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Nissan legend Yutaka Katayama, aka “Mr. K,” dies at 105

Filed under: Automotive History,Events
by Alvin G @ 1:32 pm on February 21, 2015

Nissan Legend Yutaka Katayama
 

It is a sad day for Nissan and Datsun owners as we learn about the passing of Yutaka Katayama, father of the Z car. The news has spread throughout the media from NissanUSA to Wall Street.

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As many of you know,  Mr. K is the father of the Z Car and was honored for his innovative design of the early Z Car that set the bar for others. He helped Nissan to become the best selling import brand in 1975.

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He also positioned Nissan to become the 1st automaker to sell Americans on compact pickup trucks and “King Cabs”.   Here is Mr. K with the actor (Dale Ishimoto) that portrayed himself in Nissan’s famous “Dogs Love Trucks” ads:

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Retired from Nissan since 1977, Mr. K still had a drive for styling. He played a major role in refining the Nissan Z concept car that was unveiled at the North American Auto Show in January 1999. On October 13, 1998 Mr. K was inducted into the Automobile Hall of Fame museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

We have fond memories of Mr. K at our local and national Z-car shows. It always amazed us how enthusiastic and full of verve this man was to come stateside and participate in our love for these cars. Here is Mr. K at a Z show in the Bay Area, circa 2002. Like many Datsun owners I too was humbled when he signed memorabilia/car parts and shook hands. Mr. K was driving a Z well after he turned 100, noting that his driver’s license was good through his 103rd birthday. Amazing individual.

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Having excellent communication skills even in is older years he was known for ending emails and conversations affectionately with, “Love Cars! Love People! Love Life!”

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Thank you Mr. K for all that you have done for the automotive world. Our condolences go out to your family. You will be missed!

 

 





To Canada With Boost: Jack’s GTM 370z Roadster

Filed under: 370z,Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 7:44 pm on February 15, 2015

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In 2012 Jack W was visiting the SF Bay Area on his way down from Canada. He heard about Z Car Garage and stopped by for UPREV tuning on his Z34 Roadster. We also discussed the possibility of force-induction via GTM’s newly developed (at the time) TD05 16g twin-turbo kit. The following year Jack crossed the border once more to visit ZCG and make the commitment to boost! We installed a GTM Stage 2  TT kit with their supporting parts including a 25-row engine oil cooler, automatic transmission cooler and valve body upgrade.

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GTM manifold details:

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Final installation looks ultra clean and very subtle:

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On the dyno the GTM Stage 2 kit produced 434hp/360tq to the wheels:

Jack Wu  GTM TT kit final
 

Jack’s Z was one of our first cars to receive the PLX Devices gauges which became popular on later builds.

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We mounted the PLX DM-100 in the factory clock gauge-pod location:

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We installed camber arms to complement existing coil-overs and after we performed 50 miles of test driving Jack flew down to SJC and drove back to Canada in his boosted beauty.

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13k miles later we are happy to report that Jack’s GTM-powered 370z has been running flawlessly. He came back to ZCG to do a full inspection, oil change and a re-tune:

Jack Wu TT Retune
 

With 455hp/379tq to the wheels Jack Enjoyed The Roadtrip back to Canada, another happy ZCG international customer!

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Taka’s Datsun 240z

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Maintenance,Performance
by Alvin G @ 10:51 pm on February 8, 2015

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Taka Y visited us in 2012 for some maintenance on his pretty 1972 S30. Originally the classic orange in color, we love this metallic red shade as it shifts from burgundy in the shade to a brilliant ruby in direct light.

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In addition to sorting out the SU carbs we added Pertronix electronic ignition, did minor suspension work and cleaned up the fuel tank and all associated hoses:

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After a few years of enjoying the Z Taka came back to ZCG for more suspension upgrades and clean-up work. Starting with the suspension we chose new rear lower control arms from TechnoToyTuning (T3), Eibach springs , KONI classic shocks and f/r sway bars:

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Here are the original rear control arms and new T3 adjustable parts:

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Both lower control arms installed:

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The rear end also got treated to new mustache bar bushings:

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Up front the lower control arms and T/C rods were cleaned, primed and rust-proofed:

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We installed a new clutch master cylinder and clutch slave followed by full hydraulic system bleed with Stoptech 600 fluid. New hoses shown below (L): On the right, Taka’s L-series oil pan gasket was seeping oil so we replaced it with a new competition piece:

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Here is the pan coming off and new comp. gasket applied. A new oil pressure sending unit was also installed:

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We replaced the old, worn motor mounts with new pieces:

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New vs old motor mount isolators:

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With the chassis, engine and hydraulics sorted we improved aesthetics by changing the wheels. We really do love the Panasport wheel and over the years they improved their casting/design. The latest offering is stronger and lighter with stunning finishes. Below (L) it’s easy to see the difference in tire dimensions…

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Taka’s 80’s era 280zx 14″ wheels were mounted on gargantuan 235/60/14 tires. The new Panasports are sized 16×7 (11mm offset) and shod with 225/50/16 Bridgestone RE760Sport tires.  Taka’s Z now has a sportier, updated look with performance to match thanks to this wheel/tire combo.

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Enjoy The Ride, Taka. We love your 240z!

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Eric’s 370z

Filed under: 370z,Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 12:37 pm on February 4, 2015

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At Z Car Garage we love to help enthusiasts by installing customer-supplied parts. Eric R purchased these hot rod goodies online and came to us for installation on his 2014 370z:

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Stillen Gen 3 Intakes are a proven way to increase mid to high-range power on the VQ37HR:

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Install showing filter location:

 

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The 370Z has been discovered to suffer from high oil temps when exposed to extended periods of spirited driving. Once oil temps reach a specific temperature, the vehicle’s ECU will put itself into a “Limp Mode” cutting the power to the engine.  The solution? An engine oil cooler, this one is a great unit from Z1 Motorsports:

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Stainless steel braided brakes lines can also help with pedal feel compared to the stock, rubber lines:

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The perfect balance to improved intakes is to upgrade the exhaust side. Eric chose the TDX cat-back system from Fast Intentions. Aside from the power gains this carbon fiber muffler option also saves weight:

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And yes i does look great too!

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UPREV tuning maximizes power gains from these bolt-ons. The Stillen intakes and FI exhaust pushed power past the 300whp mark to 307hp/258tq at the wheels:

Eric R Z34 Base and Stillen intakes
 

With UPREV tuning we extracted 10hp more to the wheels for total of 317hp/258tq, noticeable improvements in mid to high range hp and torque:

Eric R Z34 Start to finish
How can we help you add power and performance through bolt-ons on your Z or G?

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Reuben’s Vortech 350z

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Maintenance,Performance
by Alvin G @ 9:38 am on February 1, 2015

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Last year we helped Ruben enjoy the merits of boost with a full Vortech supercharger install install on his LeMans Sunset 350z:

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The high-flow catalytic convertors had failed so we replaced them ART pipes from Motordyne:

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HFCs vs ART pipes:

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We also re-tuned the Z and it picked up 18hp/6tq for a total of 385hp/330tq to the wheels:

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Enjoy The Ride Ruben!

 

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