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We The People
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Check the last page for the most recent news & pics!

As some of you know, I've toyed with the idea of a TT swap for my '92 300ZX 2+2. Well, I think I'm going to actually do it. Due to a timing belt change gone horribly wrong back in the fall, I am almost certain that my valves are messed up. I'm still going to have it checked out and confirmed, as well as price out how much it'd be to have them fixed, but assuming it's what I think it'll cost, I'm going to swap in a TT instead.

I've got about ~$4,000 in college loan money that I took out just for automobile repairs (kind of had the TT swap in mind :devil: ), and I'm going to be working an insane amount until probably the end of summer, so I am planning on a budget of ~$5,000, but I've got a feeling it will wind up being much more.

I'm going to use this thread to share my progress. It's a long-term project, especially as there is about 1 foot of snow outside at the moment, but I'm determined to do this. I've wanted it for a while, and I never really do anything for myself, so this is what I've decided.




2/6/07 Here is my new updated parts list:

TT Front Clip: $3150 (shipped)
Z1 Clutch & Flywheel: 700.91 (shipped)
New oil pan: $65 (shipped) ($175 new)
New motor mounts: $50 (Ford F150 mounts)
Timing Belt Kit: $240 ($70 w/out water pump)
Underdrive pulley: $190
LaBree Exhaust: $750
New oil pump: $170
Silicone tubing to replace all rubber tubing: $Not sure

Total Cost: $5,315.91
(Does not include money made from selling old parts)

This is not including what I can make back from my N/A engine. I plan on parting it out, and hopefully I'll get ~1,000+ back.

I'll keep you all updated.

-Jinjiro
 

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We The People
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5,925 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've also been looking into a third route, which would be buying a front clip. There's pros & cons to all the options, I've just got to narrow it down.

And I'm sure there's more to that list that I'm forgetting, so I'll try to update it as I go along.

-Jin
 

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Premium Member
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13,027 Posts
If you can find a front clip for cheap, I'd definitely try to do that. Most the time they fit up pretty good. A RHD front clip would be badass. :D

Sounds good man. If it's a long term project, just get everything piece by piece. There are always good deals on ebay and local car forums. That is where pretty much every single part of mine comes from.

Does the TT motor just drop right in with the stock motor mounts and what not? Also does the stock tranny work with it?
 

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We The People
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5,925 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I would like a fresh, rebuilt, 0 mileage TT longblock, but then I have to think about turbos, intercoolers, piping, recirc/BOVs, oil cooler, oil pump, fuel pump, etc etc.

A front clip would obviously eliminate a lot of that, but I'm not sure how much I trust used JDM parts. No sense in saving money by buying a front clip only to have to shell out even more just to fix it.

I'm not sure which way I'll go yet.

TT motor drops right in. I have a 2+2, so I'll have to shim the starter and grind the bellhousing a bit. NA and TT trannies are interchangeable, but the NA has a higher gear ratio, so I'll be keeping mine.

-Jin
 

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Premium Member
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13,027 Posts
It just depends on who you purchase it from. There are some very good reputable sites/shops all over.

I've heard good experiences and bad experiences. For instance, my friend's H22A had a ****ing hole in the block and he got screwed over.. luckily he found a block on Honda-Tech for $300 rebuilt.

All sorts of people on the local boards have ordered them in and have had no problems. Most places offer a 30-day start up guarantee, but most people don't get ready to swap within that 30-days so it's kind of useless.

Keep in mind all JDM motors are built better than USDM and have low mileage on them. Your turbos and what not wouldn't need any rebuilding. Personally, I'd just buy the shortblock and buy everything aftermarket. You're going to want to upgrade turbos, intercoolers, etc. anyways. What are the stock turbos on that thing anyways? TD04-13gs?
 

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We The People
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Discussion Starter #10
The biggest issue money wise is going to be that I want to run another class at my race track this summer. I'll be running a WKA go-kart class as well as my micro-sprint, so the money for the kart has to come out of my pocket. That's going to be a big set back. Oh, also I have to set aside ~$1,000 for an engagement ring.

Thankfully I'm already working two jobs, and will hopefully have another one that pays $10 an hour, plus I'm planning on getting a summer internship that should also pay quite well. I think that will really help me get towards my goal.

I've decided that I'm probably going to buyJWT Sport 500s if I don't feel comfortable with used stock turbos. These turbos are about the same price (actually I think cheaper) than new, OEM stock turbos, and they put out a considerable amount more power.

I'm going to keep an eye on eBay and local forums (ZCar.com & TwinTurbo.net) for good deals on parts I will probably need.

As I said, I won't be actually doing the swap until Spring/Summer (weather issues), so I have plenty of time to shop around and find good deals.

