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Aaron's 350z Build - The Weekend Racer

Old 07-24-2018, 06:21 AM
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AWolo
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Default Aaron's 350z Build - The Weekend Racer

Hello everyone! My names Aaron and I’m excited to be back in the car game with a new to me platform.
Introduction Thread: https://my350z.com/forum/new-owners/...y-excited.html

After spending a few years away from the car scene, I’ve rejoined with what I think is the perfect sports car for me right now. The 350z checked off all the boxes I wanted. Rwd, power, reliable, fun, 2 seater, etc.

I originally wanted a 370z, but after some consideration, I figured an HR powered 350z would be a better choice. Parts would be cheaper, it’s a tried and true platform and any nice 370z would be considerably more money. I had been looking for a long time, and when a 2007 popped up locally, I jumped on it.

2007 350z – Base Model – Redline Red – 6-Speed – 80k Miles – BONE STOCK!

Quick recap, I spent 10+ years in the DSM scene. And the last 4 or so of that I was heavy into AutoCross and was doing very well in a few local regions running SM Class. There were a few things that happened, which allowed, or maybe forced, me to realize I needed to step away for a bit. I was getting burnt out on all of the nickel and diming a E85 20g powered SCCA car was doing to me.

And both my father and my wife’s father were diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer….so yeah, I needed to refocus. My wife’s father lost his battle 12/15/17. My father is still kicking, but it’s an ugly situation.

Anyway, I wanted some joy back in my life, and another car was the answer.

PLANS: This car will not be my daily, I have my trusty Tacoma for anything else I need and the winter months. I want to get back into some SCCA events, nothing crazy, but I’d like to run again. I met a lot of great people in my home MBR Region (Erie, PA) and I miss events with those guys. I also want the car to be a nice fair weather cruiser for my wife and I. I think the 350z will do very well on both accounts.

If I’m being honest, there was one thing I was looking forward to doing, and that was simple mods. Easy things to work on and install that would bring me joy and make the car more “mine” in my eyes. So over the next few months, I’m going to take my time, and make modifications as I see fit. As far as performance goes, I think I’m going to wait a bit, finish out this year before I start to unlock some power for next season.

Here she is!

The day I brought her home.










I’ve always like the eye-lids on a 350z. I think it gives the front end a much more aggressive look.



I upgraded the stock radio to a nice Double-Din unit for some connectivity. I do plan on changing out the stock speakers for better sounding hardware. I also installed my weighted shift **** from my last car, repainted Redline to match the car of course.



Fresh oil change at 80,989 miles – Royal Purple 5w-30 and an OEM Filter



Stay tuned!

Last edited by AWolo; 07-24-2018 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:56 AM
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Nice looking Redline Z. I'd also suggest you change out the tranny fluid to Redline MT85 and do a full bleed of the brake master/system with your favorite brake fluid.
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
Nice looking Redline Z. I'd also suggest you change out the tranny fluid to Redline MT85 and do a full bleed of the brake master/system with your favorite brake fluid.
My first car was red, and my last DSM was a form of red. I'm really digging the Redline color! Feels good to be back in a red car. Idk what it is about it.

One step ahead of ya dkmura! I have the tranny fluid ready and waiting. I was planning on doing it after the oil change, but I had the car in the driveway and it started to pour. So I finished up and worked on some things inside the garage while the wife was at work. Hence the head unit install.

Brake fluid is on the short list as well. The dealer I bought the car from put brand new pads/rotors/tires on the car. So i'm planning on running the pads and rotors until at least next season, before thinking about something more racer spec'd, I really doubt i'm going to be putting a lot of miles on the car. I may do one event on the stock wheels/tires, just to have some fun, but I don't want to ruin those tires as nice daily/off-season shoes. I do plan on addressing the fluid very soon. Thinking some Motul RB600, but that might be overkill.

Maintenance short list:
- Tranny Fluid Change
- Brake Fluid Change
- Clutch Fluid Change
- Differential Bushings
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Old 07-26-2018, 05:19 AM
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Nice ride.

Personally, I wouldn't go with anything other that OEM Nissan fluid in the trans, but I've heard they changed the formula or something recently? Not sure if Motul offers an option, but I ran Redline MT85 in my old trans and it killed my 3rd and 5th gear synchros, so just consider other options.

