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Service & Upgrades Cosmetic & Random Electronics & Computer Northeast z31s

Service, Mechanical Repairs, and Upgrades

Apr. 1-15, 06 — Rear Suspension Overhaul  

I had been meaning to install the polyurethane rear crossmember and control arm bushings for quite a while. I finally got around to it, and I am glad that I did. Installation.

Oct. 20, 05 — Fuel Pressure Gauge $35

Installed an Autometer SportComp 2 1/16" fuel pressure gauge to keep tabs on what the injectors are seeing. Installation.

Sep. 20, 05 — Replacement Transmission & New Clutch  

My old transmission lost 5th gear on the highway, so it was time to install a replacement and a new Spec high performance clutch at the same time.

Sep. 5, 05 — New Front Suspension $110

Tokico HP front struts and Prothane polyurethane control arm bushings. Installation.

Aug. 7, 05 — Headlight Lens Assemblies $96.00

I couldn't see at night... especially in the rain. It was bad. So I finally replaced my rusted out lights with nice clear ones from CA, and I can drive at night again. Installation.

Mar 27 , 05 — OBX Shifter Installation $55

Installed an OBX Short Shift kit. The difference between the old and new is simply amazing. Installation.

Jan. 16, 05 — Rear Caliper Installation $224.33

Installed remanufactured rear brake calipers in order to help eliminate a brake problem with sticking that had been plaguing me. Installation.

Nov. 1, 04 — Maxima 90A Alternator $130.29

After a short drive, I noticed that my radio cut out when I hit the brakes. A quick look at the voltmeter on the dash confirmed that the battery was nearly dead and the alternator was not charging. Real strange stuff starts to happen when the battery is almost dead. The tach wasn't reading right, the temp and oil guages weren't reading right, the car would cut out when I hit the brakes (not enough power for coil while the brake lights were on).

Anyway, I replaced it with a Maxima Alternator. It was a pain in the butt, but hey, it had to be done.

Sep. 4, 04 — Replacement Windshield Installation $230.19
Finally got around to having a new windshield installed. Had a small crack by the driver's side bottom when I got it, but over the first winter, it expanded all the way across to the passenger side. Safelite had the best price that I could find around Hoboken, but it still seemed to be a bit more expensive than the prices that people say they pay on the board.
Jul. 17, 04 — "60k Mile Service" $511.84
Was tired of wondering about the timing belt every time that I took the engine over 4k rpm's, so I did the service. Additionally, the now that the AC worked, the car overheated anytime that I tried to use it. And it would also overheat if I got stuck in traffic. Time for a new radiator. While I was in there for the timing belt, I also took care of everything else I could think of:
  • timing belt
  • timing belt tensioner
  • cam oil seals
  • accessory belts
  • water pump
  • thermostat
  • lower radiator hose
  • radiator
  • cylinder head temperature sensor & sub harness
  • distributor cap and rotor

For reference on the timing belt installation I used the Haynes manual and this website which is geared to a Pathfinder, but it's the same VG30 engine as in the Z.

Jun. 20, 04 — Goodridge SS Brake Lines $191.98

Problems with the brakes persisted... I had seen some deteriorated rubber fragments in the old brake fluid that I had flushed out last time around, so I decided to replace the brake lines in case they had been impeding the reverse flow. Got a set of Goodridge Stainless steel lines from The Specialty Shop for a good price. Would recommend talking to Dan or Mary there for your Z needs. Also, they offer solid cross member and differential mounts which nobody else has.

Jun. 14, 04 — AC Service $227.64
Had the local shop that I go to (Suburban Auto Mall) take a look at the brakes and the AC. They adjusted the parking brake cables, and that's how I found out that my driver's side cable was a single piece instead of a sheath and cable, so I will have to replace them. For now though, no parking brakes. On a better note, the only thing wrong with the AC was that it needed a charge. It had already been retrofitted to R134a, so they did a vacuum test and put some dye in there to make sure there weren't any leaks.
Jun. 13, 04 — New Brakes $234.16

After warming up, the brakes had been dragging. It got to the point where the brake pedal would be rock hard from the brake fluid boiling and pressurizing the system after a couple minutes of driving. So I replaced pads and rotors all the way around with NAPA OEM replacement stuff. The NAPA rotors were identical to the Nissan units. The pads were NAPA's good ones, and the stopping power is improved over the whatever pads the previous owner had on there (most likely Meineke), at the expense of being a little bit dustier than the old ones. However, this did not fix the problem with the dragging brakes.

