My Newly Acquired 86 Turbo
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Pictures on this page show state of car upon purchase (as seen on AutoTrader)

I picked up this beauty over Christmas vacation in San Diego. I was not planning a car purchase, but whenever I go to San Diego (I'm a native) I casually look through for Maximas, 300zx's, and 240z's. This time around I found this Ferrari Yellow Z. The price was high, but I was intrigued because hardly anyone does yellow paint jobs on these and I've always loved yellow. The pictures also made the car look nearly perfect. Still, I saw 200,000 miles on it and decided not to pursue anything.

86 Turbo Photo Gallery w/Updated Pictures

Then, I'm driving home from a lunch with some friends about 20 miles from my parent's house...I pull onto the freeway and LO AND BEHOLD, there it is, confirmed by the license plate it had: "CA300Z" with the CA Palm (Arts Council) license plate. I have one framed for a souvenir. So there is it, this yellow Z driving on the freeway at exactly the same time as me, in the same spot, and 50 miles from where they live, only two days after I casually looked on Autotrader with limited interest!

It was brilliant. A beautiful car. Making passes as needed : ) I called my house to get the number, called, and the owner wasn't actually driving the car (it was his son). So, I planned a time to go see it. As soon as I drove around the corner where his place was, I saw the Z and my jaw dropped again!

So, I bought it. Below are some pics and a list of what I have done thus far -- I haven't taken my own pics yet (these are the pics in the ad and others the previous owner took). The work is going fast since I've "been there done that" with my '84. It looks like a long list of stuff, but it hasn't been too bad. Just working on making it perfect instead of near perfect : ) Only some minor differences with the Turbo. I have driven this car about 5 miles since I've been back from vacation. I'm waiting for parts.

The car is in amazing shape. I have receipts from the owner showing an amazing amount of stuff done on this car. After going through all this with my '84, I'm very happy to have paid a bit more for this car to have it in an already very progressed restoration. In the last year this car has:

There is ZERO rust on this car. The tool kit looks like it came out of shrink wrap. The dash has no cracks or separation (has a removable dash cover on it, which I hate, but hey, the dash is perfect). The seats are immaculate. I see no signs of smoking (no cigarette burns or smell). The adjustable suspension works and there is no sign of damage to the shocks/struts. That's a nice thing as OEM replacements in the neighborhood of $800 each -- that doesn't include the actuators (electronic control units) that go on top, as far as I know. The wheels look practically new and the rear camber looks to be in spec after all these years! The steering wheel has the original leather, still shiny...just lighter than normal wear and scratches from 200,000 miles of driving. The stock exhaust is still in this car and I don't see signs of corrosion -- muffler MAY have been replaced -- can't quite tell.

Other things I can tell the owner did -- he bought a center console cover from Motorsport Auto, an engine bay cover (for when you work on it), installed aftermarket speakers and a Sony Xplod MP3 player (Sirius ready), and did regular maintenance on it. He said the reason he's selling it is because he travels too much and the mileage wasn't good enough. 23.5 on the highway? That's good enough for me! Obviously he loved the car -- he put a lot into it. He was the third owner and the 2nd owner was his sister. Cool -- this thing was babied. It is in better overall condition than my '84 Z that had 150,000 on it and I put tons of money into that car. The only thing better on my car would be the transmission (newly rebuilt) and engine (newly rebuilt). The rest goes to this car and the engine and tranny are fine.

I just can't believe this car has 210,000 on it. It looks more like a car with 40K babied miles (except for some oil/dirt build up underneath and in the engine bay). Aside from some fluid creeping out of the diff somewhere and a very small amount from the rear main seal, there are no leaks. On the trip back home (700 miles) I averaged 23.5 mpg and I found out the dang thing was advanced to 50 BTDC when I got home and checked. The first couple days I was prepping it for the trip -- ECU was throwing out a CHTS and TPS code. Got the CHTS replaced along with the harness and set the adjusted the TPS and now there are no codes now.

The power is good. I did a compression test on the car and every cylinder (except #4) was at 135 (which is equivalent to 155 since I'm at 4500 feet in Utah). The #4 was at 90 and with a wet compression test (oil) it shot up to 135, so there is a ring issue there. I cleaned the cylinder out as good as I could (brake cleaner and Seafoam) and have not retested the compression yet. The boost holds steady at 6.5 psi.

The paint job is nice -- it's a clearcoat done in Ferrari Yellow -- very bright! The paint isn't perfect, but you have to be looking for things to find problems. They removed the rear tail lights, door jamb trim, hood insulator, and other stuff to do the job, so it's not your cheap-o paint job...but not your $5K job, either. Original color was red. The engine bay is still red, but doesn't look too bad. They did a good job masking the engine bay off at the weld bead (around the top edge).

By the time I'm done the car will be EVEN cleaner inside and out, all new fluids (drained and filled), all engine vacuum lines replaced (with silicone), and will have the following modifications (which will be the extent of the mods I do on this car -- Stage III).


