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Fast road/Track 350z 3.7ltr HR build

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With engine and 'box now installed came a little cherry on top item for me! I enquired a couple of years ago and it wasn't available, but a quick check on their site and finally CAE had added the 350z

Next up was to get rid of the standard lsd thats not up to any sort of spirited or track driving. After a little research I sourced the my own spec OS Giken superlock (1way 3/35) along with new stub a

After what feels like an eternity I finally got the car mapped, MoT'd and geo done Thursday/Friday!!   Here goes..........   Being its the first proper drive out since all this work began is was a

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11 hours ago, harrison140 said:

I can see how the VDC delete box makes a lot of difference on the track . How is it on the road? Do you get warning lights on the dash. 

It has no negative effects for road use, you just gain a better feeling brake pedal. Effort is unchanged as the servo is still in place. Even on road when out for a proper drive say over to Wales or even local very twisty roads I find all the driver aids cut in far too early and really ruin a great car as they never seem to save you they just annoy you as the driver and if anything ruin your confidence, the car has so much more ability over and above where they start to interrupt things. 

The down side is of course the dash is now lit up like a Christmas tree which for me is far less annoying than leaving the VDC active but as I’ve written previously it’s definitely not a mod for everybody. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick update as the engine build has finally got under way!!


First off just cleaning the block to get all the swarf out from the machining work took ages before being able to start any progress what so ever..........once cleaned I could install the new bearings along with, for the first time, the 86mm crank!






A little bit of grease on the journals and a line of plastigauge in place to check clearances..........torque down the main cap cradle and then remove to see results






They all measured up at 0.00175" which I was happy with (in a cold November shed!).....so I progressed with more cleaning up in prep for siliconing up the cradle, installing the oil squirters and then torquing down with the new main bolts. (not forgetting the o'ring that sits in between also)




Next was to attach the pistons to rods and build them up with the rings that were already gapped for me to each cylinder and orientate to front of engine for each bank






Then using my new tapered piston ring compressor, dropped in No.1 and 2.......I'll never use the ratchet down style tool again as always found one spot to be too loose and it doesn't lay as flat to the block so often when pushing the piston through to cylinder rings pop out between tool and cylinder and you've got to start all over again. The other benefit is as you ratchet down the tool the rings (that you've just spend time positioning so the gaps are all orientated correctly) move around but the tapered type it just pushes through so you know they stay where you put them!







With No.1 and 2 connected up I wanted to turn it over and just check a) that the skirt didn't take out the oil squirters and b) the pistons finished flush with the deck and I was very happy that both were fine so custom pistons dimensions are spot on!


Next up was to check rod bearing clearances so I  opened up big end again, cleaned off assembly lube, greased the journal and laid on another strip of Plastigauge.......torqued down the ARP2000's and then removed again to see where they're at





Unfortunately these have come in at the very largest oem specs (which are themselves large for this build) 0.0021", which I'd like to reduce so I'll measure the rest and see what they measure and may have to order a set of Grade 4 bearing which are 0.0005" thicker to get me in the region of 0.0016" which will help maintain higher oil pressure.


And that's where I'm at.............I'll finish off the bottom end then I'll be turning to the car itself to remove the "old" (45,000mile) engine, remove my modified heads from that to strip down and skim before building back up and mating to the new bottom end.............and then install is the reverse of removal!





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13 hours ago, itsLeon said:


Will you check to pistons to valve clearance? And if so how?


Even nicer now I've got a pair installed and they fit perfect.......was a bit anxious about that part given its not the most common build going.


Absolutely going to check valve to piston clearances..........I'll have a degree wheel set to TDC on the crank and install some light check springs on the inlet and exhaust valve so I can operate them by hand. Attach dial gauge to an exhaust valve and turn the engine over by hand, push exhaust valve open till contact then start recording clearances at every couple of degrees before TDC and then swap dial gauge to inlet valves and do the same with them every couple of degrees after TDC.


I'll add to the clearances I record to allow for high revs (as I'm checking by just turning by hand) and expansion (a little more for exhaust valves as they get hotter). This way I'll know what clearances I'll have for advancing/retarding engine when it comes to mapping to get the most from it while remaining safe!



