300ZX NA to TT fun times....

Discussion in 'Member's Garage' started by asoons, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. asoons

    asoons New Member

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    Below is a thread I have posted on another site showing my budget 300ZX build from NZ.

    For those interested in a laugh read on

    So I decided to get another project to muck around with. Requirements were it had to be Nissan, be cheap, have 4 seats (the 280Z is not overly family friendly) and be cheap.

    I have always liked the old Z32 300zx's so decided to go down that path, they are a love it or hate it car but Im cool with that. Upsides of the Z32 are obviously you can pick them up for next to nothing these days, there are lots of spare parts available for them and they are quite a lot of car for the money. The downside is they are are a bitch to work on due to engine layout/space restrictions, you have to pull the engine to change the washer fluid.

    Plan for this thing is just a fun budget build, use cheap or second hand parts where possible, take to the odd track day and drive it.

    So knowing it was probably a stupid idea i started looking around and found cheap semi tidy 2+2 NA manual in Christchurch. So site unseen, Craig and I jumped on a plane flew down, met the guy at the airport, dropped some cash on the thing and road tripped it back to Aucks which was mint.

    When we picked it up

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    Mean trip home

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    The car has over 200K Kms on it and leaked oil from every seal imaginable, interior was filthy and it had an horrific pitstop special exhaust system that was stupidly loud and totally shit. Good points were body was fairly tidy, came on some rough 18x9.5s, gearbox felt ok and car drove pretty sweet.

    At home with the 280

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    When i got it home the first thing that needed attention was the bio-hazard of an interior. It was disgusting, the drivers seat was torn and the dash was lifting around the windscreen air vent which I believe is fairly common. Every old 300zx has a torn drivers seat which looks crap, i wanted to keep the seats as they are cool 90s retro with motors in them so decided to re skin the drivers seat. I found a tidy passenger seat online then proceeded to strip it down and swap the skin over to the original drivers seat. This was a mission that took forever, I dont recommend.

    Spare passenger seat I found

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    after ripping it to pieces

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    lots of scrubbing out years of filth, ended up with two fairly tidy seats with no rips etc. They are still wet in this pic

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    One non torn drivers seat back in the car

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    Rest of the interior got a full on scrub down, it was unreal how much crud came out of everything. I also pulled out the dash and glued down the area that was lifting around the air vent. Another job I did was to tidy up the vinyl trim on the rear quarter panel interior trims that were torn.

    Next job was address the ride height. The car was rocking full on 4x4 spec stock suspension which had to go. Cheapest option I found was some dodgy ebay style coil overs, yep they are probably made from recycled watties baked bean cans but they were cheap so they were in.

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    Threw them in and adjusted height to something that looked more respectable

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    There is still scope to go lower but looks better for now

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    The car came on a set of 18x9.5 +15ET china spec Cosmis wheels. They were were in a pretty sad state with some curbing and stone chips etc. In an ideal world I should replace them with something decent but thats not happening so decided to tidy them up as best I could.

    You have to be a mogul when you are racing modern...WTF

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    Spent a fair but of time sanding down all the chips and marks. Then sprayed gloss black to hide the evidence.

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    They look 100 times better than they did so they are staying for now. Need to change the wheel nuts to something non chrome

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    Old mate Craig had a super legit set of Defi gauges gathering dust on his shelf so i stole them, hacked up the center console and made them fit. Gauges are worth more than the whole car, cheers bro!

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    Next thing to address is the engine. The tired VG30DE had to go, it was leaking oil real bad and is slow. I had initially thought of throwing in a RB25 for something different but by chance ended up getting hold of a supposedly low km VG30DETT twin turbo motor for super cheap from the Mrs uncle who randomly had it sitting around in his shed. Fitting a VG30DETT into a NA Z32 is meant to be relatively straight forward, you can use the NA loom etc. My car is factory manual, the NA and TT gearbox internals are identical but the TT version has a slightly larger bell housing, the internet told me it should all fit somehow...

    The turbo engine had been sitting in his shed for years so was looking a little worse for wear. It turned over freely so figured I would take a chance on it. This was how it looked when i got it home.

