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240z, 260z or 280z, chassis/body differences


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  • 4 months later...
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There's a ton of little stuff, some not worth mentioning, some interesting. Since I can jump from my '77 280Z directly into my '72 240Z, the little things get your attention. For example, the column mounted ignition key in the 240 is much more awkward to find in the dark as it is higher, angled slightly differently, and directly behind the accessory stalk. The original wheels (who has those anymore) on the 240 were only 14X4.5 wide, while the 280 was 14X6. The 280 bumpers required a spotwelded sheetmetal fill panel to close the gap between the rear pan and the heavy bumper. This may have been mentioned already, but the 240 has a smooth hood, while the 280 has the pair of plastic louvers for under-hood heat removal (of course placing the right one right over the fusible links was a design flaw IMHO :) ). I can't think of any other differences worth mentioning that haven't already been covered.

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  • 5 months later...

ok, i have read all of you opinion about the two cars, and I am wondering, if I take a 280z and replace the front and rear bumpers with 240 thing chrome bumpers, and stroke the engine to 3.1 and replace all the EFI stuff with dual/triple carbs and remove any unnecessary interior features (or make the interior look like a 240z), will this setup feel like a clean 240z???

 

The reason i asked is becasue I think I can find much more easily a 280Z in beeter condition than a 240z (I mean rust wise), and I can find a 280Z with a five speed transmission which a lot of people with the 240z swith to.

 

so, my question is will a modified (as above) 280z feel as sporty as a 240z???

thanks

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You also want to get a lowering springs and struts to get the 280Z 2" lower.

 

 

ok, i have read all of you opinion about the two cars, and I am wondering, if I take a 280z and replace the front and rear bumpers with 240 thing chrome bumpers, and stroke the engine to 3.1 and replace all the EFI stuff with dual/triple carbs and remove any unnecessary interior features (or make the interior look like a 240z), will this setup feel like a clean 240z???

 

The reason i asked is becasue I think I can find much more easily a 280Z in beeter condition than a 240z (I mean rust wise), and I can find a 280Z with a five speed transmission which a lot of people with the 240z swith to.

 

so, my question is will a modified (as above) 280z feel as sporty as a 240z???

thanks

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You also want to get a lowering springs and struts to get the 280Z 2" lower.

 

Anything else??? I am just trying to figure out if I am better off with the improvements of the 280z.

How much more weight does a 280z with the front and rear bumper removed weight versus a 240z???

I would imagine that a 280z with a stroked engine (3.1) would compensate for the additional weight of the 280z.

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So the 240Z does sit lower than the 280Z? I always thought that it seemed smaller or something.

 

Go to the chassis and suspension board I think it is and look for the thread Z car weights and read through that. You'll see that there isn't really a huge difference in the overall weight differences and that even later 280Zs can be made to be really light.

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Oh yeah. Because of the collision rule put in by the government in the late 70's the 280Z had to pass the 5 mph crash test. Thus those ugly front bumpers and raised height to meet the spec. I put in Tokico 2" lowering springs and struts in my 280Z. It looks so much better and handles better too, a little stiff ride but I like that.

 

 

So the 240Z does sit lower than the 280Z? I always thought that it seemed smaller or something.
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I don't know the exact weight savings but I did weigh the bumpers along with their shocks and hardware. It came close to 100 pounds. I used fiberglass bumpers which weigh nearly nothing instead of real steel 240Z bumpers.

Like others have said most of the added weight is in structure so you can only remove so much from the 280Z. Its all about power to weight so sure adding HP will compensate for the extra weight of the 290Z, but then again you could put that same engine in a 240Z. If you want a race car go as light as you can. If its a street car its not that important. My car weighs 2905 and still turns in the 12.9s and get 18.5 mpg in town, I'm happy.

 

Anything else??? I am just trying to figure out if I am better off with the improvements of the 280z.

How much more weight does a 280z with the front and rear bumper removed weight versus a 240z???

