77' Datsun 280Z

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77' Datsun 280Z

Hay all, ive been looking at getting a 280Z or ZX for some time now. I have found a 280Z local for a decent price, and i have a few questions. Would a stock 77 280Z have an AC or not. Fuel injection or carb. good fuel economy? plus, has anyone here owned a Z car of that time? what did/do you think of it? is it pretty reliable and sturdy? help me out here, i've been looking online but can't find may stats or info on the car.

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hmm it double posted, mod wan

hmm it double posted, mod wanna delete one for me? thanks

Jon
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One of my brother-in-laws has

One of my brother-in-laws has an '88 300ZX. It's a decent car, but with a lot of miles and one of the other B-I-Ls nearly drove it to pieces (literally, at one point the output drive shaft had fused to the bearings and worn nearly through the bottom of the tranny. The kid had ben street racing it and had no clue how to drive/take care of a performance car...) Nissans/Datsuns in general seem pretty good. Anything early '80s or before is likely to be carb'd.

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rust . . .

is the enemy of Z-cars as they're otherwise pretty solid machines. Buy a book on buying/restoring them as the details are all-important and I don't know enough to be of much help. There's quite a lot of Z-car resources out there, though I have no idea what's on the internet.

All 280Z (and later) cars had FI, the earlier 240/260 serie were carbed. As for AC, I'm pretty sure it was an option, so may not be on any specific example. At least that's easy enough to check for on any car in which you are interested.

Dan K

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Misspent Youth

I had a 1972 240Z *briefly*. (It was basically a basket case. I had ambitions to fix it up, but just ended up with a case of pneumonia from tinkering with it in bad weather.)

Anyway, here's a decent summary of the changes from model year to model year:

http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/generations/articles/100641/article.html

The general rule of "Z" cars is the newer the model, the more Datsun prostituted the design to the American desire to own "cream puffs". Of course, some of the changes *were* improvements. (The car got a lot heaver after 1974, but in the process gained real bumpers. It also lost its dual-piston racing-grade front disk brakes, so... you win some you lose some.) A real purist "Z" afficionado is going to scoff at anything but a 240Z, but a realist should let you get away with a 280Z. Just don't buy a '79 or later (I.E, a "ZX"). They're soft, flabby "luxury" cars that just happen to look like the older "Z"s.

As for a 280Z, if it's been well maintained and *isn't* rusty... it might be worth thinking about. From a reliability standpoint it should be better in terms of running, starting, staying in tune, etc. then an older model, thanks to the Bosch fuel injection. (It's essentially the same unit used on similar vintage VW's, Volvos, etc.) Not that the carburated units were particularly bad. The reliability of the Z cars in general was far better then "real" sports cars of the time. (MG's, Fiats, etc.) Of course, a thirty year old car is a thirty year old car. Set your expectations accordingly.

Also be aware of the fact that those early F.I. units don't take tinkering with good humor, and mechanics that still have the equipment to properly tune them are probably starting to get a little rare. You might want to look into service options in your area before biting.

--Peace

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Mechanical Fuel Injection

Keep in mind, that as eudi said, the early fuel injection can be tempermental on z-cars. It's a form of mechanical fuel injection, which can be a real pain in the arse to tune correctly, since your car does not have an ECU, and thus cannot be easially adjusted. I looked at z-cars before I bought the toyota counterpart, and thought that they were pretty solid. I would've just as soon bought a z, but all of the ones I looked at were thrashed. People selling them didnt know how to take care of them.

z-cars have a good reputation for solidity and rigidity if you take care of them.

I am more into datsun fairladies in terms of old japanese sports cars, but z-cars are really cool too.

CCC

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ZX's

I don't know about the 77's, I had a '81 280ZX. Good handling, very forgiving car. It's electronic FI, AC, 4 wheel independent suspensions and 4 wheel discs. I had it for 4 years, would still have it if it wasn't stolen, and the thieves left it across a rail road track. It's history.

The only major complains I had was the brake callipers. They were alumimum and seized on me twice in 4 years. And the electrical connectors weren't as anti-corrosions as they should have been. I needed a few of the connectors replaced because of corrosions.. when the cars was only 6 years old( I bought it used).

Rust was a problem. But I got it when it was only 4 years old and rust checked it every year so it never developed into major problems.

Over all, a nice fun car. If the shell is good, there is a lot you can do with it. The metal are very thin on these cars. It's also uni-body construction. If the main part of the body is rusted badly, you may not be able to rebuild it(at least easily).

