The Green Machine: Datsun 280z Step 1

So I figure I’d give you an introduction to my Z. Its a 1975 Datsun 280z in a fancy emerald green color. When I was 15, I picked it up from my neighbor who was holding onto for a friend who never wanted it back. So it was sitting there not going anywhere rotting away. Luckily California is really dry and has great weather so the car aged surprisingly well. I bought it from my neighbor  for $500 in the summer of 2005, not running and in pieces. After i paid him and pushed it into my driveway a smile was showing from ear to ear. As I was washing it for the first time as my car I began inspecting it and the car’s interior was in rough shape. The engine bay looked old and corroded and every rubber hose was deteriorated and cracking. I thought to myself. Hmmm, what did i just get myself into?

Datsun 280z

Engine Bay

Datsun 280z


There was Datsun parts everywhere, I didn’t know where to even start, and my dad said he couldn’t help me unless I could talk to him fluently about the basics parts of a car.  So I researched. A LOT. I’m grateful he did, I learned a lot.  Most of that summer was me reading about the Datsun Z cars and about the systems they have. I found out that the person didn’t wire his alternator properly which caused the whole wiring harness behind the dash fry. Luckily, I found one on eBay, the exact one I needed for cheap. One day, I just jumped in. This was my car so if I wanted to drive I had to get it running. So I just jumped in. I just started ripping the car apart. Of course, I made sure to label and document where each connector as I was doing so. At one point the whole wiring harness of the car was layed out on my garage floor and I traced every wire to find the bad connection. My dad came into the garage that evening. He said ” Oh nice, let me get my work clothes.”

Datsun 280z

Ripping it apart.

Datsun 280z

Wires, everywhere.

I replaced all the wires in the second picture because they were all fried at one place. Nothing electronic was working on the car, but afterwards there were signs of life. I hooked the battery up after and my headlights flickered on. The first steps are always the hardest, but the most necessary.

Datsun 280z

Hi, there.

Please feel free to comment or ask any questions.



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