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Dbeat16

A 280Zx Buyer

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Hey guys

Going to look at a '79 290zx on sunday, ive been told that the only problem with it is "some" rust and it needs a new fuel relay. Hes selling for 2k, is that around the price tou would expect? I am a complete newbie in terms of looking for problems, spent ~1 year just lurking on forums. Would anyone be able to give me some pointers on things to look for? Below are the pics i was sent by the seller.

Thanks in advance

Declan

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For $2k it looks like a very reasonable buy, however rust is the biggest issue and it will depends if the rust is mostly in removable panels or in structural parts of the car. 280zx's have been slowly increasing in value but now getting harder to find donor cars as many have left the roads and been crushed by now. Also a lot of them gave up their running gear for earlier S30Z's.

 

This car has at least had 1 repaint (not sure how long ago?) so may be something to watch for in terms of botched up bodywork.

 

I would try and get a look under it to see how rotten it is in the floors, rails, dog legs etc..

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Thank you for the advice, i was certainly planning on having a look at the underside, and as for the botchy bodywork, ive heard that running a magnet along the car to look for bogging is a good thing to do? Obviously have a cloth underneath though.

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Yeah the magnet trick is useful but not always perfect, it might not tell you about smaller amounts of filler just larger chunks. I look for shut lines, trueness of a panel, spot welds still in the right places, original paint (where possible) evidence of bubbling paint or poor paint finishes meaning issues with the paint job. It looks relatively honest in the photos but photos make cars look better than they are.

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The pics look selective which is unfortunate, need more of the floor and lower body. Going on that I'd be reluctant to take much notice of what the seller says about the condition, note the points Gav mentions and get underneath it if you can for a good look there, on stands or a ramp of course.

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First thing I noticed is that some of the interior trim is black, door cards and trim in the rear hatch area etc.

The rest is blue/grey, seats, dash, carpets etc.

I'm betting the dash has seen better days and so has the carpet dash cover!

 

The leading edge of the bonnet is very rusty as shown in the pics and would not really be salvageable.

Check for rust in:

the battery tray area,

look under the carpet in the drivers and passengers footwell,

sheet metal around the petrol cap,

check around the windscreen and rear hatch,

chassis rails can get pretty banged up as well and can cause problems when it comes to getting a roadworthy

 

Being a series one 280ZX it's going to have a drag link, steering box set up as opposed to the rack and pinion steering in the series two.

I'd spend a little more and buy a decent example and save yourself a lot of work at the end of the day.

 

Good luck either way!

 

Something for you to look over

Both of these are series two cars

https://www.carsales.com.au/private/details/Nissan-280ZX-1984/SSE-AD-4712740/?Cr=3

 

https://www.carsales.com.au/private/details/Nissan-280ZX-1983/SSE-AD-4394662/?Cr=1

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Thanks for the tips, ill make sure to check those places out, ill grab photos as well methinks. In case the bonnet is not salvageable, where would i go to find a replacement? Any aftermarket parts you could recommend?

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So went and saw the car today, photographed all the problem parts i could see, which are below. There are a few extra parts that hes kept over the years, which hes throwing in, and will organise it getting sent down to me for nothing. In your guys opinions, how easily fixeable are these problems? From my limited perspective i think it would be easily doable, but second opinions are always welcome!

Thanks,

Declan

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I'm with Road rider, there's a heap of body work to do and replace. Will cost a small fortune. Even if this guy gave it to you for free you are looking at a total build up. You could buy a good one with lots less to do for say 6-8k and save a lot of time and money.

You have to remember what you want to end up with at the end of the day. Buying a bomb will cost you more in the long run.

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Everything is fixable, but this one looks neither cheap nor easy to get to even a half decent state.

 

From the pics, it has quite severe rust in the sills, pretty bad rust around the windscreen, at least some in the floorpan, some in the front chassis / engine rails, some in the roof, plus rust in quite a few bolts on panels (rear hatch / bonnet). Looks like something has been pop rivetted on in the sill area   :-\ . Looks to have been repainted, rust is coming back in areas that appear to have been bogged, so there may well be other areas that have been bogged and rust is yet to re-appear.

Edited by 1600dave

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Give it a miss, for all the rust that can be seen there is going to be a lot more hidden. I have a 280ZX, that one is rusted in places that involve a huge amount of work including a lot of structural. Shudder to think what it is like underneath.

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Yeah looks like a bog and flog to me (the paint job), don't know how long ago it was done? But the 1/4 panel join looks very wavvy which to me indicates body filler in that area, and likely done to fix rust.

 

Find 1 with a better body, even if mechanically rough. Much easier to fix mechanical issues than body work. Body work is incredibly time consuming to get right and therefore much more expensive if you outsource.

 

If this was a 240z I'd say buy it, but it's not...

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Unless he is giving you $2k to take it away I'd leave it with him.

You'll be spending 2 or 3 times that to have someone else repair the rust YOU CAN SEE!

I'm sure you'll find a nicer example requiring less work.

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Hi Declan

 

As everybody else has suggested walk away.

Something much better will come along, although not for $2K.

 

Cheers

 

PB

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Thanks everyone for the genuine feedback, I'll listen to the experts in this regard :). I'll keep my eye open though for another though, think I've caught a z bug.

Edited by Dbeat16

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I was sent this a while back while looking as well, thoughts? It is in Perth however so s little out of the way for me to look at in person so rather hesitant to say yes to anything.

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Edited by Dbeat16

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It has barn find dust, so that will increase it's value but I honestly would try and find 1 on the East Coast. Since the cost of shipping the car will be high. Add the $1-2K in cost of shipping it to you in Brisbane to your budget and you should be able to find a better car.

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Have you seen this car? I know it's priced higher but it's probably been on the market a while at $14k. It can't hurt to ask the seller if they are flexible on price.

https://www.carsales.com.au/private/details/Datsun-280ZX-1982/SSE-AD-4184947/?Cr=0

 

In my opinion it would be a good buy at $10-12k.

 

It's always painful spending more upfront, but you end up saving a lot more in the long run if you buy a good well kept example.

 

I used to get emails on the club mail asking if I knew of anyone looking for a 280zx but I haven't received 1 in a while. (last 2 years it's been more quiet).

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Some dreamer priced 280ZX's on Carsales, their prices have firmed but thinking they are worth anywhere near S30 prices is not going to work. To the OP, be patient, a sensibly priced decent one will come up.

 

Could be a decent project car https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/albury/cars-vans-utes/1981-datsun-280zx-coupe-iron-cross-mags/1146571482

Might be ready to go https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/young/cars-vans-utes/datsun-280zx/1146745536

Bit far away? http://www.carpoint.com.au/CarStockGallery.aspx?R=31079061&TabID=3012993&enq=6087179&ad=6094557&gal=6084695&wt=0&ladt=6088703&adpvEnq=6094557&cw=675&ch=450&index=2&show=photos&mode=popup

Edited by 260DET

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So just been searching the market for a while, patiently waiting for the right one as has been suggested. Yesterday I drove a 1982 white 280zx from Newcastle to where I live in Brisbane, with a boot full of spare parts, for $2500. Can confirm I have been bitten by the z bug now, the drive was just fantastic. I can't wait to get into the restoration!

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Edited by Dbeat16

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Well done, also interesting is that the 280zx I referred to earlier looks to have sold. Wonder what price it got?

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