Chrome Chisel End

The chrome chisel end for the fender bumper guard came in! Huh.. Oh yeah, it’s gonna be shiny and new.. So it’ll stick out like a sore thumb on the side of the 280z – nice.

On a side note, on the site i purchased this from, they used my picture in their installation notes! That nice.. Would also be nice if they comp’d this chisel end too. Who knows how many referrals came from here to CustomAutoTrim.com

  
Installation goes in first thing tomorrow morning!

Cusco Strut Tower Bar for the Z

Finally, the bar goes on! Earlier this year, I ordered up a front strut tower bar (also known as a tower bar or strut bar) from Amazon – it was cheaper than the rest. But after nearly 8 months, it finally gets installed! It’s a quick and simple job, so let’s get to it!

   

Note: the bar isn’t blue…just the protective film on the chrome bar

A quick primer in case your not familiar, a strut bar is used to increase ridgity in the frame. Much like the A, B, and C pillars do for the cabin of the car, it also has the same effect on the body. With increased ridgity comes decrease in flex, and truer suspension dynamics. And with such a beautifully long hood of the 280Z, I figured, ‘why not?’. Here’s what we’ll need:

Cusco 240Z, 260Z, 280z front strut tower bar – Part#cus 246 540A

8mm Allen wrench

14mm socket / wrench (for the strut tower nuts)

17mm socket / wrench (for the tower bar)

Optional: WD-40

  

The only thing understandable here on this box label is ‘S30’ (which is partially scratched).

  

Bar came in retail packaging…and apparently instructions in Japanese with one translated line…

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Upon inspection the Cusco strut tower bar for the Datsun S30 Z is a very nicely made piece – welds are uniform, polish is good, machined nice. Overall, it’s a well constructed tower bar that feels well constructed.

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Let’s get to work! (Jarritos optional :] )

  

Start by taking off the existing nuts with the 14mm. Mine had been rusted on there so I let them soak in WD-40 while gawking at the tower bar. Then coerced them off with a hammer. Once off, you can put the bar on the towers, then washers and nuts. Prior to putting on the bar, use the Allen and 17mm to loosen the blue plate from the bar. Only loosely hand-tighten the nuts on one side before setting the other side, so it’s easier to adjust / fit before tightening it all down.

Now let’s talk clearance. Wow…

  

I thought I was screwed. The strut tower bar for the Z was already designed with tight tolerances in mind: it already has a narrow oval / box cross section in the bar itself, and see how it curves just over the engine. Above, I’m slowly closing the hood to see if it’ll close!

  

This one piece lightly touchs the bar..
   While others have a very close up view of the tower bar. Presto! The bar is installed! Now to take it out for a spin on those twisty roads…

 

I’ll be back – [Battery] Terminator

Every now and again, i jump in the car to fire it up only to find it won’t start. No ‘click’, no turn over. Baaaahhhh now what is it?!

After a few times of this happening over the years, I eventually figured out it was the flaky connections at the battery terminals by leaving the key turned on and rattling the battery cables. No the car won’t turn on, but the car door warning buzzer will go off!

So this was months ago…and now pesky battery terminals, (said in my best Arnold voice) I’m back!

.. No, I haven’t seen the movie Terminator: Genesis yet. Anyways, let’s begin!

   
This is the battery wiring situation we have to deal with on the positive terminal. Main cable going to starter, other smaller cables going to cabin, alternator, and radio (shoot, I still haven’t installed that one).

  

I just cut off this guy..but now I realize the white one might be a wire fuse…nah! [chuck]

  

I picked up Kicker brand terminals for amps because these type offer solid connection and access for the battery wire.

  

Wires are tightened into position by set screws.

   

Negative side looks clean, and even helps by sticking out from under the body of the car (sometimes jumping other cars is a pain). Positive side still need some cable management but overall the terminals worked well. 

Kicker BT4 Battery Terminals: $22 each

Work time: 30min

280Z gets new lungs – K&N Filter Intake

 

 

The Datsun 280z gets a new cold air intake!

I’ve had this part for a little while rolling around in the back, thought I’d take a few minutes to see how it works.

Among all the intakes on eBay, I figured it’d be just as easy to make my own. Here’s what you’ll need:

– K&N Air Filter – various models can be used. I decided on the K&N RC-4690
– Spectre cold air intake – model #94990, 3″ 90 degree aluminum elbow
– some Windex
– Philips and flathead screwdrivers

Just a few notes before we begin, the Spectre 94990 is a 3″ diameter tube which is just larger than the original intake opening, so getting the original intake boot on the elbow is a bit tough. Hence, the Windex.

1) Use the philips screwdriver to remove the original intake from the car frame, also removing the plastic intake extension, and loosing the intake-to-AFM boot

2) Attach the K&N filter to the elbow, tighten

3) Fit the elbow to the intake-to-AFM boot (you can use some Windex here to help it slide on). It’ll be a pretty tight fit, but it’ll go on. You can also use the flathead screw driver to help get that last bit of lip over the intake tube.

