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Old 02-26-2010, 04:23 AM   #1
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Default Possible Project 260/280z V8, thoughts

Since parting out my car ive been thinking about my next project for when i get my school stuff payed off and get a better job. What I want is something that I can auto-x, targa, and which lays down some power in the straights as well. Doesnt need to be competitive in any racing class, just fun and has parts available for fairly cheap if anything breaks or needs replacement. So after a few weeks of pondering, i decided an obd2 chevy LT1+T56 (cheaper than LS1 and easier to find) swapped into a datsun 260/280z would be a good direction. I would try to find a chasis 1975 and older to get out of cali smog issues as well. That way I can remove all smog equipment and basically do what i want.

Ive considered newer chasis options like rx7, porsche 944, and 300z, but smog regulations and parts availability and/or price make me hesitant. Carb regulations aside, an rx7 chasis would be preferred, but it would require getting the car checked by a ref and then subsequent smog checks as well.

So does anyone have any ideas about other avenues I should look into? Engine, chasis, etc ... any input would be greatly appreciated as I am looking to not spend tons and have a car that doesnt have to be trailered.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:32 AM   #2
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:34 AM   #3
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IMO do a 240/260z. At the local dyno day there was a 240z with a 280z turbo swap, stock internals/turbo, making 330whp.

Sounded like a really cheap and appealing project. Although v8 is always best.

best of luck to you, make sure to keep us updated if/when the next project arises.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireindc View Post
...a 240z with a 280z turbo swap... a really cheap and appealing project.
qft- friend of mine had the same and tracked it reliably for ages. Just keep in mind that those cars are a lot older than the oldest Miatas and will come with most of the problems that old cars have unless it's already taken care of.

As a track car, they'll also suffer from similar issues of old cars that need to be addressed- like chassis rigidity and small brakes. The newer cars you listed won't have those issues.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m2cupcar View Post
qft- friend of mine had the same and tracked it reliably for ages. Just keep in mind that those cars are a lot older than the oldest Miatas and will come with most of the problems that old cars have unless it's already taken care of.

As a track car, they'll also suffer from similar issues of old cars that need to be addressed- like chassis rigidity and small brakes. The newer cars you listed won't have those issues.
I've been down some of these roads too, lately. Its the reality of a 20-year old car on the track. I have a new engine, drivetrain, new electronics everywhere, new hydraulic stuffs, and new bushings going in because everything is old and tired.

I think the V8 is a good idea, but I'd prefer to drive the turbo straight-6 personally.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:44 AM   #6
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IIRC the 260s were around pre-75. That gives you plenty of room to put the iron block LT1 pretty far behind the front axle line too.

I would do a cage for both the protection and the rigidity.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:27 AM   #7
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if you can find a nice one that's not rusted to ****, i'd do something with it, love those cars
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:29 AM   #8
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Only problem I see is finding a non rusted out chasis. Friend had a 240z with a rb26dett in it. The sills were horribly rusted out and he just gave up. You could actualy see the car twist when he hit the gas.

Cool car though.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:32 AM   #9
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While I love the cars, stock and performance parts pricing, parts and car availability, finding a quality donor all drove me to the building the V8 Miata over all other options. You also will likely end up with a better handling and performing car as well. It just won't be as pretty.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:42 AM   #10
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I've seen this car in person and at the track, and it ***** on the chests of the gays:


Mark Rolston's RB26DETT Powered 240z | Auszcar
MZM International Inc. - Mark Rolston's 71' 240Z
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:49 AM   #11
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Oh my, that is pretty
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:52 AM   #12
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Do a little more reading on the LT1's. You'll probably want to go OBD-I as it's actually an UPGRADE for OBD-II cars to switch back to OBD-I. Makes life a little more simple.

I love the instantaneous torque of my LT1. It's fun.

Cool thing about those old straight-6 cars is their rear ends! Most will come with a 4:10 or better... and w/ an LT1, that's just absurd. Even in stock trim I was barking 3rd on a $130 AutoZone clutch during SCCA events. Then I got full exhaust, tune, CAI, and destroyed a throw-out bearing while powersliding 2nd into 3rd gear at 5:30am on my way to work. I have a pic of that thing somewhere.. and yes, I'm a jackass.

Did I mention the LT1's are fun?

EDIT: Meant to mention about the gearing... LT1 6-speed cars came with 3.42's. With a 4.10 I've seen guys light up 3rd gear on the highway.

EDIT: Pics are always nice.

Last edited by Project84; 02-26-2010 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:08 PM   #13
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This
HybridZ

This
L33 engine out of the 04-05 Chev 1500 crewcab with HO option. Its a 5.3 all aluminum ls variant motor. It has LS2 heads on it. Go to car-part.com to get one for $500 bucks.

This
You want a 260z with the better rear end and extra bracing.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:33 PM   #14
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an RB or even SR swap into one of those would be pretty fun, I love 280z's
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:48 PM   #15
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a '70 240Z was my dream car. I originally was looking for one of these when I bought my Miata. Unfortunately any of them I looked at would have need a full ground up restoration because of the issue these cars have rusting out. And each of them had had a hack job repair to cover up the issue. So even if it looks to have a good body, it's probably all glass and bondo under, where the frame rails are supposed to be.

It's a big project, this is what you would probably be in for. 1971 Datsun 240z resto.project [vids/pics] - HybridZ
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:04 PM   #16
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I see what four plus years of sitting outside, undriven has done to this Miata I have now and can't fathom the amount of work a car twice it's age would take. And most of it stuf I don't want to do it, which means it'll cost me. It would be worth searching/waiting for a clean example to come up and paying the price IMO.
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:16 PM   #17
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Here's a project car for you...

1973 Porsche 914 V8 chevy 350 conversion SCCA ralley race car

v8 swap 914.

Also swapping Miata running gear into an older British or Italian car might make an interesting project with good results. Spitfires come cheap.
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:49 PM   #18
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maybe L33 would be better, I mean a car that spins on throttle in third is getting out of fun and into scary territory. Less power also means I can run the lighter 240z chasis as they had rigidity problems as stock, but can be stiffenned up with frame rails and roll cage. Ill look into that motor, thanks jake

Porsche with a 350 would be sweet, but i fear the cost of replacement parts and difficulty finding parts at a junkyard. I know about the rust issues, i fear it as well and fully anticipate to strip the car down completely upon recipt to look for and repair rusting panels and to apply new finish to the metal under the carpets and whatnot to further prevent rust. Obviously rust would eventually take the car, but I dont plan to live forever either and I am ok with that.

OK im going to check out those links you guys posted up.
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
I've seen this car in person and at the track, and it ***** on the chests of the gays:


Mark Rolston's RB26DETT Powered 240z | Auszcar
MZM International Inc. - Mark Rolston's 71' 240Z

I think I just dripped a little.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayc72 View Post
a '70 240Z was my dream car. I originally was looking for one of these when I bought my Miata. Unfortunately any of them I looked at would have need a full ground up restoration because of the issue these cars have rusting out. And each of them had had a hack job repair to cover up the issue. So even if it looks to have a good body, it's probably all glass and bondo under, where the frame rails are supposed to be.

It's a big project, this is what you would probably be in for. 1971 Datsun 240z resto.project [vids/pics] - HybridZ
I just spent the last 3 hours watching the videos that guy made ... simply amazing work put into that project! Looking through that post though, I am led to believe that this is far more rust than typical. It does not turn me off though, I am sure I could find a less rusty chasis being that I am in cali and that car was shipped from a humid and rainy southern state where rust would be much more prevalant. Just goes to show how crazy the rust can get though.
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