Supercharging the Nissan VQ35DE with Vortech!

Supercharging the Nissan VQ35DE with Vortech!

by Mike Kojima

The Nissan VQ35DE in all of its variations is one of the best six cylinders on the market, light compact and smooth it has a lot of potential for modification. The VQ35DE and its variants in the VQ family is found in the G35 and 350Z.  Although the VQ is a nice performance engine, in the US market it is only available in naturally aspirated form.  Naturally aspirated limits your power, especially when you are talking about a streetable engine on pump gas.  You can see the results with our naturally aspirated VQ35DE engine build here.

In our search for more power we decided to try another direction: supercharging.  For our test mule we used a G35 coupe which already had a lot of the basic bolt ons. To this we applied Vortech’s bolt on intercooled VQ35DE kit.  The Vortech kit is a relatively easy bolt on and has the advantage that if installed exactly as is, it is a CARB approved 50 state legal system with an EO number.  This is a huge advantage if you live in California or any area that requires smog testing for registration.

Another cool feature is that the Vortech kit has a one year limited warranty that can be extended to three years for a small fee of $50.


Vortech’s VQ35DE system uses the V3 SCi supercharger, the “i” stands for improved. The V3 SCi is a centrifugal supercharger, imagine the compressor side of a turbo driven by the crankshaft instead of a turbine and you got the idea.  A centrifugal compressor has more efficient internal compression compared to thermally inefficient external compression like a typical roots type blower. Thus the V3 SCi compressor has a whopping turbo like adiabatic efficiency of 75% across a wide operating range.  Higher efficiency means less intake charge heating and lower power requirements for less parasitic power loss at the crank.  The supercharger has its own internal oil supply which makes installation easier.  The kit comes with some proprietary synthetic lube from Vortech and a cogged secondary drive belt.
The Vortech transmission has a 3.6:1 step up ratio and can flow enough air at its 53,000 maximum rpm for up to 725 hp if the need arises. The transmission has helical gears for quiet operation and internal baffling for oil control under hard acceleration, braking and cornering. The transmission has its own dipstick and remote drain for easy servicing. Oil distribution to the gears and bearings of the transmission are handled by a simple and reliable slinger that flings oil to all of the critical parts.
The kit comes with a large bar and plate front mount intercooler, heat resistant silicone couplers and mounting brackets for an easy installation.
The charge pipes are all mandrel bendt for smooth flow.  Some of the pipes have complicated shapes because of space limitations in the tight engine bay.

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