In our last post, we introduced this 1983 Nissan 280ZX which, while in decent overall shape for a 35-year-old car, still needed a bit of TLC.  We touched on the background, and the engine, transmission & fuel system, but so much more was work was needed to be done! Starting with the suspension and brakes…

1983 280ZX strut cartridge

Because the suspension and brakes were in generally good condition, an “as needed” approach was taken. For the suspension, the Springs, shocks and struts were in dire need of replacement. We replaced the strut cartridges, coil springs, tie rods and ball joints, as well as most of the suspension bushings.  The steering rack on this 280ZX was leaking and the power steering pump was not functioning correctly, so we installed a newly rebuilt steering rack and new power steering pump to solve ours steering issues.  As for the brakes, we installed new front and rear brake calipers and hoses, bled the brakes and voila – all was good! 

Rather than keeping the original wheels as shown to us by our customer in the 1983 Nissan brochure that he had coveted, our customer opted to have us upgrade the wheels to 15" Silver Panasports – making this 280ZX truly his own.

1983 280ZX Panasport Wheels

Electrically, the car was in pretty good shape.  We installed a new starter and new gauges, and replaced a few other items under the hood.  A new performance aluminum radiator, new water pump, thermostat, heater hoses and rebuilt heater control valve were installed to round out the heating and cooling system. While this 280ZX did have original Air Conditioning, we upgraded the A/C to a new R-134 system and the Auto Climate Control system was reworked to debug the usual gremlins.   The result?  Ice Cold A/C!

1983 Nissan 280ZX Air Conditioning Kit

So now that we have this 280ZX all working, it is time to make her pretty!  Tune in next time to see how our project ended up!