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Thread: It's a BIG "FAMILY"

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    Default It's a BIG "FAMILY"

    To understand the entire S30 model run ("family") we first have to know the reasons for the creation of so many different model designations. Each and every market has a governing body who mandates their requirements, which must be met before any vehicle is allowed for sale. I couldn't tell you how many of these different governing bodies there are/were worldwide (I would need lots of help to get it right), but for example in the US there are Federally mandated requirements of the MVSS - Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and also voted into law requirements put in place by individual States. The most well known of these State requirements are the ones set forth by the State of California mainly dealing with vehicle emissions. There are also Munincipal Governments who can set forth legislation that will require special build requirements. One example I can think of is the decibel limits set forth for horns within New York City. Of course that would be handled by a dealership and not the factory. Those are requirements. There are also different models created within the boundaries of these mandates intended to increase sales across the broad cross section of the buying public. Also, the research and development departments who gauge the wants/needs of the buying public and test the innovations and advances coming from the designers who have to create a new model designate in order to move ahead with their evaluations. The testing and feedback was performed 99% by the buying public. Also to satisfy sanctioning bodies for racing, a number of vehicles had to be produced, further extending the lineage. Just to show a very small slice of model variances in the US during the transition years of 1974 through 1975 take a look at the attached chart designating Model Lines. Compound this by all the different mandated requirements, sales directed variances and special needs such as testing, racing, etc. and there is going to be a hockey sock full of model designations worldwide. Now, spread this over a number of years. There is an explanation that can be given for each of these model designations. None of this should be confused with allowable options which could be ordered above and beyond, within certain markets and models. Factory installed options were included in the build sheets.

    Now, lets look at this from the perspective of Nissan, on the shop floor and the methods used in the production of these cars. Orders came in from around the world. All the information that is contained in these orders had to be organized and arranged in a language that was understood by everyone involved with the scheduling and manufacturing process. This is where "bango", an internal use only code was used with the use of numbers, letters and a combination of both.
    Visualize an assembly line where every part needed for every different model designation was on hand. There could have been one, two, three or even more different variances of a single part, each used for a different model/market. The men manning these assembly stations had to be able to tell at a glance which part was "called for", for each vehicle or assembly as it came to them. Back then build sheets were used. They were compiled by using the information from the Vehicle Order Forms. This code was devised to describe the correct part. These build sheets were arranged in a grid pattern with a color system also introduced, all with the purpose of providing instant recognition. Each worker had the ability to determine the market designation or part needed as naturally as breathing. Each operation had a different portion of the sheet designated for their use, to keep it simple and to the point. A skilled supervisor could scan an entire build sheet and pick out a mistake in the build in seconds. It was second nature. Today, paperless production methods use overhead monitors to automatically relay this information to the assemblers.

    I think the information contained in the stamped "what we have referred to as a VIN" on the cowl/bulkhead, is very limited, but it did serve the purpose, which was three-fold.The first part being the relevant information needed in the Metal Shop to fabricate the correct chassis needed to accommodate the selected engine package, specify left or right hand drive and permanently record the numbered suffix, which pinpoints the start of the build or the "time of birth" of any particular S30. The Prefix and Suffix combined have a direct relationship with the Vehicle Order Number which is also used to provide all the information needed to compile the build sheets needed to complete the vehicle, regardless of the market. What is lost after Nissan destroyed the internal use build records? The exact time/date of frameup. What we are left with is a date of conformance, which is narrowed down to the month and year that the vehicle was deemed fit for entering the market. If the build sheets were left in the vehicles, they could be easily decifered and that would have quite easily answered the question, "determining how car was equipped from factory"? I have yet to see a close up readable build sheet used for the S30.

    When I summon up an image of the S30 production run, I might look at it from a North American skewed point of view, but for the lack of a more descriptive terminology other than a model run or build, "family" is quite fitting and effectively drives home the point. Questions, points of view, criticism...all excepted below.
    Last edited by geezer; 02-14-2011 at 09:50 PM.

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