Bumper time!

One of the visual drawback to the 280z, in my opinion, are the bumpers.

They’re big, thick, and heavy. We have rising safety standards of the late 70’s to thank for that.
A very popular change up is to put on the thinner, more attractive 240z / early 260z bumpers.

There are a few options here:
1) Fiberglass / Carbon fiber bumper (new) – For those who like bright and shiny, there are several options in materials you can get for a brand new bumper. Motorsport Auto has replacement bumpers in both fiberglass and carbon fiber – $160 – $300. Fiberglass / carbon fiber is great, because it’s lightweight, but unfortunately not that strong in case of a crash. Like most modern cars, fiberglass is used as just a cover to look nice. Unlike modern cars, there’s nothing underneath here: no bar, no frame, nothing.

2) Stainless steel bumper (new) – Hop on eBay and you’ll find a company selling stainless steel reproductions of the thin 240z / 260z bumper. They’re supposedly exact matches to the original, and since it’s stainless, it’ll be at its best for corrosion protection.  But not without costing a pretty penny: at $1000 – $1400, is it really worth it?

3) Original steel bumper (used) – Every now and again people are selling their original steel bumpers from the 240z / 260z, $130 – $200 a piece. Whether on Craigslist or eBay, this is truly the best option in my opinion. Not only will you be using something more durable / original than fiberglass or carbon fiber, but also re-using instead of helping the cycle of re-producing.

So i picked me up a used steel front bumper!

Straight outta Fremont, and guy was selling his slightly dented 240z bumper for $80. A sweet grab on Craigslist if i may say so. Actually it was originally $120 if I remember correctly, and it dropped down during the course of the week. Snagged!

Safety / Mounting – These two topics go hand in hand, and rightfully deserve a new post, but i’d like to just briefly touch on the topic. Of course the Datsun 240z / 260z bumper won’t mount directly to the 280z without some modifications. Long story short, I’d like to maximize safety (and reduce extra cost) by utilizing the current bumper shocks on the car. Many people would opt to go for aftermarket brackets, but those just hold the bumper in place and offer minimal safety.

Enough talk, time to pound it out!

240z bumper - DailyDatsun.com

there’s a slight bend on the left side, where supposedly an old lady back into it

240z bumper - DailyDatsun.com

the resulting gash / dent needs to be pounded out

240z bumper - DailyDatsun.com

Found hanging out with a 350z

Seems like the 280z can’t get enough of hanging out with the younger crowd! It was only a few weeks ago that 40th Anniversary 370z kept the 280z company.

Parked in the San Jose Convention Center garage, I came back to the car to find a great looking 350z backed into it’s spot right next to me! haha It had a surprisingly good look for a two-tone R8-esque paint, with great rims to match its look. Since i had the camera with me, I caught them in the lens.

It’s always a Datsun/Nissan meet!

280z and 350z - DailyDatsun.com

280z and 350z - DailyDatsun.com

280z and 350z - DailyDatsun.com

280z and 350z - DailyDatsun.com

280z and 350z - DailyDatsun.com

Just check out those wheels… shoot! Looks like his rim is larger than my whole tire. Sigh – those 14×6 “iron cross” wheels have got to go!

280z and 350z - DailyDatsun.com

and that’s how we roll.


**UPDATE 2/28/12** – read Bob Nazarenus’ comment (the 350z owner) on the Junk Datsun – Surprise article! Thanks Bob!

Snow White 240z in HRE wHeels

eGarage recently had a great article / pics of a Datsun 240z rebuild in Poland.

Owned and rebuilt by Tomasz Boguslawski, the story details his family history in Poland, his love of cars, and the rarity of having a 240z in Poland.

The pictures truly tell all. You’ll see all the nice add-ons that make Z cars looks great – a fantastic job, well done and inspiring!

Source: eGarage

eGarage Datsun 240z HRE wheels

Love the ZG flares, lightweight polyurethane bumper and head light covers. Also it’s got the aftermarket front valance (best besides stock in my opinion), euro-type side marker, and awesome looking HRE wheels. You know he had to convert 4-lug to 5-lug on that one!

eGarage Datsun 240z HRE wheels

Keepin’ it real with the original L series engine. Gold strut tower bar to match.

eGarage Datsun 240z HRE wheels

eGarage Datsun 240z HRE wheels

eGarage Datsun 240z HRE wheels

Just take the wheel and steer!

Guess what just popped in recently? A new steering wheel!

Well, of course not a new one, but a original 240z series 1 steering wheel from a ’70 240z.

My current wheel is the stock 280z type, foam padded (as most foam of 35 yrs, it’s deteriorating) with a vinyl aftermarket cover… nice.
But that’s all about to change.

The 240z steering wheel has a thinner handle, slotted spokes and yes.. wood grain!
I haven’t deciphered yet whether it’s REAL wood, but it’s gonna look great regardless.
I’ll certainly re-spray the spokes in black, but I’d really like to re-finishing the handle in a dark black stain (but light enough to show off that grain).

240z steering wheel - DailyDatsun.com

And to top it off, I was able to find this on eBay for 1/2 the normal price of a used 240z wheel!

240z steering wheel close up - DailyDatsun.com


Now to make a shift knob to match..


Another Z, next to me

It was an uncharacteristically busy night at the Planet Granite climbing gym. So much that I had to park aaaalll the way over at the end of the parking lot – way over there. After climbing though, i returned to my 280z being kept company by it’s newest sibling: a gunmetal grey 370z! What a nice car! Even better it was the 40th anniversary edition AND it had a Z Car Garage license plate frame. Sweeeeeet!

I’ve gotta get back to Z Car Garage someday. Rob and company are great guys – my first venture over (when i didn’t even have the 280z yet), he let me walk the floor and checkout all the cars. He’s got two incredible Datsuns, a Z and 510, both decked in a wild lime green.

