M3 V8 in a Custom 240Z: Classic Style, Epic Power

BMW Engine Powers Classic Sports Car.

A Datsun 240Z with a BMW engine swap could unsettle traditionalists, yet that is what is brought before us. Even though it isn’t nearly as out-there as the electrically modified 240Z, when you open up the bonnet you become aware of the immense consideration and effort gone into the car.

David Fettell is the proprietor of this venture, with other vehicles in his collection being equipped with a carbureted V8 motor. Though, it’s his 240Z that’s unique due to its fuel-injected engine.

The notion of the project began when Fettell attended a BMW advanced driver training, feeling enamored by the maneuverability and engine capabilities of the E46 M3. Thereupon, he considered the option of installing the BMW motor into a vintage automobile.

Datsun 240Z restoration with M Power | fullBOOST

The 240Z frame and BMW motor arrived for the assembler nearly in tandem. The Datsun substratum emerged to them at a sensible expense from a companion who had already prepared the car by chemically removing the paintwork.

As opposed to the 240Z chassis, the BMW engine holds a complicated tale. To kick off his project, Fettell acquired two M3 motors (a 3.0 and a 3.2), full with suspension, differential and gearbox. From the non-American E36-gen BMW M3, he decided to employ the 3.2-liter S50B32 double Vanos motor. He held on to the ZF 5-shift from the 3.0-liter motor since it fit more accurately in the original transmission tunnel of the 240Z.

Changing the mechanical components of their vehicle was a straightforward operation for Fettell, yet difficulty arose when it came to the electrical system. He solved this by obtaining a suitable ECU and key that allowed the engine to run efficiently. Additionally, a custom-crafted power steering rack was required as the original BMW one wouldn’t fit.

The powerplant, mated with a specially-configured exhaust, churns out approximately 321 hp, almost comparable to an LS1’s capability. In terms of modifications for optimised handling, the 240Z is complete with MCA coilovers, R33 GT-ST front brakes, R31 Skyline rear brakes, differential with an LSD and a 3.54 ratio at the last stage.

As close to the original design as possible, the interior of the 240Z has been preserved. However, installation of a fiberglass center console and Velo racing seats makes up for any losses; these chairs are more narrow than the originals and offer better support. The dashboard has also been refurbished to include unique gauges.

As the various components unite, this endeavour necessitates an extra-close inspection of the lesser points of the construction. The end product is a car that exudes equilibrium and has analogous origins to the contemporary Nissan Z. While it’s not overly flamboyant, this vehicle should offer a gratifying ride through its harmony and responsiveness.


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