Cracking the 1,000whp mark with a stock block street engine is the stuff of legend. You don't just fall into the four-digit Hall of Fame. Like a football team prepping for the big game, it takes three essential elements-scouting, a great game plan and flawless execution.
Anyone aiming to peg a dyno needs to know the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the chosen platform and how to best improve or enhance said platform. A keen knowledge of which parts and procedures will work as well as an understanding of turbo sizing and engine management are prerequisite qualities. Injected Performance's Greg Baker from Lexington, Ky., built a show car and hit the trail with Hot Import Nights all the while drawing up a few wicked plays to get his 350Z to reach his four-digit horsepower goals.
"We wanted to build a custom single turbo 350Z capable of 1,500 hp and truly push the limits of the VQ35 engine," Greg says. "We wanted to explore what was needed to make the motor bulletproof as well as a quick drag car. By testing off-the-shelf as well as custom parts, we were able to discover quite a bit about the VQ35 as well as the 350Z."
This isn't a stick on a turbo, dump fuel in it proposition. Such blocks must be diligently prepared for the abuse they'll see as they spin the dyno rollers to terminal velocity. Greg yanked the VQ35DE and sent it off to Robert's Precision Machine where it was honed and fitted with Darton sleeves and an Injected Performance billet main girdle. The shortblock was filled with CP pistons and Brian Crower rods resulting in a VQ with displacement bumped up to 4.2-liters.
The VQ is topped with Cosworth heads that feature extensive porting and polishing. Internally, Cosworth added its 1mm oversized valves (stainless intake, Inconel exhaust), titanium retainers and double valvesprings. The valvetrain is actuated by a set of 282-degree custom Injected Performance camshafts.
Once a fortified foundation is in place the tasks of moving the air and fuel necessary to make 1,000 hp at the wheels can be addressed. Injected Performance went big here signing up a Garrett GT4788R, the second biggest turbo in the Garrett lineup to the GT55. The GT4788R uses massive wheels, 88mm on the compressor side and 92.7mm on the turbine side, to move big air. A testament to the bigness of the turbo system is its use of two 44mm TiAL Sport wastegates, a 5-inch downpipe and a 4-inch exhaust system to move high volumes of spent gases. The large-frame turbo is secured via custom stainless steel turbo headers with 1.5-inch runners and meaty flanges. "There is very little room for a large single or large twin turbos to fit in the 350Z engine bay," Greg says. "We were able to overcome this challenge by building a custom front tubular radiator support to replace the stock fiberglass one. By doing so, we provided quite a bit of room to work around VQ accessories, a turbo that is able to withstand 1,500 hp and provide quick access to everything."
The cool side of the turbo system consists of a pair of TiAL Sports 50mm blow-off valves, a Precision Turbo FMIC and a pristine Crawford aluminum intake. The fuel side is anchored by a set of 1,680cc Injected Performance fuel injectors housed in custom Injected Performance fuel rails and fed by a Weldon pump.
The Z also runs a 75-shot nitrous system from Nitrous Express. At first glance a 75 shot is a drop in the bucket for an engine aiming for four digits. "We installed a 75 shot on the car just to bring it up on the converter at the dragstrip," Greg says. "I thought about increasing the shot as our goal is to make 1,300 whp, which the turbo can do on its own, but the car is launching so well with a 75 shot that I didn't want to change it."
Since Injected Performance is a big U.S. distributor of Haltech tuning gear, the Z was used to help develop the Haltech Platinum PnP EMS system for the '03-'06 350Z. The Platinum PnP features a 32x32 map, sequential fuel and ignition control, individual cylinder tables, datalogging, USB connectivity and an application-specific wiring harness. The 1,016whp tuning session went down on Injected Performance's DynoDynamic chassis dyno with boost set to 26 psi.
The driveline and suspension are indications of the car's dragstrip aspirations. A Bradco Powerglide automatic puts the power down via a custom 3,200rpm Bradco converter. The rest of the driveline is made up of chromoly axles and a custom driveshaft from the Driveshaft Shop. The Nissan runs Bogart D10 wheels and a slick and skinny combination from Dunlop to maximize 0-60 performance. A pair of Koni shocks and Megan Racing lowering coils are on call at the rear providing a stable contact patch. Up front, a pair of Megan coilovers keep the coupe on the straight and narrow.
Since it began as a showpiece, the Z's become a real looker. "All the body and paintwork were done in-house," Greg says. "We envisioned the top of the car to be completely carbon fiber and finished off the paint with a Lamborghini Verde Mica paint job. The contrast of dark carbon fiber on the green paint really makes the car stand out. The carbon parts, lip kit and color gave the car an aggressive and sophisticated look without destroying the original lines and design of the Z."
Greg says the car has posted a best of 9.11 at 152 mph. "This pass happened on its fourth pass ever down the dragstrip," he says. "The first time at the strip, we made some soft runs to feel the car out and make sure the suspension was set up correctly, boost was holding steady, etc. We were then invited to the WOTM Invitational in Phoenix and the first pass off the trailer it went 9.3, then 9.1 at 152, then 9.2 at 155." Greg says he hasn't touched the suspension yet and the car still has quite a bit more in it. "We were not running the same boost as the 1,016whp dyno pull," he says.
Future plans for the Z include pushing it to higher horsepower numbers. "We designed and built this car to see what the limitations are of the VQ35," he says. "So far we have been to 1,016 whp and hope to push it beyond 1,300 whp. By going with a custom single turbo kit that is capable of 1,500 hp, we have the capability to do so." Greg says he will continue to hit the dragstrip and see how far he can go into the 8s with the stock type independent rear suspension and differential. "I believe the VQ platform is only going to get stronger and we will soon see many 800-1,000whp Zs on the streets," he says.
Power: 1,016 whp @ 26 psi
4.2L Nissan VQ35DE
Injected Performance Billet
Weldon Fuel Pump
Injected Performance Fuel Rail
Cosworth Titanium Retainers
Cosworth 1mm oversized Valves
Cosworth double valvesprings
Injected Performance Camshafts
Garrett GT4788R Turbo
Twin TiAL Sport 44mm wastegates
Twin TiAL Sport 50mm blow-off valves
Precision Turbo & Engine FMIC
Injected Performance 4-inch into 5-inch downpipe
Haltech Platinum PnP EMS
Bradco torque converter
Driveshaft Shop Axles
Driveshaft Shop Driveshaft
Megan Racing lowering coils
Megan Racing coilovers
Custom carbon-fiber Wald rear lip
Wald fiberglass front lip
Wald side skirts
Seibon carbon-fiber Hatch
Seibon carbon-fiber Hood
Mastergrade carbon-fiber roof and A Pillars
Varis carbon-fiber B Pillars
Craftsquare carbon-fiber mirrors
Injected Performance carbon-fiber
Front fender overlay
Sparco Tek Seat
Pro 2000 Seats
Safety Fuel Cell
Safecraft Halon System
Wheels & Tires:
Bogart D10 Wheels
Dunlop Direzza Tires
Dunlop Direzza Tires