The Nissan 350Z was designed by Diane Allen, the earliest cars were made in Nissan’s Oppama factory in 2002 and then production ran from 2003–2009 at their Kaminokawa plant. The Nissan 350Z saw the debut of their “FM platform”. The name is derived from the “front midships” location of the engine, with its center of mass located behind the front axle centerline, shifting weight to the middle of the car, giving a more desirable weight split front to rear and better handling. The 350Z features the VQ35DE engine, a brawny 3.5 litre V6 with forged steel connecting rods, a microfinished one-piece forged crankshaft, variable valve timing and an output of 287HP, lifted to 300HP in 2006 with the launch of the 300HP/260TQ ‘Rev-up’ engine, which was the same as our customers car.
Onto the job at hand – the first issue was 4 bleed nipples had been sheared off. By welding a nut on (we started with and M8 13mm hex head (did you know Japanese cars do not have 13mm hex head ?). This sheared and perhaps was the cars was of protesting. Switching to an M10 nut with a 17mm hex, and turning the welder up still didn’t get the remants of the bleed nipple out.
In the end we needed 4 or 5 M10 nuts on each bleed nipple and eventually victory was declared and each nipple was replaced with a customer supplied Titanium nipple. We installed these with some brake grease as engineer Craig recalled correctly, that the corrosion rate of aluminium significantly increases in contact with zirconium, titanium, and stainless steel. This is why bleed nipples are usually mild steel with a Zinc coating – there is only a slight chance of a reaction because of the relatively small change in potential between the two metals and the formation of an insulating film on the surface of the aluminum.
We did mention this to the customer who may perhaps change these nipples again as a result.
Next up was to fit the customer supplied BERK Sports Catalysts. By reducing back pressure these should liberate more Horsepower but are supposed to still enable the MOT test to be passed. They are also reasonably priced appearing online for around £500. Contrast this with a complete Supersprint exhaust system costing £7500 and they seem like good value.
Removing the originals was a little tricky as expected when undoing near 20 year old nuts. One stud sheared of but this was of no concern as we had new cats to go on.
The exhaust certainly sounded fruitier with these new high flow cats installed. The customer wanted to fit a new genuine Nissan Lambda probe himself so we’ll hopefully be able to post his feedback on the overall result soon.
We’ve also recommened that we perform a Lanoguard treatment as the old girl is starting to look a bit rusty underneath…