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Awright, I resized to "email large" in Picture Manager." Not my first choice in photo editing, but the quickest in the situation I'm in right now. I have some great software associated with my new Canon T3i, but after a couple of hours last night, I realized I need to overcome a learning curve before using it effectively.
So, here we have my just-purchased first Z-car, an 83 sold on eBay by a guy in Sonora California. Owned by this 82 year-old gentleman for almost a year, who purchased it from the original owner. Orig. owner had it stored inside for 9 years before he passed away. Seller had it painted after buying it, which was about 10 months ago. He also had some interior work done, meaning new upholstery and carpet. In my opinion the paintjob is average to below-average, and the bodywork on the fender-bender and the few dings below-average. Macco, and a friend who does car-body & painting agree with that assessment. Everything else seems to be 1983 on this car.
As I drive & look closer, I continue to discover issues/problems, and now I have quite a list! Seller only drove it 200 miles in his 9 months of ownership, so there are lots of things he didn't see.
Most pressing issues are replacing severely worn belts, treating 3 small (about 1" long) rust areas under the new paint, which unfortunately is on the bottom corner of windshield trim. I also want to perhaps address lots of small bubbles coming up through paint on hood, and kill the rust in the engine compartment on the frame. The A/C needs to be brought back to life as well as a stereo of some sort (hopefully the original if that's what I have & if I can find a faceplate & replace the worn-out knobs & also if it works or can be fixed). Then there's lots & lots of plastic that I'm really wanting to replace. Exterior emblems, the whole console, steering wheel housing, shifter, I'll just say that almost every piece of plastic is in need of replacement due to fading, cracking, disintegrating, well, you know the story. Then there's door & window seals! I made the mistake of going through a brushless car wash in CA. and got a shower from both sides! Interestingly, the T-tops don't seem to leak, which is crazy when you see the bad sealing job & the poor condition of everything around the holes and the T-top windows, too. There's lots of electrical connections under-hood that are electrical-taped, cruise control needs work, left blinker doesn't show up blinking on digital dash, one headlight needs to go (?) as it's much dimmer, the wheels need re-finishing (beautiful things, they are, but need something to make em shine & get the corrosive look off), The seals under the light housings need replacing, hey-I could go on & on. There's so much work I don't know where to start! Actually, I'll start with the belts, then probably go to the electrical-taped plugs, change the oil, do A/C work, get doors to stop leaking.
I must say that I do really enjoy this car! The way it drives, looks (at least if you don't look too closely), the attention it commands, is like no car I've ever owned or driven! It's very difficult to NOT drive fast & leave most other cars far behind! The way it grabs the road and hugs tight turns, wow! I really, really do like it! I like the digital dash a lot, too! That was ground-breaking for 1983, and mine seems to be accurate. It's been a dream car for almost 20 years, and now my dream is finally coming true.
 

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Welcome to the addiction.

Lots of stuff on eBay and others. Don't be in a hurry. Some things (plastics) can be painted or refurbished until you find NOS (new old stock).
 

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LOL @ "list" ... it will get longer. Hopefully fix-its start to be replaced with mods.
I loved my Zcar; would do anything to get my 78 back. If nothing else I was not afraid to work on it; no matter what that entailed. Which built a lot of meaning into it.
Live on Z addiction!
Gratz!
 

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This is what I wrote back in April before your trip. LOL!

"Keep in mind that it is "his" mechanic that says the car is in excellent, incredible, wonderful condition. I bought my 86 with 49k on the clock and the seller's mechanic said the same thing. I drove the car 1000 miles home and it made it with no issue. Change the timing belt promptly after getting home. Got the tensioner out and it basically crumbled in the hand. Lucky I made it back. Be careful"

Based on my experience, owner's mechanic's lie like @#%$. Your list and my list were similar sans the rust, although yours might be a bit longer. Good luck with it. You'll enjoy the adventure but the list never, ever stops.
 

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my eyes my eyes.... that sure is some shiny red..

I'm not a huge fan of red interior but that one looks good.
 

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erzelda said:
Welcome to the addiction.

