Parts Used In This Episode

The Industrial Depot
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Episode Transcript

(Jeremy)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Jeremy)>> On this episode of Carcass we take a trip back in time with one of Japan's most popular sports cars. The "Z" platform has a unique history as a performance automobile, and we plan on taking our 1978 280-Z one step further.

(Jimmy)>> We'll check out the ability of our Datsun on the road and the dyno. Plus, we head out to the west coast to a car event that has us charged up for the automotive future. [ Music ] [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Jeremy)>> Hey guys, Jeremy and Jimmy here from Carcass, and we are driving in a car that's actually older than the both of us.

(Jimmy)>> Yep, we're driving our Datsun 280-Z. It's a 1978 model, and these cars are really neat because from what I know they kinda transcend the automotive spectrum in that a lot of people really, really like them. I don't know. I've seen quite a few around. I always like the look of them, and they just have kind of a classic styling to them.

(Jeremy)>> We've had this car in our shop for quite some time. It's been on the back burner, and it seems like no matter who walks into the shop, when they see the car they're like blown away. A, by the condition and B, just because they always have a story like, my buddy had one, I had one, my dad had one in your case.

(Jimmy)>> My dad did have one. I don't know if it was a 240, or 260, or 280 but it's kinda funny that he had one for a couple of reasons. Number one, he's a really tall guy, and we're pretty tall. Our proportions are a little bit different. I've got a longer torso, you have longer legs, and if I sat straight up I might hit the roof with my head. My dad, he's six foot four, really long legged guy, and he fit in one. It's kinda weird cause he's so tall, and this car from the outside is very small. The other thing is that he's typically a domestic classic muscle car or truck guy. He's had a couple of Chevelles, Z-28 Camaro, stuff like that, even a Cuda. And then him telling me stories through the years he tells me about a Datsun that he had, and I go what are you talking about? I would never imagine that you would have bought one. So, I just think that's cool. And it just goes to show all types of different people like them.

(Jeremy)>> And this one's like a bone stocker. We picked this up from a guy that's in the service. He was in the Air Force. Originally came out of California. It was brought to the south here, and he was growing his family and it's just a two seater. So, he was upgrading, and that's how we got our hands on it. It's bone stock, been restored. It's got the original 2.8-Liter inline six cylinder in it, and I think that's why the hoods on these things are so long cause you had to cram that engine in here. It's 90 degrees outside today and we've got the windows up and the air conditioning on.

(Jimmy)>> And it works too!

(Jeremy)>> And this thing is extremely comfortable, which is kind of a rarity for what you and I like to build, work on, and do. Usually they're loud, obnoxious, and full of horsepower.

(Jimmy)>> This has a full interior. It's pretty comfortable, not too loud in here. I'm happy with how this thing rides.

(Jeremy)>> And we're not going extreme with this car. We're gonna keep it super basic on the nostalgic side of things.

(Jimmy)>> We're gonna upgrade everything underneath suspension wise, put a little bit wider wheel and tire on it. Get this thing to just really drive out nice. And then as far as powertrain goes, we're gonna leave the engine pretty much stock. We might upgrade a few things just depending on what we can get in to. We'll definitely get it refreshed. I think that's a no brainer, and then the big thing that I think will make this car really fun is we'll put a five or six speed in here.

(Jeremy)>> 100 percent! That's kind of our style. We're gonna do a lot of little things to the car but really pay homage to what the "Z" is and where it has come from in history.

(Jimmy)>> And so then on the outside too this is a '78. So, a few years into these crash bumpers, which to be honest they're big and they're ugly. So, we want to get rid of them. Just kinda smooth the car out. Maybe recess the marker lights or get rid of them completely. We both don't like cars that are too smooth because you can take it too far and then it stops looking like what it was supposed to be. We just want to refine it a little, kinda give our own twist on it, and it should be a cool build.

(Jeremy)>> We're not here to reinvent the wheel. We're just gonna make the wheel look better. So, I think from here, like normal, let's get it back to the shop. Let's throw it on the dyno, not that we're gonna make any more horsepower. We'll run through the engine and stuff, but it's always fun to figure out a baseline horsepower that we have and compare it to stock. Then we'll just tear into it, get started, and have a bunch of fun with it.

(Jimmy)>> Let's do it!

