One of the great joys of owning an older car – and even some not so old ones – is finding a solution for replacing a worn part that’s either clever, frugal, or better yet, both. For example, I found that the rubber weatherstripping on my old 240Z was withered with age, so much so that were it a person it wouldn’t be doing any stripping at all, weather or not. Back in the day, Datsun felt that gluing the rubber cushions to each door frame and the hatch surround was the way to go, and aftermarket replacement pieces replicating the original go for hundreds of dollars a pop, and still require glue to be held it in place. There had to be a better solution.
It turns out there was. I found it while trolling about in the many Z-car forums, and I think I came across my ultimate solution in just such a place on the Classic Z Car Club. What someone there had discovered was that the profile of the clamp-on rubber from an early Kia Sportage is a perfect match for the Z. Not only that but each of the Kia’s doors offered more than enough linear footage to do those on the Datsun coupe. It even works on the hatch! Instead of spending hundreds of dollars and days trying to glue the OEM-style stuff in I spent a few bucks at the U-Pull-It yard and an hour or so cleaning the jams and rubber malleting the Kia stuff in place. It works like a charm.
That’s just one example of a brilliant substitution for an expensive – or potentially no longer existent – part that was a revelation to discover. There are many more of these as there are two things car people tend to be: resourceful and cheap. If you align with either of those attributes what other substitutions have you heard of, or have used yourself? What is the most awesome part substitution you’ve ever seen or heard?
Image source: Chanda Ranga