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1974 Datsun 260Z Stage 3

To view the beginning of this project see 1974 Datsun 260Z LS-1

In this installment of the 260Z project we began to focus on the fenders, and especially the quarter panels where custom fender flares will be installed. When the uni-body was media blasted, it was very apparent all the panels had been replaced some point in the past. It was the methodology used to replace these panels that will be an impediment to proper fitting and finishing future metal components.
 
Gaps between the fenders and door panel were incorrect regarding width measurements and vertical alignment characteristics of the door relative to the contour of the quarter panels. Further inspection revealed the previously replaced panels were lapped-over and spot welded. Over lapped panels not properly sealed will eventually invite moisture with corrosive issues and quite possibly bubble the paint. While this method is considered acceptable by the industry, proper fit and finish is better accomplished by butt welding the seams, and smoothing the metal for a seamless appearance. See Photos 1 & 2

Photo 1

Photo 2

In Photo #3,  the passenger side new rear quarter panel is butt welded and the fuel door is also covered. We offered our client choices regarding fuel cell and fuel pumps especially given the choice of a LS engine. The fuel cell with components and its placement will be in a future article. Stay tuned.

Photo 3

In Photo #4, the driver door is attached for alignment purposes and gap measurements before we begin the process of finishing the newly attached rear quarter panel. This procedure is critical because it establishes the defining lines of the car. As the rear quarter panels and front fenders are finished and massaged for an aesthetic appearance, then the door will be hung for final adjustment.

Photo 4

In Photo #5, the driver side door was not repaired adequately as is revealed in the lower portion of the photograph. After sanding the door, locating the highs and lows of the door skin,the holes were sealed and the metal finished. In the upper portion of the photograph, the repaired door is correctly installed with even gaps and uniform alignment to the front and rear quarter panels.

Photo 5