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Everything posted by Michael

  1. Nice wheels. Have these been successfully fitted to a S30? Z31-type front hubs/rotors? What about the rear? Wheel weight?
  2. Mtnickel, what is your car's ride height, as measured for example from the center of the door key-hole, to the floor? I'm asking because I've cut off 1.5 coils from the (stock) springs, and yet, my car appears to be about 1" higher.
  3. The culture has changed. 20 years ago, when some of us were starting these swaps, the small-block (Chevy or Ford) was all that there was. Fuel injection was a newfangled thing, that domestic OEMs had just recently figured out and made reliable, while the aftermarket was just starting to offer kludged "kits". New it's LS-this and Coyote-that, with the classical blocks regarded as we once regarded Flatheads. Still, when I go to my local car-show, the hotrods almost invariably have the classical engines. The people building them are almost invariably more familiar with the classical engines. If this is the community on which we draw, for advice, for parts, for camaraderie, then there's excellent reason to retain the classical engine, and to improve it.
  4. Much depends on ride-height. In going through the sort of exercise that prompted this thread, I placed my car on wooden blocks underneath each tire, keeping normal weight on the tires, and elevation of each corner even, but leaving space to crawl underneath the car to take pictures. http://forums.hybridz.org/gallery/image/33780-rear-right-tire/ shows space between the rear strut-tower's spring-perch, and the tire lip. This is with 14"x7" "Western Cyclone" wheels, and 225-60/14 tires. The backspacing of these wheels is ~ 3 3/4" (sorry if I'm off by a fraction - memory is spotty). There was about 1 1/2" of gap... perhaps 1 1/4". The upshot is that 1" of backspacing can be accommodated at this ride height, with plenty of space remaining. This concerns the inboard side. On the outboard side (see http://forums.hybridz.org/gallery/image/33781-rear-right-tire-outboard/), if we go with an 8" wheel and something like a 245-series tire, quite likely the tire will protrude beyond the fender-lip. However, at this ride height, I don't see that as being a problem. At other ride heights, or other camber settings, there may be a problem. This is why these things are so situational and so difficult to definitively recommend. Based on available tire choices, I find myself leaning - as many others have already decided - towards 17" diameter wheels. There are excellent tire-options for 17"x8" rims.
  5. Wise words! But often the itch to modify is irresistible. Then comes the question of efficiency: what is the most efficient scheme, where one obtains maximum enjoyment, for minimum outlay (time, money, stress, frustration,...)? The Small Block (or Big Block) Chevy is hardly dead. Even today, in 2016, it probably still dominates the aftermarket. But the point isn't to debate relative merits of different engine-families. Rather, I'd opine that if a 327 feels inadequate or weak in a Datsun, the likely culprit is a poor state of tune. It could be worn out.... wiped cam, leaking valves, bad piston-rings, scored cylinders, parlously low compression. The remedy is repair, not necessarily upgrade! But if one desperately yearns for an upgrade, well, the block can accommodate a larger-stroke crank (3.75" stroke). Get a new crank, rods and pistons. The cylinder heads might be reused, if one's aim is low-end torque instead of high-rpm power. But as others have explained, no replacement of isolated components is possible; there is a cascade, where swapping one part leads to swapping 5 more, and so forth.
  6. Chiming in - albeit some 2-3 years too late. Has yamahondarider pursued this swap? It seems that with every passing year, the "classic" Chevy V8, whether small-block or big-block, recedes into obsolescence, ceding ground to the LS-series. It would be - how shall I phrase it? - nostalgic, to see another big block swap into an S30. Mine sort-of runs... it receives an occasional engine-start in anger, and jog up and down my driveway. But it's in more or less permanent state of hibernation. My recommendation to yamahondarider - and to others considering this swap - is to pursue it if and only if you're intimately familiar with the big block Chevy. If it's your engine of choice, then use it. If it's one competing option among many, well, today there are more appealing alternatives. In my case, the firewall is set back, and the engine mounts to reinforcements of the frame rails. I use a Hamburger low-profile oil pan, which terminates just above the lowest point of the transmission bellhousing. With an Edelbrock Performer - RPM intake manifold and a 4" air cleaner, conventional hood clearance is not possible. I built a fiberglass hood with an indentation around the perimeter of the air-cleaner, which is crude but effective. Hooker block-hugger headers fit, with some cutting and welding. Diagonals between the front strut towers and the dash-bar (so, penetrating the firewall) make engine removal interesting; it requires removing the starter and oil-filter, and dexterously using a leveling-bar on the engine hoist. The distributor is about 3" ahead of the windshield, and the driveshaft is about 14" long... that's how much engine setback there is. Good luck to all, and here's hoping to see more traditional V8s in our Zs!
