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Thinking of buying a 280z...

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I want some opinions here if that would be cool, :)

I'm 20 (gonna be 21 soon) and I am considering this 1976 Datsun 280z .

I have a small job and a lot of time, going to community college with like 2 or 3 classes depending on semester.

Currently on the prowl for a new job, something for more money...

I know a lot about cars and love them (especially Z's), and my dad loves and knows how to work on cars (owns a 71' charger he built up) and would love to learn more about mechanics work on something with him.

Seriously considering auto technician school also if that helps.

I have $2,000+ or so saved up and I am earning more as we speak. I plan of using most of that money for a car or two. I'm thinking of getting a 280 Z and something else that's cheap transportation. I always have my parent's cars to use until I move out, and yes I put gas in them...

I am drawn to the 280 Z because I had the chance to buy one about two years ago and I didn't because it was in poor condition (but drivable) and salvaged title, also I had only about a $1000... and limited knowledge of the car.

I fell in love with the car and told myself I would buy one. (eventually...)

I plan to put love into it and money...

Maybe its sort of the same thing when women want babies men want cars...haha

Would love to hear some feedback before I make a solid decision.

Thanks everyone :)

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Welcome to the club.

A couple of places you can look through to gain knowledge.

Carl Becks site. Lots of good reading there. http://www.zhome.com/

And AtlanticZ is also a good place to read up on Zeds http://www.atlanticz.ca/index.php/tech-tips.html

I ended up with a 280Z not because I was really looking for a 280Z, but because it was the "most rust free" Zed I could find. Yes, even rust free Zeds have rust. Im not setup anymore to do major body work.

The first places I look for rust are:

Under the battery tray, frame rails both sides of the engine, reserve wheel tub, rear hatch deck, in behind front fender just in front of the door, rocker panel and doglegs behind door, floor pans and frame rails under the floor..

The 280Z has a primative EFI system which can be touchy if everthing is not working well. It doesn't have the "brains" of a mordern system to think for itself and compensate for failing sensors. Having said that, its a system that is easy to work on an can be reliable if you want to put the time into it. Lots of members here that like to tinker on this system and willing to offer advice.

I would try to find something that is driving ok, needs some work and as little rust a possible. No strange noises from the engine. Avoid someone elses abandoned project.

Well that a start. Others will pitch in;)


Edited by EuroDat
Link fixed

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Welcome, Nick!

It looks like a reasonably solid car. That would be a decent price here on the East Coast. I don't really know much about West Coast pricing. And of course I can't really assess the rust from the photos. I'm assuming it's doesn't have much. I think the fact that it's a daily driver in California (an emissions state) probably speaks well for it.

As Chas said, the EFI Z's are primitive, but you can get them running well enough. (Again, in California, it probably already IS running well enough pass emissions.) The problem with some of these systems is that they drift leaner with age, although this seems to be a problem more with '78 and possibly '77 models than anything. But if your ECU drifts, there's a simple electrical modification to tune it. You can also tune the airflow meter mechanically. And somewhere on the horizon, one of our list members is developing a modern, digital, drop-in replacement for our aging ECUs.

I presume you already know what you want, but I'll just point out that the 240, 260, and 280 each offer something a little bit different. There are threads you can search on this very subject (e.g. "240z vs. 280z"). There are good reasons to choose either, so pick what you like.

Oh, and I think you will find this is a very good list. It's a bit slower than some, but it's very civilized here. And we have a lot of very good people who know these cars quite well. This list is more into stock configurations. A list like hybridz is where you'd go if you want to go nuts with mods.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone :) I look forward to hearing more...

I expect a 30+ year old car to need work and its sort of the point of why I want one haha

I love cars that I could learn to work on, spend a lot of time on, give love to, learn about etc.

I don't need reliable transportation right now because I do have my parents cars to use if I need. Also I do plan on buying something cheap to drive (think saturn or honda who knows) past 96 for the maintenance ease.

Hopefully I get this new job and I can buy it :)

Over here in California I don't expect as much rust as the more rainy bits of the USA but Ill keep on the lookout,

seems people say stay away from rust and I can't agree more!

Also if I see one that needs a head-gasket should I stay away from it?

Thanks :)

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Hey Nick,

I am looking to sell my mostly stock 76 280Z.

It does runs but it is a project car. I'm in Mendocino County.

If you have any interest send me a PM (private message) for details

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