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S30 VG30ET swap

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So I've been pretty busy recently with my fleet, I replaced a bunch of metal on my VG30 powered 69 Datsun 510 Wagon....well over a hundred hours right there. I also picked up 3 300zx's over the last 2 1/2 months and 2 of them were rusted out pieces of junk, but they ran at least. Basically scrapped 2 of those 300zx's in the last month to make one really nice 86 300ZX na2t. I recently finished swapping the interior to black and a bunch of minor things since then so now I get to just drive it.

 

Now on to the really neglected project.

73 240z. I've owned this car for 13+ years. It's been a shell for most of it's life, and slowly over the years I picked up various parts until I amassed 90% of the parts needed to complete it.

My goals for the car have been pretty set from the beginning. VG30ET

So for the last 2 weeks I've been on holiday's. The first week I did the black dash swap for the Z31 and some other little things.

This week I made the big decision and trailered the S30 into work.

First order of business was getting body panels bolted down and doors latched. Next was swapping in 88T front hubs to 5 lug the front of the car. Future plans to get Modern Motorsport rear stub axles and Z31 flange adapters to be able to run Z31 rear CV's.

The time finally came to mount the engine and transmission. After an exhaustive search for other VG30 swapped 240z's I gave up.

Only one still documented on the internet, ZR8ED on HybridZ but I didn't like his mounting setup.

BLOZ UP from here started to do one but never completed it and the pictures aren't up anymore but I liked his set up a little bit more.

Anyway I figured a way to mount the transmission that centered the shifter perfectly without cutting one mount and still utilize the stock mount and cross member.....with that out of the way I dropped the engine in from above and bolted it up to the trans. VG30 fits nicely in the bay with room to spare.

A couple wood blocks and an angle meter and the engine position was set. Next up is making engine mounts. Started with the passenger side. There is a little issue with alternator placement with where I want to put the mount so I came up with a solution. all thats left is the drivers side mount and it'll be fully installed. I will be building my own exhaust manifolds and relocating the turbo to clear the steering shaft but at least it's in.

Tomorrow I will be building the drivers side mount. Here are the pics so far.

 

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Cool!

 

I scrapped the S30s I had. I also scrapped the VG short that I had as well.

 

But I recently acquired a really nice S30 and I have a running VG30ET + CLSD. I like your mounts, I might do something similar, because I have recently decided to make the engine bay "reversible". That is to where I can unplug the motor easily and swap between the original L series and the VG.

 

However, I'm pretty busy with school so nothing major is planned right now. I'm just trying to get the S30 in decent driving shape with the L. Mainly just suspension fixes.

 

How thick are those mounts though? What modifications did you do to the transmission crossmember? Any? Doesn't look like it. Can it get in to 5th without hitting anything? The shifter, that is.

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Cool!

 

I scrapped the S30s I had. I also scrapped the VG short that I had as well.

 

But I recently acquired a really nice S30 and I have a running VG30ET + CLSD. I like your mounts, I might do something similar, because I have recently decided to make the engine bay "reversible". That is to where I can unplug the motor easily and swap between the original L series and the VG.

 

However, I'm pretty busy with school so nothing major is planned right now. I'm just trying to get the S30 in decent driving shape with the L. Mainly just suspension fixes.

 

How thick are those mounts though? What modifications did you do to the transmission crossmember? Any? Doesn't look like it. Can it get in to 5th without hitting anything? The shifter, that is.

The mounts are thicker than the cross member mount pedestals are and also thicker than original L-series mounts. The shifter is centered perfectly as you can see in the pictures so no problems in 5th.

The transmission cross member I just left stock, I sleeved the original location for the cross member, ran longer bolts and attached the cross member to the back side of the floor mount. It's solid there and also makes the transmission perfectly located.

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Awesome work man...I've got a VG30ET sitting on a stand, begging to go into my S30 as well. Thanks for the pics of the mounts, keep us updated on your progress. I like your thinking on the engine mounts; definitely saving these pics for reference once I take mine off the road to begin the swap. Are you thinking about fabbing up a turbo relocation pipe similar to the one SatanZ sells for the z31 crowd? This should be a sweet build man, green with envy!

 

 

Cheers,

 

JK

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Awesome work man...I've got a VG30ET sitting on a stand, begging to go into my S30 as well. Thanks for the pics of the mounts, keep us updated on your progress. I like your thinking on the engine mounts; definitely saving these pics for reference once I take mine off the road to begin the swap. Are you thinking about fabbing up a turbo relocation pipe similar to the one SatanZ sells for the z31 crowd? This should be a sweet build man, green with envy!

