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ChrisDrift 10-17-2020 07:43 PM

370Z Drift Comp Car
Bought my 370Z over a year ago with the intention of it being a drift practice car to go alongside my 350Z competition car (built VQ35DE, twin turbo, 600+ bhp).

However, plans have changed and I'm now going to be putting the engine and turbos from the 350 into the 370 and using that as my competition car next year.

I'll be doing weekly videos of the progress on my youtube channel but also wanted to document useful info and progress pics here in case it helps anyone else out.

EDIT: Just put a video up explaining the logic for switching from the 350 to the 370:

ChrisDrift 10-17-2020 08:06 PM

So here's what the car currently looks like after I'd done a load of mods with the idea of it being a practice car:

Here's some random progress pics of things I've done recently to get it that point.

Installed wisefab angle kit:

You have to grind a bit of the front subframe out for the offset rack spacers to work (although we will be moving the entire rack forward soon so won't be using the spacers then):

Rear wisefab setup and dual calipers for hydro handbrake:

Got cage installed (not done by me):

Weighed the car (this is with the cage and everything else on apart from exhaust):

Made a little line lock setup that we're going to use in the hydro handbrake lines so that I can actually lock the handbrake on briefly when I need to get out the car without turning it off and leaving it in gear. There is a locking mechanism built in to the handbrake but in my experience having this handbrake on the 350Z, it doesn't work very well at all.

Made a little oil cooler setup:

Got a fibreglass rear hatch from and I have to say although I was a bit wary of such a large fibreglass part from a company I'd never heard of, it actually fits extremely well. Literally just like OEM fitment. Got it painted since this pic and installed polycarbonate window in it from here (also fit perfectly):

and yeah loads of other bits but I'm not going to post too many pics of that stuff because most of it will be changing now we're putting the forged VQ35DE and turbos in from my 350Z very soon.

I'll post plenty of pics of that whole process here as I do it (and more on my instagram story here). I'll have a video up in a few days of the first practice day I did in it in its current state though so will post that here when its up

DOOMMONKEY777 10-19-2020 07:30 AM

So, the wheelbase is shorter, doesn't that bother you?

Also which final ratio are you goin for?

ChrisDrift 10-20-2020 08:49 PM


Originally Posted by DOOMMONKEY777 (Post 3966228)
So, the wheelbase is shorter, doesn't that bother you?

Also which final ratio are you goin for?

Can't say I noticed the shorter wheelbase when I drifted it for the first time last week. Just uploaded the video from that day actually:

As for the final drive ratio, I'll probably stick with stock although I do have a shorter one on the shelf that I was going to put in the 350 at some point. At the end of the day some tracks are ideal for one ratio and some are ideal for another. Whilst shorter final drive might seem better overall if you don't care about top speed (which we obviously don't in drifting), on some tracks a longer ratio might mean I can just stay in 3rd gear for the entire track instead of a shorter ratio where I'd need to keep changing between 3rd and 4th. With semi slick tyres that want to grip up whenever you're off throttle and my slow *** gear changes, I want to keep shifts to a minimum :icon17:

ChrisDrift 10-23-2020 04:44 PM

Got the engine out of the 370 today.

I found a thread on this forum where someone lifted the engine using the bolts that normally hold the intake manifold on so I went for a similar technique. Wanted some welding practice before I start making all the stuff for this build so I made these lifting points :rolleyes:

Probably massively overkill but did the job and got the engine out (had already removed the gearbox beforehand)

Will be taking engine and everything out of the 350 over the weekend, then will put it in the 370 chassis and see if we're going to need to make custom engine/trans mounts or need a custom prop shaft etc

ChrisDrift 10-26-2020 08:27 PM

Got the 350 engine into the 370 chassis today and it went relatively smoothly. Ignore the cuts in the lower aluminium brace - that's certainly not required to get the engine in but it just made things easier with the engine crane and we're replacing that brace with something else anyway.

The 350 engine fit perfectly into 370 subframe, still on the same mounts we had in the 350. The transmission mount from the 350 was nowhere near though so we had to grab the one off the 370 transmission. That still wasn't at the right height though until we swapped the rear section (the bit that holds the shifter) from the 370 transmission onto the 350 transmission, as otherwise that part hits the top of the trans tunnel. After that things looked a lot better but we did have to widen the trans mount holes slightly to get all 4 bolts through and into the threaded holes in the chassis.

So then we stuck the 370 prop shaft in (think in the US call it the drive shaft) and that fit perfectly between the 350 gearbox and 370 diff.

Oh also took the stock fuel tank and fuel lines out, ready for the Radium tank to go in later

Now we're onto trying to figure out exactly where we want to mount the turbos and route all of the intake and exhaust pipework so that we can do a bonnet exhaust. The main reason for bonnet exit is weight saving but also frees up space for other things under the car like coolant lines going to rear radiator, plus saves having to get exhausts back past the manifolds and steering column etc. Having said that, it is turning out to be a lot harder than you'd think because we're trying to fit a muffler in somewhere as well. The drifting series I compete in has got a lot stricter on noise regs recently so the last thing I want to do is spend months building this thing and then find out it isn't allowed on track and we have no room to fit a muffler without re making the entire turbo setup.

