Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
10/25/17 6:08 p.m.

So, it was decided tonight that i apparently don't have enough to do.

Si, I'll be helping brother dustin build a drivabeater 280z. 78 i think.

Since i know jack squat about these cars, other than they are sexy enough with a widebody kit to make me think things that are illegal in 39 states, i have questions. 

Can we get new gas tanks?

What about sheet metal? Could really use a drivers side inner fender due to accident damage.

Budget handling tweaks? Plan is a5.0 5 speed and challenge budget.

GTXVette Dork
10/25/17 7:10 p.m.


Insert picture of Monkey with Mouth Covered,     How Fast, Really Fast.

Pattyo Reader
10/26/17 8:29 p.m.

 I have built a few S30s, but im no expert.  hybridz has tons of info on non traditional z car builds.  As far as tanks go, I have not seen any aftermarket tanks offered yet.  I think it is because unlike the rest of the car, the tank design changed every two years or so.  You will need to make sure you find the right tank for your car.  Im not sure if was an option or a model change, but some s30s came with a space saver spare.  that made the gas tank shap differ from s30s with a full size spare.  Also, the tank straps are not interchangeable so make sure you grab those too.

im sure you know of the 4x4 toyota brake upgrade. the rears are harder because the bracket that you need from a maxima is NLA and rarer than hens teeth at the junkyards.  a few aftermarket companies make them but they are not challenge price friendly.  I have found cheap floor pans on Ebay but not much else.  

Seat swaps are tough because of the transmission hump.  

If you havent found out yet, bolts brake very easily so soak those bastards and do the ol back and forth trick.  sometimes it is easier to just brake them and pull the threads out through the other side with pliers.

The rear diff is pretty strong, supposedly up to 400hp.  but lsds are hard to find and expensive.  supposedly the r190 from a 04-05 subaru is a direct bolt in.

I think there are clearance issues with a carbed V8, so keep your eyes out for a fiberglass hood or scoop that you like. 

GTXVette Dork
10/27/17 6:23 a.m.

 I forgot,  but you are looking at using a Ford engine, I have an Original Scarab Bell housing,  but it's used with a Chevy Engine, And I see no one mentioned you must use a bell with a Low mount Clutch arm.

Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
10/27/17 6:56 a.m.

The t5 we plan on is a hydraulic clutch setup from an sn95 mustang.  Hopefully clearance won't be an issue. 

That sucks that gas tanks aren't available.  Hopefully we can save this one.

What are the manufacturers of sheetmetal? That way i can find all thats available.  I dont even know how to properly search for stuff for one of these. We know floors, battery tray, and drivers side inner fender need new metal. I can probably make it, but would rather spendthe good money. 

racerdave600 UltraDork
10/27/17 1:03 p.m.

Some of what you are looking for I do not believe exists aftermarket.  I know when my battery tray area needed repair, I bought a cut out section from a wrecked 240 and went that route.  I also had to redo my gas tank.  I went with a POR15 coating and it worked pretty well.  I know around here there is more than one shop that can repair them too if needed. 

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
10/27/17 1:10 p.m.

Never thought a Japanese car would make mopar parts availability look good. Truly surprising. 

Guess im in for some sheetmetal fab. Probably neet to practice on my own stuff first....

MadScientistMatt PowerDork
10/27/17 2:09 p.m.
Dusterbd13 said:

Never thought a Japanese car would make mopar parts availability look good. Truly surprising. 

Guess im in for some sheetmetal fab. Probably neet to practice on my own stuff first....

Yeah, I'd just bought a brand new gas tank for my '66 Dart - a four year design that was not a very popular A-body variant with restorers - for about $90. I was surprised that there's no repro gas tanks for Z cars.

yupididit Dork
10/27/17 2:56 p.m.

I used to be pretty knowledgeable on older Z's. Especially since a 78 280 was the first car i learned to work on. But, now I've forgotten it at as soon as I went to type my response. I grew up around the guys at Tidewater Z in Poquoson VA with my step dad. Might want to give them a call 757-495-3531
 and see if they have any parts, they restore Z's in southeast VA. Now I want a 280Z :(

200mph New Reader
11/5/17 7:46 p.m.

Need wheels?  

I have a pair of 15x7" US Indy Mags "indy" slot mags... $50 each.  I'm in Winston.


Dusterbd13 MegaDork
11/5/17 8:04 p.m.

Actually yes. Slot mags are what he really wants. 15 x 7 wpuld be perfect and allow for decent tire selection. 

Text me some pictures/info please, so i can send on to him.


Ill be in Winston Salem in the next few weeks, and can consumate the deal if ue says yes.

ggarrard Reader
12/4/17 8:57 p.m.

A friend used a RX7 gas tank when he build his 5.0 litre 240z because it allowed him room to run a full dual exhaust system.

CJ New Reader
12/8/17 1:23 p.m.

Don't know anything about these guys, but they list them reconditioned.


PseudoSport Dork
12/22/17 12:31 p.m.

If the current tank is salvageable then that is a good option since those are sold on an exchange basis. Around me used rusty Z tanks are going for $500-600. I see a lot fo people going with a fuel cell or custom built tank. 240/260z tankes with interchange with the 75-76 280Z. The 280z ones are baffled. 77-78 are a different size since the rear floor plan changed. 

zcardepot.com has rear disc brackets for $66 which is what I used on my car. Upgrading to disc was cheaper then refreshing the drum brakes. Also there is a market for the used OEM aluminum drums. You can sell those to offset some of the cost.

For budget bolt in suspension I'm running Stagg shocks with Vogtland springs for about $300. You can also section the struts and make your own coil over setup if you like. 


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