Back from the dead. Nice graphs!
I've been trying since the fall to finish my HICAS delete and NA power steering conversion but all my free weekends have been wedding or lemons related. I think this year I'm just going to drive it and enjoy it. I really need to refresh the bushings, especially in the rear, but its not causing tire wear issues yet so I'll probably try to hold off until next winter. I have so many plans in the fall....and then it gets cold and I don't want to do the work.
Power additions are done forever I hope. Impending mods are an interior refresh including getting the seats redone and hopefully an appradio setup. I haven't done much planning to be honest. I'll try to update as things progress. Last year was a good one, and didn't have enough updates.
Wow! What a fun read. I can't believe I haven't seen this until now.
Excellent work, my friend.
I'm watching. With interest.
24 month overdue update?
Got engaged right at the start of the year so I knew between wedding planning and racing I wouldn't have much time for the Z (recurring theme). I did get it out of storage in April though, which might be a new record. First job was to delete the HICAS lines in the engine bay to clean everything up. Got plenty of driving in, between April and May but the car didn't feel right from the get go. Felt a little down on power. I replaced the plugs towards the end of May which helped but didn't totally solve the problem. I drove the car from time to time throughout the summer while troubleshooting the power issues but didn't have much success, and didn't really have time to devote to it. Meanwhile I had an oil leak that looked to be getting worse and worse, all over the PS front of the engine bay. Thought it was coming from PS valve cover, but couldn't tell for sure. Parked the car in September and never got it out again. It was hard to be TOO frustrated as we spent 2015 working on our RWD converted golf GTI for lemons. Moved the engine to the back in the winter of 2014/2015 and got to our first race with a non running car. Finished middle of the pack, which we were thrilled with. July saw a true 24 hour race which we spent 14+ hours of doing an engine swap in 90* heat. A nightmare. Finally, the race gods smiled on us and we took our RWD swap golf to a thrilling B class victory in October at the 2nd Joliet race! Yehaw!!!!
Got engaged January, 2015. Married Oct 2015. Bought our first house Feb 2016. It's been a whirlwind. Luckily the house came with a 3 car garage so the Z has a permanent indoor parking space! Started early this year, and got to work tearing apart the top end to get to the PS valve cover and do it right. Spent a Saturday afternoon with some friends working on everyone's projects along with the Z. We had some great weather and March so everybody brought their toy over. Viper, C5 Z06, Porsche Cayman S, and a CLK 500. Was a good day, and the valve cover got done. And after my test drive...still leaking. Ugh. Not from the valve cover. Decided to do things right and pull the motor and replace EVERYTHING (minus removing the heads. I ordered a new gasket kit, plenty of loctite, and got to work. Pulled the motor with the wifes help in just a few hours and tore the motor down. My goal was to have the car ready by my birthday weekend (great present right?) so in the span of a week, I removed the motor, pulled everything apart, replaced every gasket, retorqued and loctited every nut/bolt, and put it back in. I was thrilled. It was a long week, but I was glad to have the work done. While the motor was out I removed the plugs to check them, and lo and behold, found some cracked plugs. I replaced those with new plugs....some of which were cracked brand new (WTF?!) and got 6 GOOD plugs in the car. Test drive.....and......car felt like it did when it rolled off the dyno in 2014 WOOOOO...so is the oil. God damn. I just replaced the RMS when I did the clutch in 2014 so didn't think to remove the flywheel. Turns out I should have. Crap. From test drive, to car back up on jackstands with the transmission on the ground.....45 minutes. I'm not sure if I should be proud of that or not. That's with out a lift mind you. Replaced the RMS, put everything back together and the car has been BONE dry since. I've been putting plenty of miles on it. Not as many as I would like, but still trouble free, oil free miles. Got it out to Cars and Coffee in June and got plenty of admirers. It feels great to finally have the nagging issues addressed. My ONLY upgrade this year was going to be finally installing a sub enclosure, but our dog (and only 'child') recently had some serious health issues which tabled those plans. Instead I'll continue to enjoy the summer and get as many miles in as possible.
Spent a week in April 2016 pulling the motor and replacing all gaskets. Spent June installing ~900 feet of picket fence. July 3rd took the Z out for an all day TSD road rally, finished third! Got out to every cars and coffee, had a blast enjoying the car for the first half of the summer. Second half of the summer lack of power gremlins showed up again and life got busy. Didn't have much time to troubleshoot or drive the car.