  7. I humbly entreat our moderators not to expunge this thread! We need more whimsical material, especially as reminder of the "good old days" of battles between implacable purists and wide-eyed dreamers. Besides, it's entirely possible that the originator of this thread is of the same age is our forum. It's been a longstanding goal of mine, to engage in online conversation a person who wasn't yet born when this forum was started. As for the original request for advice, I offer this: if one finds oneself in a position where very general advice is needed, for very ambitious goals - then this implies that the advice is going to be wasted. This holds whether in choosing a career-path, figuring out how to invest money, how to find a girlfriend, whether to buy a house, and so forth. Advice makes sense when the challenge posed is incremental. Just bought a 240Z? Congratulations! Those things are getting increasingly rare. Rust? Work on fixing that first. How's that for unsolicited advice?
  8. Indeed, it's been 16+ years. Ought we perhaps to have a "founding members reunion"? In DC perhaps? And why have joining-dates not been displayed next to members' avatars in recent years? Has age become a liability? So many questions.... And one question that's been intriguing me for some time... do we now have any Forum members who were not yet even born, when this Forum started?
  9. Exquisite work, Jack! One rather quotidian question: what did you do for 5-lug conversion, front and rear (that is, back on page 1, "custom mustang shelby hub with oem s30 bearings to fit BMW525 front disc and diy coil over setup"... details on that, please!)?
  10. The issue, I think, is that in recent years we've had especially harsh winters in transitional-regions, such as the lower Midwest and the Mid Atlantic. These areas are too far south, and typically too warm, for an established snow/winter driving culture. There's just enough snow and extreme-weather to cause substantial inconvenience, but not enough to warrant an outright rethinking of the culture towards "winter mode", where everyone wears warm coats, plugs their car in at night using block-heaters, uses dedicated snow-tires and so forth. Also, with the proliferation of large-diameter wheels and low-profile tires, it's more difficult to get true all-season performance. Dry/warm performance is excellent, but traction in the snow suffers. And if you have 18" rims, are you going to change tires from summer to winter - or will you attempt to cut corners, driving "gingerly" in the winter on summer-tires? Just driving around in my Camry (don't knock it - it's a 3.5L V6!), I get frequent tire-spin in the snow... and that's with all-season passenger radials and FWD. I shudder to think what would have happened with my RWD wide-tired cars.
  11. Some years ago, there was a "general topics" subforum, for political discussions, jokes, personal anecdotes and the like. It was closed and removed, in attempt to diffuse controversy that detracted from our main theme, which was V8 Datsuns (now more broadly high-performance Datsuns). While I miss those non-technical discussions, that's not my main regret about the direction of this forum. Instead, I think that exhortation to "use the search function" has been taken too far. I find considerable value in regurgitating (if necessary) tired old topics, and repeating questions that have already been answered a dozen times. Why? Because the freshness of newly asking the very same thing, is a freshness of style and personal appeal, even if the actual content is stale. It's also worth mentioning that over the years, links disappear, products disappear, methods become obsolete. Imagine that you're building a first-generation small block Chevy, and are worried about wiping the lobes on a flat-tappet cam. This question has, I'm sure, been asked over a dozen times. Should a new reader just use the search-function? Maybe not. Cam profiles have changed since 2000. Valve-spring technology has advanced. So have motor-oils and oil supplements for engine break-in. We're so tremulous over asking a "newbie" question, that good and timely discussions are unable to take root. But the point about social-media is important. Not being a facebook user or a user of smart-phones, I fail to behold how internet usage overall has changed. How many people actually sit down in front of a desktop computer, in the comfort of their office or den, to get online? Realizing this, it stands to reason how forums in general would see decline of activity.
