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Michael

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Posts posted by Michael


  1. On 4/23/2020 at 3:11 PM, slimjim said:

    68 Camaros can range from 2700-3500lbs depending on a LOT of options. Pro-touring styled builds aim to be on the lower side so I'm hoping I'll be  somewhere around 3000lbs without driver since ALL body panels have been replaced with aftermarket AMD panels which are considerably lighter than the original GM sheet metal. an Aluminum LS3 drops the weight considerably over the original motor. 

     

    The 240Z was around 2300 pounds, and the 280Z around 2800 pounds.   More precise weights are available elsewhere on this site.

     

    More weight is removed from the 280 than from the 240, as part of the sort of upgrades that one does, to make the vehicle of a more sporting nature.  But quite a bit of weight is gained to strengthen components, both structurally and in the powertrain.  On the other hand, the Nova/Camaro cars that are winning the elite "amateur" drag races are... well, you know better than me.  Some of them are down to Miata weight.

     

    My guess is that an S30 Z, subjected to the same aggressive treatment as a serious Camaro (built LS3 possibly with turbo, T56 or equivalent, 9" rear on a 4-link, fuel cell, partial or full tube chassis, sheet-metal floor, lexan-everything, full roll cage, single aluminum seat bolted to the cage, aluminum "dash", no HVAC,..) would come in at around 300 pounds less than a Camaro.  The savings are from shorter wheelbase and shorter car; commensurately less metal to hold it together, thinner/lighter suspension bits, smaller brakes for the same braking-performance and so forth.  The difference is more of cost/effort, than weight.  The Camaro would not longer have a Chevy steering system; it would be an aftermarket rack.  All those suspension control arms and ball joints and bushing?  Gone, replaced with tubular/delrin stuff.  The Z could keep its stock steering rack and basic design of the stock suspension (probably coilovers and so forth... but same basic topology).  The Z can get maybe 70% of the way there, with very minimal changes to the brakes, while the Camaro is looking at getting the Wilwood catalog thrown at it.  And so forth.


  2. 6 hours ago, Twisted46 said:

    ...many, like me, fall for the illusion that getting the engine in to the bay is the hard part. That is the easy part, there are so many random bolts and fittings that cause delays I bet I have 3 boxes of swap parts that "should have been correct". ...

     

    Indeed.  And that's the scope of the problem if we do "only" a standard swap.  It assumes a well-running car, and a well-sorted engine.  Building a new engine is its own separate task.  As is restoration of the car.  The JTR swap-manual is just that... a swap manual.  It tells, in general terms, how to take a working car and a working engine, and to make them work together, more or less.  That already is hard enough!  It gets much harder if any major component is at all questionable, unready or deficient.

     

    One of the first things that happened to me, after "completing" my swap, was that a cam-change in my engine resulted in wiped lobes.  That led to descent into all sorts of travails, lasting several years.  And eventually a second engine rebuild... where the cam-sprocket adjustment bolts backed out, and wore against the timing cover.  Third rebuild.  By then the car had spent a decade in the garage, and needed something approaching a restoration, just to return to the condition that is had, when it was first parked and disassembled.  That "restoration" has taken another decade.  I doubt that my case is entirely unusual.


  3. 4 hours ago, Nelson123 said:

    Do you know what rebuild kit I should get for the block ? My options are anything to get it running with a little power and then upgrade certain components

    What do you suggest I do first ? At the moment I only have the block nothing else. 

     

    Wait, you only have the bare block?  As in, no crank, rods, pistons etc.?  Or are you contemplating replacing some of these components?

     

    If money isn't the most aching concern, you're a good candidate for buying a crate-engine from GM.  It will be comprehensive, camshaft etc. already matched, and it will carry a warranty.  But as others have noted, please don't let this be your only daily driver!


  4. 2 minutes ago, Nelson123 said:

    Yes the manual has arrived but I need to get certain parts, I still need to order the mounts from them 

     

    Yes my car runs well since it's my daily, some things need fixing like the control arm bushing and need slotted brakes for the front, also would like to upgrade to a big brake kit, do you know of any ?

     

    Yes I have the engine but it's a block for now, I'm rebuilding it from the ground up so I'm looking for rebuild kits for it but don't know what stage cam to get. Also I haven't thought of a tranny but I would like to keep it manual. 

     

     

    I would most assiduously recommend building the engine, sourcing a transmission, and mating the two - before proceeding with the swap.  Otherwise your car be disabled/dismantled for a long time.

     

    Cam selection is its own science/art. It's part of an integrated effort... heads, intake/exhaust, and so forth, and so on.  It is a vast subject in its own right.  And then there's the question of just getting the engine to run reliably ... never mind the "high performance".   Flat-tappet cams in particular are a dicey proposition, owing to the danger of "wiping" them.


  5. And now the "is it dead?" thread is itself knocking on 3-years longevity.  Meta-irony?

     

    The present viral crisis has convinced me that no form of media, "social" or otherwise, can replace direct personal contact.  The way to learn automotive skills isn't through you-tube videos, facebook, or forums... even forums as replete with useful-facts, as this one.  Nothing replaces direct mentorship and camaraderie.  My best experiences with this site were via meeting other members in person, befriending them and spending years together.  Unfortunately most (all?) of those friendships have declined, petering-out in some way.  A fellow whom I've met 20+ years ago - even before this site was created, before it moved from an e-mail list to this newfangled format called a "forum" - was a treasured mentor.  Then an event happened that obliterated so much of my own life and career... and collateral damage included this friendship.  I still regret it.

