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ToXIc

restoration costs?

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now i'm not like some of you lucky guyz out there that have the tools, space and skills to do a restoration. so i'm wondering what have the others paid for a good restoration.

please rate by percentage the amount of:

rust

body damage

thoroughness

please dont include replacement parts interior/exterior

i'm just trying to get an idea how much i may have to shell out...

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Unfortunately, you've put too many variables to give any reasonable chance of an accurate estimate. You best bet is to take your car to a few specialists in your area to see what they would charge for what you want done.

What is considered a "good restoration" by one, is likely different for another. For my personal standards, a "good" full restoration will cost $20K+ depending on the condition of the car I would be starting with. For me, to do the same car to a "good" driver restoration will cost $10K+. Both assume that I would be farming out at least 95% of the work.

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Im right in the middle of a costly restoration. I got my 72 and it looked great from 10 feet away. turns out it needed a frame rail weld...thats all. once that got started, it needed new floors too. So i had new floors and rails put in, at a cost of $2,200.00 CAD plus i think 700 for floors rails and outer rockers.

Then I might as well paint it since everyting is already out of the car. That cost me 2 summers of thorough paint stripping and brazing and grinding and sand blasting until finally she's down to bare metal. I spent several hundred on rentals and supplies.

Now its in for prep and paint, and that will cost at least 4,000...these are 'friend' prices. Im assuming it will be like 7k at least because theres a lot of little things that need attention.

I might as well take the motor apart to see whats going on while its out of the car. I still have to do suspension - new bushings all around and a huge cleaning, brake/fuel lines, new carpet, then all the little interior things and such.

The car cost me 2300.00 but I figure when its done Ill have an extra 10k easy into it. Doug is about right because I should have a 'good' driver at that point.

Im not very skilled either, but Ive done everything I possibly can myself to both learn and save money. If I had to farm this whole job out, I would have had to pay someone for the one to two hundred hours ive put in already.

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"Restore" to put back in original condition, aka "as it left the factory"

Give me the car - and you would have at least $35,000.00 in labor (and I'm cheap labor). That would be to take the car apart, send the shell out to a good bodyshop for body and paint. Send the engine out for a rebuild, tranny out for a rebuild etc. Then the labor to put the car back together to OEM spec.' and standards.

In addition to the labor - you would need about $40,000.00 for parts and services like machine shops, electroplating, engine and tranny rebuild facilities, body shop etc. That would include the labor needed to find the parts in the first place.

Take the car to any serious Restoration Shop - and you would have to give them a retainer for at least $50K before they would put the car in their shop.

If on the other hand you are really thinking about "refreshing" a 240-Z that is in good condition to begin with - - you might get away with as little as $20K plus the cost of the car and necessary parts, perhaps another $15K..

The bottom line is - it would be financially silly to pay someone to restore a 240-Z for you - far less expensive to simply buy a restored car. You can still find #2 condition cars for $25K to $30K today.

FWIW,

Carl B.

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Carl makes me feel like I need to spend more!:cry:

...okay, I probly spent $1500 on tools I never had before (but I dont incluse that because I will have those for years)...and I spent at least 3,000 on parts for it already (interior, this and that, etc.). Youre making it very difficult to downlpay this Carl.

If my wife reads this, theres going to be a basement full of Datsun parts for sale on Ebay and a freshly painted shell with a for sale sign on it in the driveway.

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But seriously...all kidding aside, that was well put Carl. I think I remember my first words of advice on this site from yourself and others. This will cost money, and I will get what I pay for.

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man.... dosent look good....

if we were only soo lucky to have our cars overhauled by chip!

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man.... dosent look good....

if we were only soo lucky to have our cars overhauled by chip!

Don't let me scare you off. My car was a trainwreck painted with 5 coats and an inch of filler to make it look good. I could have gotten away with 3k to give it a paintjob to clean it up...but I'd still have all the problems underneath.

I knew going in this was going to get ugly. But, I have a whole new set of tools. I actually learned quite a bit about cars now. Ive met some great people on this site - and even met a few in person. I went from being able to read and search for answers to being able to actually to the work myself (to an extent i admit).

And seriously some of the best time I've spent all last summer was working on the Z with friends, drinking a cold beer picking sand out of my teeth and changing the band-aids on my knuckles. good times....

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If my wife reads this' date=' theres going to be a basement full of Datsun parts for sale on Ebay and a freshly painted shell with a for sale sign on it in the driveway.[/quote']

No kidding! My wife keeps asking for my itemized budget and I keep telling her I lost it (not to mention I stopped keeping track once I broke $10k). In all honesty, I am around $12k to $14k into my car and that does NOT include body, paint or wheels. It's all engine, drivetrain, suspension, and interior work, and I did all the work myself.

