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Lowrider's 260z

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So, today with help from my daddy-o I finished stripping my wrecked 260. Were hauling the body off to the scrap yard, but not after the motor, dash, wiring, interior, and heater were removed. We kept the motor attached to the cross member and lifted the body over the motor/transmission.

I also received my clutch today. I tore into my car but wasn't able to finish in a timely manor, Ill wrap it up tomorrow after school!











I also snapped a few pictures of my car while it was parked outside the house today. I figured since you all havent seen the stance of the car after the new tires, It was about time!






And the new clutch!





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I'm not sure why I keep neglecting this thread. Since last time, I've installed my clutch, synapse bov, Taurus electric fan, and a gm cs130 alternator.

The synapse bov is one of the nicest units Ive ever used! top quality craftsmanship, and remarkably responsive. I absolutely love it!



For the longest time my mechanical fan bugged me because it "didn't fit" with the clean-ness of the newly developing engine/engine bay. I finally took the leap and picked up a 3.6l Taurus 2 speed fan from the local pull-a-part. I also grabbed a CS130 alternator off of a mid 90's Pontiac sunfire. The CS130 is a 100-120 amp 3 wire gm alternator, I basically followed the instructions of another member on here and modified the lower alternator mounting bracket to align the CS130. After I got the higher amp alternator installed I went about "massaging" the taurus shroud to fit between the radiator and the water pump pulley. After a liberal amount of cutting I got it to fit with a little room to spare (like 1/4 inch clearance between the crank pulley and the fan motor). I used a Volvo 2 speed fan relay, in conjunction with a BMW 2 speed fan sensor/switch. I was fortunate enough to have the appropriately sized tap, to tap my thermostat housing so the sensor would fit. This fan is great! I should have done this modification a long time ago. Sitting in stand still traffic, nothing more than a slow cycling of low is needed to keep the car at operating temperature. The high speed will also lend its self useful when I finish my ac system. Anyhow I don't have many pictures to accommodate this update, but some are better than none I suppose?









On a completely different note, I work at Dollywood's Splash Country as a lifeguard instructor during the summer. Well this at the end of this summer Splash Country hosted the Shades Of The Past car show. We had our entire parking lot full of beautiful cars, and had the top 25 around the emptied wave pool. Fortunate as I was, I got to work the show! Talk about being in heaven! I got to see a ton of cars all while getting paid to do so. During the entire day I was unable to take any pictures of the cars, but as they were announcing awards at the wave pool, I walked to the top of one of our structures and snapped a few pictures of the crowds huddled around. I hope everyone enjoys!







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The latest project is the fab of a fuel surge tank. I started this project to finally to my fuel system right. When I first did my fuel injection swap,running NA, I ran a 90 degree fitting from the gas tank drain into a filter, into an aftermarket replacement pump, feeding the fuel rail. When I first installed the turbo with an FMU for fuel management, the one pump wouldn't suffice, so I added another pump in series to help with the high pressures. Fast forward to last week when I realized that around 5500 The car's AFRs' would start to rise into unsafe territory. I thought it was a fuel restriction so I decreased my timing under boost, increased the begesus out of the fuel table in the range it was leaning out, and took it for a drive. The drive backed up my assumption that I had a restriction. To finally put my fuel system to bed, I decided to fab a surge tank. For sake of packaging I wanted to go with an in-tank pump in the surge tank. I found a Walbro 255Lph fuel pump for under $100, I bought it based solely on the fact that the seller had great customer service and worked with me to include the filter sock I needed. The next decision was for the feed pump. I finally settled on a carter 72Gph pump. Summit was selling these pumps for $91.00 shipped, but lucky me found the same pump on eBay for $65 shipped!


I did some calculations that I would like to have a 1.5 liter tank including the lost volume due to pump. Finally I settled on 4in diameter tubing, after a call to the local metal company I procured a 4x12x.25 tubing and a chunk of 3/8in thick 6061 plate that the top flange was going to be made of. Picked everything up and went to work!


