Datsun 280Z

Datsun 280Z

Year of production 1975 - 1978


Category: Datsun 1931-1986

In a further effort to keep the S30 models sporting in the face of increasingly stringent U.S. emission and safety requirements, Nissan Motors released the Datsun 280Z model for the U.S. market in the 1975 model year. The 2-seat coupe models remained available throughout the 1975–78 model year run of the 280Z.

For the 280Z, engine size was again increased, this time to 2.8 L, by enlarging the bore of the L26 engine to create the L28, and a reliable Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection system was added.

1975 and 1976 models continued to be fitted with the United States required 5 mph (8.0 km/h) impact absorbing bumper that were introduced for the mid-1974 model year of the 260Z. These bumpers were smooth surfaced, and blended into smooth black rubber extensions as they met the body of the car. 1977 and 1978 models received bumpers with recessed channels added to the faces of the bumpers themselves, that blended into corrugated or accordion style black rubber extension trim. Also new for the 1977 model year, 280Zs no longer received the full size spare tire, and instead had a "space saver" spare and a larger fuel tank. This resulted in a raised rear deck area made of fiberboard, reducing cargo space. In 1977–78 an optional 5-speed manual transmission was available alongside the 4-speed manual and the 3-speed automatic options. It included a "5-speed" emblem on the left bottom edge of the rear hatch. 1977 also saw an update from the charcoal painted hubcap style (with a chrome Z floating in the amber center emblems) to a hubcap that resembled an alloy wheel, bearing a center cap with a chrome Z floating in a black circle.

In 1977 and 1978 respectively, Datsun offered two special edition models. The "Zap" edition was offered in 1977 as a "Special Decor Package". Zap cars were finished in Sunshine Yellow paint, and sported black stripes down the center and sides, with yellow, red, and orange chevrons at the front ends of the stripes. An estimated 1,000 "Zap Z" cars were offered in 1977. The "Zap Z" model was also used as the pace car in the 1977 Long Beach Gran Prix. The Black Pearl edition (produced in 1978) came with Black Pearlescent paint and a "Special Appearance Package" (SAP), which consisted of dual racing mirrors, rear window louvers, and a unique red and silver stripe. It is estimated that between 750-1,500 of these cars were produced.

The S30 series was replaced in 1979 by the Nissan S130.


  • Engine: 2.8 L (170 cu in) L28E I6, cast-iron block, alloy head, seven-bearing crankshaft, single overhead camshaft
    • Displacement: 168 cu in (2753 cc)
    • Bore: 86.1 mm (3.39 in)
    • Stroke: 79.0 mm (3.11 in)
    • Fuel System: Electric fuel pump, Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection
    • Compression Ratio: 8.3:1
    • Power: 170 hp (127 kW) at 5600 rpm
    • Torque: 163 ft·lbf (221 N·m) at 4400 rpm
    • Transmission: Four-speed manual, Five-speed manual, or three-speed automatic
    • Final Drive Ratio: 3.55:1

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User's manuals (1) Add

Model Year Document Language Size Pages
280Z 1979 1979 280zx ownersmanual.pdf English 8.38 MB 100

Repair manuals (3) Add

Model Year Document Language Size Pages
280Z 1977 1977 datsun 280z s30 service manual.pdf English 45 MB 681
280Z 1976 1976 280z s30 service bulletin.pdf English 1.41 MB 47
280Z 1975 1975 datsun 280z fsm.pdf English 17.6 MB 687

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Model Year Document Language Size Pages
280Z datsun 280zx radio control car.pdf English 5.95 MB 16

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1978 Datsun 280Z 2.8 (171 cui)

Max speed 250 km/h. Weight 1 350 kg. Fuel gasoline. 5-speed Manual transmission. Engine 2 800 ccm (171 cui), 6-cylinder, In-Line, 12-valves, L28/E42.

Bought this when in San Diego while in the navy. Bought it from the wrecker and fixed it up.

I installed a turbo L28ET and controlled it with a Megasquirt 2 ECM.