Spare Tire Well Replacement (and pics!) - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Spare Tire Well Replacement (and pics!)

So now that the water leaks are fixed its time to start dealing with the spare well and floorboard. Although I drive the vic more now (kids), I still love to drive and work on my zx whenever I have spare time. I recently moved and my new garage has been filled to the brim with boxes. Numero uno priorioto was to clean it out enough to pull the z in for the winter.

Now that I have that under wraps I was able to finish the project I started prior to moving. I don't see how some of you get the time to do anything. With two kids and two pets I feel as if my poor z has to make an appt. for attention.I sorta piecemeal this stuff in advance, and plan ahead my method of attack so that any one project doesn't go unattended for long periods. I want her available for an afternoon drive. Set goals with your car and order materials ahead of time so that your ready to rock. If it helps write out each step, then visualize it in your head.

Many of you know I love pics and this ones no different. As far as the floorboard goes the spare well (which seems to be one of many achilles heel rustwise on a zx ) was the worst on mine so thats where I started.





By the time I noticed this the damage had already been done. I removed the drain plug to buy a little time and hopefully contain the cancer to the affected panel until it could be addressed. Notice the bondo squeezing through repair holes in the quarter panel by the PO. So far it hasn't been an issue. I've owned the car since about mid 2005.







This venture started several months back at U-pull-it on Watkins. I still hadn't decided how I wanted to go about repairing my well. I considered fiberglas or a patch, but while wandering around the JY I noticed the well on this z wasn't rusted through yet (although full of water) and suddenly my mission was clear. I fumbled around in the stagnant water and pulled out the plug.







I returned the next day to claim my prize with an 18V lithium ion sawzall and an extra battery. Yes I thanked the fallen zx for her sacrifice so that another could live on. Say hello to the crusher for me.






With no access to a welder I decided to install this well with panel bond. I used it many times in my bodyshop days with good results. Opinions vary on application and technique. Having worked with it before I had no regrets about using it on the well. Read-up on it and draw your own conclusions. Eastwood sells this kit for around $20. It includes a 50ml cartridge of PB, two mixing tips, and a caulking gun adapter so the average joe who doesn't have a high dollar applicator gun can use it. But you better use a heavy-duty caulk gun. More on that later.


http://www.eastwood.com/no-weld-pane...placement.html








First order of business was to prepare the replacement well. Give it a good look and identify all the spot welds, so that the excess metal can be trimmed away, leaving only the well in all its non rusted-through glory. I knew I would be moving soon and might not have access to compressed air. My plan was to have the well ready and the old one cut out before the move, just as I get my garage the way I want. Oh well, another one of life's curve balls. Deal with it.







For this task I choose a cut-off tool. You can buy those fancy little spot weld drill bits but they're expensive and don't last forever.







The thin wheels work great for this








You can buy these dirt cheap at Harbor Freight or ebay.







Start by shaving the first layer of metal off each spot weld







You can clearly see the ring where the first layer was shaved.







This technique works well and leaves a nice base metal to bond or weld to.







Then the excess can be removed easily with the air chisel. Take your time here, you can gouge the base metal if you're not careful.










One issue I did run into was this tab is actually sandwiched between the two sections of the rear body panel. No worries. If you look close you can see a line I drew with a sharpie, indicating the tab will be removed and an extra inch of metal will be left on the old well to form an area to bond to.








I took a heat gun and putty knife to the heavy undercoating on the bottom. It would take forever to try and grind through that stuff not to mention clog the disc.










Preparing the well for the KBS 3step.









Aquaklean. Rustblast, and Rustseal.
http://www.kbs-coatings.com/kbs-three-step-system.html




Memphis, TN 1981 280zx n/a, retired 1999 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 2006 Toyota Rav-4 Limited

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Last edited by heroe; 12-03-2012 at 12:26 PM.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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I started cutting out the old well using the same technique as above. A sharpie assisted in locating the spot welds beforehand.








This is the area by the rear body panel I mentioned before. The area I wanted to keep was drawn out with the sharpie.








Take your time to avoid gouging. The chisel will cut through the well and keep going into the gas tank if you don't pay attention!








