Doug Here are my comments
- Since posting this, I have upgraded the motor to a hotrod 350, 9.5:1,
big cam, alum manifold, etc.....
So as several of you know, I took upon myself the project of converting
my slightly rough 1971 240Z motor to a Chevy Motor. Eventually I did buy
the Jags that Run book, (which I highly recommend) and am part way through
the conversion. I am offering these comments in hopes that it will make
someone else's conversion even easier, and also in hopes that Karma really
works..... Paul Richer took the time to help me along the way, as well as
to review this. His added notes are denoted by (PR-).
Anyway, general comments: Don't even think about this project without the
Jags that Run book. You are wasting time and money. He thought of a bunch
of really NEAT things. If you have the book, you can at least go back to
his ideas when your ideas don't work (experience talking here). Just so
you don't have excuses, clip from Paul Richer:
JTR (Jaguars That Run) Jag V8 swap kits 11/91
PO Box 66 Datsun Z swap kits
Livermore CA 94551
(They accept Visa and MasterCard)
Also, get the FAQ (not as useful as the book), and get the info from Paul
I chose to use a Chevy 350 motor, and a chevy Turbo 350 auto trans. The
motor was "free", as it came out of my truck, and was very tired.
I put a timing chain on it for fun. The trans I bought from a buddy for
$100, with the dubious warrantee of "it's supposed to work, but if
not, tough." Turns out it does work. :) Follow the motor mount directions
word for word using their directions. I tried to make the actual plates
out of 3/4 inch aluminum and tap them. Worked kind of OK on the drivers
side, not at all on the passenger side. I photocopied the pages in the book,
glued the paper to the metal, and drilled and cut based off of the paper.
Worked neat. Try to get ready rod for the motor mount to frame bolt. It
would be a lot easier to fit through the holes and line up. (PR-I had to
add an additional 3/8 inch spacer to the Drivers side mount in order to
provide enough header to steering shaft clearance... might vary depending
on who makes the headers (mine are Hookers)) I used Block hugger headers
(cost $90). They hit on both sides on the back of the motor mount plates.
A hot saw to grind off the corners of the motor mount plate took care of
it quickly. I used a turbo 350 transmission. I did cut out the old trans
mounts out of the tunnel like the book recommended. It was really tough.
I used a hot saw (die grinder type affair that turns 20,000 RPM and cuts
with an abrasive wheel). It was tough. I wouldn't recommend a cutting torch.
Air chisel maybe. basically, I think it is a tough job. When all done, I'm
not totally sure you need to cut the passenger side out, but on my trans
you must cut the driver's side out. (PR-I cut mine out with an air chisle
and the bit that looks sorta like a fork. I don't recall having any probs.)
For a shifter, I cheated. I used a stock Datsun shifter, and so far have
no neutral safety switch (potentially very dangerous). My decision though.
To use it, you have to move the bottom lever under the car from the passenger
side of the driveline to the driver side. To do it, take the stock auto
shifter, and remove the small set screw buried down inside (mine was wire
locked) then disassemble the main bar. I drilled the bar all the way through,
stuck the bottom bar on backwards, and tightened the set screw. I used ready
rod (threaded rod) approx 5/16, bent at both ends at a 90 angle. I used
a bold in the middle of the hand shifter end to take up the slack at that
end, and built a strap ????? long on the trans end. You have to bend the
bar slightly not to scrape on the sides of the trans tunnel, but it is obvious
how to do it. (PR-Great minds think alike :-) I did the same thing. But
I did add a micro switch at the base of the shifter that closes in park
so the car has to be in park to start.) Be careful building the trans crossmember
using the specifications supplied. They don't actually add up to the total
length. If I were to do it again, I'd build one more like the picture of
the car shows with loops and radiuses not sqare turns (see the book). (PR-I
built mine out of 3/8 flat stock and a short section of 4" pipe cut
in half... and welded the mess together. Since I don't trust my own welding
skills on critical applications, I "jigged" the thing up and took
it to a shop to weld. ascii art time: | ) -- 1/2 pipe section | ) | (Note
from DM - Use thicker wall tubing, NOT exhaust!!!!) I did not have to hammer
ANYTHING on the car itself. I did have to do most of the rest of the clearancing
and moving of brackets, lines, etc. You can use a piece of pipe and a heating
torch to gently bend the trans filler tube if needed. Place a pipe that
slips over the filler tube down over the tube just over the area that you
want to bend. then heat the area that needs to be bent and gently bend.
