Resurrected from the depths of despair

The following Z and its owner have been through trials and tribulations.  Joe purchased this Z over 6 years ago as a simple (slow) and clean NA (non turbo for those who don’t know).  At the time there was no intention of making the Z “fast” but more of a show stopper.  Joe set out acquiring bolt-ons for NA performance along with a plethora of aesthetic improvements.  However as time past, Joe couldn’t get the thought out of his head about the twin turbos.  Two almost “mythical” units that could provide him a powerful Z.  The lust of more power bounced through his head.  Not knowing enough, Joe set out to research his quest for twin turbos.  After much deciding and advice of other people, along with a good chunk of cash Joe purchased a front clip and a large assortment of parts to complete his project.  The front clip brought a pleasant surprise for Joe as the engine had strapped to it not only twin turbos but an aftermarket set.  That aftermarket set turned out to be a JDM Blitz Turbo Kit equipped with Triple K turbochargers.  The kit came complete with cast exhaust manifolds and external wastegates.  The transplant began at another shop 5 years ago and didn’t fair well for the Z and Joe.  The Z sat for many months untouched and when Joe received a call from the shop informing him the car was running his heart skipped a beat.  Unfortunately the engine was running poorly, enough that it fuel hydrolocked and finally gave out.  Crushed with a blow to his ego and wallet Joe set out to repair the engine and had this time another shop work on the Z.  This time the car sat for almost a year without being touched.  Empty promises can only go so far and they definitely won’t get a Z running.  Adding insult to injury during its stay at that shop parts went missing that yet again would have to be purchased for a second and even a third time……………………..

Joe wrote me an e-mail sharing his story from the beginning.  I took out any names of people and shops  mentioned.  In Joe’s words:

“In 2003 I crashed my 1988 RX-7 so it was time to buy a new car, I had seen several 300zxs on the road for a long time, but they looked expensive and out of reach.  One day I went with my friend to pick up his car at his mechanic’s shop, and there it was…….. at the shop a pearl white 300zx being worked on (beautiful ) so I started looking for joez, after about 9 months in April 2004 I found her.  She needed some minor work  and so  started my project to fix her.  I was working in real estate so I had plenty of money to take care of her, and started my car club (team shift) the same year and started to go to car shows, that’s where the need of fixing her came in an order to compete.  It started with an e-bay $40 cold air intake, clear turning signals, clear rear side markers, chip strut bar…etc.
At a winter 2004 car show (team transport / toys for tots) I won best of show ( proof of trophy up on request…lol ) so I got hooked.
In mid summer of 2005, after losing back to back in 2 different car shows to Robert’s Red 300ZX NA;  I decided to repaint her and fix her to the point where nobody could copy my designs.  I decided to spend an unlimited amount of money to put it out reach and force my competition to spend more money in order for them to keep up.
These is where my trials and tribulations started, and very soon God let me know I was doing it for all the wrong reasons and the wrong intentions…let me explain…

