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Thread: z marks the spot

  1. #1
    Registered User prilofx's Avatar
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    Default z marks the spot

    About two weeks ago I burned up the transmission in our '87 Camry (finally. really have just been looking for an excuse to get rid of it and get something fun). I was cruising around, looking for a beater to get me through the next year or two, when a pointy little front end peeked out from behind a delivery truck in the "for sale" lot at a local junkyard. Intrigued, I investigated further. OMG! An old Z! With a mostly straight body! and a 5 speed! For $995! I did a mental check on my "dream car" list and yes, a Z was on it. It was a Sunday, and they were closed, so I had to wait until Monday to call about it. Called. Got info. Found out it ran. Ran up to the junkyard to ask more about and check it out. They got a battery in it and it started right up. I noted that it ran pretty damn well even misfiring on one of the cylinders. Noted no fluid in the master cylinder reservoirs or slave cylinder. Noted a Chevy alternator was rigged in there with multiple brackets bolted together and a bungy cord attached to back of the engine holding it in. Noted the seats were not connected to the car, and they looked like they came out of a Mazda. Noted the oil was fairly clean, and the engine itself was not a greasy mess. Disappointed to see that someone had painted parts of it with house paint. Put $350 down on it. A week later, paid the rest of it and drove it home (less than a mile on a backroad). Confirmed that brakes are not working and the master leaks. Clutch worked smoothly even with a minimal of fluid in the slave. Got to the bottom of the hill. Made note that E brake works fantastic, and punching it in first to get past the stop sign threw me all over the car (seats not attached, at all.. not even one bolt), but all the horses were there.

    It did take a little convincing of the husband that this was a steal and we needed to hop on it. Knew I had him when he said "it'll be nice to have a sports car". When I told people I was in the process of buying it, I head stories of nothing but good memories from everyone of some old z they or a friend had. Read thread after thread in these forums about them. Yesterday at the parts store, I got an offer on it already. Heck no! Ordered an alternator and a master and picked up tune-up supplies. Then it snowed. But this weekend promises to be fantastic in so many ways I can barely stand waiting for Saturday to roll around so I can dig into it.

    Our intent is to get it road-safe first of all, because I need something to drive, but long-term, we're going to bring it back from the abyss. I'm pretty good with a set of wrenches but I'm sure I'll be asking questions in here. I promise to not be annoying and ask questions that have already been answered- i downloaded the owner's manual and the FSM already and know how to use the search function.

    Seats. I have GOT to get some proper seats into it... and I believe the choke is stuck open.

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  2. #2
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    Default

    Looks Great!!! Welcome to the site. This place is a treasure trove of information and don't worry about being a pest. We love helping fellow z owners. Just don't ask about racing it down the freeway.(see recent post) There are people here that know everything about these cars and can answer questions. It really doesn't look like its it bad shape considering. Obviously the seats and engine have been worked on! Best of luck and let us know how things go.

    carl
    HLS30 00333
    1970 240z

  3. #3
    petrolhead spitz17's Avatar
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    Good luck with your project It definitely looks promisable!

    Hope there is not serious rust damage!
    '72 Fairlady 240Z-L - HS30-10052, Imported in 1973 from Yokota Airbase
    '70 240Z - HLS30-19927, History in SCCA CP & Trans-Am, ICSCC CIP, IMSA GTU
    '77 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera - Black on black
    '13 Subaru BRZ Limited - Daily Driver

  4. #4
    Registered User Gary in NJ's Avatar
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    I've seen worse...far worse. Welcome to Z-club!

  5. #5
    Registered User prilofx's Avatar
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    The rust isn't toooo bad. It could be worse. The dent on the driver's side front quarter panel is the worst of the damage on it. The dashboard looks like someone beat on it with a hammer- there's even a big hole over the glove box. The fuel lines in the back look new-ish, as does the gas tank. I couldn't be happier!

    I live in Southern Central Oregon, and we have really, really great backroads around here that I am DYING to drive in this car. No true freeways, but Highway 97 through Butte Valley is screaming straight run racing the trains.

    Thanks for the great welcome!