I also cleaned and re-oiled my Team Green filter today.

Some retard Rear assembly with new hardware
Easily retract the rear calipers by putting a bar clamp on it... and then turn the piston with a wrench, tightening the clamp as you go. The bar clamp is best because it will allow you to "load" the bar with a lot more tension than you would with a C-clamp. A C-clamp will work, but you'll need to tighten it more frequently. Make sure you don't overflow the brake fluid reservoir while you retract the pistons back into the calipers.
  Here's an easy way to remove the front hub bolts... just drop the hub/rotor into one of the wheels and stand on it, then use a couple extensions and your ratchet.  
May 29, 04 — Radiator Flush & Fill $37.71

Overheating problems were becoming more frequent though were still controllable by running the blower on high and the heat set to full. Didn't want to have to deal with the consequences of a bad overheat like warped heads or cracked block or whatever, so I replaced radiator drain plug (old one was cracked and had to be drilled out) and did a coolant flush and fill.

Also installed replacement T-Top lock knobs. That is the small plastic knob that must be slid up before the metal lever that unlocks the top can be moved. The part numbers for the knobs was a bit of a pain to find, so here they are. You will need one of each, for the driver's and passenger's side. 73527-19P14 and 73526-19P14. These will vary by color so scope out which ones you would need in the fiche.

May 22, 04 — Vacuum Hoses $31.84

In order to fix problem with AC blowing hot air when on the throttle, replaced under hood vacuum lines from the plenum to the cruise control, plenum to vacuum collector, and collector to the climate control valve. No more problems with the AC blowing hot when it shouldn't since then. This page offers good diagrams of the vacuum routing. Here is the pic from his site that I used:

I also tried replacing the radiator pressure cap to help out with the overheating issues... doesn't seem to have helped.

Mar. 19, 04 — Fuel Level Sender $68.66

My old fuel sender told the dash that the tank was full when it was half empty, and that it was empty when it was a quarter full. And the mini gauge never worked at all. Took the old one out to try to clean it up and get the resistances back where they belong, but it didn't appreciably help. Ordered a new unit from, and now both gauges work perfectly.

One thing to note on this installation is the difference between the new unit and the one that it replaces. They look completely different, but work the same; this confused me at first, but when you look at it, you can see it would work the same. And I asked on to make sure.

Old Sender New Sender
Feb. 19, 04 — New Hood Struts $37.55
New gas struts for the hood make it a lot easier to work in the engine compartment.
Feb. 7, 04 — Certified Muffler Cat-Back Installation $295.00

The old system had rusted through on both sides of the muffler, and I was sounding like a motorboat as I drove around town. I got the aluminized 2.5" cat-back system from Certified Muffler, with the Magnaflow muffler. It sounds a lot better than the old rotted system, and feels a bit faster as well; a little more torque I would say... there are hills that I used to always downshift for that I don't anymore.

Getting the old system off wasn't too hard. A lot of people say that cutting off an exhaust system with a Dremel tool is difficult, but if you use the 1" fiberglass reinforced cutting wheels it's really no problem. They are ridiculously stronger and almost always wear down (after a long time) as opposed to break apart and fly into your eyes like the regular ceramic ones do.

Jan. 21, 04 — Team Green Filter Installation $37.95

Installed by removing stock air box and resonator, and replacing with a section of 3" pipe between intake piping and filter. Seems that the main change here is the sound, rather than power, but hey, now it's all snarly in the upper rpm range and when decelerating... I like.

Oct. 25, 03 — Rear Shock Installation $99.86

Installed new KYB Gas-a-just shocks in the rear and KYB boots/bumpstops. Fixed the bottoming out problem that the previous owner's Monroe shocks and *no* bumpstops produced.

Don't use the KYB bumpstops... they are garbage. Mine fell apart into something that looks like this after only 9 months.
Oct. 11, 03 — Transmission Flush & Fill $33.10
In an effort to quiet down the input shaft bearing in the transmission, refilled the trans with Redline MT-90 fluid. Helped with shifting a lot more than the noise, but at least it hasn't gotten worse since then.
Sep. 20, 03 — Rear Brake Pads  
Replaced rear brake pads with Pep Boys pads.
My 300ZX Pictures Videos Index & Links Map
Service & Upgrades Cosmetic & Random Electronics & Computer Northeast z31s