After the inland empire show I went to a body shop for what I thought  was going to be a $3500 paint job.  It turned out to be a $18000 custom paint and body work.  After it was done she went to a performance shop where the guy that specialized in Zs got deported and not even within half in hour after she arrived from the body shop, a guy that was working on transmission on a car forgot to put the e-brake on that particular car and it rolled in to my car.  That shop never paid for the damage that amounted to $2500.  Right away it went to another performance shop.  At this place she spent 8 months and they couldn’t get it started.  Apparently this was due to them not plugging the ECU in properly (pistons no. 5 & 6 got flooded with fuel and blew a $4000 jdm front clip).   I didn’t even know about this until the car was towed to my house.  I decided to start the vehicle after paying good money to discover the bottom end was gone and I had already paid them $4500 for the job.  They also never paid for the damage and blamed another shop.  I had to purchase another jdm short block for $1200 and from there I took it to an interior shop.  Once again a simple $300 job turned into a $7000 job.  At this particular place, the owner jerked me around for about a 10 month period.  He ended up closing shop, took my money without ever telling any of his “customers”.  I showed up to find the gates closed and our cars locked.  The owner was no where to be found.  My interior never got done and about 80% of the interior was stolen including my stereo system and boost controller.   Chalked up another loss of $6000 not including the stolen parts.
From here I went to a Nissan dealership where I thought it would get done right.  The Z spent another 13 months and they couldn’t get her started either.  My battery, blow off valves, all the air conditioning pipes, radiator, etc. were stolen.  Thankfully the dealer compensated me for the thefts.
From there it went to another shop where she spent almost another year and got taken for another $6000.  The Z never ran right and then I finally decided it would go to Specialty-Z.
Here it was a bitter sweet experience.  At the beginning they told me almost all the work performed was wrong with joez.  After having spent all this previous “good” money on other shops brought me to a breaking point.  I was ready to throw the towel in and set the car on fire!!!!  However…… after going into Specialty-Z at the beginning of Jan 2011 and wrapping up mid summer 2011, I took her to Vegas and fell in love!  Soon after Seb and Greg were done with her fixing all the previous work from other shops, the Vegas trip was the best road trip ever, she ran awesome!!!!  All I can tell you is that Greg and Seb are angels sent by God to specifically work on Zs.  There at Specialty-Z is where I fell in love with joez all over again.
Moral of the story is God has his time when He is ready to reward you, and He will !!!
Don’t do things out of pride, but for the love of it.
Stay humble.

I’m sure I left a lot of other bad details and bad experiences,  but who wants to remember that when she already found a home (Specialty-Z )”
Thx Seb
Thx Greg
God bless
Joe G

I wanted to share this with all of you because I have never heard of such a horror story.  When Joe brought us his Z he was ready to give up and break down.  His health had been greatly affected by his experiences.  I was afraid to share more bad news the more I tore into the Z.

Thankfully this story ends very happily with Joe and his Z riding off into the sunset………

Some pictures from some of the work we performed.

We fabbed up a custom set of downpipes and used Tial W\Gs to replace the old leaking Blitz units.  The downpipes cone out to 3″.  We also routed the external wastegates back into the exhaust.   You can only imagine what came off of this Z.

Joe brought us a Brembo kit that fit terribly.  We had to machine the caliper bracket as the caliper didn’t even come close to sitting evenly on the rotor.  We replaced all of the adjustable suspension components with SPL units.  A good majority of the suspension was improperly set and left loose ruining the parts that had been previously installed.

On his last major visit to us we installed 2.5″ IC Piping, Massives, and Z1 TBs.  The headlights, fog lights, and turn signals were sent off to Mike @ clearcorners.com.  Mike does amazing work.

On Joe’s first visit to us we got the Z running properly off the 9 psi wastegate spring.  The car was in such bad shape it couldn’t make a full 4th gear pull without cutting out.  His existing AVC-R boost controller would also reset itself at any given moment.

On his second visit, we focused on adding more power now that we had a solid foundation to work off of.  We added 2.5″ IC piping, Massives, TBs, and a Blitz i-Color Spec-R Boost Controller along with our SZ Tune Switcher.  This is a before and after with the above added parts.

Finally we tuned on 100 octane fuel.  Since the Z has high flow cats we couldn’t run it on Q16.  Congrats to Joe on his beautiful show stopper Z.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

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Comments (5)

  1. Mark Holtzman (Louisiana)

    Good job Joe!

    This is the perfect example of the phrase: “do it right the first time”

    Here is the order (from worst to greatest) of shops that one could bring their Z to if they can’t do the work themselves:
    1. Shade Tree Mechanic
    2. Mechanic
    3. Foreign Mechanic
    4. Z Mechanic
    5. Specialty Z

    SpecialtyZ keep up the blog i love coming and checking on it!

    -Mark

  2. Jason

    Crazy story, been there and done that. Excellent job on giving this Z the life that it deserves! Congrats!

  3. z32 tt

    Hi,

    I have this exact same kit. Do you think it had potential to make more power at higher boost level?

  4. With cams, headwork, and higher octane fuel its possible it can make 500+whp.

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