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TECHNICIAN WANTED

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Maintenance,Performance
by Alvin G @ 7:36 pm on September 24, 2019

     
 

Z Car Garage is expanding to support our vintage, late model and motorsport work. We are seeking an experienced and skilled automotive technician to join our team. This is not an average automotive job. We work 4-10hr days and offer competitive pay/benefits.

Requirements: Automotive experience, your own set of tools, willingness to learn, and be part of a team.

Nissan/Datsun experience is NOT a requirement, you just need to have passion.

Interested or know someone who might be a good fit? Share this, spread the word and please contact rob@zcargarage.com or call us at (408)452-0350.

 

 
 

 

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James’ R35 GT-R

Filed under: Maintenance,Performance,R35
by Alvin G @ 3:00 pm on September 12, 2019

 

A dealership is great to support your new Nissan but here is an example of how independent shops like ZCG that specialize in the brand are critical to maintenance, longevity and performance of your vehicle.

Why Independent Shops are Important!

James bought his 2015 Nissan GT-R secondhand from a dealership and started to have some issues where the car would go into limp-mode. He took it to a Nissan dealership and they found some kind of issue underneath the timing cover that was resulting in a limp-mode approaching 3000rpm. A temporary “fix” resolved the behavior but again it was going into limp mode. Back it went to Nissan where they couldn’t get data off the OB-II connector.

 

Nissan tells James that the car might have an ECU tune so he should find someone in the Bay Area to diagnose/asses if it has an aftermarket ECU (ie Cobb Accessport, EcuTek flash, etc).  James visited ZCG and Rob flashed the GT-R with EcuTek software, enabling data logging. Rob noticed that the cylinder bank 1 intake cam was not advancing. Further investigation revealed that when the dealership installed the front cover and intake cam solenoids and o-ring failure was spotted. This o-ring eventually failed, not allowing sufficient oil pressure to advance the intake cam on bank 1, thus putting car into limp mode.

 

We installed a new o-ring and James was on his way. This is a great example of how independent/specialty shops have the expertise and attention to detail to keep your Nissan on the road!

Long Live The Passion!

 




FOR SALE: 2004 Nissan 350Z Touring

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Maintenance,Performance
by Alvin G @ 10:22 am on September 6, 2019

 

This 2004 350z Touring is a ZCG customer car that has been maintained by us for many years. It has a new front bumper, 2007-2008 hood and Stillen rear wing. Full suspension including TEIN coil-overs with EDFC and Hotchkis sway bars. A full 4-wheel Rotora Big-Brake kit is framed behind VOLK SF Challenge wheels sized 19×9 and 19×10 running Toyo Proxes T1-R tires (245/275). It is ready to be enjoyed!

See the video and many more pictures on our for sale page here:
2004 Nissan 350z Touring




Nickhil’s 1973 Datsun 240z

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Maintenance,Performance
by Alvin G @ 4:05 pm on July 23, 2019

 

Nickhil’s beautiful 1973 240z needed some love. He acquired it a few years ago and took it to another shop since ZCG was backlogged. They tried to fix the ignition system and the car came to us barely running.  We performed a full inspection, compression/leakdown test, cleaned up the engine bay and handled some interior items at his request. He would return for full suspension and chassis upgrades!

 

The main culprit for poor running was the timing being set incorrectly and very retarded.  We removed the existing ignition setup and installed the factory distributor with correct advance curve. The coil was replaced and we got it running really well:

 

New door window glass replaced scratched units. We also installed his newer center console:

 

Outside, the body was treated to our favorite side mirrors, the Nissan OEM #E4600:

 

Those groovy louvers were removed:

 
 

Nickhil visited us to drive his Z and he was so impressed that he signed on to do more work with us. We handed him the keys to “Mrs. Butters”,  our  1970 Series 1 240z shop demo car and he was sold on our Z Car Garage Big-Brakes (for small wheels) and Z Car Garage CV Axles! Butters has a way of doing this to our customers 🙂

 

ZCG Big-Brakes and CV Axles

    
 

As fellow S30 owner/racer Glenn C mentioned in his review, on top of braking performance, pedal feel is extremely important and our Big-Brakes deliver. This is a direct result of working with Stoptech to create a totally bolt-in solution requiring no M/C change or additional proportioning valve/adjustments. All fitting behind a 15″ Watanabe or Panasport wheel and retaining factory emergency brake lever! A few details below:

Calipers: Stoptech ST42 4-piston front & rear race calipers (Alum 6061 mil-spec Type III anodized)

Rotors: 280mm x 20.6 with Alum 7075 hats

Pads: Stoptech 309 sport street pads

Blog posts documenting all of our customers running the ZCG Big-Brakes can be found HERE.

A few closer detail shots of the calipers, rotors and hardware:

 

We removed Nickhil’s stock brakes and installed our ZCG Big-Brake kit. The Z also received entire full coil-over (Koni) suspension from Techno Toy Tuning. New parts included adjustable T/C rods, rear control arms, new bushings, rack bushings, steering coupler, ball joints and more. T3 finishes the suspension in our signature color and we really appreciate Gabriel and his staff. They make some of the best suspension parts out there for Z cars.

 

ZCG Big-brakes and T3 coil-overs replacing stock setup up front:

 

T3 T/C rods:

 

Suspension Techniques sway bars. Front installed:

 

At the rear, the factor drum brakes were replaced with our ZCG Big-Brakes. Factory handbrake functionality retained! T3 coil-covers also installed:

 

Our Z Car Garage CV Axles help transmit power to the ground and ensure smoother operation compared to your standard half shafts. Nickhil’s Z received set #285. We have over 60 CV axle kits on customer cars and we are stoked with all of the positive feedback.

