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Another way to date code your S130...


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I have been interested in this topic of date coding the Z car ever since 'kats' began a thread a while ago covering this topic with regard to the early S30's. Since I am plagued by multigenerational Z car disease/ownership I have attempted to date code some of the later model Z cars.

Nissan has made the job a bit more simple since 1984 with the advent of Nissan Service Comm which is a database that is accessible by any Nissan parts counter or service counter employee. After inputting a VIN# a printout can be had which will give you the exact date of manufacture (i.e. 01/23/86 in the case of my '86 300ZX), the retail selling date, the pre-delivery inspection date(PDI), the selling dealer's name and address, and any warranty work that has been carried out.

With regard to the S130 (280ZX) since they were sold from '79 to '83 those cars fall within an area where not much can be learned unless you have original documentation from when the car was new. In any case the other day I decided to pull the rear panel which covers the spare tire and related items (in a S130 this is in the rear luggage area on the same side as the fuel filler cap) in order to perform a slight restoration of the panel. In my case some previous owner decided to staple the plastic trim to the top of the panel instead of glueing it back in place. When I turned the panel over on the table to begin work I noticed two sets of numbers on the back of the panel. The first set of numbers was in red and doesn't appear to be a part number. The other number appeared like this:

56.4.28---having been enlightened by 'HS30-H' and others this date is in the Showa format. The Showa period beginning in 1925. In order to convert you simply add the '56' in this case to the base year of 25 and you get 81. It can be noted that this phase of the assembly of the S130 tookplace on or about April 28,1981 which corresponds to the '04/81' stamped on the driver's side doorjamb tag. It is my assumption that the car was rolling down the aseembly line on April 28,1981 and shortly thereafter began its trip from Homakku Wharf to the United States. Apparently it did not take long to reach the U.S.A. as the car was purchased on 8 June 1981 from San Diego Datsun.

Another was found when I bought an owner's manual off of ebay a few years ago for my old '82 280ZX. Enclosed within that manual was an old punchcard with mostly kanji characters and some old dot matrix type print along the top edge of the card denoting the VIN#, engine #, and the internal product code that Nissan explains in the beginning of most of the factory shop manuals. I would guess this to be the equivalent to our 'buildsheet' and hope to get this piece translated soon.

As a sidebar I have seen an early 'buildsheet' at Banzai Motorworks that is on display courtesy of a customer that brought a 240Z in for some service ahile ago and it looks similar to the one I found in the '82 owner's manual. When questioned about this card a mechanic friend of mine who used to work at a Datsun dealer from '75 to '92 stated that there was usually a small box in the car which had the hubcaps and other info. such as this card and after the PDI was performed the box was usually discarded. Unfortunately the build sheet was usually thrown away.

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