I t’s finally time to get some serious work done with the 280z chassis. Since our engine is locked up with what we’ll eventually find out is a bent cylinder 6 rod & since the oil pan was filled with some of the nastiest gunk I’ve seen or smelt it needs to come out & be trashed. If you need any L28 parts email me or contact me on social media! If you’re wondering what engine is going into the 280z it’s made by Toyota for their Lexus brand & it’s a V8, did you guess it? It’s a 1st gen 1UZFE from an SC400! I decided to keep the engine at least Japanese and went with Toyota for reliability (1UZFE engines are stout & smooth, queue the LS400 AD!)
With our Harbor Fraud engine crane assembled it was time to get the engine loose and pull that giant paperweight out. It was quite funny because only one side of the engine mounts was actually bolted in. This car made a 400 mile trip on bumpy Georgia roads on a trailer with a loose engine, I’m amazed it was still sitting pretty inside the engine bay on arrival. We started the process of removing the intake and getting the leveler hooked up to the engine, if you need a good leveler this one did great & you can get it for cheap on Amazon. Removing the engine was quite easy even with our limited room to move the crane, it should be an easy task for anyone.
With the engine out we took off the transmission and got the engine on a stand to do a dissection to see why the engine was locked up. With the pan removed and girdle & insides all exposed I can see rod number 6 is making contact with our block, not good news. The oil pan and pickup was some of the nastiest I’ve ever seen. The gunk was so thick you could cut through it with a screwdriver. This poor L28 was exposed to the elements for a long time with fluids still in it and was put away wet. This drivetrain wasn’t originally going to stay in the car when we first bought it because I wanted to do a V8 swap & we figured it was junk but this justifies the swap even more.
Now that the engine is out we can get a closer look at the engine bay & see all the damage. We already knew that a lot will need to be patched or completely replaced on this chassis. It’s said that S30s start rusting off the assembly line and I wouldn’t disregard that comment. The rails going into the bay will need cutting, replacing and patching. The front core support is getting all cut out and probably will be tubed from the wheel wells forward, check out Street Banditos on Youtube and see how Tim Hicks did his front end.
Let’s get onto the replacement engine. We made a trip out to Tampa and picked up an SC400 engine that was traded for a DJI drone I don’t use anymore, I basically paid $300 for the engine. The engine is in okay shape & it rotates without a problem and the rotation feels healthy. We got the ECU and harness with the engine too so that was a great score but we’ll need to find a MAF for a 1st gen SC400, if you have one you’re willing to give away or sell for cheap please hit me up via email or social media! We plan on getting a Nissan CD009 transmission for the car that’s connected together with a Collins Adapter kit. As for power adders, a turbo will come in the future. We’ll have the second documented 280z turbo 1UZFE in the world from my research. The 280z will be quite a death trap with 450rwhp and being so lightweight, we’ll need a lot of self-control not to be buying tires every week.
That really wraps up this post on the 280z project, we didn’t have much to cover in this post but look forward to more posts in the coming time. I’ve been spotting other shells online that have less rust & we’ll possibly use this one for parts if I find something. Anyways, stay tuned for more 280z.