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Discussion Starter #1
Here we go! I own a '91ZX/TT but I'm looking for a semi-project car after the first of the year. A good friend of mine at one time owned a '72 or '73 240Z and it was a nice car but seemed to have lots of problems with it (as I recall, fan clutch, a/c, etc...). My brother owned a 260Z that he modified quite a bit (it hauled ass, to be frank..) and really liked it but the front end shaked at a certain speeds and he could never get rid of the problem...My question: what year 240 should I consider purchasing that by nature is going to be the most problem free (rust, electrics,etc..). I would certainly consider a 260 but really don't know what kind of bad habits it may have had. I'm not interested in any other models. This new car would be a daily driver and I would want to modify it but not go bonkers in that department. Can you guys (girls too!) make some suggestion to me..? Any good books on the subject..? Thanks very much!
Doug
 

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well personally ive owned 4 z's already, a 78 my first love, a 74 which was nothing but headaches, a 72 which eventually was used for parts for my current 71. if i could suggest one z to look for it would be the 69(70?) first release. but so far ive been most happy with my 71. i havent really been fighting a rust problem, however, almost any project z you pick up will have you fighting mr. rust, unless the person you buy it from already took care of it for you. currently i would also suggest any pre 74 z. just for the smog exemption(at least here in cali). what i have noticed is an electrical problem in all the z's ive owned, especially on rainy days. but with todays after market products that can be taken care of real quick. =) well, not quick but you know what i mean. if your gonna do a restoration project instead of speed project, get a 240 because the resale value will be a lot higher than a 260 especially the closer you can get to a 69. hope this helps... =)
 

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You should seriously consider a 240Z of any year, particularly the oldest one you can find that is clean. Like others have said, the older one's hold a higher resale value. I would stay away from the 260Z because of problems associated w/carburation and they are heavier. If you buy a '73 or older, it will be exempt from smogging (California). This is a big plus because you can do whatever you want to it. However, as I said before, you should buy the oldest clean 240Z you can find. BTW, don't get suckered into paying an outrageous price either. You should be able to find a good car for $2500.00 or less. Good Luck and let us know what you come up with.

Ian.
 

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Have you considered a 77-78 280?

If you want a good daily driver with low headaches, fun-ness, and upgradeability, consider a 77-78 280. They have the same body as the 240 (different bumpers), are much, much cheaper, stronger, you can get a rust free one WAY more cheaply than a rust-free 240 (which have gone way up due to Nissan and the collector market). Plus, with fuel injected 2.8 L28 engine and electronic ignition, they are more reliable.

Something to consider.

Alex, 77 280

> well personally ive owned 4 z's already, a
> 78 my first love, a 74 which was nothing but
> headaches, a 72 which eventually was used
> for parts for my current 71. if i could
> suggest one z to look for it would be the
> 69(70?) first release. but so far ive been
> most happy with my 71. i havent really been
> fighting a rust problem, however, almost any
> project z you pick up will have you fighting
> mr. rust, unless the person you buy it from
> already took care of it for you. currently i
> would also suggest any pre 74 z. just for
> the smog exemption(at least here in cali).
> what i have noticed is an electrical problem
> in all the z's ive owned, especially on
> rainy days. but with todays after market
> products that can be taken care of real
> quick. =) well, not quick but you know what
> i mean. if your gonna do a restoration
> project instead of speed project, get a 240
> because the resale value will be a lot
> higher than a 260 especially the closer you
> can get to a 69. hope this helps... =)
 

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Doug :
If you want to restor a car to original - buy as early a model 240Z as you can and then do it very carefully to ensure originality.
If, as you stated, you want a good daily driver that you can modify to fit your tastes then definitely get the '77 or 78 280Z. Several reasons:
1) '77 & '78 are the last two years of that body style and, therefore, are the most refined.
2) They are also the highest number production of that body style so no restoration Nazi will be coming after you later.
3) They are about 400 lbs. heavier than a 240Z but most of that is in structural refinements that add strength to the car and improve its resistance to rusting.
4) They have the fuel injected L28.. Fuel injection, for daily driving, is the only way to go. Much more mainenance free than carburators.
5) There are many reasons why the 260 was only made for 1 year.
Phantom
 

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Hope you find the Z you're looking for - sounds like '77 or '78 is the deal. Following this conversation has restored my confidence in my decision - bought a '77 280z w/ an L28 in-line 6 w/ 130,000 miles about a month ago for $2,300 & it runs great. I'm using it to commute so it's an everyday car, but I'd like to restore it little by little & eventually take it off the road. It's been recently painted so I know they were trying to stop the rust (or cover it up!) & I can tell where the body work's been done. I'm also concerned about the undercarriage rust & how to treat it. Any suggestions on where to begin? What should be my priorities? Thanks!
 

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240z and 280z aren't the same body I think...

