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HybridZ

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Well, it's been a long time coming, so I'll start with a little back story.

When I was 16 in 2005 or so  I bought my first Z, a very rust free and original 1972 240Z. Unfortunately at the time I didn't know much about cars. My dad and I were working on installing a stereo and got bit by the "while your at it bug" and decided to redo all the interior. The problem came when we ripped the dash out and didn't pay enough attention or label things. I attempted putting the dash back in a few times but always had connectors left over. So there my Z sat while I went to school, worked full time, chased girls, and got other projects and I had even gotten a few other Z's that I ended up parting out. I had always planned on figuring out the Z but never got around to it. Eventually in 2011 I was involved in a bad motorcycle accident that put me out of work for about a year, I had bills start to creep up on me so I sold my Z. Thankfully it went to a good home, it was shipped over to the U.K. To become a Win Percy replica car, but I had been regretting it ever since. 

 

My first Z when i sold

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Since selling the Z I did a lot of growing up, moved front Southern California to Oregon, got married, bought some other fun cars (2006 CTS-V and a 2011 WRX), a house, and got my wife pregnant in the end of 2016. At least several times a month I'd find my self looking on Craigslist for a Z, most up here in the PNW are in really rough shape due to all the moisture, and now these things are fetching top dollar, so all I was really doing was looking. In June of this year (2017) I found a Z in my town for $1,800 that looked to be in decent shape so I called the guy and left a message and never heard a response. A day or two later I was driving to work the same way I do every day and out of the corner of my eye I spotted what looked to be the Same Z! Later on in the day I stopped by and rang the doorbell and talked to the guy. He had only bought it about 9 months ago in hopes to restore but recently found his wife had cancer so just needed it gone. The Z looked pretty rust free for this climate, had some rust bubbles and a little rust I. The spare tire area and might need floors but that was about it. The owner said it ran on starting fluid but needed a fuel pump so I asked him to show me. After tossing in a battery and spraying some starting fluid the thing actually lit up, and didn't sound half bad either! So I told him I'd have to talk to my wife but was very interested. He said he had some one coming to pick it up tomorrow but he was on a first come first serve basis. So right away I called my 7 month pregnant wife asking if I could buy the Z, I'm sure most people out there could guess her reaction. I mentioned it was pretty rust free, would run with little effort, and the price was right. She mentioned we were about to have a baby and all the expenses that would come with it. We were arguing a little and I wasn't gaining any traction when I then lost service and the call was dropped. I called her back maybe 15 minutes later when I regained service and she said I could get the car, to this day I have no idea what changed her mind. The deal was I could buy the Z but needed to pay back the money to our savings account as fast as possible and couldn't use money from my paycheck and I couldn't put any money into the car until I payed it off.  So I hauled ass to the bank and then to the owner of the Z, I was able to talk him down to $1600 and we made the deal. He then brought out some bill of sale paperwork, I mentioned his ad said he had a clean title. He told me the car does have a clean title but the owner before him had lost it. Great... I had agreed to buy this car, wanted this car, but it didn't have a title. I looked at the documentation, and it all look good, but what do I know. So I gave him the money and picked up the Z later that day.

 

After towing the Z home, I found the clutch and brake hydraulics were shot, not a big deal but I wanted to get it up my sloped driveway and into the garage. So I threw the car in 1st, put a battery in it, and loaded the intake up with starting fluid. I started turning the key and to my amazement the car chugged it's way up the driveway and into my garage. 

 

I was finally able to give the car a good look over, the vehicle hasn't been registered since 1996! The fuel pump wasn't running with direct power applied, the clutch and brake hydraulics were shot as mentioned above, and really that was my starting point to getting this thing on the road. I "traded" some work for a fuel pump which I then installed and looped in a fuel filter before the pump since there was a little sediment after draining the fuel tank. As well as replaced the fuel filter at the fuel rail. After priming the pump the Z actually fired up but had some hesitation. After letting it run for a little, I gave it some gas and the heater hose burst open shooting coolant everywhere. So I replaced the heater hose with some universal 5/8 hose. I threw in some sea foam which helped the hesitation some, I think there is some garbage in the injectors. I also pulled the plugs and ran some sand paper on them and re gaped them and checked the timing. 

 

I then figured out why the driver door wouldn't lock, the lock actuator on the door latch was rusted frozen so while pulling the window frame to get the latch out, I broke the 2 bolts that go through the door to the window frame at the front. So it was time to pull out the drill and tap set. Thankfully I was able to loosen up the lock mechanism and it now works like a charm. The passenger door wouldn't open from the outside which I found was due to a broken door handle. I was able to find a used one on eBay for $15 shipped. 

 

The Z came with a fiberglass 240Z series 1 Air damn which I installed even though it fits horribly and has has the openings for the turn signals, I'd still say it looks better than the big ugly bumpers that the 280's came with.

 

That gets you guys pretty much up to speed on my newly acquired Z. I did go to the DMV with the documentation and paper work I had. It turns out everything was correct and I got the title a couple weeks later. And my wife and I had our son just the other day on August 26th!

 

The plans for the Z are strictly low budget right now. I will be keeping the L series for a while, hopefully find an F54 flat top short block to put under the N42 head I have and throw in a cam. I am currently thinking of swapping to a 4barrel intake manifold but am open to other affordable intake options so I'll just wait and see what comes my way. Probably upgrade to Toyota calipers up front and disks out back. But more than anything the current plan is to just get the thing on the road and drive it to catch up on all those years my other Z sat in the garage. It feels good to be back in the Z game!

 

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Posted (edited)

So, in short, you just bought a 1976 280Z?  And had a baby.  Congratulations.

 

Edit - I see a lot of pent-up energy being released in that post...

Edited by NewZed

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