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180sx Vh45

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basically it started when i got my ca tuned again and it got 225kw and on the way home started making tapping nosies at part throttle and lost power, when i got home an hour later it looking like i had done a main bearing. after riding around in GTRseans R32 all of these years i was getting sick of torque of the ca, as a joke i said "why don't i just put a v8 in it." and sean sugested that he's up for a challenge and if i organised the engine and equipment he would help me with the making of engine mounts and all the unforseen things. after a few visits to MRC who is putting a twin turbo VH45 in his R31 and lucky enough had a stock vh45 and auto gear box that had just been put in a 300zx, and doing a few measurements to make sure we fit between the rails i had an engine and gearbox sitting in my garage and a ca18det with no where to go (ps pulling apart and selling)

the following pictures are of sean and me test fitting the v8. we are currently ( by we i mean sean) trying to complete the custom bell housing to suit the 300zx manual gearbox i bought for it.






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Yep, keep the money rolling in to gets bits and pieces and I'll keep going lol.

Plenty of research done before we got the engine.....youtube, american sites etc.

Also liasing with engineer on rules and regs to keep it fully legal.

Needs extractors bad!



Next things to do will be:

Remove auto bush from crank and fit a spigot bearing.

Fit up a flywheel and clutch and measure up bellhousing.

Chop/Change bellhousing flange to suit v8 bolt hole pattern.

temp fit eng and gearbox to make engine mount brackets/clearancing.

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gotta love the wacky conversions.

i got my inspiration for my turbo x-trail from a similar LS1 conversion into a 180.

cant wait to hear/see the outcome!

good luck fellas!

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Cheers guys, we'll see how we/I go....

Dirt... the engine was out of an infinity G50 Q45 and is a 1994 or so model as far as we know.

Engine has VVT so it's before 1995.

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I'm putting one of these in my Z32 hardtop. Click the link in my sig if you wanna look :sick:

How are you going with the alternator clearance? Most of the US guys have to notch their chassis to get it to clear. Mazworx offer a full conversion kit, gearbox adapter (Z32), mounts for motor and gearbox, extractors (LHD though) and driveshaft. About $2k US.

Here are some piccies for inspiration: GS14Racers from Nico




This is a drifters car in Canada, not bad :D



Quick vid: Clicky

And here is a few of mine for good luck :rofl2:


My mounts, beefy!


I've binned the air con and power steering, just knocked the seals out of the rack and sealed up the old fluid ports. Got a heap of goodies for it, 1.5way diff, Tein's, adjustable everythings, Recaro's, 4 point welded cage etc etc. Also got a truck turbo that should work nicely, just have to mount the alternator up in the V to make it fit.

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I got 2 motors at about $1500 each, they have gone up in price over the last year or so, used to see halfcuts going at $1.5K. I'm using a Z32 5 speed, which go for between $300 and $1200 depending on who you know :) The VH only came with a auto box, and no manual will directly bolt up. I got one of 5 prototype adaptor plates from the states.

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yeah, paid about 2k for mine. using a Z32 gearbox and getting an adapter plate made for it which will be recessed into the gearbox housing so we don't have to run a spacer on flywheel. the engine mounts from the pics above are similar to the ones we are getting from UAS and we will modify them to suit the position we want the engine.

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That's gonna be a nice Z!!

Pulled the bellhousing off the Z32 gearbox and brought it in to get machined down to suit the adapter plate. The gbox will sit flush with the block so there will be no need to space out the spigot bearing, flywheel etc.

Picked up the engine mounts today that we will be using. Got em from UAS.


Pulled the starter motor and aircon compressor off the engine as they will not be used.

Price to get all new chain guides (around 8 in total), seals, waterpump etc is around $1k!!

Thats as far as I have got with it, until I get the bellhousing back anyways.

Engine brackets will be fabricated soon.

Also the block will need to be notched to allow the starter motor nose to clear, see pic of Marks setup.


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I got 2 full sets of non-OEM timing chains, seals, metal backed guides etc for $550 delivered from the US when the dollar was nearly 1 for 1.

Got mine started today, it's a bit noisy :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Noisy.... as in no exhaust?!!! lol

Luck you got em at a reasonable price due to the dollar.

Well, so for now I'm just sorting and cutting out the 180sx ecu wiring, and keeping the power, fuel pump wiring etc.

A problem I've had so far is sourcing VH45DE ecu wiring harness pinout codes, mainly power supply etc.

I worked out a couple but will have to chase the rest sooner or later.

Here's a guide I'm making for the VH45DE:


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Just read your conversion thread and I must say, it's looking great! Takes lots of hours, I know!

The wiring link was very helpful, and I'm sure I have 95% of the wiring covered now!

Here it is!! Glad I played with electronics a lot.


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  • 2 weeks later...

makes me want to put an RB26 in my mums territory!

Lol, I think a turbo xr6 or typhoon engine conversion would suit it better?? :P:P

Still waiting on bellhousing to get machined, so that engine can be lined up to mounts etc, as well as timing chain guides etc to be replaced.

Harmonic balancer was a pain to remove, ie the bolt was tight. So I went to bunnings and bought a 300nm electric rattle gun. Worked a treat!!

Then used a puller, wd40, and it came off sweet.

Cracked open the front timing cover and a cam cover. I must say it was spotless in there, so it's a very clean and well serviced engine.

Pic taken of cams etc, it wasn't touched for the camera lol.

Also pulled intake manifold off. Fair few pipes down there!

Steel plates were cut up and drilled to match the engine mount points. These will be finished once engine is positioned and set in desired spot.



More to come soon....

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Those crank pulleys are done up real tight for a good reason. The oil pump is chain driven from the crank, but the sprocket on the crank is not keyed like the timing chain sprockets. Make use torque it up to the recommended values. I think it's about 270 ft/lb. Apparently it can cause issues if it' done up too tight too, have a search on NICO, heaps of info there.

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