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Baby Godzilla: Gary’s Nissan Pulsar GTi-R

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 1:06 am on December 31, 2016

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Remember when Nissan built cool cars in 90’s?  They gave us the Skyline GT-R, 300zx Twin Turbo, Silvia/240sx and this rare little pocket-rocket: the Pulsar GTi-R. Based on a standard 3-door Pulsar, the GTi-R variant was built solely for Nissan to enter the World Rally Championship series.  With all-wheel drive and SR20DET power, it followed in the footsteps of the Skyline GT-R and earned the nickname “Baby Godzilla”.

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This particular example, shown above with Alex’s R32 GT-R in the background, belongs to Gary S. It has just over 22,000 miles on the odometer and it is mint. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting design features of this little beastie.

Up front: A huge hood bulge with intakes dominates the frontal view and feeds a factory top-mounted intercooler. In back: a large roof spoiler and tail lights almost reminiscent of VW Golf GTi (MK2) units:

 
  
 

The interior is Nissan-simple. Note the factory auxiliary gauge set in center stack:

 
 

The Pulsar caught the eye of Mike Garrett and Speedhunters earlier this year, find the article
HERE

Here is a short video of some the neat details like the power folding mirrors, hidden umbrella holder and some driving:

 

A few years ago Gary discussed how cool it would be to have one of these stateside and eventually it made its way from Japan to ZCG. His plans: make it the perfect little commuter with a few bolt-ons!


From the factory the GTi-R was a potent performer combining lightweight (2700 lbs) and 227hp, enabling low 5-sec 0 to 60 and 13-sec 1/4 mile times. The SR20DET  has almost endless potential but also responds well to simple bolt-ons.

 

Gary didn’t want something too crazy…he’s already got the OS Giken TC24 Datsun 240z and a 500hp Z32 (featured soon) to soothe his power cravings. Our first order of business was to change the Japanese-spec battery with a US-spec unit. Next, we installed the AM Performance downpipe and midpipe, APEXi air filter, z32 MAF, Aeromotive 340lph fuel pump and Nistune ECU upgrade.

Factory downpipe and new AM parts:

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Downpipe and midpipe installed:

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APEXi air filter and Z32 MAF:

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Next we installed a gearbox strengthening unit from Stracher Motorsports

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The main problem with high powered GTi-R is that the gearbox internals and the case are subject to great forces and can fail under heavy use (above, left). The SM solution uses a strengthening collar to prevent the gearbox from cracking. Installation pics below:

 

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The Pulsar was treated to a new set of chunky and sticky Falken Azenis 14″ tires. Coil-over suspension is next on the short list of future mods. For now, Gary has been Enjoy The Ride with a major grin while piloting Baby Godzilla around town!

 

 




Happy Holidays From Z Car Garage!

Filed under: Events
by Alvin G @ 2:23 am on December 21, 2016

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***Dear Customers and Friends,  Z Car Garage will be closed from 12/23/16 to 1/2/17***

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We want to say thanks to our customers, friends and the crew at ZCG for making 2016 a wonderful and productive year!

Read further to enjoy a few highlights from the year and Z you in 2017!

(Click on links to read the full blog post)

 

Z Car Garage on Speedhunters!

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The Touge California

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The Japanese Classic Car Show

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Z Car Garage featured on Hagerty

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The 2016 SEMA Show

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Wednesday Night Drags

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Our OS Giken Powered Datsun 240z on Speedhunters

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ZCG-built Datsun Roadster on Speedhunters

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The IMSA 240z on Speedhunters

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Gary’s Hakosuka Skyline on Speedhunters

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Martin’s 1991 300zx Twin Turbo

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Maintenance,Performance
by Alvin G @ 3:05 am on December 18, 2016

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Martin B has owned this 1991 300zx Twin Turbo Z for a very long time. With 237,000 miles on the clock he visited Z Car Garage for the first time in 2013. The difference between a general repair shop, an independent repair shop and a Z car expert is a big deal on a Z32 because it is a car that you can get behind on quickly. If you are not well-versed in this chassis you will throw parts at it endlessly, often leading to more repairs.

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After more than two decades of working with Nissans, the crew at ZCG have got it down. The 90-96 Z32s are some of the raddest Japanese sports cars of the era. We know what to do and what not to do. For Martin’s first visit we corrected the knock sensor and harness, replaced the clutch with a JWT HD unit, turned the existing flywheel, replaced center support bearing, clutch M/C, power steering hoses and corrected rack bushings:

 

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JWT Clutch and flywheel

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Heater core repair:

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We installed a few suspension parts including new adjustable camber arms:

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SpecialtyZ exhaust and downpipes:

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The transmission had several leaks needing attention:

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After 237k miles the driver’s seat had seen better days so we rebuilt it from frame to padding and sent Martin on his way…

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Later that year, after enjoying the car with the ZCG touches he felt that it earned a place in his collection. With 240k miles on clock,  we removed his engine/transmission for a rebuild using a Rebello VG30DETT with JE pistons, Eagle rod and balanced with ACL bearings. Full engine bay harness service as well. Many more pictures of the build in the gallery below!

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All hoses and parts in the engine bay that are relatively inexpensive were replaced while the engine was out:

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The drivetrain is installed and buttoned up. A clean Z32TT engine bay is a treat to look at, despite the complexity:

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On the dyno the freshened engine made 318hp/320tq to the wheels:

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It has been since 2013 and Martin’s Z now has 255k mile on the clock. We touched up everything and added some Work Emotion wheels (not pictured).

