Archive for the ‘300ZX Build’ Category

(Editors note: The original trailer has been replaced with our new official trailer for 2019.)

I know… It’s been a while. I’m still here. Still plugging away at the documentary in my free time. And friends, I’m closer than ever to completing it!

I’ve got a strong 40 minute rough cut, and the response from industry friends who’ve viewed it has been very positive. I’ve been working my way through the mountains of footage, building on that rough cut, and really hashing out story arcs for the remaining characters, including those from a shoot last year that introduced three new characters to the film.

I decided to cut an extended trailer incorporating some of this new footage, and use it to introduce the other characters (albeit just visually for now), as well as finally getting some track footage out there!

I’m more excited than ever to finish this project, and can finally start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope you enjoy the trailer (please feel free to share it), and the best is yet to come.

Jay

Z32 300ZX ROAD RACING WATKINS GLEN ARMCO VG30DETT AMPUTEE

It was July of last year… I was 20 minutes into my first Saturday session at the famed Watkins Glen, and had just went off exiting turn 6 “the laces” and tagged the armco. As I limped off track and back to the pits, a million thoughts raced through my mind.

An elderly track official flagged me down to asses the damage, and after a brief walk around the Z said, “Well, you earned your stripes at the Glen today, take pride in that.” It gave us all a good chuckle, and broke the tension I was feeling after the mishap. Back at the pits, I remember staring at the car thinking, “I thought I’d be more upset than this.” But the truth was, this is what I built the Z for! And like everything else I do in life, I didn’t hold back.

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Z32 300ZX TWIN TURBO POCONO RACEWAY HPDE AUDI CLUB OF NJ SPL SUSPENSION ZTUNER ASHSPEC

Photo Credit: Ryan Grae Photography

Almost two years ago to the day I stood in the grandstands of Pocono Raceway, watching my first high performance driving event. As the cars whizzed by, I couldn’t help but wish I was out there.

Last Saturday, that dream finally became a reality.

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Z32 LED HEADLIGHT RETROFIT HALOGEN 300ZX TWIN TURBO

Years ago, I remember thinking my first Z32 had incredibly bright headlights (compared to anything I had driven at that time). Flash forward 10 years, and my 06 (non HID) Honda Civic puts it to shame. What a difference 10 years of technology make.

I was incredibly disappointed while driving my current Z at night; it was damn near dangerous how lousy the stock Halogen projectors were. HID retrofit kits are fairly cheap, but they’re well known to not work correctly (and for being illegal) when installed in “non HID” designed housings, the most common issue being a non focused beam shooting bright light everywhere without the proper cutoff (blinding other drivers in the process).

So when a forum post introducing a new LED retrofit kit popped up (that was said to work correctly with the old Halogen housings), I took a chance and got in on the group buy. Here are my first impressions.

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Z32 JSPEC J-SPEC DIY PAINT RATTLE CAN TWIN TURBO AH6 CRP CHERRY RED PEARL

Finished up my DIY J-Spec bumper paint job this weekend! When I twin turbo swapped the car last year, I needed a bumper with openings for the added intercoolers. Luckily, I scored a used J-Spec bumper for a great deal a while back, but it was baby blue.

I drove around like that for 6 months or so, until couldn’t stand it anymore. I got estimates around $300 to $400 from body shops (outrageous), and up to $600 if I wanted it “blended” into the fenders & hood. The rest of the car is original paint, and I wanted to keep it that way. So I decided to just tackle the job myself.

Follow along and see just how I did it!

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Z32 300ZX PARTS CAR CRUSHED SCRAP

The white Z finally met its maker this week… in spectacular fashion. I can’t say I was sorry to see it go. After a year of trying to rebuild her, countless dollars, and 15 stitches; walking away from that car was the best decision I ever made.

Hindsight is 20/20 they say, and it’s clear to me now I should have never tried to rebuild it in the first place. I’m also ready to admit that much of the fire to save her stemmed from starting this blog, and having people follow the build so closely. In all honesty, I was afraid if I walked away, would people think I walked because the car was a hopeless basket-case, or would they think I couldn’t get it done because of my “disability.”

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Z32 VG30DETT TWIN TURBO SWAP 5 SPEED SWAP 300ZX

MY Twin Turbo Z! Pulled another marathon 7 day stretch in the garage and went for the first test drive yesterday afternoon. I was literally giggling like a school girl.

After priming the oiling system, the motor fired right up after just a few cranks – a real testament to Harry (Ztuner) and the quality work he does. Still have a bunch of bugs to sort out before ZCON (and I’m back to work & down to weekends wrenching only), but I couldn’t be happier! I have to break the motor in (so little to no boost), but keeping it under 5 psi and about 1/4 throttle, she felt fantastic. The JWT BB 550’s (with Abler manifolds & AshSpec breather mods) spool like crazy! Can’t wait till I can really put the hammer down.

You should have seen the strange looks I got driving around town with no hood / nose, but I couldn’t have cared less. This is two years in the making guys…you couldn’t have wiped the smile off my face if you tried.

(Click past the break for build spec’s and a few teaser shots from the build.)

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VG30DETT Z32 TT SWAP 300ZX 5 SPEED SWAP

For a while, I almost thought this day would never come… Two years, two cars, countless man hours (and plenty of  dollars & frustration) have gotten me to this point, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. Especially when I put the hammer down for the first time and feel all 450HP under my foot!

I’m 7 straight (10+ hour) days into the swap, and boy am I exhausted. I was trying to get her finished before starting a new edit gig the end of this week, but there just weren’t enough hours in the day. I’d say I’m at about the halfway point, but most of the “hard” work is done. So for now, it’s back to the big city for me – the Z will have to wait till I get some more time off in July. I’m incredibly happy to have gotten to this point though, and figure I’ve got a good solid 7 or so more days in the garage to get it all finished up. Pushing to have it ready for ZCON in Nashua, New Hampshire this August. There’s a track day that Thursday that I’m hoping will be the Z (and my) maiden voyage on the track!

I’ve been taking plenty of pictures, and am grateful that an old friend has spent a few days in the garage filming with me as well. I plan to do full write ups on everything that’s been done to the car, but I just don’t have the time now. I’ve been updating the Facebook page daily though, so if you want a sneak peak into what’s going on, stop by and “like” us over there – facebook.com/jsworks.org

Wanted to drop a quick note here and let you all know that progress is being made. Super stoked right now! A lot more to come.

Stay tuned,

Jay

JSWORKS_Suspension_Finished

Hard to believe over a year has past since my first “Suspension – Part 1” post, but here we are. The good news is I’m back at it with the new Z (and a straight chassis this time). So this post is a little rehash of what was installed last year (on the white Z), with a bunch of new parts thrown into the mix.

If I’m honest, when I first picked up the red Z, I was a little disappointed with the car’s handling. All my previous Z32’s had been Twin Turbo versions with the factory adjustable suspension; I had never owned a 2+2 before (or an NA for that matter), so I assumed the lack luster handling had a lot to do with that. I was also concerned that the 2+2 chassis might somehow be less stiff than the 2+0, as the car really squeaked and rattled while driving around town.

Thankfully, 98% of that came from the very tired 132K mile factory suspension. With the new SPL, Ground Control, and Tokico parts installed, the car literally transformed into a tight corner carver with far less body roll and tendency to “push” through the turns. So follow along and see just how I did it.

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300ZX Z32 SSR TYPE C WINTER WONDERLAND

It’s been a cold snowy winter here in the Northeast, and the Z’s spent much of it under a blanket of snow. I’ve been working behind the scenes (and computer screens) parting out what’s left of the white Z, editing footage, and scouring the interwebs for every last part I’ll need for the twin turbo / 5 speed swap come spring.

But with clear skies and temps reaching the mid 50’s last weekend, I couldn’t resist the chance to get out the cleaning supplies and give the Z a good detail. Here was my chance to give the original 20-year-old paint a much-needed layer of protection from the harsh winter elements. So follow along as I take you through the steps of a good quality detail!

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