Excerpt from the Introduction
The Datsun Z V-8
conversion is a popular swap. The Chevrolet small block fits in the engine compartment
so well, one wonders if Datsun had dreams of installing the Chevrolet V-8.
Datsun Z owners very much disapprove of putting a V-8 into a Z car, but most have
never even driven a V-8 Z. They feel that a V-8 conversion is cheating, an unfair
way to increase horsepower. They may even make claims that the Z engine can be
modified to produce as much power as a Chevrolet V-8. They are right, but only
if the Z engine is so modified that it is virtually undriveable on the street,
and they are comparing it to a stock, low performance V-8.
Most people who
modify their Z motors end up installing a larger radiator, exhaust system, and
lower gear ratios in the differential. They then add a set of triple Weber (or
Mikuni) carburetors, headers, a high performance cam, and a ported cylinder head.
Pretty soon, they have spent more than the cost of a V-8 conversion. And... the
V-8 car will still be faster, quieter, more driveable, and it can be smog legal
in the state of California (other states will soon have smog laws similar to California).
about turbocharging or supercharging the Datsun 6-cylinder engine. Not only do
the aftermarket turbochargers and superchargers for the Z cars add at least 50
lbs to the front of the car, they rarely work as advertisedpoor drivability
and durability are the norm. With the boost levels required to match the power
of the V-8, you can forget about any kind of reliability. If you decide to add
an intercooler, add another 30 lbs. The V-8 swap can actually be less than the
cost of the turbocharger or supercharger kits.
The typical weight gain from
the V-8 conversion (about 125 lbs.) is less weight than the average passenger,
barely noticeable in a properly converted car, and the performance of a stock
Chevrolet V-8 in a Z car is amazing. A 260Z with a 1977 350 V-8 rated at 180 horsepower
and a late model automatic overdrive transmission will do 0 to 60 mph in under
seven seconds and get over 22 mpg on the highway. 240Z's are even quicker!
A car with stickshift will take a bit over seven seconds to reach 60 mph, because
of the time it takes to shift gears and because of the difficulty in getting a
good start without spinning the tires. Automatic transmissions are quicker in
drag racing, but the stickshift cars perform better in road racing.
1970 V-8 Z shown was converted in less than two weeks using the instructions in
this manual. It has a 1971 350 V-8 with a gross horsepower rating of 270 horsepower
(1972 and newer engines are rated at "net" horsepower, with all accessories,
emissions equipment and exhaust installed. The "net" rating of the 1971
engine is about 200 horsepower).
California no longer reguires smog inspections
on 1973 and older cars, so any V-8 can be installed in 19701973 240 Z's
without having to go through an emissions test.
You can see below how simple
the V-8 installation appears. It does not look cluttered or complicated, even
though the engine displaces 204 cubic inches more than the original motor. Nothing
is dangling loose, everything is secure and orderly. It looks factory installed.