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Zetsaz

A musician's therapist (The $300 Z)

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A regular 5 speed should be a fairly bolt in affair. I think Zhome or Z garage has pictures showing the lack of any difference. There are some slight differences in the ratio's, but physically I want to say it is the same size. 

 

Here's one of the cross roads you will have to face.

 

If you are going to a l28et swap, you can try and find a nissan T-5 and the 280zx turbo flywheel and just swap in the engine at a later point. Or if you plan on going with an LS, then there is no need to build up your transmission and clutch flywheel to take additional hp and a regular NA 5-speed and clutch setup will be just fine.

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Aha... that's the real question. And one I'm hoping to answer soon. I know highway fuel economy on a stock LS would probably be better, but I really don't know which one would be the more practical option. I've never messed with turbos before, and as much as people say you can get the L28ET for dirt cheap, I rarely see any for sale. Closest one to me was way out in Reno last I was browsing craigslist or the forums here. 

 

I really kinda just want something that I can have some fun with while maintaining at least some practically since I want to actually drive it regularly.

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Okay... ignore that LS comment altogether. I may be going RB25. Apparently they can be had with transmission and harness and pretty much everything but mounting stuff for $2k. That's cheaper than I can get just an engine for the LS1

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Do you sharing where you bought your patch panels from? Rockers and etc.. Quality? Fitment? 

 

I bought them from a few sources: 

 

http://www.blackdragonauto.com/

 

http://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/CTGY/classic02o04b

 

The rails, which haven't been installed yet because the floors need to be repaired were purchased from

 

http://baddogparts.com/

 

The rails from Bad Dog look extremely sturdy and well made and they're supposed to weld over the originals. 

If I remember correctly, both MSA and Black Dragon source their repair panels from Tabco, so it doesn't make too much of a difference where you get them from. The rocker panels and doglegs didn't need to much work to fit properly and weld in, but they're not perfect from the start. Still fairly easy though well... the modifying was just some trimming and drilling holes for the plug welding. The rear lower quarters were a really tough fit actually. I ended up cutting off the corners on both of them because it made the fitment almost impossible and just making little ovals to cover the holes from the old bumper shocks. 

 

Quality of on all of them is fine for pretty much any application. You have to remember though that none of these are perfect fits the way they arrive at the door. They always need a little bit of coercing and even slight cutting to make them fit your application. I spent probably 4 or 5 hours making them fit what I needed. That time doesn't account for cutting metal off the car then the welding done. They still need a lot of cleaning up to be presentable and ready for paint, but damn if it doesn't already look so much better than before. 

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The driveline in some cases can be the cheaper then the swap in some situations factoring in mounts, drive shafts, fuel delivery (pump, regulator, gauges, fuel lines, filters, a swirl tank, extra pump etc), turbo accessories (blow off valve, waste gate, plumbing, boost controller), etc. My friend spent almost the same amount as his block costs on a blow off valve and waste gate for an anecdotal example.

 

Be careful chasing "cost," it might push you off the path of "want" and at that point you have something that didn't cost very much, but you no longer want.

 

Is there a certain power level you would like to hit? I mean as far as practicality goes, a well sorted L28 will last quite a while if you replace all the wear parts.

 

A V8 is going to be "shaky" in comparison to a L6, but if you want a V8, you don't necessarily have to go aluminum LS. You can go (my terminology might be wrong since I'm not a big domestic guy) LM out of a truck? Same bore and stroke and power out put, but iron instead of aluminum. If you really want cheap you can go with an older carb'd small block chevy.

 

Rb25 is a much smaller fraction of swaps, I don't think there are any off the shelf mount kits, so fabricating one will be needed. It was really only used in the RWD gtr for a couple generations so everything you buy is going to have to be shipped unless you have a really good performance shop that stocks regular japanese performance parts. The turbo is also going to end up real close to the shock tower depending on what you run. On the flipside it is going to be almost 20 years newer then the latest produced L28, it still is a nissan motor, and it still is an L6. 

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Yeah, I'm aware the motor/trans are usually only half the cost, but that's still cheaper than the LS1, and I do love me some Nissan straight-6. As far as fuel delivery is concerned I've already taken care of a good chunk by swapping in that F-body fuel tank. Internal sump pump, racetronix high pressure fuel pump. I already have to change most of the fuel delivery anyway as a result of that decision. \

 

I don't think I'm necessarily chasing the cheapest options, but I didn't know I could get an RB25 for around $2k these days. 

 

I know McKinney makes just about everything you could need for the swap these days. It would probably be around $3k on top of the motor/trans if I was only using their options. I wouldn't run a  huge turbo since I'm going for fun while maintaining a fair amount of reliability and practicality. The engine would really be an almost stock RB25. The biggest appeal is exactly what you said.... still nissan, still L6, and waaaay newer. 

