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280zx's with Ls swaps

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I dont know the actual distance. I have the motor as far back as I can. Leaving mayb couple inches between motor and firewall and the shifter ends up just right. You have to get the tranny as far up as you can which leaves it looking like there is a standard throw shifter even though what u see in the pic is a short throw shifter. But there was no mods to the tranny tunnel other than cutting out the old mounts and making new oneslarge_160.jpg.12b46b4769d66039024af91ea4ecb739.jpgI dont know the a

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Thanks for the info, that shifter looks like it lines up perfect. Where did you get the t56? I'm looking at either getting one off a early 2000s camaro or converting one off a viper, but the shifter location appears to be significantly different between the two.

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mine came from RPM transmissions. its technically out of a late model GTO. the guy said it was the same case as a f-body camaro t56 but the 1st gear is shorter in a GTO tranny. i think the shifter location is different too, cause i remember him saying he would put a camaro  shifter in it. he felt the camaro 1st gear was too long. i dont know how much difference it would make for you, im happy with what i have is all i know. i dont know how the magnum t56 would be with the shifter location. i was happy as can be the 1st time i put the motor with the trans hooked up in its place and seen how perfect the location of the shifter was. if you want more strength out of the tranny (mayb why you want the magnum/viper tranny) look at RPM transmission. mines built to handle 750hp and they will do more than that. 

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Enjoying all the great info. I have a 79 280zx going through a 5.3 ls/4l80e swap right now. Just getting started. Has a Ls4 intake I snagged complete out of a parts yard, with adapter plate for 5.3 throttle body. Later on I'll  look into a ls1 or ls6 intake. Eventually will be a 6 speed T56 or CD009. Of course  I have same issues of engine placement and supporting parts being worked out.

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Edited by Brownsuga280zx

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On 10/14/2019 at 3:02 AM, Brownsuga280zx said:

Enjoying all the great info. I have a 79 280zx going through a 5.3 ls/4l80e swap right now. Just getting started. Has a Ls4 intake I snagged complete out of a parts yard, with adapter plate for 5.3 throttle body. Later on I'll  look into a ls1 or ls6 intake. Eventually will be a 6 speed T56 or CD009. Of course  I have same issues of engine placement and supporting parts being worked out.

 

 

Have a picture of the trans tunnel after massaging it to fit the tranny?

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With where you guys mounted the engine would there be space at the top to use a trailblazer ss intake? Just looking at my options it seems like that would be the best intake for the money, but not so much if their isn't room for it.

Edited by otha13

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On 10/26/2019 at 8:06 AM, Brownsuga280zx said:

No pics yet. But I realize I have to make room for trans cooling lines and wire harness connector

 

I have to do the same. I have the tranny under the car right now, but have been focusing on other aspects of it before I cut out the factory tranny mounts.