  6. #6
    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    Welcome, April. Get cracking on those brakes and start having fun. Trust me, once you get the brakes and suspension sorted (and the seats), you'll have a lot more fun with a Z on the Green Springs than on 97. (I grew up in K Falls, still have family there. Don't get down with the Z much, though.)
    Last edited by Arne; 04-22-2010 at 07:54 PM.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
    Car blogs - 240Z - Porsche 911

  7. #7
    Registered User prilofx's Avatar
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    Arne, I'm so used to driving a 4runner on trips with a wacked out suspension I hadn't even considered Green Springs! I avoided it until recently because both the 4 runner and the Camry drove similar to Mr Toad's Wild Ride - the 4 is now fixed and the Camry is gone. I do really like the drive from KF to Weed, though. I had a merchandizing route a couple of years ago that meant a weekly trip to McCloud and that was probably the best part of the whole job.
    Beeb is a '73 240Z. #152380. 3/73

    "Girl, you have the attention span of a common housefly!"
    "Yeah, that's what I hear. I'm sorry, did you just say something?"

  8. #8
    Registered User prilofx's Avatar
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    We spent Sunday working on it. Since the new, complete m/c wasn't here yet, we went ahead and flushed the brakes. Got pedal- there was some fluid in the system but it was mostly air. Got the alternator out but could not put the new one in because... surprise! The bracket belongs to something else, also. Looked at the spark plugs and they're all covered in gas. Discovered a leak in the gas tank that had been "repaired" with silicon or caulk or something similar. In the process of doing the brake flush we looked at all the wheel cylinders and calipers and they're in decent shape. No leaks from the cylinders or calipers, and they're all in working order. A lot of pad left on the front, but rotors with a light coating of rust. Needs new choke cables (figured), points are barely hanging on in there, rotor has rust all over it, distributor cap is all chomped up but at least the contact points have worn smoothly and there aren't any tracks or other disturbing signs. I got a cover on it last night- we have to clean the garage out for this thing (if it moves us to clean out the garage, it must be awesome, i guess). That's next week's chore. Rain is coming so I just figured "let's not give this rusty thing an opportunity to rust even more".

    Took some pictures of it and uploaded them. Did not get a shot of the fender cover (yah I dunno what what this is called- it's rusted on the outside, but not the engine side) on the passenger side and the gi-normous hole it has. I suppose next Saturday I'll hit the two local yards looking for the proper alternator bracket- I'll have exactly an hour and a half to find one if one is there.
    Beeb is a '73 240Z. #152380. 3/73

    "Girl, you have the attention span of a common housefly!"
    "Yeah, that's what I hear. I'm sorry, did you just say something?"

  9. #9
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    This is the best news I've read in quite some time.

    A woman who not only recognizes a Z Car when she sees one, but
    likes them enough to even wrench on them! You are indeed a rare
    (but not extinct) species!

    In the early-and-mid 70's there were a lot of female types (not a
    preponderance, but a lot) in Z Clubs. That highlights one of the
    glaring shortcomings in most Z Clubs nowadays: since Kathy and I
    and our cars made our emergence from a 30+ year hibernation last
    fall, we observe that Z Club membership (much less participation)
    now seems to be 95% "a guy thing."

    Something drastically wrong with that picture! Maybe if "us guyZ"
    would get our heads out from under the hood, or out from under
    the car for a minute, we would notice that, and go back to Basic
    Marketing 101. Seems to me that if we looked around, we might
    just find some women of whatever age group who would like to be
    included but are probably intimidated because the guys hang out
    together and "do their car thing" without paying them a lick of at-
    tention. I can't tell you what goes on in the female mind, but I
    wouldn't be inclined to show much if any interest if I were ignored
    or shunned, either.

    Now I'm far from being "the brightest bulb on the tree," but from a
    membership standpoint, I don't know any guy in his right mind who
    wouldn't be inclined more strongly toward joining and participating
    in a Z Club with a substantial female contingent. And I can't see
    why any gal who is a Z owner, or the wife or GF of one, wouldn't
    want to join if there were an opportunity to participate and learn.

    At least that's how it used to be "back in the day"................

    So, April, thanks for relighting my candle and getting me to thinking
    about "what could be." Maybe if enough folks read this contribution
    and act on it, you will have inspired a major resurgence in Zeedom.

