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PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
12/8/11 1:39 p.m.

Picked up a new project and thought I’d share. It’s a 1976 Datsun 280Z with a 4 speed manual.

I’ll see if I can make this quick but the back story on the car is it use to be a Florida car then some other southern state then made it way up to Maine. There it was only driven in the summer and garaged in the winter. Car has been off the road since 2004. Back then the owner noticed some smoke from the exhaust and decided to do a head gasket. Well he had the head cleaned up and bolted everything back together. When he went to install the timing chain it slipped and dropped down the front of the motor. At that point he let the car sit in the garage and never got around to taking the front of the motor apart.

Another back story is he let his daughter borrow the car for prom. When the car came back the clutch was shot so he had the flywheel resurfaced and a new clutch installed. Next time she borrowed it the throttle stuck or something and messed up the engine. He had the engine swapped out for one from a 1975 and then drove it for a few years till the head gasket went. Not really sure on all the story details because all I heard was blah blah blah.. new clutch… blah blah blah used engine… blah blah blah head gasket… blah blah dropped timing chain. It did come with the old engine on an engine stand plus 2 boxes of random parts.

Body is not bad for a Z car. Underneath is fair, floors look fine but the frame rails have been patched. I found a slip from a body shop and it looks like the work was done in 1993. Patch job is kinda sloppy but I’ll most likely clean them up and install reinforced rails. Front fenders and rockers are also starting to bubble but I knew I wasn’t going to find a rust free Z car. Rear hatch, area above the tail lights, and under the battery are all clean. Only 2 spots that bug me are going to be annoying to patch are a random hole rear by the passenger rear quarter glass and rust around the drivers side mirror. Interior is beat up but I’m fine with a cheap dash cap, new door skins, and some vinyl dye for now. Goal is to get the car on the road, drive it, then fix it as I go. That way it doesn’t sit for years and I lose interest.

Future plans? I’m thinking challenge car but more daily driver then race car. The factory Racing Green is growing on me so I might keep it when I repaint the car.

Here are a few pictures

rotard
rotard Reader
12/8/11 1:41 p.m.

The first pics had me going "mmmm," but the last few made me cringe. I guess this passes for minimal rust in Maine.

MA$$hole
MA$$hole HalfDork
12/8/11 1:43 p.m.
rotard wrote: The first pics had me going "mmmm," but the last few made me cringe. I guess this passes for minimal rust in Maine.

That there is considered "mint" or "rust free" for anywhere here in New England.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
12/8/11 1:44 p.m.

I've always loved the early Z cars. This one caught my eye the other night. No relation to the seller etc.

280Z http://orlando.craigslist.org/cto/2738723831.html

ArthurDent
ArthurDent Reader
12/8/11 1:54 p.m.

Cool buy. Those fake wires in the trunk are horrifying

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy PowerDork
12/8/11 2:16 p.m.
rotard wrote: The first pics had me going "mmmm," but the last few made me cringe. I guess this passes for minimal rust in Maine.

For a Z, thats mininal rust after spending the last 40 years in a climate controlled hermetically sealed garage...

cwh
cwh SuperDork
12/8/11 2:22 p.m.

My all time favorite car. Now you get to learn how to weld. Engines are pretty simple and very robust. You will enjoy. Just kill the tin worm as soon as possible.

rotard
rotard Reader
12/8/11 2:42 p.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote:
rotard wrote: The first pics had me going "mmmm," but the last few made me cringe. I guess this passes for minimal rust in Maine.

For a Z, thats mininal rust after spending the last 40 years in a climate controlled hermetically sealed garage...

I've owned a Z that sat outside for 30 years and had less rust, lol.

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Reader
12/8/11 2:53 p.m.

The rust doesn’t have me too worried. I can MIG/TIG and have patched far worse. For $500 I figured this was a decent deal. I can always part it out and scrap it if things don’t work out

integraguy
integraguy SuperDork
12/8/11 3:02 p.m.

About 10 years ago I got a 280Z somewhat like this one. Mine was also a '76 4 speed car, but painted that "Hershey bar brown" with a black interior. One the reasons why I got rid of it was that "subframe" rust these all develop. On my car, the frame rails weren/t just crusty, but all riddled with small holes...a situation I was not aware of when I bought it. It also had that rust behind the tail light panel that I'll bet this car has, too. But other than those 2 areas, it wasn't too bad. The engine and the engine compartment on this car are WAAAAY more "oxidized" than my car's was.

