Race Car Modifications for the
Datsun 240Z including information
for a Ford V-8 Conversion

Written by Terry Oxandale

Radiator & Support

As with many modifications made to my Z, many of them are unnecessary if the car is being used on the street only. This area of radiator is one area in which an aftermarket 4-row radiator replacing the stock Z radiator would be wholly sufficient to cool the 5 liter Ford V-8. And even if you choose to use a larger aluminum radiator to save weight, you could still modify the existing Z core support to mount this type of radiator. But I, not only am racing this car, but I have extensively modified the body, and in so doing I needed to mount the radiator at a different attitude from the stock one.

I built a flow-through hood design, similar to the old Ford Daytona coupe and the Ford GT40 hood. The air, upon exiting the radiator, is diverted up through the hood, and over the top of the car. In order to accomplish the aesthetically pleasing look, I needed to move the top of the radiator forward in order to provide enough room to cut an opening in the hood and still make it look "right". Being the stock Z core support is mounted vertically with many spot welds, I chose to remove the stock core support completely, and replace it with one fabricated from 3/4" square tubing, which was then welded onto the sheet metal sides of the front of the engine bay. To shore up the end of the frame rails where they connected to the stock Z core support, I welded a length of 1" X 2" rectangular steel tubing onto the ends of the frame rails to tie the two rails together, and strengthen the front end of the car and swaybar area. I then attached the radiator to the new support via several threaded bosses welded to the new support in which to attach the radiator holds. I have found that as long as I maintain a minimum speed of 20 mph, and keep the full stops to less than about a minute, I have no need for a radiator fan (this is really quite easy to do when all you use the car for is to race.....and race fast!).


Power Plant Radiator & Support T-5 Transmission Information
Ford Drive Shaft Half Shaft Modifications Differential Change
Z-to-ZX Brake Update Brake Master Cylinder Caster Changes
Steering Rack Strut Modifications Custom Sway Bars
Aluminum Differential Upright Weights Costs

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This page last updated 23 September 1997.
Problems? Suggestions? email Michael S. White at mswhite@sos.net