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should i do this engine swap?


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i have a stock 78 280z with the n42 engine i believe it is? its just the stock 2.8L engine for that year. it makes a slight valve knocking noise when its running, its not anything bad i dont think, its very slight. but anyways.. i recently acquired a parts car which has a f54 block and a p90 head. i am told this is a turbo engine from an early 80s 280zx? there are no injectors in the engine, but otherwise its a pretty complete engine. there also is no distributor. would it be worth my while to swap my current engine for this one, and would i be able to use my current ecu, injectors, and distributor? i am told that the "turbo" engine i have is in really good shape. it also looks a lot cleaner than the engine i have. i just dont want to rip apart the (running) engine i have now, and do tons of work that i am not that experienced with, if it won't make a big difference. what should i do??

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Actually you are just as well off with what you have.

The bore and stroke are the same between the two engines. The only way to improve the F-54 engine would be to put a turbo on it to make it worth the effort. You probably have a slightly (very slight) higher compression in the engine you are running now.

The only real advantage the F-54 block has is that is a somewhat stronger block since it has the siamesed cylinders.

The engines are so close to being the same as they are, there really isn't much reason to change unless the engine you have now is going bad.

You'd be further ahead to go ahead and rebuild the F-54 with flat top pistons for more compression while you continue to drive the one you have. That way, you still can drive the car, and with flat top pistons, you will then have a bit more than what you have now. However, if the F-54 you have is from a non-turbo it should already have flat top pistons, which would mean you'd save some money on a good rebuild, then you could change everything over and have a slightly better performer and a fresh engine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

actually i think it is the non-turbo version. what would a rebuild cost? or could i do it myself, and what exactly does it entail? i dont think the engine is in realaly that bad of shape, does it still need to be rebuilt? thanks

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If all thats wrong with it in a noisy valve train then dont rebuild it.

If it's not burning oil and making lots of smoke then the engine really shouldnt need a rebuild. Unless your big end is knocking which means worn bearings.

The valve clearances are adjustable. All you have to do is take off the valve cover (the alloy thing thats says "NISSAN OHC") to get to addustments. Not a lot experiance needed. Even if you got a garage to do it, it would be a lot cheaper than rebuilding an engine.

I have to rebuild my engine because its smokin' like a steam train.

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