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Z23T's '71 510


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I upgraded the Z18T with a Z22S bottom end bored 1mm over, with Z22E pistons to drop the compression ratio a little. The stock head was used and I had one of the guys at the truck shop I was working at go through the head. I used the existing factory efi and ignition. The turbo was upgraded to a larger T3/T4 unit, and I added a front mount intercooler.  Unfortunately I lost all of my build pics for the engine, so I just have these installed pics. 

z18 4.jpg

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After I got the engine broke in one of the first things I noticed was that with stock wastegate, at it's lowest setting of only 7 lbs of boost, I was running out of fuel. It also had a shitload more torque, but as soon as about 4 or 5 lbs of boost came on the engine would go lean. Luckily I had a narrow band AFR gauge otherwise I probably would have destroyed the engine. A few years ago I upgraded to a AEM wide band AFR gauge, it's awesome. Pic below is of the old narrow band, I found the old receipt for it and I bought it back in '96 for $63.

narrow band.jpg

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I had read that the 280ZX turbo guys had been upgrading to Ford 2.3l turbo injectors found in the SVO Mustangs, T-Birds, and Merkur XR4Ti's. I found a used set on eBay, installed them, and then adjusted the spring tension on the air flow meter to compensate for the extra fuel. I also adjusted the air bypass on the AFM to clean up the idle AFR's. I have an old Trust manual boost controller and I was able to turn the boost up to 11 lbs. After I upgraded to the AEM gauge I could accurately see the AFR's and I turned the boost up to 15 lbs.  

Brown Top Injectors.JPG

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After a few years the used injectors started to leak and I was able to find a set of new ones on Rock Auto. The Fords used a fuel rail with orings on the top of the injectors and Nissan was using hose barbs. If you cut the top of the Ford injector off you are left with a barb that you can connect a hose to. I used my old ass lathe to trim the plastic top of the injectors. The lower orings seated into the factory intake manifold.

12-4-21 027.JPG

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This is pretty much what my car looks like today. The only exception is I destroyed two of the Watanabe RS-8's on my way to work one day so the car currently has Rota RB's on it. 


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I was driving to work one day and I spun the car and hit a low center divider in the road. The a car jumped up on top of the divider, smashed my exhaust, and destroyed the barrels on two of my Watanabe RS-8's. I spun the car on a corner that I have been around thousands of times and was surprised when the car looped out. After I got the car home and was inspecting the damage I noticed that the BFG Rival tires I had on the car were as hard as a rock. They were old and I should have checked them out before I took the car out. I don't have any pics of the damage, they were on my work phone and they were all lost.


I was able to salvage part of the exhaust down pipe and the section behind the rear crossmember.  I welded up a new exhaust and painted it with a high temp Cerakote paint that does not need to be baked on. I also built a new transmission crossmember that would allow me to tuck the exhaust up closer to the floor pan.

7-4-20 029.JPG

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On 2/1/2022 at 7:55 PM, WAGON JON said:

How does it feel now with all the mods?  


With the bigger bottom end it's certainly faster, it probably makes a little over 200 hp, I don't know for sure, I've never had it dynoed. The extra added torque from the 2.2L bottom end makes it a lot more fun to drive. 


The car still has it's issues, but hopefully over the next couple of years I can get most of them ironed out.

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