(Jeremy)>> We'll strap our 280-Z to the dyno and see what horsepower the inline six still has.

(Jeremy)>> Alright guys, we're down here in Engine Power. We have the Datsun strapped to the chassis dyno. While Jimmy's in the hot seat Pat and Frankie are gonna be running the computer, and I'm just a spectator. So, all there's left to do is fire this thing up and see how much horsepower it makes. I'm gonna stand over here.

(Frankie)>> Runs really nice!

(Pat)>> You're running the rocket ship. Remember, no touchy the brakey!

(Frankie)>> Run it as high as you dare.

(Jeremy)>> That's risky right there.

(Frankie)>> I don't even know what red line is in these things. I guess we'll find out. [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> Whoa baby! [ engine revving ]

(Frankie)>> 118.24 horsepower and 133.81 pound feet of torque.

(Pat)>> That's not bad.

(Jeremy)>> It's a little stinky though.

(Pat)>> It's 1978 fuel injection.

(Jeremy)>> Almost 120 horse.

(Pat)>> That's a good fluids warmup run. Do another one.

(Jimmy)>> I'll try not to get it to kick down this time.

(Pat)>> It kicked down a little bit but that's okay.

(Frankie)>> Just get it up to third gear and let her rip. Pretty good first run though. I don't see anything crazy. I don't see any leaks, it didn't smoke.

(Jeremy)>> It took its sweet time getting there.

(Jimmy)>> Here we go!

(Jeremy)>> We're you scared?

(Jimmy)>> Not really. It was smooth enough.

(Jeremy)>> It just seems like it wants to take its time to really get going. It runs like glass. You can't even tell it's really running. [ engine revving ]

(Frankie)>> There we go! 123.67 horsepower, 138.5 pound feet of torque.

(Jeremy)>> You gained five horse.

(Pat)>> That was the heat tune-up. I don't even know what they're supposed to make.

(Frankie)>> That seems decent for a 1978 inline six. 2-8, right?

(Jeremy)>> We know nothing about the condition of the engine.

(Frankie)>> So far now we know.

(Pat)>> Otherwise it wouldn't make a nice pull. When something's old like that typically the cars sit around a lot. So, you just build up a lot of carbon in them and they don't get driven hard. That's probably the hardest it's had for r-p-m probably ever.

(Frankie)>> It has a nice, smooth graph. So, we know it's running good. That's pretty decent power for the era.

(Jeremy)>> The car has been restored from what we can tell. The odometer reads 47,000-ish.

(Jimmy)>> 45,000.

(Jeremy)>> Don't know if it's 145 or 45.

(Pat)>> It looks like it has a lot of original stuff on it still.

(Jeremy)>> It's a time capsule really.

(Frankie)>> Maybe been painted once or something.

(Jimmy)>> It stayed in the same family for its whole life.

(Jeremy)>> What do you guys think? Do one more and call it good?

(Pat)>> You can do them all day until you run out of gas as far as we're concerned. It sounds like it's turning twice the r-p-m that it actually is. If you want to do another one. Now you've got oil temp, rear end temp. It'll probably level off. Let's see what it does.

(Jeremy)>> I'll stand back though.

(Jimmy)>> Everyone good?

(Pat)>> Let her buck! [ engine revving ]

(Pat)>> Here we go! This is what it would sound like if it was road racing. [ engine revving ]

(Frankie)>> Kinda leveled off. 126.2 horsepower and 139.4 pound feet of torque.

(Pat)>> How much does this car weigh?

(Jimmy)>> 2,800, 2,900.

(Pat)>> That's probably pretty sporty then. That was uneventful but that's a good thing.

(Jeremy)>> I think we'll just unstrap it, take it from here, and go get started right?

(Jimmy)>> Just take it all apart, I guess.

(Jeremy)>> Thanks boys!

(Frankie)>> Any time!

(Jimmy)>> Coming up, we get a quick history lesson on the "Z" platform.

(Jeremy)>> Alright guys, we've got "Z" back in our studio. We just got it off the dyno and laid down some pretty good numbers out of our inline six, and we even took this thing for a test drive. But believe it or not, Jimmy and I don't know a whole heck of a lot about this S-30 chassis.

