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Base model 280zx project

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Ok so for those who don't know I crashed my awesome 2+2. The build thread for it can be seen here:




Trashed in in July of 2011 and about 2 weeks later I picked up this gem:




I picked this beauty up for $1500, drove it home with expired tags, got pulled over and let off because the cop thought the car was cool, and began attacking it.


I stripped it and sold the hood, seats, some interior pieces, engine and miscellaneous knickknacks for a total of just under $600, so it I really only payed about $1000 to buy and register it.


If you're too lazy to click the thread here are pictures of it when I got it:










Here were the visible rust spots:






Luckily the majority of the rust was on replaceable parts, I'll get to that later.


It has no power anything, and it only has one mirror which I thought was weird. No rear wiper, and it doesn't even have the warning display. Most of the sensors for that system aren't in the car. I'm going to be driving it stripped down, with only the dash and center console and 2 bucket seats in it. Can't wait to weigh it.


So the original lip was beat to all hell so that was the first thing I trashed. Then I began parting it out. traded some stuff and sold some stuff(see above). Then I parked it for about 4 months while I began swapping what I could over, removing what I wasn't going to use, and just cleaning up the car.


I swapped out the rear hatch since water was getting into it and it was rusted, swapped out the driver side fender with a red one, and put a Turbo style hood on. Also got some type 2 MSA sideskirts and put them on.


The biggest project I had to deal with was the suspension. on my 2+2 I had adapted s13 rear suspension using a custom made tophat. I had to get a pair of the same coilover brand for the fronts, (kei office for those who care/know the brand) and chop the front strut tubes off and weld on the sleeves similar to what Mightymaxx did. But I'll have a whole post about the suspension later.


Nothing really got done for a while since I had all the suspension out, got it sandblasted and dropped it off with my friend to disassemble and powdercoat what he could. That process took like 2-3 months since he worked on it on and off, but it only cost me $350 for the powdercoating and putting things together. Not bad.


While that was being taken care off I was gathering parts, I had stripped the engine bay and painted it black, and really just selling a bunch of crap.


Don't have a pic of the bay empty and painted but here is one with the engine and rad in



Here is the engine that went in and pics the night we put it in.








Fuel rail cortesy of cockerstar, I actually ended up using AN fittings since I had to run a new FPR




Here is a pic of when I stripped the sound deadening using my trusty $2 dollar plastic scraper. It ended up breaking from the cold.




Custom SS clutch line like a boss


Figured I might as well since I had SS brake lines.


Got some body parts to put on, yes its a real one, urethane.



And this is it this Monday getting aligned at the closet shop I could find, it really needs a true alignment and corner weighting because of the coilovers.



Putting the HKS Hi power on, from my 2+2, luckily all it needed was to be shortened. The rear half fit perfectly over the subframe. For those who don't know, I bought an s13 hi power that was already chopped off for like $100 and got 2.5in piping with no car on my 2+2. That was adapted to the stock exhaust flange, so I had to chop that off since I got some nice coated headers.



Had it done here, these guys are awesome.


They were working on this on the side. Its an built LSx powered dune buggy, fully custom frame and suspension that cost more than an new car.



Right now as it sits, before heading to a body shop to have the Gnose, and wing put on.



I wish I had a better picture of the underside because it is perfect. The crimp welds aren't effed up and the rails aren't beat like a hooker. I'll get one when it gets up on a rack again.

Edited by BluDestiny

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Now the suspension, the part I spent the most money on. Here is a quick breakdown of parts and prices for the do-it-yourselfer.


Kei office Coilovers $550

Rear custom top hats that use the stock bolt pattern, $200 for the pair

Techno toy tuning front TC rods $200

TTT bumpsteer spacers $80

New steering rack boots and tie rods $60ish

New steering rack bushings $50 from fleabay

New urethane bushing for the front and rear control arms, $80ish from MSA

s13 solid subframe bushings $70 from fleabay, and $30 to have them turned down to fit ( suggested from Purepontiackid)

New wheel bearing and studs all around $100ish

Sandblasting all the subframe and suspension components $80

Powdercoating was $350

Reassembly and installation of bearing and studs etc was $200

Junkyard 4.11 diff x2 $140

Locking diff center $250


Can't think of anything else so that brings the total to $2440 give or take a few things. Damn that hurts me too.


Here are pics of the coilovers when I was testing the lengths and chopping things off. The middles is the stock tube, the left is fitting on the coilover sleeve, and the right is a tokico shock and spring set up, you can see its much longer ( like a few inches) but I figured when its loaded it should be about the same.


Here is what I chopped off the sleeve



Here is the front control arms, TC rods and the brackets. I actually put zerk grease fittings where all the urethane bushings are at the suggestion of a friend.


