300ZX (Z31) Forums Dedicated to 84-89 ZCars otherwize known as the Z31's

1987 Nissan 300ZX Turbo (Help)

Old 02-01-2017, 01:22 AM
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Exclamation 1987 Nissan 300ZX Turbo (Help)

Hello, I am brand new to the forum and would like to get right to business!

I purchased a 1987 300ZX Turbo (Auto) a few months ago for about $2000CAD. The car seemed great at first and I loved it (I still do).

The more I used it, the more problems I noticed that it actually had. I REALLY want to keep the car but don't have much money to completely fix it up. I hope for as much advice as I can get.

-The car has about 300K KM.
-Tiny Chip in the windshield
-Car feels like swaybars or something are shot because it swerves when I'm going fast over cracks.
-When I turn the car on it "ZIINNG"s.
-The muffler is pretty loud (And it's the original).
-Sometimes it skips/misses when changing it's gears (It's Auto)
-The body isn't in bad shape, but it isn't in great shape. I'm more worried about the internals.

-The climate controls don't work, I can only use the fan high or low setting. It only blows out hot air from the defrost vents. It seems like there might be a dead motor or something, but I read it could be a problem with something near the firewall. The A/C also doesn't work (Apparently there is a leak, although I haven't tested it).


I am very new to fixing cars. I love doing it and learning but some things are extremely complicated, and I don't want to mess the entire car up.

Any advice what so ever is appreciated. Thank you so much!
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:03 PM
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here is a START
Get your battery load tested. Be sure you have clean, tight corrosion free terminals on both ends of your battery cables. Be sure the ground (negative) cable goes to a bolt into the frame before going to the starter. grounding through the starter is not a reliable connection. Z's don't like low voltage. causes the electronics to act funny. it is possible to have enough amps to crank but not enough voltage to run the electronics. If you have one size fit all cheapo clamp on terminals they are a problem waiting to happen. Usually on a rainy night around Oh Dark Thirty.

Clean the connectors for the maf or afm, ecu and tps. Deoxit by CAIG is probably the best connector cleaner on the market. spray with CorrosionX after cleaning and before putting together this will help prevent any further corrosion. DON'T USE DIELECTRIC GREASE.

Replace outer tie rod ends, and ball joints. replace the bushings with poly (don't forget to lube them as directed unless you like squeaky things). New shocks. Get new boots for power steering. all those things will make you think you are driving a different car. doing them piece meal is a waste you won't see a great improvement until you do the complete job. You need to get the car realigned after messing with the front. Have your tires in good shape and rebalance. Rear bushings nice too but more work and you won't notice as great an improvement. Rear shocks also because if the fronts are gone so are the rears. if car squats when you jump on the gas the rears are gone. If you have the electro adjustable shocks they are DEFINITELY GONE.

If you are doing a turbo car shocks (electro adjust I think may be only on the turbos) then you need the adapter plates to fit modern shocks to the car in the rear. Easiest way is find an n/a at the junkyard and take the mounting plates. They may be available thru NAPA (listed) but I had the n/a plates.

download the fsm xenon.

replace the muffler
replace all the vacuum hoses including the ones that go into the cabin. they control the hvac and must be tight.

300000 km is a lot on a turbo z31. tighten the belts a z31 belts need to be much tighter than what you might be used to on another car.

2000 cad you probably got a bad deal.
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rogerz View Post
here is a START
Get your battery load tested. Be sure you have clean, tight corrosion free terminals on both ends of your battery cables. Be sure the ground (negative) cable goes to a bolt into the frame before going to the starter. grounding through the starter is not a reliable connection. Z's don't like low voltage. causes the electronics to act funny. it is possible to have enough amps to crank but not enough voltage to run the electronics. If you have one size fit all cheapo clamp on terminals they are a problem waiting to happen. Usually on a rainy night around Oh Dark Thirty.

Clean the connectors for the maf or afm, ecu and tps. Deoxit by CAIG is probably the best connector cleaner on the market. spray with CorrosionX after cleaning and before putting together this will help prevent any further corrosion. DON'T USE DIELECTRIC GREASE.

Replace outer tie rod ends, and ball joints. replace the bushings with poly (don't forget to lube them as directed unless you like squeaky things). New shocks. Get new boots for power steering. all those things will make you think you are driving a different car. doing them piece meal is a waste you won't see a great improvement until you do the complete job. You need to get the car realigned after messing with the front. Have your tires in good shape and rebalance. Rear bushings nice too but more work and you won't notice as great an improvement. Rear shocks also because if the fronts are gone so are the rears. if car squats when you jump on the gas the rears are gone. If you have the electro adjustable shocks they are DEFINITELY GONE.

