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About MARTS-PL310

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    Mechanical engineering, flight, travel, automotive, motorcycles, metal crafts


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  1. Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - RHS Outer Sill Mock Up. Just finished the forming of the three outer sill segments and loosly fit checked them today. Still much more work to do. Weld them together, trim the flanges, add the bits inside for support of the side of body jack structure, add some joggles to the flanges and many other mods to make it one assembly same as original. Some pics follow. The aft sill segment fits nice and snug against the rotted dogleg stub. I did get a little too sharp of a bend radius at the ends because I unevenly tightened the budget metal folder. Still learning. I can fix it with some more beating with a steel rod on the inside. My crude metal concave curve forming apparatus, round one.It was a bit unstable until I added some more lumber down at the base. Other regular bends made with a small 18 inch folder. Lots of gentle panel beating and straightening using pipes, boards, angle iron, etc was required to get the final profile to match original. Profile card in foreground below pic of the in-work sill build. Can't buy these parts, have to make em and that sure takes a lot of time! Discussion: Build:
  2. (continued from previous post today) Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - RHS floorpan fabrication completed. Finishing up the story today by adding the two lateral straps underfloor and two longitudinal stiffeners in the front section. Tuned up the loose inboard edges a bit where the corrugations will continue over the trans tunnel. Cut up bits and welded in. Small but rather time consuming to fiddle with making fit and weld. Tacks and more tacks. Repeat six places. Then add all the underside straps, do another fit check in the car and take lots of pics. It's all fitting up quite well now. Very pleased with it. Permanent weld assembly of the floor parts and floor to car are to take place quite a bit later after scratch fabricating the outer sill, A-post, repair B-post, Dogleg and anything else needed to do a fit check with doors mounted. Oh and the door hinges need rebuilding. On the table slated for work next. These are the three segments destined to be the outer sill (old A-post in background). They have been sitting half complete for about two years now. Time to get er done! Discussion: Build:
  3. (continued from previous post today) Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - RHS floorpan fabrication completed. Started work on this rusty old RHS seat support bracket. Salvage it with repair? Replace it? Make a new one? Chose to cut the rusty half off and salvage it. Made a sketch and got to work on the base using 2 mil thick steel. Easy to weld with a TIG compared to the thin stuff at least! The rest follows naturally and was a fun mini project. Tacked the new base half on with a MIG, filled in with small pieces on the ends and then TIG welded it the rest of the way. After trim of excess and smoothing the edges a bit. I had an existing hole on the top salvaged half rail that was not original and plugged it. Turned out ok with some of the weld in the fillet left unground. The seat bracket In its future location. The Clecos in the background btw were just an experiment and I used Teks instead for temp assembly as noted in prior post. I'll make third post tonight and wrap it up. Discussion: Build:
  4. Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - RHS floorpan fabrication completion. More progress on the Bluebird RHS floorpan. I've done a lot of work. Started by fully welding up the tacked up butt weld joints shown previously. Used mostly MIG process (tack, tack, tack and grind excess). Then used a large piece of cardboard to rough out the edge trim contour. Got it relatively close and then rolled a large washer with a marker on the ID to get the contour line against the tunnel. Final trimmed shape of the cardboard. Set the it on the pan and trimmed it. Left a uniform amount of excess to transition with a fillet against the tunnel. Blended the edge end of corrugations flat by making a couple cuts on each, pounding flat and welding. Then made a 90 degree flange to mate with the inner sill plate. The beat and rolled the tunnel edge into a fillet with hammer and dolly. Then did a somewhat successful first rough trial fit. Looks ok from a distance but up close it needs more finesse. Formed some stiffening bumps, same as factory floor, with homemade tools of plywood (male/female blocks), chuck of plastic pipe, deep socket and a big hammer. The forming process pulled in some adjacent metal on the ramps which were easily panel beaten back to shape. Cleaned up the hat section underside support that was salvaged and temporarily attached it. First with some Clecos, then later on used Teks. Wrong application for regular low tension Clecos due to the undulating contour and minor mismatch. Pounded in some depressions for the two body mount bolt locations. Also attached the stub at the extreme forward end to mate with the toe board. Running out of the allotted pic upload limit. More soon with repairs to the salvaged seat support bracket and other parts/stuff. Discussion: Build:
