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jimmyjayt

Buying 1975 280z and have some questions!

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Hello! Im looking at buying a 1975 280z. I found one for sale for $5500. Its a 75 280z with a 4 speed manual. 76000 miles on original motor. I got to test drive the car today. All of the gears work well, it shifts really smoothly and drives really well. Headlights and side lights were just replaced, blinkers work just fine. Gauges are all there and work. A/c isnt working but thats normal. 

Problems: 
1. the driver seat is a little rough
2. theres no carpet
3. The car drives just fine up until about 3500 rpm and then struggles. Owner said he adjusted the timing and it helped a little but the problem is still there. I would like to know if this is potentially a big issue or just something like a fuel pump or timing issue. About how much ballpark would it cost to fix this issue?
4. There are two small patches of rust in both front wheel wells. The rust isnt visible unless you peak in behind the wheel. It has been treated with rust proofing spray as a temporary fix. There is no rust on anything structural or on the exterior of the body or on the floor of the car. 

I would like to buy this car with the intent on fixing it up a bit and then selling it. Is 5500 or a bit less a good price that would leave me room to fix the car and turn a profit? If i can fix the motor problem and do up the interior a bit whats a normal price for this car?

Thanks!

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I'm sure we can help with all of these issues. But first, what's our cut of the profit when we flip this baby?

Chuck

 

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If your hearts not in keeping the car but in only flipping it, walk away. The rust is there, you just haven't seen it yet. The motor issues may or may not resolve quickly or easily and at $5500 for an unrestored 280, there won't be a lot left for you after all the issues are fixed.
My advice? Leave it for an enthusiast as is.... flip something else

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" 4. There are two small patches of rust in both front wheel wells. The rust isnt visible unless you peak in behind the wheel. It has been treated with rust proofing spray as a temporary fix. There is no rust on anything structural or on the exterior of the body or on the floor of the car.  "

This points to a larger issue.  I don't believe that there is "no rust on anything structural..."  There will be rust inside the frame rails and rockers.  Doglegs are probable shot.  This is probably a respray deal.  You won't be doing the flipping, you are probably being flipped.  I could be wrong... post pictures.  

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2 hours ago, wheee! said:

If your hearts not in keeping the car but in only flipping it, walk away. The rust is there, you just haven't seen it yet. The motor issues may or may not resolve quickly or easily and at $5500 for an unrestored 280, there won't be a lot left for you after all the issues are fixed.
My advice? Leave it for an enthusiast as is.... flip something else

The plan is the flip a couple cars so I can get some cash on the side, learn more about these cars and hopefully earn enough to get myself one and do it up myself 

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1 hour ago, ksechler said:

" 4. There are two small patches of rust in both front wheel wells. The rust isnt visible unless you peak in behind the wheel. It has been treated with rust proofing spray as a temporary fix. There is no rust on anything structural or on the exterior of the body or on the floor of the car.  "

This points to a larger issue.  I don't believe that there is "no rust on anything structural..."  There will be rust inside the frame rails and rockers.  Doglegs are probable shot.  This is probably a respray deal.  You won't be doing the flipping, you are probably being flipped.  I could be wrong... post pictures.  

Here's the rust patches. These are older pictures and the spots have since been treated so they don't spread. When I saw the car in person I looked closely everywhere in the engine bay, all over the body, under the car at the floorboards, frame rails etc and did not find any more rust. This car was supposedly garage kept for most of its life but it's here in Salt Lake City so the rust is practically unavoidable. I'm also curious as to what these cars are worth if they run and drive well with low miles, have nice interiors, and decent paint just so I can get an idea of what the market for these cars looks like. I have to say driving this car was a thrill and I fell in love immediately and cannot wait to be able to look for one to just keep for myself. 

IMG_3394.JPG

IMG_3395.JPG

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3 hours ago, grannyknot said:

You are most likely not going to see a profit but you will learn a lot about these cars which is great fun and worth every penny. 