Tacking the .25in bottom on the tube.





All welded up!



Cutting the center out of the 3/8in top flange:



Cutting the outside of the flange out:



Tacking the flange on







Top all welded up and the top plate made



All welded up, I'm still working on my tig welding. Not to bad for someone who taught their self.



The top plate drilled and if you look on the table you will see the 1/4npt bungs I made:



Bung placement:



Fuel pump stay and bung welded on the underside of the lid:



Fuel pump bung welded on the topside:



Fuel pump mounted:



Everything finished and welded up:




When I get everything mounted I will post installed pictures. I still have yet to determine the mounting brackets but that shouldn't be that difficult.

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Update on the fuel surge tank. I finally got under the car to figure out how I was going to mount everything. I finally ended up deciding on mounting it to the factory fuel pump upright mount, and the control arm mount. I then used a flat plate to conjoin the two mounts. Determined the placement of everything, then made mounts for the tank. Welded everything up, all that's left now is to run the fuel lines and electrical.























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I forgot to mention that the construction of the surge tank, along with the pumps cost me right at $200. $65 for the carter, $95 for the walbro, $25 for the material, and $15 for the brass fittings. Budget build FTW!


I'm also in a dilemma. Should I paint, powder coat, or leave it alone?

Edited by lowrider

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I forgot to mention that the construction of the surge tank, along with the pumps cost me right at $200. $65 for the carter, $95 for the walbro, $25 for the material, and $15 for the brass fittings. Budget build FTW!


Looks pretty slick, I've been planning something similar and hope it comes out as clean as yours. Black powdercoat definitely makes it professional looking.


Care to share the specs of the pumps you used (or better yet, part #s)? :D

Edited by LanceVance

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Looks pretty slick, I've been planning something similar and hope it comes out as clean as yours. Black powdercoat definitely makes it professional looking.


Care to share the specs of the pumps you used (or better yet, part #s)? :D

Thanks, I'm glad I decided no the powdercoat now it looks tons better!

I got both pumps off of eBay. The Carter is a 72 GPH low pressure pump, PN: P4594. The Walbro is an in-tank 255LPH PN: GSS342.


I'm waiting on the weather to put the assembly in. I can't wait to see how well it works!

Edited by lowrider

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This passed weekend I got a change to plumb and finally mount the surge tank. I found out as soon as I tried to hit boost for the first time that I had a major problem. Luckily while I made a WOT run in third gear I was data-logging. At around 3rd gear under boost it felt like I was hitting fuel cut. The data log show that at one point my over-run boost setting had cut fuel, no big deal, I turned the boost controller down a hair and went for another run. Second run did the exact same thing, except this time I caught the rpm it was happening at. I looked at the log, the PWM and Duty cycles were normal but my AFR's went from 11.4 to 16.00(limit of my wideband) in under a second. Fuel flow. Since It was an abrupt change, that means a total lack of fuel. I had designed the surge tank to hold over 30 seconds of fuel with my injectors at 100% duty cycle, so what the heck? This "fuel cut" was happening at less than 3 seconds into the WOT run so the surge tank isn't full. That got me thinking, I had changed the fuel pick up to the stock one inside the tank when I put the surge tank in v.s. the "ghetto sump" off of the drain that I had been running. Low and behold, I changed back to the drain for the inlet. Problem solved!!! I suppose the in-tank pick up is partially clogged, keeping the carter from flowing enough to fill the surge tank all the way during normal driving circumstances but not restrict it enough to cavitate the Walbro inside.