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Any reason the F body oil pan won't work? They're about $100 and look like the sump is shallow enough not to drag on the ground.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/For-GM-F-body-oil-pan-12628771-fit-4-8-5-3-6-0-LQ4-LQ9-L92-5-7-LS1-LS6/163827253529?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item2624dd8119:g:vsUAAOSwtcBdXHuv&enc=AQAEAAACQBPxNw%2BVj6nta7CKEs3N0qXPw06NBAy2G5kI9%2Bp7HazUHePMv3PmbPe1W%2Bcxgcx74PtX3O1cH3xIwdrQAFAcoLcleQil86CofFCSfigvRp7sGDntxnrgfhwkUPjyJVVLdN7RsGwXfMKcUOZgueQCmlp2UFuuZzlgmPnFbiPnZt%2FrXnqyyf%2FA9OBJFk5Avtyys5Y4RkfxrcrM6FsaXhX8WDgjBrTqPQR%2F11GbwD8dFuCM8KMnZq4OzYvuLpXLqnM0NnltCh8ErvOTXS6RsJujBBoNOgRx9fqRq2RoD2jdcuVtws0RfVXvAp9n8s1p5Y3g0SmzmV8G5ptjNOvszlWZfU%2BVDzKD24asd%2F4Vg10qJ7%2F0JJsEdA7i0%2BD7suLSa3SrRFlbxvmR%2FHXFPis99nTT9NM77jS1xyKwW552qGiieOB18nNaEDursmYMdBUOzfmv9Q8%2FRZ1iRVQr2XvVb9qbJahQtT7GTpQKG74uJeg1MpoSTzndOCPe%2FZcn29S%2BMGQuXiDE0oFpnRUuRXwt7dpK4az8tZlSZpvsEH67kx4ZqeqQzdw2wL2xUCbgROzgO8L1A4mipkJg0RbDKKmgfBWuqTXnvpY169ZDeSiLPQsG7mnCTINiD0PsDXLw1SNOS0Cd5ia%2F7XZb06ijahVGv4wFt6GLznOljE5pxxXnKiwfklE6z2HC3HZnLJRbIoraPaTLZvBYoK5vnJo4y4uIVcm275leuEy0FbZFaOlmLEIBp6YV5qFQ8rfJgZJbO4aHZWDaBg%3D%3D&checksum=163827253529ff92e94b41fd44edaf1e5912573d4f18&enc=AQAEAAACQBPxNw%2BVj6nta7CKEs3N0qXPw06NBAy2G5kI9%2Bp7HazUHePMv3PmbPe1W%2Bcxgcx74PtX3O1cH3xIwdrQAFAcoLcleQil86CofFCSfigvRp7sGDntxnrgfhwkUPjyJVVLdN7RsGwXfMKcUOZgueQCmlp2UFuuZzlgmPnFbiPnZt%2FrXnqyyf%2FA9OBJFk5Avtyys5Y4RkfxrcrM6FsaXhX8WDgjBrTqPQR%2F11GbwD8dFuCM8KMnZq4OzYvuLpXLqnM0NnltCh8ErvOTXS6RsJujBBoNOgRx9fqRq2RoD2jdcuVtws0RfVXvAp9n8s1p5Y3g0SmzmV8G5ptjNOvszlWZfU%2BVDzKD24asd%2F4Vg10qJ7%2F0JJsEdA7i0%2BD7suLSa3SrRFlbxvmR%2FHXFPis99nTT9NM77jS1xyKwW552qGiieOB18nNaEDursmYMdBUOzfmv9Q8%2FRZ1iRVQr2XvVb9qbJahQtT7GTpQKG74uJeg1MpoSTzndOCPe%2FZcn29S%2BMGQuXiDE0oFpnRUuRXwt7dpK4az8tZlSZpvsEH67kx4ZqeqQzdw2wL2xUCbgROzgO8L1A4mipkJg0RbDKKmgfBWuqTXnvpY169ZDeSiLPQsG7mnCTINiD0PsDXLw1SNOS0Cd5ia%2F7XZb06ijahVGv4wFt6GLznOljE5pxxXnKiwfklE6z2HC3HZnLJRbIoraPaTLZvBYoK5vnJo4y4uIVcm275leuEy0FbZFaOlmLEIBp6YV5qFQ8rfJgZJbO4aHZWDaBg%3D%3D&checksum=163827253529ff92e94b41fd44edaf1e5912573d4f18

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if you look at the pan like there is 3 different depths to it. the middle depth of the pan will be too low for you to get the motor down low enuff. it will sit on top the steering rack. i wanted the motor down low enuff to clear the strut tower brace. i have a power steering car so my experience is from that but oil pan and headers is where i spent the most. 

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Hey all, its been quite some time since I last posted and I wanted to give everyone an update. I have completed the turbo 5.3/4l80e swap in my 82 and i figured you guys would like to see some pictures of the swap. I've got some final clean up work to do in the engine bay but for the most part everything is complete. I will list a basic list of parts that I have used and tidbits of knowledge that may be useful to someone else that wants to pursue a similar swap.

 

Engine - 2002 LM7 w/ unknown mileage

Trans -  2004 4L80e 2wd from an express van.

Converter - Stock 2004 4L80e converter for now.

Cooler, fittings, lines - I bought 90 degree banjo fittings to allow for clearance on the cooler lines. Bought from Ebay. -6an stainless braided PTFE lines with a generic trans cooler.

Trans dipstick - Spend the money and get a flexible dipstick. Clearance is tight and the flexible dipstick is worth the $100. I bought mine from Lokar and its 24 inches long.

