The Project Dixie thread! | Page 2 | The Z Club of Great Britain
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The Project Dixie thread!

Discussion in 'Rebuilds and restorations' started by richiep, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. SeanDezart

    SeanDezart
    Z Club Member

    Promising start but please, avoid the all too common these days ZG arches on non-ZG car :
    Please ! The original lines are so beautiful.
     
  2. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    I’ve already got a standard arch car. So that base is covered.

    And I’ve had a very specific look in mind for this project for years - well before the ZG arch thing became widespread outside Japan. Plus I also have a set of genuine Watanabe R-types in the 8.5/9.5 -ve ET sizes that I have every intent to use given the expense involved in getting them.

    It’s hardly going to be original as a RHD converted, Fairlady 240ZL replica with an ITB-equipped 3.1L. I’ll let others be precious about retaining originality in this case. Although, as I’ve said before, it will be pretty “correct” from a cosmetic POV given the JDM theme. Which makes me happy, which is what it’s all about really.
     
    peter_s, Chris159, strugrat and 2 others like this.
  3. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    First repair nearly complete:
    [​IMG]
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    Just needs seam sealing, some fibreglass skimming of sanded plug welds, etc., and a few minor hammer and dolly tweaks, but pretty happy with it.

    Next: finishing off the rear marker light deletes. Then some minor dent and crease removal with the stud welder.
     
    Pondo, Mr Ex Jnr, neil240z and 8 others like this.
  4. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    Quick update - its been quiet on this thread due to many non-Z activities over December and January. However, that doesn't mean I've not been doing anything!

    Once I've finished the current exercise I'm working on, I'll be doing a big write up on progress, focusing on the completion of the marker light delete, reconstruction of the nearside dog leg area (it ain't as sample as just bashing a new dogleg skin on...) and lead loading the nearside roof-rear quarter joint (what I'm working on at the moment). Plus, lots of seam sealer, filler (light skimming not bogging!), and epoxy primer escapades.
     
    atomman, jonbills and Rushingphil like this.
  5. uk66fastback

    uk66fastback
    Z Club Member

    Looking forward to the updates! Might persuade me to log something about mine ...
     
  6. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer Staff Member Moderator

    A lot of people do that in January - it doesn't last!
     
  7. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    Time for the update. Or updates, as I might break this up.

    I've been relatively busy, chipping away at the job list on Dixie around family stuff, so although I wish I'd done more, I'm satisfied with how the things I have done have gone, especially considering I'm doing many things for the first time. However, I feel that has been the right decision, as aside from the financial side, it means I have total control that things are going to be done exactly the way I want (even if they take longer than they would if outsourcing it). It's also vastly developing my skillset with respect to car restoration in the areas I lacked previously, i.e. metalwork/bodywork.

    The last proper update dealt with the repairs to the rear panel and fitting the new slam panel onto that. The next target was welding up the LH rear marker light hole. Months earlier I'd had a crack at the RH side, but the crappy old welder made that a nightmare. This time, armed with the brand new R-Tech welder, I had a better experience. Instead of using the Skillard blanking plate I had, I made one which was a tighter fit. All went well, and with a light skim of fibreglass filler to insure against weld pinholes and polyester filler to blend, it all looked good. I also used my stud welder to remove some dents at the front of the rear quarter. And began painting areas with epoxy primer that needed sealing.

    [​IMG]
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    I've also been seam sealing as I go, so expect to see evidence of that in coming photos.

    That was all the easy stuff. The dogleg was more of a pain...
     
  8. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    The LH dogleg was somewhat messy, as is commonly the case on even CA-sourced cars. That area really as an Achilles' Heel in the shell design, as it collects dust and moisture from various directions (drain hole in the outer sill a few inches forward, leaks in seams in inner rear arch, moisture from seam under rear quarter glass, etc.). I was forlornly hoping things wouldn't be too bad behind the dogleg skin, but realistically expected more recontruction because there were holes in the bottom of the inner arch.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Uh oh!
    This is what came out of the dogleg:
    [​IMG]
    Solid chunks of nastiness. Now some of this was clearly melted paint and sealer, etc., that had collected there when the shell went through Enviro-Strip's oven (definitely something to consider as a downside with a pyrolytic stripping process) . But that was fused with large amounts of dust and muck. All cleaned out, this is what things looked like:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It became clear there would need to be four individual repair pieces - a new section for the bottom of the inner arch, a section of the end of the outer sill, a piece of the inner quarter panel structure, and the dogleg skin. I had the latter from Andy Nidd (woody on the forum), but the others were all custom.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So, on with the making stuff!
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    With the basics of the inner arch end sorted, I made a twisted piece to let in to the end of the sill:
    [​IMG]
    And cut out the original, thin and perforated piece:
    [​IMG]
    Then made this piece to slide under it and fix the other perforations:
    [​IMG]
    Both pieces in place:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Welding begins!
    [​IMG]
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    Epoxy primer to protect finished areas. Next section:
     
    Rushingphil and Mr Ex Jnr like this.
  9. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, after the dogleg skin was in place, I noticed an issue - the arch lip on that piece is too close to vertical; it needs to terminate about 10mm further forward at the bottom. This was a pain but fixable. I drilled out the lip plug welds and cut a 20mm strip off with the arch lip. I then cut an isosceles triangle out of it with a 100mm short side and welded the lip back on, fixing the arch angle. I then coated the welds with a thin coat of fibreglass filler, sanded, skimmed, sanded, epoxied.
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  10. jonbills

    jonbills
    ZClub Administrator
    Staff Member Moderator

    That's great work Richie. Sanding that lower area above the dog is a pita if there's filler around. Did you manage to avoid that?
     
    richiep likes this.
  11. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    So, next jobs I've tackled are the lead loading of the two LH roof joints and the A-pillar to scuttle/air tube area. I got a leading kit for Xmas (thanks Santa!) and decided to now add this to my resto skills portfolio.

