Junk Datsun – Surprise!

Wouldn’t you know it – someone else thinks the Datsun 280z is a junker.

Well according to a flyer posted on my car this morning… :]



But rest easy, EVERY CAR GOT THEM! haha

These boots are made for…wiping

…and that’s just what they’ll do! It’s inherent that a 35 year old car will have some some parts that will need replacing – especially the rubber parts. Rubber after all is a natural material and will break down after a while if not cared for. All of the seals, boots, gaskets and the like should be inspected and replaced as needed. Today’s adventure: wiper boots!

Driver side didn’t even have one and the passenger side was hard, cracked and worn.

Pick them up from BlackDragonAuto (Part 59-170, $0.59)

new 280z wiper boots from MSA

new and old wiper boots – ew!

280z wiper boot - old and new

Very easy install:
1) unscrew the 14mm nut
2) pull off the wiper arm
3) pull off old boot, inspect wiper motor arm, clean
4) fit on new boot – i used a micro dab of lithium grease because it was a tight fit
5) reassemble!

Wiper components and the morning dew…

280z wiper boot components

Rain, rain, don’t go away…

Rain, rain, don’t go away – show me where the leaks are today!
It’s starting to rain here in San Jose and I’m glad it is – I can find the leaks in the 280z. :]

Some would have suggested non-rainy day options like: 1) run a hose over the Datsun, or 2) take the 280z through a car wash. All are great ideas. But 1) I did wash the car a few weeks ago and didn’t see anything, and 2) the car isn’t worth running through the car wash right now because of the condition of the silver paint (and even when it gets it’s new color, i’d still hand wash it!). Strange though that I didn’t see this leak when using the hose…

Drizzling this morning, starting the car… scanning left to right on my dash, and there it is. A puddle.. on the inside. I may have mentioned (or may not have for obvious reasons) about how i made a turn out of the driveway one early morning after it had rained, and water just pee’d out from under the dash on to the carpet… well i just found “the bladder”. haha

Looks like the water is getting in from the windshield as it pools up on the outside between the glass and the rubber. My guess is that the leak is small enough that when a hose runs over it, the water just flows over that area and lets only what remains into the cabin. But with rain, it’s small droplets at a time and over time it just builds up. Well, good thing I’ve got an auto glass repair man that lives right in front of our place. :]

Let it rain.

You can even see where it’s coming in from!

Scuff plate – scuffed and painted

Finally, the Datsun 280z gets a little interior treatment with refurbished scuff plates – those nice vinyl covered plates along the door sill.  A little ways back I posted a bit on a great way to remove the original vinyl from the scuff plate. Now it’s time to finish them up. Original condition showed dirty, torn up, peeling vinyl covering the rust. Preventing rust is great, but by go through great lengths to clean these up, when they’re only $30 / piece at BlackDragonAuto.com?

Well in this day in age, we’re a culture trying to get out of the wasteful / throw-away mentality. Nearly everything can be replaced with something new. But often times we’re replacing something that’s still functional, still can serve its purpose – often the reason is just cosmetic! So the 280z restoration parts flow will go something like this: Part missing / need to be replaced? > Can it be refurbished / repaired? > Can a used one be found? > Can a used one be refurbished / repaired? > Can a new part be found? Sounds good to me.


The scuff plates after peeling off the torn, encrusted vinyl with the heat gun.

Used a rust inhibiting primer, then a truck-bed paint spray to give it that textured rugged look! After all, it IS a scuff plate for when the shoes are on the door sill!



New Digs – Part 2: New Shoes

Well as they say, New Shirt… New Shoes!

You may have seen the “New Shirt” poll for the 280z’s new paint (which will finish at the end of the month), but with a new paint job, how can you not have new rims?! right?… right?

Current situation:
Tires: Front tires are worn, cracking, need to be replaced. Rear tires are new, excellent tread.
Wheels: Original Nissan “Iron Cross” wheels, 14×6, zero offset, 4×114.3 bolt pattern

I could rock those for a bit… or taste these!

Rota RB-R, 16×8, +4mm offset, Matte Black

They’ve got great style like the retro Panasport or Watanabe wheels without the cost. And off an 1″ more width than the Konig Rewinds. Yep you read my mind: Bad Ass.

As for the right rubber, I’ll probably be running 205/55-16 to help keep the overall tire diameter / circumference the same (wouldn’t want my mileage / speed to be off).

It’s been interesting to read all the forums and learn about what wheels sizes to choose and what offset means.
Here’s a few good resources for that: Wheel Calculator, Wheel Offset

Elephant Oil Cap!

The elusive Elephant oil cap!

Kris gave this to me for Christmas and I couldn’t wait to put it on!
I remember first seeing one of these – Kris mentioned this little gem when he had the 510.
There it sat atop the L20 valve cover. Proud.
But is it about the Elephant oil cap that makes it so.. special?!

A few tidbits:

– These caps weren’t used on the US models, but on the Japanese / Aussie models.
– So supposedly it text translates something to the tune of: “Please pour Elephant Oil” – haha that’s cute
– Elephant branded oil and lubricants from Nissan pre-dates the 240z.
– The elephant was used as a symbol to commemorate successes in the East African Safari Rally.


Datsun 240z Matchbox!

Hope everyone’s holiday was a blast – this whole year also just seemed to blast right by. But it seems even a Datsun made it’s way back into culture: Hot Wheels released a Holiday Hot Rods limited edition 240z collectors car in December! It’s painted red with a green / white livery, gold wheels and a #25 slapped on its side. Not a fan of the color combo, but it’s certainly a mark of the Christmas season.

Sigh… i remember the days when my brother and i would breakout our Matchbox cars – paint chipped, plastic wheels running on broken rims.. we even had two of them with the “01” on the side. Oh, you know it!


New Digs – Part 1: New Shirt

First wash of the new years. After getting back from vacation, the 280z was slathered w/ dirt, berries, and other mess like a well frosted cupcake. Seriously as if we lived next door to Angry Birds. Amazing what a fresh wash can do!

Scrubbing the car down also gave me a chance to really assess the paint situation panel by panel. As mentioned before, some are in horrid condition (the repaint is just peeling off w/ ease), and other sections seemed well bonded. Either way, it’s really leaving me no choice but to sand and re-paint it all.

Here are a few *amazing* examples:

Don’t forget to wipe up the drool!