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My SDS install

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Hey all,

I have a SDS F system sitting in my garage that was previously on my turbo Legend (RIP). Since this was for a 6 cylinder, I figured I might as well put it onto the Z since the stock EFI system is fairly crap.


When I was doing my header install, I figured I would put in an O2 sensor for future tuning. I have found that the car runs pig rich in almost all scenarios which might explain my 13-15 mpg average. I checked the forums and found that the most likely cause is the water temp sensor and wiring. I replaced the sensor and the connector, but still running full rich on the mixture meter.


I picked up a N42 intake manifold and a 240sx throttle body locally from Craigslist. I ported out the opening to match the ebay special 1†spacer I bought (this spacer didn't compensate for the oblong opening on the stock mani, so I filled that in with JB Weld).


I found a shop locally that specializes in both Z cars and SDS, so I will be having him set up the crank magnets and hall sensor mount.


My “to do†list at this moment looks like this:


Check injector impedance. (Current harness has resistors for low impedence.)

check if water temp sensor can be used (manual says SDS can use Bosch style sensors).

Find out where to mount air temp sensor (easy once intake fab'd up).

Find where to mount map sensor, T fitting to FPR, port facing down.

Figure out tps wiring.

Find/make hole in firewall or other way to run harness into cabin.

Test ignition coil + for hot while cranking.

Research relays for sourcing switched power.

Figure out fuel pump relay.

Find mount and mani port for fast idle.

Figure out tach (can be hooked up to coil packs?)

Find where to mount coils.


I will be removing the crank pulley and the front cover to bring over to the shop for machining this week, so I figured I should try to get some preliminary numbers. I found a G-tech Pro meter on Craigslist and picked it up. After a couple of runs, I got lame data that is about what I expected. I set the vehicle weight to 2850 with the girlfriend and myself in the car.


'76 280Z

Cone intake/ Headers/ 2.5†Exhaust

Bumpers and mounts/shocks removed, no spare tire

0-60 8.75 Seconds

¼ Mile 17 Seconds at 80-85 mph

Est. HP 115-120

I felt the launch could have been a little better, but the numbers were fairly consistent.


I will update this post with progress of the install, any dumb mistakes I'll learn from and any genius moments I have.

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If you would rather just tke the whole car to Duane, let me know. I have a car trailer that is built specifically for an S30. I'd be happy to help you move it. P.S. I'm taking my

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So I put the Z in the garage and decided to get started with the transplant. I disconnected the AFM and all of the other stock EFI junk, so there's no turning back. I removed the radiator and the fan, then found out I don't have the correct size socket for the crank pulley; my 26mm isn't big enough, need a 27. I'll go buy one from Harbor Freight soon.

I did decide that I'll mount the coil packs to the stock location for the fusible links, but will need to make a mounting bracket.

I tested the injectors and found that the resistance is about 2.4 ohms... Low impedence.

The water temp sensor doesn't have the same connector as the SDS hookup, so I'll have to check what a newer Nissan sensor looks like.

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It's a great set up! It is really easy to make changes to the tune and it is great to not need a laptop to do it. The data logging is a great feature as well. It is still a pain to know what to change and by how much, but it is light years better than the triple Mikunis I replaced with it. :). Duane is great too because he is happy to provide support long after the install.

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After a weekend of attempted clamming (0 clams), I made my way to Harbor Freight and bought the 27mm socket, a benchtop vise for bending metal and an impact gun because it was $20.  I got home and found the 27mm fit the pulley bolt perfectly, but that I couldn't fit the impact gun in between it and the A/C condenser.  Bummer.  I put my torque wrench on and laid it against the drivers frame rail, bumped the starter and hand loosened the bolt off.  Surprisingly, I was able to pull the pulley off with my hands!  I took a look at the timing cover and visualized removing it; will probably need to drain the oil since the oil pump looks to be connected to it. 


Not too much accompolished yet, but progress forward I suppose...  Next step is to get the front cover off, and bring it and the pulley to Motorworks for magnet install and hall sensor mount.  I'll keep yall posted.

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If you would rather just tke the whole car to Duane, let me know. I have a car trailer that is built specifically for an S30. I'd be happy to help you move it.

P.S. I'm taking my car to a Dyno day on Saturday. I know that I am no where near the ideal tune yet, but I am excited to see where I am right now!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, a little bit of progress. I got the front cover off along with the pulley and got those dropped off at Motorworks LTD. The oil pump was above the oil level, so no spill there, but- when removing the water pump, it spilled about a quart of coolant on the floor... I removed the front cover bolts starting at the distributor and going counterclockwise, numbering the bolts with painters tape.

I bought some 1"x 1/8" aluminum bar and some rubber grommets and built a mount for the coil pack. I didn't initially have much hope- just screwing around- but it turned out really well and I think I'll stick with it.




Next up is to remove the intake manifold and get the new one cleaned up for install.  I'll also get the resistors mounted to the firewall and continue my search for a passage into the cabin.  I'm thinking about the hole for the vacuum to the heater control...


P.S. I went to the dyno with Pete and... WOW.  I'm really impressed with his setup, dyno numbers and the ride I got on the freeway onramp.  Thanks Pete!

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Awesome to see some progress! If you make any brackets that you need welding, or need any welding done on your car, I can help you with that if you don't have a welder.


The location of your coil packs looks good. You could have some really short spark plug wires! Duane can order you some custom length Magnacore wires if you give him the lengths you need.


If you use a firewall grommet boot, you can drill your own hole in the firewall wherever you want it.


Thanks for the kind words about my car. It is far from the ideal tune still, but it is getting better.

