Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: realistic budget for common Z repairs

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Member ID
    CZCC-30798
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Age
    35
    Posts
    4

    Default realistic budget for common Z repairs

    Hi,

    I'm currently looking to buy a 240z, in the $5.000 to $10.000 price range. This often means dealing with some repairs, and I'm wondering how much time and money (in parts) it will take to do common repairs to these cars.

    Consider that I'm not a professional mechanic, but a fast learner. The only related experience I have is rebuilding the engine and suspension on my motor cycle when I was 16. (14 years ago)

    I'm just listing the first repairs that comes to mind. How much time and money would it take to repair/rebuild the following?:
    front suspension
    steering
    rear suspension
    seats
    engine
    gear box
    clutch
    differential
    brakes
    brake lines
    fuel delivery
    rubber seals around doors/windows/rear hatch
    common rust repairs?

    Hopefully this will make it easier to judge which cars I should consider buying, and which issues I should avoid dealing with. Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by AMelbye; 09-09-2014 at 10:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Jim Arnett jfa.series1's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-22303
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Richardson TX
    Posts
    764

    Default

    Here's a document I posted a while back - a complete rundown of all expenses incurred in my resto effort. It doesn't cover all your questions but a lot of them. My car was not bent or broken, and it had no rust issues. Hope this gives you some insight.

    As to time required, I have 2 1/2 years in my project (I'm retired) but there was 9 months of downtime while the car was at the paint shop followed by another 6 month stay for some paint corrections. The paint shop time was long because it was a collision shop and very busy with fast turnaround jobs while the owner had my car as his personal project.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Z Restoration Report.pdf  

    Jim Arnett
    HLS30-15320 12/1970, original owner
    L24-020208 (original)
    IZCC Original Owner Registry #53

  3. #3
    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-19635
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hampton Roads, VA
    Posts
    2,787

    Default

    Welcome!

    I don't have specific answers to your questions, in terms of time and money. Among other things, I don't know how good a Z you can buy in Norway in your price range, and I don't know much about parts availability there. However, I can say my experience here in the Eastern US is that my Z costs no more to maintain than more modern cars I've owned, and in many cases it's cheaper. Of the cars I've owned in the past decade, I would rank them in this general order of cost to maintain/repair, from most expensive to least: 2001 BMW Z3 3.0i, 1966 Ford Mustang, 1978 280Z, 1992 Saturn SL-2, 1994 Mazda Miata. Of these, the BMW is far and away the most expensive, and the other 4 sort of cluster together, such that it's hard for me to rank them.

    Restoration is another matter. If I were heavy into restoration and cared, for instance, to have a properly chromed bezel around each tail light, then SOME parts could get rather pricey. However, parts for day-to-day repairs are pretty reasonable.

    The issue that sometimes arises on these cars is that a part is no longer available. Then you have a choice between a salvage yard part and the retrofitting of a different part. Neither of these is a particularly costly choice. The former will solve the problem for a while, without much time or creativity required on your part. The more permanent (and usually better) solutions require a bit more time and fiddling.

    The Z is a well enough supported car that there's a retrofit fix for just about any issue you might have, and there are also many cottage industries set up to help you along. Let's say your headlight / turn signal switch goes out, for instance. You can do any of the following:

    • Fix the mechanism yourself, using information provided online.
    • Pay someone else to fix it. On this list, Dave (Z's Ondabrain) used to do this and perhaps still does.
    • Buy a used, working part
    • In addition to the above, install electronic flashers and LED lights to take electrical load off your switch.
    • In addition, install headlight relays to protect the switches further.
    • Long into the future, if all our switch assemblies have crumbled to dust, print a replacement with a 3-D printer, mold yourself new parts, adapt something else, or whatever.


    Keeping these cars on the road is not difficult at all. Restoring them to completely OEM, show-room condition can be a bit more challenging, but it's still possible. And finally, as classic cars go, the Z is still one of the more affordable.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

  4. #4
    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-26208
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    659

    Default

    I will say something that I and many others have said before, buy the very best car you can afford. I see you are in Norway so getting parts and things shipped to you will cost more for any work you are doing so if you can, buy a car that does not need a lot to begin with. In today's market $8K - $10K buys a very nice 240z with a lot if not all the issues already addressed that you listed above. You have to ask yourself what you really want. A $5K project car that may need some time and money invested before you can drive and enjoy it or spend $9K on a car that needs one or two small items and you can start enjoying from day 1. Either way, keep us posted on what you find and consider buying. There are lots of very knowledgeable members on here.
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

  5. #5
    Registered User Sean240Z's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-6478
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    McLean, VA, USA
    Age
    47
    Posts
    232

    Default

    Audun - Welcome to the site! I concur with Hardway: Buy the best, most rust free car you can afford. Replacing parts is relatively easy compared to major rust repairs and metal work.

