Jump to content
HybridZ

Make a 240z safer.


asuly

Recommended Posts

^^^ "People take safe cars for granted and drive like they're playing gran turismo. I see way to many people buy huge cars under the assumption that they are inherently safer and drive like assholes. In fact I wish I had a tally of all the times I've been cut off or passed by someone whose weaving with the pedal to the floor and put an actual statistic on just how many of those are large trucks and SUVs. The higher the lift on a vehicle also seems to correlate with how terrible the driver."

 

My thoughts and experiences virtually on every days commute to and from work.

 

Especially in San Diego! I lived there for 2 years and found drivers to be insecure, sleepy and overly reckless. I thought the Bay Area was bad, but Socal is on another level!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 106
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Just wanna share that I put my 71 240z in to a telephone poll going 60+ mph not wearing a seat belt or anything. Bent the whole frame about 4 inches to the left, popped out the windshield, smashed the rear quarter and pass. side in about a foot. Drove it a mile back to work and walked away with nothing more than a sore neck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Safe" is relative concept that keeps changing the base line. If your only concern is surviving a 60 mph head on collision, then start with size....big and heavy, think mass and a lot of it. License your Euclid truck, equip it with inertial seat belts and cruise the freeways secure in the knowledge that nothing short of another freightliner.... or train will stop you in anything less than 50 yards. You will walk away from that 60mph impact with a lightweight Volvo (Well may be not ALL Volvos).

 

My take on my Series I was the following: 1. replace the early seat belts with a set out of a 280 Z and anchor the inertial reels on the two pockets in the floor and the two rear strut mounts. 2. I installed a simple 6 point hoop with the reinforcing legs welded to six inch square steel pads that were bolted to the floor and foot rests with steel "backer" plates on the other side of the sheet metal. What I really had in mind here was not a roll bar, but something more substantial between my butt and someone's bumper in the event of being T-boned.

 

The steel bar running from my shoulder down past my thigh is covered with Ensolite tube

 

After reading this thread, I think the hoop and the updated seatbelts, and seats were worthwhile.... the "stiff" anti intrusion bar.... may be not.

 

G

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just had an HPDE student with a project 280Z track car. I must say... I think I would have failed it at tech inspection. The guy was old enough and careful enough that I chose to ride along anyway.

 

A few of the issues were.

1. original factory seatbelts. 33 year old seatbelts that were crispy and wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy out of date considering my high end, 6 point harnesses go in the trash after 5 years.

2. original seats. I could not stay in one place without bracing myself diagonally, slumped so low I could barely see over the dashboard. Impossible position that would ensure I was killed the moment we hit anything.

3. Rusty fender decided to become a wing and deployed at high speed.

4. old as hell worn out struts would allow the suspension to bottom out and seemed unpredictable at best.

 

If you cannot even keep yourself in the seat in an upright position then you cannot rely on any of the safety equipment to do it's job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"If you cannot even keep yourself in the seat in an upright position then you cannot rely on any of the safety equipment to do it's job."

 

Referring back to the white 240Z crash photos I posted, probably the thing that saved the driver from much more serious injury was the fact that he had fitted a proper racing seat, and harness assembly which kept him in the seat during the crash, and not slipping, sliding, submarining someplace during that time.

 

I like wings that deploy at speed...with proper warpage I bet it really helps with that 'floaty feeling' at speed! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

They might help in seeing if there's any serious flaws in the safety design of the S30.

 

 

It's really old, so it must be really flawed. :roll:

 

 

1. replace the early seat belts with a set out of a 280 Z and anchor the inertial reels on the two pockets in the floor and the two rear strut mounts.

 

I bought some 280z belts because I wanted the original style buckles but couldn't for the life of me figure out how to mount them so that they would work properly. I ended up getting the msa seat belts and fed the other buckles through.

 

The way I figure it, the car is really designed to protect the seat , if you get ejected from it, you're not doing yourself any favors. That is to say they're designed for the most common situations; of course every design has weaknesses. What kinds of accidents are we planning on getting into here anyway? That said, I too worry mostly about getting t-boned. It has already almost happened twice at low speed when I was turning left and someone was about to run a red light. It did happen to a friend of mine and his car ended up half the size (if he had a passenger that person would have been basically pureed, all for the sake of some lady in a minivan trying to get her kids to school on time).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

The 1973 240Z has the same items noted in the list, it erroneously called or attributed to only 280Z's some of the features. Door beams started in 73, inertial reels on the seat belts started in 73, crash-rated bumpers above 2.5mph standard started in 73...

 

Anything on a 280Z is also on a 260Z, the earlier models having the same shock absorbers as the later cars, but with a lighter bumper structure.

