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1 hour ago, Dave WM said:

prob 118k or 218k unless there is documentation to support 18k, the odometer only went to 99,999 before restarting. 

Yep, the likelihood of that 280Z having only covered 18k miles is pretty small.  Unless there’s documentation, assume at least 118k miles.  As siteunseen mentioned, look at the wear on the rubber covers for the pedals.  At 18k miles, they should look close to brand new.  Of course, new rubber covers can be purchased.  Another clue on mileage...look at the driver’s side of the transmission tunnel, where the driver’s foot would rub up against it.  Does the carpet there look newish, or worn?

Of the choices presented, I would lean towards the 280Z, and perhaps you can talk the seller down some.  No harm in trying.  Also, unless you feel confident in your ability to inspect the car thoroughly, I’d recommend you make the purchase contingent upon a successful pre-purchase inspection at an independent shop familiar with Z cars.  Do you have one in the area where the car is located?  Plan on spending a little of your budget to get the inspection.  The goal is to buy your dream car, not one that ends up being a nightmare!

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He said it has documentation up to 16 or 17k mi. Perhaps that is because the other 100k disappeared. I’ll have to see the documents myself to determine the years, and look at the pedals ;). But the 3 that I have are in disrepair. The last one to run was about 20 years ago. The other to even longer. None of them are really missing parts so I think I could get things that might need from them. The 240 is sadly far too rusted to do anything with. The 2 280s have far less rust, but there is still some visible rust. I believe the floor pans are still there, though some rust in on them. Some rust at the sills and the battery trays are essentially gone. The spare compartments are intact but have surface rust. Visible surface rust where chips in the pair were, etc. So I don’t really know. Plus, they are 12hrs away, so it’s not as easy for me to use one of them directly at the moment anyway. If any of them were pristine, it would be worth it to get it shipped down, but in there current state it’s not worth it. I don’t know. I just really want to get something started, or I worry I never will. I’ve had those 3 for about 3 years now, and nothing has come of them due to lack of funds. Now I am making enough that I think I can start to get something going though. Also, as I am somewhat new to this area, is there anyone in the community from Florida that might have a suggestion of a mechanic that is knowledgeable in Z’s for a PPI or any other help?

 

Thank you to everyone for commenting by the way. It’s really nice to see that people would actually be decent enough to consider helping me. I truly appreciate it.

 

 

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Start looking outside of Florida and the coastal states. You will have to go get it or ship it but much better to have a lot less rust!

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That 240 shell and the rusty 260 sold since yesterday. Pretty surprised about the 260 at least. It had only been for sale since Thursday. But I actually found a 260 about 4hrs away. Supposedly no rust, and has had the underside coated. Now is that to cover up rust, or as a preventative, I don’t know haha. It looks on the exterior to be pretty sweet. Gunmetal paint, plus a carbon fiber hood and possibly suspension work? Says it runs well also. The only bad part is it’s auto...

 

IMG_1552.thumb.jpg.2f4ddac07515892a85d4bc07a2ffd23b.jpgIMG_1550.thumb.jpg.8566f30aed88add16b6cae38a8955c67.jpg

IMG_1551.thumb.jpg.c12e74bf7684b9e42f15345151b4c016.jpgIMG_1553.thumb.jpg.44252ac45501581378a49c3487094572.jpg

 

 

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The automatic transmission is fairly easy to overcome.

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there is no way of knowing without going to see it in person, bring a magnet, get under it, take it for a test drive. Right off I can see its missing the cowl piece, not a big deal, just one more thing that will need to be looked into. If nothing else you see Zs pop up so you don't have to take whats out there RIGHT NOW. And yes you will have to do some traveling esp if you are in a hurry. Door panels can be gotten, not sure about 260's

 

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The automatic transmission is fairly easy to overcome.

What about cost though? I am not able to do the work myself.


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trans will be 150-1200 all depends on if you get one from a junk yard or rebuilt.

clutch prob 400

getting a pedal box and installing it... wild guess 500

 

 

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[quote post="578673" timestamp="1561834752" name="Dave WM" Right off I can see its missing the cowl piece, not a big deal, just one more thing that will need to be looked into.
 

