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Hey guys been a member on here for a while but haven't been very active. Anyway for a little background, I live in Barbados in the Caribbean which is a pretty small island. Despite the obvious benefits of living on a tropical island like all year good weather and lovely beaches, our duties on vehicles here are crazy (over 200+%) and also there are serious restrictions on vehicle importation for instance nothing older than 4 years which automatically rules out any s30 Zs. However I have always wanted one of these cars so I was left with the only legal option of importing a shell or basic chassis and building a car from scratch. I spent some time scouring the net for just that and finally found a 280z in pretty good condition and the owner was willing to strip it to the point I wanted. He had done a basic restoration a few years back to the point of primer but it was too rough a job for my purpose so I decided a full strip down from the ground up was in order and at the same time I would modify to suit.

 

One of the issues I faced was that there were no other driving Zs on the road and just a couple S30 shells lying around and since the body came missing most parts I would have to educate myself thoroughly on the workings of the car. Also because of the unreliable work ethic of many persons available I decided that for the fun and general experience of it I would undertake the restoration and modification almost exclusively along with a good friend. This naturally required somewhere to work and the tools to get the job done, so my first order, even before I had the car was to start getting the tools I didn't already have.

 

It's been an on and off 3 year project so far and still not done. 

 

 

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The car in it's original state when I first got it. Looked decent from far but far from great...

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Of course after stripping some rust issues were found but all in all was pretty good.

 

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After the rust areas were dealt with the next plan was to convert the car from LHD to RHD since that is the side of the road we drive on here. Finding donor parts prooved to be a bit of an issue so we eventually decided that the only real way was to fabricate everything from scratch. So we made up a couple templates and pulled out our spot weld remover bit and got to work.

 

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The next step was getting everything stripped down to metal and epoxy coated. Best way for this would be a rotisserie so that was our next project, building one.

 

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Then the fun could begin...

 

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After hearing alot of horror stories about 'professional' sandblasting services I decided to blast the car myself with a small blaster from eastwood and some glass.

It was NOT fun. But the results were rewarding.

 

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Edited by redlinevo7

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Prepping the doors and fenders before epoxy coating. 

 

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Idea was to strip down to metal, epoxy, fill and then epoxy again for a proper seal.

 

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One good thing about the 280z is that despite being heavier the rails go alot further back and the sheet metal is thicker lending to a bit more strength overall. We still decided to help it out by seam welding certain parts of the chassis.

 

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After the epoxy. Shiny.

 

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Next was to get some flares on there. I'll be running some 3pc SSR wheels. 17x10.5 in the rear and 8.5 up front with a low offset and a 1" hib centric bolt on spacer so they are farely wide. Got a set of extra wide flares then cut them and widened them even more then glassed them to the body. 

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Edited by redlinevo7

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Of course since I had no other parts other than the basic body, suspension and brakes had to be sourced which was not an issue since I would have upgraded it anyway.

 

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Took the opportunity to change out all the bearings and seals in all of the wheels. All sectioned the struts so allow shorter adjustable Tokicos.

 

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Upgraded hubs from Modern Motorsports.

 

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300ZXT Halfshafts before flipping the bearing cage.

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Decided I wanted to do something different with the rear of the car so I opted for twin exhausts which meant a fuel cell. So I went with a 12gallon ATL wheel well fuel cell with built in sump. 

 

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I also decided I wanted to be a little different so aside from the molded flares I came up with a design for the back with different lights, I also shaved the fuel door, antenna and indicators. Fenders are also modified a bit and I have some custom skirts finishing up.

 

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Front looking a bit lonely.

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Got the engine which was stopping me from making progress for a while. Needed that to do exhaust, for fiberglass rear to finish etc etc

RB26DETT with RB25 5spd box

 

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Custom sump. Thanks to Pat!

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Engine dropped in for test fit. Will be removing it soon after exhaust is fitted for full rebuild. The masking tape was for the seam sealer,

 

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Thanks to McKinney for the motor and trans mounts and custom shaft.

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With the engine in and mounts fitted and tested work could begin in earnest on the exhaust. Keeping it twin turbo for now.

First pic with fabricated 2 into 1 downpipe and the other parts to complete it. Was literally back breaking work without a lift. 2ft off the ground and holding and welding was fun. Twin 2.5" into 3" into 2.5" twin exits.

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Edited by redlinevo7

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Getting ready for engine rebuild...

Looking for a daily driveable car with a street map of around 425whp and maybe 600 on race gas etc.

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Diff rebuild in the works also...

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Thanks to John at BetaMotorsports for the OS Giken Diff. Great service as usual!

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Edited by redlinevo7

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Cool project. Looking like some nice parts being accumulated as well. What are you going to use for turbos? And what cams are those? I see you are looking to stay with twins...for the power level you are looking for consider the 2860r-5's. The stockers wont get you where you want to go with race fuel.

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Of course after the right hand conversion I needed a RHD dash. Only one I could find was in pretty rough condition and beyond saving so I decided to fill it and get a fiberglass mold made. That way I could modify it a bit if I wanted. I will be texturing and painting to give it the original look once its all done.

 

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Also had to fabricate the gas pedal to exit the firewall in a more practical location. 

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Cool project. Looking like some nice parts being accumulated as well. What are you going to use for turbos? And what cams are those? I see you are looking to stay with twins...for the power level you are looking for consider the 2860r-5's. The stockers wont get you where you want to go with race fuel.

 

Yup exact turbos I plan to use. They are the Tomei Type B Poncams, got them at a great price. Definitely been spending some money on parts but want to do it right the first time round.

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Thanks guys, still got a ways to go. Just pulled back out the engine and stripped it in preparation for rebuild and restoration. Hope I can remember how to put it all back together lol.

 

Lights are from a cube, not a fan of the cube but wanted to keep it nissan throughout and the circle lights have been a bit overdone and these suit it quite well imo. I have the center light bar to shorten and install also to finish it off.

 

Yeah the RHD dash is a pain to source and not cheap when found. I wouldnt mind getting a proper mold done once I clean it up but only if there was a fair amount of interest. Plus shipping from my location would not be too cheap. 

 

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