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Reconsidering my L28ET build


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Im not getting your point. If Im bench racing its not much different than anyone else in this thread throwing around 400 and 600hp numbers. 

Sorry I didn't post links to the guys that have writeups and threads about what I talked about I don't have them handy. But they aren't hard to find. But for 400whp theres known limitations that are easily remedied. Big difference between that and 600+ in an L series. 


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Your post was funny in the way that it dramatically oversimplified the subject, and didn't really add anything of value to the thread (like this one I'm writing right now).  You make it sound so easy but haven't actually done anything, that's what was amusing.  The first post is very detailed and specific, with actual dollar estimates.  This isn't really a bench-racing (BS'ing) thread.  

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But for 400whp theres known limitations that are easily remedied. Big difference between that and 600+ in an L series. 



Yes, 400 is very reachable in the l28et even with stock internals according to online resources, but practically speaking it starts gets iffy. I have probably read all of the same materials as you have, but as I make builds, start counting costs, and look at the results of other people who have built what 'should' get you 400 hp, they are not getting there. In my experience, with any platform you have 2 zones, cheap power zone and expensive power zone. It seems that the border between these 2 zones is a grey area around 375. 


And like everyone said, that's probably enough for most people on an engine that bolts right into a car that is very light. For all practical purposes this is a great place to be. It is the best option hands down for someone who wants to respect the originality of the car and get some good performance, too, but I don't think it is necessarily the best option cost wise if you are looking for power beyond 400 and you don't feel conflicted with cutting things on the car.

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I don't agree with what he says regarding aftermarket and transmission choices. I'm sure the 2JZ aftermarket is larger, but I wouldn't say the L series aftermarket is lacking. Transmission choices? Well, the L has the NA 5 speed, BW ZXT 5 speed, 240sx 5 speed, Z31/2 5 speed, and now the Z33 6 speed. Non-ZXT BW T5 has also been done once or twice, as has the T56. That's a pretty healthy selection. I get the feeling he doesn't know much about the L28.


That said, if you want easy, big power, and don't mind the weight, a 2JZ is hard to argue with. A guy I follow on Instagram dropped in a 2JZ, and made 550whp. I don't think it took him more than a month to do the swap.


It's fast.

Edited by rturbo 930
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Shanks, if you stick with the L28et route I would highly recommend adding a quality harmonic damper such as from BHJ to your list as there is no mention of one. It will add to your cost factor, but preventative parts as such are invaluable in the end. With that being said regardless of which engine path you take to achieve your power goals, I would strongly heed the words of advice from those with said engines that know of each one of their failure points and plan to build whatever engine with aftermarket parts that eliminate the weak points.


If were talking 2JZ here, it is no secret they are very stout from the factory, but have weak points as well. Virtually every performance parts house offers preventative upgrades such as ported oil pumps, modified/welded timing gears,  harmonic dampers to name a few.

It all comes down to which school of thought you subscribe to. (1)  Either simply buying a low mileage JZ and installing and disregarding mentioned weak points  (for a few $ sake I suppose??) and rolling the dice. (2) The other method would have you taking advantage of having the engine out and ready for all parts mentioned plus new gaskets, timing belt, oil/water pumps, ARP main/head studs rod bolts etc...


It certainly can become a deeeeep financial wabbit hole quickly, but it sounds like you want an engine you can beat on and have piece of mind that it is going to take it and not crap out at the absolute worst possible time.


I am all to familiar with this second route as I am only a few components away from completely building my 2JZ with forged innards and my power goals are in the 500 + wheel range set up with E85 with future room to grow if ever deemed necessary. I am still mulling over Titan Motorsports billet main caps (requiring a line bore) and Supertech shimless buckets. Some would say over kill, but  I personally want to pound on my engine and have rev capability while autocrossing and most importantly have the engine built to live with this harmoniously and not stressing to do so. I want to build it once with out taking short cuts and be done with piece of mind. I have already gone down the multiple bolt on performance parts route with a 4G63 engine to only have the crank walk at the most inopportune time while I was a full time student and a part time job trying to make ends meet. Lessons learned from that for any future performance goals from then on were to build it or even over build it for longevity, piece of mind and lastly enjoyment. 

 I would also strongly suggest fortifying your car as best as you can in preparation for that power and torque. 


As far as that video linked above goes, I can't stand his incessant jump cut choices that he used for his final video edit. I am watching his videos to see what he destroys on his car next though.

Edited by Nelsonian
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Definitely share your sentiments in regards to building a strong motor and spending more money upfront rather than rolling the dice. It's one of the reasons I am as detailed as I try to be and ask the tough questions. 


As far as the video goes, I love his channel. It's a really real example of how a DIY build goes. He's not afraid to be honest and show his mistakes but he does have a solid idea of what he's doing. Really liked his coil over install. 