Hope that help.

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well, i got it. Overall its

well, i got it. Overall its in pretty good condition. Seats are a little ripped, new shocks needed and breaks could use some work. It will need to be painted before too long, but it looks decent now and i can live with it. Thanks for the replys. The only thing im gonna miss from my Buick will be the power windows and locks, power steering, and maybe the back seats (they were good for moving macs Wink ) other than that i think im gonna love it, best part is there are only about 6 of these cars in town, so its different and i like that.

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Back seat for moving macs? W

Back seat for moving macs? Won't the hatchback of the 280 be a LOT easier for moving macs?

(I think that the 280's had hatches, don't they?)

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they do, but the roof is real

they do, but the roof is really too low to move anything like a monitor, plus just about anything put back there will block the rear window

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Well, i got it. Actually i g

just wondering what you guys know about removing rust. Its got some on the bottom and was wondering what would be used to get it off. Sorry to bring this back up. I also got pics if anyone cares

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Depends on how bad it is and

Depends on how bad it is and if its affecting any structural parts. As to removing it you can either attack it with a wire brush or shot blast it. Once you're down to bare metal then you can either go down the primer, cellulose and paint route, or cheat and use rustoleum. Best way to prevent rust, particularly underbody, is to treat your car to a course of waxoyl every year.

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can't beat POR-15

I've purchased directly from por15.com, but others resell it

POR-15 is truly amazing, as good or even better than claimed. Google groups search

an example of the many discussions

read and ye shall be convinced!

Cool thing is that you don't need to remove all the rust, this stuff coats right over it. The biggest 'problem' is its tenacity. If you don't cover yourself thoroughly before using it, any spatter on your skin will stay where it lands til the skin has replaced itself.

Since it catalyzes with H2O, pot time is short, realistically under 15 minutes, less on a humid day. You have to move pretty quick before it hardens up to unusability.

I just wish they sold it in a dispenser, perhaps like the wine boxes with a bag inside. Then you could use just a little at a time without wasting the unused portion of the can/jar. I usually fill and seal a bunch of small jars (like baby food jars.) That way I can use just a few ounces at a time and not worry about ruining the rest of an expensive 1 qt. can.

In any case, while it isn't cheap (~$30/qt IIRC), it's worth every penny!

Dan K

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Z's problem w/ rust.

hmm...70's Z's are phenominal with performance if you tune them up. in fact, almost all nissan sport cars have the same motor space under the hood, so it is possible to swap a 280Z's engine with a 240sx or a twin turbo 300z. but that would just destroy the whole thought of restoring a wonderful 240-280z. i've always wanted my hands on one ever since i saw my fathers old pictures when he owned a 280z and competed in some gumball races. i've recently purchased one at a police auction here in San francisco for 260 dollars. all intact, except for a few dents and a easily repaired damaged area on the passenger door. the worst part of the car was some rust spots on the hood and under the back bumper. since i knew i was going to throw away those huge stock bumpers, i didnt pay much attention to that. i bought the new high performance fiberglass bumper kits and side skirts seen on the new modified Z's. if rust is your problem, you have to either get a new paint job and make sure the metal is sterilized or disinfect the area. one little spot of rust can keep coming back over and over again and spread through out the area (rust = cars cancer).

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77 280Z info

Just wanted to answer some of your questions regarding the 77 280z. Good choice I might add. I have had my 77 280Z since 1978 and have been the only driver all of these years. It is a manual shift, 2 seater and has 308,000 miles and is going strong on the original engine. Only changed out the fuel injectors. Stock Z should have AC. Also this year was fuel injected. Very sturdy and reliable car, but difficult to get some parts. I have consistantly gotten 20 miles to the gallon. Hope this helps. Good luck and enjoy your Z.
Bev

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Thanks for all your input guy

Thanks for all your input guys. I've been working on little repairs for a while now and have the car in better shape. I just noticed today though, that the fuel filter has not been hooked up, and gas has been running straight into the engine. Im going to fix that ASAP. I noticed i was getting pretty crappy gas mileage. I was wondering if that is just my car ( i heard they are supposed to do pretty well ) if its because of that fuel filter, or maybe im just driving it too hard. Ive been trying to keep it under or just above 2k RPM. thats really all i care about right now. Im not too keen on filling up so often with gas being over $2 a gallon. could anyone enlighten me?

