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z32 pros and cons .??


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#1 jackson 280zx

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 07:45 PM

  Hi all .
  I have no z car at present and dream of owning a 2 seater 260 one day. I know I join a long list of dreamers on that one. I am not so financially blessed at the moment. Thats why my last z car had to go...
  I was hoping some of you might post your opinions of the z32 as a vehicle to drive and maintain. Its been on my mind a little lately as the prices seem pretty reasonable .
          Any advice  or experiences would be welcomed.
    Also I wanted to say how much I enjoy viewing all the  very cool cars and projects you do .  Just inspiring . thanks guys
                  from Jacko

#2 Lurch ™

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 07:51 PM

Stay away from the Z32. Pick a bad one (& there are many) & they become a money pit.

#3 jackson 280zx

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 07:55 PM

Thanks Lurch
  I suspected as much .. Ishoulda kept the ol 280..regret is a painful thing.

#4 zzzzed

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 08:07 PM

you could get a very nice 280zx for the prtice you would pay for a z32


#5 jackson 280zx

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 08:29 PM

I really liked the line of my old 2 seater  280
  pretty hard to find in oz .
      the red 4 seater 4 sale on carsales at the moment  does look  nice

#6 zzzzed

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 08:55 PM

i would love a 2 seater 280zx I would even consider importing one

#7 jackson 280zx

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 09:00 PM

Yes Mick . the 280 2 seater was nice to cruze in .great on the open hwy.the glass t tops,plush int.all that chrome and lighting. all very 80s . nice  I reckon.
 

#8 pauly_adams

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 09:47 PM

the 300zx are quite a nice car, my brother owns one and i drive it at least one a week and enjoy it nearly as much as my 260z. if you are serious about them they can be a bit of a money pit like lurch said but if you do your research you should be able to find one it quite good condition at a reasonable price i would go to www.aus300zx.com you can find many hints on finding a good z32 also make sure you search the tech section for ecu diagnostic it tells you exactly if theres anything wrong with the engine and you don't need a PC just a flat head screw driver. hope this has helped


cheers Pauly

#9 modular9

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 09:29 AM

i think you should ask about the 240/260/280 z pros and cons.
Dont believe the hype on this board. Remember these guys are 240/260/280 nuts just like the aus300zx boys are nuts for z32/z31's.
z32 :
make sure that the z has had its 100k service. Ask to do an ecu check ( aus300zx has the tech details to do that.) Check that it has things like a s2 ptu and other nice upgrades. The aus300zx boys have a 4-5 page word doc on what to look for including turbo sections. Most of the cars for sale on that forum are really good for the money. If i were looking at a z right now and had the money that I have spent on my current z to spend , I would go a z32 any day of the week.


#10 Zedman240®

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 09:39 AM

Well, after owning two Z32's (auto and a manual) I would buy one again IF it was a genuine low kay un-modified one. But some work will still have to be done. Like Modular stated, make sure cam belt/water pump and that little ba@#rd water hose next to the water pump has been changed. Plus all the electrical connectors over time in that hot engine bay will degrade and start causing problems. Problem is now finding a decent one is all but impossible. Most of them have been modified in a very ugly way and you would have to spend thousands to bring it back to original. Why people put those hideous body kits on a great looking car and paint the interior is beyond me. Awesome car to drive, looks great and handles like it's on rails..

#11 S30Mike

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 09:54 AM

Damn, after reading this im a bit nervous now.. i saw some nice Z32s for sale and im also thinking of buying one early next year.. I want it as a daily driver and really dont want hassles.

I would only be after the twin turbo model.

what would you guys recommend, im thinking of either a R32 GTR or a Z32 TT. The Z32s seem to be really reasonably priced for what you get, but is this because of the problems that come with it?

