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240z values - 4 speed vs 5 speed

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Why are 240z's with 4 speeds just as valuable as those that have been converted to 5 speeds?  I get that show cars that compete as "original" need them.  But that is a small minority compared to all of those (with 4 speeds) that have sold on Bring a Trailer, for example.  So, setting show cars aside, why are they as valuable?  Being a Datsun enthusiast for over 30 years (early 240z and 510s in particular), my recollection is that nearly everyone chucked the 4 speeds and "upgraded" with various 5 speeds options and matching rear end ratios as necessary.  I'd love the hear others thoughts and opinions as to whether you agree with the premise or not and if you do, why the values don't take a hit if the car has a 4 speed.

Garrett

 

 

 

Edited by inline6

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In my opinion, there are 2 reasons to convert to a 5 speed. 1) low gear diff  2) you drive long distances on higher speed highways. I don’t do either, so all 5 of my Z’s are 4 speeds and I’m happy with that. Most of my runs are short spirited runs through low traffic areas.....4 gears are plenty......also as Jim mentions, it’s how the Z’s came from the factory. Another plus as they are a lot cheaper and a lot more available. IMHO

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The ZX 5 speed does have the ratios closer together, 1st to 4th.  So, should allow a person to stay in a narrower RPM range, for sporty driving.

I wanted a 5 speed because highway speeds were buzzy and noisy when I first got my car back up and running.  I thought that 5th gear would drop the RPM and make things smoother.  But after I got the 5 speed in I also put a better engine in with properly balanced injectors and other parts that was super smooth all the way up to the high end.  I ended up using 5th gear not much after that, the old engine had been just a noisy buzzy beast.  But out on the 70 mph freeways the new 5th gear was nice even with the new smooth engine.  I think the choice depends on how and where you drive.

4 speed 240Z's are collector cars, for shows and investment.

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5 hours ago, jfa.series1 said:

There's still a lot of folks that place a value on originality.

Thanks for the comment.  I noticed your VIN is your signature.  The Z in my avatar is a 12/70 also - VIN 16511.  

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Or you could install the 5 speed and use a four speed knob. Most people would never know the difference!

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18 hours ago, inline6 said:

I'd love the hear others thoughts and opinions as to whether you agree with the premise or not and if you do, why the values don't take a hit if the car has a 4 speed.

I told it before but a euro 240z HAS ORIGINAL a 5 speed gearbox with a 3,9 (i believe) : 1 diff.    The type Is a Fs5C71B  gearbox.

In the Netherlands the 240z came a bit later then 10-1969..  it was more halfway 1970?  I don't know if the Fs5C71A gearbox was ever in a 240z in the european market.. could be..

Why there is no difference in price.. i don't know.. i only know that i would pay more for an original euro car with 5 speed. Much! more rare..

Edited by dutchzcarguy

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3 hours ago, dutchzcarguy said:

I told it before but a euro 240z HAS ORIGINAL a 5 speed gearbox with a 3,9 (i believe) : 1 diff.    The type Is a Fs5C71B  gearbox.

In the Netherlands the 240z came a bit later then 10-1969..  it was more halfway 1970?  I don't know if the Fs5C71A gearbox was ever in a 240z in the european market.. could be..

Why there is no difference in price.. i don't know.. i only know that i would pay more for an original euro car with 5 speed. Much! more rare..

For my question, I am assuming the 4 speed is original to the car and the car is still geographically in its "home" market.  If the car came with a 5 speed originally and the car is still in its original country of import, then I assume a four speed installed would cause a hit to the value of the car.

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20 hours ago, inline6 said:

would cause a hit to the value

I assume you mean that the car would be more valuable. Yes and no..  Many people like the originality and others are more pulled to the 5 speed although thats not original on your home market..    (Just my opinion..) 

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On BAT in particular and with people who know Z cars (especially in the US) I don't believe "4 speed or 5 speed manual transmission" is anything more than a very minor issue. Why would it effect end sales price other than perhaps marginally? Even though many have "chucked" their 4 speeds in favor of a 5 speed they are still available - as are 5 speeds. Anyone who wants to swap either way can easily do so. 

Most 5 speeds ARE the 4 speed - same transmission with the addition of an overdrive gear - at least until you get to the ZX "close ratio" 5 speed. (And who wants the "monkey shifter" series one 4 speed other than the ultra originalist...) And, unlike todays kids who think "OH! 5 speeds! Faster!" we know that the Datsun transmission 5th gear is an OVERDRIVE gear added specifically to lower engine RPM at CRUISE for INCREASED FUEL ECONOMY - not top speed.  We all know that "spirited driving" in a Z car is done in the first 4 gears anyway (unless you own a turbo car 😉...).

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8 hours ago, cgsheen1 said:

On BAT in particular and with people who know Z cars (especially in the US) I don't believe "4 speed or 5 speed manual transmission" is anything more than a very minor issue. Why would it effect end sales price other than perhaps marginally? Even though many have "chucked" their 4 speeds in favor of a 5 speed they are still available - as are 5 speeds. Anyone who wants to swap either way can easily do so. 

Most 5 speeds ARE the 4 speed - same transmission with the addition of an overdrive gear - at least until you get to the ZX "close ratio" 5 speed. (And who wants the "monkey shifter" series one 4 speed other than the ultra originalist...) And, unlike todays kids who think "OH! 5 speeds! Faster!" we know that the Datsun transmission 5th gear is an OVERDRIVE gear added specifically to lower engine RPM at CRUISE for INCREASED FUEL ECONOMY - not top speed.  We all know that "spirited driving" in a Z car is done in the first 4 gears anyway (unless you own a turbo car 😉...).

Part of the reason I am confused by it (again - high valuations for 4 speed equipped cars), is that just swapping the transmission isn't sufficient.  Sure, you could switch only the transmission, but for a few of the common 5 speed swaps, performance through the gears suffers without also swapping to a different final drive ratio as well.  And some of the five speeds require different drive shaft lengths.  Putting a 5 speed can get rather involved, depending on the transmission used, and if done right, in my opinion.  

Yes though, on the fact that some Z owners drive in a way (short distance, short duration) that 4 gears are totally sufficient.  Also, I think a lot of Z's these days don't get driven a lot.  Perhaps 4 speed equipped cars aren't dinged in value (on BAT mainly) because they are certainly sufficient when the car is a garage queen.  

 

Edited by inline6

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Driveshaft lengths are the same for the Datsun (Nissan) 4 and 5 speed transmissions........at least for the common swaps through 280 ZX.

Edited by Diseazd

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