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240Z resurrection

Discussion in 'Rebuilds and restorations' started by tyroguru, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. tyroguru

    Z Club Member

    Awful, isn't it! The joys of having older children and taking a weeks holiday in Cornwall. It still works out pretty expensive though as it allows me too much time to buy things from the comfort of my phone for the money sink that is my car :) .
  2. tyroguru

    Z Club Member

    Recently I've been thinking that I need to start looking into one of the certainties in life that plagues us all. No, not Death and Taxes but Rust. We've been having a lot of fun getting to our current state but it seems to make sense to do some form of rust audit so that we have a sense of what possible problems lay ahead in case we need to deal with them as a priority. I'm back at home for a day so thought I'd start.

    The offside dog leg was obviously rotten but a few taps with a screwdriver show that nicely:


    As you can see from the photo above I have removed the chrome sill kick panel / scuff plate (what are they actually called?) and the interior panel and vinyl as there was obviously some form of rot under there. Here's the offside after removal of loose surface rust:


    The amount of rust and pitting is roughly the same as the nearside (there are even two holes worn through on both - talk about symmetry!). From the dog leg photo you can see that the offside outer sill has a hole in also. I'm assuming that the sill needs replacing? I have lots more photos if it helps your verdict. The inner sill (apologies for the no doubt incorrect naming - I couldn't see anything in the FSM which named the pieces) does seem to be in a reasonably good state on both sides with what _appears_ to be surface rust. Here's the nearside which appears to be the worst of both sides from the inner sill anyway:


    The rear hatch has some bubbling at a few places and the worst of which would appear to be the lower right corner. Here's with it took down a bit:


    I think that the rear hatch is going to have to come out for a better appraisal as there is rusting at the top of the hatch on the main shell and the window will have to come out to get a better look at the rest of the bubbled patches around the window. All and any views welcome on this. To be continued...
  3. IbanezDan51

    Z Club Member

    All common areas and generally looks pretty tidy.

    The dog legs is a pain as youll usually find that behind that the inner skin is also rotten and require cutting out and repair otherwise itll just seep into the newly welded panel.

    As for the tailgate, water seems to get trapped behind the seals and sits there causing corrosion as you've shown. Screen needs to come out for a proper repair - or stick some preventative measures over it and sort it in the future and enjoy the car.

    SacCyclone likes this.
  4. tyroguru

    Z Club Member

    Thanks for the advice Dan.

    I guess the main thing I am concerned with is leaving something to spread instead of dealing with it now (dealing with it may well mean just stopping it going any further). I don't really want to do something at the minute that will take the car out of action for a large period of time so I'm pondering how to deal with things in a way that will improve the car or stabilize it and leave it largely driveable. I may well try and remove the tailgate glass as a winter project and take the rust off so that I can at least apply something to stop any spread.

    Just a cursory inspection shows the majority of bushes to be shot so I'm getting a set of bushes and I'll clean things up as I replace them. Hopefully that will stop the horrendous noise from the rear end!
  5. MaximG

    Z Club Member

    I made the mistake of doing things piece meal, bite the bullet and just crack on with it. It might take some time but you will end up with a better result in the long term.
  6. tyroguru

    Z Club Member

    Thanks Mike. Are you advocating for the approach of stripping it down, getting the body + paint done and rebuild from there or something more in-between? I'm interested in how you feel a piecemeal approach compromised your long term result. Could you give any specific examples?
  7. MaximG

    Z Club Member

    If I did my car again I would deff adopt "stripping it down, getting the body + paint done and rebuild from there" this approach. I think you end up wasting money on temp fixes and having to go over things again when it finally comes to it. Its just my opinion and by no means conclusive.

    tyroguru likes this.
  8. uk66fastback

    Z Club Member

    The thing is, people do the "stripping it down, getting the body + paint done and rebuild from there" approach and then before they know it, the thing is on a rotisserie and a full rebuild is being done, with new parts for everything, ask me how I know :D
    Car was off the road for five years.

    Nothing worse than putting old stuff on a car with new paint ... engine bay especially.

    Obviously your car does want some bodywork doing, but where do you stop, is the question you have to ask yourself.
  9. tyroguru

    Z Club Member

    Yeah, that's exactly the kind of question I'm asking. I'm the kind of person who enjoys the "getting there" part of the journey and the final destination isn't always that important . If I spent a ton of money on a "finished" S30 (although I know such a thing probably doesn't exist!) then it alone wouldn't scratch the itch that I have. However, I want to make sure I make the best choices for the car particularly w.r.t the body/structure to ensure it doesn't get any worse than it currently is.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  10. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer Staff Member Moderator

    What facilities do you have to strip a car? My problem has always been that I have a single garage and can't even open a door fully. All the work I have done (floors, inner wings, engine-bay spray etc) has been severely hampered by this. There is no way I can drive a Datsun into my garage - I have to push it in.

    The downside to space however is that you might over-commit to jobs you wish you hadn't.

    I think first of all decide if you want to get your fun from driving the car or working on it. Go from there - most jobs take a LOT longer than you think. There are jobs of course that you have to do.
  11. tyroguru

    Z Club Member

    Great points Rob. I'm very fortunate to have a double garage to work in but that has to store two motorbikes as well as the usual crud (although I think I may sell one of these bikes as it's not being used - real first world problem...). I would struggle to get a lift in there owing to height limitations of the door track and motor but I'm not giving up on that yet.

