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Old 09-01-2015, 10:23 AM   #1
cbax
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Default My G35 ESP Journal

Hi guys. Im new the forums and new to the platform. Joined here after realizing that there is virtually no autocross presence on the G forums.

I live in Maine and regularly autocross with a local non-SCCA club. But I also try to get to MA to run with NER a couple times a year and plan to make it to some NH events next year. Ive got around 5 years of autocross experience, mostly in a SM Evo that I sold last winter, the last 2 years were full seasons. This year has mostly been with my '08 Mazda 3 in STF.

Every year we head up toward the Canada border and do a 3 day event at Loring Air Force Base. The place is HUGE, land speed record huge. FTD for both competition days were around 1:15. The S2Ks and Miatas were hitting 4th in places. Our club allows you to run 2 cars So every year we beg, plea, borrow and steal each other's cars to double the seat time and have more fun. This year on Saturday I was graced with the opportunity to revive my love in a BS Evo, which was a blast. And on Sunday, I was offered an opportunity to drive an '04 track pack G35. Hell yeah. I had never really paid a ton of attention to the Z or G until a month or so ago down in MA, drooling over PJ's ESP G35. I had the most fun Id ever had autocrossing, even though my STF Mazda was over a second faster.

Here are a few pictures from that event. Not a clean run! (or car!)

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After coming off one of my runs with a huge smile on my face, my buddy makes sure to tell me that everything he owns is for sale. I carried on throughout the day and continued having a great time. Two days later, I asked him what his bottom dollar was and he gave me a price I couldn't refuse. Bought it that next weekend.

- 2004 G35 "Track Pack" w/ the 6mt and Brembos
- 75,000 miles (no winter)
- Godspeed front sway bar
- Cusco front A arms
- 18x9.5/18x10.5 Miro wheels with 255/275 Nitto Invos (we were running square 275s and different wheels at Loring)
- Intake plenum spacer
- Takeda intake

So...mostly stock. The plenum spacer puts it in ESP at the moment, otherwise STU. But with the (lack of) difference in PAX between STU and ESP, ESP it is.


Got the car home that next weekend and gave her a nice bath, light polish and a wax.

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Went to the alignment shop, paid for my lifetime alignment and went out to the shop to inspect the undercarriage and supervise. I've never owned a car this clean underneath! Exhaust is rusty and heat shields are rattling. (this is good, much easier to explain the necessary exhaust upgrade to the Mrs ) Unfortunately, I lost some confidence in the tech that had treated me so well in the past with other cars.

Here is where we ended up:
Front
Camber: -2.2/-2.2
Toe (deg): 0.12/0.11
Caster: 7.5/8.3

Rear
Camber: -2.4/-1.9
Toe (deg): 0.11/0.11

The driver's side front was able to head north of -3.5 deg of camber. Sweet! (I was targeting -3.25) Set it to -3.25 and moved on the passenger side. All we could get was -2.2. doh! Caster is also off. After looking over the arms at home, I think I can flip the ball joint plates and get more negative adjustment. But Im not sure what to think about the caster difference and the fact that one side was a whole degree off.

He said he couldnt get rear toe within my desired 0.1 deg spec AND get camber at my desired -2 deg, so I just told him to set the toe, forget about camber and I will be back. I remember always having different techs struggle with the Evo rear end as its the same type of design.

Like I said, I lost some faith.


Last weekend we had a local event at a small lot. We lost our big local airport venue this year, so its just been these postage stamp lots with Loring right in the middle of the season. Ive been driving the G for the past 2 weeks, and the battery was dead in the Mazda, so I decided to go have some fun in the G.

Here are a few pictures.
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And here is some video. I'm regretfully posting the video of my 1st run. lol Note the botched launch with VDC on and my efforts to turn it off mid run. Then note the Oh $&%#! sessions! haha. Couldn't believe it was "clean."



Here is my last and fastest run.


I was around 2 seconds off pace, my best being a 43.2. The Mazda surely would've beaten it.


My Impressions:
1. I need to learn to steer this thing. I'm used to crossing my arms, but I couldnt steer far enough in the G and kept messing it up. So I adopted a shuffle steer over the day. Are these things known for slow steering? There IS a ton of caster...