     

    Just today I came across a posting by a local fellow asking for help with a traditional V8 swap.  Such posting can easily draw scorn, as being "newbie" or contrary to some rules.  I disagree!  Online resources are fantastic, for well-versed people who need specific pointers on specific platforms.  Doing a suspension modification to race Z's in autocross?  Great!  There's fantastic data on alignment-settings on this forum.  Also wheel/tire choices, discussions on bumpsteer, on one kind of bushing vs. another, and on and on.  But what if you just found a ragged Z on Craigslist, and have no experience removing a suspension bushing?  What if you don't even know the difference between a bushing and a bearing?  Rectifying that, is going to take some actual mentorship.  For that purpose, this site is a portal and a conduit, rather than an end in itself.

     

    And that is the tragedy with modern social media... it's become a replacement for physical contact, rather than a jumping-off point.  Good social media should be like online dating: people scope out the possibilities, agree to meet, and then real-life begins.  Instead, and especially now, people are retreating into their digital cocoons.  Business-travel and college graduations are being replaced with Zoom meetings.  It's a miracle that cars themselves haven't been supplanted with video games.  Or have they?


  6. Has your JTR manual arrived?

     

    The 280zx (what you have) differs from the 240-260-280Z (what the JTR manual assumes).  The swap has been done in the ZX too, but it will be less straightforward to avail yourself of the details.

     

    Does your car currently run well?  Handling, brakes and so forth?  Chassis integrity (no rust)?  If these attributes are faulty, the swap will be frustrating, protracted and maybe eventually abandoned.

     

    Regardless of the vehicle, it's imperative to figure out the engine and transmission first.  Do you already have them?  Are they in good working order?  A successful swap is quite literally that.. a "swap" of engines, where the new engine is already good, where the recipient chassis is already good, and where "all" that's needed is to properly mate them together.

     

    My "home" is Ohio, but presently I'm not far from your locale.  Send a PM to discuss.


  7. On 3/17/2020 at 7:38 AM, slimjim said:

    My reason for wanting a Datsun (or ford maverick) is because I want something totally different to the Camaro, something smaller, lighter, CHEAPER with simpler bolt on suspension, and preferably a modern 6 cylinder turbo which will never have it's head cracked. something with a simplified interior that remains street legal that I will never take a second glance at a paint chip.

    But most importantly to further my basic fab skills in a way I couldn't bring myself to do with this Camaro.

     

    There are copious and considerable reasons to build a Z - even today, with vastly higher prices and reduced availability.  Certainly I don't mean to dissuade you.  Rather, the point is that you may find that it's not altogether different from building your Camaro.  Costs would be driven by very similar issues.  Sourcing/dealing/waiting for parts, would be similar.  Rust repair is rust repair.  Likewise with body work, electricals, suspension, and so forth.

     

    Out of curiosity, what do your Camaro weigh?  


  8. The reason of shoving the engine as far back (nearly against the firewall) is to improve fore-aft weight distribution.  This mattered more, in the now ancient-days of cast iron V8s.  But there is still a certain feeling of achievement and engineering-aesthetics, to get that setback to be as large as possible, even if it isn't strictly necessary.  Towards that end, have you considered cutting/notching the firewall, to accommodate the fuel-pump connections?


  9. An aggressive build - including something like a modern V8 and a commensurate development of the suspension and chassis - means that the eventual product will differ little, whether it is a Camaro, an S30 Z, a Henry J, a Fiat Topolino, a Pontiac Tempest, a Toyota Corolla or a Plymouth Roadrunner.

     

    Huh?

     

    Lighter cars get heavier.  Heavier cars get lighter.  Big wheels and big brakes make a heavy car stop faster, but add unsprung mass to a lighter car.  Designs converge.

     

    I've spent 20 years building (using the term sparingly) an S30 Datsun with an aggressive cage, firewall setback and Chevy big block (454) engine.  It is basically a... Camaro.  The Datsun purists of the 80s and 90s actually had a point.  And that point is: finish your Camaro, give it the acceleration and braking and handling that you like, and call it a day.  Why?  Because if/when you build a Datsun, to the same level of dedication, craftsmanship and hi-po parts, in the end you'll have another Camaro.  It will be a little bit lighter and a little bit more nimble, owing to a shorter wheelbase.  It might -subjectively - be prettier.  But conceptually it will be similar. 

     

    So, what would I do differently today?  Something light, Japanese, simple to work on, with strong performance potential?  I'd do an early 1990s Mazda Miata.  Maybe a V6 swap or a turbo.  And mostly leave the chassis and suspension alone.


  10. On 2/8/2020 at 2:59 PM, ihavearustedz said:

     Now that i think about it its been 10+ years that ive been hitting that "unread content" button. 

    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.  


  11. 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".


  12. 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.


  13. 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!


  14. 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.


  15. 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.


  16. 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.


  17. 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.


  18. 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? 


  19. 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.


  20. 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!

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