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Project Theseus

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  • #16
    I'd almost like to find a Lada, they were... are odd cars that were built like tanks, ugly but great looking at the same time.


    • #17
      Not here to discourage you. If you are open to advice?? I think you should stop and part out what you can. Myself as a Body Shop owner and as a body man, That vehicle will never be worth the trouble it will cost you in time or money.
      You Should be able to buy a Z from the states and Enjoy it rather than spend years trying to rebuild it and never completing the project... coming from experience!



      • #18
        Six_Shooter - Yeah, pretty cool cars in my opinion. Where else can you find a 2-door hatchback with locking diffs and hi/lo from the factory? At some point I want to get a 2103/2106 (4-door Lada sedan) and stick a SR20 or something into it.

        troubledz - I'm always open to advice, much appreciated. End value isn't really a concern to me (not planning on selling it in the foreseeable future), but I agree it will be a LOT of work. I'd actually like to get into body shop/restoration stuff (am in college for Automotive Business), so I figure it will be a great learning experience.

        Plus, this way I can piece things together as I go and spread out the cost, even if ends up being the more expensive avenue over all. Worst case, I know a member on here is selling a clean 260z shell, so I can pick that up once I have the $ and swap everything over.


        • #19
          Thanks to colinc, I now have a proper S30 passenger seat. I'll need to put new foam in the base at some point, but for now I'll leave it as is for storage, as it won't be going into the car for a while. Now just to find a driver's seat at some point.

          Last edited by Noll; 09-30-2017, 12:20 PM.


          • #20
            Originally posted by troubledz
            Not here to discourage you. If you are open to advice?? I think you should stop and part out what you can. Myself as a Body Shop owner and as a body man, That vehicle will never be worth the trouble it will cost you in time or money.
            You Should be able to buy a Z from the states and Enjoy it rather than spend years trying to rebuild it and never completing the project... coming from experience!

            First off, full disclosure here. I and not a bodyman nor have I ever worked as a bodyman. I am mechanically inclined however and have picked up knowlege and skills from over 35+ years since I began pulling wrenches my first car. I managed a body shop, sort of, for a short time and learned techniques and skills from some good people over many years. I had a project car given to me early on that was in very much the same condition as yours judging by the photos. Better condition actually since the floors, frame rails and structure was in better condition. It ran very well and everything worked as it should. I had my first 510 wagon as a daily driver at the time and never considered it to be the better of the two as I was focused on the one project only, saving up cash for parts and even purchasing a parts car for it. I was able to stop myself and take an objective look at it as a whole and decided the 510 was the more viable option. The other project was scrapped before too much time or effort was expended. I still think of it though from time to time. They do get inside of your head.

            This project of yours is very ambitious even for a seasoned pro. I replied quoting a seasoned pro's advice. I, as someone who is not emotionally involved, yet still have a love for cars have to agree that the smartest thing to do would be to get something solid to begin with. Perhaps one that is driveable and safe that you can enjoy for a while and then make a project out of or even a "rolling restoration" of small projects tackling it's needs without it sitting dead for years and years. This is exactly how I got started in all of this and only after learning the skills while doing the small stuff did I tackle the larger projects. I also lived in an area where people worked on their own projects and I could step in and assist. You wouldn't beleive what some people were up to in the backyard shops in my neigbourhood.

            You mention in several posts that you want to learn and this project will be the one that teaches you. Unfortunately this project may also be the one that breaks you. I can say that since it was probably driven for a time in this decayed/compromised state, bad repairs and all, the structure has been tweaked and not in a good way. This is a parts car only. The best thing at this point would be to see if you can make it run and get an idea of what can be saved from it. If you really want to continue with a basket case build go out and get a solid rolling shell to start with. You will be glad that you did believe me. Fixing a fender or a door and a few small spots here and there while building on something solid will give you a better sense of accomplishment as it will progress at a faster rate rather than years and years of disappointment while you hammer away and try to build something from nothing.

            Good luck with whatever it is that you do.
            Last edited by 510longroof; 09-30-2017, 12:18 PM.
            71 510 wagon
            72 CB450
            74 CB360T
            2013 Toyota Corolla
            Formerly 510er
            It's amazing how one tiny capacitor can wreak so much havoc.


