TrailblaZing: A Z32 with the heart of Godzilla

TrailblaZing: A Z32 with the heart of Godzilla

Photography by John Bazay (@johnbazay)


These days there is an aftermarket swap kit available for just about every combination of engine and chassis. Most of the time, your wildest Frankenstein dreams are just a swap kit away from turning your chassis of choice into the dream vehicle of your choosing with whatever power plant you desire. The often under-appreciate heroes of these kits are not the manufacturers of the kits themselves, but the legends who came before them, and swapped an engine into an unfamiliar chassis without a bolt-in solution. Lebs Hadi is one of those legends.

05 lebs hadi 1992 nissan 300zx z32 pasmag

The 1992 Nissan 300ZX you see before you is the result of more than 15 years of ownership and numerous different iterations. When Hadi originally picked up his Z32, the car was a completely stock naturally aspirated model. Because he was choosing between a Toyota Supra and the 300ZX, he quickly found the NA engine to be lacking what he was after, so a twin-turbocharged version of Nissan’s VG30 went under the wood. As that engine became too expensive and difficult to chase higher horsepower numbers with, he sourced the infamous RB26DETT from an R33 Skyline GT-R, and got to work.

Unfortunately for Hadi, he left his engine in the hands of not one, but two shops that left him unsatisfied with the results. Thankfully, after some patience and time, he found the right people for the job, and his Skyline heart transplant was bolstered top to bottom with a big single top-mounted Precision Turbo 6266 turbocharger, Kelford 272 cams, a GReddy intake manifold, Tomei head gasket, ARP head studs, and a Future Fab exhaust manifold. E85 Flex Fuel delivery is handled by a Walbro 452 fuel pump and some 1700cc injectors from Injector Dynamics. Coupled with some cooling goods, managed by an AEM Performance Electronics V2 stand-alone, and dressed up in Boost Candy custom titanium components throughout the engine bay, the RB26 is looking fantastic and making a healthy 620 horsepower at the rear wheels on a safe tune.

11 lebs hadi 1992 nissan 300zx z32 pasmag

Of course, getting that power from crank to rear wheels is another story altogether. Thankfully for Hadi, the RB26 bell housing is able to connect to the Z32’s 5-speed transmission after some slight modification. A custom tube chassis front end was fabricated with some integrated engine mounts that allow the RB to sit considerably lower than McKinney off-the-shelf engine mounts would. Not only does this allow a lower center of gravity, but installing and removing the RB from this point on would become significantly easier with more room and better front support thanks to the tubular front end.

With intentions to keep his build as well-rounded as possible, Hadi employed Tein Flex coilovers to bring ride height down to ground level with Tein’s Electronic Dampening Force Controller to adjust on the fly. SPL control arms in the front and rear, as well as a Stillen rear strut bar, keep handling abilities up to date, while a Ksport big brake kit with 8-piston front and 6-piston rear calipers provide stellar stopping power. Carefully chosen components in all areas are a result of Hadi taking pride in being the type of person who doesn’t cut corners or cheap out on his projects.

10 lebs hadi 1992 nissan 300zx z32 pasmag

At ground level, a period correct set of Volk Racing GT-S wheels measuring 19x8 and 19x10.5 in the front and rear respectively, wrapped in some sticky yet streetable Nitto NT555R tires, 245/35/19 up front, and 285/30/19 in the rear. Finished in a beautiful satin black, the Volk wheels lend themselves to the car’s stealth fighter jet appearance quite well. With a combination of new and old aero additions and customized body components, the overall look of the dark gray Z32 is a subtle masterpiece.

08 lebs hadi 1992 nissan 300zx z32 pasmag

In the front of the car, immediately noticeable is a very special front fascia - a one-off customized Stillen GTZ-R2 front end, which sets the tone for the period correct look throughout the car’s exterior. Wings West side skirts and a customized Wings West rear bumper made to fit the angled HKS Ti exhaust continue that theme from front to back. Finishing off the rear with an aggressive touch is a Veilside rear trunk spoiler which gives off some real wangan racer vibes, an ethos this car certainly echoes between its heavy-hitting power and subtle-yet-aggressive style.

