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.

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!

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!]

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

Center Console Sunday!


Yesterday Kris and I spent the whole day mulling over the 280z!

First, it was off the the Pick n’ Pull in Newark. They have a 260z there, which at the time was unknown as to what condition it was in, or what parts were left… well, now we know – PICKED OVER! Some nice parts still left (temp / fuel gauges, tach, blue 240z drivers seat, a few interior panels, tail lights / bezels). I picked up a center console air-controls bezel, and two seat belts… for which the seat belts were incomplete.. so.. gotta figure that one out.

Pick n’ Pull is great – i met two other Z enthusiasts who’s whole family had Z cars (dad, son, daughter, uncle); and you get to spot a whole history of cars (datsun trucks, MGs, Ford Maverick). But the prices.. ugh.. why do they have to be so pricey, they’re used!

Kris and I got back, worked on the center console I got from whale-tail Andrew. The replacement console also had some micro cracking in the plastic in the same area as the original (must be a common failure point). Kris fixed it up w/ some epoxy and used fabric as a sub-straight for increased strength.

Ah shoot – exposing my unsightly garage…

Sanded / spray painted the ashtray – looked so nice the lady in the paper was smiling at it

Cleaned the switches – the original ones (right) were just as caked w/ 35 year old grim as the ones from the replacement console (left). Toothbrush and pointy cotton swabs (good thinking Kris!) did the trick for all the crevices.

The whole console looked like it hasn’t been cleaned… that’s where Armor-All came in – fantastic.

The air control bezel is very easy to take off – 4 screws, 3 wiring connectors. 2 screws hold in the air vents, and everything else is easy to disassemble.

A few things I didn’t notice before – the replacement console has a slot for the choke lever… and the rear defroster / seat belt light panel was cut out! So I made my own out of a computer case side i had laying around.

Spaces for the Rear Defogger / Fasten Seat Belt lights are 1.125″ x 2.75″, while the radio i measured out for 2″ x 7″.

Kris installing the cleaned up console