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Above all, keep the car as original as possible. Forget the disc brakes, these cars are more valuable in stock, regular driving condition. Flush our the gas tank, replace all the fluids, forget about rebuilding engine, trans or rear end unless you know for a fact they are worn out. These cars were built like tanks and you would be surprised how little it takes to get them running well. You'll probably have to rebuild the carbs and the hoses. Do the body work but approach the mechanical rework until you know they need it.

I have a '71 that I bought new and they are worth about $25,000 or more in driveable, unrestored condition. Less if fully restored.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thanks for all the help so far!

My latest thought process has me removing everything, getting the body-work and paint done at a shop, cleaning and powder-coating or plating all the old parts, then reassembling everything. Yesterday I removed the old sound-dampener in the rear. That was a chore. Heard of people doing dry ice or a heat gun. I had a heat gun handy so that's what I did. I found that there is a sweet-spot where the material would just peel off. Too much heat and it turned to goo.
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I also removed the gas tank. It looks pretty good from the outside. Would you recommend any internal treatment of the gas tank? I've read on the forums that some recommend hot-tanking and others are vehemently opposed due to possible rust. Right now I'm leaning towards just cleaning it on the outside and calling it good.
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While I was under the car I saw this little fan mounted. Not sure what my dad was thinking with this? Any body have any ideas as to why he would put a fan here?

108564

I'm slowly working my way from the back to the front. My next issue is going to be the wiring harness. I'm doing a good job labeling where everything goes and taking pictures as I remove them but I'm not sure what to do with the harness. Is it worth it to change all the connectors like I've seen on some of these forums?

I know many of you have said just get the car running and I appreciate that. I would like to fix any parts that are difficult to access or reach while the car is in pieces, and one of those things is the wiring harness. I want to be able to do it right the first time and not worry about the car for the next 30 years.

Next question:

If I were to strip the car all the way down to the unibody could four reasonably strong men or women lift the unibody onto a trailer or am I not even close?

Goal would be to load onto a trailer and take to the body/paint shop while I keep all the suspension parts to refurbish at home or at a specialty plating shop.

Let me know what you think.
 

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your best bet is to keep wheels on it. sure you could lift it, but if you drop it, its done. and if you have wheels on it, you can roll it on to a trailer.
have you checked anything on youtube? there's quite a few folks on there doing restores to these old cars. some of them are complete clowns (IMOP) and others are doing it right. some guys are using rotisery-style contraptions, some are using blocks and stands, others are sticking with rolling chassis. you should check some of those vids out as they can be quite helpful (but try to avoid the clowns) there is one guy on there that I would recommend: "Restoration for beginners" lives in Raleigh, he's doing a 280z in his garage, by himself, tearing it down and building it back up.... pretty much a complete restoration. you might wanna check his videos out. you can see some of the ups and downs of a project like this.

harness connectors - if the connectors are bad, replace them. if they are still good and in working condition, keep them.

getting the car running or not - one of the problems with disassembling the whole car is that you might put it all back together, and then it doesn't run at all. and then you may not know what is wrong.
its best to know beforehand that the car is running as it should. I think you should only tear it all down only if you plan on restoring the entire car from the ground up. its a lot of work, time, and money.
thing is, you are going to run into rust issues and may need more body work than you are anticipating. there's no reason you can't do this, but just keep that in mind if you pursue this route.

little fan thing - i'm not really sure other than maybe he was using it to cool down something in that area? also, no old Z is complete without spiders, living or dead, hanging out, haha.

fuel tank - this is a big one. you can clean it out, but sometimes its not enough. I had my tank taken apart, cleaned, and welded back together. I would not recommend this as it is a bit dangerous. but I have a friend who welds and was willing to do that. the tank spent a lot of time drying out and getting 'fume free' before any welding was done, mind you.

plating and powder coating - this is very cool to do, but it can also be very expensive, even for small parts. I've had some parts on my 280 chromed and powder coated... looks great but didn't come with out heavy cost. unless you have a big wallet, I wouldn't do this to every part you come across. and really its just cosmetic. why do that to stuff under the car when you can't see it?

