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rossman

Ross' Sleeper Z

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The goal of this project is to have a stock looking 1972 240z with a much more powerful engine and beefed up drive train and some suspension modifications to match. This car will be mostly a weekend driver with some track days. The only constraint (besides money :-D) is that I want to stick with the L6 and Datsun/Nissan parts as much as possible. Here is the current list of performance parts to reach this goal.

  • Rebello built 3.0 liter L6 turbo N42 engine
    • 89mm 8.5:1 forged JE pistons,
    • Forged rods
    • Offset ground l28 crank
    • Custom Isky Turbo cam
      • Intake: .535 lift, 278 duration, 114 lobe center
      • Exhaust: .535 lift, 278 duration, 114 lobe center
    • Ported head with 1 mm over sized stainless intake valves
      • Intake: 201 @ 25" water
      • Exhaust: 151 @ 25" water
  • Garrett GT3582R turbo, .63 a/r on-center T3 turbine, 3" v-band
  • Wolf V500 EMS running sequential fuel injection and firing six ls1 coils
  • J & S Electronics Vampire individual cylinder knock control
  • Custom Intake
  • Tial BOV
  • Tial  wastegate
  • AVO intercooler 21x8x3 core, 2.5” inlet/outlet
  • Custom 3” down pipe
  • Modified stock exhaust manifold and custom wastegate pipe
  • 2.5” aluminum intercooler piping 
  • 65 mm throttle body
  • 6 ls1 coils mounted on a Ron Tyler bracket
  • 75 lbs RC fuel injectors
  • Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump and FPR
  • Modified 240z gas tank with custom internal reservoir
  • 83 zx distributor mounted CAS with an extra hole for ECU sync
  • Z31t LSD differential
  • Z31t half shafts with M2 shortened shafts
  • Modern Motorsports Z31 to 280z stub axle adapters
  • 280z stub axles
  • Custom rear brace to clear differential cover
  • Ron Tyler differential mount
  • Arizona Z Car race brake conversion

I am starting with a straight and almost rust free car.


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Here is a video of the car a few weeks after I purchased it. It turned out that the valve train noise was caused by a very poorly machined head. There were indentations on the pistons where the valves were hitting them.

Here is what it looks like now. Kinda sad. It's been sitting for a while and is all dusty.

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The L24 is out. I expect to have the Rebello long block in a couple of weeks (January 2009).

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Here is my gearbox collection and the L24 block that I pulled out of this car. The clean gearbox is the one I pulled out of this car. It's a good box. The one to the left of it is an '82 close ratio. I may install one of these to begin with. When it craters, I'll swap in a Z32 box.

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Here is the F54/P90 core that I will be sending back to Rebello.

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My messy benches with lots of stock and performance Z stuff that I have been collecting over the past year or so.

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More when the engine comes in...

Edited by rossman

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I ordered a GT35R from ATP turbo today. I decided to go a slightly different route. I'm going to stick with the stock turbo manifold so ordered a .63 a/r T3 turbine with a Ford 5 bolt style integral wastegate hole. With that I got their "ultimate integral wastegate" that comes with a 3" v-band connection for the down pipe. My engine should be coming in next week . I'll post pictures of it and the turbo when they come in.

 

Cheers,

Ross

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My newest toy just in today from ATP: Garrett GT35R, dual ball bearing, T3 turbine inlet, .68 A/R turbine, Ford style 5 bolt exhaust flange, ATP "ultimate internal wastegate" with 3" v-band outlet. Every thing looks good. I went ahead and got all the water and oil fittings with it. I would think they could have at least thrown in some bolts for the wastegate :icon56:. It's a minor nitpick but still annoying! Anyway, here are some pictures. My engine should be here this coming Friday.

 

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My engine came in yesterday...

 

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Notice how it is cocked off to the side of the crate? More on that later.

 

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On the engine stand.

 

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.535 lift reground cam

 

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Mild port job.

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This worries me. I hope it seals else Rebello will be paying to have it fixed!

 

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Remember what I said about the engine being cocked off to the side of the box? Apparently somebody must have dropped it pretty hard. One of the bolts holding the engine to the box broke off. I'm glad they stuffed padding all around the engine. I don't see any other damage.

