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Old 05-02-2011, 11:23 PM   #1
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Default VG30ET Swap

I realized I haven't posted this car up on here before, and I feel like this crowd would appreciate these shenanigans.

I'm President of Texas A&M's Society of Automotive Engineers, and one of our student projects (along with Formula Hybrid) is competing in the Grassroots Motorsports $20XX Challenge. So everything you see here is built by (largely unskilled) students for less than $2011.

This car was originally intended for the 2010 Challenge, but some severe logistical issues (read: Not having a shop or tools) led to a delay 'til the '11 Challenge. The car itself was graciously donated by a member on here (I'm sure he'll stand up and identify himself). Here's a picture of the car when we picked it up, along with the car and our old Civic in shop #1.

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The car was cleaned up, and we dropped some components in to see if there was enough room. Probably not, but we decided to press forward anyways.

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The car then moved to shop (actually a giant lab not meant to be an automotive shop) #2.

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The first motor ended up being a bust, so we yanked another motor out of a (probably) healthier car in some guy's driveway.

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The engine itself fits rather comfortably in the engine bay, width-wise. It'll probably be poking up through the hood a tad, but that's not really a concern for us.

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We added some hardpoints in the transmission tunnel for a mount for the VG30DETT transmission.

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The mounts were extended down to the subframe, which was then reinforced.

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We picked up some used GC coilovers and possibly blown AGXs that we'll be running. If anyone has some stiffer spring rates that they want to trade, we're open to ideas.

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We got an old Cobra racing bucket off CL that didn't fit, but we widened up the tunnel about an inch and shortened the rails a bit.

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I cut away the front crash structure and welded in a length of pipe I found lying around, and we hung an eBay intercooler off it.

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Amazingly enough, it fit completely within the stock bumper. We'll probably be adding some speed holes in the top half of the bumper to increase airflow across the heat exchangers.

As mandrel bends are simply too baller for this build, we've been experimenting with some unorthodox materials and procedures, and I think we've got a concept that'll work. We've used galvanized fence pipe cut into pie bends, and it matches up with the exhaust ports rather well. Don't worry, we're not going to actually weld the galvanized metal, we soak them in muriatic acid to remove the zinc before we weld them up. But yes, it actually works. We'll see if I can make an entire manifold out of it, but all signs point to "Probably."

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We're hollowing out the stock upper intake manifold and relocating the throttle body to the front of the plenum to make it more conducive to our packaging.

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We took apart out engine and threw some fresh paint on the block, then reassembled it with the old bearings and some fresh rings. Should be enough to last through the GRM Challenge.

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We painted the engine bay with appliance enamel from Walmart the other day, and should be dropping the motor in pretty soon.



That's about where we sit at this point. We've got a lot left to go, but it's nothing compared to how far we've come. You haven't lived until you've convinced a state organization to pay for something like this and give you somewhere to do it.

Let me know if there are any questions about our antics.
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
The car was cleaned up, and we dropped some components in to see if there was enough room. Probably not, but we decided to press forward anyways.
Rorz.

Back to work.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:19 AM   #3
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Awesome.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:47 AM   #4
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Good to see another Nissan v6 swap going. As long as it doesn't taper off into a v6 coffee table build this'll be good.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:09 AM   #5
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9 years until retirement... then some property big enough for a nice-sized shop and all my build-whatever-the-****-I-want dreams come true.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:32 AM   #6
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Much win. I need to find an excuse to go see the GRM challenge this year.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:19 AM   #7
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YUS! I always wondered if the 300zx tt engine would be a good candidate, I wish I had the money to try this on my own
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:35 AM   #8
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VG30ET = 84-89 300ZX turbo. SOHC design, single turbo, not quite a cramped as the VG30DETT which was the DOHC and twin turbo from 90-97.


I'm surprised you guys didn't try to find a short block VG33E from a Fontier and have a 3.3L. http://www.xenonz31.com/vg33eswap.html

Last edited by Doppelgänger; 05-03-2011 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccote View Post
Good to see another Nissan v6 swap going. As long as it doesn't taper off into a v6 coffee table build this'll be good.
Dammit, its a nice table! Even the wife likes it.

I'll get back to mine at some point.. if it wasn't for the cost of using my old miata... mine could have been a GRM build also AND I don't have a team!

grumble grumble.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pen2_the_penguin View Post
YUS! I always wondered if the 300zx tt engine would be a good candidate, I wish I had the money to try this on my own
After playing with this car, I really don't think the DETT heads would fit. They're massive compared to the SOHC heads we've got, and we've barely got room for exhaust manifolds as it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppelgänger View Post
I'm surprised you guys didn't try to find a short block VG33E from a Fontier and have a 3.3L. http://www.xenonz31.com/vg33eswap.html
I can't remember what the reason was, but we considered it and opted for the VG30E instead.

I guess I didn't really clarify in the first post, we're not using a true VG30ET, we've got a VG30E block (with the higher compression) that we're turbocharging. We picked up an old Turbonetics T3/T04E off Craigslist that should work fine.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:43 PM   #11
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Oh that looks like fun. Crank up the boost and forget about the extra cams... who needs em?
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:04 PM   #12
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this would be something where a cowl hood is accepted.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:02 AM   #13
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WHOOP! Lookin' good Ags!

I don't have anything big to donate like Rob...but I have a few parts on the shelf.

Also have a Momo wheel I'll donate. Let me know by Tuesday am as that's my last final day and I won't be back that way all summer.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh View Post
Oh that looks like fun. Crank up the boost and forget about the extra cams... who needs em?
Exactly. These motors will swallow so much boost in stock trim it's not even funny.

Quote:
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this would be something where a cowl hood is accepted.
In all seriousness, we're just going to cut the hood around the motor where we have to and let it poke through the top.

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WHOOP! Lookin' good Ags!

I don't have anything big to donate like Rob...but I have a few parts on the shelf.

Also have a Momo wheel I'll donate. Let me know by Tuesday am as that's my last final day and I won't be back that way all summer.
Unfortunately we don't have any room in the budget for anything nice like a Momo wheel. We're currently rocking an FB steering wheel wrapped in bicycle grip tape. If you want to sell it, though, my personal Miata needs a new steering wheel with a horn button before it'll pass inspection.
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:10 AM   #15
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Looks good, but I didn't know that the et would take much boost. I guess it was the stock turbo that wouldn't take much boost.
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Looks good, but I didn't know that the et would take much boost. I guess it was the stock turbo that wouldn't take much boost.
Yeah, the stock VG30ET wasn't intercooled, and couldn't handle much boost. Here's a bunch of dyno graphs of aftermarket setups. I don't think 300hp is an unreasonable goal for our setup.

http://redz31.net/turbofaq/dyno.graphs.html
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:42 AM   #17
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now I want a 80's 300zx or newer 300zx TT.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:07 AM   #18
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now I want a 80's 300zx or newer 300zx TT.
I'd love to have an old, beatup Z31. It could be a hell of a sleeper.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:48 PM   #19
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When you guys picked you the car I know it didn't have any fenders on it, but I have some spares you are welcome to along with an old hood that is not presentable but good for mock up of cutting the hole and some FM sway bars for the 90-93 that I would let go for cheap.

I have a couple stock steering wheels around here that you can have for inspection purposes for your personal car.

Let me know if there is anything else you guys need as I probably have it.

Last edited by rharris19; 05-06-2011 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:06 PM   #20
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I definitely will. What are the chances you've got a pair of headlight covers?

We've got a set of your daisies at the shop, still.
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