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what engine should i use???


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#21 singhy

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:36 PM

It really all depends on what you want, a vintage racer feel would be to stick with the L-series. I love these engines, easy to work on, sound great and aesthetically look good in the engine bay. I also find them relatively good on fuel too!

Another reason why I will more than likely keep the L-series is that you won't get hassled or defected by the Police. If you pop the hood and it's a stock looking L-series I think you'll get less hassle myself. Even though I've been in an L-series still on twin SU's that produced 280HP and it was absolutely nuts!

You're not going to make gobs of power though without spending some time and money on it. It's definitely not an economical way to making power.

If you are interesting in building a serious L-series speak with Peter Mac on here, there are various threads showing the work he's done with them and power he's obtained but it won't come cheap.

If you like the idea of a turbo in a vintage car like the 240z then an SR20, RB or similar would be best. However if you want old school muscle feel a V8 would be awesome.

To  be honest these cars are so light that you don't need massive power to make them go, I would like to see what a 13B or 20B turbo would be like in these, I know in my FD which is about 200KG heavier it feels very very quick, I imagine a single turbo 13B with say a GT35R making about 400-450HP would be absolutely insane and wouldn't cost a fortune.

The other advantage of the rotary is low weight to power ratio, you could stick that well behind the front wheels and have an almost MR drivetrain layout. However it depends on what you can live with :). Rotary's do use a good bit of fuel.

Again it all comes down to your build direction, I love the old L-banger but it is dated now.

Perhaps ask for someone to take you for a spin in their car to get a feel for it? I know after being in a properly worked L-series powered Z I was like 'no need for engine swaps' :).



thanks for advise.

i think the main problem i have is the fact that i have never driven/been in or even had to do much with L series engines, so im at a complete loss with how quick they actually are...

im wanting a fairly powerful car (ive grown up around 300zx's and old V8s) i dont expect it to be as quick as a 300zx z32, but i want it to be fun.

the rb 20 as i got it free would be good, if it comes under all the new rules that have come out (im pretty sure it does) and an engineering cert should stop it being defected.

im over v8's ive owned 3 old fords  a 289 a 302 and a 351 and although they are a quick car, i dont think they suit the zed too well haha

ive driven rb20det (bog stock) and they are sort of quick in an r32 which are heavier, but in a 260 with just a few mods should be quick enough.

is an L28 turbo with just usually mods , eg cams, injectors, coolers and exaust etc enough to be able to keep up with the rbs?

#22 zzzzed

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:38 PM

Unused a rb20det 5 speed from  r32 skyline. The only clearance issue is. The sump has to be changed from front bowl to rear bowl. Another plus with the rb20 over the l28 will be fuel consumption. I am not saying one motor is better than the other but the rb is more refined.
I am in south australia so our transport rules are different to yours but I will be getting am engineers  certificate for the road. 

#23 zzzzed

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:49 PM

A well sorted l28et will have more torque than an rb20det. And torque makes a fast engine. Yes an l28et will be quicker than an rb20det if well sorted.

#24 Fairlady Z

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:00 PM

Sorry guys i love the L series but you cannot compared them
To next gen Rb series even the baby of the silver top rb20det in stock form
Is potent motor 155kw and around 250 of tourque from memory (correct me someone) will still be better in every aspect than any mild l28.

Vg turbo, rechip, and cooler 17psi will eat even the hotter and turbo L series that u have to spend 15k on motor alone.
You sound like me and like doing everything yourself rb conversion will be cheap and easy. Mine cost me besides the motor and few precautionary changes not more than $1000. Yea did spend 100hrs plus rotating the sump modifying engine brackets and gearbox bracket btw not necessary but i wanted engine bit closer to firewall. But that what i do why would i pay someone.

RB20det gutless compared to SR20det i wouldnt say so. Have both and massive fan of sr.
But rb has more power and tourque is roughly the same.

RB is cheaper to modify than SR for given kw.
Only advantage sr has its lighter and smaller.being a 4 pot may look a bit tiny even with 6 there ample room
In front of.

As a track car sr will be best where weight is a concern.

Rotary is good but with so many nice nissan engines theres no need to look elsewhere. Ive got 4,6,v8 and rotary but sr,rb,vg are still my favourites. Ultimate be vh45dett hybrid. Best of all the worlds. Lightweight high tech turbo nissan v8. But not easy conversion.

Btw do you have the red top or silver top rb20det. One is nics and other eccs. The silver is one to have.

Gearbox u can use rb20 or sr20 without issues. Sr stick is bit further back so suits z better but u can mix sr shifter on rb and bring the stick further back 2"

If want more info pm me and i point you in right direction.