First full winter in the new house and I didn't have much motivation to get in the garage. Oh well. The Prosport gages I had installed years ago both gave up the ghost and to aid in troubleshooting my power issue I decided I would install a datalogger. I purchased a DLP-IO8 usb data acquisition cable and obtained a 5v fuel pressure sender from Amazon. I purchased some higher quality wire and removed the bees nest of crap in the dash feeding power and data to my gages. The previous owner had hacked everything up pretty good, and when I initially installed my gages and boost controller it was mostly one at a time so it was never done....'right'. I spent the month of March changing that. Using some distribution blocks I consolidated all of the power and ground draws behind the dash, and ran new grounds straight to the block and pulled switched 12V from what used to be the dash clock. I installed the data acquisition cable under the dash, ran power/ground/data to the gages under the hood, sheathed everything, and built subharnesses for the cable itself so I can add/remove gages at will. I'm currently only using 3 of the 8 inputs, and at some point I would really like to install thermocouples before/after my intercoolers just because. I like data.
Honestly? I'd recommend working on it at least 5-10 minutes every week, as that'll help keep you motivated. It's easy to set that much time aside... if you have a good place to work that's just waiting on you. (Which I really don't at the moment. Sigh.)
Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
During the other 3 seasons? I usually spend a few hours a week doing small projects I enjoy. I don't even mind winter itself, I just hate standing around in a cold garage. It's not a bad idea though. I should try and give myself a list of easy things to do next year that I can knock out over 3-4 months.
That's the spirit! Sometimes I find those little projects to be exceedingly satisfactory. I did a fuel pump rebuild and got the car running better than ever. The result? Happiness for a week!
Heat definitely makes a huge difference though, even here in So IN. Our worst winters are probably like your mild-to-average ones, temperature-wise. There's no contest with snowfall, though. We close our schools for a day with 1" of snow. Really!
Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
Welp - just read the entire thread. You sir are an animal.
I have always lusted after one of these and from reading your thread I clearly would never have the patience or stones to do so. So thanks for sharing, keep us updated.
Datalogging initiative didn't pay off. Yes, it works. I cleaned up the behind the dash wiring in the process. But it didn't lead me to a solution to my problem. I thought it was a long shot, but now I have the ability to log fuel pressure, MAP, and AFR with a single usb cable going forward.
The most (yet also least) likely scenario to my power issue is timing being off. When checking with a timing light, base timing seems to be 10* or so retarded, but I don't have a high tension lead so I'm using the ground wire from the PTU which gives less than perfectly consistent results. Two weekends ago I pulled the front end apart to reset timing. Before I removed the belt I set everything to TDC, removed the belt, and re-wrapped it using the reference lines on the timing belt. Right bank cams were both off by 1 tooth. Interesting. Put everything back together took it for a test drive and STILL low power
For those that are following along...yes, this is incredibly disheartening and at times it makes me question continuing to own a car like this. More on this later.
Verify timing again with timing light and still shows 10* retarded. This doesn't make any sense. My last resort is to adjust the CAS to set base timing manually. I've never had to adjust this in the 8 years I've owned the car. I dialed it forward and like magic the power is back and timing is reading 15* at hot idle. Perfect! But why? I am 100% certain I set timing correctly, I've done it a half dozen or so times now on this car and I've never done it incorrectly. It makes me a little nervous, but after a weekend of driving the car without any hiccups I'm pretty confident I got the right fix. Friday I was fortunate enough to have a half day off work with beautiful weather so I got the car buttoned up (interior was torn apart chasing a heater core hose leak) and went on a few test drives. Power was back to where it should be and no more coolant weeping under the dash. Don't hit two home runs very often, gotta enjoy it while I can.
Used the Z for all automotive related trips this weekend thanks to the beautiful weather. Sunday was the first Cars & Coffee of the year in Lake Mills and it was by far the biggest event in the 3-4 years I've been attending. Lots of fun and an unbelievable variety of cars. When things aren't going right, its really hard to find the willpower to stay motivated with the Z. BUT, when there are no (serious) issues and its a sunny Friday afternoon on the way home from work or a weekend on the way to disc golf with the wife its pretty much perfection. So, yes, in the end it is all worth it. After 9 years of ownership it still makes a 32 year old man-boy giggle like a schoolgirl.
