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Current Mods: 455whp/335wtq 12.2 @ 116mph ( Best trap 121mph) Engine: Stillen Supercharger Kit Stillen Ceramic Coated Headers Stillen HFC's Stillen Catback Stillen Light Weight Crank Pulley Jnaut's Monster Oil

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Old 03-03-2009, 07:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Current Mods:

455whp/335wtq
12.2 @ 116mph ( Best trap 121mph)

Engine:
Stillen Supercharger Kit
Stillen Ceramic Coated Headers
Stillen HFC's
Stillen Catback
Stillen Light Weight Crank Pulley
Jnaut's Monster Oil Cooler

Drivetrain:
SouthBend Stage 4 Clutch
Performance Clutch Steel Flywheel
SS Clutch Lines
ZSP Metal CSC

Suspension & Chassis:
KW V3's
SPC Front + Rear Camber kit
Hotchkis Swaybars (middle setting)

Exterior:
25% Tint
Seibon Carbon Rear Wing
Painted Front Fang

Other:
Stillen J-Hook Sport Rotors
BFG Stainless Brake Lines
Volk CE28N Genesis


***UPDATES***
6/10 - 12500 Miles - Stillen Supercharger kit installed/tuned.

5/10 - 12000 Miles - SouthBend Stage 4 Clutch / Fidanza Flywheel installed

3/10 - 9000 Miles - Installed Stillen Light weight Pulley

4/09 - 3200 Miles - Stillen Headers + HFC's
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aIiNLfUnos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdVV46pOJd0

4/17 - Stillen Oil Cooler installed

Stillen OIL COOLER, Headers, Catback and Light Weight Pulley (Pictures A-plenty)

4/10 - Stillen Catback Installed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= S5LiLqxnics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= 0demnI6Lc2c

4/9 - Received Stillen Oil cooler, Stillen Crank Pulley.


3/28 - STILLEN G3 Intakes Installed + Dyno (2000 Miles)
STILLEN Longtube G3 Intakes. Review, Dyno and Impressions.


3/24 - Stillen G3 Intakes + Stillen Ceramic coated headers + Stillen Catback on the way.


3/17 - JWT Intakes Installed for testing. Post #37

Last edited by RCZ; 05-20-2011 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My First Trackday Review - 2/28/09

Well, I am home safe with the Z after a beautiful day at the track. I purposely left the car completely stock for this first track event so I could get a good feeling for how the car behaves. The only thing I did have to change was the brake fluid, for safety reasons. I used the one thing my mechanic had available. Super BLUE, which isn't bad actually. I will divide the review into different sections to make it easier to read. As a disclaimer here, all my "ratings" are comparing the Z to other track worthy cars I've driven or been in around the track. (GT-R, GT3, STi, 350Z, etc...so a wide range.) I have a feeling some of you will find it a bit harsh, but then again, it is stock and the competition is rough.

Engine:

The engine in this car is a little hard to describe. Its not bad and its not weak, but it is a little lazy and it lacks punch in the bottom end. It vibrates a LOT at higher RPMs and it just doesn't feel all that refined. The exhaust is too quiet as well. I have to say I was racing in Advanced and everyone there had very fast cars with racing compounds; so I felt very slow today. I just need more power and more responsiveness from the engine. Definitely had to use all those revs to keep it in the power band. The fact that I didn't want to rev past 6k didn't help me much either (break in? lol) I didn't want to put 100% of the engine today, I'd say I used about 90% of it. So what it needs is a lighter flywheel, intake, exhaust and a supercharger. The other biggie was of course...engine oil temperature... what a pain in the ***, I didnt get more than 10 minutes into any of my 25 minute sessions because of overheating. I just took it back in and let it cool down, after all its still breaking in right? One thing that I think helped was to turn the heat on full blast... that apparently circulates the coolant through another radiator. I think it may have helped a bit, but it only delayed the inevitable. Oil cooler is going to be a huge mod for the 09 version of the car, maybe they will fix this ridiculous issue for '10. On the positive side...the engine is well matched to the transmission and it makes some nice power when it gets into the powerband at higher RPM. If you somehow manage to forget the vibration, it is a smooth engine. It delivers the power predictably and smoothly.
Rating 6/10.

