Tag Archives: urethane

Tech Talk: FRP (Fiberglass) vs Blended Materials for Aftermarket Body Kits

24 Sep

We get this question ALL the time – what is the ‘right’ material to select when buying aftermarket body parts? There are a range of materials that manufacturers use. Several higher end manufacturers, mainly in the Japanese realm, offer several of their products in both FRP as well as a blended, or hybrid material. FRP stands for Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic. This term is tossed around alot in the aftermarket aero world. It’s a bit of a catch all term, that generally describes a range of composites (parts made by mixing various materials together). Without getting boring, there are differences among “FRP” blends. Not only do the materials mixed together vary, so do the epoxy types used to hold them together. Since a fiberglass part is only as good as the quality of the mold used to produce it, that is why you see such a huge variation in pricing among parts that on their surface look similar. This is an area where you get what you pay for. For ease of terminology, I will stick to using the generic term “FRP”, but I am specifically referring to the better-branded/manufactured stuff out there, since that is what I am most familiar with. FRP has many fantastic properties. It is extremely strong relative (especially) relative to it’s weight (it’s light), it can be molded into many complex shapes, it is easily repaired should it get damaged, and it’s able to be produced at relatively low costs. FRP really has no downsides in and of itself, it is a terrific material for these type of parts. Some will say that urethane is ALWAYS better, and it’s simply not the case. Urethane molds are extremely expensive to produce, which is why you rarely see aftermarket aero parts offered in the material to begin with. When you do, they tend to be extremely heavy relative to their FRP counterparts. Urethane is extremely durable, mainly because it has so much tensile strength, but should it be damaged via impact, it’s very difficult (and often impossible), to repair. Most times when it suffers such an impact, it has to be replaced. Fiberglass on the otherhand can literally be decimated – shattered into multiple chunks after an impact, but joined back together relatively easily. Serviceability is a big benefit of FRP parts. Another issue with aftermarket urethane, that is often overlooked, is longevity. Depending on where in the world you live, the urethane can break down over the course of time, due to environmental conditions. This process can cause the urethane to lose its shape and literally deform. As this happens, its aesthetic value and its durability both suffer.

In the last 10 years (give or take), we’ve seen variations of fiberglass hit the market. These are components use a combination of different man made materials (urethane, various plastics, etc) added into the “FRP” mixture, and sealed with a different type of epoxy. The purpose of this type of material was to bridge the gap between the aftermarket urethane parts and the OEM plastic/urethane level parts. These blended, or hybrid materials are more flexible vs their straight FRP counterparts, but not as flexible as a full urethane part. In the case of manufacturers like INGS and CWest, their blended materials have the added bonus of requiring much less prep time before they are ready for paint. This type of manufacturing is more expensive to do, so only a handful of worthwhile companies offer it. Several try (mostly knockoff firms), and succeed to varying degrees. In many cases I have seen, while the material itself is generally quite good, in the interest the mold quality suffers. Molds are used for longer than they should be, or simply are inaccurate in the first place. This results in unwanted gaps when installed, or parts that are too long, too short, and require significant prep work in order to actually install on the car. Prep work is expensive, generally charged per hour, and can quickly make the ‘savings’ vs the genuine article disappear. While the hybrid/blended parts are slightly heavier than their FRP counterparts, they are nowhere near the level of a urethane part. Somewhere on the order of 5% or so heavier.

JDM Universal Fender Trim Kit

30 Nov

Fender moldingFREE_100-10mm-SUNPOU-500FREE_200-7mm-SUNPOU-500FREE_300-20mm-SUNPOU-500Fendermoles001Fendermoles012Fendermoles009Fendermoles008Fendermoles010Fendermoles011

These unique, universal urethane fender mole kits are sold in pairs, and come in your choice of 7mm, 10mm and 20mm widths (excluding the protective lip that resides underneath the fenders). Installation is simple, using a combination of supplied 3M tape and self tapping screws. The beautiful thing is they can be painted to match your car, and being made of urethane, they are highly flexing, and can be cut to length to suit your particular application.

Prices start at just $165 per pair. Free shipping when 2 or more pair are purchased at the same time!

Contact z1sales@z1auto.com to order yours.

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!

Urethane Transmission Mount 350Z/G35

7 Nov

Just received a nice urethane transmission mount for the 350Z/G35 (manual transmission) that I will be trying out in my car. Construction is very nice – billet T6 6061 aluminum, with a 75a durometer urethane insert. The sleeve for the bolt is already installed so it should be a drop in replacement for stock. We’ve noticed the factory mount has alot of lateral play to it, which contributes to a bit of a vague shifter feel. On the urethane one, the entire center section is filled in, giving it a much sturdier mount vs the stock one, which has alot of give (see last pic). The stock mount is about a 40a durometer by comparison. I am hoping for big things from this little mod, as it should make shifting alot more direct and precise. More on it later in the week when we install it and I can put some miles testing it!

