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V8 Swapped JDM Styled 280Z

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  • V8 Swapped JDM Styled 280Z

    For a real detailed log about every little thing I have a website:

    I'm just going to post the highlights on here, none of the maintenance stuff. She's a '78 280Z that I got from one of the members here, although I didn't know that until later. The green isn't my first pick but all the ladies I know love it so it'll stay for a while. The engines a chevy small block 305, so far I've done a little bit of work under the hood to get her to a good reliable place, replacing a few hoses and caps, a dizzy and a belt. Now I'm ready for mods !

    Last night I picked up a spoiler and I've decided on a set of rims (Rota Grid V) that are next on the purchase list. If only the damn dollar wasn't so brutal I'd have them already.

    Here's the starting block:

    I've got some headlight covers that are ready to be bolted on, and I'm going to take the bumpers off to refinish and paint them black. Next steps after that will be an airdam, wheel flares, and the fender mirrors to complete the look.
    Last edited by vvise; 08-02-2016, 08:00 PM.

  • #2
    I spent the weekend taking apart the rear end lighting assemblies. I got them, the bumpers and the spoiler painted and everything back on the car. She looks fantastic, ready for new wheels and a front airdam.


    • #3
      Found an airdam on kijiji yesterday and drove out to get it. A quick test fit from last night. Looking sexy.


      • #4
        airdam on and looking good


        • #5
          Car looks awesome. Just need some lowering spring or coilovers (if you into that type of thing) Are you going to paint the valence or leave it black? What transmission is in the car?
          71 240Z: Aluminum 5.3 LS Engine, 4L80e, Twin 67mm Turbos.
          93 Mustang LX coupe: 4.6 Mod motor conversion


          • #6
            Lowering springs will be coming soon, coilovers seem like a bit too much work for just occasional street use. I'm shopping for ZG flares at the moment, once those are installed I'll get new wheels and determine how much I can afford to lower it. I'm looking for it to come down 2-3 inches from the current height.

            Currently I'm doing some work in the engine bay. I got the tach factory 280Z tach hooked up and calibrated with the V8. I'll give a better write up soon but it involved opening the tach and bypassing a resistor and some other fiddling. The harness positive and ground lines are shorted somewhere had to run all new wires.

            Here's a shot of the engine bay and some of the now replaced vacuum lines.

            Forgot to mention, installed headlight covers too.

            Last edited by vvise; 12-01-2015, 02:27 PM.


            • #7
              If you get a problem with the tach dropping to zero at high RPM, let me know. I found out that if the duty cycle of the signal goes beyond 37% (at least at about 5000 RPM, I need to retest with the new equipment I have), that the tach would no longer be able to read the pulse. I created a circuit that will shorten the pulse width to a very short pulse and allowed the 280Z tach to read well beyond the 8000 RPM high end reading of it. This seems to be less of a problem with single coil ignitions, so you may not experience this.

              It's a fairly simple circuit, if you do find that you need it.

              20150907_013441.jpg 20150907_160656.jpg
              Attached Files


              • #8
                my fender flares came in the mail. i did what everyone does, i taped them onto the car and took photos.


                • #9
                  was tuning yesterday in the garage with a pipe hooked up to the exhaust and under the garage door. feels very canadian.

                  quick video on instagram:


                  • #10
                    Looks great👍🏻


                    • #11
                      got in the mood to do some work this weekend. since the tach now works i photoshopped some custom gauges then was working on upgrading the illumination with LEDs. The result i think is pretty stunning.

                      here's the original design i made

                      and here it is with the new LED's i wired up

                      I'm going to do the same thing for the speedo after i buy a new wheel/tire package. it's currently not calibrated correctly for the wheel size anyways.


                      • #12
                        Since the weather is nice this week, i've booked vacation to work on the car. Today I stripped out the interior, vacuumed, washed it, and started applying soundproofing. Special thanks to Curtis for the tip on using cheaper stuff from Lowes. Anyway have some pics.


                        • #13
                          A quick update. I have a blog that I update regularily with my build. Find it here:

                          I re-did all my gauges with white face plates I photoshopped. Then re-wired them with LED lights as well as fixing whatever ones didn't work. The transformation was better than I thought it would be.


                          • #14
                            How did you do the lighting? I used strips, but yours looks more like you used the original bulb socket holes.
                            Eric Zondervan
                            72 240Z
                            11 Sierra 4X4
                            14 Kia Rondo EX
                            19 Audi Q5
                            08 Ski Doo MXZ
                            16 Triumph Street Triple R.
                            2010 Husqvarna 450 Supermoto.
                            65 Honda Moped


                            • #15
                              I took the gauges apart, popped the little green plastic bulb tint pieces out and attached the led strips inside. Here's a picture of the mini strips I made to replace the bulbs, they're 3 LEDs each. It took a couple attempts to find the best locations inside the gauges for the LEDs to be mounted.

                              EDIT :: The LED's I'm using run on 12V so you can just cut the old bulb out and splice these in place and keep the harness.
                              Last edited by vvise; 04-01-2016, 01:23 PM.