That's kind of what I'm hoping for. I've been wantin one of these cars for a long time and I figure maybe if I can flip a couple I could possibly make some money on the side I can use to put into my own z in the future and learn what to look out for when purchasing one for myself and learn how to work on them and what not. 

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You would learn a lot about these cars but there will be no money to be made flipping this one.

Both shocks shown are gone. Fluid has leaked out. That means the brake hoses are rotten as well.

Then go to rear and repeat. Then paint and detail your work. Then fix engine issues. We have not even seen the engine compartment.

Or the interior for that matter. Maybe a good car to fix and keep. But to flip? Run away and run fast. IMO.

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If I were you I'd try to find a way to keep this one. You need to make new "triangle" braces to replace the rusted ones. I've done it several times. Cut out all of that rust, make an inner fender patch and then weld on the "triangles" over them like the factory did. From what little I see of the car I think it's going to be pretty solid.

Chuck

 

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21 minutes ago, Lumens said:

You would learn a lot about these cars but there will be no money to be made flipping this one.

Both shocks shown are gone. Fluid has leaked out. That means the brake hoses are rotten as well.

Then go to rear and repeat. Then paint and detail your work. Then fix engine issues. We have not even seen the engine compartment.

Or the interior for that matter. Maybe a good car to fix and keep. But to flip? Run away and run fast. IMO.

Just put up some photos of the car. I don't have one of the interior but I did get to sit in it in person and it was all there except the carpet and radio. The passenger seat was in good shape but the driver seat had a tear. 

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42 minutes ago, cbuczesk said:

If I were you I'd try to find a way to keep this one. You need to make new "triangle" braces to replace the rusted ones. I've done it several times. Cut out all of that rust, make an inner fender patch and then weld on the "triangles" over them like the factory did. From what little I see of the car I think it's going to be pretty solid.

Chuck

 

I throw some pics of the car up for a better idea of what I'm lookin at

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Car does not appear to have A/C... that why it doesn't work. The dash controls say A/C on all the cars...

That rust will be bad. I just repaired that area and it is not pretty or easy. A patch will not last. I removed rotted patches from my 76...

Look through my thread. You will see a fairly nice 280 turn into a monster restoration. I will be into the car for 35 - 40,000 $ by the time I am done and I am doing all my own work. If someone did a small amount of work and tried to flip the car I would not even look at it for purchase as I would have to undo all the "patches" which is more work than doing it right to begin with. Flip a couple of newer generic cars to make some money, pocket the profit and buy a car like this one for a reasonable amount and do a proper repair or restoration. You will spend up a lot more than the purchase price to make this one a keeper. Be prepared. Make a budget, estimate all that you need to fix, check it three times.... then double it.

I'm not saying this car is not a good starting point, it's just not a good car to "flip". Most people are not looking for a classic car to just drive as is at this price point. They are going to look at purchasing it and improving it. Unless they are very wealthy and are buying a completed restoration at a corresponding price point. If it has obviously been "patched" and flipped, I would rather have the rust to deal with myself. I am currently dealing with that same issue on mine. Poorly done repairs that now require more work to repair properly.

Edited by wheee!

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Check this post for more detail of the repair required for the area you have rusted out.

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That rust is bad.  That is the inside of the motor compartment frame rail you're looking at.  The rust will extend down into the frame rail under the floors even if you can't see it.  The rockers will also have issues (and the dog legs).  I don'k think the car is a good choice for what you're planning.  Look at my thread and look at wheee's.  We went through similar restorations although I finished last August.  You'll be able to see all of the places these cars typically rust.  This car is as bad as what we worked with and in hindsight I would have passed my car by and picked another.  I just didn't know better at the time.  

