Z34 UD Pulley & HFCs Test

Our customer Sean wanted to add some more mods to his Z.  He brought it to us with Stillen Gen 3 Intakes & Stillen Catback.  Before installing the Stillen UD Pulley & Berk HFCs we got a baseline of where the Z stood.  Shortly thereafter we went ahead and installed the new parts.

Stock Crank Pulley

Stillen UD Pulley

The Stillen pulley is lighter by almost 4 lbs.  Factory pulley weighs in at 4.72 lbs and the Stillen piece at .99 lbs.  Accessories get underdriven by 20%.  The way these free HP is by removing weight, the lighter it is the easier it is for the crank to turn and by driving the accessories slower you also free power.  Judging by the before and after its hard to tell how much difference the pulley made.  Having not dynoed only one mod at a time we won’t know.

Stillen Catback

Berk HFCs  (Lookout for the header to factory CAT bolts!)

However its probably a safe bet to say that the HFCs made more significant changes.  AFR dramatically changed from before and after.  No tuning was done on our end.

It was a nice gain of 7 whp to get it over 320.  Most HP gains were had above 4700+ RPMs and torque benefiting all the way through the curve.  Sean’s Z is a strong performer judging by other 370s we’ve had on the dyno.  Tuning his AFR should get him some more mid-range power.

Piston Selection (alloys)

This isn’t an end all on which piston is the best or a detailed discussion into piston design.  This is just something to be aware of when selecting pistons.  A big misconception on “built” engines or more precisely speaking piston selection can be misinterpreted.  A forged piston is by far stronger than a factory cast pistons but there’s more to it than just that.  What do you realistically plan to do with your engine? Will you be daily driving the car?  Can you put up with a noisier engine?  Carefully think about what you plan to do.  If your planning on competitively racing, run very high boost pressures and\or nitrous and can deal with servicing your engine more frequently;  than a 2618 forging would be up your alley.  Most factory aluminum pistons are eutectic and hypereutectic.  What’s important to know about this is that these pistons have a higher silicon content which allows the piston to have tighter clearances for a quiet, long lasting engine.  The amount of silicon is directly proportional to how ductile the piston is.  Meaning just how “hard” or “soft” the alloy is.  Pistons that have high silicon are technically strong since their alloy has a tighter bond at the molecular level, BUT they’re also much more brittle and don’t stand up to detonation as well as a forged piston with less silicon content.  Your piston also isn’t the only part of your engine that’s taking abuse from detonation.  More on that some other time.

Something in between a 2618 and a factory piston alloy would be the 4032 alloy.  These have more silicon content than a 2618 alloy but no where near as high as a factory piston.  The clearances on these engines can be tighter than a 2618 for less noise and wear than a 2618 alloy.  A majority of the wear seen on a forged engine is when the engine is warming up.  You may have heard of the term “piston slap”.  This is the term used for a piston rocking around in the bore until it gets up to operating temperature and expands.  This rocking causes wear on the rings and of course on the pistons themselves.  Clearances on a 2618 and 4032 alloys need to  be “looser” to accommodate the piston when it expands as it gets hot.  This would be when it finally warms up, sees boost, etc….  Its best to allow a forged slugged engine to warm up until piston slap can no longer be heard before driving.  The popular Wiseco pistons use a 4032 alloy for best of both worlds.  It still won’t last as long as a factory piston but it is stronger and won’t wear out as fast as a 2618 alloy.

Typically, Japanese engines have very tight tolerances from the factory to have a “sewing machine” like operation.  Nice, quiet, and reliable (long lasting).  Hopefully this has helped some of you make an educated decision when selecting your next piston forging, instead of simply choosing the strongest “best” piston.  The term best has a relative meaning.  What’s “best” for your application?

Z34 Header Test & Tune

Joe came in from Vegas earlier this week to do some testing for the Fast Intentions crew and for us to tune his slick white 370.  These cars are growing on me more and more.

Interior build is sooo much nicer than the old Z33 especially an early (03-04) Z33 for that matter.  The extra power it puts down definitely doesn’t hurt either.  We did a couple baselines to get an idea of where the car stood before F.I. installed a set of their new headers for the HR\VHR platform.  Joe’s already installed mods included Stillen Gen 3 C.A.I., F.I. HFCs, and catback.  This baby sounded wicked on the dyno.

Some stats on the headers:

  • They are long tube that will bolt directly to the catback.
  • Eliminates the OE CAT pipe.
  • Weighs in at 17 lbs lighter than the OE header & CAT pipe.
  • Made from 304 SS and includes a lifetime warranty.
  • No CEL(s) to worry about.

The set pictured above is a prototype using a different sized collector.

This is the 2nd set of headers installed and the first production unit installed on a Z.

