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The $1,000 Z-Car: The Straight-Six Story Is One Of Sadness


The $1,000 Z-Car: The Straight-Six Story Is One Of Sadness

The first installment of the story of a cheap Craigslist-sourced Datsun 280Z was foreboding, to put it mildly. Nevermind the usual issues that come with an S30 that hasn’t been kept up, the engine seemed to be composed of red RTV and had two and a half cylinders worth of action if we’re being kind, and the seats were supported by expanding foam. Lots and lots of expanding foam. Normally, this would be where we’d recommend cutting bait and running far, far away before you wind up in the emergency room, but the project is just getting started, and the Datsun is this guy’s dream machine. It’s never good when passion is leading the charge, is it?

Today we will focus on the engine. The L28E is an inline-six fed by a Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection system, that was rated for 170 horsepower and 163 ft/lbs of torque new. For the late 1970s, that’s pretty punchy, and in a light car like the S30 chassis, made for a nice sporty feel. There are two engine videos today, and there’s a good reason why. Care to guess how much of a disaster the engine that was in the car really could be? When the car was bought, the engine was fired off with starting fluid down the twin carburetors that had been retrofitted onto the engine. It ran rough, but it did run. Just wait until they pull the head off and take a look into the bores…


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