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My 1981 280 ZX sat in a farm house garage for 24 years (no climate control). Tires were flat but I filled them with air and they stayed full of air for 20 months during restoration until I put new tires on it earlier this month of July 2019. 

I never had my Z in rain or snow. Despite this, the under carriage looked terrible and my original exhaust system looked really rough. Impossible to read any stamped information on my original muffler. 

I have 25,530 miles in mine and I have all mileage documentation. I pulled my L28 and had it all redone. 

I find it hard to believe that there are only 350 miles on your Z. Hard to believe that the owner would change oil before 350 miles and put on a Fram filter. Original filters are baby blue. 

Pull the valve cover and the head (which you will have to do anyway) to see what the engine has been through.

Check the anti-freeze in the radiator for more evidence. Pull the oil plug; drain the oil and check it.

Check the air filter to see what’s there. Air filter should not be very dirty with 350 miles in the odometer.

Check the struts for wear and leakage.

Any mice infestation under the hood? In passenger cabin?

Dust: My Z sat for 24 years and had lots more dust than what I’m seeing, and I kept my Z paint job in meticulous condition before I got too busy and let it go for 24 years.

Has your Z been stored in a climate controlled space all this time?

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10 hours ago, Car54280ZX said:

My 1981 280 ZX sat in a farm house garage for 24 years (no climate control). Tires were flat but I filled them with air and they stayed full of air for 20 months during restoration until I put new tires on it earlier this month of July 2019. 

I never had my Z in rain or snow. Despite this, the under carriage looked terrible and my original exhaust system looked really rough. Impossible to read any stamped information on my original muffler

I have 25,530 miles in mine and I have all mileage documentation. I pulled my L28 and had it all redone. 

I find it hard to believe that there are only 350 miles on your Z. Hard to believe that the owner would change oil before 350 miles and put on a Fram filter. Original filters are baby blue. 

Pull the valve cover and the head (which you will have to do anyway) to see what the engine has been through.

Check the anti-freeze in the radiator for more evidence. Pull the oil plug; drain the oil and check it.

Check the air filter to see what’s there. Air filter should not be very dirty with 350 miles in the odometer.

Check the struts for wear and leakage.

Any mice infestation under the hood? In passenger cabin?

Dust: My Z sat for 24 years and had lots more dust than what I’m seeing, and I kept my Z paint job in meticulous condition before I got too busy and let it go for 24 years.

Has your Z been stored in a climate controlled space all this time?

I have no idea how this car remained in such good condition. there is NO mice damage anywhere I can see. The interior is amazingly clean, and the undercarriage looks exceptionally nice (not really new, but almost).

The only thing i can think is because the car was in a garage that was not used for anything but long-term storage, it remained relatively sealed from outside air - and thus very dry. There was no protection against temperature swings as the garage is not insulated. As for the interior, I guess it is clean simply because it started out clean (new) and was closed up tight.

I haven't touched the engine, but I did pull the dip stick. The oil was full and looked like it just came out of an oil can - light golden.

Here is a picture of a strut.

This car shouldn't exist. I shouldn't be the owner, and it shouldn't be in the condition that it is. I am usually of the opposite end of that fate!!!

Thanks for your input. 

IMG_20190720_115328 (1).jpg

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If you want to get more "forensic" you can consider what happens when the engine runs and/or the car is driven.  Road debris will hit the  inside of the fender wells,  PCV vapors will coat the inside of the manifold, the distributor cap and rotor electrodes will darken and pit,  carbon will deposit on the spark plug threads and insulator.  There's a bunch of small stuff that should look like new after just 350 miles.  You might even find a 43 year old piece of gravel in a tire tread, or, the clincher, a pop-top from a soda or beer can.

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Do you have the rubber for the bumpers?  Those can't be found anymore.  If you do take good care of them.  You should put this car back to original condition and either sell it for a tidy profit or hide it away and drive it infrequently.  Nice find, you are very lucky!

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3 minutes ago, ksechler said:

Do you have the rubber for the bumpers?  Those can't be found anymore.  If you do take good care of them.  You should put this car back to original condition and either sell it for a tidy profit or hide it away and drive it infrequently.  Nice find, you are very lucky!

Yes, I do have the bumper rubber parts - they are in perfect condition. The front bumper is brand new - still in the plastic bag. The PO had the license plate holes welded shut (no front plates in PA) and hat it re-chromed. He said it ended up looking terrible so he bought a new one. I do plan to eventually sell the car, My big decision is whether to keep it in it current dirty condition (as a barn find) or clean it up. And yes, I was VERY lucky (and it was all luck).

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I finally got the floor painted in my new barn (had to wait 30 days). I got the 280Z up on the lift for the first time.

MVIMG_20190908_175318.jpg

IMG_20190718_163100.jpg

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Just now, siteunseen said:

I see them on ebay from time to time. I'm looking too.

Your's are the Scallops right, '71 to '76?

That's right. I need four. I'd rather not have to spend the $1,300 - $1,500 I've been seeing on-line.

 

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1 minute ago, Zed Head said:

i was kidding.  Never mind.

Is that just shiny undercoating or oil in your previous pictures?

That's all shiny undercoating just like it looked in 1976. The engine only has 360 miles on it.

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I've mentioned this in other threads not sure I did here,  But check those fuel injection hoses for cracks on the ends.  They crack lengthwise and let fuel leak.  I had raw fuel squirting all over my hot engine one day soon after I got my car.  Luckily, no ignition occurred.  Not real visible without a good eye and bright light.  Age alone might make them weak, like tires.  You might have to change those to modern hoses if you want to run the engine, even though the originals add to the time capsule feel.

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5 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

I've mentioned this in other threads not sure I did here,  But check those fuel injection hoses for cracks on the ends.  They crack lengthwise and let fuel leak.  I had raw fuel squirting all over my hot engine one day soon after I got my car.  Luckily, no ignition occurred.  Not real visible without a good eye and bright light.  Age alone might make them weak, like tires.  You might have to change those to modern hoses if you want to run the engine, even though the originals add to the time capsule feel.

Yes, that's good advice. I haven't decided if I'm going to get this car running or eventually sell it as a barn-find time capsule.

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