Ford V8 to Datsun Z-Car Adapter Kit:
This is an adapter kit to allow you to install a small block Ford V8 into the early Datsun Z-Cars, such as a 240Z or 260Z.
The kit includes a motor mount cradle, rubber motor mounts, and a transmission mount. It is designed for a 289, 302, or 5.0 Ford V8. The motor should be configured with a Fox-body oil pan that has a rear sump, rear dipstick and compatible oil pickup. The Fox body pan and pickup can be purchased new from places such as Summit Racing, or you can source one from a salvage yard.
The engine cradle has been designed to fit between the frame rails of early Z-cars. It assumes that there is 24 ¾” between the rails, but is adjustable to accommodate widths of up to 25”. The cradle requires you to remove any retaining clips or obstructions on top of the frame rails, and to remove the original motor mounts from the Z-car front cross-member. The cradle is installed by drilling four holes in your Z-car for 7/16” bolts. Two of the holes are in the strengthened area of the frame just to the rear of the compression rods. The other two holes are through the cross-member. These four bolts securely mount the cradle to the car.
The transmission mount was originally designed for a Tremec 3350 transmission (a member of the T5 family), but can be used for other transmissions, either directly or with minor modifications. It is mounted to the floor under the car, just in front of the seats. The 3” by 3/8” thick steel transmission mount is under the car, and steel plates above the floor (and below the carpet) support the transmission mount. It is necessary to drill four 3/8” holes through the floor on each side of the hump to install the transmission mount.
This mounting system places the small block Ford motor low enough in the car so that standard (not high-rise) intake manifolds can be used. It may be necessary to make small indents in the firewall for the heads of the top bell-housing bolts. The factory hood release can stay in place.
280Zs are not completely compatible with this kit. The motor cradle assembly will install properly, but the transmission mount will not, so if you use this kit on a 280Z, be prepared to come up with your own transmission mount. Unfortunately, the kit is not offered without the transmission mount since these kits are fabricated as sets, and also because the transmission mount is an integral part of the packaging for the kit.
The mounting parts are fabricated from laser-cut steel stock, then powder-coated gloss black, and include the rubber motor mounts and the grade-5 and -8 bolts and nuts necessary for installation.
MotorMatch is available with on-line purchase. Shipping is $45 to anywhere in the United States via ground (FedEx or UPS, as selected by TechnoVersions). Sales tax must be collected for sales within Washington State. This shipping cost is typical, but if the actual cost is significantly less, the difference will be refunded to you.
Note: This may be the last batch of these units, so while we currently have at least several months inventory, they may not be available for an extended period of time.
Price - $365 + $45 shipping
I installed a small-block Ford V8 in my 240Z, and then wrote up how I went about it on my web-site. My thought was that it might be helpful information for others interested in the same project. I couldn’t understand why everybody put small-block Chevrolet motors into their Z-cars when the Ford motor is lighter and smaller then the Chevy motor (in fact lighter than the stock Z-motor), and the distributor is in the front so you don’t have interference with the firewall and hood latch. The motor can be mounted further to the rear, and also lower since it fits with the oil pan behind the front crossmember of the Z-car.
A number of people have run across the web-site, so I get emails asking if I would build the mounts for them. Even though I put the dimensions of the mount on my web-site, most people just don’t have the tools and equipment necessary to build them. So I decided that I would have a batch built, and then offer them on this site. This gets you to the point where the motor and transmission are bolted into the car, and the rest of the project can be done with equipment that is more readily available in the home shop. I built the kit from the dimensions of my 240Z, and don’t claim that it will fit, without modification, all variations of the Datsun Z-cars. Some modifying may be necessary, but you have a good start that should work as-built in most applications.
This is the web-site describing my Ford V8 conversion. You might find some useful information in it: Z8 Conversion - Small Block Ford in Datsun 240Z
If you are installing a V8 in your car, you should also purchase a copy of Datsun Z V-8 Conversion Manual from JTR publishing - this book, while dealing with Chevrolet V8 conversions, contains valuable information about Z-car modifications and V8 conversions, regardless of what type of motor. Some of the parts that they sell (such as for the cooling system) can also be used with a Ford conversion.