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Posts posted by Michael

  1. On 10/19/2019 at 10:00 AM, JMortensen said:

    I would add "cheap" to your light, simple, and beautiful characteristics. Cost was the main reason I bought a Z - bought it for $1500 - and the 6 cyl was the reason I didn't buy a 510. I am an autocrosser and started the sport just after the Miata hit the market, so the Miata has been ever-present and always appealed to me. When I finally bought a 99 midway through building my Z, I had a moment where I considered selling the Z and building the Miata instead. From a stock vs stock comparison, they are both slow in a straight line but the Miata is WAAAAAAAAAAY more capable and fun to drive, and you can do the same sorts of things like engine swaps, etc. I sold mine when I was short on cash, but I would like to have another. The prices are starting to creep up on Miatas already though, so I may miss the window of opportunity. That 350Z is nearing the zone as well...



    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.

  2. On 9/18/2019 at 3:14 PM, capt_furious said:

    ... I daily a well-worn Miata ..


    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.


    On 9/27/2019 at 5:05 AM, Ironhead said:

    ...It would have made a lot more sense, in terms of time and money and every other practical consideration to just buy a 3 or 4 year old Corvette.  But, I didn't want a Corvette.  I wanted to build something.

    .. A Vette could be as fast or probably faster for less time and money.  But I'm just not interested in Corvettes.

    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.

  3. 1 hour ago, primaz said:

    Yes an LS is more expensive but you can find often a low mileage good LS with transmission and everything on it for around $5K.  The old school V8' are not worth much as most people do not want them and are going to a modern LS fuel injected V8.  If cost is an issue sure go with the old school as you can often get a old school 350 for next to nothing but the car no matter how nice will NOT resale for anywhere close to an LS Z nor be as desirable.

    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.

  4. On 9/12/2019 at 3:51 PM, JMortensen said:

    My $.02, people make too big a deal out of the size.

    I think you can make a pretty wide variety of sizes work. Some stock car classes run 500 CFM carbs. Sure, it hurts performance, but they still run pretty well. Vizard in his book has 350s running 850 carbs, and goes to great lengths to modify the boosters to get the right size fuel droplets to correctly atomize at part throttle preventing stumbles on accel. 

    I have a 5.3, used the calculator, figured out I wanted a 750 with annular boosters to follow Vizard's lead. tube80z says he's got a 650 with downleg boosters and 4 hours run time on it, makes me a deal. SOLD. Never looked back. Car hauls ass.


    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.

  5. On 8/28/2019 at 6:28 PM, Miles said:

    Looks like a drive by question.

    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? 

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 23 hours ago, Neverdone said:

    People with actual eyes can usually see that this thread is over 8 years old.


    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.

  9. On 6/27/2019 at 4:59 PM, jhm said:

    John Coffey wrote a couple good threads on this topic a few years ago...they might be in the FAQs?  I'll see if I can locate them.




    On 6/27/2019 at 11:22 PM, Leon said:

    Here are my settings, using only camber plates. The car handles perfectly to my taste, breakaway is very neutral. I don't have any rear toe adjustment otherwise I would've dialed it down.


    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

  10. On 4/18/2019 at 12:44 PM, Neverdone said:

    and yet you're choosing to fiddle with carbs which as far as I'm concerned, are a black magic box of the super unknown.


    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.


    On 7/17/2019 at 10:45 AM, JMortensen said:

    Interesting to see this one pop back up. I figured out what was going on with the rough running. Wasn't wires or plugs; it was faulty battery disconnect switch and alternator charging. Basically the alternator was charging intermittently and on the dyno day it wasn't working, and the voltage got low enough to cause the ignition to start to fail. 


    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?

  11. 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.

  12. 2 hours ago, madkaw said:

    I’m sorry that I even posted this thread- but like I said - my settings were screwed up and so I wasn’t seeing any new content .

    Glad it’s ALIVE !!


    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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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?

