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MatthewFreeman1

Advice on plan for my 76 s30

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Hey guys, so I just picked up my rust bucket ‘76 280z. I could have spent a couple grand and gotten a rust free but I love challenges so I got this one instead. I’ll post pictures at the end.

 

here is my plan so far but I have a few questions. Parts needing replaced:

 

-floor pans - the z store

-frame rails - bad dog (twice thickness)

-350 v8 w/ 700r4 tranny or a T5 (haven’t decided)

The v8 swap kit - the z store

radiator kit - JTR

 

thays the major stuff. I know I’ll need the speedometer cable, water temp connector for v8 to s30. I have picked up the JTR book (still in the mail). The things I need help with mainly hat I can’t find on any forum here, is what about oil lines and oil cooler? And tranny lines. Mine was wrecked so I tossed it along with pretty much everything in the engine bay. But here’s the car now, and what It will look like after a while.. I’d appreciate any advice!

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Great progress so far, look forward to seeing a build journal!

1) speedometer cable, depending on your budget you can go with a GPS speedometer. I'm running one and havent run into any issues. 

2) oil lines and oil cooler? And tranny lines. - I ended up going to a local shop that makes hydraulic hoses and asked them to make all my lines for me, for me it was a lot cheaper than trying to find something in the states and ship it to Canada. With the oil cooler get any size that fits and get a custom hose made.

 

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^I think that is what he hopes it will look like lol.

 

You really don't need answers to those questions right now. I'd focus all my thoughts on saving the body. Simple google search will pop up the answers to your questions when the time comes.

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Yeah, first thing you do on that car is fix all the rust. You'll have plenty of time to think about the next step while you're doing that, by the looks of it.

 

Side note, I saw that blue shell on eBay. The brilliant owner apparently put all that reinforcement in and painted it without fixing his badly bent and kinked driver's frame rail. It was more noticeable on the engine bay side, but you can see evidence of damage in the pic posted there, just forward of where the crossmember bolts in. How the hell do you miss that?

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Sorry it took so long to get back to the forum, kid was born mid March so been busy with that haha and I’ve been doing a lot of research on best way to remove rust, DIY frame rails and floor pans. Thinking I’m going to use 16guage for both pans and rails. The original tank was rusted through so I tossed it, going to be using a fuel cell putting it in the spare tire spot.. how much reinforcement does the s30 need for 500hp and 500tq?? I’ve searched and searched but I can’t ever find a straight answer..

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Congrats on the kid!

 

It's kind of hard to quantify exactly how much reinforcement you'll need for that power, so you're not going to get a straight answer. Also depends what you're gonna do with the car. At a minimum, you should look up John C's list of what you can do to reinforce a street car, and start with that.

 

I wouldn't bother using thicker sheet metal for the floor pans. It isn't going to add any needed strength, so mostly it's just going to be harder to form, and it's going to add a bit of dead weight.

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If you aren't going to put the dimples and such in the pan I would step up to 18 gauge, but I agree 16 might be on the overkill side. I have some reinforcements on my 20 gauge panels, but they are for the most part flat. If someone gets in and jumps up and down you can see the floor deflect so a bit thicker with a flat floor may not go amiss.

 

It does depend on the use. If you are launching and drag racing with a big torquey V8 then you might want to do something for torsional rigidity, and plan ahead for converting to a different rear end setup. If you are going to the track all the time then reinforcing the body overall to be able to run stiffer springs may be beneficial. 

 

People do everything with these cars so you just kind of have to find what you plan on doing with it, find someone who successfully does it and look at their formula.

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46 minutes ago, seattlejester said:

If someone gets in and jumps up and down you can see the floor deflect so a bit thicker with a flat floor may not go amiss.

Well, yes, but generally speaking, people won't be doing that lol. The floors don't really have to do much. They have to keep the weather out, provide a little bit of structure, and they have to support your feet resting on them. Contrary to what some people think (looking at you, previous owners), the floors are not a jacking point, and aren't intended to be able to lift up the car. 20 gauge will do that job fine. Don't add weight where you don't need it.

 

I believe the aftermarket floors available are 18 gauge anyway, so unless you make your own, it's a moot point. And yes, if you make your own, put some beads in 'em. Big difference in stiffness.

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True, I noticed when my friend was getting in and out of my car while I was underneath it. Although my floors are quite different, and that reminds me I need to tie my floor mounts to the rockers. Bead rolled 20 gauge is fine, it was factory after all. 18 gauge would be about as thick as I go. I used 16 gauge for the firewall because that is what was available, and that was very very difficult to manipulate.

 

Carpet comes way later. I don't run any at the moment, but they have "kits" online that are just molded to the trans tunnel for the most part that are cut to fit. 

 

These cars really don't make good drift cars, really shallow angle, lots of interference if you want to try and get more angle. 

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