Mar 15, 2018 update to the Nissan 350Z project car

Project LSZ: What Does It Weigh?

We’re going to install an LS1 and a Tremec Magnum six-speed manual in our Nissan 350Z soon, but before we do, we wanted to find out how much the stock car weighs.

In order to do that, we needed corner weight scales. We broke out our trusty set, then… they broke. Hey, after nearly 20 years, even our scales deserve some time off. Fortunately we’re just a few minutes away from VMP Performance, an amazing facility that devotes most of its expertise to Mustang tuning. They kindly let us borrow their scales so we could weigh our 350Z.

So, how much does a completely stock 2003 Nissan 350Z with a full interior, full tank of gas, and automatic transmission weigh? 3299 pounds, with nearly 54% of that on the front axle.

That begged the question: Will removing the stock drivetrain and adding two cylinders increase the weight? We’ll find out soon enough, but it’s definitely going to be a close race.

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tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
3/15/18 8:38 a.m.

That's a pretty trim weight. I can't wait to see this play out. I am especially curious how you're going to handle engine management and the pedal box.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UberDork
3/15/18 8:44 a.m.

If it's not too late, you should weigh the car with the original bits removed, and then again with the LS installed. Or just weigh the LS parts seperately. There's never proper weights for drive train swaps on the internet.

Run_Away
Run_Away HalfDork
3/15/18 9:01 a.m.

That's lighter than expected for an auto with a full tank. 

I'm interested in seeing how the weight distribution end up with the T56

Kreb
Kreb UberDork
3/15/18 9:04 a.m.

The VQ35 is a pretty lightweight motor. I expect the LSX + tranny to add heft - but not a heck of a lot. Could probably be offset by creative weight stripping/moving. Will be interested to see how this plays out.

 

FuzzWuzzy
FuzzWuzzy Reader
3/15/18 9:11 a.m.

God, if you could get weights of JUST the LS and then JUST the Tremec, you guys might be the saviors of the internet since apparently no one has ever actually weighed the engine and trans before.

Even just finding out what the 350z sans engine/trans weighs would help satisfy some curiosity.

 

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
3/15/18 9:42 a.m.
Kreb said:

The VQ35 is a pretty lightweight motor. I expect the LSX + tranny to add heft - but not a heck of a lot. Could probably be offset by creative weight stripping/moving. Will be interested to see how this plays out.

 

Machinenbau might be able to get us an exact weight on the vq in a couple of weeks here if we ask nicely (and maybe suggest a method to accurately weigh a motor).

His research agrees with yours that the vq is very light.

I hope grm does the swap first without any weight reduction and then does the weight stripping after. 

dcamp2
dcamp2 New Reader
3/15/18 9:48 a.m.

My Dad had a 350z as a track car for a few years.  He took it to a landscape materials place to use their truck scales before and after stripping the interior.  Got about 250 lbs out of it (interior, air conditioner, stereo, 1/2 dash etc). 

 

It weighed just over 3000 after stripping.  Not bad for a fairly big car with a V-6.  

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
3/15/18 10:13 a.m.
dcamp2 said:

My Dad had a 350z as a track car for a few years.  He took it to a landscape materials place to use their truck scales before and after stripping the interior.  Got about 250 lbs out of it (interior, air conditioner, stereo, 1/2 dash etc). 

 

It weighed just over 3000 after stripping.  Not bad for a fairly big car with a V-6.  

If you bring scrap metal in to be recycled, they PAY you to weigh your car. Doesn't get any more grm than that!

evildky
evildky SuperDork
3/15/18 11:23 a.m.

It's only about 30 lbs lighter than my 06 Grand Touring with 3/4 tank. Guessing yours is the Touring trim?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
3/15/18 11:49 a.m.

I think so, yes. It has traction control, which I think means it isn't the base model.

I am going to weigh each piece of the drivetrain as it goes in/out, and the car will be put together "stock" first. I'm even keeping the factory floor mats in place for its first post-LS1 weighing! From there I'll start removing weight and adding fancy new performance parts. Basically going to build a "stock" LSZ, then modify that.

FuzzWuzzy
FuzzWuzzy Reader
3/15/18 11:57 a.m.

I'm overly giddy about seeing true LS weights. Will you be including fluids in the weight?

Now only if you guys were able to get a hold of some iron blocks for a numbers comparison...

maschinenbau
maschinenbau Dork
3/15/18 12:05 p.m.

