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

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Hello everyone! Im new to the Hybrid Z forums so I thought I would start a build thread for my build on my 1975 280z.

Current car: 1975 Datsun 280z 

Mods:  Subaru Power Steering conversion, Full Eibach suspension, aftermarket swaybar + full polyurethane bushing conversion, Toyota front disc conversion, aftermarket A/C installed, 240z driveline, (im probably missing some things so I'll update it as I go.) I have roughly 20 years of receipts of all the work done to the car.

I just recently acquired the car so everything listed above was done by the previous owner. Now here is my plans for the rest of the car:

[Key --> Green = Acquired Crossed Out = No longer using ]

Rebuilt Turbo Spec Motor 7.31:1 Compression (N42 block/P90 Head)

Either T3 Precision Turbo  or T3 Turbonetics  

Arp Head Studs

External Wastegate + Blowoff Valve + AFR + Boost Gauge 

Oil Cooler 

Turbo dizzy  82/83 280zx + shaft

Megasquirt EFI kit from Softopz 

Green Giant Injectors / 440 cc Supra Injectors (For Sale, Message me if interested I will ship at no extra cost)

Turbo Oil pump (thoughts?)

240sx throttle body + Sensor

Intercooler + Piping

Oil Pressure T for oil lines to turbo (in & dump)

2mm head gasket to lower compression to 7.8/1

wastegate

Downpipe (need a dump tube as well for the wastegate)

Turbo Manifold(x2 anybody want to purchase my extra?) + wastegate adapter

2.5" exhuast / black widow widowmaker

Upgraded Ignition System (not sure which to go with yet, suggestions??) 

NGK Plugs 

Pallnet Fuel Rail Kit + Throttle Body Spacer

Electric fuel pump upgrade + New Pressure Regulator  

-------------------------------------------------

UPDATES:

Update 11/3/2017 - With some great info/advice from the comments, I am highly considering going with a megasquirt plug in play kit made by softopz (just waiting on his reply at the moment). I've also decided I definitely DO want a bigger cam, so any suggestions on that front are helpful as well. Also I have added that if I go the megasquirt route I am ordering a pallnet fuel rail to compliment it. 

Update 11/4/2017 - Alright after meticulous research, hours of comparing prices  and talking back and forth to people who have done the cam/turbo builds and the potential power gain (and I do mean COUNTLESS hours of this haha), I have decided to completely ditch the whole cam and head upgrade idea and go the turbo build route. For almost the same price (actually a bit cheaper) I can get alot more smiles per gallon with the turbo build. There just isn't enough power to be had on the N/A build for the amount being spent. So as of right now this is the game plan. I will continue to add to this as I see fit, everything will be updated on this original thread post.

Part 2 11/4/2017

Just went through the receipts on the car (dating back to the late 90's) and boy was I in for surprise!  All of the tedious work to maintain the stock L28 has been completely gone through by the PO!  For example the timing chain kit from Z Motorsport has been installed, Tune up kits routinely done, fuel pump and filters / lines replaced, harmonic balancer replaced, and the list goes on. I couldnt be more happy with this purchase!! Did I mention the PO gave me a close ratio 5-speed for the car?! This car amazes me and I am very thankful that it has had such meticulous care over the years.  

Update 11/7/17

Added some parts to the list. Also purchased a turbo manifold on facebook for 150 bucks! 

***Update 11/10/17****

I have purchased a complete rebuilt L28 turbo motor setup at a very very good price! Here are the engine specs:

L28 N42 Block with dished pistons, P90 Head, N47 intake, turbo manifold, Pallnet fuel rail + Fuel pressure gauge, 440cc supra injectors, rebuilt chinese housing turbo with turbonetics internals, turbo dizzy, and assembled with ARP studs. Came with some other misc parts as well.

Update 11/13/17

Link to spreadsheet for parts list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1iOiWBJyjQH3KEkLnBor0snwgOvXaUo4I0qIo1ZDYFZo/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

IMG_1387.JPG

Edited by RefreshRate

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Does 240Z driveline mean engine to diff?  Or just transmission to diff?  Or just transmission and driveshaft?  

The 280Z came with an electric fuel pump already for the stock EFI system.

