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My 78 280z 2JZnat Build Thread


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#1 Shock_Strauss

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 07:57 PM

Hello everyone, I figured I'd go ahead and start a build thread even though I'm at the tail end of the swap. Sorry for the long post hahaha.

 

 

A little history,

 

I first attempted this swap on a 260z I bought freshman year of college (2012). In that time I had an 05 Focus with a turbo kit I created and installed on my own near the end of high school. This was the car that initially got me working on cars due to the need of wanting something a little quicker and not having the funds to get something else. I learned as much as I could in that time with no real outside help minus the forums I visited and any research I did through google or talking to people. My other main drive was the fact I hated to pay for something I could possibly learn to do myself.

 

I became obsessed with the s30 chassis after learning about them in high school. I checked ebay and craigslist constantly in that time. I eventually came across a 260z that was about an hour away from me. Well I became star struck and purchased it for $1k.

 

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Well a lot of time and money went into this car but the further I dug into it, the less of the car I found. I ended up parting it out but I did learn a lot such as how to weld and how to do body/metal work. So I guess it wasn't a complete loss. A major lesson I learned from this was to make sure you look at every inch of a classic car you are interested in. I didn't notice the many instances of tape covered in undercoating that was hiding massive amounts of rust. :angry:  

 

Well a couple years pass and I still had the 2jz that I was going to use in the 260z. Well I sent the engine off to get built before I had decided on what I wanted to put it in. :D The engine was originally going to be put in an e46 m3 shell I acquired. Well I decided against this and found another Z, this time a 78 280 that was about 20 minutes away. This one was practically perfect compared to the 260. I made a deal and drove the car home, its longest trip since it was put away. The car had 53k original miles and basically sat for some twenty years from what I was told.

 

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Now on to the good stuff.

 

Well as I stated, I went ahead and rebuilt the 2JZGE. What was suppose to be a simple rebuild with arp head studs and a thicker headgasket ended up with completely building the block with a more or less stock head (will be built eventually. port/polish, cam, etc). So I started with the removal of the engine after driving the car for a couple of months.

 

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Test fitting the engine and 350z 6 speed with Collins adapter.

 

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I ended up having to cut the stock transmission mounting points in order to move the transmission where I wanted it.

 

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I was going to build my engine mounts but opted for the cxracing mounts as they were very adjustable. Quality was alright and not meant for a 350z trans but it worked.

 

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I had slightly modded the mounting plates to lower the engine further but ended up reverting back to the mounting points it came with.

 

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Next I built my transmission mount. I decided on utilizing the frame rails as the mounting point. I have 4, 1/2" bolts going through the rail and into the floor pan now. I'm going to go back and change this slightly as I don't feel it will hold up in the long run. 

 

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I went a little overboard in purchasing parts. I wanted to get it done for a pretty big car show that's local. Well that same day is my brothers wedding so no real rush now. :D

 

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Next was some metal work.

 

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I was originally going to cut out the radiator support but just removed as much as I could. I'll probably go back and reinforce this once everything else is in place.

 

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The metal work isn't entirely done, but I believe I got the majority of the rust to stop it from spreading. I didn't fully finish up the areas where the headlight buckets attach because I'm not sure if I want to go back and media blast it when I send the car off or if I'm going to chemically dip the car.

 

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Tacked up both strut towers.

 

 

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Attaching the flywheel, clutch, and pressure plate.

 

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I put the engine back in.

 

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I have another thread explaining how I deleted the power steering and a/c portions.

 

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Turbo is a s366 Borg Warner with .91 A/R. I wish I would have bought the one with the 90 degree compressor housing. I bought an aluminum elbow but not sure if I'll have that welded or just use a silicone 90. Also I ended up having to use a 1" flange spacer for the turbo in order to have a 90 degree bend no matter which path I choose. If I didn't use the spacer I wouldn't really have any room as cylinder one's exhaust runner was hitting the compressors outlet.

 

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3.5" downpipe.

 

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Next came the wiring portion and the step i'm currently at. I decided to go with Megasquirt and more specifically Microsquirt. I already had the ecu from a BMW I installed it on and it does everything I need it to do. I should have probably gone with Megasquirt 3 with all the expansions but whatever.

