rusted turbo Z31 options | The Z Club of Great Britain
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rusted turbo Z31 options

Discussion in 'Z31 (300ZX)' started by Z-hunter, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. Z-hunter

    Z-hunter Well-Known Forum User

    Hi guys,

    I posted this in the rebuilds/resto subforum initially but no replies, maybe better off here ;)

    My Z31 has been off road for a couple of years due to rust (also the waterpump and alternator went, plus god knows what else while it's been sat. & my (awesome) garage closed at the same time, still haven't found a good replacement yet).

    I'm not sure how to proceed, ideally I'd like to save the whole car if possible, that's probably only realistic if I can find somewhere 'affordable' to carry out the bodywork though. I know there's a bunch of places doing restos in eastern europe but I don't know where to look/ask and haven't had any luck getting any leads so far. Anybody got any tips?

    Another alternative would be breaking the car and keeping the turbo bits to swap into an NA with a better shell. The car is fairly high mileage though (150,000+ miles). Was running well but it's always been a bit 'hot'.

    I've contacted a few local bodyshops but they couldn't help unless I got panels (which aren't available). So fabrication would be required. Only one place did give me a quote, let's just say it was 'expensive'. Not sure at what point you have to call it quits, hence me wanting to know what kind of quotes I could get abroad (or anyone else more locally who might have some suggestions) before throwing in the towel...

    rust around windows

    left/rear - this needed a new panel ever since I brought the car over 10 years ago.

    front windshield :unsure:

    .....:nopity::Z31: ???
  2. Mr Tenno

    Mr Tenno
    ZClub Administrator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Not sure about quotes abroad, but you're probably not going to get much cheaper than £30 an hour even there - how many areas of rust are there?
  3. datsfun

    Z Club Member

    Sending it abroad is only an option if you are considering a full restoration

    Localised repairs to the rust patches and a quick paint job would work out cheaper at home, when you factor the transport costs to EU will be circa £2k

    I have a mate in Portugal who restores older Japanese cars - so proper full nut and bolt restorations and as a guide you are looking at €15-20k
  4. AD240Z

    Z Club Member

    ‘ Another alternative would be breaking the car and keeping the turbo bits to swap into an NA with a better shell‘

    there are 3 on ebay atm at around£4K.

    id be tempted to take that route
  5. Z-hunter

    Z-hunter Well-Known Forum User

    Yeah, that's basically what I'm looking at. Not really worth doing the minimum needed welding (est ~£3k) plus servicing/parts to get it moving again in my opinion if I'm not able to address the wider rust issues it has at this stage as it may just end up laid up again rather quickly (and possibly, permanently).
    €15-20k would be a little less than the one quote I was able to get here for a restoration... although it's not necessarily 'nut and bolt' from the ground up I think would be needed... more like (too hopeful?) 'cut the bad bits out and weld new bits in' or, fabricate a new sheet or two...
    I think if I could get something somewhere in the €10k-15k range it'd be tempting to go ahead & get it done...

    the rear left wheel arch is the worst bit, needed a new panel since before I got the car. There was also some in the passenger's door, has been welded over already but who knows what else might be under the carpets...
    also growing problems around the windows in particular the right rear window as pictured...
    & some underbody work - for the MOT it was:
    'nearside rear inner subframe, offside rear inner subframe, earside rear subframe, offside fronst seat belt anchorage in door shut sill'
    estimate from local shop was £2-3k minimum 'depending on what else we might find' ;)

    other than that... it's OK? :D

    yeah that's probably the most sensible option, I'd just like to get a concrete £tag on keeping one alive before taking the plunge (need someone to say "it's dead Jim" basically and fish me out of de nile).

    & wow, 5 Z31s on ebay all at once (including 1 turbo)? wholda thunk it in 2020.

    That white one looks nice & it was always my favorite colour/year for these cars... manual too... HMMM.....
    Also notice it has a Z club sticker in the window.
    Now would be a pretty inconvenient time for me to buy another car, buuuuut.......... I could.... I'll keep an eye on it... ;)
  6. Geoff-R

    Z Club Member

    I've a feeling if you got in to it that car would be pretty ripe, shame to say really. I feel you'd be opening the floodgates by tackling the smaller parts, it would soon lead to much more extensive rust and then you'd be easily in to 4 figures pushing in to 5 to get rid of all the rust and sprayed. As suggested, as sad as it sounds, I would personally get an NA car, as good as you can find and spend some money on an engine overhaul on yours and pop it in. You'd then have a great car for half of what it will cost for you to get yours tip top. Plus you have a car full of parts you can use to make the new one as good as you can. Best of luck, I do think the 31s are lovely.
  7. Robbie J

    Robbie J
    Z Club Member

    After importing 2 cars from the US, the first was inspected by a workmate (i didn't know he was blind) I sold it for spares and got a second car. The one I sold was in better condition than your Z31. As the value of Z31s is not as high as S30s I really think you should walk away. Even with a good base, these cars are not easy to repair and parts take some sourcing + massive welding that car will need.

    buy a sound NA and move the bits over if you have the room for 2 cars. You will have a parts bin of 2 cars at least
  8. Bazzateer

    Z Club Member

    It's dead Jim, buy the white one.

