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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all let me say I did indeed read the Tire Feathering thread on these forums....but I do not feel that I got the information that I was looking for. So please, someone with a 2003 or 2004 speak up and help me out here:

I am currently looking at a 2003 and a 2004 Enthusiast model, because the price is decent for the low mileage and options in my opinion. Both of these cars have the stock 17" wheels with stock tires as far as I can tell from the close-up pictures on the dealers website. I have expressed my concerns regarding tire feathering/cupping and misalignment to the dealer, who outrightly acknowledged that it has been an issue on some Z's. He also told me that he checked the service records for these two cars and neither of them had the tires replaced at any point. However, he told me that Nissan no longer covers this issue under warranty past 2005, and that I would not be covered by his dealership for any tire problems that may occur.

Since I have not been able to find an answer by myself....is there a known fix for this problem? Would lowering springs, aftermarket wheels/tires and a fresh alignment immediately thereafter solve the problem? I guess I just have a hard time believing that every person I see driving one of these around is paying hundreds of dollars two or three times a year to have their front tires replaced and get realigned. Please shed some light on this for me!

I have also read some horror stories of the clutch and transmission having serious issues in these first two producion years. Any truth to that? Maybe there were some flukes..

Overall this is very disappointing, as I was getting ready to make some serious offers to a few dealers. But now it seems like owning this car is just going to bury my financially. Please, 350z experts, lend me some guidance!

-steve
 

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most of them just need a WELL DONE alignment.
feathering issue can be resolved by bigger wheels and harder tires (michelin, pirelli)
and if everyhing else fails, an adjustable camber kit always does the job.
lowering CAN make it worse because you increase the camber.

the transmission problems occurs if you use the wrong transmission fluid, GL5 corrodes your z's gears, you want GL4:

QUOTE
A friend and I were talking about the recurring noise I have in my Pathfinder's manual trans. Basically, it's most noticeable when the trans is cold, or sometimes when shifting between 1st and 2nd or 2nd and 3rd. (sound kinda like that same problem some people have had with their Z's doesn't it?)

So, I did what I always do -- I did research.

Turns out that 99.9% of all "gear oil" sold in stores is API GL-5. Problem is, the factory spec for my Pathy is GL-4. Common logic would say, "Isn't GL-5 BETTER than GL-4?"

More research, please...

So I did some Google Group searches. (By far the best way to get instant info on the internet). Turns out that GL-5 includes some additives which are harsh on yellow metals (brass included) and can cause premature corrosion or breakage of bushings and synchros in your trans. Moral of the story, GL-4 is very different from GL-5, and if your spec calls for GL-4, you'd be well served to follow the manufacturer's advice. (Listen up, folks! The 350Z also calls for GL-4 gear oil!)

So all this had me wondering -- could it be that some 350Z owners have unknowingly replaced their gear oil with GL-5 and led to some premature problems? (I'm specifically thinking about folks who used Mobil 1 or other off-the-shelf synthetics -- most if not all of them are GL-5).

Just doing my part to look out for the troops -- if you've done an oil change on your MT, be sure to find out what type of oil was used, and if you have GL-5, GET IT OUT OF THERE!

Redline oils makes a GL-4 which I'll be looking for tomorrow for my Pathfinder. If any of you have done an oil swap on your trans, be sure to check what you used!
read more about the transmission: http://www.350z-tech.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8704


Dont let these minor issues keep you from buying a car you'll always love.
when you buy something else, your heart is going to bleed every time you see a Z on the road...
 

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Actually, every Z is different. Not everyone had that feathering problem, and some were worse than others. I would also take the stories submitted by some with a grain of salt. Also, because each car is slightly unique, sometimes lowering the car or getting aftermarket wheels and/or tires will 'fix' the problem. I ended up getting new front tires, courtesy of Nissan, and the feathering for now is gone. They aligned the wheels after installing the tires, so that really helped.

Just know that every car manufactured has problems. Nothing is perfect. Look at the Ford GT and its suspension nightmare. Can you imagine paying over $150k for an exotic car, only to be told not to drive it?
 

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Concerning the tire feathering issue, I recently purchased (Sept '05) my 2004 Base Z from a dealer with around 15k on it. At time of purchase, I pointed out the inner tire wear, and the dealer was quick to put two new front tires and a full alignment for me. I asked of the tire-feathering issue, and he informed me as long as it happens within my 3yr/36000 warranty, it's covered. As for the tranny, I don't know. Mine, as far as I know, has the original fluid in it, and it makes a nice "clunk" when shifting into second. No grinding, or anything like that. Doesn't do it under load either. Kinda strange. I did purchase the extended, so, It's got 10yrs to break before it's a problem. Hope this helps with your decision.
 

