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MBman

1978 280Z 2+2 - The Saga Begins

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    So the saga begins, with some reservation on my part - the fame rail rust and underbody rust is significant . Interestingly she has NO rust from the rockers up save for a little bubble here and there the interior in nearly perfect, only a small tear on the drivers seat. Headliner, dash – perfect. No rust on strut towers, none around rear hatch. Carpet is sun faded but not torn, window rubber seals look good, no leaks that I can tell. The sides of this car have no parking lot dings, it is a solid straight body

    She runs great, even with old tired tires , starts with a flick of the key , tranny feels fine, clutch and brakes – good. Engine pulls strong, no smoke, does not leak

    Has 68,000 original miles

    Steering is heavy at slow speeds but may be related to a lack of grease and bad tires. Has a brand new muffler system. I pulled the interior out and found the passenger side in great shape, but the drivers side is sad looking, multiple holes and where the rail is underneath is pretty much gone. The cross members where the seat bolts are in good shape. Back seat area floor is good and solid

    So what to do, I would love some thoughts on this. I would really hate to part this car, but the underside is scary. I think I could deal with the body side panels . I have no worries about any of the rest of the car.

    If it were you –what would you do - where would you start ???

    I have very little in this car so far , I have no idea if it is collectible.

    If its like the old MB’s , they are a labor of love, no real return in investment, and in reality that is not my intent. I know this will cost $$ to fix, the question is how much? My goal is to have a vintage Z to drive. Not looking for show quality here

    Here is the story in pictures

    http://s248.photobucket.com/albums/gg189/meltedpanda/280Z/

    here are some of the most telling

    THE GOOD

    SV300204.jpg

    SV300206.jpg

    SV300194.jpg

    SV300187.jpg

    THE BAD

    SV300215.jpg

    SV300180.jpg

    THE UGLY

    SV300213.jpg

    SV300211.jpg

    SV300219.jpg

    SV300221.jpg

    Thanks in advice for your thoughts and time

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    If you like 2+2's and you are good with a welder, go for it. Looks like it's been painted before, like someone bondo'd over that rust on the bottom. the 2+2 car's aren't that desirable. I would have to be attached to that car to fix it personally.

    If you want a 2+2, there is one close buy for sale that I could stop and take a look at for you. Seems to be pretty clean on the drive by. It's in ballardsville.

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    well I have been thinking - alot - as they say, and I believe this is a parts car, sad as it may sound, it has a perfect interior and a great engine, upper body as I said is pretty spotless, where and how would one part or sell this car whole??

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    well I have been thinking - alot - as they say, and I believe this is a parts car, sad as it may sound, it has a perfect interior and a great engine, upper body as I said is pretty spotless, where and how would one part or sell this car whole??

    thanks

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    There are very few parts from this model that would fit a early model S30. Maybe the Hatch, Hood, some glass and odds and ends. But it would not be period correct. The fact that it is a 2+2 does not help things either - not because it is a 2+2, but because the dimensions are different (longer).

    From the pics, certainly it could be fixed. A clean - restored 2+2 is always cool to see. The work could be done in phases so that it is affordable and not as overwhelming. Frame Rail and Pan rust are just part of the deal with old cars. This car is not a dog and parts are available. The Fender could be replaced easily enough and the lower wheel well is available too. The fact that the top side is solid and the engine has low mileage is definitely a plus. Perhaps you could get a Body Shop estimate...

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    The fact that the top side is solid and the engine has low mileage is definitely a plus. Perhaps you could get a Body Shop estimate...

    Thanks for that information, I figured that but just wanted to know

    I am wavering on, it is just too nice to part out , I did call some shops, none are really interested , I am still working that angle. What would be tough is getting to the work, I would think it would have to at least be on a rack or on its side. If I build a rotisseri, I'd have to remove engine and drive train and such, which is beyond my capabilities. I realize this could be a 3-4,000$ rebuild , IF I do most of it myself, and that could be an underestimate. So in part that in itself is something to consider

    If I do decide to bail , I would try to sell it whole to someone trying to restore one like it,anyone know what is might be worth in this condition . I figure the low mileage engine is worth at least $600 , brand new muffler system - another $100:classic:.

    I dont have a lot in it

    Thanks , keep the comments coming , I have tough skin..:)

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    Given your last comments, I would look to sell it -Maybe on eBay. You could free up some cash for another Z project.

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    Studying the photos I'm struck by the disparity of top to underneath condition. Top side and interior shots look like a repectable candidate for a long and loving life. The underneath shots, however, looks like the poor thing has been pulling trollies in a salt mine it's entire life.

    Just for conversation here's what I'd do AFTER GOING OVER THE ENTIRE OUTSIDE WITH A MAGNET, strip it and get it to a media blasted and have everything underneath aggressively blasted with garnet just to see what is left. Garnet should take any of the questionable steel to the happy hunting ground leaving you with a really clear picture of what needs to be done, knowing at that time exactly where the "sound steel" exists.

    Replacing 3/4 of a floor pan isn't that much more involved than replacing a 1/4 if you follow my drift.

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    me too, and that is whay is so depressing about the whole deal , but I think the decison it to sell it , I do not have the resources or the space to do what needs to be done, I think the deal is the guy stored it on a dirt floor. That is my guess . My attraction , other than the Z heritage itself was the engine ( I am very familiar having worked on vintage Benz cars , with the system) the low miles, and the low take home price. Its not in the way so I will work on getting the word out . IF you know anyone looking , let me know . I am hoping for $1000 or BO as is.

    thanks everyone - any other pearls of wisdom, let me know.

    Edited by MBman

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