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1978 Datsun 280Z RB25 Restomod

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Okay, the project for today was to finish mocking up the front suspension. First, I removed the OEM crossmember and installed an Apex Engineered crossmember with tension rod stiffeners/braces.  I can’t say enough good about this component assembly, it fits and looks good doing so.  Next, I cut the top of my strut towers and welded in my T3 camber plates.  The T3 camber plates are not “out of the box” compatible with my BC Coilovers and the hardware T3 supplies to allow the use of their camber plates with the BC stuff is good but I wanted to use the BC hardware so it had to be modified.  I put the strut nuts and upper locator bushing on the lathe and turned them down so they would fit in the T3 camber plate (BC was 17.91mm and inner diameter of the T3 camber plate bearing is 15.84mm) once the nut sleeve and sleeve on the upper bushing was turned down to 15.75 they fit snug.  Then I reassembled and reinstalled the BC Coilovers and did a rough alignment to ensure I was able to get specs...I have plenty of adjustability and I’m sure once this stuff finally gets installed permanently and put on an alignment machine we will get well within specs.  I’m still waiting on Apex to supply my custom outer tie rods, then I will remove the rack (again) and clean it up, repair as necessary, paint and install new inner tie rods, boots and the new Apex out tie rods.
















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Okay, Ive been issued a challenge.  I want a #ZStory exhaust for my S30 RB25 build.  I guess if I was going to run an OEM boost level I could use Sean Dezart's 2.5" system and be very happy.  Problem is, I'm going to turn the boost up a little so I'd really prefer to get my gases flowing through a 3" system.  Sean suggest I go with one of the systems thats already available from other S30 specialist, problem is every time I see his system I start drooling uncontrollably whereas every time I look at one of those "brand X" systems I nearly loose my lunch.  There is literally no comparison between these art versus farts!  I continued to press Sean and he says the market fo a 3" system is too small but I disagree since I believe this is the perfect system for high-boost RB builds as well as LS builds and god knows there are lots of these builds and many more being documented here as well as on the forums.  Sean challenged me to convince him there was a lager market so here is my start to do so.  

How many of my fellow S30 retromod fanatics would be interested in seeing Sean and Zstory create some artwork for the underside of our beasts?  I'm #1 on the list...let get a group buy together to convince him to undertake our challenge.

John Bontrager, I hope you don't mind if I share your post here since you have put up such awesome photos of Sean's work.


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I have and am planning to use Sean's 2.5" system on my swap. Unless someone wants to buy mine and then I would do a 3". I was planning on doing a very "ricer" or actual muscle car thing and have an exhaust cutout welded inline. (Cutout) I am the same way with his exhaust systems. They are works of art. I am planning for street car use mild 300-400hp. My 350z moved pretty nice with 375 I can only assume the much lighter 240 should be fine. My shop that will be doing most to all the work is in Pompano now. I may have to make a visit.


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Back to rust/sheet metal repairs today.  The upper section of the windshield frame had a couple small rust holes...I guess I could have patched them but I decided to replace the entire upper section.  First, I ordered a piece of 20 gauge that was 48” long so I could make it in one piece.  Next, I put it on a four foot brake to form the angle for the flange.  Then it was time to form the compound curves with a shrinker/stretcher.  Once all that was done I drilled off all the spot welds and cut the frame out just under the bend that forms the upper body contour.  I carefully trimmed my patch piece to ensure I had an equal (tight) gap and then slowly welded it in place.  A little metal finishing and voila a new upper windshield frame.




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1 hour ago, Jboogsthethug said:

Man! That is one of those things that if I tried doing it, it would stop the progress of my car indefinitely ha. Great job!

Thanks dude, I’ve found if you go slow u can work through just about any problem just have to stay a few steps ahead of the metal. 

Edited by Jethoncho
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7 minutes ago, rbzed25 said:

I Second that. Planning on copying your cross-breeded suspension ideas. I did the engine swap first, suspension/brakes now. Awesome work!

Suspension is a work in progress. Latest is I modified steering knuckles on the S14 spindles so I could use stock length outer tie rods to maintain original geometry. CB961724-4F56-4DD7-AD6B-DFD6E2A30F4A.thumb.jpeg.123819779210858cdcd22a533956f4bd.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/5/2019 at 2:45 PM, Jethoncho said:

Well, I am gonna be on the road for over a month, left home on June 2nd heading for Australia...should be home around July 8th so my build is on hold for a bit...stay tuned!

Looking forward to it all! I'm going to try and get my thread updated this month, I have lots of progress to report on!


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  • 3 months later...

Sorry, it’s been a while since I updated this...it is progressing slowly.  I picked up a Garrett GTX3076 gen 2 turbo then I fabricated my 3” exhaust from 304SS, lots of cuts and welds but all in all I’m pleased.  Next was to tackle in intake side.  I decided to go DBW so I picked up a Bosch DBW throttle body, Mishimoto intercooler and associated clamps and tubing.  Never welded aluminum before but with a couple hours practice it was game on.  Fabricated the intake charge tubes so now my intake and exhaust are complete and ready to be shelved until body restoration is complete.  Currently working on cleaning up the OEM 280 harness by removing unnecessary wires while also designing my EFI harness for the RB25 integration. 






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  • 6 months later...

The build has taken a bit of a detour, the RB25 has been sold and a RB26 is going to take its place...got a good deal on a complete RB26 that needed a rebuild.  It’s now bored +1mm to 87mm and going back with forged pistons and rods.  Waiting on main bearing from Japan since Nissan in their infinite wisdom decided to use up to 7 different “standard” sized bearings and they’re happy to have up to 6 different sizes in an individual engine.  She’s gonna be a beast...


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33 minutes ago, Zetsaz said:

Very jealous of the carbon fiber! Have always wanted to focus on weight and drivability over power.


those nice tight bends against the engine bay on the intercooler piping look really satisfying. 

Thanks for checking it out... stay tuned, I’m in full speed ahead mode with the covid crisis.  

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