Tag Archives: G35

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!

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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.

Lower Price on KYB Struts for 350Z and G35

17 Apr

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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

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:

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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:

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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:

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Daylight!

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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:

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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.

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

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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!

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.

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Necessity is the Mother of Invention

26 Dec

whitelinecompressionbushing2

whitelinecompressionbushing

As wonderful and robust as a 350Z is, like any other car, it’s got it’s share of quirks. The very early cars has transmission issues (solved by Nissan with later revisions), some of the interior stuff is easily scratched. Revup engines are widely known for oil consumption issues. So it goes – every car has it’s faults. One area that is of particular concern for Z33 drivers are the front bushings. The stock bushings are a soft compound rubber, designed for comfort vs longevity. Even on bone stock cars, they are known to start going bad in the 30k mile mark. Add in lowering via springs or coilovers, stiffer spring rates, and wider, heavier tires with lower offset wheels, and the weak factory parts become even more taxed.

The compression rod bushing is an area of particular concern for the 350Z and G35. This horshoe-shaped, aluminum rod makes up part of the front suspension, sitting between the front crossmember and the hub. It features a bushing on one end, and a ball joint on the other. The balljoint is quite strong, and hasn’t proved problematic. The compression rod bushing is another story altogether. Nearly every G35 customer we’ve got has replaced these at least once. 350Z guys also have this part fail over and over. For some reason, Nissan sells a replacement compression rod bushing on the Infiniti side (via part # 54570-AC70A), but not on the Nissan side. Some claim this bushing is “revised” from Nissan. We’ve never found any tangiable evidence that that’s true though. In the aftermarket, for the longest time, the only offering was SPL’s solid compression rod bushing kit. A terrific piece indeed, but really more suited for track use vs street use, as it can be sort of noisy because of the location. Not to mention, so many people have already replaced their lower control arm bushings (inner and outer) with the Whiteline Urethane pieces, that fitting a solid bushing isn’t exactly a perfect match from a stiffness standpoint.

NISMO does a version of these as well, but each time we check, they are not available – sort of perpetually backordered. There is another brand, called Armstrong, which is unique in that it’s a solid urethane design. Have not had a chance to try those as of yet. The Whiteline is more of a sandwich approach so installation is simple, though removing the factory ones does require a press.

Last year, Whiteline introduced a urethane Compression Rod Bushing Kit. We’ve sold quite a few, but never had a chance to do a direct comparison vs. stock. We think the picture speak for themselves. The Whiteline bushing is so much more solid vs the sloppy factory unit. It’s also a considerably higher durometer, but not so overly stiff that it isn’t very comfortable on the street.

Mishimoto Oil Cooler 350z/G35

13 Nov

New from Mishimoto is their bolt on oil cooler kit for the 350Z and G35.

Comes as a complete kit, ready to install on either manual or auto cars.

Reduce oil temps by up to 25 degrees. Available with an optional thermostat for those who live in seasonal climates.

Contact is for introductory pricing!

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Solid Differential Bushing Kit 350Z and G35

5 Apr

Click the picture for details and pricing.

Torque Solution continues to push the limits of high performance aftermarket products with our “NEW” Nissan 350z & G35 Differential Mount. This system was designed to reduce movement of the rear differential. This helps to improve transmission feedback when shifting, and gives the car a more solid feel under hard acceleration. By replacing the OEM rubber with these solid billet pieces you are able to get rid of the unwanted slop and flexing of the stock units which allows for the power to go into rotating the tires, instead of flexing the rubber. Giving you better feedback, sharper response, more predictability on throttle input, along with eliminating annoying clunking during hard shifts.

– Improved 60fts / e.t’s
– Reduced Wheel Hop
– Eliminates excessive rearend slop
– Reduces rear end float under acceleration
– Solid feeling gear changes
– Street and track torture tested
– Anodized Black 6061 Billet
– Bushing Driver Tool Included to Ease Install
– Lifetime Warranty
– Made in USA

Urethane Exhaust Hanger Set 350Z/G35

21 Mar


These urethane exhaust hangers replace the factory soft rubber units found on the 350Z and G35 coupe. They are a direct fit, and will limit the movement exhibited by the stock hangers. These are great for those running true dual exhausts, or for those who’s factory mounts have become worn due to age or high mileage. Sold as a complete set. Priced at $54 shipped in all 50 states. To order just shoot us an email to z1sales@z1auto.com