            • #21
              Just saw your posts. Am in the Ottawa area and know several Z owners, and have a few spare parts, not to mention a project car that is in nearly as bad shape!


              • #22
                510longroof -Thanks for the comprehensive write-up! I appreciate all the advice, and will continue having a think about whether or not I'll continue this. As it stands, I'll be working on my Niva for now anyway, so it's not a decision that I need to rush. I'd love to pick up a driving, (mostly) rust free car to work on as I drove it, but for now at least that's not really possible financially as I'm doing this on a shoestring budget while in college (and it'd also be hard to spare the time to pick up a car from the western/southern USA).

                TimG - Oh nice, my family is up in that area (as is the 260 right now). If you'd have any pics of your project, that'd be cool to see.


                • #23
                  That rear valence...something out of hellraiser


                  • #24
                    I've been visiting family for the christmas break for the past few days, and decided to try to get something done on the 260z while I am here. I can't really work on the car itself, as it's under a tarp and a few ft of snow, so I decided to try to clean up the dents in the sugar scoops a bit.

                    I didn't take before pictures of the first repair, but here's the result:

                    Before picture of the second dent:

                    And after:

                    Third dent:


                    All-in-all, not perfect, but should be close enough for a skim coat of filler, and/or I may revisit them later to do the finishing touches.

                    Not bad imo, considering these were my only tools:


                    • #25
                      Hope the project is going well, very ambitious. In time you will look back at all the work you put in and you will be happy with your outcome. Cheers


                      • #26
                        Thanks! I haven't been able to do much on the car itself over the winter (unheated garage and no space in it anyway ), but have been working on some panel-beating/paint stripping of fenders etc.

                        I'm aiming to get the car cleared out to continue progress once the weather finishes warming up.


                        • #27
                          Took some pictures of the progress that I made over the past few months.

                          Stripped off the D/S fender. Pretty solid except where it was brazed on, should be simple to make a replacement section though:

                          P/S fender was the same story, and should also be an easy fix:

                          Also on the P/S fender, I got the dent around the turn signal mostly hammered out, and stripped and roughly hammered the dents in the fender back out. I'll finesse it back properly into shape later.

                          Back to the D/S fender, I hammered out the crease at the front of the arch back roughly into shape. Still need to grind/sand off the remaining brazing rod, but the fender looks solid underneath that at least.

                          And the car in all its glory. I'm going to aim to start stripping the engine bay over the next couple of weeks.


                          • #28
                            Not 260z specific, but I've been doing a car restoration/metalwork course at a local college to improve my bodywork skills before starting welding on the 260z. Pretty happy with how it's going (done on one of the college's gas mig welders):

                            Going to bring in my flux-core welder next week (as well as some body panels) to practice and get some tips. Side note, I really should get a die-grinder now, it made cleaning the above weld up so much easier.


                            • #29
                              So, I haven't updated this in quite a while. I ended up traveling around the world this summer, so didn't really have time or money to work on the Z.

                              After thinking about it for a while, and debating between finding a drivable car from the states as a replacement project, I think that I am going to continue on with this (and also get a 2nd car if funds allow, but who knows).

                              I have found a couple people on facebook groups parting out cars, so before too long I'll have some (surprisingly inexpensive) sheet metal on the way to me; rear valence/taillight section (should replace ALL the rear rust), rear quarter sections, inner rocker panels, lower seatbelt mounts, and a couple patches from the rear cargo-area floor. Still no small task, but wayyyy less custom-fabrication than making inner rockers by hand etc. I'll still need floors and rear inner arches, but at least that's available commercially.

                              Probably no more progress until the spring, but I may go ahead with some interior repair for stuff that can be brought indoors.


                              • #30
                                So the Z is temporarily leaving for a couple days. The guy who purchased my 240z parts-shell also wants the 260z's wheels for his 510 (and I'm planning on different wheels, so win-win). One or two of the lug studs is stripped, so he's bringing it 15 min down the road to his shop to get the wheels off and then stick some random wheels on for me. I'll get the car back in a couple days.