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 Post subject: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Well, until now I've been collating this build in two threads on OzGemini - but in the interests of state pride, and showing you guys WTF I've been upto, here we are. This is where my time has gone for the last 3 years or so (along with the Piazza and the drift Gem). This is my second Gemini, and one of two that I would never, ever, EVER sell (not even at gunpoint, come at me)!

The car started life as an Atlantis Blue 1981 Holden Gemini TE SL/X sedan, equipped with the normal G161Z, power brakes, light blue interior and a towbar. When I bought it, it still looked good - but the paint was huffing its last breath of life, and rust was just rearing its ugly head. There was an ongoing issue with the brakes, and in the end I got defected to regency for an oil leak (amongst other things).

Well, I'm sentimental. I'm not the sort to sell a car I love and re-shell because it's easier, so I took it to a few paint and panel places for quotes. Noone wanted to look at the rust, and pretty much said it'd probably cost up in the thousands to fix the rust, let alone paint the thing. Not being able to afford that at the time, I set about learning the required skills myself. I bought a welder and learned the hard way. I got some help from my landlord, and eventually recruited a friend to do the paint job (and inadvertently help me fix some of the rust, ie, bogging, advice, getting panels straight).

What I've done or am working towards:

G180W - twincam, fuel injected, eventually quad throttle bodies
Extractors
Altra9 LSD and billet axles
Commodore disc brake rear end in 4x100
Vented 241mm front discs in 4x100, Gemini calipers
Gloss white with a black pinstripe on each side
Round headlight grille
ZZ/R front lip
Work Equip 01 wheels, 15x7.5" ET16 (F), 15x8" ET22 (R) [disc rear adds 5mm track each side]
TX remote brake reservoir
Air conditioning
Black interior
Restored dash, OEM style tacho in TE cluster
Decent stereo

I've sent an Application to Modify Vehicle to Vehicle Standards to keep things legit, and I've ordered the wheels. The twincam's sitting in front of it at the moment and I'm slowly putting bits back on it.

I've copied each stage of the build below, starting a few years ago, and will try to update this thread as I update the OzGem equivalent!

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:30 pm

Decided to post some info and pictures of the car's history. The seller wanted $1800-$2000, I only had $750, but the seller never got around to putting it in the paper/etc... He only advertised (AFAIK) on NissanSilvia and JustGems... I went and took it for a test drive, the brakes were a bit spongey but apart from that it went well and looked great. The paint was nice when I bought her... It came with a monster tacho, Pioneer HU and 6x9s in a custom shelf, neons (brooooo!!!) and the nice blue SL/X interior. Rust seemed minimal, but that just shows how closely I looked.

Here she is when I got her:
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Got some 15s cheap, fiddled with them for awhile:
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And here she was in the glory days right before the defect.. Riding on superlows up front, and cut Kings STD at the back (but not too low, handled great, wheels just cleared the rolled up guards at full lock). The brakes had got worse though (turned out to be bent forks in the rear drums, mixed with freeplay in the shoe pivot/mounts).

[URL=http://img688.imageshack.us/i/badgesremoved23rdaug072.jpg/]Image
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That was ages ago. She's been sitting, desperately demanding my attention for far too long. Went to regency shortly after the defect and got "refected" for rust I hadn't noticed, and some stupid things like no access to child restraints on the rear parcel shelf (what child restraints??). That was a while ago.

Now, it has no engine in it, and everything's pretty stock. I've fixed most of the defect points, and am working on fixing all of the rust properly so it won't come back, putting the G180W in and having it approved. I also want to paint the car gloss white, fit one of my round headlight grilles etc.

The engine, my second G180W, was purchased at some point last year. A previous owner spent thousands porting it, put big cams in it etc. It's freshly built, but by a different owner who hadn't built an engine before, so I'm tempted to pull it apart and redo it. The only issue at this point is that the exhaust hits the engine mount, so I'll have to have one modified or made up. Well, I've never done any paint or panel work before. I've been really scared to start, but I've been gathering lots of tools and getting some helpful advice from members and mates. Today I finally got started.

These pics are backwards!! Sorry.. Starts from the bottom and goes up :roll:

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All fish oiled, I'm waiting on this week's pay to grab some welding wire, fix the holes, then I'll run some rust converter over it, fish oil again and prime.

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:10 pm

Okay, today's progress wasn't great. I must forewarn you all, I am now in a right honourable St. Patrick's day state, but was sober for the majority of the work done. I was trying to strip the paint back to bare metal, before soon realising that there really is a s*#t lot of work involved.. It took me three hours to get the first major patch done, all up I worked on it for maybe six hours today, the last picture shows it's current state. I was using Diggers paint stripper, it really struggled to lift the paint. I applied it, waited 15-20seconds and scrubbed it with a scourer before it re-hardened. I also used an orbital power sander on it, but it was using 120 grit and really struggled to "cut the cheese". The quickest way of stripping paint seemed to be the "strip-it" disc on my grinder, it's great but I'm afraid of scoring or scratching up the metal with it. Any advice on easily stripping the paint would be great.