 

What I made to hold my fuse holder, relays, and ecu.

 

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The main goal of this project was to make a vehicle that was extremely easy to work on. It's one of the main reasons I stuck with an inline 6. I wanted to be able to remove the engine quickly if the need arose. So I utilized a bulkhead connector that would contain every wire (minus the alternator's 12v to battery) the engine had going to it. Instead of having to remove the harness, all i'd have to do is remove the connection from the firewall and the harness would go with the engine. I utilized AN fitting's for the fuel lines for this reason as well. Really the only other things that would need to be undone would be coolant lines and the mounts. The engine and trans would then be more or less ready to be removed.

 

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Routing the wiring harness.

 

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I also removed all the tape from the body harness that is in the engine bay. Removing 40 year old tape was not fun. :banghead:

 

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With some help we cleaned up the wires and removed any corrosion on the connectors we found. We utilized a mixture of vinegar and salt to remove the corrosion and baking soda and water to neutralize it.

You see the ecu tray mounted to the firewall using existing mounting points in the background.

 

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Instead of covering both the engine and body harness with electrical tape again, I found this stuff at Home Depot. Its vinyl that only sticks to itself and fuses together after I think a day. I'll also be covering certain sections with a high heat resistant material since it'll be by the exhaust headers.

 

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I want to keep the interior as factory as possible. Therefore I wanted to have the factory center gauges work. Luckily the pressure gauge is the same threading as it is on the 2jzge. it just needed an extension to fit the sender in place. The coolant sender for the factory Datsun gauge had the same threading as the stock 2jzge gauge sender did. However it didn't fit through all the way due to the 2jzge sender being thinner. However, I carefully enlarged the hole and was able to thread in the l28's sender.

 

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Some more wire routing. 

 

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Here's where i'm currently at.

 

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I'm using the gm truck coil packs with the built in igniter but utilizing the stock distributor for timing purposes only.

 

I'll keep this as updated as possible with my progress. I really only work on the car on the weekends due to school and work.

 

Thanks for reading!


Edited by Shock_Strauss, 01 May 2017 - 10:17 AM.


#2 dexter72

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 08:03 AM

Looks good so far,

 

What injectors are you using??...

 

Did you block off the EGR ??..

 

Have you seen that you can take off that dist cap off and use the smaller truck cap or even put a cover over top of the dist ??.  I have seen some with no cap at all.

 

My Nat2j build is about the 5th one down the list.



#3 Shock_Strauss

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 08:51 AM

Thanks


I'm using rci 1000cc injectors. Basically a modded Bosch ev14. Egr has been blocked as well.

I remember seeing the distributor cap on drift motion I think. I'll definitely need to get one as it's in the way.

I've read through your thread. That wiring you had to go through looked like fun. Are you going to weld the xs manifold to the runners? I've heard a few people say they highly recommend it.

#4 dexter72

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 12:54 PM

Ok cool, I like to ask since i didn't see it mentioned.

 

I have been thinking about using a Borgwarner 200 series Turbo on mine. Let me know how you like the s366. My ebay one hits full boost at 4000rpm. Its a street car and in 4th gear at 70mph, i mash the pedal and hit full boost im over 95 mph. Pulls hard as hell. :D   I would like full boost at 3000rpm.

 

Yeah me and wiring mix like gas and water.. Lol 

 

I haven't had any problem with that intake yet, I will look into why they say it should be welded. I have always wanted to have a GTE intake Manifold welded to the N/a runners, Car will be sitting for 3 months, so i may have it done during that time. Waay to hot here in July-August to drive it, since it has no a/c.



#5 Shock_Strauss

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 08:51 PM

Finished installing the throttle body and intake for good. I'm using the 90mm universal throttle body from ebay. Can't wait to see if it leaks or not. The ad never stated what tps it used but I found that a turbo z31's tps fit perfectly (got it off an 86). I also tapped a hole behind the throttle plate for my IAT sensor.  Lastly I finished mounting the intercooler and started working on the ic pipes. 

