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L28 Build Thread 75 280z (N/A to Turbo Conversion)*UPDATED

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29 minutes ago, madkaw said:

I wouldn’t give the bottom end another thought if the oil was changed regular . These motors are as tough as it gets 

It was meticulously maintained by the previous owner. So I should be good there. Should I replace the timing chain if it hasn't been done yet? I still have to go through all the paperwork I have on it. Also, what are you using for injectors??

Edited by RefreshRate

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Bottom end seems to survive a little over 300hp as long as you stay under 6500 rpm. Over 300hp and I think forged pistons are in needed, not sure when you need forged internals but seems like there is plenty of 400hp builds here.

 

However do a leakdown/compression test, it might show that 2 or so cylinders are low on compression. Who knows, maybe the trip meter wrapped around, maybe there was a coolant leak at some point.

Having that said due to lazyness I have driven my stockish L28 based race car with a very worn engine for a total of 32hours racing, only issue has been maybe 10% loss of power. 

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2 minutes ago, turbogrill said:

Bottom end seems to survive a little over 300hp as long as you stay under 6500 rpm. Over 300hp and I think forged pistons are in needed, not sure when you need forged internals but seems like there is plenty of 400hp builds here.

 

However do a leakdown/compression test, it might show that 2 or so cylinders are low on compression. Who knows, maybe the trip meter wrapped around, maybe there was a coolant leak at some point.

Having that said due to lazyness I have driven my stockish L28 based race car with a very worn engine for a total of 32hours racing, only issue has been maybe 10% loss of power. 

Wow that's pretty impressive! I'll have to keep that in mind for sure. A compression test is the first thing in the works before I do anything major. But my theory on this build is to see what this old L28 can do and if it busts, then I'll swap it. 

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Just some info. The stock rods and crank are forged from factory on all L-series engines. And A-series as well.  They are VERY strong and have excellent metallurgy. .

Some basic rod prep ( polishing, shot peen and big end sizing check ), balancing  and some ARP bolts and you have a pretty darned good set of rods for not a lot of money.  

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1 hour ago, Chickenman said:

Just some info. The stock rods and crank are forged from factory on all L-series engines. And A-series as well.  They are VERY strong and have excellent metallurgy. .

Some basic rod prep ( polishing, shot peen and big end sizing check ), balancing  and some ARP bolts and you have a pretty darned good set of rods for not a lot of money.  

Appreciate the information! Seems like Nissan/Datsun did it right the first time around with these L-series!! 

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Cool with the turbo swap. Good luck! As you might know there is a guide here on the forum. Also join the Datsun facebook pages, sometime they sell turbo parts if you need. 

I can recommend buying injectors from motorman, it's a little more pricey than ebay but you know it's all good. Can be hard to diagnose a faulty injector when you have so many new things going on. As for FPR I have the Aeromotive 13105, works well and no to pricey, however make sure that whatever FPR you get has the right connections (ORB, AN or hose).

 

Also I didn't see a wideband on the list, you really need one. 

 

 

 

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I have been running a NA-T conversion in my 260Z for the last 7 years. It has gone through several iterations and also several bottom ends (due to me being a noob at tuning).

I started out with a stock 83 zx motor / efi and added a stock T3, locked the dizzy, and added a potentiometer inline with the head temp sensor to add some more fuel. It was crude but it worked for a while.

I am currently making around the 350ish HP range with a Holset HX35 at 18PSI strapped to the side of a bone stock N42 Bottom end topped with a P90 head and megasquirt 2 orchestrating everything. This bottom end has lived for about 4 years unopened with nothing but the oil changed at regular intervals.

To back what everyone else has said, these motors are tough. By far the biggest weakness in my experience are the pistons. If you plan on using the stock pistons, don't rev past 6500 or else it will pull the ringlands. Also, I've lost a couple of ringlands on the pistons due to the ring gap being too tight with the extra heat from the extra compression the turbo adds. If you do crack the motor open you may want to gap your rings a little wide than stock. Granted that failure happened at higher boost pressures and horsepower than you may be wanting to achieve.

As turbogrill said, a wideband is a must for any turbo venture.

 

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8 hours ago, turbogrill said:

Cool with the turbo swap. Good luck! As you might know there is a guide here on the forum. Also join the Datsun facebook pages, sometime they sell turbo parts if you need. 

I can recommend buying injectors from motorman, it's a little more pricey than ebay but you know it's all good. Can be hard to diagnose a faulty injector when you have so many new things going on. As for FPR I have the Aeromotive 13105, works well and no to pricey, however make sure that whatever FPR you get has the right connections (ORB, AN or hose).

 

Also I didn't see a wideband on the list, you really need one. 

 

 

 

Thanks! I just figure I might as well start with the turbo now instead of having to revert back to a different setup after I spend a bunch camming it etc. I've looked at many guides on here and other forums and I've joined a bunch of groups on facebook and actually just purchased a turbo manifold for 150 bucks on there! Just need a turbo dizzy. I'll check out that FPR, also did you get a different fuel pump?? And I wasnt going to add any gauges to the list but I might as well add everything, so I updated the list! Thanks for your feedback and recommendations I really appreciate it. 

