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About Whitley_280z_2+2

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    North Carolina

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  1. Hi all, I am almost ready to start up the LS1 in my 280z for the first time but I need exhaust headers first. I used the mounting kit from JCI but they are out of headers right now and it could be a month until they build some more. I know this is a long shot but does anyone have a pair of JCI exhaust headers they would like to sell? Thanks!
  2. Here are the details of the fuel system. It started with a SolidWorks design. The late model 280z's are different in that they have braces going to the spare tire well so we had to work around that. We made the mounts out of aluminum angle pieces (including the brackets). These were installed with self-tapping screws into the frame rail. I know it is better to have the rails running from side to side instead of front to back but hopefully the screws will be the weak point in an accident. Passenger side: '' Driver side: Next, we installed the pump and sending unit into the tank. We then glued rubber pieces (from the stock 280z tank) onto the top surface. Now, we used a jack to hold the tank in the correct position to fabricate straps. (look at how good the filler neck lines up) Strap material is included with this tank from Tanksinc. We first stacked some washers on one end of the strap so it would tighten up nicely after being cut and measured. Then, we just had to bend up the strap to fit the tank and drill holes in the aluminum frame. Then, we added rubber to the straps at all the contact points. Now for fuel lines. We used steel braided lines to run from the tank to the filter/regulator and an aluminum hard line to run up to the firewall/engine bay. A steel braided line will then connect the hard line to the engine. I found the best way to cut these braided lines without fraying was using a hose clamp. We used a tube bending spring kit to avoid kinking the aluminum tubing. I highly recommend something like this!
  3. Thanks for the help here! Yeah the Camaro LS3 pan is way too deep for a Datsun. Ended up going with a regular rear sump LS1 oil pan because of a good deal.
  4. Over the past few months, we have made significant progress on the 280z. First, most of the bodywork has been completed. The old rust spots with new patch panels were given a coat of Bondo to smooth them out. hatch: Fender: Rear Quarter Panels: Roof Pillar: The Bumper area was also completely smoothed to get the classic 240z look: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++= We also started installing all the things that make the car stop. We had to paint the calipers red: Created Firewall insulation before installing the pedal box. We just cut up some generic insulation from Amazon to make this work. Pedal Box and steering column: Booster and Master Cylinder: Hard Lines for the brakes: ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ We also picked up an aluminum 5.7L LS1 from a 2004 Pontiac GTO! We found the engine in a junkyard from a side impact GTO and it has about 1K miles but seems to be in decent condition. The engine will be installed using the JCI kit including the transmission cross member. First up, all the wiring connectors were labeled and we had the computer reprogrammed to remove VATS and other unnecessary parameters. This white body connector plug for the GTO LS1's has most of the wires that will run to the fuse block and relays. Two of the exhaust bolt were snapped off flush with the block. We were told this might be a result of the exhaust manifolds warping from the heat. I tried to weld a nut onto the bolt to get them out. I couldn't get enough penetration to make this work so we ended up using an extractor. Unfortunately, this didn't work either and we ended up having to drill out the bolts and re-tap the threads. The engine was cleaned with the famous Chrisfix degreaser (soapy water ), wire brushes, and Scotch-Brite pads. The biggest concern here was making sure all bolt holes were thoroughly clean so the aluminum won't crack. This basically just took a lot of time and scrubbing. Now, we need to order/install a fuse block and relays, mount the engine in the car, and see if it will run. It's that easy right! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ To feed this engine we need a dialed fuel system. Although the stock tank can be used with an external pump, we decided to go a different route because our tank was way too rusty and replacements are hard to find at a decent price. Also, an in-tank pump is better for noise levels and consistency. This meant the spare tire well had to go. Ready: Set: Gone: So much room for activities now! We went with an 18-gallon universal tank from Tanksinc that is internally baffled for an in-tank Walbro pump. The filler neck lines up pretty good and will just need some custom rubber hose that we can probably find at AutoZone. The only real fabrication necessary is the create some solid straps to hold the tank in place. This is being mocked up in Solidworks right now and the tank will hopefully be installed soon. More on this to come. Sorry for the long post but that brings the build up to date. It still has a ways to go but things are coming together.
  5. Thank you for the help! I think I found a complete LS3 oil pan kit (pan, pickup, and windage tray) on craigslist for $100 so that's probably the way to go.
