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Stock Car Mafia

Stock Car Mafia's '78 280z LS2 Build

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I hope to get to pulling the stock tank, pump, and all associated lines tonight or this weekend.  

 

I want to eliminate all of the L28 engine wiring from the body harness.  What has everyone done to accomplish this, or is there a forum thread where this has already been done?  

 

The engine mounts, tranny crossmember, and headers will be here sometime next week hopefully in time for the extended weekend!  I sure as hell would like to buy Texis30O's supercharger as I love me a twin screw!

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Near the driverside pick panel, is the EFI computer cover.  There are three 10mm bolts to remove to expose the computer.  

 

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Remove the three 10mm bolts that secure the computer to the bracket and unclip the harness connector.  There is another connection that runs to the ignition near the steering column.  Disconnect that too.  The computer should slide right out.

 

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The dropping resistor near the clutch master cylinder can be removed as well.  There are just two 10mm bolts that secure this to a bracket.  

 

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The thicker portion of the harness runs along the driver side of the engine bay.  My engine has been pulled so all motor connectors have been unplugged.  There are just a few grounds and harness clips that have to be removed.  The thinner set of wires runs near the top of the firewall to the passenger side of the car.  The relay box needs to be removed to disconnect one plug underneath.  One more plug on the side of the box and the whole harness can be removed.  

 

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The firewall grommet can be pushed out from the firewall and the plug can be pulled into the engine bay.  It looks like a 1 3/4" plug will be needed to block this off.  

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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I pulled the gas tank and the fuel pump last night.  I may use the stock mounting location, but am worried about caviation with a Walbro pump as it may be mounted too high?  

 

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The clutch line was drained and the hard line was removed.  You have to pull the cotter pin out of the clutch pedal to remove the clevis pin.  Good christ that is hard to get to!  I kept this and also removed the push rod to be installed on a Tilton/Wilwood clutch MC.

 

The rest of the fuel lines will be removed hopefully today.  The last Cup race is on today, and I'm pulling for Kyle Busch!  I'll have this on in the garage and will be flipping to the Vikings/Packers game during commercial breaks.

 

After work Monday I will be stopping to get a step drill for removing all the unsightly stock brackets from the engine bay.  I need to borrow a truck and get some wood to make a decent work bench.  I'll be calling every junk yard in a 3 hour radius to see if there are any Z31 Turbo's around.  I need a LSD R200 and turbo axles...

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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Well the stack of stock parts are starting to add up....When I can list them for sale, I'll post them up.  

 

 - Emblems

 - Gas tank

 - EFI harness and computer

 - Fuel pump

 - A/C lines and accessories.  

 

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Bruce from Hawks Third Gen said the mounts and headers would ship out next week, so I should be able to start test fitting soon.  

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Next up was swapping the GTO oil pan for the C6 LS3 baffled pan.  I found a buyer that will be taking my GTO pan, windage tray, pickup tube, dipstick, and bolts for $250.  

 

The first order of business was knocking out the plug with a punch.  This was a simple task that took a couple gentle blows.

 

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Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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Next I set the valley cover on the motor.  This C6 windage tray is identical to the GTO one.  There is a thread about the C6 pan that explains which parts are necessary for this swap.  You have to tighten the tray nut near the pick up tube bend first.  You cannot reach this when the tube is tightened down.  I used some vaseline to lube up the O ring and it popped right in to place.  The 10mm retaining bolt can be torqued to 106 in-lb.  I installed the 13mm nuts and tightened those to 18 ft-lb.  I'm not sure if there is a specific torque pattern but I did it in a criss-crossing manner starting from the middle.  Make sure to use blue loctite on EVERYTHING.  

 

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I laid the pan down with a new gasket and used a rubber mallet to make sure the pan is at least flush with the back of the block.  I've read issues with a pan that is seated beyond the block edge.  You need to use RTV sealant on all 4 corners before setting the pan down.  Tighten these to 18 ft-lb.  The longer bolts in the back are torqued to 106 in-lb.  After that, you are set!

 

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I didn't use RTV atm, as after I get my mounts set and welded, the pan will be coming off to get painted.  

 

The only thing left for the night was pulling all the fuel lines that run down the frame underneath.  The lines were frustrating to pull near the back diff.  The brake line was in the way, so I pinched both lines with a vice, wiggling them until they got weak and broke.  This made it really easy to remove them.  

