Datsun in Media: Now I ain’t Sayin’ She’s a Gold Digger…

Driving off to work one morning, radio on, and one of Kanye’s best (my opinion) comes on: Gold Digger. For those unfamiliar with the song, it’s about (yes, you guessed it) a gold digger. Kanye is mentioning all the things she might do, and it’s hilarious. But what helps this song shine is the Ray Charles sample (with Jamie Foxx’s version in the intro). Whether you like Kanye and his antics or not…he’s made a reference to Datsun in the song!

Listen close, as it’s contained in perhaps the best and final verse of the song at around 2:50.

You go out to eat, he can’t pay, y’all can’t leave
There’s dishes in the back, he gotta roll up his sleeves
But while y’all washin’, watch him
He gon’ make it to a Benz out of that Datsun
He got that ambition, baby, look at his eyes
This week he moppin’ floors, next week it’s the fries

Love the imagery. And though he uses Datsun as an example of a cheap car (which it was / is) – thanks to Kanye for keeping it relevant. And DANG! i can’t believe I didn’t hear it before.

Engine Bay Aspirations

Cruising on my daily craiglist searches (alfa, tr6, 3.0csi…and of course datsun!), I found a really nice ’77 Datsun 280z for sale. It was listed for $21k+. My, how prices of the S30 Z’s have gone up, but even more so, I’m glad! haha a rising tide lifts all ships, yeah? :]

Anyways, the one thing that really stood out on this ’77 is its engine bay. Wow. But let’s first check out the outside – because it’s gotta look good inside and out!

What got me was the engine bay. Unlike the 240z and 260z before it, the 280z was born with certain genetic pre-conditions – increase in safety standards, heavier parts, more complicated systems and notoriously: stricter emission standards. Yes, the 280z was born with the ERG valve vestigial digit. The bad teeth of fuel injection. Scraggly hair of cables and wires. The MAF funny laugh.

These aren’t necessarily bad things. They’re just something that must be managed. And THIS car has done such a great job managing all that unsightliness and with a color scheme to boot.

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Things that help with a well managed, very nice looking engine bay?

1) Cleanliness – Engines are dirty and need cleaning every now and again. While cars older than the 280z, especially carbureted, have less parts making it easier to clean (less parts, more empty space to get around those parts), newer cars have nice wide shrouds to cover all the small parts (big cover pieces just take a nice wipe down). The 280z was blessed with the worst of both worlds – it’s packed with lots of exposed parts. But a negative can always be turned into a positive: keeping those parts clean can help highlight the maze like intricacies.

2) Organization – Once you’ve gotten the little traps free from grime, it’s time to get them in order. Chaos can make sense when properly organized. Think a book shelf: lots of different colors, shapes and sizes but when organized things can be found, followed, and admired. Those spark plug wires? On trees and straightened. Wires around the fuel rail? Bundled and cinched together. The more parallel lines created, the more uniform and organized it will look. Even the traffic of wires above can look orderly!

“I have a colorful personality!
Look at me!”

3) Look / Color Scheme – With all the parts in any space, keeping a unified look can help bring it all together. Like the mugs of rascals in a boy scout troop – all different faces, but orderly when wearing all the same uniform. And with the right color, you can make a scene pop! The one above carries the blue from the original air intake across various engine parts: clamps, elbows, covers, caps, labels. Though deep purple and light teal are an uncommon combination, it still works to me because any purple car already screams “I have a colorful personality! Look at me!”.

In the age of Photoshop, you can definitely pre-plan, saving time and money. A super fun tool I also use when designing is Adobe’s Color CC (previously called Kuler). Monochromatic, complimentary, triad – there’s so many great combinations to choose from, you’ll end up using it to repaint your house!

Whether the cabin interior, under carriage or engine bay, if it’s clean, well organized and uniform, it will help complete the car as a whole and show just that little extra pride and care to tie it all together.

What does YOUR engine bay look like?

Zpotted: 280zx T-Topped!

In my neighborhood popped a T-Topped 280zx! Blazing blue and looks like a daily driver. I’ll definitely want to catch up with the owner when we get a chance!

The 280zx body style is really growing me (honestly even the ZX 2+2!) haha maybe it’s the Dad in me…

But prefer this over the S30 body? WHAT DO YOU THINK? Which body style of Z do you prefer?

Zpotted: I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka!

“you have two choices: the window or the stairs…”

I’m minding my own business on Amazon, usually seeing what mediocre martial arts films are hidden gems. When all of a sudden, I see this movie chillin’ in my suggested watchlist: “I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka“. Say wha?! I gotta check it out with a title like that!

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Just a short summary on “I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka” – A late 80’s Wayan’s brothers comedy about a young man seeking revenge for the death of his brother, made to parody 70’s era blaxplosion action movies. One, this film is chock-full of actors and actresses (ie. pre-fame Chris Rock, David Alan Grier), it’ll keep you wondering who’s else is in there (i swear one of the cops is Kurt Russell). Two, still Wayan’s brothers, still stupid, still funny-enough. But honestly, IMHO, way more quotable than a Tarantino film. Three, it’s got a Z in it!

