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87 Z31/VG33 Race Car Advice

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  • 87 Z31/VG33 Race Car Advice

    Hey guys, new to the Z31 game but have had a z32TT for about 20 years.

    Just bought an Ď87 Z31 with a 2000 pathfinder engine swapped in. Still using the oem ecu/engine management. This is a fully caged, track only car that I will be running in Lemons, WRL, and Champ series endurance races. Other than the engine swap and GAZ Coilovers, itís all stock.

    ive been trying to read as much as I can on here and I am learning quite a bit but would like a little advice.

    1) I have contacted Jim Wolf to inquire about a tune but havenít heard anything. Any other advice regarding a chip swap or tune? Obviously, Iíd really like to get all the power I can out of it...safely/reliably.

    2) Any advice on modest upgrades that would make life easier for me considering the use of the car? Brakes, hubs, intake? Iíve been reading a little about the Z32 or Z33 brake upgrades but all the links are dead...

    I look forward to hearing back from you all and learning as much as I can!
    Last edited by ericgavinroberts; 05-12-2018, 09:42 PM.

  • #2
    Here's 2 mirrored links with useful information.

    As far as broken links have you tried opening it in Google chrome? Sometimes that works for the broken photobucket links. I personally wouldn't recommend the JWT ecu/tune. They're generally pig fat & only grant minimal gains. If you want a plug & play solution that uses the factory harness Nistune is your only option. Redz31 covers a good bit of the modifications you've asked about. Do your class rules allow you to do a NA2T swap? If so I'd got that route.
    Originally posted by Racinjitter
    :lol: Those of us who say A/C FTW all have a g/f or wife. ac+women=more quiet=possibility of sex. -
    ac+women=SUPER BITCHING=no sex.


    • #3
      Pretty cool looking Z. If you get a chance can you post some more pics.

      What did they do to the strut towers? Looks like they welded another piece on top of them?

      You can get isky regrinds for cams and some do the pathy intake. Does it have headers?

      Like Nismo Kid was saying, if you get google chrome, then click on the 3 little dots top right, go to more tools, then extensions, scroll to the bottom and do get more extensions, then find Photobucket Hotlink Fix. Won't fix links, but you can see the photobucket pictures.

      Nistune's website

      Michael Palladino did 224 whp with just cams, headers, exhaust, plenum with a worn out VG30e.


      • #4
        Thanks for the help, guys. Iíve been using my iPhone for the most part. Was able to get the links nismokid posted, looking forward to reading through those sites.

        We we donít really have any class rules as I donít really run in any spec series, Lemons is more budget minded and WRL is pretty easy to work with so mods arenít really a problem. Thanks for the NISTUNE recommendation, Iíll shoot them an email today.

        As as far as mods, from what I can gather, the previous owner took the engine out of a 2000 Pathfinder, did a little valve job and some very basic porting of the heads along with an engine refresh so engine should be good. He put aftermarket headers on it but I believe their eBay headers if I had to guess. Strut towers were originally modified to allow camber adjustments because the series they raced in did not allow camber plates. But that rule changed later so they remkdified the towers to accept e36 camber/castor plates, which is whatís on there now.

        Got it home yesterday and it sounds like the throw out bearing is making some noise so a transmission pull may be in order. If that happens Iíll likely put in a new clutch, bearing, and rear mainseal. Will probably be back hear asking for advice on that as well!

        any recommendations on a performance parts site? Who is everyone using? I have a Haynes manual on the way.


        • #5
          Here's a link for the Factory Service manuals. They're much more helpful than the haynes & free.

          Here's some places to buy parts

 Contact prior to ordering

          There's orther place thats just a few. I normally find the parts numbers I'm looking for & buy them on amazon or ebay to be honest. The response type stuff is only available on his site. For a clutch contact southbend clutch they have awesome service! Cool car & good luck!
          Originally posted by Racinjitter
          :lol: Those of us who say A/C FTW all have a g/f or wife. ac+women=more quiet=possibility of sex. -
          ac+women=SUPER BITCHING=no sex.


          • #6
            Is that a 2+2 race car???

            Schneider makes cam regrinds too. Has that plenum been gutted yet?

            There's a good writeup on most of the performance possibilities here:

            '88 300zx 2+2-- Under the knife
            '17 Altima SL
            '17 NV passenger-- The paddy wagon--


            • #7
              Thanks for the site.

              I donít think it was a 2+2, but I could be wrong! Iíll have to see if I can run the vin.

              im not sure if the plenum has been gutted or not, have to see if I can figure it out. Cams will be something for the future I think. Right now Iím hearing the throwout bearing noise and thatís making me nervous so I think a new clutch/flywheel is going to be priority even though I despise dropping transmissions. Our first race is a 24hr endurance so itís going to take a beating and if Iím hearing it now, Iím thinking it wonít make it. From what I can tell, as long as I get a 250mm flywheel, I can use a turbo clutch, correct? Or even a z32 clutch? What are peopleís experience with the South Bend clutches? Any other recommendations?
              Last edited by ericgavinroberts; 05-15-2018, 02:37 PM.


              • #8
                Definately a 2+2, longer wheelbase gives a bit more stability in long sweeping corners and the straights compared with the 2+0, no so good in the slower speed, tighter corners.. Prefer a twin plate clutch myself for race use.
                Last edited by 260DET; 05-20-2018, 05:50 PM. Reason: Edited for accuracy