 

As far as power is concerned I'm going for right around 250-300. My oldest brother who's helping me with a lot of the more technical aspects (since he's actually studied auto-mechanics and would know his way around engine rebuilds/wire harnesses more than I do), has a V6 swapped MR2 making just over 200. Very streetable but still really fun. I'm hoping to beat him just by a bit :P

 

 

Why not turbo the L28 that's in it?

 

I had honestly never considered this. At that point wouldn't it just be easier(cheaper?) to buy an L28ET from a newer zx model? I'm not sure how reliability would stack up on my stock engine. If I'm going to have to get into internals, at that point I'd much rather just leave the L28 as it is and throw money into collecting all the parts I need for a swap down the road. 

 

I appreciate the feedback guys! These are exactly the sort of questions I want to be thinking about while I'm away for the car. The next steps in the build (probably for the next year or so), are still just going to be patching the floors, installing the frame rails, finishing the rust on the doors, probably por-15 inside on the floors, then sound deadening and the carpet I cut, and then some undercoating even if just some basic bedliner for under the floors and wheel wells. Then it's taking off the old paint and repainting it on top of upgrading the brakes just a bit, replacing the hard lines while I'm getting at the framerails, and some mild suspension upgrades intended mostly for street use. Basically just making it more comfortable and usable and ready for whatever I throw at it in the future.

 

The RB25/L28ET are definitely fun ideas to be talking about, but they're not for at least another year :)

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Well as far as budget builds go LS is damn cheap.my all aluminum 5.3 was 800 Canadian (600us) 6 speed trans and stock clutch was 1300 cad. Rewired the harness my self which was time consuming but easy. So for about 1600 us plus I bought the cx swap kit. All is pretty damn easy and as cheap as your going to get

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Well as far as budget builds go LS is damn cheap.my all aluminum 5.3 was 800 Canadian (600us) 6 speed trans and stock clutch was 1300 cad. Rewired the harness my self which was time consuming but easy. So for about 1600 us plus I bought the cx swap kit. All is pretty damn easy and as cheap as your going to get

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Zetsa- I'm in Mendon working on a '71 240z as time and funds allow, would love to check out your fuel tank setup sometime when you are down this way.  As for your LS price options, you'd be surprised what they go for on the KSL classifieds, I saw a 5.3 with computer and harness for only $750 a couple of weeks ago.  

 

Always awesome to see another local Z owner! Good luck with your car and teaching.

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As long as you are not compromising too much, and appreciate the cost, then the RB25 is going to be a fine swap. Keep in mind the reliability is only going to be as good as you set it up to be. Making sure that everything is well lubricated, easily accessed, well cooled, plumbed sturdily, and wired cleanly and strongly, short of a catastrophic occurrence you should be fine unless the motor in question is prone to catastrophic occurrences. It might even be better in that you will have to plan some of your regular maintenance ahead of time to allow enough time to get in parts, like water pumps etc, so it could even be better.

 

On the other hand, you could pretty easily hit those numbers with minimal cost with the L28et as others have mentioned. 

 

It would require at the bare minimum a turbo manifold, a turbo, and a way to add extra fuel. A step above would be a way to control ignition timing which would either be a distributor from the turbo motor and ECM, or coil packs/EDIS with megasquirt or other spark controller. Once you start pumping up the power you are probably going to need at the minimum a stronger clutch/pressure plate combo, and maybe start looking at the trans options.

 

The L series is pretty reliable, someone I once talked to said he was never surprised when he took a head off of an old L-series and found cross hatching still in place. Doesn't mean they are indestructable, it is still mostly iron and iron rusts and corrodes, so if it wasn't flushed and maintained once in a while it might not be very smooth and pretty inside.

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Zetsa- I'm in Mendon working on a '71 240z as time and funds allow, would love to check out your fuel tank setup sometime when you are down this way.  As for your LS price options, you'd be surprised what they go for on the KSL classifieds, I saw a 5.3 with computer and harness for only $750 a couple of weeks ago.  

 

Always awesome to see another local Z owner! Good luck with your car and teaching.

 

I'd be happy to show it to you sometime! Will probably be in town for a couple weeks around Christmas. You'd have to head to my place, but I could PM you when I'm around and show you the setup. You could probably even give me a couple ideas on cleaning up things I don't need, like the stock charcoal canister and other stuff. 

 

 

Jester, I think if I went with the RB25 I'd definitely be collecting parts for a while before doing the full install. For now my focus is more on body restoration and suspension/brakes/wheels. After I've painted it and feel at least semi-satisfied with the suspension and breaks is the first time I'll seriously look at buying engine upgrades. For now the stock L28 is actually running quite nicely. My biggest beef with it in its stock form is cleaning up things I don't need like the charcoal canister, since the camaro tank has that already, plus what I can do to reroute a few few lines just so everything doesn't look like a scrambles mess in there.

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For those who keep up with my very mediocre build so far, this is sort of the styling I'm going for (but probably not quite as low or with so much negative camber in the rear)

The L28ET will probably fit my needs I think, it's just a matter of finding them and making sure it'll last a while. I've been doing a lot of reading and browsing the last couple nights and I think I might end up going L28ET. Save the RB25 for when things totally blow up and finding parts for the L28et is just not convenient anymore :D

 

http://www.yogapantsandstance.com/originality-is-dead-tonys-datsun/

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Take a nap-it will pass.

 

Took a nap... started thinking about what it would take to get the engine that's already in the car to around 200whp. I've tried reading up on it, but there doesn't seem to be much info on it other than stroker engines. So far all I've REALLY seen is get a better cam, upgrade to MS, header and exhaust, bigger throttle body... and I think that's about it.

 

EDIT: It's purely out of curiosity. I know throwing in a stock L28ET would get me that faster, easier, and probably cheaper. 

Edited by Zetsaz

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You want to know the trick for L28et's? Find the whole car.

 

Keep your eye out for a zx turbo, they pop up from time to time. I think there was one available a week ago at 650$ for the whole car. A couple years ago I found one for 400$, and another for 550$. 

 

If that fails, the only real piece that is nice to have is the turbo manifold. You can go megasquirt and run EDIS or coil packs with a crank wheel or distributor, and you can put a bung in the oil pan pretty easily. The NA manifolds are actually somewhat preferred for the turbo swap, the AFM is not as good as a decent TPS, and the ECM can be a hit or miss. 

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You want to know the trick for L28et's? Find the whole car.

 

Keep your eye out for a zx turbo, they pop up from time to time. I think there was one available a week ago at 650$ for the whole car. A couple years ago I found one for 400$, and another for 550$. 

 

If that fails, the only real piece that is nice to have is the turbo manifold. You can go megasquirt and run EDIS or coil packs with a crank wheel or distributor, and you can put a bung in the oil pan pretty easily. The NA manifolds are actually somewhat preferred for the turbo swap, the AFM is not as good as a decent TPS, and the ECM can be a hit or miss. 

 

I didn't know the whole car was selling cheaper than some engine/trans combos, good to know!

 

Is the last tip still related to just getting a whole car or do you mean if I find an incomplete swap?

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Yea, that really blew my mind. I could buy an engine for 750, or I could get a whole car for 500. I even priced it out. If you sell the front struts to the Datsun 510 guys, rear calipers to a z guy, and part out part of the car, sell the rest off to pick and pull and keep just the driveline, you could end up with a 100-200$ engine depending on how much you paid for the car.

 

The latter portion is in regards to piecing together a turbo setup for the motor you have in the car right now. The L28ET is just an L28 with much lower compression, oil feed, oil drain, and hydraulic lifters. You don't need the hydraulic lifters (actually some people even convert them to solid) and you can find a source for oil and make a bung in your pan pretty easily. The only problem is that you would be a bit limited in how much boost you can run with the relatively higher compression on the NA motor.

 

Other then that you need a turbo manifold, a turbo, the exhaust (which will probably need customization anyway), bigger injectors, a better fuel pressure regulator, intercooler (which the stock L28et doesn't even have), and a way to control ignition (megasquirt with coil control, ZX distributor and ECM, or a locked distributor).

 

Having the actual motor is nice in that you can build it up and just swap it in when you are ready.

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The L28ET is just an L28 with much lower compression, oil feed, oil drain, and hydraulic lifters. You don't need the hydraulic lifters (actually some people even convert them to solid)

 

Not quite right - If I am not mistaken, all '81 and '82 ZXTs have solid lifters, and only '83 ZXTs with the P90a have hydraulic lifters. And I've read that even some of the P90a heads have solid lifters from the factory.

 

I bought my ZXT donor for $600. I still haven't gotten around to parting it out yet all these years later, but I wouldn't be surprised if I break even, or even turn a profit after selling what I don't need.

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Not quite right - If I am not mistaken, all '81 and '82 ZXTs have solid lifters, and only '83 ZXTs with the P90a have hydraulic lifters. And I've read that even some of the P90a heads have solid lifters from the factory.

 

I bought my ZXT donor for $600. I still haven't gotten around to parting it out yet all these years later, but I wouldn't be surprised if I break even, or even turn a profit after selling what I don't need.

 

That sounds awesome! For now I think I'll keep my eye out on either. Converting my own to turbo is way too much of a hassle, especially since I want to bring it up to Washington after next summer and still drive it around. Working on the swap over time and making sure everything is ready then swapping it in all at once is the only reasonable option for me. Good info on the '81/82 vs '83, I appreciate it.

 

I have have the Datsun Z Garage bookmarked and I've been reading as much as I can from there these days. Can't really work on my car right now, so I figure learning as much as possible is the best thing I can do while I start buying essential parts. I'm hoping to buy these books soon too. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1931128022?gwSec=1&redirect=true&ref_=s9_simh_gw_p14_d3_i1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1931128049?gwSec=1&redirect=true&ref_=s9_simh_gw_p14_d3_i3

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1931128030?gwSec=1&redirect=true&ref_=s9_simh_gw_p14_d3_i4

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