Brent Metro's Stroked Z Flexes 777 whpAt first glance, Brent Metro's Nissan 350Z portrays a decidedly The Fast and the Furious aura. With its mural-ladened body and Lambo doors, one would be well within reason to call the Z a showstopper. With a 183mph top speed, this ride's beauty is much more than skin-deep. A fully boosted, bored, and stroked VQ35DE provides the thrust for this intensely modified, yet uniquely balanced, drop-top.
Elevating a car to this level takes monumental commitment, not to mention perseverance; Brent's nerves were tested, as his road to the promised land was strewn with potholes. "I have had a number of issues in trying to get a solid engine build," Brent says. "While planning the first build we researched a number of new techniques, like cryo treating the entire engine and all internal parts, as well as thermal coatings for the engine, turbos, and all related hot parts. Unfortunately, the first shop took too long and misplaced some of my custom-treated parts, and we had to rush the build. This led to catastrophic failure within a month and less than 2,000 miles."
"I then went with a new shop, Forged Performance, out of Marietta, Ga. The plan called for a custom 4.2L stroker and Stage 4 heads from GT Motorsports to reduce turbo lag and produce more power with less boost. Unfortunately, this has led to some major overheating issues and new cooling methods have been devised. Running hot is still a large challenge that we are working on," Brent says.
The stroked rotating assembly features GT Motorsports' spec Arias pistons, billet chromoly rods, and a billet chromoly crank. The block now sports a 100mm bore and a 90mm stroke. The heads feature serious porting, 1.5mm oversized Ferrea valves, and titanium retainers. Brent runs GT Motorsports' 256-degree intake cams and 264-degree exhaust cams.
A GReddy twin-turbo kit with TD06 turbos modified with Garrett ball bearing center sections handles the boost generated. Fueling is key to making big power safely and Brent has this base covered with 1,000cc HKS injectors and a complete rail-to-pump fuel setup from CJ Motorsports. An HKS F-CON V-Pro, working in tandem with an HKS EVC boost controller, was tuned by Forged Performance. The tuning scheme features three separate programs/boost levels: 550 whp at 13 psi with 89 octane, 630 whp at 14.5 psi on 93 octane and 777 whp at 20 psi on C18 race fuel. Brent employs a Spearco water/methanol injection kit solely for its intercooling effects on long, full-throttle top-speed attacks.
With big power comes big driveline stress, so Brent fortified his running gear with Drive Shaft Shop Level 5 axles with reinforced outer CV joints, an ATS carbon 1.5-way limited-slip differential, a Nismo differential cooler, and an ATS carbon-plate clutch.
The scope and depth of modification found in, on, and within Brent's Z is staggering, and the Virginia native is quick to point out his faves. "I have to say I love my clutch," he says. "The Carbonetics tripledisc clutch is like butter. I have driven a number of my friend's modified clutches and they all require someone tell you how it engages. The Carbonetics is like stock and anyone can drive it."
"My Cobra Misano seats are definitely one of my favorite things," Brent added. "They are one of the most comfortable seats I have ridden in, while at the same time they provide enough bolster to keep you in your seat in hard driving ... with the assistance of the four-point harnesses of course."
"One of my earliest mods was the suspension," Brent says. "I have since changed it out, and I am really happy with the mono-tube TEIN Flex's I've recently installed. They have been in for one rally and the Tail of the Dragon event and they handle the twisties with aplomb and at the same time, in my opinion, are very suitable for the street."