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My widened 240Z

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I decided to widen my -72 240Z after finishing my GTR-32 rear axle installation to allow the usage of some deep dish rims.

The GTR axle modification has been covered a few times in the past by others and my installation does not differ that much from the mainstream. However, I decided to do something different with the bodywork.

I actually went on and bought me some ZG-flares to start with, but while I was test fitting them it just did not seem like the way to go in my build.

 

I decided to widen the rear quarter panels by adding a slice of sheet metal to the shoulder line. I took the top of the quarter panel 2 inches out at the rear axle line while the rear corner stays at stock width. I have seen implementation where the rear corner point is also brought further away on the side, but I personally like the curvy shape of the rear end on my approach. While the top of the quarter panel is wider, the width is preserved in the stock measure at the rocker panel height. i like the way the stock body line "folds under" the car in the sides and this approach will further emphasize the feature. 

 

I have also seen implementation such as the subtle Z rear quarter where the widening does not effect the door. I decided to slice and dice the door as well in order to preserve the continuity of the original body line. In the end, we'll hopefully see an undisturbed body liner at the height of the door handle. The door is also only widened from the top while the rocker panel area folds in.

 

I have not decided yet if I will keep the rear pumber, but I left a preservation for it. If it looks dum, I just sheet metal the pits.

The front will probably be widened with some metal flairs.

 

Anyway, here are some pictures of my progress on the passenger side so far. And no, the rim in the pictures is not part of my plans. I was just using it for checking the fitment and ride height.

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looks super good, If anything you might need some slight fender rolling after, but i like the look of it  You mentioned that you are going to widen the doors, are the doors going to have a taper so the front is stock thickness and the rear matches the fender? 

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You mentioned that you are going to widen the doors, are the doors going to have a taper so the front is stock thickness and the rear matches the fender? 

The cut made to the door right on the top bodyline can be seen from one of the pictures I posted. The front end of the door stays at the original position while the rear is stretched out. The door was widened a little shy from 1.5 inches from the rear top end. The bottom of the door is kept in the stock position as well.

 

After the main body shape was found on the passenger side and I finished tack welding it so it sticks together, I decided to modify the other side. This was pretty straight forward since I made coordinates of my cuts. I just replicated the coordinates to the driver side and took out my jigsaw.

 

Here are some pics of my progress on the driver side.

The sides are as symmetric as  can be at this point, but the welded fuel tank lid on the passenger side caused some discrepancy as I cut open the structure. Not a major issue though. Nothing a gentle hammering and a little body tinning wouldn't sort out.

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With everything looking as if there is a possibility to make this all work, I went on to sheet metal the created gaps between original body sections. All sheet metal parts are cut to the shape of the gap and fitted with butt joints. I am not really sure if that is the correct term for this but what I am trying to describe is that I do not put metal on metal but new metal comes parallel to the original metal. The shaped sheet metal pieces are first tack welded to assure correct fitment and afterwards all the seams are fully welded

 

Photos are pretty self explanatory and I try to document my progress as I work so here is some pictures of the sheet metal work on the driver side rear quarter panel and finally some surface area with the welding seams grind down and ready for some body solder.

 

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When the quarter panel was pulled out and bend on a smaller radius, the gap between the door and the panel was widened from the top. I made a new vertical cut to the panel and restored the uniform gap as can be seen from the first photo. The modifications and fitment of the door can be seen from the other photos.

 

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What do you guys think of the situation with the rear bumper? As it stands, my options are wide open.

My initial idea was to embed the bumper into the widened rear quarter, but I am wondering if it is going to go below the surface of the panel. Might look a bit odd if this were to happen.

The obvious way to go about this is to just sheet metal the void and ditch the rear bumper all together.

My friend suggested I put a metal net on the front of the void and sheet metal the sides to create a kind of ducting for cooling the brakes.

I am not sure how effective this approach would be in terms of cooling, but would it look good?

If anybody knows of any car with a similar solution, I would appreciate the info.

 

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I don't care for the fully shaved rear, and I think if you leave the indents, but run without a bumper it'll look like it's unfinished. I'd pull out the indent a bit (around an inch?), and modify the bumpers to fit by pulling the sides out the same amount. Should look OEM-ish. Of course, do some mock up to make sure it won't look goofy.

 

You could also fill in some of the indent, and shorten that part of the bumper - about to where the hole in the indent is. This way, the pocket wouldn't be as deep.

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I'd agree with Keith and keep the indentations.  Couple of ideas:

 

1. keep them stock width, install the bumper and see how it looks that way

2, if it appears to be lost or too deep into the indentation due to the widened fenders then you could splay the bumper ends by modifying the angle to which they mount to the center bar

3, widen the center bar

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I like both options (bumpers/bumperless) for these cars, but mostly favor keeping the bumpers. I think after modifying the rear bumper to fit the flared sides, it will help visually complete the visual flow of the car.

Now if it were me and I was going without the bumper, I would most definitely fill in the indentations.

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Thanks for the ideas. Modification of the bumper might end up being a pricey solution because I would like to maintain a chrome finish.

Running the exhaust out of these holes would be something different.

I guess I'll leave it for now and see how the bumper fits when I take the car down.

Next I will be practicing on body soldering. Let's see if it goes well enough so I dare to share some pics of the result. 

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I personally like a bumper less look, but I'm with 1tuffZ...if you like a bumper, then slightly widen the center section of the bumpers, and flail the ends on the angle to march the quarters. It looks like it would be a bit much of an angle without widening the bumper.

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I am leaning towards deleting the bumper, but we'll see.

In the meantime I've been doing some body soldering which I've never done before. As opposed to my expectations, I did not have much difficulty controlling the melted solder. The most difficult part for me was to apply the correct amount of solder to the right places, the result being that after planing some spots were left on a pit. These will be flattened with some body filler since the thickness required will be less than one millimeter.

 

Here is some pictures of the body soldering:

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