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Old 06-20-2006, 07:54 PM   #1
JBender
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$1000 in parts

I have three different packages that have either arrived or are in the mail with much-needed parts for the Z. The break-down:

NissanParts.cc ~$190:

Throttle body gasket (x 2)
Oil filter tree gasket
Throw-out bearing
Pilot bushing
Steering joint
Clutch withdrawl pin
Brake booster hose


CarSteering.com $215 (+$100 core):

Remanufactured steering rack


Concept Z ~$600:

Energy Suspension Hyper-Flex Master Bushing kit (black)
Eibach Pro-Kit springs
300 Degree camber kit
Cargo cover hook (x 2)
New IAA connectors


I actually ordered the Concept Z parts a few weeks ago, but Coz had supplier problems with Energy Suspension, so those parts should be out in a few days.

Here's a picture of the contents of the NissanParts.cc box:



My reasons for replacing: the old brake booster hose was split on the ends. Steering joint was completely shot. Throttle bodies were sealed with liquid gasket instead of the paper gaskets. Old oil filter tree gasket was an oil leak suspect. The clutch parts are for the next time I go in there (forgot to order a rear main seal, oops).

The steering joint was the biggest purchase in this package, as my old one was toast after 199k miles and 17 years. Besides the normal movement on the axes, you could twist and move it any other way including horizontally along the bushings. This resulted in quite a bit of free play in the steering wheel. The installation wasn't difficult. Two 12mm bolts, and some prying to get the old one off. A comparison:



I also scraped off the liquid gasket and installed the new throttle body gaskets yesterday, which was a PITA with the plenum still on. I still have a slight vacuum leak from the bottom-left screw, most likely because I don't have the metal sheathe that goes in that screwhole. That part will be ordered shortly.

Replacing the oil filter tree gasket took a while but wasn't too tough. I cut the top off an empty milk jug (gallon) to catch the oil, because it is Mobil 1 with less than 400 miles on it (that would have been $24 down the drain otherwise). Then I removed the oil filter and sending unit, and pulled off the oil filter tree. The old gasket was caked on there quite a bit, and it took some time with a razor blade and some steel wool to bring the gasket surface back to a clean, even shine. Reinstallation was fairly simple, and I drove the car around for a few minutes. Still a few drops of oil underneath the car, so the main suspect is a faulty rear main seal (even though it was done over Spring Break).

Today, package 2 of 3 arrived. Physically, it's the biggest new part I've received, just beating the 1-piece driveshaft. The obligatory box shot:



And the beautiful 'new' rack inside:





I'll be installing the new rack once I receive the Concept Z parts, which include polyurethane steering rack bushings.

This is also a ZMods exclusive since I don't feel like cross-posting on 3ZC
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:10 AM   #2
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Re: $1000 in parts

looking good! Sometime this fall my z will be getting a big overhaul
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:21 AM   #3
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Re: $1000 in parts

looks awesome, good to see maintenence being done. i wish i had the money to do that.
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Old 06-21-2006, 08:19 PM   #4
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Re: $1000 in parts

congrats
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:43 PM   #5
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Re: $1000 in parts

New front rotors and pads today, along with some paint for the calipers. They'll go on tomorrow, assuming no major complications.

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Old 06-23-2006, 11:36 AM   #6
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Re: $1000 in parts

Why didn't you get slotted or x-drilled rotors?
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Old 06-23-2006, 06:15 PM   #7
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Re: $1000 in parts

Don't really have a need for them; I don't do any racing or auto-x, so it's just for normal street driving.
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:54 AM   #8
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Re: $1000 in parts

I had the time this evening after work to do the front brake replacements, so here are some pictures along the way.

Untouched brake caliper:




I used a wire wheel to clean up the calipers, then sprayed them with 3-4 coats of black 1500-degree paint:




I then sanded the Nissan letters smooth, and put a few layers of high-temperature gloss over everything:




Here it is mounted with the new pads and rotors.




Bedded the pads down, and no more extreme wheel shaking during braking. I'm going to see if my old rotors can be turned so I can have them as back-up sometime.

More updates as more parts come in!

Last edited by JBender : 06-24-2006 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:54 PM   #9
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Re: $1000 in parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBender
I'm going to see if my old calipers can be turned so I can have them as back-up sometime.
Turning your old rotorz for back-ups is a good idea. Turning your calipers is not.
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Old 06-24-2006, 04:42 PM   #10
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Re: $1000 in parts

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Old 06-24-2006, 05:30 PM   #11
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Re: $1000 in parts

muahaha, it was a long day
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Old 06-28-2006, 07:41 PM   #12
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Re: $1000 in parts

The engine is running almost 100% now. The problem was tracked down to bad O2 sensors (did not throw codes, acted normal in tests, but the hesitation is now gone) and more recently a PTU wire chopped by the power steering belt, killing the spark to cylinder 1. My idle isn't perfect at the moment because I have to replace the ECU coolant sensor and harness, but those parts are on their way.

