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Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy SuperDork
5/5/18 8:55 p.m.

I'd like an update please. This is awesome sauce.

8/27/18 12:09 p.m.

Noob here...

So I'm thinking of swapping my 350z engine into my 89 RX7. LOOOOONG story short, I have a useless 350z chassis with a fully functional engine and drivetrain. Then I have my RX7.... I want more power in the tiny car and better emissions... Mostly more power....I need to completely rebuild and rewire the rotary and came to the conclusion of doing a swap. Its cheaper to just swap versus rebuilding the entire engine since everything is on hand...


In your process of doing this have you came across any parts in production that can be used directly for this (or) slightly modified?

Or is everything straight from scratch?

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/29/18 6:36 a.m.

I am curious if this ever got completed.


That is a tall engine.  I would take some measurements and see how much ground clearance you are okay with.

Most parts for this swap will need to be fabricated unless somebody recently came out with a kit.

Ethan New Reader
10/1/18 9:15 p.m.

In reply to JesTerI3 :

The main problem with this swap is the oil pan being front sump on a VQ. An '02 pathfinder upper and lower oil pan will bolt on to convert it to rear sump, but it is a tall rear sump pan, as its from an SUV. Pretty much the whole VQ intake plenum sticks out of the engine bay, while the oil pan is 1" off the ground. So you have to modify the shape of the lower oil pan, or do a dry sump setup, which would be ideal. Last I checked the only dry sump kit for the VQ was by Dailey Engineering, and somewhere in the neighborhood of $6k. We will probably be fabricating our own, unless I win the lottery, or Dailey Engineering decides to send me one. Like wvumtnbkr said, engine and trans mounts will also have to be fab'd.

       Also, just for reference, my VQ measures about an inch from the back of the plenum to the firewall with nearly the whole engine sitting behind the front cross member and weighing 40lbs more than the rotary it replaced (I still like rotaries.) FCs are known for their perfect 50/50 weight distribution, and the first year hardtop (1986) was around 600lbs lighter than the 1987 and later models. By all accounts it should turn out to be a little ripper, even before any FI.

      I have recently heard of someone in Florida that completed this swap, but as far as im aware he modified or changed the FC's cross member (and rack?), instead of the VQ itself.

    As for its current state, it hasn't changed since the last update. Once again priorities have shifted away from the FC temporarily and unfortunately. On the plus side, it will never go anywhere. Im a radiator, driveshaft, and few other small odds and ends away from driving it, and still have yet to fire it. There is still a lot of parts needed before being able to track/race it (seats, dash, safety etc.) I haven't forgotten the build thread though, and the next update will be actual progress. Apologies for the delay.

The 6+ year build continues...

12/3/19 9:07 p.m.

In reply to Boso_FC :

Who did your motor mounts 

Ethan New Reader
7/22/20 10:17 p.m.

The VQFC has been succesfully swapped, more details to come, but here is a teaser... https://youtu.be/YJB2WGDR1dA

Ethan New Reader
7/22/20 10:18 p.m.

In reply to Qendall :

A buddy of mine fab'd them.

maschinenbau (I live here)
maschinenbau (I live here) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/23/20 8:03 a.m.

In reply to Ethan :

Ohhhh that is so awesome. I really need to try drifting my own VQ swap monstrosity. 

ProDarwin UltimaDork
7/23/20 8:04 a.m.

Until that last post this thread was a great reminder of why I don't do large projects.  

Looks like a ton of fun.

Ethan New Reader
7/23/20 1:45 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

In hindsight, I wouldn't start another big project, until I had EVERYTHING needed to finish it. I moved 10 times in 9 years, and had to push it around for that long, it sucked... It's by no means "done," but it at least moves under its own power, and I can enjoy it now. Never once did I consider selling it or parting it out, which is uncharacteristic of me.

bobby_hill69 New Reader
10/10/20 7:07 p.m.

In reply to Ethan :

What did you do about the oil pan problem? I am considering buying an fc, with plans to do this when I have the money, This seems like the best option as I despise the LS swap, but the wall of either having an inch of ground clearance or spending 6k on a dry sump seems like a pretty big hurdle because I'd like to daily it.

Ethan VQFC
Ethan VQFC New Reader
3/3/21 5:58 p.m.

Better late than never, right?

...Persistence pays off sounds better.

(Huge photos too lazy to resize them all)

How it sat for the last while...

Got some fenders & rollers back on to transport it back to Jeremys.

Side note: Tried fitting a fwd VQ35 plenum, to no avail. Also installed an un-cracked gray/black dash & door cards before hand, but I forgot to get photos. No more burgundy!

Got it to it's new/temporary home for the next couple months. Engine and trans pulled.

Started working on the rear subframe  first. I knew I had to flip the subframe mounts that I had previously installed incorrectly,

so I decided to add more PBM goodies, & ARP extended studs.

Ronin "stage 3" rear camber links (to remove camber when lowered) vs stock links

decided to pull & weld up the old clutch lsd while I was at it.

(what was gutted from the diff)

To avoid doing $600 wheel bearings just to get the extended studs in, I drilled out a pre-existing hole in the rear knuckle/hub to be able to slide the studs in from the back. Held up fine on the track and still seems structurally sound.

Wheels came in about that time. Custom made by "Threepiece.us" 17" faces mated to 18" stepped lips/barrels. Super Advan SA3R 18x9.5 +10 square wrapped in (235?) 595 SS's

While were on the topic of wheels, I happened to find a 1980's Nardi 360mm Classic.

started on the engine & oil pan problem. Chopped off almost 3" of the pan, leak tested it, then made a new block off plate/lower pan.

Next was to shorten the baffle/pickup tube


Also moved the drain plug to the side, instead of bottom of the pan & welded -10 AN fittings to the oil ports to ease relocating the oil filter & add a cooler.

Oil filter relocation kit barely cleared the ps rack. I didn't get any photos of the power steering swap, but I had to have lines made to adapt the ps rack & mounted the res on the inner passenger fender well.

new location of oil filter & Accusump installed because VQ.

New clearance of the oil pan. About 1.5" or so above the crossmember now.

driveshaft I had made at a local shop. For those wondering I just brought in a T2 driveshaft & Nissan CD009 yoke with a measurement to have it made.

Koyo radiator & ebay fans. Jeremy had an SR koyo laying around, so he cut & moved the ports to match the VQ.

Also installed an 85mm? throttle body

FPR & fuel filter

Then on to the wiring which I don't have any photos of yet, but we used a diagram that's floating around on the interwebs that shows the (7?) grounds a VQ needs & all the pinouts of the ECU. "Handypack" universal relay kits were used for the relays. Also, relocated the battery to behind the passenger seat.

Side note: I got some parts off a guy who'd been collecting GRM magazines & I somehow ended up with 60+ issues.

Another side note: Jeremy's LS3 S13 track monster

That's about it though. Here's the first start video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miD0hwFhII4

Gassed up, self tapped the rest of the kit on, full alignment, and off to the event.

(at another friends place)

I was unable to get the hydro ebrake finished, so I was just flicking & kicking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJB2WGDR1dA


We were able to finish the swap 1 day before the drift event (Independence Matsuri @ SCR.) The only time I got to drive it before the track, was to the track. All in all I couldn't be happier. The car handled & ran like a dream, other than a couple small hiccups. It still needs (and is getting) fixed bucket seats/harnesses, paint, gauges installed, integration of the stock FC accessories/controls/lights and a decent amount of tidying. It will remain "street legal."


... And that's how you put a VQ35 into an FC RX7 (in 7 years.)

Thanks for tagging along. I will continue to post updates to this thread, as the build (slowly) continues.





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