Dropping a 1981-83 L-28 motor into a 240Z, with 5-speed and 3.90 differential (back)

It's important to know that externally, all '70-83 motors are identical, only the bore and stroke are different. This is why swaps are so easy. And not only does the extra torque from the 2.8 liter motor move the car much more quickly, but this gives you the chance to upgrade the transmission, differential and drivetrain to better, stronger 280Z parts. I like a 3.90 rearend, but you can leave the stock one in. Keep in mind that all 280Z engine and drivetrain parts retrofit into the 240Z.

FIRST -the motor

Locate a '81-83 motor in a junkyard. Check the cylinder head between the 1st and 2nd spark plugs to find the cylinder head code. "P-79" is what you want.

SECOND -the transmission

THIRD -the flywheel and clutch

FOURTH -the differential

Check out the size difference between a R200 (left) and R180 (28k)

Get the R-200 differential out of a junkyard '81-83 NON-turbo ZX . This will have a 3.90 ratio ('81-83 turbos had a 3.54) compared to the 3.36 in the 240 and 3.54 in the '75-78s. Some 280ZXs had a R180 rear like the 240Z, make sure you don't get one of those by mistake. Since the entire 280Z rear end will tranplant into a 240, offer them $100 for the whole rear-end and see if they bite. Talk about a wolf in wolf's clothing. Grab these parts:

FIFTH -the fuel system

My dream...(42k)

Well, you need fuel at this point, but I can't help you if you want injection. I use a set of '71 carbs and intake I got in a junkyard 280Z in 1995 for $75, which work perfectly on my '83 motor with no changes. The carb intake will bolt right up with a '81-83 gasket, but I did have to hold the intake in place as it's lack of real bolt holes allows it to shift around when tightening.

According to Motorsport Auto, stock 240Z carb needles will work fine on a L28, even with a cam. I've checked my plugs and they look perfect, nice and tan. SM series needles can be used to richen the mixture, if you can find them.

SIXTH -the distributer

If you want to use the stock 240 distributer, you will need to add a 280 support available from the dealer or Motorsport Auto (800-633-6331) to raise it's height. But obviously you're doing this for performance. SO...

Other than these tips, the L-28 is a direct boltup. My 1970 with P79 motor, header and 2 1/4" pipe, SU's, HEI ignition, 3.90, '78 5-speed, and Crane cam runs consistent hand-timed 0-60's in 6.6 seconds and a 60-80 in 3.7 seconds in third. It's torque is great and it revs past redline without hesitation. I'm estimating about 190 horsepower.What a rush...

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