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BTF/PTM

Goin to look at a 240z tomorrow =)

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It looks pretty nice. Be sure to take a very weak refrigerator magnet with you and try to stick it to every inch of the body. This will tell you every place that body filler has been used. Most old cars have had some sort of work done - either for dent or accident repair, or rust repair. Even if the car is nice, it's good to know exactly where it has had work done. Finding some body filler doesn't mean it's not a good car, but large areas will be a sign that something is up and further investigating is needed.

The only spot the magnet shouldn't stick is above the quarter windows where the roof meets the rear quarter panel. The factory used lead filler in the joint. Most Z cars have small cracks in the paint at this spot.

Good luck.

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Ok so I've ridden in it and gotten a good look all over it and here are the pros and cons:

pro:

no rust to speak of except for hatch deck which will likely need replacement

engine and transmission seem in great shape, good idle and power with no leaks and no unusual transmission noises. Shifting is smooth, clutch action is sure, throttle response is great.

Interior is complete, but of course needs some work.

Brakes work well and wipers n headlights n tail lights work. One blinker bulb on each side is dead. No biggie

Looks like all chrome is in good shape considering age. Nothing some steel wool can't bring back to life.

cons:

temp guage and oil guage appear inaccurate - they appear to work, but the needles look like they're not pointed correctly. They go waaaaay down past the zero mark when shut off, so when they're working it looks like they're both reading really low.

Rear bumper is missing and the rear valence looks a little beat up- not severe but has some dents and has some filler in a couple places under the paint. Not a big deal to me., it's intact and free of rust.

Passenger door isn't quite aligned, it jumps up on the striker a bit. It isn't severe and the door hinges aren't rough at all, so I don't think the door is damaged.

Neither door window rolls smoothly into it's channel, they both need a little help.

Door locks don't seem to work with knob or with key - frozen?

Has dash cap. Again not a huge deal for me, it'll be on the list of things to hunt down for replacement.

climate control is intact but the heat lever doesn't move to the heat side.

seats are shot but usable (minor).

no driver side seat belt. Also not a big deal, The Z Store has really cool reproduction seat belts.

battery is dead (but battery tray looks great) cuz car had been sitting about 2 months in seller's garage.

rear end makes distinct thunking sound as gears are engaged. Basically sounds like the bushings are worn, so parts are moving around but it doesn't sound like things are falling apart. I've heard much worse on much newer cars.

paint was done cheaply and is kinda sloppy with close inspection. Drips, overspray on some window seals, spots where the primer chipped and it was sprayed anyway, little things like that. Not a show stopper, and the car looks great from a few feet away. Car was brown originally.

Hatch deck is slathered with what looks like bondo or putty to cover the rust so that's one panel that will need replacing. Nowhere else on the car looks like that, though, and the magnet trick helped. No filler that I could find except for the rear bumper valence and that hatch deck.

Exhaust fumes leak into cabin pretty bad, in my experience that either means leaky exhaust/flanges and/or a leaky heater core. Both minor problems, but it definitely needs to be addressed.

I have pictures that I'll upload shortly. Seller's bottom line is 3k. I've left a deposit, and the seller has agreed to hold the car till midnight tonite while I decide. Given the problems versus the ultimately solid chassis with a good powertrain, is 3k a good price? Personally I like the car and think that I probably won't find a registered, driving car for much less money. I've seen several cars in the low $2k range that were complete but either not running or hadn't run in years and had more rust or had original paint that would need work fairly soon and so on and so on. What say the group?

Edited by BTF/PTM

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Just a guess, but it appears the car was rear ended at some point in its life. That's what the gap between the rear finisher and the rear valance, plus the signs of body filler, seem to indicate. Get a flashlight and look up into the space between the rear valance and the gas tank. Take a look at the brace up there and see if it shows signs of a rear impact. Also check if the gas tank itself shows signs of damage. Not necessarily a show stopper, as these things can be fixed or replaced.

I didn't look at all the pictures, but the shot of the roof looks like it may have a little bit of hail damage.

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^ that's what I was asking about with reference to the two rails looking different. What does that look like to you? I didn't notice it until I was uploading the pictures after I'd returned from looking at the car.

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Looks to me like the original was very rusted out so someone partially welded bar stock in there. For what it's worth, I consider it one of the most important parts of the car. It is a structural member or a box beam component. I will see If I can find a picture a what a good one should look like.

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If you can recieve picture on your cell phone I can send you a picture text of my Zs' frame rails outside. Uhh, never mind :)

Edited by WingZr0

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The car is probably salvageable, but $3500 is WAY too much money. It has some serious rust issues, some of which (passenger dogleg, for example) appear to have been just puttied and painted over. The previous repairs (passenger floor, right frame rail, driver's dogleg, rear valance) appear to be pretty half-a$$ed.

For $3500 in California, you should be able to buy a car with far less rust, and in better overall condition. I'd recommend some patience and that you pass on this one.

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some more items. The paintjob is really lame. Very bad overspray as you noted. also, you can see the bondo or bad patch spots.

This is not a $3000 dollar car. Maybe $1600. There are much better...

post-19125-14150810044243_thumb.jpg

post-19125-14150810044564_thumb.jpg

post-19125-14150810044793_thumb.jpg

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sigh...ok, so it looks like a lot of what i thought was bad paint is actually putty and rust cover-up. Maybe I just wanted to believe it was better than it was. Thanks for the help yet again, guys, this thread definitely saved me a lot of headache and potentially my life if that fabricated frame rail would have gone out.