  15. On 5/23/2019 at 3:47 PM, rturbo 930 said:

    I've had four Zs to compare against (early 71, 72, 76, 78) and from what I can tell that's not really true. The series one cars do, in fact, have thinner metal (about 0.9mm vs 1mm for later models), but otherwise the metal thickness as far as I can tell is generally the same. What you will find in the later models is additional reinforcements used, which means more metal. 

    That's an ongoing debate, with lots of anecdote but no definitive data.  That said, "anecdote" points to ~100 pounds difference in weight between the totally stripped metal tub of an early 240 and a 77-78 280.  Perhaps BoulderCharles will have occasion to weigh the stripped-down tub, if he embarks on an ambitious restoration/modification.


    Back to the topic, this looks like a solid purchase.  The Z market has changed over the life of this forum.  Back in the year 2000, a good (but not spectacular) condition 280Z could be found for $1500 or so.  It would have blemishes, but in many cases only "minimal" rust.  Today, from what I've seen, that price-point has risen by a factor of 3 or 4.  So, this particular purchase is an excellent deal!  I look forward to seeing the progress of the build.

  16. Nice build!  


    Granted that it's too late to presently matter, but have you considered setting the firewall back, to create more room in the engine-bay, and to set the engine even further back?  Given the plethora of fabrication-skills that we see on the Forum, I'm surprised that this modification isn't more common.

  17. As tube80z pointed out, technology incessantly advances.  Parts that were formerly experimental and custom become mainstream, and eventually available for sharp discount on the used-market.  Donor-cars that were formerly prized and expensive, become junkyard finds.  When some of us first dabbled in this whole V8 Datsun thing, the LS-series was brand new, and the aftermarket was first getting around to supply aluminum heads for the first-generation Chevy V8.


    The first decision to make, is whether the car is even worth keeping.  Rust?  General condition?  Does it drive well?  Imagine the same car, but with tighter suspension and maybe twice the horsepower.  Would that make a huge difference?  If so, proceed.  If not, not.  What sort of bodywork is required?  Is it only cosmetic, or is structural remediation necessary?


    Assuming that the body is in good shape, I'd proceed with suspension and brakes.  Avoid the temptation for ambitious upgrades... keep things mild.  The FAQ on this Forum is invaluable!  Make small, incremental changes... and keep driving the car.  Minimize time spent on jackstands!  That way, if anything goes awry, or not to your liking, it could be reversed... or the car could be sold, at minimal loss.


    Oh, and please post photographs.  We want to see what this thing looks like!

  18. Post a photograph of the engine compartment.  From this we can discern whether the original swap was the "JTR method" or the less advantageous non-setback one. 


    If there's rust in the floorboards, almost certainly there is rust elsewhere, in nontrivial amounts. This may or may not require immediate attention, but it does merit jacking up the car (suitably supporting it!) and a thorough examination.  Some rust, while annoying, is only cosmetic.


    This particular car evidently has a 5-lug rear conversion.  Does it also have a solid rear-axle conversion?  Such a conversion remains controversial even to this day... but properly done, it has its own appeal.  What is the rear-axle ratio?  If the transmission is a TH350, it won't have an overdrive gear, which is annoying on the highway.  Lack of overdrive is, in my opinion, the main reason for why a "race car" is unpalatable on the street.... something to consider.


    Otherwise the standard routine is to examine and possibly refresh the engine.  Do you have specs on the cam?  The heads?  The compression ratio?  Have you done a compression-test?  The standard tuning-approach applies, whether it's a Datsun or a Chevelle... lots of literature on that.


    BTW congratulations on the purchase!  Aesthetically it looks aggressive, without being outright garish.  Those fender-flairs nicely split the difference between too-much and not-enough.  But I do wonder about the rear axle... the rear wheels aren't particularly wide, yet they protrude considerably outboard.  Perhaps the axle is too wide?  Could it be narrowed?  4-link or ladder-bar or something else?

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