 

I've decided to also use a bulkhead connector for the body harness as well. This will make removing and installing the harness extremely easy any time I have to remove it.

 

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#6 Pillar

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 06:04 AM

Looking good man, keep it up!  

 

Funny enough, I bought the Xenon front valance from your old 260 from you!  I remember seeing the 2JZ at the time.  Glad to see it is going to good use!  

 

Cant wait to see the finished product.



#7 Shock_Strauss

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 08:51 AM

Looking good man, keep it up!  

 

Funny enough, I bought the Xenon front valance from your old 260 from you!  I remember seeing the 2JZ at the time.  Glad to see it is going to good use!  

 

Cant wait to see the finished product.

 

Thanks! Small world haha.

 

How's your Z doing?



#8 Pillar

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 08:58 AM

Indeed it is.

 

My Z is doing good.  Finished rebuilding the motor and it is running smoothly.  Slowly hacking away at the long list of things I want/need to get accomplished.  Just got done fixing all the cracks in the dash, made a new aluminum fuel rail, and I'm about to install a new exhaust and swap to a 5-speed.  Next on the list is to do some serious upgrades to the suspension and reupholster the seats.  Also thinking about painting it this winter, but we shall see.



#9 makaofox

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 05:40 PM

Very nice build! I gotta start recording my progress on my NA to T build. Ive been driving the car for years while collecting parts. Its good to drive it stock then swap it to feel and appreciate the difference. I have the cx racing mounts also but using the old beta motorsports mount instead. Cant wait to see it done! Keep it up.



#10 Shock_Strauss

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 12:12 PM

Very nice build! I gotta start recording my progress on my NA to T build. Ive been driving the car for years while collecting parts. Its good to drive it stock then swap it to feel and appreciate the difference. I have the cx racing mounts also but using the old beta motorsports mount instead. Cant wait to see it done! Keep it up.

 

Thank you! This is my first build thread and I wasn't even sure if I was going to make one or not. I haven't seen a 2jzge-T with a 350z trans here (unless I missed it). It'll be nice having a log of everything that's being done to it.

 

The cx racing mounts are alright but could be better. Quality and fitment were so-so which is probably why it has so many adjustments on it :lol: . It saved me the time of having to build some so that's a plus I guess.



#11 makaofox

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 04:21 PM

Im pretty sure someone else did it on here? I know me and a local here have the 350z trans. Hes been running his over a year, 10k miles no issues. Best trans option for the price. 

Yea thats why I opted to use the beta motorsports, the CX Racing mounts should just be a base for making better mounts. What kind of numbers are you expecting out of the turbo? Im going with a Holset HE351CW hoping it hits hard and low.



#12 Acesss

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 05:21 PM

I'm using the trans out of a 09 370z as well. I've yet to even mock up my engine and trans yet though, let me know how far you had/have to shorten the Shifter as it looks like it'll need to be shortened a few inches

Your builds coming along really nicely! I wish you the best of luck!



#13 Geno750

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 10:37 PM

Going to be following along as well. I'm slowly swapping in a 1JZ with a 350z trans as well. I've got all the parts, now it's just a matter of getting the time to swap them in.

#14 Shock_Strauss

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 07:16 AM

Not sure what kind of number I want to hit. I'm actually more worried about the chassis and rear axles. I'll be putting in a partial roll cage to stiffen up the car as well as a few other things. I don't know what I want to do about the rear axles though. The z31 turbo lsd and axles have been difficult to find locally and I'm not ready to drop the kind of money required on the 8.8 irs swap. I was thinking I'd just put an lsd in the stock r200 as well as upgrade the u-joints on the axles and hoping for the best.

 

The shifter placement is another problem. I'm not going to cut into the trans tunnel as I want the shifter to come out the factory location. Nobody except one company I've seen sells one that'll fit in that location. That company however hasn't put anymore for sale on ebay. After contacting him, he stated to continue to check his ebay store for when he puts them back up (been a couple months). I believe he sold more then he could produce in that time so he took it down( price was around $300 I think ). Look up cbfperformance, its the midmount shifter that'll work (at least for my case). If anybody wants, I can take a picture of how far back the trans is.

