ZCar Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm new to this forum, and I'm here looking for advice. I have the opportunity to purchase a 1976 280Z that has been sitting in a garage since new. It has 350 miles on the odometer. the plastic is still on the seats. The exterior is very dusty, and the owner took off some of the parts he was planning on replacing (bumpers, headlamp buckets and radio). He still has all the original parts.

How do I go about bringing this incredible car back to life? I don't want to do anything that would diminish it's value.

Thanks for any advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
I'm always wary of barn finds because since the car hasn't been driven in decades, you have no idea of knowing what is and isn't functioning.


Generally you should replace all your fuel lines in the engine bay as well as radiator hoses. Inspect the pigtails of your injectors, AFM, TPS and look for corrosion...you'll probably just need to clean them.


I'd personally swap the thermostat.Inspect the battery cables and replace the battery.I'd do a cursory rust inspection on frame rails, battery tray, rocker panels and around the A and B pillars (though they don't really rust there till it gets bad)brake pads, new brake fluid.


I'd get a new starter and alternator and volt regulator and keep them ready to go. Those parts may last another 10-15 years or they may go as soon as you start driving her.


Get and FSM and verify that the coil is good, alternator is charging.New plugs/cap/rotor and I'd probably swap the fuel filter... then gas her up and see if she turns over.More than likely she'll turn over with a fresh battery, plugs and some gas...but then you're just waiting for things to fail...which won't happen quickly...but will eventually happen. If you have the time and money swap as much stuff as you can before you really start driving her.


I would definitely do all the things I've listed above before you start daily driving it. But to be completely honest L series run forever. As long as they don't overheat or run out of oil the motor will give you little if any problems.If you are being really thorough...get under the car and looks at the brake lines to make sure they look good...see if you see signs of any leaks...but that would be obvious in a car that's been sitting.test your shocks/springs...you're going to want to replace them sooner rather than later.


Value isn't something I would think about. Contrary to popular belief most S30's don't sell for 20-30K and these cars are a horrible investment. If you're looking to capitalize on the JDM fever and eventually turn a profit on her, you're most likely going to be disappointed. If you want to get a feel for what other S30's are selling for get on EBay and search for completed listings and look at the cars that sold and the cars that didn't...then contrast that with your local craigslist...that will tell you what the market is really pricing the cars at...but I'm a purist...so I don't believe in selling them to make a profit.


Have fun..and remember an S30 is and S30 is an S30...there's very little difference between all the classic Z's
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
in addition to what was mentioned,


put a teaspoon of oil down the spark plug holes, pour some oil on the cam shaft (remove the valve cover to do this), disable the spark or fuel injection, crank the engine (new battery of course) for about 20 seconds and see if the oil pressure starts to come up, or just leave the valve cover off and look for oil coming out of the cam shaft or spray bar (which ever it uses). Leave the plugs out for this so the started can spin the engine without compression. The idea is to get oil pressure (lubrication) to all the bearings before actually firing the engine where the RPM shoots up.


You may have to deal with fuel issues as well, varnished up gas in injectors, rusted fuel hard lines, rusted fuel tank are all common problems with old z cars esp ones that have sat dormant for so long. Also inspect of rodent damage where they are a problem.


I agree with the investment angle, while there have been some crazy high prices (crazy to me anyway) you have to realize that Z collectors are VERY aware of year of make, to them an S30 is only valuable if its a low vin number very early 240. I don't get is since I consider the early 280s the best (modest bumpers, fuel injection, AC that works). I personally think the 75/76 were the best years of the S30, but I to am a driver not a collector, and would just as soon drive a mid 90's 300zx before spending a boat load of money on an early S30 (I think the 90's 300zx is the next best thing to an S30).


anyway post up some pics so we know you are not just trolling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
that's a great price for a no rust z. What's the story on why is partially disassembled? console/bumpers etc... was there a plan to "update" it with radio or bumper swap? IMHO keeping it original is the way to go if the parts are still there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The owner is eccentric to say the least. He removed the radio to put in a new Pioneer tape deck. He took off the bumpers to put on something different. He never finished getting it done and simply moved on to another project. He has ALL the original parts (except the hub caps)
I would want to make it pure original - just off the showroom floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
886 Posts
One bit of advice: if there's gas in that tank, DO NOT try to start it. The gas is terrible and you'll need to drop the gas tank and have it cleaned BEFORE you try to start it. You absolutely do NOT want to take a chance on running the gunk from that gas tank into the fuel injectors.

I'd trailer it home and start from there with dropping the gas tank, replacing all oils and fluids including brake fluid, and then try starting it. But if it's as clean as you say, then it's well worth what he's asking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Buy it. It’s a good deal. No rust 280z with 350 miles. I’d buy it in a second. Sure there will be some bring back to life cost but it’s not going to be too much work. If you don’t buy you’ll soon discover you won’t find another one like it. I get the comments about the collector value mentioned in this post. While the 240 series 1 are bringing the big dollars I think a day is coming that the 280’s will find there place in the collector world. It’s not today but in time it will happen and I’d venture to guess you’ll be the only person in the world to have a 280z with 350 miles on it. Buy it, drive it and make it into something you want. Your $7,500 Z will get more attention than a guy rolling on a modern corvette all day. If you don’t buy it, give me the details and I’ll buy it this afternoon.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Wow, no question, go get it. Even if something happened and you decided not to go through with any kind of resto, I think you could EASILY get your money back from someone else. What a rare opportunity! Good find!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
41,005 Posts
That price is a no-brainer. I would buy it, reinstall the original parts, then roll it AS IS to an auction with a reserve price of $30K.

The car will sell for that, and then you have a nice nest egg to buy one and make it your own. That time capsule needs to go to someone with the means (i.e. the money) to conserve it in it's current un-used condition. Heck, you can see the shipping tags hanging in the interior.

$7,500? Oh, I'd not even told anybody about it until it was in my care and then figured out how to drain the gas and maybe get it running just to roll it across the auction block.

All that crap about turning it into a daily driver: don't waste the money. FLIP IT! Make money. There are plenty of CHEAP runners out there that can be customized and won't impact the museum quality aura this one possesses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Don't forget the vacuum hoses. After getting the car to crank, vacuum leaks will probably prevent it from running without really revving up the engine.


Note: If you plan to flip it in auction, do not even wash the car. Just reinstall the missing parts. People are paying extra for cars in "original, dusty" condition.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top