Part 2 by e30cabrio

By diyauto
( 2 )

Part 2

Compliments of e30cabrio @

Part 1:



My secret is the CL is dead. Totaled a week ago Thursday

The good news is it is going to a good home where tha parts will go to good use & I got this:

Best B-Day present I have gotten/given myself.


It is, oddest thing is I like the Z but loved & miss the CL. Hopefully that will fade as I enjoy the torquey rwd goodness.

I am glad Nspec took it because I know the parts will be appreciated. The auction would have sent them god knows where.


Washed the Z this morning:


Here is how the Z sits today:

A few new pictures after a bath.


Clutch parts are here, go in Thursday.

SS slave line and pivot ball came earlier. Waiting for the slave cylinder rebuild, pilot bearing and rear main seal from Nissan, comes Monday.


Brian Crowder 88mm crank is next.


Injected Performance girdle & ARP upper intake plenum bolts came today. Still waiting for 96.5mm 11.0.1 JE pistons Brian Crower rods and Manley Valves. Need to buy cams and valve springs still







RODS & PISTONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the piston datasheet. The specs were dictated by Brian Crower for the crank.

Water pump, thermostat & gaskets!


Thermal intake plenum gaskets & solid motor mounts are here, another holiday UPS does not take!






Cooling day apparently!

I thought the Z had 6 cylinders.

Guess Amazon knows better!



& the solid trans mount came too!

Now if my freaking mechanic would respond to a text or answer his phone.............


Mechanic had an emergency so the build has to wait until Monday.

So I opened one of the cam banks.


I made a composite sticker



Dropped off this morning. Estimate is a week for the install.


High praise indeed.


Heads from the sub 10k motor that is going in the Z.

Amazing how clean they are. 

Block is on it's way back from machine shop, hoping the new motor will go in Thursday!


Super Damper came today. Ordered three belts looking for the right one based on input from Injected Performance.



Block is back!!!



Here is an excellent writeup I found.

Go with the flow : The VQ35 Cooling System |

Go with the flow : The VQ35 Cooling System
On July 13, 2010, in Engine, by B.Hobbs


You may consider it your enemy, it has definitely been responsible for more than a few oddly shaped pistons and blown head gaskets. The fact of the matter is that heat is simply energy, it works both for us and against us. A tremendous amount of heat is generated from the combustion process and put to work, the more we can harness the more efficient our engine becomes.

Approximately 1/3 of that heat is wasted through exhaust gas ( which can be utilized by turbochargers, but that is another story ) approximately another 1/3 is actually used to drive the piston downward and get the job done. The remainder of this heat energy is radiated outward from the cylinder and your cooling system is designed to transfer that heat to your coolant and pass it through a heat exchanger to keep engine temperatures in check.

This is the cooling circuit diagram for the VQ35 straight from the 03 350Z factory service manual. One look at this diagram will tell you that this aint your granpappy’s ol’ small block. Shortly after the 350z was released, aftermarket performance parts came pouring out of the woodwork to support enthusiasts.

Before you knew it there were big time turbo kits and high powered engine builds to the tune of 600whp. It was then that these tuners began to see the apparent downfall of the cooling system for the VQ35 used in the Z33. In this diagram you will see the rear cylinders ( #5 and #6 ) circled in red. If you follow the flow chart from the water pump you will see that coolant flows into the engine from that point, up through the heads and into the engine block. Coolant flows from the front of the head to the rear and exits through the water pipe connected to both sides.

The block on the other hand is another story, the coolant flows from the front of the engine to the rear cylinders and has nowhere else to go. I’m not about to call out Nissan engineers (although I’ve had cause to curse them in the past) because under normal and even spirited driving conditions the factory cooling system will keep engine temps manageable. However, under heavy load conditions such as a long highway pull on a high powered engine or pulling lots of weight uphill, coolant flow to the rear cylinders is insufficient and can lead to troublesome or even catastrophic engine failure in the form of blown head gaskets or over expanded pistons that will have a once smooth cylinder looking more like a funnel.

Enter the Pathfinder. The VQ35 found in the Pathfinder is only slightly different than the Z33 VQ35, but the one major difference worthy of discussion in this particular post is pointed out in red on this cooling circuit diagram.

