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EDIT: thinking about buying a 300ZX

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I am new to 300ZX and currently own a 2.2VTEC Honda Prelude which is a lot of fun but I am thinking of upgrading when I soon turn 25. I love the idea of a twin turbo engine and the power it must produce, I love the styling and the interior looks a lot more interesting than any modern BMW or Merc. I have many questions about buying the right 300ZX that hopefully you kind people can help me out with. Cheers.


1. Briefly, what are the different specs, models available. My brief research so far has led me to the 3.0L twin turbo and 3.0L non-turbo but is there such thing as a 4.5L TT or is it urban myth?

2. How does the Fairlady marque differ from the std or other marques?

3. what options packages are available? I have noticed that there a few examples on ebay with leather, is this very common? Are there any optional electrical packages on some and not others?

4. are all 300ZX imports? If not, do JDM and UKDM specs differ in any way?

5. over what period were 300ZX’s produced? Is it best to go for the newest/lowest milage example possible?

6. when are the major services due (belt’s etc)?

7. What are the common problems that occur on 300ZX when they reach this length of life?

8. I have noticed on ebay and Autotrader that most examples are automatics. I would prefer a manual. How rare are they and do they cost much more than autos?

9. do they have LSD’s?

10. Are they all convertible or the T-bar thing?

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We mainly have the 300ZX Z32 model (ran from 89 -94 in the UK and to 2000 in Japan).


It comes in normally aspirated (NA) (about 225bhp) and twin turbo (TT) (about 280bhp) forms.


It also comes in two seat (or SWB) and 2+2 (or LWB).


Also(!) you can get it with targa roof or plain metal (also known as slick top). There are true convertibles too but they're all NA.


No 4.5 was ever made by the factory.


Uk are all TT 2+2 with leather. Imports vary.


Big service at 60,000 miles / every five years.


Autos are more common - the Japanese seem to prefer them. Try an auto - you might like it. Manuals tend to cost a little more.


There's some buyers guides and models guides on here - someone cleverer than me can point you in the right direction.

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Fairlady = Import

SWB = 2 seats

LWB = 4 seats (slightly slower than SWB due to the extra weight)

Major service/cam belt = 60k miles

Common problems = detonator (knock) sensor. Mine has just gone :(

Manuals are faster than Autos (I think auto = 280bhp and manual = 300bhp but correct me if im wrong)

There are more autos than manuals

I believe you can get some that are hard tops (not t-bars) but are very rare!

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Thanks for all your replies to this thread and the below one where is was being daft and got the name wrong!



I am well excited about getting a a 300zx now but have to wait for my NCB to increase but I may look at a couple this weekend and may even take a test drive. I have, however, got a few more questions about the cars;


a. is abs standard on all models?

b. do they have (remote) central locking as standard?

c. on the LWB 2+2, how much space in the back is there for passengers? In my prelude there is a joke amount of leg room for rear passengers.

d. how does the overall reliabilty of the cars compare to other cars you may be familair with?

e. what similar spec/price/age car would you consider if 300zx's didn't exist?




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4. are all 300ZX imports? If not, do JDM and UKDM specs differ in any way?

5. over what period were 300ZX’s produced? Is it best to go for the newest/lowest milage example possible?

9. do they have LSD’s?

b. do they have (remote) central locking as standard?

e. what similar spec/price/age car would you consider if 300zx's didn't exist?


I will try and aswer the questions that have gone unanswered!


4.The Jap models have folding door mirrors, no rear fog lights, a lot less rust (normally), different side light/fog light confirguration

5. produced between 1989 and 1999 but very rare to pick up the later model cars.

9. I think they all have LSD *waits to be corrected*

b. I don't think any had remote locking as standard but I haven't seen one yet that doesn't have it fitted. Insurance companies normally require a decent alarm device that is often wired to the central locking.

e. Well now that would be opening a can of worms. LOL.


Good advice is to look on this forum for cars as they are probably better looked after than some on fleabay etc.


Best of luck with the search.

Once you drive one you will want it... :bow:

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thanks again guys. no doubt once i dip my toe in if i take one for a test drive this weekend i will want to dive in head first. just to pick you up on a couple of the points;


4 I. is that less rust as they havent been exposed to UK road salt for 4 months of the year, or is there a different material/paint used?

5 I. what is termed as later model? I have seen lots from 90-93 but not much after that and from the buyers guide linked from here, 90-91 had lots of niggles. so a good condition 92-93 should be snapped up?


I will be using the for sale section on this forum as my primary buying location, but if anyone happens to be reading this who has a; UK, TT, manual, LWB, T-bar, leathers, >92,

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4) Yes

5)later models would probably be 94 onwards. I think in 95 they lost the variable valve timing due to emission laws in Japan so unofficially lost some power (not sure how much 20bhp?)

6)Don't be afraid of mods, just look for carefully considered ones that complement each other. If its had a rebuild say 8k or more ago then thats good as its proven. New tubs (seals) are likely to be needed if not there already at that milage. Manual is generally more sort after. Auto box is 1k plus to recon.

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RE: 5. I wasn't aware there was variable valve timing available on 300ZX engines. On my current Honda Prelude VTEC, the VTEC variable valve timing makes a BIG difference to performance but i expect it is not as important on cars with turbos. From what i have heard the Honda VTEC system is the best variable valve timing system on the market and has never had any recorded failures so is the Nissan version anygood/worth having or does it cause problems and is more trouble than it is worth? Does the variable valve timing kick in at a certain rev point like the VTEC system?


RE 6: don't get me wrong im not afriad of mods (esp. not helpful mods like turbo refurbs etc) but i dont esp. want something that has had alot of work done to it, like aftermarket front and rear spoilers because i like 9 out of 10 times i prefer the original design and I dont want it to feel like someone else's car so i can put my own mark on it.

How much does it cost to refurb the tubs?


RE g60cc: thanks alot for the offer. I am dead keen for someone to take me for a ride in 300zx TT but i am based in west london in the week and rarely get back to poole nowadays so is there anyone in the w.london area willing to take me for a buzz about one week night?

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