    The Z came from the factory lead loaded at these locations. The Enviro-Strip baking process however is hot enough to melt all the original lead out. Rather than fill it with bondo etc., I wanted to do it the original way. Lead forms a bond with the underlying steel in a way that filler doesn't, and given these locations are subject to stresses from the flexing of the shell, I wanted to try the OEM approach. I would also be, as with other repairs, putting a thin reinforcing fibreglass skim over them before glazing putty for added strength and future crack-proofing.

    For anyone unfamiliar with lead loading, the process entails melting a 70% lead/30% tin (or similar mix) stick onto the target area, shaping it with wooden paddles, and then filing it down. Lead cannot be sanded, given its toxic nature (last thing you want is to breath in floating lead particles!). However, being soft, it files great using a bodywork rasp file and finer files for tidying up.

    Cleanliness is absolutely key, meaning no paint. Also, before the lead can be used, the clean steel must be "tinned" - i.e. treated with a lead solder paint. I started with the roof to rear quarter joint. I used aircraft paint stripper to remove all trace of paint (again, no sanding, as a little original lead was still present). After cleaning, the area was painted with the solder. This is then blowtorched until it bubbles and turns colour from dark grey to brown, and then wiped with a cloth, which removes the flux and leaves a bright, tinned layer.
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    Next, I took a lead bar and heated it with the blowtorch, along with the target area, until the lead goes soft and can be pasted on in blobs.
    [​IMG]
    After that, it is heated up again carefully, and wooden paddles used (dipped in tallow to help stop them burning) to compress and move the lead around to get an approximate shape. Then you get on with the hard work of filing:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Primed without fibreglass or glaze skim:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Close to finalised. Will get more glazing putty when the roof gets skimmed, eliminating any remaining imperfections.
     
  12. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    Roof front corner. Rinse and repeat:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    No filler on the above. It is possible to get a very fine finish with the lead tbh, requiring minimal further work.

    More challenging however is the A-pillar to scuttle joint. It needs a lot more lead and the shape is awkward.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This one is a work-in-progress. I've added more lead to this in the window seal channel where it was low. I should get it epoxied tonight and then will post an update once glassed and skimmed etc.
     
  13. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    I used as little filler as possible overall, just enough to get smoothness along any butt-welded joints and address low spots, etc. I tried to keep it out of that little recessed corner above the dogleg too, given the hassle of sanding it back out to shape! It helps that the shell had never been filled and the Enviro-Strip process removed everything anyway. The shell is overall very straight. Looking at the rear quarter in epoxy for example, its so damn straight it'll need minimal skimming to remove any imperfections before paint.
     
  14. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer Staff Member Moderator

    Rich, good work however I must be missing something here. Your dog-leg overlaps the outer sill, surely it should be level?
     
  15. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    At the front? No, they overlap. You can see that on the original dogleg in the first photo before I cut it off. It’s common for this to be obscured by tons of filler on U.K. cars...

    I have sealed that overlap with a fine line of seam sealer, retaining the step but making it more weatherproof!
     
  16. peter_s

    peter_s
    Z Club Member

    Fantastic job! Love seeing the progress pictures
     
  17. franky

    franky Well-Known Forum User

    its amazing how many of the details are lost.
     
  18. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    Indeed. Its not even a particularly neat joint from the factory, again helping with the dirt and moisture ingress and thus rust issues. I taped it for seam sealer so it is very finely sealed now while having the correct look.

    To me, its a prime place to look and judge how much bog a car has got on it. On my Fairlady Z, when I first got it, there was no distinction between the sill and dogleg - they were blended. That was not due to hiding rust, but rather overzealous previous skimming on past arch repairs. The car had another new outer arch during my resto and the filler was stripped back and a line recovered between the doglegs and sills. However, I choose to have the outer sills and lower part of the doglegs finely stonechipped under the final paint, so it's still nowhere near as defined as factory original. I won't be doing the same thing on Dixie.
     
  19. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    Thanks for taking the time to post so many good quality photos Richie and also the explanations. It really helps me understand some of the finer details of the cars construction. Of course, your work here is dangerous for some of us (such as myself!): it has the potential for exciting someone to the point where they think it would be a good idea to tackle this themselves :) . That would definitely mean my car would never see the open road again!
     
    bigh likes this.
  20. toopy

    toopy
    Z Club Member

    I admire your attention to detail and originality where required, but i have to admit that dogleg joint would annoy the hell out of me, my eye would be drawn to it constantly!
    I guess that's the point tho, so many if not most cars don't have that definition in the joint, so many would assume its not meant to be like that!

    Great work by the way, i remember watching one of the guys down at 4ways doing some lead loading on the roof join on my car ;)
     

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