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Some advice for the new guy?

Turbo Boxer

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I've always loved the 240Zs but the thought of restoring one have only recently been financially feasible. I must admit that I don't know much about them and as you can tell...do not own one at this time.

I am currently looking for a 70', 71' 240Z and want to spend about $5k in acquiring it. After that, I will restore it slowly based on my budget and available funds.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Also, does anyone know of any 240Z car club in Northern California? I live in the SF Bay Area, and would really like to meet and talk with someone who has done the restoration.


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  • 1 month later...

You will benefit from looking at a variety of cars as well. Interior stuff is pretty costly and there are lots of parts. Parts for outside are not cheap either, but pretty much available. Some inside stuff is only available through more exotic channels (Bonzai Motorsport and such). Great products and service, but easily missed when searching.

Plan to see some cars and look at anything around to build your database. Then find something the matches the level of restoration you want to do.

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$5K should get you a pretty nice ride. I don't know what kind of resto. you had in mind, but most people will buy a junker for let say a $1K ( as long as it has a nice frame, and no major rust) and go from there. If you go all out and try to make a original car, get ready to shell out big bucks ($20K), and get yourself comiitted for one helluva project. Get a catalog from Motorsport Auto http://www.zcarparts.com they have lots of things for the Z. Lots of people have done restos. from the ground up, and if you want to see some killer Z's, plan a trip down to Motorsport Auto next Year to see their car show. It will be enlightening if you have not gone before.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You should be able to get a nice car considering your location.

Look for the following things in the car.

1. Exhaust smell in the car especially with the window slightly cracked.

2. Smell of raw fuel in the car, either when the car has been sitting or under hard acceleration

3. Look for rust under the battery tray, fender and under the drivers seat.

Just a few of the most common problems you will see. A motorsport cat. is a must. British motorsport also has a cat. as well.

You will love the car. I am not an expert, but have slowly been restoring my 72 240Z. If I can be of help e-mail me at minggao@optonline.net

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Turbo Boxer:

You didn't mention your abilities with regard to bodywork, mechanical, electrical etc. This, in my opinion, is a strong factor in deciding whether or not to get a less than perfect car.


If you are totally ignorant on body working, I would pass on anything requiring pulling dents, replacing metal, repairing rust, broken doors, etc etc. The amount of money you would have to spend to get these items taken care of piece by piece in a body shop would put a nice down payment on a house, maybe even in the SF area. If you were to pick up one of these, I would recommend you take it right to the best body shop you can find and give them lots of money and carte blanche to effect whatever needs repairs etc. Expensive, you bet, but not as much as doing it a little at a time. Granted, if your budget doesn't mind $1k every other month for the next couple years, as opposed to $8k right now, then go for it. :D

Mechanical and Electrical ability, again the same advice applies. Although with mechanical, you can find a good mechanic that will fix your car to what you want. However, if you are planning on doing an engine transplant, turbo install, Nitrous, oil cooler, etc etc, then you might have the same problem as with the body work above.

Electrical experience? Sounds simple, well, unfortunately the Z cars are notorious for their electrical problems. Look at some of the posts here and at zcar.com and you will see that even some of the so called "guru's" are also baffled about some of the problems reported. Granted some of the people could use a course in how to write, let alone how to describe their problem.

(Descriptions such as: Yesterday I got in my car, put the key in, turned it real SLOW, and all of a sudden PSSSSST!! and smoke came out of the fuse box area and the ignition. Now the car won't start, any ideas as to what could be wrong?)


The kind of experience you have will determine if you need to look at a car that has already had someone spend the time and money to get it past the trouble spots, or if you want to tackle a frame that needs metal replacing along several rust lines, a wire harness swap due to a bad stereo install as well as fixing an aborted turbo swap into a 240 while still maintaining the original 240 tach but yet using the 79 distributor.

If you're looking to get into a Z quickly, and be able to drive it all over the place in a relatively short frame of time, i.e. like buy it now and be done with it this summer, then I would suggest you look around and get a car that has had a lot of work already done to it. The amount of money and TIME you will save in the long run will definitely offset your investment now. If however, you don't mind having it be a Garage Queen for weeks / months at a time, then go for restoring one. :cool:

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Guest 240 Al

I totally agree with John Coffey about the book he mentioned.I got it

for Christmas.I wish I had gotten it two years ago.It would've saved me 20 times it's price!Also look the cars over closely.A lot of times they're being because of rust.I looked at lot of them.One in particular looked really nice till I pushed up on the passenger floor pan and almost put my hand through it.He wanted $2500. Rust damage can be very costly to deal with. 240 Al

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Now that you understand rust/electrics etc. I would add find a car that runs and is driveable.Once I found a 71,no motor. Iwished and wished the guy would sell it to me.I had a motor. Well,I got it.Bad relays, bad brakes,power brake booster,heat fan,radiator.What wasn't bad was not working due to inactivity as the car had been sitting for 3 years.I learned the hard way,be careful what you wish for and get a car that moves!!!It's also more fun to drive one at least a little during the resto.Dragging one home and feeding it money and time for years without even a taste of fun gets old fast.There are reasonable priced driver out there.Just don't get in a hurry.Each one you check out makes youa little smarter next time.And that my friend will save you time and money.

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