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February 22nd, 2016, 12:45 PM
I have some gibberish from the FSM that probably counts as a wiring diagram, yes. :)

Not sure when I will next get a chance to work on the car. T took it for the weekend and apparently it's now making a rotational noise from the right rear, and the battery died.

Everything's happening at once. :|

February 22nd, 2016, 02:48 PM
I much prefer the little bit at time maintenance approach. But, it's 10 years old, so whaddayagonnado?

February 26th, 2016, 10:00 PM
13. It's a teenager now. Oh dear.

... and it gets worse.

Something bad happened to tonight. Well, something bad-sounding at least. I'll try to keep this short. :lol:

Got a call from T tonight, the Z broke down on the freeway. She was a bit panicked and someone else who had broken down was with her so I didn't get a clear description of the symptoms, but my immediate priority was to dispatch a tow truck (this is where my AAA membership comes in handy :D). I took my dad's truck and met her there - the flatbed driver got there first and already had the Z loaded. He drove the car up on its own. So I started asking T questions on the drive home about what the car was doing. Still not very clear on what's going on. We get home, tow truck guy unloads the car in the street and I back it into the driveway. Nothing feels funny. I take the car around the block to feel/hear what's going on for myself. But first I look underneath with a flashlight. All I could notice was the exhaust is sitting low in the middle section of the car. The midpipe lives just above a chassis brace so I figured maybe an exhaust hanger broke. But, up to 25mph in the neighborhood and everything feels normal. I get out to a major street. 40mph, not much traffic, gentle weaving side to side, everything still normal. Turn on to a more major street. 55mph. No problems. Typical of a car not to re-create the issue when it needs to. :) I turn towards home on another street. Hit a broken up patch of pavement (nothing we don't drive over a million times a year already) and *CRUNCH* *THUNK* *BANG* *THUNK* the proverbial hits the fan. This is definitely not normal or safe - she was right to stop the car and call for help. I slow to a crawl. I felt impacts in the middle of the car, including at my feet and in the steering. It's something BIG that's loose, not just exhaust. I limp home at 5mph, still with the occasional THUNK. It feels like the transmission is trying to fall out of the car or something. The engine runs fine, the clutch feels normal.

My theory is the tranny mount is quite broken. It makes sense in my mind... the engine is held in by only 2 mounts (one on each side), the tranny by 1 mount, and it's a Megan Racing part at that. If the tranny mount failed, it seems plausible it could cause the engine to tilt down at the back and lower the exhaust system.

I'll put the car in the air tomorrow in the light and see what I can find. I just hope there's no collateral damage to the driveshaft or anything like that.

February 27th, 2016, 03:21 AM

February 27th, 2016, 05:14 PM
Story time!

So here's what the mount kit looks like:


There's no way to see the transmission mount until you remove the cross brace (it sits inside the brace pretty much). So I looked around at other things and was particularly curious why I would have felt this through the steering sometimes (but not always). I found something. A spot where the header has rubbed the steering shaft.


It was far enough away though that it wasn't going to be rubbing constantly or anything. The engine was sitting level from what I could tell. I looked at the motor mount, didn't see anything, then went to the passenger side motor mount... Here's the view looking up at subframe:


Notice anything missing? :lol:

In theory I wouldn't think what's happening would be solely caused by this. I wouldn't imagine the engine would come *up* so easily to come crashing down and make this noise. Because of the way the mounts are I'd think the engine would sit comfortably there unless I was going off some rad jumps or something. But, obviously, this needs to be fixed. New nut will be here Tuesday. I didn't have anything that would fit. And, I'm thinking a little blue loctite is in order!

Still, I really wanted to check out the trans mount. First I had my assistant jack up the transmission a couple pumps, then back down, then back up, while I watched underneath the car. Trans was definitely moving up and down in the mount, but also twisting after it came up the initial half inch or so. That twisting was the passenger side motor mount coming up out of the subframe. Ok, so inconclusive on the trans mount itself but since the car was on stands I thought I might as well remove some things and visually inspect it.


There's this tearing at the rear, almost 3/4 of the way around the sleeve. The front side of the bushing looks great. This will probably need to be replaced eventually, but at the moment I think it's OK. The squishy OEM trans mount has a lot of void area in its bushing (https://cornerbalance.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/new112009-0301.jpg) so I don't think the small amount of movement from this crack on the Megan mount is an issue. I'm guessing perhaps the motor being allowed to tilt up on one side has contributed to the wear in this bushing.

I'm not totally convinced yet this missing motor mount nut is the entirety of the issue but I haven't seen anything else amiss. I was expecting to find the blue metal part of the trans mount broken all the way through somewhere.

February 27th, 2016, 05:23 PM
Oh, and on the latest O2 sensor issue (P0037), the plugs are coded side to side so you can't swap sensors easily. But, I think I found something slightly out of spec when I unwrapped the electrical tape from the extended wiring...


That's literally five seconds after I removed the tape. 3 out of 4 wires not even connected to the sensor anymore. :smh:

Crimp connectors suck.. :) I had extra Posi-Lock connectors and fixed it all up nice. No more CEL (yet anyway).

February 27th, 2016, 05:38 PM
I enjoy reading the teardown/buildup/troubleshooting posts you guys make sometimes, because I don't know what's wrong/missing when you point something so obvious that you don't even have to point it out :)

February 28th, 2016, 03:00 PM
I was once that way, too. :) The desire to do cool stuff with cars and save money compelled me to dive in and learn through experience. I can actually say I sometimes enjoy wrenching on cars now. Never would have said that in the past. I like figuring things out. Frustrates me when I can't. :)

Anyway, what's missing in my photo is a nut to hold the motor mount to the subframe. Without that nut, the engine can lift up out of the subframe on that side. No bueno.

February 28th, 2016, 05:24 PM
Interesting stuff! Kinda scary what a little shoddy workmanship can net, too! :) Upside is that these problems seem fairly self explanatory, which is sooooooo much better than unexplained mysteries! :) I am better that, um, quirky motor mount is what caused the tear in the trans mount... it is definitely not designed to take a rotational force!

February 28th, 2016, 05:39 PM
The trick will be finding a new trans mount without buying another set of motor mounts (they come in a kit). The OEM trans mount is awfully squishy and all the other aftermarket ones I'm aware of are too solid. This is still a driver. The Megan mounts seem like the perfect compromise - added stiffness, still with NVH-absorbing rubber.

February 28th, 2016, 06:02 PM
I was once that way, too. :) The desire to do cool stuff with cars and save money compelled me to dive in and learn through experience. I can actually say I sometimes enjoy wrenching on cars now. Never would have said that in the past.
Yeah, I'd love to be able to say that someday. :D

February 28th, 2016, 08:09 PM
A complete lack of rust is an important prerequisite, I think. :)

February 28th, 2016, 08:15 PM
I have no idea what it's like to work on cars without rusted bolts :|

February 29th, 2016, 05:11 AM
An oblique joke: I have owned all sorts of fun cars and only very rarely have I ever turned a wrench myself. As a result, I feel that this particular ship has passed. ;)

Instead I have found a cheap local shop that does adequate work to feed my personal speed demons. :rawk:

February 29th, 2016, 05:21 AM
I have done the simplest of jobs (replaced MAF sensor, cleaned/replaced various filters), and am lucky in that I do not actually enjoy autocrossing, so I don't put much extra repeated stress on my cars or have a desire to put various parts on them to improve/fine-tune handling.

February 29th, 2016, 05:26 AM
Yup I've only done small jobs too; also most of my toys are 3rd cars as well so I don't rack up commuting miles or excessive wear and tear.

Ergo the money I save buying used and not buying tools combined with just about every labor cost being a 1-and-done lifetime fix makes having a shop do things for me a wash (or at least a much lower cost luxury).

Wouldn't be feasible with your lifestyle of course, Cuda. ;)

February 29th, 2016, 07:47 AM
...your lifestyle of course, Cuda. ;)


February 29th, 2016, 08:45 AM

February 29th, 2016, 11:47 AM
Name changed to protect the innocent. ;)

March 9th, 2016, 06:05 PM
Hmmm. Motor mount nut in place. Both sides torqued. Big random clunks remain. Hmmm.

All I can think of at the moment is one of the mounts broken on the other end, or even the bracket connecting the engine to the mount.

Going to blue-tape the steering column shaft to see if the header still hits it.

March 9th, 2016, 07:04 PM
Can you try the stand-on-the-brake-and-ride-the-clutch-while-someone-watches-with-the-hood-open-and-you-goose-it trick to see if the motor is moving around up front?

March 24th, 2016, 10:16 PM

Still haven't found anything glaringly obvious. I had T rev the engine while I stood and watched. It hardly moved. I had her stand on the brake, in gear, and let out the clutch to stall the car and the engine hardly moved. So nothing seemed completely kaput.

But after getting the car in the air I did discover one further issue.


The drivers side motor mount has a crack at the bottom where the stud meets the mount. I had to remove the nut to find this crack. With the nut removed from the stud, the stud only moves back and forth a few mm but it's enough to make me wonder. And probably not safe long term if that crack grows. I figure the passenger side of the motor coming out of the subframe tweaked on the drivers side motor mount and cracked it. Same thing that probably tore the tranny mount bushing. I suspect this is all because of the one nut coming off the car.

Since 2 out of 3 drivetrain mounts are suspect, used stock motor mounts have been purchased off eBay. $45 beats $300 for a new Megan kit in this case. Especially since I'm not 100% sure this is the entirety of the problem. Plus we found a barely used OEM trans mount in our Stash O'Parts from the PO. Win. The drivetrain will be buttery soft when we're done, but hopefully it'll be back on the road without breaking the bank.

Now to see if I can do this myself or not. I sure hope I don't have to disconnect hoses and wiring harnesses and stuff. Hoping to just ease the subframe down, ease the engine up, and find room to fish the mounts out and in. I'll hunt down a writeup - surely someone has done this before.

March 25th, 2016, 03:14 AM
You should be able to do it the way you describe without too much trouble. If you play your cards right and disconnect the mounts from the engine and everything from the frame you could support the engine, and drop the subframe, without needing to disconnect any lines or electrical connectors.

March 25th, 2016, 03:31 AM
If you can't do it at home, drive the car to work and see if one or more of your co-workers will lend a hand. ;)

March 25th, 2016, 04:10 AM
Yeah, just drive it to Long Beach and have someone take a look in between sessions ;)

March 25th, 2016, 08:48 AM
It sure looks like that subframe is designed so you can get some space and tilt the motor mount out. That's nice! Most cars you need to get enough clearance for the studs which creates other problems. That slot sure seems like it'll be really helpful!

March 25th, 2016, 10:12 AM
Potentially. There are studs on each end of the motor mounts, so it will take some effort for sure and the tops may not be so easy. I already exhausted my tool arsenal looking for something to loosen the top nut on the drivers side mount. No room!

Steering rack is also bolted to the subframe so not sure if I need to tie that up somehow or can let it sag with the subframe yet (after disconnecting steering arm). Lots of things connected to lots of things and the mounts are surrounded by stuff, so it will take some thinking for sure! This would be a a lot easier with the headers removed but not sure I want to take on that job right now. It's not impossible just very time consuming.

The car's not safe to drive in its current state, so if it has to go anywhere to get the work done it'll be towed to a local shop. Of which I know no good ones.

Probably a project for next week. Need time to get mentally ready. :lol:

March 25th, 2016, 10:15 AM
Admittedly I think it's unlikely on a newer car, but you may find you can do what you need to do with just a floor jack. Wood on a jack under the oil pan, all mounts loosened, jack up one side, replace mount, repeat, then refasten. That works on a lot of cars, but maybe not a newer, tightly-packed longitudinal motor.

March 25th, 2016, 12:02 PM
The only problem I see with that is that's the movement that probably cracked this motor mount to begin with. With all nuts removed things would be under less stress but I'm still not sure.

I'm brainstorming 3 floor jacks atm. :lol: One for the engine (block of wood under oil pan, if I can get weight centered safely on the jack), one to support the subframe partially down, and one for the trans to 'help' with raising the engine overall or get a different angle to the engine.

For a modern car it's actually pretty simple overall, but this is probably one of those jobs (like the often-leaky valve covers) where you might have to spend 90% of your time removing/replacing parts in the way before you can get to the real job at hand.

March 30th, 2016, 08:07 PM
Motor mount removal. Step one: remove headers. :mad:

Yeah, the top nuts are that buried. It's ok though, the headers take time but it's not the most difficult job. They were out in 2-3 hours. Once I could reach the top nuts, everything else went to plan. I did use all 3 jacks, which was pretty funny. :) Harbor Freight don't fail me now!

OEM mounts are in. Tomorrow I'll put the headers/starter/intake/steering/bracing back on and go for a test drive.

I did also discover the melted/mangled remains of something metal, stuck between the right front knuckle and the inside of the brake rotor. It's quite possible this is the missing motor mount nut. How it took a trip 90 degrees sideways toward the brakes and wedged itself in there, I'll never know. I had to pull the brake disc partially out to remove the squashed piece of metal. The knuckle is scraped up but not too bad, should be fine.

Looks to be about time to start looking at new brake pads.

April 1st, 2016, 10:20 PM
Stoptech Sport pads will be here Monday. It's what was already on the car, so a known quantity, and they worked well enough for the price. Other pads are better but we are penny pinching at the moment, so $110 for a full set of decent performing autox pads was easier to swallow than $300.