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It's now WD-40'd since I'll be coming back to it tomorrow (hangover pending), and fish oil's a bitch to get off. Questions:

1) Which is better as a rust-preventative undercoat? Fish oil then primer, or primer then fish oil? Or just primer?

2) What's the quickest way of stripping paint? The paint stripper takes ages and lots of elbow grease. What sort of grit sandpaper should I use on the orbital to get the paint off?

3) Is there a way of easily blending between bare metal and old paint? I'd love to "bare metal" certain parts of the panel, but I seem to have a small lip where the paint starts no matter how much I sand it. Also, if paint has contacted paint stripper, but not come off, is it no longer suitable to paint over? For instance, the edges of a bare metal strip, will they then be s*#t to paint over?

Any replies or advice to my gallery thread, link at the top of the thread :)

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:11 pm

Today was a great day. I made exponentially more progress, and learnt lots of things. Some lessons learnt include:

1. I am an idiot.

2. No, really, I am a complete idiot.

3. When you strip paint, use a scraper.

scraper
–noun
1. a person or thing that scrapes.
2. any of various tools or utensils for scraping.

Yes, I'm serious. For some stupid reason I didn't think a scraper was important, and that it'd scratch up the metal. So it took me 8 hours to strip a third of the door over the last few days, and today took me maybe two hours to finish the whole thing! Anyway, here's the afternoon's progress:

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Found bog in the bottom rear of the door, I'll take it back and see what's going on tomorrow (or perhaps when I have welding wire) as I ran out of time today. I got the door back to metal, ran some 120 grit on the orbital over the metal to smooth out imperfections and leftover bits, degreased the whole thing using degreaser (don't have Wax & Grease Remover yet, hope this will suffice), dried it off then liberally applied Rust Converter. It looked like it was drying out after 10mins, so I reapplied, waited a little while and cleaned it off with water then metho, then a dry towel (was dry anyway by then). I think I used a bit much water though. Then I masked it up and primed it, I tried to keep the layer of primer fairly thin, I'll probably re-apply tomorrow.

Of course I figured out how to get the mirror off AFTER I'd finished stripping and rust converted the whole thing, so I'll have to take that back without stripper tomorrow, mask it off, rust convert it and prime it too. [color=0000FF]I don't know how to remove the door handle, key barrel or chrome trim though, I didn't have much of a look but if someone could tell me quickly it'd be great![/color]

I found quite a few spots of rust just starting to form on the panel, as well as the huge bogged area, so I'm really glad I've made the effort to go back to bare metal. I think it'll pay off in the long run. Now that I've vaguely got the technique down-pat, I'm keen to keep doing the rest of the car bare metal, and can't wait to get out there again tomorrow!

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:13 pm

This afternoon's progress was slow. The top of the door's terrible to strip without a wire wheel! I'll be getting one ASAP.. Also, I've learned to work from the top down, and start with more detailed, tricky bits. It was a huge pain masking all the time to keep stripper or rust converter off of the primer. And the masking tape ripped some off - I'll respray it tomorrow.

Took the bog back, looks like there was a decent ding/bend in the door that's been straightened up and bogged, I don't think I could get it much straighter, so sadly I'll probably just be reapplying the exact same bog I took off. Oh well, at least I'll sleep sound.

Got the chrome trims off fine, got the door handle half off but didn't want to force the plastic circlippy thing, so I'll get a second opinion from Ethan tomorrow. I'm assuming the plastic circlip to separate the handle from the mechanism is the white plastic tube-shaped thing by the handle, on the rod?

Couldn't even begin to get the key barrel off. That's got me stumped.

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Oh well, progress isn't too bad I'd say. Be better with a wire wheel!

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:20 pm

Gotta make this quick or the missus will have my balls. Ethan came over on Sunday, and his experienced know-how from a professional source has been priceless. I'd used normal primer straight onto very smooth metal for the door, which was a bad move, the adhesion wasn't strong. So we took all of it off with some 80 grit on the orbital, and succeeded in getting the lock and door handle off (cheers burts). Used proper Wax & Grease Remover this time, instead of degreaser... :oops: rust converted again and did a coat of etch primer. The difference is immediately noticeable. Much better finish, and the outside of the door only has two spots left to do - bottom left corner, waiting on me buying some bog, and bottom right corner, which has a tiny little dent that I'm going to fill once I get welding wire... Too deep for bog, too inaccessible to get straight.

We took the other front guard off and had a look at the rust in the A pillar there, it's slightly different to the driver's side, some ways better, some ways worse. Will take at least as long to fix - we cut old metal out on both sides to get ready. Apart from that, I set to stripping a bit of one of the front guards for "something to do until I get the welding wire".

But alas, pay day tomorrow so I can get bog, order welding wire, and get this show on the road. Eventually.

