The Engine

It's a 2.4 liter straight-6 with an overhead cam and two valves per cylinder, fed with a pair of side draft carbs and a header exhaust. Nissan claimed 161 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 144 foot pounds of torque but it was probably less. Denver's mile-high thin air will reduce it further. I'll get it dyno'd to know for certain.

240z Engine Inside The previous owner installed an engine he said had been rebuilt "fairly recently." A friend has a borescope camera so we poked it down thru the sparkplug holes to take a look. I'm pretty pleased with the results.

The top photo shows two valves that appear clean and fresh. The combustion chambers looked smooth without any carbon buildup. The crosshatched hone patterns on the cylinder walls were still visible. The bottom photo is a piston with the manufacturer's part number clearly showing.

The guy didn't lie.

These engines are pretty robust if rebuilt correctly and good for about 100k miles, so it'll probably outlast me.

240z Engine My friends Mac and Adolpho volunteered to clean and paint the engine. Naturally I said yes. The block was soaked with a degreaser, then attacked with steel brushes, then soaked again and the scrubbing repeated. It worked pretty well.

Online I had found the "correct" factory shade of blue priced at $65 per can. I opted for a similar blue at just $8. With can in hand, Adolpho demonstrated the painting skills he learned while tagging in his youth. Mac stood back and drank beer and offered advice. We gave the valve cover a nice polish, then called it a day.

The final product is all bright and fresh and ready to go.

Funny thing about engines is the way they suddenly appear. Last year a guy was moving and sold me a 2.4 and 4-speed trans for a mere $70. A few months later I spotted a 2.8 turbo with everything (except the turbo) for $150. How do you walk away from deals like those? Obviously I couldn't.

Here's what remains to be done:

  • Carbs cleaned and sychronized
  • New clutch and a lightened flywheel
  • Oil pan cleaned and a new gasket
  • New front and main seals
  • New valve stem seals
  • New valve cover gasket
  • Competition header repaired
  • Electronic ignition

240z 5-Speed I've been searching for a 5-speed transmission since I bought the car. Every few days I'd peek on Craig's List. The transmissions I saw either sold too quickly or were priced too high. I recently spotted one in Colorado Springs for $350. I left a couple of messages but no response. I figured it was sold. Not so, because the owner called about two weeks later to ask if I was still interested. I offered $300 and said I could be there by 8:00. It turned out to be a 5-hour round trip but ultimately was worth it.

I did some poking around and was very pleased to find out it's an FS5C71B which is a "competition" gearbox with tighter gear ratios, a Porsche-type synchromesh, and rated for 240 ft/lb of torque. I'll replace the front and rear seals, fill it with fluid, and keep my fingers crossed that it doesn't need to be rebuilt.

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