    There, said it. ☺
    richiep likes this.
  9. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer Staff Member Moderator

    The white one hasn't met it's reserve so that's an unknown. Decent car.

    The RHD red one (in Grays) looks ok though and open to an offer.

    At these prices your rusty car just isn't worth repairing IMO.
  10. Geoff-R

    Z Club Member

  11. racer

    Z Club Member

    A Z31 Turbo facelift. Now that is a rare beast these days.
    If you do decide to re shell the car as suggested, that will still be a huge task Imo. Many things are different to the NA cars, not just the motor.
    Gearbox, diff, driveshafts, wiring, ecu, exhaust, trim, etc etc.
    Either way it would be good to see a facelift turbo car on the road again, good luck.
  12. Northerner

    Z Club Member

    The last time I checked, wings are still available. before you make any decision, I would spend a day going round the car making a list of what needs doing. Try and jack it up (on the subframes NOT the classic legs as they will collapse) and check the inner sills, floor pans from front to back. Also check the boot floor especially where the the tool kit sits. This soaks water when the rear lights leak and rot from inside out. If these places are good or not too bad then the next question is, how much have you to spend? If your engine needs a rebuild, I think the only place you will get pistons is USA or custom. When you factor all this in, I think you may have a bill close to £10k + As you say it’s a turbo version which are rare as rocking horse poo. When done, a turbo could be worth lots of in future years. I’ve got an NA engine rebuild in progress and may not have change from £1200 with all the machining. Hopefully you will keep another otr
  13. scb1957

    Z Club Member

    I may have the answer to your problem. I have this Z31 that i have had for at least 12 years. It has 59000 on the clock and it starts on the button. It was a show car, and i know for a fact that the previous owner spent several thousands of pounds on this car to get it to where it is. It is completely Waxoyled, and the underside is covered in underseal. It's a 1988 1988 Z31 2 + 2 auto targa and is 99% rust free. It i2 now 32 years old and the only problem I haven't solved is the fuel sender unit. If you think this is viable, then please contact me.
  14. scb1957

    Z Club Member

    i can be contacted on 07989 512720 or I need another project, but i'm not getting any younger and to be honest, i don't want to see it go, but if someone can stick a turbo in it, then that's what it needs. you have the components and i have the car. It has a couple of faults, but nothing that is insurmountable, and it's obviously in a lot better state than yours is.
  15. Northerner

    Z Club Member

    Hmmm interesting! Have you any pictures and maybe reg ?
  16. scb1957

    Z Club Member

    Hi Northerner, how come you are interested? I thought this post was started by Z Hunter! Reg is F447BDH.
  17. Z-hunter

    Z-hunter Well-Known Forum User


    (is it anger next or am I past that stage into 'acceptance' already? :p)

    it seems the white car didn't meet it's reserve, which I'm guessing it was around £5k?
    I'm not sure what the going price for an NA Z31 is these days but that seems slightly high (or maybe not?) - especially for one with rust.
    although I'd assume every UK Z31 has had some battle with of rust by now- just a question of how manageable it is.

    Hmm I'd have intended most bits would come over with the engine (especially the exhaust! got a custom one) - I'm not aware how different the wiring is though - could be an issue?
    I didn't know the NA had a different diff too... ?
    Some N/As are manual, the white one mentioned previously is - which would save hassle if so - presumably it's the same gearbox?

    Is that the one in your pic there?

    I don't think I'm in position to move for anything for a couple of months anyway... meantime I've had mine moved to storage and hope to at least have a list of needed work drawn up at the minimum to resolve the question of whether this particular car can be kept going...
  18. scb1957

    Z Club Member

    Looking at the photo at the top of the listing, you are on a one track hiding to nowhere. If i had the facilities and time, i would make you an offer for the bits to add the turbo, but i haven't. The car i have got weighed 1.7 tons when it was manufactured, and it probably still weighs the same today. There has been a bit of a problem with water ingress through the boot seal and indicators, but the problem hasn't damaged the integrity of the car, because it was waxoiled everywhere, except for the spare wheel storage area, which i have fixed. I am in no rush to let this car go, as there are only 17 on the road legally, and this is one of them. Like i have previously posted, my phone number and email address is on this chat, so contact me, if you want to try something. Cheers Steve.

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