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Hey all! I am new to these forums, also new to Datsuns!!

I am 20 years old, currently going to college and working two jobs, and working on my new baby in the meantime! 


About two months ago I bought a 1975 280z. It came from South Carolina, so I had to get it brought all the way up to Connecticut for me. I searched all around for a Z for about two months before that but had no luck finding any car that wasn't overrun by rust. The northeast is terrible! Alas, I found my car in South Carolina and just had to have it.


It has some dents and some paint chips, a rusty passenger frame rail, and a damn sexy body! It ran pretty crappy when I first got it back but I was not too worried because I knew one of the first steps would be to engine swap! 


The car sat in the shop for the past month, took it out a couple times, replaced the headlights (previous owner gave me lots of spare parts :D ), but mostly did LOTS research on engines to swap into my new baby. 


I decided to swap in an rb20det. It seems like it fits my minor power goals, sounds pretty sick, and seems fairly within my mechanical expertise, with lots of help from my family ;) .


Yesterday, we started disconnecting and unscrewing, and draining, and more disconnecting, getting ready to pull the engine and doing as much as I could before I had to get to work. Today we are gonna pull the engine and tranny. After it's out, the frame rail is being replaced, just bought a replacement from BAD DOGS this morning, hoping to get it by the weekend! Any undercarriage rust is getting tended to along with that god-awful undercoating that seems to overtake the entirety of the underneath of my car. It is gonna get done up real nice within the next month, while I save a little more to purchase the actual rb20det engine.


I already have researched and lined up the rear sump oil pan, walbro fuel pump, throttle cable, intercooler, downpipe that I have planned to purchase. Aftermarket exhaust manifold, and intake manifold will be replaced next summer, along with a turbo upgrade. but not worrying about that yet. I just wanna get this engine in and running!


Now, I do have some questions regarding this engine swap maybe some of you all could help me with.

Do you have any radiator suggestions?

Any body have any good recommendations as to where to purchase the RB? Right now I am vigorously searching through eBay.

Car is an automatic right now, swapping it to manual with the new RB, any pedal sets or advice at all that you recommend!



Next summer, I am planning to do the bodywork, get some wide body fenders on my baby, fender mirrors, thick tires, a rear spoiler, racing seats, full harness, upgraded interior, gauges, dash and get a good paint job! This summer, my goal is to successfully swap the engine, and get my baby running nice and good.


It is gonna be a busy summer! Along with my Datsun project, in my family's shop, we are in the finishing stages of a Factory Five 818C kit car, which looks SICK. It's running an ej207 engine, weighs just about 2100 pounds right now and is pulling about 400hp without a tune yet! It is scary fast but a lot of fun! We have a 69' camaro drag car always in and out of the shop, holding the 632 outlaw world speed records right now, and another 2002 camaro drag car getting finished up. My family is very excited to help me through this project and hopefully I can expand my mechanical mind through my Datsun project!


I can't wait to keep you guys updated!!

I post all the pictures and updates on an instagram page, specifically for my datsun. You can all checkout the progress and updates through there if you're interested! 




Thanks for reading!!






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Nelsonian    7
Posted (edited)

Hello Julia and welcome to your new HybridZ family. Glad to hear you have joined up and we all love pictures/videos here so I encourage you to start a build thread. Please provide some pics of the other cars mentioned as I love both...

Edited by Nelsonian

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Hey all just giving a little update! Yesterday the engine was pulled from my Datsun! As well, the weekend before I picked up an rb20det and 5 speed manual transmission for a great price! Before that, I stripped out the seats, the carpet, all the brownish liner and even removed all that sound deadening that was cracking and bubbling in certain parts. Ugh that was a hell of a day! But it's done now. Then the dash was removed as well as ALL of my AC components. Call me crazy but I just wasn't too crazy about keeping the AC in my car. I guess if I want AC, I'll have to drive my daily or walk back into my house lol.


I look forward to putting the rb in! From what I've read on the forums, it's a pretty straightforward swap! In between, while the engine is out and the bottom of my car is wide open, I will be removing all of the past tar/ rubberized undercoating that is half off, half-really-gross and replacing the frame rails. I ordered two from BAD DOG parts and they look amazing! After the new framerails are welded in and the bottom is nice and clean a fresh coat of undercoating or POR15 is gonna go on.


Hopefully by that point all my parts for my rb will be in (engine mounts, intercooler/piping, radiator, new intake manifold, and downpipe). The guys at the shop are gonna fab me up an oil pan real nice and also hook up all my wiring for me, as well as fabbing up a custom exhaust! I'm hoping to sit in and pick up a few lessons on tig welding as well as soldering and wiring up the car.  As well, my buddy passed along a pedal set from one of his Datsuns, so that saves me a couple bucks. We're gonna fancy up that pedal set and make it brand new looking. From what I hear, all I need now is to order a slave cylinder and master cylinder.


The gauges are now the only thing I am really worried about. I found this forum on here basically summarizing what needs to be done to connect the gauges so I guess all there is to do now is just actually do it.  :D


I'm more than excited to get this car up and running; my hopes is that the engine will be in the car within the next two weeks, or as soon as all the steps I want to take beforehand are done. My finals for school are done tomorrow so after that I can dedicate all my time between work, to working on my car!! I'll post some progress pictures in the morning, I need to get to studying!

Hope you all enjoyed the update, feel free to pass along any tips or advice, more tomorrow!! ;)

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