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'77 280Z Project, aka The Redneck Jaguar

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As if you needed more evidence that I should  be in a padded cell...









About as rust free as an S30 gets (one spot on right front floorboard)

Only one I've ever seen that the rear lower valence isn't bashed in (seriously)

Body is reasonably straight

Clean Texas title

Manual trans car (that will at least save me some work)

Factory AC car (will probably sell off those bits)

All glass is in good shape

Price was insanely cheap, like almost free cheap



It's a jigsaw puzzle (but I think I'm getting pretty good at those)

75% of interior is MIA (roll cage and race buckets?)

Previous owner removed most of the wiring harness (it would get a new harness and Autometer gauges anyway)



Not sure where it's going to go engine-wise. Probably the only thing I've ruled out is an L6. Swirling around my head currently in no particular order...


1. SR20DET - good weight balance, good aftermarket support, good power potential, even out of the box would kill any L28


2. RB25DET - hard to beat the straight six sound, for potential see above


3. 5.0L Ford V8 - relatively easy swap, and this is how you beat the sound of a straight six  ^_^


4. GM LS V8 - fairly unlikely, but cheap, easy to find, and power potential per dollar invested would be tough to beat



Style-wise, also a bit all over the map right now. I love the Akuma Z, but this look is pretty cool, as is this one, so...

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Fords make fantastic noises for some reason, but other than that, meh. Not sure why, but much like Toyota's something just turns more off from them.


I'm a fan of ls and rb swaps in Zs, but i can't get my heart behind sr swaps, though logically i realize there can be huge advantages.

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i can't get my heart behind sr swaps, though logically i realize there can be huge advantages.


It's the lighter weight and better weight balance that intrigues me. Also have always wanted to do a V-mount radiator/intercoooler set-up...   ^_^



much like Toyota's something just turns more off from them.


Were it not for the difficulty/expense of attaching a manual transmission, a Toyota V8 would be pretty cool too...

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I would like to see a v mount setup in front of an sr. Good use of the extra space. I've only ever seen them in Mazda rotary cars.


Its almost mid engine when you stuff that sr in there, so I'm sure the handling benefits are massive.

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Honestly, even a CA18DET intrigues me a bit. Wouldn't be tough to make an honest 225-250hp, good torque, and an even smaller and lighter weight engine package than the SR...

How hard would it be to come by a CA18DET?

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I would go vq at that point. Obd1 maxima for electronics, vq30 with rwd vq35 upper and lower oil pan and rwd trans.


Or go vq35 with vq30 timing conversion and obd1 electronics.


But then again i hear that trans is a monster...

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Without reading anything other then your first post, I know where you can get a 5.0L


Let me know how much.  :thumbup:



After thinking about it way too much, an NA V8 seems like the way to go. So it's down to either a 5.0L Ford or a 5.3/5.7L GM LS engine. Need to look into pricing for either as that might help decide. Last time I had to find a good T5 for a Ford it was a pain in the butt and ended up being expensive. If i went Chevy I could likely get a good trans from a GTO or Camaro for a decent price from my work. I know I want fast and reliable, and that most likely means EFI. Either stock EFI on the LS, or something like this on the Ford. 



Went to the sellers shop today and rooted through the parts stash because he promised me a usable dash. As it turns out, in his stack of many dashes we found the one that originally came from my car.  :rofl:


PO had already started on grinding down the cracks and filling in the gaps to paint it...






Removed all the stuff leftover from the back side...






Took forever to figure out to remove this stupid thing...






I'm a little surprised just how heavy these dashes are even gutted.  ^_^


I'm thinking either finish the bondo job and flock it (that would look coolest imo), or get one of these to recover it.


The second option would allow me to put this fat bastard on a diet, though. Just attack it with a 2" hole saw before installing the cover.   :rofl:

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That is what I was thinking, but I have no use for the rear axle. 

What I was saying is if you buy it cheap enough you can make your money back by selling the rearend. Explorer Disc brake 8.8's are being put in a lot of things

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Look for wrecked or blown trans 96-01 5.0 Explorer





Also, on this front, on the last V8 swap we did, we used a 2000 model Explorer engine. The problem we ran into was that the timing cover has no timing marks because distrbutorless ignition. Putting the distributor in was easy, setting the timing was not. 


This time, I'm thinking backdate all the ancillaries. Use a 70s water pump, timing cover, harmonic balancer etc. That gets rid of the big bulky accessory drive system and I can do a low mount alternator with a v-belt instead of a serpentine belt. 


Current plan is 5.0 from a late model Explorer, aforementioned v-belt drive, carb intake but with one of these instead of a carb, and a T-5 trans. Finish with a stout clutch and a light flywheel. That should be in the $2000-2500 ballpark for components.


The LS swap if you're curious, is $1000-1300 just for an engine, $1500-2000 for a T-56 trans (or around $1000 to adapt a Z33 trans). So it would be in the $3000+ ballpark fairly quickly, and possibly closer to $4000.

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