Ben Ellis' Stroker L32 240Z

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Ben Ellis Datsun 240z with L32 Stroker

Ben Ellis is no stranger to the Z scene, having previously built a 1JZ powered 240z which some will recall from the Australian Zoom magazine. This latest Z is a unique spin on Japanese styling and performance influence. Lots of lightweight goodies keep it on a strict diet and a powerful L28 is nestled between the front strut towers.

We at Auszcar.com are proud to bring you Ben Ellis' latest Z-car project, a tribute to Japanese styled Z-cars. Having owned a few Zeds already and inspired by Japanese magazine Zeppan Car, Ben wanted to build a light weight performance Z.

Ben recalls "I was 19 when I bought my first 240Z. Back then I was at uni and couldn't afford to do any of the things I wanted to do with it. I couldn't even afford to look after it properly. The disappointment of watching that car deteriorate probably has something to do with how far I've gone with my latest car. I bought it as a registered, drivable but shabby car."

Infact a quick flick through Ben's Project Journal reveals the trials and tribulations of the build and the amount of work and effort that has been put into this early 240Z.

The plan: " From the start I intended to make it a bare-bones, lightweight car with an angry atmo L-series engine. I think this is the best way to enjoy an old sports car – if you try to make it comfortable and quiet there will always be a rattle somewhere that annoys you and it will be too heavy. "

The aim was to keep the car well under 1000kg and keep the styling true to classic heritage, that meant stripping and replacing alot of " un-needed parts" and giving the old girl a nice set of shoes in the form of Watanabe Wheels simplistic but period correct front lip spoiler.

Ben managed to keep the car to 935kg, and todo so included some unique weight saving ideas. A lightweight roof skin made of carbon fibre replaces the sunroof that all Z-lovers 'oh so hate to find installed by a previous owner'. The rear tail light garnish is also made of carbon fibre. The stock and heavy 240z heater system was removed and replaced lighter ceramic items. Carbon bumpers replace the standard steel ones, and all sound deadening was removed, but Its the black carbon fibre bonnet that really offsets the white paint job, giving it true race car styling similar to that of the Nissan 432 and 432r models sold exclusively in Japan.

What makes this car so special though is the peformance L-series sitting between the front struts. The tried trusted and race proven L28 engine has been given almost every conceivable performance part, making sure it sings like all good L-series should.

Ben used the F54 block / P90A head combo, which received a port n' polish a nice lumpy 298 degree camshaft with 14mm of lift, Tomei Valve Springs, ARP head studs to keep it together. For the block an LD28 crank increases stroke and the cylinders were bored out to achieve a total displacement of 3.2 ltr. Hence the L32 designation. L24 rods give a better rod / stroke ratio and KA24 pistons top it off. An aftermarket fuel injection system is used to make the most of the 3.2ltr capacity.

The drivetrain was upgraded to include a twin plate OS Giken clutch, R200 diff and Z31 halfshafts to prevent constant breakage of the standard half shafts. Kameari 4.875:1 gears and Truetrak mechanical LSD let the Z launch at full potential.

Custom braces and a cusco strut brace help keep the 240Z rigid and many rust repairs were carried out on the shell which are obvious from looking at Ben's Journal.

The 240z has managed to achieve a 1/4 mile time of 12.834 @ 103.92mph at WSID and a respectable lap time of 1:25.0030 around the Oran Park GP circuit

Like all good car enthusiasts Ben has plenty more to do on the car and we are sure he'll do a top job. Check in often as Ben likes to keep us updated.

Owner Details and Car Specifications

Vehicle Category Details and Modifications
Name: Ben Ellis
Location: Sydney
Member Name: BenZed
Age(ish): 35
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Model: HS30 - Datsun 240z RHD
Body Style: 2 Seater
Colour:

Honda Championship White

Engine Type:

L32 (3166cc)

Transmission:

71B 5-speed with Kameari close-ratio kit

Power HP / KW:

269hp/201kW at wheels

Torque: Lots
Brakes:
  • Currently stock with four-piston Hilux calipers
Suspension:
  • Adjustable shocks
  • adjustable caster rods
  • Toe adjuster kit
  • lots of urethane
Wheels:
  • 16x8 and 16x8.5 Watanabe
Tyres:
  • Silverstone 215/50 semi-slicks
Sound System: -
Engine:
  • F54 L28 block
  • LD28 crank
  • L24 rods
  • KA24 90mm pistons
  • Tomei head gasket
  • P90A ported head
  • Tomei valvesprings
  • 298-degree cam with 14mm lift
  • ARP head studs
  • main studs and rod bolts
  • high volume oil pump and extended sump
  • SWR harmonic balancer
  • OER injection system port-matched to the head
  • Trust extractors with 2.75-inch exhaust
  • oil cooler kit
  • PWR aluminium radiator
  • Adaptronic ECU
  • FJ20 turbo injectors
  • Bosch fuel pump
  • custom surge tank…and some other stuff...
Interior:
  • Stripped of all sound-deadening
  • grey unbacked carpet
  • retrimmed door cards
  • fibreglass dash shell with factory instruments
  • Nardi steering wheel
  • Bride bucket seats
  • 3-inch four-point harnesses
  • Custom C-pillar braces and rear tower brace
  • Custom side and rear panels
Body:
  • Carbon bonnet and bumpers
  • tail light garnish and roof skin
  • Fibreglass front guards
  • cowl panel and doors
  • Perspex side and rear windows
  • Japanese front spoiler with stainless support struts
  • Raybrig headlights
Other:
  • OS Giken TS2BD twin-plate clutch
  • R200 diff with Z31 driveshafts
  • Kameari 4.875:1 gears and Truetrak mechanical LSD
  • Cusco front strut brace
  • custom braces inside wheel arches
  • many rust repair panels welded in
  • KKR forged wheel nuts, GPS (more accurate than speedo)
Performance:
  • ¼ Mile: - 12.834 @ 103.92mph at WSID
  • Best Lap: - 1:25.0030 Oran Park GP circuit