The Engine

After tuning the L28et for several years I was looking for a challenging project and something that would make the car more drivable.  I debated many different engines from SR's and RB's to an LS engine.  While not a purist by any means I liked the idea of having a modern Nissan engine in the car.  Having a few friends with turbocharged 350z's I knew the engine was capable of making serious power while still being smooth and reliable for daily driving.

I was lucky enough to find a 350z engine set at a shop nearby that rebuilds wrecked Nissans in Concord, NC.   They have been in business since the 1970's rebuilding wrecked Z cars, many straight from dealer lots.  The engine and transmission I bought came from a new 2004 350z that was wrecked on a test drive.  The car had a total of 400 miles on it!  I was able to purchase the engine as a complete drop out with the transmission, drive shaft, cross member, ECU,  wiring, and the steering column and key.

I really had no idea what I was getting into except that I was putting a VQ in the car! At the time VQ35 swaps were uncommon, with only a few guys starting to do them on 240sx's. I was only able to find pictures of one S30 with a VQ swap and it was undocumented except for a few pictures from a car show.  The goal was to swap the engine into the car utilizing the factory ECU, wiring it as standalone as possible. Starting from scratch with everything made the project more exciting for me.