V-Hate: A Perfect 240Z
There’s No Replacement

It’s no secret that I love a good V8. Maybe I was brainwashed at age four by the exhaust fumes sneaking into the back seat of my uncle’s ’66 Mustang, but there’s something about a rumbling eight cylinder that just gets me going.

When I find them where they don’t belong, I become even more excited. It’s not specifically because I know it upsets some folks, but the honest side of me recognizes that does play a small part in it. And I completely understand the opposition to the large-displacement motors.

American V8s — the LS-series engines in particular — are easily sourced, reliable, and cost-effective solutions. They sound amazing and provide loads of torque, instantly pinning you into your seat under throttle, lost in the mighty roar of the eight cylinders loping away. They’re easy to work on and if something goes wrong replacement parts can be had quickly for a reasonable price.

Who would want that? Unsurprisingly, it turns out Jeremy Gomez would.

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Jeremy built this ’72 Z before travelling often to Japan and, in a way, the choices he’s made on the car reflect this. I was actually at his shop to shoot a 240Z G-nose that he built after making friends at the car meets in Japan, but you’ll just have to wait for that one.

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I was too distracted by all this displacement – 5.7 liters of American muscle in the form of an LS1 stuffed into the front of the lightweight, nimble Japanese chassis. I know what some of you are thinking: ‘It doesn’t get more wrong than this’. But that’s what makes it so damn good.

I really do completely understand the resistance to V8 swaps; they can seem a bit uninspired or boring and I admit it is more fun to find a car with a really unusual period-correct swap. But I’m convinced that anyone who tries to hate on a V8 has not been behind the wheel of one in a lightweight chassis and put the pedal to the floor.

There’s just no way to resist that torque, I’m telling you. It’s addictive and oh-so satisfying.

The L24 was a relatively peppy motor back in the day, but when you more than double the power output there’s just a whole new world of driving experiences to be had. I noticed a tired old block in the corner next to some cool old school four lugs, and it’s probably worth mentioning that Jeremy’s other 240Z has retained a Japanese powerplant.

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After shooting the G-nose, I swindled Jeremy into untucking this 240 out of the corner for a peek around.

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On the street, the 240Z is still a tight car to drive; the V8 shoehorned in the front doesn’t ruin this thing in the slightest. Today the philosophy of an LS-swap rings so true to the initial ideology of the car – it just makes sense. Call me an asshole if you’d like, but this 240Z is the perfect 240Z.

Working Class Hero
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We brought the car out to an industrial pocket right off the San Francisco Bay as the sun dipped behind the mountains in the background. I’m actually glad we were running low on light and sort of forced to shoot here; this turned out to be the perfect setting for this car.

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The 240Z was originally offered at an extremely affordable US$3,500 off the showroom floor. It was, and remains, a sexy sporty little thing that anyone could get their hands on with a bit of hard work. It’s nothing fancy, just a nice, classic design that continues to work.

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Inside the cabin it’s a fairly simple setup, but you will notice one thing that’s a bit off the wall.

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The shifter — which slots between the gears in the T-56 6-speed transmission — is an actual ’50s-era control stick from a fighter jet. Inspired by the WWII Zero Fighter design, Jeremy previously had the entire car themed as such.

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Poking around the internet doing a bit of reading as I put this story together I happened upon a photo Mike Garrett took of the car some four years back at the Bayline Gathering in California’s Bay Area.

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Jeremy says he eventually grew out of the fighter pilot stage and returned the car to its factory white, but the hood and shifter remain.

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Back inside the car a 6-point cage has been installed around a Recaro bucket seat to stiffen things up, helping cope with all the extra power on tap.

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The 240 has been lowered on Techno Toy Tuning coilovers front and rear, with FutoFab tension control rods, ST sway bars, and Modern Motorsports LCAs in the rear. It’s not super low but it has a nice, useable ride height, and the car is even more nimble than it was before the V8 with this configuration.

