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Question about aftermarket support


Muffin Man

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Hello all, this is my first post and if it's in the wrong section I'm extremely sorry. Little info about myself, I'm 25, have 2 kids and 1 on the way ( we just found out, she's roughly 7 weeks) I'm not new to working on things as far back as I can remember anything mechanical has held my interest so, I'm not a "noob" but would most definitely not say a master/expert, I've been around a few imports, owned 2 Z31s and when I was a wee lad my dad owned a nice Z32 which I believe is where my infatuation with these cars started. Over the years I've been mostly on the "domestic/muscle" side of the house, I've driven a few things in my opinion were "quick" but maybe not to some of you, I've done a few direct bolt in p n p swaps and a few OEM engine replacements. Pretty OK at wiring as long as I have a good schematic. Said all that to basically give you back info on myself, I do have a question I don't think has been answered. I plan on picking up either a 240/280z or a z32, from there I plan on pretty much doing ground up, as far as upgrades, brakes, suspension, etc. However, when I was trying to decide on potential engine swaps reality hit, I honestly haven't messed with these particular cars too much, I say that in the sense that on the American side I know what engine/trans have good aftermarket support, what has okay/decent so on and so forth. Question time, I know the 1/2JZ have a good following, SR20, KA, and RB ( although it has to be imported) the LS series, SBF, SBC. However, what about engines like the VQ35? VH41/45? I believe the VG30 Has good support seeing as how it's the factory engine for the 300zx, but I was just curious about some of the... Lesser used I guess, VQ, VH, VG etc. I'd rather NOT do an LS, OR an RB.. Would really like to know of the OHC V6 and V8 import models that will fit with realistic costs, what is the aftermarket support like? Example, on scale of 1 - 10, 1 being least 10 being great how is the support for the VH, VG, VQ,1UZ???? I know it's long winded, but I figured I'd give some information about myself first, that way you guys would kind of get a feel for what I can/ can't do, plus I may not have done the best job wording my question. P.S. great site!

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I was just curious about some of the... Lesser used I guess, VQ, VH, VG etc. I'd rather NOT do an LS, OR an RB.. Would really like to know of the OHC V6 and V8 import models that will fit with realistic costs, what is the aftermarket support like? Example, on scale of 1 - 10, 1 being least 10 being great how is the support for the VH, VG, VQ,1UZ????

 

I know it's long winded

Very windy. What do you mean by "support" anyway?   Aftermarket for all of the swaps is somewhat spotty and sporadic.  The volume is too low.  It's more of a DIY thing, using Megasquirt or Nistune, and cutting, bolting and welding, than plug and play kits.

 

http://forums.hybridz.org/forum/17-6-cylinder-z-forums/

 

http://forums.hybridz.org/forum/46-other-v8z-tech-board/

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All the parts are available but you have to hunt for them.  The market is tiny compared to the muscle car market so you may only have a couple vendors providing parts for a specific engine or chassis here in the US.  If you shop in Japan you will have a lot more choices for aftermarket support.  Parts for the engines you mention generally cost double or triple (or far more) what you pay for SBC parts.  Labor is the same.

 

We have no idea what you mean by "realistic costs."  I have customers very happy to realistically spend $50K or more on their S30 and others that can barely scrape together $1K.  

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Re reading what I asked and how I phrased "realistic cost" what I meant was, obviously some swap ideas are ridiculous and are pretty UN "realistic" money wise for the "average Joe", through the research I've been doing and continue to do trying to catch up on things it seems the VK56 is a rather expensive and labor intensive swap vesus say the LS/LQ swaps for example. I apologize I really should have thought out the wording of the 2 different questions and clarified more eloquently. Really, the reason I started the thread about aftermarket support was to ask which of the the engines stated had better aftermarket support which had the least ( VQ, VG, VH). I didn't intend on throwing any swap question into the thread, I last minute and didn't fully proof read, nor clarify the 2. Either way I've gotten a couple answers, thank yall for that, just wanted to try and clarify what I meant to say in the first post.

