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350Z
#1
As some of you know, most probably don't.  I love cars,.. and I love my current car/dd/ and ongoing project Smile

It's a 2008 350Z.  

Right now I have it at a Z specialist doing some work,.. first bit of work I haven't done myself to it, but I don't have a lift and I just don't want to go through the pain of dropping a transmission with jack stands. Smile  

Dropped it off today, and here's a shot of her on the lift ready to spill her guts.

[Image: Chromatics_Z_on_the_lift.jpg]

Here's the car in general,.. I've done lots to it from Electrical, Audio, Cosmetic, to Performance.. but I like to keep things as stock looking as possible.

[Image: 11415440674_bf7da1019e_s.jpg]

[Image: 13320874664_7ab80f82de_s.jpg]

I'll post a bit of the Journal I keep online of some work I've done to the car:

Here is the Custom Audio system I built and ripped the car apart to install.


Car Stereo "System" Install

Hi guys, and ladies.  I have done a ton of homework and research over the past 3 ish weeks and this is what I ended up ordering to upgrade my factory stereo (I have the base model stereo):

Headunit: Kenwood DDX-470 - http://www.kenwoodus...le_Video/DDX470

Amplifier: PPI 900.5 (5 Channel Amp) - 70Watts RMS x 4 + 270Watts RMS x 1 (Sub) - Precision Power PPI P900.5 (p9005) 5-Channel Phantom Car Amplifier

Front Components: JBL MS-62C 6.5" Mids with 1" Tweeters (80 Watts RMS) - JBL MS-62C (MS62C) 6-1/2" 2-Way MS Component Car Speakers System

Rear Speakers: MB-Quart QM-160 KX 6.5" Mids with 1" Tweeters (Coaxial) (70 Watts RMS) - No link for these as these are from the 90's, and I had them stored.  These are when MB Quarts were made in Germany.  Purchased them in 1997 for $400-500.

Sub Woofer: JL Audio 10" w0v3-4 (300 watts RMS) - JL Audio 10W0v3-4 W0v3 Series 10" 4-ohm subwoofer at Crutchfield.com

Custom SRQ Sub Enclosure for the 350z: (10" Enclosure with .66 cu. ft of airspace, covered in Black textured finish, built to order, with Spring-loaded Terminal Cup.) - Nissan 350z Vehicle Specific Sub Enclosure 1-10"

Sound Dampening Material: (Versa Kit - 4 Square Feet of Sound Dampening Material) - I decided to get a little Sound material for the doors, as you guys told me it would help with sound quality. --
NVX SDVK4 Versa Kit, 4 Sq Ft of Sound Dampening (1 18"x32" Piece)

Wiring: 4 Gauge KCA Power Wire, 4 Gauge KCA Ground Wire, Inline Fuse Holder, with 80Amp AGU Fuse, 17 Foot Bassik RCA Cable with Remote Wire built in, 20 Feet TCA 14 Gauge Tinned CCA Speaker Wire (Gold plated Ring Terminals, and Spade Terminals). -
KnuKonceptz KCA 4 Gauge True 4 Gauge Amp Kit Installation Wiring Kit | eBay

2 More RCA Twisted Pair RCA Cables (Total of 6 RCA's) that are 18 Feet.
KnuKonceptz Twisted Pair 4 Channel Smoke RCA Cable 20ft | eBay

50 Feet of Kord Kable 14 Gauge Speaker Wire, Polarity Marked -
KnuKonceptz Kord Speaker Wire Ultra Flex Blue OFC 14 Gauge Cable 50' True AWG | eBay

Amp:

[Image: p9005.jpg]
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#2
Did the Complete Install (Took about 5 days):

Well.. you've probably run across one of my posts in the last month or so while I was researching and asking questions.

I've been trying to keep everything in a single thread,.. but since this is the actual build process with pictures I thought it would be appropriate to put this JUST build log into this section,.. could benefit others down the road.

I've been working since Friday on this car,.. don't even know how many hours I've put in now, lost count.

Anyhow,.. Here's some pics of the car:

Car interior stripped 90%:

[Image: 11889851006_eb735f8121.jpg]

[Image: 11889282053_7173fc90d4.jpg]

[Image: 11889863356_3b9d489c43.jpg]

JL 10" sub wired, and mounted into Custom Box:

[Image: 11889429764_99ce3ea7c6.jpg]

Factory