Friday, April 12, 2013

Z32 Clutch Complete

Last night I got back to work on the 300zx and finished everything up.  Also took care of a few maintenance things while I was at it.  Stopped up at the parts store to get the new O2 sensor since one of them the threads were destroyed when I removed it from the old headers.  Picked up some gear oil, engine oil, oil filter, new air filter, new power steering belt, and alternator/waterpump belt...I think that's everything.

Got started on the car right away.  The night before I had taken care of getting the trans ready to go in.  So I installed the new flywheel, ARP flywheel bolts, pilot bearing, clutch, and pressure plate.  I also had removed the old air filter and belts.
I also took the time to snap a few comparison photos while I was at it.  I like looking at stuff like that.
Putting the trans in the car went surprisingly well, I don't think I've ever had a trans slide into place so effortlessly and quickly.  Slid it under the car, lifted it on the jack, jacked it up in the trans tunnel then slid right in place.  Put all the bolts on, plugged everything in, hooked up the shifter, and lastly bolted the driveshaft back up in place.  Then finished it up with pumping some new oil in her.
Before dropping the car back on the ground I made sure to put the new Wix oil filter on, plus install the new belts.  Made sure the O2 sensors were all plugged in, checked all the other plugs for the starter, and double checked that all the trans bolts were tight.  Everything went incredibly well, for once I didn't run into any issues which was great.

After lowering the car on the ground I was finally able to pull off the old mufflers that were still hanging from the bumper, and to my surprise I found a flame thrower kit installed...
One last thing to do now.  Fire the car up, listen to her open headers scream and eco in the garage, then check the oil level.  Holly shit, open header on these engines sound incredible!  I think hearing that had really won over the idea of doing straight pipes on the car.  Just need to wait on the new exhaust flanges to arrive (should be here today) then take her to the exhaust shop tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


It's been close to a week and a half since my last update and with all my recent arrival of parts I figured now would be a good time for another update.  It's been rather crazy at my house full of deliveries pretty much every single day, parts for my car, Becca's car, and other random things here and there.  It was rather fun actually, come home to a box at the door step, it felt like Christmas all over again!

Anyway on with the parts.  First off I would like to say one thing about the motor mounts I ordered.  Unfortunately, or for all I know this could be for the better.  Touge Factory isn't going to be carrying Avid Mounts anymore (guess that explains the crazy sale price) and they had run out of the 90A bushings.  Since they aren't carrying them anymore they couldn't get me a set of 90A but they did have some 75A and solid trans mount options which I decided to go with.  I think these should be plenty stiff  and if not I'm sure I can get in touch with Avid Racing directly and order a pair of bushings for fairly cheap.
 Now for the rest of the parts which all went according to plan and I even had a surprise in store for me.  PBM shipped out my handbrake, the tie rods still aren't back in stock yet but oh well, my knuckles haven't shipped yet so it's not like I need them right at this moment.
New pillow ball mounts for my Stance Coilovers which also came with the camber plates and new hardware.
Got all new wheel bearings for all around.  Pretty excited about putting these on.  I know it sounds weird but I just want to share what I've learned about wheel bearings with everyone.
Also I made the commitment to make the switch to speed density.  I run open BOV and I want to continue running my car that way.  I also don't like the looks of the MAF sensor in the bay and how much room it takes up.  Lastly I have nightmares about an intercooler coupler blowing apart on me and I want to be capable of driving my car home if that ever happens.  I went with AEM sensors, 3.5Bar MAP and Intake Air Temp.
I'm very incredibly pleased with the AEM sensors.  They are very well built and designed, comes with all new plugs and pins, the map sensor has optional attachments AN fitting or Barb fitting which is really nice to have.  I was also very pleased to see the IAT sensor came with a bung for welding onto my intercooler piping.

