Opinions and advice please | The Z Club of Great Britain
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Opinions and advice please

Discussion in 'General' started by Fonzerelli_jnr, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. Fonzerelli_jnr

    Fonzerelli_jnr New Forum User

    Hi All,

    As you can tell I'm new here and I am hoping people will be kind enough to give me some advice / answer some questions.

    I have been offered a 1979 280 zx 2+2 and I would like to know a bit more about what I'm getting into.

    As a bit of a background I've spent too many hours and too much money on an '81 celica that was a rust bucket but has got to the waiting for paint stage and also have a '91 supra turbo and two early '90's accords (that's just the Jap stuff). As a result of this I am all too aware of how something that looks not too bad can end up like pulling on a thread that never stops unraveling and that some parts are just not available.

    So, the Datsun. The car itself is pretty solid. The sills need a little tidying at the ends but look ok. There are some previous patch repairs to the rear section of the front inner wheel arches and a couple of small ones that need doing but no major dramas. The scuttle panel under the windscreen looks suspicious in that I think it has had a skim of filler over the top. It worries me that this is a problem area on these cars?

    As to the wheel arches. Well, there aren't any. The front ones are non existent and whilst it has rear arches they are completely filler and feel about three times as thick as they should be. The lower font valance corner panels are also so bad it is not possible to repair them.

    Having had a quick google it would seem pattern front wings are available at a price but the lower valance corners not. Do decent corners ever come up and if so are they ridiculously pricey?

    Rear wheel arch repairs for the 2+2 are not seemingly available but standard coupe ones are. I can't be the only person that has had this problem with the rear arches so has anyone found a workaround? Can you cut up standard coupe ones and make a profile that fits maybe? On the celica I cut a front wing profile out and fiddled that in on the rear to solve the problem and unless you could see both rear arches at the same time you could never tell that it's not quite the same as the difference is minimal.

    Any advice that someone that has been here before can give me would be gratefully received. I am prepared to hear the news that there is no easy solution without spending hours and a lot of cash and in that case I'm not sure this is for me.

    Many thanks,

  2. Huw

    Z Club Member

    Hi Pete.

    Without seeing some pictures it’s hard to say.

    Front scuttle is a common area for them to go and there is no easy fix for it. You have to take the screen out and it’s bonded so it’s a fair chance you will crack it if you don’t know what you are doing.

    Rear arches, if they are as bad as as you say then there will probably be rot in the inner arches, boot floor, and chassis dog legs over rear suspension.

    Also, check the fuel filler it rusts there.

    Front chassis rails where they bend down to go under the floor rot out due to trapped water in the chassis rail and will take the floor pan with it.

    Radiator support is also a weakness.

    Door bottoms are common rot areas and there are no door patterns available apart from a few lower door repair panels that are quite frankly a waste of time working with, better fabricating your own repair panels.

    Very rusty suspension parts can be difficult to replace in some cases.

    I can go on.

    There is a 280ZX buying guide on the club site.

    The 280ZX is a great car to work on when the shell is in reasonable condition, but they rot very badly and a poor one will put you off for life. Parts are still plentiful in the States but pricy. Some interior parts are very hard to come by even in poor condition so keep that in mind.

    Happy to have a call to discuss if you want, drop me a message.

    Rob Gaskin, Pondo and jonbills like this.

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