View Full Version : What to look for when looking for a 350Z?

September 19th, 2019, 03:14 PM
So, I've had enough of taking the RX-7 to be fixed all the time, and I want something newer and more reliable. But I don't think I'm going to commit to a new Supra just yet.

I think the Z33 looks really attractive - from all accounts they're fairly reliable and robust. I think I want a newer HR model (2007-08) with the bonnet bulge, apparently it's not just a bit more power but also a sweeter engine and slightly lighter control weights. Plus newer car, lower mileage, likely less maintenance needed. The downside is higher annual tax on cars first registered since 23rd March 2006 (up from £325 to £570). But if it saves one maintenance bill a year, it balances out, plus a nicer drive.

I get the impression rust is not a major problem, the W-brace and other parts underneath go rusty, but it's rare for structural rust to take hold (?)
Engines seem robust, but apparently there's an oil gasket in the HR engine that is likely to fail eventually, and needs fairly involved replacement with an upgraded part.

The Rays alloys seem common, and presumably are good news, being forged. Unsure what exactly the GT pack includes, and how much I want a car with one.

Oh, and I want a car in a colour other than the black that all three of my cars have been (!).

Am possibly going to look at this dealer car Saturday https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201907079818479?body-type=Coupe&postcode=cb18rg&sort=price-desc&radius=1500&price-from=500&advertising-location=at_cars&onesearchad=Used&onesearchad=Nearly%20New&onesearchad=New&model=350%20Z&year-from=2007&make=NISSAN&page=2
and this private one Sunday https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201904237251469?postcode=cb18rg&sort=price-desc&advertising-location=at_cars&radius=1500&price-from=500&body-type=Coupe&onesearchad=Used&onesearchad=Nearly%20New&onesearchad=New&make=NISSAN&year-from=2007&model=350%20Z&page=2#vehicle-check

September 19th, 2019, 07:08 PM
My workmate had an auto one, and it seemed relatively robust, other than a bunch of niggly electrical hiccups (central locking, window switches and stuff, as best I recall).

She hated the fuel economy though, as it was her only car, and she has a pretty decent commute distance. So she's now rolling in a Prius. But if it's a toy, then fuel economy is likely to feature less in your list.

September 20th, 2019, 07:05 AM
As you know I think they're great cars. Not as nimble-feeling as an FD. More of a GT car with good feel and grip. But you can change it to be significantly more agile and balanced (see below).

The HR engine is definitely preferred. It has more power at the top end and a higher redline (7500RPM), with no compromise in torque down low. I really enjoy this engine! I had an ECU tune on mine, which had a high-rev map where I could rev out to 7800RPM safely. My tuner recommended not hanging out above 7500RPM on the regular, but for the occasional autox where I needed the extra 300rpm in 2nd gear, it was perfect.

The 2003-4 cars (in the US) had a good engine that's a little more driveable/linear at part throttle low RPM, but with a 'mere' 6500RPM redline, and some of them burn oil by now. The 2005-6 engines (in the US) had a 7000RPM redline and had an oil consumption issue (not all of them, but enough) that Nissan had to fix. In my opinion, the only downsides of the HR are 30lbs of extra weight up front, the gasket you mentioned, and the plastic slave cylinder that lives inside the bellhousing. That said, the early cars are still just about as much fun to me. The powerband is so wide, the torque plateau so huge, that on the street the extra top end RPM doesn't really make a difference (and you gotta be doing something silly to be there anyway).

The gasket you mention is a lot of work to get to. But once it's replaced with the upgraded gasket, it's not likely to ever be an issue again. And because the 350Z has a real oil pressure gauge in the dash, you can tell when this gasket goes bad. It usually happens between 70k-100k miles. I did this job in my garage, it took quite a long time. The good news is Nissan/Renault used excellent metallurgy and long-lived plastics for the mechanical bits, so they're actually fairly easy to work on in general.

The concentric slave cylinder (CSC) can be fixed a couple different ways. You can buy a metal replacement (aftermarket). Or you can buy a kit that relocates the slave cylinder back outside the bellhousing like the earlier cars. My HR kept the stock CSC and it was fine through ~80k miles. I have a feeling this failure may be slightly overblown on the internet. But it's something to be aware of.

Traction control is defeatable with a single press of the button. However, the cars with stability control (optional) also need a bit of tomfoolery to completely disable this function. IIRC it involves unplugging the yaw sensor under the center console. Not something you can switch back and forth easily. I don't know if the UK spec differs, but my 2007 Enthusiast package had traction control but no stability control. The TC is pretty worthless anyhow (I think it's actually dangerous on these cars because it kills all engine power for what seems like forever, the instant it thinks there might be a hint of tire slip happening in the future). But the Enthusiast includes such luxuries as Cruise Control and audio control buttons on the steering wheel, as well as HomeLink, so I thought it was worth it for a dual-purpose car to live with having to press the TC button. I eventually bought an aftermarket module that would remember my last TC setting every time I started the car. By default, the cars switch TC on every time you start them.

I know nothing about rust...

IIRC, the dual mass flywheel is not a serviceable item, so clutch replacement jobs are not cheap since you have to buy a fancy new flywheel. Consider clutch age or recent replacement in your value factoring.

Front radius rod (sometimes called traction rod) bushings are prone to tear over time. If the car feels funny at the front end, check these. https://pbase.com/bryanh/image/164219836

The rear differential carrier bushing in the subframe is a common failure point, too. Nissan used a soft, fluid-filled bushing that cracks and leaks out. It's easy to see if this is happening by looking under the car from the back. Nissan will not sell you the bushing unless you buy an entire subframe, so best bet is aftermarket. Whiteline, Prothane, whatever. Some companies also sell solid metal bushings, but I wouldn't do this on a street car.

Window regulators/motors can occasionally go out or get finicky. Wasn't a problem on mine.

On the HR cars, the interior door pull plastics will scratch if you look at them funny. And a few other interior spots. You could use this as a bit of a bargaining tool if you see it on a car you are interested in. Replacement parts will do the same thing. My solution for the door pulls was to do a matte, textured (or "3D") carbon-look vinyl wrap, which I also extended to the steering wheel plastic. I was happy with the way it came out:


If you plan to track it:
1) Invest in real brakes. Even the optional Brembos don't have enough thermal capacity for real track work when stock. I am not sure if upgrading the pads, fluid, going to slotted rotors, and adding brake cooling ducts is sufficient. It may be for some tracks like Brands Indy that are easier on brakes.
2) Add an oil cooler.
3) Think about a differential cooler.
4) And for fun/performance, go to a square wheel/tire package, run a stiffer front sway bar, put in a LSD that actually works, and add negative camber to the front end (via aftermarket upper control arms). This transforms the car into something much more balanced. Going stiffer on the springs makes it more nimble as well. The stock shocks are actually not horrible for body motion control, but they don't offer the smoothest ride. They seem to have a decent amount of low speed compression damping, particularly at the rear.

Mostly they are, indeed, pretty robust. After the MR2, it is my second favorite car I've owned.


September 20th, 2019, 10:48 AM
Thank you so much :thumbs: great, super-valuable info :)

September 21st, 2019, 10:23 AM
So, I'm intending to view these two cars tomorrow
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201904237251469 - Private owner, red, 50k miles, non-GT, £7995
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201909112100105 - Dealer, dark blue, 57k miles, GT, £9695

As far as the oil gasket goes, it seems that the cars advertised as having had that changed are the enthusiast cars like https://www.350z-uk.com/topic/122846-2007-350z-hr-midnight-blue/ , which also tend to have quite a few other mods. Which is fine, but I'm quite attracted by the ease and cheapness of insuring a bog-standard UK market car, after years of ringing round for modified imports. I did a few quotes; stock £250, a few mods £450, the kind of mods that blue car has £750 pa. Having said that, if I want to track it I'd end up modding it like that anyway, as Cuda says...