 

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I talked with Dave Rebello today about the pitting around the #1 exhaust port. He says this is common. Apparently it doesn't show up until it is cleaned and blasted. He assures me that high temp Copper RTV will seal it up. I'm going to take his word and move on.

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I started putting the engine together. I got the powder coated valve cover off Ebay for $65 which I thought it was a good deal. It looks pretty much flawless. The oil pan came off my 240. the PO painted it the same color as the car. I may paint it black, but I dunno I kinda like the silver. I'm going to install a -10 AN bulkhead fitting on it for the oil return line.

 

The exhaust manifold and turbo are mounted temporarily. I have a few problems here that are slowing me down (not that I'm in a hurry :wink:). First, the turbo studs are too short due to the spacer. I received the correct length yesterday so I should have this problem fixed this weekend. Second, the holes in my ebay spacer are ever so slightly off so that I cant get all the bolts thru it :cuss:. To top that off, I smoked two of my cheapie drill bits trying to drill out the holes:eek2:. I'm gonna borrow a decent drill from my machinist friend to fix that problem. Lastly, the "universal" wastegate acuator kit I purchased isn't gonna work. It's too short, too low and the bracket bolt spacing isn't wide enough for the position I need it. Apparently the turbo housing bolts aren't evenly spaced around the diameter. So, it's custom bracket time. I also have another straight actuator and extension on it's way.

 

Here is everything bolted on. The turbo is temporarily mounted until I drill out the spacer and get the right length studs in there.

 

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$65 "new" powder coated valve cover. The picture doesn't do it justice.

 

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GT35R without the compressor housing.

 

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Universal wastegate actuator "mounted" - doesn't fit

 

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Thie hole spacing by the compressor exit is a different, wider spacing than the rest. The bracket spacing is not wide enough.

 

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A picture from the top. I ground off that little bump on the manifold.

 

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A picture from the bottom.

 

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The engine is coming together slowly. Here are a few pictures. The Lonewolf intake and stock exhaust manifolds are torqued down. As you can see I installed a thermal blanket over the exhaust manifold. Hopefully it will significantly reduce radiant heat and keep under hood temps down. I drilled out the Lonewolf fuel rail from 5/16 to 3/8 NPT for a 3/8 to -6 AN fittings. 75 lbs fuel injectors are installed. I got the Bosch connectors off an older BMW I found in the local bone yard. Ron Tyler LS1 coil bracket and coils are temporarily installed.

 

I've had a change in plans with regards to my transmission. I decided to go ahead and install a Z32 5 speed. I got the gearbox off an Ebay JDM inporter. It has <50K on it. The gears and synchros look pretty good. The bell housing is at a friend's house...yes he has a Bridgeport milling machine in his garage! He paid $700 for it at government auction. Cool stuff! The bell housing should be done this week. I got the transmission cross member and shifter adapter from McKinney Motorsports. It looks like high quality stuff. (No pics yet, sorry!)

 

Oh yeah, I got some used 15 x 7 Panasports off a HZ member. Thanks glogan!

 

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This morning I ported my GT35R's wastegate port and ATP ultimate wastegate housing and installed the turbo on the engine.

 

The turbo's wastegate port had some sharp edges in the bottom where the drill tip stopped. I smoothed out the edges and opened up the hole about .06 on the diameter. The flapper is 1.31" so it should still have enough overlap to seal.

 

The ATP Ultimate Wastegate opening around the turbine exit was a little too small so I opened it up a little so the exhaust stream doesn't hit the edge of the housing ID.

 

Here is the wastegate port as received from ATP. Notice the sharp edges from the drill tip.

 

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Here it is after I smoothed it out.

 

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Here is the unaltered Ultimate Wastegate housing.

 

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Here is the Ultimate wastegate housing mounted. I had to grind open the housing so that it cleared the turbine exit.

 

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Here is the compressor housing after I smoothed out the transition at the exit. Previously there was a ~.25" lip here. I couldn't get it very round cause the damn die grinder kept grabbing, but I think it's a much improved transition.

 

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Here is a shot of the GT35 turbine blades.

 

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Here is the turbo mounted.

