No announcement yet.

Red Z

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Red Z

    To Whom it May Concern

    As per my previous Nissan themed thread, found here, I have evolved into a Z owning specimen. This new thread will be documenting the regrettable decisions I will come to make concerning this vehicle. However, unlike the previous thread, there will probably be less social commentary on the denizens of the car world.

    Preamble: I grew up not caring about cars, and went through school still not caring about cars. I was slow to get my license, because I didn't need it, until one day I realised I did need a license and it was very inconvenient not having personal transportation. So that was eventually sorted, and I ended up in an autotragic N14 Pulsar, which seemed like a good choice as a few school friends had Pulsars which did not seem to explode. It took all of my car knowledge to determine that this trait was a good thing. Anyway, one day I noticed that 300ZX's existed, and ever since I lusted for one... six years later I took the plunge, and bought a 180SX. Six years after that, I went halves on a $1000 piece of shit 300ZX with a friend, and despite it being a total piece of shit, I still loved it. The 180SX gave me a lot of good times, but left a few things to be desired. Namely, good panels, paint, and aircon.

    I had grumbled about potential changes, friends got sick of me planning the eventual re-shell, or outright replacement. I had a few basic requirements; I wanted to keep my engine, the wheels, and factory options. That meant keeping it in a Silvia. But there was already the constraints that kept me in a aircon-less piece of shit. I didn't want to cut up the completely uncut optional front bar to fit a front mount, but I also wanted aircon, which meant I couldn't stick the intercooler in the aircon condenser location any more. I could have gone to a midmount setup, but have always been weary of stacking aircon/rad/intercooler and expecting it to work as well. So the option of going to smaller turbo and retuning with a side mount intercooler had popped into my head, I'd rather have ~200rwkw and aircon, than 230 and no aircon. But the cars powerband was quite nice, and just the way I liked it. Would I always regret changing the setup to something less wheelspinny? This argument went on and on, hence the people who listened to it got sick of it.

    One day I was looking for cheap Z32's to buy for spare parts, distantly hopeful that there would be something in the $1-2000 range that had a tidy shell, enough to consider swapping to. For some reason I looked at the other end of the market, and decided to go look at a car. Just to see what it was like. I told a friend he was coming for the drive and that we would be back by lunch time. So to the Blue Mountains we went...

    The colour looked a little suspicious in photos, almost like instagram filter. In person, it was very fucking red. Turned the key and it sprang to life, with ice cold aircon pumping through seconds later. We took it on a short test drive, all electrics worked and even cruise control. It was basically stock with a tame catback, it was QUIET. Even though the sil80 we just arrived in was one of the quieter Silvias around, the fact you could drive this further than 5 meters with the windows up put it on a different planet in terms of comfort.

    The future looked bleak for the sil80... but surely I would cool off before I could be bothered to drive all the way back from Wollongong again? My enabling friend was adamant he could withdraw 10k on his cards on a Sunday, so we left in search of ATM's... We ended up doubling back to Campbelltown to borrow a wad of cash from Big Tony, then back to Blue Mountains again, before driving home. We were only 5 hours later than expected, covering around 400kms. Did I mention the sil80 was uncomfortable on a fine summers day?

    Australian delivered 1990 300ZX, meaning 2+2 and naturally aspirated. It had higher km's than I expected to buy, 229,000, and the odometer appears to have died on the way home. I'm assuming this means it has half a million km's... but this is one of the few Z's on which maintenance has been performed. Timing belt done two years ago. The few modifications it has are more like replacements for failing OEM parts, like braided brake lines and a once piece drive shaft. Other than that, it just has a shit electric thermofan (I mean, well made USA branded Z specific kit) and the only non-blown Tein Super Streets I've ever seen, paired with RE003's on the tasty stock wheels.

    So first step at ruining the car was the swap the big Nismo LMGT2 that never fit the sil80 properly... It would need to be lowered, which is probably out of bounds for the Tein SS, but before we go that far, the wheels poke out of the guards front and rear. I based my life on the assumption that Z's had bigger guards than Silvias, but this was erroneous. So these wheels are out of the question, I don't want to run excessive camber on this car, nor do I want to mangle/flare the guards to try to make them fit. So no wheels, and none of the factory optional parts I had accumulated over the years. Which leaves one main component from the Sil80 left...

    Oh god. Please don't put a 4 banger in the zed.


