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JDM Headlight cover difference.

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Nice theories, but now how to prove them is the big question. It would take a good document to prove these ideas, however they seem to fit the picture well

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Guys,

I know I have been well beyond scarce-and ready to take any and all heat for putting myself in that situation-but I still have my matched NOS originals in the boxes-as pictured at the end of page 42 of my gallery (found here, http://www.classiczcars.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&page=41&ppuser=4106 )and on page 43 as well-don't use the viewer it brings up to progress through the images, it does not progress by page, you will need to actually go to page 44.), and if there is anything I can measure, photograph, etc to help with this, let me know. I have one box with the JDM NOS parts in it, and I know exactly where they are.

Will

Edited by hls30.com

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This is kind of like luring a moth to a bright light.LOL Hi Will, I hope all is well. I know this is a subject you have considered more than most. We can count you as another member who has bought NOS 63900-E4126 & 63901-E4126. Any thoughts or additional info?

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Hi Ron:

Just a side story on the headlight covers.

I don't think that Nissan was caught off guard by any of the D.O.T. or EPA regulations. They had a very competent engineer working hand-in-hand with the Federal Agencies and the rest of the Automotive Industry while these regulations were being drafted, reviewed and finally approved. When Mr. Katayama became President of Nissan Motor Co. in U.S.A in 1965 - Mr. Kawazoe, {former V.P. of East Coast Division} was re-assigned to work that coordination between the Federal regulators and Nissan. Mr. Kawazoe reported directly to the President of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd on these Policy issues, and he was the Chairman of the Japanese Auto Manufacturers group that represented all Japanese Manufactures in D.C. Mr. Kawazoe and that group had quite an influence on the final wording of the regulations and the test procedures used to validate compliance.

From my research, I was never able to find a D.O.T. regulation that would have made covered headlights unlawful. I did however find a few State Regulations that outlawed covered headlights - California being perhaps one of the most important one's of them. The covered headlight covers seem to have been precluded because when they got dirty inside - they reduced the light output significantly.

D.O.T. revised their regulations at the auto industries urging years ago. The revised D.O.T. regulations supercede all State Regulations, and allow both covered headlights and bulb type rather than sealed beam headlights.

Just a guess, but sealed beam headlights may have been required in the past - for the same reason that covered headlights were banned in some of the States.

At any rate - it would seem that the covered headlights would be legal in all States now - otherwise almost none of the newer cars would be legal.

FWIW,

Carl B.

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Carl,

Look up Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108.

"In 1968 when Federal auto equipment and safety regulations were initiated, the requirement for two large or four small round sealed beams was codified, thus freezing headlamp design for many years. At the same time, the new regulations prohibited any decorative or protective element in front of the headlamps whenever the headlamps are switched on. Glass-covered headlamps, used on e.g. the Jaguar E-Type, pre-1968 VW Beetle, 1965 Chrysler and Imperial models, Porsche 356, Citroën DS and Ferrari Daytona were no longer permitted and vehicles had to be imported with uncovered headlamps for the US market. This change meant that vehicles designed for good aerodynamic performance could not achieve it for the US market." The standard was revised in 1970 to accomodate a petition by Ford Motor Company to use square shaped sealed beam headlamps and has been revised periodically since.

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At any rate Nissan had to protect themselves from infractions of individual State regulations at the time as well. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think they did this by making the dealers accountable, who in turn sold the headlight covers over the counter only. Did they allow any dealers to install them when the cars were sold new, as they did with other accessories? In the US, they were found listed in the Datsun Competition Catalogs only, along with the disclaimer. I'm wondering if Nissan ever issued a directive covering the installation by dealers, like they did specifically disapproving the installation of lowering kits.

Anyhow, that seems like a dead end, as far as figuring out why a revised version of the headlight covers was developed and used for domestic models. I had thought about the slight differing fitment between FRP nacelles and the steel nacelles but that was a change that was made across the board with all models. It does seem strange, to have two versions available, especially for parts that were for the most part optional, with both sets assigned Nissan part numbers. I would be interested to find out which "types" were available in other countries as well. I vaguely remember hearing of a version with stainless steel trim rings as well but have never seen or know anything about them and don't even know what the part numbers are, or if they actually exist.