> If you want a good daily driver with low
> headaches, fun-ness, and upgradeability,
> consider a 77-78 280. They have the same
> body as the 240 (different bumpers), are
> much, much cheaper, stronger, you can get a
> rust free one WAY more cheaply than a
> rust-free 240 (which have gone way up due to
> Nissan and the collector market). Plus, with
> fuel injected 2.8 L28 engine and electronic
> ignition, they are more reliable.

> Something to consider.

> Alex, 77 280
 

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Re: 240z and 280z aren't the same body I think...

240Z ('71-'73), the 260Z ('74) and 280Z ('75-'78) are essentially the same body. The 280ZX ('79-'83) had the new body style that still looks somewhat like the older models. Starting in '84 with the first 300ZX the body style and drivetrain changed radically.
Phantom.
 

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Get a 240!

> Here we go! I own a '91ZX/TT but I'm looking
> for a semi-project car after the first of
> the year. A good friend of mine at one time
> owned a '72 or '73 240Z and it was a nice
> car but seemed to have lots of problems with
> it (as I recall, fan clutch, a/c, etc...).
> My brother owned a 260Z that he modified
> quite a bit (it hauled ass, to be frank..)
> and really liked it but the front end shaked
> at a certain speeds and he could never get
> rid of the problem...My question: what year
> 240 should I consider purchasing that by
> nature is going to be the most problem free
> (rust, electrics,etc..). I would certainly
> consider a 260 but really don't know what
> kind of bad habits it may have
> had. I'm not interested in any other models.
> This new car would be a daily
> driver and I would want to modify it but not
> go bonkers in that department. Can you guys
> (girls too!) make some suggestion to me..?
> Any good books on the subject..? Thanks very
> much!
> Doug
In my humble opinion--go for a 240Z. It is the most desirable. The original is always the best.
If one can find a clean, stock original one(with a good dash)--it's gonna be a kick in the pants. It looks the best--small bumpers and turn signals incorporated under the bumpers. The sucker is light too so it's the quickest of all the Z's in the 0-60 time.

The 1973 240 is the reason the 260z came about(driveability due to the emissions requirements.) That is also the reason Nissan only restored 70-72 Z's for the vintage Z program.
The 240z has a nice uncluttered elegant engine bay.(No A/C!) Very simple actually. The 260 is not too bad(that's what I have--but one has to deal with the extra emissions equipment and the temperamental flat top carbs) On the other hand---the 280z is intimidating for a non mechanic such as myself!

260's are cheaper--so if you were to hot rod it/improve the throttle response--you could easily swap out the flat top carbs with whatever you want--the earlier SU's or maybe Webbers.

I liked this one article I found--check out this site:

<A HREF=http://www.teammonty.com/main.html>http://www.teammonty.com/main.html</A>
 

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Re: 240z and 280z aren't the same body I think...

I thought 240z were slightly smaller than 280z? They always look smaller to me standing next to them even though I know bumpers are bigger on 280z (yes, I know the difference to the ZX. Totally different body.)

> 240Z ('71-'73), the 260Z ('74) and 280Z
> ('75-'78) are essentially the same body. The
> 280ZX ('79-'83) had the new body style that
> still looks somewhat like the older models.
> Starting in '84 with the first 300ZX the
> body style and drivetrain changed radically.
> Phantom.
 

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'72 is my preference, all are good

My preference always has been the 72 model. The rear axle was moved to smooth out the ride, and numerous other refinements were made based on problems found in the 70/71 model years. I believe these are discussed in detail on the IZCC homepage somewhere.

I read discussion that 70/71's were preferable because of an E-31 head, which supposedly delivers increased performance.

Also, some individuals are interested in being able to claim they have a low vin number z.(the 70 model year). While this may be important for bragging rights, the reality of the used car world is that many 240's were made, and low-vinned 240's do not command prices significantly different than other 240's at this time. This may change someday, but most of us will be too old to care.

I think the key is to find a 240 in good shape.
If you can find one that hasn't been hit hard, was reasonably well taken care of, and doesn't have too much rust (they all rust), and isn't too expensive, you are doing good. Be prepared to spend alot of money on any 240 you buy, they do require significant maintenance and care, as is true with any old car.
 

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THey are all good, but the 240Z is my preference

Hi,
I have had a 280ZX, 83, for three years and it is great, except for my over heating problem the last few days. It has lasted a long time, fun to drive, etc. I also have two 240's though, a 70 with a 5000'S VIN in very good shape, little rust, runs very good, and a 72 with original paint and good running, with lots of extra parts. They are both second owner cars, I am the third. They are right, find a good 240, learn to work on it if you don't now, it is a lot of fun and rewarding. I bought my 240's at the same time a few months ago for 1200 for both. Just keep looking around, they are not everywhere, but they do come around. I do not drive the 240's yet, not enough time to go through the brakes and clean the tanks. Good luck in your search.
Joshua L.