    I do really enjoy working on the car and the learning that comes from that. I've really hardly driven it yet because it hasn't been possible to but I've enjoyed it hugely anyway. However, I am aware that I may not feel the same if I take it off the road for very long periods of time when it would have been possible to use it and I need to be careful of that.

    All this input is really helpful in me thinking this all through.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  12. toopy

    Z Club Member

    Personally i like the idea of a rolling restoration, my car was so rotten underneath that it wasn't an option for me at the time.

    And a car doesn't need to be completely stripped internally or most of the running gear for a re-paint anyway, it depends how 'perfectionist' you are and ultimately how phat your wallet is!

    Sort out the necessary bits, like the dog leg etc, touch up the tailgate, drive the thing, replace/improve as you go over the next year or so, and then you'll probably be either keen to get the body done 'properly' or happy to carry on as is. As you have already said, having just got the car, and the fact it doesn't require a huge amount of work to get it roadworthy, i would be wary of taking off the road just as its about to be on the road! :D
  13. tyroguru

    Z Club Member

    Thanks Anthony for the comment and I think I'm going to do exactly what you've said: keep on working on it and improving things over the next year or two while I get a better idea for what I actually prefer and also how to go about it. I've just bought a full set of urethane bushes from T3 so that should keep me busy replacing and improving for a while :) .
    toopy likes this.
  14. johnymd

    Z Club Member

    At the end of the day, we are all different and all want something different from the car. With my blue car. I bought it as a stalled project that was started 10 years earlier. The body had a lot of money spent on it at fourways but it then sat on a drive for 10 years so deteriorated. The entire brakes and suspension needed replacing again but this was all a very simple job. Engine ran and everything else kind of work so the car was back up and driving in a matter of months. I then enjoyed the car, using it daily for over a year while still doing a few body rust repairs. Eventually I took the plunge and stripped it for paint. It then took 3 years to get it back on the road again and if I hadn't set a goal of being ready for Le mans classic of 2010 I think it may never have been back on the road. The car then became a rolling evolution and I made sure it was never off the road for more than a few weeks.

    Since then I have always tried to get the cars I build usable as quick as possible so I don't lose enthusiasm. The cars then evolve as for me that's a major part of owning them.
    tyroguru, toopy and SacCyclone like this.
  15. tyroguru

    Z Club Member

    Yes, the point of keeping up enthusiasm is probably key over the long term and regular usage no doubt is the major factor there (as well as keeping jobs manageable probably). I think it's pretty amazing that you daily drive a car this old and with metal this thin! I'm assuming you're in the UK and not secretly lurking in California :) .
  16. tyroguru

    Z Club Member

    Life has got in the way over the past few months so I've hardly touched the car since the end of August. I've been traveling a lot during this time so it's given me plenty of time to read and think about what I want to do and I've made a big decision: I'm going all in on EFI. I know this may be abhorrent to some but it pretty much ticks the boxes for me in terms of my interests so I'm going to give it a go.

    First on my list is the fuel system. I've decided to go for an in-tank pump and swirl pot system from Aeromotive (the Phantom 200) - Mike has talked about them before on here and a couple of Youtube channels have used them on 240Z's (Mighty Car Mods and Panchos Garage). It's basically a high pressure pump that sits in a big yellow sponge cylinder that you squeeze into your tank. Obviously, to get it into your tank you have to cut a big hole in it (well, 3 1/4 inch) so it's pretty much non-reversible...

    After a couple of rinses with POR15 Cleaner it was time to get cutting and drilling. Locating the pump is a pretty tight squeeze but I could just about fit it into the busy corner of the tank where the fuel intake, sender and the fuel send and return lines are. Here's a shot with just the cylinder and the locating ring installed:


    The pump sits in a fairly tidy assembly and you just locate that into the cylinder:


    And all bolted up it looks pretty tidy:


    I haven't fitted the tank back yet and I'm sure it's going to be an extremely tight squeeze getting that back in. Pancho'sGarage (Youtube) installed the same pump in that position and he managed squeeze it in without modifications to the straps but I guess I'll see how it goes.

    Not sure which bit I'll do next. I've got to install a new bigger hard line (8mm) for the return feed so I may do a new send feed while I'm in there but that's going to be a proper job because of getting access.
    Woody928, Pondo and Rob Gaskin like this.
  17. Woody928

    Z Club Member
    Staff Member Moderator

    Nice work, looks tidy! If you're going EFI then does this mean that you've decided to stay with the L series then?
  18. tyroguru

    Z Club Member

    Yeah, it's definitely staying L series (at least for the foreseeable future). I really would like more displacement than a stock L24 but L28's appear to be pretty rare and, to be honest, I haven't really looked for one anyway. I figure that if I do EFI then what I do for this engine should be pretty readily transferred to a new one if I stay L series.
    Woody928 likes this.
  19. franky

    franky Well-Known Forum User

    you can do plenty with the l24!
  20. jonbills

    ZClub Administrator
    Staff Member Moderator

    You can bore and stroke it to L28!

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