  6. #6
    Registered User moelk's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-23183
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Welcome.
    Cost on reapairs aint easy to set a numbers on.
    As said above buy the best car you can, and if you are going to buy it from the US try to load it with as much parts you can ( just make sure its ok with the shippingcompany) that way you dont have to pay tax. I bought my car from Chico outside Sacramento. I put 2 extra seats in, struts/springs, brakes, new wheels and some other stuff. The price on parts in the Us are low if you compare to here in Sweden were i live. Heavy parts will cost alot to shipp tough. There are parts to find here in Europe to, you just have to know were to look or how to ask ; )
    Good luck
    Andreas C

  7. #7
    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-19635
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hampton Roads, VA
    Posts
    2,787

    Default

    As much as I love the Z, part of its appeal to me is that it is an economical car to own and maintain. I think if I were a European, I might want to take on a car with parts and support a bit closer at hand. There are quite a few very noteworthy European sports cars that would catch my eye. Heck, the Jaguar E-type makes me a bit weak in the knees, but it's a very expensive car (to buy, to restore, to maintain) here in the US. Most Z owners want their cars to become valuable, but I want quite the opposite. I want them to be available, cheap, and fun. (FAIW, a first-gen Mazda Miata MX-5 is right up there on my list of cheap and fun.)
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Member ID
    CZCC-30798
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Age
    35
    Posts
    4

    Default

    First I have to say I'm really overwhelmed by the amount of response I've got in such short time! Thanks! You're awesome!

    jfa.series1:
    Thanks for your detailed list. This is very useful, even though I don't plan to do a full-on restauration job like you have, I'll definitely find use for this!

    FastWoman: The current market for the 240z in Norway is close to non-existent. I've seen one for sale in the last year, but it can take another year or more before the next one shows up. I'll have to import, and the US seems to be the best place I've considered a few other cars, but the 240z simply stands out to me. It's probably the best looking car I know of, the L-series engine sounds great, it's simple to repair, it's pretty affortable, and compared to other cars of it's time it's said to be reliable. If it's reasonably cheap to maintain as well, that would only add to my list. The main down side is having to keep it garaged all winter so it won't rust. The e-type is beautiful, but it costs a fortune. The jaguar xjs is affordable, but very thirsty and probably much less fun to drive than the z. The mx5 is a good option, and I'm still keeping it in mind. The Z looks so much better though!

    Hardway: Like you suggest, I'll be looking for a car in the best condition possible, within my budget. My budget is defined by what I can justify spending on a weekend car. If buying a $10.000 car will come out cheaper than a $6.000 car in a 5 year perspective, then that's what I will do.

    moelk:
    Thanks for your input! I'll definitely try to load the car up with parts, however, what parts I'll need depends on the car I get, so I guess won't know until I've found the car...
    When you bought your Z, did you have your car inspected by a 3rd party, did you go there yourself, or did you just trust the seller?

  9. #9
    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-19635
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hampton Roads, VA
    Posts
    2,787

    Default

    I admit if you have a thing for the lines of the Z, the Z is probably the most affordable and accessible example of that sort of styling. I completely understand, and it's really THE most important personal reason I own one. It's simply a gorgeous machine.

    Not that it's quite as sexy, but it's very, very cool... The Volvo P1800. It's a bit closer to your neck of the woods. Just a thought.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

  10. #10
    Registered User moelk's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-23183
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    72

    Default

    I have a friend how lives there check the car. He then bought it for me and took it to his garage. I then bought the parts i needed and had them shipped to him.
    I think it would be easier for you to buy a car from France or Holland if you dont have someone you trust over there. I know i person in France that deals with these cars (interested? Send me a pm and i give you his mail/number).
    We had three 240z sold in Sweden this year that i know of.
    Andreas C

  11. #11
    Registered User Oiluj's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-15388
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Age
    66
    Posts
    1,746

    Default

    All the advice in the posts above is good. Find a Z with minimal rust. These cars had virtually no rust-proofing, so a small amount of visible rust is usually hiding a bigger problem...While some parts can be hard to find, they are still less expensive than extensive body repairs.

    240Z's are generally quite reliable and easy to maintain, and can function as a daily driver if you don't mind the lack of modern technology. The 280Z with fuel injection is a bit more complex, but still not difficult to maintain.