Power is sent through the 6-speed into a Z31 R200 CLSD and finally delivered to a set of gorgeous RAYS Volk Racing TE37V wheels. With the extra-wide flares Jeremy has stuffed 245/45 series tires on all four corners, the front wheels measuring 10-inches wide while the back end houses a 10.5-inch pair for a bit of extra dish. The wheels are 16-inches in diameter, hiding Brembo 4-pots up front and 2-pots in the rear.

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Other touches include headlight covers up front, an adjustable spoiler out back, and a number of little stickers around the car.

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The long-term plan was to build the car up as a track day monster, but Jeremy says it’s just a bit too wild for him now and he’s toying with the idea of passing it on.

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Still, the unrelenting power is his favorite aspect of the build and he’ll miss it when it’s gone. The thought of this is only bearable as he has another Z to love now, and it’s shaping up to be quite the beauty.

But no matter what, this Z will always be Jeremy’s first Z — the beast.

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto
TYRphoto.com

Cutting Room Floor
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77 comments

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1

As much as I like v8 swaps, i especially dislike LS swaps bc they're just so damn overused. I wouldve liked to see something a bit better like a VK56 swap or something because they seem less used and keeping it somewhat in the brand would be nice. But still nicely built car nonetheless

2

Great mentality. With those rationalization skills, you should give up sex with women and try men or animals. They're just so damn overused!

3

Fair criticism until it's your money being used, your time after something breaks, etc etc.

The LS is actually one of the lightest engines out there and is great in terms of packaging. Being unique doesn't matter when you're staring at someone else's tail lights!

4

That kind of depends on what variant you get. If you're not careful, you might end up with an iron blocked LS based motor, and those can be quite a weight penalty. With the 1UZ (for example) there's only 3 modes you have to worry about, none having to do with material design: the 2 models with different power levels, and one with VVTi and higher compression. All the same basic design (aluminium block/heads) and weighs about 360lbs alone. Not bad for a pretty power dense motor. But I mean if you're doing something on a budget, i have to admit, it is pretty darn easy to find an LS motor for cheap if you wanted v8.

5

Well yeah, if you're not careful you could end up getting hit by a train or marrying a woman who takes half ur shit. The iron motors are definitely heavier.

The 1UZ is a pretty cool engine. Think an aluminum LS weighs in around 400lbs or something. Probably my 2 favorite commercially available V8s.

6

Speaking of V8s why not use the 1UZ from a Lexus/Toyota?

7

One big reason is cost. All in, the LS1 is a bit cheaper to build than a 1UZ with the same power output. You can drop $12k into a 1UZ and come out with a high revving strung out engine with only 450hp, while that same $12k in an LS1 would get you over 500hp with money to spare for other goodies. Plus the 1UZ requires transmission bell housing adapters and sometimes custom clutch and flywheel setups as they never came with a manual transmission. Also performance parts are significantly more difficult to come by for the 1UZ.

8

if your spending 12+ gs to get only 500+hp out of a LS, you're doing it wrong. But good point non the less.

9

I agree for a LS1 in there but still why not throw in a VQ35 and keep it a six cylinder?

10

This is the path I would take. more power dense, and it's japanese. and imo sounds better than an ls.

11

Don't forget, we're in America (USA.) LS engines are made here and you can go to any GM dealership, local auto parts store, or Craigslist for parts, spare parts, speed parts and M&M dispensing machines.

12

Ah I see now it VK56 is the Nissan V8 so thats fitting, so in all cases, swap it and keep it in the family or do an unpopular opinion throw a VQ35 from 350z.

13

I too wouldve liked to see a VQ35 or even VQ37 swap in one of these, keep it 6 cylinder. But really anything non LS wouldve been sweet.

14

Yeah defiantly it would be great to do that, and slap a turbo on there and you got a drifting beast or even a track monster.

15

Terry, I somewhat agree with you on them being overdone. But think of it from a practicality aspect. Cheap, reliable horsepower with replacement parts easily available (quite literally everywhere in the US) and on the cheap.

