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HybridZ

240z SCCA vintage race car, restoration


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This is what a 5-hour job looks like :( 

I felt like something was missing in the rear strut towers. The series one has a tendency to “taco” under torque. Removing the bench behind the seats would just make it worse, so I added a 16-gauge 1.25” tube at 90-degrees to the roll bar. I really need to get back to body and paint 😕 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Polycarb windshield has been cut, mounted, and removed ahead of bodywork/paint. Came-up 1/2” short on the ends (these are hard to do!) so I made some fabricated stainless flanges on each end which serve as a cover for the gap, and also distribute force from the mounting bolts. This should also help a bit with the “bubble” effect from single point forces on the plastic, when viewing from an angle. 
 

also had the doors media blasted. Uncovered a poor door-handle delete job which only had a handful of tack welds holding it in place. Fixed it, but also had some wicked metal deformation to deal with. Used my MIG setup to heat-shrink the bowing spots and hammer-dolied the rest to a reasonable curvature.
 

Converted the passenger door skin’s failing Dsuz fittings to all quick-latch. spent hours trying to align and get them all yo click without any pre-load or binding. Was happy with the results! Back to bodywork. 

 

PS: the video shows me removing it with the quik-latches. cut the length so it can post. 

 

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Edited by AydinZ71
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That's a creative idea for the windshield. I always cut oversize to a template I have and then work it back down with a sander. If I ever mess that up, I will copy you for sure. If there is 1 thing I learned building the tube car, it's adapting what you have to what you need.

Try your best to mount it flush with surrounding metal. Which it looks like you side panels do that. If you can, try to get the window to have a smooth transition onto the roof.  Depending on what you end up with, maybe some caulk or rtv to smooth it.

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Posted (edited)

You read my mind. I have 1/4" wide #8 alluminum spacers in different lengths precisely to offset the windshield from the sill and make it as flush to the bodyline as possible. The stainless bezels do a great job of creating a nearly flat transition on the ends of the windshield as well. What I REALLY want to find is 2-component outdoor urethane rubber to fill the gap between the polycarbonate and the sill. 3M makes a single component moisture-cure product but nothing beats the durability and strength of a 2X urethane. They must not sell it to the general public because I keep coming up deuces. I KNOW they make it, since its used in manufacturing. The floppy urethane bumpers sold by MSA are made from vacuum mold injected 2X urethane. 

 

PS: you always FK up your first one... Its super hard without a template for sure. its very difficult to estimate the length with the curvature since the geometry is kind-of complicated and you have to take-into account the offset from the sill.

Edited by AydinZ71
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Updates:

 

- sanding the previously-applied epoxy primer in the engine bay. Tried using a small sanding block and quickly realized this need to be done with fingers alone. Ahhh the joys of paint & body. I burned-through in a few spots so il do some spot application when I spray the interior as well. 
 

- the passenger door skin is only 20-gauge sheet with a folded lap joint on the outside edge. The rear of the door was off the body-line by about 3/8” so I used a single adjustable bump stop to make the correction. I could have worked the metal to make the adjustment but I like the idea of applying constant force outward on the door. Will help with vibration and keep the door flush over-time if the steel exhibits some warping. 
 

-color. I’m going with Malibu sunset in the top and silver on the sides. Silver interior with flat black where the drivers eyes meet the windshield and rear hatch. 

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13 hours ago, fusion said:

I just installed mine.  The fronts are obvious and easy to tell which side is which.  Rears are much more subtle.  From my research and fitment, you want the flares oriented with the wider portion towards the front of the car.  Hope that helps.

 

It does help, thank you! No experience with flares. I'm going out on a limb and assuming the wider flares in my picture are for the back?

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First time spraying base-clear urethane. Made lots of mistakes and have a lot of runs, but live and learn! To be fair, painting an engine bay with added stiffeners and sharp angles is tough, even for the experienced. 
 

Sprayed epoxy. Sprayed silver urethane base coat 8 hours later, followed by clear. Masked off the urethane and scuffed the overlap yo give it some “tooth” for the asphalt (3M) undercoating. All still within the epoxy cute window so it should harden rock solid. 
 

Working on prep work in the interior but it’s hot as heck out here! Stay cool my friends. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Most of the interior is now painted. I had to break it into two areas (cab and hatch area) as that much surface is too much to tackle for me given then working times of the materials I’m using. No visible runs this time, but plenty of over-spray in the clear. Need to find a half-measure to eliminate short of sanding, since the interior does not need (nor do you want glare) a mirror finish. All products are speeedokote. Flat black single stage 2X urethane up front. Balance is silver base coat-clear coat. Steps (at a high level):

 

sand steel w/80 grit

wipe every surface with rust deacaler to remove surface rust.

wipe every surface with windex first to remove waterborn residue from descaler.

wipe with solvent based oil/wax remover until it wipes clean.

spray epoxy

wait 24hr, then sand epoxy (dry-spray and textured surface).

spray base coat 

spray clear within a few hours

 

avoiding contact with freshly painted surfaces was like acrobatics and a puzzle at the same time. probably the single hardest most exhausting series of activities I have done on the car given the spray windows I had to work with. 
 

tip your body shop…

 

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Congrats. Spraying the interior of a race car with full cage is extreemly difficult. Nothing like an exterior body panel. Thats why many powder coat whole chassis now.