To be fair. I'm not documenting the fun things I do with the car, unless they happen right after an issue. I've only been stranded twice in 8 years of ownership of a 27 year old turbocharged car with 156k miles on it. Plus if it was easy, everyone would have one and it wouldn't be nearly as special.
Crappy mandatory pic:
Here's hoping the monthly update becomes a thing.
Yesterday was Cars and Coffee in Lake Mills. (If anyone from the Milwaukee area has not attended and wants to check it out, shoot me a PM. We tend to have a good contingent leaving together from the Delafield every month) Fantastic turnout despite the heat and the modifications made by the crew to improve parking speed and reduce traffic were splendid. Lots of positive feedback on the Z :-) Personal highlights include a clean 84' Lancia Delta and a Caterham kit car with a flowmeter as a speedometer (edit: forgot about the LFA!). Unfortunately I was learning how to use a new lens so I didn't get any photos of either spectacle worth sharing publicly.
After the crowd cleared out I spent a little more time with the camera; this is gonna take some practice.
One...decent shot I guess.
The weather was about 85* and sunny and the Z held up well. Given the fact that I was battling heater core issues in the spring I thought higher temps might expose a weak point. No issues at all. Very pleased. Only work planned for the early summer is swapping out the worn out factory leather shift boot/knob/ebrake boot with new versions my wife got me for my birthday a few years ago. Didn't feel right to install them on a work in progress.
Next C&C features a TSD road rally; here's hoping for good weather! For the record, Sunday's fill-up yielded 18.8 mpg. Not bad for mostly country roads. Despite all the fun that was had Sunday, the highlight of the day happened at about 9:30PM. Goodwood Revival tickets purchased!!!! Now I need help with my wardrobe...
Last edited by megaDan; 06-05-2017 at 11:00 AM.
Life moves pretty fast...yadda yadda. So much for monthly updates. A hell of a lot has happened in the past 12 months.
By the numbers:
4 vehicles purchased (3 mini coopers)
3 countries visited
14 states visited
2 heater cores replaced
1 trip to Goodwood.
Family trip to Yellowstone. What a blast! Stayed at the Murray Hotel, highly recommended. Went rafting on the Yellowstone river, hiked Mt. Washburn, saw a bear.
A week or two after getting back from Yellowstone I got a hit on Craigslist for a 2004 Mini Cooper S in my price range (<$1000). It needed a clutch, had water in the cabin, had some electrical gremlins, and needed some TLC but only had 100k on the clock. I drove it 50 miles home (gingerly) for $800 and got to work.
The July C&C hosted a road rally. The wife and I opted to take the Z, which was a fantastic decision despite the pouring rain during portions of the drive. They offered two classes, Experienced and Novice. I've never done a 'competitive' road rally, but I've done enough where I thought experienced was appropriate. There were quite a few 'rally' cars there with all the right equipment: clipboards, stopwatches, GPS, etc. I was definitely hoping not to place last.
The day ended up being a blast, and until the last 10 minutes we didn't really notice any mistakes we had made.....when we couldn't find the road we were looking for. I thought we were in good shape up until this point, maybe a remote chance of finishing top 3. We were totally lost and adding minutes to our time. Now I was back to hoping not to be last. We figured out where we were and drove....spiritedly...to the finish. Met up with the group, had some beers, swapped stories (shout out to the C4 Corvette driving with the targa down all day), and waited for the results. It turns out we did OK. Our deviation was half that of the 2nd place team. Apparently we killed it. Nice!
July also took us to the lakefront for the Air and Water show. We went downtown for this in 2016, but it was so foggy both days the entire show was cancelled. This year didn't disappoint.
I finally got collector plates for the Z. No more annual registration to file or fees to pay! I don't plan on parting with this car for any reason. I should have done this years ago. Work continued on the mini. I planned on making this my person car for daily duty as well as the occasional track day, all while trying to keep the budget as small as possible. I replaced all the suspension components, bushings, ball joints, etc, except for the struts/springs themselves. I still had some new in box modifications waiting that I never installed on the mini I had 5 years ago. This one got a well rested supercharger pulley and camber plates. With the water on the floor, I expected the body control module to be toast. It turns out it was just the HK amp that was fried. I purchased one out of an E46 for $25, rewired it to work with the MCS, and I was in business. The water on the floor was caused by disconnected sunroof drain tubes. A $0 fix.
