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Everything posted by Michael

  1. And that's precisely the point that I've been lamenting now for several years. 20 years ago, something pithy and valuable would pop up every minute... weight comparison of different engines, a new method of mounting the differential, carburetor selection advice, dynamic compression ratio, JTR vs. Scarab weight distribution. This continued apace for maybe 5 years, before settling into a more steady maturity. Maturity inevitably led to senescence.
  2. Newsworthy or not, here we go: it's been 20 years since this site was founded! 20 years! How far have we gone over those 20 years, and has the direction been predominantly forward?
  3. That's apt reminder of why I'm glad that I'm not a purist. That price is about 20X too high.
  4. These cars are becoming rare. 20 years ago, when this site first started, a S30 Z wasn't an exotic proposition as a daily driver. I'd see them on the streets of Los Angeles, where I lived at the time. Even a 240 could be found through the Autotrader (or whatever it was) newspaper for around $2000. A 280Z in entirely running condition, passing California smog-check, could be found for under $1000. Times have changed. Never mind V8 conversions, 2JZ conversions or whatever else. Just finding an S30 Z, in any shape, is a rarity. A well-running V8, regularly driven and lovingly owned, is a special treat... even if (or especially if?) it's not a "show car".
  5. My particular situation has firewall setback. The engine (a big block) is mounted to fabricated steel boxed protuberances welded to the frame rails, rather than to the K-member. However, the engine mounting scheme is the same. The mounts themselves are rubberized pieces that look like a pack of playing cards. On the inboard side, facing the engine, there are three bolts, going to the block. I believe that these are 3/8"-16. On the outboard side, going to the frame rails, there is a single bolt, 1/2"-13. As the engine torques-over, the two 1/2"-13 bolts - one on each side - are going to be loaded in tension or compression. They're not going to be sheared or twisted. I can't imagine how these bolts could possibly fail. If anything fails, it will either the the rubberized motor-mounts, or perhaps the cast-iron block itself.
  6. We're really in the wrong sub-forum for this topic... but from memory, the big spectacular halfshaft disasters correlate with a lowered (or very soft) suspension that heavily squats on launch. The remedy, at least anecdotally, is a setup where the halfshafts are approximately horizontal when the rear suspension is loaded. For stub axles, the consensus (to the extent that one exists) is to consult with one of the aftermarket suppliers. There was once - maybe around 2007? - a group-buy on custom machined stub axles. This was led, if memory serves, by one JohnC, who died some years ago in a motorcycle accident. Failure of the R200 itself, is reputed to be rare. Mrod's example is the only documented case that comes to mind. There is - again, in the Drivetrain forum - a spate of testaments of people running 9's in the quarter mile, with a welded R200... breaking half-shafts and stub axles, but not the differential (er, no longer differential) itself. Regardless, it's a good problem to have! An engine making enough power, together we enough traction, to break an R200... is an enviable achievement!
  7. It's quite a dilemma, isn't it! Miatas are more capable and more thrilling to drive in unmodified form, but between a tight engine bay (and really, tight everything), they're not particularly amenable to engine-swaps. S30 Z's are the opposite: readily swallow essentially any engine, and also lend themselves to comparative ease of structural reinforcement. But the baseline Z cedes advantage to the Miata. We see this in the Miata community, where engine swaps - while entertained with good cheer, whenever a tidy and successful swap is presented - remain a niche endeavor. Instead of engine swaps, the usual route to Miata power-increase is a turbo. You're right about the price situation. Prices bottomed maybe 5 years ago. Low-mileage cream-puff NA-series Miatas now regularly exceed $10K on Craigslist - while, of course, good examples of 240Z's have exceeded that threshold now for a long time.