I have 3 of those ;)
Assuming they are interchangeable. I do not however have door panels for a 260. Only 240 and 280.


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yes cowls are no big deal, things like interior can be a problem. I still stand by the idea of saving more money and getting something closer to already done and as stock as possible.

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I always wonder about project cars, I see filled panels (no bumpers) stripped out interior, why was the project stopped, if its does not take a lot to complete it, why not finish and then sell.

I would much rather find a car that was completed, done right, and pay more than an incomplete project.

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The other piece of this, is you may need to learn to be your own mechanic. These cars are pretty simple. Most of us on this site are better classic Z car mechanics than most modern mechanics. Also these cars need attention and paying a professional for that gets expensive, and you are obviously on a budget.

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I am not worried about interiors. I could live with a restomod type thing until the days when I can truly afford a pristine example. I am not opposed to learning about the mechanic side of things whatsoever, I just lack the tools and space right now to really start. But I agree, I am going to save as much as I can.


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Oh, I also forgot. I have the transmissions on my other cars. So assuming that are in ok shape I could just get it installed?
My parts cars are all essentially intact.


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ok maybe I missed something you have z parts cars? what is the deal with them?

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I got them when I was still in college. None of them run. 72 240, and a 76 and 78 280. All have engines and transmissions. All panels etc. the 240 is just sadly too rusted to do anything with. The 280s are decent actually, but I would prefer to start with something that’s in better shape. They were in a barn for 20+ years. However, they are about 12hrs away at a family members place. I could always use them for parts, but it wouldn’t be feasible to get one shipped down here when I don’t truly know what it will take it get them going, not to mention to repair any rust.


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18 hours ago, LucarelliZ said:

But the 3 that I have are in disrepair. The last one to run was about 20 years ago. The other to even longer. None of them are really missing parts so I think I could get things that might need from them. The 240 is sadly far too rusted to do anything with. The 2 280s have far less rust, but there is still some visible rust. I believe the floor pans are still there, though some rust in on them. Some rust at the sills and the battery trays are essentially gone. The spare compartments are intact but have surface rust. Visible surface rust where chips in the pair were, etc. So I don’t really know.

You have a budget. The 3 Z's you have you have indicated are basically donors, at best, otherwise you would have embarked on fixing at least the best of the three. 

The cars you have in storage could be donors for your (and others) projects.

Maybe others can add to this list. Interchangeability of parts  - Off the top of my head:

    Doors changed in 1977 model year. Only 1977-78 are interchangeable with each other. Unsure about the 2+2 models.

    Bumpers for 1977-1978 were the same. 1974, 1975 and 1976 were year specific and can be modified to fit other years - not that you would want to.

   Introduction of EFI in 1975 - Most parts are interchangeable, however, each year had particular changes in the wiring diagram.

Others can help you narrow down on what to strip off your inventory, and others may be interested in the carcass to be able to get their project on the road - a win win. You can add money to your budget by selling off what you really don't need, but it sounds like you already have the hoarding disease..... As do I and so many others.... LOL:beer:

This may help you narrow down on finding what you really want, and have spares for.

Good Luck.

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By doors do you mean the panel on the interior or the exterior?


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4 minutes ago, LucarelliZ said:

By doors do you mean the panel on the interior or the exterior?


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Everything!

If you already have a donor, then I would go with the 240z or the least rusted Z you can find. You are way ahead of most people as you have a selection of spare parts. Do you live in an apartment? You don't need a shop or garage to do most of this work. If you have a driveway and your local government will leave you alone much of this could be done there, provided it won't get stolen.

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Everything!
If you already have a donor, then I would go with the 240z or the least rusted Z you can find. You are way ahead of most people as you have a selection of spare parts. Do you live in an apartment? You don't need a shop or garage to do most of this work. If you have a driveway and your local government will leave you alone much of this could be done there, provided it won't get stolen.

