1972 240z pinch weld damage - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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1972 240z pinch weld damage

Hello everyone! For a while I have been meaning to ask about two damaged pinch welds on my 240z. The welds were already damaged after buying the car. Is this a problem that would need fixing? If so, how can it be fixed? Thanks for the help! Any comments are appreciated.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 12:22 AM
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73 240Z very orange
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 05:54 PM
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The car shops lifted the car either by the frame rails, which really was by name only, or by the pinch rails, which is what the book said.

I think the pinch rails really were for lifting one side and changing tires.

Beat the pinch rail straight, then reinforce with 1/4" steel angle iron.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by palladin View Post
The car shops lifted the car either by the frame rails, which really was by name only, or by the pinch rails, which is what the book said.

I think the pinch rails really were for lifting one side and changing tires.

Beat the pinch rail straight, then reinforce with 1/4" steel angle iron.
Thanks @palladin for the reply. By reinforce do you mean to weld the angle iron onto where the pinch welds are? @theghosttanker I attached a picture so you guys can see the damage. It is not significant, but I would still like to fix it.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FairladyFever View Post
Thanks @palladin for the reply. By reinforce do you mean to weld the angle iron onto where the pinch welds are? @theghosttanker I attached a picture so you guys can see the damage. It is not significant, but I would still like to fix it.
Here's another picture
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 01:39 PM
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That is about par for the course. If it were me, and I wish I had done this before I painted etc, I think if you ran a foot long 1" angle iron behind that pinch weld and ran a bead on all four lifting points, that would pretty much give you the support you need.

What do YOU think, TOnyD ?

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by FairladyFever View Post
Here's another picture
That's actually some of the mildest damage I've seen. Get out your Crescent Wrench, dial it tight as you can over the metal, and bend those back to straight. Go slow, do a little at a time. If you want to tap it with a hammer, back it up with a heavy piece of metal. When you get ready to take your car to the body shop, have them check the seam and metal under there. (if you have some shortish pieces of 1/2" flat bar steel - put one on either side - sandwich the bent section. clamp them together with a c-clamp or two or three to force the metal back closer to it's original shape...)

I'm sure you're aware that the stock scissor jack has a slot so it doesn't damage that flange, and the lifting point is actually behind the flange on a stout piece of the frame both front and back.

We always lift by the cross member or the diff, but that doesn't help you with a repair shop using a lift. I'll let these other guys suggest ways to prevent that happening in the future...

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-24-2015, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @palladin and @cgsheen for the help and detailed explanation. I really appreciate it!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 05:30 AM
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The Pinch Welds Flanges are there for:

SPOTWELDING! Pinch the stack of body panels together and hit them with the spotwelder (sometimes called 'pinchwelder')...

One of the most common practices car preparers use to prep old cars is to trim pinch welds. In the old days, especially in American Cars the pinch weld flanges were HUGE. I personally know if you trim the pinch weld flanges to a 'non-tech inspector suspicious' 1/4" wide with edge-fusion welding and through-spot welding using a MIG on a 1966 Corvair you will save 13# off the weight of the unit-body.

The purpose of the pinch weld flanges was to allow for panel fit differences when put together in manufacturing. You will note they usually have several different lengths of metal sticking out of them--in an ideal world, they will be all the same like a deck of cards on edge. Once you get to that point, you can start cutting down the width of the flange as your panels are consistent. Japan was lightyears ahead of Detroit at this point in automotive assembly history for unit-bodies (even Chrysler) and as a result the flanges are CONSIDERABLY narrower (go look under a 1972 Dodge Dart in similar areas, 1/2 to 3/4" wide!)

Personally I use the Crescent-Wrench straightening method if they are really mangled.

You need them for the stock jack to be safely used (they CAN AND DO slip out if things are not all squared...it is not a pretty happening! Seen that firsthand!) The factory jack has that slot for positive location utilizing the pinchweld flange... it's not to really protect it outside of the fact that if the stock jack crushed it, then the indexing feature was useless (remember it shows putting it between the two water-drain-hole bumps in the pinch weld?)

As stated, idiots with lifts and standard jacks just mashed them flat lifting the car using the factory 'jacking points' but that is not necessarily a factory 'lifting point'! In some cases, nowadays you can get lifting saddles that allow the use on pinchwelds as some late models have concurrent lifting/jacking points.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun -- that means
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Dodge owners have had this complaint forever... I googled "Dodge Dart Pinch Welds" and came up with an 18 page lament post on a Dodge Forum! LOL

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