September 22nd, 2019, 10:56 AM
So, the blue car was a little bit disappointing. Just quite a few door dings, a few rusty stonechips, a 2yr gap in the service history. And oil pressure reading barely 10psi at hot idle.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/H8txQOB8H8qcx83nhE0nWWZQ31Lb0qJzo2AO31RG0P1qIl3hR3 Su8m_bT764YJrTi-BnRZIph03sH6_p73Y7hxxeTCb8K-GYfKnCuBmaOW4zAeZB0MkUxwpf3peuAdEvvvNWYZfDtAiAGvMm GWAz-uFq1Tgb2RgmfJb-snu2XBfqW2LEDvjuLuN7J5PCRsYieCkqV-RTZc3GlXxWr5Pqpzyy1e3yo2qd_RmyXXeltWqJcMWScL3yk8Nq hzU4qU1uC09sYDuVT7N3Staz40NZ4jc00ow_NitUa3Mc8qwRJr vAFvliFfbzWE2HsMw-_56JdzpXhouPG3j08OaPwviX8UQ-qOB4cuCzE6UpRmJP0HzeCmokKkwnIz_Iusjh9Yd7njFpbNjW2w CTgCkBo_Ruyb8RmSbmhQPOkhiFKf0ljHP0DT1zucBOw9-qvKhw1sUk3rdjeSwClqzjeuO7Tf6mjJJ3m1KHzmKlNke8oayox RCX1_ikekPf2p3pq46figO3cW9GZfu4qOrX1gXIvx7OpUhTtXc PntJtamzOlHxEdZuPa1ExFmAOcnMwtG5zApXQvRj04IW3y14oH jqJQ2xGfN5wZ27usXgdYN-kZY8w-8N0-FeTKTAb3gDZvjyhZx6-QrvTYcIVWYEOVJA-ydJTffIwS-AR9V2bBNQx9LFiXXnzGn89J1wvPAAtrY_CcmY5hgovFKfLvq3x cJqskHdZLO5_Z-f-BrCfh0UjIVuJzbe_RIv1=w1451-h966-no

It drove really nicely, smooth and quiet, the engine is indeed lovely on these. Clutch felt slightly high, unsure if I just wasn't used to it, and brakes took a shove, but possibly only in comparison to the CL5+ pads I'm used to on the FD.
None of the above is damning, but at the same time the blue car is pretty strong money, and it doesn't feel a top-notch car.

The red car had 25mm spacers and tinted windows, and looked great. The main downsides are rust just starting to appear inside the rear arches - probably could be fixed fairly easily if addressed now - and really heavy road rash on the bonnet and front wings, I've never noticed a car with so many white specks flecking the paintwork. And it also had warm idle oil pressure of 10psi - I didn't grab a pic but I think it was pretty much identical to the blue car. I can forgive the red car more as it's a fair bit cheaper, and it's a private sale from a guy who clearly loves it and has owned it seven years, and has the promise of a full Nissan service history (albeit he needs to ask the garage to produce it).

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/2nI2mtvgIFCfo1nAeoVO8jChYhGlV_f62g2v_cGijSU_q0KvIs JcqH-NgZ0pOvSnHw2wonlhWeAMokB8CZNUQoqjzxRv6eTB3UXKKPFj5 KWWI2l7LEg8UL4WnjZpvvdr4Pc4dM4IR7nCvyCgj6_3Pi5M1wN zGy6B86sF9nrL_MlyaWb1JniufZfgl5k-_gHkhi2_hTMN-AuRbXXx32e3LkEwcEd5uBB-rftmayJewSuvGi2MUUY8E1ngTELgXDiSp3eGMiBt6rrRVJ0Kn1 DydDr3Zo_adhgQwc55keJtHIB-XpG9Tk5JEpiw9xivR4aemiIxZXJFOWV7RvOyxZIm82GhL1HPP0 KraySWj9GMVtDEMLowdXP2ukVdQdg0-Y3PHdyjFk0hKYGCxs2RaITvdON9uOIISbyjs24f5QZoX_jp3on 8PxrHp9JfGC1AwVmQfDskR-tw_umu_Zfvphg7uLyKSSlil7zhvZdvLJs-TBH1Vu-mo7KtqkWnYi1ZzGMdXYMZt0IvOAYK6OBedRM2j7rt9pSTD_fKo q6ESOPCiRDaXwnvg_WAMkzdYAZbDQyeKO5hgg9sAi6QUl5WdYt p0clpULOX5lERS2ey5TugVp5k2dB1-K2JarW4nDsY0l7ElmztKNZkj7z78dPV9571pZP_byilv6bXhv8 2oiQ2SfUqU-K8QY7hrePv27cLgyK-7HMRqYH-HBILr_FAglQA4aYtjydGmuscdSRcfbvvGboFSoUc=w1288-h966-no

The red car's manual seats felt to sit me a bit lower than the blue GT car's leather electric seats - is this a known difference? I'm leaning away from the GT pack anyway I think. And yes I found seat height adjustments (front and back of the seat) and had them both at their lowest.

So - blue car, no, too expensive for condition, patchy history, and oil question mark. Red car - maybe.

I really like the way the Z drives, feels connected, supple in a slightly big-car way, the engine is a peach, instantly responsive and powerful throughout the rev range and a nice, if muted, noise at full chat. I definitely want to buy a Z, but probably not one of the two I saw today.

However - I've now spied another Z. One owner from new, 25,000 miles, dark blue, full Nissan service history, £7,500. Sounds good, right? The only little hurdle is that it's in Craigavon, which is over the water in Northern Ireland. But it seems like it's worth a trip for a car that I can't see how I could lose money on. The owner has agreed to hold it for a week and email me the service history and MoT certificates, then I'll arrange an RAC inspection, and if it all checks out then I'll fly over with the money and buy it. Wish me luck!


September 22nd, 2019, 01:23 PM
Update.. the Northern Ireland car's 'Full Service History' appears to include a most recent service at 20,000 miles .... in 2011 :(

Update2.. claiming an oil & filter change at a local garage 2 years ago. Meh, I'm thinking of paying for an inspection that will include an oil analysis, this should cover it. It's done tiny mileage in the last few years so probably fine. (100 miles in the last year between MoT roadworthiness tests).

September 23rd, 2019, 04:16 AM
Is there any particular reason you are keen on the 350, but not on the 370?

September 23rd, 2019, 08:37 AM
The pictures aren't working for me.

The oil pressure should read, at minimum, when warmed up, 14psi at idle and 43psi at 2000rpm. If you test drive a car with readings at or below these minimums, strongly suspect the oil galley gasket. A 5-pound part that takes probably 20 hours of labor to replace. If you don't fancy doing this work or paying to have it done, I think your best bet is a car that has had it done already with the updated gasket. They are all very likely to fail, so even a car that hasn't had the problem yet is going to have it. I know for Infinitis, some of them had it done under warranty work and the dealer procedure was to replace the entire rear timing cover assembly (which included the updated gaskets). So if you see a receipt for that, with no mention of the word "gasket," it's the same end result fix.

Clutch pedal travel is a little bit long compared to some sports cars, and the self-adjusting clutches do tend to find a higher bite point in the pedal travel. I found my HR a little more normal feeling than my DE, but I did get used to it after a couple months. Because the revs don't drop quickly between shifts, on the street there's no reason to rush the shift so the long clutch pedal travel is no big deal to me. There's a brilliant fix for this, though, with all kinds of adjustability built into it. I haven't used it but have heard a lot of glowing reviews. https://www.rjmperformance.com/350z--g35-afp-clutch-pedal-kits.html

Interesting how your insurance (or reg?) goes up based on the level of modification the car has.

Brakes should be able to feel great. My DE had average-feeling brakes until the day I replaced the discs. With the same old pads (not super ideal but you can get away with this sometimes), the pedal firmed up very nicely. I was really surprised by this, actually. In theory, the calipers hold the pads against the disc regardless of an old disc being a few fractions of a mm thinner than a new disc. Only other thing I can figure is the old discs were glazed or something. [Edit - neither of my Zs had the Brembos]

I am not certain whether there's a difference in seat cushion height between manual and power seats. It would not surprise me, as this is indeed the case in the BMW world. Both my Zs had manual cloth seats (or a racing seat :)). I will say the 2007 G35 sedan I sat in, with its power leather seat, sat me up much higher than my Zs did. Both cars are based on the same platform, but I can't be certain they didn't make other changes for the sedan.

