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11 years ago today I brought my 350Z home(a somewhat wordy tribute with pics)

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2003-2009 Nissan 350Z

11 years ago today I brought my 350Z home(a somewhat wordy tribute with pics)

Old 07-10-2016, 08:09 AM
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SPM350Z
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Default 11 years ago today I brought my 350Z home(a somewhat wordy tribute with pics)

**Update 7-10-18**Korner Carver’s post got me thinking about my anniversary post from 2 years ago that has had no working photos because of Photobucket shitting everyone’s bed. Thought I’d make the pics work again(Imgur) and add the 3 things I’ve updated since then.

2005 was a big year for me. I got my Z, I turned 35 and my son was born…in that order. I’d been driving my bought new in 94 Honda Civic Coupe up til then and loved it (still have it 233k miles and running great) but I’d grown up loving Z cars and when the Z33 came out I fell hard. I drove one on a small road course at a GM Autoshow in Motion event in 04 and even with the automatic I got out of that car telling my brother in law “I HAVE to get one of these”. A year later I did…a base Pikes Peak White 6 speed…July 10, 2005 was a GOOD day.


I bought it with same intentions I have with all my other vehicles…to keep forever. I tend to upgrade slowly so below is my pictorial tour of small upgrades…each one, especially the later ones, made me feel like the car was new again.

First thing is always the same for me…tint….it’s a must have for me on all my cars.(not the best pic but just the back window and side windows per CA law). Keeps the car cooler and saves the interior…good reasons for sure.. but I started driving in the 80’s and back then you tinted your windows because it looks COOL. I still think it does.


A few months later I got the aluminum pedals….I remember spending Christmas day struggling to get those damn things on. My hands hurt just thinking about it….but the result was totally worth it.


In September of 06 I got my Data Illusions Rear Spoiler. To me it looks like a bigger version of the OEM spoiler and echoes the Z’s lines really well. They were already getting rare when I got it and I almost never see them anymore…cool to have a somewhat rare piece on the car



That kept me happy for about 2 years….next update was in 2008…. USA Spec iPodģ Interface for my IPod.(didn’t have an Iphone yet) These days it has 2 additional adaptors to make it work with my Iphone6 but it stills works great. And I installed it myself… which for me was a big deal. Used info from this here website to take the waterfall and gauges out, drilled a hole in the cubby and got the stereo and module hooked up. Yay me.





In June of 2011 I had a REALLY bad day. A block away from home I got nailed by a red light runner…major props to the stock brakes because if they didn’t work so well I would have got T Boned. The guys Rav4 ripped off most everything from the radiator forward as well as my passenger side fender. I was beside myself…felt like yelling at the next person in my life that said “It’s just a car man” but got through it like we all do. It was in the shop for almost a month waiting for all OEM Nissan parts and it was a LONG *** month.


I thought about getting a different bumper but in the end I decided I’m perfectly happy with the stock lines. I did use the opportunity to replace the side Z emblems with the blinker version from the 370Z….still one of my favorite mods.



Nothing for a while except 4 very small things in 2012….Z air caps from Japan…cost like $6 on Amazon so couldn’t go wrong and I love little details like this.


In mid 2014 I decided to update the sound of my Z and got an Invidia Gemini True Dual Exhaust…such a great exhaust note that I still tend to drive with no music on just listen to it…never ever gets old.




Later that year decided to do some small interior upgrades. Swapped in an A6 Leopard shift ****(satin) from TWM and got some leather products from Redlinegoods.com….shift boot, ebrake boot and arm rests. I went with orange and silver stitching because I feel it echoes the look of the seats and the gauges and aluminum bits. I thought about getting a new steering wheel cover but was turned off by the fact you have to take the steering wheel OFF to do it…F that noise. Decided to just restitch the OEM steering wheel and I’m really happy with how it came out.





A month later did another fairly cheap do it yourself mod…G2 brake caliper paint with Nissan brake decals to try and give it an OEM feel. I may update the brakes to Akebono or a used set of Brembos someday but for now the stock brakes look much better with this upgrade in my opinion.




