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perhaps an ignorant question...


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i've been trying to figure something out here, and maybe this should be common Z knowledge, but are all the early style Z's, 240,260,280, dimensionally the same? i think that the weights changed, but did the wheelbase/track width, anything like that change? any help would be appreciated...thanks


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Not as far as I know. Obvious things like the weight of the car and the bigger bumpers on the 260 & 280 affected things, but the body is the same in both length and width. That's why all of the body parts like the hood, front fenders, rear quarter panels, rear hatch, windshield, etc are all interchangeable.

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ok time for the 2+2 man to step in. the difference is

260 Z length 164.1 IN 2+2 : 174.2 IN wheelbase 90.7 IN 2+2 : 102.6 IN

280 Z length 173.2 IN 2+2 : 185.4 IN wheelbase 90.7 IN 2+2 : 102.6 IN

So if you read that throug you will have noticed the difference between the 260 and 280 in overall length.

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Abreviated, the hood, fenders, windshield glass, complete engine assembly, complete suspension (except shocks, springs, and swaybars-Hubs and brakes will go as a complete assembly) Clutch(as a complete assy-with flywheel), side mirrors, dash, seats(2+2 seats have an extra lever, but will still fit) , console(2+2 has an ashtray at the back), all lighting, dash, engine and efi harnesses and systems(auto to auto, manual to manual), hvac, gas tank, tail lights, side markers, rear end are interchangeable between the 2+2 and 2 seater cars.


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The 2+2 doors are longer than the 2 seater doors, as is the door glass assembly, door glass frames, inner door pull rods, inner door trim pads, and weatherstripping. These parts will not go from a 2+2 to a 2 seater easily.

I didn't mention the taillight finishers because they won't go either.

Gary did bring up a good point, not all 2 seater parts are interchangeable through the life of the S30-that is to say, the door latches did change in '75 meaning there is more to making a late door fit an early car than bolting it on and exchanging hardware(the cutouts are different, so some sheet metal surgery would be required) The later door hardware does not start and continue to rattle as it wears like the early door latches do.

I don't think the wheel base changed appreciably, I think the angle of the half-shafts relative to the differential was changed to change both the harmonics and the propensity to wear in the original design. If I remember correctly, the drive shaft was lengthened very slightly, and the rearend moved back, but the actual tire location did not change-meaning no change in wheelbase.


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Definitely not an ignorant question as I have not found it easy to get an accurate answer to these questions myself when comparing references for Z cars in the North American, UK, European and Australian markets.

References may not always be accurate as found in a compilation of magazine articles in "Datsun 240Z & 260Z Gold Portfolio" ISBN 1 85520 3952 Brooklands Books UK.

The articles generally agreed that the dimensions for the 240Z were

Pages 9, 21, 24, 31, 47, 57, 63, 69, 77, 172

Length 162.8"

Width 64.1"

Wheelbase 90.7"

However on page 15 the length is given as 157" and on page 94 it is 160.8", and on page 102 it has grown to 166.8". I do not know why these articles would report such a variation on the length measurements for the same model.

Colin Shipway in the Essential Datsun Z 240Z to 280ZX agrees wth the above generally agreed upon dimensions for the 240Z.

In the same reference the articles written in 1974 agreed on the dimensions of the 260Z

Page 111, 113 & 120, 139 of the Gold Portfolio: 260Z

Length 169.1"

Width 64.1"

Wheelbase 90.7"

while Russek "Datsun 260Z & 2+2" 1974, and the Nissan Motor Company Service Bulletin #266, 1976 quotes the length for the same car as 162.8" - the same as the 240Z. The service bulletin is I think written for European, UK and Australian Zeds.

Page 123 149 of the Gold Portfolio : 260Z 2+2

Length 180.9"

Width 64.9"

Wheelbase 102.6"

while the article on page 142, Russek and the Nissan Bulletin gives a length of 175". I think the difference between the articles and the Nissan reference here might be due to the extended profile of the bumpers shown in the article photos.

Shipway gives the length of the 260Z 2 seater as 162.8" in the UK and 169.0" in the USA. He also describes the 2+2 as 175.0" in the UK and 180.9" in the USA.

I have not seen any variations in the wheelbase dimensions given for the various models - it really only seems to be the length that has significantly different reported figures.

Bumpers aside, the consistent differences between the 260Z and the 2+2 are obvious in the length of the car but what I have not seen raised or accounted for in the past is the 0.8" to 1.25" reported difference in width between the 2 seater and the 2+2 that is given in several references including Shipway.

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280 doors have latches that are different from a 240 . So they are not interchaneable. The doors that is.

Beandip, according to what I've read on Zcar.com, early 280Z doors will work. I believe the cut-off was around the 76-77 model year change.

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I remember reading Colin Shipways book and thinking it was full of nice pictures, but its alot of the text was innacurate.

There were the 3 different types of bumpers used on the Z in the US market.

There was the 240Z type bumper that non US cars had right up to 77.

Then there is the extended bumper that has the shock absorbing dampers. (pics/diagrams in the Haynes manual).

Then there is the thick style bumper that the 280Z had.

Also the 2+2's had a longer wheelbase, and are wider at the rear (referring to the body, not the track - dunno if its different). Thats why 2+2 tail panels wont fit the 2 seater. If you compare them the 2+2 has 2 vertical indents either side of the licence plate, the 2 seater doesnt, as the gap is smaller.

There are othe changes that appeared in later models, like the lip on the rad support panel. Dashboard changed on the 260Z.

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