Until now, Project M3's benefitted from increased power, braking, and handling performance, as well as nice improvements to the interior and exterior aesthetics. But keeping things cool under the hood is something we haven't touched on yet, and we do so today with an all aluminum radiator from Koyorad!
In the last segment covering the engine build on our 5.0 liter Mustang, we addressed the top end with CNC ported heads and camshafts from Ford Motorsports. Now it's time to fortify the engine's bottom end so we can have a screaming high-revving naturally aspirated Coyote engine that is still reliable.
Our target for this build is to have a safe 8000 rpm redline, wheel horsepower in the high 400 range and run on 91 octane California pump gas with reliability and track car endurance. We feel that this stuff is all pretty easily done.
The interesting thing about a massive (re)wiring project is that a really, really large portion of the project does not even involve touching wires. Think about it for a moment. Once the car is completely gutted, and you’ve made your electronic components selection, and you’ve plunked down your hard-earned pennies to get the electronics into your hands, you now have to figure out where to place everything. And, if you want to do it right, that means fabrication. Double stick tape only goes so far.
A proper race car is nothing without control and control comes in the form of a number of components that help one another work to their maximum efficiency. Tires of course are a huge part of control but just putting sticky tires on an otherwise stock car wont do you as much good as you think. You need a proper suspension setup to match.
Many of us out there, new or otherwise to our beloved car culture, don’t realize the difference between a track car and a race car and it has nothing to do with lap time. What makes a proper race car is not horsepower or giant tires it’s all about optimization of a given platform the only limitations being budget and a rule book. A proper race car has thousands of man hours into it on things that you’ll never see unless pointed out. A proper race car is re-built and re-imagined from the ground up.
Our Project Mustang came stock with pretty decent brakes. From the factory our Ford features 4 piston Brembo calipers with 355x32mm one piece rotors. However, we still wanted to upgrade our brakes as our much wider tires, 20" wheels, upgraded suspension and engine would stress the brakes a lot more. Our Mustang also weighs a punishing 3700lbs with really cooks the brakes. The Ford factory has put larger brakes on some of the higher end SN197 Mustangs so we figured we should follow suit as well.
We not only install one of the best short shift kits money can buy, but also test a lightweight clutch and flywheel--on the dyno! How often do we see publications spending the time doing that? Does it make a difference? We answer that here, plus we check out a supercharged E46 M3 racer that rolled into Modified by KC's shop that day!
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.
by Nick Betz
There comes a time in a project build when you just have to throw everything out the window and rewrite your storyboard. Over the years we’ve been bolting on parts to Project E36 323is and not seeing the gains we were looking for. Sure it’s been fun but it’s time to make some real power. We had plans for an M50 manifold swap paired with M3 cams, bigger air meter, headers and throttle body but as the old adage goes, there’s no replacement for displacement, so that’s where our journey has taken us.