m tr4nch's restoration/build thread !! (56k = death)

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m tr4nch
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m tr4nch's restoration/build thread !! (56k = death)

Postby m tr4nch » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:07 am

what's up everyone, my name is matt, and here you will find my long overdue s13 restoration/build thread. i'll try to keep the text as short as possible since i know people don't like to read Image

so here's how the story goes...

i've been into cars since around the time gone in 60 seconds came out (like '98-'99), i was in 7th grade. my older brother and i were going to get a car to build back in '01-'02, but could never find the right one. he eventually lost interest in cars and i discovered the 240sx and fell in love with the s13 fastback. i was looking for a RWD platform that wasn't expensive and had a lot of aftermarket support for mods, and there it was. i didn't even know what drifting was back then. i was 14 at the time so i decided to wait until i was 17 to get one when i had my license.

i ended up getting my 240sx in june 2004, a month after my 17th bday, after a good 3-4 months of searching. 1992 year, 132,700 miles, 5 speed, base model, bone stock, little bit of rust, no mechanical problems, no body damage except for the usual door dings, clean carfax, one owner.

picture time...

when i first got the car


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and more random pics

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(current DD in the background)
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:chuckle:
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rusty engine bay :frown:

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then i started collecting some parts, starting with suspension stuff

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new front 5-lug hubs and z32 brake stuff
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all new suspension bolts
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some jdm padding in the box lol
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i had all the dings taken out professionally, pieces of tape to mark them off

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finally on jack stands.. i made the decision to start tearing it apart in june '05 after my inspection sticker expired and i knew it would never pass in its current state, so i said fcuk it.
(as you're reading this thread, keep in mind i have no previous automotive experience at all.)

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^reminds me of this for some reason.. :gapteeth:
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testing out the beadblasting on one of the headlight assemblys
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subframe/diff rustyness
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more rustyness, muffler goes here
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painted the calipers and other stuff
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disassembly of the front end
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super clean...
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KA coming out
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ahh, so much easier to take the rest of the crap out..
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the ol' rusty KA. had to cut the downpipe to finish getting it out since all of the studs/bolts/nuts holding the entire exhaust system together were fused together with rust
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zomg RB25????

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already has nismo FPR :naughty:
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not sure about the condition of the turbo..
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broken exhaust manifold stud :mad:
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cut up harness :frown:
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built a dolly with my dad, my write up on how to make your own - post3006385.html#p3006385

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aaaand away for the winter '05-'06.
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the rest of the car...

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closet full of new parts
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Last edited by m tr4nch on Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: m tr4nch's restoration/build thread !! (m tr4nch)

Postby m tr4nch » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:11 am

begin spring '06, out of hibernation

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interior completely gutted, dry ice is awesome.. also stripping the excess seam sealer off everything to make sure rust isn't lurking underneath.

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stripped engine bay. rusty and dirty as hell

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rusty seams in front wheel wells

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bottom of passenger side quarter panel :eek: :mad:

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inside

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driver's side not nearly as bad

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burning the bushings out of the subframe

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and so the rust attacking commences...

started grinding those front shock tower plates
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this crap was way too deep and i could see stuff hiding under there still, so i decided to just drill it (both sides) off, good thing i did

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sandblasted clean

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one coat of rust bullet sprayed on

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wasted time on the upper radiator support next.. lots of rust hiding sandwiched between here

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got to sandblasting a little bit. here is my sandblasting outfit :bigthumb:

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after spraying with rust bullet

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new shock tower plates cut out and painted

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front wheel wells and battery tray next.

my first attempt at cutting some metal out= horrible haha

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battery tray patch cut out and welded up (i was a n00b at welding back then..)

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wire-wheeled all the rubber/grime out of the wheel wells

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stopped for a couple months for winter
picked up again spring '07..

i gave up on my radiator supports and decided to just get new ones and replace mine

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got the upper support off, test fitting the new one

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got the bottom one off

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man this thing was super crusty

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engine bay sanded down and rusty spots getting grinded down before sandblasting

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decided to cut a few pieces out, i hate rusty seams!!

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other side

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after blasting and spraying rust bullet

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then i welded on the new radiator supports and shock tower plates

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then i found another surprise :mad:

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tried doing a little bit of cutting and gave up, saving it for later.

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blasted the front wheel wells next, and coated with rust bullet

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xenon lip came! :dblthumb:

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summer '07.. someone tell me if i'm crazy :crazy:

starting on the journey through hell..

