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Taiden
Taiden Dork
11/24/11 2:17 p.m.

How does one do a challenge budget VQ swap? What are the tricks? What do we need to look for? What really wakes up these motors? Octane and gas mileage? Any issues using the FWD blocks in RWD?

The 350z 6 speed seems to be strong and cheap.

I'm mostly concerned about getting it into a RWD platform, specifically an e30.

( And yes, I can't possibly swing the cost at the moment, but you enablers have me covered there, right? )

T.J.
T.J. SuperDork
11/25/11 7:48 a.m.

I'll watch this thread with interest.

I have no idea as to the answers to your questions, but if your VQ swapped E30 would end up sounding like a 350Z or nearly every other Nissan then that would be strange. Not sure how or why, but cars with VQ engines sound very recognizable to me. Not sure if I like the sound or not, but they are easily identified just by the sound.

My concern with the swap (knowing nothing about VQ engines and only a tiny bit about E30's) is that I would think the VQ engine with it's V configuration and DOHC heads would be a lot taller and wider than the straight 6 that more than likely was in the E30 to begin with. Will it fit under the hood?

Maybe you could also look for G35 drivetrains as well as 350Z. Might be less around, but also might be less demand.

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/25/11 9:06 a.m.

We are doing this swap into a BMW for Lemons. It can be done on a budget and may in fact turn out to be a great swap, it is on paper anyway.

Key is the trans. VQs do not bolt to older VG trans and there are no adapters that are made to do so. The auto box VQs have a removable bellhousing that may be adapted to something but it is not known what it may bolt to and what bits may be needed to make it work. As such the VQ 350 or truck trans is the easy way to go. They fetch around 700-800 if you want one fast but can be had for a good bit less if you are willing to wait and turn over some rocks or rebuild a broken one (early ones had synchro issues).

If you go the 350 trans route you will also need a starter from a RWD car and may in fact need the RWD oil pan with pump and 350 exhaust manifolds or headers may be nice adds as well as the VQ30 exhaust manifolds were known to be crap.

The VQ30 has a few significant upsides that led me to wanting one for our Lemons build. They are dead cheap and everywhere. The maxima chassis they are in is pretty well crap and will rust away to nothing while the motors last for very long times. A crafty person could buy a wrecked or rusted or no title Maxima, pull the motor and sell off a few bits and scrap the rest and in effect have a free motor, this is what we have done and its not hard.

Best of all, the VQ30 in stock form with decent exhaust should make around 200hp if its not beat all to heck. It will rev, have a nice broad curve and be somewhat easy on fuel while only weighing about 350lbs in a very small easy to package wrapper.

As for getting it to fit in a E30 or about any else, not hard at all. It is shorter than a BMW 6 in height and length and is really not much wider. Add to this that the weight of this motor is LESS than the iron block BMW 6 while sitting farther back in the chassis... whats not to love?

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/25/11 9:09 a.m.

Oh, as for motor mounts... The pads on the block are in decent spots. If you are pondering this swap you most likely have the skills to fab up what you need to make it work.

In my case I don't but the guys on my team do. I lurv them and their skilz.

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/25/11 9:24 a.m.

"What really wakes up these motors?"

On that issue... go right to the Nissan parts bin.

Get some later 350z cams and intake or maybe get an OOVI intake and mount it backwards so its not pointing at the firewall and adjust the computer (see Jim Wolfe or standalone) and you could be making north of 250whp without too much fuss. If you want to get all crazy I am sure you could do more but as we are doing Lemons we are keeping it real simple and have not investigated much past stock.

NA Maxima at near full weight runs mid 12s.

As you can see in the link above, Dandymax of Maxima.org showed that NA VQs can make stupid power. Somewhere I have his to do list for the motor in that car and its really quite simple. Nothing more than the parts listed above and a few local knowledge sort of tricks.

In short I think a person could make a challenge E30 that could run solid 11s as far as power to weight goes and the rest is up to the ability of the folks putting it together. Its a winner of a motor however. Just don't tell anyone until I have 2 or 3 more in the garage... ummkay?

MG_Bryan
MG_Bryan Reader
11/25/11 9:30 a.m.

In reply to dsycks:

How bulky is the transmission you're using behind it? When you say it's 350lbs, what's included in that weight?

Taiden
Taiden Dork
11/25/11 9:43 a.m.

dsycks, if you run into that list would you be so kind as to post it up?

Would it be fair to say that one could start with a FWD vq30de + 350z transmission, and then later down the road toss in a FWD vq35de without much headache?

also, any issues using a vq30 flywheel and clutch with the 350z transmission? that would save me a lot of money

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/25/11 9:58 a.m.

350lbs a rather rough weight but it should be pretty close. I don't have a way to easily put one on a scale but we will try to get some exact numbers as we bolt the whole thing together.

The trans IS a bit bulky but it should slide in with no problems. Others have put them into E30s without noting fitment issues. If it does bump anything we will simply use big hammer and if needed plasma zipper to make as much room as we need.

On the clutch and flywheel tip, this is in fact the beauty and part of the savings as you should use the VQ30 flywheel and clutch but as I recall you need a small spacer as the unit is thinner than the 350 piece. The spacer was made by someone on engine swap dot come but I don't think they have any of them in stock and I have not been able to get info.

Nick is our teams machine shop guru and will solve this issue in about as much time as it takes me to make him samich. I am sure he could make 10 widgets and make them available to all as easily as he makes one just for us. I will put in the request in anticipation.

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/25/11 10:20 a.m.

Ok, use of a VQ35 in a VQ30 aplication.