The parts from Concept Z haven't shippped yet, so I've been occupying myself with other (inexpensive) things on the Z. Besides finally installing the battery tie-down I've had in my garage forever, I also moved the hatch latch down a little bit and killed the rattle. Also freshened up my rear calipers:

Before -


After -



I am also cleaning up and painting the rear rotors (already painted the front ones yesterday, and they came out well). In the mean time, I am trying my hand at refinishing the wheels, as the stock finish has been toast for a while:



I'll be in Texas the next few days for college transfer orientation, so the work will resume once I get back.
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:22 PM   #13
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Re: $1000 in parts

Not sure that many people hang out here at ZMods anymore, at least while 3ZC is up, but the wheel that I worked on tonight came out better than I would have expected. I'm not aiming to make the wheels perfect, just want them to look decent until I can afford to upgrade. I took a drill with a wire brush to the wheel for a while to remove what was left of the old finish, then I gave the wheel a couple coats of this wheel-finish paint I picked up. It turned out pretty good for $5 and some elbow grease:





and compared to the other rear wheel:

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Old 06-28-2006, 10:34 PM   #14
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Re: $1000 in parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBender
Not sure that many people hang out here at ZMods anymore ......
I check it out every day. It only takes 2 seconds.

That fixed up wheel looks really good. I think most of that crunge is a buildup of brake dust and road grime. Giving the newly painted wheels a good wipe down every time you wash the car will prevent the crunge from re-appearing. Take it from experience.
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:54 PM   #15
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Re: $1000 in parts

I wish it was grime, but the majority of the ugliness is various layers of the worn finish. In the 'before' picture I posted above, the brown crap is brake dust, but if you look closely you can see the missing finish (all of the wheels are like this). I work at a car wash / detail shop, so believe me when I say I used every chemical we have to clean the wheels up before I decided on the refinishing . After I come back on Monday and have time to do the same to the other wheels, they're going to be babied until I get new wheels someday, and then they will be retired to the garage
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Old 06-29-2006, 12:51 AM   #16
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Re: $1000 in parts

Wow John, VERY nice work so far!! Some day soon, your gold Z will be almost as sexy as the real Goldie!!

Keep it up, you're doing a super job!
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:45 AM   #17
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Re: $1000 in parts

What wheel finish paint did you get and where? Gotta pic of the can? BTW I heard wheel wax was a good product to protect from brake dust etc...
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Old 06-29-2006, 09:17 PM   #18
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Re: $1000 in parts

looks great
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Old 07-03-2006, 01:09 PM   #19
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Re: $1000 in parts

Still waiting for that info dammit.
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:45 PM   #20
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Re: $1000 in parts

lol sorry, I was sick for a few days after my return from Texas. I used a silver can of this stuff.

Assuming I'm all up to speed tomorrow, I'll refinish the other wheels and install the new ECU coolant sensor and harness.
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Old 07-04-2006, 11:27 AM   #21
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Re: $1000 in parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBender
lol sorry, I was sick for a few days after my return from Texas. I used a silver can of this stuff.

Assuming I'm all up to speed tomorrow, I'll refinish the other wheels and install the new ECU coolant sensor and harness.

Thank you soooooooooooooo much. That's the exact paint that my local auto parts store has and that I'm buying. Muchas Gracias.
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Old 07-14-2006, 09:49 PM   #22
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Re: $1000 in parts

Since the last update, I replaced the ECU coolant sensor and harness, which unfortunately did not solve my problem. Looks like it's back to Ultimate Z in the near future for more troubleshooting.

Today, I got out of work early thanks to the weather, so I took the opportunity to finish up my other 3 wheels. I don't have any progress pictures, but here's a quick shot of the car with the 'fresh' wheels:




I also picked up this black bushing kit from Ultimate Z when I was there a few days ago, because Coz has been out of stock for the past 3 weeks.




There's going to be a huge tech day(s) sometime in the next week or two. In one session, I'm going to be installing the steering rack, bushing kit, and springs. It should be a formidable challenge, as I've never done any work with springs or steering racks, and only limited work with the Z31's subframe bushings. From what I've heard, the bushing kit is a nightmare to install...I look forward to it
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Old 07-15-2006, 12:28 AM   #23
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Re: $1000 in parts

get a good writeup
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Old 07-15-2006, 06:10 PM   #24
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Re: $1000 in parts

Awesome work. A finely maintained Z.
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:01 PM   #25
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Re: $1000 in parts

The steering rack, springs, camber kit, and bushing kit go in Tuesday / Wednesday.

In the mean time, I've been working on finishing off my audio system, and tracking down the engine troubles.