#25 singhy

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:48 PM

Sorry guys i love the L series but you cannot compared them
To next gen Rb series even the baby of the silver top rb20det in stock form
Is potent motor 155kw and around 250 of tourque from memory (correct me someone) will still be better in every aspect than any mild l28.

Vg turbo, rechip, and cooler 17psi will eat even the hotter and turbo L series that u have to spend 15k on motor alone.
You sound like me and like doing everything yourself rb conversion will be cheap and easy. Mine cost me besides the motor and few precautionary changes not more than $1000. Yea did spend 100hrs plus rotating the sump modifying engine brackets and gearbox bracket btw not necessary but i wanted engine bit closer to firewall. But that what i do why would i pay someone.

RB20det gutless compared to SR20det i wouldnt say so. Have both and massive fan of sr.
But rb has more power and tourque is roughly the same.

RB is cheaper to modify than SR for given kw.
Only advantage sr has its lighter and smaller.being a 4 pot may look a bit tiny even with 6 there ample room
In front of.

As a track car sr will be best where weight is a concern.

Rotary is good but with so many nice nissan engines theres no need to look elsewhere. Ive got 4,6,v8 and rotary but sr,rb,vg are still my favourites. Ultimate be vh45dett hybrid. Best of all the worlds. Lightweight high tech turbo nissan v8. But not easy conversion.

Btw do you have the red top or silver top rb20det. One is nics and other eccs. The silver is one to have.

Gearbox u can use rb20 or sr20 without issues. Sr stick is bit further back so suits z better but u can mix sr shifter on rb and bring the stick further back 2"

If want more info pm me and i point you in right direction.



yeh i see where your coming from, and $1000 or under would be awsome hehe. ive got the silver top eccs ( i got it free  ;D haha just needs rebuild) , did you just make a new sump and then just make another oil pickup , or did you find a similar sump and make it fit????

the rest i shouldnt have problems, it was just the sump i am worried about.

if you mount the motor in just the normalish spot (not very close the firewall) do you have many clearance issues , exaust, shifter hitting dash etc? sorry for so many questions, its just i havnt measured anything up yet haha.

ive had a few sr20s and id rather the rb cause of a light car, dont need to worry about torque too much

is the 300zx z31 gearbox the same/similar to the rb20?? if so i dont need a gearbox hehe

#26 peter mc

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:51 PM

a good L29 will have 170kw and 270lb and kick ass over any Rb20 and a L 34 will have 350hp and 300lb  Rb20 is a second rate Rb , go a Rb25 if your fitting a Rb  or you will be very UN excited also the best bang for buck the 25 is a strong and fun thing in a zed

#27 singhy

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:00 PM

a good L29 will have 170kw and 270lb and kick ass over any Rb20 and a L 34 will have 350hp and 300lb  Rb20 is a second rate Rb , go a Rb25 if your fitting a Rb  or you will be very UN excited also the best bang for buck the 25 is a strong and fun thing in a zed


how much would you have to spend to get that much power out of an L series??? (i should be able to pick up the crank for next to nothing so dont count that) and porting etc i can do myself aswell.

the reason why i chose an rb20 is cause i have one already, and 2nd because it fits under the new NCOP laws in NSW. the 25 wont  :-[


#28 peter mc

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

hahah if you can port that well you should not have to ask its only taken me 25 years to get that sort of port  and power from them , good luck with your build

#29 singhy

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:22 PM

hahah if you can port that well you should not have to ask its only taken me 25 years to get that sort of port  and power from them , good luck with your build


well i wouldnt say im the best at porting, i only say that cause ive been porting old ford cross flows heads/ and cleaning up manifolds and stuff, thats about it haha and they do go better after , but im defs no machinist lol.

#30 peter mc

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:34 PM

the truth is a L can be so fast in a zed people remove them before they see how good they can be , i think there a great thing  NA there so good , check out some off Gordos vids at P I


#31 gav240z

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:10 AM

the truth is a L can be so fast in a zed people remove them before they see how good they can be , i think there a great thing  NA there so good , check out some off Gordos vids at P I


Linky Link?

