Posts Tagged ‘Z32’

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

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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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300zx Z32 Island Dragway Quarter Mile 1/4 Mile Track Day

What’s the best way to christen a new ride you ask? Take it to the track of course! Feeling satisfied with my new purchase (and with the unusually high temperatures on what would have normally been a cold November Sunday), I couldn’t resist the temptation to head down to Island Dragway in Great Meadows, NJ for the last Test n Tune of the season!

Since purchasing the Z, I’ve been making good progress chasing down lots of little issues that come with owning a car of this age, and have most of the major ones resolved. Yes, I know the entire car will be ripped apart for the Twin Turbo/5 speed swap come spring, but I needed to drive it while my arm healed, so I wanted to make sure it was in the best possible condition.

The other reason… I just plain love driving a Z! Like I said in my previous post – after a year of setbacks, it feels so good to be driving a Z again, even if it is a non turbo automatic.

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300ZX, Z32, JSWORKS, TRACK BUILD, ROAD RACING, SSR TYPE C

As always, it’s been tough to find the time to update the blog. I really left you with quite a cliffhanger in my last post, so I thought I’d drop this quick teaser shot of the new Z (!) and update where the project stands.

The good news is my stitches are out and I’m healed enough to be back to work professionally (and personally with the build). I’m still not 100% – but every day my arm heals a bit more and I’m almost back to business as usual. The few weeks of mandatory rest were a welcome break from the [self imposed] insanity, and really allowed me to put a lot into perspective. I’d like to say thank you to all the people who reached out to me through the blog and various forums after my Escalation of Commitment post, your words of encouragement and advice were much appreciated.

I decided fairly quickly that I would continue with the project in some form or another, but initially planned to take the winter off – pay down some debt – and wait till spring to decide where to go from there. With all the down time (and boredom that ensued), I inevitably started scanning various online publications for Z’s, and quickly became discouraged (again) with what was out there.

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A week from yesterday I was sitting in an emergency room, bleeding through my homemade bandage of paper towels and an old ace bandage. My right arm sliced open by a car almost comically enacting revenge on me like a jilted lover (or the mythical “Christine” from the Stephen King novel).

While I waited for the ER staff to admit and eventually stitch me up, I had plenty of time, what felt like an eternity honestly, to ponder – how did I get here?

The Z build has become a lot like a bad relationship. The type of relationship that in your heart of hearts, you knew was doomed from the start. The brief highs never seem to outweigh the long periods of exhausting lows. But still, you keep trying. You keep thinking, I can fix it; I can SAVE it! You invest all your free time, energy, and money – and there are brief periods where it looks like you’re going to make it work – but it never seems to pan out. Always ending up right back where you started.

Eventually you hit rock bottom and do what you knew you should have done from the start… end it. The Z knew her time was up: I had reached my rock bottom. But sometimes just as jilted lovers do, she had to have the last word. 15 stitches later, I heard her loud and clear.

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SPL Radiator JPC Fabrication Z32 300ZX

Bear with me for a moment… have you ever heard of the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” by Robert M. Pirsig? The title tends to get thrown around in automotive circles – usually by car guys (watching other car guys) struggle with a stubborn part, [miss] diagnosis, or any other issue causing a hapless mechanic distress.

It’s cited in such a way as to say, take a break/calm down, get in a focused state of mind, and the answers will come; “you know, like ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.’” Having finally read the book last year, I can honestly say; people who throw that statement around have probably never read it!

The book touches very little on the art of motorcycle maintenance (or any Zen like state to accomplish said maintenance). The author himself stating, “it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It’s not very factual on motorcycles, either.”

Having said that, it’s a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it (for reasons other than the title implies). But I digress… at this point, you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with radiator repair? Stay with me just a little longer.

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