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v_balge

Throw in the towel?

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When is it time to give up & sell or junk the car? 1977 208Z

I bought the car two years ago. It ran & drove when I got it but needed front brakes (fixed), headlights (fixed), front turn signals (fixed) & windshield wipers (fixed) that I knew of. I would start up on the first crank & sounded good. After getting it home it started smoking very badly. I replaced the valve stem seals but that didn’t stop the smoke, I’ve since discovered that Marvel Mystery Oil will stop a car from smoking just long enough for a prospective buyer to look at your car.

Every time I fix one thing another problem stops me from getting it on the road. Over the past several months I had smoke coming out of the dashboard & the engine would stumble & die when it warmed up.

The smoke was from a leak in the heater hoses under the dash (fixed). The stumble & stall was from a bad connection to the temperature sensor (fixed). After starting it back up one of the fuel hoes at the filter split & sprayed gas all over the engine (fixed). On the next start a hose on the fuel rail started leaking. So I decided to replace all of the hoses on the fuel rail & injectors. Number 5 injector hold down screws broke off flush with the manifold & now the stud extractor has broken as well. Now that I can see some of the exhaust manifold bolts I can see that their regular bolts not studs & very rusted. I know their not going to come off without a fight. How far to you go?

Very frustrated.

Vince

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It's all kind of subjective really.....just depends on how bad you want to finish what you started. You can buy replacement studs to replace the manifold/exhaust bolts currently installed. Intake manifolds are pretty easy to come by if you don't think you'll be able to fix your old one. I see them on eBay all the time....Tell you what....just take a break for a little while (I.E. - couple of weeks to maybe a month maybe) and think about it.....Look at this way how many people do you know that can say "Hey, I've got a 280Z that I'm restoring" Not very many I'll bet........

webdawg1

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When I bought my 240z it was a mess. I spent a year and a half just doing rust repair and body work (evenings and weekends). At one point I got so sick of it I stopped working on it for 2 months, then I went to a car show and got inspired again. Now I drive my 240z everyday and enjoy every minute of it!

BTW: Where in Ontario are you located? I live in Ottawa.

Greg

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It sounds like you've fixed many of the problems inside the cockpit. Now, you just need to concentrate on the engine area. If I were you, pull that engine and replace all of your injectors. Clean up the engine area and put it all back together.

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Because of money, time and family requirements I left my car stored for several years. I am in the process of reviving it now. I started out to repair the right rear fender well and then paint as required. Some were along those lines things changed. I am nine months into a refresh that is way way deeper then I thought I would be. But, I want to be able to drive this car again with out all the frustration of a car that is thirty plus years old. Like when I first got her. I have spent the past six months getting rid of rust and getting the body straight. I will have primer on it this week. I have come a longs ways but there is still a ways to go.

Here is a thread on Mikes car he too took some time off from his:

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22827

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first, if it in't rewarding to clean and fix, take an extended break and regroup, figure out if it was and will be fun. look at some of the gallerys here, the before and after, look through the archives and find the stories of start to frustration to finish-when the taks looks insurmountable, norrow your focus. look at what you corrected, and how it made you feel. work on a small part of the big picture, and take the win when that part is right! Move to the next one and do the same thing, let the momentum from a success fuel your success on the next part.

If you are in this for the long haul, figure out if matching numbers is important to you or not. I would suggest getting a second engine. If matching numbers is important to you, swap the engines to keep the car on the road while you straighten out the original engine, if it isn't straighten out the new engine and install it when it is ready.

Will

On a side note, I have a 2003 Dodge Quad cab 1500 that I bought new in 04, I now have 21043 miles on it, and it has had more stupid issues than any of my 30 year old Zs have had. Sensors have gone bad repeatedly, the A/C had to be entirely replaced, the truck cuts off when sitting at idle when the AC compressor cuts off, and the dealer can't figure it out because there is no code in the ECM to tell them what is happening. On my 2001 Volvo(bought new in 2001) the rubber in the front shock mounts seporated from their imbedded hardware after 20,000 miles-I have never had or heard of that happening in an S30. If these were Zs, I would have had the issues resolved in an afternoon, with the Volvo it took a week(had to schedule an apointment) with the truck, It has been 5 weeks as of Friday. The "Master Technician" at the Dodoge Dealership can't seem to wipe his nose with out the ECM giving him a code that tells him he needs to.

The point is new cars break too, and having to rely on a dealer means waiting for a repair, or a dumb look-both are more than trying on my patience. If I didn't need the features of the other vehicles, I would have stuck to driving S30s.

