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ZAMM Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Anyone here own, or know anyone who owns a V8 powered Datsun Z car?



One popular conversion was known as a Scarab, but there are plenty of others, including home-brews.

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/4893013766.html

The 260Z fixed a few genetic problems with the 240Z but the emissions control equipment strangled the inline 6 engine so badly that a smallblock transplant, well, I'm surprised MORE of them weren't done.

The 280Z, and ZX, the fuel injection worked WELL ENOUGH (despite endless vapor locking) that an engine transplant was more effort than it was worth. Chevy smallblocks were similarly strangled; the '79 280Z would outrun a stock Vette of the day)

Even so the bulk of the V8 transplants I see are 240's and 280's, very few ZX's with their infamous rear suspension mis-design. (Drop throttle mid-turn and the rear will it'll toe in?out? on ya and swap ends)

Yeah, I'm looking to pick one up to play with. There's always a couple on Ebay, but I only buy cars locally. Gotta see 'em, drive 'em, get pre-purchase inspections if they're high dollar cars. Every $150 long distance inspection I've ever had done has led to a "Hell No!" because the owner didn't disclose major faults, like frame repairs, rust, disconnected AC systems, running on only 7 cylinders, etc. Despite telling me car was "perfect."

Finding a "Scarab" with working AC is nearly an impossibilty, but what damn good is ANY car in Alabama or Phoenix without AC?

I'd really like to find "a friend of a friend" with a hanger (garage) queen Scarab, bodywork / ground effects already painted, interior done.... who is just ready to put something else in the garage and not drive it.

At this point in my life I have (or now) own virtually every vehicle I have ever wanted, short of a '67 Vette, and a Scarab. This literally might be the last car I ever buy. I have settled on a 20 year old Lexus SC400 as my daily, favorite driver, power, smooth ride, cold AC, banging stereo....

I realize just how lucky I am to have been able to buy (and sell) so many cars, to finally come down to "the final few" but there is also a bit of sadness in estinguishing a flame that kept me lusting / coveting & car shopping for 40+ years.

Wait a minute, have you seen that new Ferrari California turbo! Ok, flame's not out yet!
 

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So long
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I had an '83 300ZX bought it new an only kept it a year.

I have a good friend with an "87 Buick Grand National. I joined him at Piedmont Dragway for a day of racing. One guy show up with the GNX T-Type engine stuffed into an old Mazda RX7. Man o man that was quick!

A couple of years ago I spotted this MGB GT with a V8. At a Cars and Coffee event in Cary, NC. If I remember correctly, it was running a Ford 289.

 

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It seems Ford was considered a good donor way back when, the Sunbeam Tiger and the Avanti were both Ford powered. Not that I'm prejudiced (I really am) I haven't really heard of many factory produced Chevy engine sporty small cars.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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There are several companies, dropping LS in to the Solstice.
 

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So long
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It seems Ford was considered a good donor way back when, the Sunbeam Tiger and the Avanti were both Ford powered. Not that I'm prejudiced (I really am) I haven't really heard of many factory produced Chevy engine sporty small cars.
The Avanti engine was not sourced from Ford. The 289 coincidentally had the same displacement as Fords's 289 but the Studebaker engine was a stroked version of Studebaker's old reliable 259 cubic-inch V-8. The supercharged R3 engine had 304 ci.

The 1965 Griffith was a British car with a Ford 289. Here's a video clip with some background and a ride.

 

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Nightfly
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I'm not surprised at all that a 79 280Z would outrun a stock Vette of the day. That was one of the weakest years for production Corvettes ever. Base engine of 195 hp and the L-82 225 hp certainly left a lot desired for a car that was always thought of as a performance vehicle. 1979 hp figures were actually an increase from the previous year. I don't think your Z would fair too well against a current Vette. But the Z is still a cool car. Just don't saddle it with a small block.