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after countless hours and days later, working like this..
(yes i know the die grinder is on my balls/crotch)

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(this is only 1 day's worth of crap, i was out there for like 5 or 6 days..)
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the end result...

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man, i don't think i want to ever do that again... being out in the 80 degree+ humid NJ summer weather wearing coveralls/ski mask/etc on my back for a few days.. holy SH*T is all i have to say..


after that i figured it was time for some welding :yesnod

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and painted up with more rust bullet

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also finally painted over these welds

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just some comparison pics of the engine bay after the rust fixage

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now the hard part.
started on the rear section first (basically from rear seats back)

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after sandblasting
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and some rust bullet
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and then, a full spray

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started the floor section next

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rusty seat mount
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where the e-brake cable goes through
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glad i got that off...
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more surprises :mad: :frown:
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wtf, i thought i was done with this crap...
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after a little bit of cutting and poking
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after a lot of cutting
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edit- read on ;)

in short, my plans for the car is to be rust free with brand new parts everywhere, basically a "brand new" car that i can drive daily on the street and is reliable (for the most part), with my own tasteful mods.

a brief list of what's left to do:

finish fixing rust on floor section
remove glass and sand everything down for paint
get most of the suspension powdercoated
new poly bushings installed
throw everything back together

anyways, i guess that's about it for now. thanks for looking and let me know what you guys think.
Last edited by m tr4nch on Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: m tr4nch's restoration/build thread !! (m tr4nch)

Postby offroadbob » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:20 am

Awesome work! Very nice progress. I can't wait to see it finished.

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Re: m tr4nch's restoration/build thread !!

Postby Shift__BODOM » Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:48 am



I admire your dedication. I'd like to think I wouldn't quit halfway through and just sell off all the parts, but I probably would. Serious kudos for sticking with it and doing all that hard work by yourself. I can't wait to see how everything comes together.

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Re: m tr4nch's restoration/build thread !!

Postby numbnuts240 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:00 am

you missed a spot . jk, looks real good man, i wish i had the time and funds to do all that with my car. i'm loving your engine choice btw.

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Postby StricNyne » Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:32 am

hey turd sniffer you didnt post your most important peice of equipment your FnFIII Poster !!!!! seriously it looks awesome man now i gotta search up a AWESOME jpeg you havent seen and post it up

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Re: (StricNyne)

Postby StricNyne » Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:41 am



there we go..

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Re: (StricNyne)

Postby homeslicej2 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:03 am

Nice job so far I too admire your dedication. I hope to restore mine in future as well. I think Nissan still sells those front frame rails. I've seen someone post them up here on NICO. It might be easier/better to just get new ones (if they still sell them), cut the old ones out, and weld in the new.

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Re: (homeslicej2)

Postby kouki-gymkhana » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:50 am

Holy shiznit! Awesome work! I admire your dedication and the shell looks awesome so far. Be careful with that RB25...make sure you take the time to sort it through thoroughly before you drop it in. It will save you a sh*tload of headaches down the road. What mounts are you going to use? Might want to think about banging in the firewall where the starter will sit before you finish painting the bay to make it pretty. It will hurt your heart a little less if you do it now than when it's all painted. Don't ask me how I know...

No plans to stitch weld the frame to stiffen it up? Might as well think about it since it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to do at this point.

I look forward to seeing more updates soon. Keep up the good work!

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Re: (homeslicej2)

Postby mirochuki13 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:03 am

This is my favorite pic.



My whole car would be blue if I marked all the dings on it... lol.

Also, I think you should try to get sponsorship from rust bullet.

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Re: (kouki-gymkhana)

Postby BMAR240SX » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:14 am

Did you hit the effin lotto?

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Postby Hijacker » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:33 am

Subscribed. I'm digging this resto project, and I totally understand your hatred of rust. My car is an ex-jersey car and had the fortunate luck to be pulled out of there many years ago. The few years it did spend up there did damage though, which I've been slowly fixing. Just not to the extent that you're doing. I don't have the patience or garage space to sideline a car for years to do what you're doing.

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Re: (Hijacker)

Postby white90esex » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:06 am

wow, seems like way more work than its worth lol.

good luck with it.

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Re: (kouki-gymkhana)

Postby homeslicej2 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:33 am

Kouki-gymkanan....whatever, made me think of something, other than take your time to make sure the RB install is great. Look into the SKYO mounting kit for the RB25. I looks like the best one out there right now.

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Re: (white90esex)

Postby Hijacker » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:00 am

white90esex wrote:wow, seems like way more work than its worth lol.

good luck with it.
It is a lot of work, but so long as he enjoys it, it's worth it. Not to mention he's doing a great job at it so far.

m tr4nch, Are you going to respray the underside with rubberized undercoating? They make it in a spray can and it's worth every penny if you do do it.

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Re: (Hijacker)

Postby the converted » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:44 am

Damn..... that's some attention to detail. Just keep it up.

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Re: (Hijacker)

Postby Rellik27 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:52 am

wow looking good keep it up

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Re: (Rellik27)

Postby nwmrkt » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:05 am

damn man nice job! You knew I was waiting for this thread.

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Postby Lopin18 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:17 am

holy, at first i was like Restoration my *** this thing is brand new!. then i saw the dings out and i was like, ok, looks more NEW, then i saw the stack of stuff i was like, hmm ok thats overboard, he wants to assemble the whole car?, then freaking doing chassis work cleaning, now rb25, OMFG, LOL THIS IS ONE HELL OF A COOL PROYECT, this car is gonna be BRAND new, beautiful. IM IN, Love this car, thread, work, everything!

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Re: m tr4nch's restoration/build thread !! (m tr4nch)

Postby 2.4Loflove » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:51 pm

your rust problems are somewhat worse than mine, and you tackled them! good luck on whatever is coming. where did you get all the $$$ for the OEM parts?

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Re: (homeslicej2)

Postby m tr4nch » Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:20 pm

thanks for the comments everyone. it's really hard work. i actually almost gave up on it a couple of times but i figured what i had done up to that point would have been a waste, so i stuck with it and now i'm almost finished

i'll try and answer everybody's questions.
homeslicej2 wrote:Nice job so far I too admire your dedication. I hope to restore mine in future as well. I think Nissan still sells those front frame rails. I've seen someone post them up here on NICO. It might be easier/better to just get new ones (if they still sell them), cut the old ones out, and weld in the new.
yeah i've seen people get those frame rails, i heard they are discontinued now? either way it's just that section that is rusty (where the rail bends upwards). the reason is because there's another layer in there for added strength (you can see it in my pics) and that hole there isn't such a good idea, so it just started rusting in between the layers. so i will get some sheet metal from the metal fab place around here and make some new one foot long sections for both sides.
kouki-gymkhana wrote:Holy shiznit! Awesome work! I admire your dedication and the shell looks awesome so far. Be careful with that RB25...make sure you take the time to sort it through thoroughly before you drop it in. It will save you a sh*tload of headaches down the road. What mounts are you going to use? Might want to think about banging in the firewall where the starter will sit before you finish painting the bay to make it pretty. It will hurt your heart a little less if you do it now than when it's all painted. Don't ask me how I know...
homeslicej2 wrote:Kouki-gymkanan....whatever, made me think of something, other than take your time to make sure the RB install is great. Look into the SKYO mounting kit for the RB25. I looks like the best one out there right now.
yeah the RB has been sitting on the engine stand for over 2 years now so i will pull things off that generally need to be replaced when doing a swap.

as for mounts, i am almost 100% sure i will be going with the SYKO mounts. i already have the r33 crossmember, and when it's all said and done it will be cheaper than getting mckinney's.

speaking of banging in the firewall, would you (or anyone) happen to have a pic of where exactly to do this? and how far in?
kouki-gymkhana wrote:No plans to stitch weld the frame to stiffen it up? Might as well think about it since it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to do at this point.
you know, i was originally thinking of stitch welding the whole chassis, but i decided against it. for a street car i don't think it would be worth it. plus i can always add a cage in the future for added stiffness if i ever wanted to.
BMAR240SX wrote:Did you hit the effin lotto?
lol i wish...
Hijacker wrote:Subscribed. I'm digging this resto project, and I totally understand your hatred of rust. My car is an ex-jersey car and had the fortunate luck to be pulled out of there many years ago. The few years it did spend up there did damage though, which I've been slowly fixing. Just not to the extent that you're doing. I don't have the patience or garage space to sideline a car for years to do what you're doing.
lots of people don't take care of their cars around here during the winter (mine's a prime example). it looks like the previous owner parked it in the damn ocean for a while, lol.
white90esex wrote:wow, seems like way more work than its worth lol.