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On 23/02/2021 at 20:20, Ceejay29 said:

Wow. Just wow!! What an incredible build. Such dedication, hats off to you sir! 



Thanks! Certainly has been a lot of work and its still going on, so much to update its just finding the time to.


Should all be finished for some fun to start in Spring

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Hey man, glad to see you finishing the build that we've talked about so much a while ago! :) I have a few questions for you, I'll pm you. Need a bit of help with mine.

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  • 2 months later...

Can't believe its been over a year since posting any progress or updates on the engine!


So to continue from Nov '19 I did install the thicker grade 4 main bearings to get the clearances down to where I wanted them so that sorted the bottom end and so I then removed the heads from my current engine. These have been left the same specs so Tomei 272 degree 10.8 lift in and ex.


Then the dummy builds began to establish the valve to piston clearances, first up was to find true TDC with my dial gauge, make up a pointer and attached a degree wheel to the crank. 





My heads were stripped and skimmed, and them torqued down onto the block with some old Cosworth gaskets (same specs as will be used on final build), they were then built up and cam to follower clearances checked, luckily with my existing followers and them from donor engines heads I only needed to order 2 to get both heads where I wanted to be.


Then all new 3 timing chains where installed along with tensioners etc and the engine was turned over and I took valve to piston clearance measurements every couple of crank degrees before and after TDC and made a record. I checked clearances at Cylinders 1/2 and 5/6 to make sure there was no variation across the engine.

This gave me the clearances as the engine "rest" with inlet cam at zero advance (closest measurement was 6.77mm@8degrees ATDC) and exhaust cam at zero retard (closest was 8.35mm@6 degrees BTDC)


I then carried out the same process with exhaust in full retard (the ex cam can just be rotated with a spanner across the flats) which gave a safe closest point of 3.18mm@6 degrees BTDC)


As the inlet cam VVT is controlled by oil pressure there's a lockout pin that needs to be removed as to allow you so move the cam to full advance. You have to remove the 4 10mm bolts on the sprocket cover and then remove the pin and spring. This then allows you to move the cam through its VVT travel





Now with the inlet cam at full advance the valve got down to 0.8mm@8degrees ATDC!! I wanted to make 2 sets of records that would give me how much advance I could run with running no closer than 1mm and 2mm valve to piston, recording now on the pully with a protractor how many degrees of advance where available before these limits were reached at every couple of crank degrees before and after TDC. As you can imagine this took hours and hours and yes I carried this out again on Cylinders 1\2 and 5\6!!





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With all that critical data gathered to pass on to the mapper so they know how far they can adjust the VVT in pursuit of finding most torque/power without any bent valves or worse!


By comparison it was now all pretty plain sailing carrying out final assembly. Loads of pics!!

















To be continued.............

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All built up it was time to load it all into the van and take it off where it was going to have the Syvecs powered up and an initial base map created to then be run in on the engine dyno so I can install it back into the car all tested and confirmed free of issues........or at least that was the plan!!


I chose an engine dyno for the first time this time round as from the second the engine is fired it can be under a varied and controlled load so the rings can bed in properly. There's loads written on the subject for pros and cons, in the past I've run in all the engines I've built on the road but the roads these days are very different to how they were when I used to be able to drive out and be at a pace and load of my choosing, these days I felt I'm going to head out and join a queue behind the 30/40mph brigade with next to no load for mile after mile, not the conditions I wanted so I chose to use the engine dyno this time round..........lets hope in months\years to come it's not a decision I regret.




Sadly due to the year and conditions imposed by what was 2020 my dreams of helping out and being involved in the process, hearing it running up for the first time were not to be. I dropped the engine off and returned home to await some news.


It wasn't the plain sailing I'd thought it might be in getting it running, wiring being the main reason! Powering up the ecu/engine was another world to me, thank god the guy I used is well clued up on the VQ engine and was able and helpful enough to want to help resolve these things to get it all ready. But we weren't done yet, I made the decision to swap the factory denso lambda's for the NTK L2H2 wideband units, this then meant the base map supplied by Syvecs didn't work so more emails all over the place for a corrected base map till the people who can sorted this out!


It was now ready........or was it!?



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  • 350Butcher changed the title to Fast road/Track 350z 3.7ltr HR build

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