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Thread: 280z 5 speed and 280zx 5 speed differences

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    Registered User bbcountach's Avatar
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    Default 280z 5 speed and 280zx 5 speed differences

    I've got a '78 280z (4 speed), and I'm afraid that the transmission is on its way out. I was considering replacing it with a 5 speed, but I've heard mixed things on the early and later 5 speeds. What's the difference?
    -Ben

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    Basically, gear ratios.
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    Are there any differences between the various 5 speeds as far as how they mount into the car and where the shifter sits? I've heard that some require cutting on a 240Z and others don't?

    Greg

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundmasterg View Post
    Are there any differences between the various 5 speeds as far as how they mount into the car and where the shifter sits? I've heard that some require cutting on a 240Z and others don't?

    Greg
    That's not a difference with the transmission, but with the car. Early 240Zs have a smaller opening in the transmission tunnel than do later Zs.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    Thats interesting Arne! Will a '72 240Z be able to adapt to a 5 speed transmission then without cutting or will a special or modified shift lever be required?

    Greg

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    Greg,

    The swap will not require any cutting into the '72 and '73 240s. Only the series one cars '70 and early '71 need the opening expanded. I thought it was because the shifter on the tranny sat farther back. The 4 speeds in our cars match the 5 speeds.
    Bryan
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    Actually, I think all '71s need cutting. But '72 and '73 are fine.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    Does anyone on here know how to tell if you have a 5 speed out of a 77-79, 80, or 81? I have one and I'm not sure what year it came out of? Are there any numbers that will help me? Thanx

    Bryce

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    I have a 11/70 build that I fitted with a late 5 speed and then a KA conversion. It had a type-A 5 speed when I acquired the car. The tunnel opening was never modified.

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    nevermind...
    Last edited by ezzzzzzz; 04-14-2011 at 10:21 AM.

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    5th gear tells the story. Look at Post #2. Use white out to make a couple of marks and turn the input shaft one turn.

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    Thanx for your help Zed Head, didn't even think about that. Found it was from a 77-79, which is what I was hoping.

    Bryce

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    Will any shifter work or do we need to modify the shifter to work in the tunnel? So....I guess what I am asking is if I was to use a 78 5 speed - can I still use my '72 shortened shifter?
    Life's a journey; enjoy the ride!

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    1972 Datsun 240z
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    My stock 72 shifter works just fine. I put it in a close ratio tranny last night. Too bad I haven't tested it on the road yet.

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    An exterior difference between the early Z and later ZX fives speed transmissions is the early box has no reverse lockout, which is that oval shaped plate on the side of the rear housing fastened with two 10mm bolts. All shifters should be interchangable 72 & up, except one type I think from later ZX's which has a straight rod and a different bushing design. There may be a thread on that shifter and converting one to the other or vice versa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sblake01 View Post
    Basically, gear ratios.
    Thank you for this info...I just pulled a tranny from my 1980 parts car and had done some recent reading to find a lack of info as to if I had the close or wide ratio tranny. For some reason all the info I found made NO mention of the 1980 model. If the only difference is in 5th then I'm in good shape and got what I wanted for my Z as I will be autocrossing.
    '70 240Z - HLS30-08215 - Production Date 8/70
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    '71 240Z - HLS30-018482 - Production Date 1/71,Corvette Yellow, driven under a 4Runner, bought for parts, hit lotto with parts on car, may fix and put back on road

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    Just to add information to this thread, here's a link to some more on the early vs. the late 5-speed tranny: http://www.geocities.com/inlinestroker/ratio.html

    Note the other physical difference in the picture, one vs. two "ears".
    '70 240Z - HLS30-08215 - Production Date 8/70
    '70 240Z - HLS30-06293 - Rusty and has Identity Crisis (must have been wrecked and the back 1/2 sectioned in from a later car maybe even a 280Z)...PARTS CAR!
    '71 240Z - HLS30-018482 - Production Date 1/71,Corvette Yellow, driven under a 4Runner, bought for parts, hit lotto with parts on car, may fix and put back on road

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    Is one of these (from a ZX I'm told) considered "SHORT RATIO"? And is that "better" or worse going into a 71 240z? Easier/harder?

    Thanks,
    Mark
    Mark Woytovich - New York Metro area
    1971 240z - http://photobucket.com/Woy240z

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    Do you mean 'close ratio'? The would be the 80 and up, 5th gear notwithstanding. Not sure what you mean by better or worse. As far as installation, there's no difference in how any of them would mount in a 71.
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    The seller referred to "Short ratio" I suspect that is the same as close ratio... By "better" I meant from a driveability point of view, given a stock 71 240z motor.
    Mark Woytovich - New York Metro area
    1971 240z - http://photobucket.com/Woy240z

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    If you still have the stock 3.36 differential, acceleration though 1st and 2nd won't be as crisp as your stock 4 speed. Most of the 5 speed cars had 3.54 and up.
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    I do still have the stock diff but would not be against swapping it out if the tranny is too sluggish... I think I'm going to try to find out some more about the tranny... thanks
    Mark Woytovich - New York Metro area
    1971 240z - http://photobucket.com/Woy240z

