Elijahsp New Reader
6/10/19 11:52 a.m.

So recently I’ve bought a 2006 Nissan 350z and would like to start building the engine up so I can turbocharge it. Only problem is this is my first car I’ve done work to so I have no idea where to start. So I was hoping for some advice on what parts would be needed and if I should go with a twin turbo setup or just single? I know it’s kind of a broad question but I’m relatively new to the car community so any tips or advice on the build would be appreciated

AngryCorvair MegaDork
6/10/19 11:57 a.m.

Welcome to GRM!  now please let me bombard you with questions:

how long have you owned this car?

how long have you been driving?

how will this car be used?   daily commuter?  pizza delivery at night?  mad dorifto weekend warrior?

because the answer to each of these questions will influence the answers to the questions you posted.

sorry to sound like an old man, but that's exactly what i am.  ;-)

Elijahsp New Reader
6/10/19 12:18 p.m.

Thank you for the welcome!

I’ve Owned it for about 7-8 months now

I've been driving for about 4 years now but this is my first manual car

i use it as a daily but I enjoy going to car shows with it and may possibly start taking it to the track once it has some work

jstein77 UltraDork
6/10/19 12:27 p.m.

Okay, Elijah, I think there's one thing you need to do before you do anything at all with it (assuming it runs and drives safely as is).  You need to go to an autocross and get your feet wet with motorsports.  That may influence your decision as to how to modify the car later.  You will also have the opportunity to speak to others in a similar position to find what works and what doesn't on the Z.

JoeyM Mod Squad
6/10/19 12:31 p.m.

watching this with interest

79rex New Reader
6/10/19 12:32 p.m.

start with figuring out what kind of shape the engine is in.  Id 1st start with checking compression, and a leak down test.  Check spark plugs.  


akylekoz Dork
6/10/19 12:35 p.m.

I agree with jstein77, you don't need anything special to get involved in motorsports.   Let the type of motorsport dictate your direction.  You have a capable car to start with, get the brakes and fluids tip top then go for it.  More power is not what you need to have fun.

SCCA Track night in America is a great way to start, best ever system for beginners.  

Elijahsp New Reader
6/10/19 12:35 p.m.

In reply to jstein77 :

Thanks for the idea I’ll see what there is in the area and check it out

Elijahsp New Reader
6/10/19 12:38 p.m.

In reply to 79rex :

It should be in good shape. It only has about 50k miles in it right now. To get that stuff tested would I just need to take to to a regular shop?

79rex New Reader
6/10/19 12:43 p.m.

A regular shop would be able to look it over. 

But Id really like to echo what everyone else has said as well.  Use it as is for right now, and get out to some events.  The Z is a great chassis in stock form and might surprise you how capable it is from the factory.  

Robbie UltimaDork
6/10/19 12:49 p.m.

Where are you located? Perhaps we can hook you up with a mentor from Seth's mentor thread a few weeks back. 

But yes, I say first go to an event, have fun. Then report back.

Also, post pics of your car!

WonkoTheSane SuperDork
6/10/19 1:41 p.m.

My advice to all novices (that I wish I had gotten, and would have been smart enough to follow if I had gotten it), is to apply a simple yes/no to every part purchase.  Obviously, make sure the car is completely safe as far as maintenace goes (Brakes work?  good.  Tires aren't bald?  etc.), then ask yourself, "will purchasing this part mean that I can't afford seat time due to time or money?"  If the answer is "Yes, it will prevent me from getting seat time," then do not buy the part.  

It doesn't matter if you'd be faster if you purchased whatever, but overall, if you're not learning to drive it as it is, you won't be able to use the new capabilities anyway.  Invest in yourself first, and only upgrade capability after you've maxed out yourself.

The ideas above are good ones, hit the local autocross and then a track day with an instructor to get the feel for what the car can do.

Elijahsp New Reader
6/10/19 6:14 p.m.

In reply to Robbie :That would be great! I’m currently in the Kansas City area but I have some ties down In Dallas Texas also.

JohnInKansas SuperDork
6/10/19 6:25 p.m.

In reply to Elijahsp :

My brother and I are both in the northeast Kansas area, and autocross fairly regularly. Happy to show you the ropes in your car or one of ours.

GTXVette UltraDork
6/10/19 8:06 p.m.

In reply to JohnInKansas :

This is GRM  all Through and through,

   elijah,  TAKE HIM UP ON THIS. Your car won't be Faster with more Power, until the chassis and Brakes are top notch the faster engine only makes it more Dangerous.Exploit the Fact you have a Great Car to start With

6/10/19 9:23 p.m.
GTXVette said:

In reply to JohnInKansas :

This is GRM  all Through and through,

   elijah,  TAKE HIM UP ON THIS. Your car won't be Faster with more Power, until the chassis and Brakes are top notch the faster engine only makes it more Dangerous.Exploit the Fact you have a Great Car to start With

^^^^^ What GTXVette said.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
6/11/19 7:01 a.m.

there's a concept in one the events I do, of:  Stop, Turn, Go.

it's been effectively echoed in the replies to this post already, of check the brakes and the tires.  What tires are on it now?  Which model of 350Z did you pick up?

question for the hive:  did all the 350Z's come with LSDs?

I know a fairly stock-ish 370z was beating some high-power mustangs at OneLap back in 2015... but they had some pretty serious driver-mod applied.  Heck, mazdeuce/spacecade & I were faster than a Roush Mustang at OneLap this year in a 160hp Honda Accord.  Although, that was almost certainly a fluke. 

Nevertheless, I'm basically pile-ing on to everyone elses' responses.  Brakes/Tires... Autocross (which is basically "driver mod")

Good luck, look forward to following this thread

Elijahsp New Reader
6/13/19 12:05 p.m.

In reply to JohnInKansas :

Id appreciate it! When do you guys normally go?

Elijahsp New Reader
6/13/19 12:07 p.m.

In reply to sleepyhead the buffalo :

I’m not to sure about the tires. The guy I bought it from had just replaced them. I don’t really know the different models but it’s a manual coupe not the convertible one.

Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
6/13/19 1:43 p.m.

Welcome to the forum! We try to keep the signal/noise ratio here very good, and I'm happy to see some folks in your area have already reached out to mentor you a bit.

As others have said: absolutely do this. Getting seat time and learning the limits of your car as it is will make you a better, faster driver and point towards the weak points of the car you'll want to address.

No matter what, grippy tires, grabby brakes and a quality suspension set up are the first mods I'd make. For the suspension, ignore the cheap coil overs that are just for looks and see what people doing track days or winning autocrosses are using.

oldeskewltoy UberDork
6/13/19 2:17 p.m.

Car is running, and driving??   KEEP it that way!!!


My recommendation to all novice engine builders... get a spare, and begin on that.  I can't tell you how many failed projects are caused by lack/loss of desire.  Keeping your current engine, and building a spare allows you to get in your car, take it for a cruise, and re-motivate yourself.



JohnInKansas SuperDork
6/13/19 2:40 p.m.

In reply to Elijahsp :

Kansas City Region is out of Independence, MO. Next event looks like Novice School (!!!!) on 29 June and race on 30 June.

Kansas Region is out of Topeka, KS. They have a double header race this weekend, 15 and 16 June.

Topeka is way closer for Steuart, like a ten minute drive. I'm about halfway between (about an hour to either venue for me). We're both glad to help out, don't let our distance put you off. I'll shoot you an email with contact info.

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