Rear Wheel Drive
Engine Size
2 L
Transmission Type
MPG (City/Highway)
24 MPG

Well I fell in love with the S30 design with I was about 15 years old when i spotted one at a car show.  In 2008 I picked up an 81 280zxt. It was a fun car but I just couldn't force myself to love the box like styling of the 80's, so I ended up selling it.  I wasn't able to buy my current Z until 2014. The car had been sitting for a number of years in a garage and ended up being traded to a guy that ran a paint shop along with a mint 240z. The guy kept the 240 and I ended up with the 280.  It ran but it was multi colored had some rust and needed some work.  After picking it up I did a tune up and was hung some parts that had been taken off so that I could drive it around.  In 2015 I got tired of the multi color and I decided to put a quick paint job on it. I sanded, primed, & rattle canned it olive drab so that It would be one color. I also picked up poly bushing and replaced all my bushing. I also replaced the heater core and upgraded the blower fan with the kia blower fan. The car ran good with no problems other than leaking. I ended up buying a 76 F100 that ended up sitting around due to not having the time to work on it. I ended up trading the truck for cash and a RB20det which ended up sitting in my garage for about a year. During the summer of 2016 I decided to take the summer off school and do the engine swap (all work done by myself).  It took me about 3 or 4 months to do the swap, way longer than I thought it was going to take.  Getting the drive train in and hooked up wasn't the problem that took me a few days. I ran into electrical problems and problems that had been caused by the previous owner of the engine (the plugs for coil 5 and 6 had been swapped for so long that the coil harness would sit perfectly with those two swapped.)  After getting all that worked out I had the windshield replaced and painted the car black and the trim bronze. I also replaced all the weather stripping, installed a BRE style spook and spoiler.  I found some western wheels that I also painted bronze to match the trim. I installed led headlights & replaced the rest of the bulbs in the car with led bulbs.  In 2017 I have installed lens covers and replaced the rear sub floor. My future plans for the car will include putting together an A/C setup, Seats, and maybe some other interior mods. I would like to eventually get some more hp out of the rb20 and maybe a lsd diff. Over the next year or so I plan to start working on the body issues.    

Discuss this build

[]Bret Svoboda

Awesome daily!

[]Jordan Shuster

Gah, absolutely love the color. Looks absolutely beautiful!

[]Kevin Wright

I'm with ya, something about the body style of the first gen. I had a 78 when I was younger. They are a lot of fun.
Yours is looking good, I bought a 78 this year and am redoing it on a budget for a weekend driver. Keep up the good work!

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