Shift kit - Transgo HD2 kit. My limited research tells me a 4L80e with the HD2 kit (or other dual feed style mods) will easily hold 600whp in a light car. Check out LS1tech.com for advice on shift kit install.

Flexplate - 2003 silverado 6.0 flexplate. The flexplate spacing is different for different transmissions. Do some research and make sure that your torque converter will bolt up.

Driveline - 4L80e slip yoke with 1350 u joint on one end, other end is 1310 u joint to adapt to stock r200. You will need an adapter flange from JTR to convert to a 1310 u joint.

Diff - Stock R200 with 280zx turbo cvs. I also welded the diff for a short term traction fix.

Oil Pan - Jegs 50228K2 Street and Strip LS swap oil pan. This low profile pan needed to clear the steering rack it comes with a remote filter but you have room for a pan with an integrated filter if you can get the clearance on the steering rack.

Mounts - JTR 280zx V8 kit w/ trans mount. You will also need to get SBC to LS adapters. I used ICT Billet adapters and they work great.

Fuel  - Currently a Walbro 255 inline pump. I used 5/16 hose barbs to adapt to the stock lines. From the hardline up to the intake i used 5/16 to -6an compression fittings.

Intake - LS1 intake. Truck intake is too tall to clear hood. I used aftermarket fuel rails and some 42lb injectors. -6an fuel line. Stock truck cable throttle body.

Throttle cable - Lokar LS throttle cable. You can adapt this to the stock pedal and firewall fairly easily.

Valve springs - PAC 1218 springs. Research tells me that the valve can float under boost/high rpm if you don't upgrade springs. 

Accessories - I used a 5th gen camaro water pump because it has better outlet/inlet locations for me. 5th gens/trucks share the same accessory spacing. I also used a low mount alternator relocation bracket. No power steering or AC.

Cooling system - universal griffin radiator. I cant remember dimensions but I can measure if needed. Taurus 2 speed cooling fan modified to fit my radiator. I used a universal flexible radiator hose kit and its holding up so far.

Timing cover - Motion raceworks gen 3 LS turbo timing cover. It has a -10an fitting welded in for the turbo oil drain. 

Harmonic balancer - ATP 20% underdrive pulley. I needed this to clear the timing cover drain. I recommend looking into crank pinning kits for LS engines if you are replacing the balancer.

Manifolds - Stock truck manifolds with 2.5" v-bands welded on.

Hotside - 2.5" stainless piping. I used a universal kit and made everything myself. T4 flange for the turbo. VSR 44mm wastegate. 3" stainless downpipe.

Cold side - 2.5" piping with no name BOV and intercooler. I chose to place my IAT sensor in the piping before the throttle body.

Turbo - ON3 perfromance 7875 (same as VSR 7875 i believe). Some people use Ebay GT45s also.

Turbo Oil - -10an drain to timing cover. -4 and feed from a port on the drives side of the block towards the back of the engine. Its down low near where your oil filter would be.

Coils - Stock truck coils. I used ICT billet relocation brackets and placed the coils on the frame rails because I was nervous about melting coils/plug wires in the stock locations.

ECU/PCM - I used the stock PCM and converted the stock harness to be standalone. I HIGHLY recommend taking a look at LT1swap.com for instructions on this. Awesome info on that site. I also decided to run completely open loop for now and delete all stock O2 sensors. Tuned using HPtuners.

 

Notes on the swap:

I decided to cut out the radiator support and angle all of the coolers forward just to give myself more room for the turbo. I haven't come up with a plan for bracing that back up yet but I'll get to it eventually.

 

I would highly recommend relocating the battery to the trunk to save on engine space and save the battery from heat. I moved my battery to the spare tire well and it fits perfect there.

 

The stock transmission mount is cut out and removed. I drilled holes in the trans tunnel and bolted the JTR kit straight to the tunnel. It seems to be holding up well with no noticeable flex.

 

I also recommend removing ALL unnecessary stock wiring that you can. You will save yourself so much heartache and engine bay space if you do this. Plus, you are going to have the engine out anyways so there's no better time do do it.

 

I did end up cleaning up my mess of wires in the stock battery location. It doesn't look so mangled now.

