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Street Mods for stock 280Z?

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Well, I owe you all an update. I'm toward the end of break-in. Lot's of time was spent getting the inside fender/firewall welded up correctly and I also had some problems with the cam (not my fault or cost), so another had to be reground, along with lash pads. I end up with 10.3:1 compression (no detonation detected on 93 octane) with stock EFI so far, Stage 2 cam w/triple ground valves and Isky springs, 6-3-2 header, 2.5" exhaust. Man does she run now!


It was already lowered with Eibach progressive springs and KYB struts, and has Brembo rotors/Toyota calipers w/ceramic pads. Interior is done stock except steering wheel and stereo.


I did replace the headlight long ago, but now the other has a rock ding. Next will be some sheet metal work done on the floorpans, though it's been fiberglassed and is dry for the time being. Front airdam and rear spoiler needed. And I've got to get rid of those bumpers!

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Figured I'd chime in with what I thought were some of the best dollar/fun ratio mods I've done...drivetrain. I only have an S30 because my 83 NA zx 2+2 succumbed to its rust and I needed an new chassis. I swapped in the 3.90 diff (should be able to find one for next to nothing, comes in 280ZX 2+2s) along with an OBX helical LSD ($400). I also swapped in the close ratio 5 speed found in 82 & 83 zx's. All together that combo completely transformed the car and made much better use of the available power, and you could probably assemble all the parts for under a grand. 

Edited by m1ghtymaxXx
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+1 on the upgraded headlights, which can be accomplished extremely inexpensively by driving the headlights directly off the alternator vs running through the combo switch.  Search "headlight alternator relay mod" and you should get lots of hits.


Also, didn't see anything about swapping out the stock seats for something more supportive (and often more comfortable).  LOTS of great ideas in the "seat swap list" threads under 'Interior'.  Also a very cheap upgrade if you take your time to find some nice, used replacement seats.


Keep up the good work!

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  • 8 years later...



Curious as to how the stock EFI is holding up so far with those mods? Did you upgrade flat top pistons by any chance?


I’ve got an n42 block/head/manifold with  an intake, a Borla big throttle body(manifold ported to match), and headers on mine. My car is numbers matching and I’m about to rebuild my engine, but would like to keep the stock EFI. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find much on more than bolt on mods on a stock EFI. I’ve also got a 280zx distributor yet to be installed along with the later ZX trans and diff. 



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