Initial test drive has confirmed the old motor mounts were the source of the clunking problem. I think that's sorted, finally! We can drive the car again. The new used OEM mounts make the drivetrain seem softer and more vague, but again there was a near $300 difference between this and stiffer (but still streetable) mounts. It appears now that the back of the midpipe is lightly hitting the rear chassis brace at times. Guessing these mounts put the drivetrain in a slightly different position and allow more flex. Ill have a look this weekend but I'm doubtful I can get the middle/back of the exhaust any higher. The tips are already nearly touching the bumper cover... I'd like to re-engineer the whole exhaust a little higher (there's room) but what's on there is soooo nice I just can't bring myself to take it off. :lol:

April 3rd, 2016, 10:59 PM
Car drove great at the autox. :up:

A new noise appears!

It's coming from the right rear (confirmed by a bystander) and is consistent with wheel speed. Or, rather, position of the wheel. Listen for yourself.


Now the trick is it only does this after driving on the highway for some time (an hour or so), and of course I can only hear it at low speed when idling (loud exhaust problems!). Seems like it's heat related. If I park for 10-15 minutes the noise goes away until after I drive it some more.

Spinning the wheel by hand in the air (right after parking from hot) doesn't produce the noise. With the car on the ground, the noise is more pronounced on the brake (light pressure), but does it under light accel load as well.

It doesn't sound deep enough to be a wheel bearing. It sounds too deep to be a brake pad wear indicator.

Caliper sticking when hot plus an oddly-worn pad? :?
Deposits on the rotor that only make noise when they reach a certain temp?

I'm trying to work through this one in my head and don't have enough experience to go on. If the rotor was warped, you'd think I'd hear something all the time or feel it in the pedal.

Don't wanna order new rotors if that won't take care of it. The old ones still have plenty of thickness so I plan to re-use them. The days of $12 NAPA rotors are over. Or, they were never there for the 350Z perhaps.

April 4th, 2016, 05:49 AM
expanding metal + good vibrations ? :cool:

April 4th, 2016, 08:43 AM
My first thought was pad wear indicator too, but the scenario is definitely weird - I could understand not hearing it with increased speed, but not being able to hear it off the ground is odd.

I would try getting a little speed up in a remote area and turning the car off while it coasts down from speed. That will get the exhaust out of the equation, and maybe give you an opportunity to thrash the steering wheel around and see if it changes with weight transfer. Or, take the/caliper/pad off and inspect. Maybe just a chunk of something in there. If you get there, you could just take the rotor to a machine shop and have them turn it - probably $5 or $10, and will eliminate warpage as a culprit entirely. Most brand recommend against turning rotors these days due to overall thickness concerns, but I wouldn't worry about that in this particular situation.

April 4th, 2016, 07:04 PM
I'm reminded that the parking brake is a drum-like setup inside the rotor hat. Wondering if that could be doing something unusual when hot.

Getting the alignment checked probably tomorrow since it hasn't been done since 2014. Then I'll have a good look at that corner during the brake change. Get a $40 rotor locally if it looks like I need to. Busy week. :)

April 5th, 2016, 10:13 AM
I've never seen a parking brake drum get worn out, but given the car's history and use it seems reasonable that some handbrake turns were done at some point, accelerating wear. :)

April 5th, 2016, 10:34 AM
Or ProSolo launches. :)

April 6th, 2016, 08:32 PM
:lol: Can confirm the parking brake drums are good.

Pads were pretty low. Just about on the wear indicators mostly. One wear indicator broke off up front, and the leading edge of one of the front inboard pads is chewed up. A few pads had skewed wear, too.

Employee who wrote up my tire mounting job today turns out to be the president of the local kart club, and remembers running at a Crows Landing ProSolo back in the 90s.

April 6th, 2016, 08:45 PM
Hey, wouldn't it be weird if you had the same problem as the XR4Ti:

Skipped out of work 10 minutes early to beat traffic and about 37 seconds into my drive the XR started making a weird noise. A loud rattle/thwack, somewhere underneath. Did not seem connected to acceleration or deceleration, directly connected to road speed, but managing the throttle just so netted silence. I drove on it a little while expecting something terrible to happen as to shorten the troubleshooting cycle, but nothing terrible happened. Car seemed fine, just loud. Eventually I couldn't take it so I pulled into a parking lot for an inspection. NOTHING! Drove some more. Wheel bearing? Driveshaft u-joint? NOTHING! Just as I turned onto my street, the noise stopped. Drove around the block a few times and could not reproduce it. FML!

It was a seized caliper guide. The pad itself was rocking around in the carrier making noise. A seized caliper would definitely cause uneven pad wear. At the very least, I would pull the rear calipers and check the guides and relube.

April 7th, 2016, 12:28 AM
They moved freely and smoothly. The corner in question actually had the best looking pad wear. Maybe that's the problem. :p Kidding.

The front calipers could probably use a rebuild for optimum-ness, but they're doing fine by feel and the butt dyno roll resistance test.

Bedded the pads at midnight on the freeway tonight. Didn't get the fuzz called on me, so that was good. Actually the route I chose has very little traffic that time of night.

The car goes to LA on Friday, so we'll know then if the noise persists.

My sister retold the story tonight of the time she took her Fit on a bumpy dirt road and suddenly heard a very bad loud grinding noise that wouldn't go away unless she drove in reverse. She took it to a shop the first chance she got, which wasn't right away. Turns out, the front pads had FALLEN OUT. How on earth?! I've never seen Fit front brakes up close but jeez, that's a scary design if that can happen.

April 7th, 2016, 12:44 AM
A pad falling out of a floating caliper seems... unlikely.

April 13th, 2016, 01:19 PM
The RR strangenoise continues. I've now switched wheels, lug nuts, removed spacers and hub ring from that side of the car (identical tire size, near identical offset, so no probs). If that doesn't make a difference I'm pretty stumped.

It doesn't make the noise after autocross runs and hard launches. Only after continuous freeway driving. :erm:

While switching the wheels, one more stud snapped clean in half while torquing to 80 ft-lbs. This time at the rear. Replaced with 5 new OEM on that corner. The old studs look very slightly different, and have a V mark inside of a recessed circle on the center of the head. I am hoping this means they are cheap studs that a PO put in there.

Weekend shenanigans:


April 13th, 2016, 02:01 PM
That looks fast - and fun!

April 27th, 2016, 07:16 PM
Another one bites the dust! Wheel stud, that is. Just getting all of them now. Might as well replace everything.

April 27th, 2016, 07:33 PM
The first round was all one corner, yeah?

May 2nd, 2016, 04:02 PM
First round was two studs on the RF (replaced just the two).

Second round was one stud on the RR (replaced all 5).

Third round was one stud on the LF (replaced all 5).

I now have spares for the fronts, nothing for the rears, so I guess the LR will be next to go. :p

I should probably post a picture of the failures. They all look the same.

May 3rd, 2016, 07:46 AM
I stripped a few studs on my Mustang back in the day and I replaced them all with ARP studs. It meant having to get a specific numbered drill bit to drill all the holes on the hubs but it was worth it.

Of course Drew did and NickT does enjoy the luxuriousness of it now. (They've probably never taken the wheels off)

May 3rd, 2016, 08:16 AM
Of course Drew did and NickT does enjoy the luxuriousness of it now. (They've probably never taken the wheels off)


May 3rd, 2016, 10:08 AM
Yaaaaay something else to look forward to. :smh:


May 3rd, 2016, 03:15 PM
All I know is, I've changed wheels on cars with frequency for 15 years and never broke a stud until recently. Now I've broken several just by torquing them to their specified number. It's also odd that they all started breaking a year after we got the car. The torque wrench doesn't feel like it's out of calibration...

At first my theory was cheap studs put in by a PO. The ones I had removed had different markings than the new OEM ones I replaced them with. But the LF ones I just did looked identical to OEM. So next theory is someone overtorqued them all at some point. Maybe the heavy wheels, scrub radius change, and spacers contribute to extra stress on the studs but I only run a 3mm spacer, so not much. And the wheels are the same weight as OEM rears on later model luxury trims.

May 3rd, 2016, 03:25 PM
Knowing how people are, I'd expect the damage was done before your ownership and you're just hold the bag, so to speak.

May 3rd, 2016, 06:22 PM
Hello Mr. Rev Limiter.


May 3rd, 2016, 06:51 PM
Is BABABA available for license plates?

May 3rd, 2016, 08:06 PM
Is BABABA available for license plates?


May 3rd, 2016, 09:53 PM
That belongs on a Honda.

June 30th, 2016, 09:12 PM
Since I had to get the front end in the air to remove front tires to inspect headlights (unknown aftermarket HID kit, one light is intermittently failing to turn on), I checked around under the car. Found one header-to-cat bolt/nut assemblage completely missing. :o What's with hardware going missing on this car? This one's on me, I'm the one who tightened it up last. It uses a split lock washer, too.

Anyway, trip to the hardware store fixed that.

Then I polished the headlight lenses again, cleaned and spray-waxed the door jambs and dressed the sills + window trim. The car looks 5 years younger.

Not many updates in a while... big autox event his weekend at Crows Landing - expect to get deep into 3rd gear. :D

July 1st, 2016, 09:49 AM
Maybe the split lock washer failed? Hardware store washers probably won't put up with exhaust heat & vibration very long. You really want to use flex-top or distorted thread nuts to keep things in place on exhausts given there aren't spring-loaded bolts there.

July 1st, 2016, 11:51 PM
The strange thing is I never heard the exhaust leak, right under my nose (or more accurately, my feets). Probably a sign the exhaust is too loud to begin with. :lol: I did notice the midpipe was hitting the chassis brace more often (that I could hear), but didn't think anything of it since I had just checked and re checked everything in the exhaust system shortly before that happened.

Found a trick with the headlight... if it doesn't come on the first time, turn them off, wait a few seconds, then turn them on and it usually works. Once, the headlight that always works flickered when I got on the brakes gently down the driveway. Strange stuff.

July 2nd, 2016, 11:51 AM
The Suburban does that flickering. Really annoying. I am sure the alternator or something is dying, but I never have the presence of mind to check the voltmeter when it happens. :(

July 4th, 2016, 08:50 PM
Hey Cuda, what's the recipe for duplicating your car? Any year base 350? Mod list?

July 5th, 2016, 09:44 AM
Any year will do. Base may be easiest with no TC to worry about. Enthusiast is OK too, and maybe Track... hard to remember as trims changed a bit over the years. But essentially you don't want a car with VDC. Enthusiast, for example, has TC but not VDC.

Having said that, if one hates having to shift to 3rd gear on faster courses, one might want to seriously consider an 07-08 with the higher redline. Those cars are generally a few grand more to start with. Heavier than earlier cars by somewhere around 40lbs (not the 150+lbs Wikipedia would have you believe).

These cars usually vary somewhat in suspension setup. I don't think anyone has nailed down a formula for them yet - people are playing around with various parts.

Power stuff:
- JWT intake (smog legal, yay)
- PPE long-tube headers
- Custom Y-pipe with cats, and a B-Line exhaust (I hadn't heard of them either)
- UpRev ECU flash with dyno tune

- Kinetix upper front control arms (modified for even moar cambers). One of the few (the only?) legal ones.
- Hotchkis front sway bar, Whiteline rear bar
- Koni 2812s by ProParts (I've also seen Penske, MCS, ISC, Koni 3011 [I think thats' the number])
- 1200lb front, 850lb rear springs (lots of variability here too between setups)
- Megan adjustable rear spring perches
- Spherical rear upper shock mounts ( This is the one annoying part - all of them clunk. Stock ones don't, but they limit travel a bit and force more side load into the shock.)
- Quaife LSD (most run Cusco, OSG, Nismo, etc)
- Polyurethane diff mount bushing and rear subframe bushings

- Lightweight battery in stock location (some do a battery relocation to rear with a heavy battery for weight distribution. I prefer the KISS method on this one)
- Sparco Rev Plus seat on Megan mounts (soon to go to a lower seat mount but these would be perfect for someone under 5'8")
- StopTech brake pads
- 18x10.5 wheels and 275 tires or 18x11 wheels with 285 tires

That's about it. No need for catch cans or lightweight pulleys or anything. It's pretty livable on the street, and could be made more so if we really wanted (quieter exhaust mainly, possibly softer springs). All we do outside of the ordinary autox prep stuff when we show up to an event is remove the rear bump stops on site. We don't even adjust the shocks for the street anymore. They ride well enough even on stiffer settings.

P.S. - If you would like a "test drive" near some cones, let me know. :)

July 5th, 2016, 09:48 AM

How likely is it that a smog guy spots the headers? I ASSuME that the ECU flash leaves all the smog stuff alone so that the OBD-II check still comes up ok?

July 5th, 2016, 05:56 PM
Depends on how hard they look. They're not very easy to see up top, but look under the car and the shiny pipes in place of the factory kitties (http://www.pbase.com/bryanh/image/158782287/original) would be a dead giveaway (we have HFCs right after the headers - legal in STU, just). A header swap is not the end of the world on these cars - it takes the good part of a day if you take your time. It's mostly just figuring out the right combination of wrenches/sockets/extensions/swivels for each and every nut. :) Alternatively, I am hearing the 07-08 cars have pretty good factory "headers" and not much is gained from aftermarket ones.

ECU flash is only detectable if someone checks specifically that the ECU has been flashed, which is highly unlikely. All OBD-II functions are left as normal. I just hook up the laptop and put the factory tune back in when I put the factory headers/cats back on anyway. That's the easiest part. :)

One thing I forgot to mention: rear fenders need to be rolled flat against themselves for the wide tires to clear. Fronts are fine as-is.