good luck with it.
maybe, i guess we'll find out hehe, thanks!
Hijacker wrote:m tr4nch, Are you going to respray the underside with rubberized undercoating? They make it in a spray can and it's worth every penny if you do do it.
yesssssir. i got my 5 cans of 3m rubberized undercoating sitting in my basement.
nwmrkt wrote:damn man nice job! You knew I was waiting for this thread.
haha yes i know you were thanks!
Lopin18 wrote:holy, at first i was like Restoration my *** this thing is brand new!. then i saw the dings out and i was like, ok, looks more NEW, then i saw the stack of stuff i was like, hmm ok thats overboard, he wants to assemble the whole car?, then freaking doing chassis work cleaning, now rb25, OMFG, LOL THIS IS ONE HELL OF A COOL PROYECT, this car is gonna be BRAND new, beautiful. IM IN, Love this car, thread, work, everything!
thanks man! yep everything (mostly) will be brand new. i really need to go downstairs and take some pics of my last nissan order
2.4Loflove wrote:your rust problems are somewhat worse than mine, and you tackled them! good luck on whatever is coming. where did you get all the $$$ for the OEM parts?
haha thanks. $$ is from me working for 5 years and saving most of it.

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Postby op.tic » Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:54 pm

Ive actually been waiting for this thread, the pic in your sig got me interested in this build.

I have a 90 240sx hatch that i used some parts off of, theres rust here and there just like yours, this really makes me want to restore it and give it another chance, rather than giving it to a junkyard.

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Re: (op.tic)

Postby slipipinoi » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:12 pm

soooo manyyyy partsssssssss

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Postby baoweezee » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:34 pm

been waiting for your write up ina long time..Gj btw, hey wat do ya use for sandblasting? and can u take a picture of the rust bullet ur using? wanting to do this on my car

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Re: (slipipinoi)

Postby 3down1togo » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:42 pm

Ummm Ummm Ummm all i can say is You Are The S***!! lolz congrats on your progess times a MILLION...

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Postby xckid » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:56 pm

will you marry me lol

damn man sweet restoration though...omg !!! this thread is so getting marked

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Re: (3down1togo)

Postby Gottoknow » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:15 pm

Right now you are my inspiration.

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Re: (baoweezee)

Postby m tr4nch » Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:56 pm

baoweezee wrote:been waiting for your write up ina long time..Gj btw, hey wat do ya use for sandblasting? and can u take a picture of the rust bullet ur using? wanting to do this on my car
for sandblasting i use one of these guns with the hose attached



with my air compressor



and a bucket of sand

edit: forgot about the rust bullet lol... all i'm using is their automotive version. i also got some of their blackshell to try out. both are kind of thick and you're not supposed to thin them or it can screw up its rust inhibitive properties.

for everyone saying i'm inspiring, thank you i got all of my inspiration from people that have done this sort of thing: "powerhousemike" on vwvortex forums (white 240 coupe in FL), sillbeer, etc. thanks to them as well
Modified by m tr4nch at 4:21 AM 4/17/2008

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Re: (m tr4nch)

Postby m tr4nch » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:10 pm

some more parts pictures :)

sold the tein he's and bought a set of stance gr+ back in october

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main reason is that i want to use the z32 knuckles in the rear and for some reason tein is "unable" to send me some rear z32 mounts.. :wtf2:

my cleaaaan J30 vlsd and axles (thanks to UNISA JECS on zilvia)

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jdm chuki sideskirts with no cracks

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catco high flow cat

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now for the good stuff

new fuel tank and sending unit
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all new weatherstripping
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e-brake T cable, hood lock cable, hood latch assembly
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random clips/screws/floor plugs
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overflow tank, rear view mirror, mirror glass, front bumper emblem, wiper arms
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new combination switches (since every s13 has sun faded switches), pedal pads, door latch stuff
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headlight bezels
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all new lamps (front turn signals, front and rear side markers, 3rd brake light, license plate lamps)
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clutch hardline, fenderwell plastic, door moulding also stuffed in there
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Last edited by m tr4nch on Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: m tr4nch's restoration/build thread !! (offroadbob)

Postby Didderson » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:47 pm

I've always wondered what your sig was about. Now I know. You're one crazy perfectionist! Big props on the real restoration and not doing tube frame. It'll be nice and OEM one day for barret jackson hehe.

subscribed. finish it this summer!BTW great choice on the motor. Had I had more time and money I'd love to have done an RB25.
Modified by Didderson at 12:31 PM 4/17/2008


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