I was at Outlaw Armageddon a few years ago. I had the chance to speak with the gentleman who would go on and win the small tire class. He was driving a 240sx with an LS in it. He used to have a 2J motor in it. I asked him why he swapped the LS. His reason was perfect. "If I break something on the LS here, there is a 99% chance someone else has a replacement part I can borrow. If I break something on the 2J, my weekend is over."

The average person building a car, wanting to race, is on a limited budget. In that sense, the LS makes perfect sense. But, to each their own. That's what makes the car scene amazing.

16
Matthew Dockery

There is nothing practical about this car, though. Bring your own spares, like every other Datsun-head, lol.

17

I think you may have missed the point I was making here. Original post was about wishing it wasn’t “another” LS swap. I was trying to point out why many go the LS swap route.

18

Go home Terry

19

lul, he is doing his best ok?

20

ur not funny dude can't be telling me this here as well as the discord smh

22

Man that Z is really clean. Shame he has to let it go.

23

I have a good friend that lived across the street from me who swapped his 72 Z with a modded LS1. I tuned the setup for him and that chassis is a blast! The engine really is too much raw power but boy does it put a smile on your face every time you goose it.

He autocrosses it religiously and lays down some impressive times for such an "out of control" sensation.

I can agree with people's distaste with the all to regular LS swaps but get behind the wheel of one.....you will be hooked. Fun is addictive.

I swapped my FC seven years ago and I still can't get enough of it. Everytime I ponder selling it I just go and cruise around town. It always attracts positive attention & any auto enthusiast loves to BS and peek in the engine bay. Any chance I get I will always offer them a quick ride in the car and when it is over they are smiling ear to ear. Nothing better then giving someone a lasting memory. That's what it is all about.

Beautiful Z and I hope he sells it to someone who appreciates it as much as he does.

24

FC3S Murray! Haven't seen that user name in many moons since the RX7club second gen section heyday! I sold you the Nardi that's hopefully still in your car! Just wanted to say hey from a fellow Montanan and Speedhunter. Glad you still have your car! That thing is clean!

25

LS 240z sounds something like a japanese Cobra (not really but you get the point). I would love to drive a car like this.

26

I like the build! Even though it is a tried and true but boring LS swap, I like it. Good job on the article, Trevor. I would be extremely thankful if you could connect me to Jeremy. If he wants to sell the Z, I would love to take it off his hands!!
As always keep up the good work!

27

Drive it. See how boring it is. You'd get out of that seat with a creamy spot in your skivvies and a smile from ear to ear like you just got off the Harry Potter Forbidden Journey ride.

28

Oh yeah, so boring you want to buy it...

29

Get in line ;) you can find me on social or contact me on my website and I'll pass your info on if you're serious about it. Not sure what stage he's at in parting with it anyway.

30

No pics/info of the exhaust system?
Was a kit used to install the LS?
What engine management?
Dyno #'s?

31

Sanderson headers as seen in photo, dual 2.5" exhaust. Car makes over 9000 horsepower.

32

Surely ppl aren't still crying about engine swaps? If its a good engine why not?

33

bEcUaSE a V8 rUiNS EvErytHiNg !!1 1!!!

34

I dont really understand the hate for swaps, I really like seeing them even if they are overused as some people say. Seeing something original is truly special but I just don't get the hate.

35

Such a cool car. I have a love-hate relationship with LS swaps. On one hand, they're fairly straightforward and well worth the effort for power and reliabilty; on the other hand, most of the ones I tend to see on the internet are running the same Weld wheels with a drag stance and zero exterior mods or style. Thankfully, cars like this exist, to show us that LS swaps aren't just for Chads looking for 1320 notoriety and bragging rights on Texas Highways. Also, Miiiiike! I miss his articles on SH...

36

I'll second this.

37

Zap

38
Александр Трофименков

I understand everyone who swaps an ls into their cars, especially in USA, where these engines are cheap, it’s the best performance engine available as it is reliable, easy to tune, lightweight and it’s size is ridiculously small. I even saw people getting better weight distribution after swapping an aluminum ls into their rx-7.

