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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I keep seeing negative references to the Z-car/V-8 swap and have to put my $.02 in. I will guarantee most or all of these comments are made by folks who are misinformed or too much of a purist to accept something different. Having done 2 V-8 Zs and my current Turbo Z, I feel my opinion is based on facts and experience. I grew up on American V-8s and love them to death but will probably never have another one. I now enjoy the challenge of getting more out of less. Another reason is the old "been there, done that".

The modern Chevy SB with the aluminum heads, aluminum intake and headers is marginally heavier than a turbo L-28 with all the plumbing. That extra weight is offset if you use the JTR kit (the only one I would recommend). A Chevy SB w/o the water pump is only 21" long and with the JTR kit, sits behind the axis of the front wheels and is lower and offset to the passenger side to compensate for driver weight. Look at the Z engine and see how much of it sits forward of the axis of the front wheels. I would not bet against a JTR V-8 Z with the pieces to lighten the engine not having equal or better F/R weight distribution. The stock Z suspension and brakes are marginal even for a mildly upgraded L6, so the Zedheads with the hot turbo setups are going to need the same mods as the V-8, i.e., springs/shocks/brakes/strut tower braces and most of all an LSD. Having done a '71 and a '75, the '75 is the way to go because it has a stiffer frame, wider transmission tunnel, and is lighter than the later 280Zs.

For those of you considering the V-8, at least get the JTR instruction manual and try to make your brackets from their templates.

BTW, I added 2 pictures of my '75 V-8 Z to my page under "The Car" section.

Scottie
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My '76 lost 50 lbs using a n iron head, alum intake and the JTR manual. Weigh slip read 2813 lbs with full gas and asorted tools and stuff.
 
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