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Projekt Z

Power mission accomplished

In last month's installment on Projekt Z we installed GReddy's twin-turbo kit on the 350Z. Looking for a big power upgrade, we were excited to see what numbers we could put down on the dyno. The outcome was mouth-watering: ImportTuner is now the proud owner of a 350-horsepower 350Z! Take that, fellow competitors.

We of course took the Z for a spin afterward and were more than pleased with our 350's performance. Now not only does it look bad ass, but it has the power to back things up when encroached upon. It has neck-breaking quickness when you bone out. Between the wide body stance, fat lip wheels and humming exhaust, it is an instant panty dropper. You could rent this car out by the hour on a clubbing Friday night.

Drinking an amber ale to match our amber 350Z, our day began early at SP Engineering in Azusa, Calif. Not to say that we drink while working--no, not us. We decided to perform some preliminary tweaking on the Z engine prior to laying down the law. Our first modification was swapping out the fluids of the Nissan with new liquor: transmission fluid, rear differential fluid and engine oil were all topped off with synthetic formulas from Mobil 1. We also decided to change out the spark plugs on the 350Z. The factory recommends a platinum spark plug from NGK with a heat range of five which works fine on a normally aspirated trim engine, but for force induction duty a colder heat range is a must. GReddy supplied us with half a dozen iridium Racing spark plugs for the Nissan with a heat range of seven (the higher the number, the colder the spark plug) for higher intensity ignition. Unlike the factory platinum spark plugs, the GReddy iridium spark plugs feature a 0.4mm electrode tip, providing maximum spark intensity and combustion which generates optimum power output. The smaller electrode tip enables the ignition system to spark off the air/fuel mixture which makes it much easier to prevent misfires. The iridium tip spark plugs also have a temperature melting point of up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,200 degrees hotter than the platinum counterpart).

On the dyno the new iridium spark plugs proved their worth as we were able to generate an additional three to five horsepower throughout the powerband and also the dyno graph was much smoother at the higher engine speeds. The orange chick catcher now generates 347.7 horsepower and 322.7 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. In NA trim, the 350Z was only able to lay down 232.2 horsepower and 223.3 lb-ft of torque to the ground. That's an improvement of 115.5 horsepower and 99.4 lb-ft of torque to the wheels at 5 psi of boost pressure! GReddy claims 355 horsepower to the wheels at 5.5 psi so we're right on the money. Since we are still controlling boost pressure with the twin GReddy external wastegate, we are positive we'll break the 355-horsepower barrier when we add a boost controller. It just goes to show how big the twin turbo on the GReddy kit really is, when you can generate 20 horsepower from one psi of boost pressure. That's awesome.

Equally as impressive is the torque curve, with the Nissan generating over 300 lb-ft of torque from 3000 to 5700 rpm. The torque is truly realized on the street as the Nissan spins the big 19x10-in Racing Harts easily in first gear by just smashing the throttle. Slam the shifter into second and your head jerks back, pushing it further and further into the headrest. By the time you get it into third your body starts to fully feel the g-force as you sink into the seat. Once fourth gear comes around, the needle climbs fast into triple digit speeds. Not wanting to have the local Police call out the chopper, I slow to the 45 mph speed limit and wait for my heart beat to catch up while the adrenaline flows through my veins. What a rush! What is most surprising is how well the Nissan behaves on a daily basis. There are no hiccups or backfires on the entire powerband. Projekt Z drives like stock until the hammer is dropped! Watch out you Porsche owners, we are ready to do battle. Equal the performance at a third of the price of a Porsche 996 twin turbo--what more could you ask for?

Dazz Motorsports GReddy
SP Engineering (Dynojet Facility)
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