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    Registered User turbo 260's Avatar
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    Just to add another tranny option to the mix, the late maxima (1983-4) has the following ratios
    1st 3.321
    2nd 2.077
    3rd 1.308
    4th 1.000
    5th 0.752
    This would be my choice for a normally aspirated car. You get the great launch of the early tranny, with the great OD of the later. plus many Maximas weren't beaten on like Zs were. you can tell the Maxima tranny from others because the fill plug is on the driver's side. The early Z 5 speeds were also known to have the bolt holding 5th back off and cause failure. the later trannys got a reverse thread bolt that solved the problem.
    Jim

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    Do they swap in as easily as the Z and ZX 5 speeds?
    Mark Woytovich - New York Metro area
    1971 240z - http://photobucket.com/Woy240z

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    Registered User turbo 260's Avatar
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    They are exactly the same, except you need to fill it from the other side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo 260 View Post
    They are exactly the same, except you need to fill it from the other side.
    "fill it"?

    Do you mean putting in gear oil? If so does this difference cause a problem?
    Mark Woytovich - New York Metro area
    1971 240z - http://photobucket.com/Woy240z

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    Quote Originally Posted by woytovich View Post
    "fill it"?

    Do you mean putting in gear oil? If so does this difference cause a problem?
    I had that trans (84 Maxima) in my 78. The fill on the other side didn't cause any problems. And it mounts exactly the same as the Z/ZX 5 speeds.
    Last edited by sblake01; 08-09-2011 at 03:48 PM.
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    Here is what the seller said:
    "The first one is from a running motor we just put apart, the seller said he had 110.000 miles on it and the other the seller said he had less than a 100.000 miles but with all seller i am taking there word"

    Anything you can tell from these pictures? Any points of failure I can check for? I know what to look for in an old Toyota Land Cruiser tranny but here I an in the dark....

    He wants $250 each by the way.

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    Mark Woytovich - New York Metro area
    1971 240z - http://photobucket.com/Woy240z

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    Any current members running this transmission in a S30:

    Nissan Maxima (1983-4) has the following ratios
    1st 3.321
    2nd 2.077
    3rd 1.308
    4th 1.000
    5th 0.752
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    While we are on the topic of trannys, I want to replace the clutch master and slave cylinders on my S1, but I have a 5 speed. Shopping at the ZStore.com, it looks like there are about 7 different clutch master and slave cylinders set-ups. What would be the best way to make sure I buy the correct Master and Slave Cylinders for the car?
    Tony - Largo, FL
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    good to know
    Last edited by 73 240Z Man; 10-31-2012 at 12:51 PM.
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    The price being asked of $250 is a very good one but I would want to have it rebuilt before installation.

    One rear tab at the back of the tranny makes it a 1980-83 ZX (see photo of the one for sale above). All 77-79 trannies have two rear tabs (as do the 4-speeds).

    Difference between early 5-speed (280A) and the ZX (280B) is only a concern if you race or drive your Z hard and up hills. The gap between 2nd and 3rd in a stock engine 240Z is noticeable. On a flat highway, not really.

    if you're getting a 280B (ZX) tranny get the matching R200 diff (3:90 ratio).
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    I would hate to drive to some remote Pick N Pull and find out the Maxima listed in the inventory was an automatic... Automatics were becoming far more common by '83-4...
    Rob
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    Sorry for breathing life into an old thread, but better keep the info in once place, right?

    I've recently bought and installed a 5 speed in my car, and encountered problems with the shifter hitting the center console.
    From a lot of searching and reading, I now believe I have a Maxima gearbox, can anyone help me confirm this? (I bought it believing it came from a 280Z).

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    My car is a 2/71. I had to remove a bit of metal in the front of the hole in the tunnel, as well as use the older style mount (not the one in the picture) to make room for my exhaust, as the newer style mount in the picture made the gear box sit too high.
    Still, the shifter hits the center console (right behind the fuse box), so I actually had to break off some of the fiberglass to make room for the shifter.

    Now the interesting part is that I have two Z's, both 71 models. However, one has the old gearbox mount and the other (9/71) has the newer type. The 5 speed I bought came with a prop shaft, so I have 3 in total, all which are different lengths. The cars have different center consoles (one with the ashtray behind the shifter), but none of these will fit properly with the 5 speed. Is the only solution to bend or cut/weld the shifter?

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by Torby; 09-08-2014 at 01:25 PM.

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    Registered User Hunter260Z's Avatar
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    Someone on this site makes a modified shifter. So yes you are going to have to bend it.
    Ray
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    Torby, personally, I would cut the console before bending the shifter.
    The part of the console that needs cutting is mostly covered by the shift boot anyway.
    Or if you use the console that has the sliding ashtray cover from the late 72 then you should have no interference at all, those consoles had a longer shift boot opening then the earlier ones.
    Chris
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    The exhaust hanging ears and the speedo gear retaining bolt look like 77-79 5 speed. Apparently there is a shorter truck 5 speed out there.

    But, wherever it came from, if it was shorter than a Z car transmission (causing the shifter to be moved up), then the drive shaft would be too short also. It wouldn't reach. So if the drive shaft fits, then it's the right size for the car and you just have to work around the shifter hole problems.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Gentlemen,

    thanks for your insight! I have a center console with the sliding ashtray cover, so I'll try that one. I prefer the looks of the other one though.

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