If you follow the same flow, from the water pump and into the engine block, you’ll find that the coolant now has a “back door” out of the block where it will meet the other superheated coolant from the heads and return to the radiator. A thermostat is in place between the block and water pipe (shown on the diagram as an X) simply to let the engine reach operating temperature more quickly and reduce emissions.

Nissan engineers saw this one coming during their road tests for the Pathfinder, though they didn’t tune those VQ35′s to unscrupulous amounts of power, they more likely just ran them really hard off road and hauled lots of weight uphill. There’s no telling how many engines they scrapped before they decided on this system, but their loss is our gain.

Many fine retailers have put together “Pathfinder cooling mod” kits that will supply you with the rear coolant pipe, thermostat, hose and plate that you can swap right into your Z33 to greatly improve your coolant flow and safeguard your rear cylinders.

Is it something that your momma needs on her sedan to run to the grocery store? No, but you should give the Pathfinder system as well as other “reliability mods” some consideration if you plan to really put your VQ35 through a beating with lots of boost or serious track time.

Picked up the Pathfinder cooling mod parts this morning.


Just got pictures of my recovered alcantara steering wheel.

Ships tomorrow.


265 35 18 RE050A are on!


WHOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND NAU.....................



Whoo HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Got my wheel!


Thanks for the kind words guys.

I am at the mercy of the builder who is busy. Seeing as I want it assembled properly I wait.

Hopefully this week it will go together and next week in.


Alcantara wheel is on!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feels amazing!

Obligatory pictures of the car:


This was at the door when I got home.

I'll be hard wiring it shortly.


Got pretty good mileage over the 685 miles I drove yesterday.

High was 36 at 72, low was 22 at more. :P

Actual trip average was 27.6


Ready to play good news bad news?

Bad news build is "dead"

Good news, I have all my parts.


I did this a minute ago:

Frontier coolant outlet cover.




Damn thrust washers were block side. I'll pick up a new set tomorrow.


These just came.

And a few new engine progress pictures.

This is the Thrust washer I was missing.

UPS was really running late!


Exhaust cutout and oil filter stud that allows deletion of the crummy oem oil cooler came.

The Injected girdle needed to be shaved in a few places so the ARP stud washers would fit. Cost me 1/2 the day.


Bottom end is ready for the pistons. All bolted up!

Clear markers are in!



After a 200 plus mile round trip in the rain.

9 degree difference between ambient & iat not too shabby!

I paid 3.919 in Phoenix before I left, 3.859 here.

How can a tiny town in the middle of nowhere have cheaper gas than a big city?????


Good news, ring file came.

Bad news, mechanic is now doing a motor r&r so I am on hold until Monday.

Toe arms went in about 2 hours ago.


Another delay, the block was not set up for the crank so it is back to the machine shop.


2 of the ACL rod bearings were bent, ACL sold me a new set (they don't have them piecemeal) for 1/3 of their list of 99 bucks.


Little mod I did today.

37.00 bucks for the OFC copper 105C cable, & gold plated ends + about 2.00 worth of silver solder + an hour of my time.

I think my EVT code was ground related so even if nothing else comes from this if I get rid of that damn P1084 CEL it will totally be worth it.


My block came back from the machine shop.

It will sit until Monday as the mechanic is going prairie dog killing Friday-Sunday and the oil squirter block off bolts won't be delivered until tomorrow by end of day

Traffic on top, normal below.

Gauge mode.

As far as the block. The girdle is a billet piece 3x as burly as stock. The 88mm crank allows the pistons to go further down into the bore which allows the endcap bolts to get into an angle that had them hitting the block. It had to be ground away to not hit.


These just in.

Forged aluminum fan shroud. 

Oil jet delete bolts

Maybe the motor can go together nau????


I put the shroud on the radiator.



Mechanic just called, ranting saying the same thing over & over.


He bent an oil control ring assembling a piston into the block (29 bucks to replace) and is "eating" the time he has into it and wants me to go get my parts.


I am very very frustrated!


last time it was the wrist pins.

Nothing is damaged, I got everything back today.

Whoo Hoo!

parts are back AGAIN!