So by door you mean the whole door assembly, panels and all?
The 240 and rusty 260 are gone. All that I am seeing that i could maybe pull off is 280 with supposedly 18k miles and the grey 260 I posted about earlier. I sadly did recently move into an apartment which only compounds my issues.


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Just catching up on this thread. I’ll give you my advice having been searching for S30s for about 2 years all over the country and educating myself in the process. Before we talk about the cars we need to talk about the “end state”. What do you want. Weekend driver, long term resto project for a show car, daily driver or something to tinker with. Reading through this sounds like you want a pseudo daily driver. After we establish that the we look at what finances we can commit to this. You said 10k. That’s not a lot to get a nice, rust free, mechanically solid car that’s over 40 yrs old. While parts are available, some are getting expensive, especially in the 240 world. You want a car that has most of its parts. Clean shells are deceiving and can break the wallet buying all the little stuff. Second is rust. Dave WM has already emphasized this and he’s right. Rust will destroy your budget completely unless you know how to weld and fab metal. Finally, mechanical. You can take more risk here. Like already mentioned you can find L-series engines with trannys for $400-$1000 online all day. Another $1000 you can totally rebuild a stock motor.
I’d avoid the 260s. It’s not that they’re bad cars, they are just less desired and less parts available. There is nothing special other that they were built for one year (1974).
240s have been a the most desirable S30s and have seen a spike in prices in the past 5 or more years. They have the worst rust problems without question. The lightest chassis, arguably the cleanest lines (bumpers), least bells and whistles.
280s are the most mechanically refined S30. There are more available to buy, prices are still reasonable and there are more parts available. They’re about 500lbs heavier than a 240z. Bigger engine, stock 5 speed, better AC, smoother ride, EFI.
Reading your posts, I think you should find a solid 280z. I’d look to spend 7-8k and keep 2k in reserve to make the car what your want and reliable.
For 10k you can get a nice 280z if you are patient.
Better to wait for the right car then get the car you kinda want today.
I have a 280z but really wanted a 240z. If I stumbled on a great 240 deal, I’d buy it in a heartbeat but the good deals and barn finds where grandma doesn’t know whats she has are rare. The 240z is the classic car that everyone wants but you can get the same styling with some refinement in a 280 and save a bunch of money and have as must fun.
Hope this helps your quest!



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I would love a 240, but I know that it might be more realistic to do a 280. I’m open to any s30 essentially. Once you remove the bumpers, are they not the same lines?
I don’t plan on using it as a daily driver at all. More of a weekend, pleasure vehicle. Right now I know that I am not going to get a pristine car and so I’m not super concerned with everything being factory or correct. I know it’s sacrilegious, but I would probably remove my bumpers if I had a 280. Given my age and budget, I’m probably going to do a restomod job on my first car. That way I don’t have to be as picky about details and I can still enjoy the car and have more freedom. Learn more for future and be more prepared for a mint car later on.


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Yes, lines are the same. Tail lights and front turn signals are different. Badging is slightly different too. I’m doing the same. I’m going with 240 bumpers and front turn signals with a front xenon air dam. Custom interior inspired by the 240 diamond vinyl pattern. The average person can’t really tell the difference between a 240. and 280z. Bumpers are the big indicator.


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The lower front end parts are different on a 280z but with an airdam they look like a 240z. The bumpers are different and the tail lights and front turn signals are different. The rear tail lights are the only real difference if you try to make a 280z look like a 240z.

I agree with Av8ferg above!

Since your in an apartment then I would try to get the best 280z you can that actually runs and drives. Don't buy a car that "runs & drive" but hasn't been driven regularly. Many times people get these cars running again to sell, but they can have lots of problems that can be frustrating to diagnose.

The S30 market is very hot right now, even for the 280z. If you find the right car you need to be prepared to go look at it and buy it if it's the right one. If you can reach out to some members local to the car or local to you would be a good way to get educated and help you sort cars. You can also post up cars her for us to critique

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The xenon does look nice! I’m definitely wanting to do something like that. Possibly even do a wide-body on the one I don’t plan on keeping stock. But these are dreams right now haha.

 

 

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