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SHTROD21

Chevy 350 SBC 1971 240z Conversion

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Hello, I am looking for advice in doing a Chevy 350 engine swap in my 1971 Datsun 240z. First, I would like to know if there is a conversion kit out there for purchase somewhere. Second, what kind of engine mounts work best for this kind of swap? Also, if anyone can shed any light on information they wish they knew getting into this I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance for your help!

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Posted (edited)

Useful information

  • Download a Factory Service Manual (FSM).  http://forums.hybridz.org/topic/48825-factory-manuals-some/?page=2&tab=comments#comment-1208329
  • Buy the JTR Datsun Z V8 Conversion Manual from  http://www.jagsthatrun.com/index.html      Read it at least five times.

  • 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 - 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 Hybridz 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.xenonzcar.com/reference.html

Edited by Miles

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There are three install kits available:

 

  • Jags That Run (JTR)
  • Motor Sport Auto  (MSA)
  • Johns Cars

Each has its own pros and cons. Driveshaft alignment is critical for all of these kits. You can research each one at HybridZ and Google search

 

All of the kits assume that you have some automotive mechanical skills.  If not done correctly these cars can kill you,

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On ‎10‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 7:05 AM, SHTROD21 said:

Hello, I am looking for advice in doing a Chevy 350 engine swap in my 1971 Datsun 240z. First, I would like to know if there is a conversion kit out there for purchase somewhere. Second, what kind of engine mounts work best for this kind of swap? Also, if anyone can shed any light on information they wish they knew getting into this I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance for your help!

 

One recommendation is to NOT install an old school 350 but rather an GM LS1 or newer V8.  They are much lighter, and people want an LS NOT a 350 and a Z car with a 350 will NOT resell for that much as the majority of the people want an LS.  The LS is so reliable, light, powerful and the way to go for a V8 in a Z car...

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Yes an LS is more expensive but you can find often a low mileage good LS with transmission and everything on it for around $5K.  The old school V8' are not worth much as most people do not want them and are going to a modern LS fuel injected V8.  If cost is an issue sure go with the old school as you can often get a old school 350 for next to nothing but the car no matter how nice will NOT resale for anywhere close to an LS Z nor be as desirable.

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1 hour ago, primaz said:

Yes an LS is more expensive but you can find often a low mileage good LS with transmission and everything on it for around $5K.  The old school V8' are not worth much as most people do not want them and are going to a modern LS fuel injected V8.  If cost is an issue sure go with the old school as you can often get a old school 350 for next to nothing but the car no matter how nice will NOT resale for anywhere close to an LS Z nor be as desirable.

Some of us abhor fuel-injection, computers or closed-loop feedback.  Lower weight and better power-density are fantastic, but not all of the associated trade-offs are worthwhile.  The main disadvantage of the "old school" engines is that, unlike in the 1990s, they're no longer readily available in junkyards.  They've become the stuff of specialized machine shops, or at least mail-order houses.  Costs have risen.  Performance has risen too, but the cheapness-factor is largely obsolete.

 

The above notwithstanding, I'd prefer the largest displacement engine, making the most torque.  If that is via an LS, fine.  If traditional small-block or big-block V8, that's fine too.  And there have been successful instances of LS engines reverse-upgraded to work with a carburetor.  Some have been very nicely done.

 

But at the very least, we're debating "old school" vs "modern" V8s.  At least we've not begun by insulting a hapless new-member with some condescending "Search, newb!"  That alone is progress, and I'm grateful for it.

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If resale is what you are after its best to keep the factory engine in place.  The aluminum ls engines can be hard to find and expensive due to demand, they are good, light engines.  Even an iron head early small block in the jtr mounting position has better weight distribution than the factory engine so the weight savings is not a huge deal.  

The jags that run manual is the best place to start for information, even if some of it is dated at this point.  It even has diagrams for the mounts if you want to make your own.  The only thing I do not like about their setup is the transmission mount.

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Will share my experience to date:

 

July of this year I acquired early 1974 260z that had been converted to a 350 SBC engine with a TH350 transmission. The car is a "barn find" was last driven in 1988 when parked for some unknown reason and the owner claims it was running when stored away, yeah right. Upon evaluating the car and researching where to take this project it has become clear that a LSx swap would be a vast improvement over the Gen1 SBC. Have not committed to doing the LSx swap yet but strongly leaning in that direction.

 

Will get the 350 SBC running and see what I actually have as a starting point. Currently dealing with the fuel system that was full of 31 year old gas, very nasty, and the minor rust issues.

IMG_1615.jpg

IMG_1616.jpg

Edited by idahoskiguy
add pics

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On ‎10‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 7:05 AM, SHTROD21 said:

Hello, I am looking for advice in doing a Chevy 350 engine swap in my 1971 Datsun 240z. First, I would like to know if there is a conversion kit out there for purchase somewhere. Second, what kind of engine mounts work best for this kind of swap? Also, if anyone can shed any light on information they wish they knew getting into this I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance for your help!

 

You might want to give more information about your budget and what you would like as far as suspension, etc. as there are many ways to go about this depending on the goal of your car and your budget.  As an example if you plan on doing a lot of suspension upgrades you might consider the many pathways you can go at Apex, from improving the stock design, to upgrading to an 8.8 IRS, to a full custom suspension, etc.  They also have a cool crossmember that can be ordered for stock straight 6, a RB Skyline, or a LS or V8, which correct the  suspension setup when you lower the car and comes with motor mounts specific to your application.

https://www.apexengineered.com/store/p7/Front_Tubular_Crossmember.html

 

 

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Update: I just bought a 383 stroker with 505 HP. I am now looking for a transmission. I have the JTR manual for the swap. I am thinking I will have to go with the T56 transmission to handle the power. Is it possible to mate a TR6060 with a SBC?

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