The plan in spring was to give my 240 a fresh, drivable look for summer 2020. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has thrown a wrench into my plans and everyone else's! After the front bumper was fitted, I set about finding the rest of the parts I would need to complete the Type X look, including an OEM rear bumper and side skirts.
I was able to source an OEM rear bumper, used in need of a little refresh, from my friend Omar who has a side business parting out 240s. You can find him on Instagram at @part.it.out
With some patience and a little penetrating oil, I was able to loosen all the fasteners from the brackets without snapping any off. In the Midwest, disassembling rusty parts is always a tricky business.
Thankfully, Nissan had the good sense to use plastic fasteners to attach the bumper at the bottom. This area usually gets very rusty thanks to road spray coupled with heat from the exhaust. This piece is still intact, so a trip to the media blaster will have it sorted out.
Cleaning up old car parts can be a difficult but strangely rewarding process. This bumper has plenty of life left in it.
After a few minutes in the media blasting cabinet and a lick of fresh paint, the rear bumper brackets were looking good as new. Ready for another 30 years.
I also sourced some Stainless Steel attaching hardware for the bumper brackets. Together with a little anti-sieze compound, rust should no longer be a problem for disassembly in the future. Plus, it just feels nice putting a car together with fresh hardware.
Rear bumper foam installed. Because polyurethane bumpers are quite a bit more flexible than fiberglass, they require this foam piece to help maintain their shape when mounted to the car. They also help with low-speed impacts.
Another detail to remember is the rear license plate lights, which are legally required. My car doesn't need another excuse to get pulled over! It's a good idea to mount these before the bumper gets mounted to the bumper beam (or the car) because the wires have to feed through the bumper beam.
It's the parts that you can't see from the outside that sometimes yield the greatest satisfaction. There is comfort knowing that your car is rust free, inside and out.
The OEM rear bumper, installed. Most 240s at this age suffer from the same affliction of having 3 or more different colored body panels, and now my car is no different. It's the first time I've ever had a multi-colored car, and until it's ready for paint at the body shop it will continue to grate on my nerves. If the rear bumper looks a bit unfinished, it's because it also needs the Kouki rear valance to wrap around the lower part of the bumper.
Unfortunately, the OEM Kouki rear valance is no longer available from Nissan. A bigger problem is that I don't think it matches the lines of the car. The rear bumper in the picture above has the "G-grow" rear valance, which I think matches the lines of the side skirt and front bumper much better. This rear valance is also not available, but copies are still being made. I am currently trying to source one from a manufacturer in Ireland.
Another attractive (I think) option is this fiberglass rear bumper from Japanese turning firm Uras. This, I think, is a suitable alternative for the G-grow rear extension.
Interestingly, Uras also makes a "cleaned up" version of the Type X front bumper. I like how the center license plate mounting pad has been deleted. The side marker lights are also a different design. If I end up needing extra clearance for a front intercooler, this bumper might become necessary.
The next piece of the puzzle I needed to source was Kouki Type X side skirts. Unfortunately, the pieces shown above belong to my friend Eddy, and they are not for sale. The OEM version of this skirt is two pieces (on each side) and molded from a similar urethane material as the bumpers. Aftermarket copies in fiberglass are available, usually in one piece. Due to Coronavirus, many of the US manufacturers of this part are backed up with orders for months. I am still searching for a set.
Omar also loaned me this pair of Hot Road side skirts to try on my car. These skirts are very similar to the Type X side skirts. They look a bit more aggressive since they have been extended to hang two inches lower. Unfortunately, they take me back to two inches of ground clearance on the sides, which sort of voids the whole purpose of increasing the ride height/drivability of the car. I may be ready for this look at some point in the future, but not right now. The search for Type X skirts continues...
Starting to look like most other 240s with different color body panels AND wheels. Sheesh! Eddy also let me try on his Kouki front lip. This was an optional OEM piece that is part of the Type X look. Eddy's part is a copy in fiberglass. Urethane originals are long unavailable, but aftermarket copies are also available in urethane. I'm not sure I need this part.
The "kouki" lip decreases front ground clearance by an inch, which would bring the clearance in the front of my car down from 4.5 inches to only 3.5 inches. The piece of square tubing in the photo is the old mount I fabricated for the custom front diffuser, and the low point of the car that scrapes. With this add on lip, you can see I am dangerously close to the old level of ground clearance. What was the point of doing all this again?
I also sourced a rear wing from D-Max in Japan. I liked the low, sleek lines of this wing, which seems to flow well with the body lines of the car. As an added bonus, this wing attaches to the body with 3M double-sided foam tape. I decided to give it a shot since it will not require drilling into my rear deck lid.
I could not find this wing available from any tuner shops in the USA. So, with a recommendation from fellow blogger Damon at CamryOnBronze.com I decided to give RHDJapan a try. They specialize in importing parts directly from Japan. I found their communication and ordering process to be very clear and easy. I had the wing in my hands within a month, and it was an extremely pain-free experience.
I found this picture online of a 240 hatch with the Type X body kit rolling on MB Motorsports "Battle" wheels - the same rims I want to run on my car. Finding matching wheels for my car is proving to be almost as difficult as sourcing body panels! Stay tuned for more updates as this build, and frustration, progresses.