Tag Archives: Rust

Scuff plate – scuffed and painted

Finally, the Datsun 280z gets a little interior treatment with refurbished scuff plates – those nice vinyl covered plates along the door sill.  A little ways back I posted a bit on a great way to remove the original vinyl from the scuff plate. Now it’s time to finish them up. Original condition showed dirty, torn up, peeling vinyl covering the rust. Preventing rust is great, but by go through great lengths to clean these up, when they’re only $30 / piece at BlackDragonAuto.com?

Well in this day in age, we’re a culture trying to get out of the wasteful / throw-away mentality. Nearly everything can be replaced with something new. But often times we’re replacing something that’s still functional, still can serve its purpose – often the reason is just cosmetic! So the 280z restoration parts flow will go something like this: Part missing / need to be replaced? > Can it be refurbished / repaired? > Can a used one be found? > Can a used one be refurbished / repaired? > Can a new part be found? Sounds good to me.

 

The scuff plates after peeling off the torn, encrusted vinyl with the heat gun.

Used a rust inhibiting primer, then a truck-bed paint spray to give it that textured rugged look! After all, it IS a scuff plate for when the shoes are on the door sill!

 

 


First 100 miles…

So here it is – the 280z’s first 100 miles! After it’s been on the road for a bit, and driving confidence is setting in (not always listening for engine noise, or contemplating its mechanical condition), now all the normal driving considerations are rearing its head: handling, maintenance, and gas mileage! Though it’s only been my first 100 miles, I’ve seriously enjoyed everyone of them and can’t wait for another 100,000 more. Literally it makes every road exciting to drive on!

Moving on – Looks like the mornings are getting a bit longer… so far I’ve been tinkering on the small things and really putting aside the BIG STUFF. Things like interior, paint, bumpers, undercarriage coating, wheels / tires… by big stuff i mean big $$$ :]

Today I checked the front brakes (good), replenished low coolant (didn’t check that before, so i’ll have to monitor it) and sanded / primed the last big rust spot which was on top of the driver side c-pillar.

What’s next? – I think bumpers and interior will be next. I’m looking at ordering these 280z-240z bumper conversion brackets – they’ll allow a 280z to mount a 240z bumper for that close, clean look. I can certainly make these on my own, but if pre-fabricated is already available, it’ll same time re-inventing such a bracket.

Interior – Want a sneak peak? Awaiting samples from Fabric Empire for some quilted vinyl! I’ve always loved that look of the 240z center console, but it was rolled vinyl – this is gonna be stitched! Can’t wait.

 

 

 

 


Morning spark

Just a light morning today – a few little things here and there.
But i mostly just sat in the car the whole morning… sigh! ^__^

Spark plugs – ordered some spark plugs the other day. Previously had Bosch Super’s and inspection showed a lot of carbon build up (normal wear stuff), some corrosion around the outside plug nut, so it’s time to change. Replaced w/ Bosch Platinum Plus’ and what a difference; engine ran much smoother. Bosch Platinum Plus, Mfg#4015

Spray spray – tagged a few spots that were surface rusting till i can get a handle on what to do with the paint – it’s horrible. The re-paint job seemed like it was done without even prepping the original paint! Get this: as the re-paint flakes off, the paint underneath is still good! For a 34 year old car, that clear coat could still shine! ugh.. for now, i don’t mind primer gray on the rust spots.

So after that, I opened the door, sat in there one leg out. Soaking up the sun…and to think about the interior. Oh man, that 70’s shag has got to go. You may have seen from previous pictures, that “black” carpet is light brown! So i’ve been drumming up ideas, materials, deciding whether to keep it stock carpet or not, etc… but for now, i’ll just soak up that sun.

Bad paint! Bad!

 So if removing the bad re-paint ultimately means scuffing up the original paint, then this is the color that i’m thinking: Marigold! Original color is a 240z color called  ‘gold poly’, Datsun color#920.

Beautiful.

If you want THIS one, it’s actually up for sale at All Datsun Classifieds.


Battery tray!

This is the battery compartment – definitely has seen better days! Rusted wall (the most rust on the body), old tray, and just check out that orange bungee strap holding it place! So part of thursday’s daily datsun restoration also included taking care of the battery compartment mess. Let’s pop this battery out and see what we’ve got!

These progression shots show the battery area from original to prep’ed. Supposedly Z cars are notorious for having major rust around that battery area – this 280z isn’t an exception. Not the best job of scraping and sanding down the rough patches as i would have liked, but it’ll do for now. Someday i’ll be painting the whole engine bay.

Got the battery kit from Motorsport Auto – pretty good. Came with battery tray, tray mat, battery frame, and necessary bolts. The complete kit was only $50, and will replace the bungee cord nicely. My only compliant would be the sizing of the battery frame (as seen below); it’s just too big and not fit for a modern battery.

 


Let it rain

This morning’s adventure started out w/ getting three simple plastic pieces installed and hopefully end with a new battery tray and un-cracked center console. Perhaps a bit too ambitious.

