Featured Build: Russ Jones' 1972 Datsun 240Z | @The FIRM Rally School

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Featured Build: Russ Jones’ 1972 Datsun 240Z

𝕆𝕎ℕ𝔼ℝ: Russ Jones

Year/Make/Model: 1972 Datsun 240Z

Racing Class: BSP (Autocross) & TT5 (Time Trials)

Engine: 2.4L (matching numbers/original engine in line 6)

Engine Modifications & “Power Adders”: Engine has a header, triple 44mm Mikuni side drafts, Tilton flywheel.

Cooling Set-Up: Original style of Datsun 240Z radiator that has been re-cored with 3 big rows instead of the original smaller 2. Dual electric fan with a Davies Craig digital fan controller. 

Horsepower & Torque: First pull was 115hp, second pull was 121hp. “Definitely a momentum car”

Drivetrain: Converted to a 280ZX 5spd, and a limited slip differential. Koni dampers, sway bars, and springs for suspension.

Suspension: Shortened struts with Koni inserts. Fronts are generic single adjustable and the rears are VW Rabbit front struts.  The car has poly bushings and Techno Toy Tuning TC Rods.  Front and rear sway bars found from cars in the wrecking yard. 

Brake Set-Up: Ah I like my brakes and trying to find their limit. Installed new brakes last year from a kit put out by Milkfab. They use the early second generation 300ZX front aluminum 4 piston calipers with Honda soccer mom van Odyssey front rotors and 2011 Mustang rear calipers, with first generation 300ZX front rotors. They stop very well. Was finding that at marker #2 I could start braking going into the bus stop and still have some room.

Wheels & Tires (Brands & Sizes): XXR rims 0 offset 15×8.25 225/50-15 trip 8’s by Toyo

Aero: N/A

Lap Times (at The FIRM): 1:26s

Personal Best: 1:25:7

Russ has owned the Datsun since the 1980’s. It was purchased through a friend in California, and then driven from the San Francisco Bay Area back to Orlando FL where Russ dropped off his friend.  They completed the drive in just 2 days and 1 night. The car has competed in time trials as far south as SugarLoaf Key at the Bay Bottom Crawl, been as far north as Toronto Canada, ran Mosport, and has been as far west as Memphis Tennessee. This was even Russ’s daily driver in Puerto Rico while he was stationed there with the United States Coast Guard. In the last 30 years, Russ mentioned that the car has the original engine in it, which the previous owner said he rebuilt. Since then, the only thing done to the car was back in 1992 when the engine overheated.  The car needed a valve job and head resurfaced.  During this process, he discovered the pistons were from different engines and the #1 piston was “as rough as 40 grit sandpaper on the top”.  So, he sanded down the high spots, put the re-surfaced head back on and “sent it”!

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Featured Build: Russ Jones' 1972 Datsun 240Z | @The FIRM Rally School