Brakes:
OK, this one is going to help the overall average. The brakes on this car are much much better than I expected. As I said, the only thing I changed was the brake fluid so the setup was completely stock. There was no fading at all in any of the sessions. I could actually brake pretty late and the pedal was solid. The rotors held up and the brake pads were very good for stock street pads. Good job Nissan on this part. I am only going to change the pads and the brake lines here.
Rating 9/10

Tranmission:
The SRM system is very very very good. Made me feel as if i were driving sequential when downshifting. Just banging gears in and worrying more about the driving and my line. If you get this car in manual, get the sports package.
Now the gearbox is a slightly different story. The gates need to be better defined..I threw it into 2nd instead of 4th a couple times and lets just say the SRM didn't like that much. It just needs some shifter bushings to make it feel more precise and that should be the end of that issue. 5th to 4th wasn't as fun as it should be. I got stock in the space between 4th and 6th a couple times while trying to come from 5th to 4th. Again, bushings will help and a nice shorter throw lever would be nice...take note of that sponsors. Some transmission seat bushings would be nice to get rid of the play in the shifter once its in gear. The gear selection needs to be more defined and positive. In the grand scheme of things it isn't bad, but it could be better where it counts.
Rating 7.5/10

Suspension:
I could spend hours telling you about what needs to be done here, however I'm just going to keep it short and simple. It isn't bad, but those who are serious about the track are definitely going to have to start looking for aftermarket alternatives. There isn't much lean, but the dampening should be a little stiffer. It felt as if the car was wandering a bit and I could never get a real exact feeling of the steering. It felt a little floaty and inaccurate up front. It just needs a bit more oomph if you are into racing of any kind. The car did dive a bit under braking, but I did not experience any more unsettling weight transfers. In fact I did some abrupt weight shifting with the brakes and it still held on just fine. I just didn't feel as confident or connected as I want to feel. It needs to be a bit stiffer and more aggressive. They didnt feel bad though. It is pretty good for a stock car though I must say. I will definitely purchase coilovers/swaybars/control arms/race tires and whatever else is available for the car.
Rating 7/10

Steering/Alignment:
Steering is a bit "lost"... it didnt feel quite direct enough, but this is due to the entirely stock alignment. The alignment and the stiffer suspension will definitely liven up the car a bit and help it feel more responsive.
Rating 7/10

Overall:

I was relatively happy with the way the car performed today. There were a few aspects where I thought Nissan could have done a better job like the oil cooler and the damn engine vibration. It just felt like I was really straining the motor just by going up the revs. It seems to just beg you to shift to the next gear before it spins itself into pieces. Who knows, it may not be an engine issue, but rather a transmission issue. My next few mods oil cooler, power and coilovers. Obviously a nice alignment will come with the coils and any other changes I do. I feel like stiffening the suspension will really make this car a joy to drive. I was able to drift my way out of just about every corner...I mean the car allowed me to make it a fun slide or a nice soft four wheel drift into the edge of the track. It was actually controllable and fun to play around with on the edge. Enthusiasts will certainly like that aspect of the car.

The car got a good bit of attention, even with a caged, twin turbo 350Z next to it. I was surprised to get compliments like "gorgeous and beautiful" from Porsche owners and corvette owners alike. Other than the overheating, the car didn't complain at all. It is still tracking straight and with only a slight vibration on the highway, but that was due to race rubber all over my tires. Eventually it went away or I got used to it.

The tires are actually not all that bad. They let go pretty predictably and don't make much of a fuzz even when you have them lighting up on corner exit. If you don't want to spin them, a little less lock or fun-pedal and they hold pretty good. The stock setup is pretty neutral, with a tendency to oversteer when you really push it. It actually felt better in that regard than my STI did. The Z just wants to do what you tell it. The rev matching is glorious and works with the engine and the brakes beautifully. When you guys run it, leave just a little more tire pressure up front because the tires like to roll a little bit with the soft suspension.