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    I also tracked down a complete stock intercooler plumbing kit

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    I gave it a good de-grease and waterblast then started stripping things off to tidy it up a bit. I didnt know anything about VGs so was going to be interesting.
    I ordered a timing belt kit, water pump and rocker cover gasket kit from the states. Then proceeded to pull things off, clean, sand, prime, paint, refit, repeat...

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    Fitted new timing belt, idlers, water pump, thermostat etc

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    Painted up the timing covers so they look a but different, every VG i have seen has the stock black covers.

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    The stock T25 turbos looked in fairly good condition, no large amounts of shaft play and rotated nice and freely

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    I ordered a set of dump pipes from ebay in the states, they were ridiculously cheap and seem OK. The 8 year old in China did a sweet job on the welding, they are guaranteed to crack on start up...

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    Painted the water inlet and outlet pipes black just to mix things up from the normal alloy finish most are

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    Pulled the injectors and replaced the o-rings and pintle caps

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    Painted the fuel rail gloss black

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    Nissan engineers were on acid back in the 90s and decided to try and include lots of crazy technology into the VG engine. The engine has an exhaust recycling system to reduce emissions on startup. It is known to fail over time so I deleted it and welded up the pipe on the manifold.

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    I also removed the PCV plumbing and welded up the ports on the rocker cover. I will be using an external oil breather tank.

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    I also deleted all the additional water cooling lines that run under the plenum. Again these apparently begin to leak over time and arent needed. I stripped down and painted the plenum exoxy gloss black to match the rest of the engine colors.

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    Also painted up the heat shields and other small bits, waste of time really as you will never see any of it. The factory NA engine mounts from my old engine were shot, they had cracked right through. I found some cheap nolathane ones online, I made some alloy heat shields for them as some threads online said the nolathane mounts can fail due to heat.

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    Also replaced the rear main seal while everything was apart

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    I reused the flywheel from the old NA engine, it is smaller than the one that comes with the TT motor but it fits with my gearbox so had no option there. NA VGs use the same clutch layout as RBs so I fitted a heavy duty Clutch Industries RB25DET clutch.

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    Out came the tired old DE, getting at some of the plugs was a real bitch. You really need to be the size of a leprechaun to work on these engines.

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    removed the gearbox and its 20+ years of grime

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    Used degreaser and oven cleaner to clean it up as best I could

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    Engine and gearbox mated up, ready to go in car

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    In goes the DETT

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    Boom

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    Factory twin turbo cars have a stock external oil cooler, NA versions dont so raided Craigs parts bin again. Added a few AN fittings and sorted.

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    I was going to used the stock intecoolers that I scored but ended up buying a dirt cheap ebay split front mount cooler for some stupid reason. I think it is a copy of the Greddy version?

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    It is a tight fit, had to cut away some of the plastic bumper support to make room

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    Then I made up a set of cooler pipes to fit by cutting up the stock ones I had, combined with some silicone joiners it worked out pretty sweet

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    My car came with a china spec Greddy copy twin mushroom intake pipe

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    I needed to fit an oil breather tank somewhere in the engine bay so decided to run with a small batter setup and combine that with a breather. Knocked up this disaster of an effort.

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    Painted up and installed

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    Will do the job

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    Next job was to make up an exhaust.

    The dump pipes i bought off ebay included mid pipes so i was one third of the way there.

    Picked up a bunch of 2.5 inch bends and mufflers etc

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    Started piecing it all together, just tacked in place to suss out the layout

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    Went with a crossover section and two small mid resonators

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    Once i had the layout sorted welded it all up and painted.

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    Fitted the NA loom up to the motor. Some of the old coil plugs were broken so replaced them with new ones. I had to relocate the lower radiator mounts as the TT radiator is narrower and thicker than the NA version.

    I had one small issue with one of the loom grounds resulting in no power to the coils but once I sorted that the engine fired up nicely which was awesome. Used a consult cable to make sure everything was working as it should. Adjusted CAS to match engine timing to ecu timing. Oil pressure seems good, temp OK and idles nice and smooth so fingers crossed.

    I am waiting on a few small parts to arrive, alloy radiator as the factory one I have is a bit sketchy, factory fan shroud and radiator top mounting brackets.

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    I have taken for a few drives up and down the road an everything seems OK so far. Car is only on wastegate boost at this stage (7psi) but I have a profec boost controller installed so will have a play with that and turn it up a bit.

