Tag Archives: 350z

Stance Will Make Her Dance

16 Feb

sunsetZatBarber

The song is ratchet and cheesy as hell, the car is anything but. The amazing Z belonging to a close friend and customer down south, basking in the final moments of sunlight at Barber Motorsport Park. Even though her heart is aching right now, she may live to race another day before going under the knife for surgery. Stay tuned

Advertisements

Well Vented

30 Dec

Hasemi Motorsports old Z33hasemiz33

Reducing the Vibration, Upping the Performance

3 Oct

NISMO Rear Performance Damper 350Z

NISMO Front Performance Damper 350Z

There is an old expression in the sports car world “handles like it’s on rails”. In other words, a car that changes direction with such eagerness, authority, and minimal loss of energy, that its akin to a train following a track. To this end, people often go about fitting the stiffest springs they can, with the biggest possible swaybars, and rubber-band thick tires, hoping to reduce lean and roll. This works great on cars with huge sticky tires and lots of downforce (and thus high speeds), and ideally, driven on perfectly smooth tracks. While many try to mimic this on a street car, it’s usually not the case. Normal roads, and even many racetracks around the country are anything but glass-smooth. We’re genernally not running slicks or even R compound tires when we drive to the local diner or for a weekend blast down some backroads, and while we may have installed them on our cars, we’re not generally using dive planes, functional splitters and spoilers to their potential due to street-legal speeds. The same car that handles on rails is also crashing over every imperfection out there. Expansion joints might as well be speedbumps, uneven pavement akin to driving over road spikes. Geometry aside, these super stiff setups often compromise road car handling, more than they improve it. Chassis stiffening is not the same as suspension stiffening, and this is an often-overlooked feature. The chassis of the car is like the skeleton of a high rise building. It’s made of steel girders, because it’s the backbone of the structure. Similarly a cars chassis is the skeleton of the car: it supports everything else.

When NISMO developed the 350Z NISMO edition, mane shunned it as merely a cosmetic upgrade. The engine afterall was the same – but it wore a wildy out there (for a factory car) body kit – a long front bumper with low splitter, a long rear bumper overhang, and a decidedly “Fast and Furious” style spoiler. Delve deeper and you find what makes it so special. The chassis is fully seam welded. Meaning every joint, where 2 pieces of aluminum are bonded together, are full sealed. There are no gaps, there are no open joints. This increases chassis rigidity by a decidely large amount. This is one of the things people often do when bulding a race car from the ground up. To that chassis, Nissan fitted significantly stiffer springs (one of the stiffest out there on a road car) with heavy duty dampers. While the bushings and swaybars remained the same compared to other NISMO cars, the car was noticeably stiffer. But this is, afterall, a road car. While it is very much at home on weekend track days and club events, it’s designed to be a fun, sporting day to day means of transportation. Had it been left alone, it would have been panned for being too obnoxious on the road, too upset by the concrete jungle. To solve those issues NISMO worked with Yamaha to develop a Z-specific pair of body dampers. These attach fore and aft of the shock pointing points, between the 2 biggest “holes” in the chassis – at the front bumper, and in the rear spare tire well. Why there? When a suspension compresses and rebounds, energy is created, stored, and released in very quick succession. The stiffer the spring, the more aggressive the shock valving, the quicker this process happens. Which is why from inside the cabin, that uneven pavement can be downright punishing….whereas in a Toyota Camry, it’s just soaked up effortlessly. The dampers Yamaha and NISMO developed are designed to specifically combat these vibrations, without toning down the benefits that the spring/shock combo gives the handling aspect of the car. When you look at them out of the box, they are basically a strut brace, with a little shock built in. They compress and rebound, like a strut does. However they mount veritcally, whereas shocks mount horizontally. So they combat the natural vibrations the chassis will face when hitting potholes, uneven pavement, and normal bumps in the road. This minimizes energy losses, and lets the spring and shock more efficiently do their job, while keeping the driver comfortable, and thus confident, behind the wheel.

Think it’s still just marketing hype? F1 cars began using similar devices in the 2006 season. Or, just try it for yourself: we have. A 350Z with coilovers (pick your poison, it even helps with wife-friendly coilovers such as Bilstein and KW). With the typical set of low profile 18 or 19 inch tires, and at the typical lowered stance these cars look so good at, it turns the car from a bit erratic over bumps, to downright stable. The suspension is now more able to work in unison, left and right, front to back, whereas without the dampers, it’s a bit of a free-for-all, with the driver being asked to control it all on the fly. It is truly eye-opening how these simple bolt on devices stabilize the vehicle.

The neat thing about these, is they are available for several carswe get here in the US, including the Subaru WRX (02-07), 350Z/G35. Need one for your car? Just drop us a line!