Overall rating as a stock package.. 7.5/10. No thats not with a calculator, all the parts just added together to make a pretty well balanced, well sorted car. It needs to lose some weight, add some power and stiffen up a little bit. Some bits were a little frustrating, but overall the experience was very fun and very satisfying. This review shouldn't turn anyone of from buying the Z. As many of you know by now, I am a pretty harsh critic and I have high standards when it comes to this type of thing. There will be many for whom the stock performance is enough, for the rest of us, this is an AMAZING platform from which to start. Get modding.

I think that for the average folks all you're really going to need is a nice alignment, sway bars, camber control arms and some better suited springs. For the more track oriented folks, Coilovers, swaybars, camber control arms, corner balancing and a more aggressive alignment.

Oh yeah and one last thing, the diff is crap. I'm buying the first OS Giken diff that comes out.

Please ask me questions, there are a lot of other things to talk about and many many things I probably missed.

EDIT: The more time that goes by, the more I'm digesting the experience.. the review will probably change a bit over time.








And the Videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGoKnQJC2CU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mi-ztct4SE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADJ4H3jIM7U

Last edited by RCZ; 05-10-2009 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Current Performance/ Handling Benchmarks:

Date: 5/10/09
Power: 310 RWHP / 230 RWTQ
Best Lap: 1:54 (Homestead IR)
Notes: Car was ok, but the brakes gave out. 90+ degree weather. Had to be very light on brakes...



Date: 3/7/09
Power: 256 RWHP / 204 RWTQ
Best Lap: 1:55.6 (Homestead IR)
Notes: Lap time wasn't done at 100% capacity due to break in period.

Last edited by RCZ; 05-10-2009 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Awesome journal, keep us updated!
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Firstly thanks RCZ for ur Journal
and now the questions:
do think for street use we have to change the oil cooler or no need ??? or change it to make my Z feel better
2-can we know why you changed brake fluid ???(to share the knowledge )

Last edited by Black kNight; 03-04-2009 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Great Thread RCZ! Love the write up and the the PG pics make the wait even harder till I get my Z.
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Cool vids, thanks. I was at the Homestead track for the BMW M Driving Experience last year. How fast did you get on the big straight (the one after the sharp U-turn left)?
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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cool stuff man! that's awesome.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black kNight View Post
Firstly thanks RCZ for ur Journal
and now the questions:
do think for street use we have to change the oil cooler or no need ??? or change it to make my Z feel better
2-can we know why you changed brake fluid ???(to share the knowledge )
1) Absolutely not, you will NEVER be able to get the temperature up past normal points while driving on the street. You do NOT need an oil cooler if you are going to keep it on the street.

2) I changed the brake fluid because the stock brake fluid is not designed to handle the temperatures created during track driving. Again, this is something you will never have to worry about on the street. As you know, when you hit the brakes, there is a lot of heat generated. When you are on the track, this heat doesn't have enough time to dissipate and therefore the braking system gets extremely hot. The stock fluid will boil at a much lower temperature than racing brake fluid does. If your fluid boils...it is very bad. Air in the braking system can cause brake failure, more often than not it will get so bad that it wont be safe to drive anymore. Racing brake fluid has a much higher boiling point and often even a different consistency than the original stock fluid. That means you can put it through its paces on the track without having to worry about it. I recommend RBF600, it isn't so expensive and it is very good. Currently I am running ATE Super Blue and it is pretty good as well, no complaints yet. However, it is about twice as expensive as the RBF600....$80 for two bottles...
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Will you elaborate more on the diff being crap?
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibimbap View Post
Awesome journal, keep us updated!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BanningZ View Post
Great Thread RCZ! Love the write up and the the PG pics make the wait even harder till I get my Z.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MD370Z View Post
Cool vids, thanks. I was at the Homestead track for the BMW M Driving Experience last year. How fast did you get on the big straight (the one after the sharp U-turn left)?
I wasn't pushing the car on the straights, I have no idea. Maybe 110?

