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  #1  
Old 01-24-2010, 01:27 AM
JordaanDMC-12's Avatar
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Smile Inheriting my aunts 78 Datsun 280Z

Hey all,

Well my aunt has had her 1978 Datsun 280Z since she rolled it off the lot brand new, although she hasn't really used it since 1997, It went on normal little drives and then in 2001 they stopped driving it altogether only because they had a sentra and just bought a PT cruiser. It got a day of action back in 04/05? when my uncle tried to revive it but it wasn't running very well, he drove it to the gas station, put some sea foam in, drove it back home and hasn't started it since.

It's literally been sitting for 9 years with a maybe 25 minute drive inbetween, well my aunt and uncle want to give the Z to me since they know I really liked it and having told them I would like it to stay in the family. I'm not a big Japanese car fan but I'll make an exception for this car since I remember it all my life and thought it was awesome lol

Well since it's been sitting for so long and it hasn't been registered since 2001 AND I'm pretty sure they never placed it on non op for the entire time of sitting so I'm probably going to have to pay the DMV around 800-900$ in fees?

So does anyone own a Z or ever owned one? Any advice on the right steps to get her running good? I can't wait to have her up and running and on a nice loooong drive through the lonely back roads to open it up let it live again!

Here she is, waiting to be driven again lol

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Old 01-24-2010, 02:26 AM
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My brother still has a 1982 280ZX turbo that he bought used back in 1991 from some Stanford University students that bought it out from Chicago, where it was purchased new at North Shore Nissan.

I dont know much about them but they are pretty good cars, his has the t top and all that luxury stuff, it cost around $17,000 back in 1982 which was a lot at the time.

They supposedly self destruct at around 150,000 miles but his has about 175,000 and is still running, and is on its original engine. But the turbo crapped out and he never fixed it. He repainted the factory black to a Maaco maroon at some point.

But he also owns a 1993 300ZX with 105,000 miles and a 1973 Camaro 350 with 345,000 miles on it, and rotates the cars he drives.



If it was me, I would tow the car to a mechanic drain and flush the oil, coolant, brak fluid and every thing else, put in new plugs, squirt oil in there, put in a new battery, make sure the brakes aren't frozen, see if the motor turns, and if it does, then start it.

The mechanic should know what to do.

Tires probably have flat spots on them from years of dead storage, you may need all new ones. The sidewalls may be rotten and splitting anyway.

Nice little reliable sports cars, worth keeping, but not museum pieces, either.
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Last edited by Jim B.; 01-24-2010 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:26 AM
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Expect to have stuck brakes, nasty fluid, etc. Change all the fluids, this is something you should be able to do yourself.

Those straight sixes are actually some of the most reliable engines ever built, easily on par with a om617.
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:36 AM
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Rust is the primary enemy of the Z cars. If it has been stored inside, as it looks fron your pictures, this should not be a great issue.
Drain and replace the gas. Change the Brake fluid. STAND on the brake pedal to put as much pressure on the system as possible. Its much better to have a line/hose rupture in the garage than on the street.
I'd pull the plugs and shoot a little oil in each cylinder, then crank it with the starter for 20-30 seconds to get the oil presuure up with no load on the engine. Replace the plugs and see if it'll start. After it gets warm, let it cool a bit and drain the oil and coolant. replace with fresh.

Enjoy the Z--
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
I'd pull the plugs and shoot a little oil in each cylinder, then crank it with the starter for 20-30 seconds to get the oil presuure up with no load on the engine. Replace the plugs and see if it'll start. After it gets warm, let it cool a bit and drain the oil and coolant. replace with fresh.

Enjoy the Z--
I'd suggest doing this bit outside on a windy day with the garage door closed.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:51 AM
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Don't start it on the bad fuel that's currently in the tank. It's been sitting for four years without starting and running bad fuel through the system is just going to create MORE problems for your to solve. Drain the tank and replace with good fuel before trying to start it, or get it towed to a shop so they can do that job.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:11 AM
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i used to own a '73 240z and the floor literally fell out on the passenger side. paper-thin sheet metal and poor undercoating make for this kind of thing. i remember sitting at a light one day and the car coming through the intersection kicked up a stone that kind of slowly bounced into the side of my car. no big deal, right? i couldn't believe the size of the ding that small stone left in my door! very sporty cars that handle well and are fun to drive. that one you're getting looks like its in good shape.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:49 AM
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Thanks for all the replies everyone!!!