Estimated completion time: 30min – 1hr

 

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All the parts laid out…

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Dry fitting the K&N intake to the Spectre elbow – a 3″ ID (inner diameter) filter SHOULD fit on a 3″ OD (outer diameter) intake.. right?

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And installed!

Now to tune this beast…huh, kinda runs ok without doing anything.
okok, so now to strap this down so it doesn’t wiggle off…

Review: KDC KT-1370 Datsun Side view mirrors

My side view mirrors were in sad shape: loosing its ability to hold position, even after being tightened, so I ventured to eBay for some new ones.

One thing I wanted to keep in mind was using any existing holes in the 280z from the previous side view mirrors.

I eventually narrowed it down to a set dubbed “DOOR MIRRORS DATSUN FAIRLADY” 280z side-view mirrors $32/pair ($19.50 shipping) from eBay seller coniglio1975.

PRODUCT INFO
KDC KT-1370 “RearView MIRROR”
Made in Taiwan

KDS KT-1370 Side View Mirror KDS KT-1370 Side View Mirror

REVIEW
Highlights –
– As the description states, “Raw material = plastic”. (honestly, i can’t remember if that was there previous to purchasing it. I would have really opt’d for metal).
+ Closely fits the original side view mirrors (at least the ones I have)
– Plastic part lines severely apparent
+ Very easy to install
+ Single screw mirror tightening

INSTALL
All you’ll need is a screw driver, and perhaps a dremel / hacksaw to adjust the length of the main screw (see below)

The old mirror…

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Quick inspection shows an “Altezza” sticker… nothing to do with Toyota tuning…

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The old side view mirror bracket.

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Note the difference in length of the mounting pads. Original is on top.

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Note the difference in design. There’s a pitch in the old one (right), while the KDS version is flat. This shouldn’t really matter as the mirror itself is adjustable in all directions.

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You’ll see a few things in this picture: 1) The supplied screw with the KDS KT-1370 kit is a bit too long, and will end up digging into the door (where there is no hole). 2) If you look close enough, you’ll see that I must have put the side view mirrors on too early after painting… there are spots where the paint has been pushed / rippled. Minor issue, however because the new mounting pad is slightly smaller, it will reveal more.

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The Dremel tool made quick work of the main screw, shortening it to proper length as not to dig into the door (~1, 11/16″ including head).

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Although the housing and bezel of the old side view mirror is larger, the mirror itself is the same size.

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Huh? The driver side door has two additional holes more than the passenger side?! aahh was this a 240z door? My first is that this maybe left over design from the 240z’s classic single side view mirror…or the door was replaced (not likely as the original paint was spot on). Eh, whatevs – let’s install this thing.

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While I’m not fond of the shiny black base, it’s not completely hideous either. I do mind more that the mirror’s housing is a dull black, while the base is a shiny black (i mean, come on!). If i have time, i may spray paint them the same black I’ve been using on the rest of the black parts on the car (matte black). Overall, not a bad purchase – you always get what you pay for. We’ll see how these hold up over the course of the year.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Years!

Merry Christmas and… wait for it… Happy New Years! (Thanks auto-publisher for posting this at the stroke of midnight! haha)

Look what Santa dropped off for the 280z this year:

Energy Suspension’s 7.18102G Master Kit for Datsun!! wwwaahh!

Yes, a full polyurethane bushing set for the Datsun 280z. Complete. Masterful. Sure to add on multiple hours of labor to put them all on…and get all the old crusty rubber ones off.. oy..

If Santa didn’t see your Z in the driveway, you can pick up your own at Amazon for about $160.

Review: Z Alternator Bracket by Futofab

A little while back, the 280z started to squeak and shrill again. Last time it was alternator belt, and I suspected it might be again – sure enough, it was. This time though, it wasn’t that the alternator slid by the bracket’s grease…

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Oooh yes, that’s broken my friends.

So naturally i thought, ‘ok, i can make one’…then, ‘how do i make this better?’
Of course someone already has, and the guys at Futofab have already made a Datsun alternator bracket (or an adjustment strut). This strut just doesn’t look sturdy and pretty (best qualities in anything), but it’s also very convenient when adjusting as the rod ends are reverse threaded. And of course once again, I thought i could definitely make that! However, save yourself the time and money, i’ve already done the research – you’ll probably pay just as much (if not more) finding a left / right threaded rod end and a reverse half-threaded 4″ long nut (McMaster-Carr don’t have any!). So go find Futofab on ebay!

Futofab Alternator adjustment strut / bracket for Datsun - Daily Datsun

 

Here’s what I needed:

12mm socket (bolt on bracket)
13mm socket (bolt on alternator)
adjustable wrench (for strut and nuts)

Time to take the broken one out!

Broken alternator bracket / strut - Daily Datsun

 

The original crossed the direct line to the alternator (hence the bend in the original), however, the Futofab version can attach directly inline without hitting the alternator blades.

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Installed!

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No more squeaks, so much more power with a confident belt driving that alternator…and no more embarrassing squeals heading out (seriously give your car so much more age!). Hats off and thanks to the guys at Futofab!