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starting to reassemble my dream Datsun

So as the shell is back home, the reassembly can finally begin. This whole process will take loads of time, as I’m stillgoing by the motto: No part will be mounted back up without touching it to make it better, newer, cleaner,…
Just out of tradition I started with the most random part possible. The first thing I saw on the shelve was the fuel filler neck, so back in it went.

Next thing were brake hard lines and some elements in the engine bay

Gave the car it’s identity back with some of it’s badges

Mounted the aftermarket JDM/EU taillights to see how they turn out

they turned out awesome

Started fiddling with the interior sound deadening

paper templates
I do like the result

Mounted the fuel tank

More interior work

Dash back in

Started the reassembly of the doors

Head loghts back in. Need to finalize the wiring
Even though the fenders need to come off again, I saw the rubber flaps on the shelve and screwed them on.

I still don’t have a “plan” on how I’m going to proceed the reassembly until it’s all back together. Right now it’s a matter on what parts catches my eye, what is half way logical to mount first, and what is pleasing me that day to see mounted back on the car.
Wiring looms are 90% back in, horns are back in, pedals and master cylinders are back in…

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the SLG experience!

This is it, the big one, the bodywork post. All the metalwork and some paint. Before I start, let’s just say I’m super happy I found those guys! Check out their instagram @slgclassiccars. Their work is just on another level! The whole process was very pleasant for me as a client. There were no problems, only solutions. I’ve always been updated. Got photo documentation multiple times a week! No down times, once they start the work it won’t be in the corner of the shop for weeks without any work carried out,… The finished car just blows my mind!
I highly recommend this resto shop!

So if you guys are interested in what was done to the bodyshell, the following pictures document the awesome work of SLG classiccars. Just pure craftsmanship! No repair panels / patch panels were purchased. They just created everything from scratch!
All in all, this complete process took a little over 3 months. From delivering the empty shell to the bodyshop to the day it was finished.

So even before the shell went off for media blasting the guys @ SLG started to work on it. A shitty repair job of the rear valence was redone the right way, the side marker holes were closed, the holes in the firewall for the AC lines were closed.

Shortly after the car was out of the bodyshop for 1-2 weeks to be media blasted. Right after the blasting process it was immediately put in epoxy primer to prevent any oxidation / corrosion. Of course the blasting process revealed some new flaws


But the team at SLG classiccars repaired them all

There is always rot behind these reinforcing panels
New from scratch
Small repair on the frame rail
Repairing the repair.
More floorboard action
Both corners were redone. It’s the Datsun his most favourite rust spot!

And now for the big one. As it turned out, the 240Z already had one rear wheel arch replace in it’s life. Unfortunately it wasn’t 100% right and we decided to replace it. From scratch, without any repair panels, never seen this much art and craftsmanship before! Big props to tristan for pulling this off!

How it was before
Be sure to watch the video below

After all this it was time for prep and paint. Everything was done in 920 safari gold. I had got a sample from Lars K from Germany. Thanks again mate. That sample had travelled to another 240Z collector and been compared to an original paint 240Z. So I know the color is 100% right.

I chose a satin finish for the underside and the inside

COULDN’T BE ANY HAPPIER!

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february 2021 big updates from the bodyshop

At a future date I will make a post abouth all the metal work that was needed. All I can say is that the guys (or should I say wizards) at SLG classiccars absolutely killed it. Their skills are beyond belief.
Here is the car after 1 month of metal work and panel beating

And here it is in it’s actual state 😀

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january 2021: project TOSBO update

The list of parts and assemblies to freshen up seems endless!
Front suspension back together

Fuel tank looks good now too:

And I decided to have some wiring fun! Over 30 hours went into my adapted and modified harness. Or shoud I say harnesses, as there are 4. I used the original harness and modified it to have relays for lights, starter,… I rewired everything related to ignition. Adpated for the use of JDM/Euro spec tail lights, got rid of the way to complicated stock hazards wiring,… In the end I drew a new wiring diagram for future diagnose,…

In the beginning there was chaos:

But in the End I’m really satisfied with my job. Crossing fingers everything will work as intended 😉

As the dash is out, I disassembled all the gauges, cleaned the up, polished the glas. Mediablasted an painted the housings, reassembled everything except for the tach. A Speedhut electronic tach with gps speedo will take the OEM units space.

Next on the list the window scraper rubbers which were all brittle and disgusting. As I didn’t want to buy the expensive chrome trim with the attached rubber scrapers I decided to give it a try and just replace the stock scrapers on my existing trim

Another upgrade over stock is a Subaru STI LSD differential with a 3.9 final drive. So I bought the diff, bought some conversion axles from datsunrestomods and refreshed the diff. New gaskets, new hardware,…

Looks good now

Reassembled the rear suspension and brakes

Started my home made zinc plating again

Reassembled the wiper motor after cleaning everything

Fuel filler neck has a second life too

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december 2020: shell update

The shell was transported to a specialized media blasting company to remove all the layers of old paint, bondo, under sealing,… Nothing better than bare metal to start building a “new” car.

After I went to see and inspect it, the naked shell was then transported shortly after back to the resto shop where they instantly put in epoxy primer to prevent any oxidation while the works have to be done. All in all we found a few bad repair jobs, some minor rust spots,… Nothing major and nothing shocking. The guys at the resto shop are quite satisfied with what they have to work with.