Glad you like the cars. :) I think they're a bit under-appreciated myself. They have a reputation here for mainly being owned by kids who drift them into curbs and generally rat them out. So they don't get the respect they deserve for being a darn good car that happens to be affordable. But I guess that's why the kids are drawn to them - it's a lot of speed for not much money. IIRC, Nissan targeted M3 performance at the time, but for under $30k USD when new. They didn't quite reach M3 performance with the DE at $26k USD in 2003, but the HR is darrn close I think.

The engine note gets very sweet with just moderate changes to the exhaust. My DE had a muffler just barely smaller than stock, made by Dynomax or Magnaflow or something, and it was perfect for a daily driver - quiet at idle and slow acceleration, but just enough tunefulness at harder acceleration to be interesting. Probably too quiet for a track car though. My HR had a very loud exhaust on it, pretty racy from the headers through high flow cats and all the way back. Great for the track, not so great at 5am in the neighborhood, or anytime there were any police nearby. :p

One more thing I remembered: check the hatch, make sure it pops up enough to get your fingers underneath it to lift it up. Some cars the hatch stays down even when released, requiring you to squeeze your fingers underneath *while* pressing the hatch release button. This makes one-handed operation very difficult. To my knowledge there's no permanent fix for this. My DE car did it, my HR did not, but HR cars can suffer the same issue.

Additional tidbit: the stock HR intakes are quite good as is. So are the stock exhaust manifolds. Nissan really got this engine right (aside from one lousy gasket :)).

September 24th, 2019, 01:09 PM
I've tried to fix the images, hopefully they'll now appear. That'll teach me not to double-check every image-bearing post in an incognito window!

Thanks a lot for the useful info, especially about the clutch and everything, good to know that's normal.
I had a browse and I did find people on the forums saying the cloth manual seats sit you lower than the leather electric ones, which makes sense of my gut feeling.

I checked the boots and both the cars I saw needed the double-hand operation you describe, apparently you can pad the springs halfway up the opening to make it pop up better initially, unsure how long that lasts though.

As far as the 370Z goes, quite a few people have made that suggestion, and I admit I was surprised to see the early Z34s down under £9k, overlapping with the Z33s. I'm not really feeling them, though. The 350Z has confident styling - every idea is carried through fully to its logical conclusion. The 370Z just feels a bit disjointed and hunched up to me. The 350Z HR engine got rave reviews when it came out, where the 370Z motor is described as effective but harsh and unenthusiastic. The 350Zs all got improved handling/ride for the European launch - the UK Nissan Technical Centre did a European chassis setup which was then adopted globally. The 370Z, as I understand it, was considered a bit unresolved - there is some suggestion that some models had a better chassis setup, but last I checked I wasn't really able to pin down which. The 370Z has, as mentioned, engine overheating issues on track - unsure if I'll track this car, but I may, so the fewer mods needed the better. And finally, I'd probably rather be shopping at the top end of the Z33 market than the bottom end of the Z34 one (and I understand Z34s up to 2011/12 have the same oil gasket issue as HR Z33s). I have a gut feeling that nice 350Zs will start to slow down their depreciation, so may work out better financially if I decide to sell it for a Supra in a few years. I appreciate the 370Z has the shorter wheelbase that makes it a true coupé (ie from couper, to cut), but overall I'm more keen on seeking out a nice example of the older car.

September 25th, 2019, 12:00 PM
The mechanic phoned me earlier to talk through the results of the inspection on the NI car. There's one thumb-size dent in the front nearside wing, and the air con, while it works, smells terribly mouldy. A few other general minor dings and scrapes too - I may be able to judge better when I get the photos through tonight. But overall he sounded positive about the car.

September 25th, 2019, 04:24 PM
Pics of car / bodywork issues:


Damaged alloy (rest apparently fine)

Dent (upper) and scrape on front bumper

Dent in door, minor scuff on mirror

Rear bumper looking backwards, slightly misaligned

Scrape on front wing

Marks on paint on door

September 25th, 2019, 05:33 PM
Hard to tell with the ding in the front wing, but the one in the door can probably come out with a good PDR guy (what we call them here - no idea if they have a different name in the UK). The other paint flaws can be touched up but will never look right - just better from 10ft+. I wonder if the streaky marks in the last pic, below the door handle and on the right side of the picture, are scuffs in the paint or is just residue from a quick wipedown.

That kind of stuff would bother me but if I knew it'd be a track car and it was mechanically sound and a good deal, maybe I could look over the rough patches.

Not sure why AC would smell moldy.

I am not familiar with what would cause the bumper misalignment either.

What's with the gauge lenses having dried watery spots on them?

September 25th, 2019, 08:02 PM
Interesting and typically well thought out analysis of 350 v 370. Thanks!

September 26th, 2019, 12:25 AM
Thanks a lot for the tips :-)

The mechanic said the paint is heavily swirled, he said as the owner is an older gentleman he probably still washes his cars with a single bucket and sponge, unlike the 'younger generation'. So I'm assuming that the water marks are from a recent wash, and I guess inside on the dials too - quite easy to wipe the interior with a wet cloth/sponge and leave water marks I think. Yeah, we call it paintless dent removal here too, at least there's the prospect of one of them being fixable, and the kerbed wheel refurbed.

That's the conundrum, whether to travel and buy this car, or to leave it and keep on looking for one with better bodywork. I appreciate it will never be perfect without a respray. I think I'm leaning towards buying it; the prospect of keeping looking isn't super attractive. First, although the 350Z sold well here, the later HR cars are less common; they were only a few model years, they were after the annual road tax doubled for thirstier cars in '06, and the car was no longer the hot new thing. Many of the cars are silver, grey or black, with only a few in an actual colour, as I want. Second, they seem to have thin paintwork - I understand there was actually a class action suit in the US against Nissan over excessive stone-chipping. The red car I saw on Sunday was worse, the previous blue car was similar I think. And finally if I do find a car that's actually in showroom condition (as this was advertised as, but clearly is not), then it's likely to be quite a lot more money. But of course, there's some attraction in insisting on higher standards and keeping on looking, a super well cared-for car could come up privately.

September 26th, 2019, 02:04 AM
Black cars while pretty, are a nightmare to keep looking nice for more than 10 minutes at a time :)

September 26th, 2019, 05:20 AM
Cars that old in the UK are generally ripe for a respray anyway.

Or a wrap. Grey chrome in da house!!!

September 26th, 2019, 10:29 AM
Twelve years old is ripe for a respray? Yikes! I realize garages are in shorter supply in the UK but it's not like the sun is out in full force to oxidize the paint either. :)

Thomas, I can totally appreciate your desire for an actual color. San Marino Blue (the NI car) looks very nice when cleaned up. I know a guy with a crazy low miles example, and he's a detailer, so it's like walking into a Nissan showroom in 2007.

My '07 had the best paint I've had on a car. Super easy to correct, and the glow from the metallic highlights was superb. Orange peel wasn't excessive. I didn't find my 350Zs to be more prone to road rash than any other Japanese car I've owned. In fact, they held up pretty well. Better than my S2000 did. That was the thinnest paint I've seen personally. Anyhow, some of it may have to do with environment where the car was driven.

September 26th, 2019, 12:23 PM
It's on... I've agreed to buy it.

September 26th, 2019, 01:47 PM
How do the younger generation wash their cars?

Yobbo NZ
September 26th, 2019, 03:11 PM
There's probably an app for that.

September 26th, 2019, 05:21 PM
Multiple rags and towels for various areas of paint.

Like, a wash cloth for exterior paint, one for the wheels, on for door jams, etc

Never mixing them up.

September 26th, 2019, 07:31 PM
Two buckets and a mitt, one bucket with the suds, wash on car, dip mitt in bucket of clean water. Then back into the suds. Repeat.

Or a snowfoam cannon.

