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280z FP Build

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Duh. I had never thought about it, but the countershaft is under the mainshaft, so yeah, turning it sideways or flipping it is the answer.

I remember the Porsche guys flipping transmissions for 914 swaps I want to say, but it was 25 years ago and I don't remember what all was needed. Sounds like a shift linkage nightmare on a T56, but your T10 and Jericos have external shifters, seems like it would be a lot easier to do on one of those.

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On 9/16/2022 at 10:58 AM, tube80z said:

I think the way Ben is spending he'll probably do that next year :-)

I am looking into watercooled credit cards at the moment ;)


I scored one of the Tilton bellhousing/starter motors for a good price. It's designed to use the 110T 9" flywheel with a 7.25" clutch. Planning to get the flywheel and clutch new so I can spec the spring weights from Tilton, and not worry about the friction materials. 


Tore down the L33, nothing too surprising inside, so I'm calling the machine shop for some parts advice and then the rest. 


Also picked up a 3.54 R200 diff from @Willflow, need to do a bit of investigating but I'm planning to re-bearing it and then put my rebuilt ATS LSD and s13 stub axles inside. We'll see, could be interesting. 


Might need to press pause on the dry sump for now, (see water cooled credit card joke from earlier) but those links are super helpful!!!


Side note, how to I get the little thumbs up button? I hear people talk about it but I don't see it. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've got the CHE kit waiting on my desk! I tried to buy the BTS 1.7 ratio rockers, but CHE specs that they slide into OEM ONLY! So, getting my return shipping pants on and ordered some factory style cores from Michigan Motorsport, along with a host of other parts. 


No big updates yet, just amassing parts and talking with folks. Got my Tilton bellhousing from Ebay, this one came with a reverse starter and is designed for a 110 tooth flywheel, rather than a cover mounted piece. I might need to machine the starter mount to clock the solenoid correctly, but it's a pretty simple 3 bolt pattern. 


The tilton bellhousing is really small, and way lighter than the old one I was using for the L. Gets me about 2" additional clearance, and seems like it should keep things nice and high behind the motor. 


the belly of the transmission is sitting on some lumber at a height where the old bellhousing JUST cleared the bench top. New guy is way up there. 


Also looking at dry sump parts. Thanks @tube80z for lighting that particular fire haha.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Small update. Been traveling a ton for work, so progress is limited to getting parts in the shop. Heads have been dropped at the machine shop, decking them by 0.025", cleaning them up and an inspection, along with fresh springs and Ti retainers. Gotta have a chat with them about which camshaft to use, but I'm leaning towards a BTR stage 3. 


My Apex Engineered subframe for the swap came in on Monday, and I set about installing it. Prior to my ownership of this car, somebody had crashed it. Drivers side wheel did something wild, and the tension rod went on a skyward adventure. It put a pretty reasonable dent in the frame rail, and pushed the whole thing in about 3/4".


nice little dent...


With adjustable suspension, it all aligned out, and apart from being a bit unsightly, never posed a problem. Installing the Apex piece tho, it was sitting fairly crooked, and I knew it was time to adjust the frame more or less back to where it came. 


this is fine, what are you worried about!?

I also noticed a small crack on a ripple, inboard of the sub frame mount. It's a fairly old crack, got a little corrosion on the face, so it's not from this bottle jack adventure, but that will require drilling, welding and plating. A good weekend project I think.




Got the Apex Engineered swap subframe in, and it's within 1/16" square measuring from the firewall, itself a bit sketchy, but it was 1/2" before!



Also got the dry sump tank in, and started mocking that into position. I have a buddy with a 4 stage Aviaid dry sump kit he's willing to part with, so I'm picking that up. 


yay more holes to cut. 


Getting excited to mock up the motor position, and get some more weight on the front of the car. I'm struggling to get the rear jacks far back enough, the nose is easily lifted by hand at this point!

Edited by Ben280
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/27/2022 at 10:20 AM, Ben280 said:

the nose is easily lifted by hand at this point!