As I recall the timing gear on the front of a 35 is not the same as a 30. Once again, I have not dedicated a ton of thought or energy to this thought as we will be pretty well stock as extra power for us will be nothing but more problems.

But... I seem to recall that you can take the gear off a 30 and stap it onto a 35 and go to work. Folks have put VQ35s into maximas by doing this backwards sort off swap as they did not want to deal with getting a whole ECU and kit from a newer car to swap into their Max.

Now I may be very wrong about this but I sort of like the VQ30 more than the VQ35. The 35s I think had pretty thin ring packs on the pistons and some of the early ones also had cooling issues. The 30s however are pretty well fully over built and hard to kill which is EXACTLY what we need.

Others may want to consider starting with a dead VQ35 Altima and do the same things. Pull the motor, wires and ECU and such and scarp the rest. Use the motor and bits in your E30 and have a nice day. Word of warning however, anything past I think 1997 has security built into the ECU that wants to see a chipped key in order work. As such older VQ30 will be easier.

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/25/11 10:22 a.m.

List of mods used by Dandymax to make is 3000lb car run mid 12s...

http://forums.maxima.org/6400014-post1.html

Pretty simple really. Please note he is using a DEK which is the same long block as the regular DE with a better intake and different injectors. The intake seems to be worth maybe 15hp or so. Aside from that, easy to replicate.

Taiden
Taiden Dork
11/25/11 10:58 a.m.

Is the DEK manifold the one with double runners per port and butterfly activated runner activation? Or am I way off the mark on that

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/25/11 11:16 a.m.

It is in fact the plastic two runner manifold. Dandy also has a thread on how to mod it to make it better and more simple.

Taiden
Taiden Dork
11/25/11 11:18 a.m.

Just as you said, there is a handful of 5 speed maximas on craigslist for ~$500-$750

Are you guys running into any issues with the FWD accessory placement or exhaust manifolds?

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/25/11 11:18 a.m.

Pics and info on 00vi.

http://tatanko.boredmder.com/00VI_universal.html

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/25/11 11:20 a.m.
Taiden wrote: Just as you said, there is a handful of 5 speed maximas on craigslist for ~$500-$750

The VQ30 is in fact the motherload of light, powerful, uber awesome powerplant goodness.

It is the next big thing... I just don't want everyone to know about it so lets keep it to ourselves umm kay guys?

GRM only... pinky promise!

Vigo
Vigo SuperDork
11/25/11 11:49 a.m.

Dont have to tell me twice. Ive been wanting to do a 4th gen maxima super-cheap build for a long time. I guess the only thing stopping me is my fairly similar 3.0/5spd dynasty. It's only as fast as a stock 4th gen though.

Anyway, i was wondering how he was getting through the traps at 108 in 3rd gear until i found out he was revving to 7600 rpm.

Taiden
Taiden Dork
11/25/11 3:12 p.m.

For what it's worth, here is a dyno of a stock 2000 Maxima. It looks like there was a significant bump in output in 2000 and it may be because of the 00VI intake manifold?

Look at the torque "curve".

belteshazzar
belteshazzar SuperDork
11/25/11 3:49 p.m.

my dilemma is what to do with my '03 Maxima when the auto-trans frags itself. The way i drive + 160k... seems like somethings bound to happen.

low mileage junkyard autmatic transmissions are not rare or expensive. i wonder how big a deal it is to swap to a 6sp though.

Vigo
Vigo SuperDork
11/25/11 5:00 p.m.
bump in output in 2000 and it may be because of the 00VI intake manifold?

That's pretty much all it is. From what i remember the de and dek dyno charts look almost exactly the same until 5500+rpm. The 00vi makes it pull to redline. The non-vi intake definitely falls off hard above 6k.

As for waiting for your nissan trans to break, have fun with that. lol

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/25/11 5:26 p.m.

Yeah, the 00vi, cams and free flowing exhaust will really make a VQ30 sing.

We will be trying it without the cams and still think we will have more than enough power. Down the road if we need more power cams may be in order but I really doubt it will be needed.

Taiden
Taiden Dork
11/25/11 6:05 p.m.

I just wonder if starting with a vq35 will be better horsepower/$$ ratio than doing a vq30 + 00vi + cams + headers

But then you can't really buy a car and part it out for moneys. Sooo it's hard to say.

I wonder what an early vq30 + some vq35 cams + intake + exhaust + standalone ecu with a good tune would make. ++++++++++++++

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/25/11 6:36 p.m.

A lot.

One thing I really like about the VQ30 over the VQ35 is that if a person does do the add ons and blows the motor, the added cost is in parts that you simply swap onto the next fully disposable almost free long block.

Just do it... you know you want too.

Taiden
Taiden Dork
11/25/11 8:14 p.m.

I'm posting this here so I don't lose it, and you might find it interesting.

http://mgcgti.com/Page40.html
http://mgcgti.com/Page39.html
http://mgcgti.com/Page38.html

http://www.bgsoflex.com/intakeln.html

Good intake manifold theory, which seems to be the weak point of the early vq30s

dsycks
dsycks Reader
11/26/11 9:31 a.m.

So I want intake runners that are about 19"? That is not really what I expected at all.

But the combo of the intake and exhaust logs on the early VQ really did choke it down something awful. It still made 190hp from 3L however even with the handicap.

I really think its a heck of a motor that has just been ignored wholesale and is just waiting to be thrown in everything under the sun.

Taiden
Taiden Dork
11/26/11 10:39 a.m.

Is it true that it's a 1-2-3-4-5-6 firing order?

I wonder if a even/odd dual plenum setup would make significantly more power. I'd be willing to give up some low end in order to let it breathe up top.

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