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TheZkid

LS SWAP 280Z e A few questions for the wiz's

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TheZkid    0

Welcome gentleman! (+Ladies?) I have had my '76 280Z for a few years now. Ran a bigger turbo L28 for all the time I've had it. I have recently restored the body and paint, I now need the heart and brains to go with this broad of mine. I have just pulled out my L28 and now need to have a few questions answered. Here is my situation:

 

I can attain a full GTO/C5 LS2/T56 from salvage auction.

Or I have a few local engine options I can go with. But I can't find a T56 for the life of me (in Canada, just over the pond from Detroit, A.K.A the gutter of Ontario)

 

First question: I have taken the ECU box of out the drivers side and fed the engine harness through and have taken it all of from the engine. The passenger side however - do I take ALL of the harness out? The pass. side routes to the starter, body grounds, this junk fuse panel (for lights?) alternator, lights, turning signals, etc; do you guys take that all out and run a whole brand new harness from the passenger side connections under the glove box? I've heard of the EZwiring kit, is that something to run for the lights/signals with the LS?

 

Secondly: if I were to go with the LS2 from the salvage car is there somebody or a company that revamps the harness for these engines?

 

My goals for this swap are simple. Have a GOOD running engine and car in a whole. I don't need a wireless engine bay, just clean. I don't need over 450hp either. I want the engine and harness set up to be reliable as possible for I am wanting to go on long drives with this and drive it almost daily in good weather.

 

I want everything I need (aside from odds and ends)before I start putting the LS in. I am going with the JCI mounts and drive shaft for what it's worth as well. I have a good amount of money set aside for this whole ordeal, it my 4th engine swap (rb20, SR engines previously) so I know how somethings are done,! but I do not want to cut any corners with this swap. I want things done right and done right the first time. I have also been looking at a million threads on this but I can't seem to find a few things I want to now. I already have more questions but I want to see the reply I get with this first.

 

Thank you very much for your time and effort in advance. Cheers.

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NewZed    56

First question: I have taken the ECU box of out the drivers side and fed the engine harness through and have taken it all of from the engine. The passenger side however - do I take ALL of the harness out? The pass. side routes to the starter, body grounds, this junk fuse panel (for lights?) alternator, lights, turning signals, etc; do you guys take that all out and run a whole brand new harness from the passenger side connections under the glove box? I've heard of the EZwiring kit, is that something to run for the lights/signals with the LS?

 

Why would you remove general car function wiring to do an engine and engine management system swap?  You're getting distracted.  Wires provide power or control signals for functions.  Focus on the functions.

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wayverippah    0

When I did my swap, I yanked the entire harness... But I wanted to rewire everything because i'm anal. You can leave it in and just use the GM harness for engine function. You really don't need to modify anything (GM got it right), just get HPTuners and remove VATS. Going with a T56 makes things even easier since you don't have to deal with the harness for an automatic. Also, use a drive-by-cable throttle body to make things easier (LS2's came with both drive by wire and drive by cable).

 

Also, take note that GTO T56's are slightly different than FBody T56's. Both work, but will take a little modification depending on which one you get.

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TheZkid    0

When I did my swap, I yanked the entire harness... But I wanted to rewire everything because i'm anal. You can leave it in and just use the GM harness for engine function. You really don't need to modify anything (GM got it right), just get HPTuners and remove VATS. Going with a T56 makes things even easier since you don't have to deal with the harness for an automatic. Also, use a drive-by-cable throttle body to make things easier (LS2's came with both drive by wire and drive by cable).

 

Also, take note that GTO T56's are slightly different than FBody T56's. Both work, but will take a little modification depending on which one you get.

Thank you for your reply. Reasons why I want to pull everything is because it is a pretty junkie harness and I'm also selling it to another guy. I'm wondering if I pull the passenger side, can I get the EZ harness and run new wires to my lights and signals. Am I right when I say the GM harness covers both sides of the engine so I don't need anything from the Datsun harness to go on the ENGINE of the LS.

