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My recent barn find/ new member intro

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Hello All,

My name is Jon, I am an auto-body estimator, with a few years experience as a mechanic, and I just purchased my first Datsun. It's a 1971 240Z that I found through a friend of a friend. It has been sitting in a barn (that's about to fall over) since 1993. The car is pretty dirty, but the body is in surprisingly good shape. The quarters and floors are solid, with just a bit of rust in the rear rocker/dogleg area. I purchased it for $600 as a project and plan to spend the next few years restoring/modifying it. I have been a Honda guy for a long time and have owned and modified many Accords and Preludes with one Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 thrown in there, but I have always been drawn to the looks and performance of the early Z-cars. I am excited to have a rear drive car for the first time, no more torque steer and wheel hop! I can see there is an over-abundance of knowledge on this forum, and am excited to participate in the discussions (instead of just lurking). Thanks!






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Obviously fix up the body and a full paint job, and add some of the JDM touches (fender mirrors, fairlady badges, maybe jdm tail lights) rear spoiler, and flares. I was reading through the suspension faq on here earlier, and will probably upgrade things to a stage 2 or 3 range. As far as drive train goes, I would love to 2JZ swap it, but I could probably get a domestic V8 cheaper with more options for tuners around where I live. I had considered trying something different, like a Honda K24 with a turbo, but I am not sure that I am the right person to tackle an engine swap that no one has done. No plans to race it, maybe a trip to the local 1/8 mile once in a while. I just want a sweet looking, fun sports car that can give my Father-in-law's Boxster S a run for his money. 

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It took a few hours, but we got the car pulled out of the barn last night before it got completely dark. We had to fight with one rear wheel that would not roll, probably seized e-brake, and the steering wheel locked with the front wheels slightly turned. Not totally sure where the keys are, the previous owner hasn't been able to locate them yet. I will probably take a lock cylinder from one of the doors and get a few keys cut. You can see in the second picture just how much the barn was leaning, it was kind of scary pulling it out! Really surprised it hadn't fallen down yet.






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Been a little while since my last post, life has been a little crazy as of late. We moved October 20th and at first our garage was full of stuff, once that was cleared, I had a hard time coordinating with my buddy to get the car moved home(it was sitting on his trailer at the speed shop he used to work at). We finally found time last weekend, which was good because the weather is about to get nasty here. We stopped by a self-serve car wash and washed the years of dust and bird crap off of it, looks much better now. We got it rolled into the garage and now the fun begins. 


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Planning on an LS swap and converting it to a manual. Unfortunately, it will be sitting a while since I am getting deployed in May. My goal is to get it cleaned up, disassembled, and sand blasted, and primed before I leave. Ratrod would be cool, but I want to make this one shine. Since I work in auto body, I can get the hook-up on the body work and paint. 

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  • Download a Factory Service Manual (FSM) 
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Read the new member FAQs.


 Useful Links:




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Thanks! I had seen this same post on other new member intros so I have completed the first 3 steps. I am the type of guy who does a ton of research before I tackle a project. Rather than printing out pages and pages of service manuals, I moved my old imac to the garage and set it up on the end of my work bench so I can search this forum and reference the FSM. Bonus, I hooked the computer up to an old a/v receiver then to some bookshelf speakers so I can listen to music and podcasts while I work.   I had a little time to clean it up a little more last night. Lots of vacuuming out mouse nests and wiping out dust and bird poop. 




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