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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I haven't made any progress yet this week, as I've been putting together a 2 ft x 7 ft. shop bench so I have a decent platform to work on.  

 

I was able to find 3 passenger side axles from a 1989 Z31 turbo.  Does anyone know if these will bolt up to my open r200 I currently have in the car?

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I was finally able to get my bench finished for the garage.  I was sick of working on a damn computer desk hunched over.  In order to fit the best I only went 22.5" deep (2, 2x12 planks).  This sucker is 7 feet long and 41" high!  No more bending over for this guy.  :D

 

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Santa came early and I have a couple boxes to open up as well.

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I ordered some ARP Chromoly 6 point header bolts and a new set of iridium plugs. I know I don't need to plugs yet, but I needed something to get free shipping ;) Hawks headers will be here Friday. I am fricken pumped about them! The mounts showed up last night and my first thoughts are they are pretty damn beefy! The engine side mounts and tranny bushings are all red energy suspension components. I have a feeling the motor will be sitting fairly low in the engine bay, which will be nice. I'll edit this post sometime soon to include pics. Heading out soon for Thanksgiving.

 

Just putting the mounts in to the engine bay I found a few mods that have to be done with them. The original engine mounts that are welded to the K-member need to be cut/ground off. The passenger brake line and possibly the driver side brake line need to be rerouted as well. The mounts require a piece of angle iron, that has nuts welded on the back, to be welded to the frame. Then the chassis mount bolts to the frame plate and the k member lower control arm bolt. I do believe 4 larger holes need to be drilled to fit the plate over the frame, and then welded in place. I plan on doing a full write up on this as time permits.

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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As I stated yesterday the motor mounts are really solid.  The tranny crossmember is big as well.  After fitting it under the car, it seems it is going to take a TON of cutting, grinding, fitting, etc., to get this to work.  I am going to call Bruce next week and see if he has any pointers for me.  

 

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As for the headers...they are SO sexy!

 

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I ended up taking the front fenders off to make it easier on my legs and back working on this damn thing.  I pushed the car out to throw all those parts in the loft.  

 

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Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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I pulled all the supplies out of the back of the car:  spare tire, jack, tools, inflator.  Soon this stuff will all be for sale.

 

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Next up I wanted to rip out the old tranny mounts.  I took a 4 inch grinder and cut most of the side welds before hitting it with an air hammer.  Picking that tool up really saved some time.  Hammering from the bottom of both mounts helped break them lose the best.

 

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I dropped the front suspension, so I could get to the k member to cut off the engine mounts.  I didn't have a ball joint separator so I couldn't get the steering rack tie rod end off of the lower control arm.  

 

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I cut the mounts off and ran out of energy for the day.  I will grind down the rest tomorrow.  I have the energy suspension bushing kit that will be going in, but I want to sand prime and paint all of the suspention parts.  I just need to figure out the best order of operations!  My buddy has a sawzall that I will be borrowing to remove the steel collars.  

 

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I'm pulling the front brake lines tomorrow and potentially drilling out and removing some of the bracketry in the engine bay.  

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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Keith, the more I dig in to this car, the more I am seeing that!  Of course there is only so much you can see when you look at buying one of these.  Really if the most troubling areas (battery tray, front frame rails, floor boards) are in relatively good shape, you can almost guess the rest will be fine.  

 

I have to keep my eye on the prize, so full speed ahead!  I will be out there again today with hopefully more progress.

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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I didn't get to spend too much time in the garage yesterday.  I was able to grind down the motor mounts and smooth them out with a flap disc.  Those are the best inventions ever.  I cleaned up all the dirt around the mounts and coated it with 3 coats of primer for now.

 

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The front brake lines were pulled out to make room for cutting and welding in the new mounts.  I then removed a few of the brackets by drilling out the spot welds and then air hammering them off.  These were sanded down and primed as well to protect them for now.  

 

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Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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I really need to figure out the rats nest of wires on the passenger side of the car.  The engine room harness has a bunch of fusable links, replay plugs, fuel pump, and wires for the coil, distributor, and such.  I'd love to delete what I can if anyone could point me in the right direction.

