Guest Blog: Zach Zupancic>>volvo-powered 240z On A Budget

After a year out of actually driving and building cars, I bought a 1972
Datsun 240z for $500. It was a rolling chassis, and been sitting since
1991. The guy that i bought it from said that it would take too much
money to actually get this car to be street worthy, but I knew

I figured that I could get the car running under its own
power for $1000 (including the cost of the car) and in a month.

And really, a car isn’t a daily driver until you gut it.

Before the month was out I did indeed have the car running under its own power and all for $1078.

Next couple months had wheels, rattle can paint, lip, and flares.

The next few months were spent installing triple Weber dcoe 40s, header,
exhaust, 240sx Megan coilovers, TTT RLCAs…

…and gutting my doors.

Next few months were spent getting a cheap seat, removing the heater, installing a 240sx dash, along with other stuff that I forgot.

Then in August I decided that I was tired of the L24, and wanted to try
something different. SR20s and KA24s are old news; V8s are fun, but not
really my style; and RB26s are expensive, so I figured I’d do something
no one has done before, install a Volvo b230.16v.T (’94 8v 940 block,
’91 16v 740GLE head, 15g turbo, Ford T-5 tranny) into my Z. It is just
as powerful as an SR, more reliable than a KA, all parts could be found
in the junkyard, and I could sell all of my engine parts to buy
everything for the swap. So it would be essentially free.

With the help of my local Volvo guru, Josh at YoshiFab, I started to turn my pile of metal into an engine.

Got a bit lazy and didn’t work on the car for a bit, and finally got
back around to it late January. Then had a friend help me make some
engine mounts and we installed it in the car.

Now it is just the process of re-wiring the chassis and engine, mounting
the tranny; making a new driveshaft and exhaust; and deciding whether
or not a V-mount is really worth the act of turning my hood into an F’nF

No matter what happens, I only spent a year getting
the car from rolling to running, running to awesome, and awesome to
ridiculous for under $6000.

Full build thread:

More photos:

 -Thank you kindly

Zach Zupancic, the Crazy Octopus





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cool? i guess


WOW! incredible build...what a motivational build!!


Gutted doors? Hope you're welding in a rollcage.


Nice..triple weber huh?? scary.


This is fantastic. Exactly the kind of build I love.


I generaly dont like idea of putting not japanese engine into Japanese car and i really cannot understand why somebody want to change orginal 240z dash for anything else, anyway i must say this Z is hot. Maybe cause i am deeply in love with this chassis, but still making this car running with such a small budget is just beautiful.



awesome to see some unique builds like this...


They're just aren't enough olive drab cars in this world. LOVE it.


truly beautiful


soooooooooo dope


can i have the wheel specs......need it for my z


I would have kept the original dash but everything else is sick.its amazing how uch better the car looks after the coilovers lol


That is 100% cool as Fooook! Respeck knuckles!


Rad. I'm feelin this.


Awesome Z, way different, cool budget build.


Nice man, this should get my working on my 73 240z that is sitting.

I have a l28 in it with a e31 head. Interesting swap. I am thinking about a rover v8 swap in mine if I ditch the l28


This is the coolest story I've read in a long, long time. HUGE props to what you've done to a car that many would have left to rust. It's come a long way, and the effort you've put into it really shows.


dont wanna sound like a hater, but a 240sx dash in a Z? What for? I dont mind the Volvo engine, but the dash kills it for me. What next? Air conditioning? Heated seats from a Merc S class? Navigation and monitoring system from the R35?





Volvo's are so underrated...

Cant wait to see final product...


Nice project, congratulations ;)


if u needed powerful cheap engine then it was better if u went for LS1 so cheap and a lot of mods and spare parts are every where

and with little more money u can get LS2 or LS3 u can easily make 500hp naturally aspirated engine


Restoring a car like this to its original condition would come with a huge budget. Zach doing what that he want to make this machine look awesome costly under $6K. I think its really worth it and surely can draw a big smile on his face right now.

The wheels match perfectly with the look of the car.


Sweet build!! This car can turn in to a great track day toy, IMHO.



originality at its finest, 240 kids take some god damn notes.


very cool build


Epic. Dont listen to any of these fools talking it down, i doubt they have ever spun a spanner or even welded themselves.


small budget? 6k is a huge budget. 1k for megan coils, 3-4k for a motor, and 50 bucks for spray paint. and probably the 1k spent to buy a car in that condition. not a cheap build when you really break it down.


Nice Z. Has the exact same paint scheme as my FC although it wasn't my choice (previous owner painted it) but it kinda grew on me.


Horrid. Hope it drives better than it looks.


man I wish my Datsun that I paid $500 for looked like that.


Anthony is a horrid name. This car is tough as guts! Engine looks so mean without its covers on.. 6k is pretty cheap when you consider most 240z cost around 20k to get running right and looking well.. fuck the haters


Kinda disappointed you didn't stick with the 2.4 i6 but thumbs up for saving a Z


cool build for sure


Awesome approach to a fun DD and A+ for not giving in to the haters on so many aspects of the project. Very unique and I love to see someone run a build on a budget, hell yeah. I want to do the same setup but with a cheap 4.8L or 5.3L LS1. Love the paint scheme as well. Great feature!


Wow, what a awesome idea mate!!


Its such a breath of fresh air to see a different swap .- And a hybrid swap no less! . Its hard for me to be a purist. The valve relief job to the JB weld fix. It reminds me of my home-made intake manifold for my first RB swap back in the old days before i could afford a welder.. GREAT JOB. we all owe you beer fellow garage warrior!


why volvo, worst manufacturer eva ! nice ride though but swtich the power plant !