    Washed it for the first time in forever, was such a mint weekend

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    280 got a clean also

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    Next step is tidy a few small things and get a new warrant for it. Then I will fit a wide band to it and may have a play with the ECU using Nistune software or romulator. I will need to upgrade the injectors at some stage and it will need a bigger fuel pump also.

    Fun times...

    Made a bit more progress on this thing.

    Fired up the car and noticed fuel leaking out of one of the stock injectors. Decided this was a good time to replace them. I scored some 550CC side injectors for a decent price, these are the newer style side feeds so you need an adapter kit to fit them to the early model Z32s. I ordered a kit online then threw them in.

    Stripped off plenum, removed injectors and fuel rails.

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    Installed new injectors and adapter kits in the rails and then put back on the engine.

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    As the injectors are the newer style I also had to replace the factory Z32 injector plugs with new style ones. I scored a second hand set cut from an old nissan loom and wired in. Thes plugs are so much nicer than the original Z32 ones which are a bitch to unplug and crack when you look at them.

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    Plenum and other hardware reinstalled

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    Due to new larger injectors the ECU needs to be modified to suit. You can socket the factory ECU and burn a new chip for it but I decided to go with the Nistune solution. Once your factory ECU is socketed you simply plug it in and have a fully programmable ECU. You can see the Nistune chip plugged in to the socket, you need to solder a few additional power wires and its sorted.

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    Nistune are always adding functionality to their system. They now include features like flexfuel/e85 compatability, launch control and boost by gear etc. You simply tune via the laptop plugged into the factory nissan consult port. Thay have a pretty comprehensive software package to go along with it.

    Ready to go back in the car.

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    Then its a case of firing up the laptop, using the resize injector feature in the software to enter the new injector size and you are away. There is additional tuning required to some settings to get idle and mixtures completely correct but the car fired up fine after the resize was done.

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    Installed an Innovative MTX-L wideband to try and stop me turning the engine to flames

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    I also installed a new alloy radiator as the old stock one I had found was pretty sketchy. Had to make up some new top mounting brackets. I also tracked down a factory fan shroud so chucked that on also.

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    I managed to find another rear hatch that had the factory spoiler on it. Its in pretty rough condition but decided to fit it , I think I prefer the look over the wingless version. It will need some tidying up in the future.

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    Still have interior stuff to tidy, front lip to install and lots of tuning to do...
     
  2. Gunwarm

    Gunwarm Kamikazee Special Corps

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    Time well spent,great work.
     
  3. asoons

    asoons New Member

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    So i had some issue with the car intermittently dying. I traced it to the PTU (Coil igniter) which from what I have read on line can be a pain in the ass as they supposedly fail quite often.
    I have a few spares lying around so switched out the one that was causing the problem. Lots of guys online relocate off the engine to a location with less heat and vibration so I did the same.

    Was just a simple job or extending some wiring and making a quick bracket to mount it. I decide to put it up in the nose as there is plenty of room and its easy to get at.

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    Next up was the front bumper. The lower lip in my bumper was badly cracked and pretty worse for wear. I picked up a fiberglass front lip to try and tidy things up a bit.

    I used a strong flexible glue to bond the lip to the factory bumper, there was lots of trimming to the old lip to get the new part to fit.

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    Screws helped hold the lip in place while the glue went off

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    The F/G lip was obviously designed for a TT bumper not my NA one so it was too long, I had to cut around 25mm from each end and then re fiberglass new ends to get it to fit ok.

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    Once the glue was hardened i used expanding foam to add some strength between what was left of the old lip and the new F/G one. It looks like a disaster before I trimmed away the excess, the foam makes things a lot more rigid.

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    Then was a case of sanding. priming and painting. I have just used satin black at this stage as the whole bumper needs a respray in the future.

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    Turned out OK. I added some steel brackets to mount the front of the lip back to the body, it is help on pretty well now.

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    Fun times...
     
  4. Sketchy

    Sketchy Sick to the power of rad

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    Wow, epic turnaround on this thing! Makes all the dramas I've had with mine seem like nothing in comparison.

    Car looks absolutely mint.
     
  5. Chrispy

    Chrispy Pretentious Upstart

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    Looks great! You've done a good job on it all!
     
  6. CHILI

    CHILI Indestructable Target

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    Good work(so far). Have fun!
     

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