  5. Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - RHS Floorpan fabrication and incremental forward progress. Took some vacation time off in July and travelled through the North Cascades and scablands of Washington state in a rented RV. Alta Lake state park. Sun Lakes Dry Falls state park. Back at it now on the Datsun Bluebird RHS floorpan. Made the the "3D" shapes that define the platform for the B-post body mount and the front footwell to front seat platform transition. Cut and welded flat the corrugation ends to match factory original. Started with laying out the cutout for the B-post body mount transition area on the underside. Drilled holes on the corners of the layout and inserted a pneumatic body saw. All cut out. Then cleaned it up a bit with various files. Flattened the adjacent corrugations to factory config and cut the transition step. Bent the floorpan to create the transition step down to the rear footwell. Trimmed the excess material and tack welded top edge of rearmost transition. Made a couple of 1/4 conical shapes, formed and trimmed to fit. Tack welded them in. Then made a rectangle piece and tacked it in. Overview of that completed "3D" mini-project. Then, moving forward, did a layout to start the front footwell to front seat platform transition between the side of seat and inner sill. On a right hand steer car this is where the hand brake lever would be. Underside shown. Cut out the metal and massaged the corrugations. Then bent the pan to match factory shape to lower front footwell dropdown. Trimmed and tack welded the top of the slight sloped section. Tacked in a triangle piece. Marked out the cut lines to relieve the remainder of the soon to be flattened corrugations. Corrugation ends formed, flattened and relief cuts tack welded. Upper surface shown. Plan is to TIG weld between all the many MIG tacks, thus I've strived to keep panel gaps to a minimum. Since I'm less than a beginner at TIG, I'm sure it will be a challenge for me. A bunch of my practice sessions have shown that fact. Anyway, I think it will fun to learn TIG, eventually, I just hope I don't vaporize too much metal along the way. Thanks for reading. More progress to be made in a few weeks hopefully. Discussion: Build:
  6. Another diversion from rust repair was had. Rebuilt the 310 Datsun Bluebird fuel pump. A quick job that provides the satisfaction of finishing something in one go. Found a repair kit in oz several years ago and just hung onto it. Replacement pumps are a bit scarce and I didn't much like running it with a noisy electric. Anyway, it's good to go now, at least until the ethanol laced fuel ruins it again. The 310 Bluebird FSM is quite handy. There are several interesting pages dedicated just to the fuel pump. This is one. Learned a few new words. Chube, Diaspring, Pum. ; ) Discussion: Build:
  7. Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - RHS floorpan fabrication started. Made some more custom corrugated floorpan tin last weekend. Started fab work on the RHS floorpan. It's a scratch build like everything else, Started with a 26 by 56 inch 20g blank sheet providing excess material all around as with the LHS. Bead rolled it to duplicate the original Datsun Bluebird 310 pattern. Two wide beads in the center underneath the front seat, five beads in the front footwell spaced at an 80mm pitch and four beads in the rear footwell again spaced at 80mm pitch. Eleven beads total. Takes two separate offset beads to combine and make one full bead. Three progressive runs for each formed offset. That's a total of 66 runs through the bead roller machine. Oh, and three people to support and guide the blank, me and two patient family volunteers. Upper side. Underside. I'm trying to improve it over the LHS floorpan build. I used a different set of dies compared to the previously completed LHS pan to more closely match the factory formed fillet radii. Used these rounded tipping dies in an offset mode instead of joggle dies. Offset the rounded dies like this just not quite that deep. Ran the blank through the machine in three progressively deeper steps for each half of an offset or large joggle type bead. Instead of using these joggle dies (below), as used on the LHS pan. The joggle dies have too small of edge radii, which tend to leave knife edge indentations in the metal. Results were a near perfect match to the original factory formed stiffening beads in shape, depth and locations. What i used to take some of my measurements from after scraping the old underseal off. Bottom side was used for measuring, using a flexible tailor's tape, since the top side is too heavily cratered. Discussion: Build:
  8. Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - Right side completed periphery structures. A flood of pics to display the completed right hand side periphery structures. This will provide solid support for the future floor build. And on the work goes until the Bluebird rust be banished. Discussion: Build:
  9. Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - Right side inner sill and brackets. Rusty front section of inner sill before pic. Not worthy of a simple small patch. Inner body skin above it is also rusted out. A-post body mount bracket not looking too good either.All get replaced. Drilled out all the spot welds to the outer sill flanges and cut the gas welds at the posts. Hacked out the connections to the body jack pipe.The rusty inner sill is now ready to be pulled out. And it's out! A couple of pics to size it up against the new sill plate I built a couple of years ago. . And the brackets. four on the inside and two outside. I flattened the old forward end flange and use it as a template to trim the excess off my new inner sill. Bent the end to match the old and started welding the two new outer brackets on. Forming a recess in the A-post body mount bracket. 16g sheet proved quite resistant to 12 ton press. Eventually the press worked but did not produce a really clean edge, plus I have to fill in the clamping holes. I decided the B-post bracket will be made in two pieces. Making the B-post bracket. Sprayed some machinist blue die over my flat pattern copy and cut it out of 16g. Resulting flat pattern. Later on I bent up the flanges 90 degrees and then made the inside piece after making a little forming tool. Cut and welded it in. Made some indents to match the original with this setup. Angle iron brace and 3/8 inch rod that was pounded on to form the metal made soft with a gas torch. My four new brackets for the inboard side of sill. Position check for welding. Drilled and coated with some weld thru. Set up for plug welding. All goes smoothly. First and last fit check of the inner sill assembly. Exceeded my pic upload limit at this point. I pulled the sill out just to flange the upper edge for a lap fit same as original at and forward of the A-post. Welded the inner sill in at the front and back ends and then proceeded to cut most of the A-post off for future reproduction/reconstruction. Removed the outer sill as well. I'll post a set of summary photos of the periphery. Maybe tomorrow. So now the project is up to date with these last three posts and same number of months. The periphery is all welded in, ground, metal cleaned and etched. Working on the right side floor next. Not physically started on that floor as yet. I'm wanting to figure out ways to improve upon the left side floor just a bit. Discussion: Build:
