2017 Season: September- December; A Time To Remember!
Our 2017 season was fairly limited. We battled engine issues with our VQ, which if you remember is a motor we already swapped last year. Due to the prior owners wiring modifications we did not have traditional OBD2 scanning capabilities, which added a unique twist to diagnosing the power loss problem. We tried spark plugs, injectors, knock sensors, MAF sensors, coilpacks, and finally realized it was time to just V8 swap it.
So we cut the season a couple months early, and in September dug into our V8 swap for our 350z, which was something we wanted to do anyways. Give yourself PLENTY of time, otherwise you will go crazy. Every-time we got close we found something missing, or something we needed, etc. In the end it will certainly be well worth it, having around 400 WHP in this car is going to be a blast. We were able to pick up a LS1 Corvette motor with low miles as the heart for the swap. We opted for the Enjuku Racing 350z LSX swap kit, which comes with the following pictured items:
Transmission and Motor Mounts
Drive-shaft- Note- They usually take 3 weeks to arrive
Starter, Flywheel, Shifting Linkage, etc
Having the front end being primarily tubular made this way easier, getting the front end off takes about 10 minutes.
We decided to run our 350z CD009 transmission, as they are proven and known to be more reliable than the T56. A dog-box was not in the budget. The Enjuku adapter plate pictured here helps mate the LS1 motor to the OEM 350z transmission. This is what a 2:00am week night LS Swap looks like, unable to give up the crew pushed through the night in hopes to get the project done in time for a drift event that weekend. We tried, but failed! Progress was made though.
The Canton oil pan had some funky welds, a few burn through marks and even some rust. The kit does NOT include a gasket or hardware FYI. We were able to get the needed hardware from Lowe’s, and the gasket from AutoZone. The Enjuku engine mounts fit nicely, which you can see below:
My personal favorite part of the kit from Enjuku is the 350z LS swap headers, quality and fitment were spot on. Jorel also enjoyed using them as a instrument during the exhausting all nighter. Gaskets on this are included.
It was a learning experience figuring out how to fit this assembly into the chassis. with the headers, without the headers, with the transmission on the motor, or motor separate? It was a guessing game for about 3 or 4 hours, but we finally figured it out. Note that that steering column linkage is VERY tight on the driver side header, so you need to have someone there spotting it while installing the engine. The solution that ended up working was installing the setup with the driver side header on the motor (steering linkage disconnected), then, once in, installing the passenger side headers separately. Pictured here you can see the adapter plate in action, the Enjuku headers, and the provided starter which comes with the kit.
Since this was from a LS1 Corvette, the alternator was in the “wrong” position. We were unaware of this until we ran into another issue. After further research we were able to find a brand called “Dirty Dingo” which makes the appropriate relocation brackets for this to work. You can see them in the image below.
Installed finally! We installed the EFI Source MegaSquirt harness and engine management system. This does not come with the kit and is something available separate for purchase. Below you will see an image of it compared to our modified OEM harness that were were running with the VQ engine. We chose the SIKKY LS Swap Intake kit, which we ran into some fitment issues with our radiator, but with some modifications we were able to make it work.
Wiring/ Engine Management: Left= Old, Right- New. Kit does not come with O2 sensors, so a wide-band is suggested. When ordering this kit make sure you know EXACTLY which LS platform you have, including whether it is a 24X or 48X.
Throttle cable and pedal; well we had to dig around for a universal style cable throttle and pedal assembly. Since the OEM 350z setup is drive by wire, so it DOES NOT work. Keep a note on that since it is easy to forget.
(Dec 5 2017) We are getting close, the car is not completed yet, but we will try and keep you up to date with the finishing touches and more details. I wanted to have a more in depth write-up, but the direction this project took made it difficult to document all of this in “black and white” since it was a huge learning experience and journey consisting of many late nights, setbacks, and changes in direction. It has been rewarding overall thus far, with great people and the anticipation of the 2018 season being awesome with a couple hundred more horsepower under the hood.
Special Thanks to Tim Beauregard, Jorel Challenger, Mike Bruning, Danny Gill, Mike Bouhabib and Hank Goddard.