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  #1  
Old 01-12-2013, 10:48 PM
Paul Henley Paul Henley is offline
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Longest 240z restoration ever?

I thought it was about time I started a thread on my 240Z restoration, but first a little history and background on the car. I started looking for a Z to restore in the mid 90's first joining the Z Club to help find one and meet other enthusiasts. I had little success finding anything both affordable and salvageable, I did buy one in the Southampton area only to tow it all the way home to Cumbria to find when I stripped it, that it was a complete rot box.
In 1998 a friend of mine in the Z Club, Steve Bicknell called to say that he was going to view a Z in New Deer (near Aberdeen) and planned to break his journey from the South with an overnight stay at mine where I could join him on his visit. When we arrived we met the cars owner Anthony Hedges how had owned the car for 22 years after buying it in London from it’s one previous owner when it was 2 years old. Anthony had ran the car for a few years then stored it with a view to refreshing it. Unfortunately he didn’t have the time to do this so the car was up for sale. Although the engine was seized from standing and the outer panels showing corrosion, it was quickly evident that the basic shell was in extremely good original condition and well worth a restoration. Steve bought the car and we set off back to Cumbria where the car would stay until Steve could arrange to transport it home south. Fortunately for me that night I was able to persuade Steve to resell the car to me and therefore save him the hassle of transporting it so far. I now had a Z.
I set about dismantling the Z and put it into a rotisserie that I then had, so that I could totally strip the shell. I removed all the underseal from the under floors and was delighted to find the floors, inner wings, front/rear panels, chassis legs etc were in excellent, original unwelded condition. There was some corrosion on the rear wheel arches and “thinning” of the metal around the exhaust outlet at the bottom of the rear panel but nothing major. I painted the underneath with a rust inhibitor and set about looking for a body shop to do the repairs needed and paint the shell. I found a local garage that was prepared to undertake the work on “fallback work “ basis. This suited me as it would keep the price down and give me time to source new parts. This was around 1999/2000. Last summer (2012) the garage owner admitted that although his garage had done some repairs, he would be unable to complete the work and the shell came back home to me and I started to source another body shop. I have to admit that although I would periodically enquire about progress, I never pushed the work as my own family were growing and my priorities had changed. By 2012 my sons were now grown up and my priorities and finances had changed to allow me to progress with my restoration. My time had not been wasted however, despite leaving the “Z scene” and Z club, I had been amassing parts from within the UK across the Atlantic for when the work would resume….
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2013, 09:13 PM
Paul Henley Paul Henley is offline
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Once I'd found a new body shop to take on the work, my body shell was sent out. Unfortunately they were unwilling to accept that it was largely rust free (this turned out to be a good decision) and advised the shell should be sand blasted to reveal its full condition. They also showed me that the standard of work carried out by the previous body shop was of a poor standard (it's true, you get what you pay for) and that replacement wheel arches had been welded onto the existing arches, trapping any previous rust. The sand blasting would also go onto reveal the inner arches had some corrosion and therefore both inner and outer rear arches would need to be cut out and replaced. The rear lower corners were showing signs of corrosion and would also need to be replaced as well as other minor areas of rust that would need to be cut out and replaced, but generally the shell was still in exceptionally good condition. The following pictures show the shell leaving my house, being sand blasted and the area's of corrosion identified.
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2013, 09:55 PM
Paul Henley Paul Henley is offline
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Panel alignment checks

Another task carried out by the body shop was to test fit the various panels that I had accumulated, these included a pair of new wings from Nissan purchased through Mike F, a pair of doors imported from California and other various parts sourced through Ebay such as light pods, scuttle panel etc. They also established that at some point in it's earlier life, it had suffered a slight impact to the front passenger corner, resulting in slight creasing of the inner wing (pic below, followed by one with the repair carried out), this would require straightening on a jig to ensure correct panel alignment. The following pic's were taken at this stage and also show the vast amount of filler that the previous body shop had used on the wheel arch "repairs".
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2013, 10:23 PM
Paul Henley Paul Henley is offline
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Wheel arch replacements

These next pic detail the cutting out and replacement of the rear inner and outer arches.
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2013, 11:09 PM
morbias morbias is offline
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It looks like a great base to start with, I think I commented on your floors before in another thread if I remember right! The quality of the repairs looks to be top notch too, it's going to be really nice when finished.