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I have an '03 with 18" performance wheels. Have had my tires replaced under warranty 3 times!! The last set of tires seems to be wearing a lot slower than the previous versions. Every time I would go in to have my tires replaced, the tread pattern would change, and I have heard many '03 and '04 350Z owners fix the feathering issue by switching out new tires.

I have just lowered my Z with Hotchkis springs and am scheduled to go in for an alignment this Sat. (2 weeks after). This is the first that I've heard of feathering being induced after lowering a vehicle, so I hope I don't experience this on a greater scale after the drop.

It should also be noted that feathering does not impact your safety or handling characteristics, it simply produces a loud roaring noise when slowing down. More of an annoyance than a danger.
 

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I have had several setups and I will try to explain my experience in brief:

I have owned a 2003 and 2004 and used both stock 17" and 18" wheels and tires.

I experienced the tire feathering on both cars with the stock wheels and tires.

I installed Eibach springs and aftermarket wheels/tires on both Z's.

Feathering never returned on either vehicle.

It is my strong opinion that the stock tires in conjunction with the alignment is the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the feedback folks.

I guess the roadblock for me is that I don't want to have to modify the car in order for the tires to wear properly. I'm not sure if I want to lower it because it already sits so low, although I was considering getting aftermarket wheels/tires for the summer. But then when I put the stockers back on in the winter, I would experience the problem.

This is definitely a dilemma for me. I feel that if I don't get an impractical two-seater sports car now (24 years old, girlfriend, no kids) I won't have another opportunity until I am much older, and there is no guarantee that I will live that long! But at the same time the cost of multiple tires and alignments and possibly burning a clutch will bury me financially.

A little off-topic, but does anyone know if Nissan has addressed any of these issue for the new 2006 models?
 

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But at the same time the cost of multiple tires and alignments and possibly burning a clutch will bury me financially.

A little off-topic, but does anyone know if Nissan has addressed any of these issue for the new 2006 models?


all you have to do is get it aligned. If they cannot adjust it to where it needs to be , than aftermarket arms to get it to the right spot will solve the problem.

I'm not sure why you would burn the clutch.. First stick?


I have a 2005, and have not had any problem with what you are concerned with. I wouldn't think 2006 to have any either.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
all you have to do is get it aligned. If they cannot adjust it to where it needs to be , than aftermarket arms to get it to the right spot will solve the problem.

I'm not sure why you would burn the clutch.. First stick?
I have a 2005, and have not had any problem with what you are concerned with. I wouldn't think 2006 to have any either.

good luck
Hmm...I actually thought I read somewhere that the tire feathering problem persisted with the 2005's in some cases...indicating that while the problem was not as rampant as the previous years, it is still a flawed design. And as you mentioned I could get some aftermarket parts to cure the problem, but I would have to go through at least one set of tires to figure this out. I have also read plenty of stories where people had a fresh alignment at the same time as they got their new tires, and within 5000 miles the problem comes back (I know, I know...this is well-worn territory).

Also, this will be my 2nd car with a stick shift (my current Mazda6 6-cyl. has a 5-speed stick) and I am pretty good at driving it IMO, but the I've read people saying that their clutches went after 6000 miles, or their clutches slip often, etc. One guy wrote that his clutch burned up when he was trying to get out from some snow. I realize that it is not ideal for any clutch to have it half-engaged and revving while trying to get unstuck, but to be honest I've done it a lot in my lowly Mazda 6 and I have no issues to report after almost 3 years of ownership.

Here's the main concern: I feel like this car is somehow very flimsy. The paint chips off, the clutch burns up if you actually drive it hard, and the wheels go out of alignment under normal driving conditions. I could be exaggerating, but I won't believe it's any better until the 2006 proves me wrong. I figure the tire feathering issues (if they occur) should be cropping up in the 2006 models pretty soon. I would be open to buying a 2006 Enthusiast...invoice is 27,100 and I would hope to take some more off that.

Come on Nissan!

-steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No, you simply get it aligned/checked. :)
Well, right...but that means a lot of $60 alignments, right?

(not trying to be annoying here...just really trying to see if this car will work financially)
 

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Here's the main concern: I feel like this car is somehow very flimsy. The paint chips off, the clutch burns up if you actually drive it hard, and the wheels go out of alignment under normal driving conditions. I could be exaggerating, but I won't believe it's any better until the 2006 proves me wrong. I figure the tire feathering issues (if they occur) should be cropping up in the 2006 models pretty soon. I would be open to buying a 2006 Enthusiast...invoice is 27,100 and I would hope to take some more off that.

