The Carbon Z

When plans change for the better

Within the last five years the 240z has begun to make a strong comeback amongst enthusiasts. In some ways, it can be considered as the Japanese muscle car.

Shawn (@shawnb26 on IG) was originally planning on a simple restoration of a 240z, nothing too crazy. He went and found a Z on craigslist for $1100 and just wanted to restore and enjoy a classic Z. Upon further inspection of the car it became apparent that he got what he paid for, there was rust and signs of age EVERYWHERE, in fact, there was so much rust that some panels you could stick your hand through.

At one point the Z was just a barely caged shell with new tubs, floor, firewall, and mounts.

As Shawn from got deeper into the build, he realized the car was going to essentially need to be rebuilt from the ground up. With that being said, plans changed to an all-out race car with a tube frame and an LS1 swap.

The LS Motor looks at home in the large engine bay of the Z

Since this is the “Japanese muscle car” and he only originally wanted 400whp, an LS1 motor would be more than enough for his needs. 400hp from an LS motor is next to nothing to pull off, in fact a junkyard motor can easily pull this off with a cam and some breather mods on pump gas. After a bit of searching, he managed to source a motor for a mere $350 and the build began.

For a more in depth look into this build from the restoration, fabrication, motor build and everything else; check out the website.

The only downside to LS motors is that they generate heat and a lot of it. Cooling down an LS and KEEPING temperatures under control is not an easy task by any means, and it shows with the recent generations of the Corvette Z06 LT4 motors overheating so easily.

Airflow on the C6.R race car showing the function of the hood exits and aero.

Taking some inspiration from the Legendary Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT2, Shawn and his buddy mocked up a rather ingenious angled tube frame/angled radiator support and hood vent system to scoop hot air out of the engine bay and travel along the roof line and wing in order to not only keep hot air out of the engine bay, but also generate more downforce. Cooling + Aero in the same package.

Mounting locations of the CSF R1 Radiator and Oil Cooler

Being a car that showed signs of age and with a much larger motor than before, the Z needed a cooling system that was not going to fail. With plans of doing various race events and track days, including Pike’s Peak, coolant and oil temps needed to be kept as low as possible.

In order to keep coolant temps down Shawn decided to go with the CSF Competition Racing R1 Radiator.

So what makes this radiator so much better than the competition?

  • Dual row, Triple Pass Radiator core
  • Designed for angled race mount set ups
  • Black Thermal Coat to prevent heat soak even more!
  • Comes standard with AN fittings for a more secure and race oriented coolant hose system.
  • CSF exclusive B-Tube Technology

And for the oil cooler, the CSF BOSS Oil Cooler was used.

Here are a few key highlights on this flyer about why he chose the CSF cooler over the others available:

In addition to the mounts for the cooling components, the suspension mounts were brand new with the tube frame, almost every piece of this car was chopped and redone.

The tube frame is unique for a few reasons:

  • The radiator is mounted in such a way to work directly with the hood vents
  • The front support is removable
  • There are structural supports for the intake system (positioned in front of radiator)
  • There are also structural supports for the oil cooler to mount directly underneath.

Due to clearance issues, Shawn and Kyle relocated the coolant inlet and outlet on the CSF Competition Racing R1 Radiator.

Kyle Kuhnhausen (@KCKUHNHAUSEN on IG) from Oregon was responsible for the design of the aero and ducting for the intake, radiator, and oil cooler. 

The CSF R1 Race radiator and oil cooler were already up to the task of cooling everything down, now with the custom aero and ducting, keeping temperatures down should be a breeze. 

This massive splitter not only generates downforce but helps guide more cool air directly to the intake and CSF Radiator and oil cooler. 

The finished design, coated and all, at the 2018 SEMA Show.

Although the car was unfinished at SEMA, Shawn has gotten the car to start up and run recently and is almost finished with the build. The CSF team is excited to see how this car performs on the track after it has been tested and dialed in. 

For More info, please visit the links below on this incredible build. 

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