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HybridZ

AWD Subie powered Z


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Hi All, I have been tinkering with a idea to make an AWD Z car from a 2000 subaru I parted out and a 72 z I have leftover from a restoration I am doing on another 1970 z. I have already chopped up the subaru, see pics. The idea is to cut out the floor area and weld in the subaru section that will allow me to drop in a subaru 2.5 with 5 speed trans. The rear end of the subie is very simular to the z car's. I would just bolt in the diff and modify the z's suspensions A arms to work with the hubs from the subie.

 

see pics for better idea of what I am considering.

 

 

My main concern is the weight being too far forward and the rear being too light. I think if I locate the battery and few other things to the rear of the car it might help.

 

Another concern is what will the purists say, but then i think about it and say F$%& the purists this is a hot rod project.

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Ain't no such thing as a purist on hybridZ, have at it! Is it really esential to put the subie front clip in? Seems like you could get away with modifying the Z front end to fit the subie X member and you'd end up with a hybrid subie/Z car suspension. Also the R180 out of a wrx will bolt right up to the rear of a 240z. I think you need an adapter or something for the halfshafts to make it work but it's a common swap, well documented. You wouldn't need to mess with the rear control arms or anything. The biggest problem I forsee is getting the transfer case to fit. You'll probably have to rotate the engine/trans a bit, and widen the tranny tunnel to get it to work right, but I wouldn't know for certain. Anyways I know there are a few AWD Z cars in existence so it can be done.

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Ain't no such thing as a purist on hybridZ, have at it! Is it really esential to put the subie front clip in? Seems like you could get away with modifying the Z front end to fit the subie X member and you'd end up with a hybrid subie/Z car suspension. Also the R180 out of a wrx will bolt right up to the rear of a 240z. I think you need an adapter or something for the halfshafts to make it work but it's a common swap, well documented. You wouldn't need to mess with the rear control arms or anything. The biggest problem I forsee is getting the transfer case to fit. You'll probably have to rotate the engine/trans a bit, and widen the tranny tunnel to get it to work right, but I wouldn't know for certain. Anyways I know there are a few AWD Z cars in existence so it can be done.

 

 

There are a couple reasons I think I need to use the subie rear end stuff, first of all the front end of the subie is about 10 inches wider then the datsun, secondly the front subie hubs have 5 bolts and disk brake, the subie rears also have 5 bolts and disks. I will be using the top part of the Z's tunnel but the lower part of the subies tunnel. I might even just trim off all floors and just use the subies sub frame rails and build the rest myself, stronger i think.

 

I am thinking I will have lots of space behind the engine in the long Z compartment, lots of room for perhaps a twin turbo?

 

Radiator will be tight up front as the motor is a little forward, thinking it could be relocated but not sure where, or maybe just build it in nice and tight up front.

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Wouldn't it be easier to just make custom mounts to fit the 2.5 in the original z bay? I can't imagine it wouldn't fit.

 

In fact, a custom tube front end even sounds easier than welding half of one car to another.

 

well the engine bay is about 6 inches wider on the subie, tube frame would be nice but I realy dont want to spend tons of cash on this.

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I honestly don't see how you're going to be able to do this without spending a lot. The problem with putting the subie front end on is you will no longer be able to mount the stock fenders. Going with a tube front end won't acctually be any more expensive, if you're doing it yourself, and will yield a far better result. You can probably make it have more room to fit the engine and everything while still keeping the look of the Z. I know the subie engines have been put in Z's before, but I have yet to hear of one that held onto it's AWD. If you wanna save time and swearing, do a tube front end. Honestly you can probably get away with the stock Z engine bay, maybe by modding it a little. I wouldn't think it'd be impossible to mount the subie X member, assuming it's bolt on. In fact you might be able to make a hybrid Z/subie X member. If you aren't willing or comfortable to do a bunch of custom fab work and basically toot your own horn with the whole thing, I would say leave it as a dream and build up another AWD vehicle.

Edited by luseboy
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Ain't no such thing as a purist on hybridZ, have at it! Is it really esential to put the subie front clip in? Seems like you could get away with modifying the Z front end to fit the subie X member and you'd end up with a hybrid subie/Z car suspension. Also the R180 out of a wrx will bolt right up to the rear of a 240z. I think you need an adapter or something for the halfshafts to make it work but it's a common swap, well documented. You wouldn't need to mess with the rear control arms or anything. The biggest problem I forsee is getting the transfer case to fit. You'll probably have to rotate the engine/trans a bit, and widen the tranny tunnel to get it to work right, but I wouldn't know for certain. Anyways I know there are a few AWD Z cars in existence so it can be done.

 

The way I plan to do it will keep the top part of the Zs engine compartment, the bottom is all I am swapping. This way the fenders will still bolt up no problems.

 

ill post pics when its done

 

thanks

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The biggest problem I forsee is getting the transfer case to fit. You'll probably have to rotate the engine/trans a bit, and widen the tranny tunnel to get it to work right, but I wouldn't know for certain. Anyways I know there are a few AWD Z cars in existence so it can be done.