  6. Big build updates to come soon! We found an LS1/T56 from an 04' GTO with lower mileage that is going in the car. With this engine, we found a unique tanksinc fuel system that I will be posting pictures of which will work nicely. I have two quick questions about the GTO engine for anyone that has done this swap ( I should probably post this in the chevy section). 1) Has anyone used stock 04 GTO exhaust manifolds successfully in an S30? 2) Am I correct in thinking that the GTO oil pan will not work because of the front sump and I need to switch to the F-Body style? Thanks in advance!
  7. Looking forward to seeing your progress with this engine! I am planning to use a similar engine for my project but I haven't seen a lot of people go this route (Gen IV). What are you going to use transmission wise? I've been looking into pairing the TR6060 with the LMG for a low-milage, cheapish LS swap.
  8. After welding up the trim holes I started thinking about the big dent in the rear fender area. The previous owner said it was caused by a tree falling on the car. This is what it originally looked like: The plan was to have profesionales fix this spot but I decided to give it a try. First, I hammered down high spots and then pulled out the creases / craters with a slide hammer. Next, I welded up the holes left by the self tapping screws where the slide hammer attaches. Finally, a quick coat of temporary primer. The finished result is far from perfect, but now we can just use body filler to fill in the remaining imperfections.
  9. Sure! I'm not sure I did it the right / best way. I did test it out and it works fine except I still need to drill out the bracket on the actual caliper. I just tried to run it a smoothly as possible while keeping it at the right length. I'll run it through the loop it's zip tied to eventually. sorry its blurry Hope that helps! let me know if you come up with a better idea.
  10. It has been a while since I updated this thread. I have been busy with school and life but haven't given up on the build. So, here's a progress update on what has been done since the last post. First, I rebuilt the differential. I originally planned on installing a limited slip carrier such as the OBX unit but I decided to stick with the stock R200 until it breaks for a couple of reasons. >> I've read many builds that say the R200 holds up to the power of an LS1 >> The stock diff is still in great shape >> OBX units are not easily available currently and the other options are more expensive ( but also better quality . . .) >> I want to get this thing on the road and it was faster to just keep the open diff I hope to switch to maybe an Mfactory differential with Z31 CV's in the future or go with the Z32 complete setup from TTT but that will be after the car is running and driving. Next, I rebuilt the pedal box. This was just a fun, simple restoration project. I'm not sure if the clutch pedal will stay, but more on that later. I also started researching fuel options that would be compatible with an LS engine. I would like to keep the spare tire well and go with the stock tank and a sump or surge tank. However, the tank that came with the car is full of rust and holes and I think it is beyond reparable. To avoid cutting out the spare tire well, I would need to source a stock tank in decent condition and then add a sump or other modifications. So, I have not ruled out the common chevy fuel tank swap but I would love to know if anyone had other cost effective options that fit in place of the stock tank (keeping the tire well). We painted the interior and engine bay of the car in flat black. We planned to paint the engine bay body color but decided to go ahead and spray black so we could be closer to an engine install. Next, I started working on little things to pass the time until we buy an engine + trans. You can see the horns and brake booster in the pictures above. I welded up the trim holes in the fenders and doors (sprayed some cheap primer so it wouldn't rust). I polished up the hood prop and inspection light for fun Cleaned up the hood hinges . . . I need to paint them black I put the old master cylinder on to measure for new brake lines. The plan is to use the Wilwood 1 in master and all new custom SS hard and soft lines. Based on my research it will be best to not run a proportioning valve with our caliper setup (toyota fronts and maxima rears). I just used a piece of rope and tape to create these measurements as a guide: Now about engines. Ideally, we will use an LS1/T56 setup from a camaro or GTO. I think this would be the cheapest route as we would avoid swapping the intake, accessories, oil pan, throttle body, computer, etc if we used a 5.3L. We have also thought about using a 4L60 auto trans and paddle shifters with a LS1 due to limited availability of low mileage LS1/T56 combos. Hopefully, we will find a decent setup soon and start on the engine side of the build. I started on the engine bay wiring by stripping out the old fuel injection from the factory harness. The goal is to use the factory wiring to control lights, horns, turn signals, etc and then create a stand alone engine wire harness from the LS. I found a wiring diagram with original wire colors which was extremely helpful in during the process. First, I stripped all the old electrical tape stuff from the harness I removed everything that comes out of the driver side firewall as it is all old FI stuff. Then, I stripped out the outdated components (voltage regulator, capacitors, AC, etc) and degreased what was left (lights, power to the fuse block, starter, wipers, etc). I kept everything zip-tied together as I went so it would retain the correct layout. I left the harness partially wrapped so I can integrate any new wiring and resolder the old factory splices. This is the final product: Thanks!
