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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, just purchased 2003 350Z Touring auto. It is completely stock and in very good running condition. We are in NH and car is for seasonal, spirited driving, no track use. Purchased and plan to do these mods all at once ...

Motordyne ISO thermal copper upgrade
Z1 5/16 plenum spacer + gaskets
AFE throttle body spacer (keeping stock throttle body for now)
AFE TR-3001B air intake
Oil catch can - still deciding which one

I am told a tune is not needed after these but may help. Any comments?

Then we are going to do coilovers and keep the stock tires/rims for the initial setup, testing, lowering, etc. Basically want to figure out how the dampening works and where it seems to make sense. I also have adjustable front upper camber arms and rear toe, camber & traction arms. We chose the Silvers Neomax with default spring rates 12k/8k. Any suggestions or comments are welcome.

We plan to drive it for most of the summer and then look into a possible exhaust upgrade. I would also consider the TransGo upgrade and I think this is probably recommended with the new exhaust ... correct? I would also like to know suggestions on adding an oil cooler at this time. Is it necessary or maybe do for added tranny protection? At this point I am planning to do a tune and add new rims & tires.

I'm new here to this site and to the tuner generation. Old school muscle car guy starting a father-son project.

Thanks to dkmura for helping with my initial post. And thanks in advance to anyone who cares to reply.

Brian
 

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Welcome and depending on how many miles are on your Z, there are a couple of suggestions. First, if you don't have any recent service records, consider changing all the fluids in the car. That includes engine oil/filter, tranny fluid, diff fluid, brake fluid (four wheel flush) and radiator fluid. I can recommend specific brands and types if needed.

Don't expect any performance gains from the bolt-on mods you've listed. The Nissan ECM will simply overlook any extra airflow and compensate it back to baseline without a tune. As far as coilovers, I wouldn't recommend them for your application. Coilovers may work well for racing use, but need a full alignment for changes in ride height. For your needs, I'd suggest a high quality set of dampers like Koni Sport shocks or Bilstein B13 dampers with a static setting and single adjustable for rebound.

Finally, before you start buying and stockpiling parts, I suggest you simply drive your Z, get to know it, fix the problems that are bound to crop up with a used car, and then start thinking of what mods you'd like to pursue. Don't put the cart ahead of the horses is the old saying. In this case, enjoy the horses first!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow that's really good information. Thanks for the advice. I have a lot to think about. It is a well documented, low mileage 1-owner car. I am very happy with the regular maintenance and will go over the service records. The coilovers are already a done deal so I will live with the decision. I understand they need an alignment. As for the bolt-ons I can probably wait and do later this season to schedule with a tune.

Thanks again.
 

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You're welcome, and I have one other suggestion for you. The '03 touring model (as well as other 350Z models except the track) had the smallest brakes (calipers and rotors) of the entire Z33 production run. You might consider upgrading to later ('06-08) Z brakes, which were slightly bigger. An even batter option is to find a set of used Brembo brakes and you'll have considerably better braking capacity for those country roads.

At the very least, flush the braking system with new DOT 4 fluid (I suggest ATE Gold 200 or another high performance brake fluid) to help preserve it. After 18 years, it's probably never been bled.
 

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You're welcome, and I have one other suggestion for you. The '03 touring model (as well as other 350Z models except the track) had the smallest brakes (calipers and rotors) of the entire Z33 production run. You might consider upgrading to later ('06-08) Z brakes, which were slightly bigger. An even batter option is to find a set of used Brembo brakes and you'll have considerably better braking capacity for those country roads.

At the very least, flush the braking system with new DOT 4 fluid (I suggest ATE Gold 200 or another high performance brake fluid) to help preserve it. After 18 years, it's probably never been bled.
Awesome thank you again. Will do on the brake system flush and great advice for the upgrade. I assume just order for the later year.
 

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As a G/Z owner I've tried most everything discussed here. Sounds like you have a good plan to progressively improve your Z's performance. Autocross is a good way to enjoy and test your improvements. I'd move the shift kit up in the schedule and add a 3.69 rear gear. Good luck. Have fun.
 

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As a G/Z owner I've tried most everything discussed here. Sounds like you have a good plan to progressively improve your Z's performance. Autocross is a good way to enjoy and test your improvements. I'd move the shift kit up in the schedule and add a 3.69 rear gear. Good luck. Have fun.
Thank you very much. All good advice. Super excited and ready to ride in about a month - we're in NH.
 