I hope this helps

Bon
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
fuel tank - this is a big one. you can clean it out, but sometimes its not enough. I had my tank taken apart, cleaned, and welded back together. I would not recommend this as it is a bit dangerous. but I have a friend who welds and was willing to do that. the tank spent a lot of time drying out and getting 'fume free' before any welding was done, mind you.

plating and powder coating - this is very cool to do, but it can also be very expensive, even for small parts. I've had some parts on my 280 chromed and powder coated... looks great but didn't come with out heavy cost. unless you have a big wallet, I wouldn't do this to every part you come across. and really its just cosmetic. why do that to stuff under the car when you can't see it?

I hope this helps

Bon
Great information, thanks Bon. A few follow up questions if I may:
  1. I don't feel confident taking the gas tank apart and putting it back together, that's a little beyond my skill level. Would a radiator shop be the next best bet? Hot-tanking and coating the inside? I feel good about painting the outside.
  2. Powder coating - My main goal is to get rid of the surface rust and get the car in good shape to last another few decades. I don't really care how the underside looks, I just want a coating on there that will last and not have this surface rust. I'm not real concerned with the financial part of it, I just want what's best. I know this is a subjective term, what I mean by this is creating a solid car that will stand up to daily driving and last the next 30+ years with minimal/no rust issues. I would like to clean up the suspension parts, see picture below. What's the best way to do this? Sandblast and powder-coat, or just paint?
108567



I hear you on the rotisserie jig. This is an issue I'm having with the logistics of everything. If I want the body and paint shop to sand, strip, sand-blast, or otherwise prepare the underside of the unibody how do I deliver the car to them? Ideally it would just be the unibody and other body parts without the suspension but I'm at a loss as to how to transport and move it around in this condition. I've got a couple of voicemails out to body shops but haven't heard back from them yet. Seems like they are pretty busy. Would they generally remove the suspension for me before prep and paint, then put it back on? I will figure this out, just wondering if anyone else has had experience with this.

I would love to build a little jig and do the underside myself, and maybe I will, I just don't have a whole lot of room right now to do it and I already kicked my wife out of the garage for this project. Perhaps I'll just bite the bullet and do it.

Another NOOB question. As I'm tearing down the car I've come across multiple stripped screws and fasteners. All of them I've been able to retrieve but this latest one I can't seem to get to budge. This is the gas tank filler neck tube from underneath. What are your techniques for getting these loose? I have a heat gun, but I think I need to invest in a torch. I get a little nervous by the gas tank though.
108568


Thanks again for all the help so far. My next steps are to remove the A/C condenser, fan blower, and heater core from the firewall, remove the engine and transmission then off to the body and paint shop.

I suppose I need to think about any body panels I may be missing and figure that out before paint. Any suggestions on places to get side skirts, front air dam, etc? Not sure on my final look that I'm going for but I like clean lines and nothing too fancy, I'll do some looking at google images.

-Jordan
 

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First I want to congratulate you for taking on a big task like that. It looks like you have a quite sound car to start with and I'm sure you'll enjoy continuing your dad's project.
The thing to remember is that it's your can and you can do whatever you want with it. That being said, I would second the opinions of others that keeping it as stock as possible is a reasonable way to start out. Heck, you may like it the way it is and keep it that way. I've had my '72 since 1974 and just got it back on the road after a multi-year hiatus and it still looks, and drives much the same as it did when it was new.
I have a couple suggestions. If you don't have one already, get a factory shop manual (FSM). It will save you hours of searching and avoid mistakes.
For your rust mitigation - what I did on mine was wire brush/sand to remove loose rust and paint, then brushed on some Locktite Extend Rust Treatment. It a rust converter, you can Google it, that leaves a primed, paintable surface. It has held up for the last 12-14 years on the under-body components, gas tank, suspension parts, etc. This was much more convenient and less expensive than powder coating. There are other brands of similar concoctions, maybe others are better, but I was happy with this one. That way you could have the rust mitigation done before it goes to the body shop as a rolling chassis.
Another thing to think about - if the car has over 75K or so miles, the throttle shafts are likely worn. They are chrome plated brass and soon wear down so as to allow air to leak around them, making tuning impossible. Also, the worn shafts make the gas pedal feel "sticky" when first pressing down. The solution I wound up with was remanufactured carbs from Z-Therapy. I fooled around with the old carbs for years and finally came up with the $$ for them. It took a couple months for them to fill my order, which was a bummer, but it was worth the wait. The throttle shafts now have sealed roller bearings and are smooth as silk. I couldn't be happier.
My only guess for the odd ball fan by the fuel lines is that your dad had a problem with vapor locking judging from the insulation on the fuel lines by the carbs. I tried that on mine too. Anyway, I've found that living where I do at 7,000 feet altitude, the 240 and my '78 280 run better on non-ethanol gasoline, no hot-starting issues. Not sure if you can get it where you live, but if you can get it, give it a try.
2020-05-12_10-57-07a.jpg
2020-06-18_11-25-40a.jpg
 

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First I want to congratulate you for taking on a big task like that. It looks like you have a quite sound car to start with and I'm sure you'll enjoy continuing your dad's project.
The thing to remember is that it's your can and you can do whatever you want with it. That being said, I would second the opinions of others that keeping it as stock as possible is a reasonable way to start out. Heck, you may like it the way it is and keep it that way. I've had my '72 since 1974 and just got it back on the road after a multi-year hiatus and it still looks, and drives much the same as it did when it was new.
I have a couple suggestions. If you don't have one already, get a factory shop manual (FSM). It will save you hours of searching and avoid mistakes.
For your rust mitigation - what I did on mine was wire brush/sand to remove loose rust and paint, then brushed on some Locktite Extend Rust Treatment. It a rust converter, you can Google it, that leaves a primed, paintable surface. It has held up for the last 12-14 years on the under-body components, gas tank, suspension parts, etc. This was much more convenient and less expensive than powder coating. There are other brands of similar concoctions, maybe others are better, but I was happy with this one. That way you could have the rust mitigation done before it goes to the body shop as a rolling chassis.
Another thing to think about - if the car has over 75K or so miles, the throttle shafts are likely worn. They are chrome plated brass and soon wear down so as to allow air to leak around them, making tuning impossible. Also, the worn shafts make the gas pedal feel "sticky" when first pressing down. The solution I wound up with was remanufactured carbs from Z-Therapy. I fooled around with the old carbs for years and finally came up with the $$ for them. It took a couple months for them to fill my order, which was a bummer, but it was worth the wait. The throttle shafts now have sealed roller bearings and are smooth as silk. I couldn't be happier.
My only guess for the odd ball fan by the fuel lines is that your dad had a problem with vapor locking judging from the insulation on the fuel lines by the carbs. I tried that on mine too. Anyway, I've found that living where I do at 7,000 feet altitude, the 240 and my '78 280 run better on non-ethanol gasoline, no hot-starting issues. Not sure if you can get it where you live, but if you can get it, give it a try. View attachment 108582 View attachment 108583
Hey Herkdriver,

Former Herk Crew Chief here. How are ya?

So, about this locktight.... can it act as a solid undercoating as well? seems like a good product to use for the car underneath among other areas. would like to try that on my build.
I was telling J-will about the expenses of powder coating as well. you know things look great when powder coated, but it is just so expensive, even for little parts. I think either way he goes, he'll do fine on his build. I find its good to have parts sand-blasted first. how many cans of the rust treatment did you end up using on yours?

Bon
 

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Great information, thanks Bon. A few follow up questions if I may:
  1. I don't feel confident taking the gas tank apart and putting it back together, that's a little beyond my skill level. Would a radiator shop be the next best bet? Hot-tanking and coating the inside? I feel good about painting the outside.
  2. Powder coating - My main goal is to get rid of the surface rust and get the car in good shape to last another few decades. I don't really care how the underside looks, I just want a coating on there that will last and not have this surface rust. I'm not real concerned with the financial part of it, I just want what's best. I know this is a subjective term, what I mean by this is creating a solid car that will stand up to daily driving and last the next 30+ years with minimal/no rust issues. I would like to clean up the suspension parts, see picture below. What's the best way to do this? Sandblast and powder-coat, or just paint?
View attachment 108567


I hear you on the rotisserie jig. This is an issue I'm having with the logistics of everything. If I want the body and paint shop to sand, strip, sand-blast, or otherwise prepare the underside of the unibody how do I deliver the car to them? Ideally it would just be the unibody and other body parts without the suspension but I'm at a loss as to how to transport and move it around in this condition. I've got a couple of voicemails out to body shops but haven't heard back from them yet. Seems like they are pretty busy. Would they generally remove the suspension for me before prep and paint, then put it back on? I will figure this out, just wondering if anyone else has had experience with this.

I would love to build a little jig and do the underside myself, and maybe I will, I just don't have a whole lot of room right now to do it and I already kicked my wife out of the garage for this project. Perhaps I'll just bite the bullet and do it.

Another NOOB question. As I'm tearing down the car I've come across multiple stripped screws and fasteners. All of them I've been able to retrieve but this latest one I can't seem to get to budge. This is the gas tank filler neck tube from underneath. What are your techniques for getting these loose? I have a heat gun, but I think I need to invest in a torch. I get a little nervous by the gas tank though.
View attachment 108568

Thanks again for all the help so far. My next steps are to remove the A/C condenser, fan blower, and heater core from the firewall, remove the engine and transmission then off to the body and paint shop.

I suppose I need to think about any body panels I may be missing and figure that out before paint. Any suggestions on places to get side skirts, front air dam, etc? Not sure on my final look that I'm going for but I like clean lines and nothing too fancy, I'll do some looking at google images.

-Jordan
The reason you haven't heard any responses from the body shops is simple... they don't have time. most shops are very busy, especially collision repair shops. for them its just another
time-waster on the phone. (no offense... I worked at a dealership for a while and the term "time waster" was used a lot around the shop when it came to customers.)
Much better if you can go and see these shops for yourself and do a face to face with the technicians, show them what you got and what you want to do. they will probably be more inclined to do the job, especially once they start seeing dollar signs lol. and I'm sure they would be glad to remove the suspension from the car, as long as you are willing to pay more money. body shops are not cheap. that's for sure. shop around and see who you feel most comfortable with.

I've heard of people sandblasting the entire body, but I also heard that sometimes its not a good idea since some parts on the body frame are very thin and could end up getting damaged from sandblasting. not sure how true that is.

There are quite a few techniques you can use for stuck screws. the problems really start to elevate when you start stripping those screws and rounding off nuts. not fun.
first you should try spraying those stubborn screws/bolts with some PB blaster and letting them sit. that can help maybe ease them up a bit. also, a trick that I learned working on airplanes, is take a long screw driver and put it to the screw (that fits right for the phillips head) and hit the top of it with a hammer as you try and loosen it. sometimes that little aftershock can help bust loose a stuck screw. you can also try tightening it slightly to the right and then back to the left. a great tool that is really good for removing screws is a speed handle. see if you can get one of these... makes life a little easier. something else I learned in the Air Force as a mechanic.

theZstore has eveything you need for body kit parts (spoiler, skirts, air ****, early style thin bumpers)

Bon
 

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PU Bushings vs OEM ~ Simply put, the OEM rubber ones offer more "give" where the urethane material remains very stiff

Sandblasting ~ You really do not want to sand blast the body. Sand blasting generates heat which can warp the panels. Also, the peening effect of the sand "work hardens" the metal, making it more brittle. Some alternatives have come along like soda, walnut shells, or even some new methods where water is mixed with less blasting media.

You have a good plan, just keep it as original as you can.

I bought one of those stainless fastener kits found on ebay. I got my 260z early as a basket case, and although the PO followed a pretty strict routine of zip-loc w/notes, I'm just assuming I'll need all kinds of replacement hardware. The kit looks to be very thorough and packaged logically into individual bags with labels saying what they go to. Keep in mind you have to specifically prep stainless hardware to receive paint. My car is getting painted silver, so bare stainless will work for me. I think they offer the same kits in non-stainless as well.

2nd on PB blaster. Start spraying down the hardware now and give it a day or so before you try to tackle the stuck ones. An old school hammer type impact driver can help, and the electric impact guns can also get it done. It's that vibrating/hammering motion that usually gets things moving.
 
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