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280z space saver spare tire replacement?

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Hi guys,

Is there any place where I can get a replacement space saver tire for my '78 280?

I will be driving to zcon and want to make sure I have a spare tire on-board that isn't 40 years old (yes I have AAA too haha).

 

Any ideas?

-chase

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There is no new replacement for that 1st generation space saver tire.   However,  Capt Obvious found a solution with a modern donut tire that works for him.

The thread is in the archives,  perhaps Bruce will comment on the details.  @Captain Obvious

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18 minutes ago, siteunseen said:

 

It's a bit tough to understand without the pictures.  Why didn't he just have the tire from the spare he bought mounted onto the original wheel that had the collapsible tire?  Basically I'm asking why he needed the datsun roadster hub.

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That's a good question.  Plus, you need an old wheel.

But, I'm pretty sure that other people have found late model spares from import cars that swap over directly and fit the spare tire well.  There are common 4 1/2" bolt patterns out there.  Tried to find some of the threads but haven't yet.

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I am no expert on the space saver spare except to test mine with an air pump.  If I had to guess, it may be a unique setup where the tire is not intended to be removable.

In CO's case,  since he usually leaves no stone unturned, there must be a reason preventing him from using the original nissan wheel.

.

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Post #8 here is good.  CO is in the thread but he was on a mission based on the presumption that modern rims wouldn't fit the 280Z hubs.  Doesn't seem to have been confirmed.  There's a good list to start from.

 

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Thanks guys, I'll scour the junkyard for one of these.  In all reality, is fix-a-flat seriously good enough that spares are no longer warranted?

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1 minute ago, siteunseen said:

Google 280z junkyard spare. It's a Sentra or Altima that works. @Mike Wwith the 260 knows.

 

That tire is too large to fit into the reduced size spare tire well added on the 77/78 cars unfortunately.  I guess that's the price we pay for a marginally bigger gas tank 😕

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Sorry for the delay.  I haven't been on-line much over the past few days.  Some details about my spare tire project...

What I ended up using was a  115/70/14 tire from something in a junkyard. I don't remember what it came from, but it was probably a Nissan product. Older Sentra or Maxima probably. I bought it because it had the right 4x4.5 lug pattern. Problem was... I tried it on my car and it fit OK on the back but wouldn't clear the front calipers.

So I took the tire off the space saver spare and had it remounted on the narrowest wheel I could find that had the correct offset and would clear the front calipers. The wheel I used came from an early (65) roadster) and it is four inches wide

I didn't move the space saver tire over to the 280 original spare wheel because I was worried that the 280 spare wheel was too wide. The space saver tire was originally on a four inch wide rim and the original 280 spare wheel is five inches wide. I wasn't comfortable stretching that narrow tire out to a five inch wide rim.

I think you could use a 4.5 inch wide rim, but since I was in there messing around anyway, I took the opportunity to make it as narrow as possible so I could drop the false wood floor down and gain some more cargo head-room back there. I ended up dropping the floor level about an inch-and-a-half.

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Looks like a neat, creative solution for any 280z that has stock front calipers & rotors.  In my case, with the Willwoods on the front, a front flat would cause me to move the rear up front and put the spare on the back.

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4 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

Sorry for the delay.  I haven't been on-line much over the past few days.  Some details about my spare tire project...

What I ended up using was a  115/70/14 tire from something in a junkyard. I don't remember what it came from, but it was probably a Nissan product. Older Sentra or Maxima probably. I bought it because it had the right 4x4.5 lug pattern. Problem was... I tried it on my car and it fit OK on the back but wouldn't clear the front calipers.

So I took the tire off the space saver spare and had it remounted on the narrowest wheel I could find that had the correct offset and would clear the front calipers. The wheel I used came from an early (65) roadster) and it is four inches wide

I didn't move the space saver tire over to the 280 original spare wheel because I was worried that the 280 spare wheel was too wide. The space saver tire was originally on a four inch wide rim and the original 280 spare wheel is five inches wide. I wasn't comfortable stretching that narrow tire out to a five inch wide rim.

I think you could use a 4.5 inch wide rim, but since I was in there messing around anyway, I took the opportunity to make it as narrow as possible so I could drop the false wood floor down and gain some more cargo head-room back there. I ended up dropping the floor level about an inch-and-a-half.

Gotcha.  So are donut wheels permanently inflated or do you inflate them when you take them out of the spare tire well?

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7 hours ago, chaseincats said:

Gotcha.  So are donut wheels permanently inflated or do you inflate them when you take them out of the spare tire well?

