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I have been reading this board for quite some time now. I am familiar with the costs and processes associated with most of the engine setups available. I have a 72 240. It runs well and the car is in good shape. However, I am wanting to get more performance than the stock setup allows. I am not looking for a race car or something that will continue to break drivetrain parts, I am just looking for a setup to get me to about the performance level of my 95 Maxima SE.

I have done some research on the V8 swap but I would have to strengthen the frame and replace most if not all of the drivetrain. I understand that by the time you really tweak the inline 6 the V8 can end up being cheaper. I don't know if the Turbo swap would be for me because of all of the electronic work involved in removing the computer, all the guages, etc.etc. I have access to a free crank from an 82 maxima diesel but have read that to make a stroker engine can get expensive. and because of the extra stress on the engine breakage can occur easier.

I guess my question is this. I know that at some point I am going to pull the engine to rebuild it, as well as repaint and detail the engine compartment and swap in a 5 speed for the automatic tranny that is in it now. What can I upgrade from there (280zx block / 260 intake manifold / new head / valves / SUs[already have those]) that can get the performance up resonably without breaking the bank. I have read numerous writeups on making stroker engines, V8 swaps, turbos to make these cars really move. I am just looking for something that will make the car peppier and still retain the soul of the 240.

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Well, if you get a L28 w/ flat top pistons out of a non turbo ZX, an N47 head and slap your SU's on it you'll see a big improvement. The end result will be a relatively cheap motor w/ about 10-1 compression and good performance. Of course i would recommend that you add a cam upgrade and electronic ignition to take advantage of the performance increase. Also, don't neglect the exhaust. A 2.25" pipe w/ a good muffler and resonator will do well. Another easy swap is to find a better ratio diff and drop that in w/ a later tranny. A 3.90 R200 and early 80's 5 speed will give you more pep off the line. I hope this gives you some food for thought.
 
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