July 5th, 2016, 07:18 PM
So really, just buy an '07-'08? :D

July 5th, 2016, 07:53 PM
I'll bet if you ceramic coated the headers in some grey or black finish nobody would ever notice. And you might net some more power, too!

July 6th, 2016, 08:56 AM
There's a fully-prepped 08 for sale at rrax (Shane Donahue's car)...for $25k :sadtrombone:

July 6th, 2016, 12:03 PM
IMHO that price is nutso. Now if it was a super clean car with 10k miles wiped with the finest detailing supplies every week, I could see 25k.

Cheaper to find a solid car for $7-13k (depending on year/mileage) and build it yourself. Not often that can be said. We paid $15k for ours with 90k miles, three sets of wheels with tires, fairly high dollar shocks, the best headers and the whole bit. It's an '03, but you can't tell me an '08 is worth $10k more.

So really, just buy an '07-'08? :D
If you've got the dosh, might as well. ;)

PPE headers can be ceramic coated before shipping - either silver or black.

If one likes shifting FnF style at a fast autox course, one would want an '03-'04. :p


July 25th, 2016, 10:08 PM
Thought I posted about this before, but can't find it. So...

Mom's '95 Camry V6 has gone through axle boots too quickly recently. Has ~120k miles. One set of axles was replaced in 2013, 9k miles ago, with brand new Toyota parts. One side lasted 6k miles apparently. The other side just recently went. My mom was able to get the old part back and I see a ginormous tear in the boot over the u-joint, but who is to say the shop didn't do that when removing the axle (whether on accident or on purpose). Why would these go bad so quickly? My mom is so gentle on her cars.


Back to Z stuffs. I've got a torn compression rod bushing. Common problem on the 350Z. Looks like this (https://www.z1motorsports.com/images/Z33G35FrontTensionArm.jpg). In order to avoid having to shell out $350+ every year or two, or find a shop with a press to replace the bushing and sleeve, my thoughts turn to polyurethane. But? It looks to me like the OEM rubber bushing allows the arm to move in a certain way, where a poly bushing might restrict that twisting movement too much, although my suspension travel is less than stock (mainly less droop) so it might not be as big of a deal to have "moderate" bind... Hard to know on these things. The Whiteline (https://conceptzperformance.com/whiteline-front-radius-rod-to-chassis-compression-rod-bushing-set-nissan-350z-03-08-z33-w83389_p_8175.php) bushing looks like it may allow a bit more movement by design than a big solid poly bushing like the Energy Suspension one.

July 26th, 2016, 09:38 AM
Is she killing axles or boots? What was the symptom? Hate to suggest it, but is it possible the shop is fucking with her? Boots fail from getting dried out - so, either total lack of grease or age (or trauma). That's really it. CVs will fail from lack of lubrication or trauma. Boot ages, dries, rips, loses grease, kills CV. Or trauma. Or defect. 10k is insane. Either the parts were defective to start, she was attacked by some invasive rubber-eating species, or she's being lied to. That'd my take!

I have no science for this, but my experience with poly is not positive from a longevity perspective. I can't think of any poly part I've ever used that has lasted longer than an equivalent rubber part. Poly is great for limiting movement, but I think its rigidity works against it over the long haul. I can't think of any poly part I've ever had on any car that's lasted more than five or six years, whereas the same rubber parts are easy 10 year parts. Obviously the specific poly and the nature of the part affects lifespan, but still... Were yours new when you got the car? Or are they ten years old and finally failing?

July 26th, 2016, 11:47 AM
No idea really. With a quick search you can find tales of a TSB for this when the cars were new, stories of replacements only lasting 6 months, stuff like that. Not every car of course. But enough to make you wonder if it's worth going a different route.

The thing with the CV boots is it's a tear in the boot, leaking grease, not a failure of the mechanical parts. The 'symptom' is the shop telling her it's leaking and needs replacing. And it's two different shops - the dealer she's been going to for 35 years, and the local tire shop that just put on new tires last month. They put on an aftermarket axle (some 3-letter brand I hadnt' heard of) this time. Apparently the boot is not replaceable on its own.

July 26th, 2016, 11:54 AM
That is really weird. I guess I could envision a few scenarios where a poor design leads to premature boot failure, but that seems like something that'd get fixed in relatively short order. But, who knows? Still, seems weird that the first last a respectable life and the replacement didn't. That really suggests a defect.

It's pretty much impossible that replacing a boot isn't possible, but I know a lot of modern cars where it's simply not done - either due to the manufacturer never making the parts available or it being so difficult as to be impractical. The nonserviceable axle is a thing, unfortunately, but it shouldn't exist in combination with a 10k service life! Don't these guys warranty their work & parts? Or, does she drive so little she exhausts the time before the mileage? That's poopy. :(

July 26th, 2016, 03:24 PM
I don't know the warranty time/mileage, but you're right she doesn't drive very much in a year. Maybe 3-4k miles. Still, 3 years should not be the service life of an axle boot. I kept trying to think of ways it could articulate in a way to stretch/tear the boot or have the U-joint rub the boot from the inside, but she's not exactly rallying the car and the suspension seems in decent enough shape. Worn shocks but that wouldn't do it.

Someone on another forum pointed these out for the Z bushings: http://www.meganracing.com/products/product_detail.asp?prodid=2269&catid=90

Seems like a winner! I'm dubious of the claims that their special rubber doesn't tear, but it wouldn't surprise me if these outlasted the OEM bushings.

July 26th, 2016, 03:55 PM
Yeah, three years is nuts. Most of my cars see similar mileage and they aren't failing. I would expect an easy ten years. Maybe the suspension can compress or droop to a point the boot is stressed and tears, but that seems like it'd be a result of rad jumps and not getting groceries. Maybe repeated full lock turning? That seems like something normal people would do. Still, why a good run out of the original and a short out of the replacement?

I like those Megan bushings, at least conceptually. I'd definitely throw $80 at a test run! What I can't tell is if anti-cracking rubber is a drug joke or a sex joke. I'll get back to you.

July 26th, 2016, 08:41 PM
Re: boot, we're thinking all the same things there. I'd find it hard to believe Toyota of the 90s would make their bread and butter car have a flaw that kills CV boots. And the original ones lasted quite some years anyway.

July 29th, 2016, 07:07 PM
I ordered the Megan bushings as well as a couple others for the other front lower control arm where I see some tearing starting. Come to find out that FR-Sport has a solid SCCA member discount and free shipping. That ended up being a good choice. :up:

August 16th, 2016, 09:26 PM
We removed the lower control arms from the front end today. There are two LCAs per corner and each arm has its own ball joint at the knuckle. Both passenger side ball joints had a slight issue - the threaded portion turned with the nut when loosening the nut. Not initially - it was able to be broken loose - but later the threaded stud turned with the nut with hand tools. Managed to squeeze my fingers around the boot and use an impact gun on the nut to get it off.

Question is, how will I get the nut back on and torqued without the ball joint turning? Especially as I expect to have to torque the nut to a half bajillion ft-lbs.

August 17th, 2016, 08:39 AM
I assume these are tapered fittings? It's not entirely uncommon. Check for corrosion on the pin and the socket, be sure all surfaces all clean and smooth and there is no slop in the ball joint. Depending on the location of adjacent parts, you can use something like a big pair of channel lock pliers, vice grips, or even ratcheting tie downs to secure the LCA to something rigid and apply pressure to the joint. It should not take much before it engages to the point you can torque it down properly. I will say it's a little unusual for them to spin coming out - that almost suggests they weren't properly tightened or maybe the lock nut had backed off (due to failure). But, they could be just fine. :)

August 17th, 2016, 08:41 AM
This guy used a beefy c-clamp:


I've seriously never thought of that. Derp.

August 18th, 2016, 10:12 AM
THanks for ideas. I'll see what I can do - one of them might even work to put a jack under the ball joint and apply upward pressure while tightening the nut. No locknuts here - cotter pins.

I had another update but darned if I can remember what it is. #toomanyironsinthefire

August 18th, 2016, 10:29 AM
Oh yes, now I have it. [/brainfart]

I need to remount the little GPS receiver for the head unit. It goes on the dash by the windshield. The adhesive that was on there worked great but wasn't re-usable. It's square with a little bit of thickness and squishy-ness. I'm thinking something like this would be the ticket?


Want something that won't lose stick in the heat of a car in summer, and won't damage the dash finish if it needs to be removed. The description here says "won't melt" which is why I picked it.

Other ideas?

August 18th, 2016, 01:17 PM
I use nothing but 3M Molding Tape for everything. It sticks like a motherfucker but doesn't come apart during removal. It might take the finish off something like a wood laminate, but I don't see how it could hurt something like plastic, rubber, or vinyl. It's amazing stuff! I don't like foam tape because it dries out and falls apart, making removal messy and annoying. The 3M stuff just doesn't do that.

August 18th, 2016, 01:25 PM

August 18th, 2016, 04:08 PM
Brilliant. :up:

August 20th, 2016, 08:19 AM
might even work to put a jack under the ball joint and apply upward pressure while tightening the nut.

That worked. :)

Now, here's another challenge in the "where do I find this?" category. I'm looking for replacement tubing to protect the O2 sensor wires near hot things (trans, exhaust). What I have is awesome but I want more. It's reflective of heat and even stands up to some direct contact with really hot stuff. It's flexible and has no structural memory (in other words I can bend and shape it at will). It's split longways so I don't have to fish the wires through it - I can just wrap it around the wires, and with a bit of overlap it gives complete protection. It looks lightly corrugated on the outside and is silver in color.

This is the best picture I have at the moment: http://www.pbase.com/bryanh/image/158782287/original

I've found some things that are kind of close but no cigar:

Maybe if I knew the right name for this stuff I could find it.

August 20th, 2016, 01:48 PM
The downstream o2 sensor on the photo you showed is most definitely the speedway motors link. Look at how the wrap looks like the black electrical plastic covering. But metallic in design

August 20th, 2016, 03:58 PM
"Heat reflective wire loom (or sleeve)" is a good search term for that stuff. I used.... shiiii... some German stuff that's OE on the Audi when I did work on the Falcon and Cadillac. Got it off ebay. Thermotec is a good brand and you might look into Heatshield Products - both are commonly available from tuner shops like Summit. I suspect most of this stuff is made by one or two companies and then rebranded. Oh, 3M also makes it, but it's somewhat difficult to find retail. I have been looking at the Heatshield Products Thermaflect stuff for a few different projects. It seems to hit all the specs I want, but I'd just like to see how it feels and works before investing in a large amount of it. I bought the Audi stuff because I knew it was semi-malleable and could squish into corners - I don't want something rigid that's going to be a pain to route. I can't tell what that Thermoflect stuff is like.

August 21st, 2016, 07:40 AM
Hm, this link (https://lmr.com/item/DEI-010414/dei-cool-tube-010414) for DEI Cool Tube shows a rubber core and no overlap. Probably heavier than what I have too. I'll have a hunt around hardware/automotive stores and if nothing there, probably order something close on Monday. Probably ThermoTec.

September 14th, 2016, 04:31 PM

Half of these questions I've been asking lately have been about a car we've been keeping a secret until its debut at Nationals (speficially the ProSolo Finale). :) It's a 2007 with the HR motor. I bought it as a relatively stock car in mid July; imported from Canada and the whole bit (thankfully it was originally US-spec so pretty easy to bring back home). Then got busy and/or procrastinated until about 10 days before leaving for Nationals, at which point I (with help from T) spent most waking hours in the garage/driveway converting the silver car to stock and the new blue car to STU-spec. The header swap and subframe swap were the fun ones with hand tools and no lift. :lol: Balancing the rear subframe from the diff on a floor jack is a quick way to discover the diff isn't precisely centered in the subframe. :)

I'm short for time so here's a couple photos.


Filthy. Can't keep up with Lincoln weather if you want a clean car. I couldn't help but notice how many car washes there were around town.

Perhaps some build shenanigan stories will follow. I literally dropped it off the jack stands, packed the car and started driving straight to Lincoln. A few details were finished on-site when we arrived. And some things are definitely not finished yet. :)

By the numbers:
+30rwhp over the old car.
+30lbs over the old car.
+600rpm (or +900 for limited, extra special circumstances - with cruise control on the new car, engine map switching is dead easy on the fly, just like a real race car I know :D)
=same torques

Old car drives with more linear throttle/brake control, though. I miss that. It's currently in DD mode (sans muffler, heh, long story) and will be sold sometime this fall/winter.

September 14th, 2016, 04:42 PM
Wow!! Nice secret weapon! :D :up:

Is this car a keeper? Or are you gonna eventually go 370Z as prices drop?

September 14th, 2016, 04:47 PM
HELLS YEAH!!!! Really like that blue, too!

September 15th, 2016, 08:53 AM
I love a properly stanced car. :up:

September 15th, 2016, 10:22 AM
:cool::up: Very nice!!!

September 22nd, 2016, 09:27 PM
Wow!! Nice secret weapon! :D :up:

Is this car a keeper? Or are you gonna eventually go 370Z as prices drop?

370 is in a different class, FWIW. It runs against the AP1/AP2 Stooks and ND/NC Miatae in STR.

September 24th, 2016, 01:09 AM
Blue car looks nice. I love proper colours like that (I've only owned monochrome JDM cars).

My favourite thing is the 'GT' logo below the rear license plate, looks great and very cool being on your car.

October 1st, 2016, 07:32 PM
Cheers guys. :) We dig the color too. Quite rare to see on an HR car.

