Jump to content

IGNORED

What should I do with my father in law's Z?


Recommended Posts

I have come into possession of my father-in-law's 1973 240Z. Phil bought the car new and drove it regularly for the first 20 years of its life. Since then it was my wife's high school ride, but has spent 15 or so years in a barn. It's a late 73 car (HLS30-151555), with relatively low miles (just over 72,000). Here's a link to some pics.

Phil is still with us, but he recently retired and has taken up cleaning out the barn and his other various storage areas as his new pastime. He knew I wanted to tinker with the Z, so a couple of weeks ago, it showed up in my garage. I'm certainly grateful, but I'm not sure I have the time or money to do the car justice.

The car runs and drives, though rough on both counts. I'm not interested in modding it up, or restoring it to showroom condition. My goal is to a weekend driver that's still capable of the kind of driving it was designed for. I'm reasonably proficient with cars, though I've never owned one with carburetors. I get the impression these car are relatively easy to work on, so I figure I'll dive in and see how it goes. I'm also going to try to document the project at phils240z.tumblr.com

I'd love to hear what you guys think about the car, and opinions on the most important tasks to start with in getting an old Z back into shape.

--Will Joyce, Stillwater, OK

post-26790-14150818298198_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great starting point you have - use the search box for educating yourself - get the ZTherapy CD on carbs - totally drain the gas tank - dump all the liquids - bleed the brake lines - have the radiator boiled and rodded. Start from scatch - don't try to do everything at once. One weekend read up on brakes and then knock that project out. Another weekend read up on dropping your gas tank and then do that. You'll be amazed on how much you can learn about these cars if you take little bites at it and keep your progress moving. Trust me - the search engine will be your best friend for many years to come.

Any of us will be happy to pitch in to assist (most of us have already battled the issues you will be addressing shortly).

Go ahead and order some fuel bowl gaskets from ZTherapy (you will need them). Inspect all your fuel lines (you will need to replace some that has dry rotted). New plugs are a must as well as points or upgrade to Pertronix electronic (that way you will not have to set points again - very plug and play).

Anyway that should get you started for a couple of weeks - keep us up to date on your family heirloom.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree that this is a great car to have fun with. Any idea why the rear interior panels are tan and the vinyl is white? The drivers side floor pan and floor rail will need to be replaced. Sounds like major surgery, but isn't on your car since only portions of metal need to be cut and welded, not the whole pan.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Will, Congratulations! It says a lot to get a man's daughter and now his Z! Holy Crap, you must be Superman!! Travel'n Man posted your to-do list. I am sorry to tell you that you have been bitten by the Z bug - Try and Resist You Cannot (Yoda).;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

You should give it to me....or you can put a little work into it and enjoy it, almost the way it is. It is one of my favorite factory color combinations. I started with a car in similar condition, and it was a joy, and a great reward, to bring back to life. I did it during a single Winter with some help from my dad. If you want some specific pointers, just ask. When you love a car, it's not work, it's bonding.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Will:

This is the type of car I love doing a refresh or full restoration on. Looks all stock and original - hasn't been mutilated by multiple previous owners. With 77K miles it is just now getting broken in. Of course Blue/White is my favorite color combo. Mine is a 72 and I have just under 80K miles on it.

I would say that your first task - and the highest priority - is to remove/stop any areas of rust. Rust is the major killer of these cars. To make them light weight - they were built with relatively thin sheet metal - once it starts to surface rust - the rust eats though the metal quickly.

So get out the wire wheels, wire brushes and sand paper - clean as much as you can off - then treat with OSPHO to kill the rust. Then prime/paint the spots. Do it now while many of them are small..

After that - I agree with the others - do small things one at a time. Keep it stock... drive it for a while on the weekends... If you are like so many of us - you'll wind up doing a full Refresh or even a Restoration and keeping it for the next generation...

FWIW,

Carl B.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting a car like this would be a dream. And I echo all my colleges advice. But promise me you will sit down and be realistic with your time and your money. Set aside a realistic budget for this car that matches your expectation of how you want to use it.

