The question now was the best way to get a reliable rebuilt Datsun Z motor for the least amount of money. We turned again to ZCar.com for some forum advice. With some guidance from the gurus and our own research our choices came down to the following:
- Buy a complete rebuilt Datsun L28 block with N42 head, known as a “long block”. Both Motor Sport Auto and the Z Car Source sell these for about $2,100, plus a core charge of around $200. This means that you order your motor and then someone comes out and picks up your old block and head in exchange. This whole process would take around 6 weeks.
- Buy a rebuilt block and head from some outfit on eBay (I won’t mention any names here) for about $2,000. This is where the forums proved to be invaluable. When I asked about getting a motor from the company in question, many people told me that they were scammers. We probably dodged a bullet on that one.
- Take my Datsun block and head to a reputable local machine shop and have them rebuild it for me.
Based on input from an old hand on Zcar.com, we decided to find a local shop to rebuild it. The great news for us is that my son is in the local university automotive program and so had great contacts for tracking down the best local shops. We had decided to have our automatic transmission rebuilt at a machine shop specializing in auto transmissions, PRTC-Performance Racing Torque Converters, run by Gary Groves. Here we stumbled onto a gold mine. As it turns out, Gary has been a renowned machinist in the racing community for many years and, because he thought our project sounded cool, he agreed to rebuild our motor also. Gary knows engines and transmissions and is providing us a rebuild designed to last for many years.