I thought I'd post a bit about my vh45de Z32 swap... I know this has been done dozens of times (maybe even hundreds) by nico members, but I think its cool to keep a log of completed work and share the experience with others. I have probably spent over 60 hours reading and researching the conversion before actually turning a wrench. Most of that time was spent reading the plethora of info here on Nico!
Here's my 1990 300zx n/a automatic pos... I got it in a trade. I've always wanted one, and have had a few 280z's in the family before.
After a brief adventure getting it home, I realized the engine situation was worse than I thought. Chatty vtc's, bad injectors and some smoke issues at idle... The obvious choice was to replace the engine with something more reliable AND more powerful! I scoured the web and found a Q45 about an hour from my house for $300, with a locked up motor. My plan was to tear down the motor and use the block for fabrication(oil pan/motor mounts), and get some of the fab work out of the way until I ran across a good engine, as well as getting the wiring harness ready. I picked it up and the fun began removing the engine... from under the car... because I'm special like that.
In hindsight, I recommend removing the engine from the top of the car... I just did it that way because I saw someone on Youtube do it that way, granted, they had a lift. The good news is that the engine wasn't actually locked up, just the starter, but I wouldn't find that out until after I tore it down, and my next purchase.
As luck would have it, I had to leave town for work a few days after I pulled the first engine, I jumped on craigslist and found a Q45 in running condition for $500 in Richmond, VA which is where I was headed to work. Two flat trailer tires, 4 ghetto fabulous rims and 23 hours later I was home and ready to tear into the Z!
This is only the 3rd engine I've ever pulled, but man it took forever. I would hate to work on a stock TT! Some people said it was necessary to pull the auto tranny off before removing the engine, but I had no problems. You just have to make sure the car is about 18" off the ground, and you have a jack to lift the oil pan/tranny over the crossmember before putting the full weight of the engine on the hoist. I found some serious issues with the steering components and rear end components of the Z. Whomever had this in the past ragged the poop out of it! I guess the giant NISMO sticker on the windshield and mismatched rims should have been a clue to stay away from this car.
Regardless, between the 3 cars I think I can get the Z back on the road by next summer.
I've decided to run the stock automatic q45 tranny, which is something I haven't seen done yet, but from what I hear shouldn't be that difficult, as its the same one that came in the n/a zx's, and is the same as was in my zx.
Next up is focusing on the motor mounts and harness wiring. To be continued...