Deciding to work on a Z (or any classic car really) is like deciding to own a new puppy. It is a big commitment. IT will take time and money. If you are willing to give it that, then the rewards are spectacular. You got the car for free, so already you are about 6000 dollars ahead of the game. If you are willing to spend about that much now, you will have on your hands a very reliable driver. But lets be realistic. This car is approaching 40 years old.

It will need all the important rubber replaced. vacuum lines, fuel lines, most weather stripping, etc. Most bushings will be tired. But one thing at a time! Do not get overwhelmed. You will find most parts for the Z are relatively inexpensive compared to anything modern.

Start a Z journal. Write down everything you do. Write down fluid changes, dates, times, brands. Write down numbers, websites. Draw diagrams, take pictures and tape them in. I have almost 100 pages of such a journal documenting everytime a wrench touched my Z. I can go back and find out when and what I did, who I got parts from. This will serve you well.

I also recommend making a list starting with the fluid changes previously recommended. Try not to get overwhelmed and at any time ask any of us for help.

Also, prepare to get told to drop those flat top SU carbs you have and get some Ztherapy carbs. You will hear this more than once, and it is very good advice. :)

Best of luck buddy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

BOY PEOPLE ARE ALREADY GETTING INTO YOUR POCKET. Telling you how to spend your money. Do the minimum that you can but do what Carl said, and then the advice on the preventive maintenance. Get it running as best you can and then decide what you want to do with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil, I too have a late 73 blue with off-white interior. A beautiful combo. The off-white sometimes called parchment was not as white as earlier cars because the materials hade to be more flame retardant. Your Pop's care is a real gem and should be reconditioned for survivor class levels. Rich (Motoman7) is a real expert on this. He would recommend you keep the the car as it is and refresh it. Cars are only original once. I would I'M Rich and get his advice if I we're in your place. Don't forget to put your car in the Z Resgister the Mr Beck maintains. My 73 is the lastest entry for a 240 in the United States, there are 2 more behind me but they are in Europe. Good luck and enjoy the ride.

Edited by Montezuma
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't have the time take it to a mechanic and see what it needs to get running and driving right. It might be a tune up, tires, and some alignment. Do what it needs and drive it as a toy. It will last that way for years, not all of these need to be restored. There are a bunch of people that take them apart to restore and they never get them back on the road. Figure out what it needs to be drivable for a year, then drive it for that year before deciding to restore it.

That one year of driving can quickly turn into 5 years of driving it instead of 5 years in the garage as a project...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone for the advice and suggestions! I'll be sure to keep pestering you all with questions as I get into the project a bit more. My plan at this point: change all the fluids, flush the radiator, plugs/wires, then tackle a rebuild of the carbs.

Thanks again for all the help!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Phil,

That really looks like a great car there. With the low miles on it, you should have it for a long time. The original paint even looks very decent. One more thing, save every part that you take off on that baby. Especially those wire hose clamps. They are very hard to find and pricey when you do find them.

A lot of stuff can be cleaned up with some elbow grease and a good bench polisher with a wire wheel. Those clean-ups are pretty easy and virtually free.

My ’73 had flat tops (now sold :cry:) and it ran great. Usually the guys that are telling you to ditch them have never owned them, so ignore the noise. Mine ran great. An original ’73 is hard to find and it is a thing of beauty. And in my opinion, the more original the better.

Here are some before and after pics of my ’73 motor to give you a little motivation as you work on the motor.

Best regards,

Rich

post-19125-14150818407026_thumb.jpg

post-19125-14150818407641_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks to everyone for the advice and suggestions! I'll be sure to keep pestering you all with questions as I get into the project a bit more. My plan at this point: change all the fluids, flush the radiator, plugs/wires, then tackle a rebuild of the carbs.

Thanks again for all the help!

Motorman7(Rich) is a friend of mine and his advice was very solid. I drove that 73 from his place to the Westcoast Nationals in Motorsport Auto in Orange last year. It drove real nice, it looked awesome too. He had those flat-tops running great. Have fun and enjoy the ride.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Rich. Love the photos. That is good inspiration! I figure I'll give the flattops a chance. I'd like to keep it as original as possible. I'll probably order a rebuild kit from ZTherapy, as that seems to be the board's consensus on where to go for the SUs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.