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Future HR owner. Need your advice

Old 07-10-2019, 12:00 PM
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Bernardo Z33
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Default Future HR owner. Need your advice

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is having a great day. As some of you know I own a lemans sunset orange Z 2003 with 165k. Sheís worn out and sheís squeaks and creaks and 3rd has been grinding for 2 years.

Ive noticed the HR 350z has gone down in price over the years. Iím looking to purchase one to replace my worn out DE. I have many bolt on mods on my DE and our HR brothers are just superior. I know the HR model in and out with the interior/exterior revisions. Iíve done a lot of research and the ONLY issue I seem to find that makes me not want to buy an HR is the oil gallery gasket failure they were known for having. My DE oil pressure is 23 at idle which is good. Many HR reported having low oil pressure.

What do do you guys recommend or think? I donít want to buy an HR and then months or weeks down the road have to shell out thousands of dollars to replace that gasket. Iím a shade tree mechanic and have done a lot of things to my Z but I donít believe Iím skilled enough to tackle a job like that.

is it a hit or miss?
is there ways to prevent it like using lighter oil?
Has it happened to all HRs?
do manuals have it more Han autos?
has any HR made it to 250k without replacing it?

thank you all again. Sorry for the long thread. Id love to hear you HR owners thoughts. Much love to my Z family.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:57 PM
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dkmura
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I can't answer all your questions, but do have some significant experience with both the DE and HR engines. I'm a pre-order '03 track owner with over 100K on it. There's also the racecar, an '06 Z33 with an HR swap. Over the years, I've raced the DE, revup and HR at different points and all of them have lasted without any significant engine issues. And while the HR does have a slight edge in performance, it's not significant enough to want me to trade or sell my trusty DE-powered Z.

Never had a problem with the oil galley gasket on my HR, although it does get regular Mobil 1 0-40 FS oil changes. This is with an engine that hits redline almost every time it hits the track. As detailed in my 2019 race thread, the worst damage has been a bent oil pan after an off track excursion at my last SCCA race. Do what you like, but I upgraded my 03 Z with the mid-model Z interior and couldn't be more satisfied.
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:00 PM
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Bernardo Z33
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Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
I can't answer all your questions, but do have some significant experience with both the DE and HR engines. I'm a pre-order '03 track owner with over 100K on it. There's also the racecar, an '06 Z33 with an HR swap. Over the years, I've raced the DE, revup and HR at different points and all of them have lasted without any significant engine issues. And while the HR does have a slight edge in performance, it's not significant enough to want me to trade or sell my trusty DE-powered Z.

Never had a problem with the oil galley gasket on my HR, although it does get regular Mobil 1 0-40 FS oil changes. This is with an engine that hits redline almost every time it hits the track. As detailed in my 2019 race thread, the worst damage has been a bent oil pan after an off track excursion at my last SCCA race. Do what you like, but I upgraded my 03 Z with the mid-model Z interior and couldn't be more satisfied.
Thanks man! Thatís awesome to know. Good for you Iím glad. However for me my DE is getting really old. To the point where it will sooner or later need a lot of maintenance. Iíd like to sell it now before it loses even more value. So from your story the HR gallery gasket is a hit or miss?
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:50 PM
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jellofuel
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You could keep your z for another year or two, then sell it and buy a 370z. They're depreciating pretty quick, so that could be an option. Even better, it seems like they ironed out all the issues the plagued the VQ35 engines. Side note, any HR is now 11 years old, so it's hard to say how reliable the engine would be, between the car changing owners several times and aging.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:33 PM
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Chihuahuamaster
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I've had an HR engine since 50k miles (auto), and a different one around 100k miles (manual). Both of them have a 'cold' idle oil pressure of around 25psi (650-750 rpm, varies). When everything is up to temp, and its really hot outside (95F+), the oil pressure is around 12-15psi, which is still in spec according to Nissan. However, this is going off of the OEM gauge, which may or may not be completely accurate, but neither has any odd noises or issues idling around this pressure. I will say with fresh oil, the hot idle I stated above does increase a bit, which is expected.

Most people have concluded that you will run into the issue at some point, whether it's at 30k miles or 300k miles. There's no way to predict this besides taking everything apart and inspecting the gaskets. Personally, I don't see it as such a widespread issue based on research I've done in the past.

Also I've read the 370z forum from time to time, and they are not safe from the gasket problem either. It's just less recognized because there is no stock oil pressure gauge.
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