Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nissan 300ZX

 I have two Nissan 300ZX Matchbox cars that came with built-in suspension.  The first is a white one that came with a small, spiral parking structure kind of track when I was about five years old.  It was "well loved," so they say.  The gray and blue one was won from some sort of game at school and it was already very used when I got it.  It had dark blue paint and strange silver patterns that resembled riveted and torn metal.  The headlights had been pushed down into the car.


 The white Nissan was and is still in relatively good shape compared to the gray one, though.  The gray one was subject to my fifth grade self and friends blasting it through chalk dust we gathered on the chalk board ledge during indoor recess.  No amount of washing could clean that out of the inside, which explains why the windows are so foggy.  I then had a phase during middle school to repaint certain cars I had so this one was a victim to one of those horrendous paint jobs.  Much of it has since been chipped off because I hated my paint job so much.  The strong suspension and the fact that I don't care about the paint makes this the ideal beater car when I play (yes, I still play).

I've always been curious as to how Matchbox made their suspension.  I knew that from 1968 until roughly 1970, Hot wheels used what they called "music wire" for their axles so the wheels would bounce, making the cars more fun to play with, ride bumpy floors more smoothly, and less prone to axle damage when stepped on.  That inspired me to start adding guitar string suspension to many of my cars, but music wire was clearly not the case for the cars produced in the '90s.


I finally drilled out the rivets in this car, using it as a chance to clean out the chalk dust and see how the suspension was made.  It turns out it's just a springy steel plate and this one has rusted from being washed so many times.  It's noticeably softer than the suspension in the white Nissan.


I then decided that since the rear suspension didn't have very much travel at all, I could file down the interior piece that was preventing the wheels from going up more than a millimeter.  I used a Dremel to take care of that quickly.


Ah, before and after cleaning.  Not sure what to do next ...