Nick K has been coming to Z Car Garage for several years. He makes the trek all the way from Sacramento and we’re proud to be the only shop that gets to work on his 2004 G35 Coupe. In 2012 we first met Nick, UPREV flashed his car and performed routine services. He had daydreamed of one day doing a supercharger kit.
A year later Nick K’s engine was tired. With 209k miles on the clock he dropped the G35 off at ZCG in preparation for a fresh start and…boost! We removed the ailing VQ35 engine and installed a complete VQ35 from a customer who wrecked his car with 50k miles on it:
With the engine out it was prudent to install a JWT HD clutch/aluminum flywheel. We did a Vortech tuner supercharger kit using our recipe of 1000cc injectors, GT MAF, and Aeromotive 340 fuel pump. To keep everything cool in Sactown heat we installed a 25-row oil cooler. In 2013, Nick was on his way with a new engine and boost, enjoying a nice 140hp/105tq bump in power for a total of 386hp/334tq to the wheels: …[read more]
Ken P has been a Datsun roadster owner and enthusiast since the early 90’s. He’s an original member of the Bay Area Datsun Roadster Owner’s Club (BADROC) and owns this highly modified 1969 2000 Datsun roadster, affectionately called “DATSTER”. Ken brought his car to ZCarGarage to get tuned, but let me share a little history with you since it has a special place in my roadster heart.
I met Ken at the Solvang Datsun Roadster Show back in 2001 and remember seeing all of his modifications for the first time. What really caught my eye was the paint and bodywork. Shaved door handles and side markers, no door or vent windows, and beautifully applied BMW Technoviolet paint really turned this into a hot rod. The interior was simple with no center console, re-uphostered seats, and a roll-bar. Over the years Ken kept adding his own touches and personality to the car including a trick hidden antenna and HID Xenon headlights adapted from a late-model BMW.
Under the hood lay Nissan’s mighty U20 drivetrain complete with several period go-fast parts like Mikuni-Solex side-draft carbs and a hotter camshaft. 14″ Panasports on sticky A032R tires and a full NISMO competition suspension made for a very fun little roadster.
I almost bought his car from him about 8 years ago but fate and the fact that Ken just can’t leave things alone led him to the next level of the DATSTER’s evolution. He removed and sold the U20 setup and with the funds(and money left to spare) purchased and installed a Nissan KA24DE drivetrain from a 240sx. Ken did the installation himself and added a few more custom touches like a metal dashboard color-matched to the body that houses the 240sx gauge cluster and S13 (of course!) seats.
Ken continued to drive and enjoy the new KA setup by doing fun runs, autocrosses, and even drag race events. He wasn’t done yet though and decided to add boost to the motor in a rather unorthodox way: supercharging! A supercharger setup was sourced from a race car and Ken made numerous modifications to make it work in his engine bay. The blower is mounted just above the frame rail but hidden under the intake runners. A custom throttle-body and pulley system were necessary.
Rob and the crew at ZCarGarage have worked on many roadsters, from bone stock to modified. Ken came to ZCG because he wanted to make sure his supercharged engine was tuned correctly for longevity and power. Baseline numbers were 159hp/156tq, and it was definitely in need of a proper tune. Rob and Clark Steppler tuned the roadster using a JWT ECU to safely boost at 8lbs and make some great power: 180hp/171tq at the wheels!!! The dyno plot reveals the beauty of a roots-style supercharger: a broad torque curve with over 150tq available from 2000rpm to 6000rpm! We think Ken is happier now 🙂
So with all of the ingenuity, modifications and big power is Ken finally “done”? Nope. He is currently engineering stronger brakes that will fit within those classy 14″ Panasports. Datsun owners are truly one of a kind!
Here are a few clips of Ken’s supercharged roadster in action and many more pictures in the gallery, enjoy!