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Tech Support - March 2008

Tech Support

Gary Narusawa
Mar 1, 2008
Photographer: Day Photography
130_0803_12_z+tech_support+model Photo 1/1   |   Tech Support - March 2008

Where We Cure All Your Tech ProblemsThis month we're taking things back to basics, answering the very questions that burn deep within your soul. Stuck on an install? Not sure what that button does or why bolting a turbocharger onto your engine makes it go faster? No problem; we're here to help. Throw anything you want our way, except for your soiled undergarments, and we'll do our best to answer them. No technical inquiry is too hard for Super Street, and if it is, we'll search high and low until we do.

Get at us by: tech@superstreetonline.com or Super Street, c/o Tech Support, 6420 wilshire Blvd., Los angeles, CA 90048.

Question Of The MonthQ.I have a '04 Sentra SPEc V and want to do something innovative and just truly badass.I was thinking of putting a VQ35DE out of the 350z to replace the QR25DE keeping it front wheel drive. I figure that if mitsubishi can put a 3.8 liter in the Eclipse, I can fit a 3.5 liter in my Sentra. maybe even supercharge that bad boy. my question is: how hard would it be to do such a task and would the electronics be difficult to mess with being such a newer car?Kyle crawfordVia the Internet

A.The greatest thing about engine swaps is that they allow us to think beyond regular bolt-ons and free up our imagination to create something unique. This is what customizing cars is all about. The VQ35DE in the Sentra would be a handful. So expect a lot of torque steer and some serious tire smoking. This swap can be done and has been done. The maxima/altima engine would probably be better suited as the motor mount location is designed for the FwD platform. You will also run into some serious wiring issues as most of the newer Nissans use throttle by wire along with a caN bus system for the EcU to communicate with the body computer, anti theft system and instrumentation. If the system sees an incomplete circuit, it can trigger a "limp mode," which causes the engine to go limp, kinda like that one time we tried putting our... oh, yes, we mean it will have some serious performance issues if you don't get the electrical side right. Information on these types of swaps can be found on forums such as www.freshalloy. com or from Nissan tuners such as Jim wolf Technology.

Q.I own a '92 awD Eagle Talon TSI, but it is an auto. I am thinking about converting it to five-speed. But I have never seen a high horsepower auto, so my question is: how much power can that auto handle? I am going to be running about 400hp; will it hold? will I have to replace any axles? Is there anyway to upgrade an auto or should I do the swap? also, as a project idea, take the motor and trans out of a twin turbo awD Dodge stealth and put it in a 1g DSm?Zeth haleharrison, mI

A.Road racing an automatic car is not much fun. Even on the street, the same can be said. For these reasons, switching to a five-speed may not be a bad idea. however, for drag racing, the auto will be more consistent than a five-speed. The DSm auto transmission can hold its own with the right modifications. check out dsmtuners.com; that forum has a dedicated auto transmission section with members running some 10 second cars. For more info on building the auto transmission,visit importperformancetrans.com.

Q.I recently purchased an '85 Toyota Supra and the original 5mgTE is cooked, so I think that a swap is in order. my first question is: which motor to swap in (7mgTE, 6mgTE, 1JZ OR 2JZ)? From what I have read, the 7m is the easiest to swap in but offers the least performance gains. There is talk that the 2JZ will not even fit in the mKII engine bay; is there any truth to this? Based on all the info I have read, the 1JZ is the best choice. Do you agree with this? also, my interior is trashed and I would like to order a new one; do you have any info on who sells replacement interiors for the mKII?will gillespieVia the Internet

