There are many types of car enthusiasts in the world. Some are speed freaks who are dedicated to making their cars go fast with no holds barred. Some like to tweak their suspensions and push their cars to the ragged edge of adhesion at every corner. Some like to increase sounds through a high-powered stereo system. And some just like the full-body massage-enhancing the sheetmetal for maximum style so they look cool while rolling the "G" ride with big wheels, body kit and done up interior.
There are enthusiasts who combine speed with suspension or sound with style and vice versa. But the true car fanatics combine the four esses into one: speed, suspension, sound and style. Tavis Tan of Axis Sport Tuning has lived by the four "S" mantra all of his life. This pristine 1993 Nissan 300ZX twin-turbo is just one of Tan's creations. The original concept was to make an extremely quick street car, which can be driven on a regular basis and not rely on race gas for big power.
The first order of business for Tan was increasing the power output of the 300ZX. Though the VG30DETT engine can handle extra boost, Tan wanted to fortify the engine with stronger internals to increase its reliability. Tan enlisted the help of Jon K of Ziel Motorsports in Downey, Calif. for the internal fortification program. Having already built a number of high-powered VG30 powerplants in the past, K was already familiar with the platform and knew exactly what needed to be done to the engine to withstand high-boost situations.
Upon removing the powerplant, it was torn down for cleaning and machining. The block was bored 3mm over from the original 87mm to 90mm-increasing the displacement from the stock 2960cc to the current bore of 3200cc. Now residing in the V6 is a six-pack of 8.5:1 compression JE pistons. The pistons swing on Crower forged con-rods, which are connected to a stock crankshaft that's been polished and balanced by Ziel. The entire reciprocating assembly was high-speed balanced to ensure 8000-rpm operation could be achieved without breaking a sweat.
Up top, both cylinder heads were ported and polished by Ziel to increase airflow to the combustion chambers. Taking into account the 8000-rpm redline, the valve springs were also upgraded to JUN high-tension pieces. Providing the bump and grind are a quadruplet of JUN bumpsticks. Both intake and exhaust cams feature a 9.5mm maximum lift at the lobe tip and 264-degree duration time. All four cams are fine-tuned by Tomei adjustable cam gears.
On the induction end of the powerplant, ExtrudeHoned factory manifolds collect spent gases and direct them into the turbine end of a pair of Garrett GT2530 ball-bearing turbos. Enclosed in the Garrett housing, 61mm compressor wheels provide 20 psi of boost. Boost pressure is set at 1.4 bar (20.58 psi) by a GReddy TVVC manual boost controller. Massive 3-inch I/C piping channels the hot charge air into a large HKS front-mount chiller. The twin outlet chiller feeds either side of the big-bore throttle body. Wanting to have complete control of fuel and ignition timing, Jon installed a DTA stand-alone engine management system on the car. He worked the laptop's keyboard to a tune of 562.5 hp and 572.8 lbs-ft of torque to the wheels on the Dynojet. This amazing feat was accomplished on pump gas.
The second "S" Tan addressed was the suspension system on the Nissan. With more than 500 horses at the rear wheels, the Nissan was uncontrollable around the corners. Aggressive acceleration would result in unspeakable dangers in everyday driving. The stock shocks were traded in favor of JIC 15-way adjustable coil-overs. Fully height adjustable and damping adjustable, Ziel fine-tuned the JICs with 12 kg/mm rated springs up front and 10 kg/mm rated springs out back. The combination gave the 300ZX a fairly civil ride for commuter driving without sacrificing control at the edge.
To prevent body roll around high-speed corners Suspension Techniques sway bars were also incorporated into the mix. As a security blanket for Tan's heavy right foot, the Nissan's brakes were also upgraded. The stock binders were tossed aside for Porsche 993TT Brembo four-pot calipers tag-teamed with KVR 355mm cross-drilled rotors. In the rear, the 300ZX runs Skyline R32 rotors combined with Project brake pads. Stainless-steel brake lines and Motul 600R brake fluid round out the rest of the brake system enhancements.
To make a statement every time he cruises the boulevard, Tan replaced the front bumper with a Trust Z32 fiberglass piece and the heavy factory hood with a Border hood. Rolling stock was upgraded with 19-inch Axis Se7en three-piece aluminum with forged centers and Toyo rubber poised at the corners. The Nissan runs 19x8.5-inchers up front and extra wide 19x10.5-inchers in the rear. Toyo T1S Proxes rubber of the 235/35R-19 and 275/30R-19 variety provide the contact.
No daily driver would be complete without a bumpin' sound system. From the fully powered Sparco Plus electric driver seat, Tan is within arm's reach of the Pioneer ODR head unit. Signals from the head unit are sent to the top-of-the-line Boston 6.5-inch Pro speakers up front and 10.5-inch Pro sub woofers in the trunk. A pair of Boston amps powers the speakers to full song. From the cockpit, the driver is bombarded with seven GReddy peak/hold gauges displaying all the engine vitals.
Having the total package wasn't easy for Tan to accomplish. It took him seven years to get the Nissan to its current stage of modification. And get this; it's still a work in progress and he doubts it'll ever be done. As long as Tan pays attention to the "Four "S" system of refinement, the 'White Light' 300ZX's future will be bright.
Axis Sport Tuning