I bought an exhaust manifold gasket set at napa and with my parts discount it was only about $14, not too bad. I coated the gasket with copper coat gasket compound and then installed it. While tightening down the last nut (and I did not overtighten it) the stud snapped off. So I had to take the manifold back off again, replace the stud, use my other gaskets (meant for the other side, good thing they are the same exact shape) to put the manifold back on. What a pain.

2 and a half weeks of PB blaster.... and the exhaust elbow's bolts were mostly still very very very stuck. I managed to get all but one out by using a 2 foot pry-bar. Then I had to get the cartridge out of the exhaust housing... read on.. Anyway this oxygen sensor was really stuck too. You can see what became of it, I had to hammer a 1MM undersize socket on it and then jump on the 2 foot pipe extension on my ratchet.

This turbo did not come from the 300ZX the parts car, nor out of thin air. The one I got from the parts car needed a rebuild, and on top of that three of the bolts broke off when removing the exhaust housing. This turbo came off my 1971 240Z (with a turbocharged L28 from a 280ZX). It has seen quite a few years of service but should serve me well. I swapped on the compressor housing and exhaust elbow from the 300ZX turbo's turbo.

I wish it had been that simple, this turbo was oriented for the 280ZXT, so I had to remove the cartridge from the compressor housing, which is about the biggest pain in the butt ever, luckily weeks of PB blaster helped all the bolts but one come out (that one broke, but I just left it). That was the easy part, after thousands of heat cycles the cartridges get stuck in the exhaust housing pretty darn well. I tried everything, even soaked it with PB blaster for a few weeks. Then my brother decided he would try and got it apart with just a few swings (I credit the PB blaster). Just in time for my new OEM oil line to arrive (complements of www.thespecshop.com), I mounted the turbo. Moral of the story: Use a trubo from a 300ZX!

The oil pan swap was almost effortless and simple. I used some RTV to hold the gasket in place while I put the pan up into position. I cleaned the engine parts a little better, put everything together and she is ready save for two small issues. I'd like to wire in a factory detonation sensor for extra safety and I still have no downpipe. I extended the alternator wiring harness by splicing two harnesses together, then simply ran it in front of the crossmember (by the power steering lines) to the other side of the engine bay. I also replaced the spark plug wires because I found some Accel 8mm wires on ebay for $20 and my car had the factory wires on it, from 1984 (wow, Nissan plug wires last forever).

So everything is assembled, I now have a turbocharged 9:1 compression engine, I just have to put it in the car and hook everything back up. I also replaced all vaccum hoses with new silicone hose, most of the old hoses are very brittle.

Turbo conversion pages:

  • Page One
  • Page Two
  • Page Three
  • Page Four
  • Page Five (current)
  • Page Six: The Final page!

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