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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1993 Nissan 300ZX Z32 Convertible with HEADS and BLOCK engine damage
Year: 1993
Model: 300ZX
Engine: VG30DE Non Aspirated (not Twin Turbo)
Trans: manual 5 speed
Color: gray interior, red exterior
Mileage: approximately 75,000
Description: 1993 Nissan 300zx Z32 Convertible. There were only 1,511 Z32 convertible models produced from 1993 to 1996 and less than half were mated with the 5 speed manual transmission, making this one of 755 models produced. Unfortunately, I was given the bad news from my mechanic that I need a new engine. This is a 1993 300ZX, VIN JN1RZ27H4PX002116, a 3.0L VG30DE , not a TT twin turbo vehicle by OEM. Everything except the engine is in very good to excellent condition. A new $1,500 top was professionally replaced just 2 years ago and is in new condition. I'm going either two ways here, whichever happens first: selling the car needing the engine, or buying a replacement engine and keeping the car. If you should know of an engine for sale, please notify me.
Asking price: $10,000 obo
Name: Curt Rudolph
Phone: 607-329-7256
Email: [email protected]
City/State/Country: Painted Post, NY 14870
 

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What was the cause of the engine damage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The oil leaked into the coolant. The oil looked fine at oil filler and dipstick, so it went only oil to coolant, and not travelling from coolant to oil. There is a difference, I was told, but not that mechanically inclined to know what it is. The valve rods (I believe that's what was said) had evidence of rust, so the mechanic suspects the block as well as the heads are damaged. He couldn't in good conscience rebuild the existing engine and promise it would be ok, so I've been trying to find a replacement engine since July 5. The car itself is in such great shape that it would be a crying shame to junk it.
If there is any substitute engine that will work, I would try that, but no one is offering suggestions.
 

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I don't hear anything in your description which can't be repaired. I'm not sure what part was referenced, as I have never heard of "valve rods." If there's rust, hot tanking the engine should clean it out. If the cylinders are scored, boring them out will correct it unless there are deep gouges. He may not WANT to do the work, as he may think it will cost too much to do it right. You may want to talk with another mechanic. If you've never rebuilt an engine, then there may be potential for a fix that you are not aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He’s the only mechanic within 150 miles that would even say yes, to working on it. I asked for sources on this forum, Nissan Club forum, Jesse’s Garage, Nissan collectors and dealerships.
Valve rod - apologies, should have said valve STEM. 33 years of service to our nation’s Veterans but never worked on an engine. My bad.
Tell me where to go. I’ve been asking exhaustively for 3 months.
 

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Man, hard to believe these engines aren’t out there. 10 or so years ago we had a wall of those and they never sold because they were pretty tough. Only guy”kid” that ever bought any of them had a belt driven turbo kit, and would blow it up every other year.

Getting to the point, his was in a Maxima, which had the same NA motor


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We’ve had a couple locals swap over j30 long blocks over, I believe they swapped everything that was external. Maybe that might help. Too bad your so far away, I have perfectly good running NA long block from my TT swap few years ago collecting dust.
 

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This may be asking the obvious, but have you put this out on the auto recycling circuit? I have to think there's a donor car out there and an engine could be freighted to you.
 

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I am sure you could send the engine out and have it fixed. I bet it would cost as much as buying an engine you know nothing about. It put my money in to numbers matching rather than an unknown plant. Also, once you rebuild it, you would have a car with an almost new engine. Japanese car values are on the rise, a numbers matching car will be worth a **** of a lot more than one with a transplant.

If you go with a new plant, here is one I found online Nissan vg30e 3.0 V6 comp engine


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
re: I am sure you could send the engine out and have it fixed.
Isn't repairing a block really sketchy? I'd love to keep it all original and matching #'s engine to car, but to have it fail again, and waste $X,XXX.

re; If you go with a new plant, here is one I found online Nissan vg30e 3.0 V6 comp engine
Been there, no sources with availability. Here's my list, and if anyone out there is inquiring about owning a Z with a VG30DE, consider this fair warning if that engine should fail.

