No Bumper – Let the MPG Experiment Begin!

Obviously the Datsun 280z was never purchased as a gas saving, fuel sipping, economy car. Prius’ step aside in horror and repulse as the 280z zooms past their 60mph earth loving vehicles. :] But on the flip-side, with the rise in fuel costs (currently $4.40 for 87 grade gas in the San Jose area), I need to take action.

I found something interesting this morning: my average fuel economy, 18.5 MPG, is actually better than the average passenger car in it’s time!

Fuel Economy History Chart - Daily Datsun

Since my first tank, I’ve consistently maintained 18.5MPG on the 280z (my worst and best being 18MPG and 20MPG respectively).

Now fast forward 35 years, and it’s not quite the same. Though the fuel economy from the late 80’s to the mid-2000’s was stagnant, cars in the past 5 years have had a huge increase in fuel economy (the 2012 Hyundai Elantra pushes 40MPG highway). Though the 280z may never see those types of numbers w/ it’s L-series engine, the alternative to drive train replacement is to reduce weight. This weekend, Kris and i popped off the front bumper, est. a weight savings of ~25-30lbs.

280z Front bumper removed -

Best to have all the right tools.

280z Front bumper removal -

280z Bumper shock removal -

Stock bumper shock, ~5lbs each

280z Bumper shock -

Remounting the horns. There’s one on both sides.

Remounting the 280z horn -

While I wait for the new 280z bumper mounts (made to hold a 240z bumper), I’ll roll around bumper-less and see what kind of MPG we can get!

13 Replies to “No Bumper – Let the MPG Experiment Begin!”

  1. Yep, we removed the whole front bumper shock – it’s three screws. But I’m not sure by “housing” you mean the shock housing (the sleeve for the shock that mounts to the frame), or you mean the part of the car frame that the shock mounts to. I didn’t cut the frame, just removed the whole shock assembly. Are you trying to clear out the whole front for a full grill? :]

    1. I think I’ll have room without removing it. I just thought you did that to yours, I’m not sure if it’s even possible without doing some frame support work. :/

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