Zach Zupancic

Zach Zupancic

Senior Designer, SolidWorks addict, AutoCAD zealot, Cyclist, Shade Tree Mechanic, & moderately tall. 

Back from the Depths

I have been away from the writing bit of life for a couple weeks, but i have been making up for it with the lifestyles of car painting and fixing.

lets start with the before shots to remind you what she looked like when I purchased the car...

1973 Datsun 240z
1973 Datsun 240z

Once she was running under her own power and starting consistently I had to test place where the octopus was going to sit...

Octopus placed

I am not too keen either the placement or the size. When I get around to making the stencil I am going to be using the original design, which will make it a bit longer, and I want it to droop over the fender.

I ordered a set of wheels from diamond racing. 15x10 with a -25mm offset, 4.5" backspacing, and test fit them on the car to see kinda how they would sit.

Diamond Racing 15x10 -25 offset (4.5" backspacing"
Diamond Racing 15x10 -25 offset (4.5" backspacing"

A day after I took those photos I had some 225.50-15 Kuhmo ASTs mounted, but didn't take any shots of them on the car.

It took me a good week to finally decide that I wanted to paint my car; then another couple days deciding on the color. I was mulling over two completely different options; either white with satin black parts, or flat green with satin black parts. Due to my love of my old FC, and response of the RetroRide guys in England I knew that there was really only one option.

I spent a day sanding and prepping the car for paint, repainting over all of the exposed metal areas to resist rust formation, and at the end of the day she turned out looking like this...

240z paint prep
240z paint prep

Even in this condition she already looked better than her former self.

I got a can of pain on the car and then realized that I needed to cut my fenders. Test fitting the flares on the car took a better part of the day because I had to run around looking for cutting wheels and all of the hardware that I would need once hte time came to actually put them on the car. The next day Ken dropped by and we started to work on painting the car, and 6 cans later we finished the sides and back...

240z painting pt 1
240z painting pt 1

After the paint was dry we masked off more of the car and applied the last color to the car. Unfortuneatly when we removed the masking tape, it took off some of the paint; 3M blue tape you failed me. I let it sit over night and 1000 grit wet sanded it to remove the over spray lines and smooth out the finish. All in all I really enjoy how it turned out, there are a couple of lines that I want to change, and overspray lines that I need to sand out again, but I will have to wait for the hardwares stores to re-stock their supply.

240z paint pt 2
240z paint pt 2
240z paint pt 2
240z paint pt 2
240z paint pt 2

After the car was essentially done I took the last couple of cans of satin black that remained and painted the BRE lip, ZG Flares, rear brake shroud, and grill.

240z paint pt 2
240z paint pt 2
240z paint pt 2

Colors used are satin black for the front cowl, rear hatch, grill, BRE lip, ZG flares, and rear brake light shroud; the sides and back are in a "blend with your environment" ultra-flat deep forest green. Total cost for the spray paint and the sand paper was $70.

All that is left is to mount the parts, lower the car a bit, and paint the octopus on the front cowl (gloss white). Since the next week is looking like more cloudy days, and possibly wet weather it may take a bit of time to finish. Then again junkyards in southern california have a tendency to do a half price during wet weather; 240sx rear calipers here I come!

-till next time