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Pictures on this page show state of car upon purchase (as seen on AutoTrader)


Z things that need to be done:

Replace Windshield Fluid Motors
Check brake linings
Oil pressure sending unit (intermittent non-read)
Bend out thin sheet metal behind drive side tire well
Mud Flaps (probably not)
Spare Tire Cover Panel (ear with hole is broken)
Rear storage cover panel (lock and panel broken)

Purchased for Z:

CM Turbo exhaust with free flow muffler $400 + $12 shipping)
Vacuum Hose ($1.50 + 2 free feet)
CHTS and Subharness (~$70)
Redline Trans/Diff fluid ($32)
T5 Short Shifter ($92.99 - RETURNED - did not fit original knob - length almost the same)
MOMO Steering Wheel Adapter ($56.95)
JOE MBC: ($45)
Endlink Bushings (16 @1.40 each = $22.40)
Throttle Cable: $45
Idler Pulley: $32
Air Regulator: $45
Air Regulator Connector: $12
Relay Box Sticker: $2.50
Stock Battery Cables (+/-): $91
Hood Switch: $8
Air Reg Hose: $5
Nismo Endlink Bushings: $22 ($1.50 each, 16 purchased)
Pass and Driver Side Tie Rod Boots: $22 + $24
Under Hood Clips (for liner): $12
Radiator Cap: $25
Underdrive pulley: $85
Urethane Tension Rod Bushings (Strut Rod, $15 from TSS --- tension rod bushings for
----both 84-86 and 87-89 models are included in Master Kits
---- they had some extra 84-86 laying around)
ASB Center Mount Bushings (stock)
Oil Plug Washer: $.72 ea (qty 5)
Spark Plug Wire Clip: $.90
Hood Bump Stops: (qty 4)
PCV: (qty 1)
Safety Hood Latch: $15.50 (qty 1)
Lower Shift Boot: (qty 1)
Speedometer Pinion Gear O-ring: (qty 1)
Speedometer Pinion Gear Inner Seal: (qty 1)
Washer Fluid Pumps (Front/Rear): (qty 1 each)
Steering Pinion Alignment "Thing": (qty 1)
ASB Center Mount Bushings (Front/Rear): (qty 1 set each)
Replaced all vacuum lines with silicone: $46
Tie Rod Ends: $70
Boost Gauge Mount: $15
Silicone TB Hose: $8
T-Bolt Clamps for TB Hose: $8
AAC Blue Connector: $12 (qty 1)
Head Light Seals (Rubber Flaps): $15.95 each (2 needed)
TSS Stainless Bolt Kit (Dressup) $39.95 (free shipping)
SS Springs (Used, good condition) $

Z things done:

Removed Intake to and From Compressor Side of Turbo and cleaned surrounding areas
Removed coolant bottle and cleaned thorougly
Wiped and brushed oil and dirt from various engine bay items
Head Light rear seals (rubber flaps) replaced
Shortened Stock Shifter (removed stick, hacksawed off 1.5"
----knocked out remaining center rod, threaded hole, thread-locked
----in new insert, installed Altima shift knob (bottom 1" cut off for better/shorter fit)
Painted Intake to TB Pipe
Replaced TB Coupler with Silicone Piece
All engine bay vacuum lines replaced with silicone replacements
Engine bay cleaned (used a weed-killer pump with hot water and Simple Green solution and a tooth brush)
Cleaned Throttle Body
Bled Clutch system (damper bleeder is seized)
Cleaned up differential and changed fluid
Cleaned up transmission around speedo-pinion and speedo cable and changed fluid
Ichibahn Steering wheel
Fluid Check (drain/soak up/refill)
Short Sections of Vacuum Hose
Cleaned up fan, fan shroud, idler arm and pulley
Checked #1, #3 plug (looks great/normal)
Has noisy throwout bearing
Has hesitation on throttle/letting out on throttle
Tie-Rod dust boot is bad on Pass side
Rough/Tough starts
Checked coolant (iddy bit low - needs cap)
Checked Tires (great, light inside wear)
Checked for rust (NONE! -- toolkit looks like new)
Checked for leaks (little rear main seal)
Checked fluid levels (all good, minus coolant - clutch/brake/ps fluids look old)
Checked crossmember bushings
Checked timing (was advanced to like 50, pushed back to 25)
Replaced plug wires with on-hand Magnecor
Compression Check:
1,2,3,5,6 all at 135
4 was at 90 -- add oil up to 135. Did top engine cleaning - have not test compression on 4 yet since.
Synthetic 10w-30 oil change (new drain plug)
PCV bad - replaced
Air regulator bad - replaced
Autometer 4031 Boost Gauge
Boost Gauge mount (Autometer single pod for Eclipse)
Autometer 4303 Fuel Pressure Gauge (mounted near fuel filter)
Re-set trim where needed
Hood bump stops
Hood Release Switch
Hood safety latch
Replaced Battery Cables with OEM (NEW) Replacements
Replaced Oversized battery installed by previous owner (tied down with Bungee Cords)
----now have proper sized battery with OEM tie down
Installed Stainless Steel Bolt Kit (engine dress up)
Replace Exhaust (Rear-Inner) Crossmember
Clean-Up EFI harness (exposed connections)
Tie Rod Ends and Boots
Repair/Replace Sagging Headliner
Sway Bar Endlink Bushings (NISMO bushings for front, Prothane Kit for Rear)
Sway Bar Mount Bushings (OEM rubber)
Prep and Paint Trim Piece (section behind headliner)
Resealed Rear Quarter Panel Windows
Installed SS Springs in Rear
Polyurethane Rear Spring Mounts (Gary Molitor)
Cleaned up Rear Control Arms and Rear Shock Tubes during Spring Installation
Rear Shock Dust Boots Replaced
A Few Mounting Clips (busted over 20 years and during trim removal for quarter panel windows)
Rear Carpet Removed (unclipped from storage cover) and Carpet Cleaned
Hatch Bump Stops Replaced (rubber part)
Hatch Bumpers Replaced (metal part)
Fuel Door Rubber Bumpers Replaced
Removed Seats, Cleaned up Thoroughly
Fixed Trim around edge of Seat Back Covers