 

Like John C said, there have been plenty of people with HARD crashes that walked away. Here is one where it was an offset-impact at 45+ mph, driver broke his collar bone where the three-point seat belt held him in the racing seat. No crumple zones? Think again! Not even an MSA SCCA-Legal Roll Bar behind the driver---that was slated for installation the following week! NOTHING! STOCK! Driver was unconcious from the impact, car went almost 3 feet in the air and bounced off the truck that hit him, spinning in mid-air. I was one car behind him when it happened. The gold truck behind him in the first photo is who hit him, coming from the RIGHT of the frame head-on offset. The Z basically pivoted mid-air in place where he got hit and ended up pointing to it's right as well (oriented from direction of first travel.) Another 240 went through this intersection 30 feet in front of him---that truck was HAULING and came over a rise QUICKLY! No brake action whatsoever. All stopping was done with energy dissipation from the collision. Actually a very neat study to examine...

 

post-380-061438500 1290042906_thumb.jpg

 

Blow Up this photo and look closely at the GAUGE CLUSTER!

The Driver's hand SMASHED the dashboard, and took out the gauges!

He couldn't figure out how he had a fracture on his metacarpal.

That's how---found a week after the accident!

post-380-018772900 1290042967_thumb.jpg

 

The Gold Truck is what hit him,

on the cross street. 4500# Versus 2200#,

simple Physics.

post-380-002674000 1290043068_thumb.jpg

 

post-380-058011600 1290043266_thumb.jpg

 

post-380-032082600 1290043317_thumb.jpg

 

That Black Thing Embedded into the Z?

That's the entire energy-absorbing portion of the Toyota's

Bumper! The Z was NOT to be denied keeping the license

of 'The Truck That Hit Me!'

post-380-085363300 1290043362_thumb.jpg

 

Probably the worst you can expect to have happen, in an EARLY Z-Car, and the driver was carted off with a broken collar bone. I have seen worse from larger vehicles with worse restraint systems. His head took out the driver's glass, and that is the suspect in his concussing/unconcious state. Side airbag may have mitigated that somewhat...but I have also seen a broken arm from it being across someone's chest when a steering wheel airbag deploys. The trick is: Don't Get Hit in the FIRST place! ;)

 

Almost everything in the driveline was transferred to another 240 Chassis and is running to this day, put down 192HP at the MSA dyno day last April.

 

I know im really, REALLY late on this post, and TOTALLY off topic- But its amazing how small the world is. Im writing this email from australia right now, but I used to live there- Just off crenshaw between Torrance high and Del Amo BLVD. Ill be back in town in october and moving back to america april of next year. Glad to read that everyone came out ok from that wreck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really thought Tony's input on the door padding made really good sense. The Moral was Limiting body accelleration inside the vehicle. External intrusion of an impacting vehicle is still trouble, but any changes to the S30 stucture are likely to be more dangerous than stock in an accident.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been to a couple of museums and technical exhibits here in Japan this last week, and it's AMAZING the emphasis they put on deacceleration of bodily extremities through padding and interior deformable structures.

 

I picked up a new brochure for the Toyota IQ (which I'm considering) and the photos of the airbags all deployed tell a very interesting tale!

 

Really the SIDE impact is the deadly one... You have plenty of room fore and aft to keep from hitting stuff. But from the SIDE? I have personally seen someone's head break the passenger's window and go entirely outside the vehicle when hit from the side without airbags.

 

I'm almost of the opinion that I want to drive with my freakin' windows down at this point, and take my chances with the Dale Earnhardt 'stretched neck syndrome' if I'm whacked from the side!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fact of the matter is that it doesn't matter what hits the car or how it hits your car. It's how your body hits your own car that counts.

 

Who looks around the intersection before proceeding, after a red light turns green? Who looks at the driver of the other passing and nearby vehicles to see their current attention level? Who immediately plans an escape path when they notice an erratic move. Reaching for the horn seems to be the only defensive driving technique taught around here. :(

Edited by cygnusx1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fact of the matter is that it doesn't matter what hits the car or how it hits your car. It's how your body hits your own car that counts.

 

Who looks around the intersection before proceeding, after a red light turns green? Who looks at the driver of the other passing and nearby vehicles to see their current attention level? Who immediately plans an escape path when they notice an erratic move. Reaching for the horn seems to be the only defensive driving technique taught around here. :(

Those are all things I've learned to do as instinct. my car has horns...in a box in my garage. 4 years and i haven't gotten them wired up. Not having a horn REALLY forces you to become more aware of whats going on around you....yet my car still got hit thrice...guy speeding in the parking lot when i was backing out and nicked the passenger quarter (kinda my fault for parking in a b;ind spot but seriously, totaling your van because your late to bring your kid to daycare is not an excuse to go 25 in a 10mph apartment complex), stupid kid backed into my car in a parking lot, and some guy rear ended my car at a stoplight (no damage to me though, yay bumper shocks) i got lucky though, all damage to my car can be fixed with time and a hammer.

