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hi, i'm a big fan of the s30, although i'm also a big fan of technology. my dream would be to get an s30 for daily use but without putting my physical integrity at risk. I know that many people will not like my project, but I would still like them to help me get it or plan it. My main plan is to find a 280z, since from what I understand it is safer than the 240 and the 260 is the one I like the least of the 3, do a ls swap, modernize as much as possible, such as: Suspension , brakes, tires, power steering, abs and ebd, traction control if necessary, etc. mainly everything that is mechanically safer, and inside is where most people are going to hate me, but I would like to modernize it as much as possible, adding seat belts, either 3 or 4 points, a modern steering wheel with airbags and this is where I mainly get the doubt, which parts of the chassis should I reinforce to make the car safer, I have thought of a roll cage, but I find it very ugly and I am not going to use it very extreme, but if it happens to have an accident, don't die crushed by the chassis, a balance between the 2, I have seen that there are some hidden cages that make the main pillars of the cabin stronger. What else do you recommend? something to the steering column, something to the seats, whatever. I would really appreciate your help, if the z are beautiful cars and they are historical but I also really like the design and I would love to have one 100% of my style. I apologize in advance if there is a problem with the writing, please use the google translator.
 

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are you planning to drive your newly purchased old Z in New York City or some crazy place? are you planning to put a Mercedes Benz V-12 motor in the thing?

1) you have a better chance of surviving in an old Z with its huge real metal bumpers than you would with the plastic bumper-less junk that is on most modern cars made of cheap Chinese metal.
2) you're not racing or doing track. no need for a roll cage or 5 point harness or racing seats. your car is not and never will be fast and furious. thank god.
3) 280 1975- 1978..... same chassis as the 240. same basic body shell. same unibody frame. same rust issues.
4) seatbelts? they all came with standard seatbelts and have been known to stand the test of time and protect people in the event of a crash... like all normal seatbelts.
5) if you want all the modern stuff and extra expensive junk, you be better off getting a new Z. 370 or 400

when you get your car, I'm pretty sure once you get in it and drive it (providing that it is in good shape) I'm betting you won't want to change a thing, my friend.

I don't mean to sound harsh.

Bon
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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After reading the OP, it seems to me that the proposed strategy would succeed in turning a $10,000 old car into a $30,000 old car which still would have inferior crash safety to a modern economy car.

You can't change an older Z into a vehicle with modern levels of crash safety, at least not without spending the equivalent of buying the newer car. I doubt that it's even possible to add air bags, or at least to do so without making so many changes to the interior (and spending many thousands of dollars) that it would require a new interior which doesn't resemble the original.

My suggestion is to buy a 350Z or 370Z and get better overall performance with higher levels of safety. No mods required, and less expensive than modifying an old one.

The 240-260-280-280ZX cars are what they are, and like most vintage cars, are less safe in major collisions than newer cars which have more safety equipment. If you drive them as daily drivers, you have to accept the level of risk that is balanced by the enjoyment of driving the car.
 

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From post above:
1) you have a better chance of surviving in an old Z with its huge real metal bumpers than you would with the plastic bumper-less junk that is on most modern cars made of cheap Chinese metal.

I think this is way off base. New cars are safer than cars have ever been. This is just indisputable.
Crush zones engineered in, airbags, seat belts with tensioners, and more. Plus almost all cars now weigh at leat 2,500 pounds and most around 4,000.
I'd much rather have an accident in any of our cars than my 71 240Z.
 

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I have had a 78 since they were common and also drive 85 Mercedes diesels. They added ABS in 85. .People on the forums have survived Roll overs in the MBZ because of the integrity of the passenger compartment and crumple zones.

With a Z, you have decent brakes, no crumple zone and a seat belt. Even so, when air bags came out people hated the add expense and argued against them. Many didn't wear seat belts.

The safest you can do is keep your Z maintained and wear your seat belt. We managed to survive the 60s when seat belts were an option and Dash boards were metal.

Keep your distance from the car in front realizing that it only takes 3 seconds to travel the length of a football field when traveling at interstate speeds.
 

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You'd be much safer swapping in an L16 rather than an LS. The original engine is likely your best bet if safety is your top priority.
 

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How would that impact safety?
Perhaps I'm just speaking for myself, and my insurance company, but I feel I'm more likely to get into an accident where "speed was a factor" if I were driving an LS powered 280z versus an L16.

Another good safety upgrade is bringing the lights up to date.
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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I'm with you on the lights. I long ago acquired a pair of now-unobtanium Cibie Z-beam headlights for my Z, which I immediately covered with 3M headlight protective film. They're far superior to the headlights of the era. I would think there are better LED-based lights available, but the real improvement in light comes not from the lamp, but from the quality and design of the reflector and the lens of the headlight.
 

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best safety you can do is put away the phone if you use one, observe the 3 second rule or more esp in poor road conditions, watch people eyes behind you and at intersections, try to maintain a bubble around you, used to call it defensive driving back when we had driver ed. Biggest issue today is the addition to smart phones.
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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best safety you can do is put away the phone if you use one, observe the 3 second rule or more esp in poor road conditions, watch people eyes behind you and at intersections, try to maintain a bubble around you, used to call it defensive driving back when we had driver ed. Biggest issue today is the addition to smart phones.
A hearty AMEN to that. IMO the biggest neglected safety measure is looking down the road. Most drivers focus in the 100+ feet ahead of them and have no clue what's happening 1/2 mile ahead. To compound it, they follow too close, so that they're both surprised when traffic slows in front of them, and too close to that traffic.

Look down the road as far as you can see, and you'll spot movement and signals in between you and the distant point. It's called "Distance inclusive vision." I constantly remind myself to look way down the road, and as a result I often change lanes, slow down or speed up to avoid traffic congestion or issues that other drivers haven't even noticed.
 
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