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jbaker7326

ZCAR noob looking for advice on potential car purchase

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I posted something similar in another forum and wanted to get some opinions from the HybridZ forum.  I found one that appeals to me and am considering driving the 3 hours to pick it up tomorrow. I'm looking for advice from you experienced folk- looking at the list of mods, year etc. does anything stand out that would keep this from being a reliable daily driver and is the asking price on point in your opinions?

 


 

Thanks so much in advance for all of your help.

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I don't know how mechanically inclined you are but since there has been considerable work done to the wiring, the factory service manual won't be able to help you much should a problem arise. Megasquirt is great when it works, and it is definitely more user-friendly than ten years ago, but it is a picky system and can be a little finicky at times. I'm sure a lot of it is user error or quality of installation, which is another thing to look out for when checking this car out. Did he crimp the wires or solder them like they should be, run shielded wiring, how well did he tune it, etc. It may be a great car and drive around without a hiccup but I could never put Datsun and reliable daily driver in the same category. YES they can be reliable cars and when rebuilt to OE specs these little guys are bulletproof, .but they are 40 year old cars that are prone to develop issues as you drive them, it's just the name of the game. There are much more reliable options for that dollar amount, since this would be your primary driver, though you may not share the same excitement for them. If you had a primary driver aleast and wanted this as a weekend / nice weather driver, then if this one wouldve fit that category. But your call, worst case if you buy it and it doesnt work out then just sell it and move to plan B.

Edited by zeeboost

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I don't know how mechanically inclined you are but since there has been considerable work done to the wiring, the factory service manual won't be able to help you much should a problem arise. Megasquirt is great when it works, and it is definitely more user-friendly than ten years ago, but it is a picky system and can be a little finicky at times. I'm sure a lot of it is user error or quality of installation, which is another thing to look out for when checking this car out. Did he crimp the wires or solder them like they should be, run shielded wiring, how well did he tune it, etc. It may be a great car and drive around without a hiccup but I could never put Datsun and reliable daily driver in the same category. YES they can be reliable cars and when rebuilt to OE specs these little guys are bulletproof, .but they are 40 year old cars that are prone to develop issues as you drive them, it's just the name of the game. There are much more reliable options for that dollar amount, since this would be your primary driver, though you may not share the same excitement for them. If you had a primary driver aleast and wanted this as a weekend / nice weather driver, then if this one wouldve fit that category. But your call, worst case if you buy it and it doesnt work out then just sell it and move to plan B.

 

That's a great point regarding the factory service manual.  I have a fallback honda civic that is very reliable but I wanted that to be the back up and a more exciting vehicle to be my daily.  I'll be sure to inquire regarding the wiring though, thanks for the tip.

 

Get his name and have his Rebello receipts ready.

I find it very odd Rebello doing a turbo short block and it having a P79 on it...

 

Where is the high dollar P90 it should have?

Outside of reading it in his clist post, I didn't know anything about Rebello.  Thanks for pointing that out and I'll be requesting the receipts and picking his brain about this.  Again, very much appreciated.

 

So would you say there are fishy things to consider with this purchase?  The absolute last thing I want to do is get involved with a purchase that starts out with a significant loss.

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Alright he let me know that the factory wires are crimped and the rebuild wires are all soldered. 

You should examine closely and be suspect if this is a big deal to the seller.  It's not really a big deal.  The CL ad has many things listed which aren't really that significant.  Makes one think that the seller might just be a guy with a car hobby who may or may not have known what he was doing.

 

For $12,000 it would be reasonable to allow the car to be inspected by somebody who knows their stuff.  At this point it's really just a list of parts and some nice pictures.  Besides that, you'll be buying an engine management system and set of parts that will require some fairly  in-depth knowledge.  Megasquirt is nice but each installation is somewhat unique.  If you have a problem, where will you go?, is a question to consider.

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You should examine closely and be suspect if this is a big deal to the seller.  It's not really a big deal.  The CL ad has many things listed which aren't really that significant.  Makes one think that the seller might just be a guy with a car hobby who may or may not have known what he was doing.

 

For $12,000 it would be reasonable to allow the car to be inspected by somebody who knows their stuff.  At this point it's really just a list of parts and some nice pictures.  Besides that, you'll be buying an engine management system and set of parts that will require some fairly  in-depth knowledge.  Megasquirt is nice but each installation is somewhat unique.  If you have a problem, where will you go?, is a question to consider.

 

^^^^ what NewZed said plus it is not a $12k car.   My top two priorities in buying Z cars is minimum rust and  unmolested electrical wiring.

 

Trust but verify.

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I appreciate the support, Miles.  I REALLY dig this style

 

http://jdmchicago.com/wp/2012/10/christine-siepkas-1978-datsun-280z/

 

is the general recommendation to find something bone stock and build up?  I guess I was trying to cheap out and try to snag a deal from someone who had already put time into theirs.

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