Me too! 😂😂 you have seen those vids of me on IG pulling the Z in and out of the garage to sand body filler haha. Amazing how light the chassis alone is, especially when you have the rear suspension in as a “wheel barrow”

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  • 2 weeks later...

Small pre-black friday update. My buddy Mark came to help me out with a lot of the chassis wiring. We got a huge amount done, but there is always more to do it seems. He's gonna come back and do all the pinning for the AS connectors, since they require special tooling that I don't have.


Mark shrinking the T on the PDM run


Bulkheads for the wires, pretty excited about this.


Biggest will be the engine harness, 66 pins, and we are using 62 of them!


I also got the frame plated and the engine mocked. Using a reverse mount starter, so I'll need to cut some clearance for that thing, and I MAY need to re-make the Apex Engineered motor mount for the passenger side, depending on the dry sump setup, and how the pump wants to integrate. Really it's time to buy some parts and get this short block put together. 




Really happy with the motor placement so far. Nice and low and plenty far back. I picked up some CX Racing headers, which I expect to need to modify before final purpose. Ohm said they work well with their kit, but I'm thinking they will hang too low. 


IMG_9999 Large.jpeg

Ohm also send over some small fabrication parts so I can convert my sub frame from a long nose diff mount to a short nose diff mount! Still on the fence about using the Q45 diff I have or using a 350z/G35 center. I need to do some more gear math, but I'm thinking this will be a bit down the road once everything else is working. 

Edited by Ben280
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  • 6 months later...

Whelp, classic me, waiting a thousand years and then a massive update. Lets just cut a bunch of heartache, stress and fiddling, and jump to the engine bay basically finished




The LS in the Z fits, nothing hugely impressive there, lots of figuring with the dry sump parts tho. This is a corvette fitment pump, and I had to redo the layout of the pump to clear the headers, frame rails and everything else. Did some notching, did some more clearancing, and it JUST squeaks in. Radiator mounts are the same tho, and that's about it. Lots of nutserts in the firewall to make everything work. 


Now, since y'all like this sort of stuff, here are some shots of building out the engine harness. Mark and I went to extraordinary lengths for this, I think it is pretty incredible. Hats off to that Canadian. 





Got a bit into this process, and realized that we probably needed a slightly bigger battery than the 440CCA battery tender I've had for a long time. Seemed like a good chance to upgrade, so I went with an Antigravity ATX-20, with 680CCA. This should be enough, there aren't a huge number of electronics in the car, so I think we should be in good shape. 



Here's the re-configured pump. The mounting tabs needed to move to the rear to push the pump forward. I might need to brace the pump snout, but we'll see.



Mounting the dry sump tank was a bit of an endeavour. The fuel tank is in the passenger compartment, and I knew I wanted the tank inside the roll cage structure, as well as inside the wheel base. I found a good spot for it up where the passengers feet used to go, that seemed to be the best spot. I had a bracket cut out, and now it all bolts together quite nicely! The oil tank fill comes in through the cowl panel. It's a little goofy, but I think it's a nice touch. 






Back to the motor, I opted for a Tilton 7.25" clutch. This is a twin rally disk setup, it should be good for at least 600ft-lbs. I still need to make a clutch pedal stop, otherwise we are gonna send some disks to the moon!




Back in the car, the new setup moved the transmission back about an inch from where it was. I cut and re-welded the crossmember I made, pretty straight forward!



Finally, in an effort to not leave any part of the car untouched, some suspension I ordered a long time ago showed up. This, along with the electronics, was originally the plan for this car over the winter! funny how things change.... Nice to have a modern serviceable coilover in the car. I'm using S13 fronts and GD Sti rears. I also found my ball joints were unbelievably bent, so got some replacements there. Not sure how they got so bad, I guess running the curbs did them in. Seems to be the wear point, I'll have to keep an eye on that!




Finally, we are getting REALLY close to firing the car up. I'm working with Ray from Trial Engineering to get the C125 and PDM to talk with everything else, he's been a huge help. The MOTEC stuff is really really powerful, but you need to know what you are doing, which I don't yet. But we are getting there!