In late 2015 I put on a Motordyne 5/16 plenum spacer for just a little more kick…it worked as I definitely do feel the engine open up a bit in the mid range now…worthwhile mod for sure along with the exhaust.


And finally this year…new wheels. 18 inch Enkei Kojin’s that make me feel like I’ve got a brand new car. Huge difference visually from the 17 inch stock wagon wheels and quite a bit more grip as well…255F and 275R make a big difference for sure.



At the end of 2016 I installed the ZSpeed undershroud….makes oil changes so much easier.


Around same time updated my shift **** to a TWM Desert Eagle.


And lastly in June of 2017 I got an Uprev tune from Rob at Z Car Garage…found another 8hp and 13 lbs of torque. Doesn’t sound like a lot but I can REALLY feel it between 2nd, 3rd and 4th….well worth it.



I drive this car daily on a 40 mile round trip except for rainy days…that’s what the Honda’s for. I leave the house around 5am and honestly the Z is what gets me up….knowing I’m going to drive it just makes me happy. Same goes for coming home…I look forward to the drive home all friggin day. And on the weekends when my wife is wanting some Starbucks I take the Z about 10 miles up the highway just to get some happy time. It’s also our “hot date” car for when we take a day off while our son is in school and want to feel like it’s just us for 5 or 6 hours. Ha ha I’ve never had a single problem with it either…I change the oil myself and get tune ups done by a garage that knows Z’s extremely well here in the Bay Area… and it still runs like the day I bought it…flawlessly.


When I think about how much car I got for just under 30k I believe to this day there isn’t a better value…it absolutely feels like a much more expensive car even 11 years later. I STILL look back at it several times when I’m walking away from it in a parking lot(where it’s always in the back, ha ha) and still get compliments on it. I honestly feel like it looks a lot better than most cars on the road today. And my son who’s now 10 1/2 knows it’s going to be his someday…he loves riding in it and whenever I pick him up at school in it he and his friends go nuts.

So there you go…11 years(now 13!) with my Z going on FO-EVAR. Thanks for reading.

TL;DR
Bought car new in 2005
Lots of small upgrades over the years
63k miles later the likes are still super strong(UPDATE 2018- now at 71K)

Shawn



Last edited by SPM350Z; 07-10-2018 at 02:29 PM. Reason: Update and made photos work
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:45 AM
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I'm normally not a fan of aftermarket spoilers but that one looks amazing!
Good looking car! I love the stitching on the doors, kinnda makes me want to go do that now. Did you replace your steering wheel with a Nismo wheel? I wasn't aware you could get red stitching on a non nismo?

Small side note the steering wheel takes like 30 seconds to remove and is suuuper simple if you ever want to revisit that route. Just make sure you disconnect the battery (It's also super easy to realign)

Last edited by NiLL; 07-10-2016 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:36 AM
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Thanks man...the spoiler is definitely one of my favorite changes. And and the steering wheel is OEM. I just restitched with orange and silver thread.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:51 AM
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very nice Z!

i know you have high praises for the Invidia Gemini exhaust - how is it when cruising around normally, keeping the car under 3K RPMs...is it loud?
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:05 PM
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That caliper paint......
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:38 PM
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Thank you so much for the trip down memory lane! I'm new to the Z-world but love reading about everyone's individual modifications.
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Old 07-10-2016, 01:39 PM
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Looks great! Very tasteful mods.
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Old 07-10-2016, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rick1574 View Post
very nice Z!

i know you have high praises for the Invidia Gemini exhaust - how is it when cruising around normally, keeping the car under 3K RPMs...is it loud?
Actually no...it's not loud at all under 3K. You definitely hear it but to me it's only a bit louder than stock if you're not on the gas. And when you sitting at a stoplight you can't even hear it. But when you DO get on it sounds incredible...very deep with a great tone.

Originally Posted by HRMoneyPit View Post
That caliper paint......
....is AWESOME. I know. ha ha

Originally Posted by OldSkool View Post
Thank you so much for the trip down memory lane! I'm new to the Z-world but love reading about everyone's individual modifications.
No problem...glad you liked it. This site has posts on just about EVERYTHING ever done to a Z so pretty much anything you're interested in you can search and find info on...lots of original owners here too.

