luck with your project!, I definitely look forward to seeing more pictures and videos.

#7 mark


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Posted 16 December 2005 - 06:07 PM

Incredable progress. Can't wait to see more updates.


#8 TheNeedForZ



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Posted 16 December 2005 - 06:12 PM

Great project and welcome to the forum!

I am inspired because my Z is about as rotten as yours. I did pretty much the same thing, whole-car media blasting, then coat it with Rust Bullet(similar to POR15). Now I need body work done.

BTW I absolutely enjoyed your videos!

#9 TheNeedForZ



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Posted 16 December 2005 - 07:27 PM

Just finished watching all of them. You are probably the first person ever to document the restoration process of a Z so thoroughly with videos.

I can't thank you enough for making/posting those videos. They are very entertaining and inspiring. I've learned a lot about general body work as well.

Good luck with your project and keep them videos coming!!!

#10 Z-Monster



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Posted 16 December 2005 - 08:12 PM

mull... awsome projet undertaking man... i wish i was as brave as you in stripping the entire car like that and sandblasting.. i'm affraind to find out the reality of my own cars body... great documantation and keep us posted with your progress... i wanted to do the same but work and time came in the way. i use my car daily and thats my only car so couldnt spedn too much time restoring and taking pictures.

1980 280zx with a RB30DET heart daily driver. :redface:

#11 Jolane



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Posted 16 December 2005 - 09:25 PM

Wow! That is a project! My '70 is only about 25% that level, if even that much, and I was thinking that it is headed for a recycler eventually. That really puts things in perspective I guess. Nice work and dedication!

Question: Where did you get the rear lower skirt (valance) panel? I am looking at replacing mine. Is that the Motorsport Auto piece?

Finally, great videos! Well done!

#12 Jersey



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Posted 16 December 2005 - 10:53 PM

Nice work Philip. That's a ton of work. Funny videos, especially when you refer back to the ebay ad stating "NO RUST" LOL. Ok, i just watched all the vids and i think i've got some flash from all the welding. Need to rest eyes :) Good luck, it looks like it's going to turn out great.
'73 240ZT
12.004@114.62mph - ONBOARD VIDEO
12.476@111.18mph - VIDEO

#13 tfreer85



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Posted 16 December 2005 - 11:59 PM

WOW all I can say is I feel like one big sissy for complaining about some batter tray rust and small holes in the floorboard. I mean jeebus thats a lot of rust and crazily good fabrications skills. Thats awesome, great vids very informative motivates me somewhat to attempt to weld things nothing in particular just something :) . Keep us updated.


#14 mull


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Posted 17 December 2005 - 12:36 AM

Wow! I'm overwhelmed from all the great/positive response! Posted Image

It's very rewarding to get this kind of feedback after putting alot of
effort into filming, cutting, editing, searching for music, sound-FX, and
of course going through a time and money-consuming restoration.

Thanks alot you guys! Posted Image

Also, thanks for welcoming me to the forum - even though I've been a
member since june 2003. Have'nt had much to post up until recently
when I converted the vids from high quality divX into streaming wmv.

I've tried posting my regular flicks (streetracing and such) in the divX
format on different american and australian forums but the only kind
of feedback I got there was whining about the connection - how slow
it was. Looks like I should keep converting the rest of the vids. Guss
it's better to have "normal" quality videos available without wait as
oppose to big a§§ divX-files. Should you want them however, they're
posted in my (swedish) project forum! (The threads that end with [film])

Once again, many thanks for the great feedback!

Question: Where did you get the rear lower skirt (valance) panel? I am looking at replacing mine. Is that the Motorsport Auto piece?

Finally, great videos! Well done!

Thanks alot Josh!

I got the panel from Charlie at Zedd Findings - I think he's the
best person to talk to if you need panels. Great guy to deal with!

• intro - http://www.datsunzparts.com/
• panels & stuff - http://www.datsunzpa...Parts/bodyf.htm

#15 Supra510



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Posted 17 December 2005 - 02:59 AM

Awesome video's. I can't believe some of the things they used to repair that frame rail. Nothing says structural integrity like a nice hinge. Great work and keep the videos coming.


#16 sir_daniel



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Posted 17 December 2005 - 03:37 AM

finally did you philip make a thread here at hybridz (as i told you ;)
my car

#17 Vintage-TechZ



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Posted 17 December 2005 - 11:31 AM

Do you remember which town in Missouri you purchased this car from ? Its a small world really and I just may have known the previous owner of that Z. Seems remote....but thought I'd check.
I know its a "no fault" sort of thing since the last owner just may not of had ANY real car skills to have seen evidence of PAST rust, hence the " no rust" Ebay listing.
Your project documentation and enthusiasum has completly overshadowed the rust issue and should be inspiring to others who moan at the site of any rust ,let alone the amount your one car had.
I joke when I say......" a couple more yards of new steel in her and you'd have a Camaro " lol.
As I watched the vids, I reflected on how many Z's that I've welded new panels into over the last 20+ years in much the same way as your friend did and shook my head (amazed) that ALL of this was going into one Z...at once !
I cut up or crushed over 25 Z's over the years with a ton less rust in them than yours and never gave it a second thought until I saw you slaving so much Love into your Z.
I have ,now,......SOME guilt about that.........but more anger towards the jerk who misrepresented the cars condition. Had I known you and also been aware of your Z enthusiasum....I'd have likely GIVEN you a rust free chasis to import and to set you light years into the build.
But alas..........then your project wouldn't reflect all of the compounding enjoyment you and your friends are experiancing together today.
I could have only DREAMED of having such qualified skilled friends around me instead of always doing it all alone or having to do their cars.
You are truly blessed with the key ..........FRIENDSHIP !

.........Looking forward to the next VID.

68 2000 - Roadster,V6 turbo-VG30det-SOLD
73 240Z - 3.0,T3/T04E,Tial 44mm,Wolf-3D,
Veilside 18x12"3-piece, Z4M seats, Veilside exhaust & Steering wheel
RB33dett drivetrain waiting to swap in.

#18 EZ-E



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Posted 17 December 2005 - 06:14 PM


I cannot believe the rust and all the fiberglass on that car, unbelievable, but you went and took it on and it looks like it is really coming along very well, I must say great work on the car that you have done, its sure to be something very nice when you are finished with it.

I also would like to compliment you on your videos they were a joy to watch.

Good luck and keep the updates coming I cant wait to see the end of this project.

#19 DavyZ


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Posted 17 December 2005 - 06:50 PM

Cripes! That looks more like buckshot through paper than it does actual metal. Missouri and other states from the midwest/north are NOT the places you want to buy a Z from usually, but this is all water under the bridge.

I applaud you for going to such great measures to restore and modify your car. it will be the car you have always dreamed about when you finish---that I am sure of!! Keep up the great work :2thumbs:


#20 JessZ



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Posted 17 December 2005 - 09:51 PM

What an eye opener. Truley inspiring.

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