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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-14-2006, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Given how much money I've spent on my car, people ask me if there's an end to it and if I'll ever be happy. The other car enthusiasts always say, "The car is never finished" with a smile and a wink.

I gave it some thought, and for me that's not true. I've come up with "stages" of completeness. Basically, if the car reaches that "stage" I'll be happy with leaving it as it is, but if I modify further I'd have to finish the next stage before I consider the car "finished" again.

So, here are my stages of completeness for my '03 350Z Touring (N.B. it doesn't cover the replacement of consumables, since those things have to get replaced anyway. Only replacing parts in working order):


Stage 1:

Full exhaust (extractors, cat, mufflers)
Pod filter + cold air induction
Piggyback / Aftermarket ECU
Coilovers + swaybars
Lightweight Wheels
Short shifter
Lightweight flywheel
Plenum spacer
Brembo Brakes w/ braided lines & master cylinder stopper
A/V head unit and replacement speakers / amps for factory locations
Power Steering Cooler
Oil cooler
Extractors
High Flow Cats

Stage 2a:

Medium cam upgrade (not quite racecar big, but bigger than "mild")
1.5 Way LSD
221kW intake plenum / modified stock plenum

Stage 2b:

Mild cam upgrade
APS Twin Turbo kit with custom tune
EBC
1.5 Way LSD
Uprated clutch
Oil cooler
Uprated / lightweight radiator

Stage 3:

Ings+1 N-spec bodykit
Defi gauges
Badges etc


There's an a and b path, depending on if I keep the car NA and keep the grip/power ratio on the positive, or go all out and get twin turbos....which may lead to an unforeseen brake / wheel upgrade.

Also, if I pop the bottom end I'll get it rebuilt properly, but since its a repair and not a replacement of a working product I don't consider it in my staging. None of my mods technically require a bottom end rebuild, since APS' TT kit seems to be holding up well and even with the EBC and cam I'm not after that much more power.


As you can see, I'm almost at Stage 1 Complete. Once I get there, I'll have to decide if I suck it in and go to Stage 2 or leave the car at a mild upgrade but not that much more stressed than stock.


So, do other people have a modification roadmap?

"I swear, officer, its all factory options!"


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Understeer is when you hit the tree with the front wheel.
Oversteer is when you hit it with the back.
Horsepower is how hard you hit the tree...
Torque is how far you drag it...
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-14-2006, 11:25 PM
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Great one Alan,

I reckon if everyone does this, you will minimise the money spent on going back and forth with the mods that you don't like at all.

I wasted some money before I understood the z (just when I got the car), so spent some unnecessary money here and there to change the things that I have bought. So I came up with similar stages too and found that it saves quite a lot of money...

I have finished my last stage already and by saying that, I will stay here for a long while before I do anything to the car... I also learnt one thing, modification road is hard and bumpy and you got so much uncertainty ahead of you that you either spend more money to resolve it or quite where you have the problem since no one can tell you exactly what will happen when you do this and that since every car is different... (and also being an annal person like me is also extremely difficult).

cheers,

richie


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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-14-2006, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, my staging doesn't really include the various incidentals like trim and stuff. Since I'm all about using my car on the circuit and the road, my roadmap only really covers performance mods.

I'm doing that badge group buy with Domino (which is technically a Stage 3 mod). If something from a higher stage comes up cheap of course I'll buy it, but I won't go out of my way to get it unless its a good deal.

Like, if I can get a genuine Ings+1 CF kit for a grand then I'll buy it before doing the LSD (which would cost about the same all told).

"I swear, officer, its all factory options!"


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Understeer is when you hit the tree with the front wheel.
Oversteer is when you hit it with the back.
Horsepower is how hard you hit the tree...
Torque is how far you drag it...
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 01:11 AM
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I have spent the better part of 18-24 months making my road map (didn't spend a dime untill I did the 1st half of the stereo a month ago). I have almost an entire notebook to the mods i am going to do. From the stereo, gauges, and interior looks, to the built engine, bodykit and suspension, to the graphics that are going to ride down the side. The only thing I cant say is a definate, is the exact wheel and rubber model I am going with. I know what I want as far as color and "dishy-ness" but I don't know what model i want. I will find tires to fit when i finally decide on wheels.
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 02:14 AM
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Good post Alan. I have a "To do" list which is basically a roadmap.


STAGE 1 (completed - purely aesthetic mods):

1. 19 inch Wheels/Tyres
2. Lowering springs
3. Swaybars
4. HID kit


STAGE 2 (Up to no 3)

1. APS TT
2. Koni Shocks/RSR Springs
3. Oil cooler
4. Larger radiator
5. Slotted discs
6. Defi Link Display


Stage 3 (I'm sure I would have sold the car before I get to this stage)

1. Ugraded internals (rods, pistons, etc)
2. APS Extreme Fuel System
3. And whatever other parts need to be upgraded to get the power to the ground.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 04:31 AM
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wow those are some impressive modding plans

for me it's just fit the Nismo kit hanging around in my garage - but im still waiting on my ganador mirrors and 06 headlights, and then counting the months until i turn 25 next year, which im hoping by then HKS would have released their new supercharger kit for the 300hp engine

oh and some brembo drilled discs when im due for replacements


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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 05:21 AM
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I don't have a pre planned map per say, however i do have an ideolgy as to what I want the car to be.

The Z is a not a bad car from factory. Having said that, it does however have it short comings that were understandably a result of budget constraints by nissan.

I dont look at it as so modding the car, rather re-engineering it. Meaning, what ever bothers me about the car i'll replace and ammend.

The car IMO should of came with the following from factory (to name a few)
Better Top end
Slotted Brake
More aggressive exhaust

I like the way it looks so I'm not too interested in the body kits. I like the audio system so no ice needed.

As more and more things pop up that i do not like, i will replace that with something better.

Cheers

Custom Grounding Kit
K&N Drop-in with Carbon Fibre Intake Tube

(APS) True Dual SS 2.5" Exhaust

Motordyne 5/16 Plenum Spacer
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 06:26 AM
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i'm wondering why the body kit is last?
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 10:07 AM
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I was trying to put something like this together as a guide for others, but I am having trouble finishing it. Let me know if you would like to help complete it.

AIM: jbass350z

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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Sure.

Obviously its a bit different down in Aus. Our range of parts we can easily get is a bit more limited. Obviously, since most of us order from the US.

And since the car / parts are a lot cheaper (relative to the average wage) we can't "afford" to do as much as our American counterparts.

"I swear, officer, its all factory options!"


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Understeer is when you hit the tree with the front wheel.
Oversteer is when you hit it with the back.
Horsepower is how hard you hit the tree...
Torque is how far you drag it...
scathing is offline  
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