Carlo - chances are if/when the 370 moves to STU I'll end up in one. Hard to ignore equal weight, shorter wheelbase, and more power for autocrossing. :) By the time that move is made, prices will probably have fallen somewhat. For STU, the year shouldn't matter as they all make the same power and weigh about the same, I believe. So '09 it is. ;) #cheapbastard


We had some 'fun' chasing CELs at Nationals. No issues with the car for 1.5 months, then after the makeover we started getting a CEL sometimes. First one happened on the way down to LA for dyno tuning the day after the header install. Cat Efficiency. Cleared it, got the car tuned, never heard from it again. Then at Nationals: rear O2 sensor voltage code. Then again. Long story short, codes started randomly jumping around to different O2 sensors - and different specific problems, too. Each time clearing the ECU of faults would keep the CEL off for a period of time. Our solution on site was to clear the ECU every 3 runs, just in case. The car lost some power with the CEL so best to have it off for competition.

My current theory (and I hope I'm right... otherwise we might be looking at an ECU problem) is that it's a ground issue. In order to install the race exhaust I removed two grounds from the factory exhaust to the chassis (one ground from the OEM manifold heat shield to the engine bay, the other ground from the muffler to the spare tire well). The 2003 silver car never had these two grounds - bought it with the race exhaust in place - so I didn't figure they were necessary and I was surprised to see them on the 2007. Anyway, I'm hopeful this is the source of the problem. I triple checked all other grounds/wiring that I messed with (and it was a lot to get out of the way just to do the driver's side header!) and it's all fine.

I just hooked up the rear ground near the muffler. Fingers crossed. The front one would require a custom ground strap or something, since there's no longer a heat shield with a small bolt to attach the ground.


Remarkably, the 2007 still has a bit of that new car smell. I think it's the pleather door/knee inserts which the '03 doesn't have.

October 2nd, 2016, 11:46 AM
Those grounds could be very important. Typically a ground to the exhaust provides a path back to the ECM to provide commonality for the O2 sensor. Not all cars need it, but on those that have it, it's going to be part of the electrical design.

October 2nd, 2016, 03:08 PM
I know one of the 4 wires in each O2 sensor harness is a ground wire specifically. But perhaps that isn't enough. Electricity owns me. :)

October 2nd, 2016, 03:56 PM
The added grind strap is likely there to build stability of ground signal and help alleviate noise. *Shrug*

October 2nd, 2016, 04:09 PM
Yep. The fourth O2 sensor wire is for the signal to the ECM but the additional ground point provides a common reference, better ground stability.

October 4th, 2016, 06:16 PM
We'll see if the random CEL comes back. Next planned drive for the car is an autox next weekend. Gas mileage has also been kind of bad since I did all this work. I can't remember the mileage when it was stock but I would think I would have noticed if it was struggling to get 25mpg highway back in July...


Time to start sharing some of the car's adventures. :)

First stop with the new toy in Washington state. So quiet and comfortable... that won't last long. :lol:

The silver car was a Base model. This one's an Enthusiast, which in '07 meant VLSD (meh), cruise (sweet!), steering wheel audio controls (score!), HomeLink auto-dimming mirror (HomeLink is cool, but mirror is fat and auto dimming doesn't work as well as manual dimming), and Traction Control (booo) which is easily defeatable by a single button press at any time. Still, I don't like having it on so plans call for a magic box that remembers the last setting every time you turn the car on. :D

More thorough checks/inspections begin...

Filthy K&N oiled filters. Nix! I'm not a fan of oiled filter elements anyway.

Deflector between bumper and radiator was missing all its clips and bouncing around loose inside the bumper cover area. Some other clips/screws were also missing for various underbody trim pieces.

Renault-Nissan alliance evidence on the TBs.

Look at all that droop travel! :o

Radius rod bushing failure - fairly common. Probably explains the random pulling to the right.

C-Street tire stack VS STU tire stack. + many grips.

Looking better already sitting on the Rotas.

More later when I have time. I just took mental inventory and it's true what they say (do they say this or is it just me?): autocrossers usually inadvertently end up with a wheel/tire collection for a car after a time...

For two Zs we have 5 sets of wheels and six additional tires. Soon to be -1 Z, -4 tires and -2 sets of wheels. I hope.

October 13th, 2016, 08:56 PM
Hey. Thinking of a z for a track car....

October 14th, 2016, 12:22 PM
I have some Z31 projects you can have for CHEAP.

October 14th, 2016, 06:46 PM
Hey. Thinking of a z for a track car....

Short sessions at the local kart track, or real track work? If the latter, budget for an oil cooler, brake work (minimum Brembo package with good pads, fluid, and extra air ducting.... or a proper BBK front and rear), and possibly a diff cooler or at least a finned diff cover. Heat management was not the strongest point of the Z33 stock. It's even worse on the Z34 - that one has engine cooling issues as well.

Other than that, very fun/rewarding car. Lies somewhere between a scalpel Japanese sports car and an American pony/sports car. Z33s are good value right now and will be for a long while - they made so many.

October 17th, 2016, 12:03 PM


October 17th, 2016, 12:15 PM
Someone should put a Z34 engine in a Z34.

October 17th, 2016, 12:22 PM
And drive it on County Highway Z34 in Iowa.


October 18th, 2016, 08:51 AM
There was an event in California where we got Saab 99s and drove them 99 miles on Highway 99 in 1999. That was a lot of fun. Someone should organize a Z34 on Z34 drive and everyone bring Chevys or Nissans. :lol:

October 18th, 2016, 06:52 PM
Did you get 99 of them? ;)


It seemed for a little while that the randomized O2 sensor CELs had stopped after installing the ground wire from muffler to chassis. Then I got a new code in the middle of the autocross last weekend, still O2 sensor related, which has since recurred 3 more times: P0057 HO2S Heater Control Circuit Low (Bank 2 Sensor 2)

Hmm. This is the first time the code has been the same one twice. Maybe something's actually wrong with the sensor or wiring, or perhaps the ground is good enough for everything but this circuit.

October 18th, 2016, 07:28 PM
Is everything symmetric enough in the engine bay (wiring harness, plug locations) that you can swap the O2 sensor(s) side to side and see if the code follows it/them?

October 18th, 2016, 07:29 PM
That was the intent, but there were not 99 to be found! ;)

October 19th, 2016, 03:32 AM
Ain't it a bitch?

October 20th, 2016, 09:12 PM
Is everything symmetric enough in the engine bay (wiring harness, plug locations) that you can swap the O2 sensor(s) side to side and see if the code follows it/them?

Duh. *pokes head* Now that the fault is consistent I can try that again. Will do something shortly and see if the code follows. Interestingly enough the plugs are the same L and R on the HR, but the DE has different ones L to R that prevent swapping sides.

October 21st, 2016, 09:01 AM
I think that became typical to prevent techs from screwing up. Hey, at least it's not the Volvo where the O2 sensor and knock sensor connectors are the same and right next to each other. Hilarity often ensues.

October 22nd, 2016, 06:13 PM
As I recall there's something very similar to that (maybe even the same thing - I know at least one of the plugs is for the knock sensor) on the 300ZX.


I think I found the problem.


These connectors don't lock together either, which seems odd to me. I have a feeling I stretched this wire loom a little taught and during high load maneuvers or bumps (or someone I know sweeping (a) cone(s) under the car ;)) it came loose. Roadtrip to Camarillo tonight and we'll see if it stays put and codes stay away.

October 22nd, 2016, 06:37 PM
Zip tie the connector together.

October 22nd, 2016, 09:59 PM
Those connectors should lock - if they don't, they're broken. Zip ties definitely work in a pinch!

October 24th, 2016, 04:42 PM
I'd think they should lock but they feel different than other electrical plugs. They don't have a firm "click" into place like others do (resistance and suddenly "we're in!"). These gradually get more resistance as they come together until you think, yeah, that's enough, they're not going any further. Never any click.

So over the weekend all was fine for the drive down and about halfway through the autox (24 runs total). Then P0037 cropped up. Same code as before but on the opposite side (Bank 1 instead of Bank 2). This one has come back on 2 or 3 times after clearing codes, too. Checking today, everything's still plugged in. And I remain befuddled. :)

I would think that when the Bank 2 rear sensor is completely unplugged from the chassis harness, I'd get multiple codes or a more serious code from the ECU because it should be seeing no feedback at all. Now that the sensor is plugged in again the code moves to the other side even though it has been plugged in this whole time... it makes me think it's a mysterious ground problem, again.


It's a little early to call but it appears the car may be rapidly wearing the insides of other front tires too. This may be bugging my thoughts for a while too - everything up front I can think of is either new or not broken/worn as far as I can tell.

- Same upper A-arms as the old car (bushings cleaned and re-greased, none felt undersized to me).
- Front wheel bearings are only a couple of years old.
- All 6 control arm bushings are new Megan Racing parts (harder rubber)
- Can't detect any tie rod play.
- No clunks up front.
- Zero toe.
- Car drives really well on the street. Front does wander in ruts but that's normal sports car behavior IME especially with stiff springs and lots of camber.

The only other thing that comes to mind is the steering - it's lighter effort on the new car compared to the old one, and the new car feels like it has less castor. [Castor angle is not adjustable on these cars]. Those two things can go hand in hand. When near full steering lock, like in a parking lot, the new car will sometimes either not have any centering force or will even turn the steering wheel more as I creep along.

October 25th, 2016, 04:37 PM
As if anyone needed any additional proof that RPF1s look good on everything:

http://www.pbase.com/bryanh/image/164219779/large.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/bryanh/image/164219779/original)

October 25th, 2016, 06:09 PM
When are you selling the other car? And any idea on how much?

October 25th, 2016, 06:26 PM
Still no idea, heh. Local market seems not great for Zs, especially early ones, but most here are pretty ragged too. I have a couple local people who have expressed interest. Going to be replacing a wheel bearing this week, looks like. Anyway, my estimate has been anywhere from $7k to $10k, and at the moment it looks like it'll serve DD duty for a while. Two to six months, maybe more. Need more money for the DD I think I want - about $12k perhaps.

October 26th, 2016, 09:56 AM
I don't know if this is relevant but a friend of mine had a brand new '05 350Z and he was annoyed when it was "recalled" (I think actually a TSB) for "excessive front tire wear." I went with him to the dealer to bring him back, and we talked to a tech and not a service writer. The tech told us that the '05 (at least) had "aggressive" front suspension that coupled with the factory "aggressive" alignment would result in premature tire wire. The fix was to mostly zero out the front end, which would alleviate but not eliminate the wear. Peter was really annoyed that the car he test drove was not the car he got to drive, but they did replace his totally dead front tires (at like 9,000 miles IIRC) with new ones, so there was an upside.

I don't keep up with Zs, but maybe your camber wear is unavoidable with anything approaching a good alignment?

October 26th, 2016, 05:25 PM
Yeah there was a TSB when the cars first came out (2003 or 2004) for front tire feathering. I just looked it up in more detail: http://www.nissantireproblems.com/autoweek-tsb.html

Nissan engineers determined it was a toe-out issue. I gather it's something to do with the dual LCA ball joint design being sensitive to toe out somehow. Nissan's fix in the TSB was to replace/pro-rate tires and perform a precise alignment on a recently calibrated machine. I've been unable to find any documented changes to the front suspension that might have solved this issue for later cars. My best guess is the alignment was more carefully monitored from the factory from 2005 onward, and the specified front toe range was narrowed.

The funny thing is my 2003 has normal sports car tire wear in my opinion. My 2007 is killing tires at an alarming rate even with 0 toe. Possible the Megan bushings allow more deflection in a certain direction? They're supposed to be a harder rubber. I did make certain the radius rod bushings were clocked identically to the way the factory ones were.

If I can't solve this and the persistent CELs I may not keep the car too long. :\ Shame because I really like the color, engine, and a lot of other things about it. I'm kindof in limbo waiting to upgrade the stereo and electronic smart boxes for TC and so on. I don't want to put a ton of work in only to undo it.

October 26th, 2016, 05:32 PM
Put it this way. The new set of Bridgestone RE71Rs has 72 autocross runs on them and less than 500 street miles on them. They are far more worn on the inside edge than either the outside or middle. So in 500 street miles the tread on the inside is low to the point where, without any rotation or other changes, I think 2,000 miles would see cords there. That's crazy.

October 26th, 2016, 05:41 PM
And another thing. I've often run cars with ~3 degrees negative camber up front and a smidge of toe out, and gotten much better wear than this. So unless the suspension on the 2007 toes-out dramatically when rolling forward at speed, I'm still pretty stumped. And even the complaints that prompted the TSB way back when weren't of sub-2,000 mile tire life.

October 26th, 2016, 06:09 PM
Have you thought about measuring bump steer, etc to see if it's something along that line and fixable?

October 26th, 2016, 07:16 PM
Yeah - or find a friendly alignment shop and have them ratchet down the car while on the rack to see what the suspension is doing under compression. Maybe the stiffer bushings result in a weird deflection that doesn't happen normally or is exacerbated by wide (I presume!) tires... although, if that was a thing you'd think someone would have commented on it by now. I will mention - not that it has anything to do with anything - that the Fiero *murdered* a set of tires with what I thought was slight toe out. Rear tires, 2,000 miles, the insides were down to the cords! I bring it up because Fiero rear suspension is kinda like most cars' front suspension. ;)

October 26th, 2016, 08:43 PM
What was the solution on the Fiero?