SR20DET powered 240z

A few posts ago, I noted a Godzilla-like beast of a 240z could be had for a whopping $45k.

Well, there’s a new money monster in town – try a frame-up fully restored, immaculate, SR20DET powered 240z…for a wallet crushing $125,000! Holy crap!

Turbo’d SR engine from an S15 Silvia, 5-gears on the floor, custom trick headers, custom cnc wheels, a slew of performance parts and a pristine interior, all started from a frame restoration done right. This no-expense-spared whip cranks out +400hp and gobbles asphalt like cookies. Click here for a full parts list on the build page. Go ahead and jaw drop at the following pics, or head to the links for more on the build.

SR20DET 240z

SR20DET 240z

SR20DET 240z

SR20DET 240z

Absolutely incredible.

Build page: link
Final sale page: link

Source: Build-Threads.com (love this page!)

i ❤ datsuns

Happy Valentine’s to all car lovers and their Datsuns!

I had the pleasure of sharing that love of the Z car with my fiancee last week when it was the first time she had ever drove in the 280z! She’d been rightfully reluctant as it’s not in the greatest of conditions and a fair amount of embarrassment that resembled my brother’s 69 ’72 Datsun 510. You know, to everyone else, cars are hard to appreciate when old and unkempt. Sigh ~ Your girl and your ride – what can be more spectacular?! Needless to say, she’s the one who’s pushing me to get that interior done and (along w/ my parents) to get the gold poly paint done. haha! So for all of the 280z’s advances, you have her to thank.

Cheers to you and your car!

The $45K Godzilla question…

What would you pay for a clean, done-up-right S30 (240z, 260z, 280z) Datsun Z? $5,000? $10,000?

I’ve seen some great gems, stock styling, nice drivers for about $5k on Craigslist.


For $10k, you get into some really nice, well kept examples:

260Z from Specialy Sales… this has been on the market for almost a year now…
or.. how about $45,000?! If you look close, you’ll notice all the differences comparing the previous examples: RB26 turbo’d engine, Watanabe ‘R-type’ wheels, ZG flares, custom gauges… but for $45k? hmmm…


Got Issues? Nothing new…

Everyone’s been waiting for it – yes, the Datsun 280z has issues. But at almost 35 yrs old (come this April), who doesn’t? Isn’t that like 65+ in car years? :] Let’s go over a few…

1) Coolant Drooling – had to re-top off the coolant this weekend… there appears to be a small leak on top of the radiator. It slowly leaks, steams up against the hood, and there’s a small green pool forming on the top of the radiator. Appears to be coming from the cap itself (which would be a good problem to have). Interestingly enough, no matter how irregular the coolant is refilled, it always goes back to minimum.

2) Acceleration Hesitation – this has got to be priority #1.  Randomly, when the throttle is pushed down, the car hesitates as if it’s gasping for air, and RPMs drop. I’ve yet to figure this one out. Sometimes it happens on a cold morning, sometimes when warmed and humming down the freeway in 4th gear. It can happen when the fuel is low or when the fuel is full. It can happen when the 280z barrels out of a deep turn, or driving straight. Interestingly, it’s happened twice in the same spot on 101 flying by the 880N on ramp). Here’s what we’re looking at in terms of the priority cue:

  • Replace fuel filter ~$13
  • Clean gas tank ~$60 (muratic acid / chain / POR-15 method)
  • Air Flow Meter (AFM) ~$100 (after core exchange)
  • Replace fuel pump (previous owner replaced it already, i presume he had the same issue…)
  • Replace injectors ~$400
Now just so the readers aren’t worried, it’s NOT a frequent problem – but concerning none the less.
So i started with the cheapest option first: the fuel filter. Since I didn’t know when it was last replaced (replace every 24k miles), might has well start there.
new and old filters
Datsun 280z fuel filter
Two worm gear clamps, a tightening screw, and the replace was easy. Word of note, make sure you have a bucket to catch the fuel left in the filter (and dispose of it properly).
Datsun 280z new fuel filter installed
After the change, even though it’s been running well, I’ll always have to keep an eye on the issues.
Rained again lastnight… forgot about the leak in the windshield. If you do see a 280z rolling around, i’m the one with the orange bandanna in the corner soaking up the water hahaha

“New Shirt” Poll Results!

The results are in! The results are in!

Since the beginning of the year, I had a poll out for the new color of the 280z. Which one will it be: a mean looking Datsun in Gunmetal Grey? A stunning White 280z? Or that Classic Gold yellow/orange (Datsun paint code #920) that keeps the 280z in it’s time? Click on the results to find out!

<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/5809302/”>NEW SHIRT: what color should the 280z be painted?</a><br/><br /> <span style=”font:9px;”>(<a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com”>polls</a>)</span><br />And the winner is GOLD POLY! LOoooooove that yellow color – like sunrise or sunset. Well it was a super close one! With a total of 15 votes: 6 went to Gold, 5 went to White, and 4 went to Grey! It really just says that all these colors are fabulous!

Datsun 240z

Speaking of which there’s actually a gold/yellow ’76 280z on Craigslist right now!
Looks to be of good running order with a nice amount of fixes / upgrades (5-speed, new fuel pump, Magnaflow exhaust..). Best of all though it presumably has LOW miles: 51k! And a good price too… hmm…. Even with it’s “bad” issues (some rust, gas gauge off, no interior) i would’ve have hesitated: $1700 for the color I want equates to nothing if i sell my current 280z… If only it had the old school blue CA plates!


And get this: he was going to paint it primer black because he didn’t like the yellow! Imagine that…

[Edit, 07.21.12: Colbydc5 used to own the 240z pictured above, and noted a link to the original post. Thanks!]