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Thread: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

  1. #1

    Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    The Nissan Leopard seems to always be overlooked inthe USA. It remains my favorite "Infiniti" to this day. Here in Japan you could get one with a turbo engine in the ULTIMA option. It can make a great drifter. I know drifting is slowly becoming more popular in the USA. I have a magazine with a Leopard (M30) with an SR20 swap in it. Damn fast. You can also swap in an RB26 with an RB25 tranny if you wanted to go all out. The SR20 would be enough though.

    So, am I alone in my love for the M30? Anyone else notice how cheap these cars are and what they can do? Hell of a sleeper.

  2. #2

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    I've never seen an M30 in person. Edmunds has some nice pics, but really, pics on the internet are hard to find too. Post Leopard/M30 pics here as you find them.

  3. #3

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    Once I get a scanner I'll try and post some pics. You know, I really don't know why people over look these cars in the US. But, they are also rare here too. But, at least in the USA, you can get a "ratty" M30 for under $3000 (I've seen much less at times on AUTOTRADER) and get an SR20 for less than $2000 (if you shop around), much less if you have connections. You can also get an RB26 chep if you have Japanese connections.

    If you are a mechanic or at least mechanically inclined, many parts for the 300Z will also fit the M30. It won't make much of a drag car, but then again its a Japanese car and thus actually designed to perform. But, it will make one hell of a drifter or "grip" too.

    When I eventually return to the USA, I plan on getting one and doing just sort of this thing. I want an off-white one soooooo bad. Put a suspension and an RB26 (with an RB25 tranny) or even an SR20 in that thing! People just wouldn't know what hit 'em and it would be thrilling to drive everytime.

  4. #4

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    M30 was launched with Infiniti... neither the car nor the name were big sellers here then you know.

  5. #5

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    I know. It was very overpriced for what it was. However, today they can be had on the cheap. If I were still in America (and when I still was), I just don't understand the facination with Hondas and specifically Civics. For less than the price of a Civic, you can get a RWD platform that can easily be upgraded and can absolutely outperform the Civic in every way possible dollar for dollar.

    You can get an Autotrader M30 for less than $3000, but lets make it $3000 anyway. Scour EBAY and you can get an RB26 engine for $2500 (expensive as hell! if you shop you can do better....MUCH better) or even an SR20. The SR20 would probably be better due to better support and you'll need an RB25 tranny for the RB26. I can get an RB25 tranny for $250 here, and maybe you guys would have to shop more online.

    But, so far in parts alone we are up to only say $6000. The RB26 pumps out over 280hp stock (every car dynoed is different and all have been over 280hp, even if only by a little) And, its RWD. Say, you wanted to spend $10,000 just like the Honduh kiddies do on @ss body kits and APC crap. For $4000 you can easily upgrade the suspension, exhaust, everything else to make the car better.

    I grew up in a little backwards town of about 8500 people. but, we have 7 salvage yards, so if one really is a car guy one can shop around for an M30 with say a blown engine for about $1000. I've seen them. That knocks out a lot of money and the motor will be replaced anyway.

    I'm not into impressing other people and thats why I don't care about new cars or what other people think about me. if you are into tuning cars, salvage cars would be the way to go. If you are doing all of or at least some of the work, you can save a whole lot of cash. Even if you are paying a shop to do things for you, you can get a 350hp+ RWD car can be tuned like hell and take on more expensive and prestigous cars.

    There is a guy in Texas with a Supra TT engine in a Lexus SC300 (really just a Toyota Soarer) where he takes down many unsuspecting competitors. An SR or RB powered M30 could do the same. And, if I were still in the US, I'd definately be looking into one and asking my frineds to help me out with parts.

    Going the Honduh way is lazy and played out. People go for style over substance when better can be had for cheaper. Thats why you just don't see many (any often times) tuned Hondas over here. FWD????

  6. #6

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    didn't the m30 have a switch to change the feel of the suspension? also what engine did it have? I'm guessing the vg30 that was in the z.

  7. #7

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    Yes, it does have a switch to adjust the ride. I thought it was crap myself. And, the American version had the NA vg30 engine that was in the 300ZX prior to 1989. Japanese version Leopards got the turbo in the "Ultima" package.

    Me? Just rip off the factory ride and replace them with bilsteins and do the SR20 swap. Looked at a 180SX this morning with an SR20 and I can say that would make a nice swap to the M30. So would the RB20, but just go all out with the RB26

    A friend of mine has an R31 Skyline and its very similiar to the 300Z (pre-1990) chassis wise and he starts an RB26 swap Monday! Man it will be a beast!!!! Would be the smae with the M30.

  8. #8

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    I would just plop the Z31 T engine in there, I believe that was the home market engine for the Leopard. that engine, in junkyard trim is like $300. it would be a cool sleeper (vert too).