As well as dealing with the fuel starvation issue I also changed my alternator. I had been using a CS130 which is a 100 amp GM unit. Since the cold weather has blown in I have to use the heater regularly, especially at night. The alternator couldn't take it at idle; The lights, fan, and the blower motor all running at once. I did some research and found the bigger brother of the CS130, the CS144. The CS144 delivered a whopping 140 amp charging capability along with an astonishing 95 amp output at 2000 rpm(alternator rpm). Coupled with the Datsun v-groove pulley that put the alternator at 2000rpm as the engine idles at 1000rpm! Searched on here and found that a few users were using them with high regards. A trip to the local pull-a-part delivered me a CS144 from a 95 Caddy for a wallet busting $25 with a 30 day warranty! When I put the old alternator on I had to modify the upper adjuster/ bracket. I used the stock piece, although I really wasn't satisfied with the adjustment range. So as I researched I found a thread by KTM adapting the 144, In this thread he used a turnbuckle from Lowe's for the upper bracket; I followed suit with one from Ace Hardware. I turned a spacer on the lathe to fit in the eyelet of my 5/16 turnbuckle that centered both the block and alternator mounting bolts. I installed the alternator using my existing mount, wiring, and belt. Problem solved! I turned everything on, lights, fan, stereo, blower motor, EVERYTHING. The new alternator took it like a champ! I now don't have to worry with having to rev my car slightly when I get caught in traffic at night!


Anywhoo, This update comes without pictures. Hopefully I'll remember to snap a few pictures of the alternator and the mounted surge tank the next time I get the car on the lift.

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I hope everyone reading this had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For Christmas Santa delivered a set of MSA sway bars, 1" front and 7/8" rear. I took me roughly an hour to install both a few days after Christmas. It was surprising the size difference of the stock to the new pieces. Definitely made the stock sways look wimpy.


I also had ordered a turbo blanket from a vender off of another forum for a whopping $40. The main reason I hadn't gotten one up until this point is the simple fact of expense. The eBay blankets are going for $100 all day long. Due to the way I made my wastegate bracket for my holset, I have to make two holes in the blanket for everything to play nicely. I couldn't bring myself to cut up a brand new turbo blanket that cost $100! So I jumped at the chance to get one for cheap. It was a nice piece for the money it seemed really durable. I punched a few holes in it and on it went.


I was bored one night and in lieu of wanting to build a stainless exhaust, I decided to practice my stainless welding on a length of stainless tubing that was laying around. I decided to make a "boso" muffler tip that bolts to my muffler. It was a novel idea, but it served its purpose, The welds turned out pretty good. I've convinced myself to try and make a full exhaust, now its a matter of getting the time and materials.


Onward to the pictures!




















I snapped a few pictures of my surge tank mounted while I had the wheel off doing the sways.







The car has temporary been put into hibernation. I need to do some maintenance like remove the tank and get it boiled out. I also need to remove the seats and por15 the floor pans and various other misc things before it hits the roads this spring.

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January, I put the car to rest for the winter and did a little maintenance work. I had had the problem with the car "running out of fuel" So I thought that my tank might have some rust and junk in it, so out it came to be boiled out with muradic acid. This stuff is mean and I highly suggest using a respirator when working with it. I also took advantage of the situation and tried to pull a few dents from the underside. After I cleaned the inside of the tank, it received a liberal coating of por15 gas tank sealer. The tank sealer was then followed by spraying the exterior of the tank with bedliner.








The next thing I did was take care of my floor boards. When I had originally welded in patch panels, I painted the floors with crappy enamel paint. I started noticing a few bubbles in the paint so I decided to take the opportunity to take them down to bare metal and apply por15. No longer would I have to worry about more holes appearing in my floors. So began the long tedious task of stripping and coating my floors.






I had grown disgusted with the way that my upper intercooler mount looked. So, I cut and remade it from a piece of 1/16" aluminum that I had laying about. I also redid my lower valence connector. The original connector was essentially a proof of concept, and was really only meant as a temporary solution. So, I bought a good sized sheet of 1/8" aluminum and used the old valence connector as a template. The new one is way sturdier and has my lower intercooler mounts incorporated into it, as well as mounting points that anchor it to the lower portion of the radiator support. Unfortunately I didnt take any pictures of the construction of Valence connector V:2.