But for me, personally, one of the biggest parts of experiencing a car is sound. And sometimes an ls even improves that aswell, howether it’s not the case with an s30. L28/24 is one of the best sounding engines in the world and that makes putting anything other than any of those two into an s30 sacreligios for me (yes, even an rb is wrong from my pov).

Anyway, thanks for the article, the photography is beautiful as always.

39

I definitely agree with you on the sound of the L series motors. But they definitely have their shortcomings.

40

I'm speaking as a person that owns 4 Z cars. There's nothing new or original about an LS swap in a Z... other than everyday there's a journalist who won't shut up about it. The Z was never designed to be a raw HP car... It's built for corners. One of the things that's alluring about an S30... Is the L series inline 6. Sounds awesome, runs forever. There are so many V8's making gobs of power that this isn't special. Swaps are cool but Jesus how about a lot love for the vintage car. Ive got a 3.1 L stroker, a stock L28 and I'm building an L28ET...cause when I pop the hood... I'm different. It's fine to love the LS, but essays like this imply that the S30 was incomplete or imperfect as sold...i think that's horeshit.

41

I think you meant whore shit...

42

That's nice. For you. No doubt, the straight six is definitely a cool motor and this car certainly isn't for everyone, but if you're on about cornering the LS1 is lighter (and obviously more powerful) than a L28ET. We all like to justify the thousands of dollars we spend, so there's no right answer. The S30 is 50 years old, of course it's incomplete n o w. Also, you mention 4 Z cars, but 3 motors. Have you considered an LS swap for the other? It will never be sitting again... ;)

43

Saying "The Z was never designed to be a raw HP car"......do you think 90s Civics were built to be drag cars, or cars that had over 400hp? Was the Datsun 510 built to be a road race legend? Was the AE86 built to be a drift icon? Nah. Cars are built with a little bit of potential and a purpose, transportation. The aftermarket and enthusiasts push those limits while the rest of us get to see what works and what doesn't.
When you say "essays like this imply that the S30 was incomplete or imperfect"......isn't every car incomplete or imperfect to a person who modifies cars? You're talking about your engines being "different". So, wouldn't that imply that you modified your engines because the car was imperfect or incomplete in your eyes?

44
Matthew Dockery

I agree. There's a lot more to love about the inline six Z platform than this piece lets on.

I also can't really tell how much has been to make that V8 work in this car. Old Japanese metal + V8 torque usually causes problems. It's like this car got half the treatment it should have (at least from what I can see). I can't tell if their are A pillar bars or door bars, and without those the tubes connecting the strut towers to to the firewall just aren't going to cut it.

There is some additional welding along the front strut towers, but it doesn't look like the same treatment it taken to the spot welds where the towers actually connect to the bay walls (fender wells, whatever you want to call them). It might just be that I can't see what's been done because there's a lot shadows in the nooks and crannies...

45

Matthew Dockery you make a good point about noticing what work has been done to the chassis. Honestly, at face value, it’s one of the better prepared V8 street cars I’ve seen.

As a Z owner myself, I’ve come across a multitude of V8-Zs from ones in my community college parking lot, to full on show cars.

I really never been bothered what engine someone wants to throw in their Z car as long it’s prepared thoughtfully (read: safely, intelligently), and the reality is the majority of V8 swaps are built very poorly.

No additional chassis preparation, no bracing for the meteoric power increase, exposed rust, birds nest wiring. There exists a “couldn’t care less” mentality that seems to permeate V8 builds far more than any other type of Z build I come across. And that’s really my only gripe against V8 builds.

Though maybe it should be expected, as the swap is truly notable for its “cheap thrill” mentality.

46

I feel you on that, but that's not this car. A lot has been done to make this this handle well, bracing and all.

47

Exactly. That’s why I appreciate this car so much.

Even a small amount of stiffening or seam welding goes such a long way with our super flexy Z cars hahaha

48

Does it get drive on the street and does it go fast...I don't care if there is a nitro methane pinto engine under the hood.