Finally, a view from the office. 



The car is out of the shop for a bit getting a super sweet exhaust installed, way nicer than anything I can make so I felt ok farming this one out. Stay tuned for an update maybe! Going to be selling a bunch of the L series race parts, so keep an eye out for that as well. 

IMG_1819 Large.jpeg

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  • 1 month later...

Small update, the car is back from my buddy getting the exhaust done, so that's great! pretty stoked how it turned out. We are using spintech mufflers, and going for the IMSA/Cup car dual center exit, while keeping things as tucked as possible. I opted for ovalized tube under the diff, really hope this gets me the clearance I want/need. 


35196635_IMG_2491Large.jpeg.2bc344f16edda2cd01cbdd77acb9c50a.jpeg     IMG_2652.JPEG.b23dd7886cec4e3ec64f05972faa2204.JPEG


IMG_2649.JPEG.e7c9d265df42479686fa7a3a02775b89.JPEG.    IMG_2647.JPEG.894705ec674119f01f35220383aeba19.JPEG


Tires also showed up! I need a seat time tire that won't kill me or break the bank. I went with the Conti Extreme Contact Force with is a 200 treadwear tire, but is endurance focused. From what my track friends tell me, it should wear like iron, and be pretty reasonable pace wise. I'm hoping to get about a season and a half out of them. I got 315/30r18 in the rear and 295/30r18 in the front. Planning to narrow up the front wheels at some point, but with the LS, there is way less weight on the front of the car to help warm stuff up. Lots of people who I've talked with say that going smaller tire up front has been real beneficial, so we'll see. Planning to set the car up for these sizes which will let me switch out easily for the Yokohama a052 or the Hoosier A7 in the same sizes. 





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  • 1 month later...

Ok, mini report!


We made it to Global Time Attack!! It was super close, and looking doubtful at some points, but we did it. PRE Racing here in Portland was great and they really pushed to get the tune finalized before heading out. I'm still having issues with the idle, but we think that's the Megasquirts fault. The Idle motor is also probably a piece of junk, but we're leaving it alone for now. 


Official dyno numbers came in at 395hp/385tq. Not too shabby, but we aren't taking the timing at high RPM that we would expect. I think a ECU refresh is in the cards, but for now we have a safe tune and she RIPS. Fully loaded we are at 2500 with driver. 


GTA was shaping up to be a shakedown weekend. I knew there would be teething pains, things needed to be reviewed and I was pretty rusty from a year away. First session out the plan was to go out, make a couple hot laps, see how everything felt and then come in and check everything over. The car wanted to get after it! This thing is a rocketship on the straights now, i might need to swap the gears around again to make sure I have the legs! 




Second session was a similar plan, go out, make sure everything felt ok and then come in. I decided to lean on it a little bit and see what was what. The grip on these tires (Continental ECF) weren't spectacular, but they were solid. I think they need a full and proper heat cycle to get good. I noticed a little bit of locking into T8, which was weird because I have ABS, but didn't think much of it. In retrospect, this was a big mistake. I was able to improve, 1:52.3. 2 seconds slower than my fastest time last year, but really poor driving. I'm carrying so much more speed into the corners, and not fully trusting the car yet, it's challenging to go really fast, but going deep into the 40's at this track is certianly on the cards now. 



A lunch break and we jacked the car up, checked over some suspect oil leaks, moved a oil line off the header and started to make a plan of what to check over at the end of the day. 


First semi push lap out and a major lockup over a bump sent me head on into a tire wall. The car looks worse than it really is. The car doesn't pull, frame is still as straight as it was before this, (which is to say still a little kinked) and everything still works! No leaks or anything, which is great. Bad news is all the sheet metal is toast and the very fancy splitter took a mega hit into the wall and is a write off. 




Definitely a bummer, put an end to the weekend, but the car is making a quick resurgence. A lot of folks have reached out to me and offered parts. Last thing to sort out is the splitter, and I need to make a handful of parts, but overall we are looking to be in really good shape for another event in a few weeks!


Onward and upward my friends. 

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