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280z Progress. Frame, Floors, Exhaust, Fuel Cell - Lots of Pics!

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I wasn't sure which was the appropriate forum for this update. I've been waking up blowing my nose all black with grinding dust - so I figured the fabrication/welding forum was as good as any.


Here was my first post for some background:



Been working my ass off. Here are some updated pictures showing the progress.

Floors - welded in - ground flat - painted - seam sealed. I think they came out pretty nice. Not bad for my first time anyway.







I didn't realize until taking this picture that the stock shift hole is offset to the passenger side... strange?



And pictures of the front frame interface - welded and ground in... I went ahead and used 16 guage. The frame is stiff enough now that you can put jackstands at the back of the car and jack it up on the radiator core support and everything stays straight.





3" exhaust with 6" diameter straight thru magnaflow exhaust welded up and ready for the front section / flex connection / downpipe. Almost done welding up the 1" square structure for the 15 gallon aluminum fuel cell w/ sump, foam, sending unit from summit racing. I'm going to skin the box in some light 26 ga steel when it is finished. The cell sticks up a bit, but I think it'll look nice when it is all skinned and painted.





The cell sitting a little low... I've got some rubber I'll be setting it on for a little bit of dampening.





My pregnant wife is the best... Letting me store parts in the family room while I finish up the fab work. Lots of parts. 2 Corbeau A4 seats, 2 rolls of retarded expensive rubber sound deadening (like Dynomat), HY35 turbo, New Treadston 9" tall intercooler, -8 stainless fuel lines, intercooler piping, Corbeau racing harnesses, an exhaust flex connection, a few exhaust hangers, TTT tension compression rods (really nice pieces), my dash, the new Tial MVS wastegate set up for 7 pounds of boost, and the new HKS SQV blow off valve. The 280zforce rear control arms are paid for and I hope to be getting soon as well.







And the best picture I took tonight... I bought some of that stripper that another guy on this site does a good job of taking off the undercoating. I have yet to try it, but I thought it was ironic where it ended up on my workbench. I had to laugh - June does look like a... well... stripper!



As always - I always appreciate the feedback!

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Didn't get a mountain of work done this weekend. Spent all day Saturday hangin with the family. So here's what I did get done...


After making the fuel cell cage - I started to skin it in some light metal and then decided to just undercoat the cell instead. This will make getting to stuff a lot easier later - just by taking out the cell.




Some shots of the cage welded in the car. I made a heat sheild out of aluminum and used some rubber hose to make a place for the cell to sit on. Also got the 2 rear exhaust hangers welded in.





Here are the cover plates I made. After tons of messing around - they are going to fit great and look really nice when it is all finished.




I ran out of welding gas - so this is where I stopped. Coming up this week are to weld in the 2 plates for the fuel cell, strengthen the front swaybar mounts, and build some mounts for my intercooler.


Thanks and feedback is always appreciated.

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$250 for the cell http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUM-293215-S/


Tonight I welded in the 2 rear hatch plates. It took over 2 hours of pretty much straight welding... For some reason I didn't dream it would take that long.


I also unbolted the front swaybar and started my plan of attack for strengthening. A stick of 1/8" x 2" wide weld stock, some ~11-12mm ID tubing, and some long 10mm grade 8 bolts are on my shopping list for tomorrow.


Hopefully I'll get all the welds ground down in the back of the car tomorrow and start on the front swaybar mounts. I need to spend some time finishing up my shopping tomorrow, too. I need the stuff to make a downpipe for an HY35 turbo (bigass vband clamp, a vband ring, a 4" U-bend, and a 4" to 3" reducer), some braided stainless oil line stuff, some 2.5" intercooler couplings and t-bolt clamps, some sort of air filter setup, an HKS SQV mild steel flange (it was hilarious - on the paper that came with it - they called it a "frange".. ya know... Japanese... I laughed), some fittings for my new fuel setup, a new o-ring fuel rail, new injectors (probably 440cc), and... umm... probably more stuff I'm not thinking about. Trying to get a bunch of the parts here because the place I work is laying me off for a week (next week). I expect a lot to get done on the car next week. I'm shooting for having it under its own power by the 4th of July. Lots to do.

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Today I ground down the welds in the back of the car and gave it 2 coats of zero-rust. I like that paint.


I also stripped the paint off of the front swaybar mount locations and planned my attack. I fabbed up 4 6" long 1/8" thick x 2" wide plates and started to layout the holes in them. For the tubing between the plates that goes inside the frame rails I found some 3/8" steel pipe couplings at the hardware store that were 6" long for $1.50 a piece. The ID is 1/2"... should be ok for a 10mm bolt and sure thick enough to do the job.


Anybody watching this thread - or am I talking to myself?

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Well... now that I know I've got 2 people who are paying attention... Here goes with the next update.


Pics of the front swaybar mount location ready for some fab work:



and the plates i've started and the steel pipe I'm going to use though the frame rail:



Pics of the rear hatch area ground in/painted:




I spent tonight removing the front bumper and airdam so I can mount the intercooler. I decided to run the hot side next to the front left wheel and curl it up into the turbo outlet. The intercooler is a bit above the bottom of the core support. The colder pipe will go through the core support up to the throttle body. The intercooler is the new Treadstone model that is 9" tall (rather than 6"). Should look kick ass when it is all plumbed up going down the road.



I wanted to share a trick I learned from the old guy who owns the sharpening place in town (chain saws, mowers, etc, etc)... Buy a few of those cheap box fans and put a cheap $1 furnace filter behind it. Besides getting some circulation in your shop - the fitler catches the metal dust that would otherwise end up in your lungs.



