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Performance Parts for Nissan, Inifiniti and Datsun Cars

EVENTS: The 2017 SEMA Show!

Filed under: Events,Featured Cars and Projects
by Alvin G @ 5:27 am on November 29, 2017


SEMA was a blur this year—but that’s really no different than any other year for the most intense sensory overload in car show form on the planet. This trade-only show features all of the latest and greatest builds, technology, and creativity in our industry. While the show has historically been populated by American marques and their aftermarket support, in recent years the influx of Japanese metal (Nissan included) is undeniable.


We only attended the show for one day and while the crowds were as appalling as ever in the Las Vegas Convention Center, the quality of cars made it all worth it. It wasn’t just “cars” that got us excited, it was the astonishing number of vintage Datsuns/Nissans! The variety was astounding. We counted 16 cars from a 1972 Datsun 510 to 1983 Skyline and everything in between.


Year of the Datsun!

Our Datsun-hunting at SEMA started with Datsun 510s. Pro-drifter Chris Forsberg built this hot-rod 510 wagon for his wife. The Mazworx-built SR20DET is backed by an automatic transmission and even sports air-conditioning. Deep-lipped SSR MKIII wheels fill out the box-flares that are part of the “Hakobird” kit from Carbonsignal. This might be the closest thing to Hakosuka Skyline wagon!


Our friend and fellow 510 racer Troy Ermish built this ultra-clean 510 2-door for actor Daniel Wu. We dig the bronze Watanabe wheels and subtle paint color. A built L-series breathing through dual-Mikuni’s and stock-ish interior also makes us happy. You can learn more about the build from our friends over at JNC.


Our final 510 sighting was the legendary Pete Brock’s personal car in Braille battery booth. Affectionately known as “Datzilla”, we remember first seeing this 450hp small-block V8 beast back in 2008 at the MotoringJ Style show.


Z Car Fever

A total of NINE S30 Z cars were at SEMA this year. That may not seem like many, but consider just 3 years ago only two Z cars were present. It was hard to pick a favorite but we were impressed with the Gas Monkey Garage 280z and the ChasingJs 240z built by Big Mike and Dominic Le, respectively.

The Gas Monkey Garage 280z


Big Mike was commissioned to design/build this 280Z 2+2 for the TV show Gas Monkey Garage. We loved how he took a often un-loved chassis and created a unique car that Datsun fans and American-iron alike can appreciate. Some quick details that caught our eye: the huge void found in front of the 4-cylinder SR20DET was filled with an OEM-like air filer box. The stock interior features vintage buckets with matching rears. The body color choice was perfect against bronze Volk TE37V wheels. Watch for two episodes covering the build airing on Fast n Loud TV on the Discovery channel!
…[read more]

First Z, then GT: Ricky’s 2017 Mustang

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 3:13 am on September 29, 2017


Hello and good morning Dear Zcarblog readers! We have many customer car and event reports to bring you this week, so let’s get to it.

If you are a fan of Japanese classic cars there’s a good chance that you have visited Japanese Nostalgic Car. JNC’s senior minicar correspondent and all-around J-Tin guru is Ricky Silverio and he is also a Z-car owner! Here is his pristine, 10k-mile 2003 350z Track model that we will be performing services on soon:


Enough about Z cars let’s talk about the other steed in his stable…Ricky recently visited Z Car Garage with his 2017 Mustang GT:

“Although the public knows the shop specializes in Nissans, I am aware of the broad range in specialty that ZCG possesses. What really stands out in the cars no one knows about is the DSE equipped Camaro that was done a few years ago as well as the myriad race and special projects. That’s what makes me know that ZCG is a misnomer as everything can be accommodated at the shop.”



The Premium-package equipped Mustang came to us with only 226 miles on the odometer and we happily obliged Ricky’s request to begin modifying it. Ride height and handling were addressed with an Eibach Pro-kit:


We discussed Ricky’s driving preferences and intentions (neutral, good turn in, street-use) when choosing alignment settings following the new spring installation. He was stoked:

“Although I chose mild springs I was surprised that brake dive was eliminated, turn in was very crisp and the car became more tossable. Firmness was slightly higher but the difference is huge which surprised me. But I must add the alignment specs really made the difference and ZCG delivered as always!”


What’s next for the Mustang? Since Ricky is comfortable with ZCG, on his next visit we will perform a baseline dyno and intake/exhaust mods. Ricky will have joined the ranks of a rather peculiar correlation between Z car owners and Mustangs demonstrated by our customers Jeff V, Kevin B and Scott L. Z/Mustang associations aside, Ricky is a car enthusiast with a love that started with Japanese cars and encompassed all:

“I love all cars and although I have been versed in Japanese cars since the day I was born, I dig everything! I used to have old minis and European Ford escorts and my uncle was into restoring old 60s American cars (Mustangs too) so that’s where my love for muscle cars were born.”

Here is Ricky’s ridiculously clean, 30k-mile NA Miata sitting on Enkei RPF1s and tasteful interior upgrades:


Ricky and I had some lively discussions about his latest Ford purchase and the new S550 Mustang’s design.

