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Z23T's '71 510


Z23T

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I've always enjoyed others build threads so I thought I would start one for my 510. Because I just had back surgery three weeks ago I can't work on the car much for a few weeks, so most of the first part of this thread will be stuff I've done in the past. I bought the car back in '88, and the powertrain was stock, an L16 with a Borg-Warner automatic. The previous owners had given the car to their grandson and he chopped the springs to lower it a little. The car had been hit in the LH rear quarter at some point and it had a shitty Earl Scheib quality paint job and body repair. The car became my daily driver for the next 9 years.  This is a pic of the car right after I bought it.

510 88.jpg

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In '89 someone told me about a local guy named John who was importing engines from Japan. He had a little repair shop in Lake Oswego, OR, I think it was called Lake Auto, or Lake Automotive. I went to John's shop and was totally blown away by his car. John had a mustard colored Bluebird coupe with a FJ20T. I had never seen a coupe or and FJ and I was in love. I told John I wanted an FJ for my car and he said he would work with his guy in Japan to try and find me one. Months went by and John wasn't able to locate me an FJ, but he told me about another turbo motor he could get me, a Z18T. John had just finished installing a Z18T in a customers car and he took for me a ride in it. After driving the L16 around I was blown away by the power of the Z18T. In reality the engine maybe made 160HP, stock Z18T's are 135HP at 7 lbs. of boost, and this one had the boost turned up a a little. I put down some money and John ordered me an engine. A few months later it showed up and I got to work installing it. I had no idea how to wire it up to make it run so John was going to do that part. I towed the car to his shop to get the wiring done and after it had been there for a few months I dropped in one day to see if he had started on it. He hadn't and then he told me he was leaving for Alaska for 3 months to work on a crab boat. I was super bummed out, and John understood so he hand drew me a wiring diagram so I could do it myself. I towed the car home and in May of '90 I got it running. I was so fucking stoked, I could't believe it was running!  When I pulled the L16 I painted the engine compartment, upgraded the front suspension to shortened 710 struts with Rabbit inserts, 200 lbs springs and Moog camber plates.

z18t 1st.jpg

Edited by Z23T
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1 hour ago, datzenmike said:

Love the cross flow heads... they beg for an inter cooler.

Later in life the Z18T did get an intercooler.

1 hour ago, datzenmike said:

 

Stock pistons will survive 7 PSI but their longevity goes down as the boost goes up.

The car ran for years at 11 PSI without an intercooler or larger injectors, but when I eventually pulled the motor down I found a small junk of broken ring landing between two compression rings in one hole, it must have been floating in there for awhile as you could see the mark it made on the cylinder wall . Detonation is hard on pistons.

1 hour ago, datzenmike said:

 

 

 

You must have gotten a Z series 71B transmission with that as well?

Yes I did. I broke it at one point so it was replaced by a Z transmission with the NAPZ bell housing.

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Before I bought the '71 510 I had a '70 with flares, an L16 with an Offenhauser intake and a Weber, some sort of header, a dogleg 5 speed, turbine wheels, a welded diff., shocks, springs, and Quicker swaybars. I was 18 or 19 when I bought it that way and I beat the hell out of that car and it kept coming back for more. This is me at an autocross in the late 80's.

70 510.jpg

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The wife had a '70 240Z at the same time that we paid $1500 for. It was super clean and the guy we bought it from about cried when we drove away. Tragically the car was totaled. I was stopped at a light with a car in front of me when a drunk in a 60's Dodge pickup slammed into the back of the 240Z completely smashing both ends of the car.

240Z.jpg

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The wife also had a 69 911E. It was fun to drive, the 2.0L flat six with aftermarket exhaust sounded sweet, but she got pregnant and couldn't fit behind the wheel anymore, so we sold it for a mom car. I think we paid 4K for the car, and I saw a restored one in BAT that sold 151K. My '70 510 is in the background for Datsun content.

69 911E.jpg

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1 hour ago, Z23T said:

Later in life the Z18T did get an intercooler.

The car ran for years at 11 PSI without an intercooler or larger injectors, but when I eventually pulled the motor down I found a small junk of broken ring landing between two compression rings in one hole, it must have been floating in there for awhile as you could see the mark it made on the cylinder wall . Detonation is hard on pistons.

Yes I did. I broke it at one point so it was replaced by a Z transmission with the NAPZ bell housing.

 

We didn't get the Z18T so I don't have much information on it. That exhaust and turbo would fit nicely on a Z24.

 

Well that's basically proof of what I said. Stock hypereutectic pistons are too brittle for detonation and the rings have to be gaped properly for the increased temperatures of a turbo engine.

 

Some people think that the Z car transmissions are stronger somehow because it's a six cylinder box but other than gear ratios the 71B transmissions are all identical. There were some upgrades over it's life.

 

69 911E.jpg

 

In many ways you are most fortunate.

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Aww I remember being their with wiring.  Long hours trying to figure it out.  Then when it fires you feel like a wiring god. Haha.  Great stories!  
 

I had a CA20E with all the CA18ET bolt ons running 10lbs without an intercooler for years.  It didn’t mind.  Such a fun 510.  

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11 hours ago, spriso said:

Your flared car at Bluelake, I'm guessing 1985-86:

 

51744002265_a50622817b_b.jpg

 

Good luck with your back surgery recovery.

 

spriso

 

 

OMG, that is awesome, thank you for sharing the pic. It would have been 1986. I forgot about the hood pins, and the black thing on the RH rear of the hood is a battery cut-off switch without the key installed, it was never hooked up. The flares had a ton of body filler, and were full of cracks. The mirror placement made them totally worthless, but  the car had a 5 panel Wink mirror, which I kept and it's in my current 510. I kind of fixed the body work on this car, and painted it white before I sold it. Unfortunately I don't have any pics of it painted white, I never saw the car again.

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After about nine years of daily duty the 510 was getting real tired. The body was in bad shape, the shitty quarter panel repair was rusting through, the rear wheel arches were rusty, and the tail light and rear bumper were all smashed from getting rear ended on the way to work one day. The stock turbo on the Z18T was losing oil on the turbine side causing huge clouds of blue every time I came to a stop.

 

I put the car in the garage and started working on the body. I had no idea what I was doing but my stepbrother was painting cars at the time and lent me a bunch of tools and showed me some basics of body work. He also spent a bunch of days helping me out and showing me more panel beating techniques. 

510 bodywork.jpg

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A friend of mine was in Japan at the time buying S13 front clips to import to the US when he ran into a set of Bluebird Coupe tail lights for cheap and he brought them home for me. I had to cut out the tail light panel to fit them.

taillight 2.jpg

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After a couple of years we were finally able to get the car painted. I worked at a Peterbilt truck dealer and they were nice enough to let my step brother spray the paint in their paint booth, the car looked tiny in the huge booth. The wife and I had two kids at this point and were living on a single income, so cash and time were something we had little of. The cars progress slowed to a snails pace and it would be another ten years until it would be back on the road.

paint booth.jpg

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