 

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Work on the Z has been progressing slow these days. I've been working more on the house and yard rather than the Z. Anyway, the latest work has been on the Z32 gearbox. I finally got it all back together with the modified bell housing and McKinney Motorsports mount and shifter and linkage adapter.

 

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Here is a crappy little video I shot of the shifter in action. Nice short and precise shifts.

 

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Here is a YouTube link too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLht272kDhU

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I don't have anything new going on with the Z lately. I've had a minor disaster with my house. Apparently the brick on the north side of my house is crap and needs to be replaced. We had a couple of storms lately that pushed water thru the brick into the house damaging the interior wall some of the flooring. I got an estimate for $10K just to fix the brick :eek:. Needless to say this is putting a damper on my Z funds. On top of that, I'm putting in new flower beds that I promised the wife a while ago.

 

The EDIS adapter that I purchased from Derek didn't fit my particular front damper. Derek was gracious enough to modify it for free. It should be here this week. I'll take some pictures when I get it installed.

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I temp installed my Derek CAS hub and sensor mount. The parts are high quality. I originally had a fitment issue with the hub because he fabbed it up based on his damper which is runs an air pump on the outer v-groove. The daper I'm using came off a '78 and is deeper due to the thicker a/c belt. Derek was gratious enough to modify it to fit. The sensor placement might be off a little but I think I can make a spacer to take up the difference. Here are some pictures of the setup. I plan to use this for engine timing and the distributor mounted CAS for sync. With this setup and Wolf V500 EMS, I should be able to run full sequential ignition and injection.

 

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I haven't done much recently. I've been busy with a big review at work and the house has needed lots of attention. I got to keep my priorities straight :icon45:. However, I couldn't pass up this little gem. It's custom made with high carbon steel flanges and stainless pipes. The turbo flange is t4 so I'll need to get an adapter for my t3. I'll probably go ahead and get a divided adapter off ebay and a new ATP divided t3 .78 A/R turbine housing. The only divided t4 housings I can find for the GT35 are 1.0 A/R which would probably take forever to spool.

 

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Of course, nothing's ever perfect. The flange is warped a bit. I'm trying to find someone to true it up for me. The only shop I could find around here that had a belt sander long enough didn't want to mess with it for some reason. I bolted it down to the head and checked the running torque. It took less than a foot pound to bring it in. The FSM calls for 18 ft-lbs max. I may just try it as-is.

 

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Here it is hanging off the studs. It clears the motor mount bracket by an inch or so. I'm a little worried that my A/C compressor won't fit. It's going to be close.

 

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I'm going to have to move the oil return fitting to clear the wastegate. No biggie. I'm sure someone on HZ can hook me up with a non-turbo oil pan. I need the 280z/N42 mid-sump type because the sump is more FWD than the ZX oil pan sumps.

 

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I still haven't made much progress lately except for a few new parts I purchased lately. I got a T4 > T3 adapter from MC Motorsports off Ebay. Nice, quality part. I mocked it and the turbo up on the engine/manifold to see how it looked:

 

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I still need to get gaskets and my wastgate back from the shop. Hopefully they were able to match up a valve guide for it.

 

In other big news I purchased a James Thaggard intake manifold from Garrett76Zt. It's funny how things happen somtimes. I was looking at MONZTER's CFD work and I started thinking how I could modify the Lonewolf intake to angle the throttle body towards #3 just like James Thaggard and others had done with their intakes. The next day (or so) I saw Garrett's post where he was selling his intake. I couldn't pass it up. It should be here next week sometime. The Lonewolf intake is going to Ebay. I hope to recover most of the money I forked over for that one. I still think it's a good intake but probably not the one I want for my setup.

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Here are some pictures of the latest addition to my ever changing setup. It's a SST (Speed Shop Thagard) manifold that I purchased from Garrett (Garrett76t). As you can see it has tapered runners that protrude into the plenum to form simple velocity stacks. He was getting over 500 HP with this manifold. The only problem (of course there's always a problem :wink:) is that I have 14 mm injectors and this one takes 11mm injectors. I think I'm going to have the injector ports opened up to accept the 14mm injectors. Although, it would be easier to just buy new 11mm injectors but the selection is limited. Decisions, decisions.

 

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Edited by rossman
grammar!

