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240z vs 280z

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So i have been looking for an original 240z but havent come across one. I have however come across a '77 280z. From reading about them they seem to be basically the same besides the engines. the 240z has 150HP and a carb where as the '77 280z has 170hp and FI.

From reading about the history of Zs they all claim that after the federal emissions regulations no Z matched the original. Well it seems the '77 with 20 more HP should be around the same performance of the original, i would think? or is the '77 that much heavier?

how do these two vehicles compare? should i hold out for a 240z?

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The 280 is a slug compared to the 240z. Series 1 240's were the lightest but rust the most and crumple the best when smashed.

280z is a heap heavier and emissions choke the engine. 240z will gun down a 280z and handle better.

As for which is the best one. Well, try doing a search here. Both have merits. But the early 240z's are becoming hard to find and therefore maybe more expensive to purchase. You need to decide what you want to do with your car, do you want an all out grunt machine or a sweet original zed? If grunt is what you want then maybe a 280z body with a turbo'd L28 or RB26 conversion or V8 conversion is for you (280 as more metal in chassis when compared to 240z). Maybe get a 260z, some people consider them to be the rarest as they we only in production for a very short time.

It's up to you, but you are on the right track in asking these questions. Try using the search function and you will be hit will a load of info. Sift through the dribble and you will find what you're after, be prepared to sift quite a bit though, there is heaps in there. Visit as many websites that you can handle to get "the big picture" on these sweet cars.

The bug is very catching....you have been warned. As always, the above is just my opinion and if I am wrong in any of what I have written or affended anyone then please correct me nicely and help this guy out with his quest.

Cheers and love to all.

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My answer is basically that it depends on what you expect from the car. I have owned both. I would respectfully disagree with James on 280Z 'slug' comment or that a 240 would 'gun down' a 280 comment. But a 240 will out handle a 280. Were talking stock vs stock here I assume. A properly maintained 280Z is just more dependable. Mine can sit a month or so and still start up as if I had driven it yesterday. You will have to become knowledgeable on Nissan's adaptation of the Bosch L-jetronic fuel injection system because there really aren't that many people around that really know how to maintain it in its stock form. At least that is what I have found in my experience. Now, even with all of that being said, the 240Z has a mystique that is only vaguely apparent in the 260/280. I'm talking US cars here because the model line up was slightly different in other countries. I am still intrigued by the early cars and have fond rememberences of the first one I bought in 1970. My present car only partially satisfies that mystique. Some of the things that had changed by 1978 appeal to me more now than they would have when I was younger. You are young enough to enjoy it fully. I had a 1970 when I was 19 and a 1972 when I was 22. With mortgage payments, a wife, children and grandchildren, retirement and life in general, I doubt if I will ever own another 70. But at the stage you are in life, I'd say, go for it.

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Either car is a good choice and you will get to learn alot about cars just by owning either of them. I'd say if your a novice mechanic a 240z is a better choice since it's less complicated with smog pumps and all that other anti pollution gear. Everything is simple and if you find a hardly modified example your laughing really look for ones with good condition wiring looms and straight rust free bodies.

If you are having trouble finding a 240z don't despair there are probably places you haven't been looking. Ask around join a club look on ebay etc..

In terms of money return if you do sell her a 240z I say will return more money later in life it's just a more sort after vehicle.

Btw don't rely on quoted figures for HP in either car as different markets had different power outputs and those figures are Gross HP not NET HP.

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IMO, 240, the older the better. The 280's are heavy, 2700 LBS or so. The 240 weighs roughly 2350 LBS. The weight difference gives the car its feel, handeling, acceleration, ect... They are more "raw" too, no power steering brakes and stuff (if that appeals to you). Plus they have small bumpers and they come in great colors like 920 Gold LOL. It is all just opinion though.

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All Zs including our 240's have power brakes.

I've had both, a full bumper 260 and my 72 240...the 240 is like a 60s car, the chassis just doesn't have that solid feeling that my 260 had....but it feels so much lighter, it makes up for it.

For instance, the big bumpers add a lot of extra weight where you don't want it.

The wiring harness when fully exposed looks like a rats nest from the 260/280 while the 240s is at least 10 lbs less weight (that's just the wires)...so that gives you a good example...the 280 is kinda like a 73 Mustang and the 240 is kinda like a 66 mustang...just so much less, before the government changed the car...but I've had both, and I'd do the older 240, easier to work on (contrary to what you've heard)...I am really good with a wrench, so that has something to do with it, and you'll have to sync the carbs etc...but there isn't a whole lot mechanically that isn't easy to diagnose when something goes wrong...with the EFI the 280 has a lot more electrical, relays, fusible links, etc. so when it breaks you had better be a lot better at electrical than me!

Also, the 73 240z isn't exactly in the same category as the 70-72 240z, the smog stuff made the carbs horrible, so most 73's will have the older carbs on them, and also the bumpers, although they look similiar, have the heavier (not as heavy as the 280s however) mounts, they have shock absorbers for the bumpers and are designed to move in an accident, the older 240s are made to do that.

A lot more to know, but right before work, that's my 2 cents

Everyone have a z wonderful day!

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Guitar guy says "IMO, 240, the older the better. "

This isn't necessarily true...with the exception of the low vin 70 240s, the best Z is the 72 240, they got all the bugs out of the Series I 240, and then did too much govt stuff in 73.

The 72 is the way to go if collectors high value isn't your cup of tea. Only the lowest vin 70s are really going to go up in value....a 70 in the 5000 vin area isn't going to be worth anymore than my 40000 vin 72.

