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Hey everyone, I’m looking for someone near me (I’m in Conroe TX) to get some work done on my 77 280z. As I’m sure y’all are like me when it comes to your Z, you don’t want just anyone working on it. I’m basically looking to have A/C installed. I’ve finally tracked down all the parts, factory inside all new under the hood. Thanks for any recommendations!


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Hey everyone, I’m looking for someone near me (I’m in Conroe TX) to get some work done on my 77 280z. As I’m sure y’all are like me when it comes to your Z, you don’t want just anyone working on it. I’m basically looking to have A/C installed. I’ve finally tracked down all the parts, factory inside all new under the hood. Thanks for any recommendations!


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You can do the a/c install yourself. Its not all that difficult to do. I did it on my 280z, and it never had AC from factory... everything from a parts car worked great for me. But if you need some Z help, try and located a Zcar club in your area. Most states have at least one club, though some may not. I'm sure Texas has a few. You can find a listing here:

Good luck!

Bon
 
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Thanks for the info bonfire79,
To bad you don’t live closer lol. Are there any hints or any advise you could give me? I have thought about doing it myself but the thought of pulling the dash seems a little daunting and I don’t want it to be out of action for to long. About how long did it take you to install yours? I have all the factory components for the inside and the vacuum system I also bought an updated kit for everything else under the hood. Thanks again for any advise!!


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Sure, first thing is to download a free copy of the Factory Service Manual for your year 280z. You can get it at www.xenonzcar.com
the A/C section just happens to be the biggest section in the book. Start going through that. Now, does your car have an a/c system installed and not working? or no components at all? Mine didn't have any at all and I believe it was like that from the dealership as it was in a state that had cooler weather. the good thing for me, is that all the electrical connections and plug adapters were in the car from factory, so everything connected right up.

2nd, the dash isn't all that hard to do... and if you're going to pull it, you might as well work on everything that is under there. I mean clean all the vents and hoses, refoam and repad everything that is torn or missing. I mean, you don't want to have to do this again, so while its out, fix everything and take your time doing it. That having been said, your car will be down for a while. I stated doing mine in November of '08, and only because my blower motor fan cage exploded and I had no heat after that. (no a/c install), so I figured if I was going to fix that, I might as well just start doing the whole **** system with a/c. First thing I did was replace the disintigrated fan cage with a honda unit. I didn't get it done until around May. But I purposely took my time on the job, even though I wanted it ready for summer.

You will need to start gathering parts from a parts car, unless your car already has the components. If this is the case, you are already well on your way. If not, you will have to source everything... I had access to a harness, a compressor, compressor bracket, lines, vacuum hoses, heater core/evap, control unit, etc... The one thing I remember having an issue with was the expansion valve. the one I got didn't work, and I had to find another one. these are getting hard to find...

Bon
 

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Hey Bon,
Thanks for all that info! Mine is a 77 280z that came without a/c like yours no brackets no components nothing, just heat. I have noticed that all the electrical plugins etc. seem to be there like you were talking about. As of right now I believe I have acquired all the dash components and vacuum system parts other than the vacuum lines themselves. I was lucky enough to find a complete dash unit that was in working order when it was pulled so I’m hopeful the expansion valve is still good. I have heard those are hard to find. I also purchased a complete under the hood kit with the upgraded compressor and that came with everything that goes under the hood all the parts, hoses, brackets, hardware etc.

I did see where some people were switching out there fan blower with a 99 KIA Sportage and/or the Honda one you mentioned. It does sound like there’s a pretty big difference from the factory one so I might look into that upgrade. More cool air would be nice especially for those Texas summers lol.

I will say pulling the dash is my biggest concern. I do have a factory service manual and have been reading about the a/c system. I guess it’s hard to think about doing it myself because the car is in such good shape, 41,000 miles, no rust. But on the other hand it would save me lots of money and I would know exactly what was done and done right. Dang I wish we were closer lol. Thanks again for all your advice, I’ll take all I can get!


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I have no idea where Conroe Tx is located at. I have listings for z specialist shops in Houston, Benbrook, Irving, and Fort Worth. Are you near any of those cities? Z man of Washington
 
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Awesome Z Inc.
4004 Trenton Rd.
Houston, Tx. 77093
281-219-0015
I havn't talked to them in quite awhile. Tell them Oliver at Z Specialties said hello.
360-668-2979
 
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Hey Bon,
Thanks for all that info! Mine is a 77 280z that came without a/c like yours no brackets no components nothing, just heat. I have noticed that all the electrical plugins etc. seem to be there like you were talking about. As of right now I believe I have acquired all the dash components and vacuum system parts other than the vacuum lines themselves. I was lucky enough to find a complete dash unit that was in working order when it was pulled so I’m hopeful the expansion valve is still good. I have heard those are hard to find. I also purchased a complete under the hood kit with the upgraded compressor and that came with everything that goes under the hood all the parts, hoses, brackets, hardware etc.

I did see where some people were switching out there fan blower with a 99 KIA Sportage and/or the Honda one you mentioned. It does sound like there’s a pretty big difference from the factory one so I might look into that upgrade. More cool air would be nice especially for those Texas summers lol.

I will say pulling the dash is my biggest concern. I do have a factory service manual and have been reading about the a/c system. I guess it’s hard to think about doing it myself because the car is in such good shape, 41,000 miles, no rust. But on the other hand it would save me lots of money and I would know exactly what was done and done right. Dang I wish we were closer lol. Thanks again for all your advice, I’ll take all I can get!


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Sounds like you are well on your way. Question: what kit did you get for under the hood? Is for the Z or other aftermarket?
The fan cage is a difference but not in a huge way... if yours blew up, then of course the new unit will be better. But honestly what made mine even better was not only the new fan, but the climate control unit that I swapped. See, and yours is most likely the same, my 76 control unit only 3 fan settings - off-1-2-3... which i thought kinds sucked, especially for a/c, now this may have been specific to the 76 car. 77 and 78 pobably had the 4 way. so I made sure that the unit I pulled from a parts car had a 4th setting - off-1-2-3-4. if i remember, the honda unit is fairly plug and play. i remember having to work at it in order to fin the fan into the housing. i'm not sure about KIA unit, but it might be worth investigating.

don't worry about the dash. its just held in by various bolts. disconnect all of those and all the electrical connections, gauges, speedo wire, etc... it can be a big job, but just take your time with it. mind you, when I first did mine, I had never really worked on cars before. I didn't start tinkering around until I got my 280z... it was always breaking, so I decided to start learning to fix it. i had never done a complete climate control install. never done and engine swap or a tranny swap, never changed breaks, I just started learning how to do it. along with friends and other people to help guide me of course, but nonetheless, i did it. sometimes it pays more and is cheaper to do it yourself. I payed a shop $300 to swap out my transmission. 300 bucks! what a waste... I ended up learning how to do it myself later on. and you would be surprised by how many shops are out there that don't know how or simply won't want to work on your old Z car. I found that out first hand when i took my Z to a nissan dealership shop.... never again. i decided right then and there to start learning how to work on my own car.

and if your car is really in good shape, then all the more reason to work on it and keep it in good shape. don't be afraid of that. just take your time, learn the steps, follow the factory service manual and learn to do it right. You can do it!

also, I forgot to mention o-rings. you should replace all the worn o-rings in the a/c system. you can get kits for these.

Bon
 
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