#12 zedevan

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 10:13 AM

i've been researching r32 gtr vs s15 - it seems as though 6g a year on maintaince for a gtr is pretty much average if you're paying someone to do the work and using it as a daily driver

#13 zzzzed

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 11:08 AM

I would say either the gtst skyline or silvia would be the best bang for buck.
Far less running costs involved, but finding one that hasn't had the pants thrashed off it might be more difficult

#14 Jinxed

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 12:22 PM

the 300zx is a great car, plenty of power and performance and debatably good looks......

true, a lot are modified (mine included) and a lot of those modifications are poorly choosen, but hey, thats what personal choice is all about....if you look around, you can and will find a stock or near stock example....

remember that as far as the z32 goes, the twin turbos are all imports, and a large number of the NA's are as well, though a 2+2 NA was available for sale in australia for a period..... its a safe bet to say that if the car is a grey import, then the k's will have been wound back, and that if its a aus spec, that they are most likely genuine.

performance mods on the tt are readily available if thats your thing, and you get reasonable results for money spent until you need to change engine internals ot turbos.

NA's offer small gains but much less availableon the market for them

maintanance can be a pain,theres not much room to work with which usually means removing extra components to fix whats broken,and thecars are up to 20 years old on so the wiring harness's plastic connectors are usually shagged and alot of the cars have had hard lives, BUT realistically, its still a car with crank-heads-pistons-etc so if you know your way around an engine you can and will have a reliable car

my 2cents worth anyway .....



#15 modular9

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 02:58 PM

s30 mike : me too ! R32 gtr or r34 gt or z32tt. Thankfully i have managed to drive all of them ( and they were well looked after examples ). R32 is too small ( i am a big bloke ) but damn fun . R34 gt rb25det is a beauty but then a sorted brazillian z32 tt with the 2000 spec front bar and a set of 19 inch work vs xx's is better.

eg



Yeh i know it is for sale on ebay. Yes i know it cost him 65 k . But just look at it.


#16 S30Mike

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 09:20 AM

s30 mike : me too ! R32 gtr or r34 gt or z32tt. Thankfully i have managed to drive all of them ( and they were well looked after examples ). R32 is too small ( i am a big bloke ) but damn fun . R34 gt rb25det is a beauty but then a sorted brazillian z32 tt with the 2000 spec front bar and a set of 19 inch work vs xx's is better.

eg



Yeh i know it is for sale on ebay. Yes i know it cost him 65 k . But just look at it.


I have had the chance to drive the R32 GTR and R34 25GT, havent been in the Z32 yet. I agree with your cosmetic taste totally! A nice clean Z32, with tasteful rims and a nice colour.

#17 dorifticon

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 10:48 AM

I own a 260z, a 300zx z32 TT (5pd, targa top) and a moderately modified r32 GTR.

260z:
PRO's

Awesome to look at, esp. 2 seaters.

The ongoing mechanical costs are negligible.  Keeping an L26/28 etc in good mechanical order is easy.  Hell, even doing complete engine overhauls is not that tough.  It's a straight 6 in a big engine bay, and parts are cheap.

CON's

They are an old car.  Finding one that doesn't have significant rust can be hard.  Or you have to fix it yourself.  Ditto for suspension etc.

Extracting bulk power is difficult from the L series motor.  Once you upgrade to an RB you might as well own a skyline.  But turbocharging and efi upgrades have all been done before so can make adequate power for a daily driver.

300zx:

PRO's - A very good looking car, at least as good (albeit different) than the 260z.  Looks have aged very well.  Mountains of torque at bugger-all revs from the 3.0 litre with twin turbo setup.  Can get even faster spool-up with basic exhaust upgrades.  unbreakable r230 diff.  Very comfortable seating/interior and well appointed. 

You can get full forged rebuild kits from the states for $1500 USD.  Not very difficult to extract bulk power from a vg30 if you do your research.  Despite what is claimed, a well-maintained VG30dett is very robust.

CON's:

The key consideration is DO NOT PURCHASE a 300zx until you have intermediate to advanced mechanical ability.  That is, you should have access to a good collection of tools (torque wrenches, ratcheting spanners, various pliers, sockets and extensions) and at least the ability to confidently strip a motor down to the heads if not completely rebuild. 

You also want a very good tolerance for skinned knuckles and cuts.  The 3.0 litre motor is just crammed in there, there is bugger all room to access anything.  Even when performing basic mechanical jobs, be prepared to remove heaps of stuff (battery, radiator, inlet piping). 

You also should be prepared and have the equipment (engine crane, etc) to remove the engine if you have to.  Note that the only realistic means of replacing the turbos or upgrading is to remove engine.  Some would baulk at this.

