I Was really set on getting a Z31 Turbo But have found an 88 N\A that I dont think I can pass up on because of the condition and price. Is it as much of a pain to do the turbo upgrade on these as is on the Z32 ?
I didnt really know what I was getting into when I ripped my N/A motor out but I still would say it is worth it as long as you have someone that has removed a motor before and don't mind if your Z has to sit for months.
I would be easier to just buy a turbo car, but since you're stuck on buying this one, there is a couple options afforded to you.
1) Buy a whole turbo engine (JDM or USDM) and swap that in. You're going to be missing a lot of small pieces, but other than dropping the engine in, there shouldn't be much other tough work.
2) Turbo your n/a engine. This engine will have higher compression, but some people like that because the power comes on lower, but it doesn't deliver as much power as a turbo engine with higher PSI.
3) Turn your n/a engine into a turbo. You will need to get a set of turbo pistons to lower the compression as well. But if you're going to dig into your engine this much, you might as well get a new set of pistons, and rods, and valves. Basically build the whole thing up and run 1000hp.
If you've got time and money, pick option 3; if neither are available, you might as well pick up a turbo donor car that doesn't look so good, and steal the engine out of it to drop in your Z. This way, you will have all those little pieces you need for the swap, and you won't have to worry about digging into the engine any.
For any of these swaps though, it'll go easier if you have access to an engine lifts.
Here's what you should do if you want a turbo, but are dead set on that n/a. Drive it, and put back money every week. Then go to a junkyard and get a VG33 block. Then take the heads off and have them ported the **** out and polished up really nice. Then get the correct manifolds, and get one of those intakes that the guys on here make so you have a bigger engine, with plenty of upgrades done so you can have a good, quality motor, and plenty of power. Then do the swap.
or.. you could just buy a motor ,tear it down, have it bored to whatever you want (3.4-3.5? dont know if its recomendable ), get forged pistons, get your heads redone top to bottom (cams, valve springs, port and polish, angle job),have/find a freeflow upper intake plenum, and change all seals and gaskets.
its probably the most expensive way , or you can just get a vg30et ,keep it stock and call it a day.