In this episode of Mighty Car Mods, we get working on our 350Z.
So we’re basically gonna go over there we’re gonna get a box, whatever’s in there, we’re gonna pull it out, we’re gonna install it on the car. There’s still some other things that we still need to get like a door, a bonnet, like, some bumpers… Otherwise known as the profit margin on the car… And– and– and a pest exterminator, of course. Well, maybe e a pet catcher or something. There is a large spider inside this vehicle, but it’s gonna be an amazing day. So let’s just, like, let’s just hook right into it. And how long have we got to do this again, Martin? Uh, two days? I think it’s two days. I think it’s got to be at the paint shop in two days. So let’s um… Yeah.
–Yeah, let’s do it. So we’ve got just a couple of days to give this car a complete makeover that’ll make it capable of achieving some of the driving that you can do in the game, which includes street racing, drag, runner and drifting. So coilovers are one of the easiest things to do if you want to start getting your car ready for the track. Gives you a lot of adjustability including: Damping! We got height adjustment, which is probably the big one and preload on the springs and really, really easy to install on this particular car. Are they Martin?
We’re about to find out, aren’t we? We don’t have a hoist in our shed, so we’re using a quick jack to get the car up to a workable height. We’re gonna be spending a lot of time under the car, so it makes it a bit easier and safer to access everything. It also means we can quickly and easily get the car up and down when we’re setting up suspension. Our first step is to remove the factory shocks and springs. This car has done over 200,000 k’s, which means they’re most likely shag and in need of replacement. We’re upgrading our suspension with a set of adjustable coilovers. This means we can customize a number of different aspects of the cars handling, including height and how firm the car rides. This is our mate Matt from AGI. He’s come over to help us with our roll bar. It’ll give us an extra layer of safety at speed and is a compulsory requirement for some types of racing. We need to remove various sections of interior trim to make room for the mounting plates, which will get welded under the carpet, and the rear part of the bar, which will get bolted onto the rear strut towers. While Marty gets the front coilovers sorted, I’m scraping back the factory sealer so we’ve got a clean section for welding in the base plates. So inside the car we have got the mounting plates all dummied up, ready to do a test-fit of the cage which is pretty exciting. How are you going over there Martin? Front coil overs are done.
I’m gonna go and do the back ones. The roll bar will be assembled inside the car, but for now it’s just about getting it in the correct position, so we can mark out where it will connect to the car. With the final measurements done, we can weld the mounting plates to the floor. Meanwhile, I’ve got the rear suspension almost sorted. Because of the design of the back of the car we won’t be able to access the top of the shocks to make damping adjustments. So we’re installing extensions that will poke out the top of the rear strut brace and will allow us to make changes from inside the cabin. Our shocks and springs are in at the front of the car and the rear, so while our cage is getting welded in, we’re moving on to the next important job, which is upgrading our brakes. So this car’s gonna spend a substantial amount of its life on a track, and as we saw last time the rear brakes, which we since found and put on, are completely screwed, so we’re gonna be updating those. We’re also going to be putting on a race pad… for performance, man! For the front and the rear as I understand it.
–That’s right. But it’s our rear discs that are particularly bad, so they need to go. They’re well past their use-by date. So we’re just gonna be replacing them with some slotted ones that are the same as the front. And Martin, not many things feel better than a mad, new brake. Yeah, they look good, don’t they? Look at that.
They’re so big.
