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Thread: Project Tough Love - 1977 280Z daily driver

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    9

    Project Tough Love - 1977 280Z daily driver

    Hey everyone, I'd like to share my build with you and hopefully receive some helpful tips along the way. So let's start with the back story.

    I used to drive an '04 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart. It was my first car and I loved it up until the day it was totaled by a drunk driver in a Caddy DeVille :x .


    Enter the Z.

    After 2 months and being enfluenced by my dad and pics of his old Z, I found what looked to be the perfect one on Ebaymotors . The car was in Liverpool, NY so me and my girlfriend took a 4 hour drive to meet the guy halfway to check out the car. It was beautiful, fresh paint, new leather interior, headers, and it sounded great. Everything seemed to check out so I had him draw up a contract stating he would "warranty" anything that went wrong with the claimed rebuilt motor within the first 90 days.


    Enter the problems.

    Two weeks into owning the car it spun a bearing :td: . After carpooling for 2 weeks I received a "rebuilt" motor and had it put in. Everything was going great until the trans started giving me problems getting into and out of gear until it finally locked me out of gear. Turned out the slave cylinder took a crap. So I replaced the slave cylinder, line, clutch and pressure plate, and throw out bearing. Then came the suspension. The previous owner put Tokico shocks and springs in but put the front in the rear and the rears in the front so the car sat nose up. When I went to installed the new shocks and springs I found that he had also welded part of the rusted left rear control arm together! I replaced them with Techno Toy Tunings rear control arms and bushings.



    Six months into the "rebuilt" motor and it started burning oil. 12 months in and it was burning 5 quarts a week! Turns out the company was a scam and sent people junkyard motors after painting and cleaning them up :evil: . So I rehoned the block, cleaned the head and did a valve job, replaced the rod bearings and put in a new piston and ring set.




    I also sourced out a F54 turbo block and matching P90 head online for a great price so I picked it up in hopes to one day rebuild it with some power and swap it in.


    Now fast foward to Feb. 2011 and one night on my way home from work I get cut off and hit by some young punk! Not only was he driving like an ass he was driving a new Accord coupe riced out with lambo doors, chrome trim out the ass and a rattle can of an exhaust :roll: . I decided to then give the car a facelift and change out the body kit bumper for an air dam and 240 style bumper.


    Currently there hasn't been any changes since the body work, due to moving into an apartment with my girlfriend and being out of work with a broken collar bone for a couple months. But I have big plans for this budget build, daily driven Z :mrgreen: .

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Elbow deep in grease, in a garage somewhere in Sydney
    Posts
    160

    Re: Project Tough Love - 1977 280Z daily driver

    Yeesh, you weren't kidding when you said tough love. I guess it makes the troubles I've been having with my 2+2 seem a little trivial, the only faults in it have been due to old age not dodgy work by previous owners (so far anyway)

    I love that colour! Colour can make or break a Z. Plus the new front end looks much better IMO.

    Chin up, when it gets tough just look back on how far its already come! That always helps me when enthusiasm is lacking :mrgreen:

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Orange County
    Posts
    248

    Re: Project Tough Love - 1977 280Z daily driver

    ...Nice to see another daily driven 280z 8) Good call on getting rid of the body kit :mrgreen: Looks great...

    My clutch slave ate it last year... Along with everything else, lol. Since finally sorting out the TPS and vacuum line woes, and getting the AC working, I've always had fun dailying the 280z; with the injection and AC, you can almost treat it like a "normal" car.

    Are you running the stock injection system still?

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    9

    Re: Project Tough Love - 1977 280Z daily driver

    Quote Originally Posted by tj75gc
    Yeesh, you weren't kidding when you said tough love. I guess it makes the troubles I've been having with my 2+2 seem a little trivial, the only faults in it have been due to old age not dodgy work by previous owners (so far anyway)

    I love that colour! Colour can make or break a Z. Plus the new front end looks much better IMO.

    Chin up, when it gets tough just look back on how far its already come! That always helps me when enthusiasm is lacking :mrgreen:
    Haha yeah and I even left out a TON of other small problems to say the least. For one, it never wanted to start in the cold so I always needed to make sure I woke up early and plugged in the block heater the previous owner installed. Low and behold months later I found out that the thermo time switch plug was plugged into the wrong sensor. And was starting the car by turning the ignition lock with a screw driver because the key was worn and got stuck in the cylinder. Also JUST recently replaced my heater control valve which had leaked coolant and corroded numerous connectors under the dash. So yeah many problems but I wouldn't trade her for anything

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    9

    Re: Project Tough Love - 1977 280Z daily driver

    Quote Originally Posted by Dachshund
    ...Nice to see another daily driven 280z 8) Good call on getting rid of the body kit :mrgreen: Looks great...

    My clutch slave ate it last year... Along with everything else, lol. Since finally sorting out the TPS and vacuum line woes, and getting the AC working, I've always had fun dailying the 280z; with the injection and AC, you can almost treat it like a "normal" car.

    Are you running the stock injection system still?
    Yeah that front body kit bumper definitely took away from the sleek line of the car. My clutch master cylinder seal just started leaking recently and I have the replacement but I broke my collar bone last month so I haven't been doing much. And yes I'm still running the stock injection system. I'm not trying to do much while this motor is in the car. I want to build the F54 and P90 with a decent turbo to make a safe but fun DD. I want to go with a distributorless setup using this bracket from zccjdm.com

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