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Looking at buying a 1977 280Z


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Hey guys/gals,

 

I am looking at buying a 280Z within the next week or so. I am going to look at the car in a few minutes but just wanted to see if anyone had any pointers for things to look out for. If these cars have timing belts, when do they need replacing?

 

The car is a white coupe, it has louvers and headlight covers. The owners says the car has 100k some original miles and that the car has been garaged for the last 16 years. He says it starts right up and has no mechanical issues that he is aware of. The car has Recaro seats and it comes with 3 sets of wheels. When i spoke to the owner yesterday he said it only has a small amount of rust behind the door where the water drains. From the pictures the car looks great, but I will take some pics while I am there today.

 

He is asking $5000 for the car, but I am going to try and talk him down to $4500 or lower.

 

What do you all think?

 

 

Thanks,

-Alex

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might wan to do a bit of reading, the L6 uses a chain not a belt, and needs replaced almost never, they can stretch but generally unless you rebuild the engine the origional chain stays

 

look for rust, better yet search here for rust and look where everyone has rust, for every inch fo rust you can see there is a foot of hidden rust!

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So, I hope you'll post those picts before you buy it. $5K is a lot for a Z unless it's in really good shape. but hey maybe you're onto a really good deal. just remember though if there's some rust, likely there's a lot more you can't see. $5K I'd expect a lot, like perfect dash, seats and vinyl. low miles and well running engine. Rust really puts me off, so you'd need to decide how much to expect, and what you can tolerate. It would be a very good idea to put it up on a rack and have the underside inspected for rust, leaks and any other problems.

 

I wouldn't worry much about the timing belt, the Belt is a Chain, and though it's supposed to be changed every 60K miles, I've seen them last well over 120K miles. though over time they do stretch and can cause less efficient running.

 

I would suggest you read through all the threads you can find about rust and remediation before you buy the Z. since likely there's a lot of hidden rust, you don't know about.

 

Phar

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So, I hope you'll post those picts before you buy it. $5K is a lot for a Z unless it's in really good shape. but hey maybe you're onto a really good deal.... $5K I'd expect a lot,... It would be a very good idea to put it up on a rack and have the underside inspected for rust, leaks and any other problems...

 

 

I didn't hesitate dropping $7K for my `77 ride: http://forums.hybridz.org/album.php?albumid=1 to give you an idea of the condition w/ 131K+ miles. Maybe I paid too much, maybe not.

 

If you intend to put it on a lift to check the underside, be sure whoever does it knows what they're doing as I had a garage lift my car by the frame rails just to balance/rotate the tires... BIG mistake as it crushed the rails. You have to lift the car by the jack points (unibody) or be sure they get under the Diff and cross-members.

 

It sounds like a fair and reasonable price to me if it's in the condition the seller states and the paint is good and shines up. Don't expect to find a rust-free 30+ year old car. I'm sure even the $10-15K Z cars on eBay have some (minimal) rust.

 

Good luck!

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You gotta judge your area and how frequent they come up. Down here they are semi frequent, I have found a real rust free original paint 77 280z for $700. It didnt run, but with a couple hundred it did. Then I just picked up a 71' 240 with minimal rust for 1300, and it ran. My secret is just waiting and watching. If they arent frequent then it might be harder to find the best deal, as every car that comes up will have more interest and itll take forever if you keep passing on them. Good luck and imo z cars are worth alot more than they can be bought for.

,Ryan

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Well I went and looked at the car last weekend, the body was in very good condition with rust really only on the exhaust and the panels under the door where the water drains. The car has about 103k miles on it and the paint was suprisingly in very good condition.

 

That being said, I just did not like driving the car. The gas pedal was extremely hard, the clutch had no feel to it and the brakes were somewhat squishy. I know these are characteristics of older cars but for $5k I want something I already enjoy driving, not something I have to make enjoyable.

 

The car was gorgeous but the engine ran rough and i didnt like driving it. O well

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Well there you go.. It's your money, you need to be happy with what you buy. though the problems you'd depicted are pretty easy to remedy, The Gas pedal, you'd need to lube the joints on the throttle bar, and the pedal assy itself, though all Z's are heavier in the pedal since they're moving so much more than a butterfly valve like in a modern car.

 

The clutch, well that's hard to figure, there's a lot that can make it feel soft, but likely a rebuild of the system w/ new parts and braded hoses could go a long ways. Maybe a stouter clutch plate.

 

The brakes, Well nissan has rubber hoses to the wheels, if you replaced those with stainless and bled the system, the pedal should be hard as a rock. okay, thick mud, but that is unless the reaction disk is out of place, then the brakes would suck ass till that's fixed. easy to do tho.

 

But keep looking around and drive a few Z's. You'll find a lot of them to have similar feel to what you felt. remember these are all almost 40 years old, so they're not going to feel like even a 10 year old car when you drive. They have thier (stock) limits, things can be upgraded to get a better performance/feel.

 

Phar

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Well I went and looked at the car last weekend, the body was in very good condition with rust really only on the exhaust and the panels under the door where the water drains. The car has about 103k miles on it and the paint was suprisingly in very good condition.

 

That being said, I just did not like driving the car. The gas pedal was extremely hard, the clutch had no feel to it and the brakes were somewhat squishy. I know these are characteristics of older cars but for $5k I want something I already enjoy driving, not something I have to make enjoyable.

 

The car was gorgeous but the engine ran rough and i didnt like driving it. O well

 

Sounds like the seller was firm and not open to bartering; you made a sound decision and should commend yourself for it. I searched for 8 mos before I found my Z; some folks are just too proud of what they think they have.

 

'Good things come to those who wait'! You'll find the right car if you take your time and supress your emotions when you see a 'pretty' car and be sure to look it over real good (as you did). :-P

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Hi, you will find that the Z cars in general were made pretty cheaply in the day. I have a brand new clutch in my 260z and it feels mundane. Doors close like old GM iron. The 280 injectors could just need a good clean and you could get that done no problem and get them balanced while you were at it. All in all they are what they are, nice looking 70's technology, and cannot be compared to modern day sports cars. Maybe you should look for a nice 300zx. They were very well made and cost alot when new and had many creature comforts. Just my 2 cents.

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