Tag Archives: z1auto blog

New AME/Fatlace Wheels

6 Aug

Everything old is new again! Fatlace recently teamed up with AME Japan to resurrect 2 classic JDM style wheels while stepping up fitments to more modern levels.

First up is the FZero1, which comes in 15×8.5 and 15×9.5 sizes in both 4×114.3 and 4×100 bolt patterns with a very classic mesh spoke pattern. 15×8.5 4×114.3 features offsets of -6 or +15. 15×9.5 with 4×114.3 features offsets of 0 and +15. 15×8.5 and 15×9.5 in 4×100 bolt pattern both feature offsets +16 or +25. All sizes and offsets feature a 2 inch lip. They are available in a Nickle finish or Asphalt. Each wheel includes metal valvestems and stylish center caps, adding a very upscale touch despite their low price.

AME-Fatlace FZero1 and Fzero2

AME-Fatlace FZero1 and Fzero2

The FZero2 is a very 70’s inspired slotted disk face. These come in 15×8.5 and 15×9.5 sizes in both 4×114.3 and 4×100 bolt patterns with a very classic mesh spoke pattern. 15×8.5 4×114.3 features offsets of -6 or +15. 15×9.5 with 4×114.3 features offsets of 0 and +15. 15×8.5 and 15×9.5 in 4×100 bolt pattern both feature offsets +16 or +25. All sizes and offsets feature a 2 inch lip. They are available in a Nickle or Granite finish, and again metal valvestems and center caps are included.

amefatlacefzero2

Squared setups (same width all around) are $780 for the full SET in 15×8.5, $820 for the full set in 15×9.5. Staggered setups (15×8.5 front, 15×9.5 rear) are $800 for the set of 4 wheels!

To order, just drop us a line at z1sales@z1auto.com

Tanabe Springs for your new Infiniti Q Ship

17 Jan
Tanabe NF-210 Sport Springs Infiniti Q50

Tanabe NF-210 Sport Springs Infiniti Q50

The Infiniti Q50 (the replacement/rebadging of the G37) is a new car to the market, and Tanabe already has you covered as far as getting your height in order. Their NF (Normal Feel) springs maintain the luxury ride of these awesome cars, but lower your stance 1 inch in the front, .6 inches out back. Click the picture to order a set for your car!

The Sparco Sale

3 Dec

sparcologo

 

Take another 5% off all Sparco, and get free shipping in the 48 states, and 50% savings on shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, and PR.  Discounted international rates available too.

This applies to seats, steering wheels, harnesses, suits….don’t miss out!   Click the logo above to contact us

 

 

 

Do it in the Dirt

13 Nov

Yesterday we showed some clips of a rallycross 911.  But that was when the car was all nice and shiny and driving on tame, paved roads.  Here are some clips of the car in it’s more natural habitat…enjoy!

As expected, the car wears venerable Braid wheels, some of the strongest, and affordable street and competition wheels you can buy!

Why Stressing Over Tire Size is Useless

12 Nov

One of the most frequent questions we get is “what size tire do you recommend?”.  The most correct, but least awaited answer we can give is “It depends”.  Because frankly, tire size doesn’t really mean a whole heckuva lot. 

We’ve been taught, through some sort of mythical passdown of inaccurate information, that the first number in a tires size (let’s say, 275) is it’s width, in mm.  If that were true, things would be simple.  When you go into a store to buy a new shirt, you see the same phenomenon.  Some firms clothing runs bigger (or smaller) than others.    You may wear a 34 jean from one company, and a 36 from another.  Modifying a car is similarly inconsistent, and rarely is simple.  While the first number in a tires size CAN be it’s width in mm, it’s more often than not, a general target of width.  Now, on an otherwise stock car, this doesn’t really matter.  When you start altering suspension, dropping the car an inch (or more), fitting super wide, super low offset wheels, your margin for error decreases exponentially.  As the Pauli Exclusion Principal generally states (and was reinforced by Einstein and many others), 2 objects cannot occupy the same physical space at the same time.  So in the interest of avoiding tire contact with the body of the car, with suspension components, with the inner fender liners, etc, things become more complicated. 

This pictue is one Kwame posted several years ago, and it illustrates the point perfectly.

tiresize1

 

If you saw the above picture, which tire would you say is bigger?  The one on the left clearly.  But on paper, the tire on the right is bigger.  Both are mounted on the same 11.5 inch wide wheels.  The tire on the left is a  Michelin PS2, 295/30/19. The tire on the right is a Pirelli PZero, 305/30/19.  If you’re trying to get more “stance”, or gain a bigger footprint, which would you rather have?  The one with the bigger number on the receipt, or the one with the bigger physical dimension? 

Here is another picture of the same above example: 295/30/19 PS2 on left, 305/30/19 PZero on the right

tiresize2

 

So what do you do?  Check the manufacturers site!  Everyone should have the physical dimensions of their tires, in inches, for every corresponding ‘size’ listed on their website. 

 

Built with a Purpose

12 Nov

A 911 built to rally

 

 

Paul, we need some in-dirt footage next 😉

Cross Cultural Assault Weapon

6 Oct

The family friendly Bavarian missile wearing Japan-built 57 Motorsport G07FXX wheels

20131006-121939.jpg

When JDM Meets NASCAR: Full Split

3 Oct

A close friend of ours down south has a 350Z. For the last several years it served as faithful daily driver, and weekend track slut. Now that the stars have aligned, and a truck now handles daily driving duties (and doubles as the track-rig on the weekend), the Z has been relegated to primarily track use only. He runs the car all over the Southeast, and despite the fact that it (for now) is still a stock engine with some bolt on’s, it’s wildly competitive. The reason? Intelligently selected modifications. Everything on the car has a purpose. Nothing was selected by accident, and in several cases, it took some trial and error of different components in order to come up with the faster combination.

The car was recently in NASCAR country, North Carolina, for a recent round of upgrades, including a differential and ring and pinion change. While there, a former NASCAR tech got hold of it, and using some fabrication skills and NASCAR carbon splitters (the rear deal), this was the creation. Next set of shakedowns is a few weeks ago at Barber, stay tuned!

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!

Here’s the Scoop

26 Sep


Chargespeed carbon hood duct for the GC chassis Impreza as shown on a customer car. A great, stylish option for guys running a front mount (or non turbo guys just looking to change up the look)

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.

Like a Meeting at the U.N.

22 Sep

culturalblend

Many cultures represented

Dark Horse

11 Sep

Super clean R33 GTR featuring an Endless big brake kit (Mono 6 brake kit front and rear, tucked neatly behind NISMO 18 inch wheels). A stunning result (both in looks, and certainly performance). Need an Endless kit for your car? Drop us a line at z1sales@z1auto.com and see what the premier brake supplier has to offer. If you’re truly looking for the absolute best kits out there, no one offers the range of performance oriented options that Endless does. Simply the best.

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