#32 zzzzed

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:22 AM

a good L29 will have 170kw and 270lb and kick ass over any Rb20 and a L 34 will have 350hp and 300lb  Rb20 is a second rate Rb , go a Rb25 if your fitting a Rb  or you will be very UN excited also the best bang for buck the 25 is a strong and fun thing in a zed


I agree with you that an l28 can be made to go faster than an rb20det, but it sounds as though this guy is on a budget. My rb20det has cost me $3000 to fit and it has been dynoed at 265 rwhp. That's around 180 rwkw. An it is still fairly stock. How much would it cost to get the l28 to those hp levels? A lot more than $3000 I am guessing. I am just talking bang for buck here. And yeh I will one day upgrade to an rb25det my self

#33 Fairlady Z

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:57 AM

I agree with you that an l28 can be made to go faster than an rb20det, but it sounds as though this guy is on a budget. My rb20det has cost me $3000 to fit and it has been dynoed at 265 rwhp. That's around 180 rwkw. An it is still fairly stock. How much would it cost to get the l28 to those hp levels? A lot more than $3000 I am guessing. I am just talking bang for buck here. And yeh I will one day upgrade to an rb25det my self


Well said Mick. Though i still think even l29 with 170kw against a lightly boosted rb20 have no chance. You have 180kw at the wheels thats over 200kw at fly. The l29 will guzzle while the rb will return 10l.
Sorry bang for buck rb20 is unbeaten. Than for tiny bit more rb25 is best bang but the gearbox is bit more and install of it tiny bit harder. Mine had larger vg30turbo,chip, cooler, exhaust,cold intake and boost controller with 17psi. Estimated over 200rwkw. Made mince meat out of modified xy gtho. Thats basically dead stock rb20 internally.

U can make a rb23 using rb25 internals, bigger injectors, apexi power fc ,z32 airflow and a cam and u looking well over 250kw at the wheels on a budget rebuild. Rb23 has lot more tourqe and retains its fast reving characteristics unlike bit lazy rb25. Since u got ur rb20 for free wont be that exy. Though read up more details on rb23 on SAU i think there are few tiny details u need to know.

As for sump. I used original skyline one. Cut 20mm or so from the mounting all around. Rotated it 180 and welded it up. As for pick up i ordered new 200zr one from nissan $68. If u can find zr sump even easier but almost $600 new but no longer available.

Saying all that ive seen Peters creation in Robertos car and its simply artwork.
Music to the ears and only way to go if u want to have period correct high performance car or racing in a class where rb is not allowed.



#34 EMPRACING

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:02 AM

L28et with 300hp at the tyres is heaps of fun trust me! But ide just stick the rb in way cheaper and easy i still have to get my rb swap done in the other car (its only been a year dont rush me man haha) so i cant compare driveability yet but im sure it will be "nicer" i really want a rb26 but want and need.....

#35 Retro Z

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:50 AM

Im gonna throw a spanner in the works..how about a 1JZ gte?.
Often overlooked and better than a rb25 imo..having owned both a Chaser and skylines. I prefer the 1JZ hands down. Stonger, smoother, more powerful and generally found in better condition as they are usually auto. You can also buy fitting kits into s30 aswell.

Personally i had the resources to go rb25/26 but chose to stick with my L28et as to me a rb or any modern straight 6 doesnt sound right in a zed.

#36 Scando

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:00 AM

A reliable 200rwkw with a truckload of torque should be achievable on a budget build L28ET using an unopened L28E engine and fitting the turbo gear to it.  It's still not going to be a cheap exercise though and you need a good computer or it will be thirsty and a pig to drive.

For the few hundred dollars difference, I would go an RB25 over an RB20 considering how much you're going to spend to get it in there and running anyway.

#37 luvemfast

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:57 AM

Personally, I'd like an RB20 NA with triple carbs. You'd need to raise the compression and open up the ports, maybe a 25 head?
My S20 replica  8)

I'd prefer a turbo'd 20 over 25 purely for classes. Keeps you under 3.5L.
But would an SR20 be a better option? ???

#38 peter mc

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:59 AM

what most of you are missing is the lack off torque the rb20 has and when you drive one you will know what i mean

#39 pauly_adams

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

i agree with peter i drove a boosted r32 and it was gutless, it had plenty of HP but no torque, my 280zx is now boosted and has stacks of torque and im still running the factory ecu which is a bi@tch as you need to tune with FPR and AFM. i have owened a z32 twin turbo and my 280zx with 6 psi of boost would almost keep up with it. as for the rb20det if you have it use it its a cheap option but dont go expecting loads of grunt they can be a good reliable engine but lack torque which is where the L28 or L28et will kill it.

just my thoughts
cheers pauly

#40 BobsYourUncle

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

maybe a 25 head?


But the bore is different?

what most of you are missing is the lack off torque the rb20 has and when you drive one you will know what i mean


Yeah, the rb20 revs hard to make power (some might consider that fun though?). No replacement for displacement...




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