The 'Stealth' Z - Part 2

by Steve 'Stealth' Webb

Well, I received fewer calls this time, so hopefully I answered some questions.. or just bewildered everyone?!

Just a couple of things I want to touch on from last month: one is the Limited Slip Differential (LSD), and the other is halfshafts.

In addition of the mustache bar and rear cover, to install the later model (LSD) diffs from the '88-'89 300ZX Turbo (ZXT) also requires stub axles from an earlier model R200. The CV halfshafts pop out with a screwdriver or prybar and the early stub axles just snap in. From there, the original halfshafts will bolt right up. LSD diffs are becoming rare, so if you can find one, hold on to it. Just for reference, used 3.7 or 3.9 R200 LSD's typically go for $500 to $900 and 4.11 R200 LSD's go for $600 to $1,400 (on the open market). If you can find one (300ZXT diff) in a salvage yard, sometimes they will let it go for $150 - $500, prices may vary! This seems to be an area of interest for everyone (from the feedback I have received so far), so as I finish gathering info on Datsun diffs, I'll try to share it with everyone in a future article.

Now I have just picked up some new info on halfshaft and driveshaft u-joints. In talking with Steve Mapes (sub 10 sec 1/4 mile Z Drag-Car) this weekend at the "Fastest Z" event, he enlightened me on his u-joint adventures. He stated that he found the Spicer u-joints to be slightly LESS durable than the stock ones! His preference for extreme duty (over 400HP) is a type of high strength heat treated unit call 'explosion-proof u-joints'. I asked Steve if he would go through his records and find his source for them. I'll let everyone know what we find out.

Since I go through and inspect the car on a regular basis (no problems yet, although any time you more than triple the HP, logic says that wear may increase), I'll probably stick with the stock halfshafts u-joints for now... until I see a need.

For the last week and a half I have been driving the "Stealth" around town as my daily transportation. The only problem is that I get out of the car exhausted!! Imagine riding the "Judge Roy Scream" roller coaster for an hour straight! Every "whoosh" of the turbo and every "psssuuu" of the blow-off valve signals another wrenching force on the body and psyche as the brain desperately tries to grasp passing objects that have now become nothing more than a blur. I like power, but I can only take so many adrenaline rushes in one day! Stepping into my relatively stock '77 280Z is a bit of a relief. The slightly slow steering, the soft mushy brakes, the nice leisurely acceleration.. ahhh, how relaxing. The brain gets to step down a few levels in concentration. Don't get me wrong, I love my '73 more than anything I have EVER driven, it is more car than I ever expected. I feel like Superman in a gray suit. I guess I just need to get used to driving an F16 instead of a Cessna 150.

The one thing I love about racing -- it keeps you humble. Without mercy, prejudice, or discrimination it will glaringly point out the deficiencies in your beloved toy. I found two problems this weekend at the Motorplex: One was fuel delivery.. I needed more. The other was boost... I needed less (No, I didn't blow anything up!). I have come up with (hopefully) solutions to both of these problems.. more details next month.

Sorry, but you'll also have to wait until next month for the story and the results of the "Fastest Z in Texas" event at the Texas Motorplex. Everyone had a great time.

Now some long overdue "Thank You's". First, thanks to Mad Mike for putting up with Z-Cars in the back yard, in the driveway, in my bedroom, etc., and for putting up with five years worth of "Where's this Stealth Z-Car your roommate has?", questions from everyone around the country. Also thanks to my girlfriend Julie Lovelady for all the weekends she gave up (and there were a BUNCH) to be with me at my shop while I was finishing the car. And thanks to Andrew Wilhelm for my killer fender flares, and Dave Oberkriser for some excellent bodywork help. And special thanks to my very good friend (and overly trusting passenger!) Dave Olson for help sanding, painting, and 'finishing' the car; not to mention the 72 hours straight we spent getting the car ready for the Atlanta Convention immediately followed by the 16-hour drive to Atlanta.

The Knoxfille Z-Convention in '92 -- The Stealth first made a very 'stealthy appearance'.
(Poster courtesy of "Mad" Mike)
Milt Joneson (Above L) and Dave Draper (Above R) both have that "Yea, right.." look -- I wonder why?...
Hours before becoming grey Dave Olson and I just about wore out his new Jeep hauling the 'Stealth' around the country. (Texas World Speedway shown)

Go To The Stealth Z - Part 3