  8. The more that I ponder it, the more it strikes me how an NA Miata (1990-1997) is today, what the 240Z was 20-25 years ago.. light, simple and beautiful... old enough to be "simple", but young enough to run reliably without constant attention or the need for a restoration. The late Wick Humble (sp?) - unless I'm confusing him with another venerable fellow of the same vintage - had a long-running column in Z-car Magazine. He was fond of condescendingly dismissing the V8 Datsun, with the quip, "Hey, if you really want a V8 2-seater coupe, why don't you just buy a Corvette"? The point that he missed, is that even the lightest Corvette is >3100 pounds. It has, at least in the modern generations, something like a 106" wheelbase. Sure, it's fantastic at 100 mph, and no doubt could go around the Nuerburgring faster than all but the most aggressively modified Datsuns. But how does it do at 30 mph? How well does it negotiate cones in a parking lot? The whole point of a V8 Datsun, or a V8 Miata, or a V8 AC-Ace, or a V8 MG, or a V8 VW Bug, etc., is to introduce insane amounts of power into a light, short-wheelbase car. Its ultimate racing-prowess is beside the point. Its main aim is to produce ear-to-ear grins in an entirely legal street-driving situation. To get such a grin out of a 911, a Corvette, or even an M3, requires a specialized setting.
  9. Some of us abhor fuel-injection, computers or closed-loop feedback. Lower weight and better power-density are fantastic, but not all of the associated trade-offs are worthwhile. The main disadvantage of the "old school" engines is that, unlike in the 1990s, they're no longer readily available in junkyards. They've become the stuff of specialized machine shops, or at least mail-order houses. Costs have risen. Performance has risen too, but the cheapness-factor is largely obsolete. The above notwithstanding, I'd prefer the largest displacement engine, making the most torque. If that is via an LS, fine. If traditional small-block or big-block V8, that's fine too. And there have been successful instances of LS engines reverse-upgraded to work with a carburetor. Some have been very nicely done. But at the very least, we're debating "old school" vs "modern" V8s. At least we've not begun by insulting a hapless new-member with some condescending "Search, newb!" That alone is progress, and I'm grateful for it.
  10. When you remove that much structure in the floorboards/rear, do you need to brace the remainder with temporarily welded cross-members?
  11. It's been a little over 3 years. Has anything happened to this car? Has the goal of 800 hp been achieved, and if so, what has been the owner's experience with driveability?
  12. That's why the bigger issue is correctly tuning the carb that one already has (or one that's approximately correct), rather than optimally sizing one, based on volumetric flow-rate formulas. Indeed, the trouble is how to learn how to disassemble the thing, what the various parts do, how to swap them out (or whether even to bother), and how the whole collection works together. That's hard to get from a book, even one that's a thorough as Vizard's books. This is where we need testaments of first-hand knowledge. Let me offer a practical example. For reasons beyond the scope of this thread, my own car has been sitting for about 3 years. Every few weeks I hit the starter, to turn over the engine to (perhaps) circulate some lubrication, or at least to preclude the rings from seizing. But I've not started it. Yes, there are ample checklists for how to resuscitate a long-dormant car. Drain this, add fresh that. But... what about the carb? Should the bowls be disassembled and the gaskets renewed? No? Any other gaskets? Rubber O-rings at the float adjustment bolts? And so forth. This is practical carburetor knowledge, that's hard to find in a book, or you-tube, or even a "normal" car forum.
  13. Indeed. I was fondly hoping for a discussion on carburetor flow-rating vs. mixture-velocity, and how to size carburetors for various engine operating conditions, displacement, volumetric efficiency,.... So, feeling jilted, I did a site-wide search on "Holley". Most hits were in the for-sale sections. The first serious link was this one: <https://forums.hybridz.org/topic/417-is-a-750-edelbrock-too-much-for-my-setup/?tab=comments#comment-2819> ... where the original question was asked in 2001, then renewed earlier this summer by the same fellow who started this thread, then answered by you, and then... crickets. But what really broke my heart was a quip in the aforementioned thread, where somebody said, "Hey, this is a Datsun forum, so if you have a Chevy question, why don't you go to a Chevy forum"? Well, as the kids say these days, WTF? This forum began with the specific purpose of tech-support/discussion on swapping Chevy engines into Datsun bodies, as a rebellion against Datsun purism. And now it seems that we've gone full-circle. Then I checked the FAQs. Lots of topics on fuel-injection, and some on Mikuni or Weber carbs. But nothing on Holley, Carter, Edelbrock, or any of their knock-offs or cousins. Does anybody know how to change jets anymore? Or to set the float-level? Or even care?
