Kevin’s Z34

Mr. Kevin Chen drove up from S.D. to get his Z tuned.  Kevin has the full F.I. exhaust system including resonated test pipes and Stillen G3 Intake.

Baselined @ 308 whp and came out ahead to 318 whp after tuning.

SZ goes to Canada

Back in July we headed off to Vancouver, B.C. to meet up with our good friends.  We had been there before to do some tuning but this time we sure weren’t expecting what followed!  We took for the airport 7 a.m. Friday morning and arrived to Vancouver around 2 p.m.  I could not believe how “nasty” Canadian customs is.  I was interrogated by the first officer with a very bitter cold attitude (like your job?).  What are you doing in Canada?  How long will you be staying?  Where will you be staying?  How do you know the people your staying with in Canada?  Where do they live?  Just some of the questions I was asked.  Shortly after we pick up our bags and head to the EXIT, boy was I wrong.  I got picked out by another officer and was told to follow them into another back room.  Great, I had some tuning equipment in my bags not to mention we brought our AFR wideband stand that looked like a pipe bomb to an untrained eye.  Again I was attacked with 20 questions in under 20 seconds.  I thought a cavity search was next.  Lucky for me I didn’t have to open up my bags and I was allowed to enter the Canadian country.  BTW, vorpalz (Rob K.) has a very nice writeup with more pictures of our adventure, be sure to read and view it by clicking on this.

Beautiful view from the plane.

We were picked up by Rick H. and his lovely wife.  Grabbed a quick bite to eat and made it over to Meatman’s (Josh) home\workshop.  We knew Josh had been working frantically that entire week to get his car back on the road after eating a rod bearing (or so he only thought at the time).  Arriving to Josh’s property I was amazed of his “little” place.  Beautiful and a lift for his Z!

The Workshop

Josh’s Zed

Scurfie’s Silver Zed and McGuiness’ peeping in front of it.

Tom’s beautiful Z

Little did we know that this VG was going to be out in a couple hours.  Greg and I listened to Josh’s engine and it didn’t sound pretty.  Not only was there some nasty lower end noise it cranked over with low compression.  We put our heads together and decided to fix it with parts Josh had laying around.  Thus began our mad adventure.

Josh anxiously pulling his Zed into the workshop.

Josh had a good assortment of tools although there were plenty of times we wished we had something better to accomplish some tasks.  I learned a new name for “zip ties” as we commonly know them here.  In Canada they are also known as “zap straps”.  How freakin’ cool is that?

Pretty SZ 3″ SS Exhaust.

Rob confirming that his test drive after one of our fixes was successful.  Greg riding shotgun.

We all worked like mad men.  Determined to get Josh back up and running AND tuned the next day.  Greg and I were running on little sleep as it was.  We started around 6:30 that Friday afternoon and finished around 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning.  Luckily for Josh we were on a mission and he had a good looking (internally) short-block sitting around.  We transferd all of his parts including his old heads on to that thing.

So not only did it have low compression.  It had bad rod bearings and main bearings!  Way to go Josh!  He knows how to punish a VG on the road course.

Rick’s wife stuck around with the boys all night long!

Here you can see Josh (Nike shirt) looking for something.  What was I looking for again?  😉 McGuinness looking on.  There were plenty of times we faced big bumps compromising the end job.  With enough determination we saw it through.  By the time 2-3 a.m. hit I was beat.  I slept a few hours in Josh’s Zed.

My bed for a few hours.  I remember waking up while the car was up in the air and recalling the boys stabbing the trans into place.  WTF was that? (thinking to myself) Oh, yeah.

Around 6:30 a.m.  Buttoning everything up.  Boy it was a sweet thing to hear that engine crank over.  It sounded so healthy and quiet.  Everything had come to plan.  I don’t think anyone could believe it.

Greg making sure she’s pretty to see the light of day.  It’s all in the details.

Rick’s Zed

Josh looking and probably thinking to himself, how the hell?  Damn this rocks!  Greg and I went to our hotel room to take showers, ate breakfast, and went over to the dyno for another long day of tuning!

Did I tell you we were a little tired?

Some of the dyno results:

Josh’s fresh rebuild made a nice amount of power.  Sport 530 powered.

Scurfield’s Zed proved to have some gremlins that needed to be addressed before it could undergo more power.  Sport 700 powered.

Rob’s (vorpalz) Zed powered by Sport 530s on 91 Octane.

Tom’s Zed powered by 2871Rs on Q16.  Well done.

We finished up tuning 9 p.m. Saturday night.  We went to the hotel, ate dinner, fell asleep by 10:30 and woke up by 5 a.m. the next day to catch our flight back to L.A.  We love Zs, Zeds, can’t you tell?  Don’t forget your zap straps!

This is a rare find.  JDM RHD Slick Top TT from the factory.  Canadians do have it good.

Jim & Cliff

TT.Netters may recognize the red car as being Jim Nichols Z32.  That would be Dave N.’s dad.  Jim, Dave, Cliff, and Ben all came down to get Jim and Cliff’s Z32s tuned.  Jim has a very clean Z with standard bolt ons and still has factory CAT pipes.  His basic engine mods are:

  • Stock Turbos
  • SZ Downpipes
  • OE CAT Pipes
  • 740cc Injectors
  • JWT Single POP
  • SZ Catback
  • Boost Jets
  • Stillen SZ Modded Intercoolers

Nothing crazy but makes for a nice solid Z car.

Cliff on the other hand has a 96 2by2 that he himself converted to a TT.  Cliff has our full SZ 2.5″ exhaust setup, Z1 Stage 1 turbos, Nismo 615cc injectors, larger intercoolers, etc..

Cliff’s car came in with a terribly lean AFR, this was corrected however along the way we suspected his VTCs were not working.  His low end power was lacking.  After some tests we concluded the valves behind the cams were MIA.  Cliff went back home, tore it down and fixed the problem to come back and get it finalized.  Here’s a graph showing the difference with VTC.

Blue was without VTC and red is with VTC.  Big difference!  Thank Nissan for implementing VTC for the VG30DEs.  One of the many advantages over the RB26.

Clutch Disc Weights

A few months ago we weighed our own clutch discs and a competitor’s product.  This was all done to compare the weight difference in our High 5 Puck Disc.  We covered its release here:  http://specialtyz.com/blog/?p=45

In short the more weight the input shaft has to deal with the harder it is for it to go into the next gear.  The inertia from a heavier disc will cause more wear and tear on synchros especially for those quick shifters out there.

Here’s how the discs performed on the scales.

We’ll start things off with our modified street disc.  Coming in at 3.8 lbs.  Perfect for the driver who wants very silky smooth engagements and won’t be tearing it up at the drag strip.

Our 6-Puck comes in just a tad lighter than the street disc.  This disc is for those who are mean to the drive-train assaulting it with clutch dumps and high horsepower.

Next up is the competitor’s feramic disc.  This puppy comes in at a heavy weight of 4.6 lbs.  Feramic materials were developed for agricultural use (tractors, heavy equipment, etc.)  It is heavy duty and also heavy on weight.  Not really designed for the sports car enthusiast.  Notorious for welding themselves to your flywheel as well.

This brings us to our new 5 Puck disc.  Extremely lightweight and nimble.  Easy on your trans and gives the driver the much needed high RPM shifting desired without sacrificing transmission internals.  A must for the spirited driver looking for no compromises.  Our pressure plate that goes with this disc is also lighter.  Amazingly provides little harsh engagement and little chatter.