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HybridZ

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Hey all. So I have had my 1977 280z for around 7 years now. Drove it for a couple when I first bought it. Started having issues with the L-Jet system. Spent a while troubleshooting but the more I fixed the more I found items that needed fixing. Ended up moving into an apartment, then bought a house, sold the house, etc. barely worked on it for a few years. My now fiance and I bought a farm house with a big ole workshop (about 2500sqft, 3 bays, 1 dumptruck bay) and I got back into making my dream car just that.

 

I decided now was the time to do it right. My Z had rotted floors, rotted frame rails, rotted fenders, rotted firewall. tons and tons of structural rot. Good thing I am a welding and metallurgical engineer and have plenty of fabrication equipment and experience (I hope).

 

I cut out both floors, the firewall on the passenger side, fender well, and patched the "torque box" area of the frame in front of the firewall...one panel at a time. Most of these welds have been gas backed or flux shielded, or copper backed. Derek Macheski provided the floor support rails for my build (I think hes on here somewhere) as a partial trade for my motor.

 

I am pairing my Z up with a Ford 5.0 small block V8. The donor vehicle was a 2001 mercury Mountaineer which means this is the highest performance factory 302W offered but also brings up some challenges;

1: The heads are GT40P heads which requires special or custom headers. The only headers currently manufactured that fit correctly are long tubes which will not fit the S30 engine bay.

2: The upper and lower intake are quite tall and require the engine be mounted somewhat lower in addition to possible hood clearance modification.

3: The engine is returnless and distributorless and I will be using the factory EFI harness and ECU, tuned with protune and probably a Moates QH chip.

 

The current state of the build:

 

I have completed most of the fabrication work, a few odds and ends that need to be finished but nothing major. I have the engine, transmission, and headers all in the vehicle and everything seems to fit.

I am currently working on thinning the EFI harness of all unnecessary equipment using an old factory electrical schematic and some help from the folks over at the explorer forums.

 

 

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A few pictures of the work done to get these headers to fit my engine. This engine has the GT40P heads which have an odd spark plug angle. There was only one company making headers for these (ford) but they stopped making them years ago and the only ones I could find are many hundreds of dollars. Flow isnt going to be ideal but I have a new design I am working on that should be much more gradual.

 

Also - Getting alot of tig welding practice in. I was finally getting the hang of it once I got to the collector flange.

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