September 26th, 2019, 09:13 PM
Ok so nothing I haven’t been doing already. Thought I had missed some revelation in car washing or something.

September 27th, 2019, 04:36 AM
Nice one Tom!

September 27th, 2019, 07:47 AM
Yeah! Can't wait for the road trip story and pics from the drive home. :)

Millennials can't afford houses, which means they live in apartments that don't allow car washing on the premises. So they go to the tunnel wash or if they're lucky, get in on a pool at work and pay a mobile detail guy to wash it there. [/stereotyping] :p

But seriously, the 2-bucket method (plus a couple of drying tricks) go a long way toward keeping swirls away. I'd guess many swirls are a result of improper drying technique more than anything.

September 27th, 2019, 08:38 AM
What to look for when looking for a 350Z?


Procharged 350z - $14000 (https://denver.craigslist.org/cto/d/castle-rock-procharged-350z/6968163769.html)


September 29th, 2019, 10:12 AM
Haha, George has cleverly managed to combine everything I'm trying to avoid - convertible, heavily modded, forced induction.

September 29th, 2019, 10:18 AM
So, my 'glorious' road trip begins with the familiar curse of weekend users of public transport - the rail replacement bus service, the airport train line being closed for maintenance this weekend.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/97TriviFrdiCTeF29OA0EbZOThgx7rPqXqUSX1kPsa4RQGmsjE itmBylTi35SruJMmA3GR2od4ktxlKbZ7bmrKPbRITltPuTEiJr 2Ao1y-gN2NCD0KWWprOl3WrdlSBFC74ltsXFvT8C4TkhkxGQ7S35C76V 9pCvtBL_9bysNTHbKjsQHnwg0dDbnPUsu_TnC5fIE18ZgGGWA3 mSX9QjKCfoaJJmWDUxYwhKubJUNBjSFtMuqg5jr4m9XBR3Us6q fruCI8RiO-2TSPyvVJAgg-HvLfHILnabgblebYGnPbCepqxwhpRdbQzlXGsvDjvGk3WrPXjb G58BCfV0-F1owrWHWYxVzocz9lPXsNaM2gABXw3Lj5v_LmiT7bYUfyv7MEz LpjNPc4AlTSq-cBhvI-SQHAM-UjqEOEdcEaO8HMyaMfVUjtiUDstf2J0EmtvOElUqI-iw3AVhsCjRawXnN-qLCN8quoIDHwRxhfSjODhoWhUJalySZPkWToZoHjmcfzyoUCRn WXTu7sYNIg2yVX_Axvnle6JUVb1RUYDoXvIICVJ1oKU3ILa6fl Gs7NwCtZ31rjRI3ni3UaS-mjSbTCbWnQwODan4EMcoap_T4Jw8ULkCJrUNUOhhtFy-rQTrigG57xegm8baXEI5nbTSIvVO8FOIFRwh2wVipmDG_3rS_4-tOg07draFO6dPtaJIbd6r2oROuy5x6eH1dS-SC-tZYDRZ9D1nO-NNQe87cpOSDLPY=w798-h598-no
Currently waiting to leave Cambridge, should get to Stansted Airport in plenty of time. Feeling well fed after an early supper of Atsuko's chicken katsu don, and ready for the journey.

The plan is to arrive late tonight at Belfast International Airport, stay at a hotel by the airport, then the seller will collect me 9:30 tomorrow.

September 29th, 2019, 10:46 AM
There's been an accident on the M11, the bus is now in traffic. Fortunately I left a 1hr plus margin, so being 15mins late shouldn't be a problem

September 29th, 2019, 10:56 AM
So the owner, Alan, is an older gentleman who bought the car new from Nissan 12 years ago. For the first few years he drove it quite a bit, doing 9k miles a year. Unfortunately he then developed a back problem which made it painful to drive the Z. However he was reluctant to sell it, so it stayed around, I think in his garage, doing ever decreasing annual mileage, down to 100 miles last year between MoTs. So it's a reluctant sale.

Alan also seems a bit over cautious; he gave the mechanic the third degree when he went to inspect it, despite me having sent him all the details in advance. He wants to go to the bank together for me to make payment - he was concerned about counterfeit notes if I paid cash, as I did last time both buying and selling my cars. I hope he trusts me now, as I think I've done everything I said I'll do. Anyway, I hope I don't have any last minute problems making the purchase from him tomorrow.

September 29th, 2019, 11:00 AM
Got past the accident, but the bus driver is trundling along at under 40mph, making zero effort to make up time. Glad I'm not in a rush for my flight, hope other pax are OK.

September 29th, 2019, 12:17 PM
Arrived at airport, now relaxing with a choco banana shake :)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/LutLxmDAOlYcv_lDI3WomplZNNWsCQ4tyPCJwTzCoUi-sRjIlgzg07eanDkcNkpaw-JeV_53CLBl9_F6xOMunKiobhQszf7p48rgGUc2eSDvUIQSSfEk 5LDSOHC4cN9pSlJ4iQYBGwsvOMndU-KtMxS_eRdY1KTMPmKYAdsdL6zsnspKFRNIt6z9AAywl7T1_n5m 4CI6Yb-d_AhcKjEhiTrzMg13xzD3zWw7gcuj_UlIbpJTdalBE54KjqqYP l9eDIMeva5YEEqYyTe20UjyFNLtRDik0B2VkPny6kOtppXX2p7 ntJsJUmuzp1MITVj4ff7--4cxFXY6cBngqBf6bGfbpl72i2PEZVkVv2eT7bdRR5_65gbDCSO lJxmXYpR5wNliHhcL7Guvu-k0AKPxNrin1F6s6wplICh9fZsQAdWUUHtJE-atiUI0DBSdsVRskOuioEmaFkY6TWilPuM-L0iFry7t_a-lbVbFLiTXEgK8pOsj5zn85zhc_mjKI5gigginyHxMlQmbUR7_k H7WydaYa9CNTLfNlb_lRiIk7hpXyl8c09nmdgfqfwO1_6rLMrO RLrBzjR8j6Z7riC02nuqCv-3NOvHZQs6ounlIzd0URquy-Dvqr32_5LLSZvQVOnQicJAgNQX6OPiSOTpawu1SM-CImSItv0_tXfNRJshGjcuwy0bZvZhDtYW5nInU1avewUYmEif4 H3y-1VJWHYvfc7fvLj6hri1EomapXKi7p0g9=w798-h598-no

September 29th, 2019, 12:46 PM
Waiting to board at gate 86. Heard a few Irish accents unsurprisingly. I imagine most passengers are heading home at the end of the weekend.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/aRtehjpyjzN46IA0Zay1tSTynk-tUpPyvYAJyh5Yr4LuLMI9nUOzlUX7G98jHAHypVK7LiOdO58Ue 8DZlNno0_u6b9P-7sB74-O439L-F8SE12E_n9y7O4erOUyz7XQkxeDTG92h448eYc4WzFoWCT4WNR H4W9_erq3K1Qdc-U0v6YFaCz0vlRdWjrmchzcettdAhxSaCKaD9wRqjcY75tda2vN LpGm_dRQfF6PwOcHC1J_C9rSQ0V6hQumenWoBtJOYKlZEglIBY sYiB4UF-sZ8OibxWdv319kmg5HESzH5eLOXyB_40aR8c2DuHGiabCmdBMO ZuTy596ihNK20XpXAw7a-R3Uo95oHJ2e7B07zZM9DQJ-48XgtYSYHrUoA7ZPagc1vg6lB_2Whtrs_AHPPQbDy4-iyKkAFXEHeE4Gy5CM4sZjg24l_LxH2BffcNetbBNca9Mv5KffA LAiogKO7mbLiRlFTU_kGsrLwst8ueMbMbCKaxT0wOYGoMKkdIE rwVHgaXrzruio0dzeaF6rpEHkk5qi5XWygfVw5w7YRe3zDWZFT PT73CoLXEy5A2BxXmik40QcLunTsF5j-nA5Kini-RZ3gIKImEyK-3j17BeJLHPndx9KCutGqNOYIY3-R5J0s1W12W8eRfdFuzjj99vHdDj5iG2K_zm6AwvJ3BSmH_89Rx-i5gSXo82h_175wglVtafSLy5Zh-UsWXFatf4e_P5wTMDsdqHmzLDjZ4Wjl=w449-h598-no

