How I Replaced The Frame On a Budget - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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How I Replaced The Frame On a Budget

Step 1: Purchase a pile of crap for a good price and get in way over your head.






Here I patched a hole as the first thing to learn how to use my craigslist welder.




After gaining some confidence I decided to cut out the whole floor and frame with a 4.5" grinder with a cutoff wheel.


I used a 6'x2' piece of 18g steel and tacked it behind the rocker and bent it to the trans tunnel with a floor jack and tacked it one inch at a time.


I also bent a few pieces to tie the seat mounts back into the new floor.


Here you can see I bent the front of the floor up and tied it into the fire wall.



After that I used 1"x3" 16g tube and placed it on the bottom of the tension rod mounts where I cut the old metal out previously.



Primer time






Enjoy the work you did by going on a 300+ mile road trip with your friends even though you have never driven the car... It was a bad idea but it worked out well for us. I then drove the car for the rest of summer and tore it apart again when winter came.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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What I did in the engine bay to make sure I didn't mess it up too bad was do one side at a time. I used 2.5" square tube and cut along the pinch weld above the stock frame rails. To make sure the tension rod mount stayed in place I never removed it, I just left it welded to the frame that goes under the floor that I replaced the previous winter.




Next I lined up the new metal and measured across to the other factory rail to make sure I had the new one in straight. I tacked it into place and then welded a piece of 1/2" angle iron on top of it to help tie it into the sheet metal.



Here I notched out the tube with a cutoff wheel and welded in a piece of angle iron to mount the subframe to. I used the spacer that the bolts go through as a template to align the holes.


After that I bolted the passenger side together and repeated the process for the drivers side.


I had enough steel to cut out the front rail and replace that too.



It's POR-15 time!





Now just bolt everything back together!




The main thing I did to stay motivated was set a deadline for the same car show we road tripped to the year before and not tackle too many projects on the car at once. If I got one done I would move on to another so I didn't become overwhelmed. Here are some pictures of me enjoying the car from this summer before I took the rear end of it apart for this winter.






Nothing is too far gone, what do you have to lose anyway?

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:48 PM
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Amazing work and a beautiful car.
.

Watch your weight or someone might steal it
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Amazing work and a beautiful car.
.
Thank you!

Nothing is too far gone, what do you have to lose anyway?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 03:05 PM
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Remarkable welding skills! That's amazing that you were able to bring it back to life.

James

Motorsport Auto

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 10:45 PM
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I like your spirit. The best thing that happened to that car was you. Most would have parted it out.

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

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 11:58 AM
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Very impressive. I would never have even considered restoring a car that far gone. And do I understand correctly that you had never mig welded before this?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 03:15 AM
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Wow, that's amazing work and nice dedication. Most of us older guys are too scared /lazy to tackle a project like that, especially while learning to weld in the process. Many younger guys just give up and we see their unfinished projects on Craigslist. Have you taken it to an alignment shop yet to see how well it came out?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Very impressive. I would never have even considered restoring a car that far gone. And do I understand correctly that you had never mig welded before this?
Thanks! The only welding i did previously was 1/4 plate in high school and stick welding, but never anything this thin.

Nothing is too far gone, what do you have to lose anyway?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, that's amazing work and nice dedication. Most of us older guys are too scared /lazy to tackle a project like that, especially while learning to weld in the process. Many younger guys just give up and we see their unfinished projects on Craigslist. Have you taken it to an alignment shop yet to see how well it came out?
Thanks! I haven't had it aligned but I don't think it is necessary. It drives straight, the toe is good, no dog tracking, and the tires wear perfect.

Nothing is too far gone, what do you have to lose anyway?
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