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FX35 ls2 engine swap?

Discussion in 'FX (03-08) - Engine & Drivetrain' started by turbocad6, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. turbocad6

    turbocad6 iS VIP iS VIP

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    alright, you guys on this forum are pretty much THE real fx enthusiasts, & are always exploring the possibilities of modding the fx's that we all know & love so much, many here are looking for ways to improve what is already an awesome car, some of you have even went to the extent of turbocharging or supercharging, & most have done at least some performance enhancements by way of CAI, exhaust, tuning & the like, so you guys are probably the best guys for me to discuss what it is that I have in mind for my fx.

    I'm a bit of a funny kind of guy, when I think of modding I automatically like to think of, OK, I could do this, but what's better than this, what's the next level, & then, OK, well that's great, but what's past that. I'm not the kind of guy that gets off on small enhancements, because with every small enhancement there is usually a larger enhancement that could have been done that would have been even more improvement. for example, I'm the kind of guy that would never be happy with a simple speaker upgrade, if I decide to build my system, I will automatically look for the best that I could do, not what's a bit better than what I have. for me to do an audio upgrade, I'm automatically going to build a kick ass competition system, anything less Will feel like a failure to me & a waste of time... funny I know, but that's just me.

    I'm absolutely NOT knocking the guys who are just going to do a speaker upgrade though, honestly I say more power to you, I sometimes wish I could be satisfied with more normal stuff, but like I said, I'm kind of funny that way. I'm an all or nothing kind of guy... there are SO many things I have thought of doing at various points in my life, but then decided not to because I knew that I wouldn't be able to do it to the level I really wanted, I'm a big believer in do it right(right for me) or don't do it at all.

    when the time came to put a PC in my car, I could have gone the easy route, but I would never be satisfied with that. I just figured out what I thought would be the ultimate, & then decided either I think I can pull it off or I can't. once I decide I can do something & I want to do something, I do it. if I think I'm going to have to make too many compromises or not get the results I'm after, then I'd rather decide to not do it at all than to do a half effort.

    I honestly say none of this to impress anyone or to show off, I really only enjoy impressing one person & that's me. sure I do get a nice ego boost by having others impressed by my work, I mean who wouldn't, but in the end I really say none of this for those reasons at all. basically I'm just saying this so you can understand my way of thinking & where I'm coming from. I do hope I don't come off as a show off or anything like that, I do enjoy sharing my projects with others & for the most part all I get are warm praise & some are very impressed, that feels good believe me, but that's not my main reason for any of it really.

    so now I'm loving my fx so much that I really feel the need for adding some power to it. some guys say the fx is powerful as-is, but it just doesn't do anything for me there. sure it's not a slug & it has enough power to pass & to merge without being anemic or anything, but it is in now way a real powerful vehicle to me. from my above explanation maybe you can see why I never even bothered to do all of the normal mods, sure a CAI & an exhaust would help a bit, but small gains like that aren't even going to turn me on personally, I want more. I was never the kind of guy to do a chip intake & exhaust, just not enough to be worth the effort to me personally, I was more the type to rip the motor out & through a beastly little thing in there & really make a significant difference, all or nothing, that's just me.

    in considering all my options for the fx, I of course considered automatically forced induction, a supercharger, a turbo, two turbo's... again, I look at what's good, & then what's better than that, & then again OK, well what's better than that. I seriously considered going the tt route, I mean yeah, that does sound damn impressive, twin turbo, COOL, but then I also realize that once I did that, it wouldn't be long until I wanted even more. the next step past that would be to build the motor so it could really handle & really take advantage of the twin turbo setup. I do honestly think that I could be happy with a built tt setup, that's not a question to me. that would be enough for me to say to myself yeah, I did it right & I'm happy with it, but, then reality sets in. I mean I could easily go up wards of 20 grand & better going this route, & I'm not exactly in a position to consider this as a realistic goal for me, anything less will go against what I know I really need to feel that it's done & really done.

    well, in weighing my options, the thought of an engine swap came to mind. this is not something that I haven't done before, as a matter of fact, when I was younger, I was always swapping motors & stuff, I've shoved grand national engines & lt1's & big blocks & others in too many things to list here, but the thought entered my mind, & the more I think about it, the more I think this is a realistic way for me to achieve what it is that I would need to achieve to be really satisfied. also, this may be the only way I can really get the balls out animal that I really want to build & within a realistic budget for me. once I have a ls2 or another variant of the late model Chevy ls series of engines running in my fx, everything past that becomes easy... making big power with one of those is trivial compared to trying to do the same with the original vq, I could realistically make over 700 hp for way less money than it would take to make 500 with the vq... not to say that I will go to 700hp & better, but the real possibility of that is there & even then some really. 500hp would be my intial goal at drop in & that could be easily acheived with an ls series engine without doing much at all. the more I think about this swap the more I'm seriously considering it.