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The engine harness goes to the UHFP (under hood fuse panel) so it can run the fan, AC etc.  If you dissect just the engine parts the rest can be sold.  I know that sounds simple but the harness needs three wires to run, HOT, Ign hot, ground.  It should have a fuel pump out, OBDII out, VSS, AC request and a few others I can not think of at this moment.  I can tell you this.  LS1 tech is so your friend on this stuff.  HTH, Richard. 

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30 ounce    1

I left the datsun harness in place..... I used wiring specialties ls1 plug and play to get the motor to run. Works perfect IMO.

On wiring specialties website it says that their harness works with the stock gauges...is that correct? That by itself would make it worthwhile for me.

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hornedcow    0

On wiring specialties website it says that their harness works with the stock gauges...is that correct? That by itself would make it worthwhile for me.

 

I would assume that means they just give you wiring for the senders in their harness. You'll still need metric adapters and re-use the stock Z coolant and oil pressure sending units if you want the stock gauges to work. Tach might be able to be made to work but not going to be plug and play. And you have no speedometer cable so the two main gauges are not going to work. The fuel gauge will work if it did before (ha) and the amp gauge will work if you wire everything through it electrically ... I bypassed it all and did new gauges.

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trackzpeed    5

No that's not very accurate. I swapped out for a new speedo and tach. I used the everything else datsun for now but it was all as said before with making the datsun sending units work (oil pressure, water, volts, and fuel-reads backwards with my cell sending unit). The wiring specialties was only for the LS and T56 to work.

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NewZed    56

Problem is the whole harness is taped together with a mess and I am selling my whole harness to this guy. Can someone please answer me if I can use the EZ wiring just for my lights and signals?!

With wiring, if you have to ask these kinds of questions you probably shouldn't be attempting it.  The Hazard switch alone foils most people.  You're probably replacing the wiring because it looks bad.  But it probably functions fine.  I'd leave it and do the engine harness alone.  That effort alone will help you decide if you want to tackle the body harness.  The engine harness should feel like a piece of cake.  If it doesn't, think twice about the body harness.

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What NewZed said.  The questions you are asking are good ones, but they are fairly beginner questions, my guess is you are young and enthusiastic which is good.  

 

NOTHING IS PLUG AND PLAY, PERIOD.  NO CURRENTLY AVAILABLE HARNESS WILL SWAP INTO THE Z EASILY.  

 

We have wired cars from start to finish from the ground up, the simple stuff is simple, keeping things like hazards, interior lights, etc working correct are harder than they appear.  In one car we built we used a Corvette engine and fuel tank harness and tied it to a painless (oxymoron if there ever was one) chassis harness for power windows, lights etc.  It took days and days to get it all tied together and we still had a few gremlins.  For the Datsun 240Z I had my LS1 GTO engine harness cut down (computer refreshed also), current plan is to use the Z chassis harness and update the gauges to match the LS1.  HTH, Richard. 

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There are kits to drop in your engine. There are pre-made, 3 wire hook up stand alone wiring harness for $600-$800 that can be purchased online. You can save a ton of time that way. I personally and god with tearing apart a harness, removing what not required, adjusting wire length, re assembling connectors, wiring everything require to a fuse box, etc. If you want the car running quickly just buy the pre made stuff. Elimintate many of the issues by DIY.

 

If your poor like me, here is a good place to start for the harness  http://lt1swap.com/

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TheZkid    0

I currently used the painless wiring kit to work my main harness and used shevythunders standalone harness for the LS1

Yeah I'm going with a "plug and play" harness. I know there's going to be some modding with both options. If I don't go with a brand new one I'll send my stock one into get revamped. Is there a go to new plug in harness for an LS1? I see a lot of different set ups, Chevy thunder, wiring specialties, painless, etc; I don't have a problem spending the money to really cut down on the messing around with the wiring. That's the one thing that will give me a snag on this swap. All the mechanical things will be fine.

