The Project Dixie thread! | Page 8 | 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. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    The Raptor epoxy is fine to use with a more typical respirator/mask, as it doesn’t contain isocyanates. It’s the Raptor bedliner/texture stuff that requires care, being an iso product. I use an A2P3 mask anyway, and usually vacate the garage once a coat has been done to a section I’ve been working on.

    I have plans afoot for a more thorough air filtering and removal solution should I decide to do any proper painting at home...
     
    toopy likes this.
  2. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    Lots of activity over the last week or so. Had another delivery from Andy (APS):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I’ve now got everything I need to complete the metal work repairs and mods, with the exception of making up mounting points for the roll cage.

    Meanwhile, floorpan progress:
    [​IMG]
    For anyone that is unfamiliar with clecos, they are a type of temporary fastener that can be used to hold sheet metal together. Very useful in this situation;
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Being spring loaded they are pretty good at keeping things nice and tight while getting things snugged up and tacks in place.
    [​IMG]
    Still crappy at plug welds. They come out perfect on test pieces but as soon as the uneven surfaces and old metal of the car are involved, it’s gets sloppy! Still managed to get there.

    On the tunnel side, I left an overlap underneath the new pan and used the clecos to hold things together. I then used an air panel saw to cut along the edge section by section while butt welding along behind.
    [​IMG]
    Some tidy-up done.
    [​IMG]
    I’ll need to do some extra welding on the underside of the seam, and tack on the support rail. I’ll do the passenger side pan next, then flip the car on a rotisserie to sort those underside bits. Plus do all the other seam sealing and painting and stuff that can be done to the back half of the car more easily spun over.

    After that, back on stands, remove the right front frame rail, chop and swap the bulkhead to finish the RHD conversion, and replace the inner wing battery area. New rail on with everything straightened up.
     
    bigh, peter_s, Mr Ex Jnr and 8 others like this.
  3. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    So, started hacking the other floor out, which is in worse condition than the RH side.
    [​IMG]
    Both the tunnel and the seat support will need work on this side:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The seat support from the RH side also needs a little attention but won’t be too bad:
    [​IMG]
    However, once the LH new pan is in, I will have reached the point where I need access to the underside to finish the floor job neatly and do other work ahead of tackling the right chassis rail and RHD swap, etc. Thus, I’ve got an Ade Foreman rotisserie on order. Once the car is on that, I can tackle many remaining tasks much more easily and to the level of finish I require.
     
    SacCyclone, Mr Ex Jnr and tyroguru like this.
  4. Huw

    Huw
    Z Club Member

    You’ll be challenging Derrick for his welding crown at this rate Richie. Sterling work matey. I’m surprised however how much rust your still finding after the shells dip and oven crispy bake.
     
  5. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    The bake and dip only serves to strip everything away and really highlight what rust is/was there. Rust on open surfaces gets neutralized and/or cleaned away by the process, but you can see what its like in seams or between panels and parts where chemicals (or blasting for that matter) can't penetrate.

    In the grand scheme, the shell is still really good. But it had nasty afflictions in specific, predictable places - floors, doglegs, battery tray area, etc. As shown, to fix those properly leads to digging through multiple layers, meaning as its never as simple as it might first look! It's been a crash course in getting my welding chops together anyway!

    As for Derrick's welding - thank heavens I haven't had to go that far! Maybe next time - this one is just practice... :)
     
    jonbills likes this.
  6. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    When I get more time, I’ll do a proper project update, but in the meantime, I finally grabbed my own copy of a book that is one of my main sources for the work I’ve done towards Dixie’s engine, e.g. the cylinder head chamber designs etc.

    “L-gata Max” is a special edition from Autoworks magazine that focuses on very high spec and power L6s for drag racing, etc. It has a lot of features on specific cars, and then a large section with a LOT of excellent photos detailing a sample stroker build with all the goodies- welded N42 head, race valves, etc. Even if one doesn’t read Japanese (something I’m beginning to work on!) the visuals and the numbers are highly educational.

    Before getting this, I was using a bunch of photos on my phone from a copy I borrowed a couple of years back from Pmac!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    tyroguru and jonbills like this.
  7. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    What kind of job does Google translate make of it?
     
  8. Mr Tenno

    Mr Tenno
    ZClub Administrator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Yeah you can even use the app these days to get a live translation from the camera.
     
    SacCyclone likes this.
  9. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    Google Translate is painful with Japanese tbh. It struggles with the very different nature of Japanese sentence and grammatical structure; you can get the broad idea of what is being said but it often reads badly! Never tried the app though with the camera- will have to look at that.
     
    Mr Tenno likes this.
  10. franky

    franky Well-Known Forum User

    I need to find a copy of that book!
     
  11. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    Teaser for the next full update on how I got to this point but here’s where I’m up to as of tonight:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Lots of measuring and care taken but pleased where things are at. The bulkhead conversion should be finished in the next few days, including all bracketry, etc. In the mix will also be fitting the inner wing repair section and then fitting the new frame rail.

