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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I'm looking for some opinions as to weather or not this 240Z is worth the trouble (or even possible). With prices skyrocketing in just the last 5 years I know I need to get my piece of the pie now while the gettin is good and before all the attainable ones are gone.
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Don't know exactly how she ended up in her current state but what is clear is there is fairly extensive damage to the front left frame rail and body panels. The frame rail is the only thing that scares me about this car. To me the rust that is present around the rest of the car is extremely minimal compared to what I have been seeing lately for very over priced rust buckets. Plus there is a complete interior and original motor and 4 speed. On top of that the creme de la creme, safari gold!

I have wanted one ever sense I got my first car at 14 (1986 300zx/na) and would look for parts for that car and find huge support for the s30 but hardly any love for it's ugly younger brother. (Still have a special spot in my heart for the z31) Now 29, I'm finally at a point in my life where I can fit a classic car into the picture but long story short I can't afford a nice one right out but this one is reasonably priced (in my opinion) and will be a long term project with the price of fixing it spread out over the next 4 years....is it reasonable to fix this substantial damage or just move on and find another? Not looking to restore the car and might even do a RB swap at some point down the road.

Anyways any constructive advice is greatly appreciated, even if it's not what I want to hear. I really want this car but I'm realistic. I'm going back to where I found it later this week to see if it has a title and if so get it trailered to the house unless there is overwhelming doubt from experienced Z car owners on here.
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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Based on the rust around the rear hatch, I'd say there are real problems under that car. Probably not worth restoring.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Based on the rust around the rear hatch, I'd say there are real problems under that car. Probably not worth restoring.
I have had a look under the car and it's not terrible underneath. I know the rust on the rear tray under where the hatch closes is bad but I also know that's a super common issues for these cars and there's a few places that sell sheet metal replacements for that so I'm not super worried about it. What i am worried about is the rather large dent in the frame rail between the firewall and the strut tower. I have yet to come across somewhere that sells sheet metal for that....just the metal for the frame rail starting behind the firewall. So that means grafting something in from another parts car (if I could find one that's not a total rust bucket) or fabricating my own pieces which I'm not the best at. And like I said I'm not interested in a "restoration" I just want something that is good enough for me to drive around a couple times a month, modify without feeling bad about it (why a wrecked one is preferred to one that's pristine), and maybe take it to a autoX or track day every now and again.
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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My advice is to find one that's in better shape. The extra cost will be far better than thousands of hours of work. But that's me.
 

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You'd really need a parts car to fix that front end, assuming all damage is solely forward of the firewall. But finding a parts car with a good front end that isn't rusted out might be a challenge.
 

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Hi. Things to consider.
General condition car minus that rail damage.
Condition of interior door cards dash seats and floor.
Does it turn over/run even poorly?
Your skill level as a metal fabricator and mechanic. (If you have to pay someone you will find even a car fair to good will cost a bunch)
A place and desire to complete a long-term project.
Cost of the car as is.
Well done this car can bring really good money but it can quickly go upside down on the cost to repair or restore.
There is great joy in the first drive that will never fail to impress.
If you can say "I got this" then get that "Z".

I am knee deep in my DIY 78 Z project car with my eye on the prize. So I understand all of the issues I brought above.

Oh, just so you know this type of project is like walking down train tracks. A grand wide plan where you stand and your project completion in the distance where the tracks meet. LOL
Good luck 👍 IMG_20201218_093936.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I ended up buying the car and I'm not regretting it one bit. $1500 with clean one owner title AND they delivered the car to my garage at no charge. Obviously there's a long road ahead of me but I'm dedicated to getting it done and back on the road. Here's some more pics of the inside after I got all the crap cleared out of it.

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Discussion Starter #8
The not so good....

Drivers side under the floor mats. Savable.
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Passenger side floors. Will need replaced along with the frame rails.
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Cool stiff that has survived the years 😎
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Good luck with the restoration! Keep us updated!
 

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I'm not a body/frame guy but I say go ahead and save it. I've had two frame rails put in and it wasn't a big deal. It'll be lots of fixing up but it will be enjoyed and you'll have a car to be proud of and the color too. It would be a shame if this car was written off.
Good luck with the restoration! Keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm not a body/frame guy but I say go ahead and save it. I've had two frame rails put in and it wasn't a big deal. It'll be lots of fixing up but it will be enjoyed and you'll have a car to be proud of and the color too. It would be a shame if this car was written off.
Exactly my thoughts. I just had to grab it while I had the chance. I'll be leaving in June to be stationed in Japan for 3 years. While I'm gone the car will be at my uncle's paint and body shop in Missouri getting worked on by him and my dad so when I come back all the really hard stuff will be done. It's going to be the longest 3 years of my life lol but maybe I can find some rad parts for cheap!
 

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Right on! I've seen front clips done on the Z and since you have pro help in the family it's great to save it. Better give your Unc and Pop plenty of back side kissin' before you leave.
 

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Big commitment. Totally doable.
Parts are tough. Do not count the hours or money. This as a parts car for another and merging is a thought.
Yall got that rust.
I got my ASE MASTER in 1990, and have resurrected a few. Not easy.
Take it in stages, starting with the frame, The structural integrity and the fact that it needs to be square since there’s not a lot of room for alignment angle adjustment after you pull or weld in the frame rails, a lot of Metalwork Just to get to the point where you have a restorable car huge commitment, totally doable
 

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It's great that you have a support group in place to do the body/frame. While I'm sure you will have to pay for the work they do, I'm sure you'll get a much better price the regular Joe Schmoe off the street.
 

