Guide: What Are The Best Fuel Tank Options for Datsun Z Cars?

Guide: What Are The Best Fuel Tank Options for Datsun Z Cars?

It's super important to focus on the fuel tank when you're dealing with the awesome performance of your Datsun Z car. If you're into Datsun Z cars, picking out the right fuel tank - be it an OEM replacement, a steel one, a polyethylene tank, or even custom fuel cells - might seem majorly useful.

I'm here to help make that choice easier for you, especially if you have a Z car. I'll help you look at things like longevity, fitment, and how much they'll cost to make a decision that's right for you.

If you're trying to get your Datsun Z back to its original beauty or just want to make it drive better, thinking about the fuel tank is as good of a starting point as any.

Let's talk about your options, shall we?

Disclaimer: This article is authored by a member of the Skillard community and reflects their personal views, not necessarily those of Skillard. We welcome your feedback and corrections in the comments to help us continually improve this content.

Why Go With OEM Replacements?

So, let's talk about whether you should go for OEM or aftermarket fuel tanks for your Datsun Z.

It really comes down to what's more important to you: keeping things authentic or adding your own touch. If you're asking me, and you're all about keeping that classic Z tone while making sure everything's safe and works right, OEM tanks are a safe way to go. They keep your car looking just like it did when it first hit the road and meet all those important safety standards, which might not always be true for aftermarket options. Besides, sticking with a stock tank could even bump up your classic car's value when it's time to sell.

OEM Gas tank on 240Z

If you're the type to head out on long drives or you're chasing that edge on the race track, aftermarket fuel tanks have a lot going for them. With a bigger tank, you're looking at making fewer stops for gas and spending more time cruising or tearing up the track. A lot of these fuel cells come with something cool called advanced baffling, which stops your fuel from sloshing around too much when you're driving it like you stole it, and it keeps your engine safe from running dry. We'll talk about that more in a bit.

And let's not forget, tanks made from parts like aluminum and polyethylene are way better at fighting off rust than the old steel ones, saving your tank from getting eaten away from the inside.

If you're upgrading your fuel system for EFI, going aftermarket is usually your best bet. These options are pretty much ready to rock for an EFI setup, which makes things like adding return lines and baffles a whole lot easier so you can manage your fuel like an expert. But, a heads up: getting all excited about aftermarket upgrades might change when you realize you might need to do some cutting, welding, and fitting to make a non-OEM tank fit. For the purists or hardcore collectors out there, that might be a deal-breaker. But if you're building a restomod or race car, upgrades are definitely available with much better performance.

When it comes to costs, aftermarket solutions are priced in all sorts of ways depending on the size, material, and extra features. While keeping an eye on your budget is important, what you really want for your Z is what should guide your decision, finding that sweet find between celebrating the Datsun's heritage and upgrading to meet today's expectations.

Also, the Z car community is awesome, and it's well worth looking into forums like HybridZ and Zcar.com. You'll get to hear all kinds of stories and may even stumble upon an amazing find, like a rare OEM tank that's still in great shape or an aftermarket setup that's just perfect.

Aftermarket Polyethylene Tanks

Polyethylene fuel tanks are worth looking into, too. These things are like a modern fix for the rust and corrosion that you get with the usual metal tanks. This means you won't be stressing about the tank rusting out every time you take a look underneath.

Polyethylene is this super tough kind of plastic that keeps rust and corrosion at a distance, and it's seriously good at protecting your fuel. That's a big deal when you're looking at tank options for your Datsun Z car. Companies like Radium Engineering and Fuel Safe are at the top of their game, which makes these high-quality polyethylene tanks a perfect fit for Datsuns. It's pretty cool how these tanks slide in so easily, which makes it seem like they were meant to be there from the start.

Poly Tank
Photo credit: VTS Poly Tank

But these tanks usually cost a bit more at the start compared to the old-school metal ones. But, if you're looking at the big picture, like not having to deal with rust repair or needing a new tank down the road, dropping some cash on a poly tank feels like a good idea. You're basically cutting down on costs over time because you're not always fixing or replacing a metal tank.

There are a couple of little things you might have to change, especially with the fuel sender unit. I see this as a chance to get a little creative and put your own spin on your car's fuel setup.

A polyethylene tank means your Z car will last longer and not get eaten up by corrosion. When you start checking out the specific types made for Datsuns, you're taking a big step in keeping your ride both up-to-date and true to its classic tone. If you choose a tank that fits like a glove from Radium Engineering or one that's built super tough by Fuel Safe, you're deciding to take care of your car's future.