    I concur with FastWoman regarding the Volvo P1800 being a good alternative. In fact, it's one of my favorite cars. While not be as powerful as the Z, it's got great lines, it's easy to work on and there are some after market parts available. Based on sales prices I've seen, the P1800 appears to be appreciating at a slightly faster rate than a 240Z, at least here on the west coast.

    Either way, buy the best car you can and enjoy driving it.
    Julio
    1972 240Z (in-progress, 95% complete)
    CZC# 15388

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Member ID
    CZCC-30798
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Age
    35
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Fastwoman: I wish I had a thing for the P1800, volvo parts are probably much easier to source in my area. It's a gorgeous car, but not for me.

    Back to the Miata: I did a quick search, and the mx5 is suprisingly cheap over here. About half the price of a Z in the same condition. Very cheap, and lots of fun/$. But, even though the Z is twice as expensive, the Z also has its advantages: Being 30 years+ means cheap insurance. the miata will cost at least $1000 pr year to insure (sports cars are expensive to insure over here), whilst the Z will cost less than $200 pr year, as it's a veteran. Road tax for the mx5 is $475 pr year, $75 pr year for the Z.
    I think in a 5 years perspective these costs will have pretty much made up for the price difference. If you then start looking at the aestethics, the Z wins easily. As for driveability and fun, I have no clue which is better, as I haven't had a chance to try them.

    moelk
    thanks for the offer, I'll check out some ads from holland and france and let you know I do however suspect that those markets are more lurative for a swede. Norway not being part of the EU means 25% import tax regardless of which country I import from.

    I'm currently in contact with a Norwegian import agency specializing in importing cars from the US. They have about 20 agents spread across the country. They charge 7500NOK for handling everything, including inspection of the car, haggling for a lower price, taking the car in for repairs or upgrades then shipping it to Norway (shipping cost is on top). For that price though, I think I could just fly over and sort it out myself. I'm really not sure how to go about this...

  13. #13
    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-19635
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hampton Roads, VA
    Posts
    2,787

    Default

    Well, as someone who owns both a Z and a Miata, I have to say in all fairness that the Miata is much more fun to drive. It's very nimble and zippy (thanks to the 1.8L 16valve engine -- better than the original 1.6L), and it rides the road as though it were on rails. If it were a hardtop sports coupe, it would be perfect. (I really don't like convertibles for safety and rain issues. Even removable fiberglass hardtops don't resolve these concerns for me.)

    However, I also have to say that I feel much more "cool" in my Z, and I agree it's a much sexier car. The Miata is very cute, especially with its headlights ("barn doors") up, but I do have a love affair with the styling of the Z.

    If I were hitting the open road or going for a drive in the city, I'd pull the Z out of the garage. If I were taking a short, spirited ride in the country on a beautiful day, maybe the Miata instead. Both cars have their merits.

    FAIW, an '89 Miata (which would have the 1.6L engine), is now 25 years old -- considered an antique here in the US, and 5 years off from hitting that magic 30 year mark in Norway. For the (better) 1994, with the 1.8L engine, you'd have to wait another 5 years still.

    Anyway, it's just something to think about. Honestly, my recommendation is to own both, but I realize that isn't what you're wanting to do.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

  14. #14
    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-26208
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    659

    Default

    I will speak from my personal experience of buying a car sight unseen. More often than not what rolls off the trailer has been a disappointment. Even the best pictures and numerous emails full details will never tell the full story of a car. Since you will be shipping the car back to Norway and you only want to do that once, I think there is a ton of value and peace of mind in seeing the car in person, driving it, and having the opportunity to go over it yourself. What you are embarking on is not only an adventure but it will be an investment of time and money once it’s all said and done. I have never worked with a broker but I think you are right. If you do your research you can do the leg work yourself and possibly save a little money in the long run. Due to the list of things that need to be thoroughly checked on these cars I would have a hard time trusting someone to get me the car I want. If you are talking with the seller of a higher quality Z then they will understand getting interest from out of the country and hopefully will be more open to working with you on it. Any good seller would probably accept a reasonable deposit to hold the car until you could fly over and inspect it, as long as the flight can be made within a week or so. Once the car is in front of you and you have cash in hand, you can either walk away or make a deal. Bear in mind your up-front loss could mean losing your deposit and of course the money for your flight. On the bright side, it could also keep you from making a large financial mistake.