 

But on the road, i always have a spot i can escape to, and i'm always aware of the drivers around me...and its horrible, but 9/10 are on their phones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I was in a non-fault bad accident once when a Dodge Colt station wagon flew off of the freeway overpass and landed across the hood of my Shelby Mustang and also across the hood of the Volvo sedan that was traveling next to me. The impact came from the side the Volvo was on, and the Volvo absorbed the bulk of the impact, I figure. What saved me and my passenger was that upon impact, the long steel hood buckled and folded in half and was bent back covering the windshield opening and the passenger compartment preventing anything from the dodge to get in. The Mustang body absorbed a huge amount of damage, but mostly the areas around the seats were intact afterwards. I wasn't wearing a seatbelt at the time, and thinking back to the crash it was probably a good move on my part because my drivers door was pushed in toward the center of the car and I was able to move my body away from the door toward the center of the car. The shifter and tranny hump was about 2 feet higher than normal after the crash, but I still had room to move away from the impact. The front of the car was completely flattened up to the firewall. My passenger and I walked away from that one, but the people in the Volvo weren't as lucky, they were killed as were the two people in the Dodge. The "crumple zones" on the Shelby did their job as far as I was concerned. My car was towed away and I never saw it again. I bought a beater '70 Ford Galaxie right after that and drove it for a year or so, it didn't have a straight fender on it but I felt damn safe in that big boat! People saw me coming and got out of my way ;0)

Edited by MarTTy4653
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd just like to say this is the first I've found this thread, and it was a decent read.

 

And for those young ones worried about a S30 being "dangerous" and needing a way to convince parents, I'll just say that a stock 73+ S30 is probably much safer than anything found in the 60's, and it's been well stated here in this thread that small cars will ALWAYS be at a disadvantage. So yes the S30 is small, and will always be at risk from a severe accident, but too much worse off than any little hatchback really.

 

For those saying to get something easier to learn to drive in, my first car was a S130, then I had another S130, and another, and another, and then a S30. I never crashed a SINGLE ONE!!! I know I wasn't an average kid in the sense that I was always learning the limits of driving a car, yet always being as sensible as I could when it came to driving on the street. I never did anything that I later felt was "reckless" and never EVER put someone ELSE'S life at risk. EVER.

 

I'm not the safest driver in the world, and I don't pretend to be. But I will say that my cars are in safer hands with me than most other people even though I can tend to drive them like I stole them.

 

 

And my last thing I'd like to bring up, is that how safe a car is just as much dependent on how well it's maintained as it is the design or even the driver. I've often thought and still stand by the statement that the most dangerous thing about any old car, the S30 included is that there can be things just waiting to be stressed to break. There's nothing like going down the road and then having ZERO brake pressure... Things like that will get you killed easier than weaving through traffic or poor bumper design.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I'd just like to say this is the first I've found this thread, and it was a decent read.

 

And for those young ones worried about a S30 being "dangerous" and needing a way to convince parents, I'll just say that a stock 73+ S30 is probably much safer than anything found in the 60's, and it's been well stated here in this thread that small cars will ALWAYS be at a disadvantage. So yes the S30 is small, and will always be at risk from a severe accident, but too much worse off than any little hatchback really.

 

For those saying to get something easier to learn to drive in, my first car was a S130, then I had another S130, and another, and another, and then a S30. I never crashed a SINGLE ONE!!! I know I wasn't an average kid in the sense that I was always learning the limits of driving a car, yet always being as sensible as I could when it came to driving on the street. I never did anything that I later felt was "reckless" and never EVER put someone ELSE'S life at risk. EVER.

 

I'm not the safest driver in the world, and I don't pretend to be. But I will say that my cars are in safer hands with me than most other people even though I can tend to drive them like I stole them.

 

 

And my last thing I'd like to bring up, is that how safe a car is just as much dependent on how well it's maintained as it is the design or even the driver. I've often thought and still stand by the statement that the most dangerous thing about any old car, the S30 included is that there can be things just waiting to be stressed to break. There's nothing like going down the road and then having ZERO brake pressure... Things like that will get you killed easier than weaving through traffic or poor bumper design.

 

 

Well said there Gollum, Maintance is definitely something we can add to the list. I know there's tons or things like brakelines and shocks not to mention rubber that I've replaced on my S30 mainly for the fact they were old. They still worked sure, but for how long? The outter rubber sheaths on my brakelines were hanging off in strips, and the tires that came with the car were horribly dryrotted even thoguh they had good tread left. All that replaced for safety. I'm sure there's a lot of other stuff (like the aforementioned seatbelts) that should be replaced due to age/wear.

 

Marty4653: You're a lucky duck there man.

 

That being said, my buddy Tboned some lady who left turned infront of him yesterday. He wasn't in a Z, but the lady's car didn't cave at the door so much due to the internal door bar. Though preventing body accelleration has been noted as one of the easiest and safest ways to mod your Z. Seeing his wreck aftermath I really have to wonder if it's possible to integrate a door bar inside the outter door skin? The door frame would likely need to be bolstered too. Granted it wouldn't help so much as crushable padding in preventing accelleration, but intrusion into the passenger compartment is still an issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

A little interesting fact that I heard, is that LED brake lights light faster than incandescent bulbs, to the tune of stopping 5ft sooner from freeway speeds.  I imagine if we are also talking about passive safety devices I would say brighter headlights would help.  

 

Very informative thread thought good work guys!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...