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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im pretty set on getting a z31 Turbo sometime soon, I just have to wait for the right one to come my way. I've a few questions on what i should buy though, and what i should look for before buying.

First i was wondering what's everyones preferance towards years. I like the 84 and 85 hood scoop why was that dropped? But then again i like the rounded front after 87 and the LSD for all the turbos.

Also, what are the sound systems stock like on the z31. Are just the A/E models the ones with the body-sonic system and the 8 speakers? Also are just the A/E made in 84, becuase i've seen 85 saying they're the AE but that doesnt make sense to me.

Another thing is I'd like to know whether i should go with manual or auto. I cant find any Turbo 5sp any where. I live in Washington and the closest one to me is 100mi away litterally. So I was thinking about just getting an auto. I can drive both and i really enjoy the feel of a manual, but i dont know how long i can wait for one of these cars. I read in another forum that Autos actually do better in the 1/4mi than a manual. This doesnt seem right to me so I thought id ask here. I plan on doing pretty small mods, most likely just the air intake/exhaust/and maybe the boost control. My Hp will probably not break 300 so i think the stock auto will handle it.

Finally, this is a little off topic, but i was wondering if a radar detector or anything like that would be worth the money. Its just a thought. I got my first ticket the other day and i had it deffered, so if i get another one im in deep doo-doo (for those with sensitive ears).

Any info or tips on these subjects or any other matter would be very usefull. Glad to be part of the forum

-Xorti
 

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1. The hood scoop was dropped by 86, basically for being useless in it's intended purpose, which was to cool the turbo.

2. Dunno about the stock stereo systems in the Zs, but if it's lasted this long it must be pretty good.

3. No such thing as an 85 AE. The person to ask on that would be AZ-Zbum, but I'm pretty sure there were none.

4. Get a stick, you'll thank yourself later. It makes all the difference in acceleration and even fuel mileage. The gearing sucked on the auto Zs, they were almost a full second slower in the 1/4 than the 5-spds, stock. If you gotta go 100 miles, thats not bad. I almost drove to Nebraska for one.

5. Radar detectors work, and they don't work. Just depends on what the cop is using to track. L/R detectors are almost worthless against laser, which in heavy use. Most times cops use "instant on" radar, which makes 99% of all detectors worthless. All brands have different capabilities, I can't really recommend one over the other. I personally haven't used a detector in 10 years, I find it promotes speeding in and of itself. Just be familiar with your territory, and where the cops hang out and when, and you'll be fine. Last time I got any kind of speeding ticket was over a year ago, and not even in my Z.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1. The hood scoop was dropped by 86, basically for being useless in it's intended purpose, which was to cool the turbo.

2. Dunno about the stock stereo systems in the Zs, but if it's lasted this long it must be pretty good.

3. No such thing as an 85 AE. The person to ask on that would be AZ-Zbum, but I'm pretty sure there were none.

4. Get a stick, you'll thank yourself later. It makes all the difference in acceleration and even fuel mileage. The gearing sucked on the auto Zs, they were almost a full second slower in the 1/4 than the 5-spds, stock. If you gotta go 100 miles, thats not bad. I almost drove to Nebraska for one.

5. Radar detectors work, and they don't work. Just depends on what the cop is using to track. L/R detectors are almost worthless against laser, which in heavy use. Most times cops use "instant on" radar, which makes 99% of all detectors worthless. All brands have different capabilities, I can't really recommend one over the other. I personally haven't used a detector in 10 years, I find it promotes speeding in and of itself. Just be familiar with your territory, and where the cops hang out and when, and you'll be fine. Last time I got any kind of speeding ticket was over a year ago, and not even in my Z.......
Thanks for all the info, but im still a little discouraged about the transmittion. I called the closest one, 135mi, away and no one answered. The next furthest was 640mi and im just not even going to bother. I've been looking for a couple months now, maybe one of the many fine AT turbos around here would be satisfactory... or maybe i should just wait longer if you think its really worth it
 

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Xorti7 said:
Thanks for all the info, but im still a little discouraged about the transmittion. I called the closest one, 135mi, away and no one answered. The next furthest was 640mi and im just not even going to bother. I've been looking for a couple months now, maybe one of the many fine AT turbos around here would be satisfactory... or maybe i should just wait longer if you think its really worth it
Yeah, it is. I waited a long time for my 5-spd. Figures after I bought mine 3 others in better condition popped up, but thats the breaks in the car buying game. Find the one you want, not the first one you find. Are you looking on Autotrader.com?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, it is. I waited a long time for my 5-spd. Figures after I bought mine 3 others in better condition popped up, but thats the breaks in the car buying game. Find the one you want, not the first one you find. Are you looking on Autotrader.com?
Yea, Autotrader, MSNauto, and all the local papers around here, I cant find anything. Ill just wait I guess. How long did you wait before you found yours?
 

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Xorti7 said:
Yea, Autotrader, MSNauto, and all the local papers around here, I cant find anything. Ill just wait I guess. How long did you wait before you found yours?
A few months. I was actually originally in the market for an 87-88 , but this one came up for sale at a price I could afford.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A few months. I was actually originally in the market for an 87-88 , but this one came up for sale at a price I could afford.
Yea thats what im shooting for, I guess I'll just wait. 87 and up all have lsd right? why did you disinclude the 89? Also i was thinkin about getting a mkIII supra, but the z31 is so much prettier :thumbup:
 

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Xorti7 said:
Yea thats what im shooting for, I guess I'll just wait. 87 and up all have lsd right? why did you disinclude the 89? Also i was thinkin about getting a mkIII supra, but the z31 is so much prettier :thumbup:
The MkIII does have a bigger aftermarket following, however.

