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Advice/Guidance on first Z bodywork.

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Hello everyone!

So, a few months back I purchased my first Z. A nice, 1973, 240z with minimal rust. (I now have two...)

It's had a beautiful primer paint job the short time I've owned it, and I'm getting a bit tired of looking at gray and I have the funds/time to get it painted. 


The original color was silver, but I'd love to paint it silver. How should I go about painting it? I'm considering stripping the whole thing down, removing the engine, clearing out any rust, sand blasting it, and painting it. Is this ridiculous? Would I destroy the interior in the process, or would I be able to carefully remove the fabric? It looks like the interior has been re-upholstered within the last few years, and it is quite nice inside. Also, I've been asking around the club for prices paid for paint, and it's scary. Many club members apparently have paid $5,000 to $7,000 for a nice paint job, but I've had some people tell me they went to Maako and just did the body work themselves. I've heard mixed reviews about Maako.. If I did the bodywork myself, would Maako be appropriate? Or is there any other option for cheaper, nice paint? Would painting it myself be something that's possible? I've seen some quite nice home-done paint jobs.


I'm also planning on adding on a body kit, from a website like MSA. Would a kit like this replace the hideous bench (Bumper) on the front/rear of my car? (

Does anyone have any other advice for websites selling bodykits? 


I really appreciate any information I could get, I'll be searching about the forums in the meantime as usual. 


Todd Martin



Edited by CaliforniaZ

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My .02, if the interior is in good shape, leave it. But if repairing rust means removing it, well, you are going to need to remove some if not all. You need to do a real rust analysis first. Frame rails, floor pans, rockers, firewall by the battery, doglegs, front frame rails etc. Then decide if you want to spend the money for sand blasting. Are you doing everything on your own? Welding, dent repair? It really depends on what you a) want to spend or B) how much labor you are willing to put in. For autobody, auto body101.Com had a lot of info for me. Hotrodders.Com as well. Good luck either way you do it.

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I was lucky enough to have a friend whose family owned a autobody shop so I was able to work for them for a summer and have them teach me and help me with my car. From my experience you have to really make sure (like Jay_Gadsby said), that you have enough rust for it to be worth your time in order to sandblast. You will have to take out the interior, the sand gets everywhere...seriously, I still find some occasionally. Having it painted is expensive, but if you choose silver paint you will be doing well, red is the most expensive I've seen. I think those prices are pretty standard for cost of a good paint job. Also, choosing to do it yourself is a huge project so you have to be sure before you do it. You can get a cheap paint gun at harbor freight for like $10, but the real killer is the sandpaper and paint. I spent way more than I expected on sandpaper and paint. So now that I have begun rambling I will stop. If you have any more questions I'm happy to answer them as best I can. 

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