The typical donut spares are fully inflated when not in use. Pull 'em out and slap 'em on. And that's what I have with mine. Assuming mine has been holding air properly since the last time I looked at it, it should be ready to use without having to inflate it when I pull it out.

12 hours ago, S30Driver said:

a front flat would cause me to move the rear up front and put the spare on the back.

And with the stock brakes, that was an option with the space saver spare that I bought from the junkyard. Right out of the yard with no mods, it fit OK on the back over the rear drum, but wouldn't clear the front calipers. So if I had a flat on the front, I could have pulled a rear wheel first and then moved that rear to the front.

But the last thing I want to do when changing a wheel in an emergency situation is to have to do it twice. Along the side of a highway... once is bad enough. So for me, it was worth the extra effort and piece of mind to move the space saver rubber over to a different wheel that would fit on either front or rear.

P1060513.JPG

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1 hour ago, Captain Obvious said:

 

The typical donut spares are fully inflated when not in use. Pull 'em out and slap 'em on. And that's what I have with mine. Assuming mine has been holding air properly since the last time I looked at it, it should be ready to use without having to inflate it when I pull it out.

And with the stock brakes, that was an option with the space saver spare that I bought from the junkyard. Right out of the yard with no mods, it fit OK on the back over the rear drum, but wouldn't clear the front calipers. So if I had a flat on the front, I could have pulled a rear wheel first and then moved that rear to the front.

But the last thing I want to do when changing a wheel in an emergency situation is to have to do it twice. Along the side of a highway... once is bad enough. So for me, it was worth the extra effort and piece of mind to move the space saver rubber over to a different wheel that would fit on either front or rear.

P1060513.JPG

The original accordion tire has a lot more sidewall when inflated, the car can actually drive with that super tiny wheel/no sidewall?  Nothing scrapes?

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I put the reworked donut spare on and drove around a little bit. Nothing scrapes. Now don't get me wrong... The car feels terrible with that spare installed and the steering wheel doesn't even sit straight, but it would get me to the next exit in the event of a flat.

And it looks so sexy!!   LOL 
P1060523.JPG

 

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9 minutes ago, Captain Obvious said:

I put the reworked donut spare on and drove around a little bit. Nothing scrapes. Now don't get me wrong... The car feels terrible with that spare installed and the steering wheel doesn't even sit straight, but it would get me to the next exit in the event of a flat.

And it looks so sexy!!   LOL 
P1060523.JPG

 

Haha that's awesome.  Thanks for all the info, gang!  I will do some junkyard donut tire hunting soon!

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Haha! You like that? Here's another shot so you can get the full visual impact of that donut:
P1060520.JPG

But the important part is that even when fully inflated, it fits in the 77-78 spare tire well:
P1060512.JPG

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So in summary.... There aren't a lot of different donut spare sizes. The only 14 inch version I found was T115/70/14. (Don't get the 15 inch spare. Won't fit.)

You can get the space saver with the correct lug pattern and probably use it on the rear right from the yard. But it probably won't fit in the front.

If it doesn't fit over the front calipers, your choices are to move the tire to a different wheel (like I did), or in the event of a front flat, move one of your rear wheels up front and use the space saver on the rear.

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Just now, Captain Obvious said:

So in summary.... There aren't a lot of different donut spare sizes. The only 14 inch version I found was T115/70/14. (Don't get the 15 inch spare. Won't fit.)

You can get the space saver with the correct lug pattern and probably use it on the rear right from the yard. But it probably won't fit in the front.

If it doesn't fit over the front calipers, your choices are to move the tire to a different wheel (like I did), or in the event of a front flat, move one of your rear wheels up front and use the space saver on the rear.

Sounds good, thanks so much for all of this info.  Are any of you headed to zcon this year?  We should all meet up at some point.

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My 240z has enough room for an ordinary spare, but I'm curious about the weight difference with the donut spare.

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They are using the doughnut spares in the raised rear deck of the '77 and '78 280s with larger fuel tanks.  They came with a collapsible spare and a can of air 40 plus years ago so you can't really trust them anymore.

The weight difference would be about the same as a gallon of gas.

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I put a donut spare in my '75Z.  I bought it on eBay last year for $49 + shipping.  It appears to be unused.  Its size is 125/70/16 and it's from a 2012 Nissan Sentra.  I weighed it on my bathroom scale...26.2 lbs.

 

I also checked the weight of my new Panasport Z-lite wheels (16x7) with Continental ExtremeContact Sport tires (205/55/16)...39.0 lbs.

 

IMG_3315.jpg

Edited by SoCalJim
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