I didn't disinclude the '89 Z31, at the time I wasn't aware they existed. I thought '89 was a gap year between the 1st and 2nd gen 300s.

Yes, 87 and up have LSDs. Actually, late 86 I think. Might be wrong though.......
 

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4/87 and up have LSDs. It is possible Canadian models didn't get the LSD till 88.

The Body-sonic only came in the AEs it wasn't worth it. the 50th AE was only made in 84, but dealers would put the AE tags on the car to try to get more money for it.

The manual trannys are superior to the automatic in the Z31. With the Z31T the manual was much faster then the automatic.
 

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All 84-86 GLL models (digital dash) have the 8 speaker system. The body sonic seats only came on the 84 AE models. The stock stereo is crap by today's standards. It's 21 year old technology.

Swapping the nose on an 84-86 is a common modification. And it's not all that difficult since most things bolt right on anyway. The LSD is a very simple swap as well. It just bolts right in and you don't need to swap anything other than the companion flange (unless you get a viscous LSD).

I have an automatic in my convertible. I'm beginning to not like it. They're just problematic and very expensive to fix when something goes wrong. Roughly 63% of all the turbos made were manual transmissions, so there shouldn't be all that hard of a time finding a 5 speed. But if you find a really nice automatic, it isn't all that difficult to swap in a 5 speed.

The reason you don't see too many 89 models is there were only 4228 1989 300ZX models made for the US. And only 210 of them were turbos.
 

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I'm going out on a limb here, but somtimes I wish my 84ZXTurbo was an automatic. I have the 5 speed Borg Warner T-5 and it sees alot drag racing , as matter of fact thats about all it sees. If you boost up a Turbo car with an automatic (power braking) you can leave most 5 speeds off the line. You can put the 3.9 rear gear in it and gain alot of power back. True it will not be as good on gas, however youll never miss a gear or lose turbo boost to change gears. just my .02
 

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EZDUZIT said:
I'm going out on a limb here, but somtimes I wish my 84ZXTurbo was an automatic. I have the 5 speed Borg Warner T-5 and it sees alot drag racing , as matter of fact thats about all it sees. If you boost up a Turbo car with an automatic (power braking) you can leave most 5 speeds off the line. You can put the 3.9 rear gear in it and gain alot of power back. True it will not be as good on gas, however youll never miss a gear or lose turbo boost to change gears. just my .02
Depends on who is driving the stick. It's true autos can be built to be faster than sticks, but there are huge dfferences between the auto in the Z31s, and the T-5s. The gear ratios are all wrong for any kind of decent acceleration, and the autos can only hold right about 300 Hp before losing it. you're talking apples and oranges from the 5-spd to the auto, and it's still apples and oranges from the stock 5-spd to a built auto.
A lot of a manual trans capabilities lies in the drivers hands. Personally I find the BW T-5 to be easy to powershift, I never fall off boost once. Others may find it a bit notchy , but there's a quick cure for that. I drove an auto trans car, they seem to slip a lot and ooze along, definitely does not have the authority a 5-spd does. One less gear does not help, as consequently the other gears are taller to make up for a missing one. This slows the car down considerably, which is why 1/4 mile times for the manual trans are a lot quicker than the auto, stock for stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, it seems I've found a canidate 125mi away then. Its a 85' 5sp turbo and black :thumbup: . Do you guys think checking vehix or carfax would be worth the $30 befor i make the 2 and a half hour drive? Also do you think 180k mi is to much? I guess ill just wait and see if someone has beat the snot out of it or not. Thanks again everyone for all the advice, you've been a big help.
 

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Xorti7 said:
Well, it seems I've found a canidate 125mi away then. Its a 85' 5sp turbo and black :thumbup: . Do you guys think checking vehix or carfax would be worth the $30 befor i make the 2 and a half hour drive? Also do you think 180k mi is to much? I guess ill just wait and see if someone has beat the snot out of it or not. Thanks again everyone for all the advice, you've been a big help.
The vehicle may be too old to show up on Carfax. Mine did not show up at all, over several attempts to locate a history. Just because of that, I'd say it was not worth the money, to spend $30 on a Carfax report. Some places it can be found for free, you might want to look around the net. I participate in a few online car clubs, if any free Carfax offers come across I'll let you know. At this point, the history is less important than it's condition. 180k is a lot of miles, but mine had 159 on it when I bought it, now has 162, and runs 13s. If it was at least reasonably well taken care of, it should be in good shape. Mine was somewhat neglected.
 

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Replacement engines are cheap. <$700 shipped with a new turbo. A friend of mine has an 89 turbo, and it's auto, and it is VERY slugish. I hate auto. If you have a street car, get a 5 speed. If it's a bracket racing 8 second car, you might want an automatic. Nothing ever beat my car off the line, save an AWD DSM and an STi (caught and passed them in 3rd though)
 

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There is no age limit to the CARFAX report. But not all areas have their information available electronically. So those cars won't show up in a CARFAX.
 
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