Replacing your 260Z’s air filter/cleaner unit is just one important aspect of routine maintenance that you’ll need to keep up with if you hope to avoid seriously expensive and time-consuming maintenance later on in the future. For the uninformed, keep in mind that we will be using air ‘filter’ and ‘cleaner’ interchangeably throughout this article — we’re just talking about one part!
How often should you replace your air filter?
We recommend replacing your 260Z’s air filter approximately every 3 years — this is when your filter will start to get brittle and its air cleaning properties will deteriorate. The industry standard recommendation is to replace this filter once every 15,000 miles, but with the 260Z’s classic distinction, it is much more likely that you will hit the 3-year mark before 15,000 miles. However, if you do daily drive your Z-car, you may be putting some serious mileage on it, so your situation may be different there. Outside of these considerations, you may want to consider replacing your air cleaner a bit sooner than usual if you drive on unpaved roads or in areas with a lot of dust and debris in the air as it will deteriorate more quickly than in normal driving conditions.
Recommended replacement filter
We recommend K&N filters/cleaners for this job. K&N is an extremely reputable brand and we’ve never had any issues with their products — we also recommend their filters for oil changes. The filter element is just the actual cleaning unit that goes inside of the air filter housing. For a Datsun 260Z, you will need a K&N E-2900 filter.
How to replace your air filter element
Actually replacing your air filter/cleaner is a very simple, straightforward process and requires no tools as you’ll only be loosening some wing-nuts. Refer to the image to the right (or above if you’re using a mobile device to view this page) and look for the wing nuts which fasten the main filter housing unit to the base plate.
They’re actually the wing-nut ends of a bolt that connects directly to this base plate. Loosen them until you feel the bolt disconnect, and you should be able to slide the filter housing unit over and out of the engine bay. One other thing to note is that the base plate has a rubber gasket that may come off as well. Regardless of if it comes off, you’ll want to inspect this piece to see if it needs replacement. If you notice that the gasket is frayed and broken-down, you’ll want to order a replacement from The ZStore who carries an adequate replacement.