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Hello. Thanks for taking the time to look at this to try and help me out. I'm looking into getting a Z for early spring (March). I've been reading into them a good amount as I have other cars I've been researching on to decide what to get. I was thinking the roadster at first but after looking at pictures of both I'm kinda leaning towards the coupe since I really don't like the ZR with the top up at all. It looks a lot like a new mr2 like that which I'm not a huge fan of. I was planning on doing a targa top in the coupe anyways so my feel of "open air" should be no problem after that! :biggrin:

Anyways, to the topic at hand. I believe the Z's came out in 2003 if I'm not mistaken (possibly 02, but I didn't research the years too much). I'd like to know the differences in the 03, 04, and 05 models. Anything you can possibly think of. Body wise, engine wise, tranny wise, interior, brakes, wheels, suspension, you get the idea! Heh. I did a search on the forums but couldn't come up with anything so I decided just to post my own topic about it.

Also this is a little off topic but how well built/strong/reliable are the Z's engine and drivetrain/axles/etc.? I did some research and came across that the VQ35DE motor ranked in in the "Top 10 Motors" from car and driver I believe it was. Also they ranked in #10 or #11 in "Top 110 Cars" or something of that nature from Motor Trend. I love the look and style they have. I havn't driven one yet but I will be in early March after I do all my research about them and a few other vehicles.

I plan on doing a full motor buildup, twin turbo, all the fuel/cooling/air/engine management/everything all done up right by a professional. Upgraded LSD, drivetrain, etc. I wont be doing this for 3+ years but those are my mods for power anyways. There's a lot more in detail but I'm sure you get the idea. It will be my daily driver for the most part just being used in spring/summer/early fall. I baby every car that I have owned and this one will be babied just the same way. I will run it on low boost for my daily driving and I doubt I'll take it to the track more than like once/twice per year if that.

I want it to be a street monster though for when it needs to be. Put it into high boost and smoke away the V8's that pull up or the turbo'd civic's that pull up as well. No crazy hard launching or auto-x'ing or anything of that nature. I am just extra cautious and want it to be there when I need it. Or for when I'm on the highway and wanna romp on it a big and slam myself into the back of the seat, it will be there for those big grin tons of fun! Heh. I will be doing all sorts of interior/wheels/brakes/body stuff but that's not my biggest thing as that doesn't effect reliability of the car acutally moving.

Here are the main question's and feel free to put your own experiences and whatnot in as well.:
---The Year/Model differences. - And as to what I should go with, 03/04/05?

---Engine reliability stock and with FI? (after all the mods I plan on doing to it)? - I know this is a hard one to tackle but I tried to explain the way I drive, very rational and I baby everything, and honestly - hardly any clutch dumps - mainly just roll on's against people 99% of the time.

---Are there any tranny upgrades that can be done? - Synchromesh/dogcut/etc? Quaife? Kaaz? Etc?

---Are there any axle/drivetrain upgrades that can be done?

---How well do the stock tranny/axle/drivetrain hold up depending on the driving/conditions?

---What type of basic maitnance does FI need on this car? I'll be bringing it to a qualified "no joke" mechanic/tuner to do the maitnance but I'd just like to know off hand.

Anything else you can think of related to what I'm trying to figure out would be appreciated as well.

I've been leaning a lot towards the 350Z because of it's awesome looks, great v6 motor, very good price for what it is, 2 door, rear wheel drive, 2 seater, and 6 speed configuration. I was also looking at the S2000 but am shying away from them hearing a lot of problems when it comes to doing FI on them, even if you don't daily drive the thing and with a crazy full motor buildup I've heard of lots of bad things happening to them. Which is why I am leaning towards a 6 cyl. since they have a lot more potential and can usually handle more HP/Torque.

I was looking into the 240sx 1995+ years and doing the SR20DET swap or finding one w/ the swap done up and building the **** up out of that. I like that it's 2 doors, 2 seater (when rear seat is removed for stereo install), rear wheel drive, manual tranny setup, and a very well built car. But I like the fact that the Z is a lot newer, it's got all the bells and whistles, and I think looks a lot better IMO. So any more input on this or other cars I might like that have the stuff I'm sure you know what I'm looking for now would be helpful too.

Thanks everyone who has looked at this and is trying to help me out and answering questions. I know I do end up posting a HUGE post, especially since it's my first post too. I hope nobody gets pissed about it! I tried to space it up as best as I could. Thank you! I'm in the Albany, NY area too BTW.
 

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:welcome: There is no difference between the 03 and 04, 03 being the first year they came out. The 05 is brand new with no major differences, except maybe a secret here and there. :dunno: I don't really feel the ZR, either. I think the lines in the back are more appealing on the coupe.

There is a whole section on FI here in the modification area. Lots of good info can be learned from reading posts by all the experts on this board. And if you don't see anything that answers your question, you can always post it and be guaranteed an answer or a tip. Let me say that if you truly plan on going FI, you really need to go all the way and upgrade the internals. By my calculations, a good FI setup will run you close to $15k (tt kit, rods, pistons, pipes, exhaust, pulleys, labor, etc).

There are ppl here who are better at answering questions about 05 models. I do know there is an 35th anniversary edition coming out early this year. There is also a sticky thread in the general Z discussion section about it.

Again, nice to see you here and your interest in an awesomely fun car. I bought mine last March and love it. The honeymoon will soon be over, and I can take the Z to a plastic surgeon for some serious mods.
 