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I called and emailed Bruce from Hawk's so I'll wait to hear back about any input he may have. I'm going to be picking up some 16 gauge and 1/8" steel for welding practice. I cut up some of the stock exhaust and tried doing some butt welds. Burn through is horrendous! I guess my welding experience from high school has faded.

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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I am still waiting to hear back from Bruce on the Hawk's mounts.  I only was able to aquire one passenger size 300ZX turbo axle out of New Jersey, which is a good step in the right direction.  After work today I stopped at a local powder coater a couple miles away from work and I might be taking my suspenstion parts there.  I was going to tackle wire brushing/sanding, prep, prime, and paint those parts but ain'y nobody got time for dat!

 

Well, I was only able to get a couple hours of work in tonight.  But I got the frame rails ground down and cut out part of the frame to make room for the mounting brackets.

 

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I ground off any burrs that were left hanging and bolted up the mounts to the "K" member.  Now with both mounts sitting in place, it's starting to look like it is coming along!  Still have a lot of ground to cover.

 

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The mounts are now tacked up so I'll either throw the suspension back on tomorrow or lower the jack stands and drop the motor in.  Trust me I am dying to see an LS in this car!

 

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Some things that I have been contemplating the last few days.  

 

1. I've read and dug a decent amount about what can be removed form the stock harness.  There really isn't much for posts out there on this.  If you have any insight please PM me or post on the thread.  I am sure I will have to pull all the wire loom off and delete the distributor and coil wires but could those be used for any power/switched power to my engine harness?  I am also sick of those god awful fusable link blocks and the relay box that comes on the car.  

 

2. I am debating whether to attempt my own hack job of adding the correct fuses, relays, OBD2 port, MIL light, and pedal wiring or sending it in to get it rewired.  If I did it myself, I would have to put down some cash to get the proper crimper, tools, and supplies or just fork over the money to someone else to also delete any unnecessary stuff and save a shit ton of time.  

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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A little update for today.  I got home around 5 but I did manage to stay awake working til 9.  I scrambled to get the suspension bolted back on so I could drop the motor in.  The front is so damn easy to disassemble!  I just wish my crap wasn't so damn greasy.  All the ball joints are blown out so I will be getting new ones.  Is there any good recommendations out there besides Moog?

 

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I bolted up the engine plates and mounts.  The passenger side was a little finicky and required most of them to be loose so you can start them all before tightening.  

 

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I put the engine on the hoist and wanted to check fitment with the motor and headers.  First thing that was noted when dropping it in is the front of the pan on the drivers side contacts the steering rack U-Bolt.  I am not sure if this is needed but I just removed it for now.  I figured I can position it differently at another location if it is necessary.  

 

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After hoisting it up and putting it back down it became aparent that the steering rack wouldn't clear the pan on the drivers side either.  It is on the inside portion of the steering collar where the bushing is.  I just took a 4 inch cut off wheel and notched it a bit for now.  I'll need to dremel it smooth and sand before it gets powdercoated.  

 

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Just so everyone is aware, this little bracket on the passenger side will have to be removed as well for the headers.  I definitely tore a larger hole in my engine bay by just air hammering it off.  Oops.  I guess I will get to patch a panel in before the engine bay is finished.  

 

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Now there definitely was a technique to dropping the motor and the headers in.  They fit really nice and aren't that hard to get in and out.  I would expect this to be a little harder once the tranny is bolted to it as well.

 

1. Drop motor in.

2. Slide passenger side header in.

3. Drop it a little further, almost to the mounts.

4. Slide the driver side header in and bolt up the front bolt.

5. Lower the motor and put the passenger side motor mount bolt in.

6. Lower the motor more and put the driver side motor mount bolt in.

7. Bolt up the rear header bolt.  

 

Since the passenger side is a little tighter with the starter, it seemed best to get this in first.  The driver side fits quite tight in the rear and the collector contacts the side of the tranny tunnel.  

Edited by Stock Car Mafia

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So after doing all of this, there are a few things I noted to take care of once I take it out soon.  

 

 - The driver side trans tunnel needs to be pounded out.  I want to make room for the V band on the collector.  I will be taking headers in once everything fits to have the V band tig welded on.

 

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 - The brake line bracket will have to be moved to another spot.  I need to find some one hole brake line brackets anyways.

 

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Here are some photos just to show you the routing and how close everything is near the block.

 

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