 

The trans tunnel takes a bit of "motivation" to get the 4l80 to fit. Nothing a hammer cant do thought. Space is most needed around the electrical connectors and the cooler fittings. Some work around the bell housing bolts is good too.

 

Car runs very well right now on 8psi. I have maxed out my 42lb injectors and possibly the pump. Research tells me that it should be around 450whp and that is plenty to boil off the stock size 205s in second. 

 

I will try and add more info as I can and answer questions as much as possible.

 

 

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congrats!!! good job sticking with it. i think the best thing i learned is you found a different oil pan that works. also probably helped going turbo so you didnt have to squeeze headers down by the steering shaft. what did you do with the power steering? i bet it pulls real good beeing turboed. i would definitely get some frame support in there, get that Rad support put back some how. i think beeing an automatic will help wear and tear on the rear end, cv joints, and stub axles. i blame hard lauches with my standard trans as the reason i snapped stub axles.  cool, you have something fun to mess with the big boys now. stock mustangs and camaro's will be no match.

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2 hours ago, G-Tech said:

congrats!!! good job sticking with it. i think the best thing i learned is you found a different oil pan that works. also probably helped going turbo so you didnt have to squeeze headers down by the steering shaft. what did you do with the power steering? i bet it pulls real good beeing turboed. i would definitely get some frame support in there, get that Rad support put back some how. i think beeing an automatic will help wear and tear on the rear end, cv joints, and stub axles. i blame hard lauches with my standard trans as the reason i snapped stub axles.  cool, you have something fun to mess with the big boys now. stock mustangs and camaro's will be no match.

 

Its been quite a project but I am very happy with the progress and the results so far. Yes, it is much easier to route the exhaust forward and to the the turbo rather than headers down both sides. I cut the lines and looped them together. I has the typical heavy steering now but its honestly not bad at all. If the car is moving then steering is easy. You can still turn the wheels while you are stopped but it just takes some effort. My long term plan for the rear end is to go with a ford 8.8. That should solve all traction and power handling issues. That's a project for next winter though. 

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Always evolving. 
Stay tuned for some rear end work. 
I have found I have slight differences in my rear trailing arms. Even with the adjustable eccentric bushes I am unable to get any neg camber or toe on my right rear. 
Rather than reinvent the wheel, or add a new subframe we are gonna work on the mounts. The 9 inch rear cost me way to much to start from scratch.....

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On 10/26/2018 at 9:03 PM, gnb569 said:

Hey guys/gals, I'm not new to hybridz or zcars I just haven't posted before.  This is my 1980 280zx.  It has recirculating ball steering (Ew), stock r200.  The Exhaust was run the way it is because I didn't want to make headers right now.  I also plan to boost the car later anyways.

 

Engine: genIV 5.3 iron block with flat top pistons, 243 heads, ls1 intake, arp head bolts, DOD delete etc.  The mounts are Jags That Run SBC mounts with SBC to LS adapters.  The oil pan is a mast motorsports low profile pan.  The car is now tuned for speed density so there's no MAF either.

 

Trans: Z32 5 speed, Gforce adapter plate/flywheel, southbend clutch rated for 450lb-ft, xcessive  short shifter bracket and short shifter.  Tranny mount is custom

 

Suspension: s13 BC Coilovers. S13 front knuckles, brakes, calipers, etc. Stock rear brakes.

 

Any questions feel free to ask and I'll answer the best I can!  Car now runs and drives, most of the pictures aren't up to date and I've tried to clean up a good bit of it.

 

 

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With your motor/trans combo did the shifter come up on the stock location?

Edited by lotussutol

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Hello, I have an 82 ZX that I am getting ready to do an LS swap on. I have done a 76 Z before with the help of JTR but as you stated I can’t find much help for the ZX swap. 😫. I would be more than happy to pay you for your time if you could throw me list with parts you had to get and websites or numbers where you got them from so I can hopefully have this one done in a quicker fashion than I’m expecting.  I have just purchased a 2000 Camaro with a six speed manual to use for my car. But I am really hoping to get things rounded up before I begin to help reduce the struggle. As you clearly already have been through. You’re car is absolutely badass and I hope to create something just as fun here in my garage. Thanks

Charles McCary Zzxman1@aol.com 

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