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Amber 1975 280Z Turbo Build

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  • Amber 1975 280Z Turbo Build

    Ive been an OZC member for a few months now, and figured I'd share my Z build with everyone.

    A few years ago I RB25 swapped a 240z "Ashley". I ran into some trouble and had to sell the car just before finishing her. Some misc pics from the build are below





    The block and head were fully built and balanced for 9500 RPM, and the turbo was upgraded to a GT35R. The new owner finished the car off, and I hear its at ERTFA pretty often.

    The star of this story though is Amber, a 1975 280z with 100,000 some odd miles. I picked her up in February from a fellow in Waterloo.


    He claimed the car had a fresh rebuild on the engine and was completly road worthy. It was the middle of winter with 2ft of snow on the ground, so I didnt feel like test driving it. BIG mistake...
    The fuel tank was rusted out, the engine wiring and vacuum lines were a mess, and the distributor shaft was installed ~220 degrees off...

    Febuary-May were spent reparining the damage and making the car road worthy. Check out the condition of that fuel tank sender!


    The car was finally road worth!

  • #2
    In June, I replaced the rotting tires and steering wheel with new rubber.


    I figured with everything in working order, she'd be ready for a few track days. No such luck though. Turns out the shop that rebuilt the engine "forgot" to put tranny fluid in. After 500km of driving and track time, the tranny was toast. Gears were grinding, the main bearings were gone, and the car shook from the vibrations. I sourced a new 5spd in london, and installed it myself one weekend. I also replaced the soft stock shocks and struts with lowering springs and oem replacement struts.

    Shiny Springs!


    The brakes were a little rusty and the caliper seals were gone, so they all got replaced too.



    The stock seats left alot to be desired, I would slide out of them around every corner, so I picked up some NRG seats and welded some brackets together. They go great with the NRG steering wheel.





    The car looks, handles and feels great now, but is lacking on power. Next on the list is installing a Megasquirt MS3X which I received in the mail last week. Im planning a custom cam angle sensor stashed inside the stock distributor, and LS2 coils for spark. Ive heard the low end power improves alot after doing this.

    For the future, I'm planning a much needed AZC brake upgrade, and a Borg-Warner EFR turbo. Im going to boost the stock engine to ~350hp and see how long it lasts

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    • #3
      So the Fluidless Tranny... was that what happened when we were at Grand Bend Motorway??!!? Here's some more photos of shane's car for his photo-documentation thread.

      image.jpg
      image.jpg
      image.jpg
      Last edited by 280ZX1981; 09-24-2013, 03:29 PM.

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      • #4
        Nice work , keep posting as you upgrade. The new wheels really spruce up the look. Did you not find the paddle disc a little aggressive for the street with the instant no slip engagement? My son's Miata solo car chirped the tires every time and was a bear to back up our inclined driveway.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 280ZX1981 View Post
          So the Fluidless Tranny... was that what happened when we were at Grand Bend Motorway??!!? Here's some more photos of shane's car for his photo-documentation thread.
          My AFM harness got sucked into the AC compressor that day, but I wouldn't have been able to make the drive home with the transmission the way it was anyway.

          Zeeker260, I never got to drive the green car with that clutch. It was an Exedy Stage 3, so I imagine it would have been very unfriendly for street driving. I will definitely keep the updates coming as I work on the car - thanks for the support!

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          • #6
            Do you still have the American Racing rims you had one Amber when you got her? My dad had them on his 280z, and now he wants them on his newly acquired 280zx. If you're looking to let them go...

            Ps, more amber pics!
            Last edited by 280ZX1981; 09-26-2013, 12:13 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 280ZX1981 View Post
              Do you still have the American Racing rims you had one Amber when you got her? My dad had them on his 280z, and now he wants them on his newly acquired 280zx. If you're looking to let them go...
              You've got a PM

              My turn signals gave out after weeks of working intermittently. I have a new unit coming from the US via snail mail, but untill then....


              Push button Turn signals!

