Chris Charles’ 2JZ-Powered 350Z Takes The Path Less Travelled

August 29, 2017 / by Bradley Iger

This 350Z is now equipped with a 2JZ motor that will be making 1200+ HP. Check out this unique build here.


“When this project began, it was supposed to be a reliable 750 horsepower build,” explained Chris Charles of Lafayette, Louisiana. “But the snowball effect happened – the parts list and power goals just continued to grow.” Originally, Charles’ plan was to drop the warmed-over 2JZ into an S14 generation Nissan Silvia, but that idea was scrapped along the way, as he wanted something a little out of the norm.

Charles says he realized he wanted to break from the norm and instead used a 350Z as the recipient for the power plant.
“At some point along the line I realized that high horse power S14s were becoming all too common – even in my area,” he told us. “So I wanted to do something a bit different, and that's when the thought of doing a 2JZ in a 350Z came about, because 350Zs aren't typically built with high horsepower in mind. I have always loved the 2JZ power plant, so I wanted to put the two together and create a car in a class of its own (at least for my area anyway).”

With output estimates in the range of 1200-1300 rear-wheel horsepower on E85/E98, it’s not likely he’ll run into many similar builds at local shows any time soon. The 2JZ spec sheet consists of a billet main, 9.5:1 compression JE pistons hooked to Pauter connecting rods, GSC Power-Division Billet 2JZ-GTE S2 camshafts, a Sleep Designs billet intake manifold, and a fully built and ported head.

Boost comes from a QSV setup that utilizes a Precision GEN2 GT42-7675 turbocharger. “There is also a dry shot of nitrous to further assist with turbo spool,” he added, “and the whole car is being controlled by a ProEFI 128 box.” That prodigious grunt gets routed through a six-speed GR1000 transmission with a Grannas Racing Clutchmasters triple-disc clutch.

Charles is now estimating 1200-1300 rear-wheel horsepower when all is said and done.

Charles also explained that to get to this level of performance, he essentially started from scratch. “I got the motor about as bare as they come,” he explained. “A bare block and a practically bare head. So from where it was to where it is now, it came a long way. And as far as the pistons go, I chose these 86.5mm (.020 over) 9.5:1 compression slugs due to the fact that JE has a reputation for reliability and because they’re offered with both crown and skirt coating along with the upgraded thick wall wrist pin.”

The forced induction setup includes a Precision GEN2 GT42-7675 turbocharger, and a dry shot of nitrous will be on hand to overcome any potential turbo lag

Although there’s undoubtedly motorsport-spec hardware in play here, he says it’s going to remain a street car with a full interior, air conditioning, radio, power-assisted steering and so on. But it’s definitely riding that line, as evidenced by the quarter panels that needed to be widened by about two inches in order to accommodate the 28” Mickey Thompson radials he’s using on the rears, which are wrapped around 15x10.5 wheels. He’s also building another 2JZ bottom end use as a spare, which will consist of a lightweight billet crank, Diamond Racing 10:1 compression pistons, billet mains, and Wiseco BoostLine connecting rods.

Charles says that while he took on a few autocross and drift events when the Nissan was in largely stock form, he’ll be looking step things up this year. “The plan is to attend some of the bigger events and do some half mile and 1/4 mile racing,” he said. “Maybe even some roll racing.”

Along with a fully built and ported cylinder head, the top end sports a Sleep Designs billet intake manifold and GSC Power-Division Billet 2JZ-GTE S2 camshafts.

Topics: featured, CAR FEATURES

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Written by Bradley Iger

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