Edited by RefreshRate

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5 hours ago, lowrider said:

I have been running a NA-T conversion in my 260Z for the last 7 years. It has gone through several iterations and also several bottom ends (due to me being a noob at tuning).

I started out with a stock 83 zx motor / efi and added a stock T3, locked the dizzy, and added a potentiometer inline with the head temp sensor to add some more fuel. It was crude but it worked for a while.

I am currently making around the 350ish HP range with a Holset HX35 at 18PSI strapped to the side of a bone stock N42 Bottom end topped with a P90 head and megasquirt 2 orchestrating everything. This bottom end has lived for about 4 years unopened with nothing but the oil changed at regular intervals.

To back what everyone else has said, these motors are tough. By far the biggest weakness in my experience are the pistons. If you plan on using the stock pistons, don't rev past 6500 or else it will pull the ringlands. Also, I've lost a couple of ringlands on the pistons due to the ring gap being too tight with the extra heat from the extra compression the turbo adds. If you do crack the motor open you may want to gap your rings a little wide than stock. Granted that failure happened at higher boost pressures and horsepower than you may be wanting to achieve.

As turbogrill said, a wideband is a must for any turbo venture.

 

My goal is atleast 300hp at the wheels. And I''m gonna have it tuned if needed by someone that softopz recommended so I can hopefully save myself from blowing it up haha. For this setup on the stock n42 head and block (+2mm head gasket) I'm not gonna go outside of 6500 until I build the motor more down the road. And like I was saying to turbogrill I wasnt going to add the gauges ill be running but I have added them to the list. If you have any recommendations for a good wideband thats not too pricey id love to hear it.  And thank you for the input I appreciate it!! 

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I'm going to chime in here......

I was down the same road as you...and decided that its WAYYYYYYY too much work for me to reach 300-400 whp with the L28... So i dropped a 1JZ/W58 with a microtech lt12c. Took me 3 weeks, 6K and i was DONE and RUNNING...easy swap and part availability is super easy(same parts as 2JZ for the most part)

 

I'm sitting at 383 WHP with 14 lbs of boost bone stock internals and turbos....

 

Engine Bay.jpg

Edited by Greeko

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7 minutes ago, Greeko said:

I'm going to chime in here......

I was down the same road as you...and decided that its WAYYYYYYY too much work for me to reach 300-400 whp with the L28... So i dropped a 1JZ/W58 with a microtech lt12c. Took me 3 weeks, 6K and i was DONE and RUNNING...easy swap and part availability is super easy(same parts as 2JZ for the most part)

 

I'm sitting at 383 WHP with 14 lbs of boost bone stock internals and turbos....

 

 

Believe me I have considered swapping it... But alot of work went into modifying the power steering, A/C and all that stuff to work on this L28 and I would hate to rip all that off and it just fits in the car so well.  This motor has been meticulously cared for and maintained by the PO and its just too good for me to pull out. After this motor reaches its limits I'll go the swap route (rb25det probably). That and I feel like someones gotta keep modifying these engines! lol Gotta keep the L28 alive and well.  Also want to keep the car as light as possible, and I really like the way a clean L28 looks in the engine bay with a nice megasquirt system installed like some of the pictures on this thread. Someday I'll swap it, but not until I get tired of this one! haha Your build looks amazing btw, do you have any videos?

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32 minutes ago, RefreshRate said:

Believe me I have considered swapping it... But alot of work went into modifying the power steering, A/C and all that stuff to work on this L28 and I would hate to rip all that off and it just fits in the car so well.  This motor has been meticulously cared for and maintained by the PO and its just too good for me to pull out. After this motor reaches its limits I'll go the swap route (rb25det probably). That and I feel like someones gotta keep modifying these engines! lol Gotta keep the L28 alive and well.  Also want to keep the car as light as possible, and I really like the way a clean L28 looks in the engine bay with a nice megasquirt system installed like some of the pictures on this thread. Someday I'll swap it, but not until I get tired of this one! haha Your build looks amazing btw, do you have any videos?

The JZ is actually 45 lbs lighter than the stock L28..


I get it though...People will always work on whatever engine you want..just gonna cost you. Parts may be a touch more difficult to source etc etc.

Sadly I do not have my old videos.. What I can tell you is it started first try... Amazed at how easy it was.

 

I will be posting more up...just finishing paint right now.. Just laid down first coat today!23379808_10154877544127854_157841600_o.thumb.jpg.1d6bca6ed848275a7a2c17b32a0ddb1c.jpg

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Something you need to consider regardless of swap down the road isn't just raw power, but where it makes it. Find dyno charts and compare power bands. I know after seeing a lot of 1jz dyno charts, I was leaning back to the L28ET route for cost and lower end power. Of course VVT-i on either will get you a bit of better power on the low end. 2JZ would be superior to either of them in both regards, but you start getting into cost effectiveness relative to your goals.

