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
 
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