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LS1 vs VQ35

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  • #16
    Dollar for dollar, you cannot beat the LS1. I am aware of this and have experienced it first hand with my RX-7. But I am trying to think more about the fun factor rather than just power. The VQ will use its power better with because of the closer gear ratios of its trans. So a VQ with slightly less power will get down the road just as well as a LS1. I think for about the same price I could do a stock LS1 or a cammed VQ. Those two should be very close in performance. But I think that the VQ would be more fun with a lumpy idle and awesome sound. But beyond that point the VQ will cost more to make more power. If I can get a used procharger setup for a good price it would be worthwhile to do that on the VQ. I need to go drive a 350Z and go from there. Its been a few years since I drove one and I don't really remember how it was.


    • #17
      I'm sure you'd have to do a bit more than cam a VQ to have it keep pace with an LS1. Those series of motors are extremely responsive to modification. If you're looking at the numbers themselves, I suppose a comparison can be made, but an LSx motor in an S-chassis holds it's own quite easily. A V-6's performance just cannot compare to a V8, much less this generation of GM smallblocks. Those engines are amazing for them being considered such a simplistic or "minimalist" engineering design.


      • #18
        FYI Sasha just built some nice power adders for one of his 350z cars:

        To get 250.6whp he had:
        - SGM Custom 3” Exhaust
        - SGM Custom 3” Intake w/ BPI Flowstack
        - Pulstar Spark Plugs
        - Aftermarket 2.5” > 3” Y-Pipe

        Then after installing his SGM (his garage name) Longtube header prototype

        the car produced 279.0whp and gained an average 20ft lbs of torque across the ENTIRE rpm band. From 2500rpm to redline these headers made consistent power, a peak gain of 27-33whp between 5700 and 7000rpm.
        (Me quoting exactly what he said)

        Because we believe these to be the biggest gains we’ve ever seen from a header/test pipe solution on a 350z/G35 chassis we are going to go ahead and produce these headers for the guys that want the absolute best. Our production headers will be 304 stainless steel featuring a stepped design to help mid range power and prevent reversion, will use 3 into 1 collectors from an outside manufacturer, as collectors are the most important components of an exhaust system. The headers will be tig welded in house at SG-Motorsport and will feature 2 bolt 2.5” flanges that will mate up perfectly with any aftermarket Y-Pipe or Y-Pipe back exhaust system.

        SGM has plans to create a catted Y-pipe for customers with daily driven cars that want to keep the vehicle emissions friendly, as obviously you will lose the factory cats by going to the SGM long tube headers.

        Tomorrow we are sending our tubing to be mass produced and our machine shop will start the cnc process for the flanges. How exciting!
        SCC magazine also is doing that castrol challenge and has frickin COSWORTH making a 300whp and if you look at the articles the effort they're going through to make it 300whp and reliable... race worthy, etc... is maniac crazy. It'll be awesome but it'll be crazy.

        So that's pretty much the state of things with staying NA and with a VQ.
        Last edited by a_ahmed; 11-16-2008, 07:16 AM.
        "hexa-dodecahedron-triple-threaded-super-eleventy-way-adjustment-spec" dampers. -Def


        • #19
          I have been reading Sasha's stuff for quite some time not as well. He is probably the main reason for thinking of the VQ. If he is able to make 280whp with a stock motor, I think with some hefty cams I could easily make over 300. Sasha's race car makes 300whp with a stock motor and small nismo cams, wow. I am leaning towards the VQ as of now. It will be slower than a LS1, but it should be more fun to drive. And it will be a good learning experience for me and a change of pace. I can just steal my friends LS6 FD when I feel the need to go faster for a bit.


          • #20
            Just note how loud that thing is lol
            "hexa-dodecahedron-triple-threaded-super-eleventy-way-adjustment-spec" dampers. -Def


            • #21
              I think the Cosworth/SCC VQ made over 400 hp on an engine dyno, but it also had the $4600 heads, $1200 plenum, some pretty high comp pistons, and so on. Not sure if it was stock displacement either. At any rate, a cool but very expensive way to make power.
              ~1992 240SX, SR20/Koni track day car
              ~2016 M3, daily driver


              • #22
                LS NA power anyone :P

                "hexa-dodecahedron-triple-threaded-super-eleventy-way-adjustment-spec" dampers. -Def


                • #23
                  Sikky's custom sump for anyone who hasn't seen it :

                  "hexa-dodecahedron-triple-threaded-super-eleventy-way-adjustment-spec" dampers. -Def


                  • #24
                    ^If I can afford to build a $15k++, ITB, high comp, dry sumped's not gonna be going in a 15 year old Nissan "sporty coupe."

