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Q: I would love to save this BODY KIT, but I need to get everything off for a body dip (eventually, not now). Do you think I could remove this thing and re-use it?

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Hey guys, first day here. I owned all the Zs 20 years ago. 240, 260, 280, 300...

Just got a steal on a 280z and I would like to restore it, but I'm not a mechanic. I plan to save about $20K BEFORE I start the project, in the hopes I will actually be able to complete it.

Since I would have a $40k-$50k car when I'm done, it doesn't sound like a bad investment.

I may opt to keep this a "Survivor" as it could be a daily driver with just a little work. Engine and tranny are fine. I would like to drive it while I save $ for a year or 2.

When I do restore it, I plan to have it dipped for about $1650. I may try and install a front rail and one frame rail before that...so I can drive it. The floors are good as one has been done, the other is fine.

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1981 280zx GL na 5spd
102 Posts
If you like the body kit enough to make the work worthwhile, I would start higher up on the panels and tap with something metal, then work your way down until the sound changes. If you don't care about the paint you could then lightly sand the area where the sound changed and you should see a clear line between the original metal and the fiberglass/filler. Then you could chip away the filler where it meets the metal and eventually the fiberglass piece should come off. Don't just go pulling on it because it probably has some sort of bolts/screws also holding it on

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2,845 Posts
You can always save a body kit. if you plan to restore the car and on top of that have it dipped, what's the harm in removing the kit? since it is molded and painted on there, you're going to have to crack the areas in order pull of the kit.

the problem I have with molded body kits is that some people mold them on to the body and seal them in with the bondo and the paint and make it look seamless on the car... now that looks great when done like this, it really does. BUT, if you get a crack somewhere, or you have a collision or any damage on the body kit parts (front bumper, rear bumper etc..) causing them to be removed, now you have areas with damaged paint which causes more body work.

- my 280z is like this. I can't remove the side skirts, rear bumper, or hatch spoiler without damaging the body/paint where they were installed. And I've got cracks on the spoiler and the hood duct (L88 modification) and if I remove or try and repair those, the car will have to be worked and repainted in those areas.

but my other car (280zx) has a full body kit installed that is not molded to the car. the pieces are totally separate. I can remove the bumper, side skirts and rear skirt clean off without breaking anything or damaging any paint. of course, with the seams showing, it doesn't look as nice as it would if the kit was molded on and painted over.

You can do this. Just make a plan. have a goal (a realistic goal), have a budget, stock up on parts, and arm yourself with an UNLIMITED amount of time and patience for the long term project. might I suggest in getting a second "daily drivable Z car" that you can enjoy while you're doing your 280z restoration.


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