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First Datsun Z? PLEASE READ

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Hey everyone, new here and new to the S30 platform but not to datsun's in general. I'm 23 from Canada and currently have a 1971 510 2 door with a 2.1 long rod (45 webers, 530/306 Isky cam,ported peanut head with Z car valves, comp header and plenty more) that I turned every bolt on myself except for the engine machine work. Car is done up in an older style, no newer style parts, even has an old Hitachi 8 track player. Also have a 1974 620 that's bone stock and going to be my parts hauler once it gets freshened up a bit, probably getting a KA here soon.


I just picked up a 1977 280z and am very excited to get working on it! The car is from Arizona and a friend who heads down there frequently and brings back old datsun's brought it to my attention.


Up here in the north finding a solid datsun is quite the struggle and a reasonably priced one even more so, so was very happy to get pictures showing not a spot of rust on the car (which makes me very jealous of you guys in the south.) The car should be making the trip up here around April so have lots of time to plan up my build just need to narrow down my options.


And some pics of course




She doesn't look like much in the pics but it runs, drives and stops as it sits and will get the doors/fenders/hood thrown on before being shipped. The main thing that sold me was how clean it is underneath







Interior isn't horrible, but then I have some extra Z seats lying around after getting some to swap into my 510. Dash is cracked but not a big deal to grab a new cap






Now I've already done the L series thing with the 510 and I love them, but the power to dollar ratio is pretty horrid so looking to stay a bit with this project. My initial thoughts are on either a rb25 or single turbo 5.3 lsx. The 5.3's initial price is attractive but damn t56's are expensive.... if anyone has a good alternative please share haha.


Hope to learn lots and recieve some wisdom in all things s30, glad to be a part of the forum!

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  • Download a Factory Service Manual (FSM) 
  • Download electrical schematics for your car.  PDFs are easier to read than those found in books. Some are in color.
  • Buy the book How to Restore Your Datsun Z Car by Wick Humble. It will save you hours of searching for "how to" info.
  • Focus on searching Hybridz as 99% of questions have already been addressed.
  • Start bookmarking Z car parts suppliers
  • Remember these are 40 year old cars and will need restoration to be safe and drivable.
  • Join ClassicZCars.com website and search there as well.
  • Become well informed about modifications before asking questions. People will be more inclined to answer informed questions.
  • Search the forums.
  • Read the new member FAQs.


 Useful Links:





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Welcome to the forums.


Don't forget: 

atlanticz.ca for some really good guides

xenonzcar.com/ for FSM's and popular mod guides


The decision on driveline is going to be up to you. It is something you are going to have to live with after all.


From the resale perspective it seems nissan engine swapped Z cars sell easier then other swapped cars

From the layout perspective I like toyota motors for keeping the intake on the driver side giving you all the room to work on the passenger side without worrying about steering columns, master cylinders, etc.


From the price perspective an american V8 is hard to beat hp/$, parts are cheap and plentiful. I could walk into a local machine shop and have them build me a 500+hp engine in a day or two as they keep all the parts in stock or can walk to a speed shop and have all the parts the next day.


Also keep in mind that with upgraded power you are going to have to upgrade other driveline components to compensate. A single turbo LSX in my mind would be a waste unless it put out at least 600hp and torque. At that level we are talking some pretty expensive parts for axles and stub axles alone, costs that would probably trump the cost of the engine, bits, and transmission.


The allure I see up there is you have access to GTS-T cars and can take all the driveline components. Using a T3 rear end swap kit, Mckinney engine swap kit, you could have a pretty bolt in affair. 

Edited by seattlejester
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