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1988 Nissan 300ZX

Sale price: $US $4,050.00 make an offer

Sale type: Fixed price listing

Technical specifications, photos and description:

Manufacturer: Nissan
Model: 300ZX
Year: 1988
Type: Coupe
Color: Gold
Mileage: 213,000
Engine: VH45DE
Transmission: Manual
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Interior Color: Brown
Vehicle Title: Clear
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1988 Nissan 300ZX for sale

Current customer rating: current rating for this car (2.1) based on 65 votes
1988 Nissan 300ZX Photo
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX
  • 1988 Nissan 300ZX

Hi. This is my 1988 300ZX (z31) with a VH45DE engine swap. We've had a lot of fun together but the time has come to move on to something new. I'm hoping to find someone who will appreciate her for what she is and wants to take her to the next level.

Here's a quick rundown of her modifications. More details below.

VH45DE V8 Engine Swap
Dry Sump Oil System
Stance Coilover Kit
Infiniti J30 Multilink Rear Suspension Swap including viscous limited slip diff
MR2 Electric Power Steering Pump
Aluminum Corvette Front Calipers and CTS Rotors
Rear Mount Miata Battery
3" Mandrel Bent Exhaust with straight-through mufflers
ACT 6 Puck Sprung Hub Clutch
Maxima Electric Fans

Princess. as my friends jokingly call her. is currently sporting a 94-96 I nfiniti Q45 4. 5 liter V8 with a dry sump oil system. The VH45 is a dohc aluminum block v8 officially rated at 278hp and 294ftlb of torque. Most agree it puts out closer to 300hp. The long block was originally acquired from a junkyard but I've completely disassembled. cleaned. and reassembled it with a turned crank and new Clevite 77 bearings. As you can see from the photos the engine is very clean inside and out. The valve covers. intake runners. intake. throttle body. and many other parts have been powder coated. The block. heads. and intake manifold are stock. Modifications were made to the stock exhaust manifolds to fit between the frame rails and custom brackets have been made to relocate the accessories and provide room for the dry sump pump. The engine sits about as far back in the engine bay as possible with about two thirds of it sitting behind the front axles for good weight distribution.

The engine is controlled by the stock Q45 ecu which has been socketed and chipped. The stock VH engine harness was cleaned up and reworked to plug into the z31 body harness. The Nissan Consult plug is installed so Nistune software or any other Consult compatible diagnostic software with an adapter can be used to monitor the ecu. run tests. and reset codes.

The injectors are remans and the fuel pump is a Walbro 255LPH unit.

The engine starts right up and runs great but I should mention that she does surge a bit at idle while she relearns the idle settings after the battery has been disconnected.

Check out this short video to get an idea of what the engine sounds like. The whining sound is the dry sump pump but it's only audible because of where the camera is located.
450ZX at the Dragon
Driver's Challenge at ZFest 2013

Dry Sump Oil System
I originally decided to go with the dry sump oil system for two reasons. First. I wanted the motor to sit low enough in the car that I could use the stock hood without any visible modification. That was going to be difficult with a standard oil pan without either letting it hang below the car or cutting the capacity significantly. Second. I had plans to use the car for track days and auto-x so I wanted an oil system that would handle the turns. The dry sump scavenge pump also has the added benefit of pulling a slight vacuum in the crankcase which is supposed to help horsepower.

The current configuration consists of a modified Moroso 3 stage pump. modified E-Bay drysump tank. remote oil filter mount. modified crank pulley and custom crank pulley adapter. and a custom aluminum dry sump pan. The oil feed stage of the Moroso pump has been bypassed in favor of the stock VH45 pump so it's now strictly there as a suction pump to feed the oil from the pan back into the oil tank. The oil tank feeds directly to the stock VH45 oil pump through the a fitting on the pan. goes through the filter. into the engine. and then get's sucked out of the pan and put back into the tank by the two suction stages of the Moroso pump. There's a custom vacuum relief valve under the intake to limit crankcase vacuum and a tank breather hidden under the passenger side fender to catch oil/water vapor. The system holds about 10 qts of 5w-30 oil.

The transmission is a 1988 300zx Turbo 5-speed. In order to mount the transmission to the VH45 the bell housing was machined down and an aluminum adapter plate was welded directly to it. Inside the bell housing you'll find a z32 RPS 250mm segmented aluminum flywheel and a 6 puck ACT sprung hub clutch. The stock VH45 engages the stock flywheel ring gear from the front so it occasionally takes a few turns of the key to get it to engage. but it always starts.

The front suspension consists of the stock spindles with the Stance Super Sport coilovers using the weld on mount. The upper mounts are pillow balls and also allow for camber adjustment. The control arm bushings and tension rod bushings are urethane.

The rear suspension has a swapped J30 multi-link rear suspension with Stance Super Sport coilovers and the stock viscous lsd. Custom mounting brackets were welded to the frame in the rear and the front of the subframe was modified to bolt to the stock z31 subframe bolts at the front. The parking brake works. The upper control arms have been replaced with Megan Racing aftermarket units and some of the bushings have been updated to urethane. Custom aluminum strut mounts attach the top of the rear coilovers to the stock shock mount location to give a few extra inches of height needed for the J30 rear end.

The Stance Super Sport coilover kit consists of 9k front springs. 7k rear springs. and 15 way adjustable shocks. The kit alone costs around $1000.

