Johnny Kostic's RB20DET 1976 Datsun 260z 2+2



We're proud to present our first featured Datsun 260z 2+2, the first 4 seater Z to grace our front page. This lovely looking 2+2 didn't always look so good, in fact just a couple of years ago it was a sad neglected basket case with a seized motor.

Originally after an early Mazda Rotary Rx4, Johnny turned his eye to the early Zcar when finding a good RX4 at the right price proved difficult. Johnny has been working on cars since the age of 14, his father was a mechanic, panel beater and painter. Like most of us Johnny loved cars since he was born.

Having owned several cars during his P-Plate phase (for those outside Australia that's probationary license period), he finally settled on a Nissan S14 1997 200sx, a gift from his parents for his 21st birthday. The S14 was modified to a point where any further and it wouldn't have made much sense financially continue its development.

The S14 had lots of sentimental value as it was a gift from his parents but Johnny wanted a new toy and turned his eye to the early Zcars. At first Johnny didn't realise the 2+2 and 2 seaters were slightly different, not that it bothers him now anyway but at the time it proved to be an advantage as early 2+2's tend to be a bit cheaper than their 2 seater counterparts and since he couldn't tell the difference he didn't mind.

Being more of the modified and performance breed than purist, the plan was to slot in an RB20DET which is found in the R32 GTS-T. Having considered some other options such as VG30 and and SR20. Going through the local trader he managed to pick up his new project for the grand sum of $500.

The car was stripped and all unnecessary brackets holes were removed. Surprisingly the car was in good shape besides few common trouble spots, which were easily fixed. The ugly pop sunroof was to be removed but finding a replacement roof at the time was hard. So fitted an 86 Celica Metal sunroof, which is much more seamless. At the same time mods to the front sub frame to accommodate the power steering and Mazda RX7 hubs brakes and struts. Also mods necessary for RB20DET conversion and 5spd. Car was originally auto like many 2+2's received in Australia.

The body prep work was started and all rust taken out and re-welded new parts in. Car was paint stripped and sandblasted to the metal. After about 6-months the car was painted and removed from the workshop to tackle another project. But Johnny was still active on the local forums and occasionally tinkering or updating some mods on the Z. 12 month had lapsed and time came to finish the Z. Wiring and routing of the electrical system was time consuming. Adapting the z controls to the new wiring. The creature comfort mods like the digital climate control took a bit more time to develop.

During the build up process Johnny did find an Rx4 hardtop, which was purchased as well as a 13b turbo rotary engine to go with the next project car. But visiting forums and checking pictures of other Zcars Johnny fell in love with the 2-seater 240z variant and had to have one. After a while he found a 72 240z, which looked like a good car to start. Project #3 was in line and project #1 hadn't even been finished yet.

After putting a bit of coin and hard work into it, the car is about 95% complete. Smaller items like centre console and custom door trims. 17"x8 Nismo LMGT1 wheels to fit under the guards are to come. 98% work was done by Johnny or people he knew well. Materials and parts cost was a little over budget it was the hours spent on the car though that was the real cost.

Driving the car to and from work is great and driving the car through popular night spots in Adelaide, the car turns heads alot more than anything else he's driven before. Even his mates 911 Cabrio doesn't get so many thumbs up as the good old Z. Its a bit loud on the exhaust but sure sounds evil when its at full bore according to Johnny.

The car still needs to be proven on the drag strip but its potential is good at the moment. It is quicker than the Nissan s14 and has beaten cars with more power with ease.

Johnny's final word

All the hard work ripped skin and knuckles lost thumb nails x2 sore legs and muscles working sometimes 20hrs straight on it was still well worth it.

Now a crazy Z nut and in possession of 2 x 240z and a 260z. The 240z should be a stunner as now as I got alot more experience and knowledge of the traps that the 260z taught me but that will be another story for few years to come.

This project wouldn't be possible if wasn’t for my old man teaching me all about cars and tools, my lovely fiancée that helped work on the car till early mornings, few close friends in Z community goes to Nathan (nato) and my late friend Erik that helped me with the killer job we did on the hoodlining. Also few other people need a mentioning Nick 240zr , Micheal MJFawke, and who ever else helped in the project.

Check out the history of Johnny's project in our gallery. For more about Johnny's RX4 a lovely looking early Mazda checkout Vintage JDM the website for Vintage Japanese Cars.

Member Ride Specifications

Vehicle Category Details and Modifications
Name: Johnny Kostic
Previous Rides: Nissan 200SX
  • RB20DET
  • RB20DET 5 SPD Box
  • VG30DET turbo
  • Stainless steel divorced dump pipe into custom 3" stainless front pipe into 3”x 18” resonator through 4" HKS Super Drager rear muffler
  • 600x300x76 front mount cooler
  • cold air intake
  • APEXi AVCR boost controller
  • Sports pod air filter
  • stock remapped ECU
  • Custom intercooler piping
  • R32 RB20DET alloy radiator with 2x 12” thermo fans.
  • Two stage fuel pumps Holley blue low pressure high flow pump feeding VL turbo high-pressure high flow feeding the engine.
  • Boost raised to 16psi
  • Nismo Single pressure plate with “Junk” Extreme Ceramic Clutch Plate
  • Subaru Leone Power steering
  • Rear Z31 Turbo hubs, half shafts shortened
  • R200 4.4 LSD Diff
  • Custom Tail shaft
  • Complete R32 Skyline wiring through the car
Suspension & Brakes:
  • Front Gas Strut Mazda Rx7 S5
  • Rear: Bmw Gas insert
  • Front:Mazda S5 RX7 4 Spot with Mazda vented rotors.
  • Front hubs and brakes Mazda S4 RX7 turbo
  • Rear: Z31 turbo disk and callipers. N13 pulsar handbrake cable.
  • 5 Stud wheel conversion
  • R32 Master cylinder with R32 Booster
  • R32 clutch master cylinder
Wheels and Tyres:

Current: 16" S14 Alloys but fitting 17” x8 Nismo LMGT1 2piece

  • Mitsubishi FTO Recaro style seats
  • Custom Greddy themed Gauges with 7 different colour LED illumination
  • Power windows
  • central locking
  • paging alarm
  • Nardi Steering wheel
  • Nardi alloy pedals
  • Trust GREX alloy gear knob
  • New carpets
  • custom hood lining with overhead sunglass holder housing the Apexi Boost controller
  • R32 Skyline Digital Climate control Re-trimmed front and rear seats in Mitsubishi VRX sports cloth
  • Dash restored with smooth satin texture
  • Ultra short shift kit installed
  • Pioneer DEH8080 with Pioneer 6x9 4 way at the rear
  • All electronic gauges with digital trip meter incorporated with the speedo
  • Ford Blueprint Blue
  • Headlight cones integrated into the guards
  • removed side repeaters
  • rear ¼ panels vents and badges
  • 280zx power mirror
  • Metal electric sunroof
  • bare metal respray
  • Bumper bars re-chromed all stainless parts polished and cleaned new seals
  • Diamond clear H4 headlight conversion with integrated park light.