15 lebs hadi 1992 nissan 300zx z32 pasmag

Being a well-rounded, road-going monster, this isn’t just another crazy powerful car with a gutted interior. Instead of ripping out everything on the inside, Hadi opted for fiberglass doors and audio bezels to shave weight. Sparco racing seats keep both Hadi and his passenger comfortable and snug, and carbon fiber accents include triple gauge A-pillars on both sides, and a carbon fiber shift knob. In the back half, a full JL Audio sound system using an Alpine in-dash DVD head unit as a source. That’s right - this machine is just as much “show” as it is “go.”

06 lebs hadi 1992 nissan 300zx z32 pasmag

Lebs Hadi's 1992 Nissan 300ZX is featured in PASMAG Tuning Essentials: Performance Vol. 7. Click Here to order.


ESSENTIALS

Owner: Lebs Hadi
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Vehicle: 1992 Nissan 300ZX
Engine: Nissan RB26DETT 2.6L Twin-Turbocharged I6
Horsepower: 620 whp

SOCIAL

Facebook: /lebs.hadi
Instagram: @lebshadi

ENGINE

  • RB26DETT engine swap
  • Precision Turbo dual ball bearing 6266 turbocharger
  • Kelford 272 cams
  • Future Fab exhaust manifold
  • GReddy (intake manifold, FMIC)
  • Injector Dynamics 1700cc injectors
  • AEM V2 stand-alone engine management
  • Tomei head gasket
  • ARP head studs
  • Tial wastegates/BOV (2)
  • Walbro 452 fuel pump
  • E85 Flex Fuel system
  • Bell radiator
  • Koyo 19-row oil cooler
  • Wire tuck
  • Boost Candy custom (titanium bay, titanium strut bar, titanium overflow tank, titanium battery tray, titanium turbo housing shield)
  • Chasing Js titanium oil cap

EXHAUST

  • HKS 3.5-inch exhaust
  • Custom carbon titanium exhaust tip
  • Electronic exhaust cut-out

WHEELS / TIRES / BRAKES

  • Volk Racing GT-S wheels - 19x8 (f), 19x10.5 (r)
  • Nitto NT555R tires - 245/35/19 (f), 285/30/19 ®
  • KSport BBK (8-piston front calipers, 6-piston rear calipers)

CHASSIS / SUSPENSION

  • Tein Flex coilovers
  • EDFC setup
  • SPL (upper front control arms, lower front control arms, lower rear control arms)
  • Stillen rear strut bar
  • Tube chassis front end

EXTERIOR

  • Stillen custom GTZ-R2 fascia
  • Wings West (carbon fiber side skirts, custom rear fascia)
  • Veilside rear spoiler
  • Bomex carbon fiber hood
  • Custom air guide w/ Zkyline logo
  • Infamouz Custom Designz lower skid plate

INTERIOR

  • Fiberglass (doors, rear enclosure, audio bezel)
  • Carbon fiber triple gauge A-pillars
  • Corbeau white racing seats
  • Grey suede interior trim
  • Carbon fiber shift knob
  • JDM (polished door sills, red stitched shift boot, red stitched e-brake boot)

AUDIO / MOBILE ELECTRONICS

  • Alpine in-dash DVD head unit
  • JL Audio (3-way door speakers, 4-inch rear speakers, tweeters, W6 10-inch subwoofers (2), 1000/1 sub amplifier, 450/4 component amplifier, wiring)
  • Rockford Fosgate 1 Farad capacitor
  • Kinetic Energy extra battery

SPONSORS

  • Extreme Wheels
  • OzBraz
  • Elite Automotive Finishes
  • Elite Towing
  • TBK Photos
  • Aerial Exposure AZ
  • Boost Candy

PHOTO GALLERY

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