Datsun 280Z Ford V8 conversion


This is Yvonne, my 1978 Datsun 280Z.  It is powered by a V8 engine from a 1985 Mustang GT 5.0 instead of the stock 2.8l L6.

If you want more details about my personal thoughts and feelings as I was doing the swap, you might have to use the “search” box on the main blog page to search for the posts I wrote contemporaneously.  This is primarily a report on the fabrication and assembly techniques I used to complete the swap.  None of these techniques are proven, nor do I make any assertion whatsoever that they are legal or safe.

Here are three general lessons I learned:

  • If this is your first swap, try to start with two running cars.  This greatly increases your chances that you will end up with one running car at the end.
  • Don’t get caught up in the “I’ll do this while I’m at it” syndrome.  If you have lots of money and time, maybe this is viable.  If not, use your discretion but err on the side of doing less stuff now.  So many projects get stuck because the owner decides to take the whole damn dashboard apart or reinvent the wheel.
  • This may sound like a contradiction of the previous advice, but do things right the first time.  I mean this more in regard to little things: solder and heat shrink all your connections, cover your fenders before you put tools on them, and always always put your cars on jackstands, even if you’re only going to be underneath for a few seconds.

Without further adieu, here are the build pages:

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