Where we left things last week were that I’d sent off the carbs to a specialist for rebuilding, and the wayward clutch was fixed. The carb guru estimated that it might take a week to re-do the Webers, so this left plenty of time for little jobs while the Hako was up on jackstands.
But it also left some time to give the car a good going over. I’d had the pre purchase inspection done in Japan, had spent countless hours poring over each of the 400 pictures, but now that it’s in the garage, we can have a proper look.
Basically the car looks like it was restored quite thoroughly, and it’s clear to see where rust has been cut out and a patch of new steel welded in.
In places it isn’t so well finished, like for example the undersides of the bonnet and boot and the boot shuts aren’t clearcoated, but overall the fundamentals are pretty solid, and it looks like the sills and lower rear guards were replaced too.
The only place where I found some rust was here in the rear floorpan. During the restoration, all the old sound deadening was removed, the floorpan painted and new insulating mat was laid down. But in this section it looks like it didn’t stick, and allowed water (I think the car leaks like a sieve) to be trapped underneath. But after wire brushing it, it was just surface rust.
Underneath that same spot was rust too, but also on the surface.
A lot of restorers and vintage car guys swear by this stuff: POR-15. If you look at their website, it claims that once a piece of metal is treated, it will never rust again! Sounds good to me….
So first you paint the rust with the Metal Ready, which neutralises the rust…
Then you paint on the POR-15 which is quite thick.
It dries to a very hard, plasticky finish, which is supposedly waterproof and so tough that you can hit it with a hammer or bend the metal and it will not flake off.
So hopefully this will be a permanent repair!
The other amusing thing that happened was that I’d replaced the old steering wheel that came with the car:
…which I thought was a 240Z steering wheel. So I bought a nice Nardi wheel….
But then someone said that the old wheel was a “Compe” steering wheel, which is to say that it’s a replica of the Japanese dealer-option sports steering wheel from the late 60s. Nismo did a short run of reissue Compe wheels in 1992, but only 1000, and they’re very rare, historic and desireable and I shouldn’t throw it away. So umm….yes. Anyone want to buy a nearly-new Nardi?
Here’s another funny thing. The stock Hako seat belts are like an airliner lap belt…
…with an optional over-the-shoulder strap that clips into the buckle like so…
..I’m quite sure this isn’t even remotely legal in Australia! So the Hako got an approved set of seat belts installed.
Tomorrow….more tales of mechanical mayhem.