I wanted a Datsun Z but didnt have Datsun Z money. So what did I do? Found the absolute cheapest Z in the tri-state area (PA, NJ, NY) on craigslist. What did I end up with? A $700 1976 280Z. I rented an auto transport trailer from UHaul and hooked it up to my Cherokee and drove about 90 miles from Philly to North Jersey. When I got to the house, the owners two car garage was open and visible from the street. I could see a husk of an S30 peeking out. "Maybe hes got another Z behind that POS?", I say to myself. No, that POS was what I came to buy. The fender was off, the hood was laying on the side. Someone had taken an angle grinder to probe some potential rust spots, the roof was some how worse than the swiss cheese / bondo mix from the photos, the rear drums were seized to the shoes... but it was still a Z and I knew then and there I was going to get it home. So after a sledge hammer and some PB blaster to free the brakes, I filled the dry rotted tires, duct taped the doors shut and rolled it on the trailer. My Cherokees radiator had a crack in it, rear suspension near bottoming out from all the tow weight, it was raining the entire trip back, and Uhaul trailer lights intermittent. All that said, with the help from my brother and a lot of luck, I got it home. Now a little over a year later, I'm still knuckle deep in this build and can damn near take it apart in my sleep. In hind sight, could I have saved up and bought a better Z? Sure. But once I got within arms length of that car I knew I had to have it and nothing else. It was a POS but it was going to be mine. The project was completely over my head but thats half the fun. Stick around for my project and watch as Lil Rotty the local menace hits the streets of Philly.

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homepage tile photo for 280Z - Simplified Injector Harness / PALLNET Fuel Rail
280Z - Simplified Injector Harness / PALLNET Fuel Rail

Here is my current progress in my quest to make the Z’s engine bay more simple while still maintain

homepage tile photo for Audi Style Injector Plugs on a 280Z
Audi Style Injector Plugs on a 280Z

3 of 6 done. I had to replace my injector clips and instead of using an oem style, I went with the

[]Tom Armstrong


homepage tile photo for undefined

When you go to replace your thermostat and realize the previous owner didnt put one in...

[]Mister Modtomic

I pulled my thermostat once when I was like 19 and knew no better. I learned later that winter how heaters work...well, actually how they don't work without the thermostat! Then, later, I learned how an engine makes LESS power without that thermostat and how it will actually make a little more power with a higher temp thermostat. Ya live, ya learn.

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[]Robert Sixto

Sorting previous owner problems is always a headache.

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[]Gregory Garoppolo

My PO stripped the heads off the screws while replacing my thermostat. Instead of replacing the screws he used a hack saw to create a groove for a flathead screw driver. It did not work. I broke my EZ outs on it and then the mechanic broke 4 more fixing this problem created by cheapness and laziness. The guy had enough parts Volvos around that these bolts just needed to be located, but laziness prevailed.

[]Nicholas Koenig

Damn! I say if you’re going to do it, do it right. I follow this motto 85% of the time haha.

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[]Andrew Taylor

It's a common occurrence in Florida.

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[]Timothy Markworth

There's enough going on in this one photo to summon multiple nervous chuckles.

[]Mister Modtomic

Those block off plates?

[]Nicholas Koenig

Its a cold start delete. The retro fit throttle body Im going to be running will have modern cold start provisions. Even w/o the cold start all you have to do is hold your foot on the pedal for a little to let it warm up. I think its worth the simplified engine bay.

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