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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just wondering if anyone out there knew of the pros and cons of dropping the L28 in an '81 280ZX and putting in a 350 c.i.d. I've heard from some not so reliable sources that a 350 bolts right up with the exception of perhaps having to change a bellhousing. Any suggestions or links to one who knows would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Don't do it add a Turbo

if you really want to just go to www.metacrawler.com and look up Datsun 350 kits they make them and its not that easy you need to
get a new trans Jap to USA just does not hook up right well with a Toyota Truck anyways new trans means new rearend
its not cheap and I think its 100-200 LBS more
so your front end will be heavy

at first I wanted to do that before I got my 280ZX Turbo but after I felt that Turbo kick in
man oh man and thats only at 6 PSI I will one day have it at 14 PSI now thats a mustang killer
a stock Turbo 280ZXT goes 0-6 0 6.8 sec
a 97 Mustang Cobra does 0-60 in 5.9 secs
thank if the Turbo was 14 PSI

Jeff 81 280ZXT
 

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Re: Know anything about converting to a smallblock

Daman:
There are at least two places that I know of that you can get conversion kits to do this. One is Motorsport Auto (800) 633-6331 and John's Cars in Dallas, Texas (214) 426-4100. Generally this is done with the standard 255 HP, 350 ft. lb. torque, chevy 5.7L engine and the chevy T700 automatic transmission. I have heard of conversions using the Corvette/Z-28 LS-1 all aluminum 5.7L and the 6-spd manual but that is very rare and expensive. Any way you look at it your transmission and clutch are history. The drive shaft has to be shortened and you had better have good u-joints and a fresh R-200 differential to handle the torque. The neat thing about the LS-1 engine is that it is actually lighter than the L28 so you don't lose any of the Z's handling - unless you punch it in the middle of a corner and then you'll probably lose the entire car - not just the handling.
I am seriously considering this option myself and having John's Cars do it for me. Depending on the engine, though, the cost is $8-10,000. The engine transmission, induction system, ECU, and a bunch of other stuff are all brand new for that price. By buying the conversion kit and then sourcing used engie, transmission, etc. you could probably have a stormer for half that price.
Have fun,
Phantom.
 

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do it AND add a turbo

I agree with Phantom.
There are additional costs involved with new drive shafts, rear ends, etc. but the benefits
clearly outweigh any turbo L engine, especially
in the torque area. You might as well go all out.
Look at the American cars doing low 11 second 1/4 miles on NA small blocks on street tires.
I personally am going with JTR (jags that run)
their manual is pretty straight forward but only covers carburated engines. I plan on an LT1 with
LT4 heads, used of course to save money for turbo
parts.
Any one know of a good front mount, 1 piece intercooler for twin turbo V engines?? Callaway,
maker of the twin turbo corvettes won't flow the info!
As for JTR,
I believe they're at
www.jagsthatrun.com
or is it
www.jtr.com?
A web search will find them.
 

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Re: do it AND add a turbo

> I agree with Phantom.
> There are additional costs involved with new
> drive shafts, rear ends, etc. but the
> benefits
> clearly outweigh any turbo L engine,
> especially
> in the torque area. You might as well go all
> out.

What makes you say this? Okay, a well executed turbo V8 will obviously make more torque, if that's what you're talking about, but good luck packaging that in a Z.

There a plenty of turbo L6's on this board (okay, probably more like a few) that can make more than 350ft-lbs of torque - mine included (yes I have dyno plots).

> Look at the American cars doing low 11
> second 1/4 miles on NA small blocks on
> street tires.

Yes, this can be done, but if they are really all motor (i.e., no nitrous), then they are most likely highly cammed, high compression motors. Great for the strip, not so great on the street. A turbo L6 will be much more enjoyable in the real world.

Sorry, I don't usually get involved in L6 vs.V8 pissing matches - it's your car and you can certainly do what you want with it. I just took exception to your saying that a 350ft-lb V8 will have more torque than any turbo L6 (at least it appeared that that was what your were saying).
 

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Re: Know anything about converting to a smallblock

> I was just wondering if anyone out there
> knew of the pros and cons of dropping the
> L28 in an '81 280ZX and putting in a 350
> c.i.d. I've heard from some not so reliable
> sources that a 350 bolts right up with the
> exception of perhaps having to change a
> bellhousing. Any suggestions or links to one
> who knows would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks.
Hey Daman,

I have no personal experience with the John's Cars conversion system but, as you may guess from my email address (DATsun chevrOLET), I do have some experience with this subject. My '76 Datolet 280Z 2+2 was assembled using the Jags That Run conversion manual (available from www.jagsthatrun.com for about $30) as a basic guide. I fabricated most of the mounts myself from diagrams/templates/instructions in the manual. They are available through JTR from Stealth (APPROX $300). Two items they have are ESSENTIAL. The driveshaft adaptor flange facilitates bolting a shortened balanced GM driveshaft directly to the stock R200 rearend/differential/3rd member. The custom speedometer cable permits connecting a GM trans to the stock speedo. Everything is Bolt In the only cutting required is removing the original trans mount reinforcing ribs in the driveline tunnel for clearance on the larger transmission. Definitely go with the recommended 5 spd gearbox. I used an old Saginaw 4 spd (parts on hand/POH). 78 mph=3,000 rpm and I am forever looking for another gear. JTR's wiring instructions could be a bit more instructive but, they are covering 260Z thru 280ZX in one manual. Instead of the '83 Corvette bellhousing I used a Lakewood Scattershield (POH) necessitating the use of a '63 Corvette clutch fork ($85 ouch). Summit Racing has a very nice Griffin 25 1/2 X 19 4 core radiator ($170) and a Wilwood 7/8 master cylinder makes the clutch work well.(in my case with the original slave cylinder, bled first then mounted upside down on the drivers side). I didn't build the Datolet to go Drag/Racing (though it is certainly capable in that department), but rather to haul myself, wife, dog and our Sporties to Sturgis, 4 Corners, Red River, etc. If you would like to ask me any questions or want more details, you can reach me at [email protected]
I try to get on my home machine at least once a week. But I hit this EXCELLENT SITE several times a night from my office machine here at SAFB, CO. mikey
 

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there ya go..

> I agree with Phantom.
> There are additional costs involved with new
> drive shafts, rear ends, etc. but the
> benefits
> clearly outweigh any turbo L engine,
> especially
> in the torque area. You might as well go all
> out.
> Look at the American cars doing low 11
> second 1/4 miles on NA small blocks on
> street tires.
> I personally am going with JTR (jags that
> run)
> their manual is pretty straight forward but
> only covers carburated engines. I plan on an
> LT1 with
> LT4 heads, used of course to save money for
> turbo
> parts.
> Any one know of a good front mount, 1 piece
> intercooler for twin turbo V engines??
> Callaway,
> maker of the twin turbo corvettes won't flow
> the info!
> As for JTR,
> I believe they're at
> www.jagsthatrun.com
> or is it
> www.jtr.com?
> A web search will find them.

8 cylinders and a turbo
 
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