Project Pumpkin Patch

1977 280Z (Pumpkin Patch)


The Spec

Body: Big bumpers removed. Non-vented hood.
Engine: Stock L28.
Fuel Setup: Datsun Spirit ITB
Exhaust: JDM Header + 2.5″ stainless steel custom exhaust
Transmission: 280ZX 5spd
Differential R200 3.54 (Stock)
Exhaust: JDM Header & 2.5” Stainless steel exhaust system
Wheels: Enkei 92 mesh 14×7
Tires: Dunlop 225/50-14
Interior: Stock.

What’s the story with this car?

The car used to belong to a local High school as their Auto Mechanics class subject. Since my purchasing it, the car earned a moniker, Pumpkin Patch. The car has some superficial rust, and it doesn’t look too impressive or very presentable, but where it counts is structurally very sound, and this car is quite lovable. Pumpkin Patch, at the time of purchase, had some funky issues–it used to randomly cut out and then not start up again for days, but other times, the car ran great like there was nothing wrong.

Before. Neglected engine bay picture.

So what did you do to the car?

At first, basically almost everything in the engine bay was removed and replaced. While at it, EGR and some other irrelevant apparatus were removed and the engine bay was scrubbed. The car was then put on a dyno, to establish the baseline.

After the engine bay semi-restored with the non-EGR EFI setup


Then what happened?

The car was being used as a daily driver with the above “semi-restored” engine bay setup for a year. Then the car became the guinea pig to help us develop and perfect the Datsun Spirit ITB fuel injection system.

And now with the ITB setup
Eiji and Gregg spent several months setting up, adjusting, and revising the hardware setup as well as tuning the car. The car now feels more powerful and it idles much better.

We got 164.7hp and 162.8FtLb on the very same Dyno Dymanics dynamometer. (*No modification to the engine.)

Compared  to the baseline (stock configuration), the HP improved from 129.6 to 164.7hp (35.1hp or 27% increase) and the torque from 136.9FtLb to 162.8FtLb (25.9FtLb or 19% increase). Not too shady for pure peripherals upgrade on a bone stock L28 engine. Although the car now feels more powerful, the engine still revs quite heavily pretty much like that of a stock 280Z (naturally!), so it doesn’t give too much of a “sports car feel”. All things considered, it is our conclusion that doing the ITB upgrade is much more interesting and rewarding when coupled with our performance engines.

What is next?

The pumpkin Patch will be fully restored with the latest technology, and he will receive our STD engine.

By the way, we’ve done the same ITB setup on our Stage-III engine, and we are currently doing this on the Stage-II engine and the STD engine.