September 28, 2015

Repairing the BRE front Air Dam on Datsun 240Z

The E-tek Datsun (Nissan) 240Z is on a 5 year-to-completion schedule and this weekend was the time to do some repairs to the front air dam. BRE (Brock Racing Enterprises), the Datsun racing team that took many SCCA races in the mid-70's, put together a 240Z shell that stil looks great today. Much of that cars iconic shape is die to the front air dam and the small rear lip-spoiler. All these years later, we still have an original BRE-inspired fiberglass dam for our car - but it needs work.....

So, being fiberglass, we purchased a small FG 'bondo' branded repair kit and went at it. The kit comes with everything you need: resin, hardener, fiberglass matting and some mixing paddles:

But before we start mixing, we'll need to make some extra-strength repair pieces out of metal bits, secured by some well-placed rivets:

With those bits completed, its now time to mix up the resin with a few drops of hardener:

Once mixed, the FG matting is dipped into the resin mixture and placed strategically on the saned repair areas. All areas where rough-sanded with 80 grit.

The tongue-depressor paddle that came in the kit was handy 
for lifting and placing the soaked matting, A couple of layers, plus a little
 resin to smooth out and adhere the edges will make for a strong repair

And once dry, the fibreglass is like rock. With the metal structural bits underneath, it'll be near-indestructible and likely won't crack in those weak spots again.

 The overall shape is back and the edges are stronger than they ever where. We'll sand the rough bits down again, then fill them with easy-sanding filler. Once done no one will ever know - except you and me!

Another piece for the Datsun: the gas tank was sandblasted down to 
bare steel, removing 45 years of paint, rust and scale:

Of course 45 years doesn't go by without some chemical reactions occurring. A close inspection showed a few perforations that will need to be addressed with the welder:

Once welded it will be completely sealed with Rust-Bullet Single Stage Epoxy paint. Stay tuned!