five&dime

Z31 N/A RB project

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    Hello, everyone. I haven’t been on here in quite a while. My dad is a regular (diseazd) with 5 amazing s30’s. I have had many Nissans and owned a 72 510 for a few years but have never owned a Z. The S30’s are just too expensive for me and for some reason, over the last few years, I cannot get the Z31 300zx out of my mind. I almost bought one a year ago and then went on to other projects.
     
    My original plan was going to be to build a beast L series motor. Bored and stroked to 3.2L with high revs and a goal of 300hp. I quickly realized that building such a motor would likely cost about $12-15k all in. So I started leaning towards an RB20det or RB25det build. I know the guys who started Japanese Classics and Japan Parts service so I asked them what they might have in stock. They didn’t have any turbo engines but did happen to have an RB25de. I hadn’t even thought about an n/a build but suddenly everything made sense and I instantly had the final vision for what I wanted to build. I would build exactly what I wanted in an L series only at about half the cost with an RB. This gives me a crossflow head and twin cams which is obviously a benefit. Japan Parts Service also just so happened to have the one and only JDM Z31 5 speed they have ever gotten (the best of the 3 Z31 5 speed variants with Z32 internals) and the only RB bell housing they have ever gotten without a trans attached. It was like it was all meant to be. The RB25de also had a beautiful set of equal length long tube headers. Although I will just be using the block and headers, for the price I paid for everything, I am still way ahead.

    Today, I ordered an brand new Nissan RB26 head. It flows better out the gate and has a better lifter design for high revs. Going with Supertech +1 intake and exhaust valves and dual high tension valve springs with Tomei solid lifters to allow for a 9k redline. My dad and I know a great machinist who will port and polish the head on his flow bench.
     
    I will update here as I go. My dad and I will tear down the motor and then I will take it to my machinist. I also do not yet have a car but that will be the easy part. I am set on a 1986 300zx non turbo in white, black or grey with dark grey/black cloth interior and the analogue gauges. Why 86 only you ask? 86 is arguably the best year in that it came with the wider fenders featured on the 87-89 but has the early tail lights and split head lights which are a must for me.
     
    Looking forward to the next updates and happy to be posting here again.
     
    Brandon

     

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    Edited by five&dime
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    Thanks for the link. I had not seen that but for the price I paid for an RB25de long block with headers, a brand new RB26 head and RB26 covers, I think I got the better deal ;) 

     

    Also not sure why he is selling the motor if he wants to go turbo. Seems like that engine is just n/a by choice not by design. 

     

    Edited by five&dime

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    That’s my boy! This is going to be a really fun father/son project. Finally got the kid back in a Nissan/Datsun. I’ve only built the L Series engines.....looking forward to playing with a twin cam beast. You’re going to like this car........ I promise! BTW JSM....I joined the site March 2007....I see you joined in April 2007 :wacko: Guess that makes me your Senior eh?

    Edited by Diseazd

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    18 minutes ago, Diseazd said:

    BTW JSM....I joined the site March 2007....I see you joined in April 2007 :wacko: Guess that makes me your Senior eh?

    Lol, Hey if you adopt me, let me move in and Feed me, I'll speak only when spoken too, greet you with your favorite flavored coffee in the morning and do all the chores you want done!

    One of these days someone will adopt me!  Not sure what I'll tell the wife!

    Edited by JSM
    • Haha 1

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    So good to have you back. Your work is always inspiring. I always loved the sleeper Bimmer wagon...

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    4 hours ago, five&dime said:

    I keep seeing that one in my searches but it only has the one photo and appears to have tan interior. I dont mind buying out of state though. 

    I search all the time for 300zx.  She's my S30 mistress.  Really any Z is!

    I have a real bad tendency to fall in love with any cool car.  Last night I'm watching Wheeler Dealers and they did a 82 Celica Supra.  I started looking immediately.  I have issues!

    What color interior do you prefer?  I know Tan is out reading your BMW build. :) 

    Edited by JSM

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    Haha, I am exactly the same way. Currently have 4 "enthusiast" vehicles all with mods. The e38 M7, 03 e53 x5 4.6is, 04 Volvo V70R and 95 Nissan d21 hardbody.

     

    I like black the best stock in an e38 7. But I like caramel in the e39 m5's or the almost white interior on the newer BMW's.

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    Got the motor on the stand in the garage and pulled the pulley and front cover. Will remove the head and intake as one to sell complete.

     

    Pretty set on safari gold 920 as the exterior color when the time comes.

     

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    Edited by five&dime

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    About ready to pull the head (will wait for my dad to come over to join in the fun). Cam lobes look practically new. I realized I had to turn it over for the cam reliefs to access the head bolts so I put the belt back on after this photo. All bolts broke loose and ready. I am really impressed with the simplicity of the design on this motor. I was working on my Volvo V70R recently and I have no idea what they were thinking when they designed that engine!

     

    My wife said she wants the car to be white and agrees on the 86 fenders after looking at some photos. 

     

     

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    Got the block mostly broken down and received the first head components from Raw Brokerage. New Nissan RB26dett head, oversized valves, dual springs, seals and retainers. 

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    Edited by five&dime

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    Finally found my donor vehicle. Well I found it about 6-8 months ago but the price was too high so I didn't even bother calling to make an offer. I have been daily searching these cars on auto tempest for over a year and yesterday, the price dropped and I jumped. 

     

    The car arrives on Wednesday. It's an 86 300zx non turbo auto. Base line model which I prefer for this project. It has 56k original miles and seems to be in outstanding shape. The oddest part is that it's never actually been registered and has instead bounced from dealer to dealer. All I want is a clean shell with good bones and a very nice black interior so this certainly fits the bill. 

    On the engine side, Tomei cams, lifters and beryllium copper valve seat rings have been ordered so that the headwork can start. I estimate the engine to be complete in February. 

     

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    The car was delivered this morning and all I can say is WOW!!! It’s so much nicer than I expected. I found one spot with some paint overspray but realized it’s just because someone spray painted the side mirror after it was scuffed. So the overspray got on some trim but easy to remove. All other paint appears to be stock and in great shape. The interior is incredible. The dash and gauges are like new. There are no rattles, squeaks or any odd noises. It even rides terrific. The seats are incredibly comfortable. I can smell a fuel leak, an oil leak and it runs a little rough but probably just needs a tune up. Besides, the drivetrain won’t be like that for long. Still, I may go ahead and do that, install the 5 speed since my best friend got me a pedal assembly, master cylinder and has a Z32 driveshaft which may help. Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with the purchase and could probably flip it now for a decent profit. But that would be boring….

     

    Some cell phone shots after a quick wash before the freeze. 

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