-Jin
 

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NORTHCOAST HARDCORE
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6,318 Posts
i wanted to do this on my old 96 300zx w/o an engine but i couldnt afford it (sold it almost a yr back :(). i think im just going to buy a completed one or a 350z after i graduate. good luck with it man, itsa lot of work but well worth it

o,installing turbos on an existing motor is a *****. my cousin owns a garage and its like his leastfavorite thing to do
 

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We The People
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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, I wouldn't even think of trying to install turbos on an engine that hasn't been pulled. I figure why not upgrade the turbos while the engine is already out? Sure it's another $2000 or so, but it'd be worth it.

-Jin
 

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V8 Interceptor
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2,125 Posts
Installing the turbo's isn't really as difficult as one would think.. It's the time you need to take to plan induction piping, intercooler(s) and mounts if needs be, and adjusting your wiring harness accordingly, not to mention plumbing your oil feed/return lines :S.

When you say upgrade the Turbo's, what are you referring to? Bigger splined Compressor blades? New Bearings? New HOUSINGS? Do tell.. I'm excited :)
 

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We The People
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Discussion Starter #14
UPDATE: I've decided to go for a front clip rather than a JDM engine alone. After doing some research and asking around, I've concluded it is just plain easier, and probably cheaper, even if I decide to replace most of the parts that come with it.

ZCar.com said:
Reasons to buy a clip

You get all the parts you need in order to do the swap at one time.

You get to see how everything is put together BEFORE you take it apart (take pictures)

You get a chance to start the engine while it's still in the clip in order to verify that all is well.

You get to sell some of the remaining parts (brake rotors and calipers, suspension pieces, PS pump and some electrical pieces).

You don't need to be bitching to several sellers about parts that don't work or don't fit right.

You don't have to keep posting on forums to see how to put pipe A into component B.:)
I'm hoping a shop roughly ~4 hours away from me sells front clips (I know they sell JDM engines). That means I could go pick it up, look at it, start it, etc. It would certainly save money on shipping.

Installing the turbo's isn't really as difficult as one would think.. It's the time you need to take to plan induction piping, intercooler(s) and mounts if needs be, and adjusting your wiring harness accordingly, not to mention plumbing your oil feed/return lines :S.

When you say upgrade the Turbo's, what are you referring to? Bigger splined Compressor blades? New Bearings? New HOUSINGS? Do tell.. I'm excited :)
The intercooler piping is a very good point, and another reason why I decided to go with the front clip. Trying to find intercooler piping is a pain, and very costly.

As for turbos, I'm not sure, but if I do upgrade it would be these: JWT Sport 500s. I'm not sure on specific specs for them, but I do know that they are an extremely common upgrade for most Zs, and put out pretty decent power. I believe the housing is the same as the stock turbos, but I think the compressor blades are bigger. Again, don't quote me on that, I'm not exactly sure.


Oh, and good news on my financial situation. I'm hoping to get a job over the summer working 40 hours a week MINIMUM, at $9.50 an hour. I'll be doing basically nothing but having fun - I'm doing Summer Crew for the RIT Tech Crew. So that means I get paid at LEAST ~$5,300, plus learn a ton about sound stuff. That, along with my loan money, should be more than plenty for the swap + goodies.

I'll keep you guys updated.

-Jinjiro
 

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We The People
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
UPDATE: Well today has been a good day. My dad has been on the fence about the whole thing, thinking that this is not a job that can be done at my house. He just felt it was way too advanced and I would be in over my head.

Today I showed him this and now he thinks much differently. He is now convinced that it can be done here, and that it's not as bad of a job as he thought.

So it's definitely awesome to have my dad on my side, and things will be moving forward a lot more once the weather gets nicer.

We're planning on having the front clip that I buy shipped to my dad's work, and then unloaded from there onto our trailer, which we will then bring home to work on. I am going to buy it from Concept Z Performance. I could probably find a better deal, but the guy who owns this site is really great, and has an awesome reputation. I know I'm getting what I pay for, and if something is damaged or broken, he'll come through.






I've been keeping an eye on this oil pan. I contacted the guy, and he said it's not dented, just a few minor scraps. When buying a JDM engine or a front clip, it's recommended to buy an oil pan, because they are usually dented due to resting on them while shipping. New oil pans are about $175, so if I can snag this for $55-$65 it should be a good deal.



I'm also looking at this Z1 clutch & flywheel. Z1 is a reputable Z store, and this clutch/flywheel combo is cheaper than the RPS clutch & Fidanza flywheel I was looking at. Plus, the clutch has more clamping force than the RPS, and the flywheel is lighter than the Fidanza. I'll probably pick it up sometime soon.




Here is my new updated parts list:

TT Front Clip: $3150 (shipped)
Z1 Clutch & Flywheel: 700.91 (shipped)
New oil pan: $65 (shipped) ($175 new)
New motor mounts: $50 (Ford F150 mounts)
Timing Belt Kit: $240 ($70 w/out water pump)
Underdrive pulley: $190
LaBree Exhaust: $750
New oil pump: $170
Silicone tubing to replace all rubber tubing: $Not sure

Total Cost: $5,315.91
(Does not include money made from selling old parts)



Wish list:
This list obviously depends on my financial situation, and will not be completed any time soon.

