Well, after 16 months, I finally get to drive the Z. Many people want to know what all I have done to it so the information below should give you some idea. Everything has been purchased and installed except for the Wheels, Tires, Suspension and a couple of other parts and I started breaking it in on April 4th.
Wiseco Racing Pistons
Eagle Racing Rods
OEM Main Bearing Set
Cometic Metal Head Gasket
OEM Gasket Set
Bronze Valve Guides
OEM Valve Train
ARP Head and Main Studs and Bolts
OEM Timing Belt
OEM Idler Pulleys
OEM oil pump
OEM water pump
Mike Smith Exhaust Manifolds
NISMO 165 Degree Thermostat
Oversized Throttle Bodies
Polished Aluminum Upper Plenum with EGR eliminated and coolant tubes removed
NISMO 740cc Injector Kit
Machined Lower Plenum
Non-Turbo Power Steering Pump
Polished Aluminum Valve Covers
Polished Aluminum Water Pipes
AMSZ Aluminum Under and Over Drive Pulley Set and Belts
OEM Motor Mounts
Ash-Spec Double pass-through Radiator with Electric Fan and Shroud
JWT Sport 700 Ball Bearing Turbos
2.5" Stainless Steel 5 Bolt Downpipes
2.5" Stainless Steel Test pipes
2.5" Stainless Steel Catback Exhaust
OEM IACV AAC Valve
OEM IACV Air Regulator
Z1 Motorsports Chrome Hard Intake Pipes
OEM Crank Angle Sensor
OEM Coolant Temperature Sensor (ECU)
OEM Coolant Temperature Sensor (OEM Gauge)
OEM Power Transistor
OEM Detonation (knock) Sensor
2 OEM Mass Air Flow Sensors
2 OEM O2 Sensors
2 Wideband O2 Sensors
Oil Filter Sandwich Plate
Iridium Spark Plugs
Dual K&N Pop Chargers
2 Greddy RS Type Blow-off Valves (BOVs)
Electronics and Gauges:
ZTuner Tune on ECU
1995 OEM EFI Harness
Center Console 3 Gauge Pod
A-Pillar 3 Gauge Pod
Greddy Profec B-Spec 2 Boost Controller
Apexi SAFC II – Air Fuel Converter
Autometer Phantom Wideband Air / Fuel Ratio Gauge
Autometer Phantom Fuel Pressure Gauge
Autometer Phantom II Full Sweep Water Temperature Gauge
Autometer Phantom II Full Sweep Oil Temperature Gauge
Autometer Phantom II Full Sweep Oil Pressure Gauge
Calibra Laser Diffuser and Radar Jammer
G-TechPro Performance on-board Dyno with X and Y Axis Accelerometers
Wheels, Tires and Suspension:
18” X 9.5” Custom Rear Wheels
18” X 8.5” Custom Front Wheels
Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 Y Rated 285/35ZR18 Rear Tires
Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 Y Rated 245/40ZR18 Front Tires
25 mm Wheel Spacers
Tein S-Tech Coil Over Springs
KYB AGX Adjustable Shocks
PowerTrix Adjustable Front Upper Camber Arms
PowerTrix Adjustable Front Tension Rods
PowerTrix Adjustable Rear Camber Arms
PowerTrix Adjustable Rear Traction Rods
Ksport 13” Big Brake Kit with 8 Piston Calipers (Front)
HICAS Rear Wheel Steering Elimination Kit
Z1 Short Throw Shifter
Fidanza Lightweight Aluminum Flywheel
Southbend Max Racing Clutch and 6 Puk Clutch Disc (750+ ft lbs torque)
The dream started for me in sometime during 1990, when I was in the Marines and stationed on the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan. I was driving to work on the base that morning and when I drove past the barracks, I noticed this black 1990 300ZX parked in front of the barracks. I made up my mind that someday I was going to have one of these cars. To me, it was the most elegant sports car I had ever seen.
I got out of the Marines in 1994 and started a Network Integration Business in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I initially leased a new 1994 Nissan Pathfinder when I got out of the Marines and over the next year and a half, I put over 65,000 miles on it. In November, 1995, I got a letter in the mail from Nissan Motors that offered to let me out of my lease (which would be a big savings since I had too many miles on the Pathfinder) if I purchased or leased another Nissan vehicle. So, in November, 1995, I bought a new 1996 Nissan 300ZX. The first time I test drove this car, I was even more in love with it than I had been before. It was quick and responsive and cornered well and handled better than any car I had ever owned.
It was AWESOME!
By the end of 1996, I had so many problems with the car that because of my business needs, I traded the car in for a new 1997 Nissan Pathfinder. The check engine light had been on and off continuously for the entire time I had the car and it was constantly in the shop. The day after I traded the car in and every day since then, I have regretted getting rid of this car. I can honestly say that everytime I got in this car to drive it, I was just as excited as a little kid getting to play with his brand new toy on Christmas morning.
Well it took me another 10 years before I had the chance to get another Nissan 300ZX, and I was just as excited as the first time I bought one. In September, 2006, I made a deal on a 1991 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo and the night I got it, the dream went south. This brings us to the next stage on the project.
Assess The Situation: Well, after all was said and done, Lei and I had many hours of discussion over the raw deal I got and what I should decide to do now that we are stuck with the car and Matthias Merzhauser was allowed to get away with this accepting no responsibility for this mess. Lei was not happy with the situation and neither was I but you have to let things go and move on, so that is what we are doing.