Lots of stuff on eBay and others. Don't be in a hurry. Some things (plastics) can be painted or refurbished until you find NOS (new old stock).
NO NO NO PAINT! Blackdragon has dye that very closely matches...in fact maybe even better....and if per chance they claim to be out of it, PM me and I'll give you the code from LMC Truck (their parent company). Apparently the paint is made strictly for them.

Also in the same order you may want to pick up the rubber covers that go over the door switches in the lower right corner as you open the door. When it gets worn thru...that is what usually makes the sporadic ding ding sound with the door closed. Also the accordion boot for the throttle and maybe the rubber seal across the top of the engine compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
1986zxt said:
This is what I wrote back in April before your trip. LOL!

"Keep in mind that it is "his" mechanic that says the car is in excellent, incredible, wonderful condition. I bought my 86 with 49k on the clock and the seller's mechanic said the same thing. I drove the car 1000 miles home and it made it with no issue. Change the timing belt promptly after getting home. Got the tensioner out and it basically crumbled in the hand. Lucky I made it back. Be careful"

Based on my experience, owner's mechanic's lie like @#%$. Your list and my list were similar sans the rust, although yours might be a bit longer. Good luck with it. You'll enjoy the adventure but the list never, ever stops.
Yeah, that was a huge learning experience, and I'm gonna write a post of advice for first-time buyers of old Z cars.

Not only his mechanic, but the owner really praised this car's condition. But, as I said, he did not drive it very much at all, did not look at it really closely as I have, and frankly, did not have the "eyes to see" the problems & issues with this car. I do not believe the owner tried to lie or deceive in his eBay ad. Nothing he said about this car was intended to be misleading. The owner of a precious thing will normally see it differently than a potential buyer, the value, condition will usually be quite a bit different, and better, than what is reality for the purchaser. That is what happened in my case. The owner really did not know where to look, or how to look, for the particular issues of his car. On the phone, before my trip to California to pick up the car, I asked him about the frame rails; "are they straight, bent, rusty?" I also asked about the condition of all the interior plastic; he came back with a reply to those particular questions that made it clear that his inspection methods would be different than mine. He also didn't have the know-how to photograph thee things well, but as an amateur photographer I can be quite picky (too picky) about photos, and seeing what needs to be seen in pictures.

I had to give the guy credit at 82 years of age. He did well on his ad, he reported the car's condition accurately as he saw it. After I made an offer & he accepted, he had several offers of more $ than I offered, but he stuck with me & the promise to sell me the car. It's hard to explain, but as I uncover the car's problems, I can just tell, I can see, that the owner was just not going to be able to see the problems that I have found, he would have had to take it to a mechanic, or someone knowlegable (sp?) in Z cars to list out all the stuff I'm finding. It's also that the owner of something like this counts it as very precious and will see it as much more lovely than the buyer. Well, I think ya'll understand what I'm going through. Thia has been a wonderful learning experience, and I can't wait to get my hands on the car & start ripping it to pieces (in a good, restorative way!).

I will say again, in defense of the seller of this car, because I have indicated that what he said about the car in the eBay ad wasn't exactly "accurate" in my view now; that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was honest, accurate, and meant absolutely no deceit or deception in his advertising this 280 ZX. Like I said, you just have to see the way I'm uncovering the car's problems, and you'll see that he really never did see what I'm finding. Most of the problems are obviously a "first-time" find, such as the molding coming off the T-top hole as I remove the windows over & over again, the cover that goes on the T-top window breaking, interior plastic breaking as it's handled probably for the first time in over 20 years, bubbles developing under-paint on the hood that weren't there when I picked the car up. O.K. I'm getting long-winded, chasing rabbitts, and repeating myself. Hope you're not bored to tears!

I'll definately keep ya'll updated with my work & questions I'll surely have. I'll try to be shorter, too, but having this wonderful car makes me want to talk about it a lot.
 

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Wasn't trying to call into question the veracity of the owner but certainly will the mechanic who knows better. The mechanic of my car gave me a glowing report also but he knew the issues that I uncovered over time. But, anyways, all's well that ends well. Happy as a clam with my car. Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
jaket2K9 said:
Wow, that is one clean interior.
Jaket, you are right, it sure is, but when you look closely, man! There really is a lot that's coming apart, breaking, disintegrating, fading, etc...but that is what I signed up for, working on this car to make it prettier & cleaner, and.......? We'll see!
 