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I think you can have a fun fast car without doing a compete engine swap. You have a short block that will take 300 on a regular basis from all I’ve read . 300 would be very fast and it sounds like you have a nice set up already. Of course this is Hybridz too:)

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5 hours ago, RefreshRate said:

Thanks! I just figure I might as well start with the turbo now instead of having to revert back to a different setup after I spend a bunch camming it etc. I've looked at many guides on here and other forums and I've joined a bunch of groups on facebook and actually just purchased a turbo manifold for 150 bucks on there! Just need a turbo dizzy. I'll check out that FPR, also did you get a different fuel pump?? And I wasnt going to add any gauges to the list but I might as well add everything, so I updated the list! Thanks for your feedback and recommendations I really appreciate it. 

300hp is a lot for a light car as that. Great that the suspension has been upgraded! It would be undrivable with those power levels and shitty old suspenion.

What wheels are you running? 15x8? I would get sporty tires, like Direzza or Ventus RS-4. Depends on if you like to go around corners fast or just floor it at red lights. 

You technically don't need the actual gauge but you do need the wideband controller for megasquirt tuning. The gauge cost nothing, it's the sensor/controller board that cost. I would recommend getting the gauge as well for back up during tuning. Just  zip-tie it initially and then remove it after your tune is steady.

 

As for fuel pump, not sure if the stock fuel pump can handle your power levels. Are you planning on running stock fuel pressure or higher? Depends on your injectors flow rate. 

I would just get a Bosch pump, old pumps can fail. 

 

Will you be controlling timing as well with Megasquirt? I think turbos like that.

Edited by turbogrill

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2 hours ago, turbogrill said:

300hp is a lot for a light car as that. Great that the suspension has been upgraded! It would be undrivable with those power levels and shitty old suspenion.

What wheels are you running? 15x8? I would get sporty tires, like Direzza or Ventus RS-4. Depends on if you like to go around corners fast or just floor it at red lights. 

You technically don't need the actual gauge but you do need the wideband controller for megasquirt tuning. The gauge cost nothing, it's the sensor/controller board that cost. I would recommend getting the gauge as well for back up during tuning. Just  zip-tie it initially and then remove it after your tune is steady.

 

As for fuel pump, not sure if the stock fuel pump can handle your power levels. Are you planning on running stock fuel pressure or higher? Depends on your injectors flow rate. 

I would just get a Bosch pump, old pumps can fail. 

 

Will you be controlling timing as well with Megasquirt? I think turbos like that.

It has new tires on it now, I'll have to check what they are. I think the wheels are 16x8 with brand new BF Goodrich G-Force Comp 2's. 225s. They came with the car and were brand new. And I am buying a full harness and kit from softopz so anything that will be needed to get it going he will make sure I have it for the setup I am going for, he's been very helpful. I am also gonna have it tuned remotely to help me get it right.

The stock fuel pump has been replaced with a brand new one recently (stock replacement) but I have no clue what it's output is. Most likely higher fuel pressure than stock id imagine. 

And as for timing I'd assume so (bare with me as im still learning about megasquirt). I know it'll be using the turbo distributor for sure so I'm assuming it will communicate the timing through that. 

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4 hours ago, madkaw said:

I think you can have a fun fast car without doing a compete engine swap. You have a short block that will take 300 on a regular basis from all I’ve read . 300 would be very fast and it sounds like you have a nice set up already. Of course this is Hybridz too:)

I couldnt agree more! 

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6 hours ago, Greeko said:

The JZ is actually 45 lbs lighter than the stock L28..


I get it though...People will always work on whatever engine you want..just gonna cost you. Parts may be a touch more difficult to source etc etc.

Sadly I do not have my old videos.. What I can tell you is it started first try... Amazed at how easy it was.

 

I will be posting more up...just finishing paint right now.. Just laid down first coat today!

 Really? Interesting it must be a much lighter material. It sure does take up alot of room! haha worth it im sure though! And I can always swap in a newer motor! With the scarcity of parts for these builds I may not get the chance to do this again! 

And its looking good! Cant wait to see the finished product! 

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6 hours ago, Zetsaz said:

Something you need to consider regardless of swap down the road isn't just raw power, but where it makes it. Find dyno charts and compare power bands. I know after seeing a lot of 1jz dyno charts, I was leaning back to the L28ET route for cost and lower end power. Of course VVT-i on either will get you a bit of better power on the low end. 2JZ would be superior to either of them in both regards, but you start getting into cost effectiveness relative to your goals.

Absolutely. And alot of my reason with sticking with the L28 build is that its already ready to rock n roll! It just needs a little pep and itll be a fun car(funner I should say!). I'm sure it will get a swap someday but I really am intrigued with the L28 and wanna see what its all about. 

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One more thing to say.

Did you ever drive a Turbo Z?

Im saying this because the "Funfactor" depends on where you drive.

I have a 274 BHP N/A Z and a 450 AWHP BMW. on twisted roads the N/A Z is so much more fun to drive then the Turbo BMW. on a light signal start or highway its the Turbo.

Drive both types if you can and see what suits you best. (Gear change point at 7500 N/A with the sound of tripples is one of the best things I ever had -->The smile is much bigger with the Z...).

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