Nice looking car.  Is this the "Stage 3" camshaft?  http://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/PROD/classic12e03/10-2003

There are many options out there.  Some people say that you can go a lot "bigger" on the camshaft than you'd think.  Search jmortensen's past threads.  Here's an example - 

 

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22 minutes ago, NewZed said:

Does 240Z driveline mean engine to diff?  Or just transmission to diff?  Or just transmission and driveshaft?  

The 280Z came with an electric fuel pump already for the stock EFI system.

Nice looking car.  Is this the "Stage 3" camshaft?  http://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/PROD/classic12e03/10-2003

There are many options out there.  Some people say that you can go a lot "bigger" on the camshaft than you'd think.  Search jmortensen's past threads.  Here's an example - 

 

From trans to differential on the driveshaft. 

And for the summit efi I'll need more fuel pressure than the stock fuel injection system currently puts out (atleast 58psi) so i'll be upgrading that.

And thank you she is a beauty! As for the camshaft that is the one, although I haven't even considered going bigger i'll have to look into that!

I definitely wouldn't be opposed to going bigger on the cam but just need to see if I like the RPM range on the larger cams, and considering ill be leaving the internals on the short block stock im not sure how much bigger it can go, so i'll have to read more into that for sure! 

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A lot of good info on this site about mods. Being a 75 your engine should have the preferred intake manifold on it - non webbed - non EGR. You could consider an aftermarket EFI ECU and save the cost and work of replacing your intake . I’m running that exact intake on my L24 with Megasquirt EFI with great results . Also running NA with a 490/290 cam . 

The possibilities are endless , so do your research and spend wisely. 

Edited by madkaw

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10 minutes ago, madkaw said:

A lot of good info on this site about mods. Being a 75 your engine should have the preferred intake manifold on it - non webbed - non EGR. You could consider an aftermarket EFI ECU and save the cost and work of replacing your intake . I’m running that exact intake on my L24 with Megasquirt EFI with great results . Also running NA with a 490/290 cam . 

The possibilities are endless , so do your research and spend wisely. 

I've considered it, but the stock EFI setup seems so cluttered to me, maybe its just me... But the carb intake with EFI throttle body looks much cleaner. Although I want to do what is cost effective too. 

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49 minutes ago, RefreshRate said:

From trans to differential on the driveshaft. 

And for the summit efi I'll need more fuel pressure than the stock fuel injection system currently puts out (atleast 58psi) so i'll be upgrading that.

That would be just the propeller shaft, aka driveshaft.  Nissan called the "half-shafts" driveshafts, and the driveshaft a propeller shaft.

You'll need a new fuel pressure regulator also.  If you're making a list.

Might be best to do a lot of reading before spending.  There are are many combinations of parts you can put together.  Some sort of performance goal is a good thing to define, and put the parts together to hit it.  Your list of parts probably won't feel much different than what you have now.  For the money spent.

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3 hours ago, madkaw said:

Hmmm- cluttered

CE899ABF-7269-4408-BDA2-9489297EBCDB.jpeg

WOW! That looks amazing! Alright you have me intrigued! I've been trying to figure out more information on megasquirt, but seem to be falling short. Would you happen to know any specific threads that could point me in the right direction?? 

Edited by RefreshRate

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3 hours ago, NewZed said:

That would be just the propeller shaft, aka driveshaft.  Nissan called the "half-shafts" driveshafts, and the driveshaft a propeller shaft.

You'll need a new fuel pressure regulator also.  If you're making a list.

Might be best to do a lot of reading before spending.  There are are many combinations of parts you can put together.  Some sort of performance goal is a good thing to define, and put the parts together to hit it.  Your list of parts probably won't feel much different than what you have now.  For the money spent.

Yep I haven't forgot about the regulator, is it possible to use the stock pump with a higher pressure regulator for the system? From what ive read in the manual the stock one operates around 36-37psi but I couldnt find what the actual fuel pump is rated for. Im still open to ideas and havent spent any big money yet, just have some general guidelines that I have been going by. All I do everyday is read about everything lol Lots of information out there! Nothing is quite set in stone yet, and I'm glad I started this thread so I can get some input from other builds! 

Edited by RefreshRate

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And I’m not pushing Megasquirt because there’s other options out there as far as controllers . I’m not a fan of the 4bbl intake -just on looks alone- and the intake you have should function well. There is good support here for MS and as you can see you can clean up the bay nicely . 

