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Hello Z buddies i have recently decided that i wanna build my L28E engine in my 1983 280zx it has a 3 speed auto and heres my questions
1. are there any strong transmissions that can handle up to 500hp or similar that can bolt on, 2. what do i need do put in/do to my engine to get around 500hp,
3. if i buy and use an aftermarket ecu can i scrap 100% of the old wiring in the whole car and if so what do i need to make it run off a completely new system,
4. whats a good brand for new pistons, cams, and all the fun internals, 5. finally whats realistically the widest wheels and tires i can use on the car to get the best traction.

ive had the car since july 2021 adn ive rebuilt alot of it already but im afraid it needs a new transmission and a complete engine rebuild so im going to take advantage of that and make it how i want also i want to twin turbo the car i know almost nothing internals wise on the engine so im posting here to learn more im not sure if i want to spend my time looking through old posts to find maybe half of the info i need and if i cant figure out what i can do im going to put a 350 smol block in it with a 700r4 but i really wanna use the beautiful L series that came with the car also im 16 ballin on a budget any info is helpful thanks for you time

Instagram for discussions and pictures of car @hobo_sushi
i dont check this much so yeah
 

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500hp is a lot for a Chevy 350 and 700r4 combo. The l series can do it but you will be scraping every oz that it can give and won’t be reliable at that power range. You will then be asking the chassis to take about 4x what it was designed for. 250hp feels like a lot in these cars and puts you into modern car territory for speed. 300 is reasonable on a turbo l series but will take some work to get there and your reliability will suffer. V8s in these cars just takes the soul out of these cars. If you are dead set on 500hp and an automatic you may want to look into getting an rb25/26 or a 2jz and turbo it. Keeps you more correct on sound/feel/look but gives the power you want. Will still be in the $10k plus side for anything your looking to do short of just a solid rebuild and some power mods to hit the 200-250 range on the l series. Hybrid z forums has a lot on squeezing everything possible from the l and anything you want on the swaps.
 

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The Borg Warner T5 transmissions found in some later year 280ZXs are pretty stout. I don’t know if they are meant for us much as 500hp, but if you are looking for something more durable than the 3-speed auto then the BW may be an option. You would be converting from an Auto to a manual though, so if you had your heart set on keeping it automatic then a BW 5-speed won’t work. I’d recommend reading a little bit about the ABR Hosaki 280ZX, if you haven’t already. The car you are wanting to build sounds very similar to the ABR car. I’ve had good luck with Comp Cams and Schneider Racing Cams. And as far as your power goal of 500hp: It’s ambitious but certainly not impossible. With an L-series you will definitely need a single or twin turbo setup. Just down to part availability, I’d probably recommend running a single turbo. Check out Godzilla Raceworks’ website and YouTube channel. They have a lot of parts to get your project moving in the right direction, and they very recently posted a video on a 400hp Z they built (single turbo). I recommend sticking with a single just because I think you’ll have a hard time finding the parts to install two turbochargers (exhaust manifold, intercooler+piping, ect.)
 

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These cars are light enough that you don't need 500 hp not to mention the frame will twist like a tin can without extensive metalwork and reinforcement. These are fast cars if the engine is running properly. Get an air fuel gauge and get it tuned properly with that and you will be surprised what it can actually do. Mine will do a burnout with the only upgrade being an MSD spark box. After its all set and you've taken care of all your vacuum leaks with the cigarette smoke test then if you need more power put a turbo on it. You do not need 500 hp thats an arbitrary number.
 

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You will need to touch every aspect of that L-Series if you want to get close to 500 hp. I've seen $30k engines make less than 500 hp after being completely overhauled, bored, stroked and upgraded. You will absolutely need forced induction to get somewhere near 500 hp. Pretty hard to make big power on these vehicles on a budget with little knowledge.

The Borg Warner 5 speed is most likely your best bet transmission wise for the L-Series. It is not necessarily rated for 500 hp, and the rear end of the car will most likely give out quicker than the transmission with added power.

If you just want to do burnouts, a V8 may be a smart route but if you plan to actually drive the car in a performance aspect, any V8 will completely change how the car handles and drives. It would not be a good idea if you plan to drive the car on any auto cross course or race track.
 
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