ZCar Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

Registered
Joined
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
Hi all, I'll keep this short as I am still not sure about alot of details. I am in California looking for 1970s datsuns as is my dream car. I searched catalogs of scrap yards and could only find burnt cars, or ones way over my budget. I have some experience with auto restoration so the condition isn't too important as long as I can get it running in a years work. Not really sure what else to say, and sorry if I left out any important information, I'll reply to all comments. Thanks

(Moved to correct forum by Mod.)
 

Registered
1982 280ZX
Joined
32 Posts
The following is probably terrible advice:
You're in a great place to find these cars in good shape (and I'm guessing at premium prices) If you look a bit farther afield in some of the rustier parts of the country, you can find some pretty low prices :) Just make absolutely certain you know what you're getting yourself into with rust on these cars and either be good at or get good at welding. You can build your dream car - I've done it a couple times with Z cars and I've never been fortunate enough to live in a state with no safety inspections. 馃槅 Be safe and good luck with your search!
 

Registered
Joined
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The following is probably terrible advice:
You're in a great place to find these cars in good shape (and I'm guessing at premium prices) If you look a bit farther afield in some of the rustier parts of the country, you can find some pretty low prices :) Just make absolutely certain you know what you're getting yourself into with rust on these cars and either be good at or get good at welding. You can build your dream car - I've done it a couple times with Z cars and I've never been fortunate enough to live in a state with no safety inspections. 馃槅 Be safe and good luck with your search!
Thank you! I'll search mote in person to as many yards I can find, with the welding, I am fortunate enough to still be in highschool and have 1.5 years left, which gives me access to our auto shop, we have 3 diffirent types of welder machines and tons of machining tools like Lathes and mills, along with lots of metal. The whole place has been funded by a nearby college so we have lots of tools. Here's to hope I can tell the teacher I bought an "old" Nissan and pull up in a datsun. Thanks again!
 

Registered
1982 280ZX
Joined
32 Posts
Ah, high school... the good old days :) Enjoy them while you can. Super cool that you've taken an interest in what I would think is a fairly unusual choice these days.
Ok, 2 more ideas which are probably terrible advice:
As you're searching, consider whether you'd rather tackle rust/body issues or mechanical stuff. In my experience most guys have a preference for one or the other, not too many love doing both, and shooting from the hip I'd guess that more guys prefer mechanical to body work.
Keeping that in mind, look for project cars that someone else has given up on. That's where you'll find better deals.
And probably in the category of good advice, join a local Datsun club, or the closest thing to that that exists in your area, and get as involved as you can. In my experience, the old timers tend to take care of the young guys when they know you're serious. No guarantees, but I think good things tend to happen to young people with an obvious passion.
Oh, and enjoy the hunt. It's at least half the fun :)
Good luck, let us know what you find!
 

Registered
Joined
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah, high school... the good old days :) Enjoy them while you can. Super cool that you've taken an interest in what I would think is a fairly unusual choice these days.
Ok, 2 more ideas which are probably terrible advice:
As you're searching, consider whether you'd rather tackle rust/body issues or mechanical stuff. In my experience most guys have a preference for one or the other, not too many love doing both, and shooting from the hip I'd guess that more guys prefer mechanical to body work.
Keeping that in mind, look for project cars that someone else has given up on. That's where you'll find better deals.
And probably in the category of good advice, join a local Datsun club, or the closest thing to that that exists in your area, and get as involved as you can. In my experience, the old timers tend to take care of the young guys when they know you're serious. No guarantees, but I think good things tend to happen to young people with an obvious passion.
Oh, and enjoy the hunt. It's at least half the fun :)
Good luck, let us know what you find!
Well it's the 49 annual zonc meet in 10 days so I guess I can start with that haha
 

Registered
Joined
2,414 Posts
New Mexico and Arizona are good places to find rust free cars. I know you're in Cali, but take a look anyway... and good luck!

Bon
 

Registered
Joined
2,414 Posts
Well, sadly the ones in the junk yards are slowly but surely being crushed more and more as time goes on... :( but it never hurts to look and ask anytime you are near a salvage yard because you just might find something worth while. That having been said, the thing you need to worry about is RUST! especially on a 70's S30. If you find one that's totally rusted, its probably not the best option. If you find one with the normal rust issues, probably good candidate. If you find one with little to no rust (which is not likely), then you will be very fortunate. If you find a complete car at all, consider yourself lucky.

Cars found in those states are typically rust free. I bought my 280zx in Albuquerque and it was clean. very clean. Still got it. Now in North Carolina.

And sometimes you might find one just sitting in a used car lot.... I have before, but in those days I never seemed to have any cash haha
Craigslist is your friend.

Bon
 
  • Like
Reactions: pentode

Registered
1982 280ZX
Joined
32 Posts
Even though I put the "terrible advice" disclaimer on my first answer, I wanted to clarify: always choose a rust-free car if you can find one in your budget. I apply this rule to all the cars I buy. IMO you're always much better off buying a rust-free car with mechanical issues than a rustbucket that drives ok. As bonfire79 said, rust is an especially big problem with these cars. I have been told that this is mainly down to the quality of steel used - I can't say for sure as I'm not an expert on Datsuns but I haven't noticed any major design problems that lead to specific rust areas like on some cars. These seem to just rust everywhere (others may have better info!)

As far as I can tell, the way these cars are designed, most of the strength of the body comes from the rockers and the trans tunnel- I'm guessing a t-roof car needs even more help from those 2 parts. So I would suggest that at a bare minimum you'd want to find a car with solid, original, rust-free rockers (inner and outer) or at least a car that's had the rockers repaired properly, which is a can of worms in itself.

TLDR; only buy a z car with rust as a last resort and if you're certain you can make it safe.
 

Super Moderator
1983 280ZX Turbo
Joined
1,780 Posts
Agreed. Rust is a killer in these cars unless you like doing - or paying for - extensive metalwork and frame repair.
 

Registered
Joined
566 Posts
I bought my first Z in 1999, after spending 6 months searching and saving and then buying the first one that was in a price I could afford. And it was the biggest mistake, because it was full of rust.

I learned how to do a bunch of mechanical repairs myself, from absolutely zero knowledge (buy yourself a Haynes manual - or - I guess it's all PDF these days), but the rust was a major issue, and eventually I found a 2nd car, with its own problems, but less rust. So I spent a weekend swapping a whole bunch of stuff from the first car to the new car.

My original is my avatar pic... on its way to be crushed.

I'm envious of the journey you are starting on. Hope you find a good drive!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top