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First off, i'd like to say hey to everyone, as i'm new here and this is my first post. I'm not sure if there's an introduction section, i hope i didnt miss it.


Onto business:


I've loved z's ever since i was a tiny kid and didn't know the first thing about them. Now, after learning more and more about them, I want my own.


Here's the rundown:

I want a 280z, maybe year doesn't matter too much to me. I want to drop in a chevy, I found an ls3 I like. I realize this thing is gonna be fast but i dont want something thats only enjoyable on the track. Although I want to do this right and not cut any corners, i dont want to spend an ungodly amount of money on this as it really is just a toy.


I'm not new when it comes to street cars, i've driven plenty, but ive never owned anything personally other than yukons, dodge 1500's, and wranglers. So having said that, i dont know a whole lot when it comes to mods like this.


Here are my questions:

-How does this engine seem?  http://paceperformance.com/i-7739382-19259233-special-ls3-525hp-with-free-shipping.html  a bit pricey i know but i like nice things and horses

-The only axles i'm familiar with are the ones for my wrangler, so fill me in on what you'd recommend for 400-500 hp

-I understand the t56 is a preferable transmission for this kind of build, does someone mind to elaborate?

-what rear tire sizes are you guys fond of? what brands/models?

-I've heard of some people running mustang brakes or toyota brakes, what do you guys have/recommend?

-Although i eventually plan on adding a completely new suspension, painting it, other "pretty stuff", etc, what are things that you guys see as "essential" for an ls swap? I'm not trying to break anything or die cause i know ill be giving this thing some hell.


Lastly, do you guys know of any places that do good work on z's? I'm in the nashville area of tennessee. I want them mainly to do the heavier stuff like axle and engine swapping.


Thank you all in advance, can;t wait to get some answers.

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Might call Clark's Z Cars, he was in the Nashville area last I heard. Don't know if he does anything but stock cars, worth a call.


You will pay a LOT of money for someone else to be doing the work on one of these...What's your budget?


Have you ever ridden in a stock Z? How about a 450HP Z car, which that LS3 would EASILY do. You may find you are completely satisfied with something less than you expect...remember...the Z is VERY light compared to your other vehicles!

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I'm hoping to have mine on the streets in June and am just outside of Knoxville, TN. If you're still in the planning stages or just want to take a ride in one I'll be glad to meet and greet and you can look it over. I know thats a ways away but if you have any questions and want to swap info just shoot me a PM. It took me a year and a half to find a decent car for a really good price (250 miles away). The search button is your best friend on this site. That and private messaging others I've gathered 99% of all of my questions answered through other people's trial and error on here. This place is a gold mine.


Welcome to HybridZ


p.s. it will cost an arm and a leg to get a shop to do it for you like others have said above, but to each his own (my pockets arent deep enough! lol)

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Thanks for the replies everyone. Still looking for a few answers to these questions or advice. I realize that having work done for me will be expensive but I don't have the know-how to do a whole engine swap. I have a friend of my dad's who works on everything from street cars to tractors (he's a "good ole boy"), ive been planning on giving him a shout. I also realize that the power:weight ratio in this car is going to be nasty, and although i could be satisfied with less, that's not the point; it's not a driver, it's a toy i plan on holding onto unless something unfortunate happens. I like nothing better than having to train myself and tame something. As soon as I got my wrangler I hit some trails and had a blast. Next thing I knew I was wanting 35's, a winch, dana 60 rear, KC's, etc. I can be easily satisfied but i get drunk on car love. I've ridden in a stock z, never a swapped one. I'm used to some pretty fast cars, ive driven a few v8 stangs and maros, an m5, an svt lightning, and a 454 chevelle, so speed isnt all that new.


My budget? ehhh its hard to say at the moment, but in my initial set-up (no suspension upgrades) i plan on shelling out maybe 15k. I want some things like the actual swap done by a pro for ease and peace of mind that it's done right. Most other things I can handle myself. I want this thing to be nice but I dont have the ambition or cash to turn this thing into my true dream z for at least 4-6 years after i officially start the build. Just keeping my wrangler in the 32's is pricey. This is going to be more of a hobby/weekend driver thing for me. i never want to sell because i'll miss it and lose a lot of money even if i get a good sell.


RebekahsZ: If I ever find myself in the area ill be sure to PM you ahead of time so we can arrange something.


EasttTnZ: My grandmother lives in maryville/alcoa. I go up there some times so I will definitely be in touch with you over the next few months.

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First off, welcome to the forums!


Second, read, read, read, and just when you think you're done reading, read some more. The answer to every question you asked is answered on many threads all over this board. If you feel like you have done the swap and you haven't even started yet, you are close to the point of having read enough. Any info you want on the LSx engines can be easily found over on LS1tech. Using google site specific search is much better than using this boards search function(It kinda sucks). Any LSx engine thats stock or lightly modded will drive like a stock car, get 18-30 mpg's, and be crazy reliable.


If your dead set on blowing over half your budget on an LS3 then have at it, but finding a good low mile LS1/T56 pullout for much less than that would be a much better way to go. Then you could spend more money on places that the car will like a lot more(Axles, suspension, axles, brakes, axles, etc). Did I mention axles?


Take RebekahsZ up on his offer if you get a chance, seeing a swap in person will really help you get an idea of what needs done. His car is fantastic(He's not too bad either) and maybe after riding in his you will grasp how quick these cars really are. I am willing to bet my car, and especially RebekahsZ's, is a lot quicker than most of those cars you mentioned driving. I came from an LS1 firebird and my Z would put it to shame in a heartbeat.


If you are looking for someone to do the swap, I will be available this summer if you feel like bringing the car to central Arkansas. If all the parts were aquired before hand I bet the swap could be done in a weekend. Shoot me a PM if you want to talk more details.


And I'll be a nice guy and go ahead and quickly answer those questions:



-Strong ones. Too many options to list. Search

-Stock LS1 Tranny, Bolts up, fits. The LS3 originally came with the TR6060

-Wide/Sticky ones

-Can't help ya there, im on stock brakes.

-Motor mounts, Trans mount, Driveshaft, Wiring/ecu, Exhaust maniolds, some other things I can't think of. Axles if you dont want to break anything.


P.S. Read some more!



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Hey man



The best advice I could give is to do your best to find a good canidate for your swap. If you pick up a rusy old z you will be putting all of your money into sheet metal repair rather than getting the important stuff like ls performance parts, guages, etc.. You mentioned that year is not really important. I would look into maybe getting a 78. Its the last year of the first gen body style. And your more likely to find a 78 in better condition than a first year 240 :)

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wfritts911: good stuff man, good stuff. Even before your advice i've been reading non stop, i've taught myself many things before by just reading until a blood vessel in my eye goes. I'd really love to set up a date to ride in one of these to get a good feel of it. I realize that a big chunk is on the engine and not everyone would recommend it, but here's my main reasoning: I will never need more power, it's brand spankin new, anything within 50k is covered my warranty, and since its built from the ground up by pros i know it will be reliable. Considering this will just be a hobby car ill definitely run out of the 2 year limited warranty rather than the 50k. It's still be a while before I buy even the car but the last thing I am is a procrastinator; the thing i hate most is jumping into something uninformed. i may take you up on the swap offer, i'll pm you some time to work it out.\


Thanks everyone

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