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If you have to do it all over again....


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Well, to "do it over again" you have to have done it before right?

 

MY big mistake was assuming CA laws wouldn't change, and proceeded to own a succession of S130's thinking they would become smog exempt.

 

if I did it again, I'd have either only ever touched S30's, or gotten into another chassis. Another big thing is that I would have spent more money on tools, not fancy new parts before I realized how much better off I was shopping at junkyards. (example: went through 3 store bought alternators while junkyard alternators never seemed to ever fail...)

Edited by Gollum
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Ouch!

 

I loved the GeeWizz factor of my VG30ET swap, but for what it cost me, I could have had a nice ls1 with a/c and forgotten about it and just drove it.

 

I may have the opportunity to "do it again", so I'm considering my options, and will not rush into something. For the time being, I'm still playing outside of the Z car realm.

 

It's not that I don't like the Z, but I'm not quite as enthused as I thought I'd be. I'm going to try to make it a little more comfortable, I've been driving around with no stereo and a very beat up interior. I really only had it running right for 2 or 3 weeks for the total time I've owned the car(5 years at this point).

 

I get a ton of attention in it around here, just getting in and out at the gas station or grocery store people come up and want to talk. It's getting annoying, I'm not a terribly social person, nobody even glances at the rx7.

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I'd find a performance donor, or some kind, then swap the drivetrain in its' entirety, dead stock, including the whole donor wiring harness, no mods of any kind other than necessary for the swap itself. LS1, something along that line. No mix-and-match mechanicals. Then I'd concentrate on the suspension, rear end, and interior goodies. My car, though a hoot, is not so much happy piddling around town on a hot day - something, in my opinion, it has to do if it's going to be considered a "car". I'd probably go with an overdrive automatic (left knee has an unpleasant conversation with me after rowing the 6-speed for a while); I would probably pay more attention to "comfort" items up front (a/c, seats, suspension setup); and I'd certainly not worry about having the fastest car around quite as much ('cause it isn't, I don't really want one, and anyway there are too many guys with Vipers, Corvettes, & GT-40's around). I'd let the pros do what I don't like to do (bodywork, paint), stick with the things I enjoy.

 

If I were doing it all over again, I think I'd stop and think more, before I jumped in.

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I wouldn't do a thing differently. When I built my first L24, LS1 weren't being made and I have enjoyed the whole historic nostalgic feeling of driving a throaty straight-6 with multiple carbs. Now I've done the LS2/T56 swap and the car is just awesome. It is like the car was built with this motor in mind. The workmanship and technology of the LSx family can't be beat and with the stand alone harness, it fired on the second turn of the key! No jockeying timing or tuning a carb at all. I would have liked to have learned to mig weld somewhere along the line so that I could do some sort of fuel tank swap. I have spent most of my time, when working on this car, addressing some sort of dirty fuel issue. The fuel system has been the bain of my existence since I bought the car in the early 1990s.

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Having experienced a wide range of truly amazing sports cars...

 

It boils down to what you choose to do with your time and what interests you.

 

For me, the answer is absolutely not. I've regreted building this car more times in the last few years and feel like it's lighting a match to money every time I have yet another hurdle to overcome, like right now... I'll have a $4K repair bill with my tuner by the time all is said and done "whenever" I get the car back... Went from "bleed the clutch and de-bug the FAST EFI" to "troubleshooting an oil pressure issue" (faulty distributor), re-wiring some of the car, and now dropping the trans to troubleshoot why the clutch pedal won't travel the full length it should. This, ontop of an "EFI" upgrade of $3500, along with new CCW wheels at $3200, new flywheel at $300, and new battery at $150. I look at the list of parts and associated dollars spent and think of the cars I could have "enjoyed" doing what they're supposed to be intended to be used for... DRIVING them.

 

I want to get in my track/street/fun/weekend car and DRIVE it. I don't want to have to be an expert on every type of part, nut or bolt, to chase a pipe-dream of maximum performance in such an old platform. If you're an engineer, or if you love a challenge and want to tinker and tweak to your hearts content, this is absolutely the platform for you...

 

Me, I look at it as the one I held onto much much to long.

 

Got I miss my 996TT!

Mike

Edited by Mikelly
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If I had to do it all over again... Probably would've skipped the whole Z phase and gotten an E30, which was my first choice YEARS ago, and it's also what I finally have as of September. I bought the Z thinking I'd enjoy the metal work, body work, etc. What I found out is that I absolutely hate working on cars. There's a lot of bolt on support for E30s and they're easy to work on to boot. Works for me. And my favorite thing about it? Well, aside from the AC, heat, nice interior, EFI, and all that... It has no rust. None. I love it.

 

If I had to do a Z again? I'd start with a solid, complete CA car, instead of going thru a bunch of rust buckets. Sooner or later, I'm going to be selling all my Z stuff. I'll probably end up with another Z at some point, but it's going to be a while. And I'll probably go with an RB25/26.

