DR280z

Odd Engine Bay ID Tag

Recommended Posts

My 280z has an engine bay id tag that I have never seen in any other 1978. The tag has the vin# of the car stamped into it and nothing else. The dash vin #, firewall and door jam all match. Late 78's did not have the engine #'s on the engine bay tag but again, never have seen one that just has the vin stamped on it and nothing else. Anybody know why this car has this?

280z engine bay tag.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The car was originally white. I just painted it light metallic blue and have not gotten to painting the engine bay. The vin on the engine tag and the vin on the firewall, dash and door jam all match up. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure the black writing on the tags is a painted on stencil. Aggressive cleaning with harsh a substance can remove all the black paint leaving just the stamped numbers. 

Just a possibility. I learned this when trying to clean some overspray off of one, and found the cleaner I was using was starting to take the writing off as well. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Terrapin Z said:

I'm pretty sure the black writing on the tags is a painted on stencil. Aggressive cleaning with harsh a substance can remove all the black paint leaving just the stamped numbers. 

Just a possibility. I learned this when trying to clean some overspray off of one, and found the cleaner I was using was starting to take the writing off as well. 

I agree with Terrapin Z - someone used some aggressive cleaning techniques and removed the printed image.

 

Similar process as a stencil - but screen printed.

I *thought* you could get reproduction plates from zcarsource and/or Banzai, but both offer 240 plates while Banzai also offers a plate for the 260.

 

So, ya got a couple options:

a)   Live with it, as it is (or tell a fisherman's story of how your ID plate is custom - note, this only works with someone that hasn't seen a Z)

b)   see if Banzai will pursue a reproduction tag for the 280's (you might have to pay for the up front costs)

c)   scan a good ID plate, and reprint that image onto your tag by:

         using a clear film as a sticker

        print directly on the plate using a suitable 3D printer and media

        screen-print it on (see option b)

 

Probably another option, but I can't think of one now

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never thought of that! Good call. I looked at an original tag and that is exactly where the vin is engraved. I think that is the answer. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zeddsaver has 280 engine bay tags...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He is indeed in Vancouver, but sells in US dollars.... no discount for Canadians. Even the shipping is based on US costs. :COLERE:

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, wheee! said:

Zeddsaver has 280 engine bay tags...

Thanks Mark - I forgot about him - I keep him in mind for floor pans.

19 minutes ago, Terrapin Z said:

Like Wheee! says.......

Sure enough they show one for the 77-78 280Z for $59.00.

Here is the link : https://www.zeddsaver.com/collections/datsun-z-car-id-plates

I think they are in Canada but also list an address in Blaine.

Thanks for the link!

I still like my idea of using a 3D printer..... not that I need it for THIS application, but.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trying out the 3D printing would be interesting for some things. I've seen some things that look pretty good and other that look horrible.

I guess like anything, it depends on how good your equipment is. Buy a bargain cheepo printer and you get mediocre pieces....likewise an expensive nice printer will yield better quality. 

 

It is sad he charges USD for CN purchases. While these plates and some of the other stickers are reasonable. I think a lot of his pricing is a bit on the high side. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, wal280z said:

Thanks Mark - I forgot about him - I keep him in mind for floor pans.

Thanks for the link!

I still like my idea of using a 3D printer..... not that I need it for THIS application, but.......

Zeddsaver doesn't do floor pans, you're thinking of ZeddFindings! Opposite sides of the country....

Edited by wheee!
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, wheee! said:

Zeddsaver doesn't do floor pans, you're thinking of ZeddFindings! Opposite sides of the country....

This just reinforces the conversation @Patcon  and I were having.... I guess I'm on the downhill side of the bell-curve...

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the scanning and printing idea. I looked at the zedd tags and they dont look quite the same as the originals. I think I would be better off just leaving it as is. If I unscrew the plate and mess with it, it looks more like it was tampered with. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, DR280z said:

I like the scanning and printing idea. I looked at the zedd tags and they dont look quite the same as the originals. I think I would be better off just leaving it as is. If I unscrew the plate and mess with it, it looks more like it was tampered with. 

Well, I just went to my garage and took a picture of my ID plate, and honestly, $57+shipping is cheaper than trying to re-create the wheel.

I think Zeddsaver nailed it.

20190308_181856.jpg

77_78_280z_ID_plate_engine_bay_large.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remove all of these from my cars when I restore them and then remount them when the paint is done. This one is mounted with 4 screws so pretty easy to make it right.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, DR280z said:

I like the scanning and printing idea. I looked at the zedd tags and they dont look quite the same as the originals. I think I would be better off just leaving it as is. If I unscrew the plate and mess with it, it looks more like it was tampered with. 

Completely your choice. 

12 minutes ago, wal280z said:

Well, I just went to my garage and took a picture of my ID plate, and honestly, $57+shipping is cheaper than trying to re-create the wheel.

I think Zeddsaver nailed it.

I think they look really good as well. I looked through a lot of his decals and think whom ever is doing the work (him or someone else) does a fine job. For plates and decals you cant get elsewhere these look like a good option.

Just now, Patcon said:

I remove all of these from my cars when I restore them and then remount them when the paint is done. This one is mounted with 4 screws so pretty easy to make it right.

I do this too. On a lot of the parts cars I have picked up I find these painted over even ground on, rusted, and clean. with just 4 screws it is not like you are altering something like the door jam, which has rivets.

Some of my collection showing various stages of condition. I save them from parts cars, and any I find at junk yards. Like dog tags of the fallen. I never understood why people wouldn't take them off before painting or restoring an engine bay. To each their own I suppose. 

tags.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many moons ago (waving hand like "these are not the droids you're looking for"), I worked for a company who made equipment that featured a black on silver faceplate similar in concept to the VIN tags. They were some sort of black coating on a thin aluminum substrate and the black coating was some sort of photo-resist active material.

You would lay a piece of film artwork (black and clear) over the substrate and then run the pair through a box which housed bright light of some sort. I don't know if it was UV or what, but fading memory says the light was greenish, not purplish. And then after the light exposure, you would wash the substrate in some chemical and parts of the black coating would come off. I don't remember if the parts exposed to the light came off or if the parts exposed to the light were "set", but clearly it was photo-sensitive in some sort.

Anyway, when you were done, you had a black on silver rendition of the artwork you laid over the original all black substrate.

I can't remember the trade name of the equipment, but I believe it was relatively common back then. It's probably outlawed at this point due to health risks from the chemicals and the light, but I used it a lot "back in the day".

I wish I could remember the name of that system... Not that I want one, just that it bugs me that I can't remember the name!     :unsure:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now