*JWT Sport 500 Turbos: $1,800 (will know if I'm getting before engine swap)
*Upgraded intercoolers for new turbos: $1,000
*Nismo 555cc injectors for new turbos: $1,000
*AshSpec ECU: $250
*Upgraded radiator: $300-$400
*Boost controller & gauge: $460 (can get cheaper on eBay)
*Testpipes: $150
*Stillen oil cooler: $250
*1 piece driveshaft: $250
*TT sway bar: $100
*JWT Pop Charger: $100
*TT facia: Insane amount (or $250-$300 used)
*Valentine1 radar detector & CB radio: $500-$600 :devil:
*Black paint job: $Way too much

Total Cost: ~$6,510
(Does not include money made from selling old parts or paint job. This is a high end estimate. Actual cost will almost certainly be lower.)


-Jinjiro
 

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We The People
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Discussion Starter #16


So I got the oil pan. $63 shipped ($45 + $18). Not bad considering they are about $175 new, and the condition is perfect except for scrapes and dings (who cares?).

Z1 clutch & flywheel will be ordered this week hopefully, if not next.

Turbos
I'm sure everyone wants to know what I'm doing with the turbos. At this point I'm going to stay stock. I would love to get a pair of the Sport 500s, but that's an extra $2,000. Then I'd need 555cc injectors ($1,000) and new intercoolers ($1,000) to really be able to utilize the new turbos. So essentially it's $4,000 that I can't spend right now.

Instead I'm looking at the stock turbos, which are capable of easily putting out 400+HP to the wheels. Actual HP will depend on my other mods. I'll probably wind up doing all the mods I can, short of the new turbos.

I had my eye on a pair of good stockers for $250 plus shipping. They sold before I could get them, but the guy offered me another pair he had for $375. Apparently they were the "best turbos he owned", but when I asked it turned out they had 112,000 miles on them - no thanks! Currently I'm looking at some for $325 with 30,000 miles on them.

I'm debating between manual transmission turbos and automatic transmission turbos. The manuals have an A/R of 0.63, while the autos have an A/R of 0.54. Basically the difference is in the housing, and it's not that big of a difference, EXCEPT the autos spool up faster (and technically have "less" top end power, but it's incredibly minimal). This was done by Nissan to compensate for the lower gear ratio of the auto. At this point I think I would prefer autos, but I'll take what I can get.

That's about it for the moment. I'm going to be picking up a set of Megan Racing stainless steel downpipes & testpipes off eBay. Yes, I know, it's eBay car parts, but I've talked to a bunch of guys and they said there is NO difference for the power range I'm looking at. So why not save money? Cat-back exhaust will probably be a LaBree stainless steel.

I have to get an oil pump at some point as well.

Still keeping an eye out for a cheap deal on an Apex'i AVC-R, though I don't need one right away. Also keeping an eye out for deals on underdrive pulleys, TT fuel pumps, hardpipes...pretty much anything.

TL;DR
-Oil pan purchased
-Clutch coming soon
-Looking for stock turbos
-Looking for good deals

-Jin
 

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We The People
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Discussion Starter #20
UPDATE

Got some parts in...


New PCV Valves - $7.51 (shipped)
The PCV valve is an emission part that ensures fresh air is in the crankcase. These can get stuck open and decrease efficiency & performance. For less than $3 each, why not replace them?



New Rear Main Seal - $18.53
The rear main seal can only be replaced with the tranny dropped, so seeing as how the engine will be out anyways, why not replace it? The rear main seal is the cause of oil leaks, so it's best to be on the safe side and just get a new one.






Z1 Clutch & Flywheel - $674.00
The Z1 clutch has more pressure than the RPS Sport, and almost as much as the RPS Max, but at a much cheaper cost. Z1 is a respected company that specializes in the 300ZX, so I feel safe in choosing their clutch.

The Z1 flywheel is 10.75lbs, where as the stock flywheel is 21lbs. So as you can see, quite a weight loss. The Fidanza flywheel is 12lbs, so the Z1 is even lighter than that, and yet also much cheaper.



Chromoly Clutch Pivot Ball - $39.95
"The stock Nissan pivot ball is made from a weak Grade 5 steel and from 10+ years of use have a tendency to break when an upgraded clutch is installed. This pivot ball is made from Chromoly to withstand the extra force of an upgraded clutch." - Z1


Total Spent (w/ shipping): $768.36
Total Spent On Swap: $831.36



I have an underdrive pulley with new belts ordered, should arrive later in the week.

Here's what I have left to buy:
Ford F150 motor mounts: ~$50
LaBree SS Cat-Back Exhaust: $660 (shipped)
Megan Racing Down & Test Pipes: $189.56 (shipped)
OEM oil pump: $170
300ZX TT Front Clip: $3150 (shipped)
Total: $4219.56

Of course as I said I can sell a lot of it, such as the transmission, my old N/A engine (part out?), the stuff off the clip I won't use, etc. I want to make back around $1,000-$1,500. I'm not sure if this is a high or low estimate, so we'll see.

-Jinjiro
 
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