Author Topic: New Z in USA  (Read 2508 times)

Offline Guyver280z

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New Z in USA
« on: February 09, 2008, 03:24:50 AM »
Hi there. My name is Paco. I have a US spec 1978 280Z... Im restoring the car right now and Im doing a right hand drive conversion and RB25DET engine swap.

Since I noticed your Z's are RHD I wonder if I can get some help and parts that Im going to need for the conversion in this site.

So far I, going to need a nice dashboard in close to new or perfect condition. I might also need a steering rack... and column but Im interested in having power steering, so I dont know If I can use the same steeering rack from the R33 Skyline front clip im getting or if a 79+ 280ZX power steering rack would fit better... or whatever advice I can get from you... Im listening. ;D

Thanks a lot.

Offline George

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2008, 08:22:56 PM »
hey there. welcome to the boards. i'm sure there are many people here that can help you out. good luck with your build. ;)

Offline RBZ 260

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2008, 07:11:10 AM »
Welcome and good luck with the conversion.

im sure soemone will come up with the parts you are after.

i can tell you few tips in regards to power steering.

i think the r33 skyline rack is tad too wide for s30 application.

another issue is that R33 and 280zx have their steering rack mounted behind the front wheels while 240z 260z 280z has in front of the front wheels.

in your case this may work to your advantage if u use a LHD rear mounted rack and make it a RHD (just flipping it around and mounting it as a RHD and front mount) in theory it should work.

if u mount a Rear mounted rack on the front your steering controls would be opposite. so you turn your steering to left and car turns to right. it would a very interesting and scary experience  ;D

Another issue choosing the rack is getting the dimmensions of the moving rods (lenght) as close as possible to the original rack within 10mm - 15mm max.if its slightly longer or shorter it will make the car handle very bad as the geometry will be greatly affected.

some good examples of the racks if u choosing a rhd and front mount rack is Mazda miata or MX5 or subaru liberty impreza leone etc.....

with subaru racks there is few mods and tricks to make it fit to the subframe. but apperently mazda one is pretty good with minimal mods (apperently havent done this one yet tob e 100% cetain)

there are few details and be glad to help but if u try and source a rear mount with similar dimensions and flip it. it will make your job lot easier.

if i confused lot of people ill post a picture and a diagram of the issues outlined with choosing a rack.

i found this the hard way (dont use mazda rx7 or supra rack too long)

other car that may be possible is a BMW 3 series E36 looks like it may be good fit but havent done the measurements. (for local ppl)

again i hope i havent confused the issue even more.
Nissan just wait till you drive it!

Offline Guyver280z

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2008, 07:20:05 AM »
Hey, thanks for the help!!

Its very interesting what you say... I heard its easier to use an RHD S13 or S14 240SX/Silvia steering rack, that it should work fine...

Yeah I can imagine how scary would it be to turn the wheel right and the car turn left... ::)

Anyways. Thanks for the help, it makes a lot of sense.

 ;D

Offline modular9

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2008, 08:02:23 AM »
OK so how easy is it to switch a lhd zed to rhd. Is it like the mg where from the factory they made both LHD and RHD mountings or is it a little more involved ? I get the rack switching but is there some fine grindin'/weldin' to be done for things like clutch slave cylinders etc?

Reason i ask is that the prices for Aussie 240z's are a tad out of my range but a lhd american zed with shipping works out cheaper. I might still get into a 2 seater zed yet ! In fact there was a real nice one black hybridz style that went for around 9000 plus shipping to aus should get it under 14,000 AUD! Gotta love globalisation!
These cars are so much fun.