Winter subsides:



In exchange for welding up his intercooler piping, a friend is letting me loan his momo-monte carlo Indefinitely. I also picked up an electronic boost controller, unfortunately this retro HKS unit did'nt work.





I drove the car for a few months, until my water took a dump on me. I somehow lucked into a small stock of rebuild diesel water pumps so on went one of these bad boys.








Unfortunately due to the size of the Taurus fan I have to remove my radiator each time I would otherwise need to remove just my fan, that wouldn't fly. I was looking at completing my AC retrofit and the fan wouldn't allow enough room for my new trigger wheel, so away it went. I bought two 12" slim fans off of Fleabay. I made a shroud out of some left over aluminum that would mount the fans to the stock shroud mounts. Everything came out clean and perfect.






Mounted the AC compressor



Back together



Then I went on a cruise with my girlfriend to Mexico, which stopped at Progreso and Cozumel.







When I initially went with the Edis system and crank trigger, I turned the second groove off of a stock dampener. In doing this I cursed my self further down the road when I decided to put AC on the car. The groove that the compressor uses was removed and the wheel in its place. So Before I could finish my AC I had to redesign. I came across an insert that bolted into the stock 260z pulley. This was the same diameter at the first groove, so I chucked this extension in the lathe and turned it down to fit the trigger wheel from an escort. Like the old dampener I had planned on press fitting the wheel on, however I got impatient turning the groove off that I fubared my press fit tolerance, needless to say I ended up welding the Wheel onto the extension. The neat thing about using this extension piece is the fact that all I had to do to my sensor mount was space it out a bit. After I replaced my old dampener with a new-old one in conjunction with the extension and I was good to go. Then I pulled a vacuum on the AC system and charged it with R-12. 38 degree air out of the center vent was wondrous on this summer's 95 degree days.






I drove the car for the remainder of the summer along the way, I picked up a full stainless exhaust from a local guy off of Craigslist. It had a 2.5" downpipe that transitioned to 3" under the car and lead to a dynamax bullet muffler. I got this exhaust for a steal, but the downpipe wasn't going to work with the holset. So I removed the downpipe till the 3" portion and made up my own from some scrap 3" mandrel stainless bends a friend had laying about. I placed V-band clamps at the end of the downpipe and around the rear sway bar for easy removal.






I have had some trouble with the car smoking when cold. I really didn't pay it any attention until it became too bad to ignore. The car would billow blue smoke when it was coming up to temp. I checked the plugs and they showed no indication of burning oil... the turbo. I pulled my air filter to see that the compressor wheel had contacted the housing, I pulled the holset to rebuild it. G-pop shop was wanting $195 shipped for a compressor wheel and rebuild kit. I found a store on Ebay that sold entire center cartridges complete with compressor and turbine wheels for $180 shipped, I went that route. The cartridge arrived on the slow boat from socal, it took nearly 12 days to get here. I put everything back together and it's back running strong again.










Whew, now we are back up to date.

Edited by lowrider

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The fitment of the wing isn't bad. Its a little off in some places(its not drastic), but that is to be expected with a piece that old.


Thanks for the complements! Yes, I have it ran under the differential. I initially looked into doing an oval exhaust under the car for ground clearance but that wasn't practical cost wise. I've hit my exhaust a few times since I put it on, I'm more careful of bumps and road defects now because of it.

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Again, I'm neglectful keeping the thread up to date. I have been enjoying the car driving it back and forth to school every day. I fixed on of my major issues with the car if you have read through the entire thread shortly after I build my surge tank, I was experiencing a "fuel cut" type feeling under boost. Turns out after a lot of head scratching and another problem occurring that the cutting out was caused by a bad ground to my relay board. I reran my ground and all is well again.

Now to the gory stuff! To find this out, I had a major failure of my dampener causeing the car to not run due to the timing being out of whack (via crank trigger movement). It left my dead on the side of the road scratching my head. I had spark and fuel but the car would not run. I had AAA tow the car back to the house only to find that my dampener bolt, which I had liberally loc-tighted in place, had backed out. This allowed the pulley to wobble back and forth with the key keeping it in place. You would reasonably believe that the key would shear, not the case. The dampener gave way and broke a sizable chunk of the snout OFF, destroying the front seal in the process.