    with the research I've done so far, I've already convinced myself that I can pull off a swap like this, I do realize that I will have to make some compromises to achieve this though. stuff like tach, speedo, cruse control, abs & integrating the Chevy with the Nissan will be a challenge, but I think I can meet those challenges. some things will be not practical to retain too, like an est miles to empty, or est mpg... those things are something that I could give up easily enough without any real sense of loss.


    the one thing that I would wind up giving up that is the one thing that has me second guessing this plan is I would also wind up sacrificing the awd. had my fx been rwd then I'd probably be showing pictures of everything & announcing my plans for this to happen, but loosing the 4wd is a relatively big compromise to me, I hate sacrificing something for something else, & I know that the awd in our fx is a really great system. I've never been a fan of 4wd trucks, if I was building an escalade or something I would most certainly NOT want a 4wd, in NYC I don't really ever feel the NEED for 4wd, but this fx is a bit different, it's more like an Audi quattro in that respect than like an escalade or something, so I really feel like this is a pretty big sacrifice. I think I'm wiling to make this sacrifice, the trade off is just to much of a win situation really that I think I wouldn't miss the awd near as much as I would love the power I would gain... in the end the awd is the one real main sacrifice that would have to happen for me to really be able to pull this off well


    so, the purpose of this thread is really to get your guys opinions & input on this swap. any thoughts or concerns expressed would be appreciated, at this point I'm not going to say I'm 100% doing this, but I am seriously considering this enough to start this thread. I'll say that I'm 100% doing this when I have the new drive train in transit to me, until that point this is of course just speculation, but I don't see any other way I can really satisfy myself with real performance...

    soo, thoughts? input? whadayathink?
     

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  2. Dr.2K

    Dr.2K iS Doctor on Duty iS VIP

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    Hey John, I like the idea of the engine swap as it is unique and no one has tried it on an FX. But, the bottom line is 2 questions...1) How much money are you willing to put into this project and 2) What are your goals for this project. I think those are the 2 most fundamental questions. I'm sure this kind of project is not going to be 10k and I am done kind of think. It will be more in the ball park of +20k and a LOT of down time. I think I everyone will be behind you whichever way you decide to go. But I think you have to honestly answer those 2 questions first before you start and stick to it or you will never be satisfied with the outcome.

    There are a lot of things to consider with what you are proposing with this mod and none of them will be simple. I am sure you considered them all but you know nothing ever goes as planned with these kinds of things. I really like the ides but I don't know realistic it can be with the large hurdles you will have to overcome especially with the tranny and ecu.
     
  3. asherchy

    asherchy Premium Member Premium

    youve got your computer so you dont need the navi...you can replace all the gauges with aftermarket... losing awd might suck for a minute but knowing that your truck rumbles like a late 60s muscle car... priceless
    i say gut it. rewire it like the old cars used to be and boldy go where no man has gone before.... then drive it out to cali and take me for a spin
     
  4. brown_fv

    brown_fv Premium Member Premium

    What are your ultimate goals from the project? if swapping the LS2 meets those goals then go for it no doubt. Losing the AWD might suck, but in the wintertime with some snowtires im sure the FX will be adequate. i personally would not sacrifice the AWD for that much power but its just me. the ALTESSA AWD is one of the best around, i wouldnt give that up, but thats just me.

    With the swap are you going to keep it N/A or still put some sort of F/I on top of the LS2?

    There has been atleast one major LS2 swap on the 350z, so im sure the engine will fit just fine in our engine bay, there will be more than enough room to accommodate the engine.

    check this out for reference http://www.my350z.com/forum/showthread.php?t=310010&highlight=LS2
     
  5. Dr.2K

    Dr.2K iS Doctor on Duty iS VIP

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    But you have to ask yourself...do you really want your fx sounding like or more yet feeling like an American muscle car? If so, then why drive an FX and not a vette?

    I think whatever mod you do, the basic theme you must KEEP is to keep it feeling and driving like the FX you fell in love with or else why keep it all? Why not just trade it in save the money and get a car that you will eventually end up with after you have finished modding the the FX and dumped all that cash into it.

    If you have the money to put into a project such as this that is fine, but make sure you can still recognize its an FX after it is all said and done.
     
  6. gto

    gto Track Ready Moderator

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    Go for it man!

