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L28e To L28et Swap

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i started working on my car almost two years ago now ..it was sitting next to a shop almost headed to a junk yard .when i got her she was red had a blown head nothing had been done to her all stock..sence that time i have petty much gone over the whole car twice .upper end rebuild ,new head,paint ,int goodies ,msa header ,body kit .removed under bummpers,rims, seats i could go on and on .i do all the work myself so i try to do things cheap but right.

so now its turbo time also iam going to be swaping to five speed .painting my bay .mabe taken care of some paint clips from the paint job i did last year.iam making this post so others can see what iam doing while i search though other posts .also i mite need some help from some forum members along the way ...mostly about the wiring harness .

when i get to that point i will post ....


my car up to this point ...81 280zx l28e







81 turbo car i picked up for $108.00 at the junkyard last week.

only 106044 miles on the Od.



pulled motor,ecu,wiring harness .still removing things ..

you know extras so old black will live a long life ..



Turbo is blowen :icon9: so iam looking for one :-)



motor at this piont seems in good shape :sour:.



fixed broken stud drilled and tapped..

pulled oil pan spun her to top dead .checked it over .

motor is in better shape then my motor was when i rebuilt

it last year:p.



lots of parts to clean ..i have a brown 79 na parts car also

along with shed full of parts that i have been saving for this ..



cleaned out block guts and head. old oil was old but not any metal or bad things in it. painted block and manifold in high temp 1200 undercoated oil pan for long life. sent valve cover off to the powder coaters yesturday along with heat shelds ..he is powder coating my j tube with a crome finish :coollook:.should look pretty good when its done and put back together .




i need a distributor ,and turbo .mabe a turbo fuel pump ?

not sure if i can get away with useing the stock na fuel pump for a bit ..

i was told you can use the na distributor ? but iam unsure of what mods that will take ?

i still need a clutch for my trany swap .pedals are already installed.

flywheel is in the shop drive line has new u joints and is in the waiting .

I have not made up my mind if iam going to swap the rear ends .

mabe mabe not .i will post back after i go get some more work done witch reminds :idea: me .i need to go do it :P any ideas on turbo size or brands would be good info for me at this point ?


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You're moving right along there.


If you see any Z31 turbos in your junk yard, grab the turbocharger. I believe you can use those on the L28. Also, grab its ECU, MAF (na Z31 also), and the crank angle sensor out of the dizzy of any Z31. Do a Z31 ECU swap. Its cheap and a much better system. You can try to see if the electronics you have work... but mine still don't after cleaning them up and repalcing every major component.


I like the new wheels. Keep at it. See you in Port Townsend on the 19/20th ??? :)

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sweet man! the car looks in great shape! you will almost definetly make your mo ney back from selling your NA motor if it's in good enough shape! it looks great!


also I have a z31 stock turbo if you want...100 bucks no shaft play in great shape. let me know :]

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upper west corner ..past port townsend a bit..


ya bleach thats right ...Z car meet ....meeting of the Minds aug 19th/20th .

i will see you there for sure . i had forgot all about it.

i have been looking for a z31 car ..one will turn up .


i do want that turbo.... i pM'ed you hit me back :-P

I will be selling some of the things from my na motor it is in great shape at just about 123000 on the Od ..i will be using alot of things from it hoses , fuel rail ,python injectors ,termostat. anything thats left i may sell or keep i havnt figured it out yet .:icon3:

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I have that Z31 turbo its pretty cool it has a water cooled bareing section. I would shell out 3-4 hundred bucks for megasquirt. get some bigger injectors too. Maybe use your short block from your N/A engine that way you have a little higher compression and a better responce off the line but if you go that rout you will need to put an Intercooler, and while you're at it port your intake manifold for the 60mm TB off a 240sx. If you are looking for close to 250 WHP or so those are some of the things I would do to get into the range. But it depends on how much HP you want, and how much cash you are willing to spend. Good luck and keep us posted .


P.S. Great post! :burnout:

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i didnt get alot done today .

just messed around mostly put a second coat on the manifold.



did some intake cleaning. going to finish that up tomarrow turboproject3001.jpg


messed with the the na alittle .

some tuning then went for a drive she is running so good.

took this shot from the cell cam ..didnt turn out to well .




still have to wait for gaskets .parts store didnt get them in .also they dont have the manifold to turbo gastket ..do i have to order that from MSA ??

Only after i get turbo motor running , will add on my 240sx throttle body and ported intake. mabe a z31 ecu setup... i have found it best to get a older motor up and running strong befor you start boosting it up a bunch..make sure everything is in working order.then do some mods and see how she takes it ..

tomarrow is another day .mabe i will get something good done with it :icon10:

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wow, project seems to be moving at a good pace.


I agree though, it's always nice to get questionable parts working before you go and modify something that would put more stress on it and such.


Oh, and you meantioned a 5 speed conversion. Your ZX didn't come with a 5 speed? I didn't even know the ZXs had 4 speeds at all, and i've seen a fair amount of them.

