My current Z was my daily driver until I messed it up trying to figure out why it was running so rough… I promise I’ll go into that more in a later post.
At any rate, we are now left with just one vehicle and we are trying to pay down some debt so I have no desire to go and spend a lot of money on another car. My wife and I were driving around looking for something cheap to just get us by, maybe something that just needed a little TLC that we could sell for more than we paid for it once we are done with it. We drove past a used car lot that had a lot of mid to early 2000s BMW 3, 5 and 7 series so I wanted to stop by and take a look. There was a section of the lot next to a garage with what I guess are cars that need to be fixed up just barely enough so they can be sold and I caught a glimpse of the unmistakable posterior of a Z32 300ZX.
You can probably tell from the photo that this car is in need of some attention. I remember seeing this car on the lot when I was searching for my Z in 2010 and it was in much better condition then. It has been sitting here for at least 4 years and has been through many Oklahoma hail storms. It’s been repainted pretty badly and doesn’t have the original front windshield but I’m still interested in saving the car.
You would think it should be easy enough to work out a deal with this guy to take this car off his hands but since that day 2 weeks ago I have been trying to contact the owner of this car lot by phone and I’ve been by there at least 4 times and no one is there. I’m not really sure what is going on but several of the cars in the lot have the windows down and are just sitting through rain slowly decaying. It’s safe to say that this is not a top flight used car dealership. I did see someone in one of the cars during one of my visits and when I went over to talk to him I realized it was a homeless man living in a Honda Accord! He told me that he hasn’t seen the owner for a couple of weeks so who knows if I’ll ever track him down. I will keep trying to save this car or at least find out the car’s story to see if it’s worth saving, I suspect that it is.
I’ll update this post if I make any progress on this car salvation!
I still have Z car searches from Craigslist show up in my Outlook RSS feeds from when I had the big hunt for my next Z going on last year. From time to time they’ll catch my eye and I’ll pop over and take a look at the details. Today one grabbed my attention and when I looked at the exterior photos it appeared to be well cared for.
As I got to photos of the interior it looked a little less cared for and then came the engine bay shot. At first I just thought to myself it was very dirty and hadn’t had any real attention paid to it and then I looked closer and realized it was missing the timing belt covers! I guess the car will run fine like that but there is no way in the world that is ideal! To each his own I guess but I can’t imagine why they didn’t put them back on.
Since my last post I’ve done quite a bit checking on the Z. The car feels incredibly underpowered to me and it lags horribly when taking off from a stop. It also idles rough. I did some checking and ran into a post on twinturbo.net that described my problems perfectly with one simple solution; replace the fuel injectors. It sounds easy enough in theory but as anyone who has worked on a Z32 before will know there is quite a bit of work involved in getting to them. You have to remove the intake manifold (plenum) and this requires the removal of several hoses, etc. along the way. Once I have this off I plan on trying to do the timing belt as well since I have been unable to find out when it was last done. I’m also going to put new seals on the valve covers because it appears to me to be leaking oil on the passenger side. I will likely also take this opportunity to replace anything else that appears to need it.
I’m sure I’ll learn a lot or end up having to tow it into a mechanic with a box full of parts to get it completed. Either way this car is in bad need of several things and I wish that I would have inspected it more closely before I finalized the purchase. I probably paid $1000 too much but it’s hard to say since these cars are becoming harder and harder to find.
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