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I have a set in boxes off my Fairlady 240Z-L, I'll double check the hole location when I'm home... wow intense!

Edited by spitz17

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Yes, I think there are reasons for this being the case that we are not quite clear on yet. Just theory on my part but two possible scenarios come to mind.

Ron,

Have you noticed that the change to the E8726 suffixes coincides with the introduction of the L24-engined models to the Japanese market, and therefore the introduction of the 'HZG' variants?

Fairlady 240ZG ( HS30-H / HS30-HA & 'HZG' / 'HZGA' ) models used 63900-E8725 ( RH ) & 63901-E8725 ( LH ) headlamp covers, which were - of course - the longer type, to fit the 'Grande' nose.

In my experience, all the original ZG type headlamp covers I have come across have been made from stainless steel, and - generally speaking, as I've had a lot of them pass through my hands - the earliest 'short nose' covers ( and therefore probably E4126 suffixed ) have been chromed steel, and the known-to-be 'later' ones ( likely E8726 suffixed? ) have been polished stainless.

Therefore, 'Zenki' type = chrome, 'Kouki' type ( after introduction of ZG ) = stainless....?

PS: What I'm saying is that the different part number suffix doesn't necessarily indicate the change in mounting hole location......

Alan T.

Edited by HS30-H

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Very interesting Alan. I didn't know the "later" sets were made out of polished steel. Mine sure felt like chrome, but then again, I don't know of the differences in feel of polished steel and chromed steel. LOL maybe that's why they haven't pitted yet...

Anyways, here is a pic I posted up before of my 1972 Fairlady 240Z-L (10/1971) which has the "later" mounting hole locations on the headlight buckets.

post-20758-14150812917185_thumb.jpg

Edited by spitz17

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Carl,

Look up Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108.

1968...

Thanks Chris - I was focused on looking for something earlier than that, but it makes perfect sense that Nissan would have been fully aware of any draft standards prior to any finished regulation.

FWIW,

Carl

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Glenn, that is the hole pattern I expected to see on your 240Z-L but I never expected them to be stainless. Just another example of differences between markets & models I guess.

Alan, I have never seen a date associated with the E8726 suffix. I would think the suffix change would have more to do with a design specification change of the particular part in question, moreso than coinciding with the introduction of different models. Not that I am saying it didn't coincide with the introduction of the L24-engined models to the Japanese market. Thats good to know. The change of material from chromed steel to polished stainless would certainly merit a suffix change. I would think that a mounting hole pattern change would also merit a suffix change.

Just as Kats was mystified by the hole patterns of 63900-E4126 & 63901-E4126 because of its uncommon nature in Japan, I am likewise ignorant of headlight rings made of stainless, never seeing them. The only time I ever see them are in pictures and the only noticeable difference is the hole patterns. Thanks for clarifying that.

There was a major difference between the way things were done in Japan from what I've gathered. I am referring to the way optioned parts were ordered and fitted to the cars before delivery. Do you know if this was the case with the headlight covers in Japan? I'm guessing more were ordered and delivered fitted than bought over the counter just because of the fact we never see NOS "later" versions come up for sale.

Edited by geezer

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Alan, I have never seen a date associated with the E8726 suffix. I would think the suffix change would have more to do with a design specification change of the particular part in question, moreso than coinciding with the introduction of different models.

The point I was trying to make - and it's only a theory at this point, as I think we're all groping around in the dark so to speak - is that I noted E8726 following closely on the heels of E8725 ( the ZG type covers ), and the E8725 - in my experience - I have only ever seen in polished stainless ( never in chrome ). It seems likely to me that the E8726 would be stainless too....

There was a major difference between the way things were done in Japan from what I've gathered. I am referring to the way optioned parts were ordered and fitted to the cars before delivery. Do you know if this was the case with the headlight covers in Japan? I'm guessing more were ordered and delivered fitted than bought over the counter just because of the fact we never see NOS "later" versions come up for sale.