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Hey all,

Sorry for the lack of progress, but holidays and all and got engaged last weekend.  I pulled the fuel rail, but thats about the only progress.  I did buy a long scrub brush to clean out the intake manifold, but haven't even gotten around to that yet.  More updates soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A little bit of an update. I picked up the front cover with Hall Sensor mount and the pulley with magnets installed from Motorworks.  They both look really good and probably a lot better than if I attempted. post-12144-0-80016500-1357003518_thumb.jpgpost-12144-0-93583000-1357003547_thumb.jpg


I mounted the resistor pack to the firewall just inward from the battery location.post-12144-0-25145300-1357003592_thumb.jpg


I found a large hole under the battery tray for the stock wire harness.  All of the connectors fit through it nicely. post-12144-0-18490900-1357003747_thumb.jpg


I pulled off the intake manifold so that I could put on my modified mani.post-12144-0-49341200-1357004036_thumb.jpg post-12144-0-21666100-1357003952_thumb.jpg


When removing the front cover, I found that the "oil slinger" had been installed backwards and got mangled by the distributor drive gear.  Had to get a new one through the dealership, but only $2. post-12144-0-92589200-1357004211_thumb.jpg


I went to the parts store to get a buttload of wires and connectors for the relay setup.  $100 later I had picked up a 40 amp relay for "auxiliary lights and horns" , a 6 slot fuse panel, 4 looms of wires, probably 8 boxes of connectors and an inline fuse for before the relay.post-12144-0-80855300-1357004662_thumb.jpg


Tomorrow, I'm hoping to get the front cover/pulley and the intake manifold put back on and mock up all of the sensors and wiring. 

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Nicely done!your car is going to run like a champ when you are done!


I have to pull the head on mine and send it to Rebello. Two of my valves keep getting way out of adjustmen and he wants to check it out. The great ting about doing your own wiring, as you are doing, is that it will make it easier to work on in the future. I had Duane do all the wiring on my car, and now I am a bit intimidated to pull the head since I have no idea what is going on in there. :)



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  • 2 weeks later...

Haven't had too much time to work on the Z lately, but I was able to put in a few hours today and get a lot of the electrical worked out.  I decided to put the relay and fuse panel behind the coil pack and drilled a couple of holes to mount.  post-12144-0-69937200-1358049386_thumb.jpgpost-12144-0-83870000-1358049405_thumb.jpg

I sourced the switched power from the source for the original coil, and ran the wire back to the firewall and around to the relay.  post-12144-0-97512900-1358049467_thumb.jpg

I tapped power from the positive battery clamp and put in the inline fuse.post-12144-0-49930700-1358049523_thumb.jpg

I found a ground and ran the relayed power wire to the fuse block.  I tested the setup and it worked perfectly; no power with key off, power with key on.

I re-mounted the coil pack, ran a wire to the new fuse block and grounded to a chassis bolt below.  Green wire coming out of the coil pack will eventually send signal to the tach (hopefully).

The install manual says that Bosch type water temp sensors are compatible with the SDS, so I butt connected the sensor to the SDS wire.post-12144-0-51849000-1358049766_thumb.jpg

I ran a few more wires from the firewall hole under the battery tray using the stock harness ties which worked great. post-12144-0-84460300-1358049835_thumb.jpgpost-12144-0-30253300-1358049850_thumb.jpg

I was looking for a place to mount the Map sensor.  SDS advises to mount it with the vacuum port facing down, so this was a prospective location.post-12144-0-21416800-1358049956_thumb.jpg


Next up: I need to clean the intake manifold- there are metal shavings and lots of loose grease crusties- then get it mounted.  I may need to take it to a shop to get hot tanked.  I need to wire up the hall sensor- I cut the wires when removing it from the Legend, need to figure out which wire is for trigger and which is for sync.  I need to figure out the wires for the coil pack, also cut, and the wires for the throttle body.  


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I got a great idea after some beer yesterday and decided to try cleaning the intake manifold with Brakleen.  3 cans later, I felt the manifold was fairly clean.  I ran a rag through each runner and through the plenum a bunch of times and it looked pretty good.  post-12144-0-86480100-1358651532_thumb.jpg

I got the manifold put back on and it looks really clean without all of the crap on it.post-12144-0-02043400-1358651556_thumb.jpg  I mocked up the throttle body, then I remembered that I had to modify the linkage to work with stock setup and to clear the manifold. 

The 240sx throttle body linkage is a huge mess with way too many components.  I stripped each throttle body and began to formulate a plan.  post-12144-0-91721700-1358651578_thumb.jpg (240sx on the left, 280z on the right)

I took the components on the right and slid them on the shaft with a few washers as spacers since the threads on the shaft don't go in far enough. post-12144-0-20058700-1358651682_thumb.jpg

Once mocked up, I noticed that the throttle opening was being limited by the spring holder.  I busted out the dremel and got to cutting.  post-12144-0-61655500-1358651795_thumb.jpg

I notched the spring holder so that the spring would sit in the notch and not slip off.  post-12144-0-07323600-1358651883_thumb.jpg

When all put together, the throttle opens freely, there is no slop, and there is enough clearance for the throttle to open completely. post-12144-0-58732900-1358651961_thumb.jpg


Earlier in the week, I picked up another relay for the fuel pump.  I tapped into the switched power wire for the other relay, ran another fused wire from the battery and ran the wire back to the fuel pump.  The orange wire from the SDS acts as a ground for the relay.  Blurry pic: post-12144-0-57974800-1358652079_thumb.jpg


Thats all for today.  Next up: Mounting the throttle body and figuring out its wiring, mounting the injector rail, figuring out the hall sensor wiring.

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