Larry Chen: AWD AND VQ37-swapped Off-Road 350z Video

AWD AND VQ37-swapped Off-Road 350z

Posted: 2023-05-24 15:00:14
Author: Larry Chen
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Larry Chen Video Transcript

Foreign Kyle yeah works at Z1 Motorsport we’re actually here at Z1 Motorsport because we’re actually doing a meet later tonight but legitimately I just walked through the parking lot and I saw this and it blew me away I don’t even I don’t what’s the what was the reason why you

Wanted to build this so this is a 2008 350Z it was originally an HR I decided to go on the adventure to all-wheel drive swap it so I bought a G37X there’s a 2014 and uh just use some of the chassis pieces from it cut them off and

Uh use the subframe differential I use some of the suspension stuff from it it’s got a mixture of uh some FX Parts on it as well to kind of give it the lift um a few years ago I always thought I would all-wheel drive a s13

You know I did the S14 and I was like that’s that’s a beautiful car and I was like what better vehicle than than a z and a 350Z yeah so I started looking underneath of them and I was like there’s a lot of similarities between a all-wheel drive G

And a 350 unibody so like there’s some things that are very similar why didn’t you just do a g because that would be too easy that’s that’s boring it because it already comes all-wheel drive the it’s also a short wheelbase on a z so it

Kind of makes a cable it’s a vhr now okay so we put a vhr from uh what’s in the 370 and G37 put that in there so it has way more power yeah than the HR that came with it even yeah and it’s uh it’s Center locked so the transfer case

Is locked it’s 50 50 front rear all the time so on Drive pavement it kind of it it grabs you can hear it it sounds like a welded diff Kinda Yeah so people start looking when you’re at a gas station you’re trying to pull into a pump and

It’s how did you do that tore it apart I took the electromagnetic coupler apart I took it off the main shaft put the gear that it locks to I slid it back on the main shaft in place and it welded it on either side of the gear reassembled it

And put it in there and that’s all from the G37X yeah the subframe is from a G37 there’s pieces that I had to cut off of the Z and then also cut off of the G and re-weld back onto the Z uh but all that was relatively easy like

Yeah I did it at my house I have a shop with a lift and a couple of guys to kind of get everything into place get it all lined up and spot welded it it’s funny how stock it actually looks I mean it looks it looks like the same

Yeah including the intake manifold everything it looks yeah so a dead giveaway on like the HRS and the vhrs is like you can see the V valve for the vhr that’s usually the the big giveaway also the map sensor on vhr is like that’s pretty quick but a lot of people when

They pop the hood on this and they look like they don’t they don’t really know so intakes are in the same place it’s yeah it just looks no it looks the same yeah huh okay so then how much more power does this make than the normal HR

That comes in this uh we haven’t dynoed this I need to get manual mode figured out and then we can Dyno it and see what see what it makes but I don’t know I I’d be happy with like 310 you know all-wheel or something like that wow I mean

Even if it didn’t make that it’s still it’s a lot of fun to drive off-road yeah and that’s the reason why I built it and built it for power but right it’s just it’s just all right so then tell me about the wheel and tire combo it must

Have been something else to try to get this to fit I was actually just kind of looking around on eBay and I was like let me let me see what eBay’s got so I started looking at STI wheels and stuff like that and it came across season I

Like method Wheels that’s what I got on my FJ and I was like they’re decent wheels and I like this color combo so I bought the wheels they already had tires I sold the tires and then bought these Falcon wild Peaks and this combo worked out really nicely it’s got the Z1

Spacers to kind of give it the the correct fitment and then it doesn’t rub uh no it it’s kind of right at that sweet spot on the lift uh it used to be about a half inch higher than this but if I turn it full lock it would rub in some places

But like all I did was just kind of just trim away some of the stuff right so then how did you lift this uh initially it was a urethane spacer between the strut mount and the body and then I used an fx blower Mount that bolts to the

Bottom of the shock and that gave me my initial lift that I wanted and in the rear I just used some more urethane spacers on the spring and I wrote it like that for a while I got these coilovers or true style from Silver’s neomax coilovers

Threw them on and just adjusted the ride height to where I liked it I didn’t think it was too high and uh the axles and everything are happy but like those come this long you know well I had to give them measurements and stuff yeah okay and then they built like a custom

Set it’s kind of like a custom set yeah it’s so hilarious I what about the rear subframe rear subframe is from uh G37X as well why why couldn’t you have just used the 350 well I had the car and I was like it already had the the diff in

It from an all-wheel drive the gear ratio is a 3-3 and it’s a specific uh style diff the opinion flange is a little bit different than what normally comes in a 350Z I kind of wanted to keep it that way to keep it unique and it’s steel so I

Figured maybe it might take a little more of a beating on the trail so but you’ve actually taken this off-road yeah yeah and this is your daily uh I drive it a couple times a week sometimes uh I also have a d41 I like to enjoy the the convenience of you know everything

That a new truck has so hmm what about the interior yeah so this is a G37X shifter assembly this car was manual and I know some people are gonna have a fit about it but now it’s automatic because that’s all the uh all-wheel drive G’s come in is automatic so

I had to take that loss but uh manual mode and off-roading and automatic is a little bit easier and you can have some fun I’m assuming you probably thought about making a manual version I have yeah I’ve thought about it uh that’s all the more that I’ve done is just thought about it

