ZCar Forum banner

1983 280ZX Replace N/A with Turbo Engine?

1260 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  skittle
As being addressed on a separate thread, after spending way too much to have my mechanic replace struts, ball joints, u joints, differential gasket, etc., etc., etc., now I find out either one of the pistons doesn't move, I have a "dead" cylinder, or something. I'll be talking with him in a couple of days to find out exactly what is going on.

Regardless, I will have to do something (and I am not starting with a new car after all the suspension work already done to this one). One possible something is if a replacement / new / rebuilt engine is going into the car, what additional steps / cost / expense / parts / etc. would be involved in changing over to turbo instead of staying with n/a?

At http://www.remanufactured.com/Nissan_Engines.htm I can get a turbo or non-turbo for the same price ($1,790 + $300 shipping).

What in addition is needed to change to a turbo?
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Turbo & piping, ECM & wiring. injectors a lot of misc sensors you do not have on the N/A engine.You might also want the bigger tranny.. Might be better to find a turbo car and get all the bits you need. In addition IF you go turbo... you will probably want bigger brakes... since you go faster.. stopping faster would be good.

Did the turbo engine on the 81-83s have the same reputation for longevity?

If I look for a donor car, is there a particular year engine / model designation that would be better?
I do not have the " special " knowledge to answer that question...

probably the best thing to do is a complete swap. i think your best bet is to find a turbo zx that runs, even if it is a rust bucket, you can use it for a parts car. besides, you will be able to have it on hand and see exactly how it is setup if you go to do the swap. now, according to all the talk, to have a PROPER running stock turbo setup, you should swap the motor, dist, ecu, wire harness, AFM, fuel pump etc... however you could do a bolt-swap to your n/a motor, like I have done to my 76 280z, which i will explain... (now bracing to get the flames from the guys on here... :eek:
there are quite a few websites that have all the information you need to know about doing the swap. i wouldn't pay all the money to get a brand new long block. find an old beat up turbo z that runs.... there are many good motors out there sitting in junkyards because the cars have wrecked or no longer wanted..... doesn't really mean the motor doesn't run, and then again.... you never know

you could also keep your car running n/a as it is designed to be, unless you really have been bitten by the turbo bug.

about my turbo 280z -
basically, i am running the original STOCK l28 n/a motor, stock n/a ecu, wiring harness, and distributer. i have a turbo airflow meter, but it uses n/a internals. also i have an aftermarket fuel rail, 35 lb injectors, a volvo turbo fuel pump, bigger fuel lines, a 54mm turbo at 9 lbs of boost, BMW throttle body and a 3 inch exhaust. i removed most of the stock sensors and vacuum lines, but it is probably better to keep them like they were meant to be used.
now there is nothing wrong with my setup; the motor runs great and the car is friggin' fast, but i can't run a lot of boost without damaging the pistons and i won't push it.

so you can go this route, but is probably safer and more efficient to do a complete turbo swap, from a descent running car.

See less See more
same reply as your other post. either learn about the car or find a mechanic that isn't a bozo.
If you want to go turbo best donor cars to look for are the 82/83's. They have the Crank Angle Sensor in the Dizzy and not down on the crank like the 81's. If you really want to go turbo it would also be a good time to upgrade your fuel pump to a wahlbro 255, and FMIC. If you can afford it go with a standalone fuel management system like Megasquirt.

If you want to stay with stock boost (once you have boost you always want more) then you can use the stock system.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Not open for further replies.