                    OP: I think the VQ would be really awesome and fun, but to get over 300whp is likely going to cost a metric ton. It'll be good to see what the Cosworth motor did, as that's probably like 120% of the best case scenario that you'd see on pump gas and streetable compression. A full N/A VQ build will also have a lot of parts that don't transfer over to a boosted app, so that's something to consider.
                    ~1992 240SX, SR20/Koni track day car
                    ~2016 M3, daily driver


                    • #25
                      I personally have always wanted to switch to a VQ, even tho the LS1 is a torque monster. I like the idea of a smaller engine, 6cyl, low placement, aft placment, overhead cams and higher revving. The guys in 350Z's that i track with are fast in a car that is easily 600-700lbs heavier than me if not more, so if i take that power plant into my lighter chassis, seems to be the winning combo. Then again im not all about higher HP or always striving for some magic number (300whp), i just want my car to run smooth, be reliable and controllable without too much throttle effort on track. At the end of next year once the season is over im planning to sell ALL my SR stuff and switch to a VQ, need to get away from turbos and have some NA fun.

                      My opinions are all based on tracking, not desired HP, overall weight, or ease of installation. I used to be an LS1 fanatic, then i slowly got away from it and lost interest when all these people who have no idea how to drive are installing freshly rebuilt and upgraded LSX's with 500whp and no idea how to use it, it took away from the originality and purpose. Then again i dont believe in high HP hard-parkers either (waste of space).

                      -----------------------------RANT OVER--------------------------------
                      NASA HPDE Instructor


                      • #26
                        The vettes do certainly drive well, their long wheel base makes for a very stable high powered car. Double wishbones makes for more ideal suspension geometry, but i simply dont like how it feels inside that car. Visibility is horrible and you feel like the cars huge.

                        500lbs less weight min in the 240, and if you do some work you can about as much tire on there, which wouldnt even be necessary to keep up on track. Brakes are an easy no brainer w/ z32 front rotors/calipers. I doubt the rears are even needed personally.

                        I think it all comes down to this: ask yourself "do i want to take the time to really customize this car and make it outperform the best things you can buy, its going to take alot of work time and money" or.. "do i just want to jump in and drive".

                        If you just want to jump in and drive i'd go for the vette, b/c paying somebody to build a crazy 240 will cost more than a vette. If you're handy w/ a welder and tools i'd do the project- cool factor doesnt even compare to some car anyone can buy. Also think about how good you'll feel knowing you built a car from humble beginnings and you spank $100,000 cars on the track. At my last private track testing day i was able to drive my civic SM car and i was spanking newer 911s. it was so sweet. Granted if those cars driver's were a little more advanced they would spank the civic=) Fact is most guys who buy the best stuff are simply compensating for their lack of skill and hoping the car will keep them ahead of the pack.
                        98' 240sx SM project
                        93' civic sedan wdcr scca #96 SM
                        92' civic Dx gas mileage monster


                        • #27
                          I'm halfway through a VQ swap in a S14 currently using the OEM ECU and BCM.

                          I've fabricated all the crossmembers and shift linkage modifications myself.

                          I've de-pinned the factory harnesses and am starting to put them back together. Just a bit of plumbing, exhaust fabrication, and re-assembling the suspension and interior to get it running. Due to my engine placement all off the shelf headers will not clear the steering shaft and so I'm having custom headers made.

                          Here is some pics from the crossmember fab: I
                          have a bunch more pics I need to upload.

                          I weighed the VQ and the KA with transmission and all accessories with engine wiring harness on 2 Longacre chassis scale pads (one under the engine and one under the trans) and the VQ was only 70lb heavier with most of that being in the transmission.

                          The weight coupled with the extra torque coupled with plenty of headroom to get extra NA horsepower in the future led me select the VQ.

                          Here are some resources on credible power outputs for the VQ

                          Cosworth / Eric Hisu

                          Loaded Engine Dyno - VQ35DE from early 350Z - Stock bottom end with Cosworth CNC ported heads, cams, plenum, and crappy eBay headers.

