Project LSZ: Removing the Stock Drivetrain

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Update by Tom Suddard to the Nissan 350Z project car
Aug 24, 2018

Before we could stuff our homebuilt LS1 into the 350Z, we needed to get rid of a problem. Specifically, the 210,000-mile V6 that was currently residing under the hood.

So, we pulled it out. We’ll spare you the blow-by-blow and just describe the broad strokes of VQ35DE removal: Remove the front bumper and core support, sawzall off the exhaust pipes, unbolt the driveshaft, and disconnect a few hoses and the engine mounts. Just like that, we were hooking up the engine hoist and making room for the LS1.

Once the engine was out, we set it on the ground and started scavenging: We needed the complete engine wiring harness to use as the basis of the LOJ Conversions swap harness. Normally their swap kit would come with the harness pre-made and not require the original wiring, but since we were working at LOJ’s shop, we built the swap harness from our car’s stock engine harness.

We also needed the accessories, since the swap uses the 350Z alternator, power steering pump, and air-conditioning compressor. We unbolted everything before putting the stock drivetrain in the back of the van.

Next, we rolled the car outside for a bath: There’s no sense working in a dirty engine bay, so we treated it to a healthy dose of hot water and degreaser before we began installing shiny new parts. Just like that, we had a drivetrain-less 350Z ready to accept the LS1 and Tremec Magnum transmission.

Whatever happened to that VQ35DE and its corresponding automatic? We sold it locally for $700, a full $300 more than we paid for our junkyard LS1. We’re not going to say this swap suddenly started paying for itself, but that’s at least a fun fact to whip out at parties.

Up next: Let’s start installing the LS!

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View comments on the GRM forums
7/14/18 11:22 a.m.

Have you guys thought about, or has anybody successfully moved the engine back 6-8 inches?  Not sure on the math, but it would surely solve the nose heavy weight distribution problem.  

Ranger50 UltimaDork
7/14/18 11:48 a.m.

Did you and Matt Happel coordinate simulatious ls swaps and swap kits from loj? Lol 

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