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260Z Hybrid Restomod

Discussion in 'Hybrid Z cars' started by Mark N, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    OK, I’m what can best be described as a ‘Serial Modifier’ and own quite a few vehicles not one of which is as it left the factory!
    So I thought I’d better post what is looking to be my biggest project……….so far!
    I bought my 260Z around nine years ago with the sole intention of doing an RB26 swap.
    I had previously seen a photo of one in Japan while on the gtr.co.uk forum and thought it was the perfect combination of styling and performance.
    Having spent a considerable amount of money modifying my R34 GTR from 450bhp to well over 700bhp, the initial plan was to do the swap as cheap as possible with mostly second-hand parts, leaving the car pretty much as I bought apart from flares, seats and a new set of wheels.
    My personal preference was the JDM styling look, which I like on most Japanese classics, as opposed to stock .

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    I bought the McKinney swap package and started buying performance engine parts including a single turbo kit.
    Just after that I moved to sunny Cyprus and the project ground to a complete halt with the car locked away in a garage.


    Fast forward to eight years later when I eventually got my finger out…….but only after having too much time to think about the plan for the old girl!
    The plan changed from a budget build to a full on restomod, with almost every aspect of the car being worked on, requiring the purchase of a MAHOOSIVE amount of aftermarket and upgrade parts.
    I know this might have some people reeling in horror but like I said before it’s what I love doing.
    I’ll try not to make it too ‘Chav’ but bear in mind I own a car with black and yellow wheels!

    While I was across in Scotland in 2015, doing some training for work, I managed to get the car started (new battery then second turn of the key) and all of the parts packaged.
    They were shipped over to Cyprus and I commenced the process of getting her registered.
    I had previously imported six cars with no issues but as the 260Z is a classic it became quite a bit more complicated, taking around a month instead of the usual three or four days.
    But enough of the boring background stuff!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2017
  2. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    Parts bought so far!

    ENGINE
    RB26 05U block
    New Nissan crank
    ACL bearings (main and conrod)
    Manley rods
    Wiseco 86.5mm pistons
    Nitto oil pump
    Nissan N1 water pump
    Nismo Thermostat
    RIPS extended 200ZR sump
    Fluidamper pulley
    ARP main studs
    ARP head studs
    ARP pulley bolt
    Tomei gasket kit
    Tomei Poncams type B
    GReddy cam pulleys
    GReddy timing belt
    Alloy ancillary pulleys
    Supertech valve guides
    Supertech valve stem seals
    BC valve springs
    McKinney radiator
    McKinney engine mounts
    Kameari radiator cap
    K&N oil filter
    Splitfire coil packs
    NGK spark plugs
    Carbon cam pulley and coil pack covers
    Mocal oil coolers
    Circuit Sports Starter
    Circuit Sports Alternator
    Silicone hose kit

    INTAKE/EXHAUST
    Garrett GT3582R turbo
    ETM Manifold and downpipe
    ARP exhaust studs
    Tial 44mm wastegate
    HKS SSQV
    HKS Silent Hi Power back box
    McKinney throttle cable
    McKinney intercooler and piping
    K&N air filter
    1000cc injectors
    Sard fuel rail
    Aeromotive Phantom fuel pump
    Teflon oil/fuel lines
    Tomei FPR
    Fuelab fuel filter

    DRIVETRAIN
    RB25DET gearbox
    Nismo slave cylinder and pivot
    Nismo Solid Shift gear lever
    ORC 1000F triple plate clutch
    ARP flywheel bolts
    McKinney gearbox mount
    McKinney drive shaft
    Nismo rear wheel studs
    Chequered Flag 4340 stub axles
    AZC billet differential mount
    Quafe LSD

    ELECTRONICS
    Speedhut gauges
    Innovate AFR gauge
    Link G4+
    Wiring Specialities harness
    Painless keyless start and entry

    HANDLING
    T3 front coilovers
    T3 rear coilovers
    T3 camber plates (front and rear)
    T3 front big brake kit
    T3 rear disc kit
    T3 stainless brake lines
    T3 RCA
    T3 billet 4 lug hubs
    T3 Delrin rack bushings
    T3 front LCAs
    T3 front tension control rods
    T3 rear LCAs
    T3 R200 moustache bar
    T3 front strut brace
    T3 rear strut brace
    AZC billet drop mounts and dog bones
    Wilwood 1” master cylinder
    Wilwood proportional valve
    ST Suspension ARBs front and rear
    Rota RKR 8.5x17” front and 9.5x17” rear wheels
    326 Power wheel nuts