 

Take a close look at the Subbie trans, the "tranfer case" is built into the trans itself. It has a shaft that runs through the gear sets from the rear of the trans, to provide power to the front diff, that is mounted inside the trans.

 

See pic:

photo5.jpg]

 

It is because of this idea of running the shaft through the trans that I was at one time looking at using a Subaru trans for an AWD conversion, but couldn't come up with a clean way to run that shaft to an external diff, so that I could keep the trans and engine as far rearward as I could. I have some ideas, just not sure how well they would work. AWD is still a possibility, though low on the priority list.

 

 

I honestly don't see how you're going to be able to do this without spending a lot. The problem with putting the subie front end on is you will no longer be able to mount the stock fenders. Going with a tube front end won't acctually be any more expensive, if you're doing it yourself, and will yield a far better result. You can probably make it have more room to fit the engine and everything while still keeping the look of the Z. I know the subie engines have been put in Z's before, but I have yet to hear of one that held onto it's AWD. If you wanna save time and swearing, do a tube front end. Honestly you can probably get away with the stock Z engine bay, maybe by modding it a little. I wouldn't think it'd be impossible to mount the subie X member, assuming it's bolt on. In fact you might be able to make a hybrid Z/subie X member. If you aren't willing or comfortable to do a bunch of custom fab work and basically toot your own horn with the whole thing, I would say leave it as a dream and build up another AWD vehicle.

 

How would mounting fenders and sheet metal to a tube front end be any easier than another sub structure? Either way, mounts would need to be made.

 

Have you actually measured a Subie boxer engine? They are wider than the Z engine bay, or at the very least as wide, and would require basically cutting out the existing frame anyway.

 

Back when a discussion of a Subie engine in an S30 came up, I had ideas of mounting the rad above the trans, with some custom duct work to cool air through and away from the rad, let the engine hang out with the grill. ;) I wonder how close the headlight buckets will be to the heads and intake? The good thing about the Subie engine is that it's short from front to back, but it still sits in front of the front wheel center line.

 

Interested in seeing how this turns out.

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I wasn't aware that the transfer case was built into the tranny, that's really slick! I guess that explains why the engine would have to be so far forward. Holy crap that one gear in that tranny is so ground down haha that's nuts! I was merely thinking that with a tube chassis you would basically have more engine bay room to work with since tubes aren't as wide as the rails the Z uses. You would basically have the freedom to put the lower frame rail anywhere in relation to the upper rail, giving you the option to widen it as you like while still keeping the fender right where you want it. I'd think it would be easier than trying to mate the lower half of the subie to the upper half of the Z. Yes mounts would have to be made, but at least you wouldn't have to deal with re-shaping everything, you just design it to work with the engine and fenders. As for radiator placement, if worst comes to worst, you could always mount it in the hatch. I think there were a few road racers who did this for one reason or another. Or you might be able to fab up simply a chain going from the front diff in the trans, to another axle located inline with the front axle, mounted to the X member or frame rails, made to mount cv joints to it, if that makes sense. Then you could get the engine back enough for rad clearance, and have AWD. Seems like to make this work, some bamf ZG flares or wide body fenders will be in order, also some wheels that would be really sunk in a subie.

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Have you actually measured a Subie boxer engine? They are wider than the Z engine bay, or at the very least as wide, and would require basically cutting out the existing frame anyway.

 

 

 

 

Have I measured? of course I have, the subie engine compartment is 30 inches, the Z is 30 to 28 at front, I have made the Z all the same width as the subie now so the engine should drop in with no problems.

Edited by JP..
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That was quick! From what I can tell you're welding the engine bay frame section into the Z. Seems like a pretty simple way to do it. Are you finding that the strut tops are gonna be a similar distance/angle from the suspension pickups in the Z or will you have adjust it?

 

It also looks like getting the steering shaft to the rack once the engine is in might be tricky.

 

Good work!

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That was quick! From what I can tell you're welding the engine bay frame section into the Z. Seems like a pretty simple way to do it. Are you finding that the strut tops are gonna be a similar distance/angle from the suspension pickups in the Z or will you have adjust it?

 

It also looks like getting the steering shaft to the rack once the engine is in might be tricky.

 

Good work!

 

Yes welding it together, steering shaft clears fine, engine is forward of it. I need a shock tower that fits right or use the datsun with the subaru mounts.

 

we have nice weather now so ill get some work done.

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Wow that looks to have fit in a lot better than I would have thought! What about buying subie front coilovers, and putting Z mounts on top? I'd say maybe go for the techno toy tuning camber plates so you can adjust camber and make up for any difference in width. It'll be pretty cool to see how this all works out.

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Wow that looks to have fit in a lot better than I would have thought! What about buying subie front coilovers, and putting Z mounts on top? I'd say maybe go for the techno toy tuning camber plates so you can adjust camber and make up for any difference in width. It'll be pretty cool to see how this all works out.

 

Thanks, I will keep camber plates in mind, , worked on the engine compartment all day, here is what it looks like as of 4pm today.

 

Lots more metal fab to go ( floors) but I am past the hard part. Also lots to do on inner fenders and reinforcing.

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