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Thread: Just started on my 'refresh' of my 280z (Frame Rail question)

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    Registered User 280z1975's Avatar
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    Default Just started on my 'refresh' of my 280z (Frame Rail question)

    Hello all,

    This is my first post, but I have been lurking for the past three weeks.

    So the quick version about how I aquired my Z. My uncle has been a Z car lover for a long time and had a 75' Z in his garage (it's been there as long as I can remeber) and recently at Thanksgiving I said I wished I had a stereo with an audio line-in. He said, "You can have the one out of the Z before I have it towed away" I was like and asked if I could have the Z. I was looking for a second car for me and my fiancee to use and I would rather put 2,000 into a Z and save it than buy some used hunk of junk.

    The car has a completely rebuilt engine (done by my uncles friend who done drag engines) and was only drivin a little bit for a year after the rebuild. The body is in 'ok' shape, most of the rust on it is from a neglectiful mechanic who let it sit outside for three months with the windown partially down! (prevention is such an easy thing). Overall it's a great car and I can't wait to get it to a quality state (I am not going for a full refurb or show car as I want this as a daily driver and frankly I don't have that kind of money at the moment (a new house to be bought and a wedding are preventing that from happenting)

    Anyways, I have attached some photos of the passenger side frame rail (it is rotted through) and would like to know the best course of action. I searched for past articles and couldn't find anything.

    I plan on cutting away the rot, brushing away the rust, using chemical rust removal and Por-15 (sandblasting if I can find a place to do it) then welding on new frame rails. That's the short version.

    Thanks for the help in advance. I will be posting more once the holidays are done.

    -Gregg Germer-
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  2. #2
    This is the good side ncz's Avatar
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    Hey Gregg, go to a web site, Zedd Findings, he will have the stuff you need. Alot of the guys have gotten stuff from him and he seems like a good guy also
    Tom Moore
    73 240Z mfg 12/72
    DGV's, ZX dist 5spd

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    Z fever Fun_in_my_z's Avatar
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    www.datsunzparts.com is the link.

    I will be buying rails from their soon.
    HLS30-217804 6/75 "The Unnatural One"

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    I too will be getting my rust repair parts from Zedd Findings. I'm not sure if Charlie (the owner) sells the frame rails separately, but I know they do come with the floor pan replacements he sells. Definitely worth a call.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

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    Her Majesty the 26th 26th-Z's Avatar
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    Yep! Frame rails and floor pans from Charlie Osborne at Zedd Findings.
    Enjoy the Ride
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    Registered User 280z1975's Avatar
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    Default What about Bad Dog Parts?

    Thanks for the suggestions. I have seen Zedd Findings before and thought about going with them but found this site and liked them.

    http://www.baddogparts.com/

    They make a deal that fits right over the old frame rail and helps to stiffen the whole thing up. What's your thoughts on these and going this route.

    Anything tricky to this repair or is it a strait up cut the rust, weld on patches, treat it and paint it job?

    -Gregg-

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    I had a metal fabrication shop bend up something similar for my '77. I think $100 for enough to go from the radiator cross support the the rear on both sides. So you might check that out if you have a good metal fab shop near you.

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    beandip beandip's Avatar
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    They make a deal that fits right over the old frame rail and helps to stiffen the whole thing up. What's your thoughts on these and going this route.


    -Gregg-[/QUOTE]
    If you cover the rust up it will continue to attack the frame , this would just be a band-ade fix at best . I wouldent cut any thing out untill you have the new parts in hand . Then you will know how much you can cut away and how all the new parts will fit . When you buy floor pans from Zedd F they come with the center stiffner that runs under the floor from the forward seat support to the beginning of the firewall . The pan he sells extends back to where the floor turns upward in back of the seat . The new floors extend upward on each side about 2'' or so . I have pictures of mine when I cut the old floor out and after I fitted the new one , then after the welder was finished . Send me a PM if you are interested . I dident need to do the rails on my 240 just the passenger pan and some repair by the battery area . If you plan on using POR , do a search first , this has been gone over many times and then if you are not clear on the proper preperation , I would be happy to help . Gary
    I'd rather die while I am living than live while I am dieing. CZC 1887 IZCC 12602 Member of NorthWest Z Car Club

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    Registered User 280z1975's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beandip
    If you cover the rust up it will continue to attack the frame , this would just be a band-ade fix at best . I wouldent cut any thing out untill you have the new parts in hand . Then you will know how much you can cut away and how all the new parts will fit . ..... If you plan on using POR , do a search first , this has been gone over many times and then if you are not clear on the proper preperation , I would be happy to help . Gary
    Gary,

    Thanks for the suggestion on getting the frame rails first.

    I don't plan on just welding over the frame rails, but more cutting out the bad areas that are rotted through (all on the bottom and not the sides of the frame rail). Then adding Por 15 and other products to treat it and then adding the frame rails over the existing ones. I don't want to do a half way done job.

    I have read up on Por 15 and feel like I will be able to use it properly. If I run into trouble I will PM you.
    -Gregg Germer -

    1975 280z - HLS30-210542
    My 280z's Webpage - http://www.gregggermer.com/280z.htm - a chronicle of it's transformation

  10. #10
    Still plays with cars kenz240z's Avatar
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    Hi Gregg, Wick Humble's book, "How to restore your Datsun Z-car" has a good section on frame rail repair. Also a lot of other good info on how to remove, refinish & replace a lot of the parts. A good book to have, along with a factory service manual for your year.

    Welcome to the club and keep us posted as you make progress!
    Kenny P.

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  11. #11
    Registered User 280z1975's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenz240z
    Hi Gregg, Wick Humble's book, "How to restore your Datsun Z-car" has a good section on frame rail repair. Also a lot of other good info on how to remove, refinish & replace a lot of the parts. A good book to have, along with a factory service manual for your year.

    Welcome to the club and keep us posted as you make progress!
    I have Wick Humble's Book, How to repair your Z and the 1975 service manual for reading material. I have read Humble's book and it's great. If I run into any problems I will be sure to ask the forum or consult the people I know around the Houston area (It's nice to have a best friend that works at a body shop

    Now if I can only get back home from the holidays and start working on my Z.
    -Gregg Germer -

    1975 280z - HLS30-210542
    My 280z's Webpage - http://www.gregggermer.com/280z.htm - a chronicle of it's transformation

  12. #12
    HLS30165540
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arne
    I'm not sure if Charlie (the owner) sells the frame rails separately
    Yes he does.
    The 1973 240Z 165540 Slightly modified. L28, 5sp, cam, headers, MSD 6AL, power windows, power door locks, leather seats, custom this and custom that.

  13. #13
    HLS30-454423 3/78 Virto's Avatar
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    Not to hijack the thread, but are these rails good to replace the existing front frame rails? I know that my driver's side rail was ground down and patched by the PO. It's a "good enough" job but will not last forever.

    Are these a good option, or is it best to just have a shop remove all the bad metal and just fab some replacements?

  14. #14
    '72 240Z(G) 3.2L
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    Default Frame rails

    The major difference between our (Bad Dog Parts) rails and Charile's is that our's are 3 times the thickness. That said, Charlie's are a direct and near perfect OEM replacement. I in fact have his floor pans and his rails in my Z.

    As we were doing the restore work on my Z and after we welded in Charlie's floors and rails, I wanted them to be stronger and we came up with our first version. These are caps that can be easily welded over existing rails (once you have solved the rust issue). They weld onto the T/C rod box and extend the same lenght as the OEM did (behind the seats). I also wanted to jack my car up from one spot, hence our single point jack plates. You can jack your Z up using the new rails but we have no way of knowing what shape your floor pans are in, so we don't recommend it.

    We have added a rail cap for 280s that is custom cut to match the different undercarriage pattern of the 280s.

    And in a few weeks we will be selling a longer version of our 240 rails that will allow you to tie in the front and rear sections of your Z. Made for Zs with added HP & torque, this will be a 2-piece rail (to allow for differences between cars and to keep shipping costs down). We have improved the design so that the rails now will include a tab running on both sides of the "U" to make welding easier and the rail stronger.

    Will it solve all of the structural issues that need to be addressed for high HP Zs? Without a cage or front triangular brace, the answer is no. But it will do it's part of the job.

    Can you make your own, absolutely. Don't have the means or time, take a look at ours. We've sold over 3 dozen sets in the past 14 months and not one has ever been returned. And our return policy is pretty simple; all our parts, used or new, are 100% refundable. Our site: www.baddogparts.com
    if a little knowledge can make you dangerous, I'm a little dangerous

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    HLS30-454423 3/78 Virto's Avatar
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    So get them fully repaired and then slap the rail caps on...cool.

    Thanks man.

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    '72 240Z(G) 3.2L
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    Default Rails

    You can put our rails directly over your existing one (once you've taken care of the rust) or as a replacement if you are doing a floor pan project.

    If your rails have been crushed by jacking on them you will need to grind down the high spots first.
    if a little knowledge can make you dangerous, I'm a little dangerous

  17. #17
    beandip beandip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 280z1975
    Gary,



    I have read up on Por 15 and feel like I will be able to use it properly. If I run into trouble I will PM you.
    The only bad thing of using the POR , or any other coating , then welding in the new rocker you will be burning off the POR and the new rocker will not be coated. I have a method of blowing in the por into the void after the rocker is welded in . Scanlon showed me this and I used it in every void in my Z to seal off the metal . This burning of the protectent coating is the reason I used stainless bolts to mount my battery support insted of welding it in . Thats another story . Gary
    I'd rather die while I am living than live while I am dieing. CZC 1887 IZCC 12602 Member of NorthWest Z Car Club

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    Registered User 280z1975's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beandip
    The only bad thing of using the POR , or any other coating , then welding in the new rocker you will be burning off the POR and the new rocker will not be coated. I have a method of blowing in the por into the void after the rocker is welded in . Scanlon showed me this and I used it in every void in my Z to seal off the metal . Gary
    This problem has sorta crossed my mind. I don't want to go to all this trouble of eleminating rust, welding on some frame rail's then later on learnering I need to put those very same frame rails off to get to a rust problem. There are some high temperature paints out there, but none that I remeber can withstand the temperatures of welding (even on the backside of the weld where it's not as high of a temp but still really hot). Yeay, one more thing to worry about.
    -Gregg Germer -

    1975 280z - HLS30-210542
    My 280z's Webpage - http://www.gregggermer.com/280z.htm - a chronicle of it's transformation

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    Registered User riggzola's Avatar
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    GNOSEZ, When will those new full length frame rails be ready?

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    '72 240Z(G) 3.2L
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    Default Full Length

    Phasma cutter issues delayed us and we will be shipping this week....prices later in the week.
    if a little knowledge can make you dangerous, I'm a little dangerous

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    Smile



    This is a pic of the baddog frame rails we put on during my R-230 diff. conv. They fit right over my exsisting rails (which had no rust) and were skip welded. They are a fine product...



    LARRY
    75 280Z 355 SBC with a Weiand 144 Pro Charger, 195 AFR heads, R-230 Diff Conv.!!!

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    HLS30-079101 Zak's Z's Avatar
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    I put ZEDFINDINGS floors, rails, and supports in my '72. They are excellent, check my gallery for pics.

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