Come on Nissan!

-steve


Flimsy?!? :lmfao:

You are cordially invited to come back to Western PA with Jeremy and I will show you first hand how flimsy the car is. :biggrin:

I have had ZERO clutch problems and I feel that I define the words hard driving.

If those are your only concerns, pick your color and move on. Seriously, you are making this seem like a problem. It really is NOT if addressed correctly. As a matter of fact, even after the Zeal coilovers, which lowered the car dramatically... i have YET to have any inconsistant tire wear on the BFG's. And the camber is NO WHERE NEAR OEM spec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Flimsy?!? :lmfao:

You are cordially invited to come back to Western PA with Jeremy and I will show you first hand how flimsy the car is. :biggrin:

I have had ZERO clutch problems and I feel that I define the words hard driving.

If those are your only concerns, pick your color and move on. Seriously, you are making this seem like a problem. It really is NOT if addressed correctly. As a matter of fact, even after the Zeal coilovers, which lowered the car dramatically... i have YET to have any inconsistant tire wear on the BFG's. And the camber is NO WHERE NEAR OEM spec.
Hmmm...so you're saying I should go tomorrow and trade in? :shiftdrive:

I do plan on putting on wheels/tires of the aftermarket nature, but probably not until April, or when I am sure the snow is done. Then maybe I could just deal with the crappy stockers during the winter....or get rid of those tires all together and buy some snows.

You know, it's almost like I stumbled across some sort of enthusiast site, and you guys are trying to get me to buy this car! :cheers:

Well I am scheduled for a test drive on Saturday when I will drive a 2004 enthusiast model with 6-spd and some goodies. That should give me a decent idea of how the car goes. If I like it, then I think my next move is to check out the 2006. Then if I do have any problems with factory tires, the dealer will hear it!

-steve
 

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Hmmm...so you're saying I should go tomorrow and trade in? :shiftdrive:
-steve

If those were you only concerns, yes.

I'm not sure if this is the right car for you. Only you can prevent forrest fires! er.. nevermind...

anywho... dude.. go drive it.. if you like it and it's your "thang".. than welcome aboard. :wink:
 

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I'm a single 24 year old with a g/f for 3 years and was in the same situation as you 6 months ago and this board answered every question i had. most i didn't even have to post just browsed through all the previous posts and found answers. I pulled the trigger and bought a used 03 and haven't had a single problem since (knock on wood) other than someone backing into me while i was parked! My advice is if you want to save some cash (up to and over 5 g's) get a z used and never look back. For the money it's nearly impossible to find a better ride. I couldn't do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm a single 24 year old with a g/f for 3 years and was in the same situation as you 6 months ago and this board answered every question i had. most i didn't even have to post just browsed through all the previous posts and found answers. I pulled the trigger and bought a used 03 and haven't had a single problem since (knock on wood) other than someone backing into me while i was parked! My advice is if you want to save some cash (up to and over 5 g's) get a z used and never look back. For the money it's nearly impossible to find a better ride. I couldn't do it.
Yeah...one of my biggest concerns about the whole thing is driving this car in the snow ( I live in PA). I read some people saying that it is flat-out impossible to do (regardless of what tires they have on), and I read other people saying that it is perfectly capable as long as you have some snow tires and a little extra weight (i.e. some sand bags) in the 'trunk'. So I really don't know what to believe, and I would like to avoid having two cars. I would much rather spend $1000 on a set of snow tires than have to buy a crappy beater for the winter, because a second car means a second set of maintenance bills.

Just as you mentioned, I am also looking into a used Z (2004 6-sp. Enthusiast w/ 4800 miles) to save a few bucks on depreciation on a new one. At this point if I can convince myself that a) Tire feather won't be an issue, and b) I will be able to drive it in the snow if I need to, then Iwill probably pull the trigger too. I'm just not there yet. Got a test drive set up for Saturday in this car so we'll see how it sways me.

-steve
 

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Yeah...one of my biggest concerns about the whole thing is driving this car in the snow ( I live in PA). I read some people saying that it is flat-out impossible to do (regardless of what tires they have on), and I read other people saying that it is perfectly capable as long as you have some snow tires and a little extra weight (i.e. some sand bags) in the 'trunk'. So I really don't know what to believe
-steve


This COMPLETELY depends on your ability to drive in the snow.

I'm not sure how it's flat out impossible, regardless of tires.. if I'm driving around in 2" + with max summer tires.. I have DONE THE IMPOSSIBLE!! :irock:


If you SUCK at driving in the snow, don't bother.
 
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