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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a fair amount of experience with non-turbo Z's, having owned both an '76 and a '82, both of which I worked on extensively and hot rodded myself (header, big cam, exhaust, etc.). I am now in the process of buying an '83 Turbo. What can I do, within reasonable cost parameters, to increase its performance?
 

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Now that you own a turbocharged car, the sky is the limit. Well, almost. The first and cheapest thing you can do for more power is to get a simple manual boost controller. However, you have to be carefull not to run too much boost as the engine will detonate. I recomend that if you plan on running more than 8psi you will need an intercooler. However, you can get away with about 11psi without one. BTW, you can get a manual boost controller from HK$ or Greddy. I recomend the HK$ one. Another upgrade is a high flow air filter and exhaust system. If you get a high flow air filter, exhaust, and turn up the boost to 11psi, you can expect about 25 more hp. Another thing you can do is get Jim Wolf's computer upgrade, however it costs about $700. They say that if you do their computer upgrade, high flow air filter, exhaust, intercooler, and 13psi boost, you will get about 260 hp. That's 80 more than stock and can be done with the stock turbo. If you want more than that, you will need to look into turbo upgrades such as the famed T3/T4 hybrid. Another factor that limits the hp potential of the 280ZXT is the air flow meter. Jim Wolf has a conversion that uses the mass air sensor from a 300ZXT which flows a lot better. This system is capable of up to about 400hp. At that point, you would also need to explore other upgrades such as drivetrain, suspension, and brakes. All in all, I think that the basic upgrades I mentioned, air filter, exhaust, boost controller, and intercooler, will be enough for most people. Also, when you do these upgrades, it may also be necessary to upgrade your fuel pump so that the engine doesn't starve. Just remember that the stock turbo is only efficient to about 13-14psi and detonation will kill the engine. That is why you will need an intercooler. Anyway, If you would like more info, email me. Good luck!!!!

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
RE: Jim says not to run the 300 mass air sensor

I spoke with Jim Wolfe last week and asked him specifically about running the mass air sensor from the 300 and he says that it is done, but is not really correct to do. He instead recommends using the AFM from a 1993 Mustang Cobra. This is a high flowing unit that will produce great horsepower potential. He offers it for $250.00 or get your own. He, also said he uses the 300 ZX n/a ECU for the conversion into the 280ZX turbo which costs $ 595 plus a charge to rewire it if you want him to(He will tell you how if you want to do it yourself). My request was for a system that had an honest 300+ hp capability and he recommended these two items along with 420 cc injectors which run 100 each. This is what he is currently recommending. Not to say he didn't recommend the system with a 300zxt and mass air sensor at one time, he just doesn't use it now.
 
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