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THE New Z in Town! Need some help with my new treasure!

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  • THE New Z in Town! Need some help with my new treasure!

    First of all Id like to say That iam soooo glad I found this Website since for the last few weeks since I baught my Z ive been looking around like mad for info on performance for my timeless 84 turbo Z beast. Here is how it started :I took my dad to pick up his car from the repair shop when I noticed a car sitting there on the lot. The thing that grabbed my attention was the lable that said turbo on the back. So I walked up to it started walking around inspecting it , the hood was open so i took a peak and i liked what I saw. The interoir was starting to fall apart but I saw past that. Then I asked the owner for a price and he simply said 1500 n its urs. I said Ill take it. sure enough I showed up a week later with a 500$ downpayment n took it home. Originally my intention was to tune it up clean it n sell it since i already had a naturally aspirated and tuned 97 honda prelude that looks pretty damn good. But being me looks was not enough I happen to be a crackhead for power and speed. Over the next weeek i saw the potential and history of this car and decided Iam selling the Prelude for about 9,000(even though i baught it 5 months erlier and spent a total of 10,000 including the car) and I am going to start working on the Z. Now that iam done blabling away about my story I would like to ask for some help because iam next to clueless when it comes to boost and potential.

    First of all Do I have to rebuild the engine with stronger pistons rings rods gaskets and so on? from what Ive been reading this engine can withstand 500 HP stock . my goal is to beat those peski STIs and Evos and those cocky Mustangs and Vettes and still have a daily driver.
    Where do i Start? I hear the best turbo upgrade is T3/T04 60-1 and can be built right from the stock T3 for about 500$ or so.
    Then what? I also read a good intercooler for that kind of boost is good from a 94 + twin turbo Supra
    I know I sound a bit newbish but I am new to this car and for that matter I am new to the world of boosting and imports.

    My engine has currently 84000 miles on it with some 12year old fuel in it as well as all the rest of the fluids. Before the car was put on the repair lot for 6 months it had been sitting in a garage for 12 years or so. I am not sure what could have gone bad but i just changed the fuel filter, fuel injectors, and spark plugs. The center plug on the battery side of the bay is drenched with oil leading me to believe that the valve cover gasket is shot and leaking but that shouldnt be a problem to fix if it indeed it only is that. The turbo spools up good after the car has been running for about 15 mins. Another thing is the car will choke and turn off if u step on the gas before its not warmed up. I cant figure out what that problem is. For now ill leave this post to the questions i posted so far because it will be all too much for one time.

    Any information and suggestions or advice would be appreciated!

    Thank you
    John G

  • #2 you know the parent site...

    jason has taken the time to write a turbo faq to inform newbies like you :wink: . just scroll down until you see the turbofaq button and read away... there hasnt been much new things discovered lately, just little things here and there , most of the info is tried and true , also most of it is budget buildups , since for some reason most of us z owners are poor (nothing like you see with other brands and makes of cars where they just go all out with sponsorships and the aftermarket follows with great products)

    you cash/power ratio will be alot better with a z than any honda or prelude . what would even cost you to prep and honda engine for boosting can yield a whole fuel/turbo upgrade for a stock turbo z to make 400rwhp.

    welcome to rwd awesomeness..


    • #3
      Thanks for the info Thats the very reason Iam parting with the Prelude it would cost something like $15,000 to prep the engine from grouund up and then turbo it to be able to withstand something like 350-400HP. I dont make nearly enough money so the 300zx was the more logical option. Iam only 19 years old n part time student n part time job that pays shit. So hopefully by Summer 07 Ill have the 300zx halfway at least to where I want it.

      I guess my question really was is whats the best way to spend $9,000 that I should get for my prelude. would that even be enough to build a 13 second car? I mean I do plan on restoring the appearance of the car which would also cost at $2000 but thats not a priority right now. the engine is however.


      • #4

        The warmup issue is most likely your CHTS aka head temp sensor. If you don't already have a factory service manual or haynes manual, I would recommend getting one now.

        Get all the repair stuff taken care of. Valve cover gaskets are pretty easy. With a 3" turboback exhaust, boost controller and intercooler you should be able to do mid-high 13's no problem if the engine is in good shape. I would worry about getting that down before really doing any other modifications.

        There is really no "best" turbo to use. T3/T4's are popular because of ease of installation and cheapness factors. Given that you tune it well, the stock bottom end will handle 500bhp.

        All I can say is read read read. There is more information on this forum alone than most people can absorb in a year.


        • #5
          Welcome, and congrats on your under 100k mileage Z.

