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Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

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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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Discussion Starter #3
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).
 

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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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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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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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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
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i'm wondering why the body kit is last? :lol:
Because it don't make my car go, turn or stop any faster :)


But, if after the TT installation I need to poke holes somewhere for heat exchangers then the bodykit will shift to a Stage 2 mod (and the minor interior / exterior detailing will be the only Stage 3 mods at that point).
 

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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.
aint that the truth, we arent off to a good start paying more than twice as much for the car new :banghead:
 

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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
Nismo Power Steering Cooler

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?
Good Post.
I am an old fart so i guess I'm a little different to mainstream.
1. day one. Ordered the rays.
2. Ordered the Michelins
3. Did some intensive searching and this site is (THE BEST) ordered the Strosek body kit (actually very nice people to deal with).
4. about week 4. Ordered the APS,
5. Next day ordered the clutch.
6. About week 10 and lots of price hunting, ordered the JUN kit.
7. Next day, ordered the TEIN's.
8. Unsure about the total yellow look with the spoiler and flippers and splitter so ordered carbon bits for those. If they look ricey, then they are up for grabs. The flippers and spoiler will sell within minutes I feel.
9. I have to order the discs yet still looking.
My niece is a graphic designer and I have just commissioned her to design an identifying badge. i like STROSEK, and WALD , so something similar but...............dunno, TTR or TT_R over limited edition????????( to fit the nissan advertising _ theme) or just a couple of simple _TT after the 350Z badge. I intend to strip the nissan logo off the back but I believe there are two little impressions underneath, so that will be disappointing. Feel free to add your bits here folks.............re badging.
All mods will be done in a very short two weeks mid June, (I hope) and are sitting in a warehouse, with the JUN stuff arriving June 10.
Its rushed, but having modded for a lot of years, I have never walked into a kitted car when its still very new, so thats the motivation for me now. When youth is on your side, i recommend taking years to do your car, as it adds little pleasures along the way and pleasant interludes to what can be a mundane lifestyle when your locked into a 9-5.
Its not a daily driver, but should be fun once finished.
1. 1st disappointment would have to be the paint job so were off to a flying start. (a crowd in brisbane will sort this as they are full time into Porche ,BMW ,Mercedes repair people so a good quality colour match should be simple for them. Panel beaters out here are renound for their family trees being a straight line. That theory has been proven yet again I'm afraid.
Thats about it...............oh working on replacing the lower spring carriers (arm) on the rear and making that trailing arm adjustable for full rear end adjustment, (camber and toe). I have four scales on the workshop floor so that when we adjust the Teins, we park each wheel on a scale, and we are able to measure the force on each wheel (and adjust) to arrive at a balanced suspension package. (something we used to do when on the circuit before).
Whoops, I guess an LSD would make this a more interesting drive, so I'll be looking at that very soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, I forgot to mention that part.

Hand-in-hand with your roadmap should be a purpose to the vehicle.

Mine's a daily driven street machine that makes regular forays to the track. Hence why all of my choices are "compromise" parts. I could get more power or handling, but it would be a pain to get around town or interstate.

At the same time, I want it quicker than stock and I'll put up with a little more NVH, peaking power delivery, etc to get it.
 

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i agree with your idea. we want a mild street-tune and not a harsh track-only car. else you'd have to trailer it everywhere and it'd be a pain in the a$$. a stage 3 puck type of clutch, for example, is for all purposes pointless for daily-driving. we want reliability to remain intact whilst enjoying the benefits of tuning --avoiding becoming a full-on slave to tuning. i've seen some people overtune their cars to the point where they are indeed fast, but are entirely a horror to drive daily.

if i'm going for a track car, i'd just go ahead and do it all the way with a cage, stripped interior, a standalone unit for fuel mapping, a surge tank in the trunk ("boot"), coilovers, bride or recaro type of seats, momo type of steering wheel, hybrid turbo setup, much more. otherwise, who am i kidding? i'd rather have a nice mild tune on a street car than to molest my car as a half-measure attempt to create a pseudo track vehicle. there comes a point when a goal and a tuning ethos come into play that seeks to establish certain parameters. otherwise, the car becomes farther from ever being "finished," with the same car beaten to death like a dead horse in a never-ending modding circle jerk.

get a car for the track. and get one for the street. and then establish goals for each.
 

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well my road map kinda went out of the window when i picked up my car

it already had the aps TT kit installed.
and a nice sterio and i like my lip and wing

All i needed to do was add my TE37 and im happy how it looks

just king springs.... :'( WHY.

also why an extreme clutch... its horrid and killed my gearbox


so what im doing is waiting for a month then in 1 hit

ATS twin plate carbon clutch
New gearbox *if it can be found* *lost in transport atm*
new whiteline swaybars front and rear
new bilstien coilovers
new ATS 1.5way carbon lsd
and full service.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for bumping this thread. Its reminding me of what I had planned, and how far I've deviated.

In a nutshell, not far. Aside from that bodykit I'm pretty much still on my roadmap (and still at Stage 1).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
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.
And hey, technically you did sell the car before you got to this stage ;)
 

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O, this has been in my head for a while, but I've never gotten to spit it out...

Stage 1:
Wheels
Small fun stuff, like Fairlady badge, etc.

Stage 2:
APS TT
Everything that goes with it...Exhaust, UTEC, etc.

Stage 3:
Coilovers
Sways
Control Arms
BBK

Stage 4:
Carbon Doors
Carbon Hatch
Carbon Hood
Repaint car, remove any dents, lol. Roof/pillars black, doors and below a deeper blue.

Stage 5:
Built motor




I am on the BBK right now...
The paint might come later....would rather have another car when I do that...
 
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