300ZX Update, somewhat overdue
Because I'm too lazy to plug in my phone to get the pics onto my computer, this post has been delayed a couple times already.
As you may remember, last time we saw the Z32 1994 NA 300ZX 2+0, it was running and driving and waiting on registration paperwork. Good news, title transferred and plate issued, so we are legal now, but I really should consider pausing my insurance because who knows when she's going to be back on the road?
In no particular order:
battery hold-down and windshield cowl replaced (evidently these two parts are missing from every 300ZX, discarded in some autoparts parking lot when the first battery swap happened circa 1999)
hatch lift cylinders replaced, which helped with removing the awful window tint
yes, I'm going to need a replacement defroster grid <sigh>
Next came a shifter rebuild...
Yes, there's a missing rubber support which is supposed to hold up the shifter assembly, which the PO tried to repair with a tin can and some zip ties (see upper left in photo). They also used a piece of garden hose in the shifter bushing... both have been replaced with OEM parts. The broken shifter bracket meant the shifter mechanism was riding directly on the driveshaft (!) which could have ended badly
next up, rear shocks, which PO had replaced once with adjustables which had leaked badly enough to be solidly coated with crusty road grime
Note the OEM calipers!
Replaced with aftermarket non-adjustables after much swearing and wrestling with spring compressors
somewhere in there, the oil and filter got changed... which means I got a good look under the car and OMG there's a lot of leaks. Everything is coated in fluid. The power steering pump has drenched the alternator and belts, the valve covers appear to have coated the engine block and the clutch lines have lubricated the transmission.
Oh and there's a tiny coolant leak which looks like it's coming from the hose clamp
So that's going to take some time to diagnose and correct.
I was hoping to not have to pull the intake plenum, but if I'm going to have to replace the valve cover gaskets, it's all coming off and I might as well check / change the timing belt and cam seals, as well as the pcv's and possibly an EGR delete or clean... which makes for a big job with lots of parts to procure before I can start.
Other than a spray and wipe, I haven't done anything for the interior yet, but internet research says I can get new fabric for the seats and trim as well as carpet, so that's the plan. The OEM radio is already gone, but the factory Bose speakers (each with it's own mini-amp built in) have sorta survived
and will be replaced with something aftermarket from Crutchfield (2 door speakers, 2 rear speakers and someone added 2 tweeters to the upper door panels which I will either keep or cover over when I get to reskinning the doors). The interior is so small, I don't think there's any reason to add a sub as long as I get a decent head unit and speakers, although the parcel shelf and space behind the front seats would make for an interesting custom box install.
More updates to follow as time and finances permit. I'm amazed at how many current and active Z32 300ZX build projects one can find on YouTube, which sometimes distracts me from actual progress, but at least there's plenty of how-tos out there.
Stay Safe, Oppos
interstate366 last edited by
Obligatory @Nauraushaun tag
WhoIsTheLeader last edited by
@jayvincent You are doing some good work to this poor neglected car. The hack job shifter "repair" really makes me wonder.
@whoistheleader It really looks mostly original and unmolested, but it does annoy me that someone took the time to do a hack job repairing the shifter when a new bracket was only $70. The engine bay has the same mix - someone changed the high pressure fuel lines, but not the fuel filter. New clutch master cylinder, but the original rubber line to the slave cylinder. I'm anxious to see what the timing belt and cam seals look like, as that will give me a timeline for the last time someone paid attention to periodic maintenance.
rctothefuture last edited by
300Z's need all the love they can. I hope we are getting to the point where the dumb teenage owners are letting go so folks can get them cheap and restore them.
Have fun with the timing belt, I've heard it's not a fun job on these.
@rctothefuture You are on the mark - I bought it from a 20-something who definitely had fun burning the rear tires off it, but didn't have the money to maintain it. Re: timing chain, I'm going to attempt to do it without pulling the engine, but I will pull the radiator and front bumper (cracked getting replaced anyway), so I'm hoping it goes as easily as the youtubers suggest. Give me a couple months and I'll post the saga. Thanks for the words of encouragement!
rctothefuture last edited by
@jayvincent I look forward to it! The 300Z is my "secret love" as I'm really not into JDM stuff. It's just so different from everything else. It handles better than a Supra, more reliable than a 3000 GT, cheaper than an NSX, and not as fragile as a RX7 FD, if it weren't for that engine bay it'd be perfect.
I've always compared the 300 to a C4 vette and the 300 always win, but the swan song of american V8's woo me back every time. If I find a good deal I'll probably take the plunge on a C4 or a 300z, whatever shows up first.
Nauraushaun last edited by
@jayvincent Re: timing chain, I'm going to attempt to do it without pulling the engine, but I will pull the radiator and front bumper (cracked getting replaced anyway), so I'm hoping it goes as easily as the youtubers suggest. Give me a couple months and I'll post the saga. Thanks for the words of encouragement!
Me and a friend replaced the timing belt* on my Z, rad out, engine in, bumper on. It wasn't too bad and we aren't good mechanics. You can do it.
Nice update! Things are moving along well. I wonder replaced the shifter bushing from inside the car without taking the thing out, was a pain but can be done.
That window tint looks like an assss.
I found my old Kinja posts that I've stored about reviving my stricken Z, I'll make a new post, add pics and tag you.
onlytwowheels last edited by
I went car shopping with a friend's son who was in the market for a Z32. We looked at 3 one afternoon. Every single one was in need of a clutch, and well on it's way to what you have there. All were priced in the $5,000 - $6,000 range at local used car lots.
@onlytwowheels I -may- have paid ~1/2 that for my "running/driving" NA 300ZX, so I don't feel like I got a bad deal, but I bet I'll have at least $5k in it before it's safe enough to DD
@nauraushaun Thanks for the encouragement, it's good to hear from firsthand experience the timing belt isn't impossible for a home garage. The internets were divided on replacing the shifter bushings without dropping the y-bracket from underneath, but it wasn't much of a struggle with a flex-head ratchet to flip underneath for the upside down stud/nut removal. I'll keep Oppo posted on progress.