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260Z and 240Z front end differences

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Looking at purchasing a 260z front cut as my 240z front end needs a lot of work (bare shell only)

Are there any key differences I need to be aware of?

Frame rails, mounting points, radiator support are they the same?

Should I fabricate the 260Z front on or just chop out all the bits I need?

All help appreciated

 

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Depends on the year of 260z and perhaps even which market the car was originally built for.

Very early 260s like mine look to be identical to the last of the 240s, whereas the later 260s had a very different radiator support panel. Eg. the black plastic flexi air intakes were deleted, the X-member at the bottom instead of being straight across dips downwards for a taller radiator, and it has different hole and slot shapings. I don't know when the change happened, sometime 1975 or '76? Both types of X-members are prone to rust, be aware of that when buying a front cut. The later X-member requires the later underpan. The early S30 engine bays are a bit 'cleaner' than later ones, as emissions equipment, a/c etc got added to later cars.

You wouldn't be the first to do a cut'n'shut 260/240 hybrid were you to graft the whole 260 front on. Personally, I would prefer to graft in the repair panels and patches I needed, being careful to exactly replicate the 240 architecture as I went. Unless of course the whole 240 front end is completely rotten and a replacement front half from a 260 is the only option to hand to save the car.

But look it's your car, and your expenditure, so your call. Best to compare and measure the two fronts side-by-side very carefully before you decide to jump one way or the other. Good luck with your project. Some photos would be nice. There are a number of clever people on this forum who have saved some real basket case Zeds and could advise in more detail.

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Posted (edited)

I have just received my new 260 complete front panels "not genuine" from the UK it is very good quality quite expensive but I couldn't make them,, the s/h front I had was not worth mucking around with in the end.

Edited by Linton

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Thanks for your feedback Gilltech.

I wouldn't be overly keen to fab on the 260Z front end, I'd rather chop out the bits I need to keep the car as original as possible. 

The front of my 240 is in very poor shape.

Just trying to make my old panel beaters job easier for him, fabricating new panels as you know is time consuming which = more expense.

Here's a sample of what we have to tackle..............note the very very poor previous repair work.

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I see what you have to deal with. Not that unusual though. What is the rear half of the shell like, given the front has had so many rust repairs?

Got any photos of the 260z front clip you're looking at? In order to compare.

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I'm waiting on some better photos, but the two I've seen so far are promising.

Just bought a roof off the bloke and it is spot on...no rust at all.

The rear is rough but manageable. Just the usual rusty areas.

 

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Do you think the previous repairs are all rust repairs or are there some crash damage repairs also?

the fella had an interesting technique of welding.
What year is the 240?

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It's a big mix of rust repairs and crash repairs, probably all done on the cheap in the eighties or early nineties.

No aussie compliance plate, but build 114

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Posted (edited)

There would be many many hours of work to repair all that mess. If the 260z front clip you're looking at is an early one and fairly good then you'd be better to put that on IMO, quicker and cheaper and a cleaner end result.

Disappointing that the firewall is so rotted. Why do you need a new roof - rust, or replacing due to a sunroof?

What are the floors like? Rear chassis rails? Hopefully not more of the same.

Interesting to see stitch welds in the RH front corner of the radiator support panel. Why? Has the RH apron section beside it been replaced at some stage?

Edited by gilltech

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Has taken me awhile to update this post.

This is the 260 front cut I bought, very clean virtually rust free, just some mild damage to the RHF section.

Heater and air con holes will have to be modified, but please let me know what else you notice that I might have to change.

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That's the later 260 style of radiator support (deeper), and various engine bay bracketry. Is there any ID tag still on it to say what year?

So what are you going to have when you're done, a 240 or 260? ;) 

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No ID tag just chassis number. Will try and make it look as 240 as possible (removing unnecessary brackets) 

All the 240 panels will still bolt up right? Guards, grill, bumper brackets etc?

Have yet to sit them side by side for comparison analysis.

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Will try and make it look as 240 as possible (removing unnecessary brackets) 

Your replacement clip looks to be in pretty good shape, so well done finding that.