 

 

Cheers,

 

JK

 

I will be making my own manifolds with a set of blank flanges I picked up a while back. I could use the headers from my extra VG30.com kit for a 510 and NA VG30 it to get it running quicker as the headers look like they would fit but I don't see me completing this anytime soon. I need to locate an engine and dash harness as mine has disappeared along with my good clean matching rear struts.

 

Yes, I'm liking this design more and more. I want to be able to swap back to the L when the VG inevitably blows up. Keeping the same transmission cross-member unmodified is also a plus. That and it's still a FMR setup.

Yeah once the motor was in the car the design just came to me and seemed like my best option. The only thing still left to work out is the alternator tensioner bracket, exhaust manifolds would be custom fab in most swaps anyway.

 

Keep up the good work! I would at the same phase right now if I had the guts to tear apart a clean 89 z31T

Yeah, my winter car is an 86 Z31 na2t, but I still have an extra turbo motor kicking around.

 

I should put my spare NA VG30 into it and turbo that but it's at home nowhere near my shop.

I have too many spare engines.

Edited by vgwagon

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Small update, suspension and drivetrain stuff only.

After a long wait I finally received my driveline and suspension parts from Modern-Motorsports.

 

I ordered the coilover sleeve and spring kit, billet aluminum front hubs in zero offset, billet rear stub axles, and billet rear CV adapter flanges.

 

I removed the old spring perches and installed the collar for the threaded sleeve to rest on.

Painted the strut and installed the parts.....can I mention how much I hate grease!

 

Here are the pics.

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I'm having problems mounting my alternator like yours, it comes very close to the #1 exhaust port. I've been playing with an alternator positioned in reverse. That is, in front of the engine with the pulley side facing the engine. Braced to the frame rails.

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I'm having problems mounting my alternator like yours, it comes very close to the #1 exhaust port. I've been playing with an alternator positioned in reverse. That is, in front of the engine with the pulley side facing the engine. Braced to the frame rails.

Yeah, with my na headers the alt is close, so I figure if I make my own turbo manifolds I'll try to tuck that turn or my work around will be a header wrap, that should keep the heat down to a manageable level....we'll see I guess.

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Picked up a Holset HY35W, v-band clamp and downpipe today for $220. Minimal shaft play, nice and clean. Time to start making some manifolds soon.

 

Anyway, some drivetrain updates.

Got all the suspension and both CV's in.

CV's were a little tight but man all this stuff is super nice to work with. straight bolt in affair.

 

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Your Z31 CV's, how many bolts are they? From what year Z31? Did you have to have them at all resized to fit? Which flange adapters are you using?

2 Drivers side 4-bolt 84-89 Z31 Turbo CV's non-VLSD. One drivers side inside joint needs to be flipped to shorten axle by 1/2 inch. Flange adapters are billet from Modern-motorsports.com .

Drivers side may be still a little long still but manageable.

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Any updates to this project? Its nice to see another one started.

 

Yes that alternator clearance is/was a pain. More so I think for me, as I pushed the motor as far back and as low as possible, and made the car accept the completed engine,as opposed to making the engine fit into the car. In other words, I modified the car instead of modifying the engine components. (as much as practical that is) A hand made turbo exhaust manifold was out of my reach back then.

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Any updates to this project? Its nice to see another one started.

 

Yes that alternator clearance is/was a pain. More so I think for me, as I pushed the motor as far back and as low as possible, and made the car accept the completed engine,as opposed to making the engine fit into the car. In other words, I modified the car instead of modifying the engine components. (as much as practical that is) A hand made turbo exhaust manifold was out of my reach back then.

Been thinking about it but I have to trailer it to work every time I want to work on it as I live in an apartment and can't work on it at home.

Plus I'm at the stage where I need to drop $2500 on brakes, right now I'm too cheap to do that. Maybe next year.

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I'll be embarking on this mission over the winter as well: 76 280z w/ VG30et, SAtan manfold, T5, etc.... I want to thank you guys for doing this and for posting up pics! I know Dmann and BlozUp from Z31Performance but want to thank Zr8ted for his build pics and info too. I'll be sure to document the process as well and illustrate any differences in mounting that I come across. Time to get that welder out...... B)

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