TMCP #299: David Carroll and his head turning, tire burning, corner hugging, LS3 powered Datsun 280Z!

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david carroll's 1978 Datsun 280z tearing up the track
David Carroll’s 1975 Datsun 280z tearing up the track (photo courtesy Terry Lysak


David Carroll on track
David Carroll on track

This weeks interview is with David Carroll, insurance broker by day, and mechanic entrepreneur by night. David has always been attracted to cars and even started wrenching at the very early age, on a power wheel Jeep. He attributes much of his love for speed to his adopted parents who owned a boat shop but would “race” on the way home by taking different routes and see who would get home first. He was surrounded by racing boats, dirt bikes and go carts as he grew up.

Ls engine in David Carroll's 280zx
Ls engine in David Carroll’s 280zx

David wanted to pick up a project that he could eventually swap an LS into and found this one on Craigslist. After dickering on the phone and checking it out a deal was struck and he was the owner of a 1975 Datsun 280z. It was an automatic car and he knew he eventually wanted a manual transmission. He was pleasantly surprised to find the pedal for the clutch and all the brackets already in the car for the conversion. David told me it was very easy to do the conversion and is enjoying the six speed very much.

At first David had an LS1 swapped in the Z but later found an LS3 to replace it with and is now pushing around 540 horsepower. He told me about the kit he used to install the LS and transmission into the Datsun and the updates he had to do to the car. A lot of the process is personal research and testing but the community of LS swapped Datsuns is getting bigger and more and more information is available on the internet. David said there seems to be more room in the car now after the swap than with the original engine.

Thanks for the interview David! See you at the races.

-Rob Kibbe



This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot
your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!



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