Works great. If you can, try to route the filler tube on teh INSIDE of the
bolt that holds it to the engine block. There is more room there, and if
you do it right there is still clearance for the distributor. Use 5/16"
METAL lines for trans cooler lines. They are available from most retail
stores. I just used a tranny cooler that mounts on teh front of the radiator
- available for about $50. (PR- The fittings on the trans were a *pain*
to get to with the engine in place I suggest hooking them up before.) (DM-Paul
is a better man than me. I was forced to drop the trans and engine back
down to get them on. He is right - Put them on before raising the trans
up into place. Major headache here....) I had to cut two tabs on the trans.
They were cast into the bell housing area and were some sort of motor home
mount. The tabs themselves were parallel to the ground, and had holes in
them where you could place a bold through them straight up and down. I cut
them off more or less flush with the case, and it gave me oodles of room.
Attach the trans to the motor, and drop both into the car. Don't try to
bolt either of them in separately.
Be patient when dropping the motor in. It is REALLY cozy going in, but once
it is in there is about an inch of room everywhere, except for the distributor/fire
wall which on mine is about 1/2 inch (perfect!!!!) Angles are really critical,
and raising and lowering the transmission as you put the motor in seemed
to me to be the big trick. Be careful of the steering shaft and don't bend
it. If I were to do it again, I'd drill the driver side frame hole bigger
for the motor mount, but not notch it. You should notch the passenger side
though. I wasted a LOT of time finding a bunch of bolts missing from my
motor which I was sure that I had somewhere. I recommend buying the motor
and trans from a known good mid-seventies 4 barrel carb motor. Then you
have all the stuff (JTR recommended, I ignored)
Use an HEI distributor. Don't mess with points. Life is too short. I used
an Edelbrock aluminum manifold. No hassles there.( WRONG. turned out it
was warped, and I ended up using the stock cast iron one that came out of
my truck. I bought the alum manifold for $20, you get what you pay for)
I didn't put the spacers between the front crossmember and frame rails.
I don't know what they are for. Neither does Paul Richer. They add no clearance
that I could ever figure out.... I'm going to try the 280Z radiator and
a BIG electric fan. I'll let you know how it works. For a temperature sender,
my thermostat housing on the V8 had a half inch pipe fitting in it. I found
that the 5/8inch x 1/2 pipe fittings required for the heater hoses were
almost exactly .010 smaller than the diameter of the bare Datsun temp sender.
So, I pressed the sender in carefully into another heater fitting, after
cutting the hose end off of it. Also used locktight. I don't think you can
use the head location for this setup because there isn't clearance inside
the head. But, the thermostat place seems to work great.
Anyway, no leaks so far. I didn't hook up the kick down on the auto trans.
The wife is going to drive it and I didn't want to scare her with too much
power. I plan to shift it manually if I want a lower gear. But, if you use
this method, be careful to plug the hole in the trans. I used a harmonic
balancer out of a 283 chevy motor. Most Chevy small blocks are internally
balanced, which means you can switch them. You can't use a 400 small block
motor for this conversion, unless you spend the bucks to internally balance
the 400 crank. Likewise for a 383 Chevy motor (350 block, 400 crank, bored
.020). If interested, I think Paul might know someone who has done this....
The starter worked exactly as the book suggested. I bought a new starter
rather than mess with a used one. Don't forget to buy the short starter
bolt for the new starter. Junk yards are neat. Be friendly. This project
has almost NO money in it for them (unless you buy the engine and trans
from them). If you are friendly, show them the book, don't get in the way
of big bucks customers, I've found that they are really friendly. They are
also often interested in projects like this.
So far, I have used a chevy front ujoint, and Datsun back one. The driverline
guy (who I trust) says datsun u-joint is good for 250 or so HP. A better
way to go is the description found in the JTR book, but I haven't done it
- I am using a single 2.5 inch, good y-joint, and a flowmaster type muffler.
Local shop installed. The system is 2 inch to rear of trans, goes into an
official flowmaster Y-pipe, then on to 2.5 inch to rear end, with muffler
in stock position. Looks good, sounds VERY quiet.
- use the one recommended by jags that run. (purists don't read the following:)
I used plastic zip ties to hold the throttle cable onto the throttle pedal.
I think it might work pretty well, and doesn't bind, and took about 3 minutes.
It isn't as solid or longterm as doing it right, though. brake booster vacuum
line - Get a brass fitting out of the back of the qudrajet that is the same
size as the stock vacuum line. I didn't have to cut the stock line or anything,
just plug it in the brass fitting. I think it is 3/8" pipe fitting
on the carb, ???? into rubber vaccuum line. Futures: 300 hp chevy motor,
trans to rear end tie together, poly bushings, koni struts, front end mods
recommended in JTR book, air dam? rear sway bar? 225 Yok's? Total cost so
far: Well under $1000, but I got a free motor and cheap trans. Motor is
on order: $1500. Bushing kit: $150, Anyway, this has been my experience.
So far, a LOT of fun.
-Doug Miller Boise ID