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Finally...Tested...The Truth About A Pillar Pods!!

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Well Gang,

There has been hear say about this gauge pod and that gauge pod and which one actually fits our cars. I decided to buy the following pods from Summit Racing and see what actually works, as a search on here and http://www.zcar.com listed that all of the ones listed below will work:

1) Z32 300ZX

2) Fox Body Mustang 86-92

3) Mitsu Evo

4) Mazda Miata

 

Of the 4 above the Miata (first Gen) is the closest. The others are just way to wide - The 'Stang and Z32 are close in width the EVO is wider than Kansas. The pod has to be about 64mm wide to fit our A-Pillar. The Miata one actually starts out at 64mm and then gradually flares out to 71mm at the base where it would meet the dash, so those 7mm or so will require some Dremel surgery and heat to re-shape.

 

I thought I would share and dis-spell the rumors.

 

I have some body shop experience under my belt, so I'll see how handy that comes in when I have to fit that Miata Pod..pics to come.

 

Hope that is helpful to all.

Regards - Yasin

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wow' date=' finally one rumor to cross off the list...

 

maybe some day someone will buy a mercedes head, a bmw head, and a rb2Xde head and put the dohc L myth to rest as well.[/quote']

 

Olie - Thats the funniest thing I heard all week....guess who has a BMW Straight 6 Head and actually tried in on the L block...ME..wasn't even close!!!!

170849038.jpg

 

 

Yasin

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It would probably be cheaper to buy the headgaskets from those respective engines first and compare them, wouldn't you think?

 

Nah...thats just way too easy...I always make every job twice as complicted as they need to be!

 

I am shocked not more Z folks have not replied to this post...oh well....especially after the years of "hear-say"

 

Yasin

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Well, I got around to reshaping my pod some and I wanted to share...I just used a heat gun...By no means is it perfect but it looks as good as one could look without blending in to the oem plastic..My only advise is to heat very slowly..I could see screwint these thing up very quickly...I heated a while then placed edge thet had the gap on a flat surface and bent over till cool...It took three or so tries to get it the way you see it...I made mine wrap anound where the weatherstrip is attached to the hull...I think it will look tighter when mounted...I'll update it when installed w gauges. Check my gallery for other pics..http://album.hybridz.org/showphoto.php?photo=12912&cat=714 http://album.hybridz.org/showphoto.php?photo=12911&cat=714

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I went ahead and finally made my own three gauge pod for my 1983 280ZX Turbo. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason that you cannot adapt the same to your S30 car as the A-pillars are VERY close, actually a better fit to be honest in the S30 cars.

 

Cost: Approx $100-$125

 

Time: Pretty much a full weekend (15ish hours).

 

Difficulty: If I can do it you can too...and I am pretty stupid...! Some body work experience would be good but not really needed.

 

Material needed:

1) Fiberglash mesh

2) Any type of bodywork Bondo Duraglas type product + Cream Hardener

3) 100Grit and 220Grit Sandpaper

4) A Drill and small-ish bit and 3-4 regular self tapping screws

5) A Dremel or hope you have an extremely steady surgeon's hand

6) Some plastic containers you can throw away to mix the Bondo up in

7) Tape

8) Patience!!

 

Here goes:

Order the Miata Gen 1 Gauge Pods ('90-'98), I ordered these from Summit Racing and as I wanted to do a three gauge pod, I bought a 2 pod and a single pod as nobody makes a three gauge pod for the Miata and blended them together to make a 3 pod. Autometer Part Numbers 20661 and 20660.

 

I experimented with over $200+ of pods and everything from Miata to Fox Body Mustang to Evo to Z32 so I know what fits and what does not. Trust me the Miata is the closest.

 

The A pillar on my ZXT is 64mm wide and the Miata is 67mm wide and flares out to 72mm - so right away you know some work is going to be required to make it work and make it look slick. I am trying to achieve a clean factory look with no ugly screws and mis-fitting bulgy pieces - something that Mr.K might be give me the thumbs up.

 

Many people say heat and re-shape...but I am still boggled how that might work as plastic and heat can get ugly and these Autometer Gauge Pods are a high quality very stiff injection molded plastic that would take alot of heat to re-shape and consequently if you are not careful will distort easily them with too much heat. So I stayed away from this option.

 

Here is what you need to buy (of if you already have this stuff, which you should if you own a Z...LOL!! - you are off to the races!):

173540633.jpg

 

Remove your factory OEM A pillar trim and try not break it...I broke mine...UG...so more repair will be required when I am done.