Originally Posted by Arrtus View Post
Looks great! Very tasteful mods.
Thanks man! Appreciate it.

Shawn
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Old 07-10-2016, 02:49 PM
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Wow! What a story!
Really inspiring and full of dedication!!!
Mad respect for this
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ARRRT View Post
Wow! What a story!
Really inspiring and full of dedication!!!
Mad respect for this
Thanks for the kind words man. Appreciate it.

-Shawn
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:08 PM
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Thanks for the memories. I bought my Z on July 1, 2003 and have enjoyed it for all these years.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by KornerCarver View Post
Thanks for the memories. I bought my Z on July 1, 2003 and have enjoyed it for all these years.
Thanks Korner...your post is what inspired me to do this one. You and I seem to have the same attitude on why this is such a great car and I think we're both in it for the long haul.

Shawn
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Old 07-14-2016, 05:53 AM
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Threads like this, and others from Original Owners are truly inspiring.

There are days I ask myself, why am I driving a 13 year old car 80 miles a day weaving through heavy interstate truck traffic at high speeds....

Well, it is obvious the car performs well, then I see that others are passionate about the Z, and have been since day 1, then I get it... It is a Keeper !
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:52 AM
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love the story really inspiring, I still have a smile every time I drive my Z also just random drives n random place I'm going to keep this car until my son goes into college then it will be his, and I'll just stick with the FC, again really great story of your Z 👍🏻
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:12 PM
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Nice story. I finally got my Z last year after wanting one since I turned 16 in 2007. These are the types of memories and feelings I was chasing. I hope to look back in ten years with the same amount of fondness as you have here, and I also plan on keeping it forever!
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:06 PM
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What part of Cali do you live in? I'm in SoCal and most Z's I see here is either riced out or drift abused. Not so much like yours which makes me appreciate the car more.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AX8 View Post
Threads like this, and others from Original Owners are truly inspiring.

There are days I ask myself, why am I driving a 13 year old car 80 miles a day weaving through heavy interstate truck traffic at high speeds....

Well, it is obvious the car performs well, then I see that others are passionate about the Z, and have been since day 1, then I get it... It is a Keeper !
Thanks man. And exactly...it's an 11 year old car that still looks and feels new to me and I dig that. And yeah, it really does the job of going fast and taking corners extremely well...so there's that too.

Originally Posted by slow7 View Post
love the story really inspiring, I still have a smile every time I drive my Z also just random drives n random place I'm going to keep this car until my son goes into college then it will be his, and I'll just stick with the FC, again really great story of your Z 👍🏻
Again, thanks...it's great to have something to we can give to our sons that, if we/they take care of it, will be just as reliable and awesome as it's been for us. Of course once we do that it opens a space in the garage for a Porsche for us. ha ha

Originally Posted by Mike Giordano View Post
Nice story. I finally got my Z last year after wanting one since I turned 16 in 2007. These are the types of memories and feelings I was chasing. I hope to look back in ten years with the same amount of fondness as you have here, and I also plan on keeping it forever!
It's a great feeling getting something you've had to wait for so congrats and enjoy.


Originally Posted by DRELOC View Post
What part of Cali do you live in? I'm in SoCal and most Z's I see here is either riced out or drift abused. Not so much like yours which makes me appreciate the car more.
I'm up in Nor Cal near San Francisco. I actually see a good mix of Z's up here...hardly any that I consider riced out thankfully. Actually I'd say it's pretty split between unmolested models and tastefully modded ones. I actually see a base Daytona Blue model every day in San Francisco coming up third street...I look forward to it..ha ha.

Shawn
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:53 AM
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Updated post to show pics that Photobucket wouldn't show anymore and added a few updates.
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:38 PM
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Great story from a true Z lover..............
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by KornerCarver View Post
Great story from a true Z lover..............
Totally agree. Love the love for your car.

But ya left something out. July 2017, you met me at ZCG. Now thatís really special!!

🤡😆🤪

Iím sorry you didnít run away fast enough. Hahahahaha!
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