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Hi.

I am the current owner of a 280ZX and am considering getting a 84-86 300zx. ( I like the sharp body lines) I have heard a little about changing the timing chain every 60,000 miles and leaks from seals in the engine.

I would like to hear from anybody what to look out for and what to expect if I make this move.

Thanks
 

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Just to clarify its a timing belt, a timing chain is different.

And yes the timing belt needs to be done every 60K miles, that is usually the first thing I would check when looking at a Z31.
 

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Changing the timing belt is not an overly difficult procedure, and I would highly recommend that you change your belt very soon after purchasing a 300ZX, even if the previous owner said it has been done. It is very important, look at what just recently happened to another member on this forum:



Now while you have the front of the engine stripped down to the cam gears, its extremely easy to replace the front cam oil seals, water pump, thermostat, timing belt tensioner etc. These are all worthwhile maintenance procedures that are likely to save you more time down the road; mind you these cars are 20+ years old, these things should be changed while you have easy access to them.

Other than that, these engines are not very prone to leakage of fluids, so if you see large quantities of oil on sides of the block, be aware that something else may need replacement.
 

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You need to check the service history of the car if possible, mine already had all of the injectors replaced, fuel lines and a few other small things but nothing really major had been tackled besides the injectors. The more that's been maintained prior to buying it the better obviously. With my 85' 300ZX I had to eventually replace the transmission, steering gear, front ball joints, mass air flow meter, powersteering fluid pump and a few other major components which weren't cheap but it goes like a new car now. Most of the minor issues I experienced were just perishables like brake rotors/pads, hoses, vacuum lines and things like that. It's 20 years old, so you gotta expect some wear and tear especially if it hasn't been maintained as it should've been by the previous owner(s) which is likely to be the case.

My advice would be to go over it with a magnifying glass so to speak either yourself or by a trusted mechanic and find EVERY little thing wrong with it and start fixing it all from most important to least. In my experience every early model ZX that's sold has "something" wrong with it unless you are lucky and find one that's been looked after but worst case scenario once it's all fixed up the Z is a very strong car. I've never ONCE had any engine problems, not even once.

I'm proud to say that I'd have one of the quickest NA's around period, but the car was in no way, shape or form able to claim that when I first got it a year ago but 5 - 6k later, different story :) Conclusion is that the Z31's are beasty, so treat them nice and they'll treat you nice!
 

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As a former owner of a 84 300zx turbo..the list of hic ups is considerable

you can bet you will have to trace out and probably replace your vacuum lines for your AC....not a hard thing to do just a must if you want things to work.

these 300zx cars had a ton of vacuum lines ...vacuum tanks associated with some of the electrical stuff.

AC problems...most of the probs with the AC is pretty much like what you probably may have had with your Z... the cold air boxes in the dash separate after the years and you loose your AC and heat...Rubber jupe and duck tape can put them back together and it lasts.

Check the starter to see if its been replaced..and the coil pak...also the fuse links in front of the battery.

All hoses for hardness..this will tell you if the previous owner pay attention to the neccesities or not...Hard hoses..can lead to vac leak problems.

Great car nice lines...
navbob
 
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