September 29th, 2019, 01:20 PM
Now seated on the plane, seems fairly jovial atmosphere despite being at least 30 mins behind.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cOAYMP2xllFnm4plMjiE1NlwHuMUiZ3lSFw6SN3yPLfPeHqmCu 4q1YLX3BAFixEBRdqp_NiTV6krTVpRyQVbbeeeBY9SxC7YIWyK fxiOrYEJoNqLcxYNM-0OQVMwxPY5-VjlQBKBQJ7eSGqlCrvkSexku97STMiW8HzQgOAo3RVHoSvUyib hV9xbk_pbiiRZsjUeKN7ATBz_BhNdBwumW1ZvRgbJUbv_PTwuC OL1s2W4g65QvCh5EXVb6UFE5LHAw6hFq1oPfwVI7eHfoyo0P-syTQFRpo0t7nLs8miiGTtPFDtYhIhSSKDcWh3F57tqtoOBoFi7 u7SSq_6zv_h558xPvAbFbQ8of6YO-SiDzRyv6BMr7eQYl8xEl8IkC30Qyl3LqW60Ig3n9QSVtQoSrQD RqnmwYPH58rCohFjBUYK83-LotQpUyBAbHLSIMVrAVVWe_43INRPEMaU38THPpEh2Qna8-GUicxBxS6P-K2LeW-agQOO2-BnEkFuQZK5FkEMNq6gpLBjmZEaOdltQ_lzvKKMwIxrE4Tdsd1r kriYMnRU1neHkaW-P7bHdar-O7gQZu4UQTKLBto8ynArfArGLWdJ3UVJ9YjlEIW0_Kkwk25iAw ZGjljZb3TxM4O7k9gurOrFxc1UDalP9CZo9iZa1Jw-Gxqn_eojYW0vdtcxNpdMofYR6oqKL7S67rbb5bTVDSU-HUGrHHLgf7fxS4BFifGzohHVAkukQiNMmQgyVTRKb=w798-h598-no

September 29th, 2019, 01:49 PM
Cool. Keep us on the loop, "Sam". :D

September 29th, 2019, 03:39 PM
Arrived at Belfast. The hotel I'm at is only a mile from the airport, and I only have a rucksack, so I decided to walk. I did wonder if this was a good idea when the pavement ran out and was replaced with longish wet grass. I wondered again when I got beyond the lights of the town and had to use my phone to light the way. And I really started to question my judgement slightly when my phone ran out of battery and died. I was next to the road, but couldn't see the uneven/overgrown path I was walking along. Luckily by that point I could see the hotel in front of me.

Hotel seems comfortable, so now to try and get a good night's sleep in preparation for the long drive tomorrow.

September 29th, 2019, 08:58 PM
Take care mate. And enjoy!

September 30th, 2019, 12:17 AM
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/gebNmsdempDo4diTMjnXKpmAPGvTcQ0L0gP_8TPCxq7I67QiuF y6c9lrZBIKnogapKsSMMo6hapsKWihPtqGyZSjnfSPv6eNyWOt-bpWRxsjNA_9PyEeD-HVuAn4WUbHoUSJbj0AJmLekm3s2Z43e2jv84bveHnPdpieL3V4 XgEhJVu6z2gsvuc4LWJczWPFPMgRA4gzu8wLJSGFg_x7dTWAX5 3foCHHGd3lAU5AvWklMqiWCpy1CzwD4Wq9eM5_d1ovd_RpvXCd 6XuYHyDIdbZiRXEoN6uw3pDY_KGJcgE9KCZjCtHKGbTgL7w17K AgdsQ2gaR_cdbdhJ7GLryoJmH6EpWeLkXBb-aljPLUbOglvM8DIZNto72svrPGC8SLppFJZqg_E8AHJmh8ZKpb de0D7XFlzEdONtXmkuK36hvNGobv2KFfCvgNKElk5JpT_xiPMt BJaKUEsZbT33adaxlrlmtukTlnA3Ji4P3J5u6DrVxQkrdnzxMZ GYq2CN1N-GRI9BvwNUnj-uPFC9U3qPanZrjSgDE3oaaYQ_Rcp3nl9Fde2SDjTfOyGrM0pKB jfHfOa6ryJjp6rK6tsXYpfYmAERFS9xCCtLCfQQwIR8Uy8Mt8C t-Xo7R37iEXj97ROIjcrsUKNsy4ujk7ryvpLkW8YD8XC9WjFv7FB JXbEXjwL-WgVj8nfR1VgCWQpje70p01UVJyiwZ7TkT7rqk3l5-8bMMYFfrCp2pKQNtA1_l2cN4M=w798-h598-no
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Note - Potato bread and soda bread at the back.

Breakfast time at the hotel. Plan is for Alan to pick me up here, perhaps in the Z, in which case it'll be the first time I see it in person.
Then go and make payment and do the paperwork, and hope to get away by noon in time to catch the 1:30 ferry from Larne back to Scotland. Looking forward to it!

September 30th, 2019, 04:19 AM
Got the car, all good, Alan was very friendly and helpful.
Car is fantastic to drive.
Now halfway to the port, will update once I catch the boat.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AfXIn3rL_DW5fA6kbHk_eA5grHTiQAtotvyqnCtXb8m3oMio4C hxTbpZ6HYovcJBcsp6i_Mc16kd1mMMGU41aARBH9KxeDAPLd6b AEJLjLg0LNpctVwMV5OLRGUMPQbZXzahoRQJa4TJPQEdh-IuYdUQt8r0JoeHcliHX608ktNjRo5i7Kc_JRe7e1c_7bL6UC24 E-hhiPcQ2-iibQlukTr14_m8HONdJVXZCUnyn0sichmAh6ZG9IG4kDllH6QT 8efGvp8mp6ji0sjPpr6uBPb3N305YDtrXdsQhca1PaPwdE_0gM 1tr2VfTUAXu-SqnFXGhyNZ1ZyFZb113o0If_JP2l0hofUqZaANpR9Zs7RGM7DV WrRkGjGhlE2cpxDD8X0VQLwlRmcsc5-_orgUzbU5pbnsLXFPxQr5HNmJH1a0kySGoyy1sON9a5WvhGxww fi5W7rU9fWMwdLz8gIalWFKQGB3Dn-zjw2W6j947JOWXGnQDT82kPAQ03Bvxy5MjjL76EyAgk6eObGqP wnXNZuHw0JDNIOBmO_x_EGNHAHguXnZxtuDqMhIocIka5d4QbN ha9QiujFnBr0_ynfbyWn_y45Q1njX9_MpMk0WXQhBUke9Z4UNr QKjYvCMiNBY6djkty8xqEWfX_ViPr6Aps8Ei639hSlpwvGTUgy LYWPH2xgh0N7A_pmLauPhSWPwyxCsn5x5_9vM7RDTMT6epdr4y d-Q1kjqwH68LDMbK6Xw7iH=w798-h598-no

September 30th, 2019, 05:47 AM
I love the way this thing pulls in 3rd gear - there were quite a few roundabouts on the way to Larne harbour, and I couldn't resist winding her out off each of them :-) Inadvertently saw a ton on one occasion too.