Lucky for me I had a spare hanging out on the shelf. The only problem was that it was from a 280 instead of a 260. The 280 dampener's outer most pulley is wider in turn not allowing my crank trigger extension to align with the center bore, so a hub centric spacer was made. I turned it really quickly out of a dampener "washer" on the lathe. Fit like a glove and was ready for installation. I bought a longer crank bolt, used red loc-tight, and torqued the crap out of the crank bolt putting the new dampener on.









Since rerouting the MegaSquirt ground the car ran good! sooo...I turned the boost up a hair. I set my low boost for 15psi and the high to 19psi, and I began tuning for high boost.

Not much happened for a while I just mainly drove and tuned the car.


A buddy of mine the other day called me and said that he had been given a 3" exhaust off of a friends' S2000. attached to this exhaust was an Apexi N1 muffler in like new shape. I had always wanted one and he offered to sell it,I was able to nab it for an easy $60. We went and picked it up Saturday evening and worked into the night to get it on the car. I didn't really take an pictures during the build just a bunch of the finished product.




















The finished product looks and sounds great! MUCH better than the bullet muffler that came with the exhaust. I also took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the rest of the exhaust. Please don't mind the mess at the base of the downpipe, when the turbo gave out it stained the crap out of it with oil...


Exhaust clip:





I start an internship in Asheville, NC in January making a decent amount of money. It is my plan to use a portion of that to buy coil-overs, wheels, and tires. Until then, to remedy my recessed wheels I bought four 1" wheel spacers to make that car look more aggressive. I got a bundle of 240sx spacers on fleabay for a whole $110 shipped. The reason I went with the 240sx spacers because of the lug threads. It seems as though all the other sellers only provide theirs in 12x1.5 vs the 12x1.25 that I needed. The down side to these spacers are the fact that they are a 66mm center bore, so that means they wont fit over the front hubs. Solution: chuck the fronts on the lathe and open them up! I actually received the spacers today and I couldn't wait to put the back on to see how it would look. Pictures tell the tale:








Huge difference! I cant wait to get the fronts taken care of and put on tomorrow!


Nowwww we are up to date.


Til next time, "See you space cowboy"

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Again, build thread neglected…

The car has been progressing nicely since I’ve left off. As I said, I did an engineering Coop in Asheville North Carolina from January until August. During that time I made pretty good money, so with that disposable income come parts for the toy! After saving up some cash I went ahead and bought a set of wheels and tires. I finally settled on a set of Rota Shakotans  after browsing for a few months. The final specs were: 15x9 0 offset accompanied by 225/50/15 tires. The fitment was spot on, the only modification I had to do was run a set of .25†wheel spacers on the front to keep the wheel off the stock spring perch.














I ran the car around for a bit like this while I saved up for coilovers. Then came the time, the time for coils! I settled on coilovers from McKinney motorsports. The fact that the ride height and preload were independently adjustable is what sold me. I placed the order and a few weeks later, this arrived on my door step:




I continued to drive the car until I had ample time to put the coilovers on. I took a few pictures before and after. Here are the before pics.






Then it was time to dig in! I started by hacking the strut tubes off the front and rear struts. The threaded inserts were then Tig welded on, and immediately followed by a few coats of textured black/gold flake. Camber plate installation was the most time consuming by far. I cut the strut tops out with a cut off wheel and installed the camber plates from underneath. After it was all said and done I ground down the welds and applied a layer of POR patch for rust protection/filler.



















For the rear, I wanted provisions to keep my strut tower bar without welding tabs onto the camber plate. While I was at my Coop I had access to a CNC “lazer beam†cutter. A quick solid works part was soon turned into a plate that will attach to tabs to hold the strut bar and bolt to the McKinney camber plate.







