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I just bought 2 280zx's. a 1981 and a 1980. i previously owned the 81 but had to sell it because i was tight for cash. the dude who i sold it to totally trashed it, can only salvage the hood 1 t-top and 2 of the fenders and the motor... the other car however is pretty decent between the two i should be able to restore one. I'm not to sure where to start being i'm new to the restoring thing. I was wondering whether i should start with the mechanical portion or start with the body and interior. Any suggestions would help me a lot. second they are both L28 n/a's i was wanting to convert the motor to a turbo motor. i was wondering if you guys could tell me what all i would need to do so. i know i need the exhaust and intake manifold. the turbo is a given :). i was wondering what else i would need. i'll greatly appreciate all the help i get.
 

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from my previous inquiries, it is MUCH less work to just get a turbo motor and drop it in. some different things that you'll need: EFI harnesses, turbo AFM, ECU (i think)... you'll also have to get a turbo oil pan, or tap the one you have so you can have an oil return line from your turbo. The turbo engine's block is a bit huskier as well-- from what i've read, that's why they use it in the stroker 3.1L bore-outs. N/A motor would work, but the best bet would be to get a wrecked turbo car... one of the junk yards near me would sell me one in wrecked condition for $750. he wanted $350 + my GOOD engine for just the engine/turbo. good luck and keep me posted...
 

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it would be better to use a full turbo motor, less work definately, and from what I hear you wouldnt want to use a NA block from those years because of the flat top pistons, i think turbos need dished pistons to reduce compression. High compression in a turbo motor will kill it I think.
 

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From having helped a bunch of other G.I.'s when I was in the service, I can tell you that without a doubt, the most important thing in getting a car back to "specs" or "wow" status is DEFINITIVELY do the MECHANICALS first.

I helped one guy restore an 80 Trans Am, after he had insisted that he was done with "tweaking" the engine. We put a 4 coat metallic blue paint job, got the true blue decal for the hood and others, and generally detailed it out to the max. One month later, he's in the MWR shop, with his engine out, the hood on its top getting scratched, grease and belt marks on the fenders and generally with a screwed up paint job, because he wanted to equalize the compression in all the cylinders. Maybe it was a repair, but others told me he had been planning on doing that even before we started painting. In the end, he wanted me to repaint it, (after first accusing me of having done a poor job), but I told him to go fly a kite.

So, trust me, do the mechanical fixes first. That way you won't be tearing out the interior, or screwing up the paint in order to get the needed mechanicals done.
 

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I appreciate all the help guys. i didn't know where to start. I got a long road ahead of me. My goal is to have it done in mid july... hopefully anyways, maybe sooner. I'll keep you guys up to date on my progress, i'll most likely need more pointers too. thanks for everything.
 
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