Icing on the cake, before the ranting come get your ish I'll eat my time call, he called said these little fasteners that fill holes in the crank were missing so I spent 25 bucks buying them. 

I get the parts home (I asked if he looked) and there they were.

This came today, replaced the 1490 it is a 1695 NULINK. Has google search via ATT & is pretty cool!


Last update for a while.

I am gone for two weeks Saturday. When I come back, I will drop it off at the machine shop that did all the work, they will put it together minus the timing components. The cam sprockets are 300 each and I am using the ones on my motor.

Funny thing happened today. After the first shop was fired I contacted a local establishment, explained what happened, that all machine work was done and that I wanted to have it done properly at a fair price (to both parties) I said I had gotten the parts at great prices, joked that I had pinched pennies and said as a result was willing to pay what had to be paid.

We got off the call with him agreeing to work up an estimate and call back.

The only mention of money was a 2k estimate I had gotten just for the assembly from a guy that had misgivings about the machine shop and said he needed his machine shop to go over the motor fully.

This person took that to mean I expected the full build installed (and machined) for 2k.

I posted on a local board (without ever saying I contacted him) all I want is a reliable shop to do it for a fair price in a reasonable timeframe.

I went out of my way to avoid naming him or s*itting on him.

Today he ranted in my thread as follows:

"I'm gonna be straight up. It's not that you an't find an honest shop with fair prices its that you put ZERO value in a shops time and labor. You said you budgeted $2000 (Doesnt even cover the cost of machine work for us w/ balancing, bore, hone, decking, heat tanking, on the block and then refresh on the heads) to R&R your motor , tear down machine work and assembly along with everything that comes along with it.

You said straight up on the phone that you nickel and dimed everyone you talked to for your parts and labor and wonder why you've run out of places to go to get it done without delays. Look at what that has got you so far, delays and lack of service and honesty.

This post isnt meant to be offensive but, the route you took with the car and the amount offered to the shop to do the work was offensive and thats why no one here at least ever pursued the work since in the end we would've paid you to do the work in house.

wish you luck with the final psoduct and hopefully nothing goes wrong. It is so unfortunate that Loyalty really only seems to go as far as how much you're willing to devalue and whore out your businesses time and labor. Fortunately we have tons of loyal customers that value our work and recognize us as one of the top shops in the COUNTRY not just AZ."

My first reaction is when anyone says any iteration of honestly, what follows is a lie.

Then I got mad. I never stated a price, I asked for an estimate. I told him the machine work was done and he said he had an in house machinist that could quickly deduce if there were issues so that was not an issue and that he would call me with an estimate.  

He never did and I remembered a while ago that in 08 when I wanted to rebuild the CL motor I called there asked for an estimate and NEVER got a call. He says in his rant he is one of the top shops in the universe, odd he has several they suck threads on 

I have lots of mods and have asked him for pricing, generally he made me wait so long I bought elsewhere.

I love bad businessmen.


This is what a stalled build looks like.

I brought everything in from the garage in case the garage door is left open while we are away.


On my vacation I toyed with giving in on the build and selling the motor/selling the Z, motor and all parts. I went back and forth, didn't really decide anything until yesterday I bought these:

Dr Bonz is Innnnnnn Saaaaaannnnnne!

Crawford Z Service & Performance

Guess I am keeping it?

From my trip to L.A.

Patton Museum, just outside Az border in Ca.


Here is the other side:

There are a bunch of parts still in the garage, they were locked in my toolbox.

The build is sitting in my office dead in the water.

Mine WAS a base. It has everything it was missing that I want but cruise control. I have the switches on for cc but that is it, still working on getting that.

The base is over 200 lbs lighter and the Quaife is lightyears better than the oem LSD.

I have an extra homelink auto dim mirror. Let him know I'll let it go cheap if he wants it.


Headers are out for delivery!!!!!!!!!!!!

Phoenix, AZ, United States 07/11/2011 6:07 A.M. Out For Delivery


Anyone know where I can get the missing plug?


A few of a header on a head.

Got the missing plug at Home Depot. 1.70, not too shabby.


In my spare time I made cookies!