I can't change geometry in my class (well, I could change caster if I bought different upper control arms, but the ones that I know of that adjust caster as well as camber have a design that can slip). I'm not sure what I could do about bump steer if it was causing toe out under compression. But on the highway there shouldn't be much of that going on... just in dips and those are such a brief time period.

October 26th, 2016, 09:05 PM
I zero'ed the toe, left camber at 3 degrees. After another 3,000 miles, zero appreciable wear. I really don't know specifically what the issue was, some combo of wide tires, moar low, too much toe I guess.I have never seen wear like that in my life!

November 1st, 2016, 08:07 PM
Update on the tire wear (and possibly related fuel economy?). I checked out the front end today...

- No discernable play with wheels on the ground. (Obviously when you pull hard enough bushings compress, the car moves, etc).

With wheels in the air (and still attached firmly to the hubs):

- No detectable play in ball joints or tie rods.

- Tie rods roughly equal in length.

- I could engage a small amount of mechanical slop by pushing upwards on the tire from underneath it (using my body to lift, enough to cause the suspension to compress against the force of the Hotchkis anti roll bar). I've never tried this with another car. But it didn't seem like a revelation. I wasn't able to feel any play by using a jack handle as a pry under the tire to test the ball joints.

- Each upper control arm has one of its two attachment points to the chassis allow about 1mm of play in the inboard / outboard direction when I push/pull on that end of the arm. On the passenger side it's the front attachment point. On the driver's side it's the rear attachment point. It's tough to see exactly how much play there is because it takes enough force that my head isn't totally stable, but it doesn't take herculean force either. I can also hear this play in the squish-squish noise of the bushing grease. The play is more pronounced with the steering fully right, and less pronounced with the steering fully left.

This would seem to point to an uneven left-to-right problem (tire wear or otherwise) at first. I haven't noticed any. Just symmetrical tire wear. Again, though, I couldn't replicate this play with the car on the ground. And yes, I could reach, as long as steering was at full lock.

The old car had inner tie rod play for a while, and later a rear wheel bearing going quite bad (car shifting laterally when changing gears etc), with no noticeable increase in tire wear. The new car doesn't have anything like this going on, but the tire wear problem persists. So not sure if those are the right avenues to explore.

Here's another strange difference in the two cars that would seem on the surface to point to massively different caster. When parked and steering back and forth, lock to lock, the new car has a pronounced "jacking effect." The front end rolls laterally as the steering moves side to side. It's something I noticed right away with the car when it was stock. I just tested it again now and on the modified suspension it still has more of this jacking effect than the old silver car has on its stock suspension (or ever had, to the best of my recollection).

But the new car's steering is lighter on the road than the old car, which to me would suggest the opposite caster difference that the above phenomenon suggests.

Yet caster is pretty close between the two cars as measured on the same alignment rack.

You understand why I'm confused? :lol:

November 2nd, 2016, 09:25 AM
That jacking is definitely weird, and it certainly does suggest a caster issue, but I don't think caster could ever affect tire wear unless you spent your life driving in circles. I think the only thing that would really affect tire wear to the degree you're experiencing is a static, straight-line problem. The camber seems aggressive but well within reason, I'd really be looking at toe.

I don't know enough about the Z's front suspension to comment on whatever play might be present, but any decent alignment tech should be able to. When the car is on the rack, if they can reliably set the alignment then whatever play might exist won't be severe enough to affect tire wear. If they can't set the alignment, then you have a suspension that may adversely affect wear.

Related, is it possible that alignment was set on stock, worn rubber and now with the new harder rubber something that was marginal got pushed out of whack? Have you tried doing a garage string alignment just to check toe?

November 2nd, 2016, 10:38 AM
I haven't, and probably don't have the tools. I borrowed toe plates at Nationals and found it was 1/16" out. Seems within the realm of normal to me - I've run that on a lot of cars in the past. Possibly even the old Z, I don't remember (it's been 0 toe for a while but may not always have been). After Nationals I had the blue car re-aligned and this time the old pro was manning the machine. He didn't mention anything unusual even though I had pointed out tire wear was a problem. So yeah the car was aligned on the newer bushings. I didn't bother when it was on old bushings as I knew I'd be replacing at least two of them before running the car.

November 2nd, 2016, 11:01 AM
Yeah, 1/16" out isn't crazy no matter what, unless the toe changes radically with compression and you're a big fatso. ;)

I would really find a friendly alignment shop that will let you ratchet down the car while it's on the rack to see what changes under compression. Maybe exaggerating the normal scenario will point out something that is missed when it's unloaded? I take my cars to the shop that does alignments for all the dealers so I know I'm getting people who know how things should be - maybe you've got a similar local shop?

November 2nd, 2016, 02:48 PM
Not local, but I do have a friend in SJ...

Again though, shouldn't be much compression going on during highway driving. Just bumps.

November 2nd, 2016, 03:58 PM
Well, I certainly agree, but if the static alignment checks out then the only other possibility is a dynamic problem, and it's a lot easier to check that out when the car is stationary than when moving... ;)

November 6th, 2016, 10:36 AM
Took the MR2 out of hibernation for its annual drive today.

Man, I need another one of these to drive around without fear. Every time I take this car out something happens to it, or nearly so. But anyway, these cars are so awesome. It just feels right. The motor is actually the least endearing thing about it; sub-2-liter old school turbocharged laziness moving around 2800lbs. In my dreams I've stroked it to 2.2L, added a modern turbocharger, and upped the boost for a more modern experience. But it's hard to modify a car that gets driven so rarely and is being preserved as one of the few stock remaining examples.

Just need to hit the lotto for that 10 car garage so I can get another one, modify it, and put it alongside a Supra TT for good measure. :sadbanana:

Every winter I think about doing work to the car since I haven't touched it mechanically/cosmetically in years. Every year I don't do anything. Hmph!

November 7th, 2016, 04:53 AM
How are the rubber bits (both bushings and weatherstripping) holding up?

November 7th, 2016, 08:14 AM
Pretty well considering their age. I think some of the bushings are just starting to feel a little sloppy (indeed one of the rear arm bushings has several cracks around the visible outer rim). The weatherstripping is doing very well thanks to not seeing much sun, I think. I need to treat it again, though, it's feeling a little dry. One piece of weatherstripping has an oxidation look to it and a few years ago I looked into replacing it - only comes as part of the side rear window assembly, and only '94-95 style is available. Hmph, again. :)

November 7th, 2016, 04:41 PM
I'm a little surprised the alignment feels off now on the '03 after replacing the right rear knuckle assembly. The bushings in both new (used) and old assemblies looked about the same. The wheel bearing was the big difference, but the car was last aligned when the old bearing was doing OK and it drove straight and true. I would have thought the new knuckle would be located and angled much the same as the outgoing one but something feels off now. Don't feel like spending another $90 on an alignment so soon after the previous one, though. Being a cheap perfectionist sucks. :lol:

November 7th, 2016, 05:30 PM
Places like Big O will check it for free. At least you could find out if that's the problem or something else.

November 7th, 2016, 05:34 PM
Here was a fun one from the mad dash STU build process.

The e-brake is a drum-in-hat setup and I had to disconnect the cables to change subframes. Which meant partially disassembling the shoe control mechanism. I know it's hard to see what you're looking at in the pic below, but the brake rotor (aka drum hat) is removed and the green arrow points to the head on the back of a stud. On the right of the photo are the springs for the shoes.


The red arrow points to a little part that I'm not sure of the purpose of. As best I can tell it prevents the e-brake cable from being pushed too far out (I suppose possible if it's misadjusted in a big way?). It's designed to hinge on one end and in this picture you can see it is swung out about as far as it goes. In this position the back of the stud strikes this part when the hub rotates. Ok, so obviously that's not how it's supposed to be. But the way this part is angled even when not pulled out like that, gravity can totally put it in that position. What the...? :) I couldn't (and still can't) figure this one out. Since I didn't have the luxury of time, my solution was to inspect the bracket mechanism from my spare knuckle assembly (purchased for the wheel bearing replacement on the '03!). Lo and behold, this little mystery part is more snugly held in place to the mechanism just by friction. Tolerances! So I swapped mechanisms. Solved.

But this (as seen in the picture) is how loose that part was on the car before removing the mechanism. No issues. But gravity totally should have made that part run into the rotating studs and destroyed something.

November 7th, 2016, 05:46 PM
I hate engineers who do that.

November 12th, 2016, 03:28 PM
I tried a spray wax yesterday morning. Very impressed so far. It's much faster than traditional waxing, and cheaper, and the results are better than I expected on the silver 350Z. It hadn't been properly detailed since we've had it - just a light hand polish and a seal probably a year ago, so basically no protection anymore since it sits outside most of the time. That means plenty of contaminants on the paint and light swirls, so far from the ideal surface to apply a wax.

I used Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax. Pleasant surprise is how it looks - it's only one car and I haven't done an A/B test but this appears to have more of a carnauba glow/rich look than a glassy sealant look to my eyes. They say you can use this stuff on glass and it has a Rain-X effect, too. I've done that but it has yet to rain to test its effectiveness.



It's hard to capture the details of the look in photos but trust me, it's a big improvement.

It'll be a good maintenance wax to keep some protection going on. It takes 10 minutes with this stuff so no excuses for not doing it now!

I'll still properly correct/detail the car this winter or spring though.

November 12th, 2016, 03:29 PM
Places like Big O will check it for free. At least you could find out if that's the problem or something else.

Missed this before. I did not know that. I'm fairly certain my feeling is right, that the alignment is off, so I'd probably end up paying for one anyway.

November 12th, 2016, 04:44 PM
That wax does look good - I think I will give it a go on the Benz when I'm down in SoCal over T-Day!

November 13th, 2016, 06:45 AM
Sharp!! :up:

November 15th, 2016, 12:05 PM
Now the ugly side. :)

Any tips for removing dried up old vinyl? The blue part of the replica Nismo stripe has been flaking off recently. I went to remove the whole thing today. Normally, you get a fingernail under a corner to start it and peel back from there. No problem. Maybe clean up a little adhesive residue after.

This blue stripe is so dried up I only get a tiny tiny piece to flake off at a time. After an hour I hadn't even gotten an inch of it off, and I have about 10 feet to do. Hoping there's a better way without damaging the finish beneath! If this was on glass it'd be easy... Goof Off and a razor blade.

November 15th, 2016, 02:21 PM
I got nothing. I have a similar problem with old tape on the SPG, and I have tried everything I can think of. If you find an answer, please share with the group. :|

November 15th, 2016, 03:04 PM
http://m.homedepot.com/p/Astro-Pneumatic-Eraser-Pad-for-Pinstripe-Removal-Tool-AST400E/206859130?cm_mmc=SEM|THD|google|&mid=syrjdvt4k|dm_mtid_8903tb925190_pcrid_502502252 19_pkw__pmt__product_206859130_slid_&gclid=CjwKEAiAgavBBRCA7ZbggrLSkUcSJACWDexA7v9v0b5o y881B2izWZkmPWj9Nb3S7rR7WMu2VSlYzRoCYT7w_wcB

Used this a bunch. Works great.

I would chuck it in to a regular cordless drill on the low speed. You might follow up with some light hand polish and wax afterwords

November 15th, 2016, 04:58 PM
I just learned about plastic razor blades. I'm going to go pick one up and try it tomorrow with steam, or Goo Gone. Then if that doesn't do it, might have to resort to this drill attachment... sounds scary. :)

I'll be doing a proper machine polish on the car some time after the stripes are removed anyway. It's going to look so boring. :)

November 15th, 2016, 08:18 PM
Don't waste your time with the plastic razorblade. Serious.

That eraser is safe on metal backed paint. Do nkt use it on anything plastic backed. Like bumper covers etc. It will take paint and primer with it.

I promise you it is completely safe.

November 23rd, 2016, 07:22 PM
I haven't had a clear day at home with good weather to come back to the vinyl yet, but will update when the time comes.

I did get a chance to come back to the tire wear thing and check tire temps after nearly 2 hours of highway driving. With the probe, it showed 110F on the inside edges of the front tires, going down to about 85 on the outsides. Didn't seem particularly high to me. I checked the rears, too, and they were 105F on the inside.

It would stand to reason the increased tire wear is related to temperature, but this is suggesting temperatures are normal and in line with the camber of the car (-3.5 front, -2.8 rear, roughly).

Also, tire testing is very interesting (and fun! Who doesn't like pounding around on other people's tires?). Nexen invited me to try some experimental stuff and give detailed feedback. Look for an article in SportsCar magazine in the not too distant future.

November 23rd, 2016, 07:40 PM
That is an interesting discovery. I never checked tire temps on the Fiero because it was obviously an alignment problem... which an alignment cured. Is it possible under heavy use that differential/wear grows? Maybe something that isn't a problem on the street but becomes a problem quickly when pushed?

Also, if you ever run into excess tire testing requirements, you know who to call. ;)

November 24th, 2016, 04:41 PM
I can't imagine a scenario where inside shoulder wear increases as the tire is pushed. The car stops too well for it to be only using the inner edge of the front tires under braking...

Blue car got the spray wax treatment now too. Now you can see the flake in the paint.




Oh, never updated on the alignment of the silver car. Took it to my nearest Big O in Madera for a free check. It was off, as I suspected. Their alignment was cheaper than my local Sears too. It drove great on the way home. Then I put a different set of wheels/tires on the car and the steering is way off. Strange happenings abound.

November 28th, 2016, 09:17 AM
That sounds like worn bits - maybe balljoints or tie rods.

