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Tonyorlo

Budget build ZX

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I bought this car for a very good price. It was advertised with no title which I was fine with because I wanted the wheels for my 78 Dodge colt and I could use parts from it on my 260z. When I arrived to buy it the owner found the title. So that changed my plans. I still want to steal the wheels for my colt, but I want to make this car a DD/autocross Car and maybe a track Car some day. 

 

Previous owner replaced a lot of parts and said he had the top end off and that he think the cams timing is off. The engine harness has been cut up, someone used crimp butt splices for the injectors so I will have to go through all the wiring. 

 

The shell is very solid aside from the rear lower quarters, fenders and valance. 

 

My goals/plan

 

-Pull too end off engine and check it out 

-Clean up wiring

-simplify vacuum system/remove smog stuff (I know some advise against it)

-clean up engine compartment (plumbing and wiring)

-shave rear bumper, repair rust

-new fenders and valance (not sure if I will go steel or fiberglass)

-clean up interior 

-simple stereo (amplified 2 way components)

-respray the Car the factory color

 

Im currently getting a game plan, I want to do this on the cheap, but not incorrectly. I will post pics when I make any progress. 

 

 

 

 

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welcome to the odd ball s130 club. thats exactly what my car started as (exterior and interior)..if your on a budget, spend your money wisely. these are hard cars to do on the cheap. stay away from showcars.com for any fiberglass parts. those wheels are 14x6 with 0-offset. the only things your gonna get to replace them cheap is some standard steel wheels. id start with getting it running first. atleast at that point you could get more money for it if you decide to sell it. not a quick car for todays standards but they are very fun cars to drive. and as you have been informed, almost nothing on them relates to a 240,260,or even a 280z. they dont look so cool with the bumpers off like the older ones do. but hey everyone has a taste. enjoy whatever you do and good luck with it.post-24014-0-46241100-1476392448_thumb.jpg

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Well I see there’s always a few ZXs on eBay being parted out, and Car-part.com seems to have quite a few on there. I figure I could get some steel fenders from one of those 2 places. They will be easier and fit better than glass ones anyway. 

 

I really wanted the wheels for my dodge colt, but your car looks really good with them, I may just leave them on the car for now. I wanted to source either some aluminum slot wheels, or steel “circle track” wheels (not sure what they are called).

 

I’ve ran megasquirt on a few of my vehicles and I would like to go that route someday. I could easily set up a crank trigger and run LS coil packs in waste spark. For now getting it running with what it has is the goal. 

 

Few questions that I do have

-Are aluminum slots or mags hard to find for the ZX?

-What’s the widest tire than I can fit under it front and rear?

-Will the efi give me fits removing the smog and she?

-Are lower quarter latch panels available? I kept coming across stuff for Zs but not ZXs. 

-Are good dashpads obtainable? 

 

I jist really want want to make this a autocross Car. I’ve ran on the track with my GTI but my friends have gotten into autocrossing and I am dieing to try it. This seems like a great foundation for that. 

 

Thsnks for rhe reply!

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16 minutes ago, Tonyorlo said:

Well I see there’s always a few ZXs on eBay being parted out, and Car-part.com seems to have quite a few on there. I figure I could get some steel fenders from one of those 2 places. They will be easier and fit better than glass ones anyway. 

 

I really wanted the wheels for my dodge colt, but your car looks really good with them, I may just leave them on the car for now. I wanted to source either some aluminum slot wheels, or steel “circle track” wheels (not sure what they are called).

 

I’ve ran megasquirt on a few of my vehicles and I would like to go that route someday. I could easily set up a crank trigger and run LS coil packs in waste spark. For now getting it running with what it has is the goal. 

 

Few questions that I do have

-Are aluminum slots or mags hard to find for the ZX?

-What’s the widest tire than I can fit under it front and rear?

-Will the efi give me fits removing the smog and she?

-Are lower quarter latch panels available? I kept coming across stuff for Zs but not ZXs. 

-Are good dashpads obtainable? 

 

I jist really want want to make this a autocross Car. I’ve ran on the track with my GTI but my friends have gotten into autocrossing and I am dieing to try it. This seems like a great foundation for that. 

 

Thsnks for rhe reply!

 

Wheels for the ZX aren't actually THAT hard to find, you just won't find donors for them everywhere.

 

Widest wheels F/R is generally around 255/275. 255 will likely rub a bit at full lock, but 245 is pretty safe with the right offset. 275 in the rear is even a bit conservative if you have perfect backspacing and roll the fenders a touch. If you dig through the 2 million pages of the rota group buy thread you'll find details of how well they do/don't fit the 280ZX. The short of it is that the group buy rotas fit the 280ZX without the need for flares but the ZX has a touch more room inward than a S30 without coilovers and thus a bit more backspacing could be used to tuck the wheel in a little.

 

The EFI is pretty rudimentary. It doesn't have any knowledge of when the cold start injector is open, or the vacuum bypass systems and such. The ECU itself operates like most MAF vehicles and has a RPM by AFM table. Most other things that add/remove fuel in various transient conditions are handled outside the ECU. Removing most of the smog stuff won't cause much harm, but do note that if everything is working RIGHT and in good order, it shouldn't be hurting power at all.

