280zx Barn find - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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280zx Barn find

Hi I'm happy to announce I've finally bought my dream car and I am now the proud owner of a 1980 280zx... but here's the thing, It was a legitimate barn find, the plates had 1996 tabs on them and the car hasn't been started in 5 years. I am 18 and a full time college student. So with a limited budget I would like to get this baby rolling. Problem numero uno, the clutch pedal has no pressure, if I push on the clutch it goes straight to the floor and stays there, but there is clutch fluid in the master cylinder. My next problem is that as I'm starting it for the first time in years what should I be careful to watch for. The car was sitting on blocks off of the ground and it doesn't appear to have any damage to the car with rust or corrosion(brake lines, exhaust, etc...). So how should I go about this?

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 11:12 PM
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Garage
Replace fluids(oil, gas, anti-freeze) replace filters(fuel, oil, air) and put in new spark plugs.

Put a couple of tablespoons of oil into each cylinder a day prior to trying to start it.

82 ZX Turbo
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 11:19 PM
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Listen, I don't mean to dampen your spirits, but you have told us nothing of the history of the car. For all you know, it may have several 100k miles on it. Anybody will tell you total rebuilds are not cost-effective, especially for a college kid. Unless you are a mechanic, you have no way of knowing.

My best advice is to take it to a mechanic who knows these cars, and he will tell you what you are into.

If you are thinking of piecemealing it and trying to do it yourself, here is a sobering thought: I tried that with my 240Z|. I was driving along, and the brake pedal went straight to the floor. The master cylinder failed. Now, had I not been doing 5 mph and been able to simply pull off to the side, it could have been a serious situation.

Personally, I don't think projects that you have to build from the ground up are a good thing. Especially a ZX. I would never want to have to take the dash out. These are borderline too complicated for the average guy.

I own a zx as well.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 11:21 PM
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there are lots of zx's available right now for between 5k and 10k. Some beautiful low-mileage ones. These are garage finds. Look in the cars for sale section. I guarantee that is a fraction of what you will spend if you have to do a total restoration.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 12:57 AM
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Listen, I don't mean to dampen your spirits, but you have told us nothing of the history of the car. For all you know, it may have several 100k miles on it. Anybody will tell you total rebuilds are not cost-effective, especially for a college kid. Unless you are a mechanic, you have no way of knowing.

My best advice is to take it to a mechanic who knows these cars, and he will tell you what you are into.

If you are thinking of piecemealing it and trying to do it yourself, here is a sobering thought: I tried that with my 240Z|. I was driving along, and the brake pedal went straight to the floor. The master cylinder failed. Now, had I not been doing 5 mph and been able to simply pull off to the side, it could have been a serious situation.

Personally, I don't think projects that you have to build from the ground up are a good thing. Especially a ZX. I would never want to have to take the dash out. These are borderline too complicated for the average guy.

I own a zx as well.
This post is so full of fail I don't even know where to start. If you're not mechanically inclined in the slightest forget this car and move on. If you feel you're up to the challenge at least give yourself a chance and download the FSM from http://www.xenons130.com/reference.html that was so graciously made available to you free of charge. Get to reading.

Replace all the fluids/filters as mentioned and flush the brake and clutch lines with fresh fluid. If your petal doesn't return to normal start with a new slave cylinder. They are dirt cheap.

I would not even fathom what it would cost to take this car to a mechanic to check everytime something broke, more than it's worth to say the least. They are simple to work on with basic knowledge and common sense.

If taking out a dash in a ZX is daunting to you sell the car to someone with a clue and then hit yourself in the head with a tack hammer 'cause you're a MORON. You can piecemeal whatever you want while driving the car if you can get it running.

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1981 280zx turbo swap (under construction)
1999 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor
2006 Toyota Rav-4 Limited
2017 Kia Sportage
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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haha slow down

The car has 149,000 on it, I bought it from the cars second owner who inherited it when his uncle passed away in 1995. He was too young to drive the car and so was blocked up so it wasn't sitting in the dirt of this shed since 1996. I'm not about to say that I know everything about cars, because I don't, but I do know enough to do it myself. With that said I grew up literally on a 45 acre salvage yard, with a shop with three 10 foot hoists, a full bodyshop, and specialty tools like a valve resurfacer and timing lights etc... My dad is an ASE certified mechanic as was my grandfather. I'm going to school for Mechanical Engineering and I also hold a part time job at Valvoline instant oil change. I mean what should I look for as in specific problems that the 280zx's are known for having after sitting for awhile.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 01:43 AM
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Nothing any other car that sat for 15 years wouldn't have. Change the fluids in it and start the fucking thing. Read post #5 again. This is information your father or grandfather could tell you if they in fact know about cars as you say.

Maybe you haven't asked their opinion and decided to take this on yourself. I can relate to that.

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1981 280zx turbo swap (under construction)
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2006 Toyota Rav-4 Limited
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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My grandfather pasted away and my dad has worked on cars so long that he thinks having a project car is a waste of time and money. He wants me to focus on school but I pull an 3.7 in college so far, If I focus anymore I feel like I'm just going to start hating it. But long story short I'm doing this on my own and I want it done right so I felt like it was good to do a little research before I go rushing on anything. Thanks for the replies.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 02:59 AM
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I'm in college and I bought my 2nd 280ZXT already. The only difference is I made sure mine ran.

Take these guys advice and replace fluids, but I would do is pull the plugs and inspect the cap and rotor. If good I would put a shot of oil in each cylinder, and then crank it with the plugs out. if all 6 turn its a good start, then get some cheap as **** plugs so loss isn't great and gap them and install and crank. Make sure to do is with new fuel turn the pump on-off a couple of times and let it sit and look for leaks. If no leaks and fuels good crank it over.

If you really want to keep this car in storage and go to school. Just buy a beater S10 or Ranger or perhaps a Corolla or Civic. Dime a dozen and it cost as much as 1 text book. Get it running and it'll be talk of the campus. I keep getting more Z owner stories to the point of just making a **** book.

Able to scare anyone in a single sentence!
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 09:58 AM
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Only a 3.7 ???

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Originally Posted by Revamp View Post
My grandfather pasted away and my dad has worked on cars so long that he thinks having a project car is a waste of time and money. He wants me to focus on school but I pull an 3.7 in college so far, If I focus anymore I feel like I'm just going to start hating it. But long story short I'm doing this on my own and I want it done right so I felt like it was good to do a little research before I go rushing on anything. Thanks for the replies.
See how it is after you complete first semester yes?


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This post is so full of fail I don't even know where to start... you sell the car to someone with a clue and then hit yourself in the head with a tack hammer 'cause you're a MORON.


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