The late 260 radiator panel & X-member is quite different to the 240 and early 260, and so a give-away if you use it on a 240 but only the learned would know the difference. But the later 260s like yours didn't have the black flexi ducts in the front corners of the engine bay, so you might want to use the original 240 radiator panel in any case. And the grille fixings and splash pan shape are different too. Best check fit everything you intend to use prior to completing the bodywork and paint.

Where do you intend to make the cut to meld the 260 and 240 sections together? I only ask because many moons ago I went to collect some parts from a Zed parts guy, and as I drove in a scruffy Zed drove out. The parts guy told me it was a cut'n'shut 240/260 joined through the A pillars and the guy had been there wanting help with his dashboard which was flopping around as it wasn't fully bolted in, as the 240 vs 260 dash mountings are different, and his car had the wrong dash. How much different they are or how true that is I wouldn't know. But that's what he said, FWIW anyway.

Edited by gilltech

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I'm starting to worry after what you've just said, but it's good to know - I want to know.

I bought the front cut and roof off a guy in Gold Coast. He drives a bayside blue 260 flared with an RB26.

He purchased a whole car and chopped it up cause he needed the rear for his. I think he was kicking himself for chopping it up, as it was in very good shape.

So I scored the roof and front, my roof has a sunroof in it.

I'm letting my panel beater decide what the best course of action is, but I think we'll use as much of the 260 as possible. (I think it's the only way to save the car)

We'll probably attach through the 'A' pillars and half way along the sills. I want to cut out the entire 240 firewall and transfer it over to keep the vin and all the holes correct.

My 240 radiator support is in poor shape. I've seen on ebay someone that makes them and a mob in England makes them too. I guess if I changed it, the front would retain its originality and please the purists - arghh it's only money!

I'm still learning about the zeds but I was under the impression the 240/260 had the same dimensions, the 260 being a mere facelift at the time, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'll check the dash mounting points, better to know now then when I'm starting to re-assemble.

Thanks again.

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I think the best course of action would be to unpick the 260 section apart, as well as the 240 front end, and replace everything piece by piece on the 240. You'll have to get your car on a jig with the right mounting points as well.

It's a bit tricky because both your 240 and 260 sections have repairs on them plus they're not exactly the same. But it's the only way to do it right. 

Don't worry, a 240Z Shell + 260Z Front Cut = 240Z. The math works out!

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On 9/1/2020 at 6:34 PM, gilltech said:

Your replacement clip looks to be in pretty good shape, so well done finding that.

The late 260 radiator panel & X-member is quite different to the 240 and early 260, and so a give-away if you use it on a 240 but only the learned would know the difference. But the later 260s like yours didn't have the black flexi ducts in the front corners of the engine bay, so you might want to use the original 240 radiator panel in any case. And the grille fixings and splash pan shape are different too. Best check fit everything you intend to use prior to completing the bodywork and paint.

Where do you intend to make the cut to meld the 260 and 240 sections together? I only ask because many moons ago I went to collect some parts from a Zed parts guy, and as I drove in a scruffy Zed drove out. The parts guy told me it was a cut'n'shut 240/260 joined through the A pillars and the guy had been there wanting help with his dashboard which was flopping around as it wasn't fully bolted in, as the 240 vs 260 dash mountings are different, and his car had the wrong dash. How much different they are or how true that is I wouldn't know. But that's what he said, FWIW anyway.

You are right about the dash mounting points.

I sat the 240 dash in place on the 260 front cut and some of the lower brackets are different and don't line up.

The 240 also has a couple of extra mounting holes along the top section.

Easy enough to rectify when your doing a complete bare shell resto.

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You are right about the dash mounting points. I sat the 240 dash in place on the 260 front cut and some of the lower brackets are different and don't line up.

Well that confirms that then, now we all know for sure. :) 

This Zed parts guy I used to know knew his stuff and what parts fitted where, a font of knowledge, he used to work for Nissan Datsun.

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