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Hagerty: What to look for in a Z

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Nice.  However, pictures of unmodified cars might have added a bit to the discussion of "what to look for" when buying a Z.

Dennis

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By 1973, however, the EPA's looming emissions regulations caused the 240Z to switch to flat-top Hitachi carbs, which have garnered a much poorer reputation for reliability and tunability within the Z community (where they've been nicknamed the “boat anchors”). It's not unusual to see round tops, or even aftermarket units, replacing the flat tops on ’73 model year cars. While you can make flat tops work, they are complex and more difficult to source parts for or find knowledgeable help with.

“We used to bust the flat top's off of the intake with a sledgehammer because they were faster to remove that way,” Dave Epstein says with a laugh. “These carburetors were undrivable, but the earlier SUs were better. We make a manifold that lets you use an Edelbrock or four-barrel Holley, which are cheaper to maintain and rebuild, don't leave you stranded, and avoid synchronization hassles like you have with a dual-carb setup.”

Hmm, I seem to recall flat tops being more desirable. Can anyone enlighten me?

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Can't understand peoples prejudices against them---

1973 bone stock 240z with flat tops and points distributor

104 mph on the back straight at CotA in Austin TX 2017

120 mph personal best on a long straight going to Road Atlanta last week

24.4 mpg averaged over ~1600 miles round trip AR to ZCON 2018 and back (not hyper-mileing)

Dedicated choke circuit for cold mornings

I'm happy with the flat tops---yes they are more difficult to set up properly as the primary  adjustments are all internal and can't be done with the carbs on the intake (floats and fuel nozzles), parts are scarce and expensive, but once that it is done I see no reason why they would not perform for a very long time with little additional service required. Many of the reported problems with them is due to a lack of routine maintenance of the engine in general. (valve adjustment, timing, plugs, points rotor and cap)

If the quoted Dave Epstein was serious with his comments I wouldn't let him near my car----

 

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The article itself - as seems the case with so many such articles - is a bit of a dog's dinner, but the very first line jumps out to me as being particularly strange:

"Nearly 50 years ago, a small Japanese car company..."

Huh? Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Japan produced nearly 1.2 million vehicles in calendar year 1969. They weren't exactly Crosley, were they?

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9 hours ago, Zup said:

 

1973 bone stock 240z with flat tops and points distributor

120 mph personal best on a long straight going to Road Atlanta last week

 

 

I like that!   Few car enthusiasts can say that they hit a higher speed going to Road Atlanta than on Road Atlanta.

You're tough to keep up with Jim,  thanks for a great week!

 

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11 hours ago, lordkarma88 said:

Hmm, I seem to recall flat tops being more desirable. Can anyone enlighten me?

It's a little complicated... Kinda depends on semantics.

Your recollection that the flat tops are more desirable is completely wrong. The round tops are much more "desirable" than the flat tops. As proof of that, there are clearly waaaaay more people who desire round tops than flat tops.

Quote

By 1973, however, the EPA's looming emissions regulations caused the 240Z to switch to flat-top Hitachi carbs, which have garnered a much poorer reputation for reliability and tunability within the Z community (where they've been nicknamed the “boat anchors”). It's not unusual to see round tops, or even aftermarket units, replacing the flat tops on ’73 model year cars. While you can make flat tops work, they are complex and more difficult to source parts for or find knowledgeable help with. 

And all of the above is completely true:

In 73 they changed to the flat tops.
They have garnered a poor reputation.
They have been nicknamed "boat anchors".
It is not unusual to see round tops where flat tops originally resided.
They are more complex and harder to find parts for than the round tops.
And it is difficult to find knowledgeable help with the flat tops.

Probably the most important parts are the final two points, but the flip side is... You can make them work great if you can find parts and have knowledgeable help.

So the summary is that while the round tops are currently way more "desirable" than the flat tops, there is a small but growing contingent of 73 and 74 Z owners who are bucking the trend and are using flat tops on their cars. With great success I might add.

Personally, I was into triple digits at least three times last weekend in Z's powered by flat tops. Those flat tops started great cold, idled fine at all temps, pushed you back into the seat at WOT, and got great gas mileage when your right foot wasn't deep into it.

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5 hours ago, lordkarma88 said:

Guess I should stick with the round tops :unsure:. Though I guess I could also slap on some aftermarket carbs.

I think you should stick with buying a car instead of spending so much time posting about a car you don't yet have.    ROFL

Good luck with the hunt!

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Lol, to be honest I don't have the money right now... It will take at least a year (probably) before I get one, because I first wanna get a truck to pull the trailer I'll hide it in :ph34r:

On top of that I'm not working, as we recently moved and still getting used to living on a ranch. I'll find my car in time, I just want to get the right one and for that, I'll keep lurking :geek:

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On ‎10‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 3:51 AM, lordkarma88 said:

“We used to bust the flat top's off of the intake with a sledgehammer because they were faster to remove that way,” Dave Epstein says with a laugh. “These carburetors were undrivable, but the earlier SUs were better. We make a manifold that lets you use an Edelbrock or four-barrel Holley, which are cheaper to maintain and rebuild, don't leave you stranded, and avoid synchronization hassles like you have with a dual-carb setup.”

LOL, this is typical from back in the day... of not having the knowledge how these Hitachi's work, so just slap on a 4 barrel downdraft :P

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8 hours ago, lordkarma88 said:

 I'll find my car in time, I just want to get the right one and for that, I'll keep lurking

Haha! Save your pennies, keep looking, and something will certainly turn up!   :beer:

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