280z project

Herc34es

Club Member
Hello Hello Hello!

I am the ultimate noob mechanic-wise. Never have done even an oil change in the past, but I am learning now. I got enrolled in a mechanic school (including welding) starting this September. Never it is a bad time to invest in a new skill.

My 280z would be arriving at some point end of June or early July. I want to EITHER get some stuff in advance or Just be ready with a good list. Better to be prepared and have a rough idea in advance.

Obviously, the first thing to get rid of and fix is all the rust issues, luckily it is """ok""" apart from one spot according to the seller and based on all pics I have received/asked. That would be done by a specialist (I won't undertake any work like that, obviously).

1. I went on Rockauto (thank you @SeanDezart for the suggestion, and online I have heard many that use it): This is the list I created there:
My part list (the tip of the iceberg probably?!) Any suggestions/tips there? A lot of the parts feel the same to me; not just visually, but the part numbers are overlapping between parts. Would it be a horrendous mistake to assume they are all similar?

From my extensive searches online, YT, forums, etc those seem like a very common and good choice for suspension upgrades:
2. BCRacing (the simplest of them)

3. The breaks probably are a bit toast; is there any recommendation? (I saw those wildwoods that most if not all videos are fitting, but I am thinking of something simpler in breaks as I will not be racing or swapping for a crazy HP engine...(in the distant future maybe; I know the engine as well that I would like to fit, IF it is possible :) ).

4. The Exhaust from a pic or two is almost 100% liable for replacement. I will look at Z-story.

5. Since the engine has not run for over 15 years, it might or might not need a rebuild. But from what I have seen online for sure the FI would most likely need to be replaced. I saw this from the Zstore. And this from RockAuto I can get the 6 injectors and both seals separately for $200 Less. Are there substantial differences between those two?

6. The weatherstrip is T O A S T. I found this from Zcarsource: https://zcarsource.com/complete-weatherstrip-rubber-kit-280z-77-78-new/ ... is there any other way; looks a bit pricey for rubber (yet again what do I know :D).

7. Longshot question: Automatic transmission. I will never change. Physically injured and can't drive manual after 20mins. It feels like one is stabbing my right shoulder. So no manuals. However, is there anyone who has swapped for a more modern transmission? Haven't found anything online about it. I might be the only one in the future to do it?

Thank you all for reading/suggestions.
 

Faster Behr

Club Member
I would suggest that you get the help of a knowledgeable member or a mechanic whom you trust to take some time to go through this car with you before you start a scatter gun approach to buying parts and doing repairs.

If you want this to be a rolling restoration that you can use-n-improve then I would work out what the car needs (roadworthiness and reliability) and go from there.

If you have a garage then buy a large whiteboard and write up everything that’s important.

Where are you based?
 

SacCyclone

Club Member
I would not disregard the standard brakes on the 280z and run to the big name brake people out there.

I have a 240 with triple carbs, head work, and exhaust with R888 sticky tires and I ran factory brakes components on the track with very good results....over 110MPH on the straight so it was no slouch and kept up with V-8 early mustangs. I was able to outbreak almost all of them on the corners.

If your going to run it hard and use heavy braking like i did, invest in some high quality brake pads, high quality brake fluid, and cool air ducting for cooling the rotors which were vented and slotted.

If it is just a street car for spirited driving, probably drop the cooling ducts.

Just my opinion with a car I have had for about 10 years.

Mike
 

Robotsan

Club Member
I echo what @Faster Behr and Mike have said. If the car hasn't run for 15 years you won't know what it needs until you get someone who knows what they're doing to work on it. You might get lucky and only need something simple. Some cars just seem to need the fuel tank draining, cleaning and re-rusting, along with new fuel pumps. Others need more work! But I wouldn't go spending money on trying to replace the EFI gear until you know the original isn't working - you could end up spending on things that aren't needed, and then finding a nasty surprise that you wished you'd saved your money for instead.

