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Project Theseus

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  • Originally posted by grannyknot View Post
    You're making fast progress, looking good. On the later Z's Nissan added some gussets and reinforcing plates in that triangular area you have opened up, now's the time you'll need all the stiffness you can get.
    Thanks! I'm really happy with how things have been going so far.

    By additional braces/gussets, do you mean in the internal cavity, or on top of the 1st layer of sheetmetal once I weld it back in? The latter I have definitely seen in this area on Z's before, both factory and people's repairs. I have some ~2.4mm sheet that I was thinking of using for that task; the section I have is only 95mm wide, but I would butt-weld bits together to get the required size, and plug weld it on top of the sheetmetal, as well as around the edges.


    • Got the firewall hole all patched up. Little more work to do to that area now, then I can move onto the rear and then actually put the floor in for good!


      • Wasn't really happy with most of the lower firewall, so decided to cut it out and start over. While it is hard to see in pics, the heat from the multiple patches was making things kinda wavy. One large patch should be a lot cleaner in general.

        Tacked in the new panel. The bottom edge doesn't matter too much as that will all be trimmed for floor fitment. Got the steering column brace panel welded back in too.

        I also had a friend come over, and welded up a new section on a fender for his k5 blazer. Going to do the other one tomorrow, as it also has a decent rust hole. No before pics unfortunately.


        • Been a little since I've had time to work on the Z, but today was a good day for it.

          Got the firewall all welded up, as well as the clutch bumpstop.

          Then fixed the clutch pedal; the point where it attaches to the master cyl. was really wallowed out. Welded up the extra:

          and ground down:

          There's still more stuff to do at that front area, but it is now complete enough for the floor to go in. Next point of focus for that is the rear swaybar/seatbelt area:

          cut back to good metal. Next up will be prepping the replacement section that I have for this area, then lots of fitment and tweaking. I have a dilemma though; the replacement section is from a 240, which means no swaybar mount. Should I weld the mounts from my car on (they look to be usable), or get a rear swaybar kit for a 240 and upgrade at the same time?


          • Noll, What you do with the rear sway bar depends on your overall plan for the car. My car did not have a rear sway bar. When I did my 240Z, I installed a sway bar behind the diff & that worked great. But, I could not stop tinkering. At a later date, I installed a R200 diff, T3 rear control arms & CV shafts. Then I discovered that the rear sway bar behind the diff interfered with the CV shafts because of their diameter. I still wanted a rear sway bar so the solution was to install a different rear sway bar that was mounted in front of the diff. Maybe this is not a concern for your project. But, I wanted you to have some food for thought. You are doing a great job my friend! Craig


            • Thanks for the info and encouragement! Slowly getting there. I'm thinking I'll stick with the stock one for now; won't weld in the mounts for a while yet though in case I change my mind. I found replacement bushings, which is nice.


              been a hot minute since I've had time for work on this; got the news that my daily has pretty terminal subframe rust (anything is fixable, but I need something to get to work in haha), so I've been hunting for a new car. Ended up with a '04 WRX wagon with a bunch of STI bits and 6 speed, making around 300AWHP. Should be saftied early this upcoming week.

              Did a little on the Z today, before conceding defeat to the overwhelming heat and humidity and deciding to retreat into the air-conditioned indoors.

              Decided to shift my focus to this area:

              Mostly cleaned up the replacement frame rail section; still need to figure out what best to do with some rust on the rear section.

              Mocked up roughly:

              Before it can properly go in, I need to deal with this mess...

              ...Which means I get to remove all the spot welds on the rear valence. Going to weld a brace or two in before that though.


              • Also to note; the trans sitting under the car in my last pic is a 5-speed out of a 240SX. Picked it up along with an already shortened driveshaft, short-shifter, and L28 bellhousing for a steal. I just need to convert the bellhousing for the larger shifter rod, and slap it all together. Should be way nicer for highway driving then the 4speed.


                • Got the taillight panel off today.

                  Old and "new" (still needs some work):

                  One of the big issues with the panel is this section. I also need to remove the square bracing, but that's simple enough if a bit time consuming.

                  Happily, the cutoffs from my replacement quarters will solve the issue on both sides, and the d/s one also has the benefit of replacing the exhaust cutout that was welded up previously.

                  You can also see that the rear valence was shortened for some reason by about 2" - I'm thinking I'll make a strip for the center section and weld it in carefully to avoid heat warping.

                  Car looks pretty bare with it off. Primary area to repair is the leftmost section; the flange and right side are actually solid, which is a nice change for once.

                  it'll be nice to be able to use the other side as a reference. A little surface crust, but should all clean up nicely with a wire wheel.

                  Next up is to start reconstructing that left section, and getting that frame rail/bumper mount back in. Anyone happen to have measurements for proper bumper mount spacing? I don't want to mistakenly weld it in the wrong spot.


                  • So, differential question. I've been doing some research on getting a higher ratio and LSD for my 260z for when it's eventually roadworthy. I initially looked at the subie r180 stuff, but for a 3.9 or similar it seems like total cost (diff + wolf creek adapters) is going to be running me 1500 CAD, which is a lot.

                    I'm thinking a 4.11 R160 is going to be a much more economical way to go (and 5spd means about 3200 rpm at 120kph), however even that brings more questions.

                    Seems like for subarus, the pre-1999 r160s will let you bolt in Z stub shafts, bolt your axles on, and go. After 1999 though, the attachment method changed to clip-in, and I've read conflicting reports (I dug through way too many old forum threads lol) as to if cutting a circlip/snap ring groove into the r180 stubs works or not to install them. Anyone have advice on this?

                    I can probably source a pre-99 diff if needed, but seems like the later 4.11 ones are much more plentiful due to being in automatic WRX's that frequently get parted out around me.