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Thread: Rear hatch ledge rot?

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    Mid-life Crisis Sailor Bob's Avatar
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    Default Rear hatch ledge rot?

    I am looking at a 73 in Arizona that appears to be in very good condition all around. The paint appears to be original and in very good condition inside and out - as one would expect from a well taken care of, dry climate vehicle.
    Question is: the lower ledge of the rear hatch is rotted along a line, almost from one side to the other - What's up with that? Any reason why this would seem sensible? And is this an indication of other issues?
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    Last edited by Sailor Bob; 06-27-2008 at 05:27 AM.
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    Known Zitus carrier! hls30.com's Avatar
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    Reasons:
    1) "T" crossectional joined area of the two panels is naturally stressed and vibration from movement cracks the paint film.
    2) Humid exhaust fumes collect in that area(The DS taillight is frequently darker than the PS because of its proximity to the exhaust pipe)
    3) Bare steel in the paint film crack+corrosive, humid fumes depositing their chemicals in the crack=steel oxidizing. As area open up due to rust expansion more are to deposit chemicals in, more rust...
    Will
    A Z is beautiful from any angle, I just happen to prefer to view from the drivers' seat!

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    Mid-life Crisis Sailor Bob's Avatar
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    Will - Thanks, I was thinking that way (sort of), but I have limited experience in such matters. The car is relatively low milage <50k and always garaged (according to current owner), so I am thinking the damage should be very local (what you see...). Would there be reason to believe that there are further concerns of this nature?
    May sound dumb to those of you who can simply go look at a car, but buying a Z from across the country is tricky and one has to ask the correct questions and look for the right things to be successful. It's like trying to thread a needle with a boat hook - you need good eyes, steady nerves and excellent timing.
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    Known Zitus carrier! hls30.com's Avatar
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    My best advice is treat every car like it is a total unknown. Look everywhere. another place that I would especially look at is back into the rear quarters-the corners bordering the area you asked about-frequently the fumes collect in there as well-meaning remove the rear interior trim and get a good look at the entire rear structure from both sides.

    One note a car that has been garage kept does get brought into the garage from the rain occasionally, and as most garages are not inherently drafty, effectively become a humidity trap for less humid parts of the country if you let a wet car sit in a closed garage for a month... the water will run where it does and sit-the humidity in the garages means it may not dry in the nooks and crannies. Examine the car just like one from the rust belt-no stone unturned(and no assumptions) means no suprises after you get into the project.

    Less than 50k...with that situation-I would look hard.
    Or have a well versed local member check it out with a magnet, an articulated mirror, and the needle threading skills!
    A second set of eyes can never hurt.
    Will
    A Z is beautiful from any angle, I just happen to prefer to view from the drivers' seat!

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    Registered User mdbrandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hls30.com View Post
    ... another place that I would especially look at is back into the rear quarters-the corners bordering the area you asked about...
    Will's suggestions are great. I'd look at the area under the battery tray too. Battery acid is no respector of climate.
    Mark Brandyberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Bob View Post
    Will - Thanks, I was thinking that way (sort of), but I have limited experience in such matters. The car is relatively low milage <50k and always garaged (according to current owner), so I am thinking the damage should be very local (what you see...). Would there be reason to believe that there are further concerns of this nature?
    May sound dumb to those of you who can simply go look at a car, but buying a Z from across the country is tricky and one has to ask the correct questions and look for the right things to be successful. It's like trying to thread a needle with a boat hook - you need good eyes, steady nerves and excellent timing.
    Its not dumb to me at least, buying a car across country is what I did about 8 months ago. You are at the total mercy of the seller at this point and must take his word about the condition, mileage, etc. There are services available that will go and check out the car for you and give you a full report, pricing varies depending on ditance traveled, etc. Or, you can do what I wish I had done and see if there is a member on this site that lives close enough to check it out in person for you.
    I WISH I had found this site before buying my car, (Oregon to Cincinnati). After posting my horror story I had a few members that said they would have gone to look at it as they lived in the same city (Salem, oregon) or close enough to pay the previous owner a visit.
    Had I done that, I would have saved $4,000 plus almost another grand in shipping costs for a car that was purchased four weeks prior for $1,750! Needless to say I got screwed BIG TIME!
    Learn from my mistake and have someone look at the car for you! I hate admitting I was taken for a FOOL, but if it saves another on here from doing the same thing, I will harp on my sad story every time!
    Good luck!
    Last edited by MEZZZ; 06-27-2008 at 04:35 PM.
    1977 280Z
    I'm great at taking my Z apart, putting it back together has been a whole different story.

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    Thanks Mezz if anyone is interested going to Cold Springs Nevada/Cali to look at it I would appreciate the assistance. I mis-stated the location earlier. Didn't do well with geography.
    Last edited by Sailor Bob; 06-27-2008 at 06:48 PM.
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    Turned out to be an interesting case. I spoke to the vendor on many occasions, trying to gather details on the vehicle. The vendor was a decent older man handling it for his son - he was sending me lots of pictures, unfortunately almost none of the ones I needed. Some were the inside of the bumper (?) or the fan belt or a temporary carpet on the passenger side. Few that were useful.
    The pictures of the good things balanced out that the rear hatch was an acceptable job if the price of the car was suitable, because as described it was a relatively low milage car and the rest looked very good - paint looked excellent (original), had the original carpet in the back and it was nice. I got a price on the shipping and found one I could accept - preparing to make an offer.
    I Started to become freindlier with the vendor, as I waited for the outcome of another situation. Got to know about him, the family, his background (korean war vet, work in San Quenton with the death row prisoners) a bit about current events - all fairly interesting - I was enjoying talking to him. Finaly I sent him a breakdown of the car issues as I saw them and made an opening offer.
    Next thing I get one of the pictures I asked for from the start "the battery tray" (mdbrandy) - it was poor with moderate/heavy rust beneath, next right out of the blue he sends me the compression results: 110 across the board (I have 150 at twice the milage). It was starting to look as if I had misjudged - I lost my nerve and backed out. It still might be a good buy, but including shipping it was too much of a gamble for me.
    I attached a few shots so you could get a feel for the appearence of the vehicle, so you wouldn't think I was a total tool. It is a looker.
    I guess the message I am conveying is "In spite of the fact that a car looks nice on the internet, you are not seeing it first hand and the certainty of hands on inspection is never there".
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    Can you Post the pictures of the battery tray?

    Did you find out where is the car was located - PRIOR to its present location. Shouldn't see that much rust in AZ.

    What did you offer for it?

    Carl B.

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    Mid-life Crisis Sailor Bob's Avatar
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    I don't have the history other than it was owned previously by a young woman, freind of the family - died 15 years ago of cancer. Car has been garaged pretty well since that time.
    I offered $2500, shipping was $2500 + 200 fuel surcharge. Not suitable for a long haul drive.
    I am still waffling on it. It just looks so nice outside.
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  11. #11
    Mid-life Crisis Sailor Bob's Avatar
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    I got the history backwards: the car was purchased by a young woman whose father wouldn't let her drive it and it sat in a garage for it's first fifteen years, when she passed away they sold the car. In Nevada as far as I know.
    Cali 4/77
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    Registered User conedodger's Avatar
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    The part of Nevada/California you are talking about gets snow and uses salt/sand on the roads. This is high country, in the Sierra Nevada mountains between Reno and Sacramento very close to Lake Tahoe.
    Rob
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