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If you work out the power to weight ratio of both cars theres not much in it.

The shorter stroke of the L24 allows it to rev easier, giving it a more sporty feel.

280Z had power steering? If you tool out all the mod cons like that and air cond, you could get the weight down.

The 240z and the 280z are essentially the same car. The chassis is a little different, like longer chasis rails, but still an S30 chassis.

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280Z had power steering?

The 280Z has the same vacuum assist design as the 240Z. Small differences the the capacities of the components.

Maybe you should get one of each! LOL I love my 280Z as a daily driver, and it is still a hugely fun car to drive. My 240Z is still a driving figment, since it will be a few years before the rust, mechanicals, engine rebuild, etc. are done, but I look forward to it being a prime example of the 240Z.

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I would definitely want a '70-'72 over a 280z but i dont seem to be finding any series ones. The main thing that scares me about 280z is everything you read says "they dont compare to the original 240z." They make it sound like a 280z is a slug compared to a 240z. I also dont like the bumpers on the 280z but that is minor.

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"If you work out the power to weight ratio of both cars theres not much in it.

The shorter stroke of the L24 allows it to rev easier, giving it a more sporty feel.

280Z had power steering? If you tool out all the mod cons like that and air cond, you could get the weight down."

This just plain isn't true...the 240 weighed much less, and with smog restrictions on the 280, the 240 had more power stock. That is just a fact.

No, the 280 didn't have power steering...even if a 280 has no air conditioning, the chassis shell weighs more (more metal reinforment for added weight stress), the bumpers weight a lot more, the components under the hood weigh more, the interior weighs more, the electrical harness weighs more, the front turn signal configuration weighs more....although they share the same exact look on the outside, they are not the same, not even close. Even the carpet that covers the rear strut housings weigh more than the vinyl covering the 240 strut housings. The 'interlock' junk on the seat belt system in 74/75 weighs a lot more than my lap belts in my 240...so even the seat belts weight more....i could go on and on...but they are not essentially the same vehicle. They are welcome on this forum, but if someone is asking which one to get, they should be given a straight answer, from someone who's owned both types.

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Hey DOGMA420, notice I said IN MY OPINION the older the better. That does not mean I am wrong, or right for that matter.

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you guys are all pros here, what can i do to my 280 to reduce the weight? what doesnt it need? i am taking off the 40 lb bumpers and putting 240z's on, but what else? thanks!

mark-

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I do not think you will get the weight down to the 240's unless you gut the entire interior. You could replace body parts (like the hood) with light weight ones but that will get pricey after a while. The easiest thing to do to get the weight to a 240's is to buy a 240.

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Either series is great to have. The bumpers weigh 113lbs (not including the shocks) on the 280. The shocks are about 15lbs each. Put smaller bumpers on or a aero kit or no bumpers at all and you bring the weight down almost 175lbs (give or take a few). And if you really want to get picky you could probably change out the doors from the 240 to a 280 as long as it's a '75 or '76 since the latch system is the same (they went to a inside latch in '77). You would save some weight without the door reinforcements. Granted the car would no longer have much of a value to a collector, but who cares, I want to own the car not sell it.

Bottom line: you can't lose with either one

The power steering intrigues me, I'd love to see it since I've never seen one in a 280 (factory that is).

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You won't go wrong with either model. The 280 is not a slug by any means. My 82 280zx was a slug.(but it still was a car I really liked) My 70 240z that got written off did handle better, but in terms of a strait line drag race they really were about the same.(both in stock form) I would really like to get another 240 myself, but I got to live with my 77 280 for now. Getting those big bumpers off the car does make it look a lot better.

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Aw, come on, the bumpers are part of what makes a 280Z a 280Z. I have owned both. If you try to make a 240 out of a 280, you'll be dissapointed. Different cars. And no a 280Z does not have power steering. At least, not in the US.

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Maybe I should have used "a little slower" rather than a "slug". Top end speed maybe the same but the acceleration is down when compared to the series 1. I think from memory that the series 1 held the fastest 0-60 time until the 280ZXT came out. So the early zeds do get there just a little faster mainly due to weight reduction. The series 1 weighs 2200lbs.

But in terms of engine drivability, the EFI of the 280z is a winner. Just think, no more horrid cold starts in winter. Just turn the key and varoom. Remember that carbs are tuned to the atmospheric conditions at the time of tuning. EFI will automatically adjust itself via the O2 sensor and ECU for density of air...perfect!

Just shop around for the best one you can get.

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Both! A stock 240Z and a modified 280Z. And in the perfect world, a genuine Scarab (the original 350Z).

Vicky

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Since you are asking for opinions, I'll give you mine... I say buy a 240, preferrably a '70 to '72, but a '73 would be fine as well. 240s are widely recognized as classics. 260s and 280s are not (at least not yet). 240s are generally worth more and have more potential to appreciate in value than 280s. Like a lot of the other members have mentioned, it really depends on what you are looking for in a Zcar. Good luck!

Steve

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Aw, come on, the bumpers are part of what makes a 280Z a 280Z. I have owned both. If you try to make a 240 out of a 280, you'll be dissapointed.

yes, i agree with you, the bumpers are part of what makes a 280z a 280z. honestly, i dont want the 280z bumpers because they make the Z look like a sedan, not a sports car. i want a sports car, and i dont like the look of the fiberglass bumpers and airdams, therefore i wont be disapointed. if i had the choice, i would buy a 240Z, but i am crunched for the cash.

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