I plan to do all the things you all recommended, they sound pretty doable for me but mechanic keeps getting mentioned so should I just take it to a mech? The only thing I don't have experience with is flushing brake fluid and stuff. But I can change the oil, plugs, drain the tank and change all other fluids. Especially since I've had lots of practice with tanks and old fuel recently.. ugh lol

Now what kind of oil should I be squirting into the cylinders? Is it dripping engine oil in? or a certain brand of spray can oil? Also with the plugs does anyone know the kind I should get, having been used to Mercedes needing Bosch with copper cores and what not, if I got those for it would it be overkill?

Thankfully rust is not a problem on this car, it's been in Southern California all its life and from what I can see doesn't have a spot of it. It's going to need new tires for sure, I almost want to say it's her second set! Also I'm wondering what kind of mileage this car got, especially since it's the manual transmission, probably going to have to run some Mobile clean 5000 on this thing LOL I seriously think the oil is from the mid 90's no joke!
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:54 AM
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no need to take it to a mechanic. The internets and forums have all the info you need on how to do the brakes.

I'd say just try and spray some sort of oil in the cylinders. Maybe some marvel mystery oil or something like that can ensure the rings are not stuck and give the walls some protection until pressure brings oil back to coat the walls.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:58 AM
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Cool car!

My dad had a 240z in that color when I was young. 4 speed manual, too. It was a lot of fun (he, like me, liked to tinker on his vehicles). Rust was an issue, though. It really was a fun car.

I believe they're referring to squirting marvel mystery oil in the cylinders (it's been often suggested to use this to unstick piston rings on the diesels that have sat for a while - aka barn finds). It may have a better effect if you let it soak in a little bit, before spinning it with the starter.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:48 PM
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MMO is fine, but so would be regular motor oil. All you want is a little lubrication on the walls as the pistons begin to move for the first time in several years.

If the motor is stuck, then that calls for more drastic measures, but if the engine is free, a few squirts in each cylinder will be fine.

Oh, leave the spark plugs out as you spin the engine over on the starter. You may want top cover the spark plug holes with rages so that the oil spray doesn't mess up the under hood area.

By all means do NOT try to start it on the existing gas. Watch for gasoline leaks at the carbs; the gaskets may be shot.

I believe Datsun used NGK spark plugs as oem.
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:15 PM
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Alright, yeah I'm going to do everything myself to save myself the money that I don't have haha

So far I went to the auto parts store and looked at prices for an oil filter, Air filter, Mobil clean 5000 engine oil, new battery, antifreeze, mystery oil for the rings, some seafoam, spark plugs, brake fluid and a fuel filter. Is there anything I'm missing that I should get for the first start? I was thinking belts?

The procedure I'm going to do is, drain the tank and replace the fuel filter, put some fresh gas with seafoam, change the oil and air filter, replace battery, flush out the coolant system and squirt some mystery oil for the first start and let it sit, change the spark plugs while the oil mystery oil is sitting and flush and replace the brake fluid.

Again, anything I'm missing? When I am able to drive it around it's going to get a few lucas fuel treatments so it can blow/burn all that crap out. I don't know if i'll be able to purchase new tires for it just yet, hopefully in a few weeks. Although our 300E needs new rims and tires, wow I really need another job LOL

Also, I'm hoping I fit in it okay, I haven't sat in it since I was like 7 years old?! LOL I'm 6'2 now so hopefully I can fit and drive it okay.
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:52 PM
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Looks great!

And they were a wonderful car in their day. Somewhat a copy of the Benz Pagoda models 230/250/280 SL, that is kind of far out, but kind of.
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:14 PM
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And they were a wonderful car in their day. Somewhat a copy of the Benz Pagoda models 230/250/280 SL, that is kind of far out, but kind of.
The original 240Z was more of a Ferrari clone, the later versions evolved on their own.
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2010, 08:02 AM
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Had a '74 260Z. Great car. Plugs-NGK BP5ES. '78 was a great year for that car. 170hp engine. 5spd. Expect to have to replace the outboard u-joints. Not a hard job. As said, sheetmetal was real thin on those cars. Don't lean too hard on anything. Replace the tires. Buy at least "V" rated tires. the car is fast! Use the best oil you can buy. Watch for leaks, especially from the oil presure sending unit. If it starts to leak (even just dripping) replace it right away. The bottom end of that engine is really strong, but its gotta have oil. Pull the cam cover and check the cam oilers. Some of the earlier ones would blow apart and not oil the cam properly.
You will probably need a new water pump soon since it has sat so long. Not a bad job, you can do it yourself, just be easy with the bolts. You may cuss at the fuel injection a bit, but it sure beat the old dual carbs.
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