Last few days have been touch and go, our thoughts are with those in Oklahoma. Weather has been kinder to those of us in Missouri as the storms weakened before they got to us. It has drizzled and rained for two full days so our work has moved inside. On Monday Luke looked over the quarter and and made sure any bare metal was primed as a precaution, then Luke and I started working on interior modifications. The inside hatch cover board was warped beyond use so we made a replacement out of steel. A spot of two of welding will be required to fix a split in the upper molding. I started working on the radio faceplate Luke suggested we update the look and get away from all the electronic looking 80’s instrumentation.
Carbon fiber and some tricky lighting behind the newer Z emblem will do the job. Problems encountered we’re fabricating a box to house the light behind the emblem that would securely hold the bulb. I made that out of a 300ZX marker light and the emblem was from a Nissan Factory Z baseball cap. I also had to shave the old retaining bracket to fit the stereo application. More on the finished pieces after they are moved along.
Amazingly, we were rain free today. I jumped on the car by 7:30AM and set out to get the drivers side of the cab in base primer. Luke followed the early schedule and with both of us on it she got her primer coat.
Luke was welding up some pinholes, the decklid wiper arm and and washer hole while I slung mud and worked it out. Let me tell you, not having to explain details on repairs to Luke makes for some fast work. While we were working on the car a neighbor dropped by and had her car tuned. Luke did this in short order. It’s kind of a given you take care of the neighbors if you’re working in the driveway. We discussed future plans, but nothing is set in stone in regard to the Z but the car is looking like it might just get nasty.
Bummer – Rain Day! Looks like were in for an extended stretch of Spring rains for the next week which will effectively kill the progress we need to make to meet the deadline. That’s what you get when you shadetree. We still have things to do though, I tackled headliner. What a wonderful thing to do on a rainy day – wire brush off the old foam. This is something most of you could do yourself if you need a headliner replaced in your vehicle.
Luke finished welding the rocker in place before it rained. We’ll be working on interior pieces for most of the rest of this week between the showers. Luke and I hit the road and picked up some headliner material from Walt’s. Another item we are addressing is the window switches, they will come off the doors and one switch will be relocated to the center of the custom console we’ll build. The switch plate itself was chrome dipped plastic and with time had started peeling. I grabbed some carbon fiber material and basically shrink wrapped it onto the switch plate. I think this is going to work as a finish.
It’s been a couple of days since I’ve updated but I swear we’ve been on it. No slackers here. We removed the windshield today so we’re now completely clear to start the remaining work without anything to slow us down. Luke has been hammering out all those low areas (Thank God), I’m getting to old and slow to get down there anymore. When I do it’s like a beached whale. Luke has been a life saver and doing some great work, he’s welded in new metal in behind the rear bumper area, and started working the passenger side rocker sill. I’ll still have to do the final work but I’ll only have to get down in those spots once.
Cutting and gutting. Gutting the car was an exciting time for me, found .17 in the floor. Woohoo. Removed all the trim pieces, windows, doors and misc. parts and pieces. Luke repaired some rust in the floorboard. Nothing major just a spot above the frame rail. Moisture must have sat in the hole and it rusted from the inside. I have the drivers door work completed and base primed, the quarter panel is worked and it’s ready for priming. We were busy today, 8AM-9PM. Tomorrow’s weather looks good for epoxy high build primer as the high will be mid 80’s.
Mother’s Day, after a full Saturday working car shows was filled with nothing more than catching up, sanding and priming. One item I got out of the way was the headlight buckets. One had a nasty loose crack and was at the point of falling apart if left untouched. A little fiberglass and bingo, ready to go. I decided with the weather cooperating to re-sand and prime a few items like the hood, both sides. I also tackled the bumper ends, front air dam and both front fenders. At this point they are ready for a high build primer and then I’ll begin a long term relationship with the long board.
Kind of an off day today, had some running to do. Earthmonster is providing the “Long Distance” trophy for Rods and Relics 41st Annual Rod Run, so we had to go visit Tom Lawson who graciously helped with some technical issues on the trophy. When we got to Tom’s Shop the Rods and Relics Braintrust we’re there chewing the fat. Then we had to stop by Larry’s to pick up a stainless steel bolt and got a glimpse of his latest build. Once we got back to the house Luke jumped in and pulled the dash so I can refurbish it, we also pulled a little clean up duty preparing for the next few days work.
Looked like it might rain early on today but it held out long enough to get the front air dam and hood primed. After one quick shot of primer I found a couple of hidden gems I had to fix in the hood. The seats are fitted, we pulled the carpet and cleaned up a little, planning on putting down some Dynamat. Luke intends to pull the dash out so we can refurbish it, I did locate my parts stash and it’s all looking good. I have my work cut out for me in the coming days, I’ll have to replace the passenger side rocker. Not looking forward to that.
After a series of rainy days Luke and I got rolling again. Two good days of sunshine and lots of progress. Luke finished up the seat brackets and test fitted them, I continued to do the body work finishing up the hood, bumpers and getting a good start on the drivers side. I shaved the antenna and filled the hole as well as the rear marker light.
I about went nuts working on the drivers door, never saw so many little door dings and small dents. Glad I’m about finished with that side. Luke is also tickled to be done with those seat brackets. We talked about it and decided it wasn’t very cost effective to do those. Takes way too much time and effort.
Luke came over and worked a bit today, fitting and building the seats brackets for the new Nismo seats. I started shaving the car, removing the rear wiper arm, shaving the hood emblem, removed and filled the side marker lights and welded up some odds and ends cracks in the drivers door. Usually you use the seat brackets that come with the seats, however in this case I wanted to retain the factory seats belt points and I wanted the seats to sit lower in the car. With that said, nothing like custom applications. Thanks to Celeste as she stitched up a little tear in the drivers seat.
I have to say it’s nice to work with a pretty solid car that hasn’t been painted before. It will be interesting to see if I can get a 2+2 to look good, I always hated the looks of a 2+2.
The rush is on. Trying to get this 280ZX 2+2 ready for 2013 Branson Z Fest, I haven’t been in many years so we’re going to give it a go. I bought this Datsun on the North side of Springfield 7 years ago, dropped some slotted and drilled rotors, braided stainless steel brake lines, wheels, new tires, a set of lowering springs and a front air dam prior to beginning the project. I loaned it to a friend of mine for some time to use as a daily driver. Elvis you owe me.
Here are the before pictures as of 4-29-2013