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Updated on May 05, 2012
Oddmanout84's 1978 Datsun 280Z
I purchased this Z in southern California, late 2004 as a sort of beater car. Back then it was just sort of neat looking old car that could get me from place to place. The only thing good about it then was that it had no rust, and actually ran.
I couldn't stand the copper brown color, so it was promptly rattlecanned primer grey in the parking lot.
I let a friend borrow it shortly after purchase so he could do some apartment hunting with his wife-to-be. Within 20 minutes he plowed it into the back of an '03 Impala. The Chevy was totaled, my Z survived with nothing more than a slightly bent front bumper and a cracked radiator core. I drove the thing around for months later, always keeping a supply of about five 1-gallon milk jugs of water in the back to refill the radiator whenever I stopped. In the southwest heat, this got pretty tedious, and I overheated the engine more than once. However, after months of service and smuggling a friend back on base in the trunk, I fell in love with the car. I also discovered motorsport auto and the rest of the aftermarket. I had the radiator replaced, and was set to be stationed overseas in Japan for the next two years. I drove the car cross country to Connecticut to store in my parents' yard until I returned. Never had a problem the entire trip.
Almost 4 years later I returned and began work. The car was a mess. Mice had made several homes, including one who ate a clean hole right through the air filter. I hope he was still there when I started the car back up. Several more mice were found when I removed the dash and got to the heater core. But my mind was full of ideas for the car and I continued to disassemble it for restoration. Originally, the intention was to bring back an RB25DET from overseas, but I was pressed for time when I left there and wasn't able to mull about finding an engine when I had other things to pack.So the motor swap became a low priority. Besides, it was much easier to acquire a turbocharged version of the L28 (because of cost) in the states than an RB.
Suspension was the first to be revamped, and a rear disc brake conversion. Every part that wasn't replaced was cleaned and recoated with fresh paint. This took months, and everything was done in my own garage. I bought some ZG flares, a front airdam, BRE spoiler and some rare FairladyZ fender mirrors from Japan. Then began the bodywork. I removed the humongous bumpers, smoothed everything the best I could and shaved the rear of the car flush. Minor engine work was done, just enough to get it to run right again. Headers and the twice pipes exhaust were installed. Then the car was painted bright orange with flat black accents. For my first time using a spray gun its not too bad, but I think it could be better.
Displaying entries 1-5 of 9
beautiful Z 5*
hook my car up...i'll fly u out.lol can u help me wit low psi from tank? fuel pump new and lines clean.when fuel tank is in canno problem but when connected to tank, bad sputter.
I fixed the Haltech connection problem just the other day. It seems to have randomly "fixed itself," and decided to start working with my laptop. I changed nothing, just started it up the same way again hoping it would work and it did. Weird. Of course now I've got a few dead sensors and a possible BHG... Everything evens itself out somehow...
hey step brother (car wise), still having that haltech issue I might be able to help.
Sharp ride. Nice job. 5*s
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