In our last post, we discussed reinforcing the vehicle’s structure, to support all of the fun plans we have for this 1978 Datsun 280Z Convertible. Once this was completed, it was ready to install the new suspension and braking systems.

Since the customer did not have plans of driving the car competitively and it was going to become a great weekend machine, the suspension was brought up to a level satisfactory enough to not detract from the all the upgrades going into this car.

We opted for coil-overs with powder coated stock suspension components and urethane bushings. The coil-overs provided numerous advantages: better ride quality, height customization, and most importantly, the ability to run large a tire and wheel package.

The brake package was designed around 4 piston Wilwood calipers (front and rear) and 12" vented slotted and drilled rotors. E- brake set up is Wilwood calipers and modified brake cable. A Wilwood adjustable brake proportioning valve was used along with a modified Wilwood brake master cylinder.

1977 Datsun 280Z Convertible Braking System

The drive train we selected was a fully rebuilt Nissan Skyline RB25 motor with RB25 5 speed transmission, performance clutch and lightened flywheel package, custom length driveline, Subaru STI limited slip differential and custom built cv half shafts with cv/hub flange adapters. This setup is more than capable of supporting the current horsepower requirements and then some.

1977 Datsun 280Z Convertible Engine 1977 Datsun 280Z Convertible Limited Slip

Our fuel demands were centered around a large (but not overly large) Garrett ball bearing turbo. We started with a 500 hp capable fuel pump, 2 high flow fuel filters (100 micron & 40 micron) and 6 500hp fuel injectors. We added an intercooler, custom plumbing, Gredy style intake and numerous other items. We retained the stock exhaust manifold for the 3076 turbo and built a custom stainless 3" down pipe and exhaust. The computer was then upgraded to manage the additional hp that was beyond the parameters of the stock air/fuel map. Once all this was wired up (through stock wiring and custom wiring harnesses) we sent if off to the dyno for tuning.

1977 Datsun 280Z Exhaust   1977 Datsun 280Z Convertible Exhaust System

The results of the dyno tuning yielded 342 rear wheel horsepower and 291 foot pounds of torque. Pretty much right where we planned to be. So what was next? Tune in to our next post to find out!