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LT1 into a Z32 + more


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#1 dts300z

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 11:01 AM

Ok her it goes… some of this everyone has seen but I wanted to put everything in one place with a few comments to help others out. I have been back and forth with engine swaps in this car for a long time. Since 2003 or so I have done 3 swaps in this car and I have finally made a good choice with the LT1. I actually initially started with the LT1 and then took it out and sold everything off to put away money for a house. I then dropped a turbo 4cyl. in it thinking that would pacify my needs (well that did not last long). So here we are again with the new swap (back to the ole LT1).

The first time I did this swap I really did not plan anything out and pretty much just threw the setup in and wired it up… it turned out pretty shitty to say the least (but it was a lot of fun). So this time I really thought things out and just dove right into a huge project. I first started with tearing out the inside of the car and cutting some big ass holes… lol.

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I got excited after cutting the hole and forgot to take some good pictures so here is the new tunnel in rough stages. I pretty much took a sheet of 16 gauge for the fire wall and cut out a nice radius and tangent legs to wrap underneath the car. Then I used a sheet of 22 gauge to create the tunnel. The 16 gauge piece on the firewall acted as a guide for putting the tunnel in and just kinda fell in place (with a little persuasion of course). Then I broke out the good ole body filler and sander and went to town.

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Ahhh amazing what a little bondo and paint does…

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Now its time to fab up some mounts. First thing is first lets see how far back we can shove this engine and center everything up. You have to center everything up tack it in place then build your mounts. Don’t do what I originally did and wedge it in and weld it… lol. Take you time and be sure everything has clearance and nothing will interfere with the engine rocking from torque and settling in place with the new mounts. I’m not a pro just a DIYer so don’t take everything literal. So here are the engine mounts and how the engine sits.

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Here is the tranny mount… kinda beefy. Gotta have reinforcement.

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Now you gotta figure out the wiring. Its pretty simple if you do your research. And here is the first fire up. Ohh and don’t forget everything else like exhaust, driveshaft, radiator, fans, fluids, filters, etc….

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And when naturally aspiration is not enough you gotta build a home made turbo kit.

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And this is what happens when you don’t tune the car and just turn up the boost without adjusting the timing on a 130k engine that has overheated a few times due to a bad fan relay… lol. Blown head gasket and broken ring lands on pistons 1 and 3. I heard the detonation on the final dyno pass. I get excited when I start making power and well I’ll turn up the boost until something happens… woops.

http://videos.streetfire.net/video/Turbo-LT1-300ZX_158121.htm
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Its amazing when you have a ton of time to figure things out cause your broke and you have nothing to do but think of ways to spend the money you don’t have. So instead of just replacing a few pistons and the head gaskets might as well go the distance. Now I’m working on installing a MSII engine management and Ford EDIS-8, injectors, forged pistons ARP hardware and a bunch of other goodies. Here are the pictures of the progress with the EDIS stuff. This is from design to finish.. well almost finished.

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This is a bracket a I came up with to hold the VR (variable reluctance) sensor… and it bolts right where the opti used to reside.

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Here is the wheel after getting it back from the EDM. Man it turned out good…

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Here is everything mocked up on a timing cover.

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Well I ended up adding a revision to the design. I got a ATI balancer hub and now where I decided to key the factory hub is not going to work with the ATI. So since this happened I decided to make the wheel concentric to the ATI hub to minimize runout. But I still mocked everything back up so I could get everything lined up and ready to go. Although this is not the final 36-1 wheel you can get the idea.

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There will be more to come!!!!

#2 dts300z

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 01:10 PM

Ok just an update to show you where I’m at… I’ve got some goodies in the mail over the last few months and the engine is going to the machine shop tomorrow. So far I have everything for the bottom end build minus the cam.

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I’m still waiting on the new 36-1 wheel but I got the new alternator bracket I drew up and it fits pretty well. I still need to wait till I get the engine together to build the spacers to line up the pulley but you get the idea.

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I’ve also installed the new shifter… going with an ole turbo 350 to take some stress off the R200 and axles in place of the T56 I previously had.

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I got a wild hair and threw together a side exhaust that exits out of the lower front quarter. I have always wanted to do this… I took an old magnaflow muffler and cut it down to about 8” from its original 12 or so. I took great care not to screw up the packing and overall it turned out great. I revised the engine mounts just a touch centering the engine in the bay within 1/16”. I made the new down pipe to connect to the muffler and cleaned all unnecessary wiring and fuse blocks out of the engine bay. I relocated everything in the car under the dash (easy access). Incase you are wondering about tire clearance between the exhaust there is plenty from lock to lock.

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This is the block off plate I made for the clutch master.

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#3 dts300z

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 03:39 PM

Alright! So I got the block back from the machine shop along with the rotating assembly and I went to town... I gapped the top rings at 0.025" and the second at 0.024". I plastigauged all the bearings and all the mains were right at 0.0025" across the board and the rods were from 0.0025" - 0.0030". After assembly and torque everything to spec I put a torque wrench on the end of the crank and it took about 25 ft. pounds to start rotating and about 15 or so to keep it going. So far so good!!!

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Yea I know I'm messy. I'm also very liberal with the moly too. loll....

#4 dts300z

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 03:02 PM

Alright I got it idleing good! Here is a little taste of poor quality video at its finest... lol.
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#5 dts300z

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 04:14 PM

I hooked up the line lock today…

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I used a main activation switch and 1 switch is for just the front and the other is for both front and rear. I set it up this way to give me better staging and to be able to load the drive train a little better.

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I also installed the tranny cooler and lines.

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Lastly I ran into a little snag with the transmission. The aluminum boss crack when I torqued down the front pump… what a bummer and one stripped out. Oh well looking for a new case now.

