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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
this is going to be a big one. be warned

I want to do a lot to my ride, but money is a big issue, as well as time. my 79 280zx is a daily driver, but i need to do some work on it to keep it in good shape and health. untill i can fix it up properly. if you would help me on some of these issues this should help me out.

1 seatbelts: my seatbelts wont catch when you jerk on them, i am afraid that in an accident they wont do anything more than just sit there. is there something i can do to repare them? or should i just replace them?

2 clutch: my clutch pedal is reeeeeally loose, but i have no problems getting it into gear. is this a problem? i do like a loose clutch, but not as loose as it is. how can i correct this?

3 tranny: i dont think its going out, but if i want to change it to a 4.11 what would i have to order? i am not sure exactly what would fit, or what to order.

3 door: passenger door wont open from the outside, i look like a chump cause i cant open the door for the ladies.

4 hatchback: this should be an easy fix. the shocks are dead, just buy replacements? that is what i think

5 struts/springs. they seem fine, but how do i know for sure? the bounce test right? exactly whatr should i be looking for with this car?

6 bottoming out. the underside of the car looks like its been beaten with a pipe, the exaust pipe is dented in several places, and i am told that i have a few dents and cracks in the frame, they arent in a high stress area, but still i am worried about it.

7 i'm pretty sure that i can take care of the rest of it. i am gonna take it in to have some of the body rust worked on. they said they will cut a peice out and replace it with a steel panel. it is right below my doors, so its not an easy panel to replace.

if i could get your help on the cheapest/most effective ways to correct these
problems (i might just buy another z) that would be most appreciated. I'll shut up now. thanks

-chad 1979 280xz (untill I can get a 1971 Plymouth HEMI Cuda!) i'll still love z's
 

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Here are some answers...
1. When in doubt about safty equipment, REPLACE. Check salvage yards for a good set, but don't get seat belts from wrecked cars. If belts were properly worn it the wrecked car, they may be stressed. Dealer or Motorsports may have them.

2. Try to bleed the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder. Check for leaks in those items and the hard lines. If the clutch pedal has play in it, you can adjust the travel by tightening the adjusting, located on the clutch pedal assembly.

3. There is a rod that attaches the outside door handle to the latch... probably broken. Will need to remove inner door panel to see the problem. Another junkyard fix.

4. Buy replacement shocks for the hatchback. All auto parts stores have them.

5. Car should only bounce once. If in doubt, go to a mechanic for a second or third opinion.

6. See question 5. Fix the suspension! Have a alignment shop look at the frame.

7. Area below the doors is called the rocker panel area. Not too hard to fix. Sure there are'nt any other areas????? Start poking and banging in the wheel wells, under car, frame rails, ect... If the car has too much rust, look elsewhere.
 

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1. Seatbelts- Check at ALLDATA.com to see if there MAY have been a recall on your model/year seatbelt latches. I seem to remember some recall for belt latches but not what years. Also might just ask the dealer. Otherwise as johnb510 suggested. Might want to look into aftermarket semi-race belts. Some 3 and 4 point systems that might work for you.

2. Clutch- Also check to see if your return spring at the top of the pedal is intact and not stretched as well as the pivot pin.
 

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Seatbelts OK?

I'm not certain about yours, but most seat belts do NOT catch when you jerk on them. They are designed with an enertia pendulum that prevents them from being extended ONLY when you are providing some brakes on the car. Try pulling them out while putting the brakes on. If they cannot be extended at that point in time, then they are probably working just as they were designed to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Seatbelts OK?

no, most seatbelts catch when you jerk on them. it may be true that that inertia device ALSO works. but every car that i have ever driven has had seatbelts that catch when you yank on em also every car that i have ever rode in. if your seatbelts arent catching, i think you need to replace them as well. i'm not trying to start an argument here, but check it out. i am sure that i am right.

-chad
 

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All of mine are faulty, then!

Well, thanks to you I now have nothing to drive! The seatbelts in our '91 Caprice, '89 CRX, '88 Accord, and '81 ZX are all bad, as none of them will catch while the car is not moving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: All of mine are faulty, then!

are you joking? no way that all of your cars can be broke.
81 BMW 3201 - worked
89 Toyota Tercel - worked
88 Ford Escort - worked
91 Ford Thunderbird- worked
85 Chevy C-10 - worked
79 Datsun 280zx -dosnt work


see a pattern here?

other vehicles i driven
96 hyundai accent -worked
97 Nissan sentra -worked
?? GMC Syclone -worked
some of my friends vehicles,
Vauxhall - worked
Nissan Sunny -worked
71 Chevy Nova - worked but they were bolted to the frame

mabye you're not yanking on the belt fast/strong enough. try it several times, sometimes, its freaking annoying when you're in a hurry to go somewhere and you try to put on your seatbelt too fast a,d it catches... so you gotta release the pressure, and pull it back again.
the drivers side of my 280zx catches about 1/3 of the time, and remains tight untill i release it, when it then returns to normal. the passenger side does not catch at all. check it out and try not to be a smartass. i'm not trying to start anything, but i know what i'm talking about, as i am sure you did when you said the cars have the momentum device. double redundancy?

-chad
 

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From the manuals:

I quote from the Factory Service Manual: "This retractor serves to restraint the belt securely in case of emergency, as in a collision or sudden stop of the car, thus protecting the seat occupant against serious injury. Under normal condition, the belt can be freely pulled out." I quote from the glove box manual: "Under normal circumstances the belt retractor permits the belt to move freely with the occupant, locking only in the event of an abrupt stop or impact." Mine all work fine when the brakes are on, just as they are designed to. Older vehicles (certainly 70's and earlier) did not have the pendulum system. Feel free to purchase brand new seat belts for your car if you think it will make you feel safer.
 
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