So, I was randomly looking back through my old posts and stumble back on my intro for HBZ. 5 years ago I got hooked on Datsuns. I stopped posting to focus on reading and learning more. Because of the overwhelming amount of information available about these cars I didn’t find it necessary to ask many questions. I stopped updating my introduction after i bought the 76 280z. The 280z has come along way since then!
In the past 5 years it’s seen a lot of redoing. Iv’e changed wheels, flares, engines, ECUs, a few times. Although not the most efficient way to modify a car, it is allowing me to learn, improve and keeps me interested in the process. My only underlying goal with modifying it is to keep pushing toward the car having a “special” feeling to it. I can’t define a “special” feeling exactly but it’s a feeling i would like to have when i look at the car in the garage, sit in it, show it off, and while driving.
A few years ago I swapped the l28 for a l28et. My first engine swap. It went pretty well and the experience was a huge confidence booster. It made the car feel way better on the highway and the exhaust note was awesome! The next year i decided to hop up the power a little and add Injectors, FP, larger turbo, IC, 3in exhaust and MegaSquirt. I had some help tuning and was able to learn a bunch about wiring and street tuning. The power gain was pretty substantial. Although I did not get a change to dyno it, my guess is it made around 300hp with a lot of torque. I really felt like this was the sweet spot for the car. Enough power to feel “fast” compared to a modern car, but not too crazy.
A few months later I decided to start liking the Gnose. The Gnose really transformed the look of the car. I took the car to Gridlife Midwest and it won Best JNC classic! A proud moment for me as it was my first car show and i honestly didn’t build it with the intent of entering or winning any.
Last winter the Z got some greatly needed upgraded wheels, and a RB25 fell into my lap. I wanted to keep the white blue contrast going and had some Wantanabe RS8s custom built for the Z. The wheel size and width are totally for athletic purposes and I’m fine with that.
I had been wanting to do a RB swap since before i did the l28et swap, they where just too pricey at the time. That winter I stumble across a cheap local RB25 for sale locally, and decided to take the plunge. I refreshed all of the accessories on the RB and installed an upgraded turbo, turbo manifold, ECU Masters EMU Black, custom wiring harness, 1000cc injectors, even larger FP, fuel rail, and open dump external waist gate. I also took the opportunity to clean up and paint the engine bay. People would always ask me to see the turbo swap and with how messy the bay was before i was kinda embarrassed to. I learned so much during the first swap the RB swap came out so much cleaner and came together much more easily than i would have thought. This time I did all of the initial tuning myself and took it to the dyno to get it fine tuned under boost. Made 400hp on 93. The RB25 make the car feel much more modern and refined when not in boost. On boost its pretty intense! It kinda feels like having a loaded gun on you. I was missing with the idea of tuning it on e85 but i think I am good with the power it has for now. I’m also still using the u-joints in the rear, so I am planning to upgrade the whole rear end soon.
Also happened to win a showcase award at Clean Culture MI!
In all, I've been humbled by how much other people enjoy the car. I've met interesting people, made good friends from people just starting conversations about it. HBZ has been a constant resource for me throughout this project. Thank you all for the quality info and keeping the forum alive!