Edited by rturbo 930
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Hmm, if I had to do it all over again, I would probably do it the same. The only change I might have made would be to swap in my planned engine swap sooner. I love my turbo L28, and am glad that I have stuck with it for a few years now, playing with it and learning about it, but I want to get my next engine in the engine bay, next winter, it should be in. :D

 

If I swapped to the new engine sooner, I wouldn't have the cool avatar. LOL

Edited by Six_Shooter
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I would have gone turbo sooner. Boost has been the most rewarding experience of my automotive life. It just makes me feel so smart to mess with the car for 20 minutes then the test drive grin lasts miles beyond the actual test drive. I guess that is a perk of inheriting a pile of great parts that is just WAY out of tune, and the boost exemplifies the new tune and previous lack there off. So I guess my answer would be l28et, HA!

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Lol, so much negativity in this thread. I really hope I don't regret my L28ET. Dont think I will though.

 

Naw don't think of it that way. This stuff ALWAYS happens eventually. We love the car at first, see the potential for mods, spend many years modding it to the point where you want it, then find out, now you have a good job/wife/family/kids, and realize that you modded the car for the needs you had years ago, and now those needs/wants have changed. I never cared for a/c when I was in my 20's, but 20 years later,I DEMAND air in my car. I also demand to not smell like fuel/exhaust once I reach my destination. If it is not comfortable enough for my wife to enjoy it as well, then the car gets used less and less while you drive something more comfortable.

 

That is why I always encourage people not to do a 10year race car resto on these cars, because by the time you finish, it will not likely be what you want anymore. Drive them, mod them, and keep driving them. Mod them as your life changes, or else you are doomed to sell the car for something that does fit your life better.

 

Cheers!

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Naw don't think of it that way. This stuff ALWAYS happens eventually. We love the car at first, see the potential for mods, spend many years modding it to the point where you want it, then find out, now you have a good job/wife/family/kids, and realize that you modded the car for the needs you had years ago, and now those needs/wants have changed. I never cared for a/c when I was in my 20's, but 20 years later,I DEMAND air in my car. I also demand to not smell like fuel/exhaust once I reach my destination. If it is not comfortable enough for my wife to enjoy it as well, then the car gets used less and less while you drive something more comfortable.

 

That is why I always encourage people not to do a 10year race car resto on these cars, because by the time you finish, it will not likely be what you want anymore. Drive them, mod them, and keep driving them. Mod them as your life changes, or else you are doomed to sell the car for something that does fit your life better.

 

Cheers!

Well said! Funny I had bought an 88 300zxt thinking exhaust fumes, what's that? Sure enough sometimes almost as bad as the early Z.

 

I still say own a nearly stock Z of some sort and then have a project Z. It has really allowed me to get my driving fix and tinker when I feel like it.

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I would not have bought a Z when I was 16, therefore not have fallen in love with sport cars or cars in general, in turn not making me choose mechanic as a career, and would have became a doctor instead and would have just bought a Aston Martin like my buddy who did choose the other path. And I would not have run on sentences either.

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Uhhuh... I've owned 22 Zcars... Bitter? Yup.

 

Mike

 

Well said! Funny I had bought an 88 300zxt thinking exhaust fumes, what's that? Sure enough sometimes almost as bad as the early Z.

 

I still say own a nearly stock Z of some sort and then have a project Z. It has really allowed me to get my driving fix and tinker when I feel like it.

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Naw don't think of it that way. This stuff ALWAYS happens eventually. We love the car at first, see the potential for mods, spend many years modding it to the point where you want it, then find out, now you have a good job/wife/family/kids, and realize that you modded the car for the needs you had years ago, and now those needs/wants have changed. I never cared for a/c when I was in my 20's, but 20 years later,I DEMAND air in my car. I also demand to not smell like fuel/exhaust once I reach my destination. If it is not comfortable enough for my wife to enjoy it as well, then the car gets used less and less while you drive something more comfortable.

 

That is why I always encourage people not to do a 10year race car resto on these cars, because by the time you finish, it will not likely be what you want anymore. Drive them, mod them, and keep driving them. Mod them as your life changes, or else you are doomed to sell the car for something that does fit your life better.

 

Cheers!

You're a very smart man.:o
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  • 3 weeks later...

First, I would plan what I really wanted in terms of performance and then I'd go for that WITHOUT any detours and frolics. The key to finishing a Project is not money or time: it is FOCUS and some money. Focus on what you are doing, do something every week.

 

Second, I would limit my time on this forum to once a week and review paragraph "First" three times before I varied from the original plan. [Right now, I've purchased and installed without ever cranking them three CSB Gen I, Gen II, and now GenIII.]

 

Third, Do not fall victim to the "While I'm here I might as well .................................................... ."

 

Fourth, don't stress over money. Your excavating a money pit and you are in control. If wife or kids need shoes, decide if the Project or the shoes are most important. As far as I can tell, being raised poor by loving parents has never hurt the kids. If they go barefoot for a few months, so be it. Good for Character and gives them good material to tell their grandkids how tough life was in '20s.

 

Now, to answer the questioned posed. As soon as the Z is sorted out and running trouble free for 6 months, I'll sell the MazdaSpeed Mx5 and set aside around $5K. The next Project will be a NB Mazda Miata, with a cold stone stock Ls2 with A/T, Ford 8.* IRS and large brakes all around. I start with a clean, straight, Mx5 with good paint and interior and go for the power. Use previously engineered kits. Put that in my garage and retire to the old man's autoX circuit. No intention of winning anything, just a good noisy time.

 

G

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