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I probably like my 350z more than I should...

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2003-2009 Nissan 350Z

I probably like my 350z more than I should...

Old 03-02-2019, 02:37 PM
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Spike100
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Default I probably like my 350z more than I should...


I am unsure where to post this thread because it addresses more than just maintenance, and describes repairs and replacements for the engine, suspension, and drivetrain. This Forum seems like the correct place.

I purchased a 350z Performance model in 2003.The car has been very reliable. I have not spent much for maintenance until recently. In the last couple of months (and at 130K miles), I have just done a significant number of repairs and upgrades. I like my 350z (so much! … too much?), and here is the proof… My upgrades at 130k miles: Both the front and rear crossmembers were significantly compromised (I am in the “rustbelt.”). In fact, the rear crossmember was so rusted that it was separating. The failing crossmembers allowed the engine and transmission to slump, and the result was a slightly bent driveshaft. Okay… it is getting expensive.

1) Used Front crossmember (found one in Arizona, no rust)
2) Used Rear crossmember (found one in Arizona, no rust)
3) Used Transmission (CD009 or CD00A), traced by VIN
--the rest are new parts…
4) Clutch Kit (basically everything- pressure plate, disk, throw out bearing, etc.)
5) Clutch Slave Cylinder
6) Drive Shaft (the original which was slightly bent, probably from the sagging/broken crossmember)
7) Valve covers and gaskets, right and left (I as leaking oil from here).
8) Replaced both front knuckles
9) Wheel Hub Assemblies – Front (left and right)
10) Upper and Lower Control Arms)
11) Installed Whiteline WEK003 Bushing Kit (provided a very noticeable improvement in handling)
12) Various minor parts (hoses, seals, etc.).

With the new suspension and the upgrades (i.e., vinyl bushings), I feel as though the car drives and handles significantly better now than when it was new; but of course, that was 16 years ago, and I have become old (and less reliable) along with this car.

Stuff I already had in the car, and is still there:
1) Nismo JDM Front and rear Sway Bars (Stabilizer Bars)
2) Bilstein Shocks: (Series B8)
3) Tein S-Tech Springs

I really like the 350z. It drives great (l feel like I am in a Go-Kart , especially after my bushing upgrade}, and has a plethora of customization options that are reasonably priced. If you like upgrading a car (engine, body, and interior), you will love Nissan’s 350z. There is a lot of aftermarket stuff available for this car, and, OEM and aftermarket products are a great value.

My next projects:
1. Repair rust on the driver side door at the lock.
2. Repair rust developing at the most rearward position of the driver side rear quarter panel.
3. A new paint job (the car is 16 years old)

Last edited by Spike100; 03-03-2019 at 02:11 PM. Reason: Fixed carriage return (new paragraph)
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Old 03-02-2019, 04:17 PM
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My sentiments exactly
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Old 03-02-2019, 05:13 PM
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I can remember the time I first seen a PPW 350Z, I've loved them ever since. I've been driving one ever since 2005, no plans to stop either. Even though now that I live in NY instead of the southwest where I grew up I'm starting to lose interest. Driving them for 6 months out of the year kind of sucks, actually it does a lot.
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:23 PM
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^^^ I am in Minnesota where we get plenty of snow and cold weather. I now drive my 350z year around. I didn’t do this for the first few years owning the car, but decided to try the winter months after about 5 years of ownership. I can report that it has not been a problem except for a couple of days in the last 10 years. My 350z is lowered, and 5 to 6 inches of snow defeats my forward progress. I Have a Jeep for these days, but they are rare.

The solution was mounting studless snow tires on all four corners. You need to stop as well as go. Now I drive all winter and never have a problem. In fact, I often pull around 4WD vehicles with all-season tires struggling to advance. Studless snow tires in good condition go past all-season tires in every instance. I know from my experience running off-road that better tires always beat the most sophisticated AWD system
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:38 PM
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curious what you are planning for paint? I'm in a similar position with a G that I love.....but reality is that a good paint job will cost between 3 and 4 times the cars value (to the rest of the world)
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:43 PM
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Nice write-up Spike, glad you're still enjoying your baby!
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by eZg View Post
curious what you are planning for paint? I'm in a similar position with a G that I love.....but reality is that a good paint job will cost between 3 and 4 times the cars value (to the rest of the world)
You understand.Truthfully the paint on my 2003 350z Redline is pretty good. I see a problem with the clearcoat on the top of the rear decklid and rust at the driverís door keyhole and at the driverís rear quarter panel (very minor). I'm not sure if I will go for a full restoration (and new paint job) or just repair the rust spots. I have repaired rust on this car, and the fix has been reliable for 10 years. You can repair rust if you do it correctly.
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jhc View Post
Nice write-up Spike, glad you're still enjoying your baby!
Thanks for kind words.
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:34 PM
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Congratz on 7K posts, too! Btw, don't turn your back, I want those Camel seats ; )
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Spike100 View Post
You understand.Truthfully the paint on my 2003 350z Redline is pretty good. I see a problem with the clearcoat on the top of the rear decklid and rust at the driverís door keyhole and at the driverís rear quarter panel (very minor). I'm not sure if I will go for a full restoration (and new paint job) or just repair the rust spots. I have repaired rust on this car, and the fix has been reliable for 10 years. You can repair rust if you do it correctly.
Same. First thing up for me is replacing the entire cooling system this Spring and then a complete respray. After 14 years, the clearcoat is actually starting to peel away on certain parts of the car [especially the roof]. Hopefully you post pix and mention anything special you might have done or requested for the repaint job. I've had sections of my car repainted after they've been damaged/replaced but this will be the first complete repaint job I'll have done on a car.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:33 AM
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Well said Spike and I think that your Z looks awesome; keep up the good dedicated work!
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:38 AM
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Although mine is a 2007... it has given me zero issues other than the recall for the slave cylinder. I'm still running the OEM clutch at 127k miles, I think the Z is a great car all around. I need to replace #8 and #11 on your list Spike. So far, my paint still looks new due to me washing it once a week and waxing once a month routine for the past 10 years. It has kept the paint in great shape, my car is black btw. Clear coat not flaking and people always ask me how do I keep it looking so fresh.

I do plan on keeping the Z and not selling it because they're not worth much despite the low milage and one owner blah, blah, blah selling point. I'm glad to see a few members the original owners here in this thread... cheers to many more years.
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by stogey420time View Post
[Ö] I'm still running the OEM clutch at 127k miles, I think the Z is a great car all around. I need to replace #8 and #11 on your list Spike. [Ö]
Thank you for the reply.

My clutch was very worn at 130k, but I downshift very frequently, using the engine drag to slow and control the car. My brakes last forever.

The timing was right to upgrades the suspension and drivetrain bushings since I was replacing almost the entire front suspension and significant parts of the drivetrain (transmission , clutch components, and driveshaft). I installed the Whiteline - WEK003 - Essential Vehicle Kit and it makes a very noticeable improvement. The car drives and handles much better.

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Old 03-06-2019, 04:05 PM
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When I joined this forum as a Johnny-Come-Lately a few years back, the first post I think I read (with any real interest) was from a guy named "Spike100". And here we are a few years down the road and good to see Spike still posting about his car with as much love as I profess for mine! Haha. Good joss, Spike, keep that 33 out there forever!! Nice job!
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Old 03-07-2019, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by stogey420time View Post
I do plan on keeping the Z and not selling it because they're not worth much despite the low milage and one owner blah, blah, blah selling point.
I feel the same way about resale when it comes to most vehicles. I typically don't buy a car based on its resale value, but rather how long I can enjoy driving it. At some point when you've owned the same vehicle for a long period of time, the value to the owner far outweighs the monetary value that you'll get if you try to sell it. The Z still puts a smile on my face whenever I drive it even though it may be unhealthy to have such a sentimental attachment to an inanimate object.

When you turn your car on, it should return the favor.
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Old 03-07-2019, 05:44 AM
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And Compared to what else is out there........I honestly like my Z/G better than an M4/M2 styling wise. I like a 911 but would want an S......and new they are $125K+...........who wants to buy a 6 figure USED sports car?
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Heel Til I Die View Post
I feel the same way about resale when it comes to most vehicles. I typically don't buy a car based on its resale value, but rather how long I can enjoy driving it. At some point when you've owned the same vehicle for a long period of time, the value to the owner far outweighs the monetary value that you'll get if you try to sell it. The Z still puts a smile on my face whenever I drive it even though it may be unhealthy to have such a sentimental attachment to an inanimate object.

When you turn your car on, it should return the favor.
Originally Posted by eZg View Post
And Compared to what else is out there........I honestly like my Z/G better than an M4/M2 styling wise. I like a 911 but would want an S......and new they are $125K+...........who wants to buy a 6 figure USED sports car?
^^^ True!!!

I can honestly say that there aren't many (if any) newish cars that I'd RATHER be driving. No, the 33 isn't the most beautiful, the fastest, the best handling car out there. BUT, when you combine what can now be considered "timeless" looks mixed with a really nice combination of handling, power, and FUN, the 33 is hard to beat. IOW, exactly what it was sold new to be.
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Heel Til I Die View Post
I feel the same way about resale when it comes to most vehicles. I typically don't buy a car based on its resale value, but rather how long I can enjoy driving it. At some point when you've owned the same vehicle for a long period of time, the value to the owner far outweighs the monetary value that you'll get if you try to sell it. The Z still puts a smile on my face whenever I drive it even though it may be unhealthy to have such a sentimental attachment to an inanimate object.

When you turn your car on, it should return the favor.
Originally Posted by eZg View Post
And Compared to what else is out there........I honestly like my Z/G better than an M4/M2 styling wise. I like a 911 but would want an S......and new they are $125K+...........who wants to buy a 6 figure USED sports car?
Originally Posted by MicVelo View Post
^^^ True!!!

I can honestly say that there aren't many (if any) newish cars that I'd RATHER be driving. No, the 33 isn't the most beautiful, the fastest, the best handling car out there. BUT, when you combine what can now be considered "timeless" looks mixed with a really nice combination of handling, power, and FUN, the 33 is hard to beat. IOW, exactly what it was sold new to be.
All 3 of you took the words right out of my mouth. I find very little out there besides the Porsches(esp the Cayman) that I really and truly like....don't know if it's my age(48) or what but I feel the car designs right now(and for last 5 years or so) mostly suck...just don't do it for me at all. My 2005 Z looks and drives like new at 77k and is a never ending smile machine. My son knows it's his someday and I expect it will look and run the same then too. As Rob at Z Car Garage signs all his communications...."Long live the Z!".
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SPM350Z View Post
All 3 of you took the words right out of my mouth. I find very little out there besides the Porsches(esp the Cayman) that I really and truly like....don't know if it's my age(48) or what but I feel the car designs right now(and for last 5 years or so) mostly suck...just don't do it for me at all. My 2005 Z looks and drives like new at 77k and is a never ending smile machine. My son knows it's his someday and I expect it will look and run the same then too. As Rob at Z Car Garage signs all his communications...."Long live the Z!".
Both my kids already know this. Hahahaha.

Rob now uses "Long live the passion." (mixed in with the line you quoted.)
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