These are the results from stock headers to F.I. headers & tune.  The AFR on this VHR was whacked out.  Rich down low and lean up top.  The Stillen intakes aren’t helping that.  Looking forward to doing some before and after results on those intakes to see how much power is made and how drastically the AFR is changed.  I’d also like to see stock air boxes on Joe’s car with some K&N drop ins.  Joe’s VHR was in dire need of tuning especially after feeling, hearing, and conversing with his engine.  It had a terrible drop in power resulting in a nasty hesitation that could be felt right around 4k RPMs.  This was taken care of luckily with a custom flash.  AFR after just the header install stayed the same as before with stock headers in case any one was wondering.  Peak power didn’t change much.  However a majority of the power-band saw a nice increase of around 10-15 whp and 10-18 torque.

Back to Z

The last 6+ months have been hectic for me to say the least.  Health issues, work, and personal matters take priority when it comes to the Z.  My Z32 was down for over a year (Oct 08) and I was anxious to get it back on the road before my surgery.  I was worried that if I didn’t get to it before then (Dec 09) I may never have a chance to work on it again if something happened in surgery.  I was told I could have been paralyzed and\or worse.   My current Z32 didn’t and doesn’t have anything wild as some may think.  I wanted something tame on the street but with enough gitty up and go to get the job done.  In a time and financial crunch I got it back together with the help of some friends and my fiancee.  Knowing it was running before I went in for surgery was a big load off my back.  I could peacefully rest knowing it was running and safe in my own garage at home.  This past weekend I did some data-logging for a prototype part and since it was strapped down decided to tune it for 91 octane.  This was also a good baseline for when I upgrade to larger intercoolers & piping.

I didn’t upgrade much this last time the VG30DETT was out, but just enough for some small power upgrades and great reliability.  It currently has:

  • Stock Block\Ported Heads
  • Custom regrind camshafts
  • JWT Sport 500s
  • MS Manifolds
  • SZ Turbo Inlet Piping (replaces accordion hose)
  • Old School Nismo 555cc Injectors
  • SZ Built Automagic Stage Race w\ triple plate converter & SZ Flex Plate (I like the auto)
  • BDE Engine Mounts (In case the bigger turbo bug gets me)
  • Full SZ 3″ SS Exhaust (Turbos-all the way back)
  • Z1 Larger TBs (For when the time came for larger piping & I\Cs)
  • Stock Stillen Intercoolers\ Stock Piping
  • Electric Fans
  • UD Pulley & HI OD Pulley
  • SZ Oil Pan

Pretty basic nothing crazy.  I was curious to see how much power it would make with the auto since it robs a little more power especially when turning up the pump pressure.  This car, when it was first put together in 2002 with the same turbos made an impressive 487 whp on race fuel back then.  When I bought it from my customer a few years ago it was “well abused”  and worn.  I dynoed it when I bought it shortly thereafter with race fuel and it only made 430 whp.  I beat on it while road racing and that was the end of it temporarily (stock oiling system sucks).  Fast forward to today and we have a happier Z back on the road.  Road racing is designated to another vehicle in the fleet.  This baby will live its life as a weekend cruiser and occasional drag strip runner.  Hoping to beat my best 11.3 ET (done on lower power) now with funky fresh powerful mods.

and the results were…………

414 whp and 411 torque.  I was certainly happy with the results having only run it on 91 octane.  The first run was before and the last run 7 was its final tune.  This will give me\us good info when only adding larger I\C piping and intercoolers.  Stay tuned for more on my project Z32.

Sport 530 Terr(y)or!

We had the pleasure to work on Terry’s beautiful Z32 TT. He shipped it out to us from Florida for a little mechanical makeover. He brought it to us to clean up some loose ends and add a few more details to the package he had.

His Z32 came to us with the following mods:

  • Built Engine
  • JWT 400 Cams
  • JWT Sport 530 Turbos
  • SZ Inconel Exhaust Manifolds
  • Nismo 555cc Injectors
  • JUN Solid Intake Cam Gears
  • SZ 2.5″ Down Pipes & Test Pipes
  • B&B 2.5″ Catback
  • Greddy Intercoolers
  • Lightweight Flywheel
  • JWT Dual POP w\ low speed kit

We didn’t do a “before” dyno pull because it wasn’t running great when we got it.  We sorted out all the demons in the end though.

SZ 3″ Exhaust Piping

We did the following performance mods along with a plethora of other misc things not listed:

  • SZ 3″ Down Pipes & Test Pipes (cone to 2.5″)
  • SZ & 300Degree 740cc Fuel System Upgrade
  • Ash Massive Intercoolers
  • Larger CZP I\C Piping
  • Z1 Throttle Bodies
  • BDE Intake Cam Gears
  • Selin MAF Translator & Elbow Kit
  • SZ Clock Switcher w\ 3 custom tunes

The Selin Kit is truly a great product(s) to work with.  Fitment is great and looks great.

