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Full on resto mod of a 240Z

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Hey guys,

 

I've been restoring and modding this 240Z for a year and a half now. I have it posted in the 4cyl forum because it's an SR20 build, but someone there pointed out that this needed to be posted here in the open forum to get "the traffic it deserves" or whatever. This is my 14th Datsun Z. The other 13 didn't get the attention I wanted to give them because of money. Now, that's not an issue. I hope you enjoy my story. But I will say that, going through the gambit with Zs in the past (V8s, etc), I found that I really appreciate the Z as it looked from the factory and really don't appreciate all the crazy cut-and-bondo jobs that these beautiful cars fall prey too all too often. That's my opinion. I wanted to take the Z, make it perfect, and update it where it needed it. Now, there's not a drop of bondo in it. We replaced all rust with metal. Laser aligned every gap and line. I can say that it is truly perfect.

 

Here are a few pics of how it was when I got it:

 

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Every bit of trim on the car is new. The interior, although not in the car yet, is every drop new-old-stock. I hit the jackpot with finding every bit of the interior from Datsun. When I say every piece, I mean even the little fasteners and gaskets inside the doors. The dash. Everything. I went back with the stock color too. The bottom of the car is actually perfect tint-matched rhino-liner.

 

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Here's where we start having fun. We welded in AZC camber plates. Look at these in the front. I think that's pretty clean. AZC coilovers. AZC differential mounts. 300ZX Turbo axles. Modern Motorsports half shafts. AZC 5 lug conversion. Wilwood 6 piston brakes on the front and 4 on the rear (discs there too). Nismo LSD. AZC quick steering knuckles. Restored steering rack. Vildini SR20 cradle. Suspension Techniques Sway Bars.

 

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In a diversion from the total stock look (other than wheels/tires/lugs/stance), I also had all the holes welded shut on the bumpers and had them triple chromed. I also will be installing a chin spoiler, because... well... the car needs it. We all know these lift at speeds. I'm using an Aeromotive fuel system, and the pump is mounted in the spare tire well. All fuel, brake, and clutch lines are brand new. All light lenses and such have just been restored. McKinney Motorsports aluminum radiator and intercooler. We're making our own mounts, as you can see in one of these pics. It's not done yet.

 

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The engine is an S15 SR20DET. 2003 model. The transmission is from an S14. The S15 6 speed is for sale. National Speed (http://www.nationalspeedinc.com) has built the engine, totally. We're looking for 400HP with no lag. I need to get all the details up here, but this isn't the 4cyl forum anyway. Brian Crower cam, valvetrain, pistons, etc. Greddy intake. I had a Full Race exhaust manifold, but it got in the way of the steering shaft. National Speed is making one for it. AEM standalone ECU. Competition Clutch lightweight flywheel and race clutch. It will likely have a carbon fiber driveshaft. These are pics of a test fit. We also fully restored the gas tank.

 

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OK. So that brings you up to date. We're working hard. Thanks to Guy and Scott at Miller Brothers Hot Rod Barn in North Wilkesboro, NC. Guy did all the work. I stood around and pointed, thought really hard, and took pics. The Z will be at a show in Myrtle Beach, SC at the end of March. However, it probably won't be finished. We're getting there though! I never thought that it would cost this much time and money to get a perfect Z. When it's running, I'm going to build the stock L24 just to have on a stand in the garage. I think that's cool.

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OK. So that brings you up to date. We're working hard. Thanks to Guy and Scott at Miller Brothers Hot Rod Barn in North Wilkesboro, NC. Guy did all the work. I stood around and pointed, thought really hard, and took pics. The Z will be at a show in Myrtle Beach, SC at the end of March. However, it probably won't be finished. We're getting there though! I never thought that it would cost this much time and money to get a perfect Z. When it's running, I'm going to build the stock L24 just to have on a stand in the garage. I think that's cool.

 

!!!! I used to live in North Wilkesboro, and my brother and his ex wife lived in Asheville for a few years while they were in school at UNCA!! My dad's 72 240 (My first memory; THE Z CAR in my mind, like, numero uno) was totalled by a ten point buck taking a leap out of the forest on one side of 115, (between Wilkesboro and Statesville) onto his hood, then into the woods on the other side of the road. Datsun went into the ditch, Buck went off in the brush A-OK.

 

One time my Uncle was visiting in HIS tricked out 72, and blasted by my schoolbus.. all my classmates were instantly glued to the side of the bus asking if that was a porsche or what?!?!

 

ahhh, good ol north wilkesboro. Used to know an awesome restaurant there on the Yadkin River.....

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Thanks everyone! I really appreciate it.

 

723, I chose an SR20 for these reasons:

 

I decided that, in my opinion, anything over 400HP is really undriveable as a "sports car" in the Z. Sure, I can make a novelty car that people talk about or are amazed at... and I can tub it and build a drag car. But to actually use all of the techniques of sports car driving, with the weight of the Z, 400 was max. Also, with this, I wanted to be sure that I could get smooth power delivery... no spiking on the powerband.

 

For these first two, just about any of the swaps will do. VQ - RB - SR. I've done a V8 before and that isn't my cup of tea. I feel it takes the identity of a great car away and makes it a wannabe. I also know that I'm not getting this kind of reliable smooth power out of the L series engine. Maybe someone is doing it, and I really respect that. But I wanted a genuine Nissan swap. Lastly, I didn't even consider a JZ or anything else. Just my opinion and answering your question, but I think the Z deserves more than that... having just any random heart put in it because we want to be creative and happen to own the unfortunate Datsun.

 

So, the VQ, the SR, and the RB. I think the VQ needs more revs. I think it needs more room to breathe, and I think it doesn't "feel" like a good engine to me. In the 350Z, I think it feels like someone needs to take out the rotating mass and balance it. Every 350Z that I've driven: turbo, supercharged, and NA, feels like this. Don't know why. However it is brilliantly torquey. So that left me the SR and RB. Both are more than capable of giving me the 400HP number. Both can even get that peak number with a beautiful dyno curve. I looked at many of each engine before making my decision. The RB is incredible, but I don't get why it's in the Zs all around. I do get the story of it, and think that's awesome. I love 240Zs with it. But I wonder if they really drive it well or if it's a talking piece. The SR is so much lighter and will mount so much more aft than the RB will that to see the setup scales of one car to the next the front wheels would be carrying SUCH higher numbers that only a race car driver can appreciate. This can with it's uber-long hood needs no more help in sticking even more weight even further out to the snout. The SR does the job I want it to do and is the lightest engine I've mentioned. Plus, although it's cool and JDM, it is quite plentiful in modification parts. Everything has been very easy to get ahold of (other than a new wiring harness).

 

All the power, but compact weight... all behind the steering rack. And my heart, unlike some other swaps, isn't repulsed by the abonation. I'll never feel like it was a redneck frankenstein.

 

That's my opinion. I don't want to make any enemies here. Just answering your question to the best of my ability.

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OK, I need to paint my car now! I used to think I had the nicest lime/yellow Z in the state, but yours is the second 240Z of that color I've seen this year that absolutely blows mine out of the water!

 

^(#^$*@! (fumbles around for case of flat black spray bombs)

 

PS. Good Job! I really love what you've done to it. Can't wait to see it in person.

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