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Handle with care...


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Hi guys! I'm currently restorting a 1972 Datsun 240z and would like to hear how the Z handles when pushed? I have no clue on this matter since this will be the first Z I will get to drive! Does it "understeer" "oversteer" "nimble" "sluggish" anything goes! Maybe this topic was posted as an old thread already but again, I still have know clue on how the Z should react while being pushed! Any help I can get would be great! Thanks!

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Hello 7240Z

Your Z understeers in stock form.

Push it hard into a corner, feel it start to plow, lift suddenly off the throttle and crank in more steering lock in a panic - and if you are caring enough speed, you can get it to oversteer. When the rear end starts to catch up to the front - get on the throttle hard and you can easily do a 180 or 360...

Learn how to drive it in stock form, and the truth is that it isn't a matter of how the car handles, so much as how you want to handle the car.

Join a local SCCA chapter, take the drivers training courses they sponsor as well as any others you can get yourself into. You'll learn a lot more a lot faster about how to handle the car, and you'll have a safe place to put yourself through those inevitable 180's and 360's. (if you haven't spun it out or off track you haven't pushed it to your limits ;-)

Once you have learned to push it to its limits and safely hold it there.. then you can begin to fine tune the suspension and your driving... In stock form your Z is a handful for sure - but it's not beyond your reach if you have average reflexes and you are taught what to observe and how to respond etc.

My personal opinion is that it is very important to learn how to drive your Z in it's stock form first. Jump in a car that is way above your abilities to handle it at its limits - and you will not develop the feel, the basic skills, the driving techniques and confidence that you need to really advance. You simply have to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run..... then you run the best when coached properly. It's the same with driving.

good luck and most important of all - stay safe..



Carl Beck

Clearwater, FL USA


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Hey Carl,

Thanks for the advice! It feels really good to hear from someone who really knows what he is talking about. As I suspected from staring at the Z at the shop (because thats all I can do at this time) based on the design of the car I noticed that most of the weight is at the front which can give the car while turning into a corner great understeer. I was dreading this theory but from what you have told me, it was all true. I'm ordering a suspension kit from Motorsports but not sure if I should get the Eibach's or the kit from Motorsports. Any thoughts on this matter? I'm pretty sure the Eibach's are better but how much better?

I've driven for the Birel Racing team and was able to travel around the Philippines and I've tried drifting around mountain corners with my dad's BMW 735i which is an awesome car if pushed but isn't great with acceleration because of its weight and engine size since it is 3.5 Liter but maybe the 4.5 should be better but I still prefer straight sixes. Nothing sounds sweeter then

a six at full song! Personally I hate understeer! At approach, if the car starts to "push" countersteer then blip the throttle. This will allow the rear end come out. Pressing the breaks at a corner is a big NO NO in my book! Maybe then I'll find out how the car feels doing a 360! Any ideas on weight transfer? So I can make the car "oversteer"? Honestly, I prefer that reaction. Thanks for the advice Carl!

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