They say everything is bigger i Texas; the steaks, the ranches, the cowboys, their hats, their belt buckles and their pickups. The roads are also big which is a good thing because when Tim Janders drops the hammer on his boosted Nissan 350Z he demands a wide berth and a lot of open space. While the acceleration dynamics of this 625-whp monster may prove to be a natural replacement for Viagra, the road that led to this pavement shaker was meek to say the least.
"I had a '99 Accord coupe that was lowered with a Wings West kit, 17-inch Enkei wheels and a system," says Janders. "Everyone used to ask me if it was fast and it soon became known as the car that was 'all show and no go.' I had spent about $10K on the car and I was trying to slow down on spending money, so I decided to lease an '01 Lexus IS300. My theory was that if I leased a car and did not own it then I wouldn't mod it.
"A few months later I went to the Dallas Auto Show and saw the new Nissan 350Z. I decided that it would be stupid to buy a new car when I just started leasing the Lexus, so I did not get on the pre-order list, and waited. Once I saw the new 350Z on the street I had to have one. I went straight to the dealership, put down my deposit to get on the list. I was 150 down at the dealership. I waited almost four months until I finally got my car. My first thought was, this should be faster. I was a little tight on cash, because I was $7,000 upside down in the Lexus, but I wanted the Z so bad, I didn't care.
"Then the modding started. I bought 20-inch Axis Se7en Mod wheels with Nitto tires and Eibach springs. Then I bought a Crawford plenum because of the N/A mods available at the time, it made the most horsepower. It still wasn't fast enough. Jotech was building a custom twin-turbo for a 350Z. Once Jotech finished that Z, the owner of the car came by to give me a ride. I went straight to Jotech and put a deposit down to get one of the first three GReddy kits that were shipped to the U.S. I ditched the e-Manage and ran a custom returnless fuel system with an external fuel pump and DFMU designed by Jotech. I made 450 whp and had the highest rwhp 350Z in the U.S. for a few months.
"As more people started to get the kits, they were starting to hit 420 to 430 whp. They were getting too close, so I turned to SGP in Houston for a full longblock. I wanted to break 600 whp on pump gas. I also had a special request that was inspired by Jotech's first twin-turbo 350. I wanted open wastegates. Once the motor was built the wastegates had to be dumped which required custom tubes to extend the wastegates off of the manifolds as well as new tubes to dump the exhaust gases to the ground. The GReddy design dumped the wastegates down into the downpipe and created turbulence and backpressure. The new open wastegates freed up 30 to 40 whp and allowed me to break 600 whp ... a number other built Z's had trouble hitting."
The SGP longblock has been carefully prepared for life under boost. The bare block was bored .020 over, line honed with a torque plate and all water and oil passages were deburred. The block was filled with SGP-spec custom pistons with an 8.5:1 ratio, Pauter rods and balanced and polished crankshaft. The engine is topped with a off-the-shelf SGP race head package that features 1mm-over Inconel SGP valves, Ferrea double-spring valve springs, Ferrea retainers and Ferrea keepers. A set of Tomei 286 camshafts orchestrate valvetrain events.
Boost is provided by the TD-05H-18G turbos that are standard issue in the GReddy kit. A GReddy PRofec B-Spec II boost controller dials in the boost to 16 psi on the street and 23 psi for special occasions. An HKS F-CON V Pro provides tuning control and SGP has wired an HKS A/F Knock Amp on the passenger side bank and an Innovate LM-1 on the driver's side bank of cylinders to generate up-to-date correction data for a seamless sequential tuning scheme. The success of this approach is vividly illustrated on SGP's Dynapak dyno-625 whp and 600 lb-ft of torque.
"This is the sixth 350Z / G35 combination over 600 rwhp on pump gas from our stable this year," says SGP Racing President Mark Gust. "Next year promises 800+ rwhp from a street driven, we're talking daily, 350Z. And we are working on even larger 4.0-liter setups for the next season as well so keep an eye out for what is to come."
The entire 350Z tuning community has to be loving the popularity and stout nature of Nissan's 350Z. And as long as there are maniacal owners like Jander in the fray all will be well on the tuning front for years to come.
"The bottom line," states Jander emphatically, "is that I am competitive and it seems like all the power is never enough. I want to have the fastest street 350Z in the country, and I constantly read up on the forums to find new ways to make power. I have plans on changing the exhaust to a 3-inch custom turbo-back exhaust and possibly changing the plenum design to allow the car to breathe better. I also wanted the car to have show car looks so that people know it is all show AND all go. Not just one or the other. I am getting close to being satisfied, but it seems I am always one mod away from being done!"