ZCar Forum banner

Converting 1982 280zx Turbo to 5speed from automatic. And rear end questions

1768 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  KGI Redline
I have purchased a 1982 280zx Turbo. Absolutely love the car..... except the fact it is a 3-speed automatic that turns 4000 r.p.m.'s on the highway at 70mph. I have 2 questions.... What all is needed to convert it to 5speed?? As in tranny,driveshaft,
clutch/flywheel. And do i have to cut/highly modify any of my cars body to install the clutch master cylinder and pedals??

Also are there good rear end options to make it more of a top end car?? Acceleration isn't that big of an issue to me that is where adding power to the engine comes into play lol.

I want to end up with a good all around sports car that will zip on the freeway as well as in town. I have another post with engine questions about making it a reliable 350-400hp.

I am a 14 year Automotive Mechanic but this is my first 280 so i am new to what is best for these cars.....but in other words i
understand very technical answers and will greatly appreciate all input and will share my build as i go along. Thanks everyone :)
Not open for further replies.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
You need a tranny, driveshaft, clutch, flywheel, clutch pedal, master cylinder, etc. Should have a blank on your firewall where the master cylinder goes. There were 3 manuals that came with the zx. I would get one from a turbo car if you can find it, or from an 81-83 car. Overdrive is I think .85 or .75 to 1, can't remember which. Your diff should be a 3.53 to one or something around there. Should work well with the overdrive. Just start piecing all the parts together, should be plug and play. ECU was different, but it still should work fine with the manual. You'll want to ditch it eventually if you really plan on getting a reliable 350-400 hp.
Awesome reply!! Thank you that answered every question i had. I've only had the car 2 days now so i have been doing fluid and hose changes etc etc for all the basic maintenence. I plan on keeping the car so i am going to do it piece by piece and not cut corners on the buildup.
One other thing you might wanna know is that the 280zx had 2 different flywheels. 2+2 and turbos had larger ones, and thus a larger clutch too. FYI. Doesn't make much difference, except when ordering parts, as I don't think there is anything different about the transmissions.
You guys are awesome :) I was wondering about the pedals cause i know the brake pedal is narrower on the manual for your feet to clear the clutch and brake without hitting one another. Also they have a few 280's around my year at the u pull it yards in my area. Haven't been out there to look yet but i really wanna check em out. I prefer to buy the tranny from somewhere that has tested it or knows it works, and buy clutch/flywheel new. But all the pedals/lines/hydraulics im hoping they have there. as well as driveshaft. Also is the 60mm throttle body from a certain year of a certain nissan car?? I've read up on them but was always vague in the description of what model car. Thanks for the help everyone and i will share my pics of the build as i do them a lil broke now but saving up and nopt cutting corners :)
See less See more
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Not open for further replies.