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dMk S130 Custom Touring Build


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This S130 has been my dream to build for almost 2 decades. I have always been a S130 guy, but started my Z journey with a z31 50th AE when I was in high school because that’s what I could find in my price range. Now I can fully realize this dream build! I am going for a reliable street daily driver with mildly improved performance but mainly just modernization. I have been working for quite a few years already and have started various sub-projects that may be of interest to other S130 people. This is one of the bastard models of the Z families so more sharing and development is helpful to all!


The car is an 83 NA.


I can’t remember when I bough this car, but my earliest picture is in 2015 when i started the rust remediation! 




Somehow lacking any starting pictures Of the external car ... the earliest pictures I found of the outside are after I had already tackled most of the exterior rust and painted those areas black. I was toying with the idea of alternative tail lights

and grabbed some datsun tails from a junkyard to see how they looked. 


SiBr’ed some patches onto the floor pan.




As the car was torn down, i found a sweet deal on a parts car with a seized motor.




Since i needed the Motor out of my build to paint the bay anyway, I slapped the NA motor into the grey car and drove it around for a few years.



I original bought the parts car to rob the black interior from once I finished the body work. I sewed up this center console pad to make my elbow more comfortable.



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At some point, I started the paintjob with the engine bay. The pain is from Eastwood and it's called Malibu Sunset.






Then I did the body in stages due to my limited space at the time.




I shaved the bump strips from the side of the body, along with the side marker holes. 




Then I slapped on a MSA Body kit and painted that too. The side markers are now LED strips in the gaps between the body kit and the body. You can't see them when they are off, the blend into the shadows of the body lines. 




Then I put on some new wheels and head lights. It looked rather gross with the stock ride height.





And then I slapped together some S13 maxPeedingRods ... or whatever they are called and machined up some adapters for the rear and chopped my front spindles and did some weldy weldy on them.




And then ended up looking much more sorted. 



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I think this is about the time I sold the grey "parts" car. It was running so nicely that I couldn't bear to strip it for the interior. 


I did screw around with a funky idea for a gated shifter on the Z. When I was younger, I used to play this arcade game at GameWorks that was a Ferrarri challenge game and it had a gated shifter and it was so cool, I thought I could get it to work on the Z. Turns out the S130 gearbox does not have enough shaft movement at any "reasonable" height for it to have distinct gates. This 3rd prototype did work, but only until I bolted it rigidly to the tunnel. I got rid of it soon after and moved on. 




A pic of my "peeding" rods.




My side panel was cracked and also I do not dig the look. And also I did not appreciate the additional trim piece above it. So I stick it in my "CMM". And by that, I mean my self-converted CNC mill.




First test-fit print




Third iteration on the car .. measuring clearance note for rev 4 to be printed in ABS.




After dragging my temporary exhaust on some speed bumps, I set to tucking it under the car further. I guess I have some explaining about what is to come next. Well, I bought a L28ET motor off craigslist for this car, but it was very bare. It had no turbo, no distributor, no ECU. I set about getting the car running with all the NA gear I had on hand and it ran quite okay with some hacking! I made a custom exhaust with a T3 flange (lol). It was basically a super low-comp NA motor that I was just using to power it while I finished the bodywork. Once I dragged this temporary exhaust on my way out of the grocery store, I hacked it off. As I was planning how I was going to re-weld it, I decided I might as well finally get the turbo so I only have to re-design the exhaust one more time! I had a fancy ball-bearing unit in mind, but then I realized it didn't have an internal wastegate and aint nobody got time for external wastegates. I thought I would give China's finest a try (anyone notice a trend here?) and went with a CX design from the 1980's. I was a Classic Saab 900 Turbo guy for many moons before cash for clunkers and have always had fun with these old-school T3 journal bearing units. 




I am going to only run a few PSI of boost until I finish my speeduino rig and get bigger injectors (still rocking 185's haha) so I hodge-podged and fabri-cobbled this together. 









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  • 2 months later...
  • 9 months later...

I like a lot of the ideas you have incorporated. Had been thinking about the gated shifter idea as well, but looks like it is not a good fit. Looking forward to more progess updates... I have basically just begun my own project S130.



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