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harry1589

Trying to make a 280z daily drivable.

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harry1589    0
Posted (edited)

Hi my name is Harry and i am in the prosses of buying my first classic car, a 1975 280z. I have kept my head down and been reading a fair amount on diffrent forums about common problems with these cars. I plan on daily driving the 280z as stock untill i have the money to do what i want with it properly. So i was just wondering what are the things that i need to do first to try and keep the old girl as reliable as she can be.

 

Ive read that there is some issues with fule tanks rusting and fule lines getting cloged. Im going to try and have a look in the tank with it still in the car as i dont have a garage at the moment so will find it hard to store parts like fule tanks ect. Obviously if the tank is full of rust then i will just have to remove it and get it sorted.

 

Ive also read that there is a heat soke isue with the fule in the fule rail boiling after shut down of the engine after a few minutes. I dont much fancy getting a fan to cool this down so was wondering if heat rapping the exhaust would help this or i sould jsut get a nice new fule rail.

 

The car i am buying has a very nice chasis with very little / no rust so this shouldnt be a big issue in the short turm. I am planning on a full body sand blast back to bear metal, repare and dammage/rust and respray in the future as well.

 

All of the hoses are proabley ging to be my first job to change as i cant see 40 year old rubber not springing a leak at the worst posible time.

 

I also plan on changing all of the bushing for the suspension soon aswell. My plan is for polly as i dont mind a harsher ride unless there is a reson not to do this. I also want to chage the springs and struts to slightly lower the car, only an inch or so as i think it looks nicer.

 

Is there anything that i have missed or things that i need to do first? Any and all insite would be much appreciated.

 

Apologys if i have spelt anything wrong, there defiantly will be, i just cant spell :(

 

Second apology is for no pictures at the moment, my phone with the pictures broke and i have lost them. I should, fingers crossed, be getting the car in a month or so now and am getting rather excited.

 

I live in the uk so any pointers to shops to buy parts from here would also be much appreciated as most are based in the us. Come on free trade deal with the us :)

 

Edit. Almost forgot to say the obviouse, all fluid changes, filters and spark plugs. Do you think i should get new points and spark leads?

Edited by harry1589

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JSM    15
Posted (edited)

If your paying someone else to do the work, daily driving shouldn't be an issue. Just will cost you a lot. You didn't mention budget.

 

If your going to do it yourself, get it running. Sort all the bugs out of it. Do all those things you were talking about, learn all you can and enjoy it for a bit. Then I would tackle the paint and body.

 

Also you U.K. Is tough on emissions right? Do 75 fall out of that range for testing?

 

I'm assuming you have another car to daily commute with now?

Edited by JSM

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NewZed    56

Hi my name is Harry and i am in the prosses of buying my first classic car, a 1975 280z

 

All of the hoses are proabley ging to be my first job to change as i cant see 40 year old rubber not springing a leak at the worst posible time.

 

. Do you think i should get new points and spark leads?

 

You're implying that the car was parked 40 years ago and has not been driven since.  Has it been sitting?  how long?

 

Download the FSM and read up, especially the Engine Fuel chapter, and Engine Electrical.  The engine has electronic ignition, not points.  As far as changing things, it depends on what condition they're in.

 

http://www.nicoclub.com/FSM/280z/

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harry1589    0

If your paying someone else to do the work, daily driving shouldn't be an issue. Just will cost you a lot. You didn't mention budget.

If your going to do it yourself, get it running. Sort all the bugs out of it. Do all those things you were talking about, learn all you can and enjoy it for a bit. Then I would tackle the paint and body.

Also you U.K. Is tough on emissions right? Do 75 fall out of that range for testing?

I'm assuming you have another car to daily commute with now?

Im going to do all the work myself. I like working on cars, learning how they work and what makes them tick. Im saving for a house after i get this car so for about a year it will be as much as i can scrimp together, prob only looking at doing things that need doing tbh.

Its a little diffrent for old cars. This was right at the start of emmitions testing so the rules are quite relaxed compared to newer cars. They is talk about cars more than 40 years old not need testing soon, fingers crossed.

My other car is going to be sold soon but i only live 15 minuts walk from work and i have access to my partners car if i really need to get somewear. 100% reliability is not what i am assuming at all but it will be a gole for the future, if anything can be 100% reliable that is.

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harry1589    0

You're implying that the car was parked 40 years ago and has not been driven since.  Has it been sitting?  how long?

 

Download the FSM and read up, especially the Engine Fuel chapter, and Engine Electrical.  The engine has electronic ignition, not points.  As far as changing things, it depends on what condition they're in.