 And finally the after photos:





I drove the car for a few months like this. During this time in Asheville I got into whitewater kayaking, so it only seemed logical to get a roof rack so I could haul my boat around. I picked up a Thule on craigslist a couple of miles away for $50. I used it for a few weeks but the howling of wind whistling between the bars and the roof were driving me crazy. Yet again, I turned to laser cut metal for the solution. I made a cardboard template of the wind deflector I wanted to make, and drafted it on SolidWorks with a nifty “datsun†cut out of one of the corners.  Took it home (after paying for it of course), made mounts out of aluminum, then painted it textured black/gold flake like the strut tubes. It turned out excellent and no more whistling!










I also made a pretty sweet key chain on the laser



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Okay, we’re partly there! While driving spiritedly in Asheville I hurt the motor, It started smoking/missing after a good romping at 18psi one day this summer. It was found that number 5’s plug was fouled and the compression was down on that cylinder. After the compression test, the goal was to give the motor even more heck. It just so happened I was browsing craigslist and got an amazing deal on a 79’ ZX motor and trans a few months earlier. The kid had trouble to getting it running right he said it would do nothing but foul the plugs. He was pulling it to go V8 and ditch the engine. I ended up getting the motor, Trans, and efi wiring for $50. The motor came with new Taylor wires, new clutch(240mm), new cap, new rotor button, Nissan remaned starter, and a few other goodies.


Anyhow, I moved back to Knoxville to start school back in fall 13’. I decided now would be the perfect time to swap the bottom ends out. I got the 79 motor out of the storage container and started disassembling it.













I then started removing components from the car. The intercooler piping, exhaust, and trans were among the first things taken off. Finally the motor was ready to come out. I had always questioned my dad in buying a forklift; however I can’t argue that it was a bad decision now. This thing made it so easy to remove the engine!















While the motor was out, I decided to paint the engine bay.  After smoothing out the camber plates a little more I primed and then painted the bay semi flat black. Needless to say, the engine compartment looks 1000x better now!







With the old motor out, It was a matter of swapping parts over to the new block. Before I started doing that I decided to check the rod and main bearings on the new bottom end. Everything looked good and they also plasti-gauged within spec. For this motor It was decided to us the P90 that I had sitting on the shelf, I also ran across a TEP turbo cam in the classifieds here I used in this motor.  The cam was unused for the exception of setting the lash. It spec’d out at .460 lift with 272 intake/274 exhaust duration. I bought a set of lash pads from MSA and a set of outer Valve springs from Rebello. MSA didn’t have a set of pads the thickness I needed, so I had to turn them down in the lathe. I also splurged on an exhaust housing for the Holset. I was getting tired of the lag of the stock 12cm^3 housing so after $180 I had a .63 AR housing that bolted up! The only thing I had to modify was the down pipe, which was no big deal. After I got the head back from the machine shop, things started going together quickly.  Pictures!!












I got the motor set in the wee hours of the night.





Immediately after I got the motor in, my buddy gave me an excellent deal on a set of Recaro seats. After picking up some metal, brackets were made and the seats were fit into the car.

These were to test fit the seats before I actually bought them. In the second picture you can kind of see my roll bar. I forgot to mention it before, I picked it up second hand from the same friend as the one who sold me the seats.









I got the car running and drove it for a few weeks, then decided to try and buff the faded paint out a bit. It turned out better than I could have hoped for the age and the shape the paint was in.









The car must love me! Haha Ironically there was a paint chip on the roof in a heart shape. I decided it had to stay!



A few pictures after I got the whole thing rubbed out.





That pretty much has us up to date to how the car currently sits. Last week, I bought an aluminum crossflow radiator for it, but I haven’t installed it yet.




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Great build! .. I really love your z.  Tones of great work.


I love those wheels.  I just they made them in 15x10 or 11 for the rear. tire choice looks great too.   Motor is really killer.  


The roof rack .. well ... you should get a $500 pos jeep :-)


really killer z!

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