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Thread: New to Z-cars, what's the potential?

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    Registered User hawaiiankine's Avatar
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    Question New to Z-cars, what's the potential?

    Aloha,

    I'm new to Z-cars and have a couple of questions.

    What's the performance potential of the L24? I'm a basic mechanic and can do things like adding triple Webers, headers, exhaust and installing a hotter cam. Not big into engine swaps and forced induction. I like the sound of carbs at WOT.

    Also, did the 240Z come with 150bhp out of the box? A guy over on a Triumph forum stated that his tired old TR6 with 95bhp could easily dispatch equally tired-out 240Z's. Either my numbers are wrong or this guy is living in a dream world.

    Anyway, just really interested in 240Z's and would appreciate it if someone could point in the right direction so I can do some reading/research on my own.

    Mahalos,
    Joel

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    Full race L-24's such as the BSR and BRE C/P cars had in the 70's were rumoured to have 250+hp....
    It's not hard to build one to 200hp with all the parts available now, but it won't be exactly cheap either.
    Building a good solid street engine with 180+hp at the crank is fairly simple and can be done on a smaller budget.

    Actually, I think the guy with the TR-6 was pulling your chain, as I'm pretty sure the TR-6 had nearly as much hp as the 240's, or quite a bit more than 96hp.... they were a very similar engine, right down to the SU's.....
    "If it weren't for fools, the rest of us could not succeed." Mark Twain.

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    Registered User MikeW's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to Z-cars, what's the potential?

    Originally posted by hawaiiankine
    Also, did the 240Z come with 150bhp out of the box? A guy over on a Triumph forum stated that his tired old TR6 with 95bhp could easily dispatch equally tired-out 240Z's. Either my numbers are wrong or this guy is living in a dream world.
    According to a road test comparison from the Jan. 1973 issue of the British "Sports Car World" magazine, the two cars are roughly equal in terms of performance. 240Z (6 cyl, 151HP, 0-60 8.5). TR6 (6 cyl, 150HP, 0-60 8.5).

    However, the article makes it quite clear which car they prefer.

    Some quotes from the article:

    "To sum up: In tight bends, there's just no comparison between the two cars. The Z driver can just sit back and play games with the soft-cap TR man."

    "Really, the TR6 is just a poor old tired thing with a ruggedly handsome body and a beautiful engine."

    "The Z is basically an infinitely better motor car although it has its problems with that poorly developed front end, tasteless, plasticky trim and a noisy rear suspension that's harder than it should be".

    Keep in mind that people are fiercely protective of their favorite cars and tend to exaggerate their advantages. I wouldn't pay much attention to the boasting.
    -Mike
    Add your Z to my online spreadsheet registry

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    Aloha Joel:

    I think your Triumph friend has been hitting the "Pakalolo" ( ) too much!

    240Z's regularly kicked the butts of TR6's auto-X competition and road racing back in the 70's. The rise of the Datsun 240Z marked the beginning of the end of the British Sports Car market in the USA (and probably elsewhere too) for a reason. They could not compete on the showroom floor or the racetrack.

    aloha,

    Carl
    Last edited by Bambikiller240; 12-20-2003 at 02:00 PM.

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    Registered User Mark Schue's Avatar
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    Did a 240z sell better than the TR6. Yes. 148,615 240zs compared to 91,580 TR6s. Is the 240z a better race car than the TR6. Yes, the facts show that.

    But if your saying British sports cars in general could not compete on the track? Thats not the fact.

    In SCCA the Triumph Spitfire holds more national championships than any other model. Won yet again this year.

    British sports cars have won the biggest sports car race of all, Le Mans. Won again this year. Looking at Le Mans history a Japanese company Mazda, has only one once.

    If anyone knows of link to the LeMans class winners from 69-73 it would be interesting to look at the facts!