    GTO2.jpg
    GTO1.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  7. fxlr8

    fxlr8 Staff Administrator

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    oooh nice, any sound clips on the 350?
     
  8. fxlr8

    fxlr8 Staff Administrator

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  9. gto

    gto Track Ready Moderator

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    Dang! That's an animal!
     
  10. Dr.2K

    Dr.2K iS Doctor on Duty iS VIP

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    That sounds horrible .
     
  11. OP
    OP
    turbocad6

    turbocad6 iS VIP iS VIP

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    OK, first I wouldn't be trying to do this with the Nissan tranny, which is why I'd be sacrificing the awd to begin with. this also makes getting the ls2 in & running much easier. all I need is a complete dropout with ecu & harness & accessories to be able to drop it in & get it running. I know I'm making that sound easier than it is, but for the most part it really is that simple... all the new drive train would need from the fx to run is fuel & battery power. of course there are way more things that need to be dealt with, a short list just to be drivable & decent would be:

    integrate the power steering
    mount engine & tranny
    exhaust
    plumbing for fuel, water & stuff
    build a drive shaft

    at that point she'd be running & driving, I honestly think that can be done at around a 10k budget, if not less even. don't forget, I will be doing almost everything myself, I do have a good friend who is a full time race car fabricator & his assistance may be needed with certain things like headers & stuff maybe, but minimal really, the bulk would be done by me.

    now gages & creature comforts are stuff I could deal with, like Ashley said, obdII & a pc... I can do almost anything... I could even replace the dash cluster with an LCD, again far fetched, but I've done it before... this is not so much money as time.

    in the end doc I agree, I do want it to still be an fx.. I would do it in a way that it looks stock & not take away from what it is... I really want the fx, have no desire to go out & buy something else, I think I can get it to the point that if you didn't know better you would think it came that way. belive me this is very possible, it don't have to be loud at all. I haven't heard that one shown here but I did see it yesterday while searching... I have no sound on my work PC, but It think that's with open headers, so trust me, I wouldn't sound anything like that:) I could make it quiet enough that it will not be obnoxious at all, I'm not big on loud cars really, my turbo caddy has 4 mufflers on it for this very reason... I would have it quiet, it won't sound like a Nissan, but it will sound good
     
  12. Professional

    Professional Member

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    Sounds like a great project! You said that you like to go all out when you modify so my question is... why not an ls7?? :biggrin:
     
  13. EG3

    EG3 Premium Member Premium

    Good luck with it man.. You make it sound easy but it should be a really though job to do. Hope it works smoothly (and within budget :wub: )
     
  14. OP
    OP
    turbocad6

    turbocad6 iS VIP iS VIP

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    I guess budgets are like rules, they are made to be broken:biggrin:

    the budget is not too unrealistic, may it be off 15-20%? 30% 40%?, that depends how nutz I go in the process, but I know I could get a base complete engine & tranny in the car & running for at or under 10 complete, & this is with a late model low mileage complete nice drive train, I'd like to squeeze a few minor mods in there to reach 500hp on drop in at or around that budget, but even if I had to do drop-in at bone stock 400-400, that's not the ceiling that's the floor. from there upgrades are easier & more plentiful & way cheaper than the vq. I will not need a $2-3,000 ecu, that is not necessary with the lsX's, the stuff available for those engines are insane, it's like a kid in a candy store with these engines... add 3-4 grand= BANG 700 horsepower... want 900? want 1,200? more? these engines can give you what you want if you go crazy with them, really what I'm asking of it is on the low side of what it can give...


    imagine taking a fx45 & upgrading it to an aluminum block, removing the 4wd, building the tranny to live & adding a supercharger. that's what this drive train will feel like while still being normally asperated... now imagine adding a 250 shot of nitrous to that same supercharged fx45 AND an endless supply of funny gas, & imagine it holding together very well, sick ride, but to do this on an fx45 it would probably cost at least 40K, & that's if your lucky, but the ls2 may be around 16k at that point. the more crazy you go the cheaper it is relative to the more conventional routes.

    I say ls2 because once your in an lsX of any factory designation the mods are plentiful & the difference between the ls2 & ls7 can be easily overcome,also the c5's are the usual candidate for a ls7, & there front engine, rear tranny configuration. a gto or a camaro would be the best likely targets for me, plus the ls7's go for crazier money & budget still has it's say, PLUS if I started this thread with LS7 in the tittle, then I'd feel like I failed if I winded up with an ls2:rofl: really it could be any lsX at this point, research is still needed by me.