Power Steering
Due to the limited space in the engine bay I chose to go with an MR2 electric steering pump. The pump itself is hidden behind the driver's side fender and a custom fluid reservoir sits where the stock windshield washer reservoir would normally go. The pump is controlled by the stock MR2 pump controller and uses the stock speed sensor and an MR2 steering sensor to modulate speed. The pump slows down at higher speeds for better highway feel but a switch allows it run full out for autocross events. Overall it works quite well but it can stall out on occasion if you're doing extremely tight turns at slow speeds.

The stock front brakes have been replaced with Corvette dual piston aluminum calipers to allow for larger rotors and better/cheaper brake pad options. A solid aluminum bracket adapts the calipers to the stock spindle mounts. The rotors are from a Cadillac CTS and they're held on center by aluminum wheel adapters.

The rear brakes are the stock J30 rotors and calipers.

In order to make room in the engine bay and to get better weight distribution. the battery was relocated to the back left corner near where the antenna mounts. It consists of a stock size Miata AGM battery mounted to an aluminum frame and includes a battery cutoff switch for safety and theft deterrence. It's not a large battery but as long as it's kept healthy it has no problem starting the V8. It was last replaced September 2015 so it should be good for another 5 years.

The exhaust starts with the modified stock headers flowing into dual 2. 25" pipes that Y into a 3" straight through Ultra Flo muffler about where the stock cat would be. From there it's 3" pipe all the way back to another Ultra Flo muffler in the stock muffler location. All of the piping was pieced together using aluminized mandrel bends. The 2. 25" pipes are covered in heat wrap and the rest of the exhaust is painted with silver exhaust paint. The two straight-through mufflers allow for a nice tone at idle and not too much noise at WOT. You could easily replace one of the mufflers with a pipe if you prefer a bit more rumble.

Other Stuff
Maxima Fans and 300ZX Turbo dual core radiator: I wasn't sure they would keep the VH cool but they've proven to be up to the task. Tucked wiring: Engine bay wiring was tucked and moved into the fender frames to clean things up and make room for the possible future installation of turbos. Wheels: 17x9 Mustang Cobra replicas. The tires are Dunlop Direzza 255/40R17 Z1s but they will need to be replaced asap. Tire wear is quite even with only minor inner wear due to camber.

I have a ton of extra Z31 and VH45 parts that I've stockpiled over the years. The Z31 parts consist mostly of interior/exterior trim pieces. ac/heater parts. and smaller parts that it can never hurt to keep for spares. I also have a slightly damaged SS front lip. side skirts (not sure what year). and a fiberglass stock rear wing. As far as VH45 parts I have a about two long blocks worth of parts and all sorts of accessories (alternators. starters. injectors. an extra maf. etc). The best VH parts are already on the car so I kept them mostly for spares or in case I wanted to piece together another motor. The parts can be part of the deal if you're interested.

The body itself is very good shape for its age. There are a few dents and dings but nothing that wouldn't get fixed with a small amount of body filler during a repaint. The only accident that I'm aware of is a girl backing into the front left fender/wheel in a parking lot. I replaced the fender and did not find any frame damage. Other than the left front fender I believe all of the body panels are original and the frame is straight and undamaged. The frame rails themselves are dented in the usual spots where the car gets jacked up but they look better than the rails on most other Zs I've seen. The stock paint is still holding on but the bumper and left front fender are looking a bit rough. I'll admit to not taking the best care of the paint so it could definitely benefit from a clay bar and some wax. The only rust I know of is on the rear hatch near the bottom of the glass which seems to be quite common. I had originally planned to paint the entire car a 350z shade of gunmetal grey so I painted the engine bay before finishing the engine install. The engine bay paint is quite nice but there are some areas on the strut towers where the strut bolts chipped the paint. There's a also a very faint layer of powder coat dust that settled in some areas of the engine bay but it would probably come off with a light polish or clay bar.

Like the exterior. I think it's in pretty decent shape for its age and the mileage. It would probably benefit from a detailing by someone who knows what they're doing. As far as known issues; the foam backing on the seats is flaking off. the rear carpet has been replaced with outdoor carpet. and the center console is starting to flake a bit. The stock t-top shades are still intact and I even have the stock t-top bags. I believe all of the ac vents and the controls still work although the heater cock isn't hooked up and there's no ac so they don't get used much. The radio is Pioneer CD unit with a USB input and a remote. The speakers were replaced with aftermarket units but I can't remember the brand. The stock tool kit is still intact and the stock spare and canned air tank are still present.

In the interest of being up front there are a few things any potential buyer should consider. There is no ac and the heater water cock needs to be hooked up to a vacuum switch so it's really a fair weather vehicle. The stock alarm has been unplugged but should still work. The stock headlight motors will lift the headlights but not lower them (probably wiring). I don't think the reverse lights work. There is no catalytic converter so the car should officially be for "Off-Road use only". The stock center gauges have been pulled out but I have a mechanical oil pressure gauge and an electric vacuum gauge(not hooked up) in a custom gauge pod where the ash tray would normally go. As expected. the ride with the coilovers isn't as smooth as a stock 300zx. They're great for performance but if you want to cruise around you might consider swapping in softer springs.

Why I'm Selling:
Honestly. I'm just not into the car scene as much as I once was and I don't like the idea of her sitting around collecting dust. She really deserves a paint job and some interior work to get her looks to match her performance but I'm not motivated to make it happen at this point. I'd love to find someone who appreciates her for what she is and has the skill/money and motivation to build on what I've done.

I currently have the reserve set at $6000.

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