I'd also ditch the royal purple. I've seen engine teardowns that ran the stuff and it didn't look very pretty. I think it's ability to actually properly lubricate and protect your engine isn't that great. I ran Mobil1 for most of the life of my car and just recently switched to Motul after camming the car. During the teardown at Z1 for the work they commented on how clean the engine was throughout, so just an item of note.

Best of luck!

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Old 07-26-2018, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by RENFRO View Post
Nice ride.

Personally, I wouldn't go with anything other that OEM Nissan fluid in the trans, but I've heard they changed the formula or something recently? Not sure if Motul offers an option, but I ran Redline MT85 in my old trans and it killed my 3rd and 5th gear synchros, so just consider other options.

I'd also ditch the royal purple. I've seen engine teardowns that ran the stuff and it didn't look very pretty. I think it's ability to actually properly lubricate and protect your engine isn't that great. I ran Mobil1 for most of the life of my car and just recently switched to Motul after camming the car. During the teardown at Z1 for the work they commented on how clean the engine was throughout, so just an item of note.

Best of luck!
Agree on Mobil 1, but disagree on the MT85. I've used MT85 (or MTL and MT90 mixed, as we used to do in the past) in both race and street Zs and never had a problem. Much of it has to do with how good your heel-toe and rev-matching skills are. Together, a good gearbox lubricant and accurate rev-matching takes a lot of stress off the syncros and MT85 is blended with enough friction to allow them to work properly.

As for engine lubricants, do take some time to read the sticky on VQ UOA in the engine and drivetrain section. The latest 0-40W Mobil 1 FS formulation is cheap and available at Walmart for about $25 (5 quart bottle- 2018 pricing) and remains one of the best options out there. Motul Gear Comp 75W-140 is great stuff (but pricy) for the NISMO or Wavetrac diffs in the T3-spec Z, but I use plain Valvoline 75W-140 DOT 5 synthetic in my VLSD street diff without any problem.

Just my $0.02, but proven after years of racing. Good luck and let us know how your results at the track go!
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
Agree on Mobil 1, but disagree on the MT85. I've used MT85 (or MTL and MT90 mixed, as we used to do in the past) in both race and street Zs and never had a problem. Much of it has to do with how good your heel-toe and rev-matching skills are. Together, a good gearbox lubricant and accurate rev-matching takes a lot of stress off the syncros and MT85 is blended with enough friction to allow them to work properly.

As for engine lubricants, do take some time to read the sticky on VQ UOA in the engine and drivetrain section. The latest 0-40W Mobil 1 FS formulation is cheap and available at Walmart for about $25 (5 quart bottle- 2018 pricing) and remains one of the best options out there. Motul Gear Comp 75W-140 is great stuff (but pricy) for the NISMO or Wavetrac diffs in the T3-spec Z, but I use plain Valvoline 75W-140 DOT 5 synthetic in my VLSD street diff without any problem.

Just my $0.02, but proven after years of racing. Good luck and let us know how your results at the track go!
I appreciate the input gentlemen.

Ill run this RP 5w-30 until next AX season starts, and then make the switch to Mobil 1 5w-30. No sense in wasting money and I doubt any real damage will be done with normal highway commuting and minimal spirited runs between now and then. However I'm hoping to do at least one AX this summer with my old region. I honestly cant see anything catastrophic happening just because i'm running RP. So I will keep everyone posted on the results. Maybe i'll throw in some oil stabilizer for the time being?

I've used MT90 before and had great results with no issues. And that was with a 400+hp AWD DSM, launching at 20psi for 150+ AX runs. And those transmissions aren't known for their reliability at 400hp and above. And that car was 10 years older than my Z. With the Z I will be practicing my heel/toe more. Being a base model, I probably wont touch the rear diff until I save up enough for a proper LSD down the road.

RENFRO - Was your Z a 03-05? I believe the earlier models are more prone to Synco issues, where they not? Still learning about this platform though, so I could be mistaken.
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by AWolo View Post

RENFRO - Was your Z a 03-05? I believe the earlier models are more prone to Synco issues, where they not? Still learning about this platform though, so I could be mistaken.
Yes it was, which was the main root of the problem to begin with...I sorta always felt like it got worse much faster after the redline switch, but coulda easily been in my head. I swapped for a brand new CD009 and haven't had issues, but still on the OEM fluid. When it's time to change it I'll definitely be looking into options.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:49 AM
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UPDATE: 8/28/2018

Well, the mod bug hit me a little bit. I ended up picking up a Megan Y-Pipe and Z1 M-Spec Dual exhaust system for a great price! I ABSOLUTELY love how the car sounds. The VQ noise is intoxicating. However, the fitment on the right rear isn't great, so i have to figure out whats going on. But it sounds awesome, especially at full tilt.