Offline RBZ 260

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2008, 10:59:25 AM »
OK so how easy is it to switch a lhd zed to rhd. Is it like the mg where from the factory they made both LHD and RHD mountings or is it a little more involved ? I get the rack switching but is there some fine grindin'/weldin' to be done for things like clutch slave cylinders etc?


besides the rack being on opposite side. to conver it to LHD to RHD you prob only need to replace the firewall with the RHD. this includes the steering coloum/pedal box bracket on the inside.

other things is to use rhd wiper motor and arms and use the relevant mounting holes on the air box panel. Both Lhd and RHD wiper mountings are common on all models. so that the wipers are wiping in the correct direction.

possibly there could be some wiring that needs reshuflling from one side to the other  ie guages switches etc.... but dont think that be too hard.

one im not certain about is the location of the handbrake on the LHD models.
IS it close to the driver side or is it on the opposite side.. if its next to the driver than u need to redo the tunnel to the RHD which inlcudes a RHD center console as well. 

hmm maybe bit more than just swapping the rack  ;)
Nissan just wait till you drive it!

Offline modular9

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2008, 12:01:28 PM »
hmm might have to get one and just tool around in lhd mode then ! But doable but i think the switch over is probably going to eat into the savings that were made by getting it overseas.

Why are things so hard ?  ;D
These cars are so much fun.

Offline Zedman240

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2008, 01:36:21 PM »
A friend of mine imported a 240 from the US and did a RHD conversion. There are a lot of small differences between them. You dont have to change the firewall, but it helps alot if you have a donor RHD car. The amount of small brackets for the steering column, plates on the firewall etc that you need, its easier to buy a front cut and remove everything you need. Also if you have to change the wipers from the LHD side to the RHD side theres more removing and adding of metal you need to to. Handbrake was on the same side but bonnet release and bonnet catch (reversed; cable enters from left hand side)is on opposite side. None of the US wiring loom will work. You have to source a RHD dash and engine bay loom. I can probably get more info, or better yet, get my friend to sign up on the forum! Oh, and you will need all the brake lines under the bonnet from a RHD Z and a battery tray! I can't think of all the other things at the moment!!
« Last Edit: February 12, 2008, 07:35:51 PM by Zedman240 »
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Offline Guyver280z

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2008, 11:22:07 PM »
Thanks for all the info. :)

Well. Im doing a lot of custom work, My intention is to build a show car, so all the brake lines are going to be custom built, also I noticed the firewall comes with all the marks for the holes and places for the pedals and steering column... but its a bit rusted because of the battery... so I was thinking on replacing it, so having a new firewall from a RHD car would be awesome and will save me a lot of time trying to figure out where to locate some parts.

Is somebody in the forum parting out a RHD S30 Z???

 ;D

Offline Guyver280z

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2008, 11:38:22 PM »
Here are some pics of my car before and after :)


Offline Guyver280z

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2008, 11:40:18 PM »
More...

Offline Guyver280z

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2008, 11:52:08 PM »
at my last drifting competition...

Offline modular9

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2008, 08:45:55 AM »
zedman : thanks for the info on that. Perhaps it isnt too hard. The problem for me is the prices of porsche 912's  in america right now are around the same sort of moolah so hard decisions... But thanks for the info all the same.

Guyver280z : I have to ask. Why RHD ?
These cars are so much fun.

Offline Guyver280z

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2008, 11:24:06 PM »

Guyver280z : I have to ask. Why RHD ?

Well... I think the Z is an iconic japanese car, and japanese cars are RHD, so lately there's a lot of skylines and 240sx being imported from japan with RHD, and I deffinetly love to have a RHD Z, but I already have this one, and Im already tearing it appart, also my firewall its all rusty, so I have to fix/replace it, so I tought it was a good oportunity to do the change.

 ;D

Offline Zedman240

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Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2008, 12:39:59 PM »
Modular9; If you want, next time there is a big get together with the club, I can contact my freind with the converted 240 to join us so those interested can see how it was done and how much work is involved. Also, take pics and post for any interstate intersested parties... Just an idea tho!
HS30-00121 'early girl'
Have u got any old SHOGUN bikes in the shed? Under the house? ME WANT!
Breaks-Something that fails.
Brakes-Stop your car.
There-in  or  at  that  place (opposed  to  here).
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Auszcar 240z, 260z, 280zx Forums

Re: New Z in USA
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2008, 12:39:59 PM »