DJZ wrote:It's a tough choice but it all depends on your personal tastes, what you are wanting to achieve and how much money you've got.
I spent ages and a fair amount trying to get power out of the L28, everything I did seemed to be for very little gain. A guy on here told me his L28 turbo motor which from memory was pretty much stock with a VG30ET turbo made 278rwhp. My motor was a 3.1 with a big turbo, cam, the individual throttle bodies etc etc and the most it ever made was 320ish. My turbo choice was probably poor and the throttlebodies for a turbo motor were probably a waste of money even though they did look & sound cool. According to the guys at NZEFI it would have been well into the 350s with a proper tune but I was just getting sick of dumping money into it. It actually made 278hp the first time it was tuned with a crush bent 2.5" exhaust, small T04 turbo and a standard inlet manifold, so after changing heaps, getting the head all done up, 3" exhaust, big turbo etc I had gained 40 horsepower, pretty disappointing.
One of the main reasons I went for the RB was I already had a 200ZR sump & engine mounts left over from my R30, parts are easy to come by (I bought the stainless manifold for $200, try finding one at all for an L28, I heard of one guy who bought a Trust one I think it was, and it was around the $3000 mark several years ago), the RB's are easy to get power out of and everybody you talk to has had experience with them. Nobody I talked to had ever really seen a turbo L28 motor.
To be honest I hate SR motors, I have never heard one that actually sounds good, and the one that I worked on was a pain in the ass. They can make some decent power though.
My RB from what research I've done should be well into the 500s horsepower wise and hasn't really cost me that much more than what I sold the L series bits for.
If you want to stick with an L series definitely get rid of the automatic, it's honestly night and day the difference between an auto and a manual 280ZX.
Hope that helps!
Trust me, it really does help hearing advice from someone who doesn't just base it on the fact they've got a Skidline with an RB "duz mean skidz" or a Silvia with a n/a SR telling me "nah bru it's aloominimum itz light az". I've been a lurker on the SilviaNZ forums for a long time after I bought an S14 for a steal, so I could
be a little biased
If I'd won Powerball last weekend I probably would have gone with something like this, but on a much more modest scale:http://www.teamspeed.com/forums/japanese-speed/29644-my-1972-240z-build.html
The L28 does sound amazing, but it's just as you say: parts are rare as hell & more expensive than a decent bed once you get to Hell. Plus she hasn't been well looked after her entire life. I know for the last ten years it's been owned by a Rotorua local who's kept it running, but apart from bogstandard maintenance he never really did much else. Except a terrible headunit and hideous 6x9s.
You can pick up an RB for quite cheap these days, like $2k? Add on the cost of installation [sadly I'm an idiot
] so another $2k, and that's only $4k worth of work at a naive estimate.
I'd probably give an arm & a leg for a manual, or a rustproofing
when I first bought the zx I remember seeing one on trademe but that disappeared within a day or two.
Appreciate the reply mate!