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At Z Car Garage we are fortunate to be a part of many Nissan/Datsun enthusiasts lives. Here is a great story of how we helped re-kindle one couple’s love for their Z. Ruth and Larry bought their 1978 280z brand new and immediately enjoyed it with Ruth daily driving for several years. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and Ruth put the car in storage for a long period.

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We met the couple in 2008 when Ruth came in to ZCG to get the Z up and running which resulted in a full mechanical refresh.  All hydraulics (brakes/clutch) were restored. The suspension was treated to urethane bushings and Tokico 5-way struts with Eibach springs and a set of beautiful set of Panasports. Finally, we cut and buffed the paint and Ruth’s Z took on a new look…it was almost like 1978 again!

 

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The next step for them to drive and enjoy the car happened a few years later when we restored the entire interior of the car: a full dashboard restoration, Recaro LXF seats (Leather!), custom carpet kit, sound deadening, all weatherstripping, seals, etc.  These are all the details that ZCG performs to take a 280z from an awesome car from the 70’s to a timeless classic that can be driven anywhere.

The Little Things:  sill lock trim!

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Dashboard: gauges and knobs:

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The result of the interior restoration:

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It had been years since we had seen the Roth’s other than routine maintenance. It was time to dive back into the project with a full external restoration.  The cut/buff from a few years back wasn’t sufficient and it showed in areas like the hood. Those amazing pinstripes and lower rocker trim were looking a bit tired as well:

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We called upon our man William from William’s Auto Body and both Ruth and Larry had two requests: 1) The Z car must be as awesome inside as outside and 2) we absolutely must keep the pinstriping that had been on the car since new. William was more than up to to the task. This time we went ahead and installed electric power steering for ease/use, our upgraded rearview mirror (as featured on Gary Roser’s car, report later) which includes a backup camera, GPS, temp:

 

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Re-chromed bumpers and restored guards:

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Full glass/chrome trim/weatherstrip R&R. All NOS Nissan!

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Inner fender liners:

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NOS emblems replace pitted/fading orignal pieces:

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Rear tail light panel:

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Restored side moulding:

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William applied the factory paint color and the Z looks fantastic. We cleaned up the louvers too.

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The best part, of course, is that Ruth and Larry are still in love with their 280z! Enjoy The Ride and thank you for letting us be a part of your journey. Your dedication and passion for the Z is contagious and we love it!

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More pictures in our gallery below: …[read more]





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Ron B. Jr met Rob Fuller in the early 2000s. At the time Ron had a 300zx Twin-Turbo that ZCG serviced. Sadly, one day Ron decided he was done with the Z32 and sold it. One of our customers actually bought it and we think it is still out there being enjoyed. Ron wasn’t entirely done with Z’s as he picked up a 350z Track model (shown at Thunderhill in 2006):

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Some 15 years later after meeting Rob, Ron had got another Z. Why? Once you have a Z it is in your blood and hard to get it out of your life! This latest Z obsession came in the form of a 2012 Nismo 370:

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Ron loved this car but he was missing something. We all long for it: BOOST! So he gave ZCG call, reconnected with Rob and reminisced about the old days with the 300. It was decided, we would make Ron’s car one of the first jobs of 2016 using a Stillen supercharger kit.

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The Stillen kit comes with a polished V-3 blower, 25-row oil cooler and we add GT-R plugs. Due to higher inlet temperatures observed on these builds we are starting to upgrade the stock water-to-air cooler. Frozen Boost makes a larger cooler shown below:

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A few shots of the kit installation:

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Before and after:

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We love the PLX Devices DM100 gauge that neatly replaces the clock with…

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… a multi-function display for vitals like boost, air intake temp and wideband:

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Another addition to the interior was a new NISMO shift knob:

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Got the Z on the dyno and out of the box the Stillen supercharger added 82hp/42tq to the wheels:

 

Ron B Z34 Baseline and Stillen Supercharger
 

With UPREV tuning we saw significant gains of 120hp/85tq above stock for a grand total of 410hp/326tq to the wheels:

Ron B Z34 Stillen Baseline to Final
 

With 410hp to the wheels one would think Ron’s Z car obsession is satisfied…he is really feeling the need for another 300zx Twin Turbo in his life so we are on the hunt for a pearl white 90-92 Z32TT with black/tan interior. From Z32 to Z33 to Z34, if the Z is in your blood we can help you live with it!

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Keep Boosting Ron and Long Live The Z!




Never Dull: Chris’ Ford Edge

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Maintenance,Performance
by Alvin G @ 10:18 am on July 14, 2016

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Commuter Week continues at Z Car Garage. We take average transportation and make it exciting! Chris C hails from from San Francisco, CA. He commutes in his Infiniti FX35 that we performed several upgrades to last year:

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Based on our service with the FX he asked us to step out of our comfort zone and take care of his fiancee’s Ford Edge. We happily obliged. With 84k mies on the coloc came in for a little refresh including new tires, springs, shocks, brake pads and address a few nagglish issues she’s had.

 

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KYB shocks up front/rear with H&R lowering kit. The springs drop ride height by 1.75″/1.5″, respectively:

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Stoptech brake pads front/rear but not our usual favorite “309” item. Instead we used the Stoptech “105” pad which is made for daily driver usage. Note the huge fender gap at stock ride height:

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After the H&R lowering kit the Edge looks great, here is a before/after:

 

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We love to help folks improve their ride so they can Enjoy The Ride!

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It is no secret that Z Car Garage is known as the dyno house for vintage race cars in the Bay Area. Since 2015 we have been following Glen Chiou’s heroic restoration of the #39 race car piloted by Loren St. Lawrence in the 1970’s. The best part, to us, is that Glenn is doing the restoration by himself and with the help of several key Datsun folks like Troy Ermish and Les Cannaday at CDM.

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Being an automotive enthusiast of meticulous nature, Glenn took the hard road of replicating this vintage race car as if it were built in the 1970’s, right down to the exact livery. No easy task! You can follow the restoration in detail on his blog HERE.

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Glenn’s goal was to run the car at Sears Point/Sonoma Raceway in June. With race day fast approaching and his first time out on the track with his completed Z, he wanted to make sure the engine was running safely. ZCG stepped in with dyno tuning to ensure his A/F and timing were correct:

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Here is the dyno run, she sounded healthy!

 

Glenn’s first race day at Sears Point was successful and drama-free!

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We are happy to report that Glenn also ran the Z at PIR a few days ago with a podium finish…38 years later on the same track his car was raced in 1977!

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Glenn, we admire you and your passion to keep the spirit of racing Datsuns alive. Thank you for bringing #39 back to life and thanks for bringing her to the shop.

 

Long Live The Z!

 




Fun Commuter: Daniel’s G35 Sedan

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Maintenance,Performance
by Alvin G @ 11:43 pm on July 11, 2016

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Daniel M came to ZCG to add a few touches to his commuter: a 2007 Infiniti G35 sedan. With 69k on the clock we installed a Stillen Gen. 2 cat-back exhaust system, UPREV tuning and Hotchkis sway bars.

 

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Before/after of the Stillen cat-back exhaust system:

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The exhsust looks and sounds great:

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UPREV tuning yielded gains of 9hp/7tq to the wheels:

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Enjoy The Commute, Daniel!




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