      It must be the angle but I could swear that LS3 and 6 Speed looks like a four cylinder, which I know in this day and age nobody would consider doing that.


        Is it 5 speed?


          Originally posted by mad_cow View Post
          Oh god. Please don't put a 4 banger in the zed.
          Unless you mean the gearbox only? Most of the AU spec came out in auto.


            Buys mint condition unmolsted car and has aftermarket wheels and engine out in under 30 minutes from getting in driveway.

            Anywhere else would say that escalated quickly. But here, on PF, as you were, carry on.
            "Keep lowering your standards until you achieve a goal" - Mike Finnegan


              I am actually a fan of the VG motors, and going from a 1200kg / 230rwkw car into a 1500kg / 130? kw car has been an adjustment, but I still actually like the car as is. The SR swapped Z's have been popping up lately, thanks to a Yank making some conversion mounts that line the motor up so that standard driveline can be retained (and actually documenting the procedure). But the single thing that has put me off buying Z's in the past is the fact that they are hard(er) to work on, meaning that people haven't maintained them in the past... so either they are shitboxes now, or OK cars waiting to blow up.

              The engine bays are slightly wider than Skyline/Silvia bays, owing to the fact that the car itself is 4" wider. This engine bay is already missing a few things, but it's still full. The motor is 750 wide, and an SR20 is about 600 including manifolds... but also has free space within that constraint. This will/should make it easier to work on, and keep out of the grenade zone (insert comment about SR20's needing continual work). I have thought about tracking down a Cima VG30DET, and trying to keep it reliable with modest power, but the other nice part about the SR swap is weight. The first few finished Z's using the mounts I'm looking at are ending up around the 1300kg mark. That's still with full interior and working A/C.

              SR-Z engine bays aren't any more daunting than Silvia bays, which I've spent a lot of time in over the last decade.

              Part of the weight is the motor itself, and part of it is the shit that goes with the motors. Have seen journo reviews of the cars when new, saying that the NA car was actually nicer to drive on mountain roads than the TT model, simply due to weight. The TT cars have a heavier diff, HICAS, and the bonus of 2 turbos / 2 intercoolers / 2 bundles of piping and more, over the front wheels.

              Even on my barebones NA model, it still is loaded with shit. The engine has two separate EGR systems, one for each cylinder bank. And also has two AIV / Air Injection Valves, which inhabit the front guards. The power steering setup on the Silvia consisted of: a steering rack, a power steering pump. The Z has speed sensitive setup that includes solenoids that fail, and a separate ECU to run it that can fail. Pretty much everything that can be made more complicated on this car, has been. A chunk of that will go with the motor, if I go through with it. I've been selling off everything from the Sil80 that I don't need, and otherwise waiting for bits to fall into my lap. I have kid #2 due in 9 days, so any mods that sideline the car are not the best idea.

              The VG isn't making an argument for itself when it's started pumping blue smoke on startup in the last month, however

              re: smart conversions like LS swaps. I hate LS motors but I can't argue about the cost / size / effectiveness. And as I bang on about weight, my boss has an FD with L98, and has done no real attempt at weight reduction, but it tips in at about 1050kg. But the SR20 is free, and the swap has surprisingly little fab work / extra costs.


                I own a two and a half litre Commodore - 8.93 at 142mph


                  I'd be keeping the VG or moving to an LS.

                  But each to their own.



                    6 months in and the stock wheels are still on the car. I actually like the stock look, and could happily motor around in this forever. The paint isn't original - I found a receipt for a 10k paint job from a number of years ago. The receipt fell out of a booklet and the first thing I saw was labour charges for refitting panels, my heart stopped and I thought it'd been mangled in a crash. No, oldmate had dug deep and gotten a decent job done, after putting a few grand into new seals and other replacement exterior pieces. Imagine the look on his face when he parked outside for the first time to find cockatoos chewing on the new trim pieces unfortunately both targa tops leak despite the new seals, it looks like they were put on slightly wrong and have been squashed into the wrong shape. But alas, the car presents very well, and I've resisted doing mods-for-mods-sake, but am still finding more and more things wrong with the car as I live with it.

                    As previously noted, I am an unstoppable force when it comes to wasting time with wheels, which some days may merely manifest as scouring Yahoo auctions for anything of interest. BBS used to use a Z32 as a promo car, and the Z32 IMSA / Le Mans cars ran BBS wheels, so that seems like the right choice. The exact choice is unsure, as the stock wheels are pathetic at 16x7.5+45, and internet expertz think that 18x11's fit fine with 4 degrees camber.