  12. Welcome, Citadel! Mixture of anecdote and experience suggest that the two greatest pitfalls of the Datsun V8 swap are (1) starting with a woefully rusty/dilapidated car, thus having to do a restoration concomitantly with the swap, and (2) the "while I'm at it" syndrome, which is a ceaseless pursuit of "improvements" that preclude timely finishing of the project. Both causes will quickly derail even the most steadfast intentions, turning months-long projects into multi-decade (or perpetual) efforts. It sounds like you've avoided the first pitfall, by starting with a workable baseline vehicle, which might need the usual shocks/bushings/brakes renewal, but nothing drastic. Now you may wish to consider whether there's some means of getting the engine to run, before proceeding with the installation, for example on a dyno. This will forestall all sorts of nasty headaches later, such as weird oil leaks that are difficult to chase down, or engine assembly-errors that might require removing the engine again. Do you really need to rebuild the transmission? That sounds like a chore, and a perfidious opportunity to get frustrated. Perhaps it would be better (if nominally more expensive) to buy an already functioning transmission? Regardless, best of luck, and please keep us posted.
  13. Somehow the pre-LS swap (which is to say, first-generation or second-generation Chevy V8s) has in recent years become rare. Maybe this is because suitable donor-vehicles are becoming antiquated and rare. For traditionalists, the main drawback of LS-series engines is having to deal with the electronics. The aftermarket offers carburetor retrofit, but that defeats the cost-savings and comprehensiveness of using a donor-vehicle. If indeed the only significant impediment is widening the transmission-tunnel to fit the 4L80e, then the swap promises to be successful. Best wishes!
  14. I too am grateful for this site. But even so, things could be better. Over the years, HybridZ has become more of an information-repository than an active discussion forum. The pace of postings as slowed markedly, and the old camaraderie has been replaced by what I can only describe as antiseptic austerity. I remain grateful for the FAQs, the inspiring examples of others' builds, the many fine suggestions peppering so many threads. But it's like sauntering through the stacks of a university library, rather than sitting down at a dining-table, joining the gathering. I miss the social-aspect, the bygone times of easy banter and suggestions and counter-suggestions flashing on the screen with frenetic rapidity. This site is almost 16 years old. Surely by now we have members who weren't yet born when this site began! Can the mods verify this? As of this writing, the year 2016 will begin in only a few hours (in my time-zone). Hybridz began almost exactly with the advent of the 21st century. What a tumultuous century it's been! And ~16 years from now, how many of us will still be tinkering with our Z's?
  15. It's difficult to believe that an increase of one increment in cam-size in one manufacturer's catalog would either result in substantial gains or in substantial ruin of an otherwise well-sorted combination. My recommendation would be to (1) study any of the principal books on small-block Chevy performance (such as those by David Vizard), and (2) look at an engine-simulation program, which estimates the torque-curve based on inputs regarding the various engine components. The key unknown is tuning; carburetor, ignition, and how it all goes together. Engine simulation programs assume a best-case scenario. In practice, it is quite likely that the main problem is less about poor choice of components (unless something outlandish is selected), than in suboptimal tuning.
  16. Using such a kit would imply excising the stock frame-rails in the engine compartment, and what passes for "frame rails" spot-welded to the floorpan. Assuredly this can all be done, and depending on one's objective, might be the best approach. But do please note that it is highly unlikely to save time/labor/money by attempting to fit such a "kit" to the S30 tub. One might as well jig-build an assembly and weld it into the tub.
  17. Around 10 years ago, there was a fellow in the Northern Virginia area - a law-student at the time - who was grafting a C5 front-end onto his S30. I believe that welded together an entire tubular front clip, accommodating the C5 steering rack, K-member and front suspension. For the rear, he was using a C4 suspension and another custom tubular assembly. For the middle there were evidently some Datsun parts. I'm not aware of the disposition of this project, as he's been absent from this Forum for years. There is indeed an incisive philosophical point about a level of modification at which point one might as well start afresh with a brand new car. This is more about cost/effort than about "purism". Still, the enduring appeal of the S30 Datsun is the light weight, compact size and shortcuts in registering such an old car. A 500+ lb weight advantage over the C5 or C6 is not nugatory.
  18. This site started in February 2000, initially with unabashed emphasis on the V8 swap into the S30. It started as a reaction to the rather vituperative aspersions against Datsun engine-swaps in the late 1990s. That was also around the time that the so-called JTR method, or engine setback method, gained popularity as way of configuring the swapped V8. Assuredly there were successful V8 swaps from much earlier, but by my reckoning, the swap went "mainstream" sometime in the mid-late 1990s. Ironically, if one were to judge by post-count on this Forum, in recent years the V8 swap has yielded precedence to various flavors of turbocharging, most of which are for inline engines.
