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Old 08-04-2018, 11:46 AM   #1  
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New 280ZX Owner

Hello,

I purchased an all original 280ZX yesterday from the original owner's brother. The owner passed away late last year and left the vehicle to his brother. The brother was ten years old back then and remembers going with him to pick the car up new. It had 14,995 miles when I picked it up in West Virginia and now had 15,420 back home in Indiana. I averaged nearly 30 MPG coming home.

The car is essentially new throughout. The younger brother was telling me that nobody was allowed to drive the car and it truly was his baby. On the way home I noticed the cruise, hazzards, and Voice Warning system did not operate. Also, when pushing the button for the self diagnostic the low water indication illuminated with the display staying red after. Fixing the water indication was easy - just add 50/50 coolant to the reservoir tank. After that it went through the check and gave the "OK" display. There appears to be no coolant leaks or any fluid leaks for that matter.

The Cruise system was easy to fix as well. I noticed the clutch had some slop and figured the clutch switch was not closing. I read some good information here and then pulled out the Haynes Manual the owner gave me. I first made sure the adjuster was 6 3/32" in adjustment. I then noticed there was way too much play in the pedal before engagement of the clutch. The push rod lock nut had worked loose and the rod was out of adjustment. I set all dimensions according to the manual and verified switch actuation. Took it out for a drive and the cruise worked perfectly.

The Voice Warning System was a simple fix. I simply plugged it back in I assume that the former owner did not like the system. It amazes me that a plastic record player will still operate after 36 years!

The Hazzard switch appears to be the culprit for the system failure. The turn signals work, and when the hazzard switch is activated it shuts off the turn signal like it should. If you very carefully position the switch just right the hazzards will work. Any suggestions where to get a replacement switch? Also, the rear hatch shocks are original and need replaced. Need to source a pair of them.

Other than those small items the car is perfect. The A/C is ice cold, all lights work, body is perfect, interior is perfect, and the underside of the car looks like it came from the factory. Even the power antenna works correctly in full extension and intermediate position. Also, the spare tire, jack, and even the tire fill can is right where it should be.

It is amazing someone could keep a car this nice over the years.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:04 PM   #2  
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Wow! Great find!!! Pics?
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:50 AM   #3  
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Here are some pictures.
Attached Thumbnails
New 280ZX Owner-b5927aab-e767-409b-aa37-0f0669feca11.jpeg   New 280ZX Owner-2e4f5558-2d50-49cf-b8f4-2c4980bf4e89.jpeg   New 280ZX Owner-2ef4a3b5-65e4-4cdf-80ca-ac5377686114.jpeg   New 280ZX Owner-abf5c51f-7884-446b-b578-06ff3daad324.jpeg   New 280ZX Owner-3f464e10-fcc3-4f86-a30f-b3e24994ecd8.jpeg  

New 280ZX Owner-79ecfe8f-a707-480f-9e88-712f6dad8fe7.jpeg  
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:21 AM   #4  
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Some more information. Found the coolant leak that was causing the low coolant message. Radiator drain plug was leaking, so in my infinite wisdom I cranked it about a quarter turn and broke it off in my hand, lol. Have a new one coming today. Also, the radiator hoses are original, so I ordered new ones. I thought about replacing the hoses that run parallel to the block and into the heater core, but it appears that the hoses going to the core actually go through the firewall and I don't want to remove the dash to replace the hoses. Am I correct on the heater hose change out?

My Voice Warning system was unplugged, so I plugged it back in. Initially it worked fine telling me headlights were on, but after driving a couple of miles it told me that the "Right door is open" and repeated the message non-stop. I believe it is a failure of the unit itself since the door open light on the dash did not illuminate during this time and the interior entry lights were not illuminated either. The door open light and interior lights work perfectly. What was interesting is that the voice warning of the right door would quit when you turned off the headlights. Also, the warning would not work when applying the parking brake or opening a door at 30MPH. The speed sensor is working because the cruise control works. I know everyone hates the voice warning system, but I would like to fix it since the car is all original.

Other than that, I am going to change the transmission oil with Red Line MT-90 and differential with Red Line 75W-90. I also decided to turn all 4 rotors and re pack the wheel bearings. I also found the clutch hose under the right side behind the front wheel was a little chaffed, so I have a new one coming as well. Lastly, the original muffler had a small hole in it, so a new one is coming as well.

It is a fun car to drive.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:06 PM   #5  
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Beautiful car. I had communicated with Denny, but I just couldn't stretch my finances that far. If he would have still had it a month from now, I could have been the lucky owner. Enjoy it, looks like a rare find. If you ever decide to part with it, let me know. Congrats!
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:51 PM   #6  
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Originally Posted by zxnut View Post
Beautiful car. I had communicated with Denny, but I just couldn't stretch my finances that far. If he would have still had it a month from now, I could have been the lucky owner. Enjoy it, looks like a rare find. If you ever decide to part with it, let me know. Congrats!
Thanks for the message. I am sorry you did not get this car. It is the cleanest one I have seen in the last 5 years of looking for one. I am one of the pickiest people around when it comes to stuff I collect. I looked at a lot of 280ZX's with most of them having cracked dashes, aftermarket stereos, A/C not working, repainted bodies with bodywork to hide rust, electrical problems, and rusted underneath.

I knew I had to buy this car when I looked at it. All it took was a look under the hood and under the car to see that it was rustproofed when new including a complete under body coating. Most of the flippers undercoat the rust that is already under the car. Everything worked and I was impressed. There is not a hint of rust anywhere and the interior looks new. Denny was a super nice guy and he really had an emotional attachment to this car since he went with his brother to pick it up new.

I detailed the car and then to it to dinner with my wife last night. I let her drive and I just enjoyed the ride. We took some back roads to a place about 15 MI from home. It was a lot of fun. The car really does drive like new!
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:02 PM   #7  
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Some pics after the detail.
Attached Thumbnails
New 280ZX Owner-2018-08-09-11.26.02.jpg   New 280ZX Owner-2018-08-09-11.23.40.jpg   New 280ZX Owner-2018-08-09-11.27.04.jpg   New 280ZX Owner-2018-08-09-11.28.21.jpg   New 280ZX Owner-2018-08-09-11.39.40.jpg  

New 280ZX Owner-2018-08-09-11.36.03.jpg   New 280ZX Owner-2018-08-09-11.31.14.jpg   New 280ZX Owner-2018-08-09-11.41.11.jpg   New 280ZX Owner-2018-08-09-11.41.53.jpg   New 280ZX Owner-2018-08-09-11.34.21.jpg  


Last edited by glasirpilot; 08-11-2018 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:24 PM   #8  
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Wow. Looks awesome! I've owned quite a few over the years. I'm glad that you're enjoying it, and that it went to someone that's going to take care of it. Please keep me in mind if you're ever going to sell it. Oh, and if you get change the factory muffler, keep it around, or have them weld the factory tip to the new one. Finding an original is impossible. Best wishes!!
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:00 AM   #9  
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Wow, very very nice!
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