 

Stock half shafts and control arms (L):

 

S/T rear sway bar and T3 control arms installed. Also visible is the ZCG exhaust system using 2.5″ piping to a stainless resonator and Magnaflow muffler with slash-cut tip:

Panasport Wheels

What is the perfect companion for Nichkil’s Z, now that it has full suspension and wicked brakes? Panasport wheels! We replaced the old-school Western wheels with 16×7 Panasports and Bridgestone’s killer new S-007a tire in 225/50/16:

 

We kept in touch with Nickhil and he has been out Enjoying The Ride. We even spotted him attending the successful Golden Week Kyusha Festival in May:

 

Thank you for entrusting us with your S30 Nickhil. We are so fortunate to work with owners that appreciate the Z and believe in our ability to make them better! LONG LIVE THE Z!

More pictures in the gallery below




Felix’s 300zx Twin Turbo

Filed under: Featured Cars and Projects,Maintenance,Performance
by Alvin G @ 9:09 pm on July 19, 2019

 

We might be biased but we feel the Z32 is the best Japanese sports car of the 90’s. Keeping them on the road is our passion and even in 2019 there are still some real gems out there. Felix C brought his 1996 300zx Twin Turbo in to ZCG under dire circumstances and here is how we met him.

 

While we were at the Spring Classic event at Laguna Seca a customer was trying to buy a ’96 Z32TT from SoCal. Rob informed this customer to hold off buying the car until inspected by our friends at SpecialtyZ. When we got back to the shop at night to unload our cars from the race weekend…that ’96 Z32TT was sitting in front of Z Car Garage!

 

The following morning a gentlemen named Felix called to say he had purchased this car in SoCal and on the way home it broke down. With 96k miles the odometer, this Z32 from came to ZCG with a busted fan clutch. When the fan clutch failed it made a mess of the radiator and front end. The first visit for Felix was a full inspection with a plan to remedy all problems to get him back on the road. We installed a new Koyo race radiator, our one-step colder plugs and performed full timing belt services:

ZCG CAM4 71314 048 
 

 

Power Upgrades

Felix returned after feeling the need for more power and we also knocked out a few more items from the initial inspection. Power upgrades included a SpecialtyZ 2.5″ exhaust with resonated x-pipe and dual tips, 740cc injectors, Ashspec massive intercoolers and Greddy boost controller:

ZCG 82514 CAM 4 009
 

On this visit we also got the A/C working with a new condenser and drier. A new fuel pump and all fuel hoses on top of the plenum were replaced:

 

The engine bay was cleaned up, including oil cooler lines:

 

More power upgrades: Selin translator dual MAF and BDE Performance motor mounts to allow for ASH-SPEC inlet piping. Massive IC from Ash shown below:

ZCG 51714 019
ZCG 51714 020 ZCG 51714 032
 

Dyno Tuning

We dyno tuned Felix’s Z with each power modification. It came in with a failed knock sensor, causing the low baseline power levels of 220hp/223tq. The knock sensor was fixed:

 

Great gains with the SZ exhaust system for 313hp/334tq to the wheels:

Ash-SPEC intercoolers:

 

Rob’s final tuning really woke the Z up, yielding 357hp/351tq to the wheels on 91 octane, dyno video below:

 

 

Interior

Felix wanted us to sort out the interior. During this visit we installed some weatherstrip, fixed an ABS sensor code and eliminated a few door panel rattles.

   
 
 

Felix added LED lighting:

 

The highlight of the cabin: we had the seats re-finished to OEM spec!

 

Big-Brakes and Chassis

 

As every Z32 owner knows, the stock brakes just aren’t up to the task. More power exacerbates the issue and you know how we feel at ZCG:  It’s Stoptech Or Don’t Stop At All.  Felix’s car had larger than factory wheels allowing us to install the 332mm Big-Brake Kit using red calipers and rotors.

 

Stock vs Stoptech

 

At the rear, stock Z32 calipers were paint-matched to the Stoptech red up front.  Sport kit slotted rotors with 309 pads and SS lines throughout:

 
 

In addition to their function, the Stoptechs look nice too!

 

Stillen sway bars front and rear and we replaced all of the power steering hoses:

 

The Z had outgrown its suspension and it was 40th Felix’s birthday. We delivered icing on the cake with KW V3 coil-over suspension:

 

Installed front and rear:

 

More birthday goodness: super sexy SSR GTX-01 wheels in 18×9.5 with Bridgestone S-04 tires:

 

Wheels/tires being mounted:

 

Notice the J-spec tail lights, one of our favorite aesthetic mods and it looks so good on the black Z32s. Of note is the license plate “AUDREYH”…Felix wanted to pay tribute to his Mom’s favorite actress, Audrey Hepburn:

“aka Fairlady Z since the designer named it after the classic movie My Fairlady. The actress in the movie is the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. Hence I chose AUDREYH.  I figured a classic lady should have a classic name with relevance.”

 

The 300 is now well-sorted and Felix is loving it. He did his first track day at Sears Point (Sonoma Raceway) and had a blast hustling the Z:

 

“Rob and the team is a high energy team that takes their work seriously while having fun.  I’m happy what they have done to the car and also ecstatic that they share equal appreciation of the Z32”

UPDATE:

Felix is Enjoying The Ride as I write this blog post! He sent me these awesome pictures minutes ago with another Japanese sports car we admire…the FD RX-7:

 

Thanks for bringing your 300 to us Felix and Long Live The (Twin Turbo) Z! More pictures in the gallery below:




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