Your other option (which I'll likely be doing with my 280), particularly if this won't be a daily driver, is replacing the FI with Carbs. Twins can be found pretty cheaply, and aside from the occasional tune up should provide less hassle and more reliability in the long run. Which sounds daft doesn't it, but we're talking about very early FI and some of the parts are apparently tricky and pricey to source.

Also just checking you're aware the BC coilovers require welding in? So not really the simplest option. Simplest would probably just be new shocks and springs. You'll also need to replace most if not all of the bushings if they've not been done.

But like Faster & Mike said, things like BBKs and Coilovers are best left till later - get the stock stuff working first and take it from there. Unless you're not bothered about using the car for a couple of years and are just restoring it in the garage .. in that case go crazy! :)
 

Herc34es

Club Member
Where are you based?

I am in Kent. If one would be able to come to take a look that would be more than epic.

Gotcha, thank you all for the input. I will not be buying anything for sure; that was more as to have a list ready just in case you know: i.e. if I need that thing, that's where I will get it from, etc.

I am planning to make it a frequent driver!!
 

Robotsan

Club Member
I am in Kent. If one would be able to come to take a look that would be more than epic.

Gotcha, thank you all for the input. I will not be buying anything for sure; that was more as to have a list ready just in case you know: i.e. if I need that thing, that's where I will get it from, etc.

I am planning to make it a frequent driver!!

Yeah makes sense, I've got a huge list of stuff to buy too.. gets bigger every day 😂 Thankfully though mine is a runner so none of it is engine stuff. If you're as big a noob as me it definitely sounds like you're taking on a challenge with this car - I'm scared of engine work!

Got any pictures of this car? I'm intrigued!

P.S. if you're in Kent then I don't think you'd be that far from Fourways. I don't think there's a better place to take a Z to in the UK, from what I gather.
 

Kieronpollock

Club Member
Do look at Zcardepot for new parts, just bunch up your orders to my effective use of postage and use our 10% discount. I’m using a restorer in the South West , bit far away but a possible option and he’s free after he’s finished mine
 

Herc34es

Club Member
It is here!! Quick inspection and found some rust spots. The engine needs quite some rework, I noticed some lines were cut!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20220725_192808 (1).jpg
    IMG_20220725_192808 (1).jpg
    297.4 KB · Views: 21
  • IMG_20220725_192925.jpg
    IMG_20220725_192925.jpg
    321.1 KB · Views: 22
  • IMG_20220725_193913.jpg
    IMG_20220725_193913.jpg
    258.1 KB · Views: 22
  • IMG_20220725_192813.jpg
    IMG_20220725_192813.jpg
    231.1 KB · Views: 22
  • IMG_20220725_193908.jpg
    IMG_20220725_193908.jpg
    265.5 KB · Views: 22
  • IMG_20220725_192808.jpg
    IMG_20220725_192808.jpg
    297.4 KB · Views: 22
  • IMG_20220725_192803.jpg
    IMG_20220725_192803.jpg
    286.3 KB · Views: 21
  • IMG_20220725_192813 (1).jpg
    IMG_20220725_192813 (1).jpg
    231.1 KB · Views: 21
  • IMG_20220725_192852 (1).jpg
    IMG_20220725_192852 (1).jpg
    287.2 KB · Views: 20
  • IMG_20220725_192925 (1).jpg
    IMG_20220725_192925 (1).jpg
    321.1 KB · Views: 21