I would imagine that a 280z with a stroked engine (3.1) would compensate for the additional weight of the 280z.

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I think that was something mentioned in one thread. Even though the 280Z is a bit heavier in the chassis itself it's not all bad it does come with advantages. The fact that the longer/thicker frame rails and floor pans help to stiffen the body a bit more and just provide a nicer overall ride. Really as it's been mentioned they are the same chassis it's just that the 280Z chassis weighs more. So your 280Z will be just as sporty as a 240Z. If you really want you can then remove the bumpers and the turn signals from the grill. Replace the little lower valence panels with the 240/260Z panels so you have the turn signals below the bumpers and you'll then have a car that more closely resembles a 240Z. If you really want to go all the way then with fab work you can change the rear taillights to 240Z lights. At that point exterior wise it would be hard to tell the difference.

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I think that was something mentioned in one thread. Even though the 280Z is a bit heavier in the chassis itself it's not all bad it does come with advantages. The fact that the longer/thicker frame rails and floor pans help to stiffen the body a bit more and just provide a nicer overall ride. Really as it's been mentioned they are the same chassis it's just that the 280Z chassis weighs more. So your 280Z will be just as sporty as a 240Z. If you really want you can then remove the bumpers and the turn signals from the grill. Replace the little lower valence panels with the 240/260Z panels so you have the turn signals below the bumpers and you'll then have a car that more closely resembles a 240Z. If you really want to go all the way then with fab work you can change the rear taillights to 240Z lights. At that point exterior wise it would be hard to tell the difference.

 

so the rear tailight from the 280z is not interchangeable with the tailight from the 240z??? I mean without mayor fab??? what is the difference??? the mounting hardware/brackets???

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I'm not sure. The best way would be to take measurements of the 240Zs back panel like the size of the lights and the locations of them and then map it out on the 280Z. I'm sure it's possible to make them fit. It'd probably require making a bracket out of sheet metal or something and possibly fiberglassing in the other open areas.

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I have a 1970 I am swapping the V8, suspension, and brakes over to a an early 74.

fuse panel moved, heavy bumpers, door side impact bars, air conditioning provisions, different wiring, different seat belt system.

 

years ago i read somewhere 260's moved from early 240 stuff to 280 stuff as parts ran out. So to say 260's had "xyz" is incorrect other then the list above.

Many non california 73 240's had the good carbs.

 

FWIW, my 260 was 2300 pounds dry with AC which is pretty light.

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Did your 74' that weighed 2300lbs have the large bumpers or the thin 240Z style bumpers? Either way I kinda believe the whole parts running out thing. Looks like a similar thing with my 280ZX. It from what I can tell was one of the last few and it kind of has a really rare setup. It's a factory turbo, but has the analog dash, the manual heater controls, doesn't have the full power setup, cloth lowback 2+2 seats. Just sorta seems like a combo you didn't normally find.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest Rolling Parts

I believe that the rear sway bar started with the 260 and then in all the later years.

If you like "the shape" then a 280 is newer and has a lot of little improvements.

The original 240Z (IMO) was rushed to market and needed a lot of tweaks over the years to make it stronger and faster (which is why it's a prime car to get upgraded these days with ZX engines and heads, ZX transmissions, ZX differentials, ZX electronic distributors, ZX turbo half shafts, strut braces, air dams, etc, etc).

 

The 240 in it's original form reminds me of the original 1964.5 Mustang inline 6 car. Great simple design that inspired everyone to demand more power, more speed, and more strengh to hold it together.

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  • 3 months later...
Great info here..

I second that. This is good reading for the noob that I am.

 

I'm still researching and reading about which bodystyle I want to dive into. I've been told that the 240 has a 'weaker' frame for those who want a powerful engine. At this point, I'm not sure which S30 I want to go with, but it sounds like I might lean towards a 280. However, I'm also following another member on here who's inspired me to look into the 240 frame.

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  • 3 months later...

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