Already getting lectured by the ladyfriend, and imageshack's being majorly homo. Don't have pics of all of the progress but here's a couple:

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:48 pm

Okay so I got some bog, 3M lightweight body filler.. I'm pretty new at bogging, the landlord came and gave me some help, but I did the first coat without enough hardener. It went pretty much hard after 24 hours, surface a tiny bit sticky but not squishy... So I sanded it back and did a second layer with more hardener (will this cause problems?) and it hardened much better, hopefully tomorrow it'll sand back nicely.

Kept hacking away at the paint on the front right guard, getting there. Welding wire ordered (ebayyy) so hopefully I can sort out the corroded sections soon. Found a bit of bog in the top of the guard, took it back and it seemed to be over a blackened and low section of metal, no idea if this is corrosion or heat damage from a past repair... But I won't be able to get it much flatter without high spots, so I'll probably rust convert it and redo a thin layer of bog.

ImageImageImageImage

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:01 pm

Okay huge progress. Got my hands on some Cavity Wax, and some Chassis Black, both 3M brand, from Supercheap, despite being frequently pointed in the wrong direction by staff who had no idea wtf I was talking about, but thought they did. For christ's sake, Cavity Wax IS NOT for washing a car! I asked for the section with the bog in it and they STILL pointed me in the wrong direction (they were re-arranging the store).

Anyway. So that's the brown gooey stuff in some photos, I found it hard getting a thick enough coat, but otherwise the stuff seems real good, especially for the crevasses and indentations in welds. I welded up the hole on the drivers' front A pillar, where it meets the chassis, and did every skin separately! I'm real happy with this - restored back to factory, not just dodged up with bog or one skin of metal.

On the passenger side, the cover plate over the chassis rail was completely missing, so I made one up, primed and waxed it on the underside and welded it in. Not sure how much of the primer or wax would be left underneath after the heat of welding, but it's better than bare metal under there! While I was at it, I tried to drown the inside of the chassis rails with cavity wax. Still not too confident they'll resist rust in the future, or anyone's for that matter, but oh well, I can only try. Welding it in proved slightly challenging, the surrounding metal kept burning through, even on the lowest heat, and I couldn't cut any away. The result was a lot of weld, but when ground back, it was still quite close to the factory shape. I couldn't get any weld down the far end, as shown in the pic, but I got pretty close, and it's not like it'll matter.

I just have to plate up the passenger side now, and move on! I'm really happy with this, I now feel like I can take on just about any rust. I filled the 50c piece sized hole in the front of the driver's door with weld, ground it back, and bogged it (as well as that damn patch at the back of the door that I keep sanding back too far). I just need to block sand these two points and I can prime the rest of the door and it'll be done!

Excuse the slightly random progression of images, I tried to organise them but it's a lost cause lol..

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:33 am

Just to bump this up, I have been chipping away at the car but haven't had time to update the thread, also my main PC died which is a pain. Basically I've seam welded the A pillars to the inner guard on both sides, and around the reinforcement box section on the driver's side.

I've bare metalled about a third of the driver's inner guard and treated with chassis-black (similar to POR-15). The passenger's side has been welded up, double-skin of course, as per standard. Holes re-drilled for lower guard to interior bolt. About a third of the passenger guard is back to bare metal, and I've drilled out the reinforcement box section which was rusted. Half of the inner guard behind it has been spot welded up (should have plated it) and the other half has been cut out to plate.

Coming along really well, and I'm getting better at all of this, however I WISH I was using gas for the seam welding, as it is I'm setting s*#t on fire and still not getting the heat for a smooth weld. Once I finish the section I'm on at the moment, it's onto the next problem area - the TOP of the firewall, right up there... AFAIK no holes, but very rusty, and I have no idea how to get power tools in there.

If you have any suggestions, hit up my gallery thread (see link at top of page!) Pics up soon.

Eli

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:46 pm

Awesome news! Although I haven't finished the rust repairs, I've stripped the car bare, and have dropped it off at my mate Jono's place. He does rust repairs and paints old cars, he did Davey Clarke's drift KE. I'll still be doing work there on some of the rust problem areas, like the passenger A-pillar/inner guard area. The guy's really good with older cars and rust repairs done right. I've put some money down to get things started, and though neither of us will have much time til after drift matsuri (we've both entered) it should get a lot of attention after that! I'd hate to put a timeframe on it, but I reckon anywhere from 4-12 months and I'll have her back and shiny white, ready for that twincam sitting in my driveway...

Here are a few happy snaps to keep it interesting.

G180W offset mounting plate for the passenger engine mount. Note that it isn't a standard G series bracket on the engine - but the standard rubber mount bolts on through this, and the exhaust will clear. If I figure out what the bracket on the engine is, I'll let you all know! This came on my "organ donor" third twincam.

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Trial fitment of the factory air con thingo and one of my RA40 radiators. I'll need to make side fins for the RA40 radiator, grind down a little of the standard fins, and re-angle the upper fitting on the air con thingo, but it should be easy as.

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And, the stripped bay, with some pics around the fan box.
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