JDMST Meet Sept 2012

A great day out at Calder Park saw some great drifting and a healthy turnout for the JDMST EOMM that included the top 100 Show & Shine. It was great to see not one member of the Police constabulary. It was the first “day out” of this type of event for the Z31, thanks go to all the organizers.

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By customzcar

JDMST Meet August 2012

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JDMST August 2012. Cops getting ready to defect

The monthly JDMST was off to an awesome start with a new venue at a multi story carpark with many hundreds of cars filing in. I was there early and got a good position near the top to watch the incoming cars who were mostly very well behaved (did notice a commodore getting sideways). The meet was building into a huge affair but downstairs actions were building to bring it down in a heartbeat.

The cops who look to be informed of the meet prior were nervously waiting on the side lines with their defect kits, a move that is highly provocative and not necessary. Why they would do this is questionable but could only be seen as a hard handed method of displaying some sort of authority which was not required. Soon they began to pull over cars then unfortunately some idiot high up in the car park launched a bottle towards a parked cop car in the adjacent alley and all hell broke loose. Within minutes the one way entry street was totally blocked off and what resembled a riot squad was quickly moved in. The venue was quickly cleared and any future prospect of another meet here seems unlikely.

A better way needs to be worked out to cover the growing interest in these types of events.

By customzcar

Hardtuned Meet Aug 2012

A good turnout at a new venue as the old site is now fenced off. Crowd behavior was excellent but the event was marred by an onslaught of police presence and intimidation that frankly was not necessary. Hopefully next month a new venue can be arranged that is more accommodating.

My r34

By customzcar

Sweet Red Zenki

This Japanese version of the earlier Z31 is a treat. Lots of body mods which include a molded in front lower bumper cut and trimmed to suit overall bumper, Kouki front and rear guards and a great set of wheels. Interesting to see how the car evolved and the difference a set of wheels can make.



By customzcar

Online Vent Shop

A new project.

nissan 280zx style hood vent

1 Pair of solid aluminum (2.5mm thick) hood/bonnet vents in raw aluminum finish ready for finishing and installation (give your paint code to your local auto aftermarket retailer who can usually provide a spray can).

Vent tops can be glued to hood or optionally drilled and fixed with screws/bolts. Vents are supplied raw for custom
customer installation. Paint finish and under grille is NOT included.

Each vent is laser cut from high quality aluminum and may require some minor finishing by customer at their discretion.

Dimensions are 209mm (8.25 in) x 148mm (5.75 in) as per attached image.

An initial run of 24 pairs has been produced with future runs dependent on sales. The pics are from the sellers car which has received glowing comments.

Many think the finished vents are originally fitted OEM type products. Inspiration was taken from the Nissan 280zx hood vents but the sizing has been scaled down. To achieve the same look as pictured the hood will require cutting and an aftermarket mesh under grille will need to be purchased and installed.

Cutting and fitting instructions can be found HERE.

By customzcar

280zx style hood / bonnet vent installation.

It might seem like a daunting task to cut holes in your pristine bonnet, but after you have started you will see how relatively easy the task can be. The old adage measure twice cut once is mandatory I think unless you want to risk a possible disaster. Also having the right tools goes a long way towards making the job easy. I used a Dremel tool with a cut off wheel which worked well on the top and bottom side, but a jigsaw with the right blade would also be good.

The first task is to work out where the vents will be positioned. Points to consider are aesthetics , functionality and how a hole might affect any components underneath. It would probably not be a good idea to place a vent over an electrical component that might suffer from moisture. Once installed there will be water that enters through the vents during washing on when standing still in heavy rain but it is surprising how little water makes its way in. Most is instantly evaporated away by the hot engine bay temps (that are now somewhat cooler). During washing you could place an old towel under the vents, but so far I have not found it necessary.

I started by positioning the vents where I thought they looked best and then took some measurements. I then worked out where the holes would be on the underside and checked to see if there were any obstructions etc. Don’t forget to look at the position of your firewall as a venting past this area is probably of little use.

After some minor adjustments I worked out the exact measurements and taped the area with masking tape which serves as a surface to draw the cut lines and also protects the paintwork. The hole size I chose was 130mm x 180mm which is the minimum size with a couple of millimeters to spare. I measured in 141.75 mm from the side of the bonnet and 214mm from the back of the bonnet (centre of back edge of vent). Use the blank vent to trace the angle once the first line along the bonnet edge is in place.

Then I fired up the Dremel and steadily cut all 4 lines in around 20 minutes.

Some of the reinforcing subframe is removed on the intitial cut but the rest is probably best done underneath. I used a drill from above to mark all 4 corners then used masking tape on the underside to set up my cut line for the subframe. Working on the curved surfaces with the Dremel is a little tricky but a slow steady hand gets the job done. I simply cut the under bonnet lining with scissors.