 

Measure twice and cut once!!! Run a piece of tape down the side of the pods to act as straight line and trim the 3-4mm you need to make the pod actually match the width of your OEM A pillar trim. I used a Dremel with a metal cutting wheel and it sliced through that plastic like a hot knife in butter:

173540672.jpg

 

 

Place the pods on your factory A pillar trim how you want them and drill some small holes and use 3-4 self tapping screws to keep them secure in place for the fiberglass Bondo stage. Also this will give you an idea of how much gap you will need to fill:

173540665.jpg

 

Notice the light between the pod and the pillar!:

173540659.jpg

 

Trimmed and fastened down (yes I like power tools...LOL!):

173540650.jpg

 

Mix up your Bondo / Fiberglass concoction of choice. I started with a VERY strong metalicized Bondo product and use the Fiberglass mesh under it to bond this body filler to the pods and the A-pillar trim and also to give strength and bridge to gap caused by the wider pod. The first application looks like $a$$ but not worry it gets better as you sand it down and apply thinner and thinner lifts as you get down to the final stages.

Here is the first ugly lift (and my new front mount IC as a table top!)

173540638.jpg

 

And underneath, you can where my A pillar broke when I tried to carefully remove it! You can also see the fiberglass mesh...this is the key ingredient in this process, without this mesh the Bondo or what ever you use will crack and fall out in time...if anyone has ever done concrete work you will know what I mean:

173540761.jpg

 

173540788.jpg

 

Sand...sand sand sand sand (dust mask recommended) and a few more lifts later - looking better:

173540740.jpg

 

I then finished off the last few thin layers lifts with Duraglass..which incidently is a product I love to use:

173540697.jpg

 

I used a Magic Marker to mark any surface irregularities, highlow spots or voids and then filled and sanded accordingly:

173540725.jpg

 

Then done....!! Autometer take note! I will mount it in the car this weekend coming with more pics (so look for that post). I primed it in these two pics and the paint was still wet so could not mount it. I am going to wet sand it and then spary paint it the same color as my interior (red) to match and use Krylon Plastic Spray Paint.

Not bad...

173540688.jpg

 

Completed, color matched and gauges fitted:

177186270.jpg

177186274.jpg

 

I hope that helps anyone attempting something like this.

 

My Best - Yasin

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wow Yasin, that looks awesome! i can't wait to make something like that for my 280z. you have inspired me, i probably won't do a triple gauge pod, a double is good enough for me, but WOW!, all i can say. great job! :-D thanks for the info....

 

Glad to help out brother!

 

I had actually used a pod for an RX-7. It was the closest fit I found. This would be the FC body RX-7, such as the Turbo II. I used this style on at least three of my turbo conversion 240Z's. Just something to think about.

 

Brian

 

Brian thanks for the heads up...never thought about the FC RX7

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Here is a 3 guage cluster off ebay

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/3-GAUGE-COMBO-BOOST-NISSAN-240Z-260Z-280Z-280ZX-TURBO_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1638Q2em118Q2el1247QQcategoryZ6755QQihZ002QQitemZ120272508988QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWD1V

1092.JPG

 

How does this "universal fit" work with the s30 body style? I was considering purchasing this one...

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At least you know it's about 3" across. Measure your A-pillar plastic for width and compare measurements, make an assessment, and go for it!

 

EDIT: 3.2 in = 81 mm. Yasin claimed that 64 mm was about right. This pod cluster is waaay too wide.

 

Davy

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I have one from gaugepods.com for my z31. Its a very pliable ABS type

plastic that would lend itself very well for this kind of fiberglass solution.

It's meant as a replacement for the pillar trim piece, but i found it also fits

over it. Molding with a heatgun made it fit really nice. Unfortunately a few

days in the summer heat un-molded what i had done and it resumed its

previously warped sides.

 

Here are some pics with my old autometer gauges installed:

gp01fu5.jpg

 

gp02tf8.jpg

 

gp03ky1.jpg

 

Thanks for the post. I'd been considering doing something with fiberglass

before and its nice to see your solution.

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Just wanted to bring this up. I've been trying to do the whole fiberglassing thing with a gauge pod on my S30, and its looking to be pretty impossible to mold a double or triple gauge pod into the trim of a 70-78 and make it look right. The pods are just too big for the trim.

 

I'm ending up having to overlap the trim like the pictures posted earlier.

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