2. I need to learn some right foot control. I'm used to 400whp that I couldn't break loose in my Evo and lately 150whp that I cant get to go fast enough.

3. The tires aren't great, but they will come off over the winter. And the wheels are more porky than I'd like. We have a street tire index locally that I will likely run next year on ST spec tires, 275 or 285s. And I want a square set up and to loose some rotational weight. I'll focus on making sure they are corded by the end of the season. (this doesn't bode well with my right foot comment above) If I can find a decent deal on take-off Rs, I may go that route. But I do like just showing up and driving.

4. Needs more spring, more shock and good bushings.


I'm still in the project planning stages of everything. But I'm really looking forward to learning how to drive it and making it a bit faster. I have absolutely fallen in love with this thing over the last couple weeks. Every drive gets better and the more I learn about the car, the more I like it. I do wish they weren't so heavy, but I'll do what I can in SP to trim the fat.

thanks for reading. Any comments, suggestions or questions are appreciated.
-Charlie

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Old 09-01-2015, 11:06 AM   #2
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You can fit a 305 slick in the front and rear. Those alignment specs are weird, possibly a bent arm. In the past I have had issues with laser machines being out of alignment. Had a firestone machine tell me I had a degree of camber and half a degree of toe on my solid axle mustang... even after remounting teh sensor plate. I ended up going with an old school string/manual laser shop and the tech was able to get all teh specs easily first try.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:09 AM   #3
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GreyZ, Are you saying I cant fit a 315? Or just that I can easily fit a 305?

Im going to flip the plate on the front camber arms and will check everything out while Im in there. I do know the rear end has been in a minor incident, but Im also not sure how much of it was just the tech.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:51 AM   #4
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I just put 315's on the rear my 07 G coupe, dropped, no roll, no rubbing. But, they're 315/30/18, over 1 1/4" shorter than stock, so despite drop I still have probably over a 2 finger gap. Given stiff suspension I'm not sure if wheel ever sinks far enough into wheel well to rub. I'll know after next event in a week. Either way, I can tell by eyeballing it that a 315 would work fine in the rear with proper offset and a bit of negative camber. Go BIG on the offset (if you'd like to avoid widening stance and fender-work) . I've got 10.5 +30, no spacers. I'll take some pics later...
I think an 18x11 +35 would be perfect (I think TE37SL come in this size) .

Also, re your desire for more power, I totally enjoy the added torque by running smaller diameter tires. Personally, I'll gladly take that boost despite the (rather theoretical) need to shift to 3rd where one wouldn't with OEM diameter. In my limited experience it has been a total non-issue, but I'm able to rev up to 7200, a bit more than your engine likes I think...
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:00 PM   #5
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Also, about your run that you started with VDC on... Disabling VDC via the dashboard switch leaves yaw sensor active still- it does weird things too. I hated VDC, hated the fact that I had to push the button every time I started the car, and hated even more that the yaw sensor still messed with my driving. One of the happiest days I've had with my car was the day I disabled VDC and the yaw sensor- the best free mod ever. I installed a little toggle switch in center console in case I wanted it back on, but haven't turned it back on once.
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:29 AM   #6
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arficus, how does the fitment on the front compare to the Z? Can I also fit 315s on the front? Not scared to roll, pull and flare as necessary. It might be a non-issue for next season, as I may keep the costs down by buying 2 more 10.5" Miros and run a square 275 or better RE-71R or ZII*. Right now, I'm just trying to see what my options are. I am keeping an eye out for some used 3pc wheels. If I can get a good deal on another set of wheels, I may go straight to Rs.

The PO had the yaw sensor unplugged. He drive it the last 2 months of winter and said it was undriveable with it plugged in. But didn't think I'd hit that limit at autocross. I plugged it back in because I didn't think it was SP legal to unplug it. And I didn't want to learn and/or set up the car around an illegal mod. Can anyone confirm whether it's legal to unplug or install a toggle?

Part of me is/was hoping that the VDC is somewhat tunable in Osiris, but I doubt it. I will be getting my feet wet with the software shortly.

My Berk HFCs came in. I need to pass a visual and wanted to keep sound down. Right now, my plan is a Tomei Ti cat back so I think test pipes would fail sound at Devens.

