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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
2/5/18 3:09 p.m.

Some projects are about the car, like our Z06 Corvette. Some are about a task, like our Ramp Truck. Some are about a person, like our Rotary Miata.

This one, though, is about an engine. We've been rebuilding a $400 LS1 ourselves, with the goal of stuffing it into a car and going very, very fast. Finally, we've found our victim: This 2003 Nissan 350Z. The other top candidate was an E36-chassis BMW M3, but that car turned out to be too rusty to save, never mind race.

Why choose a 350Z? We had a few reasons. First, they're common and inexpensive: We paid just $4500 for this example, which runs, drives, and looks great. It's even got cold A/C! And if you want one of your own, just type 350Z into craigslist and take your pick. Nissan produced the 350Z for 8 model years, selling nearly 162,000 examples of the 350Z in the U.S. alone. No, those aren't Camry production figures, but they mean that the 350Z isn't a rare car by any means.

Second, the 350Z gives us a great chassis as a starting point, as we proved with our last 350Z autocross car. It's also a platform that's already received a few well-documented LS swaps, most notably by Savanna Little Racing, a regular at our Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge. This means we won't be doing this all alone, and can learn from others' mistakes on our road to a fast track car.

Third, we already have an awesome partner lined up: LOJ Conversions makes exceedingly well thought-out LS swap kits for a few different cars, including the 350Z. They've agreed to help us with this project, donating a kit and their time to get our car running on all eight cylinders. After that, the sky's the limit. Well, the lifters, too–but we're pretty sure we'll be okay there.

Read the rest of the story

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
2/5/18 4:27 p.m.

Color me interested. 

monknomo Reader
2/5/18 4:31 p.m.

Knifemarks on the seats...  Where are you buying from?

Fitzauto Dork
2/5/18 4:32 p.m.

This is gonna be fun

Kreb UberDork
2/5/18 4:44 p.m.

I'd prefer to see you do it to a RX-8, but this is a mighty nice consolation prize.

dean1484 MegaDork
2/5/18 4:45 p.m.

Am I starting to see that there may be a red colored car theme in the garage?  Hay you do know that the red box behind the 350z would be fun with a LS in it.  


The0retical UltraDork
2/5/18 4:48 p.m.

Om nom LS powered 350z? I'm excited.

The0retical UltraDork
2/5/18 4:51 p.m.
monknomo said:

Knifemarks on the seats...  Where are you buying from?

Probably craigslist from a buyer that only accepts cryptocurrencies.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
2/5/18 4:54 p.m.

I buy all my projects on Craigslist! I think the seats were the result of an angry ex, not a murderer, since there are no blood stains. 

As far as the red box goes... don’t tempt me. A buddy of mind has an adapter plate that would let it bolt up to the stock 5-speed. 

racerdave600 UltraDork
2/5/18 5:01 p.m.

Are you leaving the automatic or changing it out?  Great project by the way.  350's seem to be everywhere and are pretty cheap, even for nice running and looking cars that need little work.

TheV8Kid HalfDork
2/5/18 7:44 p.m.

Can't wait to see it in person!

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
2/5/18 7:51 p.m.
Kreb said:

I'd prefer to see you do it to a RX-8, but this is a mighty nice consolation prize.

If it makes you feel better I'm working on one. 

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
2/5/18 7:53 p.m.

Sponsored by free time scouring forums, car-part and Craigslist. 

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
2/5/18 7:55 p.m.

Should be around $5-6k all in with an LS1 / T56.... Sorry for the multiple posts. Haven't figured out how to enter more than one pic with the new system

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
2/5/18 8:18 p.m.

The automatic is going bye-bye, and I'm using a Tremec Magnum from American Powertrain in its place.

Greg, you're only 5 miles from my house. We may need to share notes. Also, I've got a pile of F-body LS1 parts and accessories that you may be interested in.

Dirtydog Reader
2/5/18 8:52 p.m.

Interested in this build.  Perhaps in honor of the seats, 350 Zlash.

dxman92 Reader
2/5/18 8:54 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I'm a Craigslist only buyer as well. All my projects are bicycles tho.


Red is a really sharp color in those z cars!

pinchvalve MegaDork
2/5/18 9:15 p.m.

Will it now be a 570Z? 

Jerry UberDork
2/5/18 9:24 p.m.

I don't know, coworker bought a 350Z to do a little autocross and seems more interested in track days now, and fully admits the car is too heavy among other things.  I guess an LS would compensate for much.

doc_speeder HalfDork
2/5/18 10:08 p.m.

350Z vs RX8 for LS swap=no contest...The 350Z isn't ugly.

2/5/18 10:25 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Many, many years ago I was driving back down the beach after drag racing my cousin.  He had stopped and was now running toward me down the beach.  Turns out he had said the wrong thing to his crazy girl friend and she went after him with a hunting knife she had in her purse.  When we got back to his car she was bent over stabbing the pristine drivers side bucket seat of his 64' Ford Fairlane Sports Coupe.  She looked up at us with crazy blood lust eyes, but we eventually  talked her down.  They spent the rest of the night giggling and laughing in their tent.  Go figure. 

scardeal SuperDork
2/6/18 7:02 a.m.

Color me jealous!

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
2/6/18 7:08 a.m.
doc_speeder said:

350Z vs RX8 for LS swap=no contest...The 350Z isn't ugly.

They both sound horrible and should both be swapped. cheeky

bluebarchetta Reader
2/6/18 8:33 a.m.

A first-gen RX-7 on Enkei92s, an LS on an engine stand, a bottle of Miller High Life, and two faithful dogs.  If Heaven isn't a lot like Greg Voth's garage, I don't want to go.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
2/6/18 11:27 a.m.

It's a pretty sweet setup. For the record, Greg lives around the corner from my parents. Other neighborhood highlights: A guy with 6? Sunbeam Tigers and a bunch of other old Fords. A guy that bought a TR6 brand new and has daily driven it ever since. The guy that invented this: 


And, of course, our esteemed publisher Tim Suddard, who has this apart in his garage:



Yeah, it's no wonder I turned out the way I did growing up in that neighborhood.

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