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Tonner

Daily Driver Build

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I'm looking at picking up a 240z without a motor or tranny. I currently have a 350 SBC out of a 1972 1-ton truck. My goal with the Z is to build a reliable daily driver that gets at least 20mpg and maximize power and torque within that limitation. In other words, I want to have a comfortable, economical ride to work that will still be some fun.

1. What should I do with the SBC? If I turn it into a 383 stroker, will it still achieve 20mpg, or should I just rebuild it as a 350? I have high hopes for such a light car.

2. How much hp can I reasonably put to the ground without doing anything to mess up the stock look of the car?

3. Should I use the 4-speed muncie out of the truck, or find a different transmission? (I'd like to keep it a stick shift).

4. What do I need to do with the rear end?

I will NOT be racing this. This needs to be easy to drive as my wife will likely be using it as well. I need to have some fun though. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Built two daily drivers as follows:

 

Pictures:

1972 240Z Hybrid V8 Built 2009 - 2010  

                                                                                                           

Engine and Drivetrain                                                  

  • 350 SBC Goodwrench crate engine rated 290HP                                                
  • Dyno: 240 RWHP                                                          
  • 1989 Camaro T5 World Class transmission                                                     
  • Datsun R200 3.54 differential                                                   
  • Solid differential front mount                                                   
  • MSA engine and transmission installation kit                                                      
  • New Chequered Flag  stainless steel stub axles                                                  
  • New Nissan OEM wheel bearings                                                                                                                       

Cooling                                             

  • Arizona Z Cars Radiator                                               
  • Volvo (1997) electric fan                                                                                                         

Brakes                                               

  • Front:   1979 Toyota 4x4 pickup  S12+8 calipers with stock solid rotors                                                    
  • Rear: 1989 240SX calipers with 1984 non-turbo 300ZX solid rotors                                             
  • Master Cylinder:  1979 280ZX 15/16                                                      
  • Booster: 1977 280Z                                                      
  • SS braided brake flex lines                                                         
  • Brake Pads: Carbotech AX6                                                                                                                

Suspension and Steering                                             

  • Tokico Blue struts                                                         
  • Arizona Z Car springs: Front 180lb/in. Rear 200lb/in.                                                       
  • Energy Suspension poly urethane bushings                                                         
  • Wheels: 15 x 7 American Racing Ansen Sprint Mags                                                         
  • Tires: Toyo  205/50R-15 Proxes                                               
  • Urethane steering coupler                                                                                                      
  • Nissan OEM TC rod bushings                                                          

 Body                                                  

  • Paint: 350Z Silver Alloy code K23                                             
  • 280Z Vented Hood                                                                                                                                                                 
  • All seals/gaskets replaced                                                                                                                   

Electrical                                                         

  • Headlights: H4                                                
  • Headlight relay kit installed - no wires cut                                                           
  • 100 amp alternator                                                      

 

 

 

Edited by Miles

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Most of the information you seek can be found in Datsun Z V8 Conversion Manual from Jags that Run and by searching the HybridZ forums.

 

Useful information

             

  • Download a Factory Service Manual (FSM). http://www.xenonzcar.com/s30.html
  • 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.
  • Buy the Datsun Z V8 Conversion Manual from Jags that Run ( see link below).
  • Start bookmarking Z car parts suppliers - there are many!
  • 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 all of the new member guidelines and FAQs

     

 

Links:

 

https://www.datsun-240z-upgrades.net/                Recommend the headlight relay harness

 

http://zhome.com/

 

https://www.zcar.com/

 

https://www.classiczcars.com/

 

http://www.zcarparts.com/

 

http://www.arizonazcar.com/

 

http://www.jagsthatrun.com/index.html

 

http://www.ztherapy.com/    

 

http://www.xenonzcar.com/reference.html

 

 

 

Edited by Miles

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Mpg depends largely on engine management: carburetor vs. fuel injection, camshaft profile and so forth.  20 mpg should be readily attainable even with a more aggressive engine build.  However, truly high efficiency, in the sense of a modern sports car, will be hard to attain - even with the 240Z's weight advantages.  The reason is lousy drag coefficient... the bane of good highway mileage.

 

To answer your questions:

 

1.  Do as little as possible, at least initially!  Complete the swap, get the engine running and the car sorted out.  Engine mods can come later.

2.  This is entirely subjective and situational.  So enterprising drag-racers are pushing 500-700 hp (or more!) without molesting the "stock" look.

3.  Never, ever ever install a non-overdrive transmission in a "daily driver" Z!  Your application is screaming for a T5.

4.  Initially, do nothing.  Between your relatively weak stock 350 and the stock wheels/tires, the R180 differential in your 240Z should be adequate.  Later you can swap in the much stronger R200.  Search the "drivetrain FAQ" for model years/varieties from which to swap the R200.

 

The #1 discriminator between failure and success, is the condition of the Z that's about to become the swap candidate.  Rust?  Overall condition?  How is the suspension?  The brakes?  Do things work in general?  Are bits falling off?  Rubber?  Plastic?  Doors close properly?  Dents/body damage?  Electrical systems?  You're about to do an engine swap.  Don't also make it a restoration.

 

The #2 discriminator is falling into the "while I'm at it" malaise.  Do as little as possible!  Laziness is always its own reward, but sometimes it's also this best route to quick and definitive success.  This is one such instance.  Be strategically lazy!

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Some good points made so far.