    EXTERIOR
    MSA carbon front bumper
    MSA carbon rear bumper
    MSA carbon flares
    MSA carbon door handle covers
    MSA carbon spoiler
    Retro-spec carbon tail light surrounds
    T3 tow hooks
    Retrofit Source HID projector headlights
    MSA headlight covers
    ZLED rear tail lights with Klearz smoked lenses
    LP carbon mirrors
    Skillard splitter

    INTERIOR
    Cobra Misano seats
    Planted seat brackets
    Palm Composites carbon door cards
    Retro-spec carbon console
    FRP Automotive dash
    Carbon Miata carbon door handles
    MSA carbon sill protectors
    ZPowersteering electric power steering kit
    Sparco steering wheel
    Sparco 4 point harnesses
    Sparco pedals
    NRG carbon quick release and hub
    NRG hand brake cover
    Nismo titanium gear knob
    Autostyle custom floor mats
    T7 Design air con unit
    Honda fan unit
    Interior panels wrapped in leather
    Headlining in Alcantara
    Ztek billet door pulls, vent knobs and coat hangers
    Spal electric window kit
    Carpet set
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2017
  3. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    Just after I got the new plates, I stripped the car and sent it to the body shop.
    Despite being protected from the elements in Scotland, rust had appeared in several places along both sills as well as the back panel.
    For the colour I eventually decided on Honda NH-0 (Championship White) as I used to own a DC2 Integra and loved the (almost) off white colour.

    I had bought a second-hand, but freshly rebuilt, R33 RB26 from the UK with the intention of installing forged pistons and concords in the newly honed cylinders but after removing the head I found this!

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    Scores on cylinders three and six, nothing you could get your finger nail into but scores none the less. It also looked like it had been honed by hand.
    Rather than take any chances with the build quality of the rest of the engine, I stripped it right down, bought a brand new crank and started afresh!
    On the plus side, it was still the original 86mm bore and only needed a +0.5mm re-bore.
    The only engine I had built before was a stroker for one of my YFZ 450 quads but I already had an R33 GTR workshop manual and all the required tools.
    I’m not saying it isn’t going to s*** itself the first time it is fired up but I have measured and torqued everything to OEM (or aftermarket where required) specs!
    Only time will tell! ;)
     
  4. Russell

    Russell
    Z Club Member

    Looking forward to seeing this project coming along.

    The car looks great already and a good base.

    What are your timescales on getting it done?
     
  5. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    Cheers!
    I don't really have a timescale as I am only working her on a couple of hours a day when I am at home (oil rig worker).
    We have a baby daughter who demanding all of the attention! ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2017
  6. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    As I expected the bottom end of the engine was by far the most time consuming.
    Once I got the block back from the machine shop I gave it a coat of black engine paint then popped out all of the old core plugs and replaced them with new.
    As there is nowhere in Cyprus that can dynamically balance a full engine rotating assembly, all I could do was assume the new crank was balanced from the factory then get the rods, pins and pistons weighing as close to each other as possible.
    I had bought a rod balancing jig and balanced all of the small ends followed by the big ends.

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    There was quite a difference between the lightest and heaviest which took a lot of time at the belt sander to sort out. The Wiseco pistons were almost identical straight out of the box. I then weighed each assembly and had a variance of 0.4g overall.

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    I measured the oil clearances firstly using a bore gauge and micrometer then again using Plastigauge.
    With everything being new they all came in at 0.045 – 0.050mm which was a result – right at the loose end of the recommended clearance!

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    So, is this all necessary for a street car running ±500bhp, considering a stock bottom end can easily handle that power?
    Probably not… but my OCD got the better of me having heard all the horror stories of RBs failing just after a rebuild and I thought I would give it the best chance I could!


    After I stripped the head I ground off the humps in the exhaust ports then sent it, along with the Poncams to the machine shop to have the face checked, new valve guides and stem seals fitted, the valve seats re-cut and the shims ground accordingly to give the correct clearance at the lifters.
    The only problem I had with fitting the head was torqueing the head studs. I removed the head in one piece complete with cams but when I tried to fit it the same way I found I couldn’t get the socket required for the ARP studs past the Poncams.
    Everything after that was just bolt on.
    The exhaust manifold and turbo went on no problems after I eventually figured out the oil and water layout for a single turbo.
    The intake side was even more of a headache with all of the boost and vacuum lines but I eventually got there with some help.

    I still have a few bits and pieces to do but the bulk of it is done!

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  7. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    The body work took longer than expected due to a few issues!

