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Just got '75 280z!

2122 Views 13 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  steves280
After what feels like months of searching, I finally found a decent 280z in town! Has some rust bubbles and the paint looks like a Maaco or Earl Schibe job, but nothing real major. Frame rails in the engine bay are pretty good, especially compared to what I've looked at before. Floor pans feel very solid, are still fairly clean and painted the original white. Dash is cracked and clock doesn't work... Surprise, surprise.

I was able to drive it home, though I discovered that it has a lot of problems.

The seller told me it was missing on one cylinder, although I didn't notice this.
Seems not to have much power, especially between 1k-2k rpms.
Transmission feels very sloppy, for lack of a better term. The shifter moves around way too freely, almost as if it's loose or something. On the other hand, I didn't have any real trouble with it. Went into all gears fine, no grinding.
Clutch seemed to slip a bit.
I can smell some burning oil while driving and my brother said that there was some periodic blue-white smoke.
Fuel gauge doesn't work at all, it's stuck on empty with a full tank of gas.
Some rear-end clunking on shifts if I don't baby it. Not nearly as loud as the rear end clunking in my '85 though.
Cold starts require quite a bit of cranking to get it fired up.

Like I said, I got it home with no trouble. I then stalled it going over a bump into my garage, and now it won't start up again! I haven't had any time to spend diagnosing the problem; it's midterms week.

I'm sure some of these are common problems, and I just haven't had time to search for answers yet.
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go to the tech tips below

clean ealectrical contacts
adjust clutch free play
do compression measurements
re-torque head
install new ngk projected plugs
replace transmission fluid with redline MTL-90
Check that TPS is adjusted fine
Replace Fuel filter and check fuel pressure
.... etc
Yes, it's typical. Once you get a car home....then you really start to see the problems. It's funny how you don't notice all the problems when you get it....then, once it's home - you start to notice one problem after another - until you are totally depressed! And you think - "what have I done?" "Why on earth did I buy this car?". But, eventually you get everything straightened out - and then, later on - you will be glad you got the car.

Things like the car not starting back up........a simple spark plug replacement could remedy that. That rear-end clunking......sometimes it's just a loose bolt where the diff. is mounted.

But, what you want to do is go over everything very thoroughly...and take your time.
My fuel gauge doesnt work either. I found my problem being the fuel level sensore setup in the tank is in pretty bad shape.
Just out of curiosity - how much does a '75 with a nice body and some small issues cost?
welcome to the 75 club. the guinne pig model (1st yr of the EFI)....lol
Given the issues, I probably paid a little much for it at $850. The body has almost no serious rust, but it has quite a few rust bubbles under the cheap paint that need attention. I decided to go with this one because it seemed like a better deal than the others I had considered, and because it was local and relatively convenient.
Extended crank time to start cold is an indication of a fuel leak in the system. There was a campaign early on to replace the check ball at the fuel pump that leaked fuel back into the tank but a leaky injector would cause the same symptom.
Leaky injector is very possible. The intake manifold around #6 seems a little wet
I saw a 1976 280Z with 28,000 original miles on ebay for 9,900$.For all you early Z experts do you think that is a fair price?
junk the engine and get yourself a Goodwrench crate 350. oh and get a T56 tranny while you are at it, oh yeah, and the JTR motor mounts...just cough up about 3K and you'll have a 75z like mine.
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yea, and have your motor spin backwards a couple times when you try to cold start it. Pshhh, cheap chevies are a dime a dozen, not even worth dreaming about.

Get a Dodge 360 crate motor for $3600, making over 380hp from the factory, GUARANTEED!

Or get a 500ci aluminum head Wedge engine for $8,500.
God forbid you have enough money for a 528-inch aluminum head Hemi (over $17,000)
Now thats what dreams are made of!
Shifter bushings will fix the tranny, easy to do while you're replacing the clutch! :)

Diff mount is probably broken for the rear noise, very comon.

Check the compression to make sure you aren't wasting your time tuning an engine with a burnt valve.
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