If you are doing a turbo car shocks (electro adjust I think may be only on the turbos) then you need the adapter plates to fit modern shocks to the car in the rear. Easiest way is find an n/a at the junkyard and take the mounting plates. They may be available thru NAPA (listed) but I had the n/a plates.

download the fsm xenon.

replace the muffler
replace all the vacuum hoses including the ones that go into the cabin. they control the hvac and must be tight.

300000 km is a lot on a turbo z31. tighten the belts a z31 belts need to be much tighter than what you might be used to on another car.

2000 cad you probably got a bad deal.
Wow, I would like to start off by saying THANK YOU SO MUCH. You have no idea how much I appreciate this reply. I've read everything thoroughly but still have some questions. Is there anywhere I can contact you so we can speak privately through some sort of chat? Possibly Skype if you have it.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:57 PM
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Bump! Would love some additional insight!
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:41 AM
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My advise is to buy another cheap running /driving good ride.

sounds like you have a starter drive /flex plate ring gear prob. If its the flywheel your pulling the trans
might just rotate the flywheel ....87 ?

best to find a auto tech that knows ,loves these cars and put it on the lift. Then figure the $$!$
​​​​​​​you cant just go get major parts for these new you know
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 86tcoupe View Post
My advise is to buy another cheap running /driving good ride.

sounds like you have a starter drive /flex plate ring gear prob. If its the flywheel your pulling the trans
might just rotate the flywheel ....87 ?

best to find a auto tech that knows ,loves these cars and put it on the lift. Then figure the $$!$
you cant just go get major parts for these new you know
Just a little confused. You're suggesting I buy a whole new car to just drive around? This is my baby though!

I'm not 100% sure what you're saying about the flex plate ring and if I'm pulling the transmission.

Just a bit confused on what you're talking about. If you could clarify that would be fantastic!
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:51 AM
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When I turn it on ziing. I took as a starter drive ring gear issue

it was is common to start repairing a say 30+yr ride to find you need to spend $$$-$$$$ for that issue
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:50 AM
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You bought a 31-year old Z and expected that you would have repairs to do. No surprises there whether you do the work yourself or have others do it. Lots of money available would be great. If not, take your time and be patient. That Z can actually be brought back to look and run like brand new if you have the time, patience, money and desire.You own a great car there, designed and built by people who truly gave a damn about everything. It needs to know you are up to it. If it is a good daily driver, have another ride available for those times you can't drive the Z.

I believe in recyclers for parts I need. Find every dead-but-still-recycling Z31 within driving distance and contact the lots to see what they have left on their Zs, what the conditions are. Use their 800 numbers. Try to get accurate mileage figures for those Zs so you can compare value/price on any part. Start at Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market and sort your search results by distance from your zip code. Some lots remove and store parts they think will sell sooner like radios, radiators, alternators, transmissions - or whole motors. Others just let the Z sit on the lot until someone requests a part, a door, a wheel, a panel, a piece of glass. Take the time to locate your parts cars. They are out there if you bother to look for them.

You might also locate a replacement (used) windshield right away. Or there are companies which can produce the glass custom. Be sure to ask for that tinted upper edge. It does its job. I replaced one of my Z windshields for about $200. Made a big difference. If a recycler has a good candidate for your parts, try to drive there and check it out on the lot. If he removes a used windshield for you, the interior/dash will get wasted so check that stuff at the same time and salvage what you need before it gets trashed. Compare prices for used (recycled) and new from the installer. You get the idea.

If you are not a mechanical whiz, find one you can trust and work with him. Skip the boneheads. One issue at a time. At the end of your work there can be a beautiful Z running perfectly and looking great.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:00 PM
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Don’t be discouraged. You can daily your Z, but it will take some time. What’s working against you is inexperience working on them. YouTube is your friend.

The advice about getting a daily driver is solid. Especially with all the issues your mentioning. AC is one thing but no heat in CA on your cold winters is brutal! Plus do you want to drive your new prized Z in snow, salt and all that?

i have classic insurance for both my Z’s and spend $400 year for both. It really can’t be beat.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by JSM View Post
Donít be discouraged. You can daily your Z, but it will take some time. Whatís working against you is inexperience working on them. YouTube is your friend.

The advice about getting a daily driver is solid. Especially with all the issues your mentioning. AC is one thing but no heat in CA on your cold winters is brutal! Plus do you want to drive your new prized Z in snow, salt and all that?

i have classic insurance for both my Zís and spend $400 year for both. It really canít be beat.
I don't really have a choice at this point if I take it into winter or not :/ There has to be a way to keep it rust free in the winter! I'm in love with this car, I can't wait to get it completely fixed. It will take some time. I pay $21CAD/Month for my Z. Basic liability insurance. Main problems right now are the back of the car swaying when hitting bumps and cracks, and the vac lines that all need to be changed. Should I get a rust proofing on it for the winter?
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