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Relentless - 1977 280z LS (5.3l L59) swap

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On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 7:41 PM, Box5 said:

Bit of confusion with the header situation from JCI (thought i was getting 1.5's back, but I ended up getting a reworked 1-3/4" set.  You can see the modified first primary to clear a spark plug and boot well (I'll get pics installed with MSD 8.5mm bendable boots tomorrow to show clearances).  Still might dent the drivers side primary closest to the firewall (far right in the pic below), but it should be minimal and if JCI can touch that primary up on future batches these headers should be perfect for LS swaps in 280z's.  







Thanks I appreciate it.  Good luck with your build, I'll keep an eye out for when you get going on it.


Sure thing man, picked up an 04 GTO, it's been wrecked pretty bad in the front and passenger side but the motor/tranny seems good.

So, big step ahead, now lot's of research and reading on how to make it all work lol. This forum and posts like yours are very helpful.


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Wiring is "complete" aside from shortening o2 sensor wires and lengthening the oil pressure wire. 


Grabbed IGN+ 12v from the Ignition Coil/Resistor since it's hot in Start + Run for the ECU. (Voltage dips between start/run but that's a split second).




My car was an automatic so I grabbed a direct starter signal from the seat belt relay (near the fusible links on passenger fender) this takes the inhibitor switch and seat belt relay out of the question.  To get rid of the voltage regulator I saved the #1 (Blue) charge indicator bulb wire in case I want that someday, then connected the #3 (Yellow) and #6 (Blue) wires on the car side of the voltage regulator plug for the brake warning relay to still work.  The plug has 6 pins counting clockwise from the top.  The rest of the wires ignored/removed.




Maxi Fuse Block powering the 4 old fusible link body harness wires, second maxi block for alternator and engine harness, straight 4 gauge from the battery, 8 gauge to alternator.





Intake complete with 3.5" aluminum tube

K&N RE-0920 Filter (3.5" ID flange)








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  • 2 weeks later...

Got the last bit done tonight, tucked as close to the diff as possible.  Just need a couple hangers here and there and full weld it.


*Got it fully welded and driving.  The combo of Dynomax Bullet and Borla Pro XS are an amazing combo.  Smooth deep and mellow at idle, comes alive with rpms but still smooth and deep with no rasp to note, very happy with those products. 


I was able to do the entire exhaust with just the mandrel bends listed above, didn't require any straight tubing.  







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  • 3 weeks later...

About time to ditch the crash bumpers now that it drives again.














Interior somewhat sorted too.  Spectre 6284 shift boot worked after modifying it but wouldn't recommend due to the custom nature of it.  Working on a leather outer boot now.  The shift ball is a trailer hitch modified (shift balls are pricey :X) one day i'll get a real one :D. 








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10 hours ago, Richard Oben said:

Nice job especially the exhaust work.  Great job.  R


Thanks Richard.  The exhaust was one of my favorites parts to do, i've never done a full one myself before so it was a nice test. 


23 hours ago, chiefmd said:

Nice job on the exhaust. You just keep giving me more items to buy :) I purchased a set from Viet Nam and was really pleased. They fit really well. I


Your Z is awesome, that looks really good and extremely clean, especially the 240z bumpers and air dam, love that look.  Hope your LS swap goes off without a hitch, you're gonna love it.  Where did you find your bumpers listed to get them from Vietnam?  

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry to hear you have fitment issues.


Those appear to be the 2.75" tubes?

I had to send mine back to be modified like the pic below.

I'm surprised they sent out the original design knowing it had no chance to clear the #1 spark plug, or #7 plug like in your pics.


Passenger side was never an issue, but Drivers side needed the jog on #1 primary (pic below), and #7 needed a dent or jog (I dented mine) because I wasn't going to send them back again.



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  • 2 months later...
On 5/16/2020 at 12:29 PM, Whitley_280z_2+2 said:

Any updates? How does it drive? 


Hey Whitley,

Only mechanical updates/issues were a wobbly Harmonic Balancer after I drove for awhile (may have always been there but I spotted it recently).  It's a higher mileage motor and i've been pushing it hard so that's understandable, got a new pulley and ARP bolt coming to hopefully take care of that.


The car itself with this drivetrain is so much fun, it has the perfect power band for around town and country roads, and with the T56 3.54 diff it cruises so easily at 80-85mph on the highway.  


Next update will be a brake job and some new wheels/tires.

Planning to go with 15x8 0 offset Enkeis with 225/50 tires.  From what i've gathered they fit no flare Z's well without much issue and will be a big improvement over the current pizza cutters I have.  My only handling complaint at the moment is with the tall skinny tires, I can feel them flex during heavy cornering but the upgraded 225/50r15's should help a lot.


Overall, i've daily driven it to work on every dry day and had a blast.  It's basically a streetbike on 4 wheels with how fast you can scoot around people. 

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23 hours ago, chiefmd said:

Evan - All done and running great. Couldn't have done it with out all your help. Thanks






You did an amazing job from the looks of it, what a clean Z.

I'm glad I could help, just passing on the information I learned here on HybridZ.


That custom center console is really nice, did you have that done before the swap and adjust the shift boot, or just do it now?

I like where you mounted the fuse block under the dash, that helps keep the inner fender clean on the passenger side.  If I redo the wiring i'm gonna move the ECM and Fuse block inside to really clean up the engine bay and make maintenance that much easier. 

Love the subtle stripes in that paintjob too.

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