Herc34es

Club Member
The interior is bleeeeh didn't take any pics of that mess. I will start taking it out. The breaks don't work (but that's probably due to no-fluid as well? The handbrake thankfully does work!!! and so does the Park in the transmission. Car does not lock as well for now...lots to fix!!!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20220725_193204.jpg
    IMG_20220725_193204.jpg
    158.3 KB · Views: 21
  • IMG_20220725_193744.jpg
    IMG_20220725_193744.jpg
    127.8 KB · Views: 20
  • IMG_20220725_193159.jpg
    IMG_20220725_193159.jpg
    138.2 KB · Views: 20
  • IMG_20220725_193747.jpg
    IMG_20220725_193747.jpg
    144.3 KB · Views: 20
  • IMG_20220725_193739.jpg
    IMG_20220725_193739.jpg
    193.6 KB · Views: 20
  • IMG_20220725_193249.jpg
    IMG_20220725_193249.jpg
    108.3 KB · Views: 22
  • IMG_20220725_192803 (1).jpg
    IMG_20220725_192803 (1).jpg
    286.3 KB · Views: 22
  • IMG_20220725_193731.jpg
    IMG_20220725_193731.jpg
    172.7 KB · Views: 22
  • IMG_20220725_193156.jpg
    IMG_20220725_193156.jpg
    184.1 KB · Views: 21
  • IMG_20220725_192808 (1).jpg
    IMG_20220725_192808 (1).jpg
    297.4 KB · Views: 20

Jason McIvor

Club Member
Herc
I'm a complete noob too - '78 280z
You will get loads of help in this club and where I can help I'll do my best

Good luck, it is good fun getting stuck in
 

SeanDezart

Well-Known Forum User
I would not disregard the standard brakes on the 280z and run to the big name brake people out there.

If your going to run it hard and use heavy braking like i did, invest in some high quality brake pads, high quality brake fluid, and cool air ducting for cooling the rotors which were vented and slotted.

If it is just a street car for spirited driving, probably drop the cooling ducts.

Just my opinion with a car I have had for about 10 years.

Mike
I wouldn't go for drilled/slotted front discs for Street use or spirited trackdays - just vented !
 

SeanDezart

Well-Known Forum User
But I wouldn't go spending money on trying to replace the EFI gear until you know the original isn't working - you could end up spending on things that aren't needed, and then finding a nasty surprise that you wished you'd saved your money for instead.

Your other option (which I'll likely be doing with my 280), particularly if this won't be a daily driver, is replacing the FI with Carbs. Twins can be found pretty cheaply, and aside from the occasional tune up should provide less hassle and more reliability in the long run. Which sounds daft doesn't it, but we're talking about very early FI and some of the parts are apparently tricky and pricey to source.

Also just checking you're aware the BC coilovers require welding in? So not really the simplest option. Simplest would probably just be new shocks and springs. You'll also need to replace most if not all of the bushings if they've not been done.

But like Faster & Mike said, things like BBKs and Coilovers are best left till later - get the stock stuff working first and take it from there. Unless you're not bothered about using the car for a couple of years and are just restoring it in the garage .. in that case go crazy! :)
I can't see how carbs provide less hassle and more reliability than the Bosch-type L-Jetronic EFi ?

My rule is do it once and right so IF the cars wants lowering AND a flat stance front and rear - fit the BCs now (saves buying new shockers and a double fitting).
But get it running first and any dodgy rust areas treated at least if not repaired.
 

Albrecht

Well-Known Forum User
Since the engine has not run for over 15 years, it might or might not need a rebuild.

15 years? Wow.

Looking at the photos, I would recommend you start planning for a complete replacement of all soft lines (fuel, brakes, coolant) as well as replacement of brake master and slave cylinders. I see bulging non-factory hoses with non-factory clamps which suggests somebody went through it all in the past, so the quality will be suspect even if they weren't sitting for 15 years.

The radiator will need removing and thorough flushing and so might the fuel tank. Likely the fuel filler pipe is hardened to the point that it is a liability, and probably the tank vent hoses too - some of which require tank removal for proper replacement, so you can kill two birds with one stone there.