No pictures or videos yet.

I did get my lip and small duckbill spoiler paint matched and installed.

Felt great to be working on a car again.





NEW FAVORITE PHOTO!!!


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Old 09-06-2018, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AWolo View Post
UPDATE: 8/28/2018

Well, the mod bug hit me a little bit. I ended up picking up a Megan Y-Pipe and Z1 M-Spec Dual exhaust system for a great price! I ABSOLUTELY love how the car sounds. The VQ noise is intoxicating. However, the fitment on the right rear isn't great, so i have to figure out whats going on. But it sounds awesome, especially at full tilt.

No pictures or videos yet.

I did get my lip and small duckbill spoiler paint matched and installed.

Felt great to be working on a car again.





NEW FAVORITE PHOTO!!!

Glad the exhaust worked! Thought it be maybe a tad too loud, but glad you love it.
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Old 09-07-2018, 06:12 AM
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Great photos of that AX6 shine! I also have to mention that your approach to working on the Z is impressive. Small changes, done as you can afford them, are the right way to mod your car.
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mgk5391 View Post
Glad the exhaust worked! Thought it be maybe a tad too loud, but glad you love it.
Exhaust sounds great, and honestly its quieted down a bit since installing. The only issue i'm having is the passenger side rear muffler. I don't have any of the adjustment thats built into the exhaust system. Not sure why, but i'll be looking at it again soon. I'm wondering if the Megan Y-pipe is longer than stock, thus pushing the fitment out. I have the drivers side out as far as possible, to make it look close to even on both sides. But its noticeable and it bugs me.

Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
Great photos of that AX6 shine! I also have to mention that your approach to working on the Z is impressive. Small changes, done as you can afford them, are the right way to mod your car.
Appreciate the kind words dkmura! I've somewhat always been this way as i've never had the option to just throw money at cars like some people do. It was very easy to make good power in my DSMs. But this being my first true sports car, im def. taking my time to enjoy it and mod it in a tasteful way.

I planned on running in my regions AutoCross event this coming Sunday, but my wife is having surgery on the 12th, so I likely wont be making the trip. Time to plan for next season!

Last edited by AWolo; 09-10-2018 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:29 AM
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UPDATE: 9/24/2018

Well... I ran my first AX in the Z on Saturday. And after 3 years off, I have to say I'm very rusty and not at all used to an RWD car. Some of my buddies from my old region came down to run in the Challenge event. It was great to be back racing with those guys.

Ran the car in CS Class

As you'd expect the crap all-season on the car didn't fare well. She was spinning EVERYWHERE. And honestly, it was an absolute blast!!! I was laughing the entire time and so were my old crew mates who rode along. As one of my buddies put it..."you showed up in the least prepared car here and still finished mid-pack, those people should be embarrassed." HAHA

Once I have all the regular maintenance up to date, the list below will be a must for next season.
1. Some actual AX/Race spec tires
2. AX/Race spec brake pads - Dealership I got the car from put brand new tires and pads o the car. Both on the cheap side, so they didn't enjoy Saturday.
3. A true LSD
4. Suspension Upgrades

Only took a few pictures. I'll link the videos once they are uploaded.



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Old 09-28-2018, 09:40 PM
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Really clean car, and looks like your having some fun with it.
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:43 AM
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Narrow that list down to getting a set of AX-specific tires for next year and add a set of cheap stock alloys to it. Learn what the Z does on a set of good rubber, and save the street rubber from being tortured further.
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:49 AM
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And rather than waste any more $$ on a brake upgrade, start looking in the classifieds on this board for a set of used OEM Brembos. They'll add a dimension to your ability to properly modulate your brakes and will last MUCH longer that the brake kit on your base model. Besides, updating/backdating to that type of BBK should keep your car in CS.
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by terrasmak View Post
Really clean car, and looks like your having some fun with it.
Thanks! Yeah, I'm very much enjoying the platform. My commute to work has a small number of twisty roads to it, and it's been nice to hold speed through the turns, unlike my Taco. Looking forward to next season already.

Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
Narrow that list down to getting a set of AX-specific tires for next year and add a set of cheap stock alloys to it. Learn what the Z does on a set of good rubber, and save the street rubber from being tortured further.
Already on it. I had no plans to AX long term on the street rubber. I just wanted to get her out on a course at least once before the snow flies to see how she handled it. I did pick up a set of 18x9.5s for the car, the price was too good to pass up. Butttt....they'd bump me out of CS. Although, I wanted a fun street car to AX, not an AX car I could drive on the street like my last build, so we'll see what ends up happening.
​​​​​​​
Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
And rather than waste any more $$ on a brake upgrade, start looking in the classifieds on this board for a set of used OEM Brembos. They'll add a dimension to your ability to properly modulate your brakes and will last MUCH longer than the brake kit on your base model. Besides, updating/backdating to that type of BBK should keep your car in CS.
​​​​​​​​​​​​
That's a good point. Do it right, do it once. I'll keep an eye out for some used Brembos.

This will be a slow build. I just want to drive/enjoy it.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:20 AM
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UPDATE: 12/7/2018

What's up, everyone!? Sorry for not updating in a while. The last few months have been a little crazy. On November 3rd, my father lost his battle with Pancreatic Cancer. So I've been pretty busy handling the estate and the families needs. That has begun to slow down and it's been nice to get back to normalcy.

Here with a few updates to the build and some plans. As of right now, she sits in my storage unit. Snows started flying and they put enough salt down to make you sick. There's' no way I'm bringing her out in this. I'll be starting her up every few weeks to keep things fresh.

I have purchased a few things:
1. Took advantage of Z1s black Friday deal and picked up some long tube intakes.
2. Picked up a used Bilstein shock/spring combo
3. Found a local with a low mileage stock LSD for $150. (going to swap that in and have my open diff built properly)
4. PIcked up a nice set of 18x9.5 +15 wheels as well. (still no tires yet)

Been keeping my eye out for a good deal on some OEM Brembos.

Hoping to have a nice little collection of parts ready for the spring. Going to have some buddies drive in and hold a nice mod session like old times.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:56 AM
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Very sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Having cared for, and lost, three members of my family who fought different forms of the Big C, I understand all too well how difficult those battles are.

A couple of comments on your mod list. The LT intakes will take you out of CS, but won't add much in terns of HP without a tune. Might want to recheck the rules before making the jump. The Bilstein B9s are a nice upgrade, but any idea of what the spring rates? The shocks won't bump you, but upgraded springs will once again move your out of the stock class. The OEM VLSD uses different stub axles, so don't swap everything just yet. Might want to recheck axle lengths and fitment first. Ah well, the 9.5" wheels will bump you into the modified class anyway, so get ready to make the jump!
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
Very sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Having cared for, and lost, three members of my family who fought different forms of the Big C, I understand all too well how difficult those battles are.

A couple of comments on your mod list. The LT intakes will take you out of CS, but won't add much in terms of HP without a tune. Might want to recheck the rules before making the jump. The Bilstein B9s are a nice upgrade, but any idea of what the spring rates? The shocks won't bump you, but upgraded springs will once again move you out of the stock class. The OEM VLSD uses different stub axles, so don't swap everything just yet. Might want to recheck axle lengths and fitment first. Ah well, the 9.5" wheels will bump you into the modified class anyway, so get ready to make the jump!
We lost my wifes' father to the same exact disease and prognosis on 12/15/17. She's an NP working in Oncology so C is always around us. Difficult battles indeed. I know how you feel.

As for the mods, well...I tried...lol. A tune is on the menu for sure. Tune will bring it all together in the spring. I do have plans for that.

Everything I read about the stock LSD and stock open diff said it was an even swap when both cars were manual. I may have to do some more digging. Hope I didn't waste $150. To clarify, it would be a pumpkin for pumpkin swap.

Yes, the 9.5 width does bump me, so its a moot point on the springs. I'm a huge fan of 5 spoke wheels so when I saw these in the classifieds a while back, I had to grab them. Especially for the price.

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Old 03-11-2019, 05:30 AM
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UPDATE: 3/11/2019

What's up, everyone! Very excited for spring to get here. In May I'm heading to the Dragon with a group of my SCCA buddies, very excited to get the car out for its first real road trip with me and some old friends. Will be nice to have some windshield time to my self given the last few months.

I haven't gotten around to installing anything yet, but I did pick up a set of Kinetix Upper Arms for some camber adjustment once I have the suspension on.

Weather is turning here, so I'm hoping to get the car out of storage in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned!
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