New to the 2006 and newer 350Z models is the VQ35DE 3.5-liter V-6 powerplant that now pumps out a factory rated 300 hp. In previous models, the 350Z was recorded as delivering 287hp. Along with a revision in horsepower, the 350Z received some updates to the front bumper, headlights, front grille and a spiffy set of LED brake lights.
The trunk capacity within our roadster was laughable at best when measured in size (4.1 cubic feet). We were barely able to shoehorn a cardboard box without smashing it to bits.
The newer '06-'07 350Z VQ35DE engines are referred to as the "REVUP" engines, which produce a rated 300hp and 260lb-ft of torque. While Nissan markets the new and improved "Z" as receiving a gain of 13 more horsepower than its previous "287" (horsepower) models, they fail to mention that torque numbers were significantly affected as the numbers dropped from the previous 274 lb-ft to the present 260 lb-ft; a decrease in 14 lb-ft. of torque. With the aid of MotorDyne and AEM, we were determined to restore those lost numbers while increasing midrange torque and power-an area that's proven to be a valuable commodity both on and off the track.
Owner: Import Tuner
Dynamometer Model: Dynapack Dynamometer
Testing and Photos Scott Tsuneishi
For months, MotorDyne Engineering has had the 350Z community buzzing with the release of their MREV2 lower collector. At first glance, both the MREV2 lower intake and factory "REVUP" units look identical, but if you take a closer look; you'd be surprised at the difference in design. Nissan increased the power output by 10 more horsepower on the '06 and newer "REVUP"engines by eliminating the air flow restrictions found on the front runner banks and by shortening the length of the runners, which proved to be a big sacrifice.
The newly engineered manifold killed the torque and lowered the torque curve throughout the powerband. "This didn't make sense because why would Nissan sacrifice all that midrange and torque to gain 10hp? Why not take the older designed plenum (287) and use a spacer to make up for the loss? If I could modify the stock 287 plenum by milling, porting, and reshaping the factory runners on the 287, the newer Z's can theoretically increase peak horsepower but maintain the torque and midrange," states MotorDyne Owner and Engineer Tony Colette.
MotorDyne includes detailed instructions on how to remove and install the factory components while stressing the importance of correct torque specifications for each of the bolts. If you're not mechanically inclined we highly recommend you pay those extra dollars and have a skilled mechanic install the products.
MREV2 lower collector manifold, isothermal Aramid manifold gasket
4-, 8-, 10- and 17mm socket, ratchet, extension, adjustable crescent wrench, screwdriver, needle nose pliers, allen wrenches and a torque wrench.
Installation time 80 minutes.
While peak horsepower gains are minimal, you will notice how the graph has shifted to the left in comparison to the original baseline run. This shift creates more usable horsepower throughout the VQ's rpm range. At 4500rpm, we see a significant gain in midrange power, with the largest recorded at 18 hp. Horsepower gains are once again dominant at 5800rpm with an increase of 16 hp over baseline.
If horsepower numbers are enough to impress you, the torque gains will leave you breathless. At 3200rpm, an increase of 13 lb-ft of torque was graphed, while the largest gain was noticed at the 4500rpm sweet spot, netting an increase of 21lb-ft of torque. The gains continued throughout the dyno as a gain of 11lb-ft of torque was delivered at 5500rpm. You might notice a slight drop in HP and torque numbers as the Roadster's VQ engine nears redline, but in all honesty...which would you rather prefer: usable bottom end-to-midrange power and torque, or a few horsepower gains near fuel cutoff? Exactly our point.
Dyno 2: MREV2 Lower Collector
PEAKHP 232.8 / PEAKTQ 226.8
1500 to 3500 HP range: 0 to 5
3500 to 5500 HP range: 7 to 18
5500 to redline HP range: 11 to -11
1500 to 3500 TQ range: 0 to 13
3500 to 5500 TQ range: 5 to 21
5500 to redline TQ range: 11 to -6
We liked the fact that MotorDyne's 5/16-inch plenum spacer kit comes as a complete all-in-one package which includes new nuts and bolts, as well as spacers to reinstall your factory strut bar. Hell, they even include Loctite for all you knit picky individuals. Also included within their kit is a trick bypass valve. This special bypass valve can be adjusted so that hot coolant does not pass through the throttle body, which helps minimize power-robbing heat as air enters the throttle body. Combining the plenum spacer, iso thermal intake gasket and bypass valve allows both the upper and lower intake manifold to run at a cooler temperature while increasing airflow efficiency to the intake runners. MotorDyne states their 5/16-inch plenum spacer works best when used in conjunction with their MREV2 lower collector. As shown on our dyno tests, these guys know what they're talking about.