 

I'll just add that 20mpg is possible with any size V8, provided you can get it running lean enough in the cruise MAP/RPM range of utilization. This is much harder with a carburetor and wet manifold. Port injection EFI does wonders in this realm. And obviously general rules of MPG apply. Going 65 instead of 80 is a far simpler way of gaining 2-4mpg than swapping cams.

 

I've seen LS swapped 240z's knocking back 30mpg highway btw... That .5 OD and modern EFI does wonders.

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Budget Build

 

You can build a reliable daily driver following the JTR V8 conversion manual for not a lot of money.

 

Basic daily driver swap:

 

  • Stock SBC engine. JTR, MSA and John's Cars sell swap kits. Each has good and bad points. Do a search before you buy.
  • Keep stock R180 differential
  • Camaro WC T5 five speed transmission. Speedometer drive gear has to be changed to match the differential ratio if you keep the stock speedometer. Ref JTR
  • Rebuild stock brake system and install braided SS brake hoses. Suggest Carbotech AX6 pads and shoes. Stock brakes are fine - see brake FAQs
  • Replace shocks/struts e.g., Tokico
  • Replace stock suspension bushings with polyurethane bushings.
  • Replace sagging springs with stiffer springs that maintain stock ride height.  Front 180lb/in  Rear 200lb/in to 280lb/in. 
  • Install an aluminum radiator.  Stock mechanical fan is ok.  

Do the basic things to make the car safe and reliable and then drive it. 

 

Read the JTR manual at least five times and study Hybridz  V8 swaps until your eyeballs fall out.

 

Start with an unmolested Z car with minimum rust.

 

Edited by Miles

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4 hours ago, Miles said:

Do the basic things to make the car safe and reliable and then drive it. 

 

Read the JTR manual at least five times and study Hybridz  V8 swaps until your eyeballs fall out.

 

Start with an unmolested Z car with minimum rust.

 

And that's golden advice right there!  The JTR book itself exhorts readers to be sparing and parsimonious in their ambitions.  Do a swap, not a "restomod"!  Is the recipient-Z in good shape?  If not, the swap will be unsuccessful, or at least a protracted effort.  If yes, then there's a 25-year-old recipe for getting it done.

 

The only thing that 's not thoroughly documented (still!) is the clutch hydraulics for the T5... throwout bearing, flywheel and pressure-plate and so forth.  That's the only part that involves a modicum of improvisation.

 

But here's the thing... you do the swap.  You get it hooked up, bolted up, connected, buttoned up.  Congratulations!  Now you have a hot-rod.  That hot rod requires tuning!  Can you tune the ignition, the carburetor, and so forth?  Do you understand port vacuum and manifold vacuum, proper spark advance, and so forth?  That is the difference between a strongly-running car, and a turd.  That is something with which you'll need to wrestle, whether or not you swapped the engine into a 240Z, or bought a Chevelle or Nova or whatnot with that engine native.  And that's the art/science that's been waning and vitiating over the years.

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Clutch parts land bell housing parts  used for  1989 Camaro WC T5 installation

 

Doesn't matter where you buy the parts.  In the past I have used Carquest and Napa stock clutch kits

 

Bell housing: use a 1989 Camaro V8 bell housing. It has a 15 deg tilt to the driver's side. If you use any other bell housing you will have to make a mount designed to deal with the 15 deg tilt. Shifter comes up in the stock hole, but tilted to the left requiring notching the tunnel next to the shifter a small amount.

 

Clutch master cylinder, slave cylinder and Flywheel

 

1989 CHEVROLET CAMARO Zoom High Performance Clutch Kits HP1675-1A

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/zzz-hp1675-1a/overview/year/1989/make/chevrolet/model/camaro

 

Clutch 7/8 Master Cylinder Choices

 

Tilton 74-Series Universal Master Cylinder Kits 74-875U

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/til-74-875u

 

Wilwood Clutch  Master Cylinder  260-10374                                

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/wil-260-10374/overview/model/wil

 

Flywheel 152 tooth

 

Perfection OE Replacement Flywheel 50-6516
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/zzz-50-6516/overview/


Clutch Slave Cylinder 89 Camaro

 

NAPA   NCF 73110
https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/NCF73110

 

Fittings and Hose

 

Earl's Performance AN to NPT Adapter Fitting 961603ERL
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/ear-961603erl

 

Russell Clutch Adapter Fittings 640281
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/rus-640281

 

Earl's Performance Speed-Flex Brake Lines 63011732ERL
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/ear-63011732erl

 

 

Edited by Miles

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Wow thanks everyone for the great info. The car I'm looking at would be a complete restoration. Most of the sheet metal can be saved, but I'll need floor pans and patches in the wheel wells. I'm not afraid of a little body work, but it will take some time before I can drop the engine in. I figure if I can get a body with a clean title, then I can build exactly the car I want.

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On 2/8/2019 at 3:22 PM, Tonner said:

Wow thanks everyone for the great info. The car I'm looking at would be a complete restoration. Most of the sheet metal can be saved, but I'll need floor pans and patches in the wheel wells. I'm not afraid of a little body work, but it will take some time before I can drop the engine in. I figure if I can get a body with a clean title, then I can build exactly the car I want.

Don't do this.  Have patience, and spend more money (if necessary, vastly more money!) on a car with fewer problems.  Otherwise you'll spend 5 years doing rust-repairs, 5 more years doing structural reinforcement, and 5 more years nursing your wounds after you realize in year 11 that new rust has already formed where you had replaced the old.

 

Alternatively - and it sorely pains me to say this - look for a less rare, less rust-prone vehicle of comparable low weight... such as a Mazda Miata.

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