Jump to content
HybridZ

Recommended Posts

Starting in 2011 im gonna try to build a all around weekend warrior/doubled w/ daily driver duties. The choices came down to the Z31, s130 & Turbo Buick regal. The candidate has to be an all around capable car; drivability, decent gas mileage, tune ability, comfort, handling, straight line performance, decent handling, aerodynamics, good braking system, decent after market support & a sleeper. What ever I pick will be automatic Trans. 4l60e, 700r4 or 200r3.

 

I. Option 1

Finish building the Turbo RegalIt needs the interior put back in it, Rear bumper, ebrake cables & exhaust. Id do some bolt ons to get it into the low 12s easy.

*Pros: Decent drivability, decent gas mileage, tune ability, extremely comfort, , straight line performance, decent after market support & a sleeper, easy parts accessibility + many types of swap kits.

*Cons: poor handling, aerodynamics, anemic braking system, kinda old, no one wrenches on em & Problem is that the more you push turbo Buicks the more prone they are to reliability issues.

 

A. I would also build a turbo LSX for it on the side.

B. Build a 4.1 turbo motor.

 

II. Option2

S130 (280zx)Chassis

The pros: 280zxs are relative cheap since they are over looked plus are a sleeper, if someone pulled up on a turbo one they would assume its stock & slow. They are light(2800lbs+/-) and can be pretty competent with a closer to stock motor (than the heavier turbo regal + Z31) & would get decent gas mileage. While a little old, they still have competent suspension, can provide decent straight line performance ,looks are decent, relatively aerodynamics, good braking + decent after market support. +can support skyline, Z31 & s13/14 suspension parts.

The cons: old a lot are rusty, parts arent as accessible, not as beautiful as the other gen Zs. Limited swap kits aside the SBC JTR, which wont let it be a quiet sleeper.

 

Motor options would be

A. TPI swapped SBC- Sbc are cheap but the TPI isn’t, there are kits out for the swap but idk how much power can JTR mounts can take? This would be the simplest route because it’s a common & simple swap, So all id have to do is get turbo exhaust manis made. Unfortunately there is no mistaking the sound of a v8=no mo sleeper.

 

B 3.8 Series II swap-Would be ideal, they are commonly found, cheap (+/-300), reliable, efficient & relatively unknown. Downside everything will have to be custom, turbo exhaust manis, mounts, down pipe, ect. & twalton is the only guy I know who did the swap. He said its not a hard swap tho.

http://forums.hybrid...__1#entry639813

 

C. Grand national 3.8 swap- Would be the 2nd easiest, I wouldn’t have to fab up exhaust manis & I already have a complete drive train to work with, The car would be lethal fast & would have lots of aftermarket support. Id have to get the fuel system up to par & get a custom down pipe &,driveshaft but that would mostly be it, aside from mounts. Problem is the Gn’s engine is getting old in comparison to some of the new drive trains out there. There is an conversion page about it but only for the s30 chassis, im curious if there are any major differences in the engine bays?

http://www.turbobuic...eally-long.html

 

III. Option 3

Z31 Chassis

Please compare the Z31(3100lbs) vs. the 280zx(2800lbs).

 

Pros: The z31 is a little newer & usually easier to find in good shape. Has a lot of the new car amenities, 5 lug disk brakes, more aerodynamics, reportedly superior handling. Cheap. If I can find a Z31 w/a SBC V8 already swapped in it then all ill have to do is build the turbo system. This would be ideal.

 

Cons are no kits exists to swap anything in the Z31, so the s130 has the advantage.

Motor options:

A. 3.8 Series II swap

B. Grand national 3.8 swap

C. SBC V8

Link to post
Share on other sites

All three are sufficiently old that none are reliable, trouble-free daily drivers – especially with modifications. All three will require significant attention to suspension bushings, shocks and other wear-items for decent handling; weatherstripping and HVAC overhaul for decent comfort, and so forth. All three will require dealing with rust.

 

My wife daily-drove a Z31 (n/a, automatic, 2-seater with T-tops) until the heating system blew up. It was nothing major – just rotted hoses, which were too difficult to reach. It was a competent car, but did not excel in anything – handling, acceleration, comfort, efficiency.

 

If this is primarily a cruiser and drag car, stick with the Buick; you’ve already made good progress, and familiarity with the baseline vehicle is more important than the ultimate “potential†of the vehicle.

 

Also, consider other swap candidates. Lots of suggests have been sprinkled throughout these forums. Examples of similar age/complexity to those of your original choices include: FC RX7 (the late 80’s model), Miata, E36 BMW, and Mustang (with a Chevy engine!).

Link to post
Share on other sites

The LT1 is almost a chevy small block, and it has tuned port injection. Also cheap.