    Slight diversion - popped over to the barn to check on the Fairlady Z at the weekend, and as I parked up, I spied a familiar set of headlights through the slats in the side of the big barn where other classics are stored. My favourite non-Z, non-Nissan, Japanese classic:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    Rare as in the U.K., this is a TA27 Celica GT Liftback. A 1600cc JDM-only variant, this one was for sale on eBay a few weeks back down in Devon (listed at 27k). It’s up in Cheshire now and is being stored before it goes into the restorer Trevor Farrington for some work. Not that it needs much work - apart from some patches of paint crazing (which I assume is what is being addressed), it is superb and well kitted with nice mods (coilovers, Weber 45 upgrade with Kameari manifold, tubular exhaust header, etc.). I’d have it in a second (and would’ve done if I had the cash when it was for sale). Drool.
     
    Ped, SacCyclone, bigh and 4 others like this.
  12. Bazzateer

    Bazzateer
    Z Club Member

    Love the Celica, back in the early 80s my old maths teacher had one, UK spec obviously. Loved it.
     
  13. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    So I’ve not done a proper update in a while; generally by the time I’ve had a session on the car and then kept the other half and kids humoured with domestic contributions, I’ve been too knackered to be arsed doing massive write ups! Still, I’ll try and do a few posts to catch key elements up.

    As the update above shows, I’ve been heavily into the RHD conversion and repairs to the inner wing former battery tray area and the tweaked chassis rail. That necessitated a huge amount of deconstruction and frustrating work that really got me down at points. Those factory spot welds can be utter bastards to undo sometimes without totally butchering the surrounding area. Finally getting the old chassis rail off was a massive relief tbh. An utterly hatefully shite job.
    [​IMG]

    The first job was letting in the RHD conversion section of the bulkhead. This went well, as I used the clicos and clamps I used on the floors and took my time welding as carefully and consistently as possible.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Tada!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So, now on to the inner wing repair...
     
    Ped, Rushingphil and toopy like this.
  14. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    Initially I cut too much material out, not leaving enough to form a flange to use the clicos as I’d done with the floors and the bulkhead panel. So, I ended up welding a strip of that material back on! All of which would later be trimmed off again but I needed it for the in-progress phase!
    [​IMG]

    The rust damage from the battery tray leakage extended below the level that the repair section from APS would cover, so I had to make an extra section. This had the added benefit of giving fresh steel to butt weld the repair panel to, rather than thin, pitted steel that would’ve blown through at the merest waft of a welder.
    [​IMG]
    Test fits begin:
    [​IMG]

    Progress. I would trim the overlap off for a section, butt weld up to the next clamp or clico, and then rinse and repeat until all welded. A number of adjustments had to be made for fit, hence that diagonal welded up cut you can see. I also made a cut in the outer corner to correct the slope of the inner wing where it meets the bulkhead.
    [​IMG]

    Fibreglass and sanding the welds and laying a base for additional skimming to get it all nicely blended in.
    [​IMG]

    Now, one job I’d been quite concerned about - installing the new frame rail...
     
    Ped, Rob Gaskin and Rushingphil like this.
  15. richiep

    richiep
    Z Club Member

    So, the clicos came in super handy again in mocking up the rail location, along with various vise-grips, etc, and some hitting stuff with a hammer to help it cooperate!
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, I fitted up the refurbed crossmember to help ensure the inner wing and frame rail would be welded together in the right position. Without it, the risk would’ve been high of it all settling in a position too far inward.

    As for attaching it, it had always been my intention to stitch weld the chassis rails for added strength. However, I realised this was going to be the best way full stop to attach this new rail as trying to plug/spot weld it in risked lots of swearing and hassle with blow through and nasty blobby welds, given I’d be welding on a vertical plane. So, with a bit of tweaking of settings and practice pieces on the bench, this where I got to earlier this evening:

    [​IMG]
    Pretty happy tbh. Could be a little neater, but stitch welding is generally function > form anyway and with a quick spray over with zinc primer, they actually looked good. The LH chassis rail will get stitched to match. I’ve still got some welding to do on the outer flange nearer the bulkhead, but it’s nearly as far as I will go with this until the car is on the rotisserie and I can finish things off as I tie into the under floor rail extensions. Before that though, I will be welding all the RHD brackets and plates in. The dash frame is in to ensure everything lines up.
    [​IMG]

    Then a lot of making good will be done on the bulkhead and engine bay overall to get it close to being good ready for final primer stages.
     
    Chappers, Ped, tyroguru and 7 others like this.
  16. Rushingphil

    Rushingphil
    Z Club Member

    That's an awful lot of time consuming work! Great job :)
     
    MaximG likes this.
  17. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    Fantastic Richie! Thanks as always for the great photos. I'm not converting to RHD but I have a lot of work in this area to do so they're great study aids for me.

    Where did you get your chassis rail(s) from? I've just took delivery of various bits from klassicfab.com/kfvintagejdm.com and they look good - I guess I'll have to see if they actually fit well though. They don't do chassis rails though and I've come to the conclusion that I may need to replace 1 or both.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  18. IbanezDan51

    IbanezDan51
    Z Club Member

    Excellent work Richie, looking as good as new!
     
  19. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer Staff Member Moderator

    Great work Rich. This does highlight how rare and useful that shell would be that Dave is selling/sold.

    It also reminds me of the hours I spent making repair panels (and floor) for my first 240 and lying on my back gas welding uphill!

    Well done for doing all this along with work/family commitments. As my mate used to say 'if you want something doing ask a busy man' - very true.
     
  20. Ped

    Ped
    Z Club Member

    Spot on! Very neat.
     

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