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Buying/Leasing 350Z/370Z Purchasing Info

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Old 04-13-2016, 03:38 PM   #1
JRP350z
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Default Help me buy a used 350z

Hello everyone, I'm in the market for a used 350z automatic in the 5-9k range.

I looked at 2 cars so far and have some questions/ concerns.

1st car, steering felt really tight, doesn't seem to naturally correct to straight after making turns. Is this normal?

Leather interior, seats in pretty good shape. pass window wont roll up unless door 1/4 way open(pinched wire?).

2005 Car shows 114kmiles but owner says engine was replaced with same year engine with 70k mines and hes put about 10k on it. It ran good shifted well.
No noticeable leaks but the oil pressure gauge would drop to just about 0 at idle (also oil warning light) and go up as it reved. Is it most likely a sensor issue?

Looking underneath the car, mid exhaust pipes looked a bit rusted thin shielding parts rusted out, but no noticeable leaks.

Rear subframe center bushing has the slight black streak and the steel insert in the middle looks tilted.
How big of a deal is this? is this normal to expect on 350z's over 90kmiles? I don't plan on racing / heavvily beating the car.

I ended up leaving a deposit on this car (agreed to take 5500 for it) and was told it was in no accidents other than parking lot dents but when i pulled the carfax it showed 'hit a earth embankment' in 2011 and 9 owners. a few of them seemed to be dealers passing the car around with little mileage, then it was stolen and sold at auction then eventually to the dealer who the owner got it from. He said he got a deal on it from his friend who worked there and was going to be a project car, they replaced the engine and it was faster with the new one, hasn't found any kind of proof with the engine swap and minimal paperwork in general.

Now i plan on asking him if i can have it put up on a lift and looked over at a local Nissan shop before i finalize purchase. Are there any things i should insist on them doing? more things i can look at while on the lift?


Second car 2003 94k miles owner said it was purchased from origional owner with around 50k miles on it 6 years ago.

Again steering felt tight, not quite as tight as the first one but still seemed to not correct to straight after turns.

Engine ran well, transmission smooth, seemed to have a little less torque then the first car i drove but id have to drive them both again to be sure. Oil pressure gague on this one just pinned at 120 never really moved, owner said just have to replace sensor. Noticed about a 5" dia puddle of oil in the driveway where car was parked when we returned.
It had a dead battery and wouldnt start and ran for about 5 minutes before test driving. confirmed it was infact from this car as a new one appeared as car idled when i parked it again. drip was center on the engine, slightly toward passenger side (maybe oil pan?), but from the top driver side valve cover had the look of old oil staining which i didnt notice on the first car.

Underneath the car exhaust looked a little better, maybe just because their were no rotted heat shields covering sections, looked like a solid h or x pipe as opposed to the first one that had flex mesh sections there.
Rear subframe middle bushing also had the small black trail below it but the center piece was not tilted.

Owner is asking 6500 for this one.

Any input on these potential cars? tips on further inspections?
Headlights prone moisture build up inside?
Prices too good to be true? Both cars have some body issues, but im more concerned with the mechanicals.

Thanks for reading my wall of text

Last edited by JRP350z; 04-13-2016 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:53 PM   #2
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Keep looking man! The 05 sounds a bit shady.The 03 sounds better but has an oil leak and stiff steering. After driving both of them if one had stiffer steering than the other there is obviously a problem.Possible seizing ball joint or steering rack/pump issue,steering shaft U-joint seizing.

If the oil pressure really dropped to 0 then the engine would be making noise.Oil presswure should increase with rpm though.Also the oil leak could be something as simple as a loose drain plug or lack of drain plug washer.
Check the front tension rod bushings(AKA)Rear lower control arm bushings,check for worn diff bushings also.When the engine is cold and on first start up listen to the engine and see if it stays loud for any length of time.That could be another indication of poor oil pressure.Oh and also VERY important.Have a buddy follow you down the street in the Z and step on it and have him watch the tail pipes to see if the engine is burning oil(Blueish smoke).Also the oil pressure gauge being stck at 120 is either a short to ground issue or the gauge is shot.Not likely the oil pressure switch.IMOP
Remember you get what you pay for!
Good luck

Last edited by NissanZcrazy; 04-13-2016 at 06:07 PM.
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JRP350z (04-16-2016)
Old 04-13-2016, 08:50 PM   #3
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IMO unless your in a hurry time is on your side just wait for the perfect Z with everything your looking for in a 350Z trust me there out there just chill to the next episode!!!
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by NissanZcrazy View Post
Keep looking man! The 05 sounds a bit shady.The 03 sounds better but has an oil leak and stiff steering. After driving both of them if one had stiffer steering than the other there is obviously a problem.Possible seizing ball joint or steering rack/pump issue,steering shaft U-joint seizing.