The 300zx is a  very unforgiving car to drive at the limit.  I would run 9" on the rears as a minimum.  With massive torque going to the rear treads, and a shortish, wide wheelbase, it turns itself around very easily.  Even after a lot of hours, I have spun mine on a few occasions.

If yours hasn't had the rear duck tail spoiler removed/painted already, assume it is hiding rust.  Check targa seals for leaks.

If it is running the standard jdm radiator, be very suspicious for damage caused by overheating.  Also, consult the aus300zx site and memorise the faq's before you even consider buying.  Be prepared at a minimum to replace all electrical connectors, and to do something called a "plenum pull" and water hose bypass.  And EGR removal. 

But the z32 is not a car for the mechanically faint-hearted.  Or, as Lurch said, be prepared for it to be a money pit with massive downtime between drives.

r32 GTR

PRO's: In my mind, the pick of the bunch.  But I don't care that much for looks (see below).  The AWD system is very forgiving, esp for rubbish drivers like me.  You can get away with stupidity that you just can't do in an FR setup. 

Every single possible question you could have on how to get bulk power in an RB series motor has been answered and proven, and as noted above the drive train can handle a lot.  SAU has all you need to know.  The motor is relatively easy to work on, being a straight six turbos can be accessed without removing the motor.

There are heaps of parts available for cheap.

CONs:

the r32 looks nowhere near as sexy as the other cars (IMO it's not meant to).  It is built for a purpose, but it's boxy.  There, I said it.

The 2.6 litre is doughy down the bottom compared with larger capacity engines.  Again, can be dealt with through exhaust upgrades, but meh.  That's what the gearbox is for, to rev it.  It loves the revs.

The oil system is prone to failures in the r32, because the vast majority had a narrow oil pump drive.  Do a search on sau, there are various ways to fix this. 

I don't think there are many r32's getting around that still run the OEM ceramic turbos, they have all committed seppuku by now.  Any sensible person is running larger, steel-wheels ball bearing turbines.

Check the oil pressure.  If it's not good, keep looking.  Bearings may fail due to above-mentioned oil issues.

Other than that, there is a reason why the RB26 has the reputation for awesomeness that it does.  Buy one and find out.

#18 sexual_sushi

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:07 PM

I haven't read through all the posts but thought this might help....

http://everydaydrive...70z-350z-300zx/

My parents own a NA z32.

In my experience, I would say they are a very comfortable and fun car to own. Solid gearbox and very solid handling. If you can get a reliable one, you'll be laughing. If you get one with a few issues, you'll be selling body parts to pay for it ;)

The aircon on my parents car went and they had to pull the whole engine to work on it. Most parts are pretty expensive too. Their airflow meter was playing up. I think it was $800 for a new one or $400 for a reconditioned one. They ended up buying a "new" one for about $600 I think but it turns out it was a reconditioned one that broke only a week or two later.

I would say go for a NA as opposed to the twin turbo (less to break/replace and less stress on the engine over the last 20 years, also they are cheaper to buy). Also the "bogans" that would be more likely to flog the car would usually go for the twin turbo versions but that's just a very big generalisation. And try to find one without the t-tops, just looks better IMHO.

I suppose the upshot is that they are so cheap now that the money you save on buying it can go towards maintaining it.

Parents car (+photoshop)
<a href="http://www.shaun-mal...c/Z32.jpg"><img src="http://www.shaun-mal...Small.jpg"></a>

#19 Lynton

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:51 PM

Well haaving owned a couple of Z31's in my time I can only say regular servicing is preventative future maintenance, timing belts every 100,000kms need to be changed including the water pump, I had on one of my car's Airflow meter failure about every 12months for no reason that anyone could find at $800.00 each fitted. I still have a spare one on my shelf for my sons car just in case? Rear Tyre wear inside tread extraordinarily dangerous for the unaware driver, poor auto's that don't take a pounding and are not rev matched to the engines performance, small water hoses that get damaged by not so careful mechanics, and vacuum line failures on older cars from heat not mention fuel injectors that leak over the exhaust manifold and make your car subject to fire. Lynton 8)




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