Whiteline Compression Arm Bushings for 350Z/G35

11 Jan

Whiteline Compression Rod Bushing 350Z/G35

New from the boys down under at Whiteline comes the urethane compression arm bushing for the 350Z and G35. If you own one of these cars, and you’re lowered on springs or coilovers, chances are you have replaced your factory bushings at least once already. On my car, I’ve done them twice and although the car is hibernating for the winter, come spring time it’s due for a change again. The problem manifests itself in a general ‘clunk’ under braking, or sudden suspension arm movements, such as over a speedbump. In my experience it tends to remain relatively quiet during highway driving. basically what happens is the soft rubber arm deflects too much, causing sloppiness, and under extreme conditions, can blow apart causing all sorts of potential safety issues.

The Whiteline urethane replacement should fill the gap for those street oriented guys who don’t want to go to a solid bearing setup (ala the SPL part we offer), but want something more durable than the factory rubber pieces. At $95 a pair, these are an economical way to solve a well documented issue on these cars. Click the picture for details or to order yours

Yes, we know Energy makes these bushings too, and yes, we carry them as part of their Master Kit, but more than a few people have complained about the squeaking noises with these. One thing I can tell you about Whiteline, having used and sold tons of them in the past on the 350Z and G35, they are absolutely silent. Plus, a lifetime guarantee against any defects ain’t too shabby either!

Hotchkis Swaybars for Infiniti G35X

28 Dec

Hotchkis Swaybars Infiniti G35X

G35X owners used to feel left out in the cold when it came to mods. Sure, they had the AWD that their standard G35 cousins didn’t have, but it seemed the aftermarket forgot that these guys like to mod their car too. Times are a changing. Now Hotchkis has released their G35X specific swaybar kit.

Specs
• Lightweight, Durable 1 3/8” (35mm) Tubular Front Bar.
• Lightweight, Durable 15/16” (24mm) Tubular Rear Bar 3 Way Adjustable.
• Premium mounting hardware including, greasable polyurethane bushings and heavy duty brackets.
• Finished in durable red powder coat.

To order yours, just click the picture!

Stop It!

13 Nov

AP Racing has been around for decades now, producing top quality brake components for every conceivable form of motorsport.

Since we’re an AP dealer, what better way to show their wares, by featuring them on a customer car. Shown installed on our customers 2004 STi

Contact us at z1sales@z1auto.com for all your AP Racing needs. From replacement disks, calipers, pads, to full big brake kits for your car or SUV, no matter what the application, we’re here to help

Why Your Oxygen Sensor Shouldn’t Be Ignored

9 Oct

If you’ve noticed your car performing inconsisently, can’t pass inspection due to poor emissions performance, with poor fuel economy, or running like a raped ape somedays, and like a 3 legged dog on others, it could be a faulty oxygen sensor. The 02 sensor is partially responsible for telling the ecu what to do and when. When they are new, 02 sensors relay accurate info very quickly to the ecu. When they age, or get contaminated, they act lazy, slowly relaying info, and performance and economy suffer as a result. We offer a full range of direct replacement 02 sensors from Bosch and Denso, 2 of the largest OEM suppliers in the automotive world. In fact Bosch invented the 02 sensor! These are plug and play, not some cheesy universal joint you’ve got to spend timing soldering in. Waterproof connections ensure years of reliable service. No sense paying the dealer more for the same part in a different box!

So why is it important to replace? As the sensors age, they get contaminated. Remember, these sensors sit right in the catalytic converter and the exhaust pipes, so they are forced to live in a dirty, nasty environment. As time goes on, contaminents build on the sensor itself, and it’s no longer able to react with the speed that modern ecu’s demand. These contaminants also can cause false readings to the ecu, causing the car to run significantly richer, or leaner, than it should. This can have systemic results in other areas of the car. Not only will you get poor performance and poor fuel economy, overly rich conditions can clog cats and cause injectors to stick open. Overly lean conditions can wreak havoc on your internals causing knock, as well as potential piston damage.

If you run race gas, methanol or alcohol injection, this can also cause premature 02 sensor failure. Thankfully, these sensors are affordable, and very easy to replace yourself

Contact us to order yours at z1sales@z1auto.com or (631)863-3820