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Welcome and depending on how many miles are on your Z, there are a couple of suggestions. First, if you don't have any recent service records, consider changing all the fluids in the car. That includes engine oil/filter, tranny fluid, diff fluid, brake fluid (four wheel flush) and radiator fluid. I can recommend specific brands and types if needed.

Don't expect any performance gains from the bolt-on mods you've listed. The Nissan ECM will simply overlook any extra airflow and compensate it back to baseline without a tune. As far as coilovers, I wouldn't recommend them for your application. Coilovers may work well for racing use, but need a full alignment for changes in ride height. For your needs, I'd suggest a high quality set of dampers like Koni Sport shocks or Bilstein B13 dampers with a static setting and single adjustable for rebound.

Finally, before you start buying and stockpiling parts, I suggest you simply drive your Z, get to know it, fix the problems that are bound to crop up with a used car, and then start thinking of what mods you'd like to pursue. Don't put the cart ahead of the horses is the old saying. In this case, enjoy the horses first!
Dkmura, I welcome any suggestions on the fluid recommendations from your initial post. Thanks again for your help.
 

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Dkmura, I welcome any suggestions on the fluid recommendations from your initial post. Thanks again for your help.
Engine oil: Mobil One 0-40 FS synthetic, tranny: Redline MT85, diff:: Valvoline 75-140W GL-5, and brakes: ATE Super 200 DOT 4 fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Engine oil: Mobil One 0-40 FS synthetic, tranny: Redline MT85, diff:: Valvoline 75-140W DOT 5, and brakes: ATE Super 200 DOT 4 fluid.
For the Mobil One 0w-40 the FS type appears to be the European formula, correct? Just curious as to the type and viscosity recommendations. Thanks again.
 

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For the Mobil One 0w-40 the FS type appears to be the European formula, correct? Just curious as to the type and viscosity recommendations. Thanks again.
Correct- our VQ engines seem to work well with this formulation. Since I live in Colorado, the 0-40W viscosity rating works well for our widely varying temperature requirements. Also, since it's widely available and not too expensive, it makes a good choice.
 

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Perfect thanks again
Hi again, this is for '03 VQ auto. The Redline MT-85 is for manual? Just need to clarify. Getting ready to pull out of storage soon. Also, on the Mobile One 0w-40 do you drive all year? I assume not and still OK with zero weight for seasonal (spring/summer) use. I know the M1 5w-40 does not have the same approval ratings. I'm in NH so similar climate I guess to Colorado. Thanks again.
 

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Ah, for an automatic tranny, try Redline D4 tranny fluid. As for the Mobil 1 0-40W FS, the oil is stable/suitable for hot temperatures, as it provides the protection of a 30/40 weight oil in summer. I also use this same product in my 350Z racecar, that gets extreme use (multiple shifts at redline every lap, drafting behind other cars, etc.) in the summer race season.
 

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Ok great...thank you again for all the back and forth Q+A. One last question about diff fluid weight. Just curious about reason for using the 140 vs 80-90 OEM spec? That should do it for me. Ready to jump on this in a month or so and will keep you posted. Thanks again really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you very much. All good advice. Super excited and ready to ride in about a month - we're in NH.
Hi aga
As a G/Z owner I've tried most everything discussed here. Sounds like you have a good plan to progressively improve your Z's performance. Autocross is a good way to enjoy and test your improvements. I'd move the shift kit up in the schedule and add a 3.69 rear gear. Good luck. Have fun.
Hi again and thanks for your earlier post. Any follow-up comments about the shift kit with a NA car? I don't have any plans to use FI. Just curious if there is still a noticable benefit with a NA auto. Thanks again.
 

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Ok great...thank you again for all the back and forth Q+A. One last question about diff fluid weight. Just curious about reason for using the 140 vs 80-90 OEM spec? That should do it for me. Ready to jump on this in a month or so and will keep you posted. Thanks again really appreciate it.
You're correct about the 80-90W GL-5 spec. The only reason I used the Valvoline Synthetic GL-5 80-140W is I had some extra from sponsorship in the past. The factory VLSD seems to do fine with it, but if I had to BUY it, I'd look for a 80-90W GL-5 synthetic lubricant.
 

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You're correct about the 80-90W GL-5 spec. The only reason I used the Valvoline Synthetic GL-5 80-140W is I had some extra from sponsorship in the past. The factory VLSD seems to do fine with it, but if I had to BUY it, I'd look for a 80-90W GL-5 synthetic lubricant.
Great thanks again
 
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