49

I truely wish more people would put LS motors in the 70's 911.I dont like every body making Z car into a Camaro/ Vette .I wish people that want a v8, to buy, a mustang or Camaro. And leave the straight 6 ohc motor in the car.
But thats just me.

50

People should put the LS in a lot of the early ferraris more compact more power parts dirt cheap compared to the early Ferraris.Hell put a LS in a mustang.... ! LS fit into a vega or a barracuda or even a pinto
...hell those old Alfa Gtv would be awesome. Fitted with an LS.
Has any one put an LS in a Maserati.....I get it any car with an LS is a rocket.....and parts are cheap and ........

51

Slaughters the value of older 911s which is why people tend to not do it...

52

I like how the spoiler and headlights follow the lines of the bodywork.

53

Completely unrelated to this article but the owner of this car just did a clear bra on my M2 and it is absolutely flawless. Such a cool guy that really loves his Datsuns and what he does for a living. The car world needs more guys like this!

54
Daniel P Huneault

can you find out what rear spoiler he is using?! thanks!

55
Matthew Everingham

I love it when a builder finds that perfect line between too subtle and too much. This Zed walks that tightrope perfectly!

56

I'm glad you made it past the third photo even though it didn't have a Barra swap

57

Unless it is a style thing, stuff gets played out / overused because it "works". Forged wheels, LS swaps, carbon panels - everything, to a degree, has already been done. No need to defend it, it just works.

58

If he was after torque he should have have put a 1gz in.

59

You mean if he was after 100 ft-lb less...?

60

also if I remember right, the 1gz is a super wide engine, probably wouldn't fit

61

count me out of the name calling, this Z looks soooo fun to play with.

62

People that hate LS swaps are people that haven't driven them in a car like this. My buddy has a 280z with a forged, stroked, soon to be supercharged LS1 and holy crap is that the fastest and craziest thing I have ever driven. Put down over 500hp and now he wants 700. Nothing like accidentally burning out on the freeway at 80mph thinking your going to die.

63

Everyone hating on the LS swaps but suggesting archaic dinosaur engines lol

64

For real, probably because they're personally using them and nothing justifies a purchase like insulting someone else online.

65

For me this is still the Z to beat http://www.speedhunters.com/2018/01/the-purists-fairlady-z/. If money played no part I would have this in a heartbeat! Just saying, everyone has a different aspect of perfect. I think the word perfect is used too much in my humble opinion.

66

I completely agree! I bet there are at least 60 people saying "perfect" right now across the world...maybe even more! Disgusting!!!

67

I don't think the word perfect is digusting. I just think the term is overused and gets thrown out left/right a litle too easy. Anyway this is just my opinion ;)

68

very nice car i love the spoiler , also top photos

69

all the people complaining about swaping V8s in Z cars need a history lesson..companies like scarab have been swapping ford and chev V8s in Z cars since the day they rolled of the assembly line, at least here in the united states, sure a more period correct 327 or 302 swap would make the car more appealing to my eyes, but dropping an LS is no different from dropping an RB if u are restomodding IMHO

70

Yep! Great chassis, more horsepower...why not?

71

Id still pick my triple mikuni l28 over this piece of shit.

72

I bet your whip clowns this piece of shit...right? What a heap!

73

I'm very sorry to have upset you.

74

i get it ..u like ur car period correct, so do i, nothing wrong with that, but why is there so much hate around swapping LS motors into cars that didn't come with that motor?? i mean why don't purists loose their shit when people swap 2JZs and RBs into cars that did not come with that motor?? if anything the hate is one sided ..when a mustang shows up with a 2J swap, it get's nothing but praises, but an LS in something japanese is just wrong

75

Do u have any info on the been no setup for the brakes. I have heard of willwood upgrades but nothing ever from been no.

76

Love how the spoiler looks! The hinges are custom made or you can buy them somewhere? :)

77

I'm glad you said it Trevor!

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