Welcome to the ZCarGuide Resources section. On ZCarGuide, I only recommend tools, parts, books, and other products that I personally use and swear by. While you may have seen a few of these products listed below on other pages of the site, this page is where I curate a list of the best products you might need in Z-car ownership, such as repair tools, the best parts, reference books, and more!
One quick note before you dive into the list below:
Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if do end up purchasing the product, I will earn a commission for referring the product to you. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of the products listed below, and I recommend them simply because they are helpful and useful, and not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to make a purchase. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals with your Z-car.
Books – Repair Manuals & Restoration Guides
The three books here are absolutely essential if you decide to do any work on your 240Z, 260Z, or 280Z yourself. Each of these books complement each other very well and I actually recommend using all three. This is because for any job I do on my 240z, I find myself checking between all three as one contains important info that the other overlooks. Having the right repair manuals on hand is always worth it.
Haynes Repair Manual
Every Datsun Z-car owner or mechanic needs the Haynes manual in his garage. The Haynes Manual is fantastic for visualizing the job at hand — it has the best exploded diagrams of any of the manuals listed here. Nearly every page includes helpful diagrams and imagery that will make a huge difference. This is incredibly helpful and makes very complicated jobs a lot more manageable. This guide has a very methodical tone to it and at times assumes the reader is an experienced mechanic and could use some more “tips and tricks”-type information, which takes us to the next recommended book…
How to Restore your Datsun Z-Car
‘How to Restore your Datsun Z-Car’ is an excellent resource for any repair or job on your Z-car, but is especially geared towards those who may be interested in doing a complete restoration of their Z-car. The author takes you along his hands-on tear down and rebuilding process and documents it with any nuances he noticed, helpful tips and tricks the average mechanic may overlook, and hundreds of detailed pictures and diagrams. This book is an invaluable resource for the Z-car mechanic and when combined with the aforementioned Haynes manual, should allow you to do just about any repair or restoration job you would like!
How to Rebuild your Nissan/Datsun OHC Engine
This book is a must-have if you intend to any kind of engine work on your Datsun Z-car. This manual provides detailed diagnosis, disassembly & tear-down, reconditioning, and reassembly information for any L-series engine. While the other two manuals in this section provide engine information, this book is the absolute best resource for the L-series rebuilding process, complete with over 500 charts, diagrams, and high-definition imagery. This book is great for a complete restoration or just someone who would like to breathe new life into their L-series engine.
Oil and Filter
We recommend Lucas Oil’s high zinc engine oil. The most important consideration to keep in mind when choosing the type of engine oil for your 240Z is that it should be a high-zinc oil. Due to the L24’s flat-tappet camshaft design which involves sliding contact rather than rolling contact. It is highly recommended that you use a high-zinc oil which provides wear protection in areas of increased friction such as the cam/lobe interface. While you may have to look a little harder to find high-zinc oil or order online, it is well worth the extra effort and is a great precaution to take in a classic engine like the L24.
For the filter, we recommend picking up a Genuine Nissan OEM filter for your 240Z, 260Z, or 280Z. This oil filter features great build quality and a genuine look to it that will complement an original-looking engine.
Battery (S30 Z-Series)
In terms of battery, we recommend the Odyssey 0750-2020 Group 24 battery as it fits perfectly in the S30 engine bay and is a fantastic high-quality option. The main reason for recommending this battery is its size, as the variance between 1970s-era batteries and those today appears to be significant, and the S30 battery hold-down frame doensn’t fit every group 24 battery very well. The Odyssey 0750-2020 fits perfectly and features 792 CCA. I used to be a fan of Optima batteries in classic vehicles such as the 240Z, 260Z, or 280Z, but have found them to be less reliable since Optima began producing their batteries in Mexico in 2009. Odyssey batteries are produced in Warrensburg, Missouri and I have found them to be highly reliable batteries which generally outlast 2 or even 3 “standard” batteries, making them an obvious choice for classic vehicles such as the S30 Z-series.
Below is a list of tools you may find useful in working on your Z-car. Most tools here are geared towards general-maintenance type work and are tools you might find yourself using repeatedly, so I don’t add anything here if it pertains to more specific, one-off jobs. Like everything else on this page, this is added to and updated frequently as we add more repair guides and general content to ZCarGuide. It is by no means a complete list of the tools you’ll need!
TEKTON 12″ Oil Filter Pliers
Sometimes you will find that oil-filters are on just a bit too tight. Many filters that you will find on an L-series engine do not come with a nut on the end that you can use to wrench the filter off, so you may need just a bit more leverage to get an over-tightened filter off. We recommend this inexpensive TEKTON brand set of oil filter pliers to make routine oil changes a bit easier. To read more about oil changes, check out our oil change guide.
Stanley Proto J000AA 25 Blade Master Feeler Gauge Set
Checking the spark plug gap is an essential step in replacing or simply checking on the wear of your Z-car’s spark plugs. This tool is inexpensive, but any mechanic worth his salt will have a feller gauge for checking their spark plugs. We recommend this Stanley Proto Blade Master set which can be found pretty cheaply on Amazon.
Today, there are tons of different Z-car parts dealers who offer high-quality replacement parts for your Z. Similarly, the number of products available on the market has exploded over the past few years and it can be difficult to determine the best options for your vehicle. The list below only contains products bought and tested by ZCarGuide and its associates and like everything else on this page, are products we believe in! Of course, we cannot include every great replacement part we have ever found, so this list contains only some products that we find are the most commonly bought by Z owners.
1970-1973 240Z Dash Cap
Like most Z-cars, yours may be experiencing some cracking and warping after years of sun-exposure. While we do have a guide on repairing this problem, you may want to consider simply buying an aftermarket cap that simply lies over your dash. These replacement sets like this one offered by Accuform fit surprisingly well and offer a quick installation. Additionally, these replacement dash caps
Clutch Slave Cylinder (240Z, 260Z, 280Z)
Clutch slave cylinder failure is a common problem for many owners of 240Zs, 260Zs and 280Zs. The hydraulic clutch, while intelligently designed, simply fails after so many years of use and the failure point is typically at the slave cylinder. Your first instinct might be to buy a rebuild kit and replace the rubber and brass componentry in the slave cylinder, but ZCarSource offers an extremely inexpensive replacement part that will fix your problem entirely. You can find it for sale here.