Bodywork and Paint Preparation

 1971 Datsun 240Z Restoration Body 

Approaching this 1971 Datsun 240Z, we knew we were going to be working with a reasonably rust-free car.  This 240Z was in relatively good shape for a 40 year old car. There were some known areas that would require attention; primarily in the rear of the vehicle.  Sometime in the past it had been rear ended and seemingly repaired as fast as possible.  The results were pleasing to the eye but some intense scrutinizing revealed that the hatch and rear quarters would need some attention to work back into proper form. 

The prior repair work had been completed quickly with no concern for the hatch and bumper alignment. The lower valance was drilled and pulled with filler pushed through the pull holes. The hatch had been shaved off in the upper right corner so as to not contact the roof line when opened.   In short, the car needed rear alignment to straighten the rear end, a new hatch and a whole lot of body work from the quarters back.  We obtained a hatch from our used panel inventory and got to work making the gaps right and the rear properly aligned.

 1971 Datsun 240Z Car Restoration Prep 

As we prepared the vehicle and began knocking down the previous repaint, it was uncovered that there was an adhesion issue - the paint was coming off in sheets.  Since we are repainting the entire car, we decided the best long term solution was to do a full strip to prevent any future delamination concerns.  The best results will always come from starting fresh and clean.

 1971 Z Car Restoration Fender Prep 

The hood, doors, fenders and other miscellaneous body parts were then removed from the car and plastic bead blasted down to bare metal. This also meant removing all existing filler that had been put in place to straighten the panels.  We knew before we started the project that this car was loaded with filler - many old cars are. What we found were body panels worked incorrectly to the point of oil canning. When the metal gets to the oil can stage there is no major metal repair that can be done. Only filler or panel replacement will make that panel flat again.  So we started with oil canned panels, reworked as much of the metal as possible, filled, and sanded from there.  

1971 Datsun Z Car Primed 

Re-assembly preparations are well underway at the same time.  The weatherstrip is all set aside, the bumpers re-chromed, new door handles, mirrors, glass and rubber, and all the other pieces, big and small, await our re-coated car. 

  1971 Datsun Z Car Restoration Rubber Pieces

1971 Datsun 240Z Weatherstrip Kit

Now, with everything smooth on the body and dressed in primer, we are ready for paint...