G35 Fun

So, having the Solstice in pieces wasn’t enough fun. The engine in my 06 G35 coupe blew a couple of weeks ago. Over the holiday weekend, I finally got a chance to get it in the air and see what the problem really was. Before this, I was hoping I was just looking at a rebuild instead of an entirely new engine.

No suck luck.

Hood and grill off, ready to get to work!

G35, No Grill

Uh, oh:

Well, thar's yer prob'em.

I’m not really an expert mechanic, but I’m pretty sure the rod is NOT supposed to stick out of the side of the engine.


More roddy goodness

It’s alive (again)!

A little while back, I blew the engine in my 06 Solstice (toy track car). A vacuum / boost reference line running to the wastegate worked it’s way loose (I really need to buy stock in LocTite), and, in an episode of spirited driving, the turbo went full-boost.

That means about +30PSI, as opposed to the +7PSI that I’m targeting.

And, the result:

Good times.

In the process of replacing the engine, I installed a full set of DDM braces (strut tower, rear cross member, backbone/driveshaft closeout panel), a Spec aluminum flywheel, and Wilwood 6-piston, 14″ front brakes. (The rear 4-piston FLS set will wait until I figure out a parking brake solution.)

It’s still blowing white smoke out the exhaust. Since I’m not losing any coolant or any other fluid, no leaks, etc., I think it’s just burning off what’s left from when the original engine blew.

Word to the wise: check your harness grounds! We spent the better part of a week chasing what turned out to be a loose ground in the engine bay fuse block.


It’s alive! Alive, I say!

We finished up the Werks Stage 1 turbo install over the holiday break.

Holy crap, this thing is fast.  HP Tuners is showing 23 PSI max manifold pressure, or around 8-9 PSI of boost (given ambient atmospheric pressure of 1 bar or 14.5 PSI). I had a CEL for a day and a half, but it’s since disappeared.

The (otherwise stock) car now spins the tires under WOT in second gear, at just about any RPM. HP Tuners shows a 0-60 time in the 5 second range, which is a huge improvement.

Fun part: when we started the car for the first time, it revved to redline for about 30 seconds, then almost died, then revved back up, then down, and eventually settled on a rough idle around 2k RPM. My best guess is this was the ECU trying to figure out how to deal with the larger fuel injectors. Of course, after reflashing the ECU with the tune I received from Performance Autowerks, it calmed down quite a bit.

There’s still some pretty bad hesitation when going from cruise to WOT, and I’m in the process of iterating the tune with Dave @ Performance Autowerks.

(BTW, Werks is a great company – very helpful, responsive and professional. I recommend getting your next toy from them.)

I’m planning on taking it up to the dyno in McKinney once the tune is a little more dialed in.

Engine-driverBack to work!


Solstice 2.4 Werks Turbo Install

I picked up a 2006 Solstice 2.4 NA a few weeks ago for use as a track and autocross car. It’s a great car – light(ish) weight, awesome suspension, 5 speed (6 would’ve been nice), and, of course, it’s a convertible which is always good.

My only complaint is that it is a little underpowered. The stock configuration only makes about 177hp (or about 140whp), which is just unacceptable. Having to shift from 5th to 3rd to pass on the highway is annoying. My daily driver – an 06 G35 coupe – makes a little over 300hp at the crank, and it’s my kid hauler.

So, what to do?


(I’d rather to an LS1 swap, but that’s going to have to wait until my toy budget is replenished.)

So, I picked up a second-hand, but never installed,  Performance Autowerks (aka, Werks) Stage 1 300HP kit  from eBay for much less than retail. Between the price of the car and the turbo, I’m still many thousands of dollars ahead of where I’d been if I bought a stock GXP.

My Dad and I spent last weekend tearing the car apart and getting about 90% of the way through the installation. Unfortunately, I left the instructions at home in Dallas, and his shop is in Oklahoma, so we just winged it.

Here’s the car, sans some components:

Solstice in pieces

Dad making some sparks (cutting off a small chunk of a bracket to get everything to fit:)

Dad making sparks SOME of the kit components. (There are a LOT.)

Solstice Turbo Installation 314More to come at some point in the future.