Baffled Tanks for Fuel Injection

It's pretty awesome that by getting a custom baffled fuel tank, you're opening up a bunch of new possibilities for making your Datsun Z car better, especially when it comes to the fuel system. These tanks are great because you can make them exactly how you need them. If you need more fuel capacity for those long trips or you're looking to improve your car's power with a high-flow fuel injection system, going for a custom tank is where it's at. You just don't get these options with the tanks that come straight off the shelf.

Baffled tanks keep your fuel from sloshing way from your pump. This can starve your engine in tight turns - and you don't want that. The stock 240Z tanks don't have baffles, but some of these newer designs do - and you'll definitely want one if you're switching to fuel injection. You could always use a fuel cell or a surge tank, sure - but if you're trying to keep it OEM-looking, a baffled OEM-style tank is a good way to go.

Baffled Wall
Photo credit: VTS "Baffle Wall"

What's really cool is how you can keep your Datsun Z looking classic on the outside while improving what's under the hood with these tanks. They fit into the car's original look so well, preserving that cool tone that probably drew you to these cars in the first place.

So, if you're thinking about going custom, you'll start by figuring out exactly what you need from your tank and picking out parts that are going to last and fit perfectly. I know it might seem a bit overwhelming at the beginning, but the improvement in how your car performs and looks is totally worth it.

I won't sugarcoat it - going custom does mean spending more money and possibly facing some difficult installation. It's not for people. The costs are higher, and you might need some serious know-how to get everything installed just right. But, if you're up for it, the way it can change your Z car's performance and looks is pretty incredible.

The baffles in these tanks are great. They make sure your engine gets a steady flow of fuel, so you don't have to worry about the engine sputtering or stalling when you're hitting those corners, as you do with many of the old tanks from the 70s, which have no baffles at all. The exception is some tanks from the 280ZX, which I'll talk about here in a bit, too.

Can You Use Tanks from Other Vehicles

There are a lot of parts that swap nicely into the Z cars from other vehicles. On HybridZ, you see all sorts of people swapping in the brakes from Toyotas, engines from a 350Z or a Skyline; you name it.

A lot of people look at tanks from the 98-2002 F-body Camaro and Firebird LS1 models because they like the way they seem to fit. But getting everything to work right is not that easy and usually means you have to do a lot of custom work. You might have to deal with lots of issues, like where the filler neck is, connecting the fuel lines, and getting the fuel pump to work right.

If you're not up for all that work to make a different tank fit, there are some other ways you can go. You can have someone coat your latest tank inside and out to stop rust and make it as good as new.

Or, if you're looking for something that's easier to install, you might find a second-hand tank from another 240Z, 260Z, or 280Z that may do the job. But most of these tanks don't have any baffles either, so if you're looking for an upgrade for an EFI system, this may not solve your issue.

Under Car

For those who want something a bit more special, there are experts out there who can build a custom tank for you. And, if you're all about improving performance, fuel cells are a great, customized choice, but you need to check they'll work with your Z's fuel system. I promise I'll get to that in the next section!

The Benefits of Fuel Cells

Fuel cells are a cool way for Datsun Z car fans, especially those into racing or looking for a lighter option, to upgrade their cars. These cells come in all kinds of sizes and parts, giving you lots of choices in how to fit them into your car and improve its performance. I actually wrote a separate post on fuel cells here.

When you're trying to get the most out of your Z car, keeping it safe is super important. Fuel cells with built-in baffles are a big win for safety. They keep the fuel stable when you're driving hard, cutting down on the chance of spills and fires if something goes wrong. If you're pushing your car to its limits on the track or just having fun driving fast, this safety feature is something you shouldn't skip.

Hooking up fuel cells to Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) systems is a good idea for anyone updating their Z car to make it perform better. They're made to handle the needs of powerful engines, which makes sure your fuel supply is steady and reliable. Besides, they usually meet or even beat the standards for racing, which is important if you want to compete legally and keep your car in top shape for the race. Being on the right side of racing regulations is super important for anyone who wants to race and make sure their car is up to par.

Switching to a fuel cell is a big job and comes with some trade-offs, but the benefits in performance, safety, and sticking to the rules are too great to ignore. It might make the car a bit less convenient for daily drives, but improving how your car maintains and performs in the long run is something to think about.

Plumbing to Fuel Door

Some enthusiasts even rig up their filler neck hose to fill directly into their fuel cell to fix this problem so they don't have to pop open their hatch and risk spilling gas inside their car every time they fill up. That's a really nice way to go for a daily driver.

