New Z owner, need a little help. - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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New Z owner, need a little help.

Hello all! I just bought a 1984 300zx for very cheap, but very cheap comes with lots of issues that require attention. I know I should probably start separate threads, and I probably will for my engine problems, but these are mainly various small issues. I have a couple questions that you guys might be able to help me with...

First off, I was washing it today to get the years of filth off, and noticed that there is a leak. It seems to be in the top right corner of the driver's window, right at the t-top. Does anyone know where I can get that piece? It definitely looks deteriorated, but I don't know what to look for. The car could use weather stripping all around (especially on the rear hatch), and I can't seem to find any of that. Again, if anyone could tell me a source for it (cheap), please share!

It seems to be pretty common, but my car has some rust. You can see in the picture, it's on the left of the trunk floor. There is also some rust on the rear quarter panels just behind the rear wheels (worse on the pass. side), but I don't know what I can do about that. There is also a small hole in the undercarriage, just under the passenger seat, along with plenty of small, easy to fix spots around the t-tops and around the windshield. How should I go about repairing these rust spots? Would it make sense to clean up the loose stuff in the trunk and spray some rust converter on it, then go over it all with some undercoating? That's what I was planning to do anyway just to prevent future rust, but I wanted some input on that.

The interior is nasty. Some of the panels may be able to be restored, but the seats are trash. I am considering having them reupholstered, but I'd rather just replace them if it's cheap enough. I would have to find some for sale. The headliner is disgusting, I plan on removing it tomorrow, and I am going to replace it. After all that, I will be checking the floor pans for rust and pressure washing the carpet (not hard to remove, is it?).

And finally, the engine. Still need to get a good look at everything, but from what I've been told, it might have burned valves. Apparently, the timing belt tensioner bolt had sheared off, and it lost tension. All parts were replaced, and the car, from what I've heard, cranks, but won't start. I will be doing a compression test and checking for spark, but if anyone knows right off the bat what the problem could be, please share! The idea is to get the car running as cheaply as possibly, but I don't want to come short in making it a safe driving car.
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1984 300zx GLL VG30E 5 speed Sold
1992 Miata 1.8 swapped
...and a fleet of Volvos
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 09:32 PM
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You're better known as a Z31 or 300ZX owner. Z typically means 240Z to 280Z, and Zx is commonly 280Z. Just for reference.

The VG30 is an interference engine so when you lost the tensioner on the timing belt the valves that were open probably got bent. Or all of them did if the valve train kept spinning. I don't see an easy fix, that engine probably won't run as-is.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pdx280 View Post
You're better known as a Z31 or 300ZX owner. Z typically means 240Z to 280Z, and Zx is commonly 280Z. Just for reference.

The VG30 is an interference engine so when you lost the tensioner on the timing belt the valves that were open probably got bent. Or all of them did if the valve train kept spinning. I don't see an easy fix, that engine probably won't run as-is.
Thanks for the clarification! I'm new to the Nissan world, coming from Volvos and BMWs.
I'm assuming that's the problem, but I still want to test it, because crazier things have happened. I read something on another forum, someone with a VG30 Maxima, saying that he had bent valves and his mechanic had told him that he couldn't just replace the valves, because the like-new compression would blow out the piston rings. What is the chance that would actually happen? My Volvo has an interference engine as well, and I have heard of several owners who have either burned valves or bent them after a timing belt going out and doing a valve job and being okay. I realize that's a Volvo 5 cylinder and this is a Nissan V6, but they are still engines.
Would it make more sense to do a valve job if they are bent, or would it be cheaper/easier to just replace the motor?

1984 300zx GLL VG30E 5 speed Sold
1992 Miata 1.8 swapped
...and a fleet of Volvos
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 11:37 AM
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Concerning the rust issues. Will need to replace weatherstripping in the qtr windows and tail lamps. Water leaks into the hatch area and quarter panels. Will probably want to seal the t-top drain tubes with silicone. The old "caulk" deteriorates/cracks allowing water to drain down b pillars (wet seat-belts) and settle in the floor behind the seat. I believe the weatherstripping can be obtained here: http://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/CTGY/classic03c

1986ZXT GLL: 56k NA motor and trans with Turbo goodies added. K & N, CM 3" turbo back, Turbosmart MBC @ 9 psi, fmic (old guy kept the A/C), Dual Fans, Maxima Alternator, ASCO plenum, Eibach/KYB, Champion 3 row
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V70toZX98 View Post
I read something on another forum, someone with a VG30 Maxima, saying that he had bent valves and his mechanic had told him that he couldn't just replace the valves, because the like-new compression would blow out the piston rings.