The scenario I would expect ( especially comparing with other showroom 'Option' parts in Japan ) would be that more were sold over the counter - for retrofitting onto cars that were no longer new - than were chosen as extra-cost options on new cars. The second owners of cars, or even the original owners looking to add something to a car they bought new, would be likely to buy such items over the counter in the same way that they might buy some aftermarket nick-nacks, to give the car a fresh look or feel. Not forgetting of course that the headlamp covers were available for many years longer than the actual cars were.....

And also, if your car had covers, and one or both of them got damaged or tired / faded, then what did you do? If you took them off, you had an unsightly mess of holes to look at ( three for each mounting screw ). You'd either need to buy another set of covers, or have some localised repairs and paint. No wonder Nissan kept making them for a long time.

Alan T.

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The point I was trying to make - and it's only a theory at this point, as I think we're all groping around in the dark so to speak - is that I noted E8726 following closely on the heels of E8725 ( the ZG type covers ), and the E8725 - in my experience - I have only ever seen in polished stainless ( never in chrome ). It seems likely to me that the E8726 would be stainless too....

I comprehend your point and also believe that it is a very plausible theory. My only disagreement was with your post script...

PS: "What I'm saying is that the different part number suffix doesn't necessarily indicate the change in mounting hole location"......

The point that I am making is, the assigned suffix, in my opinion, represents the cumulative changes to the part, defining all changes made. Until being enlightened about the likelyhood of the trim rings being changed to stainless, I thought the only changes were the trim rings holes pattern and lense profile. Unless there is another part number that I am unaware of, I am 99% sure that all trim rings with the E8726 suffix will have this hole pattern. Also, if any of the E8726 suffix trim rings are proven to be stainless, I would likewise be 99% sure they all are.

If this is proven to be the case, how do we best refer to the two types? "early" & "later", "original chromed" & "stainless"? Doesn't much matter, as long as the differences are noted. I for one will not likely remember "Zenki" & "Kouki", unless I write it backwards on my forehead.:D

I believe you have swayed my opinion on the ratio of "over the counter sales".

I still would like to know what the reasoning was for not making the changes across the board, at the same time. The only reasons I can think of are possibly economics and not wanting to stock both types in the much larger North American market. Very helpful discussion, for me.

Edited by geezer
lowered my 99.99% surety rate to 99%

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I comprehend your point and also believe that it is a very plausible theory. My only disagreement was with your post script...

PS: "What I'm saying is that the different part number suffix doesn't necessarily indicate the change in mounting hole location"......

The point that I am making is, the assigned suffix, in my opinion, represents the cumulative changes to the part, defining all changes made. Until being enlightened about the likelyhood of the trim rings being changed to stainless, I thought the only changes were the trim rings holes pattern and lense profile. Unless there is another part number that I am unaware of, I am 99% sure that all trim rings with the E8726 suffix will have this hole pattern.

I'm trying to get across that I don't believe two sets of numbers, the labels 'early' and 'late' ( or even 'chromed' and 'stainless' and my suggestions of 'Zenki' and 'Kouki' ) are the whole story with regard to these headlamp covers.

I've seen plenty of other examples on these cars where parts have changed in construction and/or detail without changes to part numbers. I'm especially wary of trim / brightwork parts that don't have an interactive mechanical function. It would not surprise me in the least to hear that part number changes for the headlamp covers did not cover all detail changes.

And speaking just for myself here ( and not necessarily trying to convince anybody else of anything..... ), but I'm not convinced that the 'early' / 'late' labelling of the mounting hole positions is correct in some of the earlier posts in this thread.

Here's a photo from the Nissan display stand at the 1969 Tokyo Auto Show. I feel fairly confident that this instance would qualify as a textbook example of 'early'. Please note the clearly visible front mounting screw position, which I see being described as "late" elsewhere in this thread:

Alan T.

post-2116-14150812918317_thumb.jpg

post-2116-14150812919085_thumb.jpg

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I believe you have swayed my opinion on the ratio of "over the counter sales".

One down, 100 million to go......

