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My 280zx - daily to hill climb car


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Time to start up a build thread I guess.  My 83 280zx was the first car I bought with my own money and was my daily driver for quite a few months.





It was great, but since I was commuting 50+ miles one way to work I decided to get a subaru for the winter months.  Which allowed me to start turning the 280zx into my autocross car.  I did wheels, suspension, switched to turbo, and changed the front end.








Edited by dav_it
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After one full season in the Rocky Mountain Region I decided I wanted to change to SCCA Club Racing and really step the cars capabilities.  So began alot of work with Jeff Winters at Rallye-Sport in Denver.  We switched back to NA because of rules and made as much power as possible.  Jeff redid my suspension to make everything wider and fully adjustable.  I also switched to a complete fiberglass body.








I ran it for one test day at Pueblo Motorsports Park w/o the bodywork before moving to Alabama (and running out of money).




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When I got to bama I did almost nothing on the zx besides get it painted, add a splitter, and rev it up to impress people. :)  It does look good though.







So after several years I moved back to Colorado - with my southern belle.  Since coming back I've realized that SCCA Club Racing, while fun, it is ridiculously expensive with no exposure and incentive for sponsors.  The Pikes Peak Hill Climb however is right in my backyard, relatively cheap, with HUGE exposure.  Its a one week commitment verses a 9+ race season.  So with those thoughts in mind my long time friends and team members and I started turning the car into a Hill Climb car.  I would like to run the car at autocross and track days again to be able to enjoy it!


The 280zx was originally going to get a vq40 that my friend had laying around - but the 4.0 is actually a really really tall motor that won't fit in the space we had.




In order to make the power we want on the budget we have with are taking the L28 back to turbo again.  We already have awesome engine internals with a highly developed head, so we should make some good HP numbers.


More to come tomorrow...



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In order to do things right we have stripped everything out again and are taking off all the undercoating, cleaning up any rust and stitch welding the whole chassis.







So far things are going really well.  We picked up alot of supplies this week to change some of the body work and improve the aerodynamics.  Here is some of the CAD work for our front splitter design.





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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Next we got approval from our "official" Mishimoto mascot. :)




Then replaced the front suspension support with a piece alot stronger and slightly less bent then the original.




Added our moch up L28 and started fitting the radiator and our new mishimoto intercooler.




Our oil cooler isn't going to fit where we had planned so our oil cooler location and splitter/under tray design are going to be changed quite a bit.  Details on that coming soon

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That's an awesome built thread.  I am learning a lot from the pictures you are posing up.  I have an issue with my RB30/26 being to otall and i have had to omit my strut tower bar which goes across from left to right.  I am planning to fabricate bars like yours which goes around the engine bay and connects the frame rail to the suspension tower joint by another bar to the firewall.  My car is a street car therefore all these bars need to be removable for accessibility, hence the only difference is that it will not be welded on.  I hope your Hill climb campaign pays off.  I will be routing for you!     

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So far things are going really well.  We picked up alot of supplies this week to change some of the body work and improve the aerodynamics.  Here is some of the CAD work for our front splitter design.





This is an interesting project, some good work being done. On the splitter design, why are the trailing edges that face the wheel wells turned up rather than being left flat? The strakes there would be to guide air to the wheel wells but I don't follow the reason for the turn ups. Any explanation?

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I'm am still studying the "why" it is a good idea.  From what I know now it acts like a diffuser for the front of the car helping to add downforce for the front of the car.  I'm still learning, but while I was working on the plans I figured I'd copy a few le mans prototypes.  :)

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