Cam selection is part of the whole equation , but I’d say go big or go home . These engines like to be cammed. CR will be low with that motor compared to a flat top. You could do every thing in steps. Get programmable EFI in first and then shoot for HP and hotter motor later

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To be fair, both his and mine are fairly modified.  Clean up nicely though.

If you don't want any dicking around, the 4 barrel intake and Summit EFI is a great answer.  Especially if your not looking for an extremely high revving motor.  

 

 

 

20170406_150732_zpsrm32zxo9.JPG

Edited by HuD 91gt

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Zcardepot has a fuel injection kit for the stock intake https://zcardepot.com/fuel-injection-retrofit-kit-fast-efi-280z-280zx.html

Personally, I prefer the looks of the 4 barrel efi setups. Don't know about function, but to me it looks cleaner. An ITB setup would be sweet. Megasquirt sounds intimidating.

Brent

Edited by BJSZED

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Problem with the 4 Barrel setups is that you are running a " Wet " manifold and the fuel distribution not as good as Port Injection. End cylinder tend to run lean and middle cylinders a bit rich.  This is the same problem that Chevies and Dodge inline six engines had back in the 60's with Holley 4 barrel carbs on an inline 6. These modern 4 Barrel EFI systems are nothing but an electronic carburetor. TBI is not as efficient as Ports injection.

MS can be a HUGE learning curve and most people new to EFI are over whelmed by it. If you do go MS, I would highly suggest a 3.57 pre-assembled board and I would recommend the MS3. The MS1 is a dinosaur and the MS2 is nearing end of development.  

Edit: Apparently the Fast System is not for Turbo engines according to their information sheet posted. Although that seems a bit weird.

Last sentence is confusing. In one sentence they say it will support up to 650 HP... and then they end it with ( Not for Turbo cars ) A bit confusing. 

Quote

This system is also capable of being run with larger cams, larger injectors, headers or any engine mods, will support up to 650HP.  Installation time is about two hours.  This kit is designed for the L28 fuel injection engine but can also be used on L24/L26 if you upgrade the fuel system (high pressure) and use an L28 manifold with injectors.  This is a fuel management system only, the stock ignition system will not be effected.  If your car is not equipped with an oxygen sensor the kit includes a weld in bung which will need to be installed in the exhaust system.  This system is not for turbo cars

 

 

Edited by Chickenman

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2 hours ago, BJSZED said:

Zcardepot has a fuel injection kit for the stock intake https://zcardepot.com/fuel-injection-retrofit-kit-fast-efi-280z-280zx.html

Personally, I prefer the looks of the 4 barrel efi setups. Don't know about function, but to me it looks cleaner. An ITB setup would be sweet. Megasquirt sounds intimidating.

Brent

This look like a great trouble free option!

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Had a look at the Fast system. As soon as I saw it had a " Pocket Programmer " I lost all interest. I've worked with Pocket Programmers before and they are a royal PITA compared to a proper Laptop.  Some are better than others ( SDS is pathetic... stuck in the 1980's )  but all have less functionality than a Laptop software. 

Edit: If you don't mind using a Pocket Programmer, then the Fast system is a very good Option.... for a NA engine.  

Edit 2: Apparently it is not suitable for Turbo's. That limits it's appeal a lot. 

Edited by Chickenman

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My main reason for choosing the 4 barrel EFI setup is mainly just the ease of install, its just as simple as throwing a carb back on you just gotta plug in the supplied harness, tell the programmer what kind of cam you have and how many cylinders the engine is, and it automatically tunes itself as you drive. Simple and painless, and retuning for added parts is a breeze. I've been doing alot of searching for some nice 4 barrel carb and efi setups and have come across more than a few that have successfully ran all 6 cylinders with the spark plugs burning evenly. Here is a pretty nice setup (minus the ugly plate under it) for the L28

 And as far as the money, the Summit EFI is pretty affordable compared to most EFI setups. I'll have to take a look at the pre made megasquirt kits that the guy is selling on here because that is something I would definitely be interested in, because of at the end of the day I really just want something that is plug n play. Also now I am thinking the stage 4 cam may be better suited for what I want. I would definitely want to be able to rev into the 7000-7500 range at the least. What do you guys think as far as cams go?

 

11 hours ago, HuD 91gt said:

To be fair, both his and mine are fairly modified.  Clean up nicely though.

If you don't want any dicking around, the 4 barrel intake and Summit EFI is a great answer.  Especially if your not looking for an extremely high revving motor.  