November 28th, 2016, 11:16 AM
The car has had some play in the left front tie rod for ages. First time I've noticed this off-center steering with different tires. It's also the first time I've used these particular tires on the car.

It's completely nuts - I could swear I change wheels and/or tires on a bi weekly basis these days. It's a fricken revolving door of 350Z rolling stock around here. :lol:

P.S. - The Saab wagon in the photo above was left in there for you, Justin. ;)

November 28th, 2016, 11:28 AM
I'm sure the Tire Rack stickers all over autocrossing windshields is not a coincidence.

Part of me laments the fact that I'm sure Goodyear has little to no presence in that enthusiast market (I have no actual knowledge past their disinterest in racing outside of stock cars). GET BACK ON THE HORSE AND BRING PRIDE TO OHIO!

November 28th, 2016, 11:43 AM
P.S. - The Saab wagon in the photo above was left in there for you, Justin. ;)

Honestly, I was too busy staring at the Z to notice. IT'S SO PRETTY!!!!

November 28th, 2016, 12:17 PM
I would have figured you could spot a Saab a mile away in a dark corner. :)

Keith, Goodyear owns Dunlop (more or less) and Dunlop has had some players in this market for some years.

November 28th, 2016, 01:09 PM

November 28th, 2016, 08:38 PM
Tirerack is the title sponsor of SCCA national-level autocrossing. If you participate in an SCCA national-level autocross, you run their windshield banner (or sticker, for cars not equipped with windshields). :)

November 29th, 2016, 03:39 AM
P.S. - The Saab wagon in the photo above was left in there for you, Justin. ;)
Is the Lincoln Town Car in that pic for me?? :lol:

November 29th, 2016, 03:44 AM
Part of me laments the fact that I'm sure Goodyear has little to no presence in that enthusiast market (I have no actual knowledge past their disinterest in racing outside of stock cars). GET BACK ON THE HORSE AND BRING PRIDE TO OHIO!
Goodyear's Eagle F1 Supercar 2's & 3's are still very much in the game -- but they come with a supercar price, too.

November 29th, 2016, 06:08 AM
Goodyear's Eagle F1 Supercar 2's & 3's are still very much in the game -- but they come with a supercar price, too.

Are they, though? That line's claim to fame was that they were the OEM tire for some very high performance cars. Now, as far as I can tell, every major performance car is using Michelins or Pirellis. Chevrolet finally moved on with the Corvette (probably assisted by the huge improvements Michelin tires brought to the race team), is Ford still using them on the upper end of the Mustang line? I understand if owners of cars from 5-10 or more years ago are still getting the OEM tire, but I don't see them getting any aftermarket conquests or current production vehicles.

*checks Tire Rack*

Ford's high end stuff (GT350, GT) are using Michelins, same model lines as the Corvettes actually, but the new Camaro ZL1 is on Goodyears. Maybe there's a glimmer of hope for the folks in Akron.

November 29th, 2016, 08:22 AM
Goodyear's Eagle F1 Supercar 2's & 3's are still very much in the game -- but they come with a supercar price, too.

They are like MXV4s - a tire with a big name and a big price, but a complete anachronism. The 2s were on the CTS-V and were, in a word, horrible. Compared to the contemporary Pilot Supersport - a similarly priced tire - they weren't even playing the same game.

November 29th, 2016, 08:27 AM
As I remember it, Corvette Racing switched from Goodyear to Michelin after doing a tire test where the Michelins were 3 seconds faster with no other changes. They also ended up being more durable, as well.

November 29th, 2016, 08:36 AM
I can believe it -- but as you said, I had also read that the ZL1 was getting the 3's, so... #shrug


November 29th, 2016, 09:55 AM
Maybe if it had good tires it would be too good and steal Corvette sales?


November 29th, 2016, 11:22 AM
We Corvette enthusiasts have far too strong of a sense of our impending death to buy a car with 4 seats.

November 29th, 2016, 11:38 AM
:lol: :up:

November 29th, 2016, 12:50 PM
We Corvette enthusiasts have far too strong of a sense of our impending death to buy a car with 4 seats.

This sums up Corvette owners far too well. Lol

November 29th, 2016, 01:10 PM
Motorcyclists are worse :P

November 29th, 2016, 09:12 PM
Don't you have 3 vehicles with 4 seats?

November 29th, 2016, 10:59 PM
Is the Lincoln Town Car in that pic for me?? :lol:
Sorry, no 'Stangs or 'Cudas on that street!

November 30th, 2016, 03:49 AM
Don't you have 3 vehicles with 4 seats?
Three vehicles? I think you have me confused with someone else.

November 30th, 2016, 07:50 AM
For some reason, I thought Carlo said that. Lol

November 30th, 2016, 08:15 AM
Carlo and I have various discussions on how we would fill a theoretical 3-car garage #forfun, and I want a house with a 3-car garage for future proofing, but I currently own a single car.

December 7th, 2016, 09:44 PM
The MR2T is due for smog in a week, and the forecast was calling for rain Thurs-Sat earlier, so today I took the car out of hibernation and changed the oil. Checked my post-it in the sun visor with the last oil change written down. 4,000 miles ago, no big deal. Three years ago!? $%^# I'm a bad bad owner. Shame on me.

While the old oil was draining I treated the door and window seals with Einszett GummiPflege after deep cleaning them with Optimum Power Clean diluted 3:1 and a soft bristle toothbrush. Yes I'm now that anal weirdo using a toothbrush on his car in plain view. :lol: While I was out there I could have sworn I was in Alfred Hitchcock's Birds a few times. Swarms everywhere! They should have all flown south by now. There are a lot of mature trees in the neighborhood, which I like, but I suppose this is the downside. They bombed the car good (I was able to take cover in the garage myself!) so I decided to wash it when they went away, hoping they would't come back a 3rd time. The oil was still draining (after ~2 hours, and yeah I warmed the car up first). Then my phone alerted me that rain was now expected within an hour.

Some days it's just not that easy working in the driveway. :) I got it all done and got the car tucked away again before dark, and I don't think any rain actually showed up after all.

Lots more to do to the car (plenty of deep cleaning projects for one). In due time. But I gotta stop forgetting I even have it. Yikes. Out of sight, out of mind.

December 7th, 2016, 10:09 PM
careful about running oil through an old filter - media can fall apart and end up leaving the case!

December 8th, 2016, 10:18 AM
Not good. I always change the filter when I change the oil. There's a fresh one in there now.

Did you ever try that spray wax like you mentioned?

December 8th, 2016, 10:40 AM
I haven't been back down there - we dodged on Thanksgiving but will probably head down after the first of the year. I feel really beaten up on cars right now, so that plus foul whether and I've not gotten much done here. :(

December 12th, 2016, 05:29 PM
Went to smog the MR2 today. This is the one that always passes with miles to spare. Along the way I noticed it was idling at 1100rpm. Too high to pass in my experience with other cars. I wasn't confident they wouldn't fail it for that. I don't remember when the idle went this high or if it's always been this way. Haven't driven the car in a year... anyway, after talking to the guy at the shop I elected not to smog the car yet. Didn't want to pay to have it fail and then re-test.

So in the next 2 days I've got to figure out a way to get it to idle at 850. That information alone took 30min to find online. It's not on a sticker on the car either.

The idle screw on the TB is all the way in. So, hm.

I'm thinking easy things to check first are:
1) throttle stop
2) timing
3) vacuum leak soapy water test (and I just detailed the engine bay - doh!)
then...) tps circuit? coolant temp sensor circuit?

Hoping to not need any parts because there's no way I'll get them before smog is due on the 14th. :)

December 12th, 2016, 06:03 PM
Vacuum test is what I would do first. Check around the IAC and the related hoses.

December 12th, 2016, 08:58 PM
Lots of possibilities, but I would put some miles on it and see if there are any other symptoms or if it fixes itself. Could be a sticky idle valve and nothing more.

December 13th, 2016, 12:18 PM
Success! Love it when a simple fix presents itself. It was so simple I almost didn't think it would work.

Basically a vacuum line was disconnected from a dashpot that isn't terribly visible. It appears this dashpot's sole purpose is to provide an adjustable throttle stopper.

The car idles at 850 now. :D Nowhere near as smoothly as it did at 1000-1100, but CARB knows best. :rolleyes:

I'll probably sneak it up to 900-950 afterwards.

In the process of my investigations I rediscovered something interesting that may or may not be a problem. More on that later.

December 13th, 2016, 12:32 PM
Old turbo cars and vacuum - always fun. :)

If it fell off once it will do it again - I'd replace that whole hose ASAP.

December 13th, 2016, 03:17 PM
If it fell off once it will do it again - I'd replace all of the vacuum lines ASAP.

Fixed that for you.

December 13th, 2016, 04:11 PM
Yeah, true. Fork over some dough to Verocious Motorsports or something and get 20-30' of silicone hose and go http://www.sherv.net/cm/emo/funny/2/big-dancing-banana-smiley-emoticon.gif

December 14th, 2016, 11:12 AM
Probably a good idea honestly. It may happen whenever I get around to a big proper maintenance/upgrade path with the car. One of these days I'll stop talking about it and actually do it. :) Funny thing is I learned tons about working on cars starting with my first Z32 when I just dove right in. Since then working on cars is a lot easier, I can figure stuff out and generally be successful. But somehow I haven't crossed that bridge with the MR2. I'm still apprehensive about working on it. It's too special, to illogical, and I worry about messing it up (or scratching the C-pillar paint!).

December 14th, 2016, 11:15 AM
I was in that exact same spot with the Alfa. I finally had to get over The Fear because stuff needed to get done and there was literally nobody to do it for me!

Just remember the 2 is yesteryear technology. Everything that makes it go is well documented and well understood. You won't have any challenge that others haven't had before - it's just a matter of choosing a vector to get your feet wet. :)

December 14th, 2016, 11:29 AM
I get the basics of how turbos work, but when it comes to the more involved stuff I'm like Clarkson: magic happens and you go faster. :lol:

And actually as an older car there are fewer online resources and references still around. Lots of dead domains, 404s, and broken image links. Lots easier to find info on 350Zs for example.

December 14th, 2016, 11:29 AM
it's just a matter of choosing a vector to get your feet wet. :)

Clogged AC drain.

December 14th, 2016, 12:13 PM
That checks out!

December 14th, 2016, 11:10 PM
TSG's discussion of gauges reminded me to post this.

The MR2 came with an old Autometer boost gauge in the A-pillar (http://www.pbase.com/bryanh/image/71169811). I dig it - it matches the age of the car, it lights up with a subtle green glow when the headlights are on, more or less matching the interior lighting, and it's much easier to see in peripheral vision than the stock gauge (which isn't accurate or useful with, like, real numbers or anything anyways).

It has always read 1psi with the engine off. I gather this means it's a mechanical gauge because it doesn't sweep when I start the engine. Doing some reading tonight, apparently that's not uncommon with Autometer mechanical gauges. What I can't determine is whether the 'active' readings (boost and vacuum while driving) will be off at all, by a linear amount, or by a percentage amount. This is in the "magic happens" realm of turbocharged engine theory for me. :)

It shows 16, sometimes 16.5 in/hg of vacuum at idle when warm, which is less than people say is normal (18-22 in/hg they say).

On the boost side, I see max boost of about 11psi which is normal according to what I know.

One wonders, though, if the zero value is off, maybe I'm actually only getting 10psi but also 18in/Hg of vacuum. How do I actually know if I have a real problem to investigate or just a bum gauge?

I was looking around during/after my idle investigations for where the boost gauge is getting its reading from. I can't find sh_t. :lol: I'd think there'd be vacuum line coming through the firewall somewhere and a T in another line...

Making me think about adding a different (electric?) boost gauge to my future upgrades list. But I really really like how the Autometer in there doesn't look out of place at all. And no stupid bright LED illumination at night. No, this car gets incandescents all around. ;)

Edit - the other thing I found funny, getting the cats warmed up for the smog test, was how the turbo lost boost during a quick shift. It seemed to lose too much too fast, but again I don't know what's normal. Scenario: full throttle in 3rd gear, full boost, a rapid shift to 4th gear going straight to full throttle again (no lollygagging!), and it seemed to take a full second or two for the boost to creep from ~5psi back up to 11psi. Seems like a rapid loss of boost being off throttle for such a short time. One would think the turbo would have some more inertia to it. Or something.

December 15th, 2016, 12:24 PM
It's been a while, but my recollection is the Autometer boost gauge in the '90 SPG also was off by 1psi at rest. I didn't notice the problem when it was new, so I'm not sure what the nature of the problem is, but 1psi is hardly worth worrying about. That's the difference between a cold day and a warm day as far as the engine is concerned.

The sweep thing is kinda just a gimmick they do with stepper motor controlled gauges. It's possible that the gauges self-calibrate their limits on startup, but frankly I think it's a gimmick. Not all electric gauges are stepper motors. It's unlikely any single gauge technology is universally more accurate than another, but realistically mechanical gauges are probably the most accurate, since there is no abstraction through sensors or voltage, what happens over there is reflected over here directly by the same force. Between traditional electric and steppers? I dunno - the way the sensors work is typically completely different and whereas a legacy gauge will generally use voltage to move a needle, steppers will interpret a reading and then display it. You get into resolution issue, calibration issues, etc. I dunno. For boost/vacuum, I'd go mechanical every single time whereas with fluids you kinda don't want to have to pump them into the cabin if you don't have to. ;)

Does the 2 have a bypass/diverter valve? If that's not working you'll get exactly the behavior you described. I assume due to its age it has a traditional wastegate actuator and not some fancy electronic gizmo like a new car, so that's probably not on the table.

