|Chevy spunk for your Datsun ZCar. John's Cars ZCar
conversion to a Chevrolet V8 small block and GM transmission redefines AWESOME.
This 100% bolt-in kit does not rely on the stock Datsun crossmember motor
mount towers alone for strength. There is no welding required or recommended.
You do not drill holes in the frame or cut holes in the car as necessary with other
swaps. Front suspension mods are not usually needed due to engine setback.
exhaust manifolds can be used and the GM A6 A/C compressor fits. We suggest you use
a GM alternator and PS pump (as needed) rather than retain the $$$ ZCar units.
Transmission choices are: 4, 5 or 6-speed manual, T350, T400 or T700 overdrive
automatics. A V8 ZCar is approximately 2700 pounds, ZXCars slightly fatter!
My kit for the 240-260-280Z or 280ZX includes:
ME, TELL ME
|An abbreviated version of the conversion instructions are
available for $25 - they will give you a good idea of the project and the $25 is credited
to your kit purchase.
- conversion mounting adapters
- engine rubber mounts
- transmission crossmember and mount
- throttle cable
- mechanical speedometer hookup and calibration
- water hoses and fittings
- oil pressure and water temperature hookups
- hardware and more
- illustrated instruction manual
The installation requires approximately 40 hours exclusive of detailing.
||Stock small block motors provide a vast
improvement over Datsun power no matter how hipo a 6-cylinder you build. Use a 305 (5.0)
for fuel economy or a 350 (5.7) for more punch. Other V8 sizes, 327, 383, 400 (small
block) etc. are also suitable.
Fuel Injection (FI): For years weve
suggested carb motors to keep it simple, however, GM has the bugs worked out and we are
ready when you are. Four OEM systems are available, throttle body injection (TBI) that
uses a carb looking unit with two centrally located injectors, tuned port injection (TPI)
with an injector at each port, the high revving LT-1, and the Vortec V8 motor. All of
these FI systems work great with a JCI Conversion Kit.
FI is not a cheap date, but youll have class provided you
dont try to shortcut the job. A JCI Conversion Kit DOES NOT include
the Fuel Injection harness, ECM, fuel pump or associated wiring and plumbing that is FI
related. You must buy a custom harness (or modify an original harness) from the
aftermarket FI guys (we do not sell or customize FI harnesses). There are many businesses
that sell tech manuals, complete harnesses, programmed ECMs, etc. Here are two we
Howell Engine Development in Michigan 810-765-5100
Dr. K in Alabama 205-543-7165
LT-1 Notes: LT-1 passenger car brackets will not clear the engine mounts and
frame of the ZCar. You must use Corvette LT-1 brackets. The LT-1 and 4300
derivative have the EGR plumbed externally into the rear of the intake because GM deleted
the exhaust crossover passage in the heads. On the LT-1, it is best to keep the EGR
because it reduces spark knock, reduces emissions, and allows the computer to signal more
ignition advance (better performance). I have a pair of exhaust manifolds with the
required modifications, parts, and plumbing necessary to retain the EGR. AIR - air
induction reaction - is also accommodated with these manifolds (a must in communities with
emission controls requirements). AIR only functions the first minute or so of
operation - it helps complete combustion and light off the catalytic converters
quicker. The air pump on LT-1 is electric and is controlled by the ECM.
Fuel Injection $$$: Add a $100.00 to the JCI Kit Price when using a FI V8
motor for the many changes required for this V8 kit cooling system, electrical,
steering and A/C plumbing, etc. plus 8 more pages of instructions.
||I suggest you use an T700 automatic transmission
in your V8 ZCar as it is an automatic slightly easier swap and with mountains of torque
available it is really a more driveable car. You can light 'em up whenever you want
and the 30% overdrive reduces noise, improves mileage and lengthens engine life. The
automatic shifter from another ZCar is my preference or use an aftermarket custom shifter.
T700 requires a one inch dent in tunnel. Please, do yourself a favor and install a
T700 overdrive the first time.
T700 Notes: All
T700's have torque-convertor lockup and it must be hooked up
to prevent damage to the transmission. John's Cars offers ELECTROLOCK,
the simple set-up to lock-up a T700 torque convertor for maximum fuel economy. Very easy
to install no drilling, tapping or machining required. For T700 trans to 1992
(not 4L60E). The kit can be installed with the trans in the car.
If a manual transmission is a must for you, then use an overdrive! Manual
transmission installations are likely to require enlarging the hole in the tunnel for the
shifter and reworking console. The T5 is your best combination for availability and
reliability. If you desire the 6-speed from later GM cars, the only obstacle is its
lack of a mechanical speedometer output - but we've got the answer.
|We use Ramshorn Exhaust manifolds (as illustrated).
You can get them at your local dealer (GM #372243) or we sell them.
||I strongly recommend my special driveshaft adapter that
permits using an all GM driveshaft with full size U-Joints on each end. Shortening a GM
driveshaft costs $15.00-$30.00. A kluged GM-Datsun driveshaft will cost you
$100.00-$200.00 and will be the weak link you want to avoid.
||If your Z is rusty, please find another one. The
front frame rails were subject to rusting, and it is not worth the chance of what would
happen if it should succumb to the torque of the new power plant. The Z rear axle
has proven adequate for most applications.
||I strongly recommend you purchase
a COMPLETE "pull-out" engine with transmission, fan, all accessories and
brackets, trans oil cooler lines, air filter assembly (with a flat top), etc., as a
package. Buying a piece at a time will drive you and the parts person nuts, not to
mention the added time and money. Alternatively, consider also buying an older but
complete Chevrolet car and rebuilding the motor, transmission, etc. Performance mods are
easy to do at overhaul time. I suggest 1969-up long style water pump and brackets,
internal regulator alternator and HEI distributor. The main point is to get the new
driveline COMPLETE even if you have to buy an entire car to do it!
This is the number one comment from people who try to piece it together themselves.
|In January 1998, sanity prevailed and the emission laws changed, and now
imply that all cars 25 or more years old are exempt from emissions standards. Please
check with your local authorities!
|Please fill out the three ZCar Conversion Kit Order Sheets
completely, sign them, and return them with a money order or cashier's
check. No COD, no credit cards, no personal checks and no company checks
are accepted on kit orders. No exceptions! KITS are
in STOCK and shipped upon receipt of funds. Kit weight is approximately 36lbs.
The order sheets are JPEG images (about 185K each) so it will take a minute or so to
load. Print it out from a Laser, LED or ink-jet printer only dot matrix
printer will be useless. Make sure your print margins are set to .50 inches or it
may not fit on a page.
If you have any questions about the conversion, please call or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices
subject to change without notice.
Read our Customer Testimonials to
hear what our customers think about us and our products.
Note: Given the proprietary nature of my conversion kits, I do not allow the
return of a conversion kit for any reason.