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I acquired a non-running shed 1980 280zx last Sunday (8/9).  I already have a 1983 turbo 280zx w/ sequential MS3, holset hy35, vacuum that sucks money into the abyss, etc.  I haven't decided whether I'm going to use the new acquisition as a slow resto project since I'm pretty much done with mine, or prep it for 24 Hours of Lemons racing.  I'm leaning toward the latter at the moment.

 

The acquisition came about in a very round-about way.  I troll craigslist for Datsuns near me and this was the first 280zx that had even popped up this year.  The owner didn't have a price but mentioned trading for a daily driver.  He helpfully included several photos so I could see that it didn't appear to be ate up with rust.

 

One of my employees had been in the process of trying to move-in with her boyfriend for a couple of months and they were in the final stages of planning the move.  Boyfriend had a 2004 VW Jetta 1.8 turbo that had quit running right for him multiple times and he was tired of paying people to fix it for him.  He had gotten himself a Nissan Versa and parked the Jetta.  Girlfriend had set an ultimatum for him to do something with the car because he sure as heck wasn't going to move it to their new place.  At first he had offered it up for sale to some of his friends for $500, and girlfriend had made the same offer to me.  I passed because I wasn't really in the market for a boring project car.  Friends passed too.  Finally it was down to one week before the move and Girlfriend told me they would be willing to sell it for $300 because otherwise he was going to donate it to NPR.  This was about 1 week after the 280zx ad had hit craigslist (I had nibbled on the hook by asking the guy if he had a price in mind, and he had just responded that he hadn't really thought about it.  He was serious about wanting a DD).  I emailed him what info I knew about the Jetta and asked if that was something he'd be interested in as a DD, he said it would be.

 

I went ahead and acquired the Jetta and drove it home, barely making it because it was running so rough.  I got it home at about 7PM on a Friday night and had it running right by 8PM and took it on a 275 mile trip that night to help some family with a move the next day.  Owner and I couldn't come up with a time we could actually meet for two weeks, during which time I was fixing all the little stuff wrong with the Jetta.  We finally arranged a successful meeting on 8/8, he really liked the Jetta, I liked what I saw of the s130 well enough, so we agreed to the deal.  I went back the next day with a tow dolly and brought 'Burninator' home.

 

Once I get started posting pictures you'll probably see how I chose the name for the car.  I'm amazed it hasn't caught on fire and burnt to the ground yet.  I've found some interesting wiring choices within.

 

I'm mostly doing a build thread here in case I do decide to go with 24 Hours of Lemons route.  I do not plan on rushing through anything.  If the car is destined for that the earliest I would deploy it would be next year sometime.  For what it's worth, by all accounts the chassis and motor have about 145k on them (way less than either component in mine).

 

I'll come back and post pictures when I have my phone with me.

Edited by Chris83zxt
Corrected date for Sunday
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Day 2: 8/10

I had had to dump the car on the street outside my house the day before since my driveway is at a not insignificant incline and backing a tow dolly is an art I never intend to try mastering.

 

I visited Harbor Freight and got their 1,500lb electric winch and a length of extra metal tow line.  I got some concrete anchors at Home Depot.  After work I installed the winch at the back of my garage and before long (and with the help of an additional tow strap which made the 3 piece tow line just long enough) I had Burninator pulled up into the garage.

 

I did enough troubleshooting to figure out that the starter was shot.

 

Day 3: 8/11

I bought a reman starter from Autozone and installed it.  Did enough troubleshooting to find out there was no fuel.  Did a compression test.  All cylinders 145-155 psi (I think my Harbor Freight compression tester reads a little low).

 

Day 4: 8/12

Messed with the fuel pump, verified that it is the pump itself that's not running.

 

Day 6: 8/14

Ordered a Holley 12-170 to replace the Walbro 255 on my ZX.  Mine is set up for E85 (GM Sensor) but running it through the 255 was always a double risk (pump not supported for E85, potential fuel starvation at high boost due to the additional amount needed).  Burninator will get the Walbro.

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