December 15th, 2016, 03:53 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by a bypass/diverter valve. It has a "BOV" that's fairly quiet. It has a wastegate to control boost.


Here's something from the 350Z files that I'm too dumb to figure out. :)

So the 350Z has a differential vent tube that goes up, to the left, and into the rear subframe. There's a hole in the subframe that lets this diff fluid drain out if it happens to get all the way out the vent tube.

One would think there would be a couple scenarios where this would be likely to occur:
1) track work, drifting, donuts, etc where the diff is getting hot and the fluid is boiling over
2) overfilled diff

Now I've had this diff and fluid since I got the silver 2003 in January of 2015. Yeah, it's due for a change and it's on my mental list. But here's the thing - it has never leaked to my knowledge or spilled out the vent tube to my knowledge. Until now. I can drive 2 blocks to the grocery store, come back home, and when I move the car the next day there's a small puddle of diff fluid on the ground. Why on earth would it start now? Has the fluid broken down so bad it boils over at the slightest hint of being worked? Is something partially clogging the tube and creating some kind of pressure? Wtf mate?

I checked under the car and can't see any evidence of leaks from the diff cover, the stub axle seals, the cv boots.

December 15th, 2016, 04:52 PM
New crack/split in the vent tube from underuse or overuse or just age? Pulled it too hard when swapping suspensions?

December 15th, 2016, 05:53 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by a bypass/diverter valve. It has a "BOV" that's fairly quiet.

Are you sure? It's very unlikely a blow off valve (BOV) would pass smog. It's definitely not factory.

One would think there would be a couple scenarios where this would be likely to occur:
1) track work, drifting, donuts, etc where the diff is getting hot and the fluid is boiling over
2) overfilled diff

I'd look at a damaged fitting, but it could also be fluid that is water contaminated or fluid that has been baked and suffered a viscosity breakdown. If it's puddling, I would change that ASAP - there probably isn't much to lose in there.

December 15th, 2016, 06:32 PM
I just don't want the same thing to happen to expensive new Redline fluid, if the problem is something else. Trying to think what else could be wrong I'd think a damaged fitting would have the leak closer to the diff housing, and not from within the subframe where the hose terminates. I'm having trouble finding a good picture of it but I imagine it's not a terribly uncommon setup.


On the MR2, I'm sure Toyota doesn't call it a BOV, they'll have some strange name for it, and it likely doesn't vent to atmosphere, so maybe bypass/diverter valve is a more accurate description. But there's something that serves a similar function to a BOV in there. :) Maybe you're onto something... I recall now hearing a faint fluttering BOV-type sound when jumping off the throttle in the past with this car, and I haven't heard it this week. People used to talk about aftermarket BOVs on the cars and how they were just for sound, not performance. The stock unit is apparently more than adequate at its job even at higher boost levels.

Bit of digging shows that it's commonly referred to as the BPV and it routes air back to the intake rather than venting it. Still not sure what Toyota themselves call it.

Maybe I'll pick up a cheap vacuum test gauge (https://www.amazon.com/OTC-5613-Vacuum-Pressure-Gauge/dp/B0050SG9KW) to see if my Autometer is accurate at idle. Eliminate one point of confusion.

December 15th, 2016, 08:12 PM
Back in the day recirculating valves were typically called bypass valves (BPV), but for whatever reason more recently they've been renamed diverter valves.

Valves that vent to atmosphere are blow off valves (BOV) are sometimes called dump valves and they wreak havoc on airflow-based fuel injection systems (VAM, MAF, etc.) and not explicitly legal on speed-density systems (MAP).

When there is *no* valve you can damage the turbo - when the throttle valve closed any air travelling through the intake tract has nowhere to go and it will bounce back at the turbo. This can cause a fluttering sound from the air filter as air stalls out the impeller - think like blowing into a fan. Some bypass valves can have a little fssssh sound, but since the maintain a closed system they're usually pretty silent. I've definitely heard noise from recent Hyundai and Ford cars, but the XR is silent. Sometimes you can get a little hoooooo sound from older valves; most newer ones are weighted to prevent that. Blowoff valves obviously make a mess of noise as they dump an intake's worth of air out. ;) You really have to be running a lot of air before modern diverters are overcome and you need to move to a blowoff. Older diverters could get overwhelmed at surprisingly low levels.

On the Z, I'd just pull the vent off (it's usually just some rubber hose, maybe with a check valve at the end) and be sure it's in good shape. Make sure you can blow into the case. If all that's good, is pretty much gonna be something inside... That said, I know some Fords have congenital issues like this and there are all sorts of solutions, but since it used to work, I think it's safe to assume yours can. ;)

December 16th, 2016, 11:49 AM
Maybe what I've heard before is compressor surge. It's a little faint, but it's a whistling noise that quickly steps down in pitch before going away after a second.

I can hear the turbo spool up over my right shoulder since it's right there. Kinda neat. :)

I ought to record a video of the boost gauge during a WOT 3-4 shift and see if I can figure out if it's normal. I've been hunting on YouTube but haven't found something comparable yet to see how quickly boost should build in the next gear. I imagine if the BPV isn't working right, some of the air trapped in the wrong path will slow down the turbo faster when you come off the throttle. Solution is flat-shifting I guess, but I like my clutch and transaxle just the way they are right now, thankyouverymuch.

Looks like a new BPV is either $250 and/or discontinued. If it comes to that I'll have to buy used or see if mine can be refreshed. It apparently works in a way that the more boost you have, the tighter it seals against itself (the opposite of how a spring type BOV works). Perhaps mine is sticky from age or disuse.

I really ought to spend a weekend just poking around the car and testing/inspecting many many things.

Ideally I'd drop it off at Aggressive Performance or Chico Race Works and say "make it perfect!" [/Ziloid] but debt isn't my style. :D


IIRC on the Z when doing the subframe swap I had to lower the subframe just a bit to gain enough clearance to undo the vent hose. Don't want to do that again. I'll see what I can discover.

December 19th, 2016, 02:34 PM
I would suspect there is some facility for replacing the BPV with something aftermarket - not many turbo cars escaped the '90s without that. ;)

If you're not sure about it, I would remove it and test it. No point trashing a turbo from a bad BPV.

December 21st, 2016, 07:49 PM
I haven't heard of one. More research is in order.


In other news...


Well, nearly. :) The part isn't here yet. But I figured it out in one afternoon all on my own. That's an accomplishment for me. :lol:

The silver Z was running a little rough when I started it yesterday. Felt like a misfire. I took a different car for the errands, came back and checked for codes despite no CEL. No codes even pending. Hmm. Started viewing parameters on the laptop, Bank 1 O2 rear O2 sensor showed a rich condition. Then came the cylinder deactivation test. I love how you can do this on a stock ECU with free software, although the cable isn't free. Anyway, no change with Cylinder 1 deactivated. Whean each of the other cylinders were deactivated the car ran horribly. Ok, so problem with #1. What's the easiest thing to test? Coil pack. I swapped #1 and #3. This took the most time actually. Too much wiring loom in the way and no easy way to move it aside or remove it. Anyway, the problem followed the coil pack. Dealers want $100+ each, generic ones can be as little as $120 for a set of 6. I went with an OEM supplier, a Hitachi ordered from Amazon for $35. I know six would probably be better but these aren't a very common or predictable failure point on VQs so I takes me chances.

Also, I successfully sold my Infiniti wheels that I didn't need anymore.

tsg, our roles are reversed today.

December 22nd, 2016, 09:32 AM

December 23rd, 2016, 12:25 AM
Good on you Cuda

December 29th, 2016, 05:12 PM
I don't want to jinx it, but I *may* have cured the absurd tire wear. 600 mile round trip on a new home alignment the other day and I see no signs of wear on a fresh set of tires. Lucky for me I received a couple free sets for some tire testing work I've done lately. Good to have those to experiment with. :)

I used Tenhulzen Auto toe/camber plates (thank you Santa ;)) to check the alignment. Somehow I had 1/8" total toe in at the front, measured with and without the wheel stand-offs. That's not what my printout from the shop said last time, but that's what I measured. It took me several tries (mostly figuring out how far to turn the tie rods to get the desired effect) but I ended up with 1/16" total toe OUT for this trip. The steering wheel is off now, but I don't think that makes a difference since the front end can self-center on the road. I'll fix that soon.

Why does toe out help inside front tire wear? Someone very smart on another forum posited that negative camber makes the tire want to roll inward, and toe out helps offset this scrub force. It goes against everything I thought I knew, but this experiment seems to support his claims.

Fuel economy was still disappointing - 24mpg highway. So I think this eliminates the theory that the tire wear was related to fuel economy. Hoping that going back to stock headers/cats helps. Maybe stock tune too. If I can fix this, and the tire wear problem is solved, and I can get a rear shock setup that doesn't make clunky noises, I might keep this car a while longer. The engine and handling are superb.

December 29th, 2016, 05:27 PM
:up: :up:

I'm also going to be investing in some home alignment shwag soon, good to know such a thing exists.

December 29th, 2016, 05:56 PM
Hmmm. Interesting stuff about the tire wear.

I am going to ponder it. It does make sense though. The toe out sets the scrub farther behind the axle, versus Infront of it.

December 31st, 2016, 01:29 PM
Diff shenanigans:




Um, I think that fluid is toast. :) Not sure what it is but I imagine a synthetic given the nature of the PO. I was always under the impression a Quaife or other Torsen-type LSD needed fluid changes no more often than an ordinary rear end -- unlike clutch-type LSDs which need frequent changes. Looks like over time the fluid breaks down anyway. Heat from autox use may have accelerated that, although ~60 seconds at a time isn't crazy.

New Redline 75w90 is in. Now I can't hear the rear end whine over the exhaust anymore. :) Interestingly I also didn't have any inside rear wheelspin or hints of it at the kart track a few days ago, where I sometimes do on the stickiest of tires/surfaces. Nothing conclusive as I'd never been to this place previously. And I wouldn't think the fluid should make a difference

I really am terrible with fluids sometimes. I prefer working dry. :lol:

January 2nd, 2017, 09:04 PM
That's what she said.

January 3rd, 2017, 09:03 PM
Dr Color Chip day #3 completed. Another 2-3 hours still to go! Rain is here and will be around for a while - I'll see if I can work in the tight confines of the closed garage tomorrow.

The blue Z has a lot more chips than I initially thought. I'm a patient man when it comes to these things but I'm quite done with this, mentally. :)

This is part of prep for an upcoming detail. The touch-up will have to cure for a little while first. I figure 2-3 weeks should do it even in this cooler weather (40s to 50s).

January 9th, 2017, 04:35 PM
Stereo install notes not related to the wiring fiasco in my head (which is covered in the Car Audio thread).

There are tons of clips to pull out to remove many interior panels to get to the rear speakers, and they're not all very easy. I wanted to avoid slicing my hands but didn't want my dirty tire-changing gloves to handle the interior. The solution? An old pair of racing gloves. :p


The original rear speakers weigh nothing and are, get this, 32ohms. No wonder I couldn't hear them.


I wasn't able to fit the Alpine power pack on the transmission tunnel under the stereo like I thought I would. Hunting around for other ideas, this area behind the knee guard panel seemed like a good place. I'll have to order some short RCA patch cables (in the past I would have gone to RadioShack but these days I don't know where to find decent inexpensive cables like that at B&M stores). You can see in the photo the wiring doesn't quite reach. One end of the power pack is just poking out from behind the metal knee guard panel. Given this location, rather than screwing the power pack into the panel, I'll get a hold of some heavy duty adhesive velco tape.

The potential downside to this location is it happens to be right next to the car's ECU and related wiring harness. Hoping I can avoid interference.



I think I found the Canadian DRL mod. Dafuq do I do with this? :lol: Ok, now we're full circle back to wiring.

January 9th, 2017, 05:18 PM
Whoever did the DRL mod is at least conscious on the quality of work judging by the wiring routing and the organization of the wires. I would have used cable ties though.

January 9th, 2017, 05:55 PM
Agreed.... also would have been nice to use actual relay pigtails instead of all those .250 quick disconnects, but not bad.

I am a little stunned it takes that many relays!

January 9th, 2017, 09:48 PM
Yeah me too! I was hoping it'd be one simple box or relay I could remove. They did do quality work - those are three cubic boxes neatly taped together, and they have an ear with a hole each in the back, through which a zip tie secures the taped boxes to other things in the car. You guys got your wish. ;)

January 17th, 2017, 06:21 PM
Back home from Oahu and right back to work on the car.

Window motor replaced and calibrated. :up:

The new speaker spacers/brackets will work perfectly. Except the 350Z has the speaker wiring on the outside of the door frame instead of the inside. I will have to cut a hole in the spacer to feed wire through. I am guessing sealing up that hole afterward is kind of important for SQ. Trying to think of what I have here to use... some thick goopy glue might work, carefully applied.

January 18th, 2017, 03:57 PM

I avoided the Dremel by finding a nearby hole in the door to fish the wire through. The speaker wiring harness adapter from Crutchfield gave me just enough length to be able to do this. The wires inside are taped out of the way of the window track, and with the outside wires taped as well and the randomly convenient fit of the plug in that hole, it doesn't rattle or move around. :up:

Set the gain on the power pack using various CDs to test. With high audio volume levels, there's a fairly inoffensive background hiss regardless of whether I have the gain set high and the HU volume low, or the gain set low and the HU volume high. Guessing there's no way around it. I won't notice it when driving anyway.