                    Anyway, I'd been eyeing off a few wheels. Made an opportunistic bid on some badly advertised BBS wheels but missed out, and had a few other failed bids. I pretended the credit I had with Streeter was free money, so finally bid on some odd wheels I'd watched for a few months. The 'free money' part stung by the time I paid for shipping, but a week later, four packages arrived at work.

                    Rays Volk Racing GTU. 16x8+35, 16x9+38. Modest sizes, but slightly bigger than stock. Plus I could still run sensible tire sizes, keeping 225/50/16 on front, and I could run the US TT spec rear tire size of 245/45/16.

                    Narrator: He could not run sensible tire sizes. Apparently the only other car to use those tires is a 930 Porsche, so only $500 ea. Continentals are available, or cheap looking Toyo Proxes. I've liked the look of soft, fatty RE003 on the stock wheels and don't now want to run a plastic looking tire. Ugh

                    Narrator: And his wheels would not fit either. Apparently, in 1992 when these wheels were made, cars did not have brake calipers. Meaning the fronts have approximately 10mm of caliper clearance, and the rears have 20mm. Meaning they need fucking massive spacers to fit over the R32 GTR brakes that I've put on the car (which aren't the biggest brakes around, either).

                    So I decided to dig down

                    I spent a night with nopics unbolted wheels as she watched TV. Romantic. As with every other time I've pulled wheels apart, I've had enough after the first bolt, but luckily only had 115 to go after that. Got the flakey grey paint blasted, and got a few supplies from work before the long weekend.

                    They came up pretty good despite me being a butcher. I had a go at hand painting the letters and badges, which took the wheels from a good-from-5-meters deal to a 50 meter deal. I'll fix that up later...

                    Few bits of rash were filed off, and a simple hand polish for the rest. Fantastically, the outer lips of the 9" barrels feature 4 pairs of bite marks from a tire fitting machine. That goes beyond the scope of buying peoples labour with pizza

                    Went back together easy enough, but with the centers swapped. The front wheels now measure as 8+21, and the rears 9+45. Should be ok right?

                    Narrator: it was not alright. The new fronts still need 15 or 20mm spacers to clear the calipers, making their current spec 8+6. So little to no difference to running the LMGT2's I already had. I threw on some sacrificial tires, and am annoyed by the difference in diameter that different brands give you. 205/55 front and 225/50 rear should only have a half millimeter difference in diameter, but the Achilles ATR look considerably smaller than the Nitto's...

                    I'm quite taken with the RE003 over the ATR2's that I've run for the last couple of years, but now am trying to find who makes what size tire, at the right price point. Locky has pointed out that ATR2 come in 245/50, which is a bit taller than current spec, but should feel the guard nicely and give it a nice fat 90's balloon tire. so 225/50 front and 245/45 rear is a possibility, but yeah. The Z received another wash before being garaged again, which is still novel to me. Will probably leave it on these wheels until/if they sell, and resume the stock look life.






                          Nice. I've so far avoided buying one of these. Got pretty close to a blue TT, but the guy went OS before I could get down to check it out.
                          Why would you fit an SR when you could throw in an RB and make your own Z32 version of a 200ZR?
                          Originally posted by doctorpat
                          It's not that every person with the coof spreads it to 8 people. It's that 50 people spread it to nobody, 40 spread it to their nopix and kids, 5 spread it to nopix, kids, neighbour, and mate that came over to watch the footy, and the last five went to a secret illegal rave, gave it to 17 people in the mosh pit, then went to an underground hairdresser, gave it to 22 people there, then went and drank a coffee on the beach while hugging and kissing another 52 people, and then needed to look at paint colours at bunnings, before going to work as a checkoutchick at Aldi.


                            Having seen this car in person, its pretty damn nice. Except that like every targa top ever made, it has leaky seals.

                            LS doesn't make whooshy noises and the swap kits aren't cheap. With the right gearset, an SR will have comparable drive-ability to the N/A 6, only carry an extra ~150kgs.

                            Basically, if nopistons finally decides to remove his balls from the purse and purchase a non-garbage turbo all will be well in the world


                              Originally posted by Rdyno
                              It's fucking storytime with Rdyno cunt shut the fuck up and fuck off.