They’re huge. Substantial. Slap ’em on. Our particular 350 is a “Track” edition, which means it comes with upgraded brakes. The front discs are aftermarket, but the rear ones are worn out and warped so we’re gonna upgrade the rears to match the front with a set of slotted and vented rotors. These brakes will give us extended stopping power and as a bonus, they’re really easy to work on. Our roll bar base plates are welded in, and after a quick spray of paint to stop them from rusting, now we can drill out the mounting points for the rear bar supports. With this done, now we can install the bar into the car. When you’re installing a roll bar or a cage, don’t fully tighten everything as you go. You want to get all the different pieces in place and insert all the bolts. Once you know it all fits, then you can tighten up the whole thing and check it again once you’ve driven it. Our roll bar is done, and Marty is finishing off the brakes. So we’re throwing some brand new pads into our front Brembos and just noticed when we’re pulling them apart that they’re not– it’s missing a circlet like a safety clip and the pin that goes through the calipers just sort of half hanging out like Wi-Fi Um, which, while at this stage is not particularly dangerous, if it falls out it probably would be because there’s nothing positioning the pads. Most likely it would just make a whole lot of noise and sort of wreck everything. So we’re gonna have to find a new clip and reseat all that and stick in our new pads and then the brakes are gonna be mad. It is time to grab another box and move on to the next mod. So this big box here I think, Martin, is our seats. Mad. Oh, they’re very bright.
–They’re red for something different. That is different. I like it. So these are Sparco Sprints. These are like a good, entry-level, fixed-back seat. You can run them with three, four, five or six-point harnesses and um, we– I know we’re all about black, Martin, but I thought this would be something cool, just something a little bit different. Something different indeed. Ah, In the past, we’ve used Recaros of course–uh, big fans of those–um, and normally, probably wouldn’t go for a fixed back, but because there is no back in the 350 anyway there’s nothing to like wind forward for because you’ve got no mates. When you’re installing aftermarket seats, you want to firstly make sure that the seat actually fits inside your car. Then you’ll need some seating rails that are compatible with your mounting points and you should test fit these before you attach them to the seats. So we’ve tested the rail inside the car and that fits, and now we’ve got the seat on the rail and that fits. So the next thing we’ve got to do is make sure the whole thing actually fits in the car now that the seat is on that because the roll cage is in there there might be like some issues with clearance, but it should be all good. Hello, mate. Did you order a door?
Are you sure?
Yes. That’s… That’s from the 350 parts place, and that’s the only thing you’ve ordered from there right? That’s the door. That’s… half in my hand (?) I think they’ve just sent you part of the door… You sure you ordered the entire door? Because that sucks and is useless. Nissan 350Z… window Uh, hang on RF door window. The listing said door. That sucks. Can you go and get me a door?
–I’ll go get you a door. Sometimes when you buy stuff off the internet, it’s not exactly what it says it’s going to be. And that definitely said door but probably in small letters down somewhere else it said window or something. Anyway, let’s see if this fits. That’s awesoooome… Ah… Nyah… Perfect! With the driver’s seat in, now I can get started on the passenger side. We will keep the factory seat belts, but using the roll bar, we’ll be able to also strap into these seats with a multi-point racing harness. So the driver’s seat is in and I’ve just test fit the passenger seat and amazingly it fits. And I say amazingly because I was worried that maybe it wouldn’t clear the crossbar on the roll cage. But it does, so now that just has to be bolted down and like, that bit of it is done. Which is a huge part of the build.
Next up we focus on wheels. Wheels is something that’s gonna, like, either make or break the project because that will decide your height… It’ll do– like we’ve got to work out offset, we’ve got– I’ve got got your door!
–Oh door time!
Door’s here, dude. All yours. What color is it?
–Silver, I even got the matching color. That’s awesome!
–It’s pretty mad.
Thank You Martin, the seat’s awesome. Yeah, the seat– Man, try sitting in it. The– the driver’s one is already bolted in. Yeah this is sick. Ah, well done, Martin. Well done Martin, everyone.
–No. F*ck this sh*t! You did get a door right?
–Can I ask you a favor?
Did you actually get a door… Can you actually call the idiot you bought the car off and get the door that is just not here? It’d be so much easier.
–Did you get the door or not?
No. F*ck Yaris! Alright, I might have failed at door, but I have got our wheels and tires which is pretty exciting. Got some mad RE003s on and some JDM Weds 18. These are 18×9.5 on the front and I’ve got 18×10.5 on the back. Um, which is pretty cool. Same RE003s that are on all our stuff. They actually look pretty good, man.