 

 

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 Unless you're prepared to pay top dollar, there will always be rust to deal with. Some rusted areas are easier to deal with than others. Flat panels (floor pan patch) are relatively easy but the compound curve of the fender well under the battery is a tough one to replicate. Also, when you get into the edges of the panels where they overlap adjacent panels and are welded to other panels, things get very difficult. The rust just keeps going and going. Those two rusted areas on the 280 are a good example. 

 

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32 minutes ago, jimmyjayt said:

Thanks a lot for the advice everyone! I'll probably hold off on this one and wait for one that isn't rusty. 

Rust was not a factory option, it was standard feature... very very very hard to find a rust free Datsun anywhere.

This is actually not a bad car to restore. It looks very complete and has been re-sprayed at least once. Bodywork will be hidden of course but @ksechler hit it on the head, you will find more rust for sure. Expect it. It is just not a good car to flip. Flipping would be best for a car you pick up for next to nothing in good to fair shape and sell immediately to someone looking to do a restoration for a reasonable profit. Selling this car to someone as a daily driver that has no mechanical skills, or is not prepared to become a Datsun expert, is not a good plan.

Buy this one, store it, flip a bunch of domestic grocery getters and put that money into making this your dream car. These are getting hard to find in good shape and yours is a good candidate for a rebuild.

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Jimmy, listen to what these boys are telling you, I think everyone of us that have posted in your thread have restored at least one rusty Z and some of us more than one. Don't try to flip this car, buy it and keep it, fix it properly, if you can find a rust free Z in the future you will pay through the nose for it. This one is very fixable and affordable.

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Jim, I live just down the state from you in Saint George and have been watching KSL and Craigslist pretty close for the past 3 years. From what I have seen this car isn't a very good deal at all. Haha I think that the other two for $6000 are a better deal than this one, although I haven't looked at them.

1977 Datsun 280Z http://www.ksl.com/auto/listing/3538177

1978 Datsun 280Z http://www.ksl.com/auto/listing/3580844

I traveled to New Mexico to get my z and I think I can be confident in saying that I got one of the best deals on a z you can find. I think you should definitely hold off from this one and just keep watching for them, one will come up eventually. And from watching the market I think the z's would be a pretty difficult car to flip here. Everyone is asking insane prices and there ads stay up for months. If you find a good deal on one I say keep it, it might take quite a while before you find another one. (And just a tip for when you are shopping on KSL, type Datsun in general as well as the cars section. You would be surprised how often people put there daily z's in there)

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11 minutes ago, idgemartin said:

Jim, I live just down the state from you in Saint George and have been watching KSL and Craigslist pretty close for the past 3 years. From what I have seen this car isn't a very good deal at all. Haha I think that the other two for $6000 are a better deal than this one, although I haven't looked at them.

1977 Datsun 280Z http://www.ksl.com/auto/listing/3538177

1978 Datsun 280Z http://www.ksl.com/auto/listing/3580844

I traveled to New Mexico to get my z and I think I can be confident in saying that I got one of the best deals on a z you can find. I think you should definitely hold off from this one and just keep watching for them, one will come up eventually. And from watching the market I think the z's would be a pretty difficult car to flip here. Everyone is asking insane prices and there ads stay up for months. If you find a good deal on one I say keep it, it might take quite a while before you find another one. (And just a tip for when you are shopping on KSL, type Datsun in general as well as the cars section. You would be surprised how often people put there daily z's in there)

Im starting to feel that way too. I think im going to let it pass. I really appreciate everyones advice on here!

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Somebody added a/c to that car at sometime. That's not how the factory routed the a/c lines. I don't find that inner fender rust to be that big of a deal. But I've been working on Zs for 30 years so that probably helps. Look at the rest of that inner fender. It looks really solid to me. That makes me think that the car might be pretty good. Check the battery tray area, frame rails, floors, rear wheel arches, dog legs and rockers. The thing that puts me off is the black engine bay. Fixing that means remover all the crap from the engine bay and there's a lot of it on a 280Z.

Chuck

 

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