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Might need you guys to give me a hand on this one. I am not an owner yet. Have always like the early 240s. Came across a So Cal car that's been sitting in a garage for a long time. Seems to be original. The owner wants a few hundred bucks for it. I don't know much about them other then they are a blast to drive. I have been digging through out the net trying to find info on them for the last day. Time isn't on my side. We just had a 5 week old baby, and man, that's taking lot of time. So much for surfing the net. Glad I found this place (did a little seraching) and hoping something can help with a few quick questions. So, here it is:

No one know what year the car is. I don't. Only look under the cover for 30 second. Too much carp was on the car. I think it has metal bumpers. She claims no accidents. she looks honest.

I am worry about the gas tank, lines and the old goo thats going to gum up the carbs. Should I pour some gas into the carb and try and start it? do I need to drop the tank and get rid of the bad gas now?

72 and on have 5 speed? How's the 4 speed trans? Am I going to be in the 4krpm range doing 70mph? That might drive me nuts if driven for a long time.

How much horse power do these cars have? That is not too important to me right now. Just want to get in idea so that I have something to go by. I understand that are only a little over 2200lbs woth something like 280 hp?

Talk to a local Z car wrench, and he trys to sell me a 280 motor and suspension already. Not much help, but a real business man. That's OK.

Anything else I should look for? Am I being crazy and will be spending big money into the Z pit. I read about the rust spots near the wheel wells. I will be thankful for any help you guys can through my way.

I got to move on this, she's cleaning out the garage and getting ready to sell the house. I have 3 days to decide. It will a cool proj. to work on with my boy when he get a little older. Damn, wife's calling, I gotta go wipe up poop. Thanks in advance.


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Welcome to one of the best sources of info for how to get your Z moving as well as money out of your wallet.

There are some threads regarding starting a car that's been sitting for awhile, try out the search function and see if there's something in there useful for you.

77's and on had 5-speed. 4 speeds have a reputation of being ultra reliable for street and race applications, don't know what to say about the 5-speed's reliability except to say they are a popular upgrade for many reasons to include the one you mentioned.

As for rust I would look at the floor pans, the frame rails underneath the car, the battery tray and underneath it, the rocker panels, and in the fender/wheel wells. If you see it bubbling, there's more underneath that merits closer inspection.

I don't know what stock horsepower was in a 240 but it isn't 280. Built L-series engines range from 270 to a little over 300 but I'm pulling those numbers off of the Rebello website. It'll just be a matter of money as to how fast you want your Z to go. They're popular for V-8 transplants too if that's something you're more familiar with.

Be prepared to spend money. I think most of us would agree that our Z is always a project in the works with just one or two more things waiting to be done/upgraded. Thankfully, parts are somewhat abundant if not locally then online and on EBay.

Be prepared to answer to the boss with a newborn in the house and a money pit in the garage competing for time, attention and resources. My wife knew I would never sell the Z even if we had a newborn in the house but my ability to invest time in it has diminished somewhat. I cut a better deal though as poop duties are my wife's exclusively while going to work and watching the baby during dinner prep are mine.

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Restoring one of these cars can be extremely fun and rewarding. It is also guaranteed to demand tremendous amounts of your time, attention, and money. Given your family situation you should seriously consider if you have much of those three things to spare. That said, if this is an early car in very good condition that sounds like a good prospect for a project car at a very reasonable price.

I'd suggest your next step to be to return to the car and get much more detail on what it is and what kind of condition it is in.

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Definitely look for the rust mentioned by Gogriz.

There should be a plate on one of the door jambs, where the door closes, that indicates the manufacture date. You can find the VIN there and on the dash as you look through the windshield. If it has more than 5 digits following HLS30, and it's a 240Z, then it's a 1973. Otherwise, it's 1970-72. If it has vents on the rear hatch between the glass and the latch, it's a 1970-71.

Stock, the car does not have anything like 280 HP. I don't have the exact number at hand but it is right around 150.

The 4-speed is an excellent transmission. Unless you plan to spend hours on end cruising on freeways, you shouldn't miss 5th gear too much. If you do, it is neither hard nor expensive to add a 5-speed, which could come from a 5-speed-equipped 1977-78 280Z or a 280ZX. If the 240 in question is an early car there would be some minor sheet-metal mods needed to accommodate the shifter.

