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who has experience with the old datsun 240/260/280?


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hey all, new to this forum. looking for someone who has had a lot of experience with the old datsun Z platform. i've decided to retire my "antique" (antiquated is more accurate) corvette from track days for obvious reasons and have since aquired a '73 240Z.

my question to those who've run these cars before is what did you do or wish you had done to make the car faster and more enjoyable on the track? feel free to wish out loud. THIS IS NOT TO BE A COMPETITION CAR. this is only for HPDE's and as such, i'm looking for maximum fun on minimum budget, specifically regarding chassis and suspension. it also does not have to meet any street legal requirements as it will be a purely track day car.

since i don't have to fit a class for competition, i'm open to a lot of mods. unfortunately, the best cage i can find is a bolt-in 6 point. i'd really like to tie the front strut towers into the cage but don't want to add unnecessary weight.

BTW, i will retire the 2.4 I-6 in favor of a chevy v-6 for a more compact and economical engine, which i plan to stress.

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I have owned and moddified datsuns and nissans but am no authority.

As for the cage, have one custom made. Anyone here with experience will tell you to go this route. Best money spent on safety.



A well respected shop in the DC Metro area that has been racing datsun/nissan for years is Datsun Dynamics. They should be able to provide some insight for you.



1202 Downey Dr.

Vienna, Virginia, 22182

Phone: (703) 759-4610


As for the motor, why not stick with the factory inline 6? If you were to swap motors out perhaps go with a package that will take weight off the front end, like a turbo 4. Your engine bay has lots of room for the extra plumbing and an intercooler.


Have fun.

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Brakes!!! The stock setup on the Z are quite marginal on the front with the rear brakes being drums. It's been a while, but I think its fairly easily to swap to a disc setup in the rear from a later model ZX.


Swap as much as you can to spherical bearings on the suspension. You will need to play with bump steer to get the thing to turn properly.


As mentioned, spend the $$ for a custom cage. The shells aren't all that stiff and need all the help they can get. A bolt in cage (the ones I've seen for the Z) will go to the fender wells in the rear (for the main hoop as well as the rear braces.... You need to tie in real well to the strut towers front and back as well as the floor and the firewall. Go ahead and run them to the front strut towers. The added weight will be small compared to the gains in chassis stiffness.



As for engine swaps, what about a turbo 4 from a JDM 240SX? Very popular and easy to get swap parts for. Easy 300+HP.



71, 72, 76 240/240/280 (1989 - 1997) NASA-ToyoProSedan1 & ITS

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thanks for the advice so far. i have a friend who does a lot of chassis engineering and he advised pretty much the same for the cage but suggested i get one that's already pre-bent for the datsun as it will be far less expensive than having him fab one up. he doesn't mind adding to an existing one that is a good basis but his need for more projects is equal to my limited budget. the only thing i've found so far is a bolt in from autopower, which i figured would at least be a decent staring point. but just that, a starting point.

i've already got a plan for the brakes: wilwood. dynalites are fairly inexpensive through speed houses such as summit and jegs and should provide plenty of whoa power for a light little car.

as for the engine, several factors have pushed my decision. 1) i'm a chevy guy. always have been. the 4.3L i'm going to be using is little more than a 3/4 350. you can't get much cheaper to run than that. 2) while other engines may be lighter, which is obviously desireable, i know i can stress the hell out of the heads. 3) probably the most important of the concerns, i already have the 4.3 so that is going to be what i go with.

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Clutchdust, one of your best sources is on this forum going by the forum tag Chino 240Z. PM them. Cindy and Craig have the cleanest and super quick Z at the SoCal NASA events.


They would be an amazing source of info and are very helpful . . .

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thanks exracer. i'll see if i can't locate them. i'd rather learn from those that have been there/done that. in the end, it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

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Hey Craig/Cindy we missed ya at BW. Ran #1CCW, so it was pretty hairy for the newbees. After Sunday afternoon, I had to work to stay ahead! Thank God that yellow DatsunZ wasn't out there . . .


Take good care of Clutchdust, I'm sure your car will be an inspiration.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi ExRacer, I heard BW was good in June. Can't remember what we were doing then but work keeps getting in the way. 2 Weeks ago we did manage to make an S.V. event at Willow with a group of Datsuns. That was something rare to see, a pack of hungry Datsun running the track. Cindy did very well in an open passing group, she had been getting bored and this turned on the competition valve a little more.


Kumhos replaced by Toyos for the summer which ran very good as always. We have a 3 day event at BW in a couple months from now, so just making suspension adjustments for that. Going to be taking a couple weeks mid August to take the kids camping up N. Cal. Redwoods, then back to the track after that.


We've been in conversation with Clutchdust and he's got his hands full with work on his Datsun, and we should see him join up with us in the future sometime too. We are also taking a newbie with a modified Integra to Cal. Speedway this weekend to watch an event there and get him ready to join the fun soon too.


Z ya later....


oh, PS... Getting the stick out and hitting San Clemente on Wed.

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Great stuff Craig. Missed ya at Willow. It was smokin' hot. Hmmm I wonder if I would drown taking my semi out. There's a bump coming in today through Wed. Trestles is real close to ya . . .


Thanks again for the wiring "care package". The Tank is still not ready for the track.


We instituted passing in the braking zones as well as full side-to-side from exit 1 through entrance 3 and 6 through 8 last event. Cindy woulda loved it! Thanks for taking care of Clutchdust and the Integra newbie, that's the NASA spirit!


MD out

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