  11. Update: I got the rear hatch patched up: I also finished the other fender: I Mocked up the E-brake cable. I still need to drill out the brackets so the ends of the cable fits but everything was roughly the correct length.
  12. @cros13 I checked out your build...really neat! A lot of things have been going on with the car. First, we got it on the ground! These are just temporary wheels / tires, I think they are stock but I'm not sure. It looks like it is sitting at the original height (before lowering springs) but it should drop when we add an engine and other parts. Before: After: We made sure to torque all bolts that compress bushings after the car was sitting on its own weight. We also started working on the fenders... they had some pretty bad rust spots on the bottom. One of them just required a single patch panel: And primer: The other side was a lot worse: There is also a tiny spot on the rear hatch I will have to fix: Headlight buckets are also being cleaned up: We also removed / broke the windshield Now, onto brakes and the differential: We went with 84' Toyota truck calipers in the front: 87' Maxima calipers (from R1 concepts), ZCardepot bracket, and 84" 300zx na rear rotors in the back instead of the drums: We are going to swap in a 1' master cylinder and all new ss brake lines. I can't decide if we should use soft lines from calipers to the body hard lines - or hard line from caliper to strut, and then soft line from strut to the body. I took most of the differential apart. I think we are going to swap in the OBX LSD with ring gear shims and new internal washers as others have done. It looks like it is in great shape: I think we will stick with the same ring gear and hopefully the same shims will work. I think we will probably replace the bearings / races even though they seem fine. I cleaned up the housing for now: That brings the build up to date, Thanks!
  13. The front and rear suspension is almost completely finished. We started by attaching the knuckles to the ball joints: Next, we attached the new Eibach springs attached the knuckle/ ball joint assembly to the strut housing: We also assembled the steering rack with as close to factory alignment settings as I could. Then, put it all together: The rear suspension went in pretty easily as well: I also started working on the engine bay to get rid of the rust and make it clean looking:
  14. I haven't updated this thread in a while but here is some of the progress: All the suspension parts have been painted black and most bushings have been installed: The bushings went in easily with a 12 ton press. I also cleaned up and painted some other parts like the steering rack housing: We then spent a large amount of time installing the rear wheel bearings. We used a 12 ton press to fit the inner and outer bearings to the stub axel and housing respectively. At that point, I realized the stub axel threads were messed up from the previous splined nut. We got a M20 1.5 die to straighten that out. Next, we pressed on the companion flanges and replaced the stub axel nut with the non-splined version from a 280zx, which still needs to be torqued down. Rear wheel bearings are done! This took a lot of time because we have never replaced wheel bearings before. Also, these rear axels seem way too tight now but I think this is only the companion flange washer rubbing on the inner grease seal. Before we put the companion flange on they would spin like a top but now it takes a significant amount of force to spin. Up next will be to assemble the suspension with new Eibach lowering springs: and KYB gas shocks: I've also spent a lot of time restoring the nuts, bolts, washers, etc. Some important hardware such as the spindle pins and stub axel nuts will be replaced with all new parts but the other hardware was in pretty good condition so I will be reusing most of it. We went with the popular 5/8th bolt for the spindle pins: To restore the hardware I initially tried to use a Black Oxide kit from Caswell Plating. First, I soaked the bolts in white vinegar overnight to remove any rust. Then the bolts went into the black oxide and then got coated with the sealer provided with the kit. Unfortunately, after I let the bolts sit overnight the majority of the hardware developed some pretty serious surface rust. This was probably my fault as I may have done something wrong in the process or used to much hardware for the kit. I ended up soaking all the hardware in vinegar again, rinsing them in mineral spirits to remove any residue. and using some Boesheild T-9 to seal the parts. This process worked great and it even left the black look from the previous oxide: With the hardware and parts all restored we can start bolting everything back onto the car!
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