Finally finished the center console. Moved the XM radio inside the cubby & the 5" Garmin 1695 out because it had issues getting signal inside the cubby.


Plasti Dipped the center console's defects.




It is insane how cheaply they make the touch areas.

The arm rests are worse. I had them covered in vinyl but the guy did not sand them so you can see the scratches as depressions in the vinyl. I might take it off and sand and do this to them.

As far as doing the motor myself, I have thought about it. I have everything but a ring compressor to do it.

I'd be concerned I did something wrong and then I end up with a car that does not run and god knows how much in parts needing to be replaced.



One of the two longer lines I need for the cooler are here!

Mocal sammich anyone? 



I want to preface this with TWM was great. There was no issue with honoring the warranty and sending a 149.00 knob really says sorry!

I went to JITB for lunch. Pull out and the shifter feels weird. Look down and it's not connected to the car. I manage to find the part beneath it and limp the 3/4 miles home take the surround off, take the knob off and get it out of the boot and there is a rubber bushing that has separated from the collar. 

I took a picture, emailed it and called the manufacturer who says there was a flaw that was addressed to everyone they identified as having this revision but apparently they missed me. 

They are sending another next day Monday with a weighted shift knob for my trouble. I had to clamp a vice grip to get into reverse and get out of the middle of my garage where I put it when I got home. They promise this second revision will not do this again.

After thinking about it it occurred to me a socket would fit in the remains of the shifter. After trying several I found a spark plug socket was perfect.  

Now I can drive my car while I wait for the replacement.


It was all I could do to not totally go off.

I am trying to keep it in check so I just said they have had it over 2 weeks, never said anything about a delay and said it would start Monday the 29th and now are saying it's behind a Buick with an unknown completion date that is holding up my start date?

I said I was not upset with him but this build has been going on for 8 plus months and that they should be able to give me a timeframe.

I went there this afternoon, asked if I missed or forgot when he said it would be almost a month before they started. He said he had not mentioned that timeframe but that the work being done was not going to be finished in a week. I said I understand that but it has been two weeks and nothing has started.

I asked when I could expect it done and he said three weeks. I asked if he wouild commit to end of September as a latest time and he said yes.

I cannot believe it might be 5 weeks from drop off to pickup.

Even after it's done I still need to find someone to r&r the motor and do the timing gear.


They gave me the option to have the shifter welded and they would pay to remove and replace it again next week when it is replaced again.

TWM has been great about taking care of the issues. I 100% recommend them!


Fuel pump & injectors came. Some day I'll get them in my car.


I called the machine shop. They have not started. He said the same thing he said last week verbatim, EXCEPT there is somehow a boat motor ahead of mine when last week it was just a Buick motor.

Best part is the motor in my car has stopped consuming oil (reason this started) I really am thinking about packing it in and selling my parts off.

Last Tuesday (8/27) I said will you at least guarantee it will be done by the end of September he said yes. Today he said it's only the end of the first week in September. I said you have not touched it, he had the nerve to say it was unreasonable for me to expect it to be done in a week. I said I did not, but I do have a right to expect it to have started after 3!


The mechanic that was "coming tomorrow" from shop 1 responded to a vm I left two weeks ago and is going to complete the assembly and do the install in my garage over 2-3 weekends for 1300~!

Happy I R!

LED back up lights:

Right is oem.


They finished it Thursday. I didn't expect it and did not have time to get it but will Monday afternoon.



Thanks guys.

This is the bottom end. We still have to verify there is no contact between the pistons and +1mm valves. There are more than 2mm over the size of the valves in the reliefs but it is better to assemble the heads and rotate the timed assembly to be certain.



I got it for 8500 in 2008.

Z motor on stand.

Acura motor on hoist awaiting pickup.


For the cylindrically challenged:

More to come.


Put the sandwich plate and lower oil pan on.


I have not done much to the Z lately.

GCSPEC Midbrace

New exhaust went in. The AP Ti was just tooooo loud.

Came home and wired the cutout.

Cutout closed.

Cutout open.

Switch for cutout.


A few new pictures from this morning.


Motor is out and heads are on!!!!!!!!!

Old motor front timing cover open.

Clutch isn't that bad.

Timing is set & my only real fear is squashed. No contact between valves and pistons. WHEW!