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Alright, thanks. Yes, I do believe if I get a z31/z32 ( I believe those are the correct designations) with the VG30, either n/a or TT, I think after doing the brakes, suspension etc, then just pulling the engine for a rebuild would suffice for what I'm wanting right now.

Edited by Muffin Man
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All the engine swap candidates require some fabrication work.  Even if there's a "bolt in" kit you've have to make and weld in stuff.  IMHO, a VG30ET tuned to around 400hp is an ideal Hybridz swap.  Its a compact engine that has proven its durability over time. 

 

400 horses at the flywheel I assume you are talking about John, VG33ET is of course another easy option and it still has that old school cool look.

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I'll say it definitely seems to be a little different over here than the "American" side of the house. I'm enjoying my learning spree though, I'd forgotten what it was like to be constantly researching things, having to re learn thing, ahhh, fun times, fun times. I have another question though, with American autos, TH350, TH400, Powerglide, C4 etc they have all kinds of different things, sprags, servos, bands, clutch packs, forward/reverse pattern manual valve bodies etc that can be upgraded, built, changed, etc is all that offered/ available for these autos as well? Everything I read everyone is buying manuals no one ever mentions building autos I was wondering if there was a reason?

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To be honest, I've found that the answers to most of your questions come down to three things: Time, money and skills.

If you have very little free time, or don't have the skills to fabricate the parts you need, then you'll have to pay a lot of money for them, or for the services of someone who can make them for you.

If you have no money, you can spend a lot of time researching what has been previously done, and searching out all the bits you need at the best prices etc.

I know it's not really the answer you're looking for but there are a huge number of parts available for all the engines you listed from all over the world.  Again, it just depends whether or not you want to spend the time and money sourcing them.

When you say "realistic cost", this again is hugely dependent on how much time you can put into the project, and how much you can do yourself or fabricate yourself. As an example, I needed a custom inlet and exhaust system making which I got quoted about £5,000 GBP for (circa $7k USD). Instead I bought a TIG for £1,000 and learned to TIG weld. At the end of the project I could sell the machine if I wanted to but I probably won't.  You can see that this decision alone reduces the build cost by about £4,000GBP.  Its this kind of thing that happens pretty much every step of the way throughout the build so what you decide to do yourself, versus what you decide to outsource will massively effect the end cost of the project.

I live in the UK where Datsun parts are far, far fewer than they are in the States.  The cars themselves are much less well "supported" here than they are in the US so I've had to spend a lot of time buying parts from Japan, America, Australia etc but also a lot of time fabricating things myself.  I didn't worry about how well "supported" the car was when I started the build, instead I just looked at all the great build threads on this site and useful guides, and asked myself "could I do that?", "could I make that?" etc.

 

It may be a little presumptuous but my guess is that with three kids (shortly), they might be quite demanding on both your time and your wallet so you might have to resort to doing as much as you can yourself.

In some ways thats a good thing because one thing I would say, is that when I started my build there was lots of stuff I'd never done before but the cars are easy to work on and if you're prepared to spend time learning then most of the skills you need are easily attained.  I've learned a lot from the input of people on this forum which is why I in turn have tried to make a few YouTube videos etc whenever I've figured things out myself in case it subsequently helps someone else in the same way that I have benefited.

If it were me, I'd make my engine choice on what I actually wanted rather than what was most commonly available, the parts can always be found if you're prepared to look.  Anyway, good luck with your build whatever you decide to do!

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Thanks for that, great reply. I already planned on doing everything myself, I don't see me having any issues with that. As far as time, that's my biggest obstacle, I'm gone 4 - 6 weeks, then home for a week maybe a little longer, normally if I'm doing something in my off time I do as much of it as I can while the kiddos are in school as for cost, ehh, kids aren't that bad lol. I make a very comfortable income. I really enjoyed reading your reply, thanks for the input.

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