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Well I finally made some progress. I'm tired of fooling around with the engine on the stand. Hopefully I'll have it in the car tomorrow morning...wait, it is morning :ugg:

 

ACT pressure plate and 6 puck spring center clutch disk:

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Z32 gearbox mated with 240Hoke's adapter and McKinney motorsports shifter:

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As promised earlier, I got the engine in the car. I did it all myself in about 3 hours including modifying the transmission mount. Here are some pictures of the install. Sorry for the crappy picture quality. I took these with my phone.

 

Up and over the radiator support. I was a little nervous while it was so high in the air. I kept imagining the bolts shearing off. I had the both ends of the chains attached to bolts just in case.

 

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It all went pretty smoothly until I went to bolt up the transmission mount. The holes were about 1-1/8" off :icon45:

 

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After a few minutes of swearing and general disbelief, I took a few measurements, busted out the bench top drill press and wallah...problem solved. I actually like this better. There is less overhang which means less prying on the bolt heads.

 

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I promptly installed the exhaust manifold to check for clearances. Looking good so far.

 

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I was really worried about the wastegate to steering shaft clearance but this looks good too.

 

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Intake manifold installed

 

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Checked clearance to the compressor outlet to shock tower. It's a little tight but I think it will work. I may go with a hard pipe here to gain a little more clearance.

 

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That's all for now. Thanks for looking!

Edited by rossman
because it's my thread :)

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I've made some progress this week. I installed a rebuilt 15/16" master cylinder in preparation for the vented front disk upgrade. I have all the parts for the stage 1 non-vented disks but I think I'm going to go straight to the vented disks. Here is a picture of the master cylinder installed..no big deal. I forgot what a pain in the a$$ this thing is to get in. Last time I changed one out was in 1990.

 

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I also laid out my basic Wolf EMS and J&S wire routing. Here are the wires coming into the engine bay. Wolf provides plenty of wiring. I need to get a pretty good size grommet for all the wiring coming thru. I think I'm going to locate the power supply on the passenger the engine bay. I originally planned to put in inside under the dash but space is very limited due to the after market a/c components in there. Is there a real good reason not to put the PS in the engine bay? Seems like it would keep the high current wiring as short as possible and minimize holes thru the firewall.

 

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Here are the ECU's in the glove box. I'm just going to velcro them in place...at least for now.

 

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I'm also working on fabbing up some bellows for my turbo manifold to allow for expansion/contraction of the long tubes. I am copying Jeffp's idea of incorporating Mercedes Benz exhaust manifold components into the header. Here are a couple of pictures of the hardware I purchased on Ebay. I'll need to have a couple of weld on stainless flanges fabricated with the same flange profile as the cast iron flanges in the pictures. The short cylindrical piece floats between the flanges and is covered and sealed by the bellows. The bellows are clamped to the flange using the funky little clamps. There are also thin shims to seal the bellows to the flange. The parts are stainless and appear to be reusable...except for one of the short pipes that I bent trying to pull it out of the manifold :icon45:.

 

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I thought this was an interesting clamp design. It appears to be thin sheets of stainless spot welded to both sides of the clamp. Seems to work perfectly.

 

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I also pulled the old R180 rear end in preparation to install the z31 LSD and Roostmonkey built Ron Tyler differential bracket.

 

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Here is my initial fit-up of the Ron Tyler bracket. As you can see, it doesn't quite fit. I read in another thread that the exhaust hanger on some 240's is welded on like mine. I'm going to have to grind if off to get the bracket installed properly. It looks like every thing else will clear. I remember reading that some people had problems with the emergency brake hardware interfering. There appears to be adequate clearance in my case. Of course I won't really know until I get the mounting holes lined up. :wink:

 

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Here is a view looking up the tunnel to give you an idea how tight the Z32 gearbox fits inside the 240z.

 

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Time for bed :)

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The LSD differential, RonTyler bracket and urethane bushings are installed. I also fit-up and modified a Modern Motorsports cross brace. I had to notch it quite a bit to get good clearance...maybe a little overboard but I'm unsure how much the parts move/flex relative to each other. I may also weld on an additional angle to stiffen the brace in the out of plane direction.