Alan was a nice guy, bought me a coffee while I sorted insurance, gave me £50 'lucky money' (it's an Irish tradition I think), plus a full tank of fuel!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/250KEQT7AB0aUrT38_4xImaYFZ81Kqsua293w7AiSJR7hwq4om PDulVXXwDqNcSnwzqCJk7rOReA2dkjHshEooIbEqgcG30QnfXn IvcbkALx3oCpE5QmXhOUnrxHlaflHVLjA74z2lYEOwa8Y4qcE8 AeVCWkdD_OcJTpvCw4W0A2725hMAYbUhOpsRTrT6rAJLXwq5vd _dBkWuxeZq-F81NWRsLi5s4JF9eC6UWjnGT8mxW0N53hwOsEyK1SrtcMVxsPz s3YgVDxfzI6TcxznkgdF0RazY3wjgTWCeZwa-jfLKbsIJ1WRP9Xcxd_kGxuSK3iJ2P_acXEeU0MY8GuL-fo1Z5IYu5XcCnaSO4m_e9Rfw_aanthxz50TvYgn-m8IRGYuuULZ-fSlb_GKqq_2NGHzi1RFFSGQggUhr9F8nRlP81MN9aXDoXKs2fv Y8GUdomOETiljHYCSG9O7ArnCi05N1gmfrWD3-YupOIfjJTUyzKQqLROOdsGLBxPyLMnvX-sAsqxF2pQPuLVenidUMql5sakhaUoukYQ601LY5ryzHRzXtDSC N9ul41q8mvf_Q0UzoxS_Z8zczWyXi6Qzm1I04qjkxgmG6wEM94 m4gecHUAvbzk0UwcQQVmBPD5kpWN_2FfhyFGhvIhWN4Ft3MKIS Hcbc1n4QnJMfWL1n15gPgBY0T40RKQfvjQiGNguKJ0cLyqYaBt pzkt7c4WD5T5d1BOH69bBZkio39z2yArcCo_J=w972-h598-no

anyway now on the boat sailing to Cairnryan. Weather is fair, overcast but not too rough or rainy.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/10hCgsDqmUnree_l_63pmu37qepb62C7-g0iBjB-37ebyO4IQGoMkSBiW_XQusPImsDytlXbYwhnlYLu_ERBLtyEAa xCE4DYbD2rXsP3c6QH8iq6UOsfTun_0IMx5memglacNX5dpnVV 15V3qtyp7KPHweVs_bVr4YbzjXYyKzS5pQLTo51Rg6T9vLmCDK Y7v7BblTuxWgoE7xj1NWJEZTp85aaxnjT2tnzUIqAwpaXJVi20 ir0boRfgcohxE9KCRz7Kxux2jOk-CkpdFCG5hdMRxxTbCKMSVZsAeaMYmjfGGkYrW-4RthFHIAQbK365zoudEY6a68uClNQ4fUJDrI8btTTo0laftjhA-_GMEMvhZBxCRuYVTRBcd-n5hRp2Y3YFaY_wkP7P3eZJh2YhRbedXlbLgJhx_KFXvkg5hvDo TaGqKH_l3KvlNXyQeOI6QoUsL0nFwnvewkeLA3UN9Z5kJ-T7ii2fmQ-DeESwK86ju3mhXhnfzuUdOMfXBM7u3hg-IhnI1934FWVRYwEZ7w5kz3UE6ZK00eUwsM95Yt9rTBSwY2q5ih TszDTHszGJNm-ilvsC-xE8KZmiFCydJ-nHUxQ1j34Ga0uk8vdpbtpzWpvKDd0oWH4CcXLCYUoZP0FxVyt6 KmN__TPJQANEEbLW0CfJ8wt7pXti-N6ympQCpeTv1Y8oe4foXhHhlUAhq3cEvMGraEgrfRpr-GzUbZBs8NvZvP-fsVTF3UPG501LcILo=w897-h598-no

September 30th, 2019, 05:55 AM
Annoyingly, the cigarette lighter socket is in the bulkhead behind the seats, so I can't get it to reach my phone when it's attached to the windscreen, to keepit charged while using it to navigate. A longer USB cable should do the trick, just need to manage the trip home.

September 30th, 2019, 10:29 AM
Awesome shit man. I need photos

September 30th, 2019, 11:43 AM

September 30th, 2019, 12:15 PM
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4ffey8fYMclox873rh_LJnTnJKsaJg_y_-aqSz_S_2ZHwkkJ45qRX-GhcRv1ACUuVMX8e8tljweFjvuQPlsNnHf4LsPPsKvQt6TZiHNU GKTVZ3k9mUI7wNwRkYn-I86xdSYj3zmQNhckzqJtNanVHgk8x9AQU3RApOVvn_DFtuyGcf oIumDSdA9yXfQYcShLv7K5whZzrYzxWQDlx-rxbUpkaK-PJZ4xUnkqZBNtq66608YaoBweIghnxUTcukVQUr5lYPlcJqoV2 m2w_pPdwcw99nNnc8d9XtUdNLTdUODeIRV1egg255oZGhiX_hk nQbT5_jYfT1oRZjMazrCJtFMb__KeMYe433IAvs8B8JPQT4hf3 Gs5YBTxQmKwn_0MTxFCkW4WqMh8jkZItQdL6ZWYXPIijK_zxCb vU2v00G5Eyl1s5v2m9ZWAkXqIiRmk3zGTd_Nq1xqo7IrEK7mGW QL_LflpjbmhpUTR1zqPPbwxeJKVTaq5HnIZfh9f5w9DvpjZHWh EbJe55POWkZdnkuyNWp2Ha2fdDVdXdeg4B68KhDyU4hljrzNwJ ejsuRqnUGw2ES4QZ5XrGqk-aECP5S12uEGbYnIZ86FdTDlYnyYMIh0TuwmmaS-4tSfyK9Bb0QFu261B-5oKhg5Rg8R9u3E2gJBZuo3mMwHmxP_aOOAQL_Aijv3qmfnDiFL 4UDR0mYxECwng93IxWvPxDYcOAEiSBdCGiSjEG4CNGCZm3tc9k iMZ=w897-h598-no
Arriving in Scotland

Had a nice run from the port back east to the motorway, about an hour of A road through beautiful coastal Scotland, with plenty of trucks to overtake :p

The weather finally caught up with me crossing the Pennines, hitting heavy rain, so I've been taking it easy in an unfamiliar car with somewhat unknown tyres. But car is very confidence inspiring, it feels right right away.

Now at a services on the A1M southbound, about 2.5 hrs from home, in the dark and rain. So will be setting off again now after a mediocre burger. Entertainment is a handful of CDs I rummaged for at home, no aux in here. Plus one from the seller..

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/eXPoQLoxqoX5M7YkoN-zJkKjtTsZkyHCHk9ZFl_v43a7ih9dKkODdHrY_-fegC2a4I6DsvK9ojKFtLr60rgr2qpesfDfUM3yE5Xz2labmlOQ uBwqMVSs8-C05GtRU89sAX-FEOXpmdUhNUuUG4fykVVEyFtfrGSGyXesa6Ehztz9nY7PrUEkR ZoP-uSzwBOtbc6OfccWreixDdrvGQMAd2WifvGjTORbt3K-ffX0p2zXfkeoUZKs7uTlswJp3c3qFiMT5XLzTTHm94GudhafzG xxgwbbbZappvbWfqgQ87xlb2p8BA3P7qhAcpxBPUGgaeQsheki NydhnnU9VvHbDNHDPo2hpfPknD9B6-sKKNOL25g6kNj5Q0br2pB0bhWwJnOw1OPmQNGQqCpl_9_19GYT aKr3W2nKqL3mkpsqA_oFI70FQD8lM57GMb7rxzTGTv61CygsWd tzOhf1gNAtbVpKmSemdKc8GC6_d2oqLC1msZ4Iy3ESYq0Yw5Tz q8PHTxJQtdyK13bcN1H-pK3ehvuBbd1HKvCDXnYQMoliEiUSFfycB5e5W1EjXYbVVjIZKB skQ8iuFTdMMhixdiCj-N4KycyYIp3g67rARx5AQJUo93Oicgi6SS2xkqOyji8ti0OEq5W fhfM3cmvAmg1kzBzsF6VZYRK6XSRAR7tnT30PyMsFp8vSvfcM7 JMl1g9JX1AQnik2B25QDHWqGfVn-J4cpLeSDaUEjz_rgyzyTO4XaipU=w798-h598-no

Sorted the phone power problem by leaving my laptop in the passenger footwell and connecting phone to the sleep and charge USB port :)

Likely next update will be from home, perhaps tmrw.

