My '73 240z Engine rebuild - Lets talk about Rebello - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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My '73 240z Engine rebuild - Lets talk about Rebello

Preface:
I have a 240z project I've been working on for ~2 years. I've made most of the cosmetic interior/exterior changes I wanted, keeping everything pretty close to original. I've also made some technology upgrades and rebuilt the brake system and suspension (no coil-overs yet), and so the engine/transmission are the final questions.

My engine (and E88 head) runs strong but has questionable miles- the odometer is stuck on 23k miles and has been for who-knows-how-long. I didn't get enough information from the PO, so I'm not even sure how many owners this car has had. All I know is that the body is straight with minimal rust, it runs amazing, and sounds great. That said, I'm looking to rebuild the engine. I just can't shake the feeling this feeling that I won't be able to rest easy until I get a fresh motor in there. And yanking out the motor will give me a chance to sand down and repaint the (horrible looking) engine bay.

Why not rebuild it myself?
I live in Southern California where we have some great local Z specialists. My dad's '71 240Z had head work done locally (at Slovers I think) and I got to help (or at least be around) while he restored the block. I should mention that I'm just a hobbyist and not a professional mechanic even though this is my second Z. Occasionally when I feel that I can't safely accomplish something on my own, there's a local shop (Z Expert in Venice) that I trust to help me out. I thought about restoring mine myself just for the experience with the help of my dad and local machine shops, but I have the money right now and not nearly enough time.

Why Rebello?
I've come across a whole butt-load of forum threads while researching Rebello. Even when I was working on my first Z project, I always dreamed of having a Rebello motor. You can say what you want about the price or the HP output, but the Rebello name is sort of iconic in the Z community, and they're also trusted to do great work. I noticed that there are a handful of common arguments that always seem to crop up and I want to address them next.

Common argument #1: The prices are too high for what you get
I mentioned earlier that I have the perfect storm of a situation where I have some money put away and not enough time. The way I see it, when you have a new engine built for you save time (which has value) and you also have the peace of mind that the engine has 0 miles on it (solves my odometer problem lol). Builds from different companies have different aesthetics, timeframes, and build sheets; I just happen to like Rebello's. Also I mentioned earlier that there is value in the name; if I ever would sell this car, the Rebello motor adds value. So when I hear people say that the price is too high for what you're getting- and they're usually referring to horsepower- I say 'you get what you pay for'.

Common argument #2: Rebello motors don't put out enough HP
I understand that people build cars for different purposes, and I understand that some people like high HP numbers. Some people like a car that can drag, and if that's your thing then I can see why you'd want to drop an LS1 motor in there and push out [something like] 500hp. But I want a Z that can still handle like a Z. Some people like a car that can (why do people like the RB20DET? I'm talking out of my butt here), and if that's your thing then drop the RB20DET motor in there and push out 600hp. You can tell all your friends at car shows and compare dyno sheets. It'll also have that sexy turbo whistle. I get it.

I like horsepower too. But it's my personal preference to keep at least a Datsun [2.4/2.8 NA] motor in there, and not deviate too far from "original". I want the car to keep the high-revving top end feeling that seems to come so naturally to Z motors. I want to keep the original rabbit-like maneuverability. And finally, a 3.0L stroker that's putting down (don't quote me on this, I'm talking out of my butt again) ~325 HP is a major improvement from my stock 2.4L and ~150hp- so I won't be complaining.

Rebello options
I mentioned that I'm trying to stay 'original'. I put that in quotes because in a lot of ways I've already deviated from that path. Rebello offers the 2.7L 'Purist' package that gives you some more grunt but keeps your numbers-matching block & head, but if the price isn't that far off from the 3.0L then why not? Whenever I see people ask this question in forum posts, I often see responses to the effect of 'keep your original engine on the side until you sell'... But for me it's not a question of value, it would just be nice to have the original heart of the car in there. I've never had the chance to actually drive a Z with this package, so it's just hard to tell. And then there's the monstrous 3.2L stroker... I guess I'll find out when I call Rebello.

I'm curious to see hear your opinions. Am I being overzealous about being 'original'? Has anybody driven the 2.7 and 3.0 and have an opinion they can share?
Anyways, I'll be using this post (unless I'm told otherwise) to update the status of my build and let the internet know what's going on!