High Society

2 Oct

endlesszealz33

Best of the best on this 350z – Endless Racing 6 big brake kit, Zeal Coilovers with Eibach race springs, Roberuta Cup Kit (to adjust height on the fly), Esprit forged adjustable a-arms, and a bevy of Whiteline and SPL bushings. The end result is going to be out of this world, stay tuned!

Reduce the Bodyroll

29 Aug

stswaybarset350z

Looking for a quick and affordable way to reduce the body roll, and increase the cornering ability of your 2003-2008 350Z, or 2003-2007 G35 coupe (or RWD sedan), then the ST Swaybar set should be on your To Do list. These are a solid steel set of bars front and rear, and unlike some competitors, include the required bushings. At $355 for the front and rear set, it’s a hard deal to beat.

Contact z1sales@z1auto.com to order yours

Koni Sale: 350Z and G35

15 Aug
Koni Yellow Sport Shock Set 350Z/G35 Coupe

Koni Yellow Sport Shock Set 350Z/G35 Coupe

We’ve got a single set of the famed Koni Yellow sport shocks on special right now. Front/Rear set to suit 2003-2008 350Z (all models) and 2003-2007 G35 coupe. These are the best bolt on sport shocks available for these cars, and now at a price even better than before.

To order just drop us a line at z1sales@z1auto.com. Worldwide shipping also available.

Image

Proper

21 Jul

endless380rsc

Track Days

1 Jun

Recently a good client and customer attended an event at the games Road Atlanta. While the car is used for frequent track days, he does still daily drive it as well. Showing you can have your cake and eat it to with some careful planning.

20130601-123920.jpg

20130601-123931.jpg

20130601-123939.jpg

20130601-123946.jpg

20130601-124005.jpg

20130601-124016.jpg

20130601-124025.jpg

20130601-124031.jpg

Lower Price on KYB Struts for 350Z and G35

17 Apr

20130417-161612.jpg

Through a renegotiation with suppliers we are now able to offer even lower prices than ever before on the KYB Excel G Shocks for 350Z and G35

New prices are as follows (prices are for the full set of front AND rear!)

350z: $244/set
G35 Sedan: $269/set (03-06)
G35 Coupe: $244/set (03-07)
G35 Sedan: $269/set (03-06 X model)

Prices are + shipping, which is $47 in the 48 states. Shipping anywhere else just email us

To order just drop us a line

Come and Play….

21 Mar

ingsz33

INGS equipped Z33 patiently waiting its turn in the pits

Time to Get Strapped in

7 Mar
OMP seats and steering wheel inside Steve's 350Z

OMP seats and steering wheel inside Steve’s 350Z

Steve from down south sent up this picture of just some of the goodies he’s gotten from us for his Z. Not only is this his track weapon of choice in the Southeast region, it’s also his daily driver.

DIY Installation: Rear Differential Bushing

4 Mar

You’re only as strong as your weakest link. To that end, there are many small changes you can make that will literally transform how your car performs.

One issue that plagues the Z and G is rear wheel hop. Some try to “cure” it with an aftermarket differential, only to find the problem magnified. The solution are some rather simple looking, but ultra effective bushing replacements. The Z and G have a rather conventional differential (aka the pumpkin, because of its shape…even though on these cars, it looks more like a squash) mounting system with 2 “ears” at the front and a single, large rear bushing. The front set of bushings are mounted into the pumpkin casing itself. The rear bushing, however is mounted in the subframe. All these bushings are liquid filled rubber, encased in an aluminum shell. OEM’s use this style because its reasonably stiff and strong, but able to dampen out noise and road imperfections. The whole rear differential assembly weighs about 90 lbs, so those bushings are under tremendous strain as the car squats, launches and turns. What many owners find is the rear bushing eventually starts to weep its liquid out, eliminating its effectiveness. The tell tale signs are a black stain on the rear subframe. The subject car here didn’t have that issue, but that does not make the result any less awesome. On this car, the front bushings had previously been replaced with the solid SPL units several years ago. The rear most bushing never was done due to time constraints at the time. But that’s what is being tackled here.

Step one involves using some PB Blast and getting under the car and soaking the bushings. This will cut through any surface rust that may have developed, and give the factory bushings some slickness to help in its removal. Step 1.2 starts with unbolting the mid pipe, and loosening the rear swaybar brackets. This lets the bar spin upside down, granting you more room to work. The pumpkin comes out without the bracket removal but you will appreciate the room when reinstalling it. Next, remove the 4 bolts that connect the rear driveshaft yoke to the pinion flange. Next up, unbolt the output shafts from the axles. The axles will dangle in place which is fine. Next step is drain the differential fluid via the side drain bolt. From there, unbolt the speed sensors at either side. Be careful! your speedometer and ABS use these, so unbolt em and tuck them up top. If you can reach it, use a pair of needlenose pliers and remove the breather hose at the top of the pumpkin. Next, you’ve got the 2 14mm bolts at the front of the pumpkin, and the rear nut that is “in” the bushing in the rear subframe. A tranny jack and a friend are very helpful here. 90 lbs is a lot and this isn’t something you want to drop!