Quote:
Originally Posted by !xoible View Post
cool stuff man! that's awesome.
All of you are welcome, I will keep posting stuff as it comes. Expect a video coming Saturday afternoon of this car on the dyno, as well as baseline dyno results.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rednek01 View Post
Will you elaborate more on the diff being crap?
Sure, it is unpredictable. It locks too slowly. You can't USE the diff the way you should be able to for car control on the track. Its great for the street, but not very good on the track. You will see a lot of the corners, specially the hairpin before the back straight that I was trying to lock it up every lap, sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldnt, and even other times it would look up kinda but not really. I shouldn't need to floor it to be able to use the rear to drive the car.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCZ View Post
Sure, it is unpredictable. It locks too slowly. You can't USE the diff the way you should be able to for car control on the track. Its great for the street, but not very good on the track. You will see a lot of the corners, specially the hairpin before the back straight that I was trying to lock it up every lap, sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldnt, and even other times it would look up kinda but not really. I shouldn't need to floor it to be able to use the rear to drive the car.
Hey RCZ, in hindsight: Do you feel like the sports package is worth it for someone who WILL be tracking the car and likely making the necessary modifications.

I'm assuming you are going to get a new diff, and probably some lightweight 18's with track tires. So thats already 2 major components of the sports package that need replacement (wheels and diff).
Would it be better to save the 3k and put it towards a set of AP racing brakes? For track I would most definitely get a set of coils, track wheels/tires, diff (eventually), and suspension bracing as needed. (And oil cooler but this doesn't have anything to do with sports vs non sports package)
So really the only thing left in the sports package is the brakes and the SRM.
Thoughts?
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You know, it is a bit of a toughie. I think it is worth it in the end though. The price tag of buying decent brakes (even 4 pot fronts and 2pot rears), a diff, wheels to clear your new fancy brakes and new rubber is going to be WAY more than $3000. I am going to get a new diff, the OS Giken to be exact. I will be able to then sell my stock diff and get some money back.

As far as wheels go, having wider wheels already allows me to slap race rubber on the stock wheels and be happy on the track. I don't plan on going wider than 285 in the rear for a good while. 255 front 285 rear. I will eventually get super light 18's to handle the track duty, but our choices will be limited because of the size of the brakes.

The other thing you have to remember is that you probably don't need better calipers than the sport package ones unless you will be doing some serious serious racing. I am personally going to only be doing lines, pads and fluid. The calipers and rotors (rotors for now) are fine for HPDE work.

Finally, the SRM. Wow is this system impressive. This system alone is worth getting the sports package. I LOVE heel and toeing but the edge you get under braking with SRM is quite valuable too. It also helps lengthen the life of the clutch and transmission. AND it can be turned off.

I don't know about you, but I cant justify buying every single one of these bits at once. We are talking 7k at least. Having the sports package is helping me hold off until I gradually setup the car the way I want it.

I personally think it is worth the $3000. An equal size aftermarket BBK will cost you $3000+.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Namir View Post
Hey RCZ, in hindsight: Do you feel like the sports package is worth it for someone who WILL be tracking the car and likely making the necessary modifications.

I'm assuming you are going to get a new diff, and probably some lightweight 18's with track tires. So thats already 2 major components of the sports package that need replacement (wheels and diff).
Would it be better to save the 3k and put it towards a set of AP racing brakes? For track I would most definitely get a set of coils, track wheels/tires, diff (eventually), and suspension bracing as needed. (And oil cooler but this doesn't have anything to do with sports vs non sports package)
So really the only thing left in the sports package is the brakes and the SRM.
Thoughts?

Last edited by RCZ; 03-04-2009 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:21 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Now THIS is a thread Ive been wanting to see. I cant wait to get home and watch the videos.

When you get your oil cooler, please post results ASAP, I'd love to hear that it solves the overheating problem...
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