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hey Zak , fellow refresher here , I like to think of costs in such a way as what I am doing is , by doing most if not all the work on our 71z we are investing in ourselves in the form of hands on education . We believe to truly appreciate and understand how our car functions , we need to do the methodical tear down ,refresh and rebuild so that when the z gets back on the road the joy of bleeding knuckles and sore arms from scraping and the like is time that is spent in the most positive way . I might add that '' we '' is my wife and our two teenage son's , 13 and soon to be 16 . This family affair is one of the most positive things that we have done together , so to us if 10 0r 15 k is the bottom line to do this project it is money spent in the right direction . My younger son can't wait to finish this one so that he can start one of his own ! Seems a small price to pay for this kind of education . I'll post a couple pic's of the students at work .My reply may be a little off track , but I just want to share our perspective of what a resto costs . have fun with your refresh as really that is what it should be all about .

Chris

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Chris,

I like that chalkboard...particularly the question from "Mom"--Will it be easy?

If we actually took the time to answer that question thoughtfully and honestly I wager we'd never get involved in the project! It's the optimism of "Sure, it can't be THAT bad" that gets us into it and powers us exactly to the Point of No Return. Then, we realize "oh, I guess it's pretty bad....so what? It's only money!" and we keep on going.

The real question for me is "Why do we do it again?"

Steve

(on the hunt for the next project)

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Without trying to be overly sentimental....

Fuzze:

If you were to spend $30,000 on your "restoration"/"refreshing", and it took you 3 years to get it done (an average). And in those 3 years, presuming 45 weekends per year at a total of 10 hours per weekend, plus an additional 8 hours during the week (very light estimates of the time you would actually spend) you would have:

[45 * (10+8)]*3] = 2430 total hours or $12.35 per hour.

Then if you factor in the memories, experience and flat-out enjoyment of working with your two boys.....and it suddenly looks ....VERY INEXPENSIVE and CHEAP at THREE TIMES THE PRICE.

FWIW

E

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Carl, as usual, hits the nail on the head. There is no coming out ahead in classic car (or motorcycle) restoration. But as Enrique says, it's about fun and enjoyment of doing something special, and the pride of ownership that makes it worthwhile.

I think most of us are in the same place. Given my job, my family, and lack of budget to spend on 2 classic cars and 1 classic motorcycle, I almost have to do most of the work myself. At least the Z is a fairly easy beast, and aside from rust a high quality runner. As Carl says, find the best example you can find (e.g., someone's restoration) and buy it.

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This is second-hand info, so I don't know how accurate it is.

I was told that a complete, ground-up restoration to original "show" condition at Z-Car Garage in San Jose runs about $50 to 60K. Ouch! (that's not including the car). Of course, that's silicon valley pricing...

But if one has more money than time, why not? While my free time is limited, I certainly don't have that kind of money to put into my Z. Makes me think my time is well spent doing most of the work myself !

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FWIW, I'll have $23.5 K total in mine when it's finished. That includes $3,500 for the engine, $6,000 for paint, custom seat uhpolstry, aftermarket A/C, new wheels, spoilers & new suspension components.

Given the additional $15K to $20K in labor, that $50-60K number doesn't sound that far off.

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TOXIC,

My advise to you....

Sell your car for whatevery you can get for it.

Save your money and buy a Z that has already been fixed up/restored/refreshed

You will spend much more money if you try to fix up yourself.

especially if you are not planning on doing most of the work yourself.

I as well as most of the people on this forum has spent much more money on restoring their Z than they will ever be able to get out of it if we sell it.

However, when I take my car to the Historic races at Road Atlanta and people come up to me and tell me what a nice Z I have; the proud feeling I get by telling them I have restored the car myself is priceless.

I don't think you will get that same feeling if you spend twice as much money to have someone else restore it.

The only advantage of restoring a Z yourself is: you can do a little at a time. Meaning - you can spend a couple hundred dollars here and there. A couple thousand dollars here and there, and in a few to several years later you will have yourself a nice restored Z.

However, in the long run, you will have spent much more money than if you save up and buy a z-car that someone else has restored and needs to sell.

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Hello all , I have to agree with MarkDixon , if the cost is a concern then you are way better off to purchase a completed project . If however you want to learn and experience a refresh such as what you are doing ,keep on the path that you have chosen .The benefits of doing things on your own far outweigh the instant gratification of just laying out cash and driving away . The process , and I think most on this board would agree is why we all here in the first place .

Enrique , thanxz for the kind words and the reinforcement of our beliefs and thoughts .As a kid growing up I used to hang out at my friend's older brothers bodyshop and I remember clearly when a customer would come in a pick up a completed project and the smile on their face would tell the picture . I would then see Brett smiling as well and it wasn't for the money . It was for the opportunity to engage himself in a process that brought great satisfaction .

Just like what we all are doing here . have a great day all

Chris

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If I had it to do all over again, I'd have just waited & overpaid on one of the Nissan sponsored restorations. Even if I'd overpaid for one of those cars I'd still be "ahead" of where I am now. Another avenue I should've went was to just buy one of those $15,000 cars you see on Ebay. I could've flown out & inspected quite a few myself, bought it if the condition was good, & still had a ton of money left over.