I'm going to set up dyno time at a fellow autocrosser's house to get a baseline. While there I will swap in my stock box w/ k&n and Z tube to compare. Forum tests suggests that combo is better than the Takeda intake. Then I plan to install the HFCs, dual widebands, get Osiris and go back before I put it up for winter.
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
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My Berk HFCs came in. I need to pass a visual and wanted to keep sound down. Right now, my plan is a Tomei Ti cat back so I think test pipes would fail sound at Devens.
.
I have Tomei Ti cat back only and got warned at an autox that measured me at 96dbs.

I know another 350z that has headers, race cats, y pipe and Tomei Ti exhaust and is measuring way north of 100+dbs. He runs a downturn. I believe he says he switches out the exhaust to meet Devens sound requirements.
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:26 AM   #8
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You have stock cats and header? I dont mind running a turn down for events, but I dont want to be on the edge and have to worry about it all the time. I just want a light exhaust.
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Old 09-04-2015, 11:07 AM   #9
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You have stock cats and header? I dont mind running a turn down for events, but I dont want to be on the edge and have to worry about it all the time. I just want a light exhaust.
Yup, stock Y-pipe as well. I went for the weight savings as well. My car is a dedicated STU, built this winter. Didn't get to finish the exhaust yet entirely. But didn't feel like putting the stock exhaust back after I had the entire rear subframe out.

I've been hesitant to replace the rest of the exhaust mostly because my SCCA club has a 96dbs limit.
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:10 PM   #10
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arficus, how does the fitment on the front compare to the Z? Can I also fit 315s on the front? Not scared to roll, pull and flare as necessary.
Never owned a Z, not sure, but from searching forums trying to max out fronts for myself I get the impression G coupes have a little less outer wheel well clearance (maybe by 10mm? pure speculation). I've run 275 up front with no fender work and stock camber, but that's with wheel offset that puts wheel within few mm of the spindle. But, if you're willing to flare or whatever, why couldn't you get 315 to work? Also, SP allows tires to extend beyond body, so if you can keep tires out of wells (eg stiff suspension, small diam. tires, ride height), you can run as wide as you want without any fender mods.

Quote:
It might be a non-issue for next season, as I may keep the costs down by buying 2 more 10.5" Miros and run a square 275 or better RE-71R or ZII*.
Last I checked (2 months ago) RE71R were available in very few sizes, and was told they were going to be rather slow in rolling them out. Besides, SP allows Rs, so why not?

Quote:
Can anyone confirm whether it's legal to unplug or install a toggle?
from 2015-5-19_section_15_street_prepared_category_online.pdf:
"Traction and/or stability control systems, as defined in Section 12.12, must be standard parts at standard settings or electronically disabled."

Quote:
Part of me is/was hoping that the VDC is somewhat tunable in Osiris, but I doubt it.
Your doubt is correct.

Quote:
My Berk HFCs came in.
Why not get ARTs? SP allows cat delete.

You have more experience at competing than I do, and you didn't ask for this type of advice, but I'm gonna offer it anyway. If you're on a budget and have to prioritize upgrades, I'd suggest forgetting about the intake/exhaust mods for now (at least the spendy ones)- they offer relatively minimal power gains on a NA engine. I'd focus on:
Tires
wheels
big brakes
shocks
LSD

There's a lot of $ that can be spent upgrading those items, and I'd hypothesize that money well spent on those will do (far) more to improve solo performance than any bolt-on NA intake/exhaust mods. I'd bet that simply decreasing rear tire diam by 1.25" or so would (easily) increase acceleration more than the intake/exhaust mods you mentioned.

What did you say you were used to driving- an STI? A good handling car, much lighter with WAY more ponies, but by your estimation only a sec faster than the G on said course? I think that points in the direction of where the real gains per $ might be had.

But, like I said, just the opinions of a noob. I'm totally open to being corrected if I'm wrong, or simply ignored, but please, no flames...
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Old 09-05-2015, 03:15 AM   #11
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Yup, stock Y-pipe as well. I went for the weight savings as well. My car is a dedicated STU, built this winter. Didn't get to finish the exhaust yet entirely. But didn't feel like putting the stock exhaust back after I had the entire rear subframe out.