The build left me with a nice pile of mini parts next to the Z for 4 months.
Last edited by megaDan; 05-25-2018 at 05:40 PM.
Work on the mini continued through the summer through July and into August. Control arm bushings were shot and replaced with poly. Motor mounts were replaced, and while replacing the ball joints I discovered the factory fittings are apparently made of chinesium. A couple whacks with a hammer deformed the ball joint nuts like playdoh. Due to the fact that this is a Wisconsin car and has been sitting for at least a year, the underside was a bit rusty. I took my time getting it apart and didn't have TOO many issues. I learned that vinegar does a KILLER job gently but quickly getting rust off exposed fittings and surfaces.
We also did some shopping for our trip to the Goodwood Revival. There was no way we were gonna travel all the way there and not fully partake in the experience. I spent a lot of time trying to find vintage clothing or styles that fit, and I didn't have any luck. We went to Kohl's and found something that was close enough. It wasn't really vintage, but almost looked the part. I combined the suit with a flat cap and was very pleased. My Goodwood outfit was almost the only stressor for the trip, and it was finally taken care of.
I was hoping to get the Mini done before we left, but there just wasn't time. We left for our trip at the end of August. Flying to Iceland for a 24 hour layover, then to Spain for the wedding, then to England for Goodwood and more vacationing, and finally another layover in Iceland.
Iceland was incredible. So much so that we've already booked another trip and are spending another week there this fall. The first half of our layover was spent driving the golden circle. We stayed at an AirB&B and the next morning we spent a half day walking around Reykjavik and exploring the city. Unfortunately I lost my camera on a train in England so all my decent pictures of this portion of the trip are gone. Fudge.
The wedding was in Barcelona. We had two days to kill before the wedding itself. We did a walking tour of Las Ramblas and the gothic quarter. I have to admit, I didn't know what to expect of Spain, and I wasn't all that thrilled to go there. I was blown away by how cool Barcelona was. The food was incredible, the people were nice, and the city was beautiful. The wedding was unbelievable. My new brother and sister in law somehow planned this thing themselves from 2000 miles away. It went off without a hitch and everyone had a great time. This was absolutely a once in a lifetime experience and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it.
From Spain we flew to London/Gatwick and took a train to Ashurst for our stay in the New Forest. This is where I lost my camera. Ugh. We actually did a great job of enjoying ourselves and not letting the loss ruin our trip. We got in around midnight, and we were up early for a trip to Bath. We made it an early night since the next day we would be up even earlier for THE REVIVAL!
Sorry. I've gotten a bit off topic here. Back to car stuff.
So the wedding date had been set early last year, and the wife and I spent much of the spring trying to figure out what else we wanted to do. We weren't going to make a trip overseas and only spend a few days there. Opportunities like this aren't all that frequent. I don't remember how I came across it, but fairly early on I realized we would be there within a few days of the Goodwood Revival and my wife was almost as excited about it as I was. We pretty much planned the rest of our trip around this. The only day we were able to attend was Friday, but I was more than OK with that. We stayed in Ashurst, so to get to the revival we had to take the train to Southampton, switch to another train, ride that to Chicester, and take a double decker bus (duh) to the Goodwood Estate. Very authentic. The weather wasn't supposed to be all that stellar, and I think the forecast was pretty accurate. It rained most of the day :-/ We didn't let that get us down TOO much. Just the fact that we were there overwhelmed us and kept spirits high.
We didn't spend as much time wandering the track as I would have liked, but the wind and rain and cold really made it unpleasant. We spent a decent amount of time on the front straight, and finished the day on the outside of the final turn. What was really special though was just walking the pits and taking it all in. It is an incredible experience. Everything is period correct (as far as I can tell). It really was like walking back in time. I'm not sure that one feature stood out more than the other, it was just an event that must be experienced. I'm not really an avid vintage auto enthusiast (my knowledge goes about as far back as 1987), but anytime the GT40's were on track or on the move, I tried to be nearby. The airshow was cancelled due to the weather, which was a disappointment, but we still got to walk the airfield and check out the planes. Once again, the only pictures I have are somewhat crap, due to only having my cell phone. I've shared a few images below.
Not nearly enough cover from the rain, as shown above.
Probably my favorite photo of the weekend. This really sums up Goodwood in one shot.
Around November I finished up the grey MCS and it shared DD duties with my TDI. I think it turned out quite nicely. That quickjack is a lifesaver (and a backsaver).
Our bulletproof 2010 Versa has been packing on the miles, and its now eclipsed 200k basically trouble free miles. It was time to get the wife an upgrade so we picked up a 2005 volvo V70 wagon. We LOVE this car.
Over the course of the winter the heater core went out on both the Versa AND the TDI within about two weeks of each other, so I spent two weekends in the garage taking care of those. Shortly after that, our well pump gave up the ghost which left us with a nice repair bill and a black hot tub.
With my grey MCS on the road, we pulled the 2003 MCS into the garage for work. The previous owner was pretty sure it needed a release bearing. He was correct, it came out in about 3000 pieces. We worked on this car on and off from Christmas until the end of February. It got a detail in early March and I'd say it turned out pretty good.
Before we got the 2003 sold, I found an MC40 in Cincinatti that had drivetrain issues but was rust free. My buddies went out to pick it up and bring it home. My wife was less than pleased, but it made for a cool photo. Shortly after this picture was taken the 2003. Yay.
With all of the fallout from the winter weather, cars, and projects taken care of; I finally had the ability and space to get the Z ready for summer. While it was sitting it developed a pretty solid puddle of ATF (power steering) under it, so I added that to my short list of things to address. This spring would see me drop the rear subframe to replace the front diff seal, replace the transmission mount, and now address a power steering leak. Not bad for a 28 year old car.
Great thread and project!
I'm in Milwaukee and have been trying to get to the Waukesha or Lake Mills C&C but haven't been able to get my free weekends to line up with the meets. Maybe I'll see the Z there someday.
current: '18 Giulia Ti Sport, '19 HRV Sport
I chose to tackle the power steering leak first. I figured this was going to be a nightmare as I expected something to be wrong with the pump or a hardline. Based on where the puddle was, it was definitely centered right under the power steering pump. Luckily the pump is located directly under the passenger side throttle body, which means the throttle body coupler needs to be removed, the turbo outlet needs to be removed, and the turbo inlet accordion pipe needs to be removed. After all this, you can barely see the lines feeding to and from the pump. to play it safe, I also removed the reservoir and hardware nearby since I wasn't sure where this project was going and to provide a little more room to work. This turned out not to be necessary because the root cause of the issue was a factory hose clamp that's probably never been touched in 28 years finally released its grip. The hose from the reservoir to the pump was loose. A turn or two of the screw on the hose clamp took care of the issue. That was easy.
With the pain up front taken care of, I got ready for a project I've never attempted before: dropping the rear subframe! I've heard this is a pain, even if you have multiple people working on this, so I wasn't too excited. BUT, because of the difficulties we've had with reinstalling transmissions in the minis, I got a Harbor Freight transmission jack which proved to be exactly the tool for the job. I got the Z up on the quickjack, which took some finagling but in the end wasn't too bad. I was hesitant to use the pinch welds up front on such an old car, but thankfully I had nothing to worry about.
With the car up I removed the wheels....and realized I needed new tires. After looking through my records to see what/when I last installed tires, I was pleasantly surprised that these had lasted me 8 years, and probably around 25k miles. I thought the 350ish treadwear would be a good compromise between traction and longevity, but I was never really thrilled with the Sumitomo HTR ZIII's. Time for an upgrade.
To get at the transmission mount and subframe, the exhaust had to be removed first. Since its stainless steel from the turbos back, I didn't have to worry about seized fasteners or anything like that and the exhaust was down in 10 minutes. Not EVERYTHING about working on this car sucks. Next came driveshaft removal. I used an exacto knife to score some orientation markers on the driveshaft and the differential cup to make sure everything went back as it came apart. I've heard that not doing this can cause an unseemly vibration as everything is balanced. Unfortunately I didn't do a great job detailing any of these steps, because everything went so smoothly. With the exhaust gone, there was room for 3 or 4 friends to help me with this project underneath.
Sadly they were all busy so I did it alone. Definitely time to replace the seal. Look at all this gear oil.