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    Here is my personal expereince from 25 years ago re the 240z v its competition.
    In the late 70s, I owned an MG and was totally into British sports cars. I was looking to move up to a Healy 3000 or a TR6. I tested quite few in 1980. Then I happened to test drive what became my 240z, I forgot all about British sports cars.
    Re the comparison with the RX7, In the 80s, I had a friend who had an RX7, the last year with the original body style, but the bigger engine and a manual transmission. It was bone stock and like new. We raced against each other on rural roads and swapped cars on ocassions. No matter who was driving my modified 240z, it was always the winner by a large margin.
    1973 240Z L28 N42, 262/272 cam, oil cooler, twin electric fans, Cannon, 3x2 Weber 40s, 3x2 header, 5 spd, rear bar, 15" TZX wheels, headlight covers, dam and spoiler.

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    Registered User daddz's Avatar
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    Brian,
    Funny story that follows yours:

    About 9 years ago I was driving my '85 RX7 GSL-SE (13B engine) and a friend of mine was driving his '77 MGB. To give you a bit of background on the '77 MGB it was far from stock. It had been converted from rubber bumpers to the thin metal bumpers in a beautiful manner. The engine had been built with a Piper road cam and fitted with the larger HS6 carb's and mated to a comp. clutch and almost full race suspension. The exhaust was quite vocal breathing through headers and passing through a flowmaster muffler mounted under the middle of the car.
    In any case we had a spirited (being polite) run and neither car could leave the other for very long. It was an educational experiment but, alot of fun. The RX7 would get past the B on the straight but, the B would simply reel in the Mazda on the sweepers and go right by every time.
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    Registered User hawaiiankine's Avatar
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    Aloha,

    Thanks for all the replies. I asked a question about TR6 hp figures on a Triumph forum, and someone told me that the TR6's imported to the US only had around 100hp, whereas the European models with "petrol injection" (fuel injection, right?) were putting out 150hp. Anyway...I was just wondering about that comparison.

    So, 180hp+ can be made at the crank on a 240Z with your basic modifications that the shadetree mechanic is capable of? That's good to hear. I understand the old saying, "speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?" I figure later on I could do more radical work in porting the head and so forth. I'm just a little sick of driving 4-bangers that are almost bursting at the seams. I'd like to try my luck at a nice inline six.

    aloha,
    Joel

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    Registered User SteveK's Avatar
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    Default Jap verses Brit

    Hi hawaiiankine

    That Triumph guy was talking from below the waistline

    Having had a

    MGB (lard asses, Dated 1800 cc push rod engines see BGT)
    MG Midget (nippy but run out of steam the 1275 engined pre 74's were the best )
    BGT (Dated 1800 cc push rod engines see MGB)
    TR6 (best of the bunch 120 or 150 BHP mechanical injection, always breaks down and you can never fix the leaks)
    TR7 (big mistake, end of story)

    And of course the 240Z

    It goes without saying that the Datsun L series engine is far, far superior to any of those British engines and as such far easier (and cheaper) to get decent HP out of.

    To get any of the Brits to breathe properly alone can be a little tricky and pricey as those old heads didnt flow well from stock.

    The L series however out of the box had good flow characteristics, stick some Weberís on, exhaust headers, a decent cam and a head skim job and hey presto.

    As regards handling, itís even more of a gap.
    The Z handled well from stock (for its time) but can be made to set the world on fire (after lowering springs, tokico blues, urethane everything, my 30 year old Z will out handle my Alfa Romeo 156 Selespeed --easily)

    The Brits just didnít have the right stuff to start with and were living on borrowed time with designs from the 40's and 50's, so from stock they were average and at best reasonable.

    Thatís not saying that for example a TR6 cannot be made to compete against a Z they can, but at what price.

    There is a company in the UK that restores and rebuilds a TR6 for you from scratch to reasonable spec (180 - 200BHP plus) flatten the suspension out, roll cage, decent brakes, race seats etc, something that will do 130 on a good day and 0-60 in around 7 seconds and they sell those out for up to £25K youch.

    I could buy a top, top Z, stick a 350 bhp twin turbo in it, 17 inch wheels and serious rubber, trick suspension, leather everything and a class stereo, do 145 mph and a 0 - 60 in sub 6 seconds and still get plenty of change for an ice cream (oh and on a rainy day still stay dry)

    In the UK there is still a bazaar diehard loyalty to MGís and TR's (all except the 7) even to the point of serious abuse from these elitist clubs towards the Japanese rust buckets.