 

I think you just need to sit down and ask yourself what car is best for you. Seeing as I have never owned a Buick and I do not know what you deam as good milage etc this is something only realy you can figure out. Sorry.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

Starting in 2011 im gonna try to build a all around weekend warrior/doubled w/ daily driver duties. The choices came down to the Z31, s130 & Turbo Buick regal. The candidate has to be an all around capable car; drivability, decent gas mileage, tune ability, comfort, handling, straight line performance, decent handling, aerodynamics, good braking system, decent after market support & a sleeper. What ever I pick will be automatic Trans. 4l60e, 700r4 or 200r3.

 

 

Not in your list of vehicles, but most definitely meets all the criteria you are after with very high marks in all those areas, accepts the SBC, LSx, or SBF, and in my not so humble opinion, readily exceeds all those criteria compared to the 3 vehicles listed as options and decent running examples can be had for $5000 up to really nice $10,000 :unsure:(power-train can be sold for $1500-$3000 depending condition to help offset the cost of the V-8 powertrain).

http://forums.hybridz.org/index.php/topic/79556-lsx-powered-bmw-m3-e36-chassis/

 

If the LSx is not an option, keep in mind the traditional SBC also fits a teensy bit easier than the LSx, (the SBC conversion mounting kit will be released soon as well).

 

Drivability is world renowned and will not be sacrificed in the conversion.

MPG, stock is 28-30 MPG on the freeway, 22 observed MPG combined city, fully expect to stay above 20+ combined and 28 freeway with the V8, driving politely.

Tunabiltiy, SBC I assume you already know, the LSx with HP-Tuners or EFI live offers the user full 100% control and adjustability including MAF delete and 3bar boost capable for future growth.

Comfort... drive one, trust me. :wink:

Handling! Voted best handling car over the C5 Vette, Acura NSx, Carrera 911S, Ferrari F355, Viper GTS, something you'll be very hard pressed to meet with the cars you listed while still retaining any sort of drivability and comfort. :wink: The test is here; http://www.m3post.com/forums/showpost.php?p=989661&postcount=26

Straightline performance. Stock is a solid mid 14 second car in the 1/4 mile, 0-60 in mid to high 5's. Some of the bone stock LS1 converted versions on the road are seeing deep 13's in the 1/4 with 110+ traps, modded versions knocking on 10's.

Aerodynamics, quite good actually, compared to the 3 cars listed as options, well is friggen outstanding.

Braking! Again, quite good, compared the 3 cars listed as options, outstanding with plenty of room to grow if you choose.

TONS of aftermarket support for the interior, body, lighting, and chassis, and the LSx or SBC will fit and you already know of about the aftermarket support for those. :2thumbs:

 

My $.02 B)

Link to post
Share on other sites

micheal-I have a few friends with lsx rx7s & i hate how the fcs look. idk im not a mazda guy, i like GM & nissan. Weird i guess.

Geking the turbo buick does 19 city/25(+/-)highway.The reason i ruled out the lt1 is because they have some pretty hihh compression & i'm scared of opti-spark! Your right tho i saw one for $200 in a u-pull it today.

Braap i completely agree with you about the bmw. The reason why i didnt put them on the list is because parts from bimmers are expensive. I was def considering one and i talked to a guy who sells a lsx kit for them & the RX7 and it came out to something like $2-3k installed running plus the price of drivetrain. Idk maybe i would look into an older e36.

So the z31 isnt stout in the handling dept? The 280zx either?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

@braap: Have you had the chance to drive your LSx/M3 yet? It looks like an amazing setup.

Haven't driven mine yet, but did drive another friends LS1 powered 97 M3 a few months ago, pics and video, yours truly behind the wheel. 

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1503369&page=5

 

 

.....

Braap ....

So the z31 isnt stout in the handling dept? The 280zx either?

They can be set up to be very stout in the handling department, compromise is NVH, ride quality, smoothness, and road noise. 

There are a couple recent discussions about what it would take to have smooth, quiet, plush drivability and have modern sports car performance, mostly geared at the earlier Z but the principles would also apply to the S130 and Z31. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote goes to a z32, they meet all of the criteria, especially if you start with a TT chassis. There are tons of aftermarket support, most major parts are still available through nissan as well as plenty of aftermarket pieces to turn the car into whatever you want it to be. Plus motor swaps are becoming more and more common in them every day. The only downside is that the suspension is pretty stiff and the rear end gets a little light when you start passing the 140mph mark.

 

The second choice IMHO would be the z31, with a little work it can handle great and brake good as well, would still be comfortable to daily and as long as the headlights are down you will still have some pretty good aero.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah i love the z32 as well. Ive had two of em and wanna get a 3rd for a lsx swap but Sikky performance is takin forever. I noticed the zs are kinda heavy, what exactly makes em so heavy since they arent really that big? Anyone have any idea what a set of custom motor mounts for a z31 or s130 should go for, id really like to use the series 2 GM motor! Just an average range? Just curious but Anyways I most likely will look into the e36 more!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am using a iron head LT1. plenty of power for an S30, runs on 87, and I am not using an optispark, I am using Megasquirt with Ford's EDIS so I am running with coil packs. you can buy the electronics set up and that LT1 you found for less then some SBCs and way less then an LSx. I would not say an LT1 is a SBC as the heads, block, ign, etc are different. (can you use a sbc cam in an LT?)

