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dmoralesbello

280Z Restomod Progress

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Having had the pleasure of owning a new 1977 280Z (Zap edition) as a sophomore in college and wanting to own another 280Z for the last 25 years I finally got what I wanted this April: a 1978 survivor 280Z in amazing shape (no rust whatsoever!, perfect maintenance records, few and well executed upgrades such as cams, header, exhaust, struts, wheels and tires. Paint and upholstery were totally original and in great shape (not perfect, but great). Now, I know purists will cringe (and that's why my write up is not on the Classic Z Forum) but I wanted to do to this Z what I would have done back in '77 to my first 280Z had I had the money: lower it, bigger and better wheels/tires, upgrade my upholstery, get a killer paint job and tweek my engine to get the most out of it without going turbo or swap.

This was my starting point:

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Edited by dmoralesbello

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Carefully took out all the upholstery and confirmed that there was absolutely no rust anywhere  :D . Applied Dynamat, updated the original seats with hi performance modern foam padding, freshly painted frames and rails, best available vinyl with a fresh new design that combines smooth black and textured graphite grey on the seats, door panels, roof liner and rear speaker box. Mercedes Benz black carpet will go on the floors soon (hopefully next week).

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In the meantime the bodywork progressed removing the lower panels and trim molding and filling all 64 holes  :o , smoothing out all imperfections, replacing lower valance with an MSA polyurethane airdam and rolling the fenders to fit new 16x7 Konigs and new rubber. 

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Edited by dmoralesbello

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Airdam install included fabricating a steel and aluminum frame. The steel rod fits right behind the airdam lower lip. The aluminum floor that's attached to the frame is intended to look like a continuation of the OEM underside protector, increase airflow through the radiator and reinforce the whole set up.

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Finally the 3 stage paint was applied. After much debate we decided to keep an orange color which had the same base as the original Datsun 110 code that was on the car. This coincided with a 2015 Lamborghini orange (Arancio Argos Pearl) used on the Aventador. In conclusion the new color is much like the original color BUT with a pearl final stage before the clear coat. The effect in sunlight is amazing.

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Just for fun, a vintage Tonka Toy Z was sprayed with the same 3 stage paint simultaneously:post-49397-0-06701700-1440250980_thumb.jpg

Hey, I figured if I can't play with the full size toy for a while....

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Edited by dmoralesbello

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Seattlejester: The modified bucket actually contacts the inner fender liner and bulges it outward about a quarter inch. Not enough for clearance problems I think. Once I road test it I'll let you know. I will also post pics of the completed buckets.

In the meantime I hooked up all my LED tail lights and the electronic flashers seem to have done the trick: all turn signals and hazard lights work perfectly.

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The rear deck carpeting, strut towers, speaker box and padded strut bar are all finished. Next up is the carpeting on the floor pans.

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We decided to cover the strut bar pad with the same perforated material that was used in the center section of the seats and on the speaker box. I think you'll have to zoom in on the pics to appreciate it.

The Z logo on the carpet looks yellow in the pics but is in reality a bright orange much like the car's body color.

Edited by dmoralesbello

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I'm gobsmacked by how lovely that car is.   It's nice to see someone giving one of these cars the top-notch treatment it deserves! :-)

Wow! Thanks RPMS. It's a real pleasure to put all the planning and work into one of these gems and have others appreciate it. It's going a little slow now but I should have more progress to post in 2 weeks or so.

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