 

I remember changing my safety glasses multiple times from the blow back. And no matter how careful you are, you will always pass the gun over a surface that is 12" too close and generate a run. 

 

The cool thing is, if you have full coverage, none of your mistakes will be noticable. Complex surfaces mean mistakes will blend into the background. And it will look spectacular once loaded with equipment. 

 

The only thing that makes me crazy on my previous cars was finding a small section of cage or whatever that i missed. 

 

Thats an interesting 2 tone split. Dont think i have seen that before. Keep in mind all of those bars near the driver will need padding so it might throw off your feng shui a little.

 

 

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Hey thanks Clark!!! 
 

I added a little personal touch with the two tone. The strategy would be if it near the front polycarb which is susceptible to glare, it would be black. The firewall points away from the visible sun, so it was also painted black to absorb some of the reflection from the silver. If it was likely to be exposed to the sun and near the driver, it got silver so it was cooler. Floor pans and crevices are all silver as well so it’s easier to find dropped components. 
 

i have to break up the interior into sections anyways so I thought why not get clever. As you have experienced, getting to every area especially with the cage is extremely difficult especially when you need to step-on, or bump-into an area you have already coated.

 

i took extra special care getting the epoxy into every nook, even with a brush on surfaces like the top of the top hoop. That’s my defense against corrosion which is the primary concern. I was a little more lax getting every corner with base coat as the silver and white blend pretty well. I was even less careful with the clear coat. If you can’t see it, why worry so much about clear? It’s not coming into co tact with anything anyways.

 

my biggest problem was over-spray during the clear. It cures so fast, it tends to get a rough texture if you spray nearby. It doesn’t like stop-start which is mandatory painting inside the car. 
 

i have runs in the engine bay, but surprisingly few inside! I tried to learn from my last mistakes. 

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12 hours ago, clarkspeed said:

I am dying to know what you are going to do on exterior. But I will patiently wait.


already have the paints in-hand :) 

 

Chrysler stone white for the sides of the car. Everything above one of the style lines will be  “Malibu sunset” metallic orange.

 

looks kinda like this, but the two-tone line will be curves not straight lines. 
 

 

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16 hours ago, clarkspeed said:

Congrats. Spraying the interior of a race car with full cage is extreemly difficult. Nothing like an exterior body panel. Thats why many powder coat whole chassis now.

 

I remember changing my safety glasses multiple times from the blow back. And no matter how careful you are, you will always pass the gun over a surface that is 12" too close and generate a run. 

 

The cool thing is, if you have full coverage, none of your mistakes will be noticable. Complex surfaces mean mistakes will blend into the background. And it will look spectacular once loaded with equipment. 

 

The only thing that makes me crazy on my previous cars was finding a small section of cage or whatever that i missed. 

 

Thats an interesting 2 tone split. Dont think i have seen that before. Keep in mind all of those bars near the driver will need padding so it might throw off your feng shui a little.

 

 

 

100% right. One, I obsess over details. Even though I knew everything on the roll bar within 1-2' of my head would be covered with foam, I still wanted a finish I could be proud of. This is why I could never make a living doing this HAHA. 

 

Two, you are right about most of this area being covered or hidden. As I mentioned, I have a lot of dry over-spray from the clear which has mucked up my purrdy gloss, but I'm only going to cut and polish a few select visible areas. One is where my leg touches the tunnel and the center console area (top of tunnel). I will be contacting those areas regularly and the rough surface finish will be irritating to the touch (literally). 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Update:

 

roof bodywork complete. Shot most of the exterior sealer, and got high-build primer down on the roof and windshield sills. Will leave it like that until the rest of the bodywork is done, then sand the whole exterior with 220 followed by 400grit all at one-time. Next up is applying filler to the remainder of the exterior where I have fresh sealer down.

 

Exterior portion of rear tail light and hatch sill painted semi-gloss black. Same as windshield sill and rear quarter window sill. 
 

Door jams painted a combination of silver and black to match interior. 
 

Fenders have been chem-dipped and returned. Filling some holes with the MIG soon and hammer-dolly into shape. 

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Hi all! Need some help with these flares. Honestly, no idea what I’m doing here..

 

I assume the forward side it would terminate where the dogleg flares-out. Seems to achieve a flush mounting so makes sense. On the aft side though, I end up with a 1/8-3/16” gap between the flare and the body. I can correct this with filler and I do plan on using a black sealing surface of some type (self-adhesive EPDM strip for instance) since I’d like to remove the flares in case of damage. 
 

what are your thoughts? 

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Can you hammer and dolly out the patched area? 

 

You have another Z right? 

 

I'd template the curvature for that area in paper and match it the best you can. 

 

The hammer and dolly work will save you days, try and get it to just a skim coat. 

 

Edit: also I recently examined a set of marugen shokai flares in person a couple weeks ago. Your fitment looks a bit off on the front but maybe that's due to the patches on the rear. If you can, I'd recommend fitting them on a 100% OE body as a reference/0 point and transferring them from there. 

Edited by Dat73z
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