Would it make more sense to do a valve job if they are bent, or would it be cheaper/easier to just replace the motor?
You'll just have to look around an do the math on the replacing versus fixing. Don't take it that guy's "mechanic" though, that theory is a load of crap.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 1986zxt View Post
Concerning the rust issues. Will need to replace weatherstripping in the qtr windows and tail lamps. Water leaks into the hatch area and quarter panels. Will probably want to seal the t-top drain tubes with silicone. The old "caulk" deteriorates/cracks allowing water to drain down b pillars (wet seat-belts) and settle in the floor behind the seat. I believe the weatherstripping can be obtained here: http://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/CTGY/classic03c
Thanks for the link! I'm definitely going to replace the weatherstripping.
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Originally Posted by pdx280 View Post
You'll just have to look around an do the math on the replacing versus fixing. Don't take it that guy's "mechanic" though, that theory is a load of crap.
Okay, thank you for that. I thought it sounded like a load of crap, but it made me think. I need to stop listening to people that do whatever their "mechanic" says! Just recently I read an ad on Craigslist claiming the car had been smoke tested to find a leaking head gasket...

1984 300zx GLL VG30E 5 speed Sold
1992 Miata 1.8 swapped
...and a fleet of Volvos
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2016, 09:26 PM
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The car could use weather stripping all around (especially on the rear hatch)
Congratulations on the purchase of your Z. Unfortunately, the weather stripping and rear hatch seal being worn out is a common problem on these cars.
The rear hatch seal is a rubber foam seal with metal core strip. The seal is compressed over the years from heavy deck lid sitting on top of the seal.

It can be replaced by the OEM Nissan part # 90830-01P00, or you could get one from a first generation Mazda MPV. The Mazda MPV seal is vertical by design,
and therefore doesn't receive nearly the same amount of pressure to crush the seal. If you want a new one, the Mazda part # is LA0162761A. It will cost you about
$125 USD.


Last edited by danielpearce; 05-05-2016 at 09:35 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2016, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by danielpearce View Post
Congratulations on the purchase of your Z. Unfortunately, the weather stripping and rear hatch seal being worn out is a common problem on these cars.
The rear hatch seal is a rubber foam seal with metal core strip. The seal is compressed over the years from heavy deck lid sitting on top of the seal.

It can be replaced by the OEM Nissan part # 90830-01P00, or you could get one from a first generation Mazda MPV. The Mazda MPV seal is vertical by design,
and therefore doesn't receive nearly the same amount of pressure to crush the seal. If you want a new one, the Mazda part # is LA0162761A. It will cost you about
$125 USD.

Cool, I'll look into that Mazda seal.

1984 300zx GLL VG30E 5 speed Sold
1992 Miata 1.8 swapped
...and a fleet of Volvos
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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So good news everyone! I got the car running today! I cleaned up the spark plugs (nasty looking, didn't even all match!) and put in some fresh gas, and she started right up. It idles VERY rough, but when you rev it up, it smooths out real nice. The fuel filter is nasty, and of course I need to replace the plugs. I cleaned out the throttle body and it improved a whole lot. I am going to clean out the MAF sensor as well. VCG on the bank 1 is leaking, it smokes.
I'm shocked the engine doesn't have bent valves, but there are still some issues to be worked out. The biggest problem is the idle, it stumbles really badly. I'm thinking the fuel filter has something to do with it.

1984 300zx GLL VG30E 5 speed Sold
1992 Miata 1.8 swapped
...and a fleet of Volvos
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 09:29 PM
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Also check for vacuum leaks they will cause stumbling and rough idle if they are small.

easy vac leak check is to spray carb cleaner around hoses... change in idle equals leak.. careful though can cause fire if you arent careful or if there is a exhaust leak.
Good luck.
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