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Lowered suspension issues

Old 06-12-2017, 02:02 PM
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Tim_Patrick
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Default Lowered suspension issues

I'm new to this forum and this is my first post so apologies in advance. The car is a 2003 350z with roughly 165,000 I believe it's the touring edition and has a bunch of mods that were done to it when I bought it.

The car was lowered on manzo lowering springs when I bought it which had only been on it for maybe 1,000 miles, no other mods or adjustments were done to the suspension not even an alignment unfortunately. The car still went down the road straight and had no issues related to that but after about 500 to 1000 miles of driving it I had a blowout in the rear tire on the inner wall, after looking at it the rear tires were chewed up a bit on the inner corners in the back which I was assuming was due to the camber on the car. At the time I knew nothing about lowering cars or really the 350z in general and was told it was a cambered car from the factory but now I see lowering it made it worse. I bought new nitto now gen 5 tires for the rear at size 235 40r18 because that is what was on it before the blowout to compensate for the lowered suspension.

So the issue I'm having is right after putting these new tires on the car felt like the rear driver side tire was hitting the fender on hard right hand turns at speed. The car appeared to sit a tad lower or closer to the fender on the driver side and looked like it was sitting close enough that maybe the tires were a bit wider than the old ones somehow and managed to hit. So to temporarily fix this I used a fender roller and got the lips up and made quite a bit more clearance on both sides. I did a test ride on a hard corner it hit on before I rolled the fenders and it still seemed to hit, it feels kinda like a brake grabbing but feels more like it's rubber and something to do with the tire which is hard to explain but it almost feels like it grabs and skids.

After looking into similar issues I was wondering if it's either possible or likely that the issue is just that it needs an alignment from being lowered? I think it's that because the springs drop I believe 1.5 in the front and 2 in the rear it's so low that the camber and toe are very far off. And because of this on hard turns from the slight body roll it's causing the tire to squat a little bit more and set the toe off enough that because it's a new tire it is actually grabbing being pulled almost sideways when before the tire would just slide a little and that's what caused the blow out of the previous worn tires. Also the shocks/struts in the rear are original on the car never replaced.

I know someone will make a comment about this but since the new tires were put on it's only been driven maybe 40 miles, on my first trip when I felt the issue I parked the car right after then just took it for a test ride after rolling the fenders, I realize it's dangerous to drive a car with suspension issues and the car is parked not being driven until I have it fixed. Also I have ordered new shocks for the rear and an adjustable camber arm and toe bolts plus camber arms for the front I'm hoping this will solve the issue but regardless will be needed to be able to have the car aligned back into factory spec. But if anyone has an idea of alternative issues that this might be or have had a similar issue the input would really be appreciated !
Thank you for reading this, apologies for it being so long.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:54 PM
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dcains
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At 165K miles, and from this distance, how can I tell you what's wrong. best guess, probably everything. I'd go through the suspension and check every single bushing for wear, and you'll probably find lots that need replacing. IMO, OEM pieces are what I'd use. What about the shocks? Can't be original at that mileage. I'd look at some Tokico D-Spec and the matching springs, or maybe the Tein Basis shocks and springs. This will get you back to a reasonable ride height/geometry and be an improvement over OEM as well. You may also have the wrong size wheels and tires, so you may want to look at that issue, too. Sounds like you bought a car set up by an idiot, and it's going to take some time/$ to put it right.

Post some pics so we can see what you've got.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dcains View Post
At 165K miles, and from this distance, how can I tell you what's wrong. best guess, probably everything. I'd go through the suspension and check every single bushing for wear, and you'll probably find lots that need replacing. IMO, OEM pieces are what I'd use. What about the shocks? Can't be original at that mileage. I'd look at some Tokico D-Spec and the matching springs, or maybe the Tein Basis shocks and springs. This will get you back to a reasonable ride height/geometry and be an improvement over OEM as well. You may also have the wrong size wheels and tires, so you may want to look at that issue, too. Sounds like you bought a car set up by an idiot, and it's going to take some time/$ to put it right.

Post some pics so we can see what you've got.
ill try to put up some pics tomorrow. And unfortunately those shocks very well may have the 165,000 miles on them, I know they have been on since at least 85,000

would the bushings cause something to grab in the rear? When I put in the camber kit I'm going to take my time and try to check stuff out so I'll definitely check out the bushings, I know for the tires and rims they never hit at all right up until I replaced the tires with the exact same size except the new tires are meant for lowered cars with camber
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:57 PM
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As mentioned, you need to inspect everything, or pay someone who knows these cars to do it. Rubber bushings weren't made to last forever, and when you get a little slop in one, added to the slop in a few others, you can have some big issues caused by that movement. Check the center mount on the differential ,too, as it's fluid-filled, and if it's wet-looking, it's gone.

