The 280z trip is finally over from which you read in the previous chapter of the 280z story and now we have to gaze at all the impending work that’s about to happen over probably the next two years. The night of arrival we hastily shoved the 280z into the garage and went home to get some much needed rest. The next Friday, December 22nd we started getting the place of storage for the 280z cleaned up so we can have room to work. I would like to take this time to thank Matt for allowing us to store the car at this location, without the garage we would be working outside under a covered driveway.
We started by moving everything outside, cleaning the floors, spraying every joint & seam with insecticide and then moving everything back into the garage neatly so we can have a neat area to work with. Eventually, we plan on renting out our own shop space (anyone with a decent shop space in Central Florida email me!) but this setup is just so we can get started on the 280z project.
Now with everything cleaned up in the garage we can get a closer inspection of the 280z in its new resting place. It’s so nice having a dedicated place that’s somewhat sealed from the outside elements to work on your car, I’m always working on my vehicles in a driveway or under a carport so it’s nice for a change. Moving on from the garage cleanup another week has gone by and let’s take a peek at the 280z, get ready for rust because you’re going to find a lot of it hiding in here.
As you can see the engine bay is a complete mess and we’re currently rolling The Flintstones status with the missing floor pans. Our first task will be stripping out the rank interior so we can get to cutting out our rusty floors in the future. I gave Mike the duty of ripping out what we had left of the disintegrating carpet (If you’ve ever seen It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Mike described it as Charles underwear in The High School Reunion episode) while I went to get the rusty rear bumper removed so we can have more room moving around the car. The hardest part in this whole process was removing the damn seat sliders. The sliders must have been sitting in water consisting of 99% salt for years because well… they didn’t slide. Our first human instinct was to beat the shit out of the seats hoping they would budge and then we could unbolt them from the floor. It didn’t work like that. Onto the next plan of attack! We soaked the slider rails in WD40 (Should have used the PB Blaster!) and went back to the natural human instinct of hitting the bottom of the seats to budge them free… It worked. With the seats out we can finally see what we’re working with and she ain’t pretty. Let’s just say we’re going to order some new full sized floor pans and rails to weld in because they’re non-existent until you get to the rear sub-frame section of the car. That’s it for this weekend of work on the 280z.
After getting the car interior stripped out I decided to use some of my time during the work week to find any local donor cars in local junkyards. After searching the Car-Part website I found a yard 10 miles away from me with a 280zx turbo, you can say this peaked my interest because the 280zx turbo came with a L28ET engine which are a great drop in replacement for people looking for a little more power under the hood of their Datsun S30 chassis. I packed up a few things and headed on my way to do some 280zx turbo recon.
Upon arrival, I must say this was a true “Junk Yard” and nothing like nice LKQ locations. I met with an older gentleman that looks like he was born from the junkyard himself & asked him about a 1983 280zx turbo they had in inventory, he replied with “What’s that”… I said it was a Nissan and asked where could I find it in the yard. The guy pointed at an RV that looked like it was floating in the air & said “Past that RV and over there somewhere”. I started on my way through what looked like car hell looking for this mystery 280zx turbo.
Along the way I spotted some cars I wish I could help & take home with me. One of these cars being a little Miata with an ugly paint scheme, an Acura RSX which was destroyed, a proper late 80’s Celica GT-S, a decent 300ZX and I also spied an old FC RX7 too (I want to do an FC RX7 project sometime). It saddens me seeing all these cool cars in here if I had unlimited garage space and money they would all come home with me haha. I also found the Car and Coffee corner filled with Mustangs.
After 15 minutes of walking around I finally found my impending disappointment. Here’s my 280zx turbo I’ve been looking for.
Great new everyone! The car comes with its very own ecosystem! The 280zx turbo had obviously been robbed of a lot of things (most importantly the turbo manifold & turbo) & looked like absolute shit (If you want any of this email me). Funnily enough, it was sitting next to a 240sx S13 which was a car I’ve owned before (My old S13 coupe). With the disappointment meter hitting overload I took some pictures and followed the maze of abandoned cars back to the exit of the yard & started on my way back home.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter of the 280z story, stick around for more articles if you’re interested and check out some of our other content too. I try and aim for monthly updates on the 280z but don’t suspect for every month to have one. You can see updates on the 280z on our Instagram account Scrapeddd_Official before they become articles on the site.