  10. Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - Replacing the right rear seat pan support structure, step and wheel well lip. First, the Bluebird rear seat pan structure as it was. And from the wheel well perspective. So I started by cutting some rusty metal out. Then I worked this piece to savage the good 3/4 portion with the four beads and replace the rot. Fitting the old and new together. Made some tack welds. Finished and cleaned up the welds and built the vertical side support. The little side floor was built a couple of years ago. Screwed the pieces together. Checked fit with the car. Fitted good! Welded on later. I moved on to fix the rot on the wheel well lower lip. A bunch of little rot pieces cut out and repairs can begin to the wheel well just behind the step plate vertical flange. Mostly self-explanatory. Three more or less flat pieces of rot cut out and new metal welded in. Took some time to do though. . And in the next post: The new inner sill and all six brackets that go with it. Discussion: Build:
  11. Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - Replacing the right side of trans tunnel. So all the Bluebird rust repairs and reconstruction of the peripheral structure surrounding the future right side floor pan are complete. All new metal where the floor will then make a solid welded connection. I'll make several posts. I'm proceeding around counterclockwise from the previous post about the right side toe board repair. Posting in sequence then, here is the right hand side of trans tunnel, repair. The Bluebird trans tunnel as it was in the beginning. Then cleaned up a bit to expose the extent of damage and perforated areas. Formed the first patch and matched the original shape. Cut out the rust. Tacked in first trans tunnel patch . Then formed the second. Cut out more rust. Tacked in the second patch. Formed and fit checked the third patch. Scribing some cut lines and making index lines. Cut out yet more rust. Tacked in the third patch. All three patches in. Lastly, I made a transition fillet piece to connect the toe board to the tunnel. As formed. More welds, rough grinding, cleaning and metal etch. The transition fillet piece gets just a few tacks to hold it temporarily until the floor build gets underway, then I'll remove it and join it to the floor as a little extension. Moving on, I will post the right hand rear seat pan structure rust removal and related bits next. Discussion: Build:
  12. Took a break from the rusty sheet metal repairs and played with the engine. Checked out the valve train and made sure nothing was sticking, cleaned the metal grinding dust off the ignition components, rigged up a vertical fuel feed and cranked it up. Open exhaust manifold with no pipes or muffler. All just for a little fun break.
  13. Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - Replacing the toe board. Found some scrap metal just large enough, made the toe board and welded it in. Trimmed and checking for fit. Fought some indecision whether to butt or lap weld. Went with the butt weld for a flush join. This scrap had been destined to become the left inner sill plate until I realized it did not match the original thickness. Made a thicker sill and threw the thin one into the scrap pile. Tack welded. Some rust craters above the weld line are filled in. One plug weld connects to the support bracket underneath. Stitch welded between the tacks and ground flush. Moving on to the side of trans tunnel next. Discussion: Build:
  14. My interim diversion from the project metal work. Messed around with this Bluebird body jack thing a few weeks ago. Cleaned it up, disassembled, painted and tried it out. Lifted the left side of body an inch off the stands and set er back down again. Works great! Cut out the right side floorpan and posted that today in the project build thread.
  15. Building the 1961 Datsun 310 Bluebird - Removing the rusty right side floorpan and inspection. Finished the left side of car and I'm now just starting the right side. Recording and assessing the before state of the right floorpan and adjoining structure. That big hole on the middle lower right next to the tunnel is where an aftermarket seat belt was bolted directly to the then thin sheet floor by a previous owner back in the sixties. Sketchy. No secondary doubler plate, exhaust seal or anything. Local floor thickness remaining was nothing. Potential belt tensile restraint strength was zero. Plan is to salvage and repair the seat support bracket. The bottom flange is rusted out and the rest is not too bad. Measuring up the rotted toeboard before cutting the floorpan out. Plan is to cut the toeboard out later along the tape line. Cut the floorpan out. Survey of the underfloor brackets. Looking forward. Looking aft. Frame is not rusted, just dirty. Front A-post and body mount bracket. Rotted. It will be replaced. No. 2 (moving aft) bracket. It is twisted a bit due to some sort of abuse impact, and salvageable, but will be replaced since I've already made a new one. Side of body and jack lift point bracket. Rotted out on bottom. It will be replaced. B-post and body mount bracket. It might be salvageable. Floorpan, side of rear seat pan. Rotted. It will be replaced. Already have a new one made. Lower edge of rear seat pan vertical structure will be patch repaired. The remains of the removed right floorpan. Rust attacked it from the top down. Bottom view of same. An asphalt base underseal coating was applied against the otherwise bare sheet metal by the Nissan factory. This coating was relatively effective, it just didn't help the top side much. The only salvageable parts (so far). And the work continues... Plan is to go around counterclockwise and repair the perimeter structure starting with the toeboard before launching into making a new floorpan. Masking paper on the left side is to keep the cutting and grinding particles off. I'm also going to cover that completely with a protective welding blanket. Discussion: Build: