I think the Z-24 is an awesome car. I have had my 1987 for about a year now and I love it. We have hardly had any problems with it. I would like to know more about the LED light problems in the dash if you don't mind.
The problem with the digital dash going out when the lights are on is caused by a bad connection. If this happens to you, remove the digital cluster and carefully clean the electrical contacts on the back. Then re-install it. The unusual electrical connection on the back of the cluster has a tendency to corrode over time. Touching the contacts with your fingers will cause more corrosion and make the problem worse. Carefully cleaning the contacts will fix this problem.
I have had my 1987 Z24 since May of 1987, and hit 300,000 km last month. I have had very few problems, but not to surprisingly, I have experienced every problem everyone has mentioned. I have learned to live with the dash lights going off, but will consider removing the cluster and cleaning the points. The only time my clutch does not stick going into 1st is for a few months after its replaced - which I have done 4 times over the years. All in all, for its age the car is great.
I do have a new problem, the engine stalls and kick starts while drive. I have not been able to determine the reason and it is becoming a safety concern.
Just bought a 87 Z24 red with a 5 speed manual this October. This car is so sweet. I got it for only $300.
I have put in a new radiator already, got some rust in the door I'm working on sanding and bondo. After I'm going to paint it flat black.
Unfortunately the speedometer and gauges (all but RPM) don't turn on at all. Hopefully I can find an instrument cluster at auto salvage, so far no luck.
But still a good investment. I love this car!
I just got an 87 Cavalier with the same problem. Speedometer and other gauges are not working. Apparently the previous owner replaced the instrument panel 4 or 5 times, and kept getting the same result.
Is there a basic fix for this? Like the circuits needing soldering or a simple part replacement? I don't mind not knowing how fast I'm going, but would like to know how much gas I have...