I'm concerned that the engine block and/or cylinder head will have a build-up of sludge, rust and bi-metallic corrosion in the water jacket. I've taken apart many L-gata engines that had been standing for some time, and they often have a huge amount of crud inside them (even up to core plug level) and this will severely hamper cooling if not addressed. Removing the bottom hose will give you a clue to how bad it might be, but there's a drain plug on the side of the block too. If you remove the plug and see semi-solid matter behind it then you've got a problem.

You're talking about all sorts of upgrades/changes (which is fine and I know that's half the fun) but you need to get the basics done first. If you don't - particularly when it comes to fuel, sparks and cooling - you'll be chasing your tail half past forever.

Recommissioning a car like this is a lot of work.
 

Robotsan

Club Member
I can't see how carbs provide less hassle and more reliability than the Bosch-type L-Jetronic EFi ?

My rule is do it once and right so IF the cars wants lowering AND a flat stance front and rear - fit the BCs now (saves buying new shockers and a double fitting).
But get it running first and any dodgy rust areas treated at least if not repaired.

I'm not expert by any means - just going by what I've been told and what I've read on here. And the fact @BenjEtch's 280z's EFI failed recently :)

I guess if its all in good nic and well maintained, or you can be bothered to spend a lot of time/money tracking down the faults and fixing them, then it can be reliable. But the lure of just ripping it all out and buying shiny new triple carbs is strong isn't it Ben :)
 

Herc34es

Club Member
15 years? Wow.
Indeed!!! Definitely the basics. I am looking for parts right now to replace the fuel lines (hard/soft). I saw online quite a few were using AN lines (not sure what those stand for, but they are a better upgrade from the regular hoses in the engine bay, right?). Any suggestions for those parts, particularly for the hard ones, as I am having a hard time finding them.

I will be taking the fuel tank out soon as well. I took the battery out (and will be getting a new one). The connectors were rusty beyond belief and I had to cut the battery cables...will be getting new cables as well.

I saw this on rockauto but was not in supply. This seller seems to have it: https://www.dkhardware.com/precisio...atherstrip-kit-set-of-19-product-4890487.html That is a viable option right? Any other possible options?! (Thinking to get this early before any prices go up!)
I'm concerned that the engine block and/or cylinder head will have a build-up of sludge, rust and bi-metallic corrosion in the water jacket. I've taken apart many L-gata engines that had been standing for some time, and they often have a huge amount of crud inside them (even up to core plug level) and this will severely hamper cooling if not addressed. Removing the bottom hose will give you a clue to how bad it might be, but there's a drain plug on the side of the block too. If you remove the plug and see semi-solid matter behind it then you've got a problem.
Could you please point me in the direction of that area? Do you mean the oil plug?

I am now taking out the carpet and the plastics inside. They are in a bad condition. The spare tyre is so bad I died laughing. But there was just a little bit of surface rust or discoloration at the part there which was a big surprise.
 

Robotsan

Club Member
Indeed!!! Definitely the basics. I am looking for parts right now to replace the fuel lines (hard/soft). I saw online quite a few were using AN lines (not sure what those stand for, but they are a better upgrade from the regular hoses in the engine bay, right?). Any suggestions for those parts, particularly for the hard ones, as I am having a hard time finding them.

I will be taking the fuel tank out soon as well. I took the battery out (and will be getting a new one). The connectors were rusty beyond belief and I had to cut the battery cables...will be getting new cables as well.

I saw this on rockauto but was not in supply. This seller seems to have it: https://www.dkhardware.com/precisio...atherstrip-kit-set-of-19-product-4890487.html That is a viable option right? Any other possible options?! (Thinking to get this early before any prices go up!)

Could you please point me in the direction of that area? Do you mean the oil plug?

I am now taking out the carpet and the plastics inside. They are in a bad condition. The spare tyre is so bad I died laughing. But there was just a little bit of surface rust or discoloration at the part there which was a big surprise.

I bought that same 19 piece Precision kit for $275 from Summit: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/pqp-cwk-244-a - saves you a nice chunk :)
 
Top