Santa Monica, CA
Always interested in meeting up with local Z pilots
'73 240z, mostly original (with stock num. matching L24) save for some tech upgrades and tweaks

Last edited by JJs_240z; 01-22-2018 at 05:04 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 12:44 PM
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Complaint 1: Made by the typical tight-arsed American Datsun Owner who is one paycheck away from selling his 'beloved' project to make rent or buy babymilk. They have no clue what quality costs, period.
Complaint 2: HAHAHAHAHA And the guys in Australia say the HP numbers out of Revello's are impossibly high and that they retest there and find them considerably lower. These people are the same morons who shop around to find the Dynojet operator who will tweak his constants so they can have a 300HP NA Z-Car using stock bottom end and a home ported head with a 2.5" Crush Bent Exhaust and rusty old junkyard Pacesetter Header with a AZC Manifold and Holley 390 on it driving an autobox. Horsepower numbers are bull unless you do a baseline...ask any of these idiots and they will claim they got 150+ stock, too!

Associated Complaints: If you want a big engine, you won't get it with a 2.4...there is no metal to bore. Plain and simple if you want a 3.0, you should start with an N42 or F54 Block...period. The people saying put the stock engine to the side are wise as for collector car insurance, keeping all the stock items gets you insurance and not a classification outside of 'street mod' which can mean higher rates and lower values. You think it doesn't matter until some bonehead nails you and your insurance says your car is only worth 2300$ so it's 'totaled' and you lose everything you put into it! Given the fact that the 2.4 won't really turn into anything other than a 2.9 and you want a 3.0 by your rationalizations, go 3.0 and get the 325 out of your head. More like 225-250 to the rear wheels with a peak torque that will scoot you along with traction issues up to and into third. Slovers head and cam will work just fine on the Rebello bottom end. they talk to each other. Don't skimp on intake, the power is in the head.

So that tosses the complaints and vacillations from the internet wankers.

About that 3.2 liter....keep in mind that's about the largest you will get decent power out of with the non-crossflow heads. The upper end of porting for any of the stock Nissan Heads (we are not talking LY or FIA stuff here...) is around 250cfm and that's it. For a 3.2 that will make decent power with 50's or 55's, but for a 3.5 that's restrictive as heck...more of a 'torque motor build'...the head won't support the big engines they are effectively only for 3.2's or smaller.....

In case you don't know, there is a nice 90mm stroker crank out there now, for an honest to goodness 3.4 or 3.5 liters, and a wonderful breathing aftermarket DOHC head that will support that bottom end to 9,000rpms and likely 450-500 N/A Horsepower...

Not everything is accomplished by kids on the internet. Guys who were happily modding Datsuns before AOL made the Internet Popular are still modding Datsuns and doing all sorts of cool things. Dave is using those DOHC heads, has three in the pipeline for customers as we speak. But you won't read about it on the internet...

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 12:46 PM
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A proper performance built block and head will run you $15K if you want ti to last as long as the engine that was in there from Nissan Motor Corp when it was new (300.000 mile plus reliability)

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun -- that means
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2018, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Time for an update:

First a side note:
I read through some of the sticky's (namely the 'Message to Newbies' thread) and realized that this post may not be technical enough to belong in the Technical Discussion forum.


But I really do appreciate the advice. I've decided that I'm going to go ahead and pull out the L24 to be replaced by an L28. Lo' and behold, just days after posting this (and months after I first started making plans) the internet gods dropped an L28ET in my lap; somebody from one of the local Datsun groups on bookFace offered me the motor that's in good condition with low miles and a recent rebuild. Also, with the rest of the money I've been saving for the Rebello build, I can take it to Slovers to have some head-work done, or possibly think of investing in other components that will need to be improved to handle the added power. I won't ask here because I know there are already threads that cover this, but I think the differential and/or clutch and/or transmission could use an improvement.

I think that replacing the L24 is going to be a good learn-by-doing experience for me, and while it's out I plan to take it apart and work on it. I'm far less familiar with Turbo than I am with the NA carbureted setup; maybe after going through this process I'll know enough to answer somebody else's questions for once.

I'll start a build thread and keep you guys posted...

Thanks again and happy wrenching, everybody

Santa Monica, CA
Always interested in meeting up with local Z pilots
'73 240z, mostly original (with stock num. matching L24) save for some tech upgrades and tweaks
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 02:11 AM
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Nice to see someone take the sage's advice without getting a panty wrap.

zippityzda
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dumbestone View Post
Nice to see someone take the sage's advice without getting a panty wrap.
There's free wisdom to be had for those who need advice. After reading through a slew of posts here, I know that the main hazard is people asking questions that could have been solved by a search, or hoping for a somebody to spoon-feed them information. Or posting in the wrong place. Or starting a ****-flinging thread war with the sage.