Front crossmember



Fronts after welding and powdercoating





Hubs were just painted with a krylon engine enamel silver




putting the coilovers on




One of the rear arms



And here is the rear subframe:




I decided to stick with an R180 since I had actaully found a locking Diff at the machine shop where I get all the work done, unfortunatly I have to wait till JohnC can make another set of halfshafts/stubaxles or whatever before I install it. I got a nice 4.11 diff from a 720 pickup, used that to test fit the diff, then I had to go out and find another 4.11 diff, which it whats in the car now. So I have an open 4.11 in there now, and I have an super LSD 4.11 on the shelf for when I can get those half shafts.

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Final update for a while until I get her painted. I got the Whale tail installed today by Art at sunrise Z. Basically ended up putting a lot of self taping screws into the underside and used silicone around the edges. You can see he just put screws where ever he had access and drilled some new ones for the rear portion and the front corners.








The rear of the car definitely felt more planted at freeway speeds. Hugged the road better. And it didn't rip off so I know its on there good and tight.



A couple other things I did, I replaced the old fuel sending unit so now I know how much fuel I have. Also got it weighed. Came in at 2460 without me in it and on some 15's. The Diamond racing rims add about another 80lbs :o because they are huge and made of lead.


The only real major things I would like to do mechanically now are a 240sx tranny swap, and install my LSD in my other 4.11 along with some CV's.


Lastly I plan on getting a roll bar welded in, along with some schroth clubman harnesses.


Oh and paint of course

Edited by BluDestiny

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Fronts are the same, 16x8 4" of backspacing( -13 offset)


Rears are 16x10 5.5" of backspacing ( 0 offset)


They are pretty close to the fender lining. My next set of tires I'll probably put a 245/50/16 on and get some small spacers, like 6mm.



But yes they don't poke out and look lame anymore.

Edited by BluDestiny

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Ok so I did a few more things:


Installed a second cigarette lighter, just daisy chained wires from the first one. Now I can use my GPS and a car charger for my cross country trip.


Also when I was driving around with my GPS my speed is a little off I know its from the higher 4.11 diff instead of the stock 3.54. at 75 my car is really going 70, so its not that bad.


Secondly I brought my car to a welder to have the lower mounts for my radiator installed with rubber exhaust hanger things. Pics will come later.


And lastly I got my friend off his lazy ass to wire in my high beams. I was only running lows for like 2 weeks.

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Pics as promised:


Here are my dual cigarette lighters, probably the best thing I could ever do.



Here are the lower rad mounts, bad pic I know, but my friend just welded some metal stock with a hole in it and used the muffler hanger as the rubber insert.




Took a while for my high beams because I had to get my friend to use molex connectors. We used a different harness than the one that came from MSA



Here is a current pic of my engine bay. Part of my Fuel line is not SS because I had originally run it dead end style, but that was choking the engine so we ran it with the FPR after the rail.


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What size tires, front/rear, are on the Diamond Racing Wheels in the pics of your spoiler? And do you mind me asking how much you paid for the Diamond Racing wheels? Would you change the sizes you chose at all? I'm thinking of going this route... Wanna get it right the first time.

Thanks Man!!

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Fronts are 225/50/16 rears are 265/45/16. I believe I paid $550-600 to have the rims shipped to my door.


If my car was more of a daily, I would go 16x8 all around and only run 225/50/16 tires. Its cheaper and I can rotate tires. I do not regret getting these sizes, but when I get new rear tires I'm going to go with some 245/50/16s tires becasue they are about $70 cheaper.

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So I got my rear passenger side wheel bearings replaced and she is back on the road.


This is the inner bearing, completely fubar:



And this is the outer bearing. It was seized and would not budge at all:



There was no grease present at all. My mechanic thinks that since the inner bearing imploded, the heat burned up all the grease.


On another note my heater stopped working. I think the blower motor fuse blew. :(

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I spent an hour pulling off the panels to clean all the contacts to the blower motor, still no go. Then out of nowhere I hit my elbow on the fuse box in the passenger foot rest are and boom it started working. The fuse was lose or corroded or something. I hate when stuff like that happens

Edited by BluDestiny

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Super duper awesome news. I just got back from my first SCCA autocross event here in FL. IT was a lot of fun and I drove out with turbohls30.


Since it was my first time I ran in the novice class. I got first place for novices, but there wasn't much competition(only 4 other novices, second place was a honda fit).


I had one setback, after the second run with an instructor, one of the cheap heater hose blockoffs popped, the one coming off my thermostat housing. thanks to some awesome racers that had a trailer, I got some hose, a bolt and a few clamps and got it running in a 15 min.


Turbo was supposed to be taking pictures but he couldn't really get near the track. Here are a few pics. No vids sorry, Next time I'll try to have a go pro.







Talked to an instructor, and because of the suspension modifications, if I move up to class racing, I would be competing with S2000 and evo's and STI's. So I'm pretty much doing this for fun.

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