I still would like to know what the reasoning was for not making the changes across the board, at the same time. The only reasons I can think of are possibly economics and not wanting to stock both types in the much larger North American market. Very helpful discussion, for me.

I think you're overestimating the influence of the "much larger North American market" with regard to OEM headlamp covers.

I believe the wants and needs of the Japanese home market would have completely dominated those of any other market in relation to these particular parts. Japan was their biggest market, the market where they were fitted to cars as part of a showroom options package ( not the case in other markets ) and where Nissan had an obligation to customers who had bought them. The fact that more than one type could have needed replacement in later years seems to me to be a good reason for Nissan to keep making both/all versions well into - at least - the 1990s......

I note that the Japanese market parts books don't list the E8726 as superseding the E4126, and that they are listed as parallel parts - with their model applications clearly stated.

Alan T.

Edited by HS30-H
corrected missing part number

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Carl,

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards regulated headlamp design for many years prior to 1968. The '68 law regulated positioning, but the sealed beam design was still required. Prior to '68, several automobiles had over-under layouts of high and low beam headlamps. The '68 law requred side-by-side layouts. Around 1965, the square sealed beam was introduced and the '68 law addressed that too. I'm guessing, as I don't remember 240Zs with headlamp covers (because they were illegal) in the period, that this headlamp cover phenonmina is a more 'recent' development. Yes, they were available in the competition catalog, but I just don't recall seeing them with any sort of regularity.

One other thing that should be noted here about headlamps. Headlamps manufactured for the Japanese domestic market have reflector patterns in the headlamp for driving on the left-hand side of the road. They would be improper for use in America.

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So another question - since all early cars are supposed to have plastic ''sugar scoops'' , would this pose a problem for a strong mount for the headlight cover metal fasteners ? Those base screws look awfully short and tiny !

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I'm trying to get across that I don't believe two sets of numbers, the labels 'early' and 'late' ( or even 'chromed' and 'stainless' and my suggestions of 'Zenki' and 'Kouki' ) are the whole story with regard to these headlamp covers.

I've seen plenty of other examples on these cars where parts have changed in construction and/or detail without changes to part numbers. I'm especially wary of trim / brightwork parts that don't have an interactive mechanical function. It would not surprise me in the least to hear that part number changes for the headlamp covers did not cover all detail changes.

And speaking just for myself here ( and not necessarily trying to convince anybody else of anything..... ), but I'm not convinced that the 'early' / 'late' labelling of the mounting hole positions is correct in some of the earlier posts in this thread.

Here's a photo from the Nissan display stand at the 1969 Tokyo Auto Show. I feel fairly confident that this instance would qualify as a textbook example of 'early'. Please note the clearly visible front mounting screw position, which I see being described as "late" elsewhere in this thread:

Alan T.

Looking at the photos and changing the subject for a sec, the wire-style wipers were OEM?

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I'm trying to get across that I don't believe two sets of numbers, the labels 'early' and 'late' ( or even 'chromed' and 'stainless' and my suggestions of 'Zenki' and 'Kouki' ) are the whole story with regard to these headlamp covers.

It never is the whole story is it? We can only piece together whatever clues, evidence, proof, validation, testimony, documentation, etc. that we come across. Then we can decide what we choose to believe. I certainly am not claiming to know the whole story but I do find some of what we know to be compelling at the very least.

Using your own example of sequential suffixes indicates "early" or "later" when comparing the two part numbers. Although the two sets of headlight covers were produced and sold concurrently for many years, in different markets, one type had to be first and we know which set was first to be included in the parts listings.

You mention:

"I've seen plenty of other examples on these cars where parts have changed in construction and/or detail without changes to part numbers."

Yes of course, we have all seen examples of that but this is not the same. In this case the parts have been changed in construction and/or detail, as well as a new part number assigned.

To me, the photo from the 1969 Tokyo auto show qualifies as "early" only in the sense of the time period. I would not testify either way in a court of law, to what type of headlight cover I am seeing in the photograph. I just couldn't say with any reasonable amount of certainty. I think we have all been fooled in similar circumstances. Chrome or polished stainless can distort quite readily in these old photographs, especially with the lighting provided and reflections created.