    Knowing that the sills were rotten I dropped the car off at the body shop along with two new sills and two rear lower quarter patch panels.
    When the areas of rot were cut out it revealed a load of shoddy repairs that had been done when the car was originally restored by a well-known specialist. There are a few threads on here regarding their quality of work.
    Basically there were several areas of the inner and outer sills that had rusted through and just had a patch welded over the hole without cutting it out.
    The whole car was also covered in filler, up to several millimetres in places.
    The rust was all cut out and new sections fabricated then the exterior taken back to bare metal.
    Leon, the body shop owner, said that all of the panels were really straight and had no idea why so much filler had been used.

    When I bought the car, the bottom edge of the hatch was in pretty poor shape so I had already bought a fiberglass replacement. After discussing it with Leon he said he would rather try to save the original, however it proved to be in worse shape than first anticipated and we went with plan B. The fiberglass hatch was fitted, prepped and painted along with the rest of the car.

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    When the weather strip around the hatch was fitted and it was then found that the hatch would not close properly due to it flexing! Back to plan A!


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    I also had the holes in the rear panel for the US spec bumpers filled in to tidy up the back end.
    The engine bay hasn't been painted at this point as the car has to go back to the Road Transport Department to have the colour change registered.
     
  8. Ian

    Ian
    Z Club Member

    Coming on nicely, I see you've got a good budget for this build.



    How did you get the rips sump? Hard to get and he is not interested in building them anymore,
     
  9. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    Cheers Ian!
    I bought it from Rob about nine years ago when there were still a few 200ZR sumps kicking about.
    Did you ever get yours sorted out?
     
  10. 240Z Man

    240Z Man Forum User

    I am glad you have posted this on here, as I will be copying some of your engine items, I have already collected very similar items to yours with the main engine, but I will be copying you with your induction and exhaust system, which will save me a lot of time in doing research. Good news for me, my cylinder head from America turned up today and has only taken four days to arrive. As you stated on my thread, I thought I got a bargin with the N1 block as some places in the world were wanting up to £4500 for one.
     
  11. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    I'm at work at the minute but when I get home in a few weeks I will get some photos of the oil, water and vacuum lines that I used and what I blocked off.
    Where were you planning on getting all of your ancillary parts, as you are going to be missing loads by not having a donor engine?
     
  12. Ian

    Ian
    Z Club Member

    Lucky buy on the sump, still haven't found someone to make a custom one for me, but I haven't been looking that hard because having just bought a house I'm trying not to spend too much on the cars at the moment.
     
  13. 240Z Man

    240Z Man Forum User


    Yeah that would be good if you could show me what is used and what is blocked off. I have started buying ancillary parts off Ebay but I am sure there is going to be a lot more that I do not realise I am going to need to get. I am not in a rush, as you can see from my thread, I have got my work cut out with the body work of the car. My next big item that I hope to buy is an RB25 gear box, hopefully new.
     
  14. uk66fastback

    uk66fastback
    Z Club Member

    I looked at the blue car and thought, that isn't bad, nice build etc ... then I find it's being completely rebuilt!

    And then I remembered previously there had been a pic or a discussion about it being white. Paint looks fantastic. All the engine stuff is way above my head but I watch on with awe.
     
  15. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    After I got the car home from the body shop I started fitting some of the exterior parts and did a test fit of the new wheels.
    They are Rota RKRs 8.5x17” et-10 front and 9.5x17” et-20 rear. I bought them from the US as nowhere in the UK seemed to offer them in that size and offset with a 4x114.3 PCD. I could only find them in silver so I had the centres repainted in gun metal. The fronts will need a spacer to bring them out flush with the arches but the rear sit pretty much perfectly. I’m running a 235/45R17 on the front with a 275/40R17 on the rear so she should have plenty grip.

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    The new LED tail lights from ZLEDs came already fitted in the Klearz lenses so it was just a case of placing the old units in the oven at 130°C for 7 mins to soften the mastic so that the old lenses could be removed. I removed all of the old mastic as it was in poor condition then fitted a Butyl Rubber seal. After another 7 mins in the oven I squeezed the lenses into their final position. When I bought the car, the chrome surrounds were flaking and had been sprayed silver so I had these painted gloss black. They were fitted into the new carbon tail light panels then fitted to the car

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    …… as were several other carbon parts!

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    A set of carbon bike mirrors actually work great!

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    I got window frames and gutter trim back from powder coating.

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    Re-assembling and installing the quarter window with the new rubbers was a bit of a chore. I ended up lubricating it with washing up liquid and using a cord to pull the lip over to get the window in place to be bolted in. Not easy doing it on your own! If anyone knows an easier way please let me know! :unsure:
     
  16. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    Then came the interior, this is where everything has slowed right down!

    First thing to go was the old Clifford alarm which seemed to have a requirement to go off at least three times before you could start the car!