Will post pics from the trip later.

September 30th, 2019, 03:10 PM
To post photos from phone is totally doable...

September 30th, 2019, 03:16 PM
Another go at posting a pic:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/s5cpcD5y-8eEtTpd-eR9fdz4g5a9nVVT4DGDwwdK7CJ2V081uIH_telW4FvhOPb2D_r QhANu7mYJb3qpFRYCMX8jORK6kCGM5-G6lekHU5Kq12BXuLihXE2v8aSduKrQGgMeGK-gQ2E-_5J_lwkVzaBbT1TUu8dAChif46MKwTCCYBQdB9YbS6KhcyMi35 5LXdADdlveDDABcnYPPd4otEqb7Qvdz2PYtmRRkeLkqhOS6iuL 6biPt3XiXL1wGYo-cWiE8FDQINdmPCWsTSX-BeRjReECGk1119kABgJ2A-8ZnomwfM_s2TVhlfD7KdRajwTRAYgh3r4nw9hmZQGv8Mnei46J bHKET7lFn8Xa65VQ858-5MRlSRmNikhodZ6kvNQLGIsReGz9Q9ywsXXHQeyUcgIbDP2oba elqrktY0Jw0ZiP_RJLgSzVrCWYzuMcYa7xuZI633mNfm_CR5h1 ascA76sG17fcK1tgw49Kvg7Gf7UZeBceUC-fcahqfMsEIgT1vLCwVfxZeeePUgCpSqH2zgza-2anTCkZqLAQMB0MviA7Q38tTLkuA00RSwfnKhNjqYiiQVy9iIn jGpJRJZ3Ny3L9l4xbf3VYKC_k6QPmkdngvfoXcyWf7sJGKPeM_ 71hmFf7WuvRvqBkZ2vgyT0W2p6ro-3nuXBQSCda36gk8_mc12pzd7_OKd_JCwCO4bjtST1xAz6zQ8tF No2wH1a72buFJu53R4rcxO0g91hWPudD=w1611-h1208-no

Just got home, journey went smoothly apart from heavy rain for most of it, all the way from Penrith nearly back to Cambridge.

September 30th, 2019, 08:07 PM
I am really starting to have a strong admiration for these cars. I really feel like they have aged well.

September 30th, 2019, 08:07 PM

September 30th, 2019, 11:09 PM
I don't recall if all years had this, but check for an additional cigarette power socket low down in the dash in the passenger footwell near the center console.

The stereo is fairly simple to replace in these cars.

Cool to see it all worked out and you're liking the car! I enjoyed reading the play-by-play. :)

October 1st, 2019, 09:33 AM
What a cool car and plate! Enjoy, mate.

October 1st, 2019, 10:21 AM
Not sure why AC would smell moldy.

Do these have cabin filters? Changing that and disinfecting every duct surface you can reach would likely cure most of it.

Sharp car, samoht! Needs more pics.

October 1st, 2019, 11:45 AM
A moldy/mildewy smell from the AC could be due to a clogged condensation drain - My wife's VW started smelling moldy a few years ago, and upon examination it wasn't leaving a "normal" trail of drips when the ac was running - I ended up sticking a couple of pipe cleaners up the tube and a big glob of disintegrating/ed leaf matter. A little bleach solution in the condensate tray seems to have solved the remnants of the smell.

October 1st, 2019, 12:29 PM
Thanks a lot for all the advice - I'll have a look for the second power port! No cabin filters on these cars but I'll try and check the drain. I've got some 'auto air-con cleaner' spray that you circulate through the system, so plan to try that.

Amusingly the number plate is a standard one issued in Northern Ireland. County Fermanagh / Enniskillen has the 'IG' code, and cycled through from 'A' onwards starting in 2004 (i.e. AIG 1 through AIG 9999, then BIG 1 through BIG 9999). This is actually the car's third plate, it came on County Antrim / Ballymena TKZ 8660, then Alan put on a personal plate in GB format AL51 FOS, then he took that off and was issued BIG 4290. I'm in two minds whether to keep it. It's quite fun and a bit different, and it reflects the car's history. OTOH I don't particularly want attention or people thinking I think I'm some kind of "Mr Big" !

I've gone back and edited photos into the 'liveblog' above. Photos are limited to times I had a good chance to take them without seeming rude etc... and also as I was alone I didn't get any of the road back from Cairnryan port, other than at the services as above.

I put in half a tank of fuel at the M6 services to refill to the top, and she's on about a third now.

Bought 6 months tax at the Post Office at lunchtime (have to tax in my own name after buying) - £331! I knew it would be a lot but decided it's worth it. Got 6 rather than 12 months to get the tax out of sync with the insurance, otherwise it's a pain as you can't tax without a month's valid insurance left.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/bKM1cythVPFmQCqSmjrCvAULQRiU_UofFty3NvzPd4hws9vKa2 ol7HV03lv5XkK7G0BEf1DanIHOMTXh9MDIKyBwqDFDEMWrcF5K xvGaJkEd3bePgqVHtdNtHTdsqf_DK7Awzw1MpOZULBcLxjJV73 6GIrQbkiKigbi8Qf5JUNe7oeIqtwaRdnidmeQD2Fsl53tLO-opm5w-bMT8gHlHZczHh-6yP5zSsNn_hhl4iMlpVn7JNLj5PPWqWiTnVNxXB6fvU6XAvwiL qOjxW4cIilJz2a_1V5gDvELovsayKAPTc_Ey1n2f28JOQuuHXd 0VHWXa8-mGTj2tTkJKvO92fy5NHTjh64MNmXwF4srJTauMr0f_kJo5a10N J9epSxYWjex_VlibIB2vyf61eEJvWkdkmPFKr1WjViuGC1NWKl PRF8nBV4l6MQ4sFHNbO5tQ1cdSTaYKdzYV5XEBx0oHxtVzVEbk uRars1uIcIIpANoR_Lu9UpTW2oljnVE_i9puCV_SBLaYUbrsqk Rm_y2pQOhJ9mMWNP5V5G1L6iFrfVpS41rU2cgsb8KSyP3ryhvI IhenNdm0Q4q3biHBEP352ZT7T1DrAjKB-IiUMbp-TM4VQuuSxmiYN-jlsFa6a3osVpP9afgD_4KQQKtChQS37SvBDzXCO5ycbDePzPQz n1h80L-tKaOIRh2oafJrtCAR3EDABFfoBfwAjjh4nvvO4eKYZ7k6MNwCO wcwUQzvU_MwQ8HM=w1075-h806-no

Went out for a brief and fairly gentle drive tonight just to give Atsuko a ride. She commented how spacious it is inside, and 'it is really a sports car?'. Got a bit of an unintended wobble on under acceleration on the wet road, tyres have ok tread but may be a bit old and need to be replaced, not sure. Car has been garaged so rubber should be fairly fresh I think.
Edit - tyres are Accelera front, something else rear. Will be replacing ... 350Z forum seems to recommend MPS4, and can't get AD08R in a matching set currently as the 225s have changed to AD08RS and the 245s are still AD08R. Looking to get the Michelins.

October 1st, 2019, 04:20 PM
Do it. The PS4 is still the best tyre around for most cars.

October 2nd, 2019, 12:26 AM
Scuttlebutt I hear (on good authority) is that the PS4S is currently the best rain tire money can buy - in both water evacuation and outright grip from the compound. I'm sure it's no slouch in the dry, either, though I don't know how well it holds up to heavy track use on a hot day.

Side note, should you desire for the future, you can fit a lot of wheel/tire under those fenders. :) The widest I ran was 18x11s with 285/35-18s front and rear. [Note that fitting that much meat up front requires a fair amount of negative camber plus a specific wheel offset. And a mild fender roll may be required for the rear. But something a little more mild like 265s should be easier to accommodate.] 225/245 sounds pretty narrow for the weight of the car, but if these tires are just for daily cruising then it's fine. :)

Wide eyes at that tax cost! Does that include registration? Is that a recurring cost? If so, sounds like the UK govt still hates 'big' engines. :) [We Americans would call it medium sized at best, heh].