WIll

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I try to keep off this subject so I can keep myself going, like I'm rebuilding my engine just bought a rebuild kit, and this guy wants to sell me forged pistons for a good price. What do u do??? I am going with the forged pistons, more money but ooooooooooooooo they'll be great...

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Now that I've calmed down I when back out to the garge & tried the rusty manifold nuts I can see. They both turned out without a problem. I've decided to pull the motor and keep going at this point. Anyone in Southern Ontario have a 280 engine they want to sell?

Thanks! Sometimes you just have to step back & clear your head.

Talking helps to.

Vince

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Hey, you probably already know this site, but check the classifieds at: www.ontariozcar.com

Also if you're near Toronto, you might want to go see Mike at WHITEHEAD PERFORMANCE. He may be able to direct you a bit better. Last time I was there I saw a few motors lying around, if it comes to that.

Zak

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Vince,

If it's any help you can also use the spreadsheets that I have posted here. (Shameless plug) (LOL) Hey, they are free for the taking by the way. Might help you be a little bit more focused. If you have the Z car CD they will help you even more as you'll be able to see a picture of most if not all the areas you'll be working in or around. Just do a search on (Spreadsheets)

webdawg1

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I feel like you do sometimes too, i have had my z for about 7 to 9 years now, and , cant recall that i have ever driven it, maybe once or twice. It is in a storage garage I pay for each month, and i work on it like 5 days a year. I am also rebuilding the house i live in with my wife and 2 children, with a 3rd on the way in April 07, and working a 50 hour week at my job,

all in all, I know the car will be there for me, when i can get away from it all, for me working on my z is a pleasure, totally takes my mind off all my daily stress, and i get into my own world, just me ,and my z. aaaaahhhh, life is good.

my house is almost done, and my family is not getting any larger, so more time for my Z !!!! now that is what i have been waiting for ..

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i dont want to call you a sissy, but damn dude. these are datsuns. they ALWAYS need something. its been said many times

"z cars are known as "fairladies" so just like a woman of royalty, your Z will never be satisfied."

so, enjoy pleasing her, maybe she will let you sit in her someday. and if lucky enough, she will even let you drive her!

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If you are pulling the engine why not just rebuild it or have it rebuilt if you don't have the where-with-all to do it yourself. You never know what you are getting with the ol "sitting around engine". You will be very happy with the car when you get the engine rebuilt.

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That is a really nice-looking car. I would stay with it. As you undoubtedly know, L28 engines in yards are really a dime-a-dozen, given all the Z's, ZX's, and Maximas that had them. Prices start at $200 U.S. with *them* pulling the engine. Try carpart.com -- and look under 280Z, 280Zx and Maxima.

Steve.

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I'm going to do as much as I can while my engine is out, like steering rack bushings, tranny, head, clean compartment. It's just easier, more money but less of a pain in the arse...........

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Man, I can not remember how many times I spent under the car, in the engine bay and busting my knuckles on parts trying to fix my Z. I had the engine almost to the block one time to fix a busted alternater adjusting arm bolt that was still stuck in the block behind.

http://www.classiczcars.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=17423&cat=500&ppuser=4747

http://www.cardomain.com/member_pages/show_image.pl?bg=000000&image=http://memimage.cardomain.net/member_images/11/web/1727000-1727999/1727310_74_full.jpg

Anyway, I just want to say that I am glad you decided to keep going, she is a very pretty car. Cheers.

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Glad to hear you've decided to hang in there. The best thing to do is like already mentioned, take a break to cool off when you get frustrated.

Just keep in mind that the enjoyment the Z will give back to you once it's done will make it all worth it :D

Keep up the hard work man,

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don't you ever give up on a Z until you see the road beneath you.. if you can't find an L28, just get an RB and fly with it;)

maybe the babe is mad at you while you were angry on her and shouting???:)

easy on those old ladies.. all they need is respect..

wish you all the best togeather..:)

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Vince,

As with any classic car there comes the times when they just don't seem worth it. But then you have a day like today where I took my Z out on the road and it was great. I really enjoy driving it despite some kinks it may have. Top it off with the fact I was complemented 3 times about what a cool car I have. Hang in there and sort out the issues. I still have to figure out why my car doesn't like to cold start well, why it only will wipe with the windshield wipers once when I turn them on and why my AC/Heater which worked before I took the car apart to refresh it won't turn on? It's a 30+ year old car, issues come with it, but try to take them in stride.

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