 

 

 

20170406_150732_zpsrm32zxo9.JPG

I do love the look of this though! This is SO clean! Definitely makes me want to consider other options. Just need to figure out what the cost is vs the 4 barrel EFI setup and how difficult it would be for me to setup.

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Hi and welcome!

Looks like this is going the be fantastic. Do you have any emission requirements where you live or are you exempt due to the cars age? (as in Texas)

I have done MS2 and I really like it but I am computer and electrical skilled, I can see how it's a challenge if you are not!

Do what ever makes you complete the project even if MS2/MS3 with after market fuel rail is best from a cost and performance perspective.

Regarding the cam, I have spend many many hours googling cam and the general consensus is go big! (as someone said). But pick something where RPMs will be below 6500.

Maybe ISKY 480 is a good option but requires new springs I think.

Colt Cams C.542.s might be good since it doesn't require significant upgrade to the valve train.

 

 

Edited by turbogrill

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16 minutes ago, turbogrill said:

Hi and welcome!

Looks like this is going the be fantastic. Do you have any emission requirements where you live or are you exempt due to the cars age? (as in Texas)

I have done MS2 and I really like it but I am computer and electrical skilled, I can see how it's a challenge if you are not!

Do what ever makes you complete the project even if MS2/MS3 with after market fuel rail is best from a cost and performance perspective.

Regarding the cam, I have spend many many hours googling cam and the general consensus is go big! (as someone said). But pick something where RPMs will be below 6500.

Maybe ISKY 480 is a good option but requires new springs I think.

Colt Cams C.542.s might be good since it doesn't require significant upgrade to the valve train.

 

 

In CA 1975 and older cars do not require smog checks, so this car is exempt! From the advice and reading I've been doing I am definitely going to be upping the cam! Just need to figure out which one to go with! I've heard good things about ISKY and may be headed that route so we will see. I've got in contact with "softopz" about building a megasquirt kit for this build and retaining the stock intake, so we will see what the results from that is soon! 

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Great!

There is something called Microsquirt, it's a durable version of Megasquirt 2. It has some limitations but nothing that matters on our cars. I can recommend that since it's nice price and good fit for our car. But requires a slightly different harness, I am sure softopz has something to say about that.

Regarding cam, not sure what your intention is with the valve train but some cams works with stock valve trains and some needs an upgrade. Are you having a professional fiddling with your head or are you confident in messing with it yourself?

And I know, getting cam is a jungle. Google and forums are your friend. 

 

Edited by turbogrill

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26 minutes ago, turbogrill said:

Great!

There is something called Microsquirt, it's a durable version of Megasquirt 2. It has some limitations but nothing that matters on our cars. I can recommend that since it's nice price and good fit for our car. But requires a slightly different harness, I am sure softopz has something to say about that.

Regarding cam, not sure what your intention is with the valve train but some cams works with stock valve trains and some needs an upgrade. Are you having a professional fiddling with your head or are you confident in messing with it yourself?

And I know, getting cam is a jungle. Google and forums are your friend. 

 

I've seen mircosquirt in my searches, I''ll have to look more into that as well. Im keeping the bottom end stock (ie: pistons, rods, crank etc) and having the head professionally reworked with the cam kit:

  • Schneider Performance Spring & Retainer Kit
  • New Rocker Arm Set
  • New Lash Pad Set
  • Schneider Installation Cam Lube
  • Schneider Formula 2 Additive
  • Cam Tower Blockoff Plate Kit

+ whatever cam I decide to go with! (Obviously if I go with a different cam and they have a different kit available I will go that route, but for now the Schneider kit is atleast a good guideline of what I will be swapping out on my head)

I like the characteristics of the Schneider stage 4, but have read that they are not as superior as ISKY or some other cam brands.    

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Also I might ask, how much of a beating can the stock L28 handle with a bigger cam and rebuilt head? Is it smart to go with a bigger cam on a stock bottom end motor? Engine has around 117k on it, and has been maintained very well. I''ll need to go through my receipts and see if the timing chain has been replaced as well, as I am thinking that will be my first weak link in the build if anything, but then again I am not familiar with the strength of these motors or the longevity other than what I have been told by others (which is that they are great motors). From what I've read so far, and from your suggestions as well, is that these can definitely handle quite a bit. 

Edited by RefreshRate

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