At this age, you should be looking at ALL the maintenance/wear items, not just the suspension. All the fluids, belts, brakes, hoses, etc. Get the car to a new "baseline" and you'll have a car that's safe and reliable.
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dcains View Post
As mentioned, you need to inspect everything, or pay someone who knows these cars to do it. Rubber bushings weren't made to last forever, and when you get a little slop in one, added to the slop in a few others, you can have some big issues caused by that movement. Check the center mount on the differential ,too, as it's fluid-filled, and if it's wet-looking, it's gone.

At this age, you should be looking at ALL the maintenance/wear items, not just the suspension. All the fluids, belts, brakes, hoses, etc. Get the car to a new "baseline" and you'll have a car that's safe and reliable.
thank you for the suggestion, I actually just finished going through the engine and replaced the power steering pump the serpentine belt and most of the coolant hoses and did a flush of the coolant and power steering and brake fluid I still have to do the clutch fluid though. Weirdly I've worked on cars a lot but never done anything to do with the suspension beyond brakes.

I've found bushing kits for the front but not one for the rear, would the differential bushing kit be everything for the rear that I need?
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim_Patrick View Post
thank you for the suggestion, I actually just finished going through the engine and replaced the power steering pump the serpentine belt and most of the coolant hoses and did a flush of the coolant and power steering and brake fluid I still have to do the clutch fluid though. Weirdly I've worked on cars a lot but never done anything to do with the suspension beyond brakes.

I've found bushing kits for the front but not one for the rear, would the differential bushing kit be everything for the rear that I need?
If your rear diff bushing is blown out, look into buying the setup sold by SIKKY.
https://www.sikky.com/product-catego...rame-bushings/

When mine was blown and leaking, the rear end was really unstable and would kick out on me when I least expected it. With the solid aluminum ones, you get a slight "whine" vibration noise through the frame but it's like a night and day upgrade at least IMO.
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:52 AM
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I have to disagree with using a solid bushing on a daily car. The OEM bushing has some compliance and noise dampening characteristics for good reason. Instead, I'd recommend a quality polyurethane bushing, which is a great compromise.

https://www.z1motorsports.com/z1-pro...t-p-10356.html
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim_Patrick View Post
thank you for the suggestion, I actually just finished going through the engine and replaced the power steering pump the serpentine belt and most of the coolant hoses and did a flush of the coolant and power steering and brake fluid I still have to do the clutch fluid though. Weirdly I've worked on cars a lot but never done anything to do with the suspension beyond brakes.

I've found bushing kits for the front but not one for the rear, would the differential bushing kit be everything for the rear that I need?
You'll just have to take a look and assess what you have. The rear suspension (the front, too) on the Z is pretty easy to service compared to many other cars I've owned, so don't be too afraid of it. Do one side at a time, so you have a reference for how things go back together, and make uore you're safe around the springs, which can easily cause injury if they come loose while compressed.
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:52 PM
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So I crawled under the car a bit to get a look at the bushing, didn't have a low profile jack handy so couldn't get all the way under. The rear bushing for the differential doesn't appear to be leaking but looks bad, couldn't see very well but definitely had a crack or warp on it of some sorts and wasn't smooth. So I think it's either about to go or been gone so long the leaked fluid has washed away. Definite thanks to everyone suggesting on the bushings, due to lack of a budget left for parts I'm looking at the white line differential bushing, has anyone had any experience with this one?

Whiteline KDT911 Differential Bushing https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008PH5RRG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_35eqzbWJZQ521

I'm not sure if this is considered a solid or not but the reviews on it are really good. The car isn't really used as a daily driver, I live in the northeast and have a truck I drive when it's really bad in the winter then a vw wagon I drive when it's bad out and also have an na Miata I drive when it's really nice out so the 350z is planned as more of a car show and fun fair weather car for me so ride quality isn't a worry at all and in the future I may try to set it up as a track car if I have the funds.
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Old 06-13-2017, 07:06 PM
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I had Whiteline rear diff. bushings installed on my Z at the same time I upgraded to an OS LSD, my OEM bushings were toast. Whiteline makes a good product, I haven't witnessed any noticeable increase in noise/vibration from the rear end due to the bushings. Buy with confidence.

Do keep in mind that PU bushings are much stiffer vs. OEM, depending where you put these can make a huge difference in daily comfort. For example, I would not recommend replacing your transmission mount/bushing with a PU unit.
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:07 AM
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First wave of parts for the car, missing one of the new shocks because it was sent through FedEx
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