I've been hesitant to replace the rest of the exhaust mostly because my SCCA club has a 96dbs limit.

I inquired about the Tomei Ti w/ Z1 and he said they run a 10" extension. Im wondering if that may be long enough to put an extra resonator or something in there. I can make a turn down and don't mind running it, I just don't want the added stress of worrying about it.


something like this
http://www.jegs.com/i/Dynomax/289/24...arentProductId=

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Old 09-06-2015, 03:09 AM   #12
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Last I checked (2 months ago) RE71R were available in very few sizes, and was told they were going to be rather slow in rolling them out. Besides, SP allows Rs, so why not?
The decision to run ST spec tires next year will come down to whether I have 2 sets of wheels. My local club has a street tire index, so I'll still be competitive on 200tw tires. Then year 2 step it up to Rs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arficus View Post
from 2015-5-19_section_15_street_prepared_category_online.pdf:
"Traction and/or stability control systems, as defined in Section 12.12, must be standard parts at standard settings or electronically disabled."
My interpretation is that installing a toggle switch or unplugging the sensor is more than electronically disabling.


Quote:
Originally Posted by arficus View Post
Why not get ARTs? SP allows cat delete.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbax
My Berk HFCs came in. I need to pass a visual and wanted to keep sound down. Right now, my plan is a Tomei Ti cat back so I think test pipes would fail sound at Devens.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arficus View Post
You have more experience at competing than I do, and you didn't ask for this type of advice, but I'm gonna offer it anyway. If you're on a budget and have to prioritize upgrades, I'd suggest forgetting about the intake/exhaust mods for now (at least the spendy ones)- they offer relatively minimal power gains on a NA engine. I'd focus on:
Tires
wheels
big brakes
shocks
LSD
Mostly agree. My priorities are:
1. Tires/wheels. At a minimum 2 more 10.5s and 275+ 200tw.
2. Shocks/springs. Im strongly considering the secret sauce from Proparts.
3. LSD
4. Weight. Remove AC, install buckets (I'm 6'6" and need headroom anyways), small battery, Ti exhaust.
5. HP. But the catch is that I have a tuning side business and I'm looking at playing on the dyno as soon as I can. Car came with a box of parts including a Z tube, pop charger, k&n w/ stock box, stock intake and a Hypertech tuner. Im heading to my friend's place within a week or so for a baseline. Then install the widebands and HFCs and go back with Osiris. And again next year after cat back and possibly an aftermarket plenum.
6. Pads, rotors, lines and fluid.

The reality is that most of this will get done while its down for winter. So while it is a priority list, its just The List. The only reason Im considering holding back on the Rs is the fact that I can't swing $7k on #1 and #2 alone. Im keeping my eye out for some used 3pc 18x11s, so we will see what happens.


Quote:
Originally Posted by arficus View Post
What did you say you were used to driving- an STI? A good handling car, much lighter with WAY more ponies, but by your estimation only a sec faster than the G on said course? I think that points in the direction of where the real gains per $ might be had.
I drove a stripped down 400whp Evo in SM on 285 ZIIs for a few years and this year have been driving a '08 Mazda 3 in STF. The Mazda has 15s w/ 205 ZIIs, 500/650 rates, bushings, -3.2* of camber, fat rear sway and isn't the lightest model at 2800lbs, but does well locally and can be competitive at SCCA events.

The Mazda was a second faster than the G. If the G had tires, and it wasn't my 1st time autocrossing a RWD, it would have been faster.

Here is my best run from day 1 in the Mazda to give you an idea. 1/2 the run was in 3rd. You really have to string it out to get the car to dance, hard to do in 3rd w/ 150whp. I drove better on day 2 (same day as the G), but don't have any video.


Quote:
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But, like I said, just the opinions of a noob. I'm totally open to being corrected if I'm wrong, or simply ignored, but please, no flames...
No worries. Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:39 AM   #13
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Just piping in, a friend of mine linked me to this page:

For shocks and springs I'd try to find a set of TC Klines or ProParts shocks. You can occasionally find a set of those (or even 3011's) from guys that use to run Z's in Koni challenge. I actually have a set of ProParts fresh off the dyno that I was looking to sell at the end of the year... currently have 1100F/950R spring rates, though I ran 1300/1100 at Nats.