October 2nd, 2019, 12:26 AM
MPS4s ordered.

October 2nd, 2019, 12:32 AM
Thanks for the tyre tips. I'm sticking with factory tyre sizes for now - it crossed my mind to start upgrading but at the moment I'm settling for stock to (a) hopefully keep insurance simple and (b) get a feel for the car as stock, for now. Maybe look to get on track next year.

Tax is £570 a year yes. Tax bands based on CO2 output came in in 2006, so there's no avoiding it if you want an HR car. Newer cars (like the A90 Supra) are 'optimised' for lower CO2 numbers so get back to a reasonable level, but quite a few models that were in the market around that time got hit, the RX-8 is another one. The lady at the Post Office was surprised how much it came up as too! But for a car that should be fairly low maintenance and potentially low insurance, I don't mind.

October 2nd, 2019, 08:55 AM
... I'm sure it's no slouch in the dry, either, though I don't know how well it holds up to heavy track use on a hot day...

On a big car like a '17 Camaro SS 1LE, they appeared pretty taxed versus the competition this weekend at TT Nats. But they were old and heatcycled, and he was chasing RE71R. So take that for what it's worth.

October 2nd, 2019, 09:40 AM
So pre-'06 cars are still taxed based on engine size? I'd hate to think what pre-OBDII cars would get for tax rate if it was based on CO2! The 350Zs are not low insurance in the US - maybe that speaks to our drivers/culture and who buys the cars here. :)

Tyler - did you notice if the Michelins held up ok in terms of shoulder wear or tread cracking? I wouldn't expect them to match the SRS BZNS 200tw "street" tires like RE71R on track. Very little void area on those. :) Side note, if you get a chance to ride in or drive a 1LE-equipped Camaro, do it. I actually prefer them as a driver's car over the C6 and C7 (to be fair I have only driven basic C7s).

October 2nd, 2019, 09:59 AM
Oh, I've driven that car! Many times. It's a blast.

The tires held up really well, and seemed very consistent, much to the chagrin of the driver/owner. Like, I thought they were great all things considered. Just won't set any records with them. Who knows about the wet though, because the chance for that, the owner decided to not try anything dumb on a track he didn't know.

October 2nd, 2019, 12:21 PM
Current Plans:

Tyres - 4x MPS4 booked to go on Friday afternoon
Air con deodorisation
Local Nissan dealer for the overdue service - I guess oil, filter, plugs and coolant change
Bodyshop for the dent in the front wing
Paint detailing

(maybe future)
Carbon Lorraine brake pads & high-temp fluid
New stereo (no aux in)
A set of rear 8.5J Rays wheels on the front
Exhaust upgrade when the stock unit rusts through

October 2nd, 2019, 12:26 PM
Re: Stereo, as we discussed in London, get an Android Auto-capable head unit. It's game-changing!!

October 3rd, 2019, 10:03 AM
Re: Stereo, as we discussed in London, get an Android Auto-capable head unit. It's game-changing!!

That's the direction I'm looking in, yes. Any particular recommended model?

October 3rd, 2019, 10:25 AM
Check TSG's garage thread.

October 3rd, 2019, 01:19 PM
Wow, I really like that blue color. Great-looking car. Congratulations!

October 6th, 2019, 11:00 AM
That's the direction I'm looking in, yes. Any particular recommended model?

I'm not sure myself, but you could probably do worse than follow as Mario suggested?

The double-DIN Pioneer one I currently have installed in the BRZ is pretty good (XVH-8870BT or something like that) in that it's very usable and responsive. I did briefly entertain the idea of installing the Pioneer single-DIN model with a flip-out screen in the Legacy, but that sweet McIntosh badge is just too hard to give up, even if using the bodged together Aux-In results in a lot of noise, including engine noise!

October 6th, 2019, 08:25 PM
I've been meaning to say, the thing to look for when looking for any modern Z is Nismo bodywork.

October 7th, 2019, 05:26 PM
^ I like the way you think.

You think with a fat wallet. :lol:

October 9th, 2019, 01:31 PM
It's quite funny actually. I started off thinking, 350Zs are cheap and quite common, should be easy to get one. Then I did some reading, yes I really want a 2007- HR car, so dividing my field by about five. Then I got to looking at colours, and read on Wikipedia about the premium blaze red Type F JDM run-out special edition (100 units made). Hmm, sounds nice. Then I read about the Nismo Type 380RS, with 348bhp... sounds good. I got as far as browsing them on goo-net before I realised that I'd experienced some fairly spectacular mission creep - I was looking for something fairly easy to buy and own, not a rare and expensive special edition JDM import (!)

October 9th, 2019, 01:52 PM
That's exactly what happened with the Z4. I was looking at $5k beaters and ended up getting the top of the line non-M for that generation. Go figure.

October 9th, 2019, 03:17 PM
Meanwhile, I look for the cheapest decent option, and end up buying that!

Impulse control master!!!!

Yobbo NZ
October 10th, 2019, 01:31 AM
15ish years ago, I got wind of a Nismo 270R for sale in Japan.
Price was very good, asked the car dealer involved to inquire about it, the price near doubled after that.
Think it was NZ$ 16k initially, bargain for one of them. But unfortunately, it wasn't to be and I stuck with my normal S14, which would have been faster and better sorted , but not a genuine Nismo though.

October 14th, 2019, 12:45 PM
Mmmm, Nismo. 270R is a legend, I'd definitely have made enquiries too. My experience buying a car in Japan was that the 'screen price' usually moved upwards a lot when you actually buy the car, due to shaken, taxes etc - although that was on my cheap S13, the extras shouldn't be 100% of a more valuable car, so I guess perhaps the dealer realised what he had when a Kiwi started asking about exporting it ?

Tyre fitment was aborted previously due to blackcircles sending three 18" MPS4s and one 17" Michelin Primacy. I wonder if some GT86 or Prius driver somewhere got sent a single MPS4 ?? Anyway finally got them on today plus alignment doing - the bolts all came undone, which is always a good start, and all aligned to factory settings now.

For the stereo I'm leaning towards https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01LY8222N/ Sony XAV-AX100 because it's cheap at £230, a known brand, reviews well, and seems to cover what's needed; but I'm still open to other suggestions.

One thing is, I'd ideally like to mount it where the cubbyhole is at the top of the centre console, rather than in the stereo slot, so I can better see the navigation directions - anyone know about this? Also, the required 'handbrake cable' presumably should not actually be connected to the handbrake, right ? ;-)

October 14th, 2019, 01:10 PM
PS Also got a recommendation for a local body shop at the tyre place, so now have somewhere to go to address the aforementioned dent in the front wing.

October 14th, 2019, 02:25 PM
I'm not aware of any kits that move the stereo up to the cubby hole. That's not to say there isn't one. Factory nav cars got the screen up there but retained the stereo controls down below. IIRC from having my dash apart many moons ago, I don't recall there being a lot of depth up there to where a standard double-DIN unit would be able to fit without sitting proud. But I hear some of the newer memory-based HUs (no CD drive) are shallower, so I dunno.

October 14th, 2019, 03:44 PM
For the stereo I'm leaning towards https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01LY8222N/ Sony XAV-AX100 because it's cheap at £230, a known brand, reviews well, and seems to cover what's needed; but I'm still open to other suggestions.

I have this exact head unit in my tow vehicle (Ford E350) and it's really great. I use it with Android Auto almost exclusively. It does everything so well I only have two minor nitpicks:
-The volume button is pretty small and close to the side of the unit, so if your installation is recessed at all it can be fussy to work.
-If you don't press directly on the screen just right sometimes it will scroll instead of press what you're trying to select. I notice it most when driving and trying to change podcasts.

Other than that it's a great unit and I'd buy another if I had use for it. Ash got it for me as a birthday gift.

October 14th, 2019, 03:49 PM
I have this exact head unit in my tow vehicle (Ford E350) and it's really great. ...

Thanks so much, sounds like just the job for me :)