He welded the extraneous water fittings that are unnecessary minus the oil warmer. 

Waiting for the call it's alive!


Stroker installed and broken in on the dyno 2,000.00. 301 WHP/302WTQ


First drive after install


It is 99.999% done. 

The tuner sent me this comparison between the old motor with quiet exhaust and now but it is one of the earlier runs before we got 302 TQ.

He said he is out of the shop until Wednesday and will email me the rest of the charts then.

The @#*! cutout wouldn't open. He thinks there are at least 15 hp & 20 lbs there.


I just fixed it. All I did was open the compartment it's wiring is under and look at it and it worked. I checked my wiring and nothing was loose. I re did it anyway. 

It is 11.01 so even if I wanted to only low boost SC would be possible. I really want to be done.

There are as many break in procedures & opinions as stars in the sky.

I am not a mechanic but the people that put the motor together and the tuner that has built lots of motors agreed it was acceptable to do it on the dyno.

He spent 20 minutes going through all rev ranges not staying at any rpm for long, letting it cool down until he said it was done. Then we changed the oil and he tuned it.


Got two new rear tires today.


Got Fumoto?


Uh oh, guess Civic's just too smart for me!

Fumoto U!

Yes. I am missing about 18lb tq which I'll get back with the cutout open. These motors don't make much NA.

It is 60hp and 50lb tq over stock now.


I just installed my modded clutch pedal. What a difference!

Well I've had my 07 Z for about a month now and seem to have nothing but issues with the clutch system. I've already pulled the transmission to replace the Clutch Slave Cylinder and adjusted the clutch pedal 4 times.

Basically I can't stand clutch grabbing at the top 1.5" of clutch travel when the pedal has to move 8" to the bottom.

The problem with the OEM design is the clutch pedal (when disconnected from the master cylinder) has a sprung rod that depending on its location in travel can spring the pedal upwards or down to the floor. This downward force makes it impossible to safely adjust the pedal any more then an inch or so downward. If you crank the master cylinder fork-to-pedal connector too far in you end up having the pedal's up position below the "neutral spring zone". This causes the pedal to be holding pressure on the clutch hydraulics, thus slightly removing clutch pressure plate force (AKA burn up your clutch). 

The solution I found was to cut off the "linear spring rod" tab from the pedal arm and rotate-weld it a few degrees counter clock wise as seen in the picture. This increases the angular movement of the pedal from top to the neutral zone, thus allowing you to correctly adjust your pedal further down.


Post 880.
Stroker installed and broken in on the dyno 2,000.00. 301 WHP/302WTQ


First drive after install


Thought I was on ignore.

Fine, here's your F*cking video.



This is from an 07 W/O Brembo With TCS.

TCS/SLIP stayed on so I put a piece of electrical tape under the face.

Just verified SET flashes up when changing maps. I have three. full, valet and no start.

My car is officially fully optioned!!!!!!!!! (to my wish list)


Soldered in leds.

204 & 229 are the cruise leds, I tried having them installed in my cluster, no go.

The only replaceable are directional & high beam. They were bulbs I got leds for them


Installed the AFR and 80% of the oil temp & pressure gauges. They came with the wrong harnesses .


Ok ladies, here is a video. It was taken to send to my tuner so he can look at the AFRs, you can hear the exhaust for the first 10 seconds or so.

I don't want to hear about the bad quality, bad music, bad whatever.


Oil pressure and temp gauges are wired. Sensors were supposed to go in but mechanic had an emergency so they will Monday.

TCS OFF switch lights up. I will be using the switch for my Forged fans to manually turn them on when I want to.


Oil temp & pressure are in. Temp did not get above 140. Damn pressure gauge stays pinned at 100. Ordered a 140 psi gauge.


Picked up the COZ Akebono brackets yesterday. I have eBay brackets but am replacing the rotors and figured it couldn't hurt to get quality brackets. (not that I had any issues with the eBay ones)

Also got the oil pressure gauge finished.

Oil temp sensor:

Pressure sensor:

The stock gauge is 10lbs high at idle and up to 30 at high revs. I am not running over 120lbs, at wot it is near 100.