Wheels: I'm running some cheap XXR 531 18x11's (~$600 for a set). They're +25 offset and need about a 10mm spacer up front, and have just enough clearance in back that it rubs through some plastic (Hoosiers are generally wider than street tires). As a note: I needed a slight fender roll and pull in back, and a fairly large pull up front to fit the tires.

Tires: if you come down to Devens I can give you some old 315 A6's (assuming I haven't tossed them). I have a few stacks of old ones if you want to test fit. Also have a fresh set of A7's for sale.

Do those and a good clutch diff (recommend OS Giken) and you'll be off to a good start!

- PJ


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Old 09-14-2015, 01:28 PM   #14
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PJ, Thank you for chiming in! 1st off, congrats on the finish at Nats!


I know your cars, but I don't think we've met. I love your G. And Panda is just stupid nasty. I've only been down there twice this year for the champ tour and a regular event, both in my STF Mazda 3. Going down for the BMW team event with Josh (Blue BS s2k) and a couple other local members from ME.


I saw Solomatter's pic of you guys messing with the splitter and figured you were running XXRs. I'm definitely considering a set. Just wish they weren't so heavy. Aggressive roll/pull to fit 315s isn't a big deal at all. Happy to hear you are running that wide. I was hoping it was possible without flares or major trimming.


I've been in touch with Jeff at ProParts. He's suggesting north of 1000/800 for ST-spec tires, so right in line with what you are running on Rs. I'm definitely interested in your set for sale. REAL suspension is my main priority this winter. I'll cut costs on the wheels and tires to get the suspension done right the 1st time. Then run our local (CMC) street tire index (and get my *** handed to me at Devens ) until I get Rs. Do you mind if I ask why you are selling them? Moving on with the car or just changing it up?


I don't typically come down there with a ton of extra room in the car for test fit tires, but thank you for the offer. Knowing the offsets and fender work needed should be enough encouragement.






Installed the Berk HFCs this past weekend. Ive been having a heat shield rattling and decided to go ahead and tackle it. The "hard part" (header bolts) was super easy. But none of the Y-pipe to HFC bolts would come out or break. So I pulled the Y-pipe so I could easily introduce them to Mr. Angle Grinder. Install was cake, except for the part about putting that crappy stock Y-pipe back on.


Im buying a Osiris cable, an Innovate dual sensor WB and going to spend a couple weeks with the laptop in the car learning the software. Then set up dyno time at my friend's house and see what she can do.

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Old 09-15-2015, 08:19 AM   #15
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Just an FYI, a set of 315's fits across the back seat, especially with race seats up front. Just need to have them sit up higher on a moving blanket or something.

The only reason I'm selling my shocks is to upgrade to Koni 2812's, which I can run higher spring rates on (potentially going to 1600's up front for concrete). The springs I have now (1100/950) are roughly what I'd call ideal for balancing street driving and local autocross, and the shocks handle them well. They should be able to handle a 1200 or 1300 if you wanted to max out rebound.

The XXR's are definitely not a light wheel, but are a great value. Perfect to start out on, and can double as street wheels or a backup set later if you get a set of CCW's or Forgestars.

Edit: also have an extra ypipe that I replaced the flex sections on hastily in Ohio when one started leaking a ton. Would pretty much sell it for the cost of the flex section (think it was like $30), although it isn't pretty.

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Old 09-16-2015, 05:52 AM   #16
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PJ,
What are you running for exhaust? Any trouble with the noise regulations at Devens? I remembering it being louder than stock, but not crazy. The last time I was there you ran while I worked.
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:31 AM   #17
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PJ,
What are you running for exhaust? Any trouble with the noise regulations at Devens? I remembering it being louder than stock, but not crazy. The last time I was there you ran while I worked.
I was previously running a homemade exhaust with a 2.5" dynomax muffler on it. Currently have an Isis single (350z exhaust) with an extension to work on the G. Needs a bit of tweaking to fit right, though. Going to try running a turn-down with it, but if all else fails I'll stick the silencer in.
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Old 02-03-2016, 05:17 AM   #18
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Small update. I've been spending time (and money) on other projects since I purchased the G. Bought a Subaru to play with and it spun a rod bearing 2 days later. uggh. I'm in the middle of that rebuild right now, but I've acquired everything that I need. So my funding can now go back towards the G.