There's not much to complain about when it comes to the iso thermal plenum spacer. The only issue we might see isn't related to MotorDyne, it's the owners of the vehicle attempting to install the products themselves and breaking parts in the process. While the installation is a relatively simple process, you can always count on ghetto fabulous mechanics to break a few bolts here or there.
5/16 spacer, 30mm flange bolts, throttle bolts/washers, plenum washers, strut bar spacers/washers, 70mm hex cap screws, 35mm hex cap screws, 55mm hex cap screws, iso thermal plenum internal spacers, iso thermal aramid manifold gasket, iso thermal coolant control valve Loctite
4-, 8-,10 and 17mm socket, ratchet, extension, adjustable crescent wrench, screwdriver, needle nose pliers, allen wrenches, torque wrench, scissors, Teflon pipe thread
Installation time 60 minutes
Immediately after we installed the plenum spacer, we began our dyno pull and encountered some pleasant numbers. Torque numbers over our previous MREV2 dyno pass showed a gain of 11 lb-ft of torque at 2500rpm while an average of 4 to 5 lb-ft of torque was increased throughout the entire power band.
The gains continued to remain at a consistent rate in horsepower numbers at again 2500rpm showed a pickup of 5hp while the plenum spacer helped improve the higher rpm powerband and deliver a gain of 4.6 peak horsepower over our previous run. This new iso thermal system combines MotorDyne's aluminum plenum spacer with thermal management components that substantially reduce upper and lower plenum temperatures. Cooler intake air temperatures increase air density, while reducing the tendency for detonation (ping) can create more engine power.
Dyno 3: MotorDyne 5/16-inch
Iso Thermal Plenum Spacer
PEAKHP 237.4 / PEAKTQ 230.7
1500 to 3500 HP range: 5 to 2
3500 to 5500 HP range: 3 to 5
5500 to redline HP range: 8 to -5
1500 to 3500 TQ range: 2 to 11
3500 to 5500 TQ range: 5 to 5
5500 to redline TQ range: 4 to -3
Unique to the AEM cold air intake system is the new dry flow technology that uses a synthetic air filter without the need for any oils. Designed to filter out 99.4 percent for contaminants as small as 1 micron, the AEM intake uses an aluminum body. As always, AEM has molded their intake filters with a built-in velocity stack, which improves the aerodynamic efficiency and shows an increase in airflow gain.
When installing the AEM MAF adapter to the factory Nissan MAF sensor, be sure to observe the sensors direction before removing and reinstalling. Installing the sensor backwards will prevent the vehicle from starting. It's not AEM's fault the 350Z's engine bay is a mechanic's worst nightmare in terms of room to work with. But the new intake does require some finagling to properly lineup with the mounting brackets and clear the A/C hardlines.
Upper and lower intake pipes, Nissan MAF sensor adapter, hose clamps, hose adapters, bolts/washers/nuts, wiring harness bracket, filter, license plate, stickers, instructions
4-, 8-,10- and 17mm socket, ratchet, extension, adjustable crescent wrench, screwdrivers, needle nose pliers, allen wrenches
Installation time 60 minutes
The AEM intake worked well in conjunction with the two previous products as a pickup of 7 lb-ft of torque was recorded where our previous dyno graph had shown a slight dip. A gain of 4 lb-ft of torque was shown with our peak number over the previous plenum spacer run, while horsepower showed an advantage of 3 to 5 hp with the largest margin of gain of 7hp at 5800rpm.
Dyno 4: AEM Cold AirIntake System
PEAKHP 238.1 / PEAKTQ 234.1
1500 to 3500 HP range: 0 to 3
3500 to 5500 HP range: 1 to 8
5500 to redline HP range: 31 to 34
1500 to 3500 TQ range: 2 to 7
3500 to 5500 TQ range: 3 to 7
5500 to redline TQ range: 7 to 0
With a gain of 21.3 hp and 29.8 lb-ft of torque, the 350Z responded exceptionally well throughout the lower rpm band and midrange power was dramatically improved over the baseline numbers. As we continue our quest in search of more power for our 350Z, look for our next installment as we install an exhaust, fuel management and some nice bumpsticks to unleash the power of this VQ35DE machine.
|MotorDyne MREV2 lower collector||$ 446.00|
|MotorDyne 5/16th intake plenum spacer||$295.00|
|AEM cold air intake||$ 409.75|
|MSRP Total||$ 1150.75|
|HP Level||+HP||TQ Level||+TQ|
|MotorDyne MREV2 lower collector||232.8||-1.6||226.8||11.5|
|MotorDyne 5/16" intake plenum spacer||237.4||4.6||230.7||3.9|
|AEM cold air intake||238.8||1.4||234.1||3.4|