  14. While helpful, that site results in a carb selection that's very conservative, especially for a light car with a manual transmission. More specific to Mad Hatter's question... how does one arrive at a 350 engine with heads from a 400? That seems like a mismatch, to say the least. Also, it's odd that somebody would remove an engine from a 1969 Camaro and sell it separately, given how these vehicles have become so valuable in "numbers matching" guise. Something here is incongruous, or at least, merits further research... before worrying about optimal carb selection.
  15. This thread: "https://forums.hybridz.org/topic/59086-enginetrans-weights-definitive/" has some excellent information, but also leaves me a bit stumped. It gives 363 lbs for the long-block L24 dressed with intake/exhaust bits. A later post in the same thread gives 589 pounds for a complete L28, transmission and clutch/flywheel parts. Maybe I’m compareing apples to oranges, but are the flywheel/clutch transmission 200+ pounds? A later posting gives 291 pounds for the Datsun L16. Again, maybe apples to oranges, but if a 4-cyliner is 291 pounds, would it be reasonable for a six-cylinder from the same family (50 % larger?) to be only a few pounds more? And finally, in the same thread, the S52 (American version of E36 M3, after the stroke was increased for the 1996 model-year) is reported as weighing 406 pounds for the long-block. Not to impute any of the participants in the above-cited thread, but the spread in weights is, to me, counterintuitive. The inline-6s should (I think) be heavier. Having another data point, now for the S54, would be very welcome comparison with the S52!
  16. Just out of curiosity, have you had a chance to weigh that S54?
  17. Nevertheless, the question remains topical. Of the three links in this thread, two are dead; only the Longchamp link still works. Writing in 2019, it is parlously difficult to find wheels in 114.3 mm 4-lug pattern, with the appropriate backspacing, to fit an S30 Z. Coilovers help, owing to reduce spring-diameter, but only so much... assuming removal/relocation of the spring perch. In other words, the search today, is harder than the search 8 years ago, which in turn, is harder than the search 19 years ago, when this site started. The only popular 4-lug RWD car for wheel-fitment, with good aftermarket support, is the Mazda Miata. It enjoys good aftermarket wheel choices, for light wheels at reasonable prices. But the bolt-pattern is 100mm, not 114.3. In today's market, the "best" option would be something custom, or perhaps with a blank center custom-drilled to accommodate the S30... or alternatively, a 5-lug conversion. And that observation, I humbly submit, merits an update of a 8-year-old thread.
  18. "https://forums.hybridz.org/topic/60536-alignment-settings/" The camber numbers are similar to JohnC's "race" setup. The "street" setup has about half of the camber-angle. Regarding the rear toe... it is not inconceivable that there is a manufacturing-flaw in the McPherson strut housings... that is, in how the hole for the spindle-pin was drilling into the casting. It's a defect on the parts themselves, and not a function of how the suspension is set up. The remedy would be to find another McPherson strut assembly. This problem is, I think, more common on the front-end; I had to go through several junkyard parts to find a matched-pair that was symmetric
  19. Very nice! That's precisely the sort of build-philosophy, of which I'd like to see more. What does it weigh? How far back did you set the firewall? What did you use as a guide, to design the front suspension geometry?
  20. It's a generational thing. Persons who are sufficiently old as to remember when the 240Z first came out, would likely feel more visceral comfort with carbs. Those who weren't yet born when the last OEM carburated car left the assembly-line, would presumably have the opposite proclivity. This reminds me of the adage, that most fuel-flow problems are actually ignition (or other electrical) problems. Jon... not to hijack the thread, or to cause offense, but when did you change your philosophy, to favor the V8? Were you not, for many years, in the inline-6 camp?