    Since you are thinking of flying over here this is how I would plan it. First, these cars go fast when good ones come on the market. It may be best to plan a week or two vacation over here to go look at cars and have cash in hand. Second, if you don’t find one while you are here make as many contacts as you can, attend meets, etc. Those contacts could possibly serve as “boots on the ground” to be on the lookout for you. If they find one and you buy it, send them a finders fee for the effort. While the guys on TV make finding a car on the other side of the world look easy it’s definitely not impossible. If you want it bad enough, you will make it happen!
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Member ID
    CZCC-3609
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Clearwater,Florida USA
    Age
    74
    Posts
    4,424

    Default

    Hello AMelbye:
    Honestly - I think your budget is way to low at this point. $5K to $10K will only get you a 240Z that needs a lot of attention. Most of the items on your list…

    FWIW,
    Carl B.

  16. #16
    Registered User Pop's Z's Avatar
    Member ID
    CZCC-8342
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Age
    74
    Posts
    430

    Default

    FWIW, I would add that if you are coming to the US to look at Zeds you might want to come to Orange, California, in late April and go to the MSA Z Car Nationals show. You will see more Zeds in one place at one time than any where else. Some of them will be for sale and you will meet some of the most knowledgeable Zed guys around. I've been three times and had a great time every time. If you're lucky you might even meet Mike the Honcho of this excellent website as I did.

    Cheers, Mike
    '73 240Z, 80,000 original miles, F54, N42 massaged and shaved (10.5-1 comp.), stage 2 cam, ZX ignition, Header, 2 1/2" exhaust w/ magnaflow muffler, 5 spd (Maxima), 4:11 R180 (200SX), 15" Rota RBs 205-60/15 Bridgestone Grid 109s, KYB struts, stock springs, rubber bushings, MSA sway bars and strut bars, HotRod Air hvac system, '90 300ZX seats, upgraded sound system, BRE-type spook and spoiler

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Member ID
    CZCC-30798
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Age
    35
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FastWoman View Post
    I have to say in all fairness that the Miata is much more fun to drive.
    Exactly what I did NOT want to hear However, isn't the 240z more fun than the 280z? Just my guess, as it's lighter and (said to be) more agile.

    Quote Originally Posted by FastWoman View Post
    Honestly, my recommendation is to own both, but I realize that isn't what you're wanting to do.
    I certainly would if I could, but I'm afraid that's not an option for me :/

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardway View Post
    Due to the list of things that need to be thoroughly checked on these cars I would have a hard time trusting someone to get me the car I want.
    This is really my main concern with using a broker / hiring an agent. I believe most will be able to check for rust, and verify that the engine and interior is ok. I however don't trust them to judge suspension and steering, simply due to how american cars handle, and a probable lack of curvy roads to challenge the car. If using an agent, perhaps I should look for a rust free car with a good engine, reasonable interior and calculate with rebuilding the suspension and steering?

    Going over to get the car myself is definitely a good option. Thanks for all your good advice in this regard! Still, on the other hand, I'm not a mechanic, I've not owned a car i most of life (in Oslo driving is very impractical, and I'll never want or need a daily driver), and doing an inspection on my own might not reveal all the problems with a car. In addition to this, I'll always be in danger of falling in love with a car, impairing my judgement.

    Over here we have something called an NAF test. NAF is an independent company that does a thorough check on a car (120 check points, or so). Is there anything like this in the US, and is it common practise for a buyer to take a car through such inspection before buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beck View Post
    Hello AMelbye:
    Honestly - I think your budget is way to low at this point. $5K to $10K will only get you a 240Z that needs a lot of attention. Most of the items on your list…
    I think you're right. Which price range to you think I should be looking at? I've seen quite a few nice looking 240Z's on ebay for around 12-13.000 the last few weeks, most of them buy-it-now, with the option of making a "best offer".

    Quote Originally Posted by Pop's Z View Post
    FWIW, I would add that if you are coming to the US to look at Zeds you might want to come to Orange, California, in late April and go to the MSA Z Car Nationals show. You will see more Zeds in one place at one time than any where else. Some of them will be for sale and you will meet some of the most knowledgeable Zed guys around.
    That would be awsome. If I do decide to go over and find a car myself, that sounds like the place to go

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. My budget S30 Turbo build
    By WTZ? in forum Check Out My Ride
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-03-2010, 09:03 PM
  2. Budget L28 build
    By blitz_86 in forum Engine and Drivetrain (S30)
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-15-2010, 10:40 AM
  3. engine bay refresh..... on a budget
    By 7277 in forum Body and Paint (S30)
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 11-30-2008, 03:19 PM
  4. Budget research - how much to pay?
    By 7T1240 in forum Interior (S30)
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 09-30-2005, 05:53 PM
  5. Realistic time estimate on total swap
    By jeff1216 in forum Help Me !!
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 09-12-2004, 09:00 AM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •