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2003-2009 Nissan 350Z

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Old 07-14-2017, 08:59 PM   #1
Infinityz
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hey guys, I'm looking to purchase a 350z. I've done a ton of research on the years of the cars and watched tons of videos. So far I've been told to stay away from the 2003-2004 year due to tire feathering issues, transmission issues, etc. I'm currently messaging two sellers one of which is a clean summer driven only 2003 Z with about 68k miles. While another one is a 2005 35th anniversary edition that has 75k miles on it. My budget is 10-12k. And they are both the same price. I wanted to ask if I should go ahead and purchase the lower mileage 2003 Z or the higher mileage 2005? Is the 2003 worth it? Or should I stay away completely.

Overall, should I be patient and wait for people to sell their 2005? Or Can I still safely go for the 2003? I will be getting a pre-purchase inspection by my mechanic but still, which one will cause me less problems?

Thanks
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:51 PM   #2
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hey guys, I'm looking to purchase a 350z. I've done a ton of research on the years of the cars and watched tons of videos. So far I've been told to stay away from the 2003-2004 year due to tire feathering issues, transmission issues, etc. I'm currently messaging two sellers one of which is a clean summer driven only 2003 Z with about 68k miles. While another one is a 2005 35th anniversary edition that has 75k miles on it. My budget is 10-12k. And they are both the same price. I wanted to ask if I should go ahead and purchase the lower mileage 2003 Z or the higher mileage 2005? Is the 2003 worth it? Or should I stay away completely.

Overall, should I be patient and wait for people to sell their 2005? Or Can I still safely go for the 2003? I will be getting a pre-purchase inspection by my mechanic but still, which one will cause me less problems?

Thanks
A properly maintained '03 is far better than a "I don't give a shid" owned '08.

Service records are key. My '03 is my forever car for a reason. P.O. serviced it religiously and so do I. The issues you mentioned ARE real, no doubt. But treated well, they are just as capable as ANY other year Z. It's not like every year car, not just Nissan Zs, have their quirks/issues. It's about how they're managed.

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Old 07-14-2017, 11:42 PM   #3
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05 is a great car, so is 03. The only problem is that the 05 is a 35th car that has a rev up motor. I have run into very few 05-06 rev upnmotors without major oil burning problems
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:49 AM   #4
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05 is a great car, so is 03. The only problem is that the 05 is a 35th car that has a rev up motor. I have run into very few 05-06 rev upnmotors without major oil burning problems
i swear ive read on this forum that 05 is a better year. And. Only 2006 is the high oil burning year. Would it be safe to opt for a 2003 then?
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:30 AM   #5
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i swear ive read on this forum that 05 is a better year. And. Only 2006 is the high oil burning year. Would it be safe to opt for a 2003 then?
Whoever said that most likely meant to say that revups are prone to oil consumption. Many revup owners had the engine replaced under warranty to resolve. So there are revups out there without excessive oil consumption. I also talked to an owner who installed an oil cooler to significantly reduce (if not, eliminate) excessive oil consumption. The oem oil "cooling system" consists of running the oil through three rubber hoses, where the heat is shed from the oil. The oil runs hot on these cars, and the vapor gets sucked through pcv valve and into the intake, which is why I can see an oil cooler resolving oil consumption. (assuming no other mechanical issues)
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:38 AM   #6
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You're still looking for which is a "safe" purchase and of course, a used car never truly is. They'll all be a bit of a gamble, but you want to skew the odds in your favor. First thing is an item MicVelo has already mentioned, good service records are an indicator of what kind of maintenance the Z has received. The other thing is (if you can) interviewing the owner a bit and getting to know them. Do they know cars in general and maintenance in particular? Are they proud of the cars that have been in their care? You'll get a feel for the person and while it's only a part of the overall evaluation, it has it's place.

As the owner of a pre-order '03 Z33, Nissan really did a nice job in research and development of their then-new Z. Was it perfect? No car really is, but the early production Zs are a worthy purchase IF they're in good shape and been maintained properly. Good to hear that you're willing to purchase an independent mechanical assessment and I also assume you've done a Carfax to evaluate the history of any potential purchase.

One last point to make: the early model Z's were likely lighter by a few pounds, as Nissan began adding additional soundproofing to the Z33 by the '05-06 timeframe. How do I know this? By stripping the interior to prepare for racing, and examining scale weights, it certainly was apparent. As most know, lighter cars offer slightly better performance, but if a slightly quieter ride is your thing, then the later model Z might offer an advantage.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:24 PM   #7
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I personally don't see any issues with buying an 03 350z.Yes they had weaker synchros and some had oil consumption issues.But so did the later De engines as well.....As for tire wearing issues.That can all be fixed with adjustable arms and a proper alignment.Unless you're going with the 07-08 350z I wouldn't be to concerned between an 03 and 05.The way the Z was taken care of is key to whether or not you should buy it.
If available always look through the cars maintenance records
Good luck
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Old 07-18-2017, 03:59 PM   #8
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Both are good cars if well maintained. dkmura's advice is spot on. Engage with the sellers and find out who's pride of ownership stands out. Who kept records and so on. Look at the details of the vehicle.

Personally I would opt for the 05, but I own a Revup DE so I'm accustomed to some oil consumption.

Btw, I'm assuming you're looking into Manual Transmission 350Zs, but if these are Automatics, that changes things quite a bit.
-Icer
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:56 AM   #9
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I have an 06 with rev up engine and know 2 others also with the rev up engine. Neither of us have ever had any oil burning issues. I read on another thread that the cars built from may-july 06 had the potential issues. I might be off on those dates maybe someone here can verify or correct that. Mine was built in dec 05 and i know the problem issues were after that. So an 05 35th probably should not have this issue.
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Old 07-24-2017, 12:52 PM   #10
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My Revup Z came off the factory line in Nov 2006 and burns oil. Even though I purchased it with extremely low mileage (16k) and have religiously maintained the vehicle, it burns a lot of oil between changes. I don't abuse or beat on it, just the occasional spirited driving stints.

IMHO, manufacturing dates don't serve as a good indicator of oil burning or not and the more you "bolt-on" the more you burn with a revup.

In my situation, I suspect the previous owners beat on the engine and didn't follow or allow for proper break in.
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