    Being British I should be one of the first to jump to the defence of our glorious motoring heritage but I canít, they (with the exception of a few, ACís, Astons,Jaguar, Lotus, Healyís Mini coopers etc) were pretty poor and deserved to loose their market share

    BTW daddz I had an RX7 with a 13b engine (later to have a Janspeed turbo on it) and it would trounce an MGB having said that we didnít and still donít have all of that emission stuff slowing our cars up

    Before I bought my Z I thought about going back to a TR6, remembered all of the heartache and pain from leaks, breaking down for no reason at all, part availability and lets face it there are SHED loads of them around in the UK -- thousands of them

    My 240Z on the other hand is one of only 150 odd 240's that were registered last year in the UK (figures from the Vehicle licensing authority) so you have to drive alone way before you see another and I get so many kids stopping me saying "hey mister" -cool
    Quickest NA L6 engined Z in the UK 13.19@102.02 mph for the 1/4....on a non bored/stroked 2.8

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    Her Majesty the 26th 26th-Z's Avatar
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    I had to laugh; "My old clapped out junk will beat your old clapped out junk...". Yea, yea, the TR6 guys should stick to their "ruggedly handsome body" and "beautiful engine". Everyone knows.

    I don't like the suggestion of milling the head, but all the others are good for getting extra horsepower. Head work can get real complicated. For instance, milling the head will put the cam out of proper height and you have to shim the cam towers up. Just balance the engine, perhaps a mild cam, and headers. Spend the bucks on bigger carburetors if you wish, but consider suspension tuning as part of the horsepower discussion. One of the reasons a Z is so fast is it's weight.
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    Registered User hawaiiankine's Avatar
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    Aloha everyone,

    Thanks for all the input on Z's vs. Brit cars. I think I've made up my mind to get a Z (although my Wife loves BMW 2002's), but I'll probably get a AH Sprite just for the fun of it sometime down the road as well.

    I've been looking at the Z Store and some other vendors to see how much parts cost. It seems to be about on par with VW parts I used to buy for my Bug, in terms of cost.

    So, how much will a driver 240Z go for in US$?

    mahalos again,
    Joel

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    Default howzit Brah

    don't limit yourself on the L24 block. years ago i did the popular and easy swap of the 81 ZX L28/5-sp/3.9 diff into my 71 240Z. with Mikuni 44s and Tokico Illuminas at all fours it's all grins.

    here's a sample of going easy through the gears on the Big Island after an exhaust upgrade - MSA's Dynomax Driveby

    here's a few links...hope it helps links to 240Z history, restoration and sellers

    shoot me an email. i'll be visiting Honolulu and my ol' stomping grounds next month.

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    Default Hey there Hawaii

    If your wife likes the old 2002's then maybe you might want to turn her onto a late 60's early 70's 510 and keep it in the family so to speak, they are great little cars, and there is always the SR20DET swap for that

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    Registered User Bruce Woolmore's Avatar
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    Default great thread!

    ...I very much agree with SteveK, though the TR6 in the non-US maket (Lucas PI) would be a good match for a stock Zed -

    but like Steve, I got sick of my brit sporties falling to bits. I had a paper weight made up of my TR's broken spider gears, joined on to its stub axle with the sheared keyways, with the split axle flange at the end! three separate incidents! that sums up TRs!

    but yes, great styling (courtesy Ghia), lovely sounding engine,

    I'd own them all again , in a flash - for a fine weekend

    but stick to that wonderfully reliable truck, the Zed, for the serious stuff! I couldn't agree more when they named it the spiritual successor to the Big Healey.

    Now will history be so kind to the 350Z? can't help feeling they lost something when they didnt put a Skyline straight six in it!