Thanks for watching and always - feedback is appreciated.

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I've had an interesting last few days... I've welded in the front swaybar mounts, fabbed up the intercooler mount and welded it to the car, done ALL of the final welding/grinding on the chassis prior to paint (jesus am I glad that is done), and today I did some surgery on the exhaust side housing of the HE351 holset. I'm damn pissed because I ordered some more zero-rust paint last Tuesday (more than a week ago) and it STILL hasn't arrived. It will soon be holding up the progress of my project.


I was taking the rust off of my turbo manifold with a 4" angle grinder with a wire wheel and it got away from me and fell on my thigh. Tore thru my jeans in a split second and put a big gash in my leg. I'm kinda hoping it heals up ok.


I have a few questions:

- I'm swapping to the turbo oil pan tomorrow... does the pickup press or bolt into the block?

- How in the holy hell does the trim around the upper part of the interior come off of the car? It is the stuff that is next to the headliner. My interior is white and that is not going to work out - need to take it down and figure out a course of action. I'm guessing it just presses in, but some advice would be nice before I tear some ♥♥♥♥ up.

- Anybody used that 2000 degree paint they sell at the auto parts stores? Comes in a spray can. I bought 2 cans today planning to do my exhaust manifold, turbine housing, and exhaust with it. There are some pretty extensive "baking" instructions.


I would've had pictures sooner, but it looks like I'm going backwards because I took a bunch of stuff off of the car waiting for my damn paint to show up. More to come soon I promise. Thanks to everybody giving words of encouragement.

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So the huge gash in my leg hurts way more than yesterday... Bah!


I called the guy I bought my paint from and he said something about paypal is to blame and I reasoned that if paypal isn't a good solution for his business he should consider something else. Long and short - my paint should be here on Saturday.... Finally.


Here are the plates I made for the front swaybar attachment and a picture of them welded to the car. Because of the position of the nuts on the stock swaybar mount being closer together than the suspension techniques piece - it was a lot more difficult than it could've been - but it worked out. It is so strong now that it'd rip the whole front of the car apart before the swaybar would come loose.





The next pic is the intercooler mount. It turned out awesome. Way more stout than any other intercooler mount I'd ever seen - but I'm an engineer and have a background in structures so I over design everything. Centered in the car and I get to keep the stock radiator overflow bottle... to become methanol injection bottle some day???



So I'm totally prepared to get flamed for the next few pictures. I said in a previous post that I did "surgery" on my turbine housing. Here it is. I drilled/tapped out the wastegate hole to a 3/4" NPT - pound out the "flapper" and drilled/tapped out the entrance for it to another NPT. Both of these holes will be filled with a pipe plug and welded up. Most people just say to "tack the flapper shut" but I wanted something a little more serious. I also don't like everybody else's solution to the problem with holset v-band outlets. Most people buy the wrong size v-band clamp and flange and try to make due... I decided to grind off the v-band flange so a normal ass 4" v-band flange would weld to it. That way replacement parts and "normal" 4" output tubing will work out. Don't yell at me too bad. The flanges from atpturbo should be here tomorrow.




I wanted to switch out the oil pan for the turbo one today... So I unbolted the one from the 83' turbo pan and started to clean it up. It had a very serious goo in the bottom of the pan. It was like burnt oil.. but thicker. So I dug my fingers into it and cut one of my fingers! WTF was that! LOTS OF METAL! The goo turned out not to be burnt oil, but old oil mixed with metal bits. Some of the pieces of metal bits were bigger than I thought should ever appear in an oil pan. My curiosity got to me so I decided to strip the turbo motor down to see what kind of shape it is in. I took the head off - looked fine. Took the pistons out - they all had rings and the cylinders looked fine. WTF. I'd had enough and needed to get back to my car. I'm fairly certain now based on the crazy amount of metal in the bottom of the pan that the engine has one time before in its 283K miles blown some rings and been rebuilt. The rebuilder was lazy and/or didn't own a parts washer and left all that metal in the pan. I can't think of another explanation. Crazy.




Here are the pictures of the pan and valve cover cleaned up with soap and water and painted up ready to go on the motor. I used rustoleum cast grey... It looks green - like army green. If it doesn't look more grey like the cap of the can tomorrow I'll be repainting - unfortunately.



And the last few pictures are my growing parts piles. I got an order in from summit today - mostly fuel parts and more plumbing. the 4" mandrel bends are HUGE! I bought 2 because I need one to start my downpipe and one for my fresh air line. They look too big to be in a car. Huge!





More parts will be coming in tomorrow... Mostly all of the silocone couplings, T-bolt clamps, and the 4" v-band stuff from atpturbo.com New door seals from blackdragonauto, a pallnet 11mm fuel rail and some supra 440cc injectors from a guy on this site are also on the way and should be here soon. I'm still crossing my fingers on the Justin Hodges lower control arms I paid 600 bucks for.


Coming up in the next few days are to paint more (IF THE PAINT EVER SHOWS UP), undercoat the underside, add the sound deadedning, put the engine back in the car, mount the fuel cell for good, and start the fuel/intercooler plumbing. It is going to get really fun soon putting all of the new parts on the car. I feel like I've been working my ass off for months just for the next week or 2 where all of the fitting/cutting will pay off when it all fits together perfect.


As always - feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

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So the huge gash in my leg hurts way more than yesterday... Bah!


Careful there Tim your wife may take away your power tools if you keep that up. So when is the battle at Gateway? Pick your day - open test & tune days are Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Better hurry before I cam the LS ....


The car is coming along well. I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing it. Looks like you are doing things right.



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