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No No auto to 5speed convertion :-) ..already got 5 speed pedals installed .

flywheel is in the shop $30 bucks to have it litened up and resurfaced .

havnt order the clutch yet ..the driveline has what looks like new ujonts installed .the trany is from a low miles 79 parts car seems to spin and shift great .i wasnt to clear on the 5 speed convertion part sorry .i just havent gotten that far yet .it is going alot faster than i thought it would for sure.:-)

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Got some more done ..

oil pan is regasketed and installed .

crank angle sencor is all cleaned up

and installed .intake an ex manifold gasket is

on along with the ex manifold .still cleaning intake .



only FOUR more parts


DISSY. = WON ebay 81 reman $12.42 bills will have to buy cap and rotor.still

FLYWHEEL. = in shop $30 dallor pick up

CLUTCH. = ebay

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Nice job. The car is comming along nicely. I wouldn't bother spending time on painting the exhaust manifold though. Unless it's a real ceramic coating it won't last much past your first run..

I figured that much on mine. I used 1200 deg white paint. It still looks perfect and I've driven over 1200 miles on it. (turbo)

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NICE ..BLEACH ..i think iam going junk yard hunting today ..i mite try find some z31 stuff and a turbo if i can find one ...i do know where there is a 75 or 76

280z with a intake on it with out the runners .i like these intakes i think they look pretty good on the l28et less vac stuff .i may go to that junk yard or one other not sure yet .......i will be back later tonight :-)

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NO z31 cars:icon9:..intake is there i can remove it tomarrow for $30 bucks :P

didnt get to much done on my car today swap wize ..i got new lug nuts for my wheels the one's , i was using didnt seat all that well with the 7mm spacer that are on there... so i fixed that and then repainted the rims ..gray my homie had to do a trany swap on the turbo AE86 ..so i handed him tools

while he handled it up ..all better now :cool: .

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Looking great!


For all your gaskets you can get them cheaply off eBay or from http://www.roadraceengineering.com - thats where I got mine.


I would recommend Jet Coating your manifold, too late now as you have it all painted...but its a better coating that will keep the heat in the pipes and last a VERY long time and good to 2500F


Here is what their hottest coating looks like (also avail in black). This is my current project as well:







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that is pretty sweet .that is going to be a very nice setup ...

super stoked on seeing it thanks for posting some pics :mrgreen:.

i wish i could find some older Zcar stuff ..

i live so far out at the end of the world ..that i dought any made it out here.

made someday , ONE of us poping the hood on a old beater

under a tree will find that OS giken head..i would $@#! myself :icon44:

one Can only dream .there where a few that where shiped out .

someone has one somewhere:icon10:

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gray tryed to get the intake off that junk yard car yesturday...it was on a 78 280z with a n42 head ..

IT wouldnt come free .

ex bolts are striped ..so i said hell with it ..i wanted that intake just becuace i thought it wouldnt have a EGR but it did :icon50:....

so after reading some other posts. i striped my turbo intake and will be going with the 60mm throttle body setup ..i ported out the front with a little grinding wheel ..going to get a long wire wheel and do a lite port thought out the hole inside . found the post on not needing the spacer so iam going cut and tap my 240sx throttle body arm make a gasket , and just use a coupler for the j tube ..




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yes it is ..i couldnt figure it out ether !...got the 240sx throttle arm cut and messed with piece after piece trying to maker work ..still no luck ..iam going to take a breather and try a again later befor i throw this throttle body acrossed the car port and jump up and down on it ..break TIME .

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Here is the spacer you need - 1"



can be made at any machine shop very inexpensively.


Here is the J-Pipe I modified and I used a regular rubber coupling to mate it to the TB.



You have to cut down shaft of the TB only if it had cruise control. You have to use the original arm from your L28 and re-orient it to match the ball and arm linkage of the Z. Its easy once you sit with the parts infront of you.


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IAM a Bad BAD Man !:lmao:

A One inch spacer is not needed :icon45:.:mrgreen:..you have to cut the post.. thread it..

put a locking nut on ..then cut the spring plate up and drill a hole ..

take the stock spring from the stock throttle body twist it on there....

slide the cut up spring plate on..then twist on a nut to lock it all down :icon44:....it took all day to figure it out .i am slow but mabe someday my car will go fast..it opens and close freely with good spring pull back and a nice snap back feeling !iam going to grind off a little bit of the intake right where the arm attaches to the throttle arm .you can see it in the frist pic .the arm slides up and down freely but just to be safe that there is NO problem ever in this spot , the corner should be ground down just a little :burnout: .also i seem to get a few differnt spring spots this way ..you can have a stiff pedel or a not so stiff one just by turning the spring and hooking it to differnt spot ..stock spring spot seems to be the best and the stiffest .but you will need extra hand to twist it on there ...iam going to grind out the intake end just a little more and the corner in the moring ..i will post more pics then ...all in all it was tuff but worth it .

if u understand all that it will look like this ...:mrgreen:








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