A.It's nice to hear from someone who can appreciate an old school Toyota. with any swap, you must consider your realistic budget and horsepower goal when choosing an engine. Other areas to consider are your skill level, how long you can afford to keep the car down and your intended use of the car. The 7mgTE or 6mgTE will be the easiest engines to swap in. If you're just looking to get the car running, have limited mechanical skills or have a low budget, this would be a good choice for you. If you can afford it, the 1JZgTE swap would be a lot nicer and will give you an easy 250-275 whP just from a few bolt-ons. It's a very stout engine with potential for more power than most would need in a mKII. Compared to the 7mgTE, you'll find more aftermarket support for this engine as well. The engines are relatively inexpensive, but expect to spend some money on the swap. also, expect some downtime as this type of conversion requires sourcing a lot of parts and a little more fabrication. The 2JZgTE is one bad mother! It's arguably one of the best engines to build power from. and yes, it will fit into a mKII. On the other hand, who needs a 1200 hp celica Supra? This swap is for the elite. It's for those who want to go overboard-just because they can. and if you need to ask, this swap will cost you some coin. There's a bunch of mKII swap information at www.celicasupra.com. Do your homework before dropping any money because the key to any successful swap is good preparation and taking the time to do things right the first time. as for the interior, this is not a classic camaro or mustang. Don't expect to find aftermarket companies producing replacement parts. Try finding a knowledgeable parts guy at the dealer or hit the junk yards like the rest of us. good luck on your search.

Q.I currently own a '91 Stealth R/T Twin Turbo and I want to do a few modifications. I have a high flow filter and I'm working on an exhaust, but I can't seem to find any direct bolt-on side mount intercoolers or polished piping. I was looking at gReddy's website and thought my eyes needed checking when I read "discontinued" as the price listing for my car. also, what are some semi-inexpensive boost controllers that are reliable and easy to use?Seth LamountainSouthampton, ma

A.Unfortunately, there is little aftermarket support for the Stealth R/T. hKS (www.hksusa.com) does list a side mount upgrade (part #1301-Sm008). however, due to the cost, you might consider sticking with your stock units until you do further mods. Try online forums such as 3si.org for other options and there's always the custom fabricated route. as for a cheap boost controller, you get what you pay for. There are many inexpensive manual boost controllers on the market that will do the job, but a good quality electronic unit will control your boost more accurately.

Q.I'm an all or nothing, go get 'em, need for speed kinda guy. Going fast is definitely my forte, but I live in southern Oklahoma, which means that when I'm tight on gas money, the only people to run against are ignorant hillbillies who think they're invincible with their old school chevy trucks packin' 350s and their bone-stock camaro Z28's. So, I made it my job to show these good ol' country boys that there's more to the world than chevy, Ford and Dodge (although I have nothing against american muscle). They describe Japanese and European sports cars as "flashy little toys built for nothing more than daily commute." I've already shown these clowns how to hug the corners tight like a beer coozie; now I'm rebuilding my '92 240SX hatchback to drift-spec so I can show them what RwD "ricer cars" were meant to do. however, my stock VLSD is starting to go out on me due to my aggressive driving habits, so I'm investing in an aftermarket LSD. I know you guys could spit S13 knowledge until your saliva glands squeezed themselves dry, so do you know of any good, dependable and relatively affordable LSDs I drop my investment into? Because like 95-percent of all the other motorheads that read this mag, I'm tryin' to stick to somewhat of a budget. also, if I'm drifting in a S13 that's putting out 400-plus horsepower, is my decision to stick with my stock four-lug hubs a safe one or should I think about upgrading those bad boys to five-lug?chase RogersVia the Internet

A.Too bad we don't all have "ignorant hillbillies" close by to race for gas money. (we do actually have one maverick driver on staff, though.) If drifting is your thing, a quality 1.5- or 2-way LSD is mandatory. Just set up a few extra hillbilly races (legally of course) and use the proceeds to buy yourself a new Tomei, Kaaz, or Nismo (www.nismo.com) LSD. If your races don't yield proper results, you could always do a weld-lock (weld spider gears) if you have to. It's a bit primitive, but if welded properly it can yield good results. Note: this mod is only recommended for the "all or nothing" kind of guys (want all the performance with none of the comfort). Sorry, but there isn't anything priced in between. Switching to five-lug is not only stronger (when using quality hubs), but widens your options when it comes to wheel size and offset.

By Gary Narusawa
29 Articles

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