It's taken me several years & I'm still several months away from being done. Even when I finally drive it, I'm not sure I'll ever enjoy it. All of the work I've put into it, I'll be paranoid just driving it down the road.

A real restoration is a lot of money. A whole lot.

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dkd021: I almost agree with you. If I spent more on the front end, I'd be ahead of the game on the back end. I really wanted to DRIVE a 240z...and now I'm looking at it all in the basement lately..

fuzze: You have a great outlook on your project. My son is 8, and he always asks when were going to get it done, and how he wants to help out with it. You cant put a price on that. He only lasts about an hour before he loses interest, but he likes monkeying around with the tools and doing little jobs. Even if he forgets all about it in a few years, those will be my fondest memories.

Now that im 'in too deep' I am enjoying it and learning alot. I never would have learned like this from a car that was already finished, but then again I'd be driving a Z right now. When its finally done, I'll have the best of both worlds.

TOXIC, you have a tough decision to make! Either way you'll have a Z. It'll be done and you can drive it, or it'll be a project and you'll have to get into fixing it up. Its a win-win situation.

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I think those who mentioned the value of the pleasure you'll get out of doing a lot of the work yourself are correct. I'm refreshing a '71 Z, that I bought new, with my son who is approaching driving age. I'm not sure which of us is having more fun with the project. In the past, I bought a better than new 1970 Porsche for pennies on the dollar after the restorer decided to move on to other projects - an excellent way to acquire a great car. But the only warm fuzzy feeling came from knowing I saved a ton of money, not that I had returned a car to fine condition. I think I like the creative feeling more.

Dennis

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Carl well ventelated area when using Chemical's. A 100 point Z would not cost that much! with the amount of parts out their.

Restorerd:

72 SB Chevy 450hp 383 stroker

72 RS Camero 600hp 427

69 Bronco

92 DSO Notch Back Mustang Maxim Mtr Spts Susp. 150+ mph (Ran out of road)

71 VW Vert Baja 20" of travel 3220cc 250hp

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Another thought along the same lines:

Anyone with enough money can buy a car...sports, classic, rare, exotic, all it takes is money. That's what the jet-set does, but then again, they don't have the time to take on a long project. To them the trip is about the destination. If that's what you're into, buy the best car that someone else has worked on.

But don't expect to be seen in the same light as those that have skinned their knuckles, shed a drop or two of blood, sweat and tears, or spent weeks or months looking for that specific part... trying to bring their "baby" back onto the road. To those that have travelled this other path, it's not about the money, and while the destination has always been in mind, it's the journey there that's part of the trip. Once you're there, you're filled with memories of the journey itself and you share them with others also along their paths. Money can't buy those memories, nor the friendships, nor the satisfaction. It's not about the money, it's about the process.

FWIW

E

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Once again EScanlon nailed it. I did most all of the work on my Z in my garage at home. Scanlon taught me how to work the sheet metal and the proper way to sand and prep for paint. He helped a great deal on the body work . Scanlon shot the color and clear also. I did all the mechanical work disassembling the car and reassembling her by my self, R&R of the engine tranny and all the drive train. For the most part I enjoyed the process , I became discouraged at one point and if I hadn't driven the car for 2 years prior. It would have been difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I had that going for me and friends that encouraged me. Three years later and I took my first drive. And it was all worth every minute of my time and some times frustration . At first I was vary defensive driving her because of all the time invested. No longer really , she is a strong runner and I love to drive her like she was meant to be driven. Not abused but pushed in the twisties. I would do it again in a heart beat. I don't have room for another project or the funds really so I work on others Zs to get my Z kicks. I learned a lot on this car and made many good friends that I wouldn't have otherwise. ROFL Gary

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I was told that a complete, ground-up restoration to original "show" condition at Z-Car Garage in San Jose runs about $50 to 60K. Ouch!

Not unreasonable - a show quality resto on my E-Type would run EASILY $150K, I've heard stories of over $200K!!!!

I also agree with EScanlon and beandip - buying a car that's finished isn't the same as bringing one back with your own hands.

I remember about 15 years ago, after I had sold a Harley I owned so my wife and I could buy a house, I took a liking to my Dad's '67 Honda CL/77 Scrambler that had been sitting in the garage unused for over 20 years. My father scoffed at the idea of making it run, and practically refused to assist me in getting it started (I was young and aggressive, he was starting the transformation into a curmudgeon).

As I took the engine apart and replaced what was needed, and started the slow process of rebuilding it, my father would look over, even offer advice. Ultimately, by the time it was back together, we were working side by side. When we got it running, I could tell he was as proud of me as I was of getting that old bike running again. My father and I never had the strongest bond, but nothing compared to the feeling I had when I rode that bike (short of the birth of my children, but you get the idea:) ).

FWIW

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