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Jake54

is it worth it?

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Hey guys I'm brand new to the forums. I've been wanting to get an S30 for a while now just haven't been able to find one for the right price. I just wanted to get your opinions on this car I'm looking at. Looking at the add he obviously doesn't like people asking about rust on his car but says the frame is good and the car will run. Is it worth it? Body work and stuff I can deal with I just don't know how much structural damage there might be without actually getting to look at it myself and I'm pretty far away from where he is at. Any help would be appreciated thank you.

https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/cto/5623188033.html

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Possibly, these cars are appreciating rapidly so project cars are getting a lot more expensive. This would have been a couple of hundred bucks 5 years ago. This is a serious project though!!!! You need to figure there is twice the rust than what you can see. If you're up for the welding work and have the money, time and resources by all means. Really good floor boards are available from Charles Osbourne. The battery tray metal is not available after market. I would find a donor car for that metal, at least the battery tray. I have fabricated that metal under the battery tray and it is hard to make from flat sheet metal...

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Well I like a challenge as long as it is something that I can fabricate and work on myself. My only concern would be money when it comes to where I find a big problem that I wouldn't be able to fix without some pre-made parts. Otherwise I have no problem with taking the time to work on it. I'd rather drive something that I've worked on. Thanks for the quick reply also.

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Do you have the tools to do this kind of work? A good place to work? A good welder? How limited are your funds? The floor boards are $300 or so. The battery cut will be close to a $100 probably. Then there is a lot more to spend money on, so don't get into this if you won't have several thousand to invest in this on top of the car cost, at least to get it driveable. I am sure there will be lots of surprises. The doors are shot. I would suspect the rockers need work, the dog legs, rear wheel wells possibly...I would not trust his description for the front frame rails either

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Doesn't look terrible.  Says it has clean title and plates.  Sounds like he might take a lower offer.  You might ask about the fiberglass - " PUT THE TAILIGHTS BACK IN WITH A LITTLE FIBERGLASSING ".

What are your plans is the question.  Engine swap hot-rod?  Restore for car shows?  Ratty daily driver?

Towing to Vancouver might be costly.  Which Couve?

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I mainly want it for a daily driver, it doesn't need it to be show car quality. If I were to get it I would drive up with a trailer and pick it up. And yeah I didn't think I was going to trust what he says the condition the frame is in. I suspected at the least there was still going to be some work to be done on it.

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People are asking about the rust because he is only showing a little bit here and there, I'll bet there is a LOT more.

With all the fiberglass on the rockers and rear end is impossible to tell what is solid or not, also there is no frame on these cars regardless of what he says, it's all connected. Be careful when you go look at it, check the doglegs thoroughly. The engine is basically worthless for resale, you can't give away 2.4L engines and the 5 spd tranny is worth about $300 so no, the engine and tranny aren't worth what he is asking for the whole car.

If you go see the car maybe take some pics of the areas that he isn't showing, we would love to see them, good luck. Oh, and welcome to the forum, lots of good info and people here.

Chris

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Thanks guys for all the input I really appreciate it. He says he only has time on Saturdays so I have time to think on it.

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 There's too much wrong with it for that price.  Don't get in a hurry to buy a Z. You'll spend far less time and money and be on the road sooner if you use the money that would have gone into this one to get one in better shape. Many sheet metal parts are available but it is very discouraging when you open a Z up and find the rust keeps going and going. The battery area rust could and probably does include the firewall and the front frame rail. I also don't trust bondoed flares and such mods. They can hide rusted out quarter panels. Also the flex and twist in these bodies will crack thick Bondo. That said, I would consider it if it didn't have the flairs.

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There's a lot of rust that we can see and I'm sure there's more that we don't see. Those side skirts are usually installed to hide rusty rockers. It looks like in pic #11 there's some filler above the left tail light. Has anyone ever seen a blower motor housing that rusty? Sandblasting the roof may have caused warping. I wonder how the rust is in the door jams and cowl. The engine/trans would probably sell for $500-1000 as-is. Maybe less based on how he presents himself. Since fixing the rust is "SIMPLE" maybe he'll fix it for you. LOL

Chuck

 

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offer $750. if he says no, walk away. the only thing i see that looks good is the dash, and it looks like it is capped

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Just judging from the amount of time/effort he's put into it so far I'll bet that he was just like you when he started the project and soon discovered how much more work was involved and the project went underwater quickly.  Not only would you have to repair the stuff in the photos (plus more unseen stuff), I'm thinking you will probably have to re-do everything he has done also.  When I hear fiberglass, that means holes. My preference would be holes replaced with new panels or at least metal patches when possible.  Plus, I would really have to love those flares to try to save them, more work.   In my opinion 2K is too much for this particular Z.  I think you can find one for a little more money (maybe the same) that requires a lot less work if you keep looking. If you are local to the car, I would at least go put my eyes on it and make a cash offer then. Just not anything near 2K.

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I wouldn't touch it.  These Craigslist Dreamers crack me up with their claims of "surface rust" and "the frame's fine".  

That car is a complete basket case.  You can see where the firewall has rusted completely through under the battery tray. It has also rusted into the wheel well.  From there the rust will extend down into the frame and the rail under the passenger floor is going to be shot.  The rocker panels are also going to be shot.  Those bolt on ground effects are hiding something.  Unless you have another $20K sitting around to restore this car then don't even bother.  The next stop for this car is going to be the junkyard.  

I'm not trying to sound like a jerk and I hope I don't come off that way.  This car is not a good candidate for restoration.  

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Just to pile on some more...his ad's been up for 2 months; it's obviously not worth $2000.  Z prices are going up, but quite nice ones are still selling for only $15-20k -- they'll need to get quite a bit higher still for people to start paying for rust buckets.  With the market where it is now, I think he has a parts car and he should be happy to get half what he's asking.

Also, he sounds like kind of a jerk.

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This is one that is going to break your heart and your wallet - stay away.  Try to dial back your emotions about wanting a Z so badly and let your logic and common sense kick in.  Rule #1 on these cars: buy the best body you can find and afford, everything else is bolt-on and can be fixed.

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Ok I will take your guys advice I'm sure you guys have much more experience with these cars then I do. I'll just keep keep looking for now one will pop up eventually.

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When you find another candidate by all means post it up in this thread and we will try to point you in the right direction...

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A lot like the first one though, isn't it?  L28 instead of L24, triple Weber instead of double, but bodywise, the same questions.  Even the same color. Welded diff, "upgraded" brakes that don't work.  Twice the price.  Not seeing a huge difference.

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The triples are much more desirable than the downdrafts. If the rust repair has already been done then this car is further ahead. Also no concerns over flairs and fiberglassing in quarter panels and tail lights. Is more costly though...

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Similar...yes, at least some of the body work is done. How well would still need to be seen in person. 

The engine could easily be replaced with a stock L24, if so desired for a reasonable cost. if one was looking for a more stock car, his mods sound decent if that is what your after. 

Although not numbers matched of course.  a lot of the "mods" could be put back as all these stock parts seem to be readily available from the guys that do mod their cars. 3.36 diffs are easy to find. The soft brakes might just be he put the calipers on the wrong sides?? Who knows. Bad M/C? Vacuum leak??

Until you look at it in person you never really know,  as for price cash is king. Make an offer and see where it goes. 

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Grannyknot I'll keep my eye on it. He says he will post more pictures so I'll look at those. One thing I noticed and wonder about is why are the majority of ads seem to up by Seattle. I'm not sure if that is really true or just for some reason those are the ones that just keep catching my eye but it seems like it.

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