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Michael

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Michael last won the day on November 22 2006

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  1. Michael

    Does anybody know what today is?

    Well, isn't it time now to be celebrating HybridZ's 18th birthday? It's now old enough to vote, to be drafted, to be criminally charged as an adult. It's not old enough to order its own parts, using its own credit card, with its own legally-valid signature. How will it function with its newfound maturity? On a more serious note - there must, there absolutely MUST be a HybridZ member somewhere out there, who wasn't yet born, when this site was started! Pray tell, who are you?
  2. Rebuilding an automatic transmission is definitely a higher-end venture. Few of us here (even the seasoned veterans) would be in a position to offer actionable advice. Have you ascertained the condition of your engine? You found a local transmission shop, evidently building a good rapport with them. If you could do likewise with an engine shop, perhaps you could put the engine on a dynamometer, thus optimizing its tune?
  3. This is probably the L31 block, built between around 1995 and 2000, designed for a hydraulic roller cam. It's a Gen-II 350, so yes, you're in the correct forum. The casting to which you refer is not on the "bell housing", but on the portion of the block just head of the flat surface to which the bell housing would bolt... a minor quibble, but somebody already noted insistence of terminology, so one might as well continue. "Vortec" is GM's play-on-words, referring to cylinder heads that supposedly had better flow-numbers, and more efficient mixing in the combustion chamber. For stock heads, this is a reasonable combination. If you go about messing with the engine, in a quest for more power, that venture would require synchronizing changing of all sorts of components, as they work together. So, a larger cam might mean different valve-springs, or possibly even different pistons, depending on piston-to-valve clearance, combustion ratio and various other things. This is why most enthusiasts only change the exhaust manifolds (you already have "block hugger" headers, which are fine), the intake manifold and carb. The engine's mating to a TH350 is certainly possible, but I would have suspected a 700R4, or similar variant. Ultimately, do you want an automatic, or a manual? A non-overdrive transmission is not necessarily such a horrendous evil, especially if you install a 3.54 rear-end. Looking at the second photo that you posted, the distributor housing is only about 1" from the firewall, and the stock hood-latch receiver panel appears to have been removed. These are telltale signs that the engine is already in the "JTR" position, or close to it, even if the engine-mounts were custom-made according to some other rubric. So, I'd leave that alone. The absence of a transmission talehousing mount would be outright ridiculous - but not inconceivable. One can be fabricated according to the ubiquitous JTR method. The JTR web-site used to sell (do they anymore?) their parts, and if not, there are patterns floating around the internet. By my reckoning, the first step would be a tune-up... get the engine running, set the timing and so forth. Upgrades can come later (possibly much later). Overall, this looks like a clean car, and a successful buy. Congratulations!
  4. Michael

    Picking out a clutch

    Not to be the acerbic dissenter here, but sometimes it is more satisfying (not to mention, more illuminating) to get components that are of marginal robustness, but which are standard, common and well-researched... try them out, see if they happen to work, and then replace if/when failure happens. Too often, we overbuild; we overspend, end up for example with a clutch that's too heavy to be comfortable, with a "bulletproof" transmission with heavy/cumbersome gear-engagement, and so forth. I personally made this mistake, in going with a Doug Nash 4+1 transmission... "bulletproof" indeed, but a chore to shift, with gears that are too closely spaced. At least the clutch was a success... Centerforce dual-friction; Hayes 168-tooth aluminum flywheel - both from the Summit catalog. The one semi-unorthodox piece was the McLeod hydraulic throwout bearing, obviating a clutch-fork or pivot point. In sum, consider the typical small-block build from the Summit or Jegs catalog. It should work fine.
  5. Michael

    240z vs 280z

    "Drifting from side to side" at highway speeds is often imputed to bad aerodynamics. In my view, this is partially correct. If the consumables in the suspension are worn, but only slightly worn, then with sedate driving on surface-streets, there may be no sensation of there being anything amiss. But at highway speeds, the steering might grow light, or otherwise twitchy. In steady straight-line driving on smooth pavement, there are presumably no strong transient forces - or than those having to do with wind. So, it's not the case that the aerodynamics are inherently bad (and least, not entirely), but rather, than wind-effects at higher speeds expose problems with the (front) suspension, that would not otherwise have been noticed. That at least was my own experience, driving a worn but serviceable 240z on the highway, now so many years ago.
  6. Here's adding my voice to the chorus advocating for having BOTH cars: the S30Z, and a much newer model for general driving-duty. With an older car, attaining a high level of performance almost invariably means sacrificing comfort, utility and the general niceties of care-free hopping into the vehicle, and just taking off. This, I think, is a worthwhile trade, for building something truly personalized and invigorating to drive. But especially as we get older, and come to rely on transportation for stodgy and utilitarian duties, the various compromises become less and less tenable. We're forced to relent and to avail ourselves of something newer. But why should that mean dispensing with the pride of decades' tinkering and achievement?
  7. Michael

    Lets see your V8 in your Z.

    Yes. I'm too lazy/inept to include definitive links here, but I have a 454 with a few bits to improve it, a Doug Nash 5-speed and some chassis mods to accommodate the setup. Several others have big block Chevy engines with stock firewall/frame rails. About 15 years ago we had on this Forum a couple of really impressive bbc Datsun drag cars... full tube chassis, back-halved. With the ubiquity of the Gen-IV small block, the old-school big block has understandably become a rarity.
  8. It's bittersweet, Mike. On the one hand, congratulations on a successful sale. On the other hand, after 15 years (or wasn't it longer?) of your avid participation (and leadership) in this hobby/adventure/obsession, it's disheartening to see you conclude this path.
  9. Michael

    Datsun 240z head choice

    There's a plethora of reviews online for Gen-1 SBC aftermarket heads; see Hot Rod and similar magazines, who regularly publish comparison-articles. A specific recommendation is not possible, because (1) aftermarket offerings change rapidly, and (2) it depends very much on one' particular application (displacement, desired rpm band, compression ratio and so forth). If completely lost, call Summit or Jegs, and they'll offer some verbal advice.
  10. The years roll on, and despite an ever-increasing proliferation of brake options, there remains tense debate on whether "stock is best, if well-maintained", or whether now in 2016 an upgrade is sensible. Like many of us, I've had a car sleeping for decades. If it awakes, it will need thorough overhaul of brakes - and if that's stock, it will be some form of rebuilt components. Towards that end, I keep wondering: is there an incrementally lighter and more aggressive variant on the stock 280Z front brakes? Does anyone make the stock casting of the brake-caliper, but in aluminum? Or perhaps another caliper that works with the stock rotors, without an adapter-bracket, but which offers more piston-capacity, and/or less weight? I say this because on the one hand, I'm leery of an ambitious brake-upgrade venture. But on the other hand, it seems to be timid and unimaginative to merely be replacing 40-year-old components with identical (but rebuilt) parts.
  11. Aesthetics aside, the appeal is that a 4-lug pattern is propagated into the webbing of the wheel. I'm not a structural engineer, but intuition suggests that such usage of a 4-pattern makes possible a lighter/stronger wheel, than if the lug-pattern were ignored (meaning, for example, a 5-spoke wheel in 4-lug pattern). Unfortunately this wheel does not appear on Rota's web site, http://www.rotawheels.com/wheels.php . A simpleminded Google search reveals an offering from Amazon, in 15x8, but unfortunately in the Miata lug spacing, 4x100mm: https://www.amazon.com/NEW-ROTA-TBT-15X8-PCD/dp/B01DB7M8R6 . Has anyone seen this wheel in 4x114.3? Or any specs on weight?
  12. Texis30O, at the risk of dragging this thread off topic, could you please provide a link where you describe your 5-lug setup (front and rear) enabling these wheels/tires to fit? I recall mention of it in the wheels/tires/suspension sub-forum, but the huge plethora of keyword search-hits makes it frustrating to find actionable information.
  13. Michael

    Wheel clearance ??x9.5 +0 ?

    Apologies in advance if I'm making an obtuse or condemnatory point, but what is the advantage of mounting 245-series tires on 9.5" wheels? Would it not be more sensible to use narrower wheels for 245 tires, or perhaps to attempt wider tires for 9.5" wheels? Tirerack.com recommends 8"-9.5" wheels for 245/40-17, with something like 8.5" as standard. That being the case, if the objective is 245/40-17 wheels, might there not be an advantage in fitment (and lower rotating mass) in going with a narrower wheel?
  14. Time passes. The OP evidently sold his Z last year. The person to whom is ascribed above the mention of irritation, has recently passed away.
  15. That is pretty astonishing news! Wilmington is literally one zip code away from me. If anyone needs a staging-area or free lodging, let me know. Unfortunately I'll likely be on business-travel for part of that time, but something could presumably be worked out.
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