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      12-13-2011, 01:59 PM   #53
The Fat Stig
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Drives: 2010 135i
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: 2003 Stg 3+ SRT-4

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Originally Posted by jaf89f View Post
What are the issues with the VQ engine? I just test drove a 2005 Enthusiast 350z that had a Nismo exhaust on it. The exhaust note was intoxicating and it handled extremely well compared to my non-sport 128i and on a similar level as an s2000.

I have not been able to find any subarus or gti's in my price range near me. I may have to try out the mustang as that car never really crossed my mind. Thanks for the input.
I had a 2003 VQ35DE engine, which has less problems than the later VQ35HR engine, however mine had the same problem that the HR engine had...oil consumption issues. I was not the owner for the entire life of the vehicle, so it is certainly possible I got an abused engine, but I sold mine long before I wanted to because the blowby was extremely severe for the miles I had on it. I also had a strange issue where the engine sometimes refused to start - this really isn't an engine issue, it's an issue with the security keys.

It's been about 2 years since I had my 350z, but when I did, people that experimented with any boost later were on forums talking about how they were rebuilding their engine. The VQ engine is a great engine, but it's not mod friendly in my book. If you are content with a (very expensive) low-boost, properly setup, then you might be able to get a little bit of power, but the cost alone will scare you away. The other problem is the manual transmission seemed to give guys a lot of headaches with the extra power. If you run too much power through it, they break as well. I don't know what the specifics were because I had an auto. Those things aside, I ran mine for about 3 years and loved it (I just didn't mod it). If you were going to get one, I would recommend going with a 2005 or up (why?) because the 2003 - 2004.5 had suspension issues that caused the car to ride like it was on hydraulics. I had to spend $600 on a set of tokiko struts because the factory ones are not valved correctly. On top of that, in 2005 Nissan switched to a dual-piston front caliper, and a roughly 1" larger diameter front rotor. The early models stopped fine, but would warp the rotors way too quickly. Thankfully they are swappable so if you can only go with an early model, you can swap them over without replacing major components.

If you are going with a stick, then you might want the "HR" engine because it has a little more HP up high (Sacrifices tq a bit) as well as a higher redline. If you are going with an auto, I would stick with the "DE" engine because the higher tq (as well as lower-rpm tq) leads itself better for the auto.

Lets see...what else...

- The tires are different sizes, and if you try to replace them with a square setup, the traction control will drive you nuts. You need to keep them different sizes.
- Typical first mod is an intake spacer, that yields you a few HP.
- Tracked cars run into oil temp issues like we do. They have a oil "cooler" that dumps oil heat into the cooling system.
- Base cars come with Halogen lights, so if you want Xenons, get yourself an "Enthusiast" at minimum.
- The VQ engine is hard on oil, also, it likes to keep about half a quart in the sump even when you drain it. I ran a diesel oil (Shell Rotella -T6 5w-40) and the car ran much better with it.
- I found when I was looking at used ones, that the seat fabric wore very quickly. I ended up getting a "Touring" car because I wanted leather (It held up better)
- The power window motors are the HPFP for the car. Expect to replace them every two years. It's not too hard to do, but costs you about $150 every time.
- My car had the Bose sound system. It was not very good, and made upgrading the stereo more difficult because the factory amp would re-q the system depending on the ambient sounds in the car.

Hope this helps!
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