Aug 8, 2014

Project 180: Dents, Rear Wiper Shaving, and a Random Gift...

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Project 180

Dents, Rear Wiper Shaving, and a Random Gift

by Dustin Mankin


What's going on? I'm back with a few updates to the project car. Still steadily moving along. The first picture is of Taira-san pulling some dents out of one of the driver side rear quarter. It went kind of high, so even though I'm planning on going with 30mm wide fenders, we thought it would be safer to pull it now.

Most DIYers will either completely try to fill the dent, or use one of those garbage dent pulling suction cups (I have NEVER had any luck with those things), or try to get behind it with a small hammer and try to knock it back out a little bit.

Well the thing with the Japanese is they are obsessed with perfect. (Sometimes a little too obsessed, I should write about it sometime.) In this case, here is Taira-san with a really awesome tool, that some of you in the body industry may know.  It makes a really light weld (you can see it in the form of those darker dents) and then that round collar that he is holding on to is a weight. You slide it up against the handle kinda hard, and it helps to pull the dent out. Then you twist the shaft (sounds painful) and it breaks the weld. You keep doing that around the dent to bring it out some.

After that you sand it all down and fill what's left with your choice of body filler. I think this time we started with aluminum putty (we usually do) and then smoothed that over with some polyester putty, which is also known as Bondo.

Dear God, this thing is so full of rust, I don't even know where to begin. This is turning more into a restoration than a tune. The bare metal you see above on the door is where there was some rust at the base of my side mirrors.

This is after I used a air powered belt sander with a roughly 60 grit belt on it to knock the rust down. After that we slapped some polyester putty in it, and then we shaped it with some sandpaper. I am seriously scared to remove anything on this car, because I never known where the rust is lurking.

Now on to the fun stuff. I already had the rear hatch cover off from where I was taking the wing off before, so it was quite easy to get to the rear wiper motor. You might want to note you should remove the wiper arm before you remove the motor. I did, I just didn't take a picture of it. If memory serves me correctly, it's three bolts to remove the motor. After that you have an electrical connector tor remove. The connector is the white one up front.

You will be left with... a gaping hole! Oh and never mind the duct tape... that's coming off very shortly.

Now we used a DA Sander with some 180 grit paper to get the hole down to bare metal, so we could weld the hole shut.

Like this. It doesn't need to be a solid bead all the way around. Just several tack welds will do.

You can also see the rust ring around where the spoiler was. That still doesn't come close to comparing with how hideous Zenki S13s are when you pull off that foam fuck-stick of a spoiler. That thing seriously serves no other purpose than to ruin S13 hatches.

After the metal had been tacked into place, I used the 60 grit belt sander to knock all of the welds down. Ideally, you want it to be a little bit lower than the surrounding metal. If you look closely, you can see that my sanding tapered the tacks down, towards the middle of the new sheet metal underneath.

The next two photos show that taper a little bit better. At this point, we filled it with some aluminum putty and then filled over that with polyester putty. I don't know why I don't have any pictures of that process, but if you want to see it, you should check out last weeks post about shaving the rear window sprayer nozzle, which can be found here.

Oh, what's this dusty mess? One of the guys at the garage decided to give me these aero mirrors as a gift. They are knock-offs and not my favorite style, but my factory mirrors motors are broken, so this can't hurt.

Ideally I'd like to have either some older Bomex aero mirrors, or some GT style mirrors. And not that fake shit than bolts to the factory location. I want the ones that I will have to put on the door, and then block the factory mounting plate off. What will I choose? It all depends on the future aero I choose. That, however is a long way off. One thing at a time.

Thanks for the mirrors, Kenji!

So, after everything was done, we primered her up late that night. I don't have any pictures of it, but the trunk rust rings were fixed, and the aero mirrors were thrown on, as I make my last checks, because Shaken is soon.

And here is how the trunk looks for now. Gotta give the primer time to cure. I think this looks a lot better than the two big ghetto ass strips of duct tape, don't you? We just cut small circles out of the aluminum tape that we have, and stuck it down over the trunk holes. Looks good enough for now...

Well that's it for this week. I'll be back with more project updates next week. No idea what it will be yet... it's a mystery to all of us.... until then, be safe!

Also, guys... I know I sound like a broken record, but please, if you have time, go to my Facebook page at and give it a like! Every like helps me feel like I'm doing people a service!

One more thing. Click on Store above. I have a few things in the store now, including the experienced driver mark and a JDM sticker that I haven't found anywhere else. My max limit of items is 5 while I wait to see if it's worth paying a monthly fee for a store. If you need anything else, I can get you just about anything here, and my rate is reasonable, although shipping may not always be super cheap on BIG items.

1 comment:

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