–They look good. There’s one problem with this picture…
–Yeah it’s out there. There is another one?
–Yeah, it’s over there.
Okay. Um, so this is pretty good. And to me, that’s really good fitment on the front. I think for the rears, we might actually need a bigger tire. But there’s a few considerations with this car. You’ve got Brembo, so you need heaps of room behind the spokes to fit your big brakes. And you’ve also got really big wheel arches so you’ve got to sort of balance that up. We’ve done that by getting a staggered set, but we might need more rubber on the back. We just got to kind of fit it up and see what it looks like and decide. What is cool about these is you can get these exact wheels in the game.
–Yeah. And you can put them on your mad 350 in Need for Speed Payback. –Yeah, It’s pretty cool.
Or in the real world as we will attempt to do right now.
–Yeah. It’s important to test fit aftermarket wheels and tires because offsets and sizes vary so much between different kinds of wheels. We want to make sure these rims clear the brakes, don’t fail on any suspension components or get hacked up by the guards. With that done, we can see what its gonna look like. It’ll need to settle a bit so it might not be full lowest right away. Aw, there it is.
–Yeah, it looks good. That looks great.
–Really good. I reckon it needs more tire in the back of it, man. Don’t you reckon? Like just big, fatter tires.
–Yeah, it does. So being that our car is gonna get smashed around the track, we want maximum grip not just for our tires but also for our steering wheel. So I got this aftermarket steering wheel and I’ve got a boss kit from KB Sports which is straight out of Japan, which will bolt straight onto this car which is pretty mad. So that is going to go on to our 350 and make our steering wheel work. The steering wheel is in. That is the best boss kit by far I’ve ever used. Proper JDM, mad Instructions, plugs and wires and everything just to make it work. I’ve got a door. You got a door.
–Look at this. –Look at the color match.
So that’s the door off this car isn’t it?
–No. Where’d you get it?
–Wanna help me put it on?
Where’d you get it from?
–I bought it secondhand. Oh really?
–Yep. Did it happen to be from the same guy that sold you the car and then took all the parts off and is now slowly selling you back all the stuff you should have got with the car anyway? So it turns out 350Z doors literally cost more than Marty’s Daihatsu Mira. But we have one now, and unlike the Yaris door, this one actually fits. Sweet. That’s perfect. That’s actually the door off this car, isn’t it, and you’ve just written on it with wrecker pen? Most of the time when we’re working on cars, they end up supercharged or turbocharged. But we are keeping this one naturally aspirated for a couple of reasons. A) the amount of time we have to do this build–also they just sound freaking amazing naturally aspirated. They really scream. But how do you make more power? Well, you want to get more air in, you want to get more air out so we have to free it up. So, to do that we have some long tube headers, which are specifically made for 350. These are made by somebody called PP engineering in America who sent them out, which is pretty pretty rad. Um, really awesome bit of kit, proper stainless, big, custom fabricated things. And you can see from all the banana bends in them just how rad those are. Far out. That’s awesome. Yeah. And so these will go– bolt these onto the side of the engine and then we’ve got a full exhaust system to put on the back of it. And this is a big job. Isn’t it?
–Yeah, this is a huge job. This is like, radiator, drop that, get rid of all of this… Nissan Z cars are famous for being a pain to work on. You can see like this there’s no space to get your hands down there so a lot of this is gonna have to come out we’re gonna get to it from the bottom as well, pull all the old stuff out, pull the exhaust off and then find a way to bolt those on. Long tube headers are a popular choice for naturally aspirated cars when trying to extract more power The aim is to make the exhaust as free-flowing as possible but they can be a real challenge to actually fit on your car. In our case, we have to drain the radiator And remove the coolant hard lines on the side of the engine so we can access the bolts that hold the factory headers on. While that’s draining, we can get started removing the factory exhaust system. Nice. We’re also taking off the engine intake which needs to be removed so we can access the factory headers. We’re going to be installing a performance exhaust system, so the factory one can go in the bin. But before we crack into the headers, it’s time to check out our internet special replacement bonnet. So this here is a carbon-fiber bonnet. Um, it’s lighter. Bonnets are really heavy.
–Yeah, they are.
That’s actually a thing…
–Especially steel ones. So it’s substantially lighter… Oh wow it looks cool.
–Yeah it does. Um, and it’s also gonna give us an opportunity to do something else to give this car a bit of a unique look, something we haven’t done before. You got it on your end?
–Yep. And up… So we’ve got a mate coming down who’s an artist, and he’s gonna be um, doing some cool stuff on this bonnet for us. Looks like it might even fit. So we’ve got a mate RJ to come down who’s an artist and he’s gonna do some like mad art on the bonnet. Now what is the plan my man? So just add a bit of color, add a bit of roughness to it and you know, see what we come up with. While RJ gets started adding some style to our bonnet, we’re going to start removing the factory headers, which is a painfully slow process. We’ve been on this part of the build for a couple of hours now just doing this. Um, we saw some reports that doing these headers takes around 10 to 12 hours. Crazy. Um… It is really fiddly because you have about this much space each side of the engine that you have to get a header out of that’s also about that size. And then all the, like– a lot of this stuff is designed to be put on the engine before it gets put in the car, so… Yeah, and it makes sense why this is not, like, a really common car to turbocharge because there’s just no room. And like, you think there’s no room in a Mini? This is worse, like there’s– there’s no room at all. It’s just just crammed in there, man.
–Yeah. But we have all the heat shields off, we’ve got the coolant stuff out of the way, the headers– factory headers are about to come off So we’re getting through it.
–Yeah. Getting the new headers in might be a bit tricky, so that’s probably gonna take some time. But once they’re in place, we bolt them in, put all the cooling system stuff back together, and then it’s gonna sound good, man. It’s gonna be worth it.
–It’s all gonna be worth it, Martin.
Yeah. It’s just gonna be a very long day and a very long night. A few hours later, and we’re making progress. Marty has got his side off the car. You can now see the flow difference between the factory part and our aftermarket long tube headers. Everything you touch cuts you. I thought Nissan loved me. It doesn’t. I got it. I’m happy now. There it is. That was probably one of the most unpleasant jobs one can do. You can see why people say it’s so hard to work on these cars, though. Have you managed to put yours on yet? The other one? Nah, I got to pull half the steering rack apart to put mine on.
–Oh. But yours– your side might go in.
–This looks fairly clear, do you want to hand it over and I’ll try and put it in? Yes, I do. You get this in in one go, I will be so impressed. Thank you, mate. Way longer though, like harder to wrangle, there’s gonna be more weight on it as well. We’re gonna try and do it up. Come on… come on. Is it gonna go? No way…
Is that on? It’s on!
Dude, can you hand me a nut so I can just like, get it where it’s got to go? Yeah sure. Um…
–Did that work? How bout this?
Sorry. We are halfway through our header install because our old headers are off and one half of our new ones are on, which is pretty exciting. Uh, that was a crazy, crazy job to do. Um, there’s just– there’s no room in there, everything cuts you. And there’s this weird little like, psychology going on in your brain. You reach your hand in, you get cut, you reach your hand in again, get cut, you reach your hand in, you get cut and your brain’s just going why do you keep doing it? –Yeah.
And then the other bit of your brain says because we want the skids. Yeah, you want the noise, you want the skids, you want the performance… And that– that’s the bit that wins out. Next time on Mighty Car Mods: …Cuz I’m just gonna get whatever fixes the problem before tomorrow. A 350Z, and an R-34 is a different car… No, they’re not the same thing. They are two totally different cars. Well that was stressful.