    I am still researching the differences in these engines & really going to learn them inside & out if I go for this, the more I think about this the more sense it makes, the real weak link in the whole deal is going to be, without a doubt, the rear end! if I could build a rear that'll take the power I could make, you would see one really fast fx, I'm not going to make any speculation, but I mean really fast... the rear end is already something I am considering what to do, I guess I got a little research there to do. I seen some stuff for the 350Z's, I gotta dig more. my luck the rear for this infiniti will cost half as much as the whole drive train, harnesses & ecu:LOL:
     
  15. Frankiago

    Frankiago Evo Troll Premium

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    I'm glad somebody's finally interested in the swap route. I'm not a fan of our transmission and that might end up being what'll steer me away from my goals with the FX.

    As it stands I have the built motor w/ about 5k miles on it. It's a prime, ripe candidate for a pair of turbos, but I first have to build the rest of the drivetrain. I don't know if I really want to do that in the end.

    Just today I was scoping eBay for used 350Z motors with less than 10k miles... I'd still keep the built motor, but put it to better use. I have a few ideas in mind for a project... if all else fails maybe I'll just buy an '04 350Z and directly swap the motors across so that I can have the 6MT I've always wanted :p

    Keep us updated as you find more information please. I'd like to see this go the same route as Noah's Z (pictured w/ the GTO motor), except his took F-O-R-E-V-E-R-!
     
  16. OP
    OP
    turbocad6

    turbocad6 iS VIP iS VIP

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    yeah bro, noah literally shipped his car all over the country to get this done, he claims to have spent close to 8 grand in just shipping it all over the place, I would not want anywhere near that kind of down time, I would have everything ready & hope to get it running in a matter of weeks... of course depending on the route I wind up going...


    OK, a lot more thinking & a lot more digging & now I've come to 2 different routes this could go, both very different from each other...

    first, I have a friend who has a twin turbo'd c5 vette, motec, fast system, all done up... huge money in this beast, aftermarket block, best of everything... he's thinking of going back to stock to dump the car... I could get a good deal on this motor with the motec, twins & everything really, all aluminum goodness... were talking about a real beast of a motor, over 700 hp conservatively... then I'd have to piece it all together, get a tranny & make this happen... in the end this would wind up being a bit of an abortion to a certain extent, but an animal too...

    second option I'm considering is much more tame, much easier to pull off, & I could even retain all originality of the fx in just about every way, including retaining the awd, & that is to just simply swap a titan motor in... a 5.6 titan motor could easily make 400 to the wheels with just minor massaging, & since it's a nissan system I could have much better integration, so much so that I don't think I'd loose anything really, this could be done to be like 100% factory, an fx56 if you will, much much more sane & easier to pull off, no real butchery & perhaps even some retained vehicle value over a butchered up small block tt setup...

    decisions decissions... the titan motor could realistically be pulled off for under 5 grand complete... I found a 3k titan 5.6 mile motor for $2,500, the twin turbo'd beast of a small block would be WAY more than that & several times the work... hmmm

    I gotta do something.... it's gotta be significant or I'll just leave it stock... don't think I can leave it stock long term... a fx56 might be the most sane & easy solution... theres always room to grow that too, & theres still the tranny weak link to think about... decisions, decisions... still thinking :)
     
  17. Dr.2K

    Dr.2K iS Doctor on Duty iS VIP

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    I think a built up titan 5.6 engine would be the way to go. I like this idea and it was considered by many including myself. Not as much work in the end as the TT vette but still getting the right tranny would be the issue. Wish you luck John.
     
  18. f1fx

    f1fx Member

    stillen also makes a s/c for the titan for a f/i option down the road
     
  19. OP
    OP
    turbocad6

    turbocad6 iS VIP iS VIP

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    yeah, that would always be an option too.. now I'm trying to research the tranny from the titan, I found a local wrecking yard that has the whole thing w 4wd still in the truck... much more miles but more complete & local... if THAT tranny can physically fit in the fx that might be a good solution, maybe need to do some custom driveshaft work & stuff... I need a titan to do some more measuring & comparing, that'll add a bit to the budget, but might be the tranny solution, the titans make big torque & the tranny has to be much tougher than the fx tranny. shit, now I have yet ANOTHER forum to research... titan forums??:p funny how one car can cause me to be involved with like 5 different forums:rofl:
     
  20. brown_fv

    brown_fv Premium Member Premium

    I think the engine swap with the titan will be "safer" and also you get the pride (and pain in the ass) of doing the work from scratch rather than taking the Built TT from the vette. either choice will in no way be simple or easy, but i can see the titan swap being the lesser of two evils and still accomplishing your goal.