Picked up the COZ Akebono brackets yesterday. I have eBay brackets but am replacing the rotors and figured it couldn't hurt to get quality brackets. (not that I had any issues with the eBay ones)

Also got the oil pressure gauge finished.

Oil temp sensor:

Pressure sensor:

The stock gauge is 10lbs high at idle and up to 30 at high revs. I am not running over 120lbs, at wot it is near 100.

I agree drilled is not my preference. The fact is the description said drilled. I hoped it was not drilled which was what the part number referred to.

If I get 5k+ out of them I'll be happy.

They look cool! :P 

This is at cold start up this morning.

The stock gauge is very high.


Disks came down to 122.

Amazon Amazon 

Think I'll order them.

And a couple more rotor shots.


Got out to the garage at 6am and did the driver side, got lazy. Maybe do passenger later?

Replaced eBay bracket with COZ. Nothing wrong with the old one.

COZ next to eBay. These are opposite since I took off the driver side and installed it. I'll try to remember to get a picture of the passenger side. 

Passenger side.

Old vs new 14" rotors.

eBay vs COZ brackets. I think I did not need to replace them.


Took the car to a differential specialist. He thinks the pinion retention nut is loose. Yet another mess up by my mechanic from heck.

6-900.00 to do and 2 days after all the parts get here possibly a week from Thursday.

He strongly suggested I not drive the car so I'll get to see what an open 3.5 feels like tomorrow when it goes in.

This is my fault because I thought whew, the car is done and all is well THE NIGHT BEFORE THIS STARTED



It does.

Diff swapped out. It's weird how different the car feels Having only the rear solid bearing reduces vibration, torque feels down, obviously being pushed by only one wheel feels totally different. The whine is gone.

Ring and pinion look ok, hope they are.


Me too.

My main concern was the ring and pinion. They look ok to my untrained eye and my mechanic said no chunks/looking like there is minimal wear is good but he is not expert in differentials.

I have to wait for the parts to come in tomorrow. Damn pinion bearings/sleeve/nut were in Tennessee.


282.02 (with a discount) in differential rebuild parts.


Picked these up today. Since I already had a set can I multiply by 2 and have 8.166?

Dropped them off at the differential shop god I can't wait to get the quaife & gears back car feels awful on the stock open diff.


Painted the rusted rotors.

Sanded with this:





Differential is done. Waiting for 75-140 recommended by the diff builder to come.

They said it was 100% dialed in, gave me a break in regimen, told me to use much thicker (75W140) oil and gave me a bottle of friction modifier and want me to bring it back in 1500 miles for a check/free oil change.

I am pretty sure this time it's done right but if not it's their problem.


Detailed the Z this weekend. Started Sunday at 8am, finished this morning. Final part was sealer that has to be applied under 85f. Did it at 6am.

Semi detailed the engine bay too.


New Kenwood DNX9980 installed.

Old unit could do this, and I had the camera. I just never ran the rca.

Installed a Spal fan and then this:


Installed the second 12" Spal this morning.


Friday I replaced my V1 ARTS with current models. They were replaced under warranty by Motordyne. 2 big thumbs up Tony for amazing customer service. 

Did this today.

Bigger Magnaflow is quieter and allows dual tips. Cutout is still there


Got the first CEL I was happy to see today:

P0128 Coolant Thermostat (Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature)

It was 47 degrees outside, coolant was 122 on the freeway oil temp at or under 100 and the light came on. I read it with my Garmin, and smiled that my cooling mods were working. Cleared it and kept going.


Happened again today.



Picked up and installed my Z Speed undertray.


Responded, messed up [img] code, edited, got side tracked and when I hit submit it was over 15 minutes.


Updates ewe say?

Boots from Diverse came.They fit eBay ball joints well.

Since there is no clunking I plan to replace the broken boots & grease.

I'll post how they go on the oem units.

This just came.

I plan to do it today or tomorrow.



Low coolant temp happened again yesterday.

Love being able to see the code & clear it on the fly.




Broke and R&R rear sway end link mount.

Waiting for alternator pulley so I can take the car down. If UPS doesn't show up soon might R&R rear rotors.


Centric rear directional rotors in. pads had over 50% left.