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              • #8
                I ordered an LC-2 Wideband with my megasquirt. I figured I'd install it and get some baseline readings before the ECU swap.

                Unboxing:


                Welding the bung on:



                Shiny new gauge O_O




                The wideband readings are way off base. I'm somewhat concerned for the engine. It idles fine at 14.7, but shoots to 17.5 under load, and hits 18 under full throttle at higher rpms. I suspect there will be some damage to the engine seeing as I've been racing with things the way they are for a while.

                I suspect the previous owner having the head ported and exhaust upgraded are to blame. Regardless, I have motivation to swap the ECU before driving anymore.
                Last edited by Shane_rbz; 10-06-2013, 05:28 PM.

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                • #9
                  I hit up Shannonville for the Mix&Match day saturday. I decided to try my hand at drag racing and ended up doing this...


                  Snapped the U-joints launching off the line. Worst part is I had it rebuilt in June

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                  • #10
                    If it was actually that lean it would be noticeable. It would be way down on power and not want to rev.

                    Make sure you don't have any exhaust leaks. Sometimes exhaust leaks, especially if it's at the point where a donut is used at a flex joint, like pictured above will pull in fresh air due to a venturi effect, greatly skewing WBO2 readings.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Six_Shooter View Post
                      If it was actually that lean it would be noticeable. It would be way down on power and not want to rev.

                      Make sure you don't have any exhaust leaks. Sometimes exhaust leaks, especially if it's at the point where a donut is used at a flex joint, like pictured above will pull in fresh air due to a venturi effect, greatly skewing WBO2 readings.
                      I hadn't thought of that, thanks. There is a slight leak at that joint in the picture, and I hadn't considered the implications. Time to weld up something new

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                      • #12
                        Its been a while since I've updated this. Ive been busy all winter patching the floors and rails in the car.

                        Before:

                        This use to be a frame rail... Large portions were missing on both.


                        Its hard to tell, but the blackish patch piece is just sitting over a large hole. The left side is ~1" above the floor, you can fit your hand through the gap between the patch and the floor...


                        The entire seam under the pedals had rusted through...


                        There were many more holes on both driver and passenger sides, but I never take enough pictures, haha.

                        During repair:




                        New rails, installed and seam sealed


                        Looks damn good with paint
                        Last edited by Shane_rbz; 06-12-2014, 10:38 AM.

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                        • #13
                          In April/May, the car got a much needed brake upgrade.

                          Fronts:
                          Vented Toyota 4x4 swap, with carbotech pads and Custom laser cut brake spacers (only cost me 20$!!)


                          Rears:
                          Nigel's Ultimate Rear Brake Upgrade Kit, with Hawk HP+ pads. This kit is amazing by the way!

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                          • #14
                            Track day at Mosport DDT:

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                            • #15
                              As it was at the end of may, the car performed great but was un-drivable due to exhaust fumes in the cabin. On decel, I would be choking and tearing up from what smelled like raw gas fumes! I welded/fixed every leak I could find in the exhaust system, put new trim around the hatch, sealed the tail lights to no avail. I would be quite sick from the fumes after driving for a few hours.

                              I decided I would put the Megasquirt system on, at the very least I could add a fuel-cut on decel. I started by pulling the intake manifold off to drill and tap for the IAT sensor - and noticed that the lower row of bolts for the exhaust manifold were all loose. This probably explains the fumes! I'm committed to the ECU swap now though, lol.

                              Pics!
                              Distributor gutted - I will be adding a custom laser cut 36-1 wheel in place of the reluctor, and a hall sensor. This should give me full sequential spark and fuel! That's the hall sensor sitting inside. By mounting the sensor to the distributor housing, I will be able to adjust its position by twisting the distributor like one would to set the timing.


                              Trigger wheel: (I'm getting a few spares cut if anyone would like to buy one)


                              Next up will be adapting the 60mm RB25 throttle body I have up to the N42 manifold. This should give a performance increase, and allow me to use it's modern TPS
                              Last edited by Shane_rbz; 06-12-2014, 10:57 AM.

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