Link to post
Share on other sites

im running a sbc in a 77 280. the motor mounts are holding up fine. my engine produces approximately 450 horse. if i could do it all over again id run a turbo or twin turbo setup. run dual into a single through two chamber pipes and a very quiet muffler all the way out the rear. at the base of the turbos on the bend id use 2 electric exhaust cutouts... so normal driving itd be quiet all fit under the hood and be an all around performer that goets decent mileage. but once you wanna get into it \open the cutouts and totally bypass the restrictive quiet(stock sounding) exhaust. but thats my opinion.ive seen twin turbo fi sbc make good mileage. however an ls1 with a decent tune with tt setup and six speed is capable of 25++ mpg. and still make great power

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Braap-I had an interest in the e36/46 but they are a lil out my price bracket. suspension, wheels, ect will prolly be more than my grass roots style builds.

Novacain-good to know the motor mts can hold up to those levels.

Geking-the lt1 is a small block chevy because the CID is still 350cid.

 

I think over all id perfer the z32, 2nd would be the z31 but the cheapest would be the s130 because of the pre-existing mount kits.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay here is the basic update.

1. i see alot of ppl talking about the structural integrity of the early Z cars. Does the 280zx chassis suffer from the same plights as the s30? http://www.baddogparts.com/ makes stuff for the s30 but i didnt see much for the s130?

 

2. I will most likely be goint in the direction of a SBC 350 for ease of installation, maybe boost down the line.

 

3. Although i would really perfer a newer V6, 4.3, Series II would be ideal or even the grand nat motor.

 

There is an conversion page about the grand nat motor but only for the s30 chassis, does anyone know if there are any major differences in the engine bays that would keep the swap from being duplicated?

http://www.turbobuic...eally-long.html

 

4. I keep hearing the major problem with the s130 is the steering arm/box clearences, can anyone clearify or explain a way around this?

 

On another note I was looking into the s12 s00sx, anyone have any expirence with these models? 2600lbs is pretty light.

Edited by Calico
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how a Z32 V8 swap would be any easier, cheaper or more "grass roots" than an E36. BTW there is a huge complexity/cost leap between the E36 and E46.

 

In terms of engine bay size and overall simplicity, why not just consider the S30? It used to be that the S130 had an advantage of being "newer", cheaper to source, commanding less of a rarity premium. But in 2011 both S30 and S130 are fairly old cars. Your location is not clear from your signature file, and of course car availability depends strongly on location. In the U.S. Midwest, the S30 and S130 are equally rare.

 

Chassis reinforcement becomes a priority when there is either extensive rust damage, or ambitious horsepower goals involved. For a mild 350 in a reasonably rust-free body, one should probably not worry about chassis reinforcement in any of the Z series.

 

Personally I keep returning to the observation that the hard part is neither accomplishing the swap itself, or finding a suitable vehicle to receive the transplant, but building a strong engine. Lots of people get excited about doing a swap, but if the donor engine is relatively stock, perhaps the better bet would have been mild hotrodding or turbocharging of the stock engine. If you already have your engine sorted out, then the eventual swap candidate is not so important.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike-thanx for the insight. The e36/46 was a suggestion from another memebr & while i like the car ill prolly not beable to afford it. The same goes with the z32. The car is have now is relatively quick but it lacks in certian areas. generally i would perfer to be able to have a newer drivetrain that is a v6. the series 2 would be ideal but THERE are no swap options availible, the turbo grand nat motor would be a close 2nd due to the pre existing intercooler, manifolds, turbo ect.

 

Im from North east PA. Rareity isnt the only reason i picked the s130, the other is because they carry a turbo option, which means it appears normal if one hears a turbo under the hood. They are said to be stronger and arent in such a demand, the last reason is because i am a sucker for t-top cars. I want a very fast car that handles well and i want to run a mild motor. The SBC is simplest but not me choice ideally.

 

Overall the car i build must surpass what i already have in most ways. The car i have not is a Grand national. Which means the car i build has to be lighter, handle better more aero dynamic + good swap potential. It would need to be quiet, streetable manners, good gas milage + boosted. The series II is the more up to date drivetrain & w/boost it would surpass the older grand nat motor. The grand nat motor comes stock w/ turboed, intercooled,

exhaust manis, strong tranny ect.

 

I was also considering the vortec 4.3 w/ turbo syclone typhoon manifolds & some forged low compression SBC pistons. Even tho they arent as stout as the 3.8 veriatives I could but a universal crossmember and bolt it up w/ 700r4. I wouldnt need much power to put a s130 in the high tens/low 11s so i doubt i would be pushing the limits too far.

Edited by Calico
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...