Since my last update:
- The deal on the Osiris cable fell through. I'll get one this year.
- Determined that my rear 18x10.5 +20s will fit over the Brembos with a small spacer. They just about bolt up...
- Purchased 2 more 18x10.5s and some motorsport-tech hub/wheel hubcentric 3mm spacers.
- Purchased the Whiteline essentials kit. I've got a clunk in the front end and crazy wheel hop in the rear. I'm pretty sure I remember seeing a leaky diff bushing last time under it. The kit comes with a comp. rod bushing. Not sure if I am going to use it or stay OEM.
- Purchased some RS-R 350z springs. These appear to be the only moderate drop (~1.0"f/0.5"r on a G), linear springs with a higher rate than stock. Should gain some camber and remove some wheel gap with my planned tires. Hopefully this will hold me off for a year before making the plunge into a ProParts setup...unless I can get a screaming deal that I cant pass up...

Other things I'm planning to do before the season starts locally:
- Tires. I'll be using whatever I buy on the street for now. But the car is not daily driven. As I said before, I'm just going to do 200tw for now and play locally with our street tire modifier. I don't see any 285/35r18 options. So my current choice is a set of 275/35 RE71Rs. I'm waiting on this to see what may come out for additional sizes.
- Seats. I need head room as I'm 6'6". And I'd like to lose the weight. The G's stock seats seem crazy heavy. Probably just going to get some FX1s and buddy club low down sliders. Seems hard to beat the value of the FX1. Although I'd love to put some super light Ultra-Shield or Kirkey seats in it. The lack of back bracing is the only thing keeping me from doing that. Not totally sold on the mounts/sliders just yet. I'm okay with a fixed driver's seat position and it needs to be low. But I need to be able to get into the back seat via the passenger side.
- Pull the AC. I don't/won't use it. Don't need it. It's free weight reduction.
- Change diff and trans fluids.
- Disable the VDC permanently. I was originally concerned that unplugging the sensor was outside of the SP allowance because of the way it is worded in the SP section. But I got clarification that the Street allowance applies.
- Smaller/lighter battery. Mine is dead...

Stuff on the list, in order of priority (unless super great deals have to be acted on)
- Diff
- Big boy suspension
- Exhaust
- Osiris & dyno tune
- 18x11s & 315 R-Comps

Last edited by cbax; 02-03-2016 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:12 PM   #19
06platinumG
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Great thread, I don't see too much information posted for the G. I'm the only one in the PNW that brings a G out for auto-x and track days. I'm very interested on how you can get 315's to fit on the front. I currently run 295 on a 10.5 rim and don't have much extra clearance. I would like to see some close up pictures of the front fenders after a pull to make the 315's fit. I wouldn't wAnt to put any permanent creases in the fenders.

Keep us up to date on your progress.

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Old 02-16-2016, 05:07 AM   #20
cbax
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thanks! Yeah not much info on the Gs.

I'm just looking at doing 275/35r18 this year due to what is available. What tire are you running? R-comp? I don't see any 200tw tires bigger than 275 in a compatible size.

AceInHole can probably help you with some fitment pictures as I think he is running a 315 all around. He said above that he needed a fairly large pull up front.

Picked up a set of FX1s, planted brackets and side mounts. I'm going to mount it all up before deciding whether I need 1 or 2 sliders.

And I ordered Solostorm with the BT GPS. I'm hoping I can get it to work with my head unit. I've got a Rydeen DVA6 already installed along with an OBDLink MX. It does a pretty good job with Dash Command's live gauges and stuff. Here is a link to the head unit. http://www.crutchfield.com/S-zinBu6V...deen-DVA6.html The only thing I'm really concerned with is not being able to set markers (start/finish) and whether or not I will be able to do video/data review on the PC afterwards. I'd prefer not to link my GoPro to it to prolong battery life. And to keep from having to save all of my video on my head unit. Ideally, I'd be able to quickly review GPS/OBD data on the unit in between runs. And be able merge the video in on my home PC.
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