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New to me 280ZX (1983) but not new to the Z family


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Hello, HybridZ family!  Been a long time since I posted or visited the site.  Years ago, I had a 260Z that I was hoping to fix up and customize.  That didn't work out so well.  Kids grew up, and now I have 2 teenage boys at home.  The youngest (I have 3 boys but the oldest is in the Navy) is my autogeek.  I've been looking for a car for him (and secretly for me and my wife lol) and came across something last weekend that I couldn't pass up.  We were at a car meet and an acquaintance learned that we were looking for a Z to buy.  He mentions that he has a friend who has a 280ZX that he doesn't drive and wants to sell.  I look at some photos and arrange to meet the owner (an older gentleman in his 80s).


When I arrived at his garage condo, I couldn't believe how "mint" the car was and that the owner never drives it.  A few days later, I gave him a check and became the 3rd owner of this awesome 1983 ZX.  I never thought I would have an S130.  I started with a Z32 2+2, then a Z33, then the S30, and now this.  I guess I'm hooked.


Anyway, the car seems to run well, it looks 99% stock/OEM, and supposedly has been maintained really well by the original owner.  I recently bought new tires, a new air filter, and a PCV valve.  The air filter looks horrible.  It's drenched in oil, and the air filter assembly is 50% covered with old oil.  I did a quick search and believe it's the PCV valve.  Please correct me if I'm on the wrong path.  I'm a noob when it comes to this engine.  I have done some searches over the past few days and was more focused on getting new tires and a fresh air filter.  Is there any other reason why the air filter is so oily?  I plan on taking apart the entire airbox and cleaning the heck out of it.


I'm sure the first thing you all want to see are pics, so let me see if attaching them will work here.  This car is really growing on me.






Edited by SmoothZ
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Congrats - amazing looking 280ZX!  Hard to find them in this condition but there are ones just like you describe - sitting in a garage for years.


Oil in the filter. I'd take it apart and see if there is oil in the piping going back to the throttle body or if someone just left a jug of oil and it spilled on the filter housing. I would think you would have some massive oil consumption to get oil all the way to the filter which is pushing air against the source of oil from the PCV valve.  Every L I've had in good working order never burnt a drop of oil. Once the rings go or the valve steam seals its a different story of course.


I also had a barn find 280ZX.  Had to replace so many items due to it sitting unused for so long. Fuel tank, injectors, hoses, belts, struts, etc, etc. Stiffer springs and struts are always a nice upgrade from the stock marshmallow suspension. Makes it a lot more enjoyable for some spirited driving.

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That is a fantastic survivor. 


Like mentioned before, anything made of rubber is on its way out.  Replace as many vacuum hoses, fuel lines, etc as you can over time.  Might not be a bad idea to order a roll of 3/16,1/4,5/16 vacuum line, and some 5/16 fuel injection line.  If the car will spend time outside, I'd make sure all door and hatch trim is still keeping the inside dry.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I second the roll of vacuum line, and fuel injection line.

There's also a hose that goes from the bottom of the intake manifold to the crankcase breather vent - I've yet to own a Z that didn't have problems with that hose. In a pinch, it can be replaced with a cut-to-length rad hose out of a Honda - if you talk the auto parts store guys into letting you look in the back, it's the big long one that goes from about an inch diameter to 3/4 (if memory serves).

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Thanks for the tips, guys.  I'm slowly getting to know this car and enjoying every day with it.  I have it stored at my MIL's house right now due to massive construction on my street which is causing a lot of dust and crap flying around.  Don't need that near the Z.


As soon as I get a clean and new street, I'll tackle the Z's airbox and hoses.  I also need to install those new lug bolts for the rear and the new shocks.


I haven't driven the car in 2 weeks, so I'm missing it. LOL

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