 

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Fit-up the MM cross brace. The corners of the fins hit the brace. Also note the big-azz bracket that some hack shop installed on the car. I'm guessing the car previously had a tow hitch installed. Those bolts holding the bracket go thru thin sheet metal with no other bracing or pad-up. I'm surprised it just bent instead of ripping out of the car. The washers on the other sides are bowed up like it was trying to pull the bolts thru. Very unsafe. :shock:

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The notched brace clears at least 1/4 inch all around. The bracket also provides a nice flat surface to mount my fuel pump and filter :).

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The MM brace is compact enough to clear the Suspension Techniques rear sway bar mounts. :mrgreen:

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I got these Modern Motorsports Z31 half shafts to S30 axle adapers in the mail yesterday. These things are VERY heavy duty. There is no doubt that something else will break before these do. I also purchased new bearings from Motorsport Auto so I can swap out my stock 240 axles for 280 axles.

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It's been a while so I thought I'd give an update in case anybody is wondering what's going on. I made a little progress with the rear end. I had a local good ol' boy shop install my new rear wheel bearings.

 

Everything went well until I got them home and realized they forgot to pack the bearings with grease...the grease that I provided. I called him up and he admitted his mistake and offered to make it right.

 

In the mean time I picked up a front and rear Arizona Z Car Wilwood brake setup. I figured that if this car is going to be as fast as I think it's going to be then I'll need it to stop fast too.

 

I got a pretty good deal on the brake setup from David K on this board. Thanks David! The brakes haven't actually arrived yet so I don't have any pictures except this one from his ad:

 

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I may strip or paint the caliper back to the original black. I'm not a big fan of the bling effect.

 

Anyway, with this setup you have to remove the stub axles. So I guess I'll be paying another $50 to have the axles and bearings pressed out and back in again!:bonk:

 

I got a set of 780cc Precision injectors off ebay. They should have way more than enough capacity for my goal.

 

I also removed the fuel tank and cleaned it out. I'm going to have a sump welded in by Moyer Fuel Tank Renu. I got the idea from a thread on this board. The guys there are very knowledgeable and helpful. The local shops I talked to were not so helpful and wanted to charge me the same amount of money to do it without baffles. I think most of those guys deal with American muscle drag cars so baffling isn't so important. I dunno.

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I test fit my brakes today. I knew it was going to be close with 15" wheels but it looks like there is adequate clearance. The Panasports have a +19 offset. The 25mm spacers put the offset close to where it's supposed to be and allow the calipers to clear the wheel. It's funny how this worked out. I no intention to use these brakes when I bought the wheels. If the wheels had the proper offset then the calipers would not fit and spacers would put the wheels outside the wheel wells. I guess I got lucky for once. :) In other news, I sold my custom exhaust manifold on ebay. I'm just going to go with a ported stock manifold with a welded on external wastegate.

 

Here is the setup. AZC Racing Brakes with Wilwood calipers and 25 mm thick 4 x 114.3 spacers.

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Fits like a glove.

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Looks like about 1/8" to 3/16" clearance to the balancing weights.

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The fronts fit as well. Ignore the stock disks. I'm just test fitting for now.

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Edited by rossman

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I've been working on the car a little bit since my last post. I tore down the front suspension and painted the front 280z hubs (need 280z hubs for the AZC brakes) I decided to get it rolling before I spend time on anything else. That has proved to be a challenge! The main problem is that I also decided to get a set of AZC rear parking brakes that Dave at AZC is developing. That's part of the problem. Dave is *developing* the setup. I tried to convince him to sell me the brackets only so I can move on but the won't do it. He wants to make sure the setup works before he sells it. I can understand that. Last time I talked with him he told me that the setup will need custom cables. All I can do it wait. It's no big deal, I got PLENTY of other stuff to keep me busy...on the car and otherwise :(.

 

In the mean time I thought I would buy some other cool stuff :D. I got a set of Tokico springs, Illumina struts and strut spacers. I don't have any pictures but everyone knows what they look like.

 

I also picked up this welded NISMO type oil pan from Johnc. Very nice quality. Thanks John!

 

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On my to-do list next is to finish up the front suspension. I need to paint the strut housings then reassemble them with the AZC front brakes. It should be pretty straight forward. Should be...

