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Thread: General Help needed

  1. #1
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    Aug 2003

    Smile General Help needed

    I am just getting into the whole thing of restoring old nissan zeds and am interested in purchasing a 240z for a first car and restoring it over time.
    However i have little information on doing this and the costs involved.
    Can someone tell me what it takes to get these cars into reasonable condition eg costs involved, common problems with these cars?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Her Majesty the 26th 26th-Z's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Sarasota, Florida

    Default Arm, leg, and your left one

    Hello Viper,

    Going to restore one, eh? So much of what you spend depends on what you have to work with. Or, what you start with. Pick up a copy of "How To Restore Your 240Z" to get an idea of what you are getting in to. There are a couple of active members right in the thick of it and have been posting great discussions and photographs. They have been dealing with everything from rust to nuts and bolts. So cost is relative to your expectaions and what you have to start.

    My Z is fairly complete, original, and in need of a thorough restoration. I have all issues from worn out car to rusty chassis. Mine is a low serial #, so original is key for me and I want to drive the car occasionally and show it, but not compete. I'll give you some of my estimates, experiences, and let the rest of the members comment.

    I budgeted $1200 to strip my chassis clean to bare metal. I'm going to dip it. Cleaning the doors, fenders, hood, deck is extra and I don't need to do that. Allow $4000 for paint and body work and throw in another $1000 for the hell of it. That brings us to a new, bare, painted body $5000 to $6000.

    The engine will be thoroughly rebuilt and I'm allowing $750 for the E31 head, $500 for the engine (rings, bearings, timing chain)and $900 to send the carbs (complete manifold and air cleaner)off to Z Therapy. Clutch - $300. The transmission is fine as well as the rest of the drive train, but I'll probably spend $200 just taking it out, cleaning it and putting it back in with new mounts.

    I have $600 in brake parts already and have another $400 budgeted for the brake system. If I replace all my suspension bushings while I clean and paint everything, I'll probably spend $400. I had to buy an original set of 4-1/2" steel wheels and 'D' hubcaps and tires. I already have $570 in parts (beat that!).

    I had a quote of $3500 to upholster the interior in leather, but so far, I have $750 in all new diamond vinyl (butterscotch), headliner and door panels. The dash - check out that forum - was around $500 to restore. I have anothr $300 easily in other interior do-dads. My seats are fine. Carpet kits are around $200.

    Replacing as much rubber as I could, I have around $500 in rubber parts at this time. Replacing tail lights and other items can get pricey. New tail lights are $500, I think. Bumpers are expensive. Rechroming is not cheap either. I have estimates for rechroming that make buying a brand new bumper on Ebay look like the easy way.

    Ok. I didn't address everything, but that's what my picture looks like. Figure in the tools you'll need and rent on the space to do all this work, and you really get up there. What am I at - $15,000? Sounds horrible, but that is probably what taking a car completely apart and re-assembling it is going to take. Restoring pieces is usually less expensive than replacing. I've made a big pitch for the blessing of available parts; parts are available. You just have to look for them.

    I would love to hear other comments from other projects. Hope I helped. Good luck to you. I'll finish with a brief story about my father wanting a convertible 356 Porsche and talking about cutting the top off his. I told him it would be less expensive, less hassle, and greater satisfaction in the long run to sell the hard top and buy another convertible. The best advice I can offer is to buy and pay for the car you ultimately want to have up front. Restoration ain't cheap.
    Enjoy the Ride
    Go Gators
    Go Butler Bulldogs

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