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december 2020

To change a bit from blasting and painting I started to fab some cupro brake lines and fuel lines from scratch. I reused things like the T-piece, the pressure valve,…

rear brake lines, refurbished T-piece (blasted and clearcoated)
In detail, the refurbished T-piece
Fuel supply line and clutch hard line
Heater box. Media blasted, primered, painted, new seals, new foam, new hardware. And new heater valve (not shown)
Heater box. Media blasted, primered, painted, new seals, new foam, new hardware. And new heater valve (not shown)
Fuel tank straps. Media blasted and powder coated, new foam.
NEW hardware. Yellow zinc plated where available

And sometimes you need to find new motivation. To do so I just assemble some parts and enjoy myself.

Front subframe powder coated, steering rack greased, newly painted, new steering bellows, new balljoints, LCA powder coated and PU bishings, tension rods blasted and coated, outer tie rods cleaned and clear coated, new hardware.
headlights
Pedal box. Disassembled, media blasted, coated, greased and reassembled. New datsmo rubber pads on all 3 pedals

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november 2020: meanwhile at the garage

While the shell is out, there is plenty of space to start organizing and refurbishing parts. Some parts went of to powdercoating, other stuff will be sandblasted and painted/coated by myself. But where to start? It isn’t easy when you have all the elements on the shelves, floor, hanging from the roof,… So I picked the most random part I could think of. The interior blower fan.

The stock unit
Disassembled and media blasted
2 coats of primer and 2 coats of black paint, new foam, new gaskets, cleaned or renewed hardware
All back together and ready to be mounted in 2021 or 2022 😀

After the start was made I wrote a list of elements that needed to be refurbished, what parts needed to be ordered, what parts I wanted to have a makeover. So now, everytime I go to the garage I just choose a task and get work done. As there is so much different things to chose from, I can match the work to my mood 😉

The parts which I dropped of to powder coating
More parts that I media blasted
Aluminium drum brakes blasted, cleaned and painted
Calipers: Disassembled, media blasted, cleaned, painted, new seals, new hardware, new pads
Fabricated some new rubber gaskets myself
And the parts are already back with fresh black powder coat

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november 20th 2020: the shell is with the wizards

One major step. I brought the shell to the resto guys of SLG classic cars in Belgium. This will be a first for me. I never done anything quite as exciting (and expensive) to a classic 😉 But I’m really looking forward to it.
Whats’s on the menu?
– remove all paint (inside, outside, underside, engine bay)
– repair where needed (the old school way! by metal shaping, heat shrinking,…)
– some random metal work (close side marker holes, close side molding holes,…)
– prepare for paint
– paint it ……… (insert color here. I’m still not sure what color I should go with)

For now, enjoy some pics of the delivery:

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Project TOSBO: Sep&Oct 2020 – tear-down

As I got the yellow ’70 to a point where I really enjoyed driving it around it was time to make a decision. Keep it as it is for at least 1 more summer or to bite the bullet and start my adventure of a nut&bolt resto/rebuild.
I decided it was now or never, parked the car in our shared car shelter and got the tools out. I started with the engine and the interior so I had a rolling shell until a later state. My goal was to get everything out of the car, EVERYTHING except the front and rear glass. As I’m to afraid to break the 1970 glass and as I’m to unsafe to get it back in after the paint once has dried, I talked to the ‘classic’ bodyshop guys. I arranged they would take it out an put it back in after their metal and paint wizardry was done.

In the front of the cabin you can see the only remains of the original ‘universal blue’ paint the car was delivered in.

Oh, I’m really not looking forward putting the window mechanism or the opening/locking mechanism back in the doors!

Last but not least I got the axles and suspension components out of the car

I ordered some scaffolding pipes and clamps and fabricated a rolling jig. This way it can easily be adjusted to later projects, disassembled for storage, extended,… And it is sturdy enough to be rolled on/off a car trailer.

The shell is now ready. Just waiting for ‘SLG Classic Cars’ to call me. As soon as they have a free spot, we will bring my car to their shop. The shell will then be media blasted, epoxy primered, rebuilt (where needed), prepped, painted, …

By now I’m like 95% decided on the final color, but this changed like 50 times during the last months.
As a color recap:
1970- approx 1991: Datsun universal blue 903
1991-2020: RAL1028 melon yellow
2020-forever: Datsun 907 or Datsun 920

It just has to be an original 1970 S30 color and I narrowed it down to racing green or safari gold.
These colors were available in 1970: 901 Silver gray (metallic) ; 903 Universal blue (metallic) ; 904 Kilimanjaro white ; 905 Monte Carlo red ; 907 Racing green ; 918 New sight Orange ; 919 Sunshine yellow ; 920 Safari gold

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Project TOSBO: Jul-Sep 2020 catch up

As I want to have these post in chronological order, here a little catch up for the months of July-September.
Biggest change and quite a questionable one was to retrofit original Hitachi SU carbs. Building this car by the expression: “keep it stupid simple” As the SU are so easy to live with, easy to tune,… I decided to ditch the DCOEs. IMHO the driveability was less good as my SU equipped 1973 240Z, performance wasn’t any better with the Webers (on a stock engine) and the mileage was way worse. On the positive side there was the looks and the noise, but that wasn’t enough to convince me.
So I found and bought a set of quite early Hitachis and installed them asap

Airbox and heatshield were mounted shortly after tuning.

I installed some front camber top hats which lowered the front by another 15mm and resulted in a more even drop front to rear.

Got in touch with these awesome guys, but more on that later

An somewhere mid September I drove the car for the last time before ending it’s 2020 driving season.