No idea on the latch panels

Dashpads? You mean like those 70's/80's carpet covers for the dash? MSA has them last I checked, but that was a while ago.

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think you mean patch panels? i have yet to see anything for that. and get a hard dash cover. they are still cheap and look really good. just put down some good RTV or the sun will warp it. but if you keep a sun visor for the windshield that will make the cover last a lifetime. 

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Wow I am surprised a 275 will fit in the stock wheel wells. That’s pretty exciting though. I have been a bit lazy on searching on the forum. I need to spend more time looking and I am sure I will find all my questions answered already. 

 

I have never messed with a MAF efi system outside of repairing my stock vehicles. I’ve only worked wth speed density. I am glad to hear it’s pretty basic, so trouble shooting shouldn’t be to painful. I mainly want to remove the smog equipment just to clean everything up. Also what’s the little blower for on the passenger side of the engine? 

 

Sorry i should of been more clear on the dash pad. I would like to find a stock dash to drop in it, are they hard to come by? The previous owner had a carpet cover on it. I wouldn’t be against a cover like you suggested g tech, if they fit well. 

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Though I'm not sure I made it extremely clear, the common rota rb-r group buy rims fit 245 and 255 front/rear with relative ease (some rolling in back). But if you get a bit more backspacing, 275 in the rear is easy, and can even go a lot wider if you get really crazy with suspension tweaking and getting the perfect rim/tire combo.

 

Here's a car running 245/255 F/R

 

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And here's a S130 running 255 9" all around instead of the staggered setup (yes, 255 in front O.O)  :

 

280zxt2.jpg

 

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If you made a custom rear LCA (not a trivial thing on a trailing arm suspension) and moved the lower spring perch inboard a bit I bet a 315 would fit in the rear! Not joking, there's miles of room in there. But for an easy setup, getting 245/255 range all around is fantastic for this weight of a car.

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Looking through Rotas site, I really like the Shakotans. I have seen them on zxs when I googled it so it’s a possibility. They kinda go completely against the budget idea that I had but though. I did not see offset options on their site though. 

 

I tried searching for into on custom LCA but did not find any results. Fabricating it would not be a problem between the what I have and what friends have. 

 

As for tire size, I want to go as wide as I possibly can for traction and for looks but I think with the minimal power and weight of the car the costs to go that wide would not be worth it. 

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im no expert but i have looked at altering or making new trailing arms for my zx and it doesn't seem so straight forward. they are a semi-trailing arm, they are not just 90deg to the wheel, they are mounted on an angle. i wanted to do something because the wheel pulls forward when the car squats. and the zx's like to squat. i have 17x8 with 0-offset with 235/45 tires and i had to clearance the front of the wheel well lip. it was actually hitting the front of the wheel well. i have a 400whp LS motor in it but i also have 380lb springs in the rear and the car comes stock with 125lb springs. you can put like eibach springs in it but its still gonna squat pretty good even with a stock motor. i want to eventually figure out how to move the mounting point for the semi-trailing arm back more. you can play with the offsets and run inward more. i have lots of room to the inside left over but my opinion (again im no expert) but with a car that squats alot, once it does,  and you have some crazy offset wheel, the tire is not gonna stay flat on the road and you will just end up riding on the inside edge. so i stuck with 0-offset cause thats what the car was designed for. and i get lots of traction. ive road coarsed it and i go to the dragstrip alot and i am very happy with it. even when i had a stock v8 in it and was still running the 14x6's the car hooked pretty good. the zx's get lots of traction as is. 

im not saying something different cant be done or that it would be wrong so do whatever you can do. i see that there is others with the wider tires but id be curious if they rub when they are hard on them.

good luckpost-24014-0-77074700-1494511921_thumb.jpgpost-24014-0-45149800-1503317951_thumb.jpg

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Yeah, squat is a serious problem with semi-trailing arm suspension, and if you look at the OEM LCA you can tell it sees a LOT more force acting upon in than a typical McPherson strut setup like on the S30. The "best" thing you can do to alter the stock geometry for less toe and camber change, and also improve squat a little, is to actually raise the inner pickup point. This is far from trivial, but it should also make it apparent than if raising the pickup improves geometry, then lowering the ride height degrades geometry. All the dynamics are operating on curves, and the thing about arcs is that they tend to intersect in a logarithmic fashion, meaning that they have sweet spots of operation and once out of that change dramatically. If you limit the stock movement to be within +/- 2 inches then the camber and toe changes are minimal, and obviously if you can keep travel that minimal then you've prevented squat somehow. The easiest solution is insanely heavy springs, but that also means significantly better struts that can handle the stress of stiff springs. On the plus side, if you run springs that hard, you don't need much of any rear roll bar, which can help gain back some of the ride quality loss.

 

But for context of suspension travel vs ride quality, the stock miata can travel about 1" before contacting it's long bump stops that are incorporated into the suspension travel goals. A well set up miata can ride surprisingly smooth and only have about 2" worth of compression space before hitting shortened jump stops.