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RebekahsZ    106

The wiring you will need is a fuse panel for items that you want got all the time, items got only with key on, and a ground. You will need relays for fans and fuel pump. Those are the car side of things that you will need regardless of what you do with the engine harness.

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ktm    17

I reused the stock harness for the engine.  I had already rewired my car for FI from a previous swap, so I only need to connect hot and ignition hot wires for the most part.  Then again, I am very comfortable with car wiring so it was very easy for me.

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TheZkid    0

Okay Gentlemen, thank you for the answers. I will be starting a build thread on here shortly.. I have a 76' 280, that's been already restored last year by myself and a couple guys. I was an apprentice mechanic years ago, after that I was an apprentice in the body shop next store. Learned lots and saved a lot of money the last few years with my own personal and family cars..

I would've loved to get the swap done first but the idea was still a twinkle in my eye years ago. Last month I pulled the engine and trans/harness and sold it to a nice fellow who drove down here from Georgia to pick up everything, incl. drive shaft, all mechanical components, water pump, pulleys, starter, fan, etc;; I live in the southern most part of Ontario in Windsor  CANADA! (the gutter of ontario... due to meth... lots of meth) The dude drove 15HRS. ONE WAY with his old man, who has never been to Canada until that day. Nice japanase people (I think) ..

 

Anyways, kept the body harness in tact, and right now, in the process of stripping the engine bay of all the junk and little spot welded on, tie downs and little brackets etc; stripped it down to bare metal and now spot welding, patching holes and smoothing it all out.

Now, my questions that I would LOVE some insight on ARE:

#1. [What] Engine mounts + exhaust manifold COMBINATION are going to be good for NOT having to mess with the STEERING SHAFT.

I have seen the most recent company who started this which is the adjustable stainless mounts from CX racing. Anyone have experience with those? In recent years I have had some CX parts here and there, and I must say, it looks like they are doing much better now a days, and not looking like a knock off company these days.

 

Mind you my LS1 is most likely going to be an f-body and f-body t56. Dont mind spending little extra $ and do NOT need crazy headers.
I know the Sanderson *? I know thats not right but the brand is slipped my mind, I believe its the JTR headers the supply?

Keep in mind with any of my inquiries **I am NOT building for max speed>  going for strictly reliability .. for time being.

 

#2. I have cut off my original trans mount and I am now wondering how much, and where (roughly) do we need to push/hammer in the trans hump? I know, I know, kind of a D-I-Y thing, and I have no issue with that. Just would like to get a rough idea for my first fit with the trans. I know I will taking it out at least once or twice when the time comes.

 

#3. The f-body trans, Is my first choice because I have heard that is the most correct size in length and least time tinkering with it to fit. Question is, what do I have to change on that particular T-56 if i do need to do anything with it? ALSO for the f-body LS1, I CAN use the stock oil pan that comes on the engine from factory - for this swap - CORRECT???

Thank you for your time and still trying to figure out how to post pictures.. Sorry still getting the hang of everything on here! Bare with me!

Any.. and the more the merrier for replies and answers. Not everyone has the answers and you guys have helped a ton in the past already.

 

 

I have learned a ton, but with my particular swap, engine, and year of car - this is the best type of way to learn , because it is going to be specific to my exact build. Yes, I have been through almost everything, and have printed out, diagrams, templates, pictures, and solutions to help me along the way. Anything I ask, is now just preferences and trying to get the best possible solution for my exact situation.

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walkerbk    0

I have the cx racing kit in mine and it is very nice but I really don't like the engine mounts, kind of just seem weak to hold the motor. I have the long tube headers from them as well and although they are nice they are a pain to fit in there, there was no mods that had to be done, but I pray I never have to change the starter because it would be a week long job.

 

I am now wanting to turbo my car and can't because of the long tube headers.

 

If I had to do it over again, I would do the jcI kit as it mounts better and I think would fit better than the CX racing kit.

 

The camaro oil pan will fit and hang about 1" below the cross member. Not an issue for me because my exhaust is lower than that.

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