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Stock Car Mafia's '78 280z LS2 Build

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For many years I've been intrigued by the 70's z car's that I'd rarely see in the upper midwest.  It was a rare occurance you'd catch one driving and I was always aroused by how small and sleek they looked.  I started my search to find a project z over a year ago and could find nothing but cancerous crap up here in the salty winters we have.  


I expanded my search and felt that a field trip was bound to happen to get a solid car.  I ended up talking with a nice older gentlman from Seattle (Kent) Washington that had an all original car that he had owned and maintained meticulously since 1990.  After talking for about a week, I decided that was a car worth purchasing.  I flew out to Seattle in June and took a chance at driving a 37 year old car on a 1,700 mile trip back to Minnesota.  


And so the journey begins....For those who are intrigued by pictures, my photobucket link is below:






I made it back with no issues.




The interior is in great shape with the typical fading of the black carpet.  The dash has no cracks and the driver seat has a small tear.  The body has been repainted but it was a quick spray with no bondo used.  It is really faded and flaking off in some spots.  







The only signs of rust on the car is one spot in the back hatch area, where I assumed water was sitting and then in the battery tray as well. 




After the long trip, it definitely needed a bath!





Edited by Stock Car Mafia
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Santa also delivered another early xmas gift!  It is the Champion 3 row radiator (CC634) and the Ledfoot aluminum shroud and 2, 12" fans.  I still don't have an overflow tank planned out and I'll more

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As I've been quite busy with some life changes, I've spent the last couple months collecting information on my ideas for what kind of build I am looking at doing.  I'll slowly add the progress of the build up to today.  The build will be around an LS2/T56 pull out of a 2005 GTO.

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He had it garaged. I'm sure it sat out here and there, hence the rust in the back hatch portion. I can manage with the one dent on the passenger door for now.


The underneath just has surface rust but the undercoating is in good shape.


I have the ground control weld in coil over kit going in at some point. We will see how dreaded those spindle pins are then!

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Start soaking them in penetrating oil now, especially the locking pin. Look into a spindle pin puller, and use 5/8" bolts in place of the spindle pins when you reassemble. I think you should keep those stock wheel covers. I agree with the coilovers, but keep those wheels! That car is righteous.

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Keith, I've soaked them a few times over the last month and will continue to do so.  Does anyone sell that spindle pin puller still today?  I have an air hammer that I planned on using if I can't get them out.  I'll have to dig and see if there is a write up on those 5/8" bolts for replacements.  I take it, its not worth buying a second set of spindle pins?

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The spindle pins are a bitch every time. I haven't done the 5/8" conversion but rumor. Has it that it is much easier to deal with. I don't have a link, but I'm certain we have discussed it. I have used a spindle puller and I've done the hammer-cut-torch-hammer thing. You might get lucky. There used to be a spindle pin puller rental here. Been a while. Try searching the suspension FAQs and the Vendor sub forums. Might find it there. I put antiseize on mine liberally before reassembly. Next time one side was easy, one side was still a bitch.

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Since I'm "sensitive" to sunlight, I tinted the windows to 30%.  In MN, I needed to get a tint prescription to go lower than 50%.  




The louvers will be coming off.






Since plastidip is extremely cheap, I like to play around with it :)





We also removed all the side moulding on the car.  Many were small screws, but there were a few rivets that had to be drilled out.  Which form was from factory?




I finally dropped the gas tank and get the last rear bumper mount removed.  For now, I RTV'ed pennies over the holes until it get permanently fixed later.  :huh:



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After the 4th of July I finally got my urethane front air dam and BRE type carbon fiber spoiler from the Z store.  The air dam fit really well and I ended up using larger stock bumper bolts than the small bolts and nuts provided.  The spoiler was damaged during shipping and the clear coat was not very shiny.  I ended up having to pay for shipping back but the replacement was definitely better.










I also purchased some smoked lenses and LED's with resistors from Klearz.com.  They are a Canadian company and I have been very pleased with their products and support.  Tina has been really helpful and I would recommend them to anyone else looking for these.  




My dad would kill me.  I am having fun with exterior mods and not actually working on the car!  My theory is I am still able to enjoy the car until the snow flies and then it can be stripped apart.

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So here are some ideas I am throwing around for my winter project:



 - LS2 with T56 that was pulled out of an 05 GTO.

 - Hawks Third Gen engine and tranny mounts

 - Super Damper 10% Underdrive Pulley

 - Aftermarket cam

 - C6/LS3 oil pan

 - Replace flywheel and clutch

 - Tilton/Wilwood Clutch MC with remote bleeder

 - I plan to use the stock harness and ECU which has been flashed to remove most non essentials.

 - Custom tune 



 - Hawks Third Gen headers

 - 3" V bands to X Pipe with dual 3" exits


Fuel System:

 - Fuel Cell 

 - Walbro fuel pump

 - Corvette FPR

 - Earl's Performance Pro-Lite Ultra Fuel Lines

 - -6/-8AN fittings



 - Driveshaft Shop 3" Aluminum driveshaft

 - R200 LSD or LSD insert for my current R200

 - Custom build half shafts

 - Billet stub axles



 - Energy Suspension Polyurethane Bushing Kit - Black

 - Ground Control Weld In Coilover Kit

 - Tokiko Illumina Shocks

 - 225/250 Spring Rate


Some of these items will not be done in the first stage of the build to keep things simpler.  

Edited by Stock Car Mafia
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From experience, I can tell you that a 25% underdrive damper will NOT work (well) on the street.


It slows down the mechanical water pump too much, especially at idle, and you'll overheat.


You could always run an electric water pump.... $$$, otherwise I'd advise just a 10% U.D. damper.








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