Thank you! My internet forum research has yielded a range of VQ35 weight between 330 and 415 lbs. I am very curious about the actual weight. Please get the auto trans weight too :)

Agent98
Agent98 Reader
3/16/18 8:23 p.m.

GRM rocks! another great project. One comment - My 1998 Firebird formula AT AC Ttops big cheesy MDF sub box in the back with LS1 only weighs 3400 lb, as weighed on the truck scales at the local landfill. A Z is only 101 lb less than an FBody?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
3/17/18 9:42 a.m.

That wouldn't surprise me. Side airbags, giant wheels and tires, stereo, etc. all add up. Plus 350Zs are pretty darn big cars.

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
3/17/18 10:12 a.m.

 Am I crazy for considering 3200lbs light? 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
3/17/18 10:32 a.m.

In reply to yupididit :

In the world of 2800 LB BRZ and 3300 LB Vettes, no not really

Will
Will UltraDork
3/17/18 10:50 a.m.
bmw88rider said:

In reply to yupididit :

In the world of 2800 LB BRZ and 3500 LB Vettes, no not really

FTFY.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/19/18 12:47 p.m.

...and 4000 lb Cameros.

The reason you never see good engine weights online is because nobody ever weighs them the same way. With accessories or without? If with, which ones? With fluids or dry? If wet, which oil pan? With a clutch/flywheel/flexplate or without? With the wiring or without?

T56 Magnum (4th gen F body fitment) with fluid: 137 lbs.
Camaro SS-spec LS3 with all accessories, flywheel, clutch, and a full sump: 485 lbs. I do not believe that includes the wiring harness.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Reader
3/19/18 4:06 p.m.

The stock curb weight of a c5 zo6 was around 3100 lbs or so.

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
3/19/18 10:29 p.m.

Our WRL GP1 class 2006 350Z weighs in at just over 3100lbs with the interior stripped out and a roll cage.  That’s with an auto trans as well.

 

Edited to say:  That’s with the VQ, not the LS.

bowtieBMW
bowtieBMW New Reader
3/20/18 8:27 a.m.

A bare LS is about 415 lb.  Clutch and flywheel can add 60 or more lb to that.  My BMW E34 with LS1 weighs 3350 lb with 47% on the front.  It has a slimmed down wiring harness, trimmed front bumper beam, and light seats.  Otherwise it has a full interior, full size spare tire, big brakes, big diff, AC and power brakes, steering, windows, and sunroof.

StuntmanMike
StuntmanMike New Reader
3/20/18 8:55 a.m.

I bet the LS will weigh roughly the same if not a little less. Trade the v6 DOHC for a v8 OHV, less moving parts that are mostly steel and higher center of gravity for the 3.5

Everyone is tired of LS swaps but it really doesn't get any more practical for so many reasons!

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
3/20/18 3:30 p.m.

The new NSX is over 3700lbs.  A 1LE 1SS Camaro is right there with it, not 4000.

tr8todd
tr8todd Dork
3/21/18 6:13 a.m.

I'm playing the same what will it weigh game.  Take stock TR8 coupe with a starting weight of around 2500lbs.  Gut it, remove any sign of undercoating, strengthen body and add 140 feet of roll cage tubing integrated into body structure.  Stuff in a modified LS3 and Tremec TR6060 courtesy of a wrecked 2010 Camaro SS, and an Explorer 8.8 rear end.  Add big radiator, wheels, and tires, brakes, and a fully adjustable suspension.  Spray foam will be used to blend cage into interior A pillars and along the roof line, then covered with alcantra suede.  Lightweight Recaros sourced from a 320i, and a lighweight dash, no carpet finish the interior.  Nothing I can do to hide door bars and diagonals, but thats not going to be an issue.  Goal is 2500lbs when finished with 3 times the HP.  Weighing as I go makes me think I'm on target.  Well under 2000 lbs with body and driveline installed.  Still need front suspension, wheels and tires, and interior, and fiberglass bumpers hood and trunk.

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
3/21/18 1:46 p.m.

Speaking of weight, I've gotten into discussions several times about differences in drivetrain weight (all thw way to the hubs) between RWD and FWD cars. It always degrades into what the engine alone weighs, where people leave out rather critical parts for a true apples-to-apples comparison.

RWD: engine + transmission + driveshaft + differential + axles

FWD: engine + transaxles + half shafts

Just the rear axle and differential in my brother's Super Stalker is around 150 lbs. I realize this has little to do with this thread but I'm just underscoring how important it is to list out what exactly is being measured. Pictures help a lot to keep everyone honest.

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