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1987 300Z 3.8L Essex swap
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help with an unusual problem. Our race team has chosen to explore a Ford 3.8L engine swap for our race car, a 1987 Nissan Z car (Z31). There are several good reasons for attempting this but here are the key reasons for the decision:
1.) RWD V6 with junkyard availability and good parts availability
2.) the right stock HP rating (1999-2003) Mustang of 190hp (more about our rules challenges below)
3.) although we must remain mostly stock - decent aftermarket support

Although the engine must remain stock we can make some improvements using stock parts and typical racer tricks. We endurance race typically 12-14 hours or back to back 6-8 hour "sprints". So, what we're hoping for help on is the following:
1.) best stock oiling system - we hope to increase volume, flow, and cooling (can't dry sump)
2.) oil control in a stock pan - DIY baffling, scraper, other
3.) best stock cam and valve train components
4.) best DIY intake (can't modify the MAF, or other components - must be "stock". i.e. the best DIY CAI - location path etc.
5.) best stock exhaust manifolds (we can build our own exhaust system after the headers so it will have an X or H set up)

If possible proof of gains from the above improvements..

Anyone here endurance race this motor? What challenges have you had? In summary we're looking for a couple of things - mild improvements to performance and reliability in endurance racing..

Good sources for junkyard motors, heads, etc..
 

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· Registered
1987 300Z 3.8L Essex swap
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We're looking to utilize the 1999 - 2003 3,8L V6 in our race car but our 3.8L must remain "stock". Consequently stroker kits, nitrous, wilder cams, etc. won't meet our sanctioning body restrictions. Nor will dry sump. What we're looking for is tweaks that can be made to the stock 3.8L motor to improve reliability for endurance racing and very basic engine modifications that will add some HP over the stock 190hp. Examples:

PERFORMANCE
1.) ECU tune - how to or who does the best one
2.) X pipe or H pipe dual exhaust and what stock headers flow best (deliver the most HP)
3.) Stock dual runner intake tweaks that might improve intake flow/performance (throttle body and MAF must remain stock)
4.) CAI DIY solutions - the engine will be in a Nissan 300ZX so general placement ideas and DIY materials
5.) Does this engine respond well to retarding the cam and if so, by how much
if we can get 10-20 hp with these changes we'd be quite happy

RELIABILITY
1.) stock oil pan baffling or DIY solutions for better oil flow, control, and cooling. Our car generates about 1G in high speed corners so keeping oil around the pickup is crucial. Our recent Nissan engine failures have been due to oil starvation
2.) what's the "best" oil pump, water pump
3.) "best" stock replacement pushrods, valve springs, rocker assemblies, roller rockers
4.) stock or aftermarket remote oil filter and oil cooler solutions
5.) common failure points and solutions

Ideally we like to see actual dyno results or instrumentation that demonstrates effectiveness
 

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You don’t need to keep posting it. It won’t make your responses come any faster.
 
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