Oz, I wish I still owned my 67 Sunbeam Tiger2 with 289 Ford that was anything but streetable. Great little car. The Avanti was cool for it's day as well.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #12
Biggest drawback for me is the 305 engine. I owned a 1984 Z-28 with the 305. it Made a good boat anchor, otherwise a piece of junk. If you have the money I'd replace that motor pronto.
Thanks for the input, Tobacco. Your'e righrt about the 305. There's a much more built one up in Minneapolis for $4k more. It's got the RIGHT things wrong with ith, namely body & paint.

Tell me what you think..

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Datsun-Z-Series-Base-/271813874429
 

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Nightfly
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Thanks for the input, Tobacco. Your'e righrt about the 305. There's a much more built one up in Minneapolis for $4k more. It's got the RIGHT things wrong with ith, namely body & paint.

Tell me what you think..

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Datsun-Z-Series-Base-/271813874429
Wade, the car I would have to see in person to pass any judgment but once again I am not impressed with the engine. 1973 350 chevy was a very low horsepower engine as it came from the factory. Highest horsepower for that year, from what I can find, was 250 hp and 285 torque and a very mild 9.1 compression ratio.

Not much info listed about his engine rebuild, and I'm sure that year did not have 4 bolt mains and the heads were not worth much. A 600 cfm Edelbrock 1405 performer carb is the same as the old AFB carb by Carter. I was never fond of the AFB although they did come stock on some of the old Hemi's and 409's. I had a real strong running ZZ3 engine with a number of mods and briefly used a 750 CFM Edelbrock while my Holley was being fine tuned. The difference in performance was night and day. The Holley simply blew the Edelbrock in the weeds. Some people have trouble using double pumpers on the street but if it's set up right they kick ass. Of course now there are a hell of a lot of things out there to buy. I'm old school and that's what I know.

He doesn't give any info about the Holley intake.

The 600 cfm is too small for a 350, unless it's a real low horsepower motor. I ran a 750 CFM Holley Double Pumper that was really working well, never had a problem. The Edelbrock was vacuum secondaries which I never cared for. A well tuned double pumper with mechanical secondaries really works well.

If you want a formula to figure out a basic size carb for an engine try this:

Engine size x RPM x 1.05 divided by 3456. As an example:

350ci x 6000RPM = 2100000 x 1.5 = 2205000 divided by 3456 = 638 cfm.
That's not a perfect value but can be used as a starting point, depending on what you have done to the engine and the volumetric efficiency of your motor. Hence why I used a 750 Holley.

I could add that going a little smaller, but not too small, on the size of the carb will give a bit more throttle response. If you're running a 950 cfm carb, well that might be good if you're only drag racing, but not so good around town.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Sounds to me like he doesn't actually KNOW what motor he's got. Not sure how I would confirm 4-bolt mains unless he took pictures during his rebuild.

For everyone else...Pam....4-bolt mains allow an engine to be "built" to produce a LOT more power before it destroys itself than a similar engine with MAIN bearing caps held on by only two bolts.

OK, OK, Tobacco I gve you the wrong link:

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/cto/4850007737.html

THIS car has the built engine, the OTHER car has the body/interior everything ELSE fixed.
 

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Nightfly
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Sounds to me like he doesn't actually KNOW what motor he's got. Not sure how I would confirm 4-bolt mains unless he took pictures during his rebuild.

For everyone else...Pam....4-bolt mains allow an engine to be "built" to produce a LOT more power before it destroys itself than a similar engine with MAIN bearing caps held on by only two bolts.

OK, OK, Tobacco I gve you the wrong link:

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/cto/4850007737.html

THIS car has the built engine, the OTHER car has the body/interior everything ELSE fixed.
Looking over the specs on the engine a high nickel block is very desirable. From what I can remember a high nickel block will have a 010 or 020 stamped behind the timing gear, a bit difficult to check with out taking the timing gear off the engine.

I believe an 010 stamp means an additional 1% nickel in the block and 020 means 2% additional nickel. If you have both numbers stamped then it would be a high nickel high tin block. These blocks are known for being very tough with wear mostly being a non-issue.