  19. While I agree with the exhortation to experiment for one's own self, to not rely solely on internet-advice as if it were incontrovertible truth, and so forth, it also seems to me that general trends can and should be noted in a sticky. Often the criterion for "does it fit" comes down to a few millimeters. Then of course such factors as manufacturing-tolerances in the McPherson struts will be paramount. Folks noted years ago – and I verified in personal experience – that the angle between the strut housing and the plane of the brake-rotor can be off by a degree or so. It took me several junkyard forays, plus parts-trading with acquaintances, to arrive at a set of front and rear McPherson/Chaplin struts that were mutually square. Well, with a 1/16" available gap between the wheel-rim and the spring perch, said tolerance stackup can make all of the difference between interference and successful fit. A FAQ listing this-or-that as a successful fit, given such tolerances, risks giving false advice. However, in other cases the gap between the wheel rim and the spring-perch is on the order of an inch or more. Surely then we can publish the successful fitment, without running afoul of individual bad examples from tolerance? An example is my 14x7 Western Cyclone wheels and 225/60-14 tires. I measure ~1.5" clearance between the tire and the spring perch in the rear of my 280Z. The wheels have 3.875" backspacing. This suggests that with say a 15x8 wheel, and zero offset (and consequently 4.5" backspacing) ought to fit. However, that directly contradicts JMortensen's point in Post #51 in this thread… unless I misunderstood. Surely such large differences in measurement are a viable topic for general discussion?
  20. There are some very wise words in this thread. Too often, our enthusiasm exceeds our capacities, with the result being frustration, dejection and failure. My car has aspects of a tube chassis, in the sense that the front clip and floor/firewall were cut out, while the rest of the body was welded to a chassis-jig. Separately, the roll cage was welded up, and then welded into the shell. Then the floorpan was shortened, the firewall/floor welded back in, and finally the front-clip (with new structural members to account for the firewall setback. Finally, more bracing was added to connect the roll-cage to the front and rear struts, and to the frame-rails in the engine compartment. It's a forested warren of tubes; but even so, it's not strictly speaking a "tube chassis" because (1) the stock frame rails, albeit modified and reinforced, are still used; (2) the stock strut-towers remain, though they're braced in multiple points; (3) the K-member is mounted in the stock way (but no longer supports the engine); (4) the mustache-bar and associated rear suspension elements are also stock, although again, they're braced. A true tube-chassis car would begin in a computer, with thorough structural analysis to determine tube placement and dimensions. It would account for fatigue-loads and so forth, besides just suspension-loads. It would presumably include some structural optimization, where an optimizer is wrapped around the finite-element calculation. In other words, we are designing a brand new car. We are not restoring or reinforcing a Datsun. We are building something totally new, that superficially resembles a Datsun and carries a Datsun nameplate. I'd love to see MJP147 succeed in his endeavor, especially since he's relatively local to me, and I'd be thrilled to visit and to offer spectator's approbation. But for that very same reason, I'd urge caution and circumspection. Start with a baseline car in better condition. Renew the suspension components... bushings, shocks, brakes and so forth. Maybe do a V8 swap. Drive the thing, get comfortable with it... and on the nth iteration, think about the truly exotic stuff, like tube chassis.
  21. Good point. Casual perusal of Tire Rack's online offerings shows astonishing contrast between what's available in 15" diameter vs. 18" diameter. Toyo makes a semi-streetable wheel in 235-width, 15" diameter. This is what I'd use for my purposes on a 15x8 wheel, but my street-driving would be limited to 3-4 car shows per year, plus maybe a half-dozen angry midnight runs down the rural roads in my locale. Beyond 8" width in a 15"-diameter wheel, the tire selection really becomes paltry. All over the interwebs, though fortunately less so on this Forum, there's talk of using 225-section tires "stretched" onto 9", 10" or even wider wheels. Personally I think that this is idiotic, but preferences brook no objective judgment. However, true drag-racing slicks (not radials or DOT tires) are still typically for 15" diameter wheels. Speaking of wheels, in a perfect world of rainbows and unicorns, I'd be running something like this: http://weldwheels.com/shop/drag-oval/drag/alumastar-series.html on the track, and like this: http://www.americanracing.com/wheel/20414/vf479 on the street. I do however need to more carefully investigate the weight of the latter; it might be heavy. All of these wheels are by my reckoning reasonably-priced. The problem is the preparation and modification of our cars, that would be necessary to accommodate such wheels.
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