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Thread: I'd like some input...

  1. #1
    Registered User este's Avatar
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    Question I'd like some input...

    First of all hello everyone!

    I recently got my hands on a 1973 240Z, I knew from the get go that this car would be a hanfull of opwrk simply because the car had not been started for a bit over a year, and it was sitting in someone's backyard in Bellville Texas (between Austin and Houston)

    Well, I got the car for $500.00 and drove out to the country to pick it up, after a day's worth of trouble shooting (draining and cleaning the gas tank, checking the lines, fuel filter, pump, and messing with those funny hitachi carbs We got it running, nothing has been replaced yet only the gas.

    checked for oil, fluids but decided top wait until the holiday to drive it home (less traffic) Well the car made it half the way home before the brakes went out so I ende up having it towed. finally hte car made it home on 12/24/2004 and upon further inspection I found the brakes were shot, then decided to get under it and found some rust... but I dont know how much is too much? (see pics below)

    Ok so I fixed the brakes (replaced master cylinder) now I need to replace the rear brake lines as the one in the passenger side snapped. (another thread)

    but I havea few pics of the car, I hosted them on my website but they may be a bit too biog to post here so I'll link them:

    Outside pics:
    http://www.estebones.com/240z/images/pictures/z001.jpg
    http://www.estebones.com/240z/images/pictures/z002.jpg

    Horror pics:
    Notice the front sway bar is completely loose on one side (i forget which)
    http://www.estebones.com/240z/images/pictures/z004.jpg

    Under side shots of the rust...
    http://www.estebones.com/240z/images/pictures/z005.jpg

    A more clear shot... notice the floor panel rust
    http://www.estebones.com/240z/images/pictures/z006.jpg

    I have gotten quotes thatgo from $300 to $900 depending on the amount it takes the guy to do the repairs. My questions are:
    • How bad is this (rust)?
    • I see lots of surface rust in the underbody pics but Im no expert and I want to know if im really screwed! also this is my first restoration project and I knew the car would need it I just want to know if it is as bad as it seems.
    • Will the Zedd findings floor pan and frame reails be a necessity?
    • I cannot see a price for the rails and the pictures dont really look the part I think Im needing!


    This car is not my daily driver so im in no hurry to getit fixed but I do want to stop the rust. I checked the underside of the hatch and other places that are common rust spots and there isnt any but Im sure the floor is gone as well as one of the doors as it looks like the paint is bubbling which I have read here is a sign of rust eating through

    I still need to gut the car but im afraid to see what I'll find under there, or whatv I will not find under there :'(

    thanks in advance
    Esteban
    Last edited by este; 01-06-2005 at 11:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Must be the torque curve kmack's Avatar
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    Nice color! Based on the pictures, be glad you didn't pay more than $500.

    The passenger floor rust is a typical problem related to the old-style batteries leaking acid out over the years. Just about every old, non-restored Z will have rust in this exact area. It's just a fact of life with these cars. Yes, the floor pans from Zeddfindings is exactly what you need for this particular problem.

    The rust on the front frame rail and the loose swaybar mount is a very bad problem. Most cars I've seen that have rusted in this area, also have major rust almost all over the car. I would start combing the entire car for signs of rust. Try to contact another Z'er in your area that is knowledgable about rust areas and what to look for. You'll also need to start looking under the carpet and behind interior panels for signs also. Bondo can cover a lot of problems, but only for a short time. You can get replacement frame rails, but they can be hard to find sometimes. Contact Keith (aka, 2ManyZs). He had some at one point awhile back. Or send me an email and I'll get in contact with him and give him your information.

    Keep us posted on how the progress goes...
    "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
    Then find someone who's life gave them Vodka and have a party!"

    KMack
    '71 240Z (Series I) - SOLD
    San Antonio, Tx
    www.geocities.com/kenshobnob
    www.geocities.com/vintagericeracing

  3. #3
    Registered User este's Avatar
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    thanks!
    I have found a local Z shop that has quoted me the price listed above, however they only say the pics I posted, not the entire car. Thursday or Friday I will be combing all over this car to get a better iodea of where the rust is at (everywhere Im sure).

    Would this be something that could get fixed over time? I have time and funds available just not the knowledge. I have always loved these cars and Im starting to feel like I sort of jumped the gun on it!

    I think the rust if mainly from it sitting in the backyard out in the texas country, I was being a bit optimisitic about the rust but your post has sort of bummed me out... but its all good! time and money should fix the car, I just hope its not more money than time.

    Will the car make it to the shop about about 50-70 miles from my place? I'm hopefully taking it to the metal shop come mid February, so I want to do as much of the prep work before taking it in there.

    Any hints on that (prep work) ? I have seen tons of posts but almost all of them are a bit different. Im guessing I will need to get rid of as much rust as possible but what tools do I need? I'm taking the carpet and seats out tomorrow (thursday or Friday) to get a better idea of the rust problem on the floor pans.

    Would I be better off simply getting another shell? the engine runs good, and fires up right away but im not whiz at all the electrical wotk needed to do this and the amount of money they want for a swap is rather a joke.

    I have wanted one of these cars for a while and I dont think I'll be giving up quite yet, I'm just worried that this car is already a lost cause. (???)

    thanks again for the information.

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    Registered User zorro's Avatar
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    Gee i dont know what u pay in America but i think $500 is a bargain cause 240Z's are just hard to come by in one piece.

    Remember with time all rust can be cut, welded and repaired if done right by someone u trust it is not a problem....

    I have seen a hell of a lot worse but here comes the crunch..... its what u cant see este that is the problem i bought a 73 240Z also (chec my pics) and i am 2 and a half years in the making of a fully restored good one. We found probably 3 times what we saw.
    * Frt guards behind wheel arch and into chasis rail
    * Chasis rails as u have on yours, Floor pan (lift the carpet and check)
    * Lower part of front doors where water lies, Rear hatch is a shocker use a magnet
    to see where bog has been applied.

    I can go on and on but P.M me if u want more help,

    Remember where all here cause we love the Z car!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Registered User este's Avatar
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    thanks for the words of sncouragement!
    I keep seeing otehr pics and Im afraid to even think how long it will take to restore teh car... but in time thngs will get done.

    Right now the funds I get to use on this are from my freelance work as a web developer so the funds while there are depending on how busy I am. but it seems that I will have enough funds its time that is not good for me I just have to learn to be patient.

    I have seen under the front passenger fender and boom thee is some heavy ass rust in there!! will the frame rail kit and floor pan cover these? or is this one of those things that will have to end up being fabriceated? can I get a replacement part from anoterh Z? I know a parts guy who has a few Z's sitting around. so parts should be some what easy to find.
    oh and check your pm's

  6. #6
    beandip beandip's Avatar
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    You talk about doing this and that. Do you have a garage to do the work if you do get into it? Post an enquire to other members in your area that can take a look for you. From the pics you show a frame rail at least is in order. Do you have tools ? If you remove the front fenders you will expose a great deal of the potential areas . When you do remove the seats and carpet you need to be able to see the sheet metal under the tar matt. The matt will hide the rusted floor, also look under the car at the floors and probe with a screw driver if there is under coating. Look closely in the areas just to the rear of the door jams down low , these are the ''dog legs'' , look to see if there is rust or bubbleing paint . Use a magnet and see if it is bondo filled. This whole project may not be as bad as you think. She is a good looking Z and surely worth what you paid. Even if the worst case is true you are not in too deep. At the vary least you have a great parts car. The more preperation you can do the less expence you will have to have others do the welding. By some PB Blaster for freeing rusted bolts. this stuff is a must , this and antiseiz whin you put things back together. All the best . 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

  7. #7
    Registered User este's Avatar
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    storage facility I have not a arage but a storage place where lots of people keep/work on their cars.

    Tools Im just now gathering them, I have the basics.
    experience: not much but I have lots of time (3-4 days a week free)

    I tried getting to meet people in my area but most groups pf people are clubs, and im not into all that, and what other few groups of people are there are all abnout the newer cars which are not to my liking.

  8. #8
    Datsaholic Mr Camouflage's Avatar
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    Buy/borrow a welder and learn how to weld.
    www.nostalgictrio.com Skyline - Silvia - Fairlady Z
    www.ozdat.com The Australian Datsun site.
    www.cafepress.com/vintagedatsun

  9. #9
    Registered User este's Avatar
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    how hard is that learning to weld? This has crossed my mind

  10. #10
    Datsaholic Mr Camouflage's Avatar
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    Dunno. I havent bought a welder and learnt how to weld yet. But I plan to soon.
    www.nostalgictrio.com Skyline - Silvia - Fairlady Z
    www.ozdat.com The Australian Datsun site.
    www.cafepress.com/vintagedatsun

  11. #11
    Crazy Bastard Coastieee240z's Avatar
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    Welding isn't hard, welding well on the other hand now that takes lots of practice!! Any monkey with half a brain that can solder can probably also weld and if you can't do either yet watch someone who can and then you'll know how it's really not that complicated. I'd recomend starting simple with a wirefeed welder works alot better if you get one with inert gas you can get a better bead that way. Then start welding stuff oh wait DON'T WELD GALVANIZED CRAP!! Well at least try to get all the galvanized crap off first if you're going to weld it. The fumes from the zinc that gets burned off or vaporized rather will make you sick.
    240Z #14 of 100 Best Sport Compacts

  12. #12
    Must be the torque curve kmack's Avatar
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    Este,
    Boy, you've got a lot of questions, but this is a good thing!

    If you have a place to store the car, do work on it, and enough room to move around, then you're in the right direction. One thing, you'll need to keep in mind though, when taking a car apart, you'll need almost twice as much room than when the car is together. Loose parts take up a lot of space.

    Welding is not hard. But you need to find someone that is good and can teach. Check with your local school district about Community Education classes. One of the districts here in SA offers night classes for adults. One class is a basic welding class. VERY informative and well worth the time and money. I'd suggest looking for a wirefeed (MIG) welder. Get one that can run gas while welding (CO2/Argon mix). And also get your hands on some scrap pieces of steel and practice before you touch your car.

    As for the rust issues again, the rust inside the pass. fender well is from the battery. Unfortunately, there are no replacement panels available for this area. You either have to cut it out of a donor car (which is very hard to find a clean one nowadays) or fabricate up the panel from new steel. A competent metal shop should be able to fabricate something up, but it might not be cheap.

    At this point, you need to figure some things out. Decide how much money you can put into this car or are willing to. Decide how much work you can actually do yourself or are willing to learn to do. Decide how long you are willing to work on the car to get the job done. And with having a storage unit, how long are you willing to pay extra for the storage unit/work space.

    Your car is not the worst rust bucket seen and is not the worst one to have been rebuilt. Ask St. Stephen! But you have the final decision on how much is too much. Learning to perform all or most of the work needed to restore this car can and will be a very rewarding experience. You can say I did myself and be proud. But you have to understand that it won't be done overnight this way and will take some time. There will be trial and error.

    In car repair/restoration, there are three things: Quick work - Quality work - Cheap work. You can have any two, but not all three.

    FYI - It took me over 8 years to finish my car. But I started while in school and living in an apartment, then started a family, got a career, etc. But I was comfortable with that.
    "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
    Then find someone who's life gave them Vodka and have a party!"

    KMack
    '71 240Z (Series I) - SOLD
    San Antonio, Tx
    www.geocities.com/kenshobnob
    www.geocities.com/vintagericeracing

  13. #13
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    Esteban ask:
    ....snipped...
    I see lots of surface rust in the underbody pics but Im no expert and I want to know if im really screwed! also this is my first restoration project and I knew the car would need it I just want to know if it is as bad as it seems.
    ....snipped...

    Hi Esteban:
    For five hundred bucks, I'd have bought that car in instant. If the rear bumper is as good as the front one looks... then the wheels/tires, early SU's and bumpers are worth the $500.00 you paid for the car.

    Looking at the condition of the metal in the front suspension, as well as the place the frame rail is eaten up - my guess would be that the car sat in salt water at some point. (aka a flood car). I'd afraid I'd have to agree that the car is a lot cause for anyone other than a highly experienced auto body man, with lots of metal working skills.

    I wouldn't start a restoration project, nor even a refresh project with a unibody in that bad a condition. I would use that car as a parts car only.

    As someone already mentioned, its the rust you can't see.. but given the rust damage you can see, I'd bet the rockers are ready to rust through, the doglegs are ready to rust though etc. I'd also bet that when you pull the front fenders off, you'll find damage to the firewall as well.

    Living in Texas, I would shop Texas, NM and AZ until I found a solid rust free unibody on a 240-Z. Even if you had to pay $4,500.00 for it... it would still cost you far less in the long run, than trying to stop the rust you have, and fix the damage already done to the parts car. Even then, you run the risk that all other panels in the car will rust though shortly after you've repaired and repainted the car.

    If this is one of your first "restoration/refresh" projects... it is very important that you be able to make good progress, without getting totally discouraged. That means it is even more important to find a rust free, very solid body to start with. After you have restored five or ten of these cars, you will be ready to tackle major uni-body work.. but I would not recommend you start out on one.

    The bottom line is... my best advice would be to hold the parts car and keep looking for a solid car for your "project". You are living in an area where it's quite possible to find solid 240-Z's if you spend the time looking.

    good luck,
    Carl

    Carl Beck
    Clearwater,FLUSA
    http://ZHome.com

  14. #14
    Charou
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    Carl Beck has some good advice.

    Back in 2001 I bought a 75' 280z from this guy for about $150CAD because the car had been stored on his property for 5 years and then abandoned by its owner. This car was infact an unfinished project and was not run in all that time.

    At a glance the car looked almost rust free but after my dad (master mechanic) inspected the car properly and showed me all the rust we decided to look for a better car. Hell there was rust all over the damn place. Edmonton roads (salted in Winter) are not forgiving to Z's.

    Its your decision, and you should make it wisely. Just my 2 cents.

    Good Luck,
    Alex
    Last edited by alg; 01-06-2005 at 07:04 AM. Reason: Bad grammer

  15. #15
    Registered User este's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input.

    there is a guy here in town that has about 20-30 70-73 Z's in his back yard.
    he offered to get me a rust free shell for 600.00 so I may just take him up on it.

    only time will tell.
    thanks for the answers and sorry to be pestering with questons!

  16. #16
    Registered User zorro's Avatar
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    Hey we all had to start sometime some place, the only way u learn is by trying and asking those who know, happy hunting este!

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    Esteban wrote:
    >there is a guy here in town that has about 20-30 70-73 Z's in his
    >back yard. he offered to get me a rust free shell for 600.00 so I
    >may just take him up on it.

    Hi Esteban:
    Send me that guy's name and contact info...!! I'd like to talk to him!! Anyone with 20-30 240Z's in his back yard is my kind of guy.

    Carl
    beck@becksystems.com

  18. #18
    Registered User este's Avatar
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    edited because I dont know the policies on posting any business info and I dont want to get in trouble.

    Carl: I'll sent you an email.
    Last edited by este; 01-10-2005 at 09:17 PM.
    1973 240 Z rust bucket
    Houston, Texas
    Time and money hopefully more time than money!

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