Pretty soon it was part of the gosh dam recycle bin. Do they like old undercoated rusted metal with the milk jugs and water bottles?










After scraping the undercoating back to check for rust, I cleaned the area with the grinder and applied the KBS 3step to buy me time to prepare for the move. Talk about exhaust fumes in the cabin! Once settled in my new house I got back to it. After dry-fitting the well SEVERAL TIMES I prepared the Rustseal on the car and well to accept the panel bond by scuffing the bond area with 220 grit sandpaper.








Panel bond instructions. 30 minute worktime is more than enough.



Comes with two mixing tips.








I have to say a regular caulk gun was severely underpowered for this kit. I had to break out the big boy gun.








Lay out a bead until you get a uniform color, indicating that it's mixed properly.








Lay a bead on the car









Spread out your bead for coverage. A thin layer is sufficient.




You need to apply to BOTH surfaces. I originally ordered two kits to make sure I had enough, and ended up using both 50ml cartridges. The drain hole makes a handy handle.








Clamp her down where you can and let sit overnight.








After curing I prepared the area for primer and seam sealer by scuffing with a scotch-brite pad.



Not exactly the right color choice for primer but it'll do.










Also scuffed the underside for undercoating











This is a seam sealer I like alot. Its pressurized with a control valve giving you precise control.




You can tear a piece of scuff pad and make some really nice brushmarks.

Memphis, TN 1981 280zx n/a, retired 1999 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 2006 Toyota Rav-4 Limited

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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Lay your sealer in there, filling the cracks and bridging gaps.





Then take your piece of scuff pad and pretty it up.










This silver rattle bomb color will do just fine here.











Too much work for an area not seen? Perhaps




If you don't take control of your rust issue it will take control of your z. Ask questions. Read up. Don't let your ride end up here:








Memphis, TN 1981 280zx n/a, retired 1999 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 2006 Toyota Rav-4 Limited

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 05:48 AM
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I vote for this thread to be a sticky.Nice work and thank you for posting.
I will start to do it my self in my 83 280ZXT in the next couple of week.I have my donor car in the backyard.








Here is my donor car (she is a shell now on stands in the back yard)



73 C110 Kenmeri Coupe #851,79 280ZX 2+2 %Speed.
Phoenix AZ....KEEP THEM RUNNING!

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jamal. It looks like you have some work to do. Your z is showing all the cliche areas. Take pics of your work for us!

Memphis, TN 1981 280zx n/a, retired 1999 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 2006 Toyota Rav-4 Limited

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 11:32 AM
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I have used that body epoxy on both rear quarters of my old ZX and after about 4 yrs there were still no cracks or damage at all. These were full quarters including dog-legs. It was cleaner than welding with no risk of warping.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 12:17 PM
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Brilliant work and tutorial! And this should definitely be a permanently sticky thread.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Easyguy71 View Post
I have used that body epoxy on both rear quarters of my old ZX and after about 4 yrs there were still no cracks or damage at all. These were full quarters including dog-legs. It was cleaner than welding with no risk of warping.
In the shop when bonding full quarters we used to weld the C pillar joint and rocker panel. Sometimes the rear body section depending on the car. That was the way I was taught. As you know Dan opinions on application of the stuff varies. It doesn't suprise me that you had success with fully bonded quarters. I have seen rear end collisions where both quarters were fully bonded as you
did and the adhesive didn't crack or seperate anywhere, even when buckled.

Memphis, TN 1981 280zx n/a, retired 1999 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 2006 Toyota Rav-4 Limited

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Brilliant work and tutorial! And this should definitely be a permanently sticky thread.
Thanks Freddy. I don't see you post much anymore. I guess since you fixed everything on your z your good!

Memphis, TN 1981 280zx n/a, retired 1999 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 2006 Toyota Rav-4 Limited

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 03:43 PM
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I still check in, but haven't posted much lately.
I'm still trying to solve a slightly damp (tho' never actually wet - and it's water, not coolant) passenger floor (after every car wash or rain - and I've sealed every possible ingress point) and intermittent cruise control (sometimes the Cruise will set and sometimes it won't), but, otherwise, the car's running beautifully.
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