 

http://www.nicoclub.com/FSM/280z/

The cars an import from California so not got any history on it, but it looks well kept and has registration on it from january 2017 for what thats worth.

 

I have downloade the FSM and had a scim but not had time to have a proper sitdown read. That will be done prior to receving the car i hope :/.

 

Slip of the toungh on the points im afraid :D

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NewZed    56

1975 is the last year that doesn't require emissions checks in CA, apparently.  So the degree of modification the PO did will determine how much work you need to do.  It could be dirty or it could be in factory condition and clean.  But the basic parts, like hoses and wires and plugs should be decent if it was drivable in January, you'd think.

 

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/vr/smogfaq#BM2536

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Zetsaz    4
Posted (edited)

Make sure no matter what you can do you can stop it. I'd refresh the brakes. I just bought all Centric brand brake parts on rockauto. All stock replacements. Front bearings are really easy to do while you're replacing the rotors. 

 

 

 

 

On 8/30/2017 at 3:05 PM, harry1589 said:

Hi my name is Harry and i am in the prosses of buying my first classic car, a 1975 280z. I have kept my head down and been reading a fair amount on diffrent forums about common problems with these cars. I plan on daily driving the 280z as stock untill i have the money to do what i want with it properly. So i was just wondering what are the things that i need to do first to try and keep the old girl as reliable as she can be.

Ive read that there is some issues with fule tanks rusting and fule lines getting cloged. Im going to try and have a look in the tank with it still in the car as i dont have a garage at the moment so will find it hard to store parts like fule tanks ect. Obviously if the tank is full of rust then i will just have to remove it and get it sorted.

 

For fuel, there's a chance your tank isn't that bad. Run a clear filter somewhere so you can check what your fuel actually looks like.

 

Ive also read that there is a heat soke isue with the fule in the fule rail boiling after shut down of the engine after a few minutes. I dont much fancy getting a fan to cool this down so was wondering if heat rapping the exhaust would help this or i sould jsut get a nice new fule rail.

 

This is mostly true of the older carburated models. 280z models had fuel injection and were less prone to this. I wouldn't worry about it unless you're having an issue. 

 

The car i am buying has a very nice chasis with very little / no rust so this shouldnt be a big issue in the short turm. I am planning on a full body sand blast back to bear metal, repare and dammage/rust and respray in the future as well.

 

Get the car running and working before you go digging for rust. Especially if you sandblast, that'll put your car out for a LONG time. Not ideal if you want to drive it daily soon. I'd say worry about this after you've been driving it. Trust me, just by doing brakes and suspension you'll be underneath enough to notice what's rotted and what's just surface rust. If you just want it to be a driver, I honestly wouldn't worry about it for a while, especially if it's as clean as you say. Just make sure it stays in a dry environment. Don't drive it on salted roads.

 

All of the hoses are proabley ging to be my first job to change as i cant see 40 year old rubber not springing a leak at the worst posible time.

 

Mine held up surprisingly well. Some had been switched out for non-efi hose. Make sure if you change anything, you get EFI hose, anything else doesn't hold as much fuel pressure and mine burst like one of the lines leading to the fuel filter the last owner had replaced. 

 

I also plan on changing all of the bushing for the suspension soon aswell. My plan is for polly as i dont mind a harsher ride unless there is a reson not to do this. I also want to chage the springs and struts to slightly lower the car, only an inch or so as i think it looks nicer.

 

I went with a Prothane kit. If you have Amazon prime, I believe that's the cheapest you can get it. That or eBay. It's more expensive purchased from any Z specific online store front. For just basic stock replacement with a bit of lowering the stagg shocks with Vogtland springs seems to be the new cheap small upgrade compared to the old KYB upgrade that was popular. Thread on that here http://forums.hybridz.org/topic/117631-new-s30-shock-and-spring-option/

 

Is there anything that i have missed or things that i need to do first? Any and all insite would be much appreciated.

Apologys if i have spelt anything wrong, there defiantly will be, i just cant spell :(

Second apology is for no pictures at the moment, my phone with the pictures broke and i have lost them. I should, fingers crossed, be getting the car in a month or so now and am getting rather excited.

I live in the uk so any pointers to shops to buy parts from here would also be much appreciated as most are based in the us. Come on free trade deal with the us :)

Edit. Almost forgot to say the obviouse, all fluid changes, filters and spark plugs. Do you think i should get new points and spark leads?

 

Full tune up would definitely be in order. new distributor cap and rotor, NGK spark plugs (or Taylor, or MSD, whatever your preference, NGK is the easiest stock replacement), NGK BR6ES spark plugs. Redline MTL-90 fluid for manual transmission is what Atlantic Z recommends, your choice on engine oil, though plenty of sites and forums have discussion on this. Blah blah blah, zinc content, blah, blah, blah, even the cheapest modern oils are better than what was available in the 90s, blah, blah, blah, thicker helps stop smoking, blah.... you get the gist.