Good luck,


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There is a plate on the drivers door jamb by the latch this has the build date . early Zs have SU carberaters that are side draft so you cannot safely pour fuel into them . If the car has been setting for years and not run DO NOT TRY AND START IT. You can dammage the engine to the point that a rebuild will be in order . Mainly determine the year , check under the carpets on both side foot wells for rust , when looking under the hood , check for ruat under the battery and check the oil while you are there . The reason I say do not try to start the engine is , when the engine is turned off after running . there are always valves open to the cylinders . three things can happen 1. all is well and no rust 2. the valve stems could have rusted some causing the valve to stick in position. 3. rust in the cylinders and it could cause a broken ring or worse . If the engine is spun on the starter the piston could strike the valve as in #2 and damage either or both . Do a search on starting a strored engine for the proper start up . These are the main things . Alot depends on where you live as to the possable problems , you dident put it in your profile . Gary

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Thanks guys for the quick reply. I'll see the owner this weekend and check out the things mention above. BTW I am in Los Angeles.

Steve I know all about the time and effort thing in the past 5 weeks. This little guy can suck up your time like nothing else. By the time this is running well, this will his car and his problem. At least we'll spend time doing it.

I am hoping to get this Z started and get it to a local wrench so I can at least get the mechanical stuff taken care of so this I can drive it. I like to replace the old fuel lines. It can be a fire hazard. How much of it is metal and how much rubber?

I like the light weigh cars with OK Hp. 150 on an 2200 lbs or so car isn't bad at all. I don't need a 300 hp v8. Can't stop the damn thing. No fun. I might sell my early Miata so I can play with the Z. How do these Zs handle compare to the Miata or other small sports cars? Coil overs and struts? Good handle is important. I like throw em' around a bit. With the 4 speed at 70mph, what's the rpm? I am planning to use this car at least 3-maybe 4 times a week. I suppose A/C is out of the question. The So Cal summer can be a handful.

After looking through some pics here, why are some of the cars bumperless? Is it for weight saving or looks? Is there someplace in this fourm that I can go to find a local wrench. About a year ago, the mechanic that I mention earlier tried to sell me a 260 with a 280 motor and suspension, and fresh paint for a little over 6k. Since I don't know about these cars much, I let it pass. Did I let a good deal go? Thanks again.

Hey Gogriz, I don't know much about what's on that car beside the Susp. Tech. stuff, will you share a pic of your car? Sounds like a real nice Z. Love to see it.


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Don't know the metal to rubber ratio in the fuel lines but I would look at not only the fuel lines but the radiator hoses, the hoses that run to the heater core, and the vacuum hoses for the brake system. I had to repair my fuel lines and heater core hoses this past summer because they had dry rotted where the hoses connected to the metal.

Never driven a Miata but Z's handle well when the suspension has been modified. Stock Z's ride is mushy and the nose wanders at speed but a set of Tokico's and Springs will do wonders. As for bumpers it's for weight and looks. After '73, the bumpers just got heavier so many folks pull them off. you should do a search for coil overs to see what pops up as I'm sure it's been done before.

As for a mechanic do a search for "mechanic" on the forum archives. If nothing pops up, submit a thread looking for a mechanic near you. You'll probably get at least one response.

Couldn't tell you about rpm at 70 or anything like that, I never paid that much attention and it's been awhile.

There are two pics in my member gallery, not very good quality and the car was being stored. I would say it's very average for a 240, especially compared to some of the other cars you'll see in the member gallery section. Take your baby and hold it while it's asleep and surf the web. Worked great for me when my daughter was sleeping 23 hours a day, now she's all over the place all the time so not much surfing going on.

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If I can get to all the rubber hoses then I like to get them change. You can access all of them from up top? The engine bay is wild open unlike a modern car? What do you think of the ones at places like Pep Boys? Are they good for the long haul or they are a Piece of junk? I notices the Konis on your car. Are they adjustable? Tokicos are great. I have the adjustable ones on the Miata, and I can hang with some of the big kids in the canyons. So, what's the stock susp. set up like in the back? Stock sway bars are Good? I'll mess around in here a bit and try to find the member's gallery.


70 mph at 2400rpm isn't bad at all. Is the 240 the same gear ratio? So, these early Zs are geared a bit high. Do you have to get the revs up to get any power? In my Miata, I wouldn't see any power until it is doing 3500-4000rpm, and that only 100 or so HP at the crank.


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To my knowledge, you can access all of the rubber hoses from up top. They run to the fuel filter on the right hand side of the engine compartment and there are some around the carbs. Mine had rotted around the fuel filter. If you are serious take a fuel filter with you and swap them out just to helpget decent gas to the carbs. I bought the hose at a O"Reilly's and see no reason to get carried away unless I was building a race car but that's just me. The Koni's are 3 way adjustable. I think only the '73's had a rear sway bar so you may want to see if there is one on the car. It may have been put on aftermarket. I bought a bigger swaybar for both front and back but I'm no scholar as to the philosophy of what size to get for what application. Another website with a buyers guide is www.zhome.com so check that out for some great articles about what to look for, repairs and upgrades.

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