Inspect, Inspect, Inspect – I’ve been trying to avoid the rust issue just a little bit longer (at least until the honeymoon phase is over), but you know, you’ve just gotta face it. Luckily this machine truly hasn’t seen much aging, and is pretty rust free – i just don’t want to be surprised. I took another look at the bondo’d driver side rear quarter panel, and it looks like it was a broad dent that just popped back out – almost no crease lines from the dent, just two small holes from which they probably popped it back out. There was some quarter sized surface rust forming, but nothing to be concerned about. One thing i did notice was the brace that holds quarter panel plastic was bent – ah ha! the true nature of the dent showing itself through the remnants of the damage. As you can see, pretty bent out of shape, but nothing a little force won’t correct. Tagged the inner panel w/ rust inhibitor and even did the whole for the antenna.
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Engine Cutting Out at Idle – yep. I was going to take the 280z out to pick up the center console from whale-tail Andrew, but it wouldn’t stay idle! The car would start just fine, stay at idle for a little bit, then just slowly drop and drop, then *poof*, cut dead. This morning was no different, it wouldn’t stay at idle. After reviewing yesterday’s air-filter-to-AFM hose, and fusible links I remembered that I didn’t quite fix the squeaking belt noise. Then it hit me – engine cuts / rpms drop when gas is pressed… Engine spins the alternator, alternator converts that mechanical energy into electrical, electricity for spark plugs! Once I tightened up that alternator belt the engine stayed idle and actually ran better – huh, imagine that!

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Ugh! – Damn, can’t wait to get that manual. For anyone putting on the 280z driver side rear quarter panel plastic get your tools out – it’s not just a pop-in job. Long trial-and-error story short, I had to take out the rear deck panels, the deck stand, the seat belt AND the seat belt fastener plate in order to push that thing in. 45min royal pain in the ass. No wonder it wasn’t put back in place! But man, so much cleaner now. Shined up the back plastic as well, and fit that into place – it’s coming together.

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Here’s Wild Bill! Currently running a great Datsun truck – but take a look in the back! Panasport 15×7 for only $400! They’ve seen better days, needs some new enamel, but hey, $400! And every paragraph referring to wild Bill is not without an exclaimation!
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Good Morning…

The day started at 7:30am this morning – I was so excited about wrenching on the 280Z that I was gonna get a head start at 2am lastnight! (Side note: from now on it maybe referred to as just ‘280’, we’ll see how it goes…unless i find a name for it – yes, gender-less for now).

Squeek, Squeeeeeeek – Whenever I gave it some gas, there’s always this squeek that shrilled out from under the hood. Not good if you’re looking to turn heads in the bad way.. or trying to impress the parents that this was a good buy :] My Chilton’s Datsun manual is on it’s way, but i couldn’t wait till then. So upon checking the belts, I remembered my brother’s Datsun 510 manual said something about ‘tight..not too tight…1/2″ deflection..’ haha ok, well better than the +1″deflection this thing is giving now. One wheel had a very handy adjustment screw to lift it and give the belt the right tension. I’ll certainly revisit the belts once the manual comes in, but for now….squeek be gone!

‘Ink’ Change – Popped the 280 on ramps, popped the hood, popped off the oil pan nut off with my fingers.. wait.. with my fingers? Yep, it was literally being held tight by crusty oil around it’s edges. Same with the oil filter – only loosely screwed on! nice… Even better was the primordial blacker-than-black ooze now seeing the light of day since who knows when.. 1977? It was like ink, colored from the depths of space, kinda black. 4 quarts of 10w30 high mileage later… pprrrr.

Minor Rust Work – Picked up a can of grey primer rust inhibitor to temporarily patch up the exposed rust spots before the rainy season hits. Already there’s moisture and water beads forming in the morning, so the weather is coming. Sanded some test areas to see how this stuff works. We’ve used some in black and of another brand previously on a motorcycle, but it’s only been 2 months and garaged, so this will be some real world testing. Quick tags on the inner hood (sanded, light rust), driver-side rear quarter panel (not sanded, previously bondo work), and a heavy spot under the passenger-side deck lid (not sanded, literally like a bit from the rust monster). I testing extremes to see what I can get away with.

Tree Sap, Meet Razor Blade – According to wild Bill, the 280 was parked under a tree for 3 years; no the car isn’t a cupcake, and that’s not frosting. But nothing that a good ol’ razor blade can’t handle! Cleaning the windows as a snap, and didn’t think twice about using it on the paint – why? cause the paints eventually going to go anyways. Regardless, sap’s gone and i didn’t even leave a scratch.


Wipers – Again, rains a’comin’! So I began to outfit the new wipers on the holder when.. wait a sec.. this isn’t like modern cars. Yep, it uses a pin, which fortunately, the wiper blade manufacturers have accounted for. There’s a tab that keeps in place, used the floor to help push the pin out – viola. Reversed steps to get the new blades on, and adjusted the wiper height w/ the screw to the motor. Upon sitting in the car, it looks a touch too high, so i’ll have to re-adjust that…test…aaaand the wiper motor doesn’t work. Tracking the problem maybe tomorrow’s effort.

Upcoming – Wheels? Seals? Carpet? Paint? haha let’s spin the wheel! seriously, there maybe some panasports in your future. seriously.


a 280z restoration one morning at a time

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