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Discussion Starter #1
I just came across a 83 zx about a month ago, and have been reading around on this site ever since I got it, and many of you have helped me with questions I have had since this is my first Z. I already love this car. Cant drive it enough. But what my question is, I'd like to restore it back to original and I don't find much conversations here that talk about restoring back to original. All are about mods and conversions. As I am just starting this project, should I tear it down and start a rocket, or spend my time putting it back to the way Nissan made it in the beginning. Don't get me wrong, I like speed and lots of it, but also feel that the best way to appreciate this car would be to keep it the way it is and appreciate it for what it is....am I getting old? My Z is a 2+2 and from what I've read, they are almost shunted out of the Z world. **** I only paid 500 bucks for it and it only has 148K on it and other than the mis-care of the interior, is in excellent shape...doesn't even have any rust that I can find. Just wanted to throw this out to see what you fellow Z owners had to input on this subject......
 

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Alot of people that refer to restoring are actually "refreshing" their Z's. Restoring to original is very expensive. Refreshing is more of killing the rust, new paint job, and making your Z or ZX what you want it to be mechanically. You can end up with a Z that looks stock, but has alot of hidden secrets for performance that only a true purist would recognize or Z with racing flares, air dam, rear spoiler, V8, Turbo, fill in your favorite perfromance mods.... There are so many posts about mods and conversions because Nissan made it easy to switch parts throughout their product line into Zs and ZXs. Gotta love it when you can take a rear diff from an '88 200sx and drop it into a '70 240z if thats what you want.

In the end, it all depends on what you want out of your Z or ZX. I appreciate a stock Z just as much as I do a Z that has been modfied. Its just great not seeing them end up as another Z in the grave yard. Which is worth more? A nicely restored original Z will still get more then a modified Z in my book. Do you want to compete in car shows? There are classes for any Z to compete in at car shows.

So the decision is yours

Later,

Mike
 

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You're a gentleman and a scholar and there's **** few of us left. I've been taking great pains on a very limited budget to slowly restore my entire '76 back to original configuration inside and out. I personally haven't seen an aftermarket doodad that makes the Z look better than it did coming off the assembly line — well, except for nice wheels and a Grant mahogany steering wheel. I will also do a suspension and brake upgrade as time permits. But the engine, body and interior will be stock.

How do you do it? How much money do you have? If the answer is "a lot", just take it to a reputable upholstery or restoration shop, give them a blank check and tell them, "Make it new!" If not, almost everything you will need to do it yourself is commercially available, from rugs to weatherstripping to replacement seat and door upholstery. Again, though, not cheap. For a ZX, a new dash to replace that cracked one will run you $300-$500. If you're on the low-bucks end of the food chain, wrecking yards are a great, though hit-and-miss, source. Plus from personal experience, I can tell you that when you find the interior parts you need, they will never be the right color... until you sell the car. Fortunately, vinyl and plastic paints are available these days and better than ever. You can also find a lot of treasures, some old, some still new in the plastic, by perusing eBay. Try keywords "280ZX", "Datsun Z" and "Nissan Z". Another method I used was to find a trashed (in this case, severely rusted) similar car with a better interior than mine and transfer all the good stuff over. Not sure about '83s, but in the first-gen cars, the seats will fit either side. Since driver's seats almost always wear and many passenger seats are still nice, I simply swapped the good passenger seat from the rusty car for my drivers. (You do have to screw around a bit to get the seat release levers right). I also salvaged a bit of carpet and the heater beazel and voila! — new interior. Well, MORE new than it was before. When you're done with the wreck, you can part it out and sometimes make most or all of the money back, depending on what you spent in the first place.

If you know someone who does canvas or upholstery, see if you can trade them something (some work you're skilled in, sweeping the shop, a date with your sister, etc.) for the varsity stuff like seats. Even if you have to pay, a pro can often whip out a really nice shift boot and handbrake boot for less than you'd pay elsewhere — and most of them have enough scraps laying around that it can even be leather.

If you're low bucks, set modest goals and do it bit by bit. Most people won't even notice most of the stuff you do, but you'll know. I finally found an excellent "280Z" badge that goes on my right dash for a few bucks and it makes me feel like I've transformed the whole inside of the car.
 

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New2Zs, were are you?
As for 2+2s, they are the best and that’s that.

I have a 83 that is like new, you just need to be close by or find someone near you so that you can compare cars. I will be getting my Sony Cam back from the shop soon and will have many more photos on how a ZX should look.

I have a little stuff posted but maybe I should make a purest web site.
For now look at <http://personal.mia.bellsouth.net/mia/r/h/rhydra/index.htm>

It's the little things that count, they add up.

Madeline Michele
Hollywood, FL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nice Z Madeline. Mine looks just like that, only all brown. Was your inteior always that nice, or did you replace it? My hatch interior took the worst of it...the spare tire is cracked and the cover is warped from the heat. Also, one last question. On the auto shifter, what is on the right of the shifter. I know the gear lettering is on the left, but something is missing on mine to the right, but thier is a green light in there that lights up. Thanx
 
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