Search the autotrader online for 240z, there are tons of them in good shape for good prices, lots os 70's-73's...
<A HREF=http://www.traderonline.com>http://www.traderonline.com</A>/
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: 240z and 280z aren't the same body I think...

> I thought 240z were slightly smaller than
> 280z? They always look smaller to me
> standing next to them even though I know
> bumpers are bigger on 280z (yes, I know the
> difference to the ZX. Totally different
> body.)

Only the 2+2 280 has different panels. The 2 seaters are the same. My 240 has a Rt Rear Qtr off a 280!
 

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Just as I said. Thanks for the backup, guys

> Only the 2+2 280 has different panels. The 2
> seaters are the same. My 240 has a Rt Rear
> Qtr off a 280!

I have a 76 and 77 280. It is an excellent alternative to a garage queen 240. I love the 240s myself, but if I had one, I would want to protect it and keep it pristine. So I wouldn't get the pleasure of driving it. And that's the biggest reason I own a Z car. That's why I love the 280 -- looks almost as good as the 240 (hate those larger bumpers), more power, stiffer frame, more reliable, and I don't have to baby it knowing it is a valuable classic. Don't get me wrong, I treat my Z car like a prize race horse, but it's purpose is running. I live in a mountainous area, and my daily commute is my own 12 mile road course.

DRIVE ON BROTHERS AND SISTERS. AMEN
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Backroads can be great

Living in the rustic new england can have its advantages. Back roads are great and deserted. Some of the most expensive sports cars I have ever seen were in New York city. I have no idea why these people drive such awesome cars, they never get to enjoy them. I don't know how these thread digressed into this topic but oh well.

> I have a 76 and 77 280. It is an excellent
> alternative to a garage queen 240. I love
> the 240s myself, but if I had one, I would
> want to protect it and keep it pristine. So
> I wouldn't get the pleasure of driving it.
> And that's the biggest reason I own a Z car.
> That's why I love the 280 -- looks almost as
> good as the 240 (hate those larger bumpers),
> more power, stiffer frame, more reliable,
> and I don't have to baby it knowing it is a
> valuable classic. Don't get me wrong, I
> treat my Z car like a prize race horse, but
> it's purpose is running. I live in a
> mountainous area, and my daily commute is my
> own 12 mile road course.

> DRIVE ON BROTHERS AND SISTERS. AMEN
 

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Re: Just as I said. Thanks for the backup, guys

> I have a 76 and 77 280. It is an excellent
> alternative to a garage queen 240. I love
> the 240s myself, but if I had one, I would
> want to protect it and keep it pristine. So
> I wouldn't get the pleasure of driving it.
> And that's the biggest reason I own a Z car.
> That's why I love the 280 -- looks almost as
> good as the 240 (hate those larger bumpers),
> more power, stiffer frame, more reliable,
> and I don't have to baby it knowing it is a
> valuable classic. Don't get me wrong, I
> treat my Z car like a prize race horse, but
> it's purpose is running. I live in a
> mountainous area, and my daily commute is my
> own 12 mile road course.

> DRIVE ON BROTHERS AND SISTERS. AMEN

I had (have) both 280's & 240's. Each has their advantages. The sheer production numbers of the 240 (156,076 produced) means there will be a supply of 240's for as long as I will be involved in 2 seaters. So, I opted for another 240. It is much lighter than my 280 was, subsequently more nimble and responsive. The temptation is strong to let my 240 be a garage queen, but it gets driven everyday to work. The economic reality is that 240's remain (and will remain in my 2-seater lifetime)low in price, with a large supply. If I get whacked, I will go buy another one. I think the 280, while it does have more power (L-24 v L-28), is slower because of emissions and weight differentials, and is not necessarily more reliable (my 280 had all kinds of EFI problems as it aged). Anyways, with all this said, I love both of 'em!!
 

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where are you finding cheap 240s? Not in my area

> I had (have) both 280's & 240's. Each
> has their advantages. The sheer production
> numbers of the 240 (156,076 produced) means
> there will be a supply of 240's for as long
> as I will be involved in 2 seaters. So, I
> opted for another 240. It is much lighter
> than my 280 was, subsequently more nimble
> and responsive. The temptation is strong to
> let my 240 be a garage queen, but it gets
> driven everyday to work. The economic
> reality is that 240's remain (and will
> remain in my 2-seater lifetime)low in price,
> with a large supply. If I get whacked, I
> will go buy another one. I think the 280,
> while it does have more power (L-24 v L-28),
> is slower because of emissions and weight
> differentials, and is not necessarily more
> reliable (my 280 had all kinds of EFI
> problems as it aged). Anyways, with all this
> said, I love both of 'em!!

Granted, I replaced the fuel system components in my 280 with new parts (computer, AFM, injectors), but still, I haven't seen any decent 240s cheap, except completely rusted out beaters. If you're lucky enough to live in an area where 240s are abundant, rust-free, and cheap -- I ENVY YOU.

Zon brother
 
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