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The rear suspension is on hold until I can get Arizona Zcar's rear parking brake setup. Dave is working on it. He test fit it the bracket and caliper but the stock cable does not work with it. He needs to design a new cable.

 

I disassembled most of the front suspension. The suspension parts are going to be powder coated and reinstalled with urethane bushings everywhere.

 

I had an external wastegate put on my exhaust manifold and an oil return fitting welded on my oil pan. PowerFab Automotive in Houston did all the fabrication work for me. I dealt mostly with Nathan in the beginning. Once we got down to the specifics I talked to his welder (I don't remember his name). This is the way it should be. I like to talk to the guy who is actually doing the work. The work was done very quickly despite the fact that they looked very busy. I dropped the parts off on Friday around 11:00 and received a call that afternoon that the work was done. I picked up the parts Saturday afternoon. I'll probably have PowerFab build my down pipe and exhaust when it's time.

 

And without further ado, here are the pictures.

 

Nice short wastegate pipe and compact TiAl MV-S wastegate.

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PowerFab's wastegate pipe places the actuator housing about 1/4 inch from the block.

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Another camera angle

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Weld-on 5/8" NPT bung for the turbo oil return.

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PowerFab filled in a few holes that punched thru when I was shaving off bosses on the intake. I also carved back the manifold flange to clear the coolant bypass fitting over #5 exhaust port. You can see the temporary brass plugs in the head where the fittings will be installed.

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That's it for now!

Edited by rossman

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The rear suspension is on hold until I can get Arizona Zcar's rear parking brake setup. Dave is working on it. He test fit it the bracket and caliper but the stock cable does not work with it. He needs to design a new cable.

 

I disassembled most of the front suspension. The suspension parts are going to be powder coated and reinstalled with urethane bushings everywhere.

 

I had an external wastegate put on my exhaust manifold and an oil return fitting welded on my oil pan. PowerFab Automotive in Houston did all the fabrication work for me. I dealt mostly with Nathan in the beginning. Once we got down to the specifics I talked to his welder (I don't remember his name). This is the way it should be. I like to talk to the guy who is actually doing the work. The work was done very quickly despite the fact that they looked very busy. I dropped the parts off on Friday around 11:00 and received a call that afternoon that the work was done. I picked up the parts Saturday afternoon. I'll probably have PowerFab build my down pipe and exhaust when it's time.

 

And without further ado, here are the pictures.

 

Nice short wastegate pipe and compact TiAl MV-S wastegate.

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PowerFab's wastegate pipe places the actuator housing about 1/4 inch from the block.

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Another camera angle

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The welded exhaust manifold looks great. I read your whole thread but didn't see what caused you to abandon the turbo header. Can you elaborate? I purchased a header a while back and ended up selling it because it used a T4 flange and clearances were questionable. I also run A/C. The smallest GT35R vband T4 turbines I could find were.68 non-divided and .78 divided if memory serves. I didn't want to go backwards regarding turbo lag so I stayed with the cast iron manifold.

 

-John

Edited by jgkurz

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I didn't realize other people could post in this thread. It's cool, I like feedback.

 

I abandoned the manifold for several reasons. First, I convinced myself that it would never stop warping due to the design and lack of flexible bellows. I feel that the stock, cast manifold is probably the most reliable option for a street car like mine. Second, for my power goals the header is probably overkill. I think jeffp was making over 500 HP with a stock ported manifold. Third, I didn't like where it placed the turbo. The compressor outlet was in-line the strut tower and close to the A/C. I would clear the strut tower needed a pretty tight bend. I never could figure out a good routing around the A/C and air filter...although I didn't try too hard.

 

I hope that clears it up.

 

Thanks for the feedback!

 

Cheers,

Ross

 

The welded exhaust manifold looks great. I read your whole thread but didn't see what caused you to abandon the turbo header. Can you elaborate? I purchased a header a while back and ended up selling it because it used a T4 flange and clearances were questionable. I also run A/C. The smallest GT35R vband T4 turbines I could find were.68 non-divided and .78 divided if memory serves. I didn't want to go backwards regarding turbo lag so I stayed with the cast iron manifold.

 

-John

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