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!
there’s a slight bend on the left side, where supposedly an old lady back into it
the resulting gash / dent needs to be pounded out