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Michael

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Everything posted by Michael

  1. Just to clarify - by "AZC knuckles", is the reference to the aluminum contraption in the bottom photograph of http://www.arizonazcar.com/lowarms.html ? As the photo opening this thread is of the rear, I'd assumed that the question is mainly about the rear wheel/tire fitment. Also, to Dat73z's point, there is ample evidence that 15x7 wheels sporting 225-width tires indeed clear in the rear (sorry for unintentional puerile rhyme). The matter is less certain for 15x8, let alone 15x9, especially if we assume stock springs, instead of coilovers. The question of wider 15" wheels also b
  2. Front, rear, or both? My measurements in the rear (well, my 1978 280Z's measurements - not mine personally) with a 14x7 wheel and 225/60-14 tires: approximately 1.25" clearance between the rim and the spring-perch, for a wheel with 3 7/8" backspacing. In a 15x8 with 0 offset, that's 4.5" backspacing, taking up 0.625" clearance between rim lip and spring perch --> should fit. This is what I am contemplating for my car. But with a 15x9 and 0 offset, that's 5" backspacing, and perhaps 1/8" of clearance... not enough, in my opinion... especially if tolerances stack up. This is th
  3. The trouble with the T5 is its rather paltry torque capacity. This has been discussed at some length in the "drivetrain" subforum. Even JTR admits the questionable torque capacity of the T5. However, I've not heard testaments of the T5 breaking - at least not on this Forum. There are aftermarket suppliers who rework the T5 for much higher strength; see for example http://www.gforcetransmissions.com/tran_gt-5.asp . It might be a reasonable strategy to do a normal T5 swap, see if it breaks, and if so, do the upgrade; otherwise leave it alone. Yet another issue is the bellhousin
  4. Thanks for the input. Further research suggests that there are plenty of low-buck options in 195-60/14 for my 14x7 Westerns, but quite a paucity even if going up to 205. It's also very disappointing how the Goodrich T/A so dominates the market in 205, 225 and wider tires in 14" and 15" diameters. We already have numerous threads on wheels - aesthetics, fitment, group-buys. So I'm loath to broach the subject here, but curiosity is overwhelming, so here goes.... Opinions on the Rota X04 15x8? See for example here: http://www.racinglab.com/rota-xo4-158-4114-001.html . I espouse no pref
  5. Any thoughts on these tires: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Toyo&tireModel=Proxes+R888&partnum=35WR5R888&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes ?
  6. There's incessant tension between doing too temporary and shoddy of a job, and getting carried away with "while I'm at it". In the former, we end up repeating our labors, buying new parts all over again, cutting and refitting what was already assembled, because the first iteration turns out to be unworkable. In the latter, ambition prevents our ever getting to a practical result, for any progress with the original problem only begets new ventures. How to find the happy medium? My immediate goal is return to streetable operation. This means enough roadgoing manners as to not be a perniciou
  7. I was afraid of the BF Goodrich Radial T/A being too good to be true; unfortunately that tire is one of the few stalwarts of streetable type offering substantial width on a 15" diameter. But if the coefficient of friction is low, the point of width is defeated. It was necessary to resort to Google to understand "curb scraper rim fad". Sadly, a quick perusal through the tirerack.com catalog shows utterly meager offerings in 15" diameter performance tires. The performance world evidently today begins at 17", with yesterday's ghetto fashions having not only gone mainstream, but dominant.
  8. For some months, I've been mulling the reintroduction of my 1978 280Z to something resembling occasional roadworthiness. Save for cut coils and the JTR K-member mod, the suspension is stock. The driveline is also stock, except for welding the gears of the R200, a Doug Nash 5-speed transmission, and a 461 cubic inch engine. The body is notionally stock, though there are a few structural reinforcements, and the firewall is set back 6". My objective is maximal lightness and simplicity, without regard to racing-prowess or aesthetic appeal. Towards that end, I became enthused about wheels with
  9. Coincidentally, I came across the "Roadkill" videos featuring their turbo-V6 Z literally yesterday, and noticed this thread today. The show, like all shows, is intended to amuse and enthrall the audience. It's not intended to pursue maximally wise engineering decisions or to build the best possible car for a given purpose, with a given budget. That said, the show's stars are alumni of Peterson automotive magazines. The main star was editor of Hot Rod magazine for a number of years, and has decades of experience in drag racing and Bonneville-style top speed racing. So while the Roadki
  10. Unfortunately I missed the bellhousing discussions! The point was to suggest the Lakewood blowproof bellhousing, which presumably fits the NP440, as it also fits my Doug Nash 5-speed. About the shorter length from bellhousing case to shifter.... For an externally-shifted transmission this can be adjusted, but it's it going to be challenging to weld-in linkage-extensions, and to adjust the linkages? Would it have been easier to cut the shifter hole in the Datsun transmission tunnel? In my case, the firewall is set back, so even with the shorter transmission, the shifter pokes out wel
  11. Thanks, Phantom and Rebekah. The reason for going to 5-lugs is for expanding options for wheels, rather than for structural strength of rear-end components. If anything, I see redrilling of the stock stub-axles (27-spline 280Z) as a weakening, not a strengthening. And there is indeed accumulation of evidence that the weak-point is the splines of the stub-axle or the U-joints of the halfshafts, rather than the wheel-studs. Arizona Zcar offers what looks like a comprehensive rear strut assembly, but I was unable to find any documentation specifically of the stub-axles. Their stub-axle
  12. Perusal of the "Brakes Wheels Chassis" subforum reveals that the 5-lug conversion option, that is to 5x114.3mm, has been entertained literally since the day that this site was started. Back then, options for wide wheels in our backspacing and bolt-pattern were limited. Time and changing fashions have only exacerbated the problem. Look for example at the various wheel choices in the "Show your wheels" thread that are now no longer available. Meanwhile, businesses offering redrilling of the S30 stub axles, or completely new parts, have come and gone. One such business, "fonebooth", at
  13. Andy, Apologies if this has already been mentioned and I missed it, but could you please provide details on these wheels? Manufacturer, diameter, width, backspacing? I take it that you installed them before you converted the stock suspension to coilovers, correct? What was the gap between the rim edge and the spring-perch (front and rear)?