 

Also, I'm no expert on all this. I just take the time to read and listen to the experts or those that know more than me. One thing echoed in many places, is that compound matters more than patch area. A 275 wide tire that's a mediocre all season with a 400 treadwear is never going to outperform a quality 205 wide tire with a 200 (or lower) treadwear. Getting a tire's contact patch to the right temperature, and keeping that temperature as even as possible across the patch matter far more than the shear size of the patch. Also, a well performing 205 wide tire is likely WAY lighter and also on a smaller and lighter wheel, improving performance in all directions. I'm all about fitting as much tire as possible, it's just one of those things that you have to consider the goals and why you're doing it before making a decision. If I owned a 280ZX again I'd shoot for about 245 on all four corners as that looks really beefy for the size of the car, and likely is more than enough contact patch than I'll ever need, and would have stickier tires around if I ever needed them.

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Well honestly I’ve never layed under a ZX long enough to even know what the suspension looks like. I did come across this exploded view of the crossmember and control arms. Assuming this is actually correct I think making a new LCA would not be out of the question for me. Using threaded heim joints would make the toe very adjustable. As for camber, I have seen mention of camber plates. Is that really a thing for these cars and if so it would seem to be pretty easy. I have also also seen coil over conversions, but they are pretty pricey. 

 

I’m changing my plans for the car now. I am either going to sell it, or sell my 78 Dodge colt and make this car my daily driver. I am unsure what I am going to do. 

 

Can I get 245s on the stock wheels? So a 245-55 r14

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Edited by Tonyorlo

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Also, What is everyone doing for speakers? Could I install some 4” speakers in the dash and surface mount them? There are 6x9s behind the seats but I want to keep the sound in front of me. 

 

Maybe try to stuff a sub somewhere in the back as well. If it’s going to be my DD I need to be able to listen to music. 

Edited by Tonyorlo

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https://www.summitracing.com/parts/AEO-50-074540?seid=srese1&cm_mmc=pla-google-_-shopping-_-srese1-_-Aero-Race-Wheels&gclid=Cj0KCQjwguDeBRDCARIsAGxuU8ZDTKwfRhAvVeU1VMiplG2Wu9_aRoF2QUyNkMGHMp-m31YLhDUYhX0aAsp4EALw_wcB

 

From everything I have read, these wheels should work front and rear right? 

15x7 0mm offset. 

 

Edit: those wheels are 5 lug so never mind

Edited by Tonyorlo

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tire rack and carid have some. cheapest i see is $100 each. just when your searching, put in the car info so it will tell you if they fit or not. you need to be concearned with center bore diameter also if you are just searching without putting in year/make and model. try ebay too. if you check ebay, make sure you dont get something that needs adapters. you dont want to get into them if your gonna do any racing. when you put in make and model of your car (im sure you know) your car is a datsun and/or a nissan. so if you dont see datsun, then put in nissan.

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I don’t want to go any larger than 15s. I really like the Rota Shoktans, but I can get steel wheels for a 1/3 of the price. 

 

I would like to run a 245 or 255 like someone mentioned. 

 

Turbo, 245 on a 10? That’s got to be a stretch for it. Do you have any pictures?

The basset wheels are all measured in backspacing. For a 8” Wheel with 0 offset, that’s the same as 4” backspacing?

Edited by Tonyorlo

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2 minutes ago, Tonyorlo said:

I don’t want to go any larger than 15s. I really like the Rota Shoktans, but I can get steel wheels for a 1/3 of the price. 

 

I would like to run a 245 or 255 like someone mentioned. 

 

Turbo, 245 on a 10? That’s got to be a stretch for it. Do you have any pictures?

 

There are some pictures here, 

 

 

It's stretched but for racing application it's the recommended width on 10s. Unless you need maxwidth for max performance on a track a 8 or 9" wide tire would be plenty.

I have had both 16x6" and 15x8" Miata wheels, both of them looked a little bit more "normal". 

 

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I just looked through your thread the other day, I don’t know why I asked for pictures lol. I guess there is no deflection with them stretched like that. 

 

Id like the look of a wider tire all the way around if I can. Like a 245. This car will be a daily driver so traction for a racing application isn’t so important. So a 245/55/15?

 

The price of those wheels is hard to beat, do they all have the yellow stripe on the edge of the rim? 

Edited by Tonyorlo

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2 hours ago, Tonyorlo said:

I just looked through your thread the other day, I don’t know why I asked for pictures lol. I guess there is no deflection with them stretched like that. 

 

Id like the look of a wider tire all the way around if I can. Like a 245. This car will be a daily driver so traction for a racing application isn’t so important. So a 245/55/15?

 

The price of those wheels is hard to beat, do they all have the yellow stripe on the edge of the rim? 

 

Not sure, mine had. Send them an email, they helped me with questions.

 

I ordered from speedwaymotors.com, I would email them as well to make sure you get the correct wheel. Can't remember if I had to pay shipping. Summit racing doesn't have shipping but they don't sell them I think,

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