Video: 350Z’s Motor Blows At 9,000 RPM!

Sasha Anis’ green 350Z is no stranger to these pages. A comprehensively-built track car, this machine takes its inspiration from ALMS GT cars of a decade ago, and utilizes a sequential gearbox, a mildly tuned motor, and functional aerodynamics to provide some remarkable performance—including a 1:21 at Mosport and a heated dice with a Porsche GT3 Cup Car. Unfortunately, the regular hammering it receives did not do its motor any favors on this fated day.

The Z storming down the straight before the motor blew.

Despite the incredible sound this VQ35 makes, it really isn’t that wildly modified. The mill uses custom JE pistons, custom grind cams and valve springs by Jim Wolf Technology, 53mm individual throttle bodies from Jenvey, and C3 Composites’ custom carbon airboxes to ensure cool airflow into the motor.

It also displaces 3.7 liters by using an OE VQ37 crankshaft and VQ35 connecting rods, and GT-R rod bolts. Keeping the whole mill lubed under heavy cornering is a Dailey dry sump and a Peterson oil tank; the latter located over the rear wheels to keep them firmly planted. A Bosch 044 fuel pump feeds the thirsty engine, and the Injector Dynamics 725-cc injectors relay that juice.

The head is largely stock, and it still flows well enough to support 9,000 rpm, where the motor makes—or made—an impressive 413 horsepower at the rear wheels. However, one pesky rod decided it needed to break free of its shackles, and in doing so, punched a massive hole through the block. The telltale oil leaks had Anis and his team scratching their heads, and the split starter was another indication the engine had suffered some sort of serious failure. Yet, the car managed to idle and maintain oil pressure long enough to roll back into the pits—a testament to the VQ’s architecture.

A ventilated block is “no big deal” for the ambitious owner.

Rather than throw in the towel, the unflappable Anis is considering a built block, and possibly a supercharger. A built atmospheric motor could make over 450 horsepower at the wheels, and the blower could add another 100 horsepower easily. What do you think they should do?

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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