 

I'm probably going to drop the transmission out and fab up my own shifter bracket.



#15 Acesss

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 12:20 PM

Not sure what kind of number I want to hit. I'm actually more worried about the chassis and rear axles. I'll be putting in a partial roll cage to stiffen up the car as well as a few other things. I don't know what I want to do about the rear axles though. The z31 turbo lsd and axles have been difficult to find locally and I'm not ready to drop the kind of money required on the 8.8 irs swap. I was thinking I'd just put an lsd in the stock r200 as well as upgrade the u-joints on the axles and hoping for the best.

 

The shifter placement is another problem. I'm not going to cut into the trans tunnel as I want the shifter to come out the factory location. Nobody except one company I've seen sells one that'll fit in that location. That company however hasn't put anymore for sale on ebay. After contacting him, he stated to continue to check his ebay store for when he puts them back up (been a couple months). I believe he sold more then he could produce in that time so he took it down( price was around $300 I think ). Look up cbfperformance, its the midmount shifter that'll work (at least for my case). If anybody wants, I can take a picture of how far back the trans is.

 

I'm probably going to drop the transmission out and fab up my own shifter bracket.

Could you take a picture of it? I'd like to know how far I need to get mine shortened lol. Collions adapters offers a shortening service for the shifter bracket I think its like 110$?

Also I was wondering what you guys who are running the 370z/350z transmissions are doing for clutch master cylinders?


Edited by Acesss, 20 May 2016 - 12:21 PM.


#16 Geno750

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 12:58 PM

I'd recommend just shortening it. You can only shorten it so much due to the linkage. The shaft connecting each end of the forks on my linkage is gone entirely, and you can't go shorter. The aftermarket shift brackets only use the top two bolts, shorten the factory one and you can use all 4. Here's mine versus a stock one.

http://i.imgur.com/JTRHuac.jpg

#17 Shock_Strauss

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 02:43 PM

Here's what it looks like in my case.

 

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Picture of bracket upside down to show about where it would be.

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#18 Shock_Strauss

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 02:48 PM

I'd recommend just shortening it. You can only shorten it so much due to the linkage. The shaft connecting each end of the forks on my linkage is gone entirely, and you can't go shorter. The aftermarket shift brackets only use the top two bolts, shorten the factory one and you can use all 4. Here's mine versus a stock one.

http://i.imgur.com/JTRHuac.jpg

 

Do you have a picture of this installed in the car? 

 

Here's the two options that I think would work:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=mYsGvVwlySE

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=-yB37qPxzXY



#19 dexter72

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 04:07 PM

Check out club lexus, the SC300-400 performance section has a thread or two about how they shortened the shifter and linkage that was made. Guys there are using the 350z 6spd trans... 



#20 Shock_Strauss

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 05:55 PM

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

 

The problem with most of the kits I've seen or diy jobs is that they're not short enough. I know there's going to be a limit on how short you can go without extensive modifications like the cbf forward mount. Also to clarify, when I stated I hadn't seen anyone use the 350z trans on a 2jz, I meant specifically on the s30 chassis without cutting the tunnel. Didn't really make that clear on my part. I know the easiest route would be to cut the tunnel but I want to keep everything inside as stock as possible.

 

Anyways, I figure I have a few options:

 

Move the engine and trans forward in the engine bay. (Would have to redo my transmount and I'd rather not have it pushed further forward. Still have to get a shorter bracket or kit.)

 

Cut the shifter opening further back and shorten the bracket myself or buy a kit. ( I want to keep the stock center console in place.)

 

Use one of the cbf shifters. (Pricey/not sure if he's going to make more. $285 mid mount, $380 forward mount when they were on ebay)

 

Drop the transmission and see what I can do. (I have some ideas on how to possibly get the shifter where I want it.)

 

 

 

I'm really considering the 4th option and if that doesn't work I'll go with one of the cbf shifters.

 

Any other ideas that might work?


Edited by Shock_Strauss, 20 May 2016 - 05:56 PM.





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