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Assorted Patent Reference Information

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  • Assorted Patent Reference Information

    I have decided to start this thread to collect references to various patents granted to Nissan/Hitachi/JECS/Niles/etc. in the time period relevant to the development of the Z31, which show the most similarity to the systems actually installed on the cars. Sometimes it's only a passing similarity, a concept that was further refined or had elements abandoned. Sometimes the resemblance to the production implementation is uncanny.

    For Z31, the relevant filing dates range from about 1978 to 1985. I look a little beyond that, into the 90s, as I'm using some parts from the M30 chassis, which had the ultimate evolution of the Z31's control systems. These are useful because they show clearly what the concerns were when the engineers were developing the car and it's systems. I've found a few dozen relevant patents, ranging from the injector design, to the cluster fuel logic, to the ECCS failsafe, to the suspension controller. Sadly I then forgot many of them, but will add them back to the list when I stumble upon them in the future.

    I'm not starting out in any particular order, and expect to grow this list over time. This is really an aid for me, to show what I've already looked at when I'm searching for other material, and to provide a reference when I think I've already found some material but can no longer remember what it was.

    The List Begins:
    • US 4,404,944 - FUEL SUPPLY SYSTEM FOR AN INJECTION-TYPE INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE
      • Describes the system that would become the Z31's Hot-Start system, cutting vacuum to the pressure regulator to increase fuel pressure when fuel temperatures are high
    • GB 2,175,954A - Fuel Injector for I.C. engines
      • Describes the flow-through injectors used for late 80s Z31s and Maximas.
    • US 4,749,210 - AUTOMOTIVE SUSPENSION CONTROL SYSTEM WITH MANUALLY ADJUSTABLE SUSPENSION CHARACTERISTICS AND/OR SUSPENSION CONTROL CHARACTERISTICS
      • This is the intermediate design between the Z31 electronically adjustable suspension and the SONAR SUSPENSION on the M30. Looks like a maxima in the patent art.
    Last edited by Acmex; 09-17-2022, 08:12 PM.

  • #2
    Wow interesting that the adjustable suspension was a patented item given how many other cars ended up with this feature. While people are quick to criticize the Z31 when people see my 84' today with digital dash how many 1984 cars had a digital dash (everything is digital now in high end cars), automatic HVAC, 8 way adjustable seat wtih air controls on lumbar, side blosters and under legs, along with ambient temp, etc. I remember that only Cadillacs and MB had many of these features.

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    • #3
      Many ways to skin a cat. They had about a dozen patents on various adjustable suspension input methods, actuators, and control electronics. The only other serious competitor in the field at the time I can think of is Porsche, GM only started including adjustable suspension a few years later. Of course, nothing used the stupid motor-in-shock design that the Z31 did because it was pretty poor.

      Frankly almost everyone associates "digital dash" with the various earlier (280ZX) and later (ford and chrysler products for the elderly) displays through the 90s, a purely numeric speed readout with maybe a couple bar graphs for temperature and fuel, updated at the speed of slow. The Z31 is actually pretty unique for a digital dash and I can't find anything like the visual feast that is the Z31's tacho & torque display.

      The features list is astounding, and it was punching with the Corvette for power in the first year of it's introduction until GM remembered what "camshafts" and "compression" were.

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