Question though- Is the technical discussion forum the right place for a build thread? I'm going to swap a l28et into my 240 and I want to keep track of progress and post pictures and all that. I'm also planning on taking apart the head from the 240 while it's out.

Santa Monica, CA
Always interested in meeting up with local Z pilots
'73 240z, mostly original (with stock num. matching L24) save for some tech upgrades and tweaks
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JJs_240z View Post
There's free wisdom to be had for those who need advice. .
And you understand that. You are new and have missed a lot of past panty twists by people who argued and just couldn't take advice. [ Not from me but from others. So, I have no puff missing from my ego. ]

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2018, 11:03 PM
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a lot of guys will argue with TonyD because they don't like how he responds to their posts, but they are ignoring the fact that he's giving them good and accurate advice. I think people take his responses the wrong way most of the time. But, he's got his numbers right and you can't argue with that.


as far as Rebello, here is my 2 cents. I think its a waste of money unless you're doing strictly track and racing. I think they've got some awesome motors, but they are not cheap by any means. I spent 5 grand on a Rebello stroker build for a daily driver and it was really a big waste. my engine sounded great and I thought it was cool to say I had a Rebello motor, but in the end it just wasn't right for my application. I ended up taking it out and putting my original 76 engine back in and turbo charging it. I was so much happier. and I could've have saved so much $$$ had I done that in the beginning.


now, I'm not putting them down in any way. Rebello does some great builds and I'm sure a lot of folks have some killer setups and are satisfied with what they paid and what they got in return. I'm only saying it wasn't the right move for me and what I wanted my car to be.


if you're looking for decent power and to save money, turbo is the best bang for your buck. if you really just want a 3.0 liter, go and get a 300zx.


Bon

All the Gods, all the Heavens, all the Hells, are within you. - Joseph Campbell -

Pooja II ~ 1984 300ZXT 50th AE ~ 2018 - 2019
Pooja ~ 1987 300ZX 2+2 NA2T ~ 2012 - 2018
Suzanna ~ 1983 280ZX Coupe ~ 2010 - 2019
Alana ~ 1976 280z Coupe NA2T ~ 2008 - 2019
Dianna ~ 1980 280ZX Slick Top ~ 2001 - 2007
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2018, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by JJs_240z View Post
Question though- Is the technical discussion forum the right place for a build thread?
Yes it is, and if the thread is kept tight enough, or you don't object to someone editing out sycophantic praise that doesn't add to the thread's knowledge content it could go from a "Build Thread" to a "FAQ Sticky"...

Several of the threads up top with huge gobs of great information were just the effort of a guy making a blog in an organized way, and linking to his solutions and keeping them updated.

That's where the real knowledge transfer happens. Smart guys either cache the pages, or download them when all the links work...and have the knowledge including photos which always seem to have problems long term...

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun -- that means
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJs_240z View Post
Preface:
I have a 240z project I've been working on for ~2 years. I've made most of the cosmetic interior/exterior changes I wanted, keeping everything pretty close to original. I've also made some technology upgrades and rebuilt the brake system and suspension (no coil-overs yet), and so the engine/transmission are the final questions.

My engine (and E88 head) runs strong but has questionable miles- the odometer is stuck on 23k miles and has been for who-knows-how-long. I didn't get enough information from the PO, so I'm not even sure how many owners this car has had. All I know is that the body is straight with minimal rust, it runs amazing, and sounds great. That said, I'm looking to rebuild the engine. I just can't shake the feeling this feeling that I won't be able to rest easy until I get a fresh motor in there. And yanking out the motor will give me a chance to sand down and repaint the (horrible looking) engine bay.

Why not rebuild it myself?
I live in Southern California where we have some great local Z specialists. My dad's '71 240Z had head work done locally (at Slovers I think) and I got to help (or at least be around) while he restored the block. I should mention that I'm just a hobbyist and not a professional mechanic even though this is my second Z. Occasionally when I feel that I can't safely accomplish something on my own, there's a local shop (Z Expert in Venice) that I trust to help me out. I thought about restoring mine myself just for the experience with the help of my dad and local machine shops, but I have the money right now and not nearly enough time.

Why Rebello?
I've come across a whole butt-load of forum threads while researching Rebello. Even when I was working on my first Z project, I always dreamed of having a Rebello motor. You can say what you want about the price or the HP output, but the Rebello name is sort of iconic in the Z community, and they're also trusted to do great work. I noticed that there are a handful of common arguments that always seem to crop up and I want to address them next.

