1986 Nissan ZX Dream Car or Money Pit

I am interested in purchasing a second

car in excellant condition. It looks too good to be true. But, I was wonder

from previous owners of Z’s what there

opinions and experiences were? The

price falls around the Kelly’s Blue Book

so, I’m not troubled about the price.

Just what’s the track record here for a

car that looks like it’s been maintained around this age.

There are a lot of parts that are waiting to quit on you, even if the car were five years old. Those crates didn’t have a good reliability rating at all. Some of the old ones used to get cracked heads and blocks. They also rust out pretty good. If you already own a house and you have a couple hundred- thousand in the bank, you can do anything you want. It has a big downside potential for those of us who are trying to make it on hourly wages.

I have never owned a ZX, but worked on a number of them while working for Nissan.

The Blue Book values should not be taken as Gospel for a start. They’re a hazy guideline at best.

Like any used car, much depends on how it was driven and maintained by the previous owners and that can sometimes be near impossible to determine.

That being said, I happen to like the ZX cars and a lot of the problems I did see were owner inflicted and not the car’s fault. Some of those cars really get hammered, especially the turbos, so I would advise a thorough checkover before purchase.

They did have a rash of recalls on them so you should verify if those recalls have been performed. If they have not, and you buy the car, then Nissan should willingly perform them for free. By law.
Here’s a list of recalls and TSBs. Keep in mind that the list of TSBs is lengthy and does not necessarily mean the cars are junk because the list is long. Many of them are irrelevant to the vehicle owner and others point out higher than normal faults that may occur.

JMHO, and hope it helps.

Here is my two cents…

If it is a car you have always want it, negotiate a good deal and get it. Keep in mind you may need to do some big repairs, but you only live once and can’t take it with you. Spend it before your kids inherit it and blow it on dream cars of their own.

I own a 1978 Z28 Camaro, and yeah, I’ve had to sink money into it, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s my dream car and every dime is worth it to me.

The same goes for the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado I had when I was in college about 10 years ago. Ever since I was a kid I wanted a big piece of iron. And for five years I drove that boat everywhere — loving every second of sitting in those pillow-top leather seats with a gas pedal that was bigger than my size 13 foot! I sunk countless dollars into repairs here and there, but it was worth it – after all, the car was 20 years old at the time.

Have it checked out by a mechanic and go for it if you really want it.

I side with those who say that if it’s what you really want and it checks out, go for it. I wasted a lot of years in econoboxes and growing-family buggys when I could have been enjoying myself.

A friend just bought a 100% original, excellent condition, fully papered, very low mileage '76 Eldo droptop. Red with white leather. The car is in such excellent condition that the steering wheel isn’t even worn. He gave me a ride this afternoon. Exactly why and how did the U.S. lost the art of making those? The car is a dream. In the interest of full disclosure, it’s his plaything and will never see bad weather or Logan Airport.

I LOVE MY Z!!! I bought it in 91 for 10K…only 28,000 miles on it…new car. Smelled new. If you are going to buy a Z you need a turbo. Luckily, I haven’t had too many problems with it, but if you need parts…good luck…unless you go to Ni$$an. Everything is expensive and I have to take premium gas. At $3.39 a gallon, I don’t like to drive around much. Now, this car gets the worst kind of driving possible. Short trips, stop and go. So, if $$ is an issue, then no, don’t buy this kind of a car. But if you want to take turns at 50mph wheeee!! and just about beat anything at the light then go for it…just remember to have your gas card with you!!

Want to make sure that I’m replying to OK4450 regarding all of the recalls. I have a 300ZX Turbo 86 year!

Most of the recalls centered around fuel injectors, shift interlock, etc.
Mandated recalls are open no matter the mileage or how many owners.

Every car that has ever been made suffers through some recalls and TSBs and I don’t generally consider it to be sign of a Lemon car; within reason of course.

Still ok4450, logged out yet again. :slight_smile:

The reason we don’t make cars like the '76 Eldorado anymore is that the government had to stick its nose in everything car manufacturers did. You couldn’t build a beast like the '76 Eldorado anymore because of all the regulations.

People nowadays go on and on about how good their piece-of-plastic-looks-like-every-other-car-on-the-road overpriced car is. These people have never felt the power of something like the Caddy and most certainly have never floated down the road in it. It’s an experience that you will never forget.

I have no use for modern cars. Case in point, one of my BIGGEST gripes nowadays is how damn small the gas and brake pedals in cars are. I wear a size 13 shoe, and it’s a nightmare to keep from punching both the gas and brakes at the same time! If I’m in my cowboy boots I can’t even “feel” if I’m on the pedal or the floor. Contrast to that to my old Eldorado which had the huge gas pedal and wide brakes. I knew exactly which pedal I was hitting and could feel it. You want to know the reason there are so many “pedal misapplications” nowadays? Well, you have your answer. Instead of a huge piece of chrome, you now have a tiny piece of plastic to push on – if you can find it.

I know what you mean about sinking tons of money into a car. I can’t even tell you how much I’ve spent on fixing stuff on my Chevelle. For some reason, 1965 was an off year for certain parts to be made new for resale.

This could be a fine second car. Make sure that the body and interior are in good shape first. Those cost the most to fix. Don’t expect too much out of a 30-year old car. It should show it’s age. If you don’t mind that, go for it. Just be patient and find a good one.