Don’t worry; still alive and kicking

“what ever happened to the Datsun? Still driving the Z? Hey! You never told me you sold it?!”

The 280z is still alive and well. Unfortunately work has been bit super busy these past few months – gotta make $ to spend $ (for the Z), right?! :)

But that doesn’t me I don’t have time make a few clicks here, and toss a few things into the shopping cart. I recently picked up these:

   
Fuel injectors! Last post I did for the new battery terminals, I found that the injectors were being held down by some kind of tired silicon adhesive. One touch and the engine starts to fade drastically!!

Here’s a brief un-boxing:

 
I can probably expect slightly better performance / efficiency, and almost guarantee increase in reliability.

Now, time to move the cars…taking the Z to work :)


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


Zpotted: Silver Datsun 2000

Behold this silver chariot! Summer drives along the coast must be ammmazing with this little guy: the Datsun 2000 roadster!

   
I had a financial education seminar in Santa Clara the other day, and spotted this just in the parking lot, ready to go. Actually my co-workers asked if I had the same car! Haha well, not being into cars, they just know I have a “Datsun”, and the front badging on the roadsters let be known – it’s a Datsun.

I’m always so interested in the roadsters lines; for a car is this size it has lots of creases you wouldn’t expect. Check out the slight over hang to the left of the trunk. And the way the trunk is actually shaped, like pillow embossed. Not to mention all of the chrome bits! Actually it almost seems as though it has MORE parts than the Z, yeah?

Hats off to a well-cared for, well-enjoyed Datsun 2000 roadster!


Zpotted: Deep blue 240z!

This comes in from my buddy Leslie (of Daily Dapper fame) – she spotted a Datsun 240z sunk in deep ocean blue with an interior swathed in white recently at a Menlo Park car show.

  
Looks like a super clean example with tasteful upgrades! We can spy the stacked Monza exhaust, strut tower bars in front and back, and ‘knock-off’ wheels. “Datsun” sideemblem is de-badged as well.

Thanks for zpotting, Leslie!


Goodbye: Yutaka Katayama – Father of the Z

I’d like to say my absence from blogging has been because of negligence…or wrenching on the car (you’ll see in the upcoming posts it’s been both), however we open Daily Datsun and 2015 on a somber note…

In February, Yutaka Katayama, well known as “Mr. K” and the ‘father of the Datsun Z’, passed away at a long-lived age of 105. The former President of the Nissan Motor Co. not only brought the company and it’s cars to the world market, but brought so much more to the automotive world. When the 240z hit the US in the 1970’s, it was a hit and the rest is history.

Check out the full write up @ Car and Driver:
http://blog.caranddriver.com/yutaka-katayama-father-of-the-datsun-z-dead-at-105/

It’s with deep sadness that we lose such an icon, however we can remember his contribution and legacy through the joy and pleasure of driving the Z and all other Datsuns that are still on the road today.

Thanks to cousin Mike for the article!


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…


Back on the Road: 280z Alternator Upgrade

A very common issue with the Datsun 280z is the alternator’s external voltage regulator. The voltage regulator on the 280z is mechanical and very prone to failure. Now a days, alternators are internally regulated, and have a very long lifespan. Here, i’ll detail how to upgrade that alternator in the 280z, and wrap up why my car died in the middle of the freeway.

IMG_8311-0

What you’ll need:
– 12mm and 13mm socket (or maybe even 14mm depending on the bolts you have)
– 1983 Nissan / Datsun 280zx alternator (O’Reilly’s Ultima #14592)
– wire cutter

What you’re doing:
We’re replacing the old 280z externally regulated alternator with a newer, internally regulated alternator designed for a 1983 280zx (think, available and off the shelf).

See below: old and new alternators. I honestly don’t know if mine was original because several sites mention the OEM 280z alternator had smaller fans. In my case, they were pretty much the same. Mind the images..I was doing necessary repairs at 11pm. horray.IMG_8316.JPG

So why did my Datsun 280z die in the middle of the road? Why did the lights go dimmer and dimmer before then? Why was the engine running rough and eventually sputtering, choking to silence? Well, the alternator wasn’t doing it’s job – it wasn’t providing power to the system, so it was relying on battery power. And just like a toy car, when the battery starts to run out, all sorts of things happen. Lights go dim because there isn’t enough power. Engine acts up because there isn’t enough power to ignite the spark plugs. Ah! So regardless of whether it’s the regulator or the alternator, we’re doing the full upgrade, never having to worry about a failure in a mechanical switch.

You can get a 1983 280zx alternator from your local parts store fairly readily. I got mine from O’Reilly’s Autoparts for $46.00 – Ultima #14592.

1) Detach power – remove cables from the battery, so there’s no power to the system

2) Remove the wires from the old 280z alternator and remove the alternator itself using the 13mm socket wrench. It may help to take a picture of the alternator just prior to removing the wires.

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3) Install the new alternator, and reattach all wires

4) Locate the voltage regulator, which is just behind the metal plate that the wire fuses are mounted to. Un-attach the 6-wire connector.

5) Depending on your year 280z, use the chart below to determine which colored wires to jump. Regardless of color, wires 1 and 5 are to be connected, as well as 2 and 3. You actually have several options: 1) cut / connect wires before the 6-pin connector; 2) jump the wires on the connector (like shown below); or 3) cut / connect wires after the connector. I choose to just jump at the connector in some rare chance I need the connector in the future (though, this IS one of those upgrades that is just necessary on a 280z).

Daily Datsun 280z alternator upgrade wiring diagram
(Source: AtlanticZ.ca)

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6) Reconnect the battery, check for any immediate electrical issues

7) Turn on the car to run on battery (not all the way on), and note that the charge light is lit in the volt meter dial. Turn the car on to verify the charge light turns off, and you’re registering around 14V. If the charge light is still on, and the dial is only reading 12V while the engine is running, it means something is a miss. Double check your wiring all around.

Now that your alternator is internally regulated, there’s no more faulty regulator to replace!

 

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Helpful link from AtlanticZ: http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/alternatorswap/index.html

 


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