Common argument #1: The prices are too high for what you get
I mentioned earlier that I have the perfect storm of a situation where I have some money put away and not enough time. The way I see it, when you have a new engine built for you save time (which has value) and you also have the peace of mind that the engine has 0 miles on it (solves my odometer problem lol). Builds from different companies have different aesthetics, timeframes, and build sheets; I just happen to like Rebello's. Also I mentioned earlier that there is value in the name; if I ever would sell this car, the Rebello motor adds value. So when I hear people say that the price is too high for what you're getting- and they're usually referring to horsepower- I say 'you get what you pay for'.

Common argument #2: Rebello motors don't put out enough HP
I understand that people build cars for different purposes, and I understand that some people like high HP numbers. Some people like a car that can drag, and if that's your thing then I can see why you'd want to drop an LS1 motor in there and push out [something like] 500hp. But I want a Z that can still handle like a Z. Some people like a car that can (why do people like the RB20DET? I'm talking out of my butt here), and if that's your thing then drop the RB20DET motor in there and push out 600hp. You can tell all your friends at car shows and compare dyno sheets. It'll also have that sexy turbo whistle. I get it.

I like horsepower too. But it's my personal preference to keep at least a Datsun [2.4/2.8 NA] motor in there, and not deviate too far from "original". I want the car to keep the high-revving top end feeling that seems to come so naturally to Z motors. I want to keep the original rabbit-like maneuverability. And finally, a 3.0L stroker that's putting down (don't quote me on this, I'm talking out of my butt again) ~325 HP is a major improvement from my stock 2.4L and ~150hp- so I won't be complaining.

Rebello options
I mentioned that I'm trying to stay 'original'. I put that in quotes because in a lot of ways I've already deviated from that path. Rebello offers the 2.7L 'Purist' package that gives you some more grunt but keeps your numbers-matching block & head, but if the price isn't that far off from the 3.0L then why not? Whenever I see people ask this question in forum posts, I often see responses to the effect of 'keep your original engine on the side until you sell'... But for me it's not a question of value, it would just be nice to have the original heart of the car in there. I've never had the chance to actually drive a Z with this package, so it's just hard to tell. And then there's the monstrous 3.2L stroker... I guess I'll find out when I call Rebello.

I'm curious to see hear your opinions. Am I being overzealous about being 'original'? Has anybody driven the 2.7 and 3.0 and have an opinion they can share?
Anyways, I'll be using this post (unless I'm told otherwise) to update the status of my build and let the internet know what's going on!
I agree on some of your points here. Unless you're a really good mechanic like some of these guys in this forum , I would suggest you have someone else do your motor. I also agree that your ruin the heritage and spirit of the Datsun Z by sticking in another type of fat motor to crank up the HP. Again, that's just me.
However, I'm not necessarily a fan of Rebello motors. Yes, they have been around and yes they are a know brand. For me I was looking for a step or two above what they offered. I was looking for new technology, attention to the fine detail, options and upgrades in my motor and engine bay, true rear wheel HP (not flywheel), and yes, with all S30 parts.
I lived on Cali for 45 years and had Z's for most of that. I went to all the great shops and had some great people work on my cars/motors. But, if you're looking for a unique high end motor that will perform and last then take a look at Datsun Spirit in Virginia. They offer a range of engines with all kinds of options and upgrades throughout the engine bay to make the S30 perform at it's peak. I think they offer 6 different L-Series Engines from Stock rebuild to a Stage 5 full race motor. I had a Stage 4 engine built. They are a bit more pricy that Rebello but having a integrated engine and engine bay components was worth it for me. The owner is super engaged and knows z-Cars bumper to bumper. High performance engines are not just about the engine, it's all the other component that help it run optimally. That is the other difference Datsun Spirit has over Rebello. They provide recommendations on all the other parts. Plus, I know Datsun Spirit is always doing R&D. They came out with their ITB integrated Fuel Injection system about a few months ago in partnership with Jenevy. They have a video on Youtube showing one of their Stage 4 L-Series engines with the ITB Fuel Injection system getting 301HP at the rear wheel!! It's a monster. I almost went there but I went old school with triple 44 Mikuni's.
Anyway, there are other options out there if you're looking for a higher tier L-series motor for street or race. Just my 2 cents. I'll post some pics later.
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