With the latest in-car tech, you can set up custom fuel cell systems that keep your Datsun Z looking sharp without losing out on how well it works or how safe it is. These upgrades make chasing after that perfect performance just as exciting and unique as the cars we're passionate about.

DIY with Tank Restoration Kits

Tank restoration kits can get your car's fuel system working like new again. These kits are perfect for people who like to do things themselves and come with everything needed to fix or improve your car's fuel tank. This includes things to get rid of rust, sealants, and sometimes even some parts for small fixes. From my experience, it takes a lot of patience and hard work to get your fuel tank looking as good as new. You'll have to clean the tank super well, deal with all the rust both inside and out, and then seal it all up to keep corrosion and leaks away in the future.

Moving onto the challenges, fixing up a tank by yourself isn't always easy. Sometimes, even if you've done everything right, the sealant might start peeling off, and that could either mess up all your hard work or cause bigger issues if those pieces get into the fuel system. While this doesn't happen all the time, it's important to think carefully about it if you want to talk about this kind of project.

For anyone who feels up to the challenge, picking a tank restoration kit can definitely be worth it. It can save you some money, but it also makes you feel more connected to your car by getting hands-on and fixing the fuel tank yourself. But it's super important to check out your fuel tank's condition before you start. If there's a lot of rust or damage, sometimes it's better to go with an expert or just get a new tank altogether.
When it comes to replacing your tank, there are some really good options out there for all Datsun Z models. Companies like S30.world and Pro Alloy are top choices because they have replacement tanks that fit perfectly, are easy to install, and are made from modern parts that are meant to last. You can choose between sticking with the classic steel tank look or going for something lighter, like aluminum. Either way, you're getting a great mix of classic style and updated functionality.

Build Your Dream Car

I've found talking to others in the Datsun Z car world super helpful; getting involved by hopping into discussions, sharing stories of your own car, or asking for advice can open up new ways of thinking and help you nail down the perfect fuel tank choice for your ride.

Skillard cta

But to fix your car is to deal with the fuel tank. This is where Skillard comes in, ready to take your Datsun Z project from just an idea in your head to something real you can drive. We're all about quality and bringing new ideas to the table, giving custom parts for the 240Z, 260Z, 280Z, and others. Our catalog has things like sleek bumpers, lightweight aluminum door cards, aluminum center consoles, and spoilers that make your car look cooler but drive better, too.

So, why not kick off your car restoration or Datsun Z project with Skillard? Swing by Skillard.com to see all the cool parts we have for Datsun enthusiasts. Partnering with us might be the best way to make your dream car a reality!

2 comments

Skillard Team

Skillard Team

Thanks for sharing your experience with the S13 gas tank installation in your Datsun Z! It sounds like you’ve done some awesome work, and it’s great to hear that this modification is a great option.

It’s also cool to hear about the minimal cutting required and how it integrates well the factory fuel gauge and our rear splitter! This definitely makes it a strong case for including it in future updates. Thanks again for your contribution and for offering to help out the community, and happy driving!

Thanks for sharing your experience with the S13 gas tank installation in your Datsun Z! It sounds like you’ve done some awesome work, and it’s great to hear that this modification is a great option.

It’s also cool to hear about the minimal cutting required and how it integrates well the factory fuel gauge and our rear splitter! This definitely makes it a strong case for including it in future updates. Thanks again for your contribution and for offering to help out the community, and happy driving!

Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson

I do not see where you guys have mentioned s13 gas tanks inside of s30 chassis. I installed a 1991 240SX s13 gas tank inside of my Datsun for my VQ swap, and now later my LS swap. I only had to cut the spare tire while a minimal amount, as most z owners don’t have spare tires anymore due to aftermarket wheel choices. The factory fuel gauge works with the factory sender, the straps need minimal modifications, and it still works with you guys rear splitter option. It is one of my favorite modifications I have done to my z yet. If you guys have any questions feel free to reach out at my email. Brightwhites13@gmail.com.

I do not see where you guys have mentioned s13 gas tanks inside of s30 chassis. I installed a 1991 240SX s13 gas tank inside of my Datsun for my VQ swap, and now later my LS swap. I only had to cut the spare tire while a minimal amount, as most z owners don’t have spare tires anymore due to aftermarket wheel choices. The factory fuel gauge works with the factory sender, the straps need minimal modifications, and it still works with you guys rear splitter option. It is one of my favorite modifications I have done to my z yet. If you guys have any questions feel free to reach out at my email. Brightwhites13@gmail.com.

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