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Older fuel injection

Congrats on your car, I also have a 1977 280Z...I've had it for about 8 years now, its great. As far as gas millage, you might want to take it in and get your fuel injection system checked. Usuelly with the bosch system it eather works or dossent though. You might want to bring it up over 2K when driving though, the quickest way to kill a hi-pro engine is to drive it granny style. It might just need a good blow out on the highway to help it out. With all the mods i've done to my car im only getting about 10 MPG, but pushing around 300 WHP. If you have any questions, feel free to email me, i have done just about all you can to my car, and do all the work myself so i have a little insight that you might end up paying for. Best advice you can get is to go buy a Chilton and lern how to read wiring diagrams, they will save your butt with that car.

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Hay, thats cool bigbadzcar! g

Hay, thats cool bigbadzcar! glad to see another classic Z driver is here. I'd love to see some pics of you car! I cleaned the electrical plugs on the injectors and ran some fuel line cleaner through the car, and its working a lot better now. I'll probably take you up on some info sometime, as my car does need a little work. I'll put some pics of mine in my gallery soon. Have you ever been to Zdriver.com? nice forums for us Z drivers http://www.zdriver.com/forumdisplay.php?f=9

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I just purchased a 1977 280Z.

I just purchased a 1977 280Z. Standard AC, fuel injectors. 166000 miles and still runs good. Just passed smog test.

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hay, you got the same one as

hay, you got the same one as me! is it blue by chance? how do you like it? i love mine

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very good cars

hey guy I have a 79 280zx and it has like half a million miles on it- seriously it has 500 thousand miles on it and it was rebuilt like ages ago- it starts every morning for me - I'm getting ready to pick up a 77 in a couple weeks - yeah stock they came with AC and fuel injected- I like carbs but fuel injection is a bit better- cleaner system and they're better in the higher elevations when air is thinner- the inline 6 motor is very fast very big for such a little car but loaded with fun-

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wiring diagram

i need the wiring diagram for my datsun 280z 1978 coupe, please help

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for what??

do you need it for the FI or for the electrical? except for a couple of power wires the FI system and the system for the rest of the car are completely seperate. somewhere i still have my book, but if you don't have one already then a haynes manual is a MUST. it has all the wiring diagrams and is very good has a maintinence reference. if you need one bad and can't get a book, then if i find mine i will scan it and email you a copy. don't know how good quality's gonne be though. i had a 78 also so those pages are a little oily/messy

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280z

im looking to get a 77-78 280z and would like any advice on the cost, reliablity, handling, and power of the vehicle. thanks

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i thought the old Z's has dua

i thought the old Z's has dual side flow carbs. one that my friend owned had that setup. boy was it ever a PITA to get both carbs in tune with each other. but once you did. that car would haul.

one thing you need to look out with the older Z's is the rust. you can look at one and think its in good condition but that is until you look under the body. since they are not a full framed car AKa unibody and the older steel made for a rust bucket that would break in half if the rust got to bad. that is a sad thing to see with the older Z cars but its something you have to look for. my Friend had another Z the same year that looked great inside and out (looked much better than the car he was going to use as a parts car. that was untill he bought it and found out it was about to rust in half. so he made that the donor and built up the rough looking Z that had a solid unibody.

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for anyone dealing with rust...

i would like to second the suggestion of POR-15.

I have never worked on one of these datsuns, im a vintage watercooled VW guy... but it was my understanding that these cars used a variant of the Bosch CIS mechanical fuel injection system. if that is the case, CIS IS fairly easy to adjust, just not as intuitive as some of the newer systems are for "younger" people and mechanics. This book should sort you on the fuel injection:

http://www.autobarn.net/bntgfib.html

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240z transplant

im an looking at a series one 1970 240z with a an 81 zx engine in it. my cocern is if it will have the same power or loose the original feel. thanks

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condition, condition, condition

Funny how these old threads resurface like this . . .

re: 240z transplant

It's all about structural condition. As numerous folks have mentioned, rust is the enemy of old Datsuns (all old Japanese cars really.) Crawl underneath and examine every inch of the frame rails, floors, rocker panels, all of it. You'll quickly discover if the car is worth pursuing. A scabby paint job or worn seats is fixable, but significant structural rust points to a vehicle near its EOL.