When these car are running, they are unbeatable, and for a winter project this isn't as bad as it could be...yet. Just try to round up a 5 speed before it is running as the 4 speeds are real gas guzzlers.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon SuperDork
12/8/11 3:04 p.m.

$500 is a deal even with the moth holes. I had a '78, I loved it but gave it to an ex GF to help get rid of her.

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
12/8/11 3:37 p.m.

Well my Challenge Miata was far worse and I was happy how it turned out. The 280z should be a fun project.

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l_263f178d527672b813dda08f89a3c99e

Grassroots-Motorsports-2009-Challenge-1860670

Brotus7
Brotus7 Reader
12/8/11 4:31 p.m.

Pseudo, you're in MA, right?

I have a 280zx LeMons car in CT with a bunch of spares. Let me know if need anything. I've got spare blocks, intake manifolds, exhaust, heads, diffs, fuel injection stuff and more.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed Dork
12/8/11 4:34 p.m.

I love early Zs but why have so many of them been magnets for such ugly after market wheels?

racerdave600
racerdave600 SuperDork
12/8/11 6:13 p.m.
Feedyurhed wrote: I love early Zs but why have so many of them been magnets for such ugly after market wheels?

Because back in the day you had limited choices and those were cheap.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
12/8/11 6:20 p.m.
rotard wrote:
Streetwiseguy wrote:
rotard wrote: The first pics had me going "mmmm," but the last few made me cringe. I guess this passes for minimal rust in Maine.

For a Z, thats mininal rust after spending the last 40 years in a climate controlled hermetically sealed garage...

I've owned a Z that sat outside for 30 years and had less rust, lol.

Lies!!! I owned a garaged-from-new 80 280Z Anniversary that had worse tin rot than this car. ALL Z's rust!

racerdave600
racerdave600 Dork
12/8/11 6:26 p.m.

What Javelin said. I looked at many Z's before I bought mine. It had less than most I looked at, and I still find more with every panel I remove. Several years back I got an '83 ZX from my parents that was garaged since they bought it new. It still looked perfect, except if you looked close it was rusting through around the windshield, with rust forming around the hatch, under the battery, doors, frame rails, etc., just like the 240.

This was a southern state, garage kept car that never saw rain after the first 5 years. They all rust....

Woody
Woody SuperDork
12/8/11 6:28 p.m.

I <3 Z Cars.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
12/8/11 6:31 p.m.

last of the pretty Z cars

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
12/8/11 6:34 p.m.

The 240Z would be a great candidate for an all-new body like all of the muscle cars that have been released lately...

rotard
rotard Reader
12/8/11 7:21 p.m.
Javelin wrote:
rotard wrote:
Streetwiseguy wrote:
rotard wrote: The first pics had me going "mmmm," but the last few made me cringe. I guess this passes for minimal rust in Maine.

For a Z, thats mininal rust after spending the last 40 years in a climate controlled hermetically sealed garage...

I've owned a Z that sat outside for 30 years and had less rust, lol.

Lies!!! I owned a garaged-from-new 80 280Z Anniversary that had worse tin rot than this car. ALL Z's rust!

There was rust, and I thought it was a "rusty" car. I now know that it was a pristine example. I live in the southeast, lol.

turboHLS30
turboHLS30 HalfDork
12/9/11 8:39 a.m.

My '75 280z is rust free, and in Florida Nice Z you have there, I bought mine for $400, and I got all kinds of goods with it.

Here's mine when I got it:

Here's what it looks like now, 3 years later:

failboat
failboat HalfDork
12/9/11 9:00 a.m.
Javelin wrote: The 240Z would be a *great* candidate for an all-new body like all of the muscle cars that have been released lately...

tell me about it. these renderings are a few years old but damn...thats what the Z should have been http://www.the510realm.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12874&start=0

Nice car PseudoSport

miatame
miatame HalfDork
12/9/11 9:25 a.m.

Love it.

Mirror rust looks like fun.

bosco
bosco New Reader
12/12/11 4:30 p.m.

We raced 240's and 280's in the 90's in SCCA. Great fun, and they responded so well to just a few tuning tricks.

at one point we put the SU carbs on a stock 2.8 short block, put in a mild comp cam, did a home port job on the N42 head (the best 2.8 head) changed to the 1975 5 speed gear box with a 4.375 LS rear end and won a bunch of regional races. The motor was still tame enough for the street. Fun, very forgiving racers.

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