  14. Though it's somewhat peripheral to our topic here, it merits mentioning that many of our S30's sit considerably higher than what's taken to be the aesthetic ideal. As a consequence, wheels/tires that might otherwise contact the fender-lip would in fact clear safely. This happens when the car is lightened from stock, bushings replaced etc., but the suspension is otherwise unchanged. I don't have "professional" equipment to exercise the suspension through its bump/rebound, but tried a crude simulation by stacking 2"x12" wood segments underneath three wheels, leaving the fourth level on t
  15. As others have said, the V8-version of the venerable T5 remains an attractive choice for moderately-powered engines. This advice really hasn't changed in 15 years, and is covered with some thoroughness in the much-recommended JTR swap book/manual/bible. Unfortunately, there aren't any spectacularly appealing manual transmission options for higher-powered engines. They are notchy (Richmond gear), or heavy and expensive (T56). OEM manual transmissions for powerful cars haven't evolved much in recent years, save for boutique applications, so junkyard choices aren't exactly broad. We've
  16. On face value, that's an entirely reasonable approach, and merits further delving. Unfortunately HybridZ has become a staid, archival site - a kind of exalted and austere library, rather than a discussion forum. 10-15 years ago, this was a very different site. Oh well. In any case, to summarize my situation - which is likely quite typical... I'm not enthused in the near-term in doing a coilover conversion or the addition of flares, though I could be persuaded to roll the fenders. As often happens with V8 swaps in 280Zs, the car sits considerably higher than stock, in my case despite
  17. Having reached a point in my multi-decade build where finally I'm turning to suspension, brakes and tires, it would indeed be welcome to have a vetted, quantified listing of wheel/tire combinations that have been successfully tried. This isn't from laziness or lack of imagination (though I can't profess freedom from either), but in a situation where mistakes are costly and irreversible, it would be eminently useful to lean upon the experience of others. One way to do this is to buy somebody's used wheel/tire combination from the classifieds here, and actually that's my preferred approach. B
  18. Not to detract in the least from Boosted300's achievement, but would it have been easier, for drag-racing purposes, to fit 15x9 wheels with 275 drag radials? Or would these, being of lower diameter, actually exacerbate the interference-problem at the coil spring perch (depending on offset, of course)?
  19. That sounds like a promising swap! I've long been asserting that for a high-torque engine in a lightweight car, the last thing that we need is a transmission with a large number of gears. A 4-speed with large drop between each successive ratio would be ideal. Are the gear ratios 3.09, 1.67, 1.00 and .73 ? Is it a cast-iron case, or aluminum? Weight? Any guesses on torque-capacity? Currently I'm running a Doug Nash 5-speed, where 5th gear is actually 1:1. It's the exact antithesis of what I've been advocating about wide-ratio vs. close-ratio. But I wonder... could 4th gear be repl
  20. This is a very fair point. It's difficult to justify indulging in a hobby, when comparative necessities go neglected. Nevertheless, there's much to be said for a cheap option that gets a dilapidated older car back on the road safely. It should be cheap even if plenty of funds are available, because the owner/driver is still experimenting and hasn't yet converged towards a cogent plan for what's reasonable to do with the car. For that purpose, the most logical route is stock-replacement. But what truly "stock" options do we have for 40-year-old cars? And how can one so contain
  21. This question would have garnered more active response some 10 or 15 years ago. Today most persons with interest in the classical (first-generation) SBC would build their own, working with a local machine shop. Others would gravitate towards the LS-series. For evidence, consider what's happened to the post-count in the respective forums in recent years. For a person interested in a crate engine, two possibilities come to mind. The first is buying directly from GM. This won't be a "custom" engine, but the specifications are reliably known, and surprises should be few. The second pos
  22. There IS some interference in my case (280Z, big block Chevy engine, firewall set back 6"). To install/remove the engine, the starter and oil-filter have to be removed; otherwise there is no way to clear the strut-tower diagonals on top, and the engine mounts (welded to the frame-rails) on the bottom. Once the engine is in place, removing the rocker-covers requires some contortion, but with practice one gets the hang of it. All of this notwithstanding, the front strut-tower diagonals are in my opinion a huge benefit, especially if braced behind the firewall.
  23. A couple of points/questions, both somewhat off topic: 1. Have you considered passing the front strut-tower diagonals through the firewall, to meet at a common apex in the dash-area, connecting to a dash-bar (or even better, to a "spine" running parallel to the transmission tunnel)? 2. The wheels of the red car are an eminently popular model, but the name escapes me. What are they, and what are the specifications?
  24. While it's a bit premature to be celebrating the 15th anniversary (4 months left), I'd wager that my prediction from 2011 is now fulfilled: somewhere there must now be a HybridZ member who was not yet born when this site was created! On a more somber note, there's a downside to our policy of assiduous searching and not rehashing old topics. The Forum is starting to feel like a museum, like a great repository of knowledge that's both elegant and sterile. Consider in particular the Gen I/II V8 subforum, which arguably started it all, when we split off from the "purist" discussion groups
  25. Welcome back! My nursing home recently upgraded its internet connectivity, so I know exactly what it feels to return after protracted hiatus. Don't the 461 and 700R4 need to be extracted from the Suburban and put into a Z?
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