AMUAP AM Used Auto Parts - had one bought, but called a week later to check on it, and "must have had a cracked block so we're cancelling your order and sending a refund."

Remanns - quote requested 9-5, [email protected]> wrote: This engine is currently not available due to extreme back order.

Jesse’s Garage / build theory: The Infiniti J30 has the same engine as the 300zx

montyz81 replied on Z Car Forum – try to find a Maxima, which had the same NA motor

Northwest JDM – quote requested 9-5

mazda_nissan_heaven - don't have any engines for that year range in stock.

www.go-powertrain.com - At this time this engine does not have an ETA. It is remanufactured in Japan and the global container shortage is not allowing anything to be shipped out of Japan.

Engine Land - SOLD OUT - NISSAN 300ZX FAIRLADY VG30, VG30DE

fenixparts.com - checked inventory but don't have it in stock there is nobody on my system currently showing to have that engine.

specialtyz.com – could be a year from now

a random guy in NJ that had one for sale, but my AMUAP deal looked better and then that fell through and then random guy's post for the engine was deleted from fb marketplace, so likely sold his too.

This is getting really old and turning into a big regret.
 

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re: I am sure you could send the engine out and have it fixed.
Isn't repairing a block really sketchy? I'd love to keep it all original and matching #'s engine to car, but to have it fail again, and waste $X,XXX.

This is getting really old and turning into a big regret.
Actually, if the block isn't cracked, any good machine shop can normally make it workable. What you need to do is get the engine taken apart, get the heads and block (with crank and pistons) to a good machine shop, and have them give you an opinion on it. You may be surprised what they can do.

That's what I would do in this case.

Here's how I look at it: with a bad engine, you have a (maybe) $2,000 body....if it's worth that much. I know that hurts, but without an engine, it's a shell that you will have to sell cheap to get rid of it.

Someone who knows how to do engine swaps can find a used non-turbo engine from some wrecked 300ZX with a few weeks or months of looking. Or if you include the old engine, he can run it over to his favorite machine shop.

With a running engine, according to Kelly Blue Book you have a car worth maybe $7000.

If you spend $5000 or less to get the engine working and back in it, the numbers work.

YMMV...perhaps this doesn't seem logical, but this is how I see it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I’m seeing especially on Autotrader, Zs listed for $15-30K. As an example, what would you all seriously expect this one should be priced,
Automotive parking light Tire Land vehicle Vehicle Car
 

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I just bought a 93 convertible 5speed for $12,800 last October.The car had 48k mikes on it.

This picture was one week after I took delivery.


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One question that needs to be asked on these cars, especially given their age,,, was the 60k or 120k service done?. The VG is an interference engine with a timing belt. I had mine done as soon as I got it


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Hagerty's valuation tool says that car is worth about $27,200. I'd say it is in the ball park
 

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Good idea to check Hagerty. I looked at conventional valuation tools.

With no engine, it's worth a LOT less. And if - as you seem to feel - the engine isn't available, then the car is a parts car.

The frustrating thing is that there is quite obviously an engine out there, or (as I feel confident) the engine can be rebuilt. The challenge is finding the engine or getting the rebuild paid for.
 

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Good idea to check Hagerty. I looked at conventional valuation tools.

With no engine, it's worth a LOT less. And if - as you seem to feel - the engine isn't available, then the car is a parts car.

The frustrating thing is that there is quite obviously an engine out there, or (as I feel confident) the engine can be rebuilt. The challenge is finding the engine or getting the rebuild paid for.
To me, it’s worth having the engine rebuilt. From what it sounds, I do not think it will be more expensive than finding, buying and installing another engine.


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Agreed that if block is not cracked or severely scored, it can be rebuilt. Concept Z uses Pitstop performance for rebuilds, maybe also contact them for any help/advice.
 
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