At 00:32:02, you can clearly see a black S30 280z w/ valance kit, spoiler and 280zx rims.

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haha now go check out the movie :]
for sure, that’s where Rihanna got the line.

New 280z Shocks – pt1

With the summer coming, it’s time to get the Z back in action!

Back in 2014, I purchased new 280z shocks! Yes, I never made the time or had the real nerve to tackle suspension. So with the new bushing set waiting it’s day, new shocks waiting to take out the Cadillac-like bounce to the Z’s step, and with the help of my dad – let’s go get shocked!

Tools & Parts:
1) 8mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm open ended and socket wrenches (amongst all others)
2) flat head screw driver
3) tape
4) rags
5) WD-40
6) wire brush
7) hammer
8) Spindle pins – MSA – get them NOW so you’re prepared
9) KYB Excel-G shocks – Amazon

Early morning, let’s take a minute to admire those incredibly well-proportioned lines on a Datsun S30 body… and have some coffee!

Assessing the parts… KYB Excel-G shocks, part #361002 (front), #361003 (rear) – Amazon: ~$159.

Comes with shock, nut, and sleeve screw cap. Make sure to jack up the car properly in the back either using the appropriate points on the side, or using the differential area as noted in the field service manual (FSM). Secure the car with jack stands (because jacks don’t stay up in the long run), and blocks in the front.

As described in the FSM, disconnect the brake line. It’s made up of both a hard line and a flexible hose line, connected at this metal bracket (shown below). Using a 12mm wrench, you can unscrew the hard line from the connect. I made a good point to clear any debris around it (and to loosen up the threads) as it’s been caked on throughout the years.

Tip: get a cup / rag ready to catch any brake fluid.

The flat head screwdriver and pliers can be used to loosen and remove the clip that holds the hose from the metal bracket.

Note: In this series of service / maintence / upgrades, I’m not going to re-write the steps as described in the FSM. :] You can find those online or on the Resources page.

Now let’s start on the spindle pins!

The spindle pin is quite an interesting beast as many have talked about. The spindle pin basically connects the strut / wheel assembly to the A-arm and rest of the suspension. Like most, even these are fully functional, many of the nuts have been rusted in place. Use a generous amount of WD-40, and a 17mm on a long socket wrench for leverage.

Before going at it with a hammer, make sure to remove the bolt underneath. Here’s an image I wish they had in the FSM! Now it may not seem like it on the top side of the A-arm, but check it out: feel the top. It’s smooth. It’s a pin that held down by the nut underneath.

The easiest way I found to take this out is:
1) use WD-40 to loosen the rust up
2) use a socket wrench to loosen the nut
3) because it’s a pin rather than a bolt, there’s nothing really to grab on top. So keeping the nut on the pin, gently tap the nut / pin to free it from it’s place.

Keeping the nut on the end of the threads on any bolt that’s going to be hit with a hammer or mallet is a great idea because then you’ll be less likely to “mushroom” the bolt end and mashing the threads. The nut puts less stress on the tip of the bolt, and less stress on the threads!

Once freed, you can remove the nut completely, and remove the pin.

Get out that mallet, because… NEXT UP: it’s time to slam out that spindle pin!

Tip: Purchase a new spindle pin set ahead of time so that you can use the new parts right away!

Zpotted: Yellow Datsun 510

Sorry I’ve been in/out, back/forth on this. But we’re back on track, and really working on the Z. Updated posts to come! Till then…

Screaming yellow 510 with black racing stripe! Super clean, what looks to be a daily driver! Spotted just outside the post office near my work.

Normal inside, but had a baby seat in back! haha love it

Interesting Bluebird 1600SSS badging on the front fenders, and BRE-styled stripes on the side.

The morning sun really make that yellow pop!

Love those headlight grills – i reaalllly do

Cheers!

Upcoming Plans!

Since my parents were out and helped clean up the Z from it’s long slumber, I’ve been roaring around in it and really goes through the paces. But I’m not gunning it like a hooligan – I’m finally wanting the 280z to be…better!

A few things on the short list (in no particular order):
1) Paint chips – Sometimes I wonder if drove into a hail storm of rocks. General cosmetic stuff here
2) Driver side rear panel door bumper – Remember this one? The bumper channel is on, but I need to find that arrow end i ordered…

3) Rear Hatch Guides – what?! I was just going over missing parts, and this one was funny; such a large piece and i never put it back on.

4) Rivet Fastener / Push Clips – Wow – so many holes to plug up. Good thing I picked up a rivet / fastener set at Amazon (for this and all my other cars).

5) Clutch – Yep, we bled the clutch already, but I noticed it getting soft again. I’ve already purchased a new clutch master cylinder, however I may look into rebuilding the old one too.

6) Shocks – I’m tired of this thing riding like the baby of a Caddie and a boat!

7) Rattle – I’ve got rattle in the door, rattle underneath the car. Probably because I need to install…

8) Bushings! – Yep, still have these and yet to be installed. With the rain coming, it’ll be good to get this thing on blocks and start having at it.

Daily Datsun mornings are back!