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Agreed with NewZed, not sure easy is the correct terminology. Easy would be flashing the ECU, cranking up the boost controller, something of that nature. Getting an L28et to 400hp would require either a fairly large high flowing turbo and cramming air into it, or quite a bit of head work and tweaking of a lot of parts to get it to work up there reliably and happily. I will say I did see someone with a 250 shot of nitrous on basically a stock L28, so indeed in some ways it may be easy, but yea...


Looking at the weight comment, looks like we are talking about 100lbs or so? Not terribly a deal breaker in my book especially if you play around with mounting. Granted you will of course loose some of the nimbleness that the early Z cars were associated with, but the power difference I think makes up for more then that. Personally I could stand to loose about 40-50lbs so there is always that option :D.


The guy is indeed fairly new to the chassis, given where I was at during my swap we had a few little exchanges regarding some do's and don'ts. Pretty darn receptive to criticism to his credit, and I will say bold in some sense to really put yourself out there to criticism. He does tend to talk quite a bit though, a lot of stream of consciousness, but the work is so relevant it is hard not to keep tabs on it.


Regarding the 2jz weaknesses, Nelsonian is definitely on track. They have a bit of mysticism, but anyone who has really looked into them can tell you they have their own problems to address.


The rubber on the harmonic damper is not that great especially when you rapidly increase RPM's (inertia and all). If you want a glimpse of potential problems, looking at the thrust bearing issues and crank walk, apparently something that does affect the JZ's as well as the 4g63. Oil pumps are also another really depressing section to look at. The FMS leaking or being blown out, cracked oil pump gears. All engines really have weaknesses, the benefit of a popular engine like the 2jz is there are some very smart people looking into the causes and offering solutions.


I definitely took the middle route. Finances definitely was a factor, I think with the main caps, honing, new rings, new bearings, upgraded pump I was looking at adding another 2k, that is a couple months of saving/overtime in my play around budget for me. I did do the gates timing belt, ARP head studs, rebuild the head, replace the water pump. Opening the block and seeing the factory cross hatching in place and being told the compression values were good kind of made it seem like I would be throwing away value. That combined with some posts that the newer replacement pumps were cracking near the pressure relief valve made me keep the old unit as well. Definitely half assed, we'll see if it pays off. So far the engine is making good oil pressure and not smoking or leaking so I am ever hopeful.


It does depend on where you are. If you have the space, time, and resources to pull the block and replace it at will, getting into a 2jz is definitely an option, especially if you are set at power levels being thrown around here at 400-600hp. I think Avernier has done a couple over a couple weekends at a crazy budget. If you are paying to have the car worked on, then a swap is probably not a great idea unless the person you are working with are known for their swapping prowess and finish work. 


If you are making lists it definitely is an option to keep open, but as many will say, if numbers are your goal in budget/end game hp, an LS swap is going to really shine.

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This link has some turbo dynos, you could compare against them:




Curious about your suspension plan?


If you want to go balls to the walls with a 400hp Z on a track I would get the following:


- Cage ($2000-$4000k)

- Race seat + harness ($500-$1000k)

- 15x10, 245/40/15 tires, $800-$2500

- Coilovers+camber plates+poly bushings+ all the goodies
- Big brake kit ($800-)

- Strut braces

- LSD?


Cage stiffens it alot!


If you just want to goof around at the track you don't need the above. But you will be much slower than a 200hp Z.


What kind of turbo lag do you get with a 400hp L28ET? Sounds terrifying to exit a corner at the limit with 400hp that is hard to control.


Sounds like a fun project!

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No I would be very interested in doing lots of different things if I had a build worth ripping around in. The question I was asking was more if I had that much power would it m\be too much to enjoy a casual drive. I didn't really communicate that very well, but since then I have found my answer, which is yes, I could still enjoy driving it around town and on back roads, etc.


I am actually flipping back and forth on this continually. I am going to do another big spread sheet of the L28et and a possible 2jz build. Still very undecided. 

Edited by Shanks
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If that was your question, then it was poorly communicated. Your original question made it seem like which was more financially viable for your 400hp goal.


To answer your intended question:


It depends on your driving character. If you are foot to the floor everywhere you go kind of guy, you can get squirrelly enough with 200hp. If you are the kind of guy who leans into it slow and takes things slow you could have 500+hp and be perfectly fine.


It would be a matter of potential vs usage. At 300+hp in anything from ideal road conditions (grit on road, damp, wet, leaves, smooth) you can pretty much break traction at will depending on tire size and compound. So a boost by gear protocol would probably be useful if you wanted drivability.


If you want a car you can drive at 10/10ths all the time then power should take more of a back seat to suspension and brakes and build the power to the limit of your suspension. If you want a car that you can lean into on occasion on open stretches of roads then not as big a concern. 

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