Prototypes, pre production or pilot cars could be outfitted with just about anything the designers were developing, shown in the media, previewed by the public but never put into production. We've all seen it.

Chris's remarks caused me to remember back to the '70s. I am old enough that I did drive a 240Z in 1970 (that belonged to a friend), loved the cars and was fairly familiar with them. Like Chris, I don't recall seeing any Zs equipt with headlight covers, other than perhaps in a magazine article or such. Along with your explanation Alan, I can understand how the headlight covers were much more predominant in Japan.

We really didn't have that many S30s in this area. Come to think of it XKEs were and still are more plentiful around here.

I'm not meaning to be argumentive. Its safe to say I'm out of my league, when discussing some of these topics. To me its like a big jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes the pieces fit, sometimes they don't.

Edited by geezer

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Looking at the photos and changing the subject for a sec, the wire-style wipers were OEM?

Yes, OEM on some 'early' ( :) ) Japanese market cars:

post-2116-14150812924004_thumb.jpg

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Using your own example of sequential suffixes indicates "early" or "later" when comparing the two part numbers. Although the two sets of headlight covers were produced and sold concurrently for many years, in different markets, one type had to be first and we know which set was first to be included in the parts listings.

Ron,

We can certainly believe that the E4126 number was the first part number, but what mounting hole position layout does it indicate? My conviction is that the E4126 numbered covers had more than one mounting hole position layout.

I can't track the E8726 suffixed parts as appearing until the introduction of the 'H' prefixed models to the Japanese market ( late September 1971 ), and have noted that the part number closely corresponds with the E8725 suffix of the longer 240ZG headlamp covers. And yet I can see period evidence of at least two different mounting hole layouts long before September 1971. As far as I can see, that's two distinct variants within a period where we have only one part number.

You say that you can't see them clearly, but I am quite convinced that I can clearly identify the front screws on the 1969 Tokyo Show 432 pictured above. They are visible on both sides of the car. I can't make you see them, but photos of the car from other angles clearly show the absence of screws on the forward top part of the covers which would be there in the 'other' layout.

To move this discussion on from parts in boxes, and in an effort to give some dating perspective, here is some evidence of 'period use'. Three photos taken in mid November 1970 of two of the four Works 240Z rally cars that were about to take part in the 1970 RAC Rally here in the UK. You will notice that the top parts of the headlamp covers were painted satin black to match the satin black bonnet and wing tops, and I believe the mounting screw positions are clearly visible, and are different than those of the October 1969 Tokyo Auto Show 432:

post-2116-14150812924992_thumb.jpg

post-2116-14150812925958_thumb.jpg

post-2116-14150812926512_thumb.jpg

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Just to add a side-by-side comparison of mounting screw positions:

EDIT: Note that this is a shot of two different L/H covers - one on top of the other - to illustrate differences.

post-2116-14150812927045_thumb.jpg

Edited by HS30-H
Added clarification

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Yes, OEM on some 'early' ( :) ) Japanese market cars:

Alan, didn't all S30s (at least through 1973) get the same style wipers? Those look like the same ones on North American market 240Zs (except they are the RHD version of course).

-Mike

Edited by Mike B
correct typo

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Mike,

At least two different 'stock' wiper blades in the Japanese market models before the end of 1971 ( 26370-E4100 and 26370-E8700 ). I know the E4100 was the same as the one offered on the north American and European / UK export market cars.

'Winter Pack' wipers - more suited to cope with snow and ice - were also available in Japan ( as were electrically heated front 'screens, for example ) although I don't believe they ever showed up in the early Japanese parts lists. You can however see them in the R-Drive export parts lists [ B6365-89914 ASSY-BLADE WINDSHIELD ( SNOW ) L=400, and B6365-89915 ASSY-BLADE WINDSHIELD ( SNOW ) L=340 ). I would have thought some regions of north America, and especially Canada, would have some 'snow' wiper blades?

But, like the headlamp covers, I don't think the part numbers tell us the whole story.

Alan T.

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