                          Baseline - 289hp
                          With Cosworth Parts - 362hp and later they got 370hp after additional ECU tuning.
                          (Keep in mind this is on a loaded engine dyno and WHP on a chassis dyno may be higher or lower HP numbers)


                          More info from Eric on the Top Shop build:

                          See the January issue of SCC for a full discussion of valves, ports, and cam phasing on the Top Shop VQ project. They ended up with 4xx hp with a 3.7 or 3.8 bottom end (can't remember) with much higher compression, race gas, custom headers, and production cams. They switched to a VQ35HR for the final competition engine. The cool thing is the parts they developed are going to be their off the shelf parts with the exception of headers and pistons.

                          Rebello will build a full race VQ with 380 HP / 300 LBS torque with a 30mm single inlet restrictor. The same engine unrestricted makes 440 HP / 330 lbs torque and revs to 8500 RPM.


                          On the high end of the motorsports scale IES Racing's 3.4L VQ for LMP prototypes is capable of 480 / 500 HP @ 9500 rpm and 310 lbs ft @ 7500 rpm with a 44mm restrictor.

                          These bottomless budget race engines give a good idea of the max ceiling of NA power for the VQ.

                          AEBS and
                          Brian Cower have stroker kits up to 4.1L which are reported to make 400HP + with streetable compression.

                          The factory ECU and BCM can be used as proven by SpecD -

                          The only down side to this method is it relies on not terminating the CAN bus so that many DTC's can't be confirmed and are ignored by the ECU. This limits the use of non Consult scan OBD scan tools as standard OBDII queries will cause the ECU to go into safe mode.

                          Alternatively you cold re-wire the car with the full Z33 harness from headlights to dash to taillights and get a functioning MIL with a heavy penalty in the weight of the extra wiring.

                          For standalone ECU's the best option would be to use a Motec M800 or even better a Pectel SQ6M which Apex Speed and configure to replace the OEM ECU and retain the full drive by wire, variable cam timing and other CAN items like the dash.


                          If they can get a E90 BMW V10 working a VQ is simple compared.


                          As far as the VQ vs LS1 debate it all comes down to your goals and preferences. The GM Performance crate engines with plug and play wiring kits for them are hard to beat for ease of installation.
                          Last edited by Umai Kakudo; 12-18-2008, 12:29 PM.
                          The Nerd shall inherit the podium for knowledge is power.


                          • #28
                            I have been personally having this debate with myself for about a year now. The LS series engine is undeniably the better motor, but it has it's downsides as well. One thing that I really don't like is the idea of putting a chevrolet engine in a nissan. As rad as a LS would be that would always bug me to a small extent. Also the amount of torque that the LS can put out would pretty much overwhelm the s-13 chasis and make it almost un-driveable. IMO the VQ is simply a better match for the s-13 and s-14 chasis. For me what pushed me to the VQ is that I am working with a few other guys that are putting VQ's in their cars. By the time my VQ is ready to go in we'll have all the problems figured out. Not to mention that I am getting a complete VQ swap that has a rodknock for free. The VH45 just doesn't make sense. There is no aftermarket support and no reason to believe that it can make any more power then the VQ. I honestly do not believe that 300whp is as hard to get from the VQ as a lot of people are making it out to be. Some "street" cams, *maybe* some very mild porting of the head and mani, a plentum spacer, headers and cats, intake and exhaust, and a GOOD ecu tune should yeild more than 300whp. Without the porting it should be right around the 300whp mark, which is what I am shooting for.
                            Last edited by racepar1; 12-12-2008, 01:47 PM.
                            function > form
                            1990 240sx fastback: IN PROGRESS


                            • #29
                              There's a guy mmmdb (he joined on here) who tracks his LS1 S14 btw.
                              "hexa-dodecahedron-triple-threaded-super-eleventy-way-adjustment-spec" dampers. -Def


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Umai Kakudo View Post
                                The only down side to this method is it relies on not terminating the CAN bus so that many DTC's can't be confirmed and are ignored by the ECU. This limits the use of non Consult scan OBD scan tools as standard OBDII queries will cause the ECU to go into safe mode.
                                Meaning you'd have to have an inspection or troubleshooting done at a Nissan dealership, or other place with a Consult diagnostic machine?