After undoing 10 bolts, the subframe shifted its weight to the jack and I lowered it down. I took some neat time-lapse videos of me doing this, but I'm not sure how to convert them to gif and get them onto the internet so you can criticize my technique. I'll figure it out sooner or later. Aside from having the quickjack in the wrong location preventing the subframe come down requiring me to drop the car and put it up again, subframe removal only took about 15 minutes, solo. This transmission jack is great!
Last edited by megaDan; 06-22-2018 at 01:42 PM.
We meet up at the McDonald's on 83 and 94 in Delafield at 7am on the first Sunday of each month to convoy out to Lake Mills around 7:20. Join us!
With the subframe down, I was able to get at the HICAS actuator at the rear of the car and finally truly and completely delete the HICAS system. Nasty. I got rid of the actuator and the hard lines going all the way to the front of the car. Probably 15lbs of weight savings and more crap I don't have to deal with.
Time to focus on the diff. I usually follow along with a good DIY when tackling new projects, but due to the somewhat obscure nature of this job I don't think I was able to find one. I found some tips and tricks, but I mostly used the factory service manual here to see how everything went together. This might be the first time in 10 years I've ever found that book useful. Oh yeah. I'll have owned the Z 10 years come October. Crazy.
I started with a gear puller to remove the driveshaft cup, output flange, whatever you want to call it. Nothing unusual here aside from finding a way to stabilize the puller to prevent the diff from rotating while rotating the threaded rod. Hence the breaker bar wedged between the legs and the floor. Gotta get creative when working alone.
Before removing the cup or taking any significant steps, I took detailed photos regarding alignment and location of the nut. Based on what I read, this nut needed to be torqued to a specific value, as there is a crush seal internally that controls the lash of something important. I won't pretend to know what exactly.
With the nut and the cup removed, the seal was exposed and ready for removal. I don't have a seal puller, and it was a bit too sturdy for removal with some of the hooks I've got on hand, so yet again I had to get creative. I grabbed the biggest box wrench I had and stuck the open end inside the seal and tapped on the closed end with a sledge. The seal popped right out!
As usual, installation is the reverse of removal. I gingerly tapped the new seal in place, installed the driveshaft cup, and pondered about how to install the nut back to the correct torque value. I had read of people reinstalling the nut to exactly the same position it had been previously, and decided to give this a shot. I drove the nut on as far as I could by hand, but I was about a half turn out when it started to rotate the diff itself. Being the super-genious that I am, I held onto the cup with one hand while using my makita impact driver to drive the nut on the rest of the way, while making sure I stopped when the nut was in EXACTLY the same position it was when I took it off.
At the start of this project I debated with myself regarding how far do I take the "while I'm in there" mentality. The rear subframe bushings are notoriously difficult to replace, and also supposedly make a hell of a difference for driveability and handling following replacement. When I got the subframe onto the ground, I closely inspected each bushing, but could find no play or damage to any of them. I decided to leave them as-is for now. Given how easy it was to drop the subframe, this wouldn't be a difficult task to get at in the future and didn't merit the "may as well, I'm already here" drive to get it done.
Reinstalling the subframe is supposed to be the most difficult part of this job as alignment is apparently a pain to get right even with a helper. With the transmission jack this job was a breeze. I got the subframe, driveshaft, and exhaust reinstalled and waited for my tires to show up. I wasn't really sure what route to go with tires, but I know I wanted something in the 200 treadwear range. I ended up finding a closeout deal on Kumho Ecsta PS91 (260tw) for $100 per tire @ tirerack. I figured this was too good a deal to pass up and it was worth a shot. I made the right choice. The Sumitomos couldn't hold traction in 2nd when boost hit under WOT, the Kumho's have no problem holding up. I'm interested to see how they hold up, but even if I get 4-5 years out of these I'll be happy.
During this round of 'spring maintenance' I had a buddy help rewire the headlight relays so my low-beams stay on when the high beams are used. I've done the HID retrofit, but when using high beams the HID's shut off and are dangerously dim when high beams have been on for a while. Living out in the country, I use highs quite often. I also finally bit the bullet and got a Zenclosure subwoofer box that I've been wanting for the last 5 years or so. The first modification to this car when I got it was to replace the headunit, install a 4 channel amp and new front speakers. They sound pretty good, but its always been missing some low end oompf but I've never been willing to spend more money on it. Last year my buddy gave me a 10" woofer for my birthday, so this year I bought myself a box. I'm kicking myself for waiting so long, it sounds so much better now. It's just enough to fill the cabin and provide a more 'full' sound. Even with the music cranked, you can barely hear the woofer outside the car which is exactly what I want.