This came in the mail a few days ago:


JL Audio 500/1 amplifier

This will replace my Audiobahn amp, which had more bling that boom. I also removed the Blaupunkt 3-ways from the back, and installed them in the doors. I have a pair of Blaupunkt 2-ways (both pairs are 50W RMS) in the mail, and those will go in the back. All four speakers will be driven by the Alpine V12 amp (50W x 4 RMS) that was under the pass. seat when I bought the car.

The rear speaker removal:





The front 6.5" speaker mounts:




I also replaced a few connectors in the engine bay. First, the #4 injector connector, which took the brunt of the almost-engine fire caused by the fuel leak.





Then I replaced the AAC and FICD connectors, which were long gone, though not melted.




I may have fixed the engine problems, but I'm going to hold off on saying any more until I get a final verdict.
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:00 AM   #26
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Re: $1000 in parts

I love JL amps. Pricey for the power you get, but they're built like tanks, and are very versatile. Having a built in parametric eq is also pretty kick-ass
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:58 PM   #27
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Re: $1000 in parts

Yeah, I figured if I was going to spend the money on a quality subwoofer (W7), I might as well have a top-shelf amp to pair with it.


Today I got off work early, so the suspension / differential / steering rack extravaganza has begun.

After removing the rear wheels, exhaust, and driveshaft, disconnecting the ABS sensor and parking brake cables, and removing the upper shock nuts, I had quite a problem breaking the lower shock bolts free. I dug around in my toolchest and this combination seemed to work quite nicely (the addition to the breaker bar is actually the top half of my floor jack handle):




As I started to lower the crossmemeber, I realized that I did not have the jack centered under the weight of the differential / crossmember (a little too far back), so I had to supplement it with the tool kit jack. I lowered each jack a little bit at a time, and put wood blocks underneath the four corners once it reached the ground:






Here's a shot of the Tokico Illumina 5-ways (one of the few things the last guy had done right) with the stock springs:




All this went on in our garage, which sat at 99.7 degrees for most of the afternoon, and tapered off into the low 90s into the evening, complete with Chicago humidity, blech. I soaked the control arm and differential bolts with PB Blaster, so that they are hopefully a little easier to tackle without breaking tomorrow.

Things to do tomorrow:

Rent spring compressor and install Eibachs in the rear
Tackle the bushings including in the ES master kit
Remove differential, take it apart, and bring it to buddy's shop to see what's up

I believe I need to replace the spring mounts, at least on one side, so hopefully Ultimate Z has a few in stock.
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:40 PM   #28
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Re: $1000 in parts

I got hung up on the bushings install, so now I have to wait until I return from family vacation (today through Monday) to work on the car again. The only bushings that were really bad in the back were the rear differential bushings.




Here's
a picture of my dirty differential (I cleaned off the sticker, don't ask me why):




Wire-wheeling the sleeves that have to be kept:






Polyurethane differential bushings installed!






I took off the back cover of the differential and brought it to my friend's shop for him to have a look at it. Overall, the condition of the gears seemed to be very good, especially for 200k miles. With a mechanic's stethoscope, we determined that the front pinion bearings seemed to be louder than the carrier bearings, so that's probably the source of my whine at-speed. However, my friend did not want to take the differential apart because his shop didn't have the right tools or the know-how, and Ultimate Z wanted $300-400 just to take it apart and look at the bearings (not including replacement and reinstallation). I'm scraping off the old paper gasket and reinstalling the differential in the car for now. Judging by the very high cost of labor on the differential, I may just opt to purchase a sub-50k differential in the future.




Does anyone have any suggestions for removing the outer sleeve of the subframe bushings? It's driving me crazy, I have to have spent at least 1 1/2 hours on this sleeve, and it's showing no signs of moving.




I even broke a new chisel on it (granted, it was a cheap chisel):




Any tips on the subframe sleeve would be appreciated I was going to cut it with a Sawzall until I read that the bottom flange that is part of the subframe can't be damaged. It's driving me insane.
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Old 08-04-2006, 11:17 PM   #29
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Re: $1000 in parts

Have you read Mike's (MGH) write-up on his suspension / subframe bushing replacement? He describes in detail what he went thru to get some of the liners out.
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:23 AM   #30
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Re: $1000 in parts

I did, but of all the bushing removals he described, the subframe was the one he didn't say anything about I'll do some more poking around TT.net and 3ZC to see if I can come up with anything.

EDIT: Came across a few helpful posts on TT.net. Namely, the fact that you can cut the flange on the bottom without worrying about damaging the subframe or mount for the new bushing. When I get back, it should be a much simpler procedure I'll update on Tuesday when I get the time to tackle the rest of the bushings with this 'new' procedure.

Last edited by JBender : 08-05-2006 at 11:11 AM.
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