Enjoy The Ride, Martin!

 

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Please browse our picture gallery after the jump

…[read more]




FOR SALE: 1971 Datsun 510 SR20DET

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects
by Alvin G @ 2:39 am on December 7, 2016

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Talented fabricator and Nissan/Datsun restorer Eric S. is selling his SR-powered Datsun 510. Please see our For Sale page HERE for more details.

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EVENTS: The 2016 SEMA Show!

Filed under: Events,Featured Cars and Projects
by Alvin G @ 3:23 am on December 5, 2016

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What Happens in SEMA . . .

2016 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.  Every year, people from around the world arrive in Las Vegas to look at the astonishing display of automotive tuning and customization.

 

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Within the 1 million+ square foot, 4-building Las Vegas Convention center there are hundreds of lowered imports, resto-modded muscle cars and those crazy lifted trucks.  There’s far more to the show than that including celebrities, extreme demos, parties and general excess.  Unfortunately, SEMA isn’t open to the public, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience what it’s like to attend the craziest show on the automotive calendar. Enjoy the following highlights from our visit to SEMA in Novemeber. We will start with our display car, the OEMs, Datsuns and move on to the wild stuff!

 

The OS Giken TC24B1Z Skyline

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Last year at SEMA we debuted the legendary OS Giken TC24B1Z engine inside our ZCG-restored Datsun 240z:

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The Z was well-received but very subtle (by SEMA standards) so this year we stepped out of our comfort zone and helped build a “flashier” vehicle for display…a 1971 Nissan “Hakosuka” Skyline!

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This time the TC24 was treated to different induction: Jenvey individual throttle bodies and EFI. Aesthetics were livened up with a red valve cover and white coated exhaust headers. The entire car was wrapped in a metallic red replete with sponsor graphics and 17″ Volk TE37V wheels on Nitto tires. Our “show hood” mod was utilized again to highlight the glorious TC24.

We were flattered by all of the fan pictures and even received a miniature scale replica of the Hako from Shingo!

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The Hako garnered attention from many social media outlets and drew significantly more traffic than last year’s display. Later in November it went on to be displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show!
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Huge thanks to the crew from OS Giken and Alex M. Stay tuned we will have a full feature on the build soon!

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The Big Manufacturers at SEMA

As always, there’s a big presence from US manufacturers, but this year Honda and Toyota (among others) made an impact on the show floors. Here’s our round up of the big displays.

Ford

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Ford had the largest display in the main hall with an extensive showing of their hottest cars and trucks. My favorite was the new GT supercar complete with battle-scars from a LeMans race. It even sat across from an original Ford GT40. Ken Block’s “Gymkhana 9” Focus and other tricked-out Foci below:

 

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Honda

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Honda announced its return to the Pirelli World Challenge series in 2017 with this NSX GT3…being towed by Acura MDX!  Below, the new NSX looks great in white, the new Civic showed as body-in-white tuning platform and the new (for the US) Civic Type R:

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Toyota

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Toyota had a neat throwback-style displaying paying tribute to its heritage vehicles. They even brought out the entire generation of Corollas in celebration of its 50th anniversary! Below: 1951 Land Cruiser, 80’s Van and the “World’s Fastest SUV”: a 2,000hp twin-turbo’d v8 Sequoia

 

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Datsun Domination at SEMA!

We begin our coverage of all the Datsuns/Nissans at SEMA, and there were plenty! Let’s start with our OS Giken booth neighbor, ENEOS. Their display car was none other than Ginash George’s C10 Skyline. Ginash is the founder of the successful JDM Chicago and also owns a beautiful NSX.

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Ginash enlisted the expertise of JDM Legends to build this stunning Hako. All the right choices on this one! And he’s a wheel aficionado to boot as well. Super Street gave it a SEMA award!

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FOUR S30 Z cars were at SEMA. If we had to pick a favorite it was the ChasingJs 280z built by Dominic Le. You might be familiar with his last SEMA creation, the Hakotora that was featured on Jay Leno’s Garage.

 

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The build was based on a rendering from talented artist Jon Sibal…and built in Dom’s garage!

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The clever John Player Special striping was hand-applied by Dom himself. Note the rare G-Nose headlamp covers. Power comes from a single-turbo 2JZ-GTE with 1,000hp as the goal. We love it!

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The Liberty Walk Fairlady Z turned heads with its unmistakenable bosozoku style. Sporting their fender flare kit, “notchback” rear hatch, smoothed rear panel and small-ish 15″ wheels it seemed a bit out of place in the DUB nation booth, but still cool.

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Chris Forsberg’s 280z underwent a total makeover for SEMA.  The single turbo RB26 revieved a custom billet valve cover and the body showed off a new kit from Carbon Signal.  The kit really flows well with the G-nose and front spolier. The interior was also finished by Amir and his team in the UAE.

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The legendary Pete Brock displayed his personal BRE Tribute 240z in the Braille booth:

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A lone Datsun 510 slammed via AirLift suspension and 13B rotary power. The BBS wheels were mint!

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This Datsun Bluebird L320 pickup was a pleasant sight amongs the wild bodykits. You see those chunky rear tires on widened steelies? They’re probably necessary to reign in all the instant torque from the electric motor conversion!

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Late Model Nissans

Steve Pham’s unorthodox turbocharged BMW N54 turbo. This Rocketbunny “Boss” kitted Nissan 240sx (S14) had new BRE-inspired livery for the show. Below, a JDM model S15 Silvia with a widebody kit:

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…[read more]