(Jimmy)>> But we do know that the "Z" series was Datsun's flagship model for the US market. So, we wanted to make sure that we built this thing right. So, we brought in a 240-Z to give us a little bit of inspiration for our car. We also brought in Nissan's heritage expert, Jonathan, so he can tell us kinda the differences between these. So, Jonathan, this is obviously a 240, ours is a 280. There's a 260 somewhere in between. What are the main differences between those?

(Jonathan)>> So from an exterior standpoint they look relatively the same, right? So, one of the key differentiating factors is definitely the front end. Of course, you can tell that the bumpers are different. So, we've got the very large park bench bumper so to speak on the 280, whereas we've got a nice clean, thin front bumper on the 240. This was shared between the 260's though, which is really interesting. The thin front bumper made it halfway through, and then of course due to regulations we had the larger bumper in place. Aside from that you've got the front turn signals, which are also different. You'll notice on the 280 they're in the grille, whereas on the 240-Z they're integrate down into the bottom valence. One of the other key differentiating factors is out back. With the taillamps you'll notice just from the back you'll be able to tell between 280 and 240 because of those differences. As you work your way into the inside subtle differences. The dashboard is a little bit different. So, as you guys will see as well as this center console, but ultimately it's pretty much the same. Of course, the key factor between all of these is the engine and its displacement. So, the 240-Z, a 2.4-liter set the standard. Moving into the 2.6-liter in the 260, and the 2.8-liter in the 280. One of the other key elements that changed though was the 240-Z was carbureted as well as the 260, but as we moved into the 280 with the upgrades in technology as well as trying to compensate for emission controls, the 280-Z in 1975 was introduced with fuel injection. So that's one of the key differentiating factors.

(Jeremy)> So this "Z" platform was a huge leap forward for Datsun in this muscle car, sports car era. There's no doubt that this is a sports car. It's a two seater. It's got a long wheelbase, long nose to fit the inline six in it. They share the same wheelbase between the 240, the 260, and the 280, but how did this car really help Datsun get into this muscle car era of the '70s.

(Jonathan)>> So of course Datsun at the time was known for economical cars. So, you had your 510, your B-210, your 610. So outside of that realm though one of the key factors of what Nissan is as a brand is racing. So, there's that aspect that was transferred over from the inception of the brand in Japan over into the North American Market, and of course you can't go racing without a dignified sports car. This really kind of cemented the sports car racing here in America for the brand. So, what was great about this is you would go and race on Sunday, and then go and sell cars on Monday. What that did though was cement the fact that these cars were not only great on track but great on the street. And from a value point of view, especially at that time, having something that had a big inline six with good power, manual transmission, rear wheel drive that's still less that $4,000 dollars sounds like a pretty good deal to me. So, at the time that really captivated a lot of those who came to buy these cars, and it just grew that enthusiast base to what we have now seven generations later.

(Jimmy)>> What's really cool is that my dad, and you've heard all these stories. He's a huge domestic muscle car guy, Chevy in particular, but he had a 260-Z I believe and he's taller than me and he fit. That was one thing we're really impressed with is we driven this thing a little bit and we fit no problem, and the interior's really nice. It's a solid, nice car.

(Jonathan)>> Absolutely, and that was actually one of the key design goals for this car is to make it for the American market. So of course it sounds crazy, but in Japan the cars are considerably smaller in most cases, but with the 240-Z with all of its dimensions it fits the average American. As you mention, that's a key reason why a lot of folks did really like this. If you were to get in a British sports car it's a lot tighter, smaller, but then you get into this and it feels really, really good.

(Jeremy)>> You know Jonathan, the 240, the 260, and the 280 are all super similar, but there are the differences, like the bumpers. So that gives us a lot of inspiration maybe to get rid of our bumpers and just clean this car up and give it more of that JDM feel. Plus, the fact that the new "Z" is out. So that gives us even more inspiration. Thank you so much for bringing in your super clean 240, and there are some things underneath the hood that I do want to take a peek at. So, Jimmy why don't you pop that. Let's look at your carburetor setup versus the fuel injection setup, and we'll just see how clean it is under here versus the mess we have under ours for now. We take a look at what's in store for the electric side of the automotive industry.