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Welp, back to ebay and craigslist. Seriously though keep the faith bro, you can find alot better with just 2 Grand alone.

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Hey Rich and others on this post. I've had a few PM's with Andy regarding his car search. I wrote him earlier and told him that I didn't think he'd find a Z without issues (some rust, cracked dash, light to medium mechanical problems) in the $3000-$3500 range. Just curious for your opinions. I thought they might help Andy.

Rich, I know you've bought two Z's recently and I've seen your first silver Z which is very nice. Can Andy get something like it in this price range?

I may not be the best guide here, because I've been more into the show quality Z's and VZ's.

Thanks for your opinions. I hope Andy checks in and sees them.

Bob

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I hope you got your deposit back.... even that may have been too much for this car.

$500.... for parts.... to sell on the East coast.

Both sugar scoops show cracks, both rockers show damage, complete rear end is one big bondo swab, interior is ... garbage. Cleanest part seemed to be the engine bay, and that has overspray.

In a nutshell, this is someone's high school auto shop class project.... and he got a C-.

E

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My LeMons car is actually cleaner than that car. We painted it with a roller and the paintjob looks almost as good in the photos. LOL

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He can find that kind of Z easy, just stay off ebay for the most part and hit up Craigslist. You'll see Z's worth five to six thousand selling for three to four. It all comes down to a person who simply wants to sell or someone who don't really know what they have. For example last month I seen a low miles, super clean, one owner 1979 Silver 280ZX 5 speed with Red interior being sold for $1,000 ! Can't guarantee a non cracked dash though :) .

Edited by WingZr0

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I bought my 72 with 1400$. It was fresh painted (cheaply tough) complete rust free except hole in drivers side floor panel. Engine is running good. 3K is too much

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Rich, I know you've bought two Z's recently and I've seen your first silver Z which is very nice. Can Andy get something like it in this price range?

Bob

Hi Bob,

Yes, the first silver ('71 240Z) sounds like exactly what he is looking for. The guy was originally asking $4500, but took $3200.

The only rust issue was a quarter sized rust hole in the passenger floor pan and two minor rust patches near the rear dog leg. I will be welding those up soon here (before paint), but no big deal. The frame rails were dented but no rust and in reasonable shape. The battery tray was clean.

The engine is a 260Z motor with high compression pistons that had just 5K miles on it. Still had cross hatching on cylinders when I popped the head. It also has a 5 speed trans and LSD, suspension package, Konig Rewinds, racing seat and racing wheel. All in very descent shape. The interior also was very nice. The guy also tossed in some beautiful stock seats, steering wheel and other parts.

The silver paint was faded, but I will be painting that here shortly. Now that I have the '73 (with flat tops!) running well, I will put the '71 in the garage and start stripping parts, removing motor and glass, welding holes and sanding smooth. Should take me about month. I will have Lance in OC do the paint for me.

Anyway, I am very happy with the '71. It was a very good deal and better than a lot of what I am seeing out there now.

As always, PATIENCE is the key.

Rich

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I did get my deposit back, I truly believe the owner didn't realize the car's condition, and I'm vouching for his honesty on the issue because he was honest enough to mail my deposit back to me so i could save the four-hour drive and fuel cost. Anyway...

I'll toss in a few points of what I'm looking for here too while I'm typing. I wrote a lot of this to BobC in regard to his question on whether my budget will work. Here goes:

- I completely understand that a 100% maintenance free z car is out of the question without getting ridiculous on the price.

- my budget can be substantially more than 3k; I was hoping to find my starting platform for about that price. See below.

- I completely understand that with 3k or there abouts I'm not going to find a car that doesn't require some sort of work and refurb.

- My goal is to start with a complete car that, even if it does have some of the tell-tale rust, has a sound frame and unit body that isn't going to disintegrate on me to the point of being unsafe as I get the thing running well and back to an enjoyable drivable state. Basically, if sheet metal will need replacement in the next few years as I plan for it and save for it, I'm alright with it if it means I can still continue to improve the car's drivability. Hopefully that makes sense...

- I'm ok with a car that maybe has an engine that won't start or even that needs a rebuild. That's the kind of work I enjoy most about a project car - engine/power train/suspension is my cup of tea.

- I don't plan on building a z with a 100% accurate everything. It will always have a straight 6 and one of the various interchangeable transmissions and thus always be a Datsun at heart, but things like racing seats, performance engine internals/carbs and suspension upgrades are a definite. Details like correct seats, flawless interior and correct carburetors aren't a big deal to me as I look for a car.

- Regardless of what color it is, it will eventually get repainted (properly) as I continue the project, but that will be much later, after I have a happily drivable car. Cosmetics, like flawless paint or even not original paint as long as the more recent paint isn't a result of a cover-up, are secondary as long as the above mentioned sheet metal is sound enough for me to have a working platform to start with.

- and a final point, I'm not opposed to a 260z or even a 280z if it's not newer than '75 so the smog exemption still holds. Oh, and no 2+2 cars.

I hope that helps a bit, I know everyone's taste is different so i figured I'd lay my own tastes out. Thanks for everyone's feedback, this board has already saved me tons of trouble!!

Edited by BTF/PTM

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