Category Archives: My Z Search

My 300ZX – The search is over and now the work begins

Well, I flew out to Kentucky 2 days ago and purchased a 300ZX 2+2 with all the requirements that I’ve been searching for.  It had 109,380 miles on it when I purchased it and I put 850 miles more on it driving it back to Oklahoma yesterday.  The fact that it made the entire trip without incident is a good sign to me that it’s a pretty sound car.  However, being in the car for 11 hours or so gave me a chance to see and hear quite a few small issues that I need to fix.  I haven’t had a chance yet to go over the car entirely but below is a list of things that I’ve noticed so far that I want to take care of.  I will update this post as I check things off the list or add new ones.

The List! (in no particular order)

Temperature Gauge is broken, it’s all over the place
>This was working for a while over the weekend but then flaked out again last night.
10-8-2010:  This has happened for a long time, it may be fixed now, I cleaned the connector on the temperature sensor as referenced here in this guide:

Left blinker blinks way too fast
>This corrected itself when I was checking the bulbs on the driver’s side.  I did find that the rear marker light was out and replaced it along with the passenger side front marker.

Red light on dash when brakes are applied
>I’m still working on this one.  According to what I have found this indicates a bad brake light bulb but I’ve replaced all of the rear bulbs and the problem still exists.  I can’t seem to find any corrosion either but there may be a wire somewhere that is shorted out.
08-09-2010:  I finally fixed this, it was the bulbs in the third brake light that were burned out.  I forgot all about that one.  New problem is I broke the  black plastic around that brake light and will have to replace it, I was first trying to remove that piece to get to the light.  That’s a $200 stupid mistake but a small piece of what it’s going to take to get this car to where I want it.

Check if alarm light and beep is normal when door is opened
>I think this is normal but haven’t really dug too much into it.

Cigarette lighter doesn’t work
>I fixed this by replacing the blown fuse.

Need OEM key FOBs
>I searched online briefly to see if I could find one of these with no luck yet.
08-09-2010:  I was under the driver side dash the other day and found out this has an aftermarket (Valet) keyless entry installed.  I’m not sure why they aren’t using the OEM one or if it even still works now that the aftermarket one is all wired in there.  I’ll still try to get back to OEM since the current one doesn’t work properly with the alarm or rear hatch.

Dash lights are too dim
>I’ve seen a forum post or the like in the past that talks about upgrading these to brighter lights.  I’ll search for it and post a link here when I find it.

Rear Hatch doesn’t close tight enough and hatch release doesn’t work
>This was a simple fix, the latching mechanism simply wasn’t adjusted properly so I loosened the bolts and dropped it down a little and the hatch closes snug now.

Dashboard is warped around defrost vents and passenger airbag
>I’m not sure what I’ll do about this really, it’s not that bad so I’ll probably just leave it for now.

Hole in leather on driver’s seat
>I temporarily tried to “fix” this with gorilla glue duct tape but it looked pretty bad and started to peel off pretty quick.  I’ve decided for now I’ll be fine with it as is until I redo the interior.  I may also search for some of that stuff like I used to see on infomercials that you repair vinyl holes with.

AC isn’t consistent, only seems to blow cold set at 60, blows warm at 65
>I’m sure I’ll have to take the car in to get this looked at.

Needs OEM shift knob and boot
>I saw these on for $125 so I think I’ll shop around for used first.

Emergency brake needs to be adjusted, doesn’t engage early enough or go far enough down

Missing piece of plastic above AC vents on center console
10-08-2010:  I purchased a replacement screw cover from

Missing rear roll out trunk cover.
10-08-2010:  I now know this is called the tonneau cover and I’ve seen them listed for $400+ so I think that I can live without that.

Front intake cover where Nissan emblem is needs to be fitted properly
>I had this off this weekend when I was cleaning the K&N filter that is on this car and was able to adjust it to fit properly when I put it back on.