Love this thing.. I subscribe to your blog.


nice built , keep it up


Cool car. Shame it won't sound as good as the webber'd L.


Not bad. Definately a weight savings right here. Megan is junk but for the whole sake of building a car for cheap sometimes ya sacrifice quality for the sake of budget. I know arizona Z car has GOOD coilovers for the thing that are double the price of megans. Keep on truckin this old girl was destined to be scrap metal so at least you can transform it into whatever the heck your mind and tight wallet imagine.

I have a Z car sitting in the back of the shop. Anyone is welcome to take it for about 350bucks. Email me for details if someone wants to get just as ambitious.


Kickass project.

Major props for doing something nobody has ever done !!!


i think i saw this car outside of a quiznos in irvine, soo sick


but yes, I do admit it's a really nice color.


VIVA LA CRAZY OCTOPUS!!!!!!!!! This is epic mate love this, as much as I loved your old FC (which inspired me to matt green my old Ford Sierra)


Now that is genius. I like it a lot.

And @Ahmad: didn't you read the story? He said he didn't want a V8. Doesn't matter how good it is he just didn't want one.


Asome love everything (considering the budget) and the volvo engine is really cool and different


This is just the way the Z should be looking! Couldn´t see the Volvo-engine coming (at least in California!), but exellent choice, very potential motor. And something new, V8`s are so seen.

Only thing to grouse about, is the dash. Please, fix the original!


cool build. glad to see something creative like this. like the swap. tired of seeing v8's. the dash tho??? only thing thats meh about this.


I love this and this is exactly the type of build im doing to my starion.


that looks so goddamn good (especially the wheels, I've been wanting a set of those for a long time). olive drab is awesome. +9001


nice build, but I dont know about 6k being 'cheap'.


Great engine in a great car!


I'm feeling this car for no real reason. I can't figure out what it is but I like it. Well done.


This makes me wanna buy a Z...


Been following since day1. Keep at it brother!


Love it. I met Josh from yoshifab and his orange rims volvo at a lod school meet in San Diego.. Never realized the potential of that motor till then. Now thinking of putting one in a 510 lol


I might try something lIke this, I know of where to find a used up 510 that would be cool to do up like this.


wonder if a UZFE would be fun in one


so amazing, you really got something to be proud of

it just looks like a weapon ready to hit the road

i love it


josh@re tuning i tried sending you an email and it didn't work,,,can you send me an email at im interested in the 240z


I think i have a new idea for a project.....very inspiring


You know I love it Zach - long live the Crazy Octopus! Cool Z, brilliant save, fresh ideas and all home done.


im feeling it


There is no better choice than this for an engine. Potential, econnomic, easy to work on. I love this....


interesting to see the s13 dash in there, it probably feels pretty strange inside



nice! swedish reliable power meets classic japanese, just love it!


The b230 16v is an excellent choice! no problem pushing 400bhp with minor mods :) With this setup and 15g turbo you maybe can push 260-300bhp. Greating from Volvo land.


Cool car !

Just don't get why you switch the dash for a S13 one...

Even if the old one was fucked up, it still look better than the newer one.

Props to the owner though !


Damn nice i love the fact about volvo engine :) but if I wanted something really unique and daily at the same time i would go for TDi + mods :)

Anyway keep up the good work :) and 6000 issint that much considering that this nissan is preatty rare on streets :)


Awesome build! Look forward to the vids when its up and running again :-)


Nice, looks like a true 240z fan! keep working at it looking good.

But im not a fan of the dash swap......doesnt look right.


nice work mate (y)


why the hell would you change that dash! ughhh first thing i thought when i saw the interior was how cool the original dash looked, then you go and change it with something as bland as a 240 dash? whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!


Should of stuck with the L series.


dont care for the peice of junk volvo engine but cool build nonethe less and props for doing something different.......


Woah! Thank you all for the interest, compliments, and criticism on my build. It has been quite a blast so far, and hope to finish it all up quite soon. Now, to answer some of those questions/concerns you had about my build...

Rollcage = yes. However because I am 6'7" the cage design is taking a bit of time to completely figure out, and since it will be the last thing that I do (after I stitch weld the chassis) I am taking my time with it.

wheel specs = 15x10-25 with 225.50-15s all around, but if i were to do it again I probably would have gone -45 or -50. Right now I am waiting to have the car road worthy before I throw on some spacers.

240sx dash = weight weight weight. The stock dash, heater, and wiring weigh over 60lbs the 240sx dash shell weighs about 6lbs. (and I cant lose any body weight I already weigh 185 anyhting less and I wouldnt have the strength to actually drive the car)

Again thank you all, and speedhunters, for the interest in my build!


Love the uniqueness. Always a win with builds.


I dont know how anyone could possibly prefer the looks of a 240sx dashboard over a 240z one...thats like a downgrade if anything....


What rear lip spoiler is that? Looks dope


Ghetto engineering, always gives you the ability to do what others have not.

Saving cash=creativity=something unique...nice job man.


That is insane gotta love it, as for the engine holy shi**!! Such a great idea you have there. Keep em spinnin!


I have a '71 Z myself, and Im looking to get a set of 15X10" rims myself. I was wondering if you have to use any spacers with these rims? And did any rubbing occur running the wide rims and the stock suspension set up before you installed the coilovers?
Any info would be appreciated!


Very interesting build


Finally running with the Volvo engine head to the build threads or for videos.


Finally running with the Volvo engine head to the build threads or for videos.


The offset of the wheel will tell you whether you can run them without spacers.