Now I think that should cover all of my part arrivals.  Time to move on to what's been keeping me busy this past week.  My lady love, Becca, had her birthday on April 6th.  I think I might have been more excited about it then she was.  Mainly because I couldn't wait to give her the gifts I bought her.  I did a lot of research and came to the decision it was best I fork over some cash and purchase her a proper professional quality tripod and fluid video head.  She is going to be documenting my drift season this year after all, and be making some videos on the side so I know it'll go to good use.
Along with the tripod I also got her this really neat 6600mah external battery.  I don't think we'll ever have to worry about batteries dying on us during events anymore (had it happen to me twice, absolutely sucks.  It's equivalent to running out of tires during an event).
Parts and camera stuff out of the way, time to move on to Becca's drift car.  I'm sure most of you remember we went out and got her a 300zx not long ago.  Well the clutch in that thing was beyond gone, which is why there haven't been any sweet pics of it getting sideways.  Good news for you all!  The clutch which had been on back order for 2 months finally arrived!  So I've been busy working on getting that in the car while running into old car problems along the way.

With how happy I've been with ACT clutches over the years, and how satisfied I have been with my 6 puck unsprung in the 240 we decided that would be the best route to go with the Z32.  Also knowing the clutch in the car has been slipping and sliding more than socks do on a freshly polished wood floor I figured she was going to need a flywheel too which I surprised her with.
I know it's a cheaper brand flywheel, but I've had a lot of pleasant experiences with XTD flywheels and a lot of people I know have as well.  Plus I think the quality they are will really surprise most people.

For those of you who don't know, I have had one bad experience when it comes to clutches and flywheels...Flywheel bolts are my enemy.  I've had them back out on me not once, but twice.  After that happened to me, I've vowed to never reuse flywheel bolts no matter how relatively new or nice of condition they are in.  With Becca's car, I want to do everything nice and proper.  Build it to be strong and reliable, so I looked around for some ARP bolts which I found they don't make kits for the Z32.  Luckly tho after looking around long enough I did find a guy who sent a stock flywheel bolt off to ARP to have them make him a huge batch of bolts which he sells in packs of 8.  Boo Ya!  Got some ARP flywheel bolts!  Remember, just because something isn't out there on the market, doesn't mean you can't get it.
With everything here it was time to work on the clutch.  Right off the bat ran into old car problems.  Every exhaust bolt snapped on me.  The headers being the worst.  The studs were stuck in the flanges and the flanges themselves were super incredibly rusty with pits.  There's no way these would ever properly seal up again and there was no way I was going to drill out the studs.  So we ordered a set of headers.

While waiting for the headers to arrive to continue work on the car I decided it would be a good time to delete this junk EGR system on the car which weighed around 10lbs and didn't really do anything other then clutter up what little room there already is.
I also dropped the trans and removed the old clutch/flywheel.
Then the headers arrived which I finally just got on last night.  With no room to work it was rather interesting to do and took some creativity to reach all the bolts.
Now she's ready for the new flywheel and clutch to go on, get some 3 bolt flanges for the headers to exhaust, then drop her off at a shop for straight pipes and have a blast!

And one last thing, my car was washed again for a change!  See you guys next post!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Power Brace, Fab Work, Parts, Reliability

Recently I've been on this "It's all about reliability" kick.  I'm still on it and I really think it's the best thing I can do for the car right now.  Last year it worked out amazing for me, and was incredibly dependable.  I didn't have any issues with it at events and the car got me too and from work every day.  I'm very pleased with how well it has held up for me, and to make sure it continues to hold up I've decided to do everything I can to help.  This is why I've ordered what I have up to this point.

I'm still sitting on factory engine mounts, this is something that has been making me nervous for a while now, I keep hearing stories of people busting a mount which doesn't settle well with me.  I would hate to be at an event, clutch kick and BAM bust a mount and be done for the day.  So what did I decide to do you may ask?  Well, I ordered me some nice mounts is what I did!  Placed an order for a set of Avid Racing mounts with the 90A bushings in them.  I think these should hold up just fine and dandy.

Following my order of new mounts I looked over my parts list and organized all of my "needs" from my "wants".  Shortly before putting the car into storage this winter I made a discovery that my pillow balls up front where having issues.  Everytime I would turn the wheel instead of the pillow ball pivoting like it's supposed to the coilover itself would pivot and loosen up the collars for adjusting the height.  NOT COOL!  This is one of the many things I think that has been affecting my counter steering as when I let go of the wheel it doesn't like to self steer very much and I'll have to manually throw it into a counter steer.  So I called up Stance USA and they hooked it up with some killer good pricing (half the price I saw them listed for on every site I visited) and on top of that they threw in some new hardware for free!