    All Z Best,..................................Kathy & Rick
    1969 Z.CAR (#00013 10/69) since 8/30/76
    1969 ITSA.Z (#00171 11/69) since 8/24/73 28K mi
    1970 (#01905 2/70) since 1/24/11
    1970 (#06289 6/70) original owner
    1971 (#19851 1/71) sold
    1975 280Z (#01343 1/75) mint original
    1971 PL-510 2dr (our 160Z) since 12/31/75
    1969 1600 Rdstr (another 160-Z) since 10/3/10

  10. #10
    Registered User epsark's Avatar
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    Hi April!
    Welcome to the club and it is great to see that a woman can and is so enthusiastic about Z's. I love the idea that you discovered the car and are getting in there and working on it.
    I read Rick's thoughts on women being included more in the club, and others in general, and it got me thinking about my fiancÚ. She made the comment to me the other night after I had been reading about some threads dealing with mufflers. She didn't quite get why I was so worked up about what muffler to go with, other than to make it quieter. My problem is that here in WI you are not supposed to have anything other than OEM exhaust systems and can get quite a hefty ticket if you don't. I've avoided the ticket aspect, but twice now the trippers don't like the after market muffler the car came with. I don't want to lose the sound it has too much and also don't want to lose performance. She didn't get the performance aspect. I sat there trying to think of a way to explain it to her with out being in lecture mode, which she and my kids both accuse me of doing at times.
    I realized that shortly after we had started seriously dating the car went into the shop for body work and a custom paint job. We never really had the oppertunity to go out in it together because of winter coming on. Maybe if she had had the chance to ride in it, she would have a bit better of an idea what a joy they are. Once I get it back, we have some drives planned, so maybe she can understand my passion for the car. That and try to encourage her to join the club might help as well. At least she indulges me!
    So, again welcome!
    Last edited by epsark; 04-26-2010 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Spell check lost part of my post

  11. #11
    Registered User prilofx's Avatar
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    Rather amusing... what often ends up happening now is that my husband does the work and I show him what to do or how to get something working again. He's not really a "car guy" but enjoys the challenges and is looking forward to this one.

    My dad was a high school auto tech teacher and after high school I went to a crap voc school for auto tech. Never got around to getting ASE (I love brakes! how weird is that?!) certified in anything because, honestly, a pretty awful drug habit got in the way, but I understand how the systems work, know which cars I like and ain't afraid to get covered up to the armpits in 40-year-old oil leak remnants. My first car was a '63 Galaxie and I spent more time fiddling with that thing than I did with most of my friends.

    I haven't been so excited about a car SINCE the Galaxie, either (about 20 years ago!). I sit in school and try to pay attention to my classes and all I can think about is how far away Zunday is

    I've always tried to show my chick friends how to deal with their cars, too. It's unconscionable to me that some of them can't even find their radiator overflow. And I honestly don't even know what to say to guys I meet that only know that you put gas in a car and it runs.

    Here's a shorty story about how we are about the cars: The 4runner has a flappy plastic wheelwell cover - prior owner, I think, had a tire blow out with separating treads and it shredded up some things on that side. So, this thing is flapping while we're on the I-5 coming back from Springfield and he pulls over and says, "YOU gotta do something about that. It's driving me nuts". I consider the pouring rain, then dutifully go out and look at it again probably for the 20th time. Rummage through the 'Fo for a few minutes and find a set of my guitar strings. These are like $20 a set silver things that I'd been holding off on using for a while. Grumble, remove the low E from the set and tie the flappy thing back together with it. Now, there's a big ol' guitar string sticking out of the fender area. I imagine it wildly flapping against the paint. Rummage some more. No tape of any kind anywhere to be found, but found my ice skates and cut the guitar string. Boy, did I growl about the guitar string for a while. "You're lucky we had guitar strings in here. If it were extra bass strings, you would have just had to make the trip to nuts".
    Beeb is a '73 240Z. #152380. 3/73

    "Girl, you have the attention span of a common housefly!"
    "Yeah, that's what I hear. I'm sorry, did you just say something?"

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