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New Member and Owner of a 240Z

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Hey all, I'm the new owner of a car that's been in my family for a while. To the best of my memory I think my uncle owned it for the better part of 20 years, maybe more. However, he got tired of it and I picked it up for a song ($1000). 


What I know about it now: 2.8l block with high comp pistons, some sort of hot cam, triple 44PHH carbs, and a 6-2-1 header with a crimped exhaust with some sort of motorcycle can on the rear. It's got a welded in cage and is sitting on Shelby Mini Europa wheels (15x7 I believe) with 205/50 Tires (Chinese, but reasonably good ones, I previously ran the same tires on an E28 535is I fixed up and drove). Supposedly this build hit the dyno and was at around 180whp when it was first done a couple years ago, but it's only driven a few thousand miles in the last few years since then.  It needs a fair bit of TLC but is actually very close to being on the road (it was a daily driver about 9 months ago). 


I'm a HUGE fan of classic Japanese cars, but haven't ever owned one. I do have a diverse history of cars that I've owned, modified, and casually tracked/raced at one point or another in my life to pull from. Interesting cars include a 1991 Honda CRX HF, 1987 BMW 535is, 1988 Isuzu Impulse Turbo, 1986 SVO Mustang, 2004 Mazda Mazdaspeed MX-5, 2005 Subaru WRX STi, and a 2015 Chevrolet SS (Holden Commodore). As you can see, mostly forced induction (I do like those turbos!) but I'm really on the fence with the Z. 


At this point I'm going to be driving the car and going through it one system at a time, addressing needs while I figure out want I want from the car. Right now I know the headlight buckets, fiberglass fairings, and lights themselves are toast, it needs a battery, at least one carb needs a rebuild (flooded the engine), and various other small things like fluid flushes and replacing almost all the rubber (seals/belts/bushings) to get it safe on the road. 


If anyone knows what lower front valence is on the car, and what it might be missing to go back to stock, I'd appreciate that knowledge. I'm still debating on the final look; there is something to be said for everything from a ZG look (don't like the nose, but the rest is cool) to a stock Z sleeper. Some of that will depend on just what panels require replacement. I am currently trying to gather info on a carbon or FRP bonnet and hatch panel and would appreciate any positive or negative experiences. Same with fenders, etc. If I'm replacing panels I'm going to evaluate what type of panel suits my goals/budget best at that time (carbon, FRP, Al, Fe, etc.). 


Finally, a thank you to all the contributors of this forum, is due. I've been lurking for about a year now while I negotiated to take this Z off of my uncle's hands. The discussion here are nothing short of amazing, and have been a huge help to me already (by grounding some of my wilder ideas). Hats off to the ladies and gents here. 





Full size for detail: https://tjridgway.smugmug.com/Car-Pics/n-QVTv3S/i-sdv5js3/A


Full size for detail: https://tjridgway.smugmug.com/Car-Pics/n-QVTv3S/i-gPhBZKK/A

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  • Download a Factory Service Manual (FSM) and buy a Haynes repair manual for your specific car(s).
  • Download electrical schematics for your car.  PDFs are easier to read than those found in books. Some are in color.
  • Buy the book How to Restore Your Datsun Z Car by Wick Humble. It will save you hours of searching for "how to" info.
  • Focus on searching Hybridz as 99% of questions have already been addressed.
  • Start bookmarking Z car parts suppliers - there are many!
  • Remember these are 40 year old cars and will need restoration to be safe and drivable.
  • Join ClassicZCars.com website and search there as well.
  • Become well informed about modifications before asking questions. People will be more inclined to answer informed questions.
  • Search the forums.
  • Read the new member FAQs.


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That's quite a deal you walked into, congrats.  As Miles says, "Remember these are 40 year old cars and will need restoration to be safe and drivable." You will need to go through every system, cleaning, replacing, flushing. Start with the brakes, either rebuild the calipers yourself or buy rebuilt calipers, dismantle the Master cylinder and clean it out, you will be surprised by how much crud can accumulate and still work. Take lots of pics as you go so you have a record of how things were assembled before the tear down.

These cars are very easy to work on and a real joy compared newer cars.

Have fun,


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