But um I think there’s a lot of complications behind it and right now I just want to have fun with the car maybe eventually I’ll figure it out but if it’s not on my plate right now did you see the headliner yeah the cow whatever is that that’s not real is it

No it’s not real this is it’s so ridiculous you have lights yeah not only is is this out of this world it’s it’s it is so cool you have this S14 that you built what was the original purpose of this the original purpose was I was

Thinking maybe like a show car maybe a dino queen or something it was an S14 Sr I blew it up on the dyno I pushed it a little too hard then I was like let me do an RV and that was probably that was about 12 years ago

And then I built the RB there we go that’s nice so I was building the RB around the time that uh Paul Walker passed away so you know people were doing like charity events and stuff like that you could buy stuff online and yeah it would go towards

Charity remember I bought that while I was doing the engine bay and stuff put that in there had it clear coated and everything yeah Tommy Akira he signed it that’s awesome yeah so then how much does this make now this makes 500. so cool I love it these could not be more different

Yeah my goodness is this this awesome S14 RV powered uh it was so cool and then you have this off-road monster what do people say to you when you’re driving around in this thing uh I get a lot of a lot of people kind of turning their head or smiling at it

And it’s it’s quite entertaining when you’re passing somebody and they like they kind of double take their yeah what is that huh all right cool uh can we take it for our drives then yeah yeah all right let’s do it so like the coilovers that you got

They’re kind of tuned for off-road then huh yeah they gave me the softest spring rate that they felt comfortable with um there was another option I could have gone a little bit softer but after telling them that I do drive it on the street from time to time they were like

We’ll give you these and see if you like it it’s gonna be hard to convey on a camera how steep this actually is have you actually measured the approach angle on this thing nope I built a skid plate and then we took it off-roading let’s go across these roads Oh my God doesn’t get high centered or anything so how many inches are these tires uh they’re basically a 30 inch tire 30. got it see this is a little steeper see if we can’t nope nope nope no problem this is definitely an off-road Z so even if you

Lifted a G37X and did all this stuff it wouldn’t be like this no no the wheelbase is a little bit longer so you would probably get high centered on stuff like that but it’d be cool to have a back seat full of friends off-rooting that’s true that’s true

True so do you think it would be able to sidehill this like from from all the way there to here A little rub oh wow so funny thing is this has such a low center of gravity that I feel like it’s it’s taking it no problem like a lot of trucks I wouldn’t do this because you could just flip over you know but the fact that this is actually really low

In the grand scheme of things for the ground clearance and everything that’s what blows me away let’s see if we can whip it around Foreign This is just ridiculous I love it I absolutely love it have you tried doing all-wheel drive Donuts in this thing I have but once you get some momentum going and you let up on a throttle it wants to shift into next gear so I don’t have manual modes I

Can’t keep it in like first okay that’s something that that’s something I’m working on uh which is kind of the reason why I was ignoring trying to manual swap it because I feel like getting that figured out is probably a whole lot easier and cheaper than manual mode got it cool

Let’s see this is too good I love it getting behind the wheel of the off-road Z do you have a name for this beefy beefy Fifi 350. got it hence the headliner it’s all making sense now isn’t it it is I love it beefy one beefy 350. so like

All of this stuff you got it to work with some of it the coolant temp we’re working on that okay so then what is working is the attack and the speedometer works yep fuel gauge obviously like that didn’t play A Part got working AC oh nice transported over

Uh that’s that’s a can bus thing as well all right it just feels like a lifted 350. there’s no other way to put it yeah this feels feels normal a lot higher like I first time I drove it I was like this is awesome more people should do this it’s pretty good

So then what do you do day to day at D1 uh on the shop foreman uh most of my day is involved with uh helping manage the service side of the shop and uh the other half is helping r d uh test fit Parts validate fitment get with the

Engineer and help them if a correction needs to be made we can kind of come together and make that make it right here so then most of the texts that work at z1r kind of car Enthusiast then huh yeah uh we get a lot of Nissan enthusiasts and that’s kind of what we

Strive to pick up anyways yeah because they have a passion for it yeah and plus they know what they’re doing yeah yeah if they’re familiar with it they’re going to know how things are supposed to be right you know it’s rare that I get to feature a car that I own

The funny thing about this is it could not be more different it could not be more opposite world of what I have you know like this is just it’s just so ridiculous I’m assuming that there’s other people that live through her disease but they keep them rear wheel drive

Uh yeah I think there was one kind of going around on social media a couple years ago I think it was just rear wheel drive there’s actually another guy in Georgia that has an HR 350 that did the all-wheel drive as well oh okay I think he went a different route with

Suspension I think you use like uh jeep jeep Springs or something okay it drives really nice really [Laughter] amazing So then like what do other people say when you when you go to off-road event and it’s just a bunch of Jeeps a bunch of forerunners usually people will stop and look at it and just kind of either shake their head or put the hands on their hips you don’t

Have to deal with any like inspection or anything here no in Georgia some counties have emissions right but no safety inspections or anything like that got it what’s up ridiculous all right I can’t say I’ve ever driven a car like this before first time for everything yeah it’s pretty cool

Um what is this called again beef beefy 350 beefy three it’s it’s definitely beefy here uh yeah nice one I can’t wait to see where you’re gonna build next thanks man that’s so cool hey thanks for watching if you want to support us directly go to larrychenprince.com I print and sign

Every single one of these this is the perfect gift Aura it’s the perfect piece of art for your wall What’s up [Applause]