One clean engine bay

Our clock switcher to make changing programs on the fly easy

Like I mentioned in the mod list we made 3 custom tunes for his application.  We tuned for 93 octane, 100 octane, and Q16 Race Fuel.  It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a 530 car do awesome since we discontinued our inconel manifolds.  Knowing Terry had a set on his Z, we were curious to see what it would put down on the dyno.

We were pleasantly surprised to see it make this much power, however with the tender loving care and mods we provided it made sense (480 whp & 471 torque).  We peaked at 17 psi at around 4200 RPMs with the boost dropping to about 15 psi in the upper end.  We tuned his Blitz EBC (electronic boost controller) for as steady boost as we could across the range.  The 2554R turbos don’t maintain peak boost in the upper RPM as well as larger turbos do.  Luckily Terry doesn’t have to use 91 octane in Florida.

Up next was 100 octane which can be found around SoCal in many gas stations at the pump.  At least we have some way to get around shitty CA-91 gas.  After dialing in timing and fueling we ended up with 514 whp and 522 torque.  We hit peak boost at 21.7 psi at the same RPM with boost tapering to around 17 psi up top.

For the last tune we ran on VP Q16 and peaked at 23 psi.  This is all the turbos could muster.  No fault of the turbos or W\G actuators.  You see, more boost does not always mean more power.  A turbo is rated to run in an efficient area of boost that relates to how much air an engine can process.  The less boost one can run and achieve the same or more power the better off you are.  I know this sounds elementary, but most people have a belief that more boost equals more power.  Take Terry’s VG30DETT for example.  For him to make 480 whp like he did on 93 octane he had larger exhaust, cams, inconel manifolds, larger intercoolers, piping, blah ,blah blah.  If he didn’t have let’s say our 3″ exhaust or larger intercoolers\piping, etc..  for him to make 480 whp it would have required him to make more boost (22-24 psi) AND run race fuel.  Why?  Because we’ve eliminated more restrictions in his system and  made his setup more efficient.  Hence his VG and 2554Rs don’t have to work as hard to make the power.  Make sense?  More restriction can equal to more pressure or (boost) which can lead to compressor over-speed or choke.  As well as extreme back pressure and engine damage.  Learn to know the limits, and if you don’t know, learn to ask someone who truly does.  Class is over.  Back to Terry…..we made 536 whp and 543 torque.  Congrats Terry and thanks for the pleasure of working on your Z!  You have one amazing 2554R powered Z32!

Royal Purple Forum Wars TV Show

We had the great opportunity to help out Bardabe Performance in their battle to represent MY350Z.com in the new and upcoming show to be aired on Speed TV April 5th.  We tuned their Z33 for optimum NA power.  Be sure to catch the action as this Z33 goes up against a torque monster Shelby.  Power to the Z!

Check out the teaser:

Royal Purple presents The Forum Wars

2008 G37 UpRev Tuning

Our customer Kevin brought in his nicely done G37 Coupe.  Sporting a Stillen front lip and painted grill, this G gets it done.

To add some bite to the beauty he’s done some simple bolt-ons to complete the package:

  • R2C Performance Intake
  • Berk HFCs
  • Fast Intentions C.F. Catback

Kevin’s G is also an auto which robs a little more power.  Runs were done in 3rd gear, once we can get the UpRev MPH limiter fixed on their end we can make some pulls in 4th.

This 37’s A\F mixture was pretty good and not crazy lean like other VQs I’ve seen with other intake kits.  Many systems rely on increasing the sampling tube size of the MAF element for power gains.  This throws off the calibration of the air being sampled.  This in turn will make the mixture leaner and combined with other mods can lead to unsafe A\Fs.  The factory air boxes are actually pretty good in most instances.  We made a few baseline runs and determined our plan of action to extract more power safely.

We gained an impressive 30 lb\ft of torque and 17 whp @ 3000 RPMs with gains throughout the rest of the power band.  We may have to talk Kevin into some headers next 😉

Video:

Kevin\’s 2008 G37 on the dyno

SZ Clutches & Flywheels for the Z32 & Z33

Over the last 10 years we’ve worked closely with RPS in combining our research and product developments for the better.  We’ve licensed out the RPS line and made it our own.  This allows us to freely us our own ideas in clutch developments while keeping the quality the same or higher as before.  Our minds here are always crunching when we have the time to develop new things.

We’ve kept the flywheel the same as their wasn’t any more room for improvement in that arena.  We added our logo which is probably good for some horsepower and torque!  Well maybe it’ll make it lighter 😉

On the clutch side of things we’ve lowered pricing on the more mass market style of clutches.  The better part of it is that we’ve added two new models to the line up.

