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FNG saying Hi

Old 09-23-2015, 04:30 PM
  #1  
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FNG saying Hi

Hey everyone!

So after a quick glance, I don't see a "new member intro" area.. I'm coming from a couple of boards where we used to friggin fry people who hopped on and started posting or asking questions without introducing themselves first, so here I am.

Here's the story, my wife's aunt has had this 1981 280ZX for as long as she can remember, her and her cousin and who knows how many other relatives learned to drive in it/used to steal it to go joyriding, etc.. Her aunt just passed a couple of weeks ago, and we now have a 16-year-old daughter. So we talked to the cousin, and he agreed to give us the car, we just have to ship it from California to Virginia.

I don't know anything about anything with these cars, but I've worked on old VW's since I was about 16 and I've done little things here and there with other more modern cars.

From what little I know about this particular car, the aunt drove it very little, but did drive it at least once a month. I know it's a 1981 280ZX but don't know if it's the turbo or not. It does have the t-tops (not sure if that was standard or an added bonus).. The interior needs a little work, and while the cousin was driving from Laughlin, NV to SoCal, he said the AC went out, it started smoking heavily, so he cut the AC belt, and it drove the rest of the way fine and smoke free.. so I'm guessing we have an AC problem..

Anyway, my personal plans, this is the kids car, I downloaded the FSM but will probably buy a physical copy as well as the Haynes. I'll oversee all work, and help her out, but my hands will be clean, she will do all the work with my guidance. I want her to know this thing inside and out so she can fix anything that may happen.

We're thinking of keeping it pretty much stock, since that's how it's been it's whole life and it's a way to keep the aunt alive in the family (hence the username)..

anyway, I'll be around, searching a lot before asking stupid questions :P (that's another thing we rip new members apart for.. )

cheers!

-matt
tattooed_pariah on Volksrods.com shadowriders.net and thesamba.com
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:50 PM
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already screwing things up, just got a picture of the registration and it's actually a 1980 not a 1981..
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:07 PM
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w00t! Welcome to ZDriver!

Post some pics. And if you are a Facebooker, check out the "280ZX Driver" group.
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by NismoPick View Post
w00t! Welcome to ZDriver!

Post some pics. And if you are a Facebooker, check out the "280ZX Driver" group.
This is the only pic I have right now:

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It should be picked up on 07OCT and delivered to Virginia within a few days of that.. will have more pics then
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:43 PM
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Got word from the wife's cousin today, it's on it's way to us..
Attached Thumbnails FNG saying Hi-12064490_10208027813563844_433891501_n.jpg  
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Old 10-16-2015, 08:21 PM
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Good luck and welcome to the club!
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Old 10-17-2015, 06:31 AM
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So the car was delivered late monday night which was perfect because our 2001 Ford Escape blew it's transmission the wednesday previous so we were down to just one car..

I haven't really had a chance to look at it in the daylight (wife has been driving it to work and it's dark when we both get home from work..) but she says's it's running well, has a smell of burning oil though.

My plan is to do a full tune-up (plugs, oil filter, air filters, dizzy cap and rotor, maybe plug wires, check the brakes, etc..) and maybe try to do a leak down test to see if it's having a ring problem.

Her cousin said it used to have an issue where it would foul out one of the plugs and if you replaced it it would run fine for a while.. so I'm thinking oil is slipping by somewhere..
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:04 AM
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ok, just went out and took some pics. Gotta admit, i'm a bit excited and a bit intimidated..

I've rebuilt VW flat 4 engines, and worked on V6 and V8's, but never an inline 6..

Saw some things I'm curious about, but I'll print out the FSM and check out the Chilton's that came with the car before I start asking "stupid" questions

Without further ado... pictures!

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ok, i lied up top a little.. I will ask one "dumb" question now:

So my wife's cousin said while they were driving it from Nevada to SoCal, it started smokig up a storm, he cut the AC belt and it ran fine the rest of the way, and it's still running fine. So I know there is something wrong with the AC, but I'm not sure what yet..

I was just looking it over and I noticed that the pulley portion of the AC unit doesn't spin (at least it wouldn't spin by hand anyway, i didn't try wrenching it..) but the plate in front of that spun, but seemed to wobble as it was not an easy spin, and had more friction at some parts of the rotation than others. Also, while spinning it, I noticed this piece sticking out, I'll check the books, but if anyone knows what the hell is goin on , I'd appreciate it!

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Old 10-04-2016, 02:14 PM
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holy **** has it really been a year?

Haven't done much witht he Z.. lot of other bills and things, but my daughter is 17 now and has her "blue card" so she can officially drive so it was time to finally fix the title/registration.. (car was still titled to my wife's cousin in california and the CA registration expired in March of this year..)

Got it titled in Virginia, registration current, and went in for the state inspection..

They said the front brake lines are bad and need to be replaced and that would also require flushing the brake fluid and quoted me $360 dollars... I told them not to, I can do a brake job in my driveway.. so I'm gonna replace hoses for all four corners, it stops fine, but I'm not shocked they are old and need replacing..

They also said the exhaust has a bunch of leaks on the pipe between the Cat and the muffler and they couldn't find a replacement stock exhaust system anywhere so they wanted $600 to fabricate just that one pipe. I told them to stop, put it back together and i'll pick it up.

Apparently, all the aftermarket stuff they found was 3" tubing and the stock stuff is 2".. I just started googling about 10 minutes ago, but since I'm not as savvy with Z's as I am with air-cooled vw's I thought I'd ask people who know while I'm researching.. (this was the first option I found, but like i said, i know old vw's, in our world, there are some products that are utter garbage, i don't want to buy the garbage of the Z world.. http://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/PR...sic19l/15-6311)

So, what's your guys' recommendations? source a used exhaust somewhere, have a local fabrication shop make me something, or buy and aftermarket system? This is a TOTALLY stock car, so I don't want to make it run poorly by throwing in just one performance part..

thoughts?

Last edited by LegacyZ; 10-04-2016 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:44 PM
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This is what i'm thinking so far... I'll also need a new manifold gasket and may as well buy new header and intake hardware, there's a chance the nuts on there now are original...

Am I buying decent stuff? is it overkill? is it wrong?

I saw someone mentioned they bought a driver's side exiting exhaust to get rid of the cross car pipe, is that a good idea? would i have to modify anything under the car to do that? should i just stick with passenger side exit?
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:49 PM
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Pulled the trigger on the order on Saturday. Looks like I have an N47 cylinder head, which I guess means I have dished pistons according to this site: Datsun L-series cylinder head timeline

Hopefully everything will be here in the next 10 days or so and I can begin tearing **** out and replacing it.

Wound up spending about $800 on:

MSA header
Aluminized Exhaust (driver's side exit)
manifold hardware kit
ignition tune up kit
NGK plug wire set
stainless steel brake line kit

considering the local Midas wanted $600 to fabricate the exhaust pipe between the cat and the muffler, I'm ok having spent $800 for all of the above..

hopefully it goes in problem free and passes state inspection..
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