I've been driving the Z on and off this summer, but not nearly as much as I would like. I did hit 160,000 miles earlier this summer! And the ODO has stopped working intermittently, so that's no longer going to be an accurate number. Knock on wood, hopefully I don't have to do any maintenance until next year. The ONLY nagging issue is I must not have made my driveshaft alignment marks clear enough, because I have an annoying vibration above 70mph. I'll have to troubleshoot this at some point, but I've got another mini on the lift now.
Color matched wheels make it pop!
Over the blisteringly hot weekend we finished up the MC40 build we started in March. I am THRILLED with how this turned out. The picture isn't hiding anything, this car is CLEAN. We added the hood vinyls and installed the freshly painted wheels. We got it out to Cars & Coffee on Sunday and got lots of positive comments. It still needs a few minor adjustments to get it to 100%, but hot damn I love this car. Too bad it doesn't belong in Wisconsin. Winters will eat it before we know what happens.
I got the Z out a bit this weekend, I think it fared better in the 95* heat than I did.
Boring update. I think the first birthday present my wife ever got me was a shift knob and boot kit for my Z, some 6-7 years ago. With the car being in a constant state of upgrades and me thinking a boot install would be difficult, I never got around to it.
Well, I was bored yesterday (leaving for Iceland Wednesday so can't start any big projects) and realized that the boot install wouldn't be too bad. It took about 45 minutes and only required the removal of 15 screws. I didn't think to take a before picture. Let's just say it looked like well worn 30 year old leather. The shift knob was polished and half the leather was gone. I'm very happy with how this turned out. I had concern that the color wouldn't match, or the new leather would make everything else look even rattier. Definitely not the case!
It does make me want new seats now though. With the seats replaced, it really would be a 9/10 interior...as long as you don't penalize it for being tweed.
Winter has been cold and crappy and kept the Z pretty much locked up indoors.
Another mini has come and gone; and a few prospects have fallen through due to being locked into 3" of ice.
The arrival of March generally gets me thinking about warmer times and planning the next year of Z ownership. Part of my antsyness was driven by the desire to install a new bluetooth headunit that I picked up on clearance after Christmas. Like most people, I moved away from using CDs for music years ago. I generally use Amazon Music when in the car, which has always required connecting the phone via an aux cable. I've never been a fan of this process nor the sound quality but a bluetooth adapter for my deck was >$200. I realized I can live without a CD player so grabbed a great deal on a bluetooth only headunit that matches my interior color scheme (and sticks with the Pioneer brand).
I failed to document the installation, but it was pretty straightforward and boring. Frozen fingers made the work slow, even in the garage. I gave it a test run with some of my favorite music *cough* KESHA *cough* and now I can't wait for the summer Friday afternoon commute home!
Last year I started daydreaming about an E85 tune to eke out a bit more power and get me to the 500whp threshold. Hardware wise; I have room. My 755CC injectors were larger than what I needed at the time of installation to allow a bit more power ceiling in the future. My turbos are about maxed out for boost; but E85 would allow for safe gains without really pushing the envelope. The only improvements needed are bio-safe fuel lines, an ethanol content gage, and a tune. The fuel lines are 'easy' as is the ECG. Finding a local dyno tuning session with a reputable tuner familiar with my software (Nistune) is not. Imagine my surprise when I log into www.twinturbo.net for the first time in 6 months and the third post is looking for people interested in a Chicago tuning session with the same guy that tuned my car 5 years ago. Yay!!!!!
I've got my deposit in for the tune and work has already begun. Part of my annual spring tradition is to do a boost leak test to make sure everything is nice and tight; as well as look for new fluid leaks. Unfortunately I failed both tests so I'm currently working on solving an injector seat boost leak and when my Quickjack becomes available I'll determine if I need a RMS replacement. I have about 7 weeks to get everything sorted which should be more than enough time. I just hope the snow holds off for me to get the car to Chicago. I'm hoping to crack 500whp with unhealthy boost levels, and reach high 400's at the 19psi I'm running now. Stay tuned!