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Project Theseus

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  • Started on the lower rad support today. The first of three sections to build was the inner skin for the lower crossmember.

    Made a template and transferred it to metal:

    Did a bunch of measuring, and dimple-died some holes for the first time with my cheap hydraulic dimple-die setup:

    Welded in. Rather happy with how this turned out.

    Made a template for the lower rad support skin sections:

    Rough-cut from metal. Ran out of time today, so will do the bending/folding/etc next time .


    • Didn't feel like finishing the rad support today, so worked on some other stuff instead. Made a much beefier replacement for the lower grille mount:

      And new upper mounts:

      Fits well, and looks good:

      Just tacked the upper brackets for now as the hood hinges are in the way, will finalize them next time.

      The reason that the hood hinges were bolted on was the other thing I did today - removing the torsion bars and replacing them with some gas struts. Shoutout to Grannyknot for the idea to do this, it's a really good idea.

      So much room for activities now, way easier if/when I need space for an intercooler or anything else.


      • New tool day today, and man oh man is it a useful one. Have wanted a decent finger sander for a while, but most were either air powered (my compressor isn't good enough to run one properly), or super cheap ebay stuff that looked like it would fall apart instantly so I shelved the idea for a while. Went hunting for one again recently, and found a decent-looking electric one.

        After maybe 15 minutes of testing it out it's probably my favorite tool already.

        Remember these ugly areas on the inner wings that were too tight for me to get an angle grinder to to clean up?

        No longer an issue (just did a super quick pass as the proof-of-concept). This thing is going to be invaluable for tight areas and all sorts of general finishing work that still needs doing.


        • wow that sander looks really useful!


          • Originally posted by vvise View Post
            wow that sander looks really useful!
            Indeed, It's incredibly handy.


            Today's project was the front camber plates. Cleaned up the strut tops and got rid of the center hump so I could mock up the new plates flat:

            Mocked them up, cut out the metal underneath, and then re-aligned them and tacked in place. Did a ton of measuring to make sure they were parallel to each other.

            Welded in. Not sure if I want to build up the top area with more weld so I can try to clean it up and have it all be seamless, or just add a little bit of filler to smooth everything out. Thoughts?

            Lightly shaved the fenders so they'd clear the now higher strut tops.

            With those in, I was able to roughly get a front strut in so I could get an idea of what ride-height will be with the shortened housings.

            No hub on the front currently, but I did a rough mockup of what full droop looks like:

            And possible ride-height.

            With the bolt-pattern of the strut tops now obviously being different, the front strut bar no longer fits. I'll likely just cut off the mounting points from the bar and make new ones to utilize the T3 bolt pattern, easy enough. Just gotta make sure there's still hood clearance (the bar is effectively moved up ~10mm due to the new tops), and possibly make the bar sit that much lower if not.


            • Recommend waiting to mod the strut bar until engine is in location. You'ii want to clear the rocker cover!


              • Nice wheels! While you're modifying the strut bar you might want to add a couple of triangulation bars to it so it can be tied back to the firewall.


                • Originally posted by Ont240 View Post
                  Recommend waiting to mod the strut bar until engine is in location. You'll want to clear the rocker cover!
                  I'd pondered that, but it was on the car before I took it apart, so I know it fits in the stock config. Given that I've only added height to the strut tops, the only thing that could be an issue now is hood clearance. If I end up needing to lower it a bit, as long as I only lower it by the thickness of the camber plates it will be back at the exact same height (relative to the engine) it was before I changed the strut tops, so no worries there.

                  Originally posted by grannyknot View Post
                  Nice wheels! While you're modifying the strut bar you might want to add a couple of triangulation bars to it so it can be tied back to the firewall.
                  Thanks! First wheels I've ever bought new, which was a pretty nice feeling. 15x8 +0 with 225/50/15's, might put toyo r888r's on eventually.

                  And yep, that's a good idea and definitely something I've thought about. Just need to get some tubing of the correct diameter, and decide how I want to tie it into the firewall - either like you did with that upper lip that the cowl finisher sits on, or by welding some captive nuts into the firewall (from the back inside the cowl cavity).
                  I do know someone who has a 4x4 shop so going to see what random leftover tubing bits they might have that I can buy - should be able to get what I need for the strut bar, the inner-fender braces, and a rear strut-tower bar (plus any other braces I can think of).


                  Got the rear struts all cleaned up, painted, and assembled with the disk brake parts. All just finger tight for now to make sure I wasn't missing anything; will need a couple washers but that's about it. Also likely going to cut down the bump stops a bit, they're pretty big in relation to the total travel currently.

                  I also have new 60mm wheel studs in the mail currently that will be going in before it all goes together for good. Might also end up painting the calipers (front and rear) a light shade of gold, dunno yet.

                  Not half bad compared to before:

                  Last edited by Noll; 11-26-2020, 11:40 PM.


                  • Ok, bit of a hiccup with the front brakes. Turns out I am dumb and was mistakenly thought that the early 260z front hubs were the same spec as 240z ones (as the struts are otherwise 240z parts). In reality, they're the same as the 280z front hubs, which means that the 240z-spec spacers that I have to put the vented 300zx rotors in the correct spot for the S12W calipers are too thick, and considerably so (rotor hits the caliper mount ears before the bearings seat on the spindle).

                    As of right now it seems like my options are the following:
                    - Buy 240z hubs/trade my hubs for 240z hubs (a bit of an annoyance given I just refinished these hubs and put new lug studs in)
                    - Get new spacers and trade/sell the 240z-spec ones
                    - get the current spacers machined down to work (requires me figuring out just how much the difference in offset is between the different hubs).

                    Thoughts? As of current option #2 is looking the best, hubs aren't cheap and mine are in fine shape so replacing the spacers seems like the best bet. Dunno what a local machine shop would charge to thin down the spacers I already have.