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    My goal was a higher quality of finish with modern materials and all of the creature comforts we have grown used to over the years. This includes power steering, power windows, keyless entry/start and of course air-con which is an absolute must for Cyprus!

    I drew my inspiration from here, which is an absolutely lovely place to sit. Despite being 12 years old, it still feels and smells fantastic!

    Alcantara, leather and carbon...........a lovely combination of materials!! :D

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    I had fitted an electric power steering column, from zpowersteering.com, before I send it to the body shop. It works really well, I have a 330mm steering wheel and the old wheels also had 235s at the front so it just requires just a little assist to make parking a pleasure.

    For seats, I had been looking at Cobra Misano Anniversary’s when I noticed that they did custom options! I sent them a Photoshopped image of what I would like along with a detailed description. A few weeks later they sent me a pair of seats, exactly how I wanted, at no extra cost over the standard Anniversary’s! They are black and actually a lot darker than the photos show.

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    The centre console that I ordered was meant to have storage trays the same as the original but no ash tray. However, when it arrived it had a flat surface where the trays were supposed to be. Not a huge issue as now I am going to make an arm rest with an integral twin cup holder that I will have upholstered.

    I also made a gauge/warning light panel to go in place of the radio out of some carbon sheet. These the fuel system gauges – fuel level, fuel pressure and AFR. The Innovate PSB-1 will also measure boost and cut it to wastegate spring pressure in a lean condition. The warning lights appear to be matt black discs until illuminated.

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    I'm not sold on the FairladyZ badge yet and it may come off! :unsure:

    The interior panels were sent to the trimmer and wrapped in leather.

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    I made a new hatch trim panel and ‘dog leg’ panels out of more carbon sheet (I bought a 1m x 1m sheet). You can just about make them out next to the door cards.

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    For the air-con I managed to find a compact evaporator unit from T7 Design. I had seen other installs with a unit bolted under the dash in the passenger side but wanted something more discreet. It took loads of planning and I had no idea if I could get it all to fit in the space there until I got started (the Clifford alarm was strewn all over that area). I wanted to keep the original air distribution unit and controls so bought a few other bits from T7 to do this:

    Evaporator unit
    http://www.t7design.co.uk/index.php...ing-units/aircon-heater-combination-unit.html

    Heater valve
    http://www.t7design.co.uk/index.php...ow-control/brass-heater-valve-13mm-1-171.html

    Control cable
    http://www.t7design.co.uk/index.php/accessories/bowden-cable-1-0m.html

    Water hose bulkhead adapter
    http://www.t7design.co.uk/index.php/accessories/bulkhead-hose-adapter-1-2-3-4-narrow-1121.html

    I removed the original heater matrix and all of the hoses including the control valve then filled the holes in the heater unit.

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    I modified the evaporator from twin 50mm to a single 90mm.

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    I ended up mounting the control valve on the edge of the evaporator unit.
    I changed to pull open configuration by removing the bracket that holds the control cable and bending it 180 degrees.

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    The refrigerant hoses go through the bulkhead just behind the battery, which was planned to be relocated.

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    The water hoses will be coming through the bulkhead just to the right of the evaporator.
    The only drawback with this set up is that the fan will only draw air from the cabin, the original intake to the scuttle is sealed.
    Basically the air is always on re-circulation, which will be an advantage in the Cyprus summer heat.
    If I need fresh air I still have windows!
    I thought I would have to sacrifice my glove box but after changing the routing of the water hoses behind the old fan bracket I managed to get it all in place without compromising it.
    There is still about the same amount of room in the passenger foot well as when the old fan unit was there.

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    I’m in the middle of installing the Painless Phantom Key unit which controls the keyless entry and start. The unit and relays are fitted into storage bin behind the passenger seat and I have made up an addition loom for it and the power windows.

    That’s pretty much everything up to date now! :thumbs:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2017
  17. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    Thanks!
    The body shop did a great job getting all of the rot repaired and the car painted.
    This is the first time I built a car engine and I was in no rush to do it.
    I used the workshop manual, various forums, Youtube and OCD to help me get it done!
    I can't remember how many times I had the bottom end torqued, stripped, cleaned, measured, cleaned, built up, torqued, etc, etc. ;)
     
  18. Jon_Flynn

    Jon_Flynn
    Z Club Member

    This is looking like an epic build! I love the idea of a restomod in some respects but it must be a lot of work to plan everything out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Mark N

    Mark N
    Z Club Member

    Cheers!
    Yeah, I have to admit, the planning air-con and the auxiliary wiring loom hurt my brain..........a lot!
     
  20. Jake RAH

    Jake RAH
    Z Club Member

    It's looking like it's going to be quite a beast. Nice work :thumbs:
     

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