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I now have a new hole to fill in the back of the car… lol. I got bored and I couldn’t drive the car so I decided to cut on it instead. Just so you know this was a spare tire well. For the time being I’ll use this gained area for a single muffler with dual tips.

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#6 dts300z

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 01:44 PM

Ok here is a picture of the engine in the car. Keep in mind I still need to re-wrap the engine harness... long story. I have been taking it out on evening cruises for shake down purposes and I have a small trans leak at the shift linkage.

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#7 dts300z

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 05:42 AM

I put this in the MS section but I did not do such a great job and stuck it in one of my trouble shooting threads so here you go!

Here are a couple maps that seem to work pretty good. I HAVE NOT done any final tuning but the driveability is good and the plugs look good so far.

This combo includes:
LT1 355 (around 9:1)
60# injectors
EDIS-8
T-70 master power (.96 A/R)

I have not tuned full throttle yet. Use at your own risk!

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#8 dts300z

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 05:24 AM

Ok just a quick update and a FYI.

FYI: Don't use the VE table above... lol it is pig ass rich. I will post a new and better table soon enough. The timing table seems to be a good starting point.

Update: I am currently in the process of wiring up LS1 coils and fixing some little stuff (leaks etc...). I just finished up the wiring last night and I'll start playing around with the MS to get it fired up again. Videos shall come soon!! Pictures too!!

#9 dts300z

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 03:48 PM

Here are a few pictures with the LS1 coils and a quick video. I still need to work on the tune but it will get there. Also I ran out of electrical tape so the harness is not fully wrapped...

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#10 dts300z

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:08 AM

Well one more thing to hold me back just a little bit longer till completion. I have been bouncing back and forth on what I was going to do for the gearing in the rear end. I have finally made a decision and I'm sticking with it... :2thumbs:. I have decided to modify the sub frame to accept a 350z differential that so happens to have the perfect gearing (3.35:1) for my tire size I'll be running (26").

So far I have yanked out the sub frame and cut it up a little to make room for the wider footprint between the ears on the 350z diff. As seen below in the comparison picture. You will also notice the the height of the ears are different as well in comparison from the centerline of the pinions and this will also be addressed.

300z on the left and 350z on the right

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Here is the cuts I've made so far to make a little room.

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You can see in this picture the difference between the rear covers and unfortunately they won't swap.

350z left and the 300z right

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The plan here is to mill down the cover around the perimeter bolts so I can design a girdle to replace the missing mounting point. It so happens that the one bolt lines up perfectly and will provide a point of origin for the differential.


Unfortunately this diff is an open diff and well lets just say I stopped at spools-r-us on the way home... and since this is not an everyday driver it will be fine for my application.

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No worries I still have a little more welding to do on that...

#11 dts300z

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 04:32 AM

Ok, I boxed in the subframe with some 1/8" plate and welded everything up. I still need to work on the girdle for the back of the differential but the front mount is good to go. The picture has an optical illusion and the holes look cocked but they aren't. I will keep the updates coming as I make progress.

OH and sorry about the bad camera phone picture...

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I'll get some more pictures of the differential mounted in its new home...

#12 dts300z

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 09:17 AM

Just a small update!

I'm waiting on some axles to show up and a few parts for the differential so I can reassemble it. I hope to have some real progress over the next few weeks so stay tuned for some pictures and hopefully some dyno videos will follow in the near future.

#13 dts300z

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 11:23 AM

Here are a few pictures of the diff all the way welded up...

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I've made some pretty good progress on getting the rear end setup and welded in place. I've still got a lot of welding to do but here are the pictures.



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I've also got the axles. Ended up the G35 axles worked out great. All I have to do is swap the right side axle shaft from my old set because it is a little longer. the spline count going into the hub is the same and I couldn't be happier. Hope to have the rear end rebuilt and back in the car in the next few weeks... maybe sooner.

#14 dts300z

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 12:26 PM

Alright! I have finally made some more progress this past weekend. I am really excited now so hopefully I can get this thing on the road soon. Here are some more pictures of the progress. I should have it back on the road next weekend WOOOOHOOOO!

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#15 dts300z

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 12:05 PM

Finally back on the road... Everything worked out great so far. All the work for the gear change was well worth it. I can actually cruise on the highway at 70 mph without turning 4500 rpm lol. Ok here is a picture of it installed.

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Here is a couple pictures of some of the ducting I'm working on. Good news is it works so I can start working on a permanent solution. It took a while to get the engine bay sealed off to create a low pressure zone under the hood. Temperatures stayed under 190 on the highway for an extended period of time so I think I'm finally there. Now its just time for some tuning and videos to come.

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#16 dts300z

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 05:57 AM

So I've been making a few minor adjustments to my build lololol... I change my mind like the wind.

First it's time to make a little room for a distributer.

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Then well you gotta pull the engine yet again to make it pretty.

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Now we have some more progress...

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I'm selling all the engine management MS-II stuff and etc... to help pay for the blowthru conversion. Hopefully it will be back on the road soon.

#17 dts300z

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:22 AM

It's been a while but the project is not dead. Pictures and progress to come!

#18 dts300z

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 12:04 PM

Not sure were still going to fit under the factory hood. This is just the mockup carb, I'm going with a CSU. I hope to have it running in a few weeks and then off to the dyno to blow it up again lol.

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#19 dts300z

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 04:19 AM

A few more pictures of the progress this weekend.

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#20 dts300z

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:03 AM

It's running. I have a few bad plug wires lol. I switched over to some taylor wires this time.

My complements to Kevin at CSU for building me one hell of a carburetor.

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Videos to come!

Edited by dts300z, 12 March 2012 - 06:07 AM.





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