Project Cars

Project 350Z- Testing the AEM Induction Cold Air Intake

By Mike Kojima

In our last trip to the dyno, we tested  AEM's Short Ram intake on our 350Z.  We were surprised to find a small but definite power increase over another leading intake that was already on the car.  Since AEM makes a long runner Cold Air Intake as well as the Short Ram, we decided to test that as well as an interesting contrast between the two vastly different intake designs.


 

Project 350Z- Increasing Oil Capacity with Jim Wolf Technology

by Mike Kojima

We have been working on getting more power out of Project 350Z's VQ35DE engine in our latest series of articles.  With success coming bit by bit, we decided that we had to give the oiling system a little help.  Some 350Z's with highly modified suspension and sticky tires have suffered from engine oiling issues when driven on the track hard.  The oil had simply sloshed away from the pickup under hard cornering allowing the oil pump to suck air.  Since engine bearings are made of soft metal and depend on a hydrodynamic layer of pressurized oil to prevent damage, any interruption of oil pressure caused damage very quickly.


 

Project 350Z - Testing AEM's Short Ram Air Intake

by Mike Kojima

When we first got Project 350Z as a well used and beat up car, one of the mods the car came with was an Injen Cold Air Intake.  Since Injen intakes have a pretty decent rep we simply left in on the car.  However, when we installed the intake manifold spacer, we noted that the manifold was full of dirt and that our engine was a little low on compression for the amount of miles that it had.


 

Project 350Z - Testing Jim Wolf Technology C2 Camshafts

by Mike Kojima

So far we have tried some easy bolt ons like a manifold spacer, headers, high flow cats and exhaust on our 350Z all with good results.  Naturally at this point it is time to change camshafts to get more bolt on power out of our VQ35DE engine.  One thing that discourages many people from going this route is that changing cams on a VQ engine is quite a big job. Having two banks of cylinders and 4 cams is a lot of the reason.  It's not super hard technically but it requires at least a couple days of wrenching and some care has to be taken to avoid problems.

Time consuming or not, camshafts are the next logical progression in the evolution of Project 350Z so we asked our friends at Jim Wolf Technology or JWT to provide us with some of their excellent C2 cams.  We chose the C2 because they were probably the biggest practical camshafts that would work in the stock bottom end engine. 


 

Project 350Z - Finding More Power with MotorDyne Engineering

by Mike Kojima

In looking for more low hanging horsepower fruit for Project 350Z, we decided to try an intake manifold plenum spacer from MotorDyne Engineering.  The 350Z's VQ35DE engine has a very thin intake manifold plenum that slopes toward the front of the engine to clear the low hood line.  Although this is good for styling, the engine would prefer more plenum volume and the flow to the front most cylinders is somewhat choked off due to the low overhanging plenum wall.


 

350Z - Boosting Power With DC Sports and Berk Technology

by Mike Kojima

In the past installments of Project 350Z, we took a look at getting the car's suspension and brakes up to snuff.  With the car handling and stopping well, we turned our focus to freeing up some more power.  Since the car is mostly a budget track day beater, we decided against forced induction options for now because making a high power forced induction motor reliable under continual hot lapping conditions is a somewhat expensive proposition.

To keep a decent budget balance, we decided to focus on some good bolt on's to see what we could get from our 350Z.  For our first step we decided to free up the exhaust side of things with headers and an exhaust from DC Sports and free flow cats from Berk Technology.


 

Project Nissan 350Z- Making the Chassis fully Adjustable and Getting Rid of Flex with SPL and Whiteline

Project Nissan 350Z- Making the Chassis fully Adjustable and Getting Rid of Flex with SPL and Whiteline

By Mike Kojima

We had last left our Project 350Z with much improved braking at the track with a big brake kit and other parts from Stoptech.  After her last on track foray at Buttonwillow, Sera reported to us that her 350Z was having trouble laying down power out of the turns.  On the gas her car wanted to drift immediately which was limiting how hard she could apply the throttle on corner exit.  The corner exit drift was not smooth but twitchy as well.  When drifting with stock tires, her car was not so bad but with the forces generated by big sticky NT01’s the suspension’s bushings were getting overworked causing toe changes, hurting the car's stability.


 

Project 350Z- Improving the Brakes with Stoptech

Project 350Z- Improving the Brakes with Stoptech

By Mike Kojima

In our last edition of Project 350Z, we upgraded our Wheels and Tires to Motegi TrakLitesand Nitto NT01’s.  When Sera went back to the track she reported much more grip and good basic balance, which complemented the Whiteline Swaybars and KW Clubsports we had previously installed. Now it was time for a Stoptech big brake upgrade.


 

Project Nissan 350Z: The Birth of our Motegi Trak Lite Wheels with Nitto NT01 Tires

Project Nissan 350Z: The Birth of our Motegi TrakLite Wheels with Nitto NT01 Tires

By Mike Kojima

Our Project Nissan 350Z needs some new shoes.  The stock Nissan alloy wheels had developed a crack rendering them unsafe and the worn generic tires that the car came with were on their last legs.  It was time for an upgrade.  Since we wanted a specific offset and width for this medium powered car we called upon Motegi Racing to provide us with a set of their TrakLite wheels.


 

Project Nissan 350Z Part 2 - Installing KW Clubsport Suspension and Whiteline Sway Bars

 By Mike Kojima

When we last left off with our Project 350Z we had installed a WPC treated Nismo LSD, an ACT clutch and lightweight flywheel.  Since the purpose of our build is to create an all around fun and practice car for our friend Sera who is a professional stunt driver our next focus is going to be on the suspension.  Sera uses her Z to practice her stunt driving which includes everything from drifting to NASA HPDE’s.  Thus her car has to be adjustable and not too specialized for either drift or grip driving.

 

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