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Bought a non-running 280zx. Looking for advice.


Akuma_no_S130Z

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    I bought a 1983 Datsun 280zx, non-turbo. It doesn't run currently- the previous owner said it ran pretty rough before he left it for a couple years. The body is straight- very solid. The quarter-panels are good, along with the front fenders and skirts. There is a bit of surface rust on the hood, and the passenger-side taillight is broke. 

   My friend said to take a compression tester to see if the engine has good compression, but I haven't got the chance to do so. 

   I am committed to this car. I will do whatever it takes to bring it back to life.

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On 12/15/2023 at 9:34 AM, Akuma_no_S130Z said:

    I bought a 1983 Datsun 280zx, non-turbo. It doesn't run currently- the previous owner said it ran pretty rough before he left it for a couple years. The body is straight- very solid. The quarter-panels are good, along with the front fenders and skirts. There is a bit of surface rust on the hood, and the passenger-side taillight is broke. 

   My friend said to take a compression tester to see if the engine has good compression, but I haven't got the chance to do so. 

   I am committed to this car. I will do whatever it takes to bring it back to life.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry, you bought a 2+2...

That being said, the shop manual can be found at https://www.xenonzcar.com/s130.html

The engines in these are stout and can take some abuse. The fragile bits IMO are the fuel system. Just start slow, inspect everything, and take pictures. People liked to hack up wiring and cobble things together cause they didn't understand it or they couldn't afford the parts. 

 

Another thing to check before you start dropping money into it is the floorboards and frame rails. 

 

Take that windshield out and save the metal under it. I can guarantee you it's rotted out and letting water under you dash into the wiring and such. Pay someone to take it out properly, the trim is fragile too dont start yanking on it. 

 

Good luck, current state of my 18 year project attached...

17065677156706922377954160143164.jpg

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What are your short-term and long-term plans?  Should be pretty easy to get it running again if you want to have a driveable project.

 

Give more history about the car.  How many miles?  How long has it been sitting?  "A couple years" probably means ten.  When was the last time it ran?  If it ran before you don't really need to check cylinder pressures.  First thing might be to check the fuel quality in the tank.  Don't turn the key on if the fuel is bad the pump will prime some of it through the fuel system.  Check the oil for water.  Check the air filter and intake tubing for mice nests.

 

Many small things you can do before turning the engine to get a good head start on getting it running again.  classiczcars.com also has Factory Service Manuals. 

 

Since you're in Utah I wouldn't be so sure about the advice to remove the windshield.  You'll know if it leaks after you wash it.  No need to create more work for your self unless you know it's necessary.  Good luck.

 

p.s.  take a video of the engine.  We'll see if any parts are missing.

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