The Datsun Project:
We at TopSpeed were recently approached by a client to do some work on a vintage Datsun 240z race car. The customer was having some tuning issues with the standalone in the car and brought it to us to sort out. While we were assessing the car our client mentioned that he was considering an LS swap at one point. After a few meetings and some discussion it has been decided that we would do a LS swap on the car rather than fix the existing issues.
The customer wants big power and reliability for running endurance events. Much of the parts still have yet to be chosen will it be a LS1 or a LS7, 5 speed or 6.
Everyone at the shop is very excited about this project. Its a little different than what we usually do here at TopSpeed and we think its a good chance for us to show off our versatility, and fabrication talent.
Ill be updating this thread with pictures of the parts and the progress as it happens.
Here are some pictures of how the car came in.
427 dry sumped inches that could
We put a lot of thought into what would work best on this car as far as the drivetrain goes. There are many factors to consider when choosing a engine for a project like this. What is the intended use, who will be using it, are they an experienced driver\mechanic, what is the end goal peak power or a huge wide powerband?
We had a long consultation with our customer and after much discussion he agreed that a built LS7 was the way to go. We were pretty excited about this decision to say the least, its exactly what we wanted to do and we were happy that he agreed.
We consider ourselves to be very good at a lot of things and have built a lot of engines but we have never built a LS7 for endurance racing. The owners here at TopSpeed are firm believers that you do what your best at, and staff your weaknesses. That being the case we are lucky to have some very good friends down the street at MTI Racing that have done quite a bit of LS7 work…and by quite a bit I mean they are some of the best in the business. Reece Cox and the crew at MTI came up with a package that will give our customer everything he wants in a engine. Strong, reliable and very low maintenance for a race engine. Here’s a short list of the engine specs below.
MTI CNC Ported LS3 Heads
MTI Custom Grind Comp Cam and Lifters
KSTech Timing Chain
ARE Dry Sump System
Target Horsepower for this project is just over 500whp. This engine will get us there and leave plenty of room to spare.
Stay tuned for more pictures as parts begin to roll in.
Boxes and boxes and boxes of parts.
The parts are finally starting to roll in for the Datsun Project so an update is in order.
One ultra trick item that was purchased for this project was a Quarter Master 5.5 inch triple plate clutch. Its ultra compact and will allow us to run a reverse mount starter and a very compact bellhousing. This will allow us to wrap the headers and exhaust down and around the motor in a much tighter fashion.
Heres a view of the complete kit, keep in mind that this clutch is smaller than a dollar bill, its remarkably light.
Heres a view of the inside of the bellhousing. This setup is all designed to work together, so theres no need to shim the throw out bearing.
There were lots of transmission options and while it would have been perfectly acceptable to put some wild dog box tranny in this car it really just doesn't suit what this customer wanted. We choose to go with a proven winner and install a Tremec TKO-600. The TKO transmission is still a syncro style transmission but its designed to take some serious abuse.