  21. I'm confused... on all of your various iterations, the alternator is outboard of the driver's side cylinder head. Why can't the alternator be placed in front of the cylinder head, if necessary with "long"-style water pump, and thereby more tucked-in?
  22. I absolutely detest Facebook. It's an awkward format, evidently aimed at housewives vying to impress each other with the most fluffy cake-batter mix. There's no ready means for an extended discussion that's not sullied with inane comments and sprinkles with graphical objective that are ostensibly decorative, but really are only distracting. And then there's the ads. The idea of combining a camera with a portable telephone remains lost on me. Yes, I have a "smartphone", but it takes putrid-quality pictures. Anything presentable requires a proper SLR, and subsequent editing in Photoshop, on a computer. As a person who sits in front of a computer all day, I find its keyboard and user-interface to be far superior to those of a phone. Thus, it is forums, and not some other medium, that are easiest to use, whether as a mere reader or a contributor.
  23. On the contrary, your initiative forms a sensible and useful basis for updating our perceptions as the ensuing months and years roll by. Of course this site isn't completely "dead", but its volume of activity is a paltry fraction of what it was in 2000-2005. Now a comment on the topic of Facebook supplanting forums for automotive discussions. Recently I relented and joined Facebook, via a placeholder account (not my real name, no personal information). The sole objective was to join automotive discussion groups. While occasionally there's an informative or amusing post, the predominant trend is daft and episodic journalizing of recent events... I went here, I saw that, hey neat, let's collect digital affirmations. The technical questions tend toward the elementary (why won't my car start?). The user-interface seems to be aimed at being colorful and pleasing to the eye, rather than conducive to searching for information, for archiving it, for having any sort of stewardship. In other words, it's a pale and pathetic facsimile of forums.
  24. It sounds like a good strategy would be to first make a list of proposals, from the very mild to the egregiously aggressive, and submit them to a TÜV inspector. That would ultimately bracket the possibilities. Is there some option where you first run your freshly-built car on race-tracks only, then obtain some endorsement of safety and reliability from the track officials, and use that endorsement to solicit approval for usage on public roads? If, as seems to often be the case, it is unlikely to source an S30 Z in decent condition in Germany, and your project becomes part swap/grafting, part rust-abatement, part reconstitution of the interior and the supporting mechanical/electrical systems, and part welding of a new chassis-frame, then perhaps there’s merit in reconsidering your options entirely. One possibility, again depending on what the TÜV people say, is to start with a complete wrecked Tesla, harvesting the front and rear clips, a portion of the battery and the battery control system. You would then build a custom sports-car from scratch, but would register it as a “Tesla”… except that it would be considerably lighter, more compact and therefore sportier. You could also do the opposite, of calling your new creation a “Z”, registering it as a Z, but using only a smattering of Z-sourced components, such as maybe the windshield and windshield frame, the roof, A and C pillars… and making everything else custom. Lastly, you could do the aforementioned for some other car, that’s also a 2-seater sports car, but is more common in Europe, for which components are easier to source. One possibility is an even older car – maybe something from the 1950s? – which might be subjected to less stringent requirements on safety and so forth, and would therefore be easier to register?
  25. Considering how much engineering went into the suspension geometry, the structural design and so forth, it seems to be sensible to swap the entire subframe into the Z, without redoing anything "inside" of the subframe itself... even if this means incongruously-looking wide rear track. BTW, what actually is the difference in rear track width? For a "straight" rear subframe swap, you'd "only" need to engineer hard-points that receive the rear subframe, and connect them to the stock unibody. While it is intellectually satisfying to do this in CAD, then maybe CNC-cut the resulting parts, this seems like a misallocation of resources. Maybe it is better to employ the shadetree method, of first bracing the inner fenders and so forth with temporarily welded-in members, then taking a sawz-all to the stock structure, leaving a gaping hole into which to trial-fit the Tesla components? Also, considering that you're in Germany, how will you get this through your TUEV inspection and so forth? And what is your strategy for mounting the battery packs?
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