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Thread: New to forum and looking for a Z car....the big question is.....

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    Default New to forum and looking for a Z car....the big question is.....

    Hi folks.
    New here and interested in Z cars. I came to appreciate the Z family of cars recently, after purchasing a book about Datsun from the early cars to the 280.
    Upon reading the book, it is obvious that the choice is a trade off. By an early 240 with rust prone body panels, but nice carbs and more desirable due to early models, or go for a 280 with fuel injection disc brakes and a little improvement on rust protection? This is a big deal question....240 0r 280?, so I am looking for suggestions and recommendations from you the experts. What about the 260? can we say the problems with the 260 are the same as the 240?There is a 280ZX near me. Body seems to be OK, but I have not looked in details. Probably need to do a PPI. Is the A/C on these cars really weak? this 280 barely blows cold air. Is the A/C something that can be upgraded with better fans, better compressors, etc? I don't care for keeping the car in pure original conditions. I am not a purist, instead I need comfort, reliability, and A/C.
    Are the 3 bodies exactly the same on the 240, 260 and 280? The 280 seems a tad bigger...is it really?
    Can the interior of the 240 or 280 be found as aftermarket and replaced? what about the ugly front and rear bumper?
    Anyways, as you can see, I have lots of questions, and need your help. Hope to own a nice Z car soon. Thanks a bunch.....

  2. #2
    No more body roll! SteveJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudio View Post
    Hi folks.
    New here and interested in Z cars. I came to appreciate the Z family of cars recently, after purchasing a book about Datsun from the early cars to the 280.
    Upon reading the book, it is obvious that the choice is a trade off. By an early 240 with rust prone body panels, but nice carbs and more desirable due to early models, or go for a 280 with fuel injection disc brakes and a little improvement on rust protection?
    The 240Z has front disc/rear drum brakes. You'll find that on 260Zs and 280Zs, too. The 280ZX (similar styling but a different car) was available with front/rear disc brakes. I'm not sure what you are referring to by "a little improvement on rust protection".

    Quote Originally Posted by Claudio View Post
    This is a big deal question....240 0r 280?, so I am looking for suggestions and recommendations from you the experts. What about the 260? can we say the problems with the 260 are the same as the 240?There is a 280ZX near me. Body seems to be OK, but I have not looked in details. Probably need to do a PPI. Is the A/C on these cars really weak? this 280 barely blows cold air. Is the A/C something that can be upgraded with better fans, better compressors, etc? I don't care for keeping the car in pure original conditions. I am not a purist, instead I need comfort, reliability, and A/C.
    Are the 3 bodies exactly the same on the 240, 260 and 280? The 280 seems a tad bigger...is it really?
    Can the interior of the 240 or 280 be found as aftermarket and replaced? what about the ugly front and rear bumper?
    Anyways, as you can see, I have lots of questions, and need your help. Hope to own a nice Z car soon. Thanks a bunch.....
    Start by doing more research. the Z Car Home Page is a good place to start. Even the wikipedia entries on the different Z cars can give you a start.

    As for the AC, the 240Zs (and some 260Zs and 280Zs) had aftermarket AC systems that were not the most efficient in cooling down the interiors. Typically if you find a 280ZX with AC, it was probably factory. If you consider the AC weak, it should be evaluated by a trained mechanic. It could be low on freon, or it could have been put through a poor conversion to R134a.

    As for interior parts, sure they are available. How much do you want to pay? I have over $400 in the seats in each of my cars with me doing the labor for the upholstery.

    As for the bumpers, there's a thread I commented on recently. You can replace the 280Z & 260Z bumpers with earlier bumpers, but unless you recycle some 70-72 bumpers, it's expensive ($1200) for steel. Also, you have to do some fabrication work (documented in that thread).

    Before starting out, establish your budget. Then there's a good chance you'll need to double it, depending on how nice you want your car to be. Spend the money up front to buy the nicest car possible. That way, the previous owner spent all of his money to make it look nice.
    73 240Z
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  3. #3
    Registered User cbuczesk's Avatar
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    Generally speaking if you're looking for "comfort, reliability, and A/C" then I'd say go for a 280ZX. It really depends on your budget and skills.

    Chuck
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    Factory AC started with the 260Z - I personally believe these are a good compromise between the 240 & 280..Forget the Carb issues - majority have now been replaced by early 240 items. Body condition is the key for all s30 models.

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