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Old 05-25-2008, 08:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Planning Project Eco-Z

For some time, I've been wanting to swap a GM LSX into an early Datsun Z-car (240, 260, 280 Z). I've always LOVED the way they looked and drove, and it's the only sports car that fits me (6'5", 250 lbs).

As gas has gone up and up, and I've become more and more concerned about the environment, I've decided against the LSX. Lately I've been thinking about going in a completely different direction, and swapping in an I4 and going hypermiling with a Z.

Stock, they only weigh around 2500 lbs. Swapping out a cast iron I6 for an aluminum I4 should be worth at least a couple of hundred lbs. Swap on fiberglass front fenders a fiberglass G-nose (more aerodynamic), and a carbon fiber hood and it should come in around 2000-2100 lbs.

Not only that, but the lighter aluminum I4 is also shorter, so the already good CG would move even further back, I think it'd handle on an autocross course.

I'm trying to decide about candidate engines. I'm thinking something under 2 liters, with MAF OBD II fuel injection.

There's a forum for Z swaps (hybridz.org). Some of the guys on there have swapped to I4s, but they've been doing it for power, not economy.

There's actually a cradle available to swap in an SR20DET I4. The "T" stands for turbo, though, and it's just not what I'm looking for. I can get a non-turbo JDM SR20DE, though that might be more up my alley. I can get a RWD SR20DE with PCM and transmission for around a grand, but I still wonder if this would be the best choice.

I figure I'd like to come in around 100-120 hp, miserly enough to squeeze out 40-45 mpg, but with enough power to at least feel like a vestige of a sports car.

I've gotten some advice from the guys on hybridz.org, but no one there has yet to do anything like this, so no one has any experience. A lot of them are also skeptical, and I find myself wasting a lot of time defending the concept of a sporty hypermiler, etc.

I'm wondering if anyone here might have any thoughts/advice. I'm purely in the planning stages with this, so I'm not married to anything.

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Old 05-25-2008, 08:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you dedicated to having a nissan engine in there? Honda made a nice obd II 3-stage vtec engine from 96-00 that is 1.5 liters and puts out 130 hp.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVOboy View Post
Are you dedicated to having a nissan engine in there? Honda made a nice obd II 3-stage vtec engine from 96-00 that is 1.5 liters and puts out 130 hp.
No, I'm not stuck on Nissan at all. The big issue is that the Z is RWD. Most of the time, it's either not possible, or a nightmare to convert a FWD engine to RWD.

That's the 1.5 they put in Civics and Del Sols, isn't it? Is there a RWD version?
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's the 1.5 they put in EK civic ferios in Japan,

Convert the z to fwd,
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Old 05-26-2008, 12:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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1.9 vw tdi !
Yes I'm serious, I've seen them in toyota pickups.

You can easily hot rod it to 150 wheel hp, with little loss in economy, and you can run it on alt fuels.
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Old 05-26-2008, 12:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Turbo 3 cyl suzuki/geo engine with a 2wd geo tracker 5spd trans? They bolt together and it would be a rwd combo.

Give you lots of power(for a 3 cyl) with a good mileage engine that weighs like 200lbs total. No idea how easy it is to find a turbo 3 but it might not be hard to add a turbo to a normal 3 cyl. If you can get the car down to 1800lbs or so then it would still be plenty fast with a combo like that.

Might be a strange combo but at least nobody else would have a similar car
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Old 05-26-2008, 03:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Intersting... 3cyl turbo and TReacker 5 speed.. I like...
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote X View Post
Turbo 3 cyl suzuki/geo engine with a 2wd geo tracker 5spd trans? They bolt together and it would be a rwd combo.

Give you lots of power(for a 3 cyl) with a good mileage engine that weighs like 200lbs total. No idea how easy it is to find a turbo 3 but it might not be hard to add a turbo to a normal 3 cyl. If you can get the car down to 1800lbs or so then it would still be plenty fast with a combo like that.

Might be a strange combo but at least nobody else would have a similar car
If that was the direction, I think I'd prefer the 1.3 4 cylinder to the 3 cylinder turbo. I'm a big fan of natural aspiration.

I looked for the turbo gas mileage on fuel economy.gov, but couldn't find it. What I did find was this:

2001 swift 1.3 31/38

2000 metro 1.0 31/41
metro 1.3 31/38
swift 1.3 31/38

1999 metro 1.0 34/42
metro 1.3 33/39
SW 1.3 33/39

1998 metro 1.0 36/44
metro 1.3 33/39
swift 1.3 33/39

1997 metro 1.0 37/44
metro 1.3 33/39
swift 1.3 33/39

1996 metro 1.0 37/44
metro 1.3 33/39
swift 1.3 33/39

1995 metro 1.0 37/44
metro 1.3 33/39
swift 1.0 37/44

1994 metro 1.0 38/44
metro xfi 1.0 51/54
swift 1.3 31/39
swift gt 1.3 24-32

1993 metro 1.0 38/45
metro xfi 1,0 43/51
swift 1.0 38/45
swift 1.3 33/39
swift gt 1.3 24/32

Pretty consistently, the 1.0 gets 4-5 mpg better than the 1.3. Project Eco-Z will be heavier than a metro/swift though, I'm thinking the 1.3 maight be a better choice.

Another interesting thing I saw was a 1.6 I4 in Sidekicks. I'm thinking that engine miht be tuned more towards torque, as it was in a heavier vehicle, and might be even better suited for Eco-Z

By the way, what is it about the Swift GT than kills the mileage?
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Another possibility would be the Mercedes-Benz I-5 turbodiesel out of a Sprinter van. These are just now becoming available at recycling yards. Sprinters get fabulous mileage but as a van they are slow, slow, slow. Getting the DIN bellhousing to match up to your Japanese transmission might be a machinist's nightmare. You'll need to regear the rear axle. Details, details.

An engine that gets nearly 30 MPG out of a van should give you staggering MPG in a Z.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
Another possibility would be the Mercedes-Benz I-5 turbodiesel out of a Sprinter van. These are just now becoming available at recycling yards. Sprinters get fabulous mileage but as a van they are slow, slow, slow. Getting the DIN bellhousing to match up to your Japanese transmission might be a machinist's nightmare. You'll need to regear the rear axle. Details, details.

An engine that gets nearly 30 MPG out of a van should give you staggering MPG in a Z.
ya' gear it to idle at 70 mph

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