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 Post subject: 78 280z 2+2 Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:48 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Colorado Springs
Greetings fellow JNCers! Just picked a 280z 2+2 as my new project and thought I'd share my adventure with you guys. It's a 1978 280z 2+2 with 90k miles and some rust. Not the prettiest car at the moment but I've got big plans for this Fairlady :) Being 19 and owning two cars means this restoration will probably take quite some time but I assure you this Z will be restored to its former glory. Here's some photos to hold you guys over for now.

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And here it is beside my other JNC and my daily, a 1986 MR2.
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 Post subject: Re: 78 280z 2+2 Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:23 pm
Posts: 3
Nice find! I went with a '78 2+2 as well, wanted to pull off a different look than all the coupes I've seen out there. The longer and slightly wider stance of the body looks killer when lowered with the correct set of wheel/tire combo. Plan to go 16"-17" for a filled in look, I've seen 15" and they look too small under the arches.
Mine has roughly 180K on the odo, requires all bushings to be replaced and some other bits to get her safe...aka...brake system.

I'm planning to go triple Weber dcoe carbs, picked up a set with Cannon manifold just last week and wil begin the EFI to carb conversion once I acquire all the parts to swap.

Keep us posted.


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 Post subject: Re: 78 280z 2+2 Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:48 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Colorado Springs
AdreView wrote:
Nice find! I went with a '78 2+2 as well, wanted to pull off a different look than all the coupes I've seen out there. The longer and slightly wider stance of the body looks killer when lowered with the correct set of wheel/tire combo. Plan to go 16"-17" for a filled in look, I've seen 15" and they look too small under the arches.
Mine has roughly 180K on the odo, requires all bushings to be replaced and some other bits to get her safe...aka...brake system.

I'm planning to go triple Weber dcoe carbs, picked up a set with Cannon manifold just last week and wil begin the EFI to carb conversion once I acquire all the parts to swap.

Keep us posted.


Thanks! I personally thought the 2+2 kinda ruined the rear 3/4 view until I actually bought mine. Now I love it! For now I've just been focusing on getting everything up to par as it's not in terrible condition but it's pretty clear this car has been neglected for most of it's life. I have big plans for her though :)


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 Post subject: Re: 78 280z 2+2 Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:48 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Colorado Springs
And now for an update! This was my first day off in a long time so I got a lot done today! Did a full tune up (oil, oil filter, air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs, wires, cap and rotor) Got the oil pressure gauge to work, oil was seeping past the oil pressure sender so I cleaned it all up and made sure it was on there tight. Filled up on fluids and adjusted the idle. Then I moved onto the inside, took out all the seats and pulled back the carpeting where I made a very unfortunate discovery. Rust.
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One tennis ball size hole on the passenger side and two of the same size on the drivers side. The previous owner decided to cover it with a fiberglass patch but not actually fix it. So the plan is to tear out the tar and cut and weld in new panels and then paint the floorboards with rust proof. So, so far I have found rust in the floorboards, driver's side frame rail, on the body panels where salt was being kicked up behind the wheels and some bubbling up under the paint.
I also cleaned up the garage that'll be the Z's new home in a few days where I can really start the restoration. I just ordered from rock auto(anyone have any experience buying parts from them?) ball joints, tie rods, thermostat, radiator hoses and the oil pan gasket.
And here's an engine bay pic since this post has been pretty low on images and very heavy on text.
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I promise that as I do bigger jobs on the Z thatll I post more pics. Until next time, mata ne!


Last edited by TougeJunkie on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 78 280z 2+2 Restoration
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:48 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Colorado Springs
And now for another update!
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The Z is now in the garage! It's a tight fit next to my roommates Ducati but I'm happy to have it. It didn't take long before I started to tear the car apart to rebuild it. First thing I got my hands dirty with was the oil pan.
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Went ahead and painted it with rust proof enamel and then with VHT engine enamel and replaced the gasket which was in a very sad state at this point.
Then I got into it deep and disassembled the front suspension. Wasn't the easiest task to do with all of the rust and factory loc-tite. After getting it all off the car and cleaning up this is what I ended up with.
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And now for some comparison photos!
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All of the parts were wire brushed by hand and the painted with rust proof enamel and then some wonderful VHT Chassis and Suspension Enamel. I'm really happy with the way they came out. And yes, this was the only place I could place all of the suspension to get this picture. Almost ready to be put back together, just waiting on another compression rod that I ordered off of Ebay because this is what my other one looked like:
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I've also ordered quite a few more parts including new rotors, brake hoses, a complete set of Hyperflex Polyurethane Bushings, thermostat, radiator hoses, drain plug, cap, oil pressure sending unit and a few pieces of literature including a few JNC magazines to keep me inspired. Expect another update soon when I receive my compression rod and have the front of the car back together. And again, until next time, mata ne!


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 Post subject: Re: 78 280z 2+2 Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:48 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Colorado Springs
Haven't done an update in a long time, so thought I'd fill you guys in on what's going on with the Fairlady! Got the car back together, but after attempting to bleed the brakes for hours I realized the master cylinder was leaking. So replaced that, bled it, and then bled the system. Then I replaced the rear shoes and wheel cylinders and adjusted them. Flushed the coolant and replaced the thermostat and radiator hoses. The end results were phenomenal! The car now handles and brakes the way a sports car should. No more play in the steering, no more pumping the brakes trying to get them to stop. I couldn't be happier! So then I decided to start working on the body. The previous owner for some reason decided to go with a god-awful two tone primer paint job. Initially the plan was to save up and have it professionally painted, but after seeing that primer black long enough I decided to take a crash course in auto body and tackle it myself. Using a combination of 180 grit sand paper, lacquer thinner and a lot of patience I slowly stripped away the primer to reveal the original paint that was under it.
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After a few hours it was slowly coming together:
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Eventually I got the majority of it off the car and thought I'd try using my newly purchased orbital sander to polish the paint, so far I've been very pleased with how it's turning out.
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There is still a lot more I have to do but I'm really enjoying it. When its all polished up I'll probably add another layer or two of clear coat. But as of now this is how it sits.
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If you could only chose one, which would it be, a 280z 2+2 or a AW11 MR2? :)


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 Post subject: Re: 78 280z 2+2 Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:11 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:23 am
Posts: 156
Location: Carolina, PuertoRico
the 280z without thinking it twice :mrgreen: ; selling the mr2 would give you the money you need to get it working better :wink: ( also made the mistake of having too many cars to fix; one ends up with many incomplete projects). LOve the work on this z keep it up 8)


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 Post subject: Re: 78 280z 2+2 Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:48 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Colorado Springs
eduardo i. wrote:
the 280z without thinking it twice :mrgreen: ; selling the mr2 would give you the money you need to get it working better :wink: ( also made the mistake of having too many cars to fix; one ends up with many incomplete projects). LOve the work on this z keep it up 8)


Oh, well that was simply a hypothetical question haha. I could never think of selling my MR2, I love her to death! The thing is, is that my 2 has been bulletproof, all it ever requires is simple routine maintenance even with all the thrashings it takes 8)

Thanks though! She's slowly coming together and I'm enjoying every second of it :mrgreen:


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