Rear pumpkin with axles disconnected:

20130304-214057.jpg

20130304-214618.jpg

Next up is the big rear cylindrical bushing. Some people stop the whole subframe and use the opportunity to also replace the bushings that mount the whole rear cradle to the chassis. For this job, we are leaving the subframe in place. There are several methods to remove the large factory bushing. What we chose to do is use is a traditional removal tool to push the bushing out. Others choose to drill through the factory rubber, then saw several slits through the casing to collapse the bushing. Both methods work, just depends on your preference and tool collection.

Removal Kit:

20130304-215624.jpg

The removal kit works like a plunger. You have a “pushing end” and a receiver. A bolt rides through the center and is secured with a nut at the other end. As you tighten the assembly, the stock bushing is pushed through its residence until it “falls” into the receptacle. Going slowly is key as is generous amounts of PB Blast. You must ensure torque is applied evenly to avoid doing any damage.

Stock bushing removed with the help of a bushing removal tool:

20130304-220614.jpg

Daylight!

20130304-220649.jpg

With the factory bushing removed its time to install the new one. We chose the SPL solid aluminum bushing to match the ones previously installed at the front. This is a solid chunk of billet goodness, and provides the strongest possible mount with maximum stiffness. Whiteline and Energy make urethane versions as well. If you go the solid route, a word of advise. A day before you tackle the install, put the factory bushings in the freezer. This will contract then ever so slightly, but will allow them to slide more easily into place. Leave them in the freezer till its time to install them.

To install the new bushing we used a simple mallet and tapped it in place. It’s actually quite easy.

New bushing installed:

20130304-222401.jpg

From there it’s a reversal of the previous pumpkin removal procedure. Make sure you get the pumpkin all the way squared up to the subframe otherwise you will never get those 2 front mounting bolts back in place. We found that by installing the rear bushing nut and tightening first, it “pulled” the pumpkin more into place allowing the front bolts to more easily thread in.

20130304-222521.jpg

Bolt the driveshaft up, then output shafts and you’re done! Torque specs can be found in this diagram:

20130304-222736.jpg

The results? Awesome! You will LOVE this mod. Even though the front bushings have been installed for several years the rear is the most transformative. The car bites down much harder now from a dig as well as in the turns. We noticed a slight increase in noise due to the fully solid mounts but its so faint it’s not even worth mentioning. Launch the car and that “hop-hop-hop-hook” sensation you used to feel is now just a squat and hook. Your axles will thank you……

With the affordability of these bushings, it’s on that list of “must have mods” for this car.

The Aardvark

25 Feb

A bespoke built Datsun 260Z, with a Jenvy ITB equipped VQ35, and a host of custom fabrication work.

Can’t wait to see some in car videos at the track!

Tomei Titanium Exhaust and Y Pipe 350Z

29 Jan
Tomei Titanium Exhaust 350Z

Tomei Titanium Exhaust 350Z

20130129-161004.jpg
After nearly 2 years since we first brought you the information, this exhaust and a new Y pipe are available for purchase.

DIY 350Z/G35: Brake Lights Don’t Work (aka the Easiest Install You’ll Ever Do)

26 Jan

It’s no secret that as cars get older, stuff needs to be done. While driving recently someone stopped me to say my brake lights weren’t working. Definitely not cool and totally dangerous. What I came to discover was that in the daytime, they would not work at all. None of them, not even the third brake light at the top of the hatch. However at night, when you turn the headlights on, the top third light worked fine. Tail lights always worked too, they just didn’t get brighter like they should when you step on the brake pedal.

The culprit turned out to be a simple fix. The factory brake switch had gone bad. After 10 years its to be expected I guess. This switch is mounted to a bracket above the brake pedal, under the dash. Kneel on the ground with the door opened and its simple to see. The switch itself is around $36 at the dealer (we sell em for $18 if you need one). You will see two sets of plugs. The brown colored one is the ACSD switch which is for cruise control and some other functions. The black one above it is the brake switch. It’s a simple device. There is a pin in the center of the switch. Step on the brake, the pin is released, and the brake lights illuminate. Release the brake, the brake pin is depressed and the brake lights are off. Imagine how many times this pin has gone back and forth during its lifetime, and its no surprise that eventually it needs replacing.

While kneeling on the ground grab the switch with your hand and turn it counterclockwise 45 degrees. This will unlock the switch from its holder. Once removed, depress the tab on the top, and the switch is separated from the wiring harness. Plug the new switch in, insert into the plastic locking grommet in the bracket, turn 45 degrees clockwise and viola, you’re done. It literally takes 45 seconds to do.

20130126-120455.jpg

20130126-120546.jpg