Apparently these blocks came with either 2 bolt or 4 bolt mains. The early Z-28 blocks and some other high performance engines (LT-1) came with high nickel content blocks but they were known for wearing out the tools used to machine them. The old Cadillac blocks were all high nickel content blocks and that was one of the reasons they would last much longer than the standard engine blocks.

He's running a Crane solid roller cam which is great for performance but scary when parts break, which they can easily do with a solid roller cam. I ran a Crane solid roller on the street and nothing made the engine come alive like that cam did. I was running a stronger cam, 314 duration - 614 lift - bigger heads, high compression and with the factory 4 bolt main block I could spin it close to 8K. But you have to have all the good parts, even a high rev-kit. Even then there is no guarantee. But there is nothing like the sound of that cam on the street either. And if you want to run one nothing but the very best in parts will do.

Mine was in a daily driver and that was a mistake. Super high valve spring pressure, constant adjusting the valve lash and hoping the damn lifters wouldn't break and easily destroy my high dollar motor. (at that time) I did have a lifter break but I was fortunate, it only wiped out the cam lobe, and it helped that I shut the engine down immediately. I was running a cross-ram intake (old school) with two 650 Holley's, gas mileage was about 5 per gallon. Back then Sunoco 260 was 40 cents a gallon, it was affordable.

I did a little checking around and none of the cam manufacturers could come close to OEM durability in a daily driver on a street application. Lunati has what is considered the best bet to help with the solid roller on the street, and this is with the use of their Pressurized Solid Roller Lifters. These are top of the line and probably expensive.

My personal opinion about running a solid roller cam is if you are not willing or can't afford the premium parts needed to run a solid roller then I would recommend changing the cam.

There was no mention of valve springs on his list of engine parts. The Crane Gold Roller Rocker are a good choice but I am not up on the latest in valve spring technology. In my day I was running a triple valve spring with tremendous pressure and I can tell you there is no way you would get 50k miles out of any of the parts associated with a solid roller cam. I was changing valve springs 2 or 3 times a year. Weak valve springs will quickly be the demise of your engine.

And I haven't even gotten to the heads. The heads listed are pretty much stock replacement for the factory fuelie and 70 to 72 LT-Heads. Sure you can install the 2.02 intake and 1.60 exhaust valves but I wouldn't waste my money on that. A good set of aluminum heads from a current maker of such would be my suggestion. Hopefully they would already come with screw-in rocker studs, a definite necessity.

I don't know the RPM range of the cam but what is basically a Carter 650 carb is not gonna cut it. I guess you have to make up your mind what you want the car to be and how you want it to run. He does list some decent parts but I have no idea what a R-200 rear end is. Nor what gear ratio. I ran 4:88 gear ratio with a rock crusher 4/sp trans. As I see it the engine is the biggest question mark.

On looking over some of the specs on the cam, it is a fairly tame solid roller cam so it may not be as hard on parts as what I was running.
I wish you luck Wade. If it's just a fun car and it was me, I take it to the max.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #16

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Nightfly
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Actually 4 bolt mains are not overrated. While it is true all 327's from the factory were 2 bolt mains but anyone who raced them, and I'm not talking about a slightly built street motor, would install "splayed 4 bolt kits" on the center 3 caps. Sure you can get away with turning a little higher rpm with a 2 bolt main. But most racers want the strength a 4 bolt block offers.

There were a lot of factory hot rod parts that came on the high performance 302's and 327's back in the day, maybe more than newer guys are familiar with. Pink rods, larger pushrods, nodular and steel cranks, larger journal cranks, etc., are just a few. And there is a main web setup than can attach to the bottom of the crank journals to give it strength as well.

If you're not running high horsepower then a 2 bolt block is sufficient. My personal engine was rated about 750 hp and turning a lot of rpm so of course I wanted the splayed 4 bolt kit. There are so many tricks and things that are possible, stud kits come to mind, but I don't have time nor the desire to get into it.

Wade, if you buy it, do whatever you want...
 
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