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ISPKI

Finally: Full Restomod

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Heya folks. I finally got enough projects and customers out of my shop to bring my 77 280z in and start fixing it. Started off by stripping everything out of the engine bay and repairing the passenger side frame, fender walls, firewall, and floor.

 

 

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Frame and firewall behind and above the frame is patched up. Started cleaning out the rotted floor and outter fender area. Also - Pulled back all the rusty fuel lines and dropped the fuel tank out in preparation for torching out the pass side floor. I have NOS floor panels to go in.

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I have the floor cut back to the first cross rail, formed and rebuilt the mating firewall flange behind the fender and have the bottom of the frame (that was warped and rotted) cut out and a 1/8" piece formed to be welded in tomorrow hopefully. Pictures on that progress to come this afternoon.

 

Does anyone have any pointers for replacing the floor panels? Currently, I am thinking I will just cut out the entire frame and floor as I have new frame rails and floor pans to go in but I am somewhat concerned about keeping the chassis straight, albeit, there is almost no weight in the car at this point.

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Next up is going to be the bottom of the frame. I am going to replace the sections under the firewall prior to cutting out the entire floor region. Should have it all welded and cut out so I can start fitting my NOS floors by the end of the weekend.

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Looks like you got quite a bit of work ahead of you!

 

The X bar to the trans tunnel is pretty standard to keep everything from twisting if you are cutting out the seat rails and such.

 

Something seems a bit off with those welds, too much wire speed? Not enough heat? 

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You think so? Definitely not too little heat as I was having a hell of a time keeping it from punching holes through the thin metal. I am using my large welder with large diameter wire so it does build up rather quickly and most of that is single spot welding so it may appear to have a globular appearance, except for the 1/8" frame plates in the 2nd post.

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Welded in a large cross  bar per Seattlejester's suggestion (thanks) and finished cutting out the floor and the middle seat rail. Proceeded to cut and grind and clean up metal to prep for welding. Ran myself clean out of grinding and cutting discs so the project will have to wait for a day or two while I wait for a 100pc shipment of grinder tools and a steel wire bell brush to come in. Looks like my floor pans got a little surface rust on them after being stored in a box for nearly 5 years!

 

Having to take a break from the Z gave me some time to move my hot tub into the car port for some much needed relief from the 100+ degree weather up here.

 

On a side note, anyone ever heard of swapping a Volvo IRS rear diff into a Z car? Appearently they had a number of years with Eaton G80 locking diffs that were supposed to be pretty stout (paired behind a 300+ftlbs T6 and their 4.4L ferarri V8s). Wrecked volvo S80s are plentiful in my area, significantly more so than LSD R200s and their donors.

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Well I am back at the repairs. I have never spot welded thin sheet metal before. Using some tips from a friend of mine who is a certified body mechanic. He recommended using self drilling sheet metal screws to hold the panels in intimate contact. He also said I over did it with the number of spot welds but I think it came out relatively OK for a first attempt, driver's side will be much nicer after using the passenger side as practice.

Items left for Passenger side: finish closing up the rear seam. Weld in the new seat cross rails. Weld in the underfloor mount. Weld in the cutout under the support cross bar. Weld in the firewall patch panel. Oh, and I just ran out of shielding gas.

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So I did some more prep work this weekend, welded in a square tube for the forward seat cross bar, will need to fabricate side skirts for it to connect it to the middle of the floor.

Also did some more spot welds along the right side of the floor, I have about 8in of spot welds to finish that side up.

Cut out the temporary cross member I had welded in and prepared the floor frame rail with spot weld holes and paint for welding this week.

Ended the weekend running 8/3 romex for the hot tub.

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I keep forgetting to take pictures of my progress but the floor pan is fully welded in! It was getting pretty ugly over where I cut out the section to weld in the cross bar support piece.

I also spot welded in the floor frame rail, just need to connect it to the engine bay frame rail.

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Maybe it is the thick wire/high heat leading to a fast build up as you mention. They just look tall, but as long as the penetration is there though really doesn't matter, and under paint and carpet, it would take a real nosy person to find them. 

 

Keep up the work!

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