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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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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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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 · #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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
I can't take full credit for finding the front clip as someone on here sent me a PM about where he saw it. I'll put more details about it once it's secured but until then I'm being careful so no rich butthead with their own truck and trailer goes and offers them way more money that I want to spend for it...I'm paranoid lol.

As for starting it I plan on taking all the proper steps and precautions for starting a old motor that has been sitting BUT from what I've inspected so far and what I know about the car I'm fairly confident there's not going to be too many major issues. The car was running and driving in early to mid 2020 which is when it was in the accident so it's only been sitting for less than a year without being cared for. I plan on using an external fuel source I have used on my motorcycle but the fuel still in the filter still looks and smells "ok". Obviously I know modern fuel with ethanol wrecks tanks and lines if it sits for even a few months so it will get a full flush eventually.

On another random note, are there any japanese wheel experts out there? Just picked up a random set of wheels and tires on facebook marketplace for $135 that I really only planed on being temporary (something that holds air while I transport it to shop in Missouri) but I kinda like them and once I saw the markings on the back the JDM fan boy in me went nuts.
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So yeah if anyone has any info on these I'd be interested to know because they are kinda rad old school wheels that are authentic Japanese which I'm into. Anyways might make another post somewhere else about these just because...maybe they are just a cheep shitty set of wheels and I'm crazy lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Update on progress. New front clip has been secured and has arrived safely in Missouri. Thanks Kickstartjoe for the tip on the Craigslist post about this. Also huge shout-out to Greg and TJ at Ignite Performance in Arvada CO. They were super helpful and did an awesome job showing me exactly what I was getting and packing it for shipping.
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Here's how it arrived at my dad's place
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Other than that I have mostly been hunting down and buying parts. Here's some what I have so far:

Front crossmember assembly
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Headlight
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TC rods
Lower control arms
Front strut assembly with rotor and caliper
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Also I have been working on the fuel tank. Got it out and got it cleaned up a bit. Right now it's been hit with some rust converter and I'm waiting for a slightly warmer day to paint it and put some undercoat on it. There's some rust on the inside but not a crazy. Gonna hit it with some electrolysis to get rid of it. I'll make another post about that later with the results. I was lucky to find the tank 100% bone dry as well as the rest of the fuel system so the carbs and float bowls are in good clean working order..... however the tank will need a trip to the shop to get welded closed because it was only dry due to a small hole. Oh well.
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Anyways once I'll keep posting as I have updates. I think restoring the steering wheel and shift knob will be next after I have the tank sorted out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
More work done on the car. First got some lower control arms in the mail from Canada so they were pretty rusty. No worries thought, a 2 day electrolysis bath sorted them out.

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Also got the front suspension on the damaged side rebuild enough to get a wheel on there and be able to roll it around and steer so it's ready to be loaded on a trailer and moved to Missouri to get the frame and body work done. Along those same lines I got the extended wheel studs put on so the new wheels now fit properly.

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Been getting some small details knocked out like preping the steering wheel for a coat of polyurethane. I already got the shift knob coated and polished up. Can't get the spider cracks out of the plastic so if anyone has any tips for this let me know.

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(Check out the complete energy suspension polyurethane bushings still in the box that was in the car when I bought it, BONUS!)
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Almost done sanding the old stain off
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Last but definitely not least. I GOT HER RUNNING and she is smooth 😎. The only drama with that was a small oil leak but it was from the oil filter so a new one sorted that right out. Now I just need to get the gas tank finished so I can reinstall it and she will be pretty much ready for her long trip halfway across the country. Will post a video of it running as soon as I figure out how lol 😅
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Figured out the youtube thing so here's the first start-up video. Here the fuel lines arn't hooked up, I just had the covers off the float bowls and filled them with fuel....also sorry ahead of time, I'm no great camera man.

 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Thanks for y'all's support. I'm trying to just go through it bit by bit and If I take something off it's going back on better than I found it.
Anyways progress with the woodwork for the interior. Couldn't be happier with the results especially because I have never done anything with woodworking before.

Toyed around with the idea of carbon fiber wrap on the spokes (I have a bunch of it lying around and don't know what to do with it lol) but didn't end up sticking with it.....yet....
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Center painted flat black.
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Ready for some fine sanding.
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3 coats of polly and a whole lot of sanding and buffing later she's lookin good.
Without flash.
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With flash.
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Without flash.
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With flash.
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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Been a minute sense my last post but I been busy getting ready to move to japan and what not. Anyways had the gas tank redone by a radiator shop and it turned out pretty good. Also I rebuilt the steering rack and refurbished the cross member and lower controll arms. It's all going to be going back together soon with polyurethane bushings but here's where it's at now.

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Inside the tank, they did a really good job lining it.

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Oh yeah I almost forgot, this box came in the mail about a week ago 😎🐧🥶
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