As for a replacement engine, if that engine has all its original plumbing (air, ignition, fuel) it should serve nicely. The FI motors (280Z and later) are good solid performers. The early dual carb motors (240Z & 260Z, but esp. 240Z) are said to have better response and 'feel', but the hassle of tuning the carbs is quite significant until you get the hang of it. Plus of course, the 2.8L motors are more powerful, if that's your bag. Acute

I'd say if the example you found is solid, go for it.

dan k

» [b]with a long-idle-in-the-garage-waiting-for-complete-resto '70 240Z[/b]

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280z 1977

i recently purchased a 1977 280z with 50,000 miles on it and no rust. im looking for tips on keeping it running strong and rust prevention. thanks

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take it in and have the under

take it in and have the underbody cleaned and undercoated with a paint color close to the orignal color of the car and that sealer (tar looking stuff cant remember then name) put on it and that will protect the underbody allot. there is also stuff for the paint that will help protect aganst flaking which will help against rust.

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headlight

i need to replace my headlight but the screwheads are stripped. any advice on how to change it? thanks.

Jon
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You could get some of the scr

You could get some of the screw removal/reverse thread drill bits. You run them in reverse and they drill in until they get a good bite and then the screw starts backing out. Make sure you can get replacement screws before you use something like these on them.

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I fell in love with the early

I fell in love with the early Z's after watching them rule at Sebring here in Florida in the early 70's.
Currently own a Nissan "86 300ZX but yes it is a pig compared to the early Datsuns.
I actually hate all the electronics though it's computer system was way ahead of its time.
As others have mentioned underside RUST is the major consideration on the old 240s.
I have a friend locally who owns a "Z" junkyard.
If you need something give me a yell.

Have fun,
Dave

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1975 Datsun 280Z

Hey there. I have a 280Z and I'm having some problems with it. Just hoping maybe you could help me with some advice. Hope all is well. Thanks much.

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77 Datsun 280Z

I have owned a 73 240Z, a 76 280Z 2+2 and just last week bought a 77 280Z 2+2 that has been stored now for over 12 years... incredible condition, all original, 2nd owner bought it from his father in law who bought it new....I have the sticker! I just paid $500.00 for it and will now begin it's "Phoenix" rise from storage.

I sold the 240 with almost 400k miles on it... I put all but 46k on it and never had a problem with it and then bought it back when the guy needed to sell it. My 76 sold with 560k miles on it and it was still running strong. I sold it and bought a 91 Lincoln Mark 7... I now have 3 of those too... all almost perfect. I have an 85 Bill Blass Edition, an 89 Titanium edition and a 91 White/Burgundy. Need to sell a couple but can't decide which 2 to sell.

Enjoy your Z... just keep it clean, maintained and garaged if possible.

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Z Parts?????

Could you email me contact info... I'll be looking for some I'm sure when I start working on all the little things my new project may need. I do want to get a rear window louver kit... Thanks, Christine

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...

sorry to derail this thread, but, i was just down at my local auto garage the other day dropping my car off for a tune up. There, sitting in the lot, was a white, mint condition, ZX (i think he said its an 88, but im not sure). The owner basically bought it new, then left it sit in a garage, barely driving it. Body, interior and engine look as tho the car just rolled off the assembly line. Just thought i'd share.

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Holy crap guys! I can't beli

Holy crap guys! I can't believe this thread is still "alive" 3 years after I started it. Since then my car has undergone so many changes and I leared so much since then. I've since joined some excellent Z forums and can't belive there was a time when I didn't know if my car would have AC or fuel injection! For anyone whose interested, I have a website for my car. Let me know what you all think about it. http://www.cardomain.com/ride/705202

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77 280z

The 77's are some of the best older z cars that have been put out. If you have one that has carbs on it then someone changed them to that and as far as the air is concerned you do have air unless someone has removed it and you should change all of the rubber tubing that the air runs on for it may be dry rotted and a couple of mine were. the fuel injection on it is easy to work on and you can change out a fuel injestion rail in about 30 minutes. If you have any more questions feel free to contact me.

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Re: 77 280z

zviln wrote:
The 77's are some of the best older z cars that have been put out. If you have one that has carbs on it then someone changed them to that and as far as the air is concerned you do have air unless someone has removed it and you should change all of the rubber tubing that the air runs on for it may be dry rotted and a couple of mine were. the fuel injection on it is easy to work on and you can change out a fuel injestion rail in about 30 minutes. If you have any more questions feel free to contact me.

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