If the oil pressure really dropped to 0 then the engine would be making noise.Oil presswure should increase with rpm though.Also the oil leak could be something as simple as a loose drain plug or lack of drain plug washer.
Check the front tension rod bushings(AKA)Rear lower control arm bushings,check for worn diff bushings also.When the engine is cold and on first start up listen to the engine and see if it stays loud for any length of time.That could be another indication of poor oil pressure.Oh and also VERY important.Have a buddy follow you down the street in the Z and step on it and have him watch the tail pipes to see if the engine is burning oil(Blueish smoke).Also the oil pressure gauge being stck at 120 is either a short to ground issue or the gauge is shot.Not likely the oil pressure switch.IMOP
Remember you get what you pay for!
Good luck
Stiff steering could be something as simple as low tire pressures, or it could be all the bushings are gone. Or, bad steering rack, which is $$$.

If the pressure gauge reads low AND warning light is also illuminated, the pressure is indeed low. They're two separate sensors.

Both cars sound like total [email protected], and I'd recommend you continue to look. Don't finance a 13-year old car, and if you can't afford the repairs IT WILL NEED, don't buy a Z that old.
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:29 AM   #5
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I don't plan on financing. What kind of things should i expect for a 6500$ 350z?
I do have a couple months to keep looking.

I read a lot about owners noting tighter steering on the 350z and thought it was somewhat normal. How likely is it a Z w/ 100k miles will need 1000$ worth of suspension or drivetrain work within the next 35kmiles?

I'm also considering G35, even looked at the Altima coupes.
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRP350z View Post
I don't plan on financing. What kind of things should i expect for a 6500$ 350z?
I do have a couple months to keep looking.

I read a lot about owners noting tighter steering on the 350z and thought it was somewhat normal. How likely is it a Z w/ 100k miles will need 1000$ worth of suspension or drivetrain work within the next 35kmiles?

I'm also considering G35, even looked at the Altima coupes.
Very likely. At least $500 just for a set of shocks, and that's w/o labor, and w/o all the other worn suspension bushings/labor.

As for the drivetrain, as very well-taken care of Z might only need a tune-up and normal maintenance at that mileage. But, w/o records, you wouldn't know.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:04 PM   #7
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That subframe bushing sounds like it's ready to give up the ghost. If so you're looking at bare minimum $1400 to replace it with the dealer because they won't just sell you the bushing, they'll BS you and tell you to buy an entirely new subframe.

Or you could go aftermarket and replace all of them with some aluminum ones from SIKKY like I did when that happened to me.

I agree with everyone else, neither of these sound that great based on the description unless you plan on spending a lot of $$$ fixing them up.
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Old 04-15-2016, 09:45 AM   #8
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I just purchased a 2003 touring model that had less than 60k for like 10500, which is a good deal at least in my area just for frame of reference. While i was searching for one it seemed like they were all either low mileage weekend/summer toy cars, or ones that were beaten on and wrapped around a tree lol. I'd say just bide your time until you find a good one.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:16 PM   #9
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If you ever change your mind and want a manual I am in PA with a babied 2005
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:21 PM   #10
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Saw a really clean 07 g35 today, 65k miles 3 owners.
Only problems i found were beginning of the middle subframe bushing starting to leak and the ac compressor wouldn't stay running (hoping just needs a recharge). Current owner bought the car 5 months ago and never drove/registered. Talked him down to 8k and said i'd be back in the morning to pick it up.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:34 PM   #11
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I recently bought an 05 350z in PA which cost me 10k but it only had 54k miles that was the best bang for buck. After I purchased it I joined a bunch of Fb groups for 350's / nissans and this group obviously and found a few better deals than mine closer so I would look at Fb groups or eBay near you. Also credit unions usually have better rates if your credit is the reason you are not financing. As far as both those cars they both sound extremely iffy
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRP350z View Post
Saw a really clean 07 g35 today, 65k miles 3 owners.
Only problems i found were beginning of the middle subframe bushing starting to leak and the ac compressor wouldn't stay running (hoping just needs a recharge). Current owner bought the car 5 months ago and never drove/registered. Talked him down to 8k and said i'd be back in the morning to pick it up.
Congrats! I've driven both and they're both superb cars; G35 was my first choice for the back seats, actually. I adore my "second choice" so I'm sure you will too lol.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:36 AM   #13
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picketchures

My 9 year daily beater avalon in the background, the new car is a big improvement. A nice middle ground between that and my 90 mustang gt 5-sp 331 stroker i had built but sold to buy a tractor. except more comfort and way better car body condition overall.





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