Looking at good ways to route the exhaust manifold through from the side of the engine up to the front, we decide we're going to move the power steering pump from the top left to bottom right and that makes life much easier. Obviously will be a bit of a pain mounting it and might need to add another idler, but not the end of the world.

So yeah, still lots of things to figure out but I think tomorrow I'll just start cutting the stock chassis legs and headlight bracket stuff out so that I can see how much room we really have. Obviously we'll replace the chassis legs with some pretty strong tube, but that will take up a lot less space.

ChrisDrift 11-01-2020 07:54 AM

Made a start on stripping the interior out:

Also removed the ABS unit as I'll be replacing that with a brake bias valve:

Oh and the new fuel cell arrived :)

ChrisDrift 11-02-2020 07:59 AM

Pretty much finished taking all the wiring out the front and rear now (ignore the random paint, that will be done properly when everything is finished, and most of the floor in the rear will be cut out anyway)

So now I guess I'm finally going to make a start on the turbo manifolds that I've been putting off.

Last night I cut up the old manifold so that I could use some bits of it as a guide for now until new collectors and flanges turn up.... and yeah, its gonna be a pain in the *** to make everything fit where I want it

EDIT: Video of me stripping it all out is up now if anyone's interested in watching me struggle and swear a lot :)

ChrisDrift 11-05-2020 06:11 PM

Cut the chassis legs off (as we'll be replacing them with some tube)

Then I welded some 3mm thick plates in (which was a nightmare trying to weld to the very thin chassis metal):

Also made a proof of concept for the front mounted throttle body we're considering going for.

Ignore the terrible welding etc, it was purely to get the throttle in the right place so a friend can take measurements and make the whole top half of the plenum in CAD with the new throttle position. Then we'll get the full thing made from billet if everything looks good and the cost isn't too ridiculous.

The reason I'm keen on having the throttle body there instead of the normal position is because then we don't have to have an intake pipe sat right on top of one of the turbos and directly above one of the manifolds. Considering we will have the intercooler exit coming out of the top end tank, it makes sense to just have it go from that into the throttle body at the front with just one straight silicon coupler.

ChrisDrift 11-08-2020 05:50 PM

Got a lot more stuff done over the last few days

Couldn't find an intercooler core in the right orientation and dimensions that I needed so bought 2 smaller ones and turned them on their side, then welded them together.

Welding aluminium is tricky at the best of times but welding right next to these super thin fins was even more unpleasant. Eventually started to get the hang of it though and not melt them all

Then one of my friends came and gave me a hand building up the exhaust manifold.

Ignore the horrible looking flanges and lower parts, I'm re using the old ones that were ceramic coated and haven't taken all the coating off yet/

Oh and we cut some of the rear out

ChrisDrift 11-12-2020 07:45 PM

Got one of the manifolds welded up fully so now the turbo on that side is mounted :) Still need to cut a hole in it and branch off for the wastegate before the turbo though.

ChrisDrift 11-13-2020 08:37 PM

Got the second turbo manifold welded up and tacked the downpipes in place today. Will make a start on wastegate and screamer pipe stuff next week once I get some more welding gas. Can't remember if I mentioned it already but the reason for the downpipes doing a 180 like that is so I can fit a small silencer in at the bottom before they come back up and exit out the hood

Rusty 11-14-2020 12:52 AM

I love seeing builds like this. :tup:

bpchaos 11-15-2020 04:43 PM

I wonder - would an X pipe or crossover do anything here? I assume the exhaust pulses would have been muffled by this point, post turbo, but you have the opportunity here for some noises.

ChrisDrift 11-17-2020 06:54 PM


Originally Posted by Rusty (Post 3971085)
I love seeing builds like this. :tup:

Glad you're enjoying :) still seems like I have a million things left to do but hopefully it'll be worth it.


Originally Posted by bpchaos (Post 3971326)
I wonder - would an X pipe or crossover do anything here? I assume the exhaust pulses would have been muffled by this point, post turbo, but you have the opportunity here for some noises.

Did consider joining the two downpipes together as they're so close but I think I'd rather keep them separate for a few reasons. Firstly it will make it slightly more work to install/remove things because then if you wanted to remove one downpipe you'd have to remove both. Not a big deal I know but one of my goals with this build was to make it as easy to work on as possible.

The other reason for not wanting to join them is because when everything expands with heat the two manifolds are going to try to move slightly further apart, so hard mounting them to each other at the front might lead to some extra stress on my crappy welds lol I know it would probably be fine, as other people do similar things with single turbo setups but I'd just rather not risk it when there's not much benefit to joining them. Oh and unfortunately noise is pretty low on my priority list because the drifting championship I compete in has got a lot stricter with noise regulations this year :( hence the funky downpipe design just so I can fit a silencer in

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