Next on my list I felt that new wheel bearings where much needed.  My driverside rear bearing has slowly started taking a dump on me, plus with the GKtech knuckles I feel like putting new bearings up front is a must!  So I went a head and ordered new bearings all around.  I know this isn't anything exciting, but don't worry, when I go to install them I'll make it worth your while to read about what I do with them.  A little trick I picked up from reading MotoIQ.

Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, lets get to cracking on some actual WORK!  That's right, I finally pulled the car out from its storage garage and did something with it.  I made some plans with my friend Travis to do a little bit of fab work on the car for me.  I don't have any fab work skills really, unless you count ugly looking welds as skill.  So I left it up to him.

Before heading out to his place I decided it would be a good idea if I just removed my bumper at home the day before... Little did I know I was in for a surprise, and found a few things I didn't want to see.
I discovered a cracked radiator, the lower driverside mounting bolt was missing, and for some reason there was a lot of flex going on up there which I knew shouldn't be there.  This didn't stop me from taking the car out tho, so I went on with the plan, fired her up and took her for a quick spin.
This was the first time she's seen daylight in a while.  That night I made sure to get some tires mounted on a set of my drift spares, grabbed my PBM intake from my stack of parts, load up some tools, and finally get some sleep.

Woke up the next morning to find it raining...It had been nice, sunny, and warm the past couple days and the day I go to do some work it loves to rain on me for some reason.
After an hour or so drive up there I had arrived, pulled up his driveway that felt the need to make love with my undercarriage and got cracking.  Started jacking her up and that's when another discovery happened...My lower radiator support had decided to separate itself from the frame.
Luckly nothing was bent way out of shape, and it was just spot welds that had broken.  No crazy rust or tear in any of the metal which was nice.
This wasn't anything Travis couldn't fix tho, but first thing first, needed to cut a slot in my frame so he could take care of the internal nut for the tension rod bracket.
While he was doing all that instead of standing around doing nothing I decided to install my PBM intake and take a few pics of the progress being made on his Sil80.
I know the picture of the intake I got sucks, hopefully these pics of the Sil80 will make up for that.
Now while I was doing that, Travis was moving a million miles an hour working on my tension rod brackets.  In the amount of time it took me to install my intake he had already completed fixing the nut in the frame and welded the section of the frame shut.
Everything was going great!  Ate some McDonnalds, drinking some PBR, and hadn't had any issues with the work.  Hung the newly modified brackets "power brace" up in the air and slapped some black paint on it.
While we let that sit and dry Travis showed me some of the finer details of his car and went over a bunch of ideas he had for how he was going to do some things.
Then we remembered the radiator support/frame issue.  Which he easily fixed in a hurry.
Then it was time to put the powerbrace (tension rod brackets) back on the car, throw my drift spares on the rear so we could have some fun while testing everything out, and set the gal back on all 4's.
To make sure everything worked out well a quick drift session that terrorized the local neighborhoods was a must.  Slid some corners, pissed off a few old people, had country boy's and red necks mean mugging us left and right, and even the little kids looked at the car like it was some sort of alien spaceship.  Everything went great, the car felt rock solid up front, especially under braking where I used to hear a loud "Clunk" noise almost every time.  This was gone, and I'm hoping the other noises are gone as well.

Got back to Travis's and he decided it was time for his SR to meet the engine bay of the Sil80 for the first time.
I don't think I've ever in my life had an engine go from a stand, to mounting a trans on it and putting it in the car so quickly.  According to the time marks on the pictures I have we did this in 15 minutes or less!  Not having a radiator support in the way sure does make the job a million times easier!
I must say the trip on up there was rather awesome.  Had a good time hanging out, doing some work, drinking beer, terrorizing some small town hicks, and taking pictures.  I'm really looking forward to the next time I make the trip up there, and see the progress made on the Sil80.