“The S550 Mustang chassis when it came out gave me the best of both worlds. Iconic car and platform but now with IRS and finally true world car engineering and refined elegant and beautiful design. The Americanness of the car can be found in its size (I’m still getting used to its length and width) as well as its V8, typical ford panel fit, rattles and various hard plastic surfaces. Other than that the experience is vastly different as the car really is a now a “normal” globally accepted and designed car. From its IRS, Getrag 6 speed, it feels more European / Japanese in dynamics.”


We both agreed that the new Mustang is the spiritual successor of the S15 Silvia, an “S16” if you will or the car Nissan should have built!  Ricky then took it up a notch drawing a connection between an old school Toyota and the Ford:

“Totally agree Alvin that by subliminal design (even chassis code with an S and 5) that with the Ecoboost the Mustang truly channels the S15 Silvia! With the V8 it even channels the true first release of the original Celica Liftback (twin cam 2 liter) which the US never got, especially in white”:


“That’s what does it for me. It channels those Japanese cars but also caters to the heritage of the Mustang which is what inspired the Japanese cars in the first place! Imagine Japanese cars inspired by the original Mustang, and now the newest Mustang channeling the qualities and design of the cars that were inspired by it. Mind blown.”


Even though we are a Nissan specialty shop we never leave our customers hanging with their other rides. We love the new S550 and Ford is one of those companies that gets it. More to come as we work on Ricky’s Z33 and GT!


From 350z to GT350: Scott’s Shelby Mustang

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 5:08 pm on February 16, 2016


Several years ago we met Scott L at a local autocross and eventually started working on his 2003 Brickyard 350z. He loved to road race so we performed incremental upgrades including Stoptech front brakes, a Quaife differential, Hotchkis sway bars, Koni Yellow shocks, and adjustable front A-arms with rear lower control arms. We also did a minor tune and numerous track day-prep/maintenance. Here he is at Laguna Seca:

Blue_3_ 258Dyno_Chart_350Z_164000miles_stock-and-tuned

With 200k miles on the Z he started looking for a new sportscar that met his requirements. Being a Nissan fan and quite attached to his Z the GT-R did make his list but the lack of a true manual transmission steered him away. A C7 Z51 and Cayman GTS were also in the running until he saw the new GT350 Mustang and it ticked all the right boxes:

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Scott stopped by ZCG to dyno the Shelby and it put down an impressive 460hp/375tq to the wheels! Factory rated at 520hp/429tq, this flat-plane crank beast has been reported to put down even more power on 93 octane!



The dyno chart is displayed with a bone stock 2012 Mustang GT:


Here is a video of the ‘Stang on the dyno.  Congratulations Scott and thanks for bringing her by the shop!

Rob was completely impressed after driving it…Nissan are you listening?

Back on the Track: Kevin’s 2013 Mustang GT

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 2:01 am on December 30, 2014


Kevin B has been a long-time customer of Z Car Garage and we have had the pleasure of maintaining and modifying his gorgeous Cherry Red Pearl 300zx Twin Turbo and supercharged Fox-Body Mustang GT.


Kevin recently picked up this sweet 2013 Mustang GT (Track-Pack) and immediately began taking it to open track days throughout Northern California. We are fans of the 5.0 Coyote drivetrain with big power from the factory and a capable chassis.

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Here is an initial baseline dyno followed by a run after a K&N air filter. The air filter alone gave us solid gains of 9hp/10tq for a total of 379hp/367tq to the wheels. Very impressive numbers!

Kevin B 5.0 Base & KN

After tracking the car with much success Kevin noticed excessive front tire wear. The front suspension has no provision for camber adjustment so we installed Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plates to dial in more negative camber.  Further suspension upgrades included Koni yellows followed by a full alignment. We also installed some Forgestar wheels for track days:

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Kevin came back for more track-related items like brake ducts, a front splitter, tow hooks and differential breather. During hard racing the fluid in the rear end heats up and expands. Combine that with extreme cornering and the fluid can spit out of the factory breather vent and all over the track. With this expansion take, the fluid flows up into the tank and then back down when it cools.

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Front brakes can also benefit from extra cooling so we installed a brake ducting kit from Ford Racing.  This helps to reduce front brake temperatures by ducting air to the brake rotors and even uses the factory fog light openings! Fresh rotors were also installed and brake fluid flushed/replaced with Castrol SRF. OEM Brembos squeeze Stoptech 309 pads:

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The installation is seamless!

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A Boss-302 style front splitter was installed:

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It was great to see Kevin at a SpeedSF track day at Laguna Seca. We hear the Z Car Garage license plate frame is good for another 10hp! Thanks for letting us make your track days more enjoyable!

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More Boost: Doug’s Shelby GT500

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Performance
by Alvin G @ 11:57 pm on September 17, 2014

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When you build a car with us sometimes it’s contagious. Doug W is the best friend of Z33 owner Craig K and he couldn’t resist visiting us for a boost upgrade on his sweet 2012 Shelby GT500. Equipped from the factory with a Eaton supercharger, a common way to increase boost is to use a smaller diameter pulley. Shown here (right) is a 2.5″ supercharger pulley designed to look like the stock 3″ unit. To make up for the slack due to the smaller pulley, a larger 90mm idler (left) was used:

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Installation was straightforward:

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The smaller pulley is designed to give 3-4lbs more boost. Using an SCT tuner we gained 16hp/37tq for a total of 530hp/519tq to the wheels. The power gains are everywhere!


Doug W Stang GT 500

Enjoy the Boost, Doug!

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