Aug 4, 2010 update on Deedilus's 2005 Nissan 450z

Engine blown @ drift event - V8 swap in progress

update image

Well, after just 4 months my wonderful stock VQ35DE has decided it doesn’t like to live and has committed suicide…. with some help from my buddy who aided it by stripping the oil drain plug. During a drift event last Saturday the stripped plug fell out, draining the engine oil and I hope you can understand where this is leading.

Unfortunately for me, my Z is not only my drift / track car, but also my daily driver. So obviously I need it back and ready to go as soon as possible. Immediately after the incident, I began contemplating options on how to get Sadie (as I’ve come to call the Z, inspired by the song Sexy Sadie by the Beatles) back on the roads as soon as possible for as little money as possible… All while getting the most out of the engine.

Most of you probably know that when it comes to our world of gears, engines, and conversational awkwardness with people uninterested on anything motoring, the words “power, reliability, quality, quick, and cheap” hardly go together. Generally it’s more like “power / reliability / quality = expensive;” unless you’re the type of person that thinks a $50 aluminum and fake carbon fiber eBay wing drilled onto the back of your car will add about 150 horsepower to compliment the 60 horsepower added by this mornings empty Folgers can taped to your exhaust.

So, to make a long story short, there wasn’t really a set in stone way to get my Z running fast, easily, and cheaply. However while I was standing there contemplating with some friends as to what should be done, one of them mentioned something about slapping a V8 into the Z. Now if I wanted a muscle car with a V8 I could have easily just bought a Mustang GT and been done with it. After explaining this to him, he continued to tell me about the V8 that currently rests inside of the Infiniti Q45: The VH45DE.

My friend knows someone who has done a VH45 swap into pretty much anything you can imagine. One thing he has done this swap extensively to is the 300ZX, the Z32. After speaking with him, I found out some of the stats that come with this engine when put on the Z32; and for the price my jaw literally dropped. From his previous Z32 swaps, this is what he said I can expect:

  • 300whp, and quite a trailer-load of torques at the disposal of my right foot, STOCK.
  • A total of 50lbs MAX added by the swap.
  • Completely forged internals and upgraded fuel injectors come STOCK with the engine, this is practically a race-bred engine.
  • If I decide to force-feed mouth fulls of air (Forced induction) the only thing I MIGHT have to replace are the fuel injectors, and I can expect around 460whp. Also, according to most people that I have spoken to that are familiar with the VH45, I won’t have to upgrade the internals of the engine until around 900hp.
  • Thanks to the bucket load of torque available from such a low RPM, even better fuel economy than my VQ was getting (Around 20mpg in the city, much better than my VQ’s 16-17mpg in the city)
  • Working A/C and power steering.
  • A sound ebbing from the engine bay that is as smooth as smearing lotion onto Mila Kunis, yet as menacing as explosions emanating from the walls of an active rock quarry (Okay, he didn’t say this but I’ve heard the engine before and this is the best way I can express the incredible sound waves it produces).
  • A very reliable motor, that if it does end up blowing is cheap to replace (Only about $500 for the motor). I know someone who is drifting a Q45 with 220,000 miles on the engine, still runs like it’s brand new and if you actually look at the internals of the engine, they still look like they are brand new as well..
  • Around 19 days for the swap to be completed.
  • Only $1800 more than replacing the old VQ with a new stock VQ.

I don’t know about you, but those seem like some pretty damn strong plus points. After hearing all of that and looking up more information on the VH, I was completely sold. Yesterday he came by and picked the car up; it was an incredibly sad sight seeing my obsession and love child leaving my house on a tow truck. However, seeing as it looks like I’m the first or second person to ever do this swap, I think I made the right move.

I’m really excited for the end result, and do believe that this swap could open the flood gates for more 350z’s to try and go this route if something goes haywire, to me it’s a cheaper and much more exciting route to go than building the stock VQ35. If we stick to the swap schedule, it should be completely finished and finalized in about 18 days, which means by August 22nd. I’m definitely going to be posting up pics, vids, etc. on different forums such as, so you can expect hearing more from me for about the next month.

I could write on and on about the subject and could keep writing for days about this swap, it’s benefits, etc. but I think this post right now is long enough. If you would like to know more about the swap, or are just intrigued and want to offer information, comments, critiques, or just want to hear more please feel free to get in contact with me either here, or on I’d be extremely happy to answer any questions or provide you more information.

I attached a picture of the VH45 in all of it’s glory. This is not the one I am going to be using, it’s one of two at my friends house that lives inside of two drifting 240sx’s, one an S13 and the other an S14 for those who are interested. This engine in those is INCREDIBLE, and if you have the spare money and think it might be a fun swap, all I have to say is do it, because you won’t regret it!

Also, I’m still trying to decide what color I want to paint the valve colors. Any suggestions welcome!! Right now I’m thinking of something like white, a carbon fiber paint pattern, or maybe red. I’m open to anything though, give me your suggestions and I might go ahead and paint it that color!


Our Preferred Partners