  9. #9

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    Saw my first M30 a few hours ago! Clean, conservative, definitely Nissanic styling. The car was parked at the supermarket...

    I saw an M30 today, therefore I am!

  10. #10

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    I have come to find out that I can get an RB20 engine up on the main Okinawa island for under $200. The more I think about it, the more I am considering buying an engine here, sending it home, and having it built back in the states.

    They can be good for 400hp+ and that is more than enough power in a car like the M30/Leopard. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, I'm getting a Skyline R32 GTS-4, but its a project I will keep in the back of my mind for later.

    An RB20 powered M30 would be one hell of a sleeper!

  11. #11

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    The m30 resembles that of a stanza, and only 2500 coupes were made. So an m30 is rare as it is.

  12. #12

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    I'd like to see verification as the M30 had a 3 year model run. They are not that rare.

  13. #13

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book will tell you that the model years are 1990, 1991, 1992. Yes, they look like Stanzas. Wow, 2500 coupes, and I saw one of them.

  14. #14

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    I had no idea they were that rare. I've seen several in the USA, so many so that I can't imagine that number to be correct. Oh well, I'm still considering getting an RB20 and shipping it back later. Maybe someone else will recognize the M30 and make a nice project out of one. They aren't expensive....and you can kill the Honda kiddies who think they are the king sh]t in their FWD Civics.

  15. #15

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    2500 coupes
    2500 convertables
    5000 total ever produced in us

    i seen one with 18's and hydrolics.
    pretty nice.

  16. #16

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    i test drove one in east Lansing Michigan it was ok the interior was ****ty i think the guy left the sun roof open in the rain the motor was sortof overworked but still nice

  17. #17

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    Oh, stock I would agree they were very mediocre. I still liked them though, but never thought they were worth the money. I asked Infiniti at the time for some information on the M30 and they sent me magazines, color charts, test data, a whole packet that weighs about 6lbs! Always respected Nissan for treating people so well.

    Anyway, I am mainly referring to now. M30s can be found really cheap. They share a lot in common with the Z31 so performance upgrades are available. Take out the factory seats and replace them with Recaro ones, replace the suspension, wheels/tires, remove that AT and do an SR20/RB20 engine swap with 5 speed. Its a RWD car, and I can pretty much guarantee that what you spend on actual performance for your car will not be much (if any) more than what ricers spend on APC crap.

    I never bought the M30 as a luxury coupe, it never seemed that luxurious to me. So, if you have less than $10,000 to spend, why buy a FWD Civic when you can get a RWD Nissan Leopard with a 350hp+ turbocharged engine? If I still lived inthe USA, this is definately one project I would consider.

    Oh, you can also do a GTR RB26 engine swap with an RB25 tranny, but thats a lot more expensive and a whole hell of a lot of power to just two wheels. My friend is completing an RB26 swap in his R31 Skyline and that monster puts out 800hp! Thats too much for me to only two wheels. Thats why half that would be enough for daily drivability....IMOHO.

  18. #18

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    is it a straight swap for a sr or rb? Or would you have to fabricate (ie. move motor and tranny mounts)?

  19. #19

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    I think that'd it be a straight swap for RB becausein Japan didnt they have a limited edition Z31 with a RB25 or somthing like that? correct me if I'm wrong. Also, is there a nice enough aftermarket following for the M30 in Japan for there to be plenty of parts to do suspension work and maybe a nice widebody kit?

  20. #20

    Re: Why is it that no one considers the M30?

    That sounds about right. My friend who is getting the 800hp RB26 swap into his R31 told me this:

    The R31 and Z31 share a great deal in common under the skin. The Leopard and the Z31 also share a lot in common under the skin. The M30 uses the Z31 engine and the RB20 is a direct swap into the R31 Skyline and the Z31. Since the Leopard uses the same configuration as the Z31, then the RB20 should be a direct bolt in. This is what I have been told by people working on Nissans for over the last 7 years.

    Now, an RB25 or an RB26 engine swap would require some modifications. Don't know what those would be though.

    As for the suspension and other items, just buy parts for the Z31 and they should directly bolt onto the M30. I really hope someone does this. Not right now, because I'm looking to buy a certain R32 GTS4 next week, but I will probably buy an RB20 up on the main island, crate it up, send it home, and have it built back in Tennessee to put into an M30. Maybe I'll let my brother drive the car until I get back. I think it would make an interesting project, be an excellent sleeper, and if the job was clean enough, it would be different enough to warrant magazine coverage.

    I would so want an M30 if I were still in the USA...that or a yellow 1998 Mustang Cobra! Both are bad ass.


    As for body kits? Yes, there are some body kits but I don't recal any "wide body" kits being sold. A good body shop can custom you fender flares or flare out hte whole fender like on GTRs. But, I have seen some nice clean Leopards here, and I think all you would need in the convertible wing and new front bumber to look good. I'll post pics when I can.

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