 

 

http://www.xenonzcar.com/s30/fsm.html

 

Be sure to download the FSM for the car. Very useful for basic repairs and knowing what weight to use and to troubleshoot any problems you find.

 

http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/

 

All of the most common minor upgrades and fixes for stock configurations are available on Atlantic Z and even some that a lot of people always ask about. I would definitely look into the 280zx internally regulated alternator upgrade. More amps, bolts in, only need to splice two wires, easier to work with. 

Edited by Zetsaz

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harry1589    0

1975 is the last year that doesn't require emissions checks in CA, apparently.  So the degree of modification the PO did will determine how much work you need to do.  It could be dirty or it could be in factory condition and clean.  But the basic parts, like hoses and wires and plugs should be decent if it was drivable in January, you'd think.

 

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/vr/smogfaq#BM2536

Interesting, i assumed that it would have been 1974 the last year and thats why the 280z was fuel injected ect, learn somthing new.

From what i would tell it looked mostly stock and well maintained but as it didnt have a mot or been registered i could only drive it in the car park. The company i bought the car from are going to be moting the car and registering it for me so i should get more of an idea of the condidtion of the car from the mot.

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harry1589    0

Make sure no matter what you can do you can stop it. I'd refresh the brakes. I just bought all Centric brand brake parts on rockauto. All stock replacements. Front bearings are really easy to do while you're replacing the rotors. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.xenonzcar.com/s30/fsm.html

 

Be sure to download the FSM for the car. Very useful for basic repairs and knowing what weight to use and to troubleshoot any problems you find.

 

http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/

 

All of the most common minor upgrades and fixes for stock configurations are available on Atlantic Z and even some that a lot of people always ask about. I would definitely look into the 280zx internally regulated alternator upgrade. More amps, bolts in, only need to splice two wires, easier to work with.

 

Yer the full strip back and respray is years off, minor nigles first then the big stuf later.

 

Been looking at replacing the break components with oem were needed untill i go big break kit and rear disk convertion. I like to know i can stop before i make the car go fast.

 

Never changed a wheel bearing before but seems simple enough. Adding it to my list.

 

All good info thanks :)

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Zetsaz    4

Man, that forum upgrade didn't retain any of the formatting in my quote. Hopefully you still caught most of my responses to your questions! I went back and formatted my responses  to make them easier to read between everything regardless.

Like az240z said, popping the hood helps with any heat buildup. I also found a vented 280z hood for mine which helps even more if you're concerned, but it's less of an issue on EFI models even with a turbo.

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harry1589    0
On 31/08/2017 at 0:52 AM, Zetsaz said:

I would definitely look into the 280zx internally regulated alternator upgrade. More amps, bolts in, only need to splice two wires, easier to work with.

What is the benafit to this, surley the aultinator was spected correctly, or is it just that they are old and dont produce the amps they used to?

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Zetsaz    4

The benefits are getting rid of the unreliable external voltage regulator and higher amps. You'll end up replacing your alternator less often, and when you do, it's one less item to worry about since external regulators are gonna get more pricey. 

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ZHoob2004    1
13 minutes ago, harry1589 said:

What is the benafit to this, surley the aultinator was spected correctly, or is it just that they are old and dont produce the amps they used to?

From what I understand, the mechanical regulators aren't known for the reliability or their precision. On my own 77 I've noticed a significant delay in response under "high" load. Whenever my headlights are on and I use my turn signals, the voltage fluctuates by nearly 1v. In addition, the 280zx alternator has a slightly higher base output, which works well for other mods, such as electric fans, upgraded wipers, and blower motor.

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NewZed    56

60 amps is the basic spec. since about 1973.  So you won't gain amps, in theory.  But the external regulators can be hard to find so it's best to be ready.  Each year of car has its own little problems when doing the swap.  So even though it sounds simple, there's potential for extended electrical troubleshooting.  Don't expect to get it done a few hours, although you might.

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ZHoob2004    1

Any alternator can be made to work, it's just a matter of getting the belt connected and reconciling the wiring.

Other swaps I've seen are 300zx, Maxima, or even a few gm units.

 

EDIT: I should clarify, the reason the 280zx/maxima/300zx units are popular is because they bolt directly on and have the correct pulley to match the groove on the stock damper. The GM alternator swap I saw required the pulley to be swapped and some fiddling with the mount.

Edited by ZHoob2004

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