I set the rear gain lower. I figure it's better to forward-bias the fade in the amp than in the HU. :shrug:

January 18th, 2017, 06:10 PM
Polk DB!

January 19th, 2017, 08:51 PM

January 26th, 2017, 07:04 PM
Back to the Un-DRL project.

I figured the headlight wiring probably didn't change much from '03 to '07 so I compared the cars and quickly found that I had been mistaken earlier. All those relays are not in-line with the stock wiring. No, they're part of an added group of wires. I traced the added wiring from behind the steering wheel (can't see exactly but it's in there somewhere), over to the kick panel and behind the pedals as in the photo above, through the firewall by the brake MC, across the top of the firewall behind the engine (in a little semi enclosed area bridging the battery and brake/clutch MC areas), around the front side of the battery and into a fuse/relay box. I had to remove some things to get the cover off this box and when I did I saw the wiring then split into two...


Closer inspection revealed this whole wiring job appears to be tapped into two wires in the junction box. A red/white wire and a red/blue wire:


In my simpleton world re-connecting the same-color wires to each other will return the headlights back to original US-spec operation. If that's successful, I'll rip out all this extra wiring.


On a side note, has anyone ever seen something like this? I'm referring to the little blue-green plastic collar on the hard line that looks like it's designed to clip into place. I can't get it in (TWHS). I found two of these on the '07. They're not on the '03, but a fair few things in the engine bay are different between the two engines.


January 26th, 2017, 07:27 PM
Hmmm... yeah. You would probably not be able to. The blue bit should be enclosed, and remain so when the mating line is inserted. To get it back into place you will probably need to fully disconnect the halves. Usually there is a retainer around the joint to hold things together. Maybe it went missing?

January 26th, 2017, 08:01 PM
I don't understand but that's ok. :) I've been trying to GIS things to get an idea of what it's supposed to look like but have come up empty. There's another un-fastened plastic ring next to a join like this on the other side of the engine too. With no evidence of leaks, perhaps it's not a big deal.

January 26th, 2017, 09:21 PM
I am now looking at this on my computer (instead of the phone) and I now think the thing you're talking about is just the plastic indicator ring. It doesn't do anything. It's there for factory robots.

January 27th, 2017, 05:15 PM
Gotcha. Won't worry about them then. :)


Mission DRL Destroy is a success. :up: It was quite the task connecting the wires at the fuse box with so little slack, a hood that doesn't lift up very far, and little light down beneath the base of the battery tray. I couldn't get enough wire to use wire strippers so a razor blade and a little blood was donated to the cause. :hard:


January 27th, 2017, 05:42 PM
With good consistent weather now, it was time to get back to blue stripe removal. I liked it, but the blue had faded, dried out and shriveled up. It had to go.

Time to bust out the steam cleaner and plastic razor blade:


Blue removed. A layer of adhesive residue remained.


I had decided that I'd see what to do about the rest of the stripe after removing the blue. Leave it or remove it all. Initially I thought I'd remove it all. The black/gray that remained looked too monotone on a silver car and a little thin, too.


However, even after going back over the residue with 3 products...

Goo Gone + plastic razor
Optimum Power Clean + razor
3M Adhesive Remover + microfiber towel

...and re-washing those panels it's still pretty obvious there was a stripe there, especially on the door for some reason.

I think the plan for now is to get a new blue stripe made (or maybe red, to match the official Nismo stripe?) and put that on. Something that won't fade this time, though. The black and gray are fine, it was just the blue that suffered in the sun. Must have been a different substrate or process.

January 30th, 2017, 10:13 AM
I just want to say thank goodness for plasticurgy (like metallurgy but with plastic...) progress since the 90s. Modern plastics let you take apart interiors multiple times without breaking anything (knock on wood), even when the FSM tells you the wrong way to pry on something.

January 30th, 2017, 11:03 AM
Unless they are plastic interiors from Ford. :mad:

January 30th, 2017, 11:18 AM
Something break inside the FiST?

January 30th, 2017, 12:36 PM
One of the clips that holds the trim panel on in the trunk area. Had the same problem with the Focus. They are very clearly not intended to be taken apart. :|

January 30th, 2017, 06:53 PM
Nah, you just need to learn where they want you to pry. They have some funky tricks

February 3rd, 2017, 11:02 AM
What are your wheel and tire specs again?

Looking at doing my own build...but American.

February 3rd, 2017, 01:18 PM
18x11 +17 with 285/30/18
18x10.5 +15 with 275/35/18

February 3rd, 2017, 02:40 PM
Do you feel there is an advantage to the 18x11 vs running 18x10.5

I ask because...No real options.

February 3rd, 2017, 02:41 PM
Also, any difference on transitions, grip running the slightly taller tire (275/35)

February 3rd, 2017, 07:54 PM
In this case no I don't think the 11s are any advantage. Ours are ~27lb XXRs, while the 10.5s are ~20lb RPF-1s. On the RE-71R, neither the 275/35 or the 285/30 is wide enough to make the 11 better for the tire than the 10.5. I haven't noticed any difference in response between the sidewall heights on this tire. It's a very very responsive tire (super stiff sidewall) in general.

February 7th, 2017, 02:21 PM
Little help with wiring diagram tomfoolery?

I'm attempting to install the memory module that will automatically turn off TCS any time I start the car. There are 3 wires to splice into: 12vdc power, ground, and negative switching wire. The latter two should be at the TCS switch.

Pretty sure I can figure out which ignition wire to tap into for power, and ground should be the black wire... it's this mystery negative switching wire that I'm unsure about.

This was the best I could find in the factory wiring diagram:


I want to say the blue/yellow wire is the one I'm after, through process of elimination. But, I've always learned black is negative when it comes to battery cables, so I wonder if the black wire in this case serves both functions?? I never could figure out how to read wiring diagrams.

February 7th, 2017, 03:01 PM
Don't count on wire color to mean anything universally - especially not on modern cars. Making all grounds black would cause real issues when fishing through a harness of 50 wires!

Looks like you need terminal 19 (blue/yellow) for the switching. The top of that diagram is cut off so I can't see what else you might want. It looks like you can grab terminal 16 or 30 (black) for a ground. but there is also a MOT (-) on the TCS unit. You could also use terminal 2 (black) on the TCS switch. Really, that's probably what I would do since it'll simplify your wiring - just terminal 1 (blue/yellow) and terminal 2 (black) at the TCS switch, then grab switched power from somewhere... maybe the stereo? Cigarette lighter (if it's switched)? Working in a place with five wires up in the dash is probably easier than a place with 20 wires buried in control module land. :)

I can't see which terminal numbers are positive.

Edit: This all assume I know how the thing you have works, which I assume I do. But both assumptions might be wrong. :P

February 7th, 2017, 07:30 PM
The relevant section of the manual is here... go to Page 48 to get the rest of what I cut off: http://www.nicoclub.com/manuals/350Z/coupe/2007/brc.pdf

The KP Technology memory module functions by storing a button press in its memory (including a multiple-second hold for cars like that), and then mimicking that button press every time the car is started from then on (or until you do another button press, which clears the memory and, for the car, turns TCS on for those times when you need it - genius simplicity in my view!).

In my view the module needs to intercept signal between the TCS switch and an ECU (be it main or ABS/TCS). I don't think it matters where the wire goes after it 'leaves' the switch, other than perhaps to identify which wire I need to tap into. I'll do it right at the switch wiring by my left knee, and since I have the entire lower dash apart and steering wheel removed (to completely remove the DRL wiring, plus I've been wanting to wrap the wheel trim anyway) I can grab ignition power right there too. The DRL wiring job tapped into the black/red ignition power wire already, so I'll just repurpose that tap. I haven't decided yet whether to use ground from the TCS switch or the nearby ground wire that was added for the DRL wiring. The latter might be a bit cleaner, physically. Not sure electrically.

Unfortunately in those PDFs the terminal labels aren't treated as text so they aren't searchable. Gotta find what M30 etc is the old fashioned, slow way. :)

I don't know why I have trouble understanding this stuff. I swear I'm not as dumb as I look. :toolbox: :)

Blue/Yellow seems logical to me. The black should be ground and the other two wires are for the dash light. I think what throws me off is the inclusion of "(-)" in the KPTech instructions: "Switch In/Out - Connect this wire to the (-) output of the switch."

February 8th, 2017, 10:02 AM

Okay, yeah. Where you intercept the wires ultimately isn't important, but that blue/yellow wire between the TCS button and the TCS module is the correct one to splice into. To avoid shenanigans, I would personally do as much wiring at the TCS switch as possible, so that'd be terminal 1 (blue/yellow) and terminal 2 (black) at the TCS switch. Although it's really likely a simple switch like this is not sensitive, there is always the potential to cause unexpected problems when you move ground points around. I would use the same ground Nissan provided for the system. The KP manual seems to prefer that method too, probably for the same reason. A pair of Posilock splices make this a very simple install... You just need two wires going into the TCS switch. Then find an ignition-switched (+) to complete the install. Run wires from the splices to wherever you'd like to stash the KP module.

That'd be my approach.

February 8th, 2017, 06:26 PM
Thanks tsg. It's all wired up and I'm pretty confident it will work. Posi-Locks / Posi-Taps are the bomb. I finally did the smart thing a few weeks ago and got myself a little stash. :up: I found a really cool place to mount the KPTech module, inside a big metal bracket.


Now to re-cover the Sparco, vinyl wrap the door pulls, and put the interior back together.

February 8th, 2017, 06:47 PM
Yeah, posi-locks are the bomb. I only wish they weren't so fat - but that's part of what makes them effective, I would guess.

February 8th, 2017, 06:58 PM
Yeah, they're size isn't ideal it's a fair trade off. I need to start ordering them in bulk. I'm tired of have 80% as many as I need. :lol:

That looks like a super install - I love electrical doodads! :D

February 20th, 2017, 10:42 PM
The module works. :up: It actually turned TCS off the first time I started the car - before I stored a button press in memory. Maybe I got a used unit. No matter, it functions fine.

No more annoying TCS engine kill on the street. :up:

February 21st, 2017, 05:24 AM
Nice. :up:

February 21st, 2017, 10:36 AM
Glad it worked - and happy to know about that device. I don't know what I'd use it for, but always good to know about tricky little doodads!

February 21st, 2017, 02:51 PM
There's all kinds of things you can do with similar modules from KPTech. I forget them now, but someone with a G35 Coupe went crazy with all of the modules once. To me this particular TCS module is most useful, as I have no need for TCS and have not gotten in the habit of finding the button every time I start a car. Two weekends ago I co-drove a modified R35 GT-R and remembered to turn VDC off and put the trans in R-Mode -- the first time. :x

February 23rd, 2017, 12:51 PM
Sparco seat re-covered. This was kind of a pain. I'll probably post a write-up on a more public-oriented forum because I couldn't find some of the info I wanted going in. Luckily I figured it out without breaking anything or screwing up the fabric. Hopefully this cover last a little longer than the old one. I think the tiny metal snaps, or whatever you call them, on the sides of jean pockets rub the seat fabric getting in and out. Autox in sweatpants from now on? ;)


While the seat was out I swapped a lower seat bracket on, which lowered the seat about 1.5". It's cool, but for reasons I haven't figured out yet the seat doesn't slide easily like it used to. It takes some heft to move it now. Hrm.


I wrapped a few interior pieces in vinyl: 3M 1080 Straight-CF. It's pretty cool looking stuff. I ordered a bunch of samples from MetroRestyling and this was the winner. It's thinner than Di-Noc so easier to work around tight areas (switch surrounds etc). This was all prompted by the scratched up OEM door pulls. Nissan used a cheap finish on 07-08 cars (and maybe 05-06?) that scratches off if you look at it wrong.


It was a time consuming process (since I'm a perfectionist and learned this skill on the fly) but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Photos don't really do it justice. I was afraid it might be too loud, too contrasty, but in all but direct light it's subtle enough. The texture is nice too.




It took me until now to realize the steering wheel 'leather' changed texture between '03 and '07. Or perhaps it's a trim level change I didn't know about. Either way, the newer wheel looks and feels nicer.


Between this aesthetic stuff and the BT stereo and the TCS module, the interior is starting to become a nicer place to be. Oh and I finally put the resistor in the seat airbag harness so I don't have to ignore the blinking light anymore. Now I only have to ignore the TPMS light and the TCS light and, until I go back to the stock exhaust manifolds, the CEL. Ok, that's still a lot of lights. :p Modern cars...

Oh! I almost forgot. Found a cool place and a neat solution for an iPod cable, too. Turns out the Pioneer CD-IU51V cable is much cheaper now than it used to be (it's $5), and I had never looked that closely before but it ends up only having to plug into the data port on the iPod - not the aux as well as I had originally assumed. The cable that's included with the Pioneer HU terminates in a USB and an Aux plug, and this iPod cable takes them and combines the signal back into one plug.


Between the wiring for the small amp, the nav cable, bt mic cable, steering wheel control interface wires, and the really long iPod cable, I had so much extra wiring behind the stereo it was a challenge to get it back in place.

February 23rd, 2017, 01:12 PM
Autox in sweatpants from now on? ;)

I'm sure T has some running tights you can borrow. ;) :D

February 23rd, 2017, 01:28 PM
I wouldn't want to embarrass anyone.

February 23rd, 2017, 01:29 PM

February 23rd, 2017, 02:30 PM
Looking really sharp! :up:

That same easily scratched Nissan plastic also made its way into the 2008-2010 GT-R's when I was looking earlier this week. :smh: