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1977 280Z Manual
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73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Yep, all bondo. Came off in big chunks.

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The other side though... the passenger side. Whoa nelly...

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And look at this hack job in the fender...

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That mesh... which looks to have come off a screen door, is embedded in the bondo.

So anyway... Now that I can access the whole forward frame section I can start deciding where to cut to begin repairs on the passenger's side:

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Cut that piece off today.

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Mangled it worse than I had hoped though...

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Then I ground the rust off and sealed it until the next day I manage to carve out some time to work on it.

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Does anybody know of a vendor that sells these front frame pieces? I'd much rather replace it than try to fabricate/repair.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Did a comparison between the old and the new...

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Judging form the color change and the slight ripple in the texture of the metal, I'm thinking this repair has been done before.

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New one's gonna fit great.

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But I am going to have to bend some metal anyway...

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And...

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I know this isn't all, there's still rust farther back, but I'm going to patch this sheet in two stages. I am a complete newbie when it comes to body work.

Had to cut the work short today. Apparently it's monsoon season in Maryland...
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
There is a guy on youtube that goes by "Restoration for Beginners" that tackled that same job about a year ago. Might be something to pass the time during monsoon season!
Yeah actually watching that episode is what inspired me to start with this piece. His was a lot worse than mine, and he's going WAY farther with replacing parts and undoing spot welds than I plan to, but he definitely shares a ton of great info and experience.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Finally, with a break in the monsoon rains and a relatively light workload at my job, I was able to cut out and shape a patch for this job.
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Started welding it in today, and discovered that I'm laughably bad at welding. Fortunately my daughter is engaged to a professional MIG welder and they happened to be over today for Labor Day and he gave me a few tips and pointers. More pics will come once I finish this patch.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Haven't posted much lately but progress is being made. Been using a combination of butt welding and patch welding on this piece, going slow as I learn, and it's getting there...

Yellow Automotive tire Vehicle Asphalt Bumper


Obviously I need to finish up and clean up the welds, but before I can put in the hood hinge support piece I still have some more work to do. Also, I've been using this as an opportunity to teach my son as I learn.

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(He's just tack welding.) He's really getting to enjoy it. Maybe I'll just have him do all the welding from now on :LOL:
 

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8 / 71 240Z, HLS30-40031, L24-052899, Sunshine Yellow
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More evidence that this engine has been worked on before... yesterday I was tinkering around and felt for the ridges in the cylinders to see how bad they'd be. Gonna need a ridge reamer anyway but was just curious. And what I found was... no ridges. I could feel the change in the surface of the metal between where the rings were and what was the ridge, but there was no lip. Gomer's been into this engine before... and there haven't been many miles put on it since.
Hard cylinders were what impressed me most about Datsuns. At 100,000 miles some still had the factory hone marks in the cylinders. A Chevy engine with that mileage, you would need a ridge reamer to get the pistons out.
The odometer on my ‘71 has rolled over at least once and doesn’t smoke.
The cylinders measured stock with no ridge.
If the rust cleans up with a hone and measurements are okay, just put a set of rings in it.
You may find that it is original stock and hasn’t been bored.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Hard cylinders were what impressed me most about Datsuns. At 100,000 miles some still had the factory hone marks in the cylinders. A Chevy engine with that mileage, you would need a ridge reamer to get the pistons out.
The odometer on my ‘71 has rolled over at least once and doesn’t smoke.
The cylinders measured stock with no ridge.
If the rust cleans up with a hone and measurements are okay, just put a set of rings in it.
You may find that it is original stock and hasn’t been bored.
Certainly possible. In any case I'm going to take the block to the machine shop to have it checked out. Maybe they can let me know definitively either way.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Been a minute since I updated. Between weather and work I haven't spent much time at all with the project.

And then this happened:

Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Snow Vehicle


The snow collapsed my canopy onto the 280. One of the beams bent in half and the pointy part came straight down onto the windshield. Thankfully it seems to have come down slowly enough not to crack the glass, and I cleared everything off before the snow got any heavier on it.

Gotta buy a new canopy now. The tubes are all bent and distorted. Not gonna put it up until after the snow is done though...
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
It must be a sign of my love for this project that I went out there to clear that snow off the canopy and remove it while I was actively sick from COVID.

So now that the weather has improved I'm resuming work on the car. I started to pull the engine out of its storage crate so I could finish the teardown so it can go to the machine shop, but the hydraulic ram on my engine crane finally died. So as of yesterday I have a replacement that should work with the crane and I can resume.

Also bought a set of rocker arms to go with a new camshaft. The old camshaft was damaged and pitted from rust.

Also picked up a front bumper, bumper shocks and side bumper plastic ends over the winter. So technically all I need for my 280Z to be parts "complete" is a passenger's seat and a carpet.
 

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1977 280Z Manual
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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
So today we continued the teardown of the engine in preparation for taking it to the machine shop.

Hoo-boy. What I found in that oil pan, even AFTER having changed the oil when I tried to start it last year...

Hand Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior


Reminded me of the Blob when they first got it out of the meteor.

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The front cover is pretty stubborn, so I'm going to get back to it next, then we take the engine to the machine shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
It sure is. I can't conclusively say whether it's been apart before, but I'm pretty sure this slime is from the coolant having been mixed with oil + contaminants.

I've had a lot of oil pans off of a lot of cars in my day, but I have never seen this before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
So in trying to get the rest of the engine apart (except the crank and pistons) is getting the oil pump off.

The new bane of my existence.

Broke off one bolt already because of the powdered aluminum clogging the bore, and the other long one is fully loose but won't come out the rest of the way.

Now, in theory this should all mean that I can get the pump off right?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

No.

Won't budge for love or money.

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
One easy slice with an angle grinder solved that problem.

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Sliced out the stuck bolt below the point where all the corrosion was seizing it up.

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And the severed bolt came right out with vice grips.

Timing cover was easily removed. Now, on to the machine shop!
 
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