Rear bumper dented and cracked, needs replaced

Front fascia cracked, I plan to put a JDM front on at some point.

Passenger front fender paint not matched after repair, needs to be matched up
>This fender also seems to be adjusted so I may try to do that first.  I play to make note of all paint related things that need to be fixed and have it all done at once.  I’ll need to paint the new front fascia and rear bumper when I get those anyway.

Power antenna needs to be replaced

Door trim screws need to be replaced
>There is a missing screw on the driver’s side plus they seem a little discolored.
10-08-2010:  I replaced these screws with new ones from

Rear windshield wiper needs to be replaced
>This was obviously an easy one to knock out.

Preparing to give my Z car a home

There is a little work to be done here.

Now that I am about to finalize the purchase of my next Z I have been thinking about the first thing that I’m going to do with it when I get it home.  First things first though; I am going to want to park it in the garage and I don’t want to kick any of the other cars out of the garage so I need to clean up the 3rd bay which has basically been used as storage and a collect-all for 11 years.  I spent a day this weekend taking stuff up to the attic and to our storage shed to make room for my Fairlady.  I’m not sure I’ve done anything for a while that required that much physical effort so I’m a little sore right now but that might just be more of that oldmanitis.  At any rate, I did get the garage cleaned out good enough to fit another car so now I just need to get that car to its new home.

Now it's ready to house the Z

I’m getting excited about heading out next week to purchase the car and I’m looking forward to driving it back to Oklahoma.  I’ll be driving it back this Thursday and won’t get back home until probably around 10 or 11 PM and then I’ll turn around and go into work on Friday morning.  I know I’ll be eager come Saturday to be up with the roosters and get this car out so I can clean every inch of it.  It doesn’t matter how clean it is when I buy it I’m sure I can spend a few hours on it.  Once I get it shined up I’ll probably do a photo shoot with it and throw some pictures on here.

It will be nice to finally use the 3rd bay in our garage for another car, especially one that I am so eager to have.

Jetting off to Kentucky

1996 Nissan 300ZX 2+2Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post I believe the search is over.  I’ve committed to the purchase of my next Z by buying a one-way ticket to Lexington, KY for next Wednesday evening and a $39 hotel room thanks to Travelocity.  The plan is that I will fly out that evening and stay in downtown Lexington getting rested up for the next day when we’ll finalize the purchase and then I’m on a 11+ hour road drip back to Oklahoma.  I think it should be a fun first drive in my new 300ZX and a chance for me to get to know the car really well.  I’m not too nervous whether it will make it or not but the owner did tell me he took it in to have the tires rotated and balanced today and they told him one of the tires needs to be replaced.  I’m hoping that is the typical hard sell that most tire shops put on to get you to replace tires early but I guess I’ll find out when I see it for myself.  He gave me the option to buy one that he’d have them put on but I told him I would just check it out when I get there.  If it is really bad then I’ll find a cheap tire somewhere to throw on there.  I plan on getting the Infiniti G35 17″ 6 spoke wheels at some point so the mismatched tires, which would normally drive me crazy, will hopefully not be around too long.  I also talked to him about the exhaust and he said he has a midas exhaust on there now similar to OEM so that should hold me for a while until I can decide on exactly which exhaust I want to put on it.

I’m sure there will be quite a few things wrong with this car but hopefully nothing major and mostly cosmetic.  The pictures that I have seen make it appear to be in good condition but it’s hard to tell until you actually see it up close and personal.  It had some points deducted from it by because it had been in a fender bender (before this last one) and has had 6 owners.  Early on in my search I think this deterred me a bit from this car but the longer I searched the more I realized that compared to what was available out there this one is really solid.  When I would find other 5 speed 2+2s if they were well taken care of then people were asking too much for them and on the other end of the spectrum there would be some that were completely ragged out and the seller was still asking quite a bit, relatively speaking.

I consider myself lucky to find this one.  We’ll see if I’m still feeling lucky next week when I am cruising down the open road with this car.  I sure hope so.