          Terrible idea putting those wheels on...


          • #6
            Thanks first of all

            And Jason I believe you may be right about the Temp sensor since the sensor light is on so that just may be it. Yes Ive ordered the Haynes btw I found it on ebay for 11$ shipped. Ive read much of the info put out by you and I cant say i understand it all but I believe over time It will become a bit more clear.


            • #7
              If you are actually going to dump 9k into the car which in my opinion is not a good idea(buy a house) BUT, If so I have just under 10k into my car(including the price of the car) and my last time at the track was 11.55@121mph

              but that was last year My current set up that I am in progress with is good for about 750-800whp Mid to low 10s (only restriction is the clutch,driveshaft and axles) STILL UNDER 10K TOTAL!

              Also the CHTS doesnt have a light on the dash thats somthing else.
              85 Z31 6.0 LSX turbo 766whp/792wtq
              04 GTO, LS6, big cam, porting, N20... underway for summertime daily driver.


              • #8
                Ok so Iam glad this post got moved here because I just learned so much more by reading the newbie link. Iam a bit more clear of what i want n need for my setup. I read some good set ups. I love how upgradeing my engine is not going to cost me more than 10 or even 7000$. Iam loving this Z business more and more!


                • #9
                  there is no way 10k would get a house.....

                  Terrible idea putting those wheels on...


                  • #10
                    How awesome is that, a ratty old Z in fair condition still has the ability to steal away a honda driver LOL


                    • #11
                      300zxt wrote: How awesome is that, a ratty old Z in fair condition still has the ability to steal away a honda driver LOL
                      so far money seems to be the decider, if you look at any of us, we aren't all trust fund babies, daddy didn't give use $30k to buy something... we are limited budget hot-rods like the early muscle cars, diy or go home

                      if your wallet is fat you might consider a more complicated modern car, but you will learn nothing and appreciate it all less


                      • #12
                        very true, if you have the money to throw down i would get something newer. But then again i have put close to 10K into my car and put 400RWHP. If i started over i could duplicate my setup for like $2.5K and purchase the car for like $1-2K so for under $5K total have a 12 second car. But for about $1K you can get a nice 3" turbo back exhaust, a cheapy boost controller and a homemade intercooler setup which should get you into the 13's.


                        • #13
                          Ok I want to get something out of the way first of all If my daddy was indeed
                          loaded and just gave me all that $ I would not even consider a car of that age in fact i would buy a 06 350z and build from there. I baught my Prelude for 6000 and then spent about 3000 modding it and that was money I made working my ass off with sweat and blood literally. I worked as a damn butcher in a big ass refrigirator for a year right after school till midnight and got paid something like 8 bucks an hour for it! So i value my pennies and I picked the Z because its got style for a car that old. Iam not exactly into old cars in fact i hate them but the Z is something different for me. So I am following a low budget. the only reason Iam going to have $9000 available is because iam going to sell the prelude. Dosnt mean i plan on blowing it all away on the car i want to be able to put some on the side. MY goal is a nice classic streat beast that will hand most new sports cars their asses. I too am looking for the "budget " solution for powerfull car


                          • #14
                            So um Any suggestions for low budget high power car setup? just want to know what parts and from where. not how to install or anything I like to figure that out on my own for the most part. In fact for me thats where all the fun is.
                            Can some of u Z gurus tell me ur setups? Another reason I want to be able to mod this car without costing an arm and a leg is that now that I graduated highschool Ive decided what I really want to do is an auto mechanic but mostly towards performance cars. The Z will be a great learning field for me but i dont want to go through the Trial and error prosess that i went through with my honda. Its expensive to waste money on the wrong parts.
                            In the last two days Ive spent probably around 7 hours reading these forums and some of the links. The information provided couldnt be more detailed ITS GREAT!


                            • #15
                              Beast84 wrote: Ok I want to get something out of the way first of all If my daddy was indeed
                              loaded and just gave me all that $ I would not even consider a car of that age in fact i would buy a 06 350z and build from there.
                              I have an 06 350z, and I have to say I like the z31 better.

                              This is what I recommend: Fix all the maintanence items first. Timing belt/water pump, suspension, etc. Then you will have a good car to start upgrading.

                              For mods: 3" madrel exhaust, boost controller and a good gauge, inteercooler, bigger injectors and computer to run them, bigger fuel pump, and a larger turbo. This site can answer most of your questions, so you will be in good hands.
                              Chuck Stong
                              300+ Parts and Performance owner
                              2002 ZCOT president and always active member