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<span style="color:darkblue">The basic differences you will encounter between the 03, 04, and 05 models are minor cosmetic changes. There were a few of these between 03 and 04, and again between 04 and 04.5. I'm not sure if anything has changed between 04.5 and 05. The new Track and Anniversary Edition models will have some performance changes when they are released this month, but I don't think Nissan has said what exactly they've done.

Some of the cosmetic changes are a change in the nav comparent door, a slight change in the console color, knee pads, and an arm rest. I'm not 100% positive, but the tire pressure sensors may now be available on all trims (only available on 18" wheels prior to MY 2005).

As far as mods go, there is a whole forum dedicated to them, so you should read through there (link). There is also a Product Reviews section in the works, so be sure to be on the look out for that</span>
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Alright, cool, thanks! I didn't think there were too many differences, mainly probably small things. As long as the body didn't change though for body kits and such or for when I do a carbon fiber hatch and whatnot is a big thing too. I also read that APS's TT kit is for 2004+ so why only 04' up and not 03'? Just a thought. But by the time I wanna do FI they're may be bigger and better things!
 

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If I'm not mistaken, Jason from MRC Motorsports (the first APS TT in the US) has a 2003. Julian (also from MRC) is putting an APS kit into his Z which I believe is a 2003. And Ray (Zxrage) definitely has a 2003 and he and the guys from MRC will be putting an APS kit into his Z in the upcoming months.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cool, sounds good to me! If anybody could answer some of my F.I. questions and reliability issues I'd appreciate it. I couldn't find any answers looking through the forums really. I'm sure somebody can direct me to a link or give me a little help. This is a BIG decision on whether or not to purchase the car. I don't wanna run 10's but I'd like low 12's/high 11's but daily driver reliaibility. I don't romp on my cars hardly at all and am VERY meticulous on babing them. Thank you!
 

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Jason from MRC is actually running 12.15 on his APS TT kit right out of the box untuned on 91 oct pump gas.

As for reliability that can be another issue as there have been a few blown engines as of late on F/I. Many of the guys are doing internal work now such as rods, pistons etc. to be on the safe side.

Heres a vid of his car...

http://www.airpowersystems.com/350z/pzone/apstrack.avi
 

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Yeah I saw the video's of it. Thing looks sick! How has reliability been with worked engines? Which is what I plan on doing before I do the turbo kit. Plus they also drag their cars a lot too and put a lot of stress on them. I plan on having a very nice hp/torque curve dyno tune done and only really romping on it occaisionally. Hardly redlining it and just something to push when I need be but the other times just a good cruise 99% of the time.
 

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Without taking any offense about the roadster, (since I own one), you might like to contact [email protected] . He has a coupe with TT....Real nice guy, and is all over the forums....Tell him Dave, "the Phantom Member" sent you.......GL2U.....Dave
 

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Thanks FLZ. I'll probably shoot him an email. It's nothing against the roadster's at all, I think with the top down they look better than the coupe but with the top up I'm just not as big of a fan. I have yet to see pictures of some done up ones with the top up though so I can't really say one way or another. I've always seen pics with the top down. I still havn't decided yet anyways on the coupe or the roadster I'm still debating. Thanks for the info!
 

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Originally posted by Game Over@Jan 2 2005, 05:37 PM
Thanks FLZ.  I'll probably shoot him an email.  It's nothing against the roadster's at all, I think with the top down they look better than the coupe but with the top up I'm just not as big of a fan.  I have yet to see pictures of some done up ones with the top up though so I can't really say one way or another.  I've always seen pics with the top down.  I still havn't decided yet anyways on the coupe or the roadster I'm still debating.  Thanks for the info!

No offense taken.....I agree that the coupe has a much slicker look compared a roadster with top up,(after that, it's all in the eye of the beholder),....here's a shot of mine with the yop up....Funny thing is, I had'nt taken a photo with it up until after I've it almost a year.....Dave

 

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I agree the coupe does look somewhat 'hotter' than ZR, but ZR is just more fun to drive with when top is down, plus 0-60 is only 1/2 second off compare to the coupe. I've driven MRS and S2K and they don't even come close to Zed styling and power. For now Z is the best Asian sports car there is to offer since NSX is aged and overpriced...and the new Supra is still yet to come....btw, the best MR2 ever made was the MKII. The rest was meant for chicks....

That's a awesome looking Blue ZR! Flz! I think we both need a tail job badly...i saw this month's 'Modfied' issue with a featured ZR got a NISMO tail on which looked bad as ****....
 

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Originally posted by TOPLESSZ@Jan 3 2005, 03:43 AM
I agree the coupe does look somewhat 'hotter' than ZR, but ZR is just more fun to drive with when top is down, plus 0-60 is only 1/2 second off compare to the coupe.  I've driven MRS and S2K and they don't even come close to Zed styling and power.  For now Z is the best Asian sports car there is to offer since NSX is aged and overpriced...and the new Supra is still yet to come....btw, the best MR2 ever made was the MKII.  The rest was meant for chicks....

That's a awesome looking Blue ZR! Flz!  I think we both need a tail job badly...i saw this month's 'Modfied' issue with a featured ZR got a NISMO tail on which looked bad as ****....

Agree about tail....soon...in meantime, I have some new orthodontics....

 
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