In a perfect world, my DD would be a pick-up truck and my z would be a weekend toy only to come out in fair weather. In reality, my z is my DD and although extensive repairs are more difficult, anything is possible with adequate planning. I'm currently enjoying a 6 day hiatus without having to drive the z, so I decided to tackle one of the notorious rust problems to 280zxes currently referred to as "the windshield area".
I'm dying to start on my JY turbo engine, but quickly realized if I don't take control of this rust issue I won't have a car to swap a motor into. So last month I stripped the interior (bagging and labeling accordingly) to not only assess damage but to confirm a no-leak status after repairs have been made.
After going back and forth as to save or replace, I decided on a new windshield. I had planned on buying the tools and urethane myself (I hate paying anyone to work on my stuff, esp. the z), but as others have pointed out having a pro do it was definately in order. He's charging me $167 + tax, not bad.
Not as bad as I thought, I was expecting large golf ball size rust holes. Some pinholes and one pea-size area over the driver's side.
My wife said "why did you take the fenders off?" I knew what had to be lurking underneath.
Take a razor blade or utiltity knife and cut as much of the old urethane off as possible. That stuff will clog up grinding discs easily. A small putty knife also came in handy. Don't cut yourself!
After cleaning off what you can it's time to pick up the angle grinder and get to work. I found these little jewels on sale at Harbor Freight. 4" angle grinder ($20) and 5" orbital sander ($20). Grinding wheels and hook-it sanding pads sold seperately.
After grinding you can see the largest hole on the driver's side.
While doing research on this project, I came across a product I wanted to try. A 3-step rust solution that lays down under any bodywork curing rock hard. Seals out moisture and oxygen permanently.Kinda pricey but if it can do what it advertises then I say money well spent.
After following manufacturer's instructions, the holes and pitting stand out.
Before the last of (2) coats dries, you can apply your filler or glas. I really like this stuff from my bodyshop days.
Mixes like bondo, sands easily.
After sanding the glas down with 80 grit, A skim coat of metal glaze is all thats needed to fill in small imperfections, pitting.
The cream hardener is blue so you know when its mixed thoroughly.
Let the unused filler harden on the spreader, then you can snap it off.
Presto! Clean as a whistle.
Here is the skim coat. All I needed was one pass. Sands easily, 80 grit, then 120 to smooth it out further.
You can use masking tape to keep filler off unwanted areas. Save yourself work. BE CLEAN!
After sanding, ready for primer.
There are several metal glaze products out there, Evercoat's line of glazes and putties are top notch. At least they were when I was in the collision repair business, 5 years ago.
Don't have an air compressor? No worries, mate. How about a blower? You can use this and a quick wipe with cleaner/degreaser between coats of primer, filler with great results. Ask me how I know.
Stay tuned for part two on priming and paint.