1983 280ZX V8 CONVERSION WITH LS1 ENGINE - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1983 280ZX V8 CONVERSION WITH LS1 ENGINE

I am in the process of doing a V8 conversion using a 2000 LS1 engine, I want an automatic, so what transmission would be best suited for this application?? Would it be the automatic that comes with the LS engine, which came out of a Trans Am? Any help would be greatly appreciated and also any other advice on doing the swap would be great to know. I contacted JTR and they do not have any manuals on the ZX swap, only the 1st generation Z cars.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1983 280ZX V8 CONVERSION WITH LS1 ENGINE

the friendly folks at HybridZ.org will have every thing you need.

Eric
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1983 280ZX V8 CONVERSION WITH LS1 ENGINE

The easiet choice would be a 400. This way you don't have to worry about any of the electronics that come with the 4L60e, or the 4L80e. There are also adapters to fit the 700-R4 or the 200-4R. The 400's are cheap, easy to rebuild and you'll be able to set it up with a nice ratchet shift option. The gears will be plenty long enough in the 3 speed for cruising around, but my be a little high for you on the highway. The 700R4 may be a better choice if you are going to be driving on the highway. Once again, easy rebuild, tons of shift options available. The 4L60 is a very nice, very stout transmission, but the price is steep. If you already have the transmission though, use it. No reverse shift options available, just put it in "D" and go.

The final choice will depend on your budget.

I'll add a little here about the 4L60E. . .
If you are running an LS1, and you are using the factory computer from the donor car, then the 4L60e is the EASIEST option available. Using LS1edit, or HP tuners, you can adjust everything very easily. The other transmission choices, will allow you to run, without having a computer controlled trans, but if you already have the LS1 computer then putting in a 4L60e just makes more sense.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1983 280ZX V8 CONVERSION WITH LS1 ENGINE

There are some of these conversion cars explained on the Internet. I installed a V8 in my 74 260Z, and there were some bugs in my Nordskog conversion kit. First of all the placement of the engine is critical. I don't like any of the available kits. The engine needs to be back as far as possible, and the Ford 351 is better because the distributor is on the front of the engine. The front pulley needs to be in line with the stock Datsun mounts, so look on the internet and see how this is done. Also, the transmission crossmember needs to retain the stock pieces if clearance allows it. The Nordskog kit uses a 5/8 inch flat steel plate bent into a shape fitting into the trans tunnel. It is really solid, but I have seen some installations using the stock pieces, and this is what you want. Now all these mounts need to have vibration isolation (rubber, teflon) Don't think that the kit is going to come with mounts that fit perfect. You will need to mock it up many times to get the fit right. Also, some safety restrainers would be a good idea.
Also, after you get your custom driveshaft, think about a way to restrain the driveshaft. If you have ever seen a runaway driveshaft beating the beejeesers out of everthing, then you will be a believer in what I am saying. There are other bugs also, but these are the main thing to pay attention to.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1983 280ZX V8 CONVERSION WITH LS1 ENGINE

ESPRIT1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am in the process of doing a V8 conversion using
> a 2000 LS1 engine, I want an automatic, so what
> transmission would be best suited for this
> application??
You want an overdrive transmission. I converted a Z with a SBC in 1987 I had many different motors over the years all using a 350 TH and it was ok then I changed to an LT1 with a 4L60E and LOVED it!

The ability to adjust firmness and shift points is great and the overdrive makes it pleasent to drive.

>Would it be the automatic that comes
> with the LS engine, which came out of a Trans Am?
The ECM is already setup for it and engine so that is the best one to use. HP Tuners is a great suite I have tuned many LSX and it is very intuitive and complete system

> Any help would be greatly appreciated and also any
> other advice on doing the swap would be great to
> know. I contacted JTR and they do not have any
> manuals on the ZX swap, only the 1st generation Z
> cars.

Go to Hybbrid Z there are a few there that have done LS, and I am sure they can answer any and all your questions. Worst case would be is use an LT! since that almost drops in on it's own.

I will even show a pic of my recent drag Z it shows an LT1 using stock chevy mounts.

Good Luck
[attachment 15509 engineinbaysmall.jpg]
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1983 280ZX V8 CONVERSION WITH LS1 ENGINE

Another reason to consider an LT1 is once you add up all the cost it is more for LS versus an LT1. Include the cost of headers, mounts, HP Tuners, etc and evaluate the cost. I would love an LS but in a Z it costs alot more

Good luck
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1983 280ZX V8 CONVERSION WITH LS1 ENGINE

Thanks for the advice on the trans. I beleive I will use the 4L60E since I am using the LS1 with the computer, your right...it only makes sense.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1983 280ZX V8 CONVERSION WITH LS1 ENGINE

Just want to thank everyone for thier help. As far as the LS1 engine vs. LT1, the main reason I am leaning toward the LS engine is the weight factor.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1983 280ZX V8 CONVERSION WITH LS1 ENGINE

Did not think that there were that many differences between the two.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1983 280ZX V8 CONVERSION WITH LS1 ENGINE

Has anyone done an LS1 swap into a 280ZX on this forum?? ANY info on engine mounts and trans mount would be greatly appreciated.
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