It’s been quite a while since my last build update. And to my diehard Z fans out there, I must apologize; you’ve been a patient bunch. Building a track car is hard work. Any car guy worth his wrenches can tell you it’s a huge time and financial investment; making a documentary alongside the build has made it even more challenging.
Between film gigs (hey, I’ve got to pay the bills somehow), investing in some much needed production equipment, and filming for the documentary – progress on the Z has basically been at a standstill. There literally haven’t been enough hours in the day (or money in the bank for that matter) to keep this build going at all times. So unfortunately, the Z took a backseat while I focused on other aspects of the project.
If you remember from the “Throwing Good Money After Bad (where do we go from here)?” post, the build was at a crossroads. Should I scrap the whole project? Rebuild the motor and press on? Find a running Z and move forward? These were just a few of the ideas repeated ad nauseam in my head.
This was a big decision, and the whole direction of the project lay in the balance. Until now… You know where we’ve been; find out where we’re headed! Let’s get down to business.
After much deliberation (and many sleepless nights), I’ve finally decided to double down on the Z and give her the heart transplant she so desperately needs.
Harry (AKA Ztuner) and I have been working on a plan of attack to get the Z build back on track – and most importantly – ME on the track! Harry’s put together a rebuild package based off OEM internals (pistons, rods, etc.), adding improvements where necessary with efficiency and reliability in mind (things like deburred water passages and ARP bolts to name a few).
I know what you’re thinking… “It’s a track car but it’s not an all out track motor build? You disappoint me.” I know, I know. But stock VG30DETT motors are known to make/handle 500+ HP on factory internals with the right supporting mods.
That’s more than enough to get me started. Besides, this was never about building the fastest or most powerful Z32; it was about getting on the track and testing my skills as a DRIVER. This setup should easily take me through the HPDE events and then some, with room to grow when my race license is secured and more sponsors come aboard. There’s plenty of time for hot heads, cams, and the lot down the line.
(You’ll have to wait till my engine build writeup to get full specs on the motor and turbo setup – but I’ll give you a hint – to keep with the efficiency/reliability theme, the turbos are going to be ball bearing!)
Rather than have the motor shipped (since Harry’s not only a build sponsor, but a fellow amputee who’s featured in the documentary), the plan is to drive down to his shop, film him assembling the motor (along with an interview for the documentary), then cart the whole thing back and install.
I leave for Harry’s shop in Sarasota, FL in the morning. The trailer rental along with a hitch install on the daily driver should get me there and back safely, new motor in tow.
In the meantime, I’ve been busy cleaning up the engine bay in preparation for the transplant. Between the accident, a huge power steering leak, and your standard surface rust, it was a mess.
Boy it feels good to be working on the Z again! Been far too long.
*On another note – there’s a few new ways to keep up on the project now! If you’re on Facebook, please check out and “like” our new Facebook page – facebook.com/jsworks.org (I hope to add Facebook only photos and other behind the scenes details you won’t find on the blog in the future). Also follow us on Twitter! – twitter.com/JSWORKS_ORG – Thanks everyone for the support!