The pressure plates in our high clamp load line have some changes that really have improved them (High 5, Max Series).  The casting for the pressure plates are half aluminum and half steel. We need the steel for the clutch material to go against for durability.  The aluminum has allowed us to make the pivot point release amazingly better than has ever been possible.   In the past modifying a normal casting was the norm.
Utilizing this new hybrid we have much better release, lightweight, and lighter pedal pressure with the same clamp load of the old RPS Max line.

The new SZ discs………
Our new high power single disc set up we are calling the “SZ HIGH 5” This clutch will use our new pressure plate and has a aluminum 5 puck disc that is half the weight of the standard 6 puck disc and this allows butter shifting and is MUCH easier on the transmission. This set up will hold up to 800 HP (real-world testing)  and allow shifting at much higher RPM’s.  Getting into the lightweight benefits reveals much improved high RPM shift-ability.  There is less friction & drag to slow the input shaft down quicker to allow the synchros to mesh up better.  There is also less parts to break like the springs on the sprung hub discs.  The only down side encountered is low RPM load or lugging that creates noise transfer of the drive-train.  Engagement is surprisingly easy and daily driver street-able.

We also have a new Street Disc to go with the new high power pressure plate. The standard street Disc sold by all the companies have a wavy spring in the middle called a “Marcel” spring for a really long engagement and the Disc’s are normally only riveted for attachment. The problem with the street material is it is brittle and the small attachment area with these Disc’s can cause the material to de-face when you miss a shift,  or dump the clutch at high RPM.
To make a street disc much stronger we removed the Marcel spring to get more contact area to hold the material and we use a really strong special glue along with the rivets.  This combination is much more durable and the engagement is just like the stock organic disc.
The New SZ Street High Clutch!

As in the past our clutches include the throw-out bearing, pilot bushing, and alignment tool.  For ordering you can call us at the shop.  We’re in the process of updating our site so look for on-line ordering very soon.

Z33 guys, you will need to purchase the flywheel to make our clutches work.

We’ll have a write up for those unsure on what clutch your application needs along with the workings of the Twin-Carbon line of clutches.

Let’s go drive (shift) some Zs!

Z32 Stock Turbo Mayhem

Although this isn’t something that happened yesterday or the week before, many have been interested in the high HP stock turbo equipped car capability.  Both our customers who own a couple of the highest HP stock turbo Z32s are both named Mike.  The similarities end right there.  Mike H. has a 1994 Cherry Red Pearl TT, while Mike E. (mafiosoz) has a 1993 Sapphire Blue TT.  Mike H. (WXY) has also taken his C.R.P. 5-Speed Z down the 1320 hundreds of times in the quest of fastest\quickest stock turbo Z32.  To date he has run a best of 11.4 E.T.  The modifications are quite similar though both having of course good healthy factory Nissan engines and stock untouched exhaust manifolds.

Here’s a photo of the Mike H. mobile preparing for battle:

Going off memory  and the sake of only HP related mods they both have:

  • Larger Fuel Injectors
  • SZ 3″ Exhaust from the turbos back (Mike E. has 2.5″ B&B Catback)
  • RPS Clutch & Flywheel (Now SZ)
  • Electronic Boost Controller (Blitz Units)
  • JWT Dual POP
  • Unorthodox UD Pulleys
  • Mike H. runs Greddy I\Cs w\ stock piping
  • Mike E. runs SZ modded Stillen I\Cs w\ stock piping
  • Mike H. runs an ACPT C.F. Driveshaft
  • SZ Tuned ROMs
  • They’re both named Mike and own awesome Z32s

That’s the jist of it from what I can remember.

Mike E. made just a tad more power than Mike H. claiming the title for power.  This of course is achieved with high octane fuel.  As you can see in the graph the power curves are practically identical.  It’s obvious where the stock turbos drop off at the higher RPM band (little past 5200 RPMs for HP and torque tanks after 4600 RPMs).  Wonder when we’ll get VNTs. 🙂

2006 350Z UpRev Tuning

Rick brought in his sweet,slammed, drop top Z33 in for some tuning.  After performing various upgrades such as the Kinetix Intake Manifold, JWT POP Charger, Nismo Headers, Helix Test Pipes, and Nismo Catback, it was time to do some tweaking.  The two baselines confirmed that simple modifications like these can drastically change the A\F for the worse.  This VQ was suffering from a very lean A\F resulting in knock and loss in power.  Our quest was to make more power, but also more importantly make it safer.  After some dyno pulls we were able to maximize Rick’s mods to produce some more power & torque and cool the combustion via a safer A\F and cam tweaks.

A gain of over 9 whp and 8 lb\ft of torque.  This is only one side of the story as in many areas we saw gains of over 12-15 and the largest gains to be had were over 6500 RPMs.  From 6700+ we gained over 20 whp.