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Thoughts after the first couple hundred miles on my new-to-me 05 Enthusiast

2003-2009 Nissan 350Z

Thoughts after the first couple hundred miles on my new-to-me 05 Enthusiast

Old 01-11-2019, 06:31 AM
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Default Thoughts after the first couple hundred miles on my new-to-me 05 Enthusiast

I picked up this Z from a coworker last Spring. It had sat for a couple of years in his driveway after he bought a new vehicle (needed something better for MI winters). For me, the price was right at $500 - it had just under 125k miles and the 6spd manual. I towed it home, put it on a battery charger, and it started right up the next morning (even on the old gas)!

I have had to put off working on it and putting it on the road for real as I have some projects around the house I really need to wrap up first (like remodeling my kids' bedrooms before they get too old and are moving out of the house, anyway ). But, as I had to renew my plate and the state requires active insurance at the time of renewal, I took it off of storage and decided to put some miles on it while waiting for my renewal sticker to come back. That has given me the opportunity to get the Z in to a nearby dealer for an oil change and their inspection. They recommended a coolant flush and brake fluid flush. I have that already planned, as well as new belts, filters and plugs, and I'll probably replace the water pump, too, when I do the belts. Reading around on here, it might be a good time to eliminate the unnecessary idler pulley, too. I also have braided-stainless brake lines to install along with the brake fluid flush and bleed (I'll also be careful not to run the master cylinder dry during the bleed).

So, in the meantime, I've put a couple hundred miles on the Z commuting to work, and I do have to say this is going to be a fun car! I love having RWD again - it just feels different when the car is pushing you forward, instead of pulling you in a FWD. The low-end torque is plentiful, and the car holds the road well. We have a few curves on the rural road to our house, and it lays flat and hangs through them nicely.

Also on my to-do list:
  • replace the exhaust (I have a cat-back OEM setup that I found locally on CL that I will install to replace the muffler-shop cheapo that is rusting out)
  • polish/restore the headlamp lenses (I did this before on my 2005 GTI and they turned out well)
  • upgrade the stereo system (I have a JL Stealth Audio Z-specific box waiting for me to add a couple of 10" subs and I'll also upgrade the headunit and car speakers)
  • add rear fender lips (this is to repair and cover some rusting of the fender lips due to MI winters) - I have some of the low-profile Nismo-look lips for this
  • likely replace some or all of the suspension bushings (there is a clunk in the front over some bumps, though it has gotten better now that I've driven a bit)
  • and likely one or more wheel bearings will need replacing. After that, new summer tires and an alignment should round things out
The goal is for this to become my summer commuting car (I have an 04 Passat Wagon, also a 5spd, that I run winter tires on that will be for winter commuting). This should spread the commuting miles out over a couple of vehicles, hopefully to let them last a little longer.

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rustyschopshop (01-12-2019)
Old 01-11-2019, 08:22 AM
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Nice report and excellent deal! I just wish someone had sold me that Z for $500.

As for your to-do list, consider adding a new set of dampers (or shocks as we know them) to the list. Time and mileage mean the OEM ones are ready to be replaced. As you research on this site, you'll continue to find more ideas (and hopefully low cost parts) to add to your Z. Good luck!
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khnitz (01-11-2019)
Old 01-11-2019, 10:30 AM
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Good deal, I live in Mich. too wayne county. I have a 05 touring roadster I bought brand new only has 15000 miles on it, its never seen winter or rain before. good luck have fun
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khnitz (01-12-2019)
Old 01-14-2019, 09:04 AM
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Wow. That is dirt cheap. I'd go ahead and upgrade headlights to 06+ unless you already have the restoring hardware/materials and prefer those lights. Front lower control arm bushings, compression rod bushings and rear differential bushing are the ones I've seen fail most. Also take a look at your front suspension ball joints. And lastly, get rid of that jumbo antenna.
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khnitz (01-14-2019)
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