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Budget path to choose? RB25 soon, or L28 now and RB25 later?

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Hello all! 

 

This is actually my first forum post, as I have been lurking quite a bit. Please let me know if I have posted this in the wrong place.

 

I am currently in the midst of a 240z restomod, with a remarkably clean shell out in the yard. I have solidifed the plan to put a RB25DET in it in the foreseeable future, as the charm of the RB engines has quite a hold on me

Now the kicker is, I'm on a tight budget, being in high school and soon college. I want to begin to build the car and get the internals working before I drive it over to a paint shop to get a nice finish (it is currently primered). My initial thought was to go with the RB right off the bat, however this would result in the car being off the road and in the shop for much longer than I can stand, as well as be a huge task for a newbie mechanic. 

 

My current thought is to purchase a good ol' L28 and a 5 speed tranny for use until the car looks and moves how I want, then RB later when money is not as tight. Another reason is that I love the feel of the L series with a passion and want to get to know the engine before moving to bigger and better things.

 

Is this a reasonable plan or will I sink too much money into an engine I plan to replace anyways for it to be worth it?

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Definitely go L28. Also agree with Tony. Avoid college debt at all costs. Only reason I can afford the car I want to buy as a new daily is because I graduated with no debts. I'm working full time out of college and I'm not even thinking of a swap until way down the road. Costs start to add up really fast over the little things you don't usually think about. Cost of swaps is usually double or triple what you'll pay for the engine/trans combo even if you do a lot of the work yourself.

 

L28 on the other hand is reliable, fairly easy to work on, and very simple to swap over. I Tony will probably agree, the last thing you should be thinking of is go fast bits. Get an L running properly then focus on brakes/suspension/rust so you don't destroy the car when you do have more power in there.

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L28 now, but build for the RB.

 

Get your fuel lines and system setup to fuel for the RB, make sure your ECU can be transferred over to the RB, ignition system is compatible, etc. Once you have that all setup then it will just be a matter of unplugging and pulling the engine and slipping in the new engine with a swap kit and plumbing it up along with any wiring adjustments you have to do.

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I agree with all above.  When I picked up my Z a little over 2 years ago, I struggled with a similar choice (fix up the L6 it had now and get it back on the road, or wait much longer and get the motor I really want in it).  I decided to do a basic rebuild on the motor for cheap so I could get it back on the road and enjoy it now, and just save up to do the motor I really want the right way down the road.  I can confidently tell you, there is not a day that I regret that decision.  Instead of looking at a project that I cant fully enjoy for the past two years, I have been driving a car that is a ton of fun (even stock).  

 

It also helps to keep your project moving by being able to get it on the road and use it now (assuming doing so doesnt cost a mint).  I have seen too many dream projects stall and never get completed because people got tired of waiting/lost interest/life happened/etc.  Having a car project that you can actually drive and enjoy (even if it isnt 100% what your final goal is) will keep the project fun and exciting. 

 

And as others have stated, avoiding excess debt is always going to work out better for you in the end.  

 

Regardless of your choice, I wish you the best of luck with your build!

 

Pillar

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I can definitely attest to this.  I bought my Z in high school and started working on it with little mechanical experience.  I figured it would take me a year and a few grand to get it going with an L28.  Here I am 4 and a half years later, with a whole lot more than I'm willing to admit into the car and I have never driven it because I'm still working on it.  I went way overboard with suspension, brakes, wheels, body work, etc. and the project snowballed out of control.  It's gonna be a really sweet car when it's driving but I also have to hold on to it forever because I couldn't even get back half of what I have into it, not that I mind as I love this car, but still.  I would highly recommend that you don't throw anything away except for like interior parts and old hoses and obvious crap like that, but save all hardware! And keep track of where everything goes.  Also definitely make sure your suspension, brakes, wheels, and tires are solid before doing fast stuff. I opted to just keep the L28 with a 4bbl on it and enjoy the corners instead of trying to go all that fast.  It's too damn dangerous and breaks too much to be driving around fast on the street.  You might also want to take a bit and really think about where you want to be in life in 5 years, I took some time off from going to college to work on my car and I really regret it, now I have to wait even longer to have a "real" job, so it might be wise to think about letting it sit if you can until you're out of college and making good money.  

 

That being said, much of this advice was given to me before I started my project... and well here I am neck deep in it.  

Edited by luseboy

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My current thought is to purchase a good ol' L28 and a 5 speed tranny for use until the car looks and moves how I want, then RB later when money is not as tight. Another reason is that I love the feel of the L series with a passion and want to get to know the engine before moving to bigger and better things.

I think you've got the right idea. Get a stock L28, maybe some SUs, a 5 speed, and toss it in. Simple and reliable. And the L series is a motor that's really easy to love, too. You don't need 400hp to have fun in a Z. Not by a long shot.

Edited by rturbo 930

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