As part of the assessment and evaluation phase of this project, we decided we would document everything we find that was damaged on the car.
Getting the Car Moved: First we were moving, so the car had to be moved. It is hard to move a car that won't move on it's own power. We had to pay someone to do this. This took over 2 months to find a company to move the car since it was not running (BIG PROBLEM). Once you move the car, finding a place that will let you keep a broken down car is another problem. We found a place and rented it untill we could get the car to a place where I could do the work myself with the help of a couple of people that I met by change and who decide they would help me out.
Before I go any further, I would like to introduce the two "Great People" I met that agreed to help me out after my terrible ordeal (yes, I am a little bit bitter over it).
First I want to introduce Jeff Perkins. Jeff has become a trusted friend and advisor on all things 300ZX related. Jeff has also taken on the roll of my trainer and mentor on this project. Besides that he helps out with many things, not to mention his skills in communications which are valued beyond what he might imagine.
The second person I want to introduce is Sergio. He is an "Old School" Mechanic that is retired and does this because he loves working on cars. He is very smart and is one of the best Mechanics, I have ever encountered.
Pull The Engine And Evaluate The Condition: Sergio pulled the engine out of the car during the 2nd week in January 2008. During this time, he discovered the Radiator was bad and would need to be replaced. The Turbos were leaking oil and would need to be replaced. The engine was leaking oil from the rear main seals so the engine had to be rebuilt and there was 0 psi compression in three of the six cylinders so the engine must be totally dissassembled which led to discovering that one piston had a hole in it and the block was scored in two other cylinders as well. The other two cylinders had broken rings that fell out when the pistons were pulled and the heads had been destroyed by detonation in the engine and as you can see in the pictures. The transmission was also full of metal shavings and the syncros were shot in gears 1-4 and in poor condition in gear 5, so the transmission would have to be rebuilt or replaced.
The Plan -> Silver 1991 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
Well, Jeff Perkins and I had many discussions and it was very hard to stay focused on a single end point without knowing exactly where I was going. I guess I would just have to start going and find out along the way as I learn, where it is that I wanted to go with this project. You see, I am going to have to learn many things that Jeff Knows so that I can really get a plan together. As you already know, the engine and transmission are shot so Sergio said he would pull the engine and at the same time, while he was doing that, Jeff would begin spending time teaching me as much as he could about what was going to have to be done. I would begin ordering the parts I needed to have no mater what the end goal was going to be and in the process I would reach a point when I would have to make a decision on an end goal for this overhaul and final horsepower for this evolution.
The decision point was on February 26, 2008 when I ordered the Turbo Chargers. The final goal for this build would be 550 horsepower, so I ordered the Jim Wolf Technology (JWT) Sport 530 Ball Bearing Turbo Chargers. I had previously wanted to go to 700 horsepower (I still do) with the build, but I finally said this should be far enough until I had a chance to drive the car and really get used to the added 250 horsepower over the stock 300 horsepower the car originally had.
As I go forward, I will post pictures of all of the New parts and detail the build out after all of the parts Arrive.
Construction -> Silver 1991 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo - Building a 600-750 hp engine
May 31, 2008 - I worked on installing the new EFI Harness. I discovered that the new (1995 Model) EFI Harness will not work with my Power Transistor, so I will have to order a new Power Transistor and harness.
I also took off the front facia (Plastic Bumper Cover so I could remove the SMICs (Side Mount Inter-Coolers), and removed the SMICs and Recirculation Valves and associated hoses and ducting. The SMIC will be replaced with a FMIC (Front Mount Inter-Cooler). I replaced the A/C Condensor and tested the A/C fan to make sure it was working and cleaned up all of the front of the engine since the front facia was already off. I discovered that I will need to order a set of new A/C Hoses because the fittings on the old hoses are shot. There are still a few pieces I have to order. I need to order the following parts:
A/C Hoses (2) Power Steering Hoses (4) Non-Turbo Power Steering Resevoir
June 7, 2008 - OFFICIAL BUILD STARTED - Sergio and I worked on assembling the engine block this morning. We accomplished the following:
Put the Rings on the Wiseco Pistons Attached the Wiseco Pistons to the Eagle Rods Installed the Connecting Rod Bearings and Caps to the Crankshaft Torqued to specification the Connecting Rod Caps to the Crankshaft Torqued to specification the Crankshaft Main Cap / Main Bearings I am still working on cleaning and deleating the excess Nissan engineering. I eliminated the EGR, removed the AIV system from the two front fender wells, removed the PVRV system and removed and bypassed the Carbon Canister from the car.
November 29, 2008 - I have been pretty busy and have got a lot of work done since my last posting. I will show a couple of photos that were taken by a friend. Take a look below:
November 29, 2008 - Build in Progress
Finished or Just the Beginning? -> Silver 1991 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
April 21, 2009 - Well, it has been some time since I was on here last and updated the web site, so you have missed a lot. As you can see from the pictures to the Left, it has been a while since I updated the site last.
I got the Z running in early December and licensed it and took it home but it was not running right and I needed to tun it. Then the rain set in and from early December, I only got a chance to work on it just a few days up until the first part of April 2009. I finally got the tune worked out and it was running pretty well, but there are still a few issues. I replaced the Idle Air Valves and a few other things. It is running pretty well now but I am still working on the wheels, tires and suspension.