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Hi everyone. I'm looking for some opinions as to weather or not this 240Z is worth the trouble (or even possible). With prices skyrocketing in just the last 5 years I know I need to get my piece of the pie now while the gettin is good and before all the attainable ones are gone. View attachment 108030
View attachment 108031
View attachment 108032
View attachment 108033

View attachment 108035
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View attachment 108041

Don't know exactly how she ended up in her current state but what is clear is there is fairly extensive damage to the front left frame rail and body panels. The frame rail is the only thing that scares me about this car. To me the rust that is present around the rest of the car is extremely minimal compared to what I have been seeing lately for very over priced rust buckets. Plus there is a complete interior and original motor and 4 speed. On top of that the creme de la creme, safari gold!

I have wanted one ever sense I got my first car at 14 (1986 300zx/na) and would look for parts for that car and find huge support for the s30 but hardly any love for it's ugly younger brother. (Still have a special spot in my heart for the z31) Now 29, I'm finally at a point in my life where I can fit a classic car into the picture but long story short I can't afford a nice one right out but this one is reasonably priced (in my opinion) and will be a long term project with the price of fixing it spread out over the next 4 years....is it reasonable to fix this substantial damage or just move on and find another? Not looking to restore the car and might even do a RB swap at some point down the road.

Anyways any constructive advice is greatly appreciated, even if it's not what I want to hear. I really want this car but I'm realistic. I'm going back to where I found it later this week to see if it has a title and if so get it trailered to the house unless there is overwhelming doubt from experienced Z car owners on here.
Nope. There are many cars in better shape for sale
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Nope. There are many cars in better shape for sale
Yeah for way more than $1500. I don't have the option to drop 10 to 20k for a decent one (I have 4 daughters) BUT I do have cheap family labor at my disposal and time. All in all the more I have looked over and gone through the car I couldn't be more satisfied with my purchase.
If you want to sell me something that runs and drives, has no rust, and is 100% original other than a electronic ignition for around 1.5k then be my guest..... Wait, they don't exist ☹ but this one is close in terms of being original and compared to most of the rust buckets out there this one has just a few blemishes at best. So with some work (ok a lot of work) I will be getting this car back on the road.
 

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Yeah for way more than $1500. I don't have the option to drop 10 to 20k for a decent one (I have 4 daughters) BUT I do have cheap family labor at my disposal and time. All in all the more I have looked over and gone through the car I couldn't be more satisfied with my purchase.
If you want to sell me something that runs and drives, has no rust, and is 100% original other than a electronic ignition for around 1.5k then be my guest..... Wait, they don't exist ☹ but this one is close in terms of being original and compared to most of the rust buckets out there this one has just a few blemishes at best. So with some work (ok a lot of work) I will be getting this car back on the road.
Sounds like a plan!
 

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Looks like an awesome project! I'd love to have a 240. I'm not sure how I'd fix that front end. If you pull it, one option would be to get the measurements for the front, build a jig and cut it where the damage gets heavy, maybe just about the firewall. Then make a replacement section and weld that in place.

Another is to try and work it. Have a hydro puller at various points in the front, apply pressure and hammer/dolly as you apply more pressure to see if you can unfold things.

I couldn't tell the damage to the fender, but if you can that fixed, you might use that as a guide or buy another fend and attach the fender so you have it as a guide to where the rest should line up.

If you have someone weld a new section in, make sure you check things carefully. I had a rear 1/4 welded in and the guy went by the old weld spots around the door without closing the door to see if they line up. now the door looks like it's open at the bottom and closed at the top. So I have to drill out the welds and move it out about 1/4"

You should make a YouTube series out of this, videos are so much better than pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Looks like an awesome project! I'd love to have a 240. I'm not sure how I'd fix that front end. If you pull it, one option would be to get the measurements for the front, build a jig and cut it where the damage gets heavy, maybe just about the firewall. Then make a replacement section and weld that in place.

Another is to try and work it. Have a hydro puller at various points in the front, apply pressure and hammer/dolly as you apply more pressure to see if you can unfold things.

I couldn't tell the damage to the fender, but if you can that fixed, you might use that as a guide or buy another fend and attach the fender so you have it as a guide to where the rest should line up.

If you have someone weld a new section in, make sure you check things carefully. I had a rear 1/4 welded in and the guy went by the old weld spots around the door without closing the door to see if they line up. now the door looks like it's open at the bottom and closed at the top. So I have to drill out the welds and move it out about 1/4"

You should make a YouTube series out of this, videos are so much better than pics.
KarlJay thanks for the support and Yeah I'm not a body and collision guy myself but I have been around it enough to know that this is a huge project but it is doable. Right now I'm looking at a front clip I found that just might be exactly what I need to make this build much easier.
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I'm in contact with the guy selling it and Monday when he gets back to the shop he is gonna really check out the front right side for me to see if what I need is intact and if so then this is probably the route in gonna go.

I got the radiator out as it was pushed in just so that the fan hit it and was destroyed but now my next step is to see if I can get the car to turn over and maybe run. If I at least get that to happen I'll be pretty happy. On a positive note the coolant that was left in there looked really good. It was the right color of green, no rust and not milky so I'll at least call that a small win....here's what the radiator support looks like

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Also was able to find a 280z fender for $200 bucks and a 4hr drive... although I didn't realize at the time the turn signal isn't in the same spot... Oh well.
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I'll keep posting updates as long as I have some and eventually we will see if this really was a 240z worth saving (but then again I believe they all are 😁)
Also no youtube series for this build as I have a face fit for radio and a voice fit for silent film. Plus it would be pretty boring series because I will be in japan for most of the frame and body work taking place in Missouri. And my dad and uncle arn't exactly the video taking type.... I'll be lucky if they send me photo updates.
 
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