I wish I had done a proper panel alignment before sending my car off to paint, I have since found out my passenger door has a slight tweak in the bottom rear corner and the replacement hatch has a small bend in the top corner. Tiny things that probably no-one will notice but will nonetheless bug me now.

I like this one, I don't think these head lights will pass the MOT
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2013, 02:06 PM
racer racer is offline
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Great to see another proper restoration. Please keep us updated with your plans.
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:23 PM
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candy red candy red is offline
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Looks like some good skilled work going into this,good job you had it blasted but not too much tinwork keep the pics coming and well done

Derrick
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2013, 10:27 AM
nzeder nzeder is offline
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hmm 99-now....still not as long as mine 97-now and I still need to assemble - problem with having a car like that and then moving OS for work, moving back to New Zealand then purchasing/building houses, having a family - but at least we still have them I have 2 now one for each of my boys - now I just need to get another 2 for my 2 girls

Well done on hanging in there.
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2013, 10:47 AM
shak130 shak130 is offline
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this is my 5th year of resto. TBH, the first 1.5 years was all about part sourcing. But people like Duncan (ZFarm), PMAC and Mr F have all been fantastic. I have had to also extend my garage so I have somewhere to work on it, so again extra cost and more time. Finally, she is back from the paint shop in Ford Frozen White ready for reassembly. I have already put all suspension ,brakes, fuel/brake lines in. Should have her up and running by new year!

Hopefully it will be worth it, and I cannot wait to rock up at some meets next year!!
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  #10  
Old 21-12-2013, 02:51 PM
Paul Henley Paul Henley is offline
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More Pic's

Thought I'd show a few pics of the rust damage that was revealed when the shell was sand blasted, these pics reveal the damage to the rear inner quarters and petrol filler pipe piece, the inners were subsequently replaced (along with the outers) and a replacement filler pipe manufactured and fitted.
The rear lower parts of the rear quarters were also found to be perforated, so these were also replaced.DSC01707.JPG

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  #11  
Old 21-12-2013, 03:04 PM
Paul Henley Paul Henley is offline
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More Pic's

The sand blasting also revealed a previously unknown repair to an inner wing that needed tidying. There was also the start of corrosion on a shock tower that needed cutting out and a plate fitting and the start of corrosion to the DSCI0284.JPG

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  #12  
Old 21-12-2013, 03:21 PM
Paul Henley Paul Henley is offline
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More Pic's

The drivers side lower door pillar was also found to have corrosion which needed cutting out and a replacement part made and fitted. Also shown here is the corrosion to the rear lower quarters and subsequent replacements.
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  #13  
Old 21-12-2013, 04:08 PM
Paul Henley Paul Henley is offline
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more pic's

Once all the welding/panel repairs/replacements were carried out then the shell was prepped for paint. Basically the shell is being prepped/painted in two stages. Stage one is to remove all corrosion and repair as required, replace and improve the sealing between the panels, then recoat the underneath with new underseal. Then prime the interior, engine bay and exterior. The engine bay and interior are then painted to a finished standard with the exterior painted but still requiring the final coat. The shell then comes back to me for the rebuild. Once fitted out (engine, running gear, suspension, brakes, electrics,interior etc, the car goes back for stage 2 painting. This consists of fitting all the exterior panels, doors, hatch, cowels bonnet etc etc. These have been previously align tested during stage 1. The panels and exterior then receive the final coating. It then comes back to me again for exterior fit out, badges, bumpers, glass, lights decals etc to the finished standard, well that's the plan any way :-) These next pictures capture priming and 1st stage painting of the underneath and engine bay that was carried out once the underneath had been resealed . Incidently the underseal contained the finished paint colour to blend in with the finished look.
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  #14  
Old 21-12-2013, 04:19 PM
Paul Henley Paul Henley is offline
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More Pic's

These next pictures capture the painting of the exterior of the shell prior to me picking it up.
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  #15  
Old 21-12-2013, 04:50 PM
Paul Henley Paul Henley is offline
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Coming Home Pic's :-)

These pics show the shell coming back home with fresh paint, only about 14 years after I stripped it :-) Also a few pics showing the shell in various angles back in the rotisserie.
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