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    This guy with the TR6 is really off his rocker. I was out with a friend of mine recently, he has a TR5 ( TR6 with TR4 body) with the 150 bhp Lucas fuel injection engine & me with a fair tired euro spac 260z. He has hillclimbed & circuit raced here in Spain, me well Iīve rallied &circuit raced. So as drivers all pretty even. Around the short circuit here in Barcelona my best time was 1:28.4 his 1:30.9. Enough said the TR is no competition for a good Z. Interestingly on the same day a S4 lotus Elan 1:29.6, 2.2S 911 1:28.9.
    At least I got a free lunch, we have a bet on our times !
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    My uncle was a very lucky man to purchase one of the first 240Z in Australia back on there debut release. Much to my dissappointment he never kept it cause a stupid sales person told him the bigger engine in the 260Z L26 vs L28 was more powerful blah blah blah so he traded it. The point to this story is out of the box 150bhp and 135mph by the speedo all day every day....................... Long live the Zed......................!!!!!!!!!!!

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    OOOps sorry guys typo there L26 in 260z vs L24 in 240z my bad

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    Default 150bhp v 150bhp

    Guys, it probably wasn't so much the "petrol"/fuel injection in the TR6's that made a difference - it depends on where the HP was measured!

    The 240Z has around 95-105HP at the rear wheels, which is probably what the TR6 had. Once the injected TR6 came out, 150HP "gross" for both the TR6 and 240Z suggested a pretty even comparison in terms of raw horsepower.

    But once you dump the respective engines into the respective cars, THAT'S where the difference in performance happens! Suspension setup, responsiveness, exhausts, etc... Plus convertibles are usually heavier because the manufacturer has to add structural rigidity somewhere else (which equals more metal, more weight!). So a better "handling" comparison on the track or twisty roads might be between a TR6 with full roll cage -vs- a 240Z with strut braces front & rear - now THAT would be interesting!

    Hawaiiankine - I've worked up my L24 with porting/polishing the head, mild (not SO "mild" really) cam, a good manifold ("TWM" brand) "port-matched" to triple DCOE45 webers. I also have headers, leading into a 2.5" stainless exhaust system.

    If you consider the original HP was 151HP "gross" at the flywheel (i.e. around 100HP at the rear wheels), then my recent Dyno result of 133HP at the rear wheels might be as much as 200HP "gross"!?

    I don't care much for "gross" horsepower figures, but I'm happy with a 33HP gain at the rear wheels - it's noticeable! The revs climb like crazy, and I feeeeeel fast!

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    Registered User hawaiiankine's Avatar
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    Aloha eveyrone,

    Kind of lost track of this forum for a while and didn't keep up on the thread.

    Its been a long while and I'm still sans Z-car, but hopefully that will change in the near future. Someone posted something about getting a 510, I would definitely consider that, but they are so hard to find down here. My wife likes 510's as well as the Bimmer 2002.

    Kammy - pretty sweet sounding car. Sorry I didn't email you...didn't keep track of the forum here. Maybe you can point me in the right direction for a Z-car here in Hawaii. BTW - was that the road from Hilo to Ka'u?

    Mahalos again everyone,
    Joel

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    Default kamoniwtalayya

    I recently went to a club function and it was at a dyno day. They were putting there Zs on the dyno . One of the cars '79 running about 11 to 1 compression, head work headers and a hot cam the pulled 152Hp to the rear wheels on 100+ gas. and it was running strong. There was a supura there owned by one of the techs that were running the dyno his inline six on gas turned 740Hp and not on nitrus . He did it twice , the first run of the three when he punched it in fourth gear he broke the rearend loose so bad it went to red line . They put two big guys in the back for weight and then turned the 740s . This is a twin turbo and he has a nitrus setup but dident have a bottle in the car. As you said speed costs money , how fast do you want to spend.

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    Registered User hawaiiankine's Avatar
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    Aloha Beandip,

    I just noticed that you're from Beaverton, OR. That's where I grew up! Graduated from BHS in '97. Small world eh?

    Anyway, those are some impressive numbers you quoted. I wonder how well those cars handle with all that HP behind their wheels. The Z probably does pretty well, but the Supra...

    Joel

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