So in about an hour the finished hole is ready for a file to remove burrs and then some paint added to the edges to prevent future rust.

The Dremel does a fairly neat job but remember the cut lines are covered by the installed vent and will hide any irregularity.

The next stage was to apply a paint finish to the vents, but before painting it pays to spend a little time forming the vent to fit the bonnet/hood snuggley. Most bonnets are not flat and by gently bending the raw vent to suit the shape of the bonnet, a better bond and less chance of paint cracking will be apparent at the installation stage.  The laser cutter leaves behind a very small entry and exit burr on each opening which is easily removed with a small file. I also took off the sharp edges with the same file preferring a slightly rounded edge for the paint finish. The vents always have a “good side” and the underside which gets slightly scratched on the laser cutting table so be sure work out the best side for the top side. Then a couple of coats of metal etch primer from the spray can was applied.

I use a hair dryer and a warm room which greatly enhances the drying time which soon had the vent ready for the top coats. For my build I wanted to match the bonnet color which was easily supplied by my local Autobarn store. The paint code off the firewall was all they needed to mix a spray can in about 10 minutes. I applied 3 coats on the top and two underneath and then finished off with 2 coats of clear on the top. The clear coats are not mandatory as I found without matched perhaps slightly better in my case.

It is a good idea to let the paint cure for at least 24 hours before installing the vent as the paint will still be soft underneath. There are different methods of fixing the vents with glueing or bolting being the obvious. I was looking for the 280zx style which has no showing bolts but some nice fixing screws with fancy caps could also look good.

I used a simple builders glue which here is called “Selleys Liquid Nails” which is easy to use and provides a strong bond. I first laid out the vent in the finished position then laid down masking tape around the exterior line of the vent to work out how much room I had for the glue. It is important to apply an even bead close to the edge of the cut that is not too thick so as to escape out the sides onto the bonnet once the pressure is applied to the vent. I placed a towel over the vent and then placed several lead weights on top and left for 24 hours. You could smear something like butter around the edges where the bonnet meets the vent in the case of over application of the glue which is then easily removed later without affecting the paint finish.

The next step was to install an under grille which is up to the individual. I had some spare black expanded aluminum left over from my front end mod which I quickly trimmed up with scissors and then fixed on the underside with builders glue again. Once dry the glue can be painted by hand from underneath with black paint to achieve a better finish.

If I can find an appropriate rubber or plastic edging it would finish of the underside.

The remaining task is to polish the top side paint finish which I did with some cutting paste and then polish both done by hand with a soft cloth. The end result I think looks great and also will be useful when the hotter months approach.

The finished result resembling a “shark gill” appearance certainly improves the visual stance of any vehicle. For those installing this product feel free to pass on your finished results so I can post here.

By customzcar

A revival and new projects in the wind.

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New TBO lip from Japan fitted.

UPDATE  June 2012: I am rebuilding the old http://customzcar.tripod.com site that is over 10 years old. The Z31 has recently gone through some changes and upgrades with more in store which will be updated over the next few weeks. I am also working on a new project to produce bonnet / hood vents made from aluminum that will be a modern replica of the 280zx vents that appear on the famous “Toshi” machine shown below (black). This car has inspired me to refurbish my Z31 which I have owned for 18 years. I also have a pretty trick R34 which will also be showcased on this site.

Toshi, Z31, 200zr, hood vent, bonnet vent, aluminium

Lets face it the Z31 unmodified is now starting to look extremely dated. I do appreciate a bog standard model for the sake of preserving the brand, but with a few minor mods the Z31 can be updated into a very nice looking car. Even the pre 1987 models can look awesome with the right body kits as seen in the red car above. Hopefully this site will encourage other Z31 owners to show the world what these cars are capable of. I will be presenting some of the best Z cars I have found on the web and look into some of the mods as well as covering what I think is necessary to make the longer 2+2 version a head turner.

Older image from about 2001

A “photoshopped” example of the end plan

End result is better than expectations…

The front lip gives the appearance of the lowered front end I am looking for. Further lowering may not be required 🙂

Most of the Car is in refurbished standard form will all original parts.

Mods include:

Cool air box mod

Turbosmart Boost controller (10 PSI on 98% octane)

Custom muffler/Catalytic converter

9:1 cast pistons

ECU override (no sequential injector pattern)

Kings front and rear springs (30mm lower)

Koni adjustable shocks

Kmac front camber kit

Japanese “Riverside” Giugiaro Design 3 piece wheels (discontinued). 17×9 (255) 17×8 (235)

32mm hubcentric wheel spacers

Front grille mod (custom)

Bonnet vent mod (custom)

Solid aluminum head light covers (custom)

Removal of front Nissan emblem

Planned Mods:

Bride or Sparco seats

By customzcar