Whiteline Plus 350Z/G35 Polyurethane Bushing Guide

24 Jul

whitelinetractionkit350zAmed copy

Unfortunately, some swaggerless shop  is going to copy this guide and use it on their website.  Remember where you saw this copy first!

Whiteline Plus 350Z/G35 Polyurethane Rear Bushing Guide

Here are the links to where you can purchase these bushings off of our website:

Front Bushings

Rear Bushings

WHITELINE PLUS 350Z TRACTION CONTROL BUSHING KIT

25 Jun

Umm, yeah so I already placed my order for these today for my own car as soon as I found out that these were en route. THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!!!

WHITELINE PLUS 350Z TRACTION CONTROL BUSHING KIT

WHITELINE PLUS 350Z TRACTION CONTROL BUSHING KIT

One of the most noticeable compromises in Nissan suspension performance is the 4 points on the rear subframe. The bushes are a very compliant hydraulic filled rubber bush that permits squirming of the rear end under bump/turn/acceleration. Whiteline has recently added to the range of subframe kits that currently covers 240SX/ 300Z with a proven fix for the Nissan 350Z and G35 platform. W92994 features the latest technology WHITELINE PLUS polyurethane bushings, steel componentry and very informative install guide. The translucent black bushings boast voiding points so that elements of compliance is achieved. The kit replaces all 4 point of the rear cradle on a 350Z or G35 Infiniti and results in a more responsive, predictable and enjoyable driving ‘Z.’

Whiteline Plus 350Z Traction Control Bushing Kit

Whiteline Plus 350Z Traction Control Bushing Kit

Key Benefits of WHITELINE PLUS
-The quality of ride of rubber, with the performance of solid links.
-Long lasting durability.
-Resistant to chemicals, oils and weathering.
-Enhanced handling, steering response and road holding stability.
-Increased traction and power transfer.

WHITELINE PLUS is a range of ‘NO COMPROMISE’ polyurethane suspension bushings and components. By ‘NO COMPROMISE’ we are referring to the polyurethane’s ability to provide the quality ride of rubber at lowerspeeds and at higher speeds to become firmer,(somewhat progressive) when under cornering, accelerating and braking loads, for CHASSIS CONTROL and improved handling.

Applications: 03-07 Nissan 350z & Infiniti G35

We have a few kits ordered up for inventory and expect them very shortly so let us know if you would like one for your ride.

Rally On!

24 Sep

With the winter months fast approaching, there is no better time to get that AWD car out in the snow and play.  But with so much salt, ice, rocks on the road during this time, it can quickly do a number on your paint.  Have no fear, RallyArmor is here!

Our buddies at RallyArmor make the finest bolt on heavy duty mudflaps on the market.  The most popular applications are the 02-07 WRX/STi, 03 + Evo, ’93-’01 Impreza/2.5RS.  Other applications include the Forrester, Legacy, Lancer, and even the new ’08 + STi and Evo X

RallyArmor Mudflaps Come in a Variety of Colors

RallyArmor Mudflaps Come in a Variety of Colors

Owners will find the “flex factor” of the “UR’s” to be advantageous as the material is resilient and very flexible despite extreme temperature variations. Rally Armor mud flaps are the ideal rally mud flap choice for lowered vehicles, competition, rally vehicles as well as daily driver set ups. They provide exceptional coverage without sacrificing the look and finish of your performance car! Each kit comes with all mounting hardware and full instructions.  Check them out on a few cars:

RallyArmor Installed on 2002-2007 WRX/STi - Click for More Info!

RallyArmor Installed on 2002-2007 WRX/STi - Click for More Info!

RallyArmor Installed on Evo X - Click for More Info

RallyArmor Installed on Evo X - Click for More Info

RallyArmor Installed on Evo 8 MR - Click for Info

RallyArmor Installed on Evo 8 MR - Click for Info

 

So if you’ve got an Evo, WRX/STi, Impreza, Legacy, Forrester, Lancer, etc. and you want a set of these awesome flaps, give us a shout!

Adam – z1sales@z1auto.com AIM: z1auto

Kwame – kwame@z1auto.com AIM: kwamez1auto

Jonathan – jonathan@z1auto.com AIM: jonz1auto