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The seats are in good shape. The carpet can be replaced easily if need be. And that dye can bring everything together. I found that my dash looked as if there were speckles of black in it. So when I removed it to do the AC/speakers/etc. I dyed it along with the piece of metal by the windshield.
 

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Since I know and have screwed things up in my cars - I know it's cheaper in the long run for me to take my car to an expert. Found him through the local Z Car Club.

He's far far away but worth it. I won't call him my mechanic becasue he doesn't do most of the physical labor and his shop looks like an old "good-ole-boys's" shade tree home shop.

But what he doesn't put into fancy overhead goes into training, training, and more training with his workers. Kin - actually is a good-ole boy - you just have to get used to the southr=ern accent and (he used to chew tobacco - but the guy is actually an electrical engineer.

He has gotten my three Z's back to factory spec and they run great. He had to undo what a lot of so called experts had done wrong.

But on my Trans Am - he has forbidden me to buy another car -ever - without his say-so and inspection. He doesn't like what he see's inflicted on good auto's by "mechanics".

So to you guys that can work on your cars - I admire you. As I've said before: If I choose to work on a car - I check with my Hospital to see if we have type 0- blood in stock.
 

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JesusDrivesaZ said:
jaket2K9 said:
Wow, that is one clean interior.
Jaket, you are right, it sure is, but when you look closely, man! There really is a lot that's coming apart, breaking, disintegrating, fading, etc...but that is what I signed up for, working on this car to make it prettier & cleaner, and.......? We'll see!
Welp still better then mine, I got a mint green carpet in the back the PO put in beacuse they couldn't figure out how to seal up windows.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
erzelda said:
Since I know and have screwed things up in my cars - I know it's cheaper in the long run for me to take my car to an expert. Found him through the local Z Car Club.

So to you guys that can work on your cars - I admire you. As I've said before: If I choose to work on a car - I check with my Hospital to see if we have type 0- blood in stock.
As an aircraft mechanic with a bit of mechanical aptitude (even though I've never worked on cars), I am willing to bet I'll be able to tell those things that, if done wrongly be ME, will as you say, "screw my car up." Those things I will definately take to an expert.

For instance, I know that to properly kill the rust brewing under the paint at my windshield bottom, I must remove the windshield. Removal is not a problem and somewhat simple, though I must be careful since they break easily when removed, and I shoudl store it upright, etc..(I've done the homework already). BUT putting the windshield back into place after the work of rust removal, alodining, priming & painting is done, is a job best left to an expert in windshields. I won't replace the windshield but will take it to Freddy's Glass (Waco's best) instead, driving a windowless ZX a mile down the street! For less than $100 they'll put it back on with a lifetime guarantee against leaks and poor workmanship.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Actually, I should have said; "to properly kill the rust I MIGHT have to remove the windshield." First the trim comes off, then the rust is uncovered, it's THEN that I will know if windshield removal is needed, but in most of the instances I've read about, the rust took a route under the windshield, meaning removal was needed to get at it.
 

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lol..you must be an aircraft mechanic!...alodining would be for your aluminum car?
just a passing tho't...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
rjohnson said:
lol..you must be an aircraft mechanic!...alodining would be for your aluminum car?
just a passing tho't...
Yeah, aircraft A&P, specializing in sheetmetal, structures, & mods.

I queried a guy at Macco & I believe he said alodining is the way they do rust-prevention on steel as well as aluminum. Here at work, we certainly have alodined steel, though to be honest, I'm not sure if it's "proper" with steel. I'll do the research right now...Thanks for bringing up the question in my mind before I actually do it, which'll probably be later this week or this coming weekend if that early. I need to get my belts replaced & oil switched out first, buying a pair of ramps before I even do that, which might have to wait for payday this Thursday...
 

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Taking the windshield out is when they get broken - been there done that. Let the expert do that too.

Too bad you're in Waco - ZXelda still needs a ton of body work. I got screwed on that last year.
 
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