(Jeremy)>> Welcome to beautiful California. We're here at the Sonoma Raceway. Last year Holley put on an event that may come as a shock to some of your guys, but there is one thing that is for certain. They definitely know how to throw a party, and the atmosphere around here is pretty electrifying. Welcome to Holley High Voltage. [ electronic music ] [ Music ]

[ electronic music ] [ Music ]

(Blane)>> We're out here at the 2022 Holley High Voltage Experience, 2.0 if you will. This is our second year doing the event in Sonoma, California. We just noticed that there was a lot of new e/v's on the market. A lot of people modifying these to their heart's desire. Which are kinda like the hot rodders of yesteryear. We wanted to throw an event that brought all those groups together and allowed us to kinda get in the mix as well and introduce our products that we're coming into. We're also doing a lot of driving event segments out here, like drag racing, auto cross. Being at Sonoma Raceway we're driving around the road course as well. So, a pretty iconic track. Pretty awesome to be doing that. You never know what you're gonna see, kinda like at some of our other events. That's the beauty of it all. Just seeing what a lot of these automotive minds can creatively and engineering wise come up with. We're here to celebrate all of that this weekend at high voltage experience.

(Jeremy)>> Speaking of being creative, we saw this classic Chevy pickup built by Conductive Classics, and we just had to get our hands on it. [ Music ]

(Rory)>> He's so nervous.

(Jeremy)>> This is crazy! This is unbelievable. This is the first time I've ever ridden, and definitely the first time I've ever driven.

(Rory)>> We were trying to decide on vehicles, and the truck seemed to make sense because of packaging the batteries.

(Jeremy)>> I suppose you've got a bed to work with.

(Rory)>> With it all being packaged like this. We were able to make our own bus bars and connect everything relatively inexpensively. Put your foot down on the floor and let it keep going. It's not bad, right?

(Jeremy)>> This truck never had this much power.

(Rory)>> No, but it's different. Like I said, 120 horsepower. It doesn't feel like 120 horsepower.

(Jeremy)>> What made you get into the e/v thing? Why try?

(Rory)>> We've done a million LS swaps and built a million different gas powered stuff. We were looking for something different, and we really feel like this is where it's going. I love this truck. That LS one's okay. Everybody's got one of those.

(Jeremy)>> This is so different, but a good different.

(Rory)>> You have to drive it though to understand.

(Jeremy)>> This is blowing my mind at this point.

(Ben)>> I think it's a great event. I think it's really cool, the people that got to come out, the demonstrations. I came to see. I'm planning a project myself and came to see the vendors, what other people have done, what's going on, components, all that stuff. I think what I've been most impressed by is the guys that are coming in and building components. Already building an aftermarket. There's a lot of heavy lifting as far as software and electronics that really comes into an e/v project. All these guys are really coming through with solutions that can make it easily accessible, make it cool. It's really impressive the products they're bringing to market to allow these projects and just allow so much to happen.

(Jeremy)>> Alright guys, well I have been lucky enough to jump into the Porsche that was sitting outside of the Holley booth, and Ian is gonna give us a really good lesson on what it takes to get around the track, right?

(Ian)>> Yep, this is a really fun track. Tons of elevation, very little straightaway.

(Jeremy)>> So you've driven vehicles non-e/v, and now obviously we're in the Porsche. This is all e/v. What's the difference?

(Ian)>> It's really pretty simple. It's just easier to drive because you're not worrying about shifting as much. So, you really have to be conscious of mile per hour because these cars are so fast.

(Jeremy)>> The acceleration in this thing is almost unbelievable.

(Ian)>> And it just doesn't stop.

(Jeremy)>> So prior to today I have never ridden or driven an e/v vehicle, and the sheer power they have is so different.

(Ian)>> And the sound on this is actually all piped in. The kinda Jetsons engine sound.

(Jeremy)>> So that's artificial?

(Ian)>> Yep!

(Jeremy)>> Really!

(Ian)>> Just to give you a feeling of r-p-m, or something.

(Jeremy)>> No way!

(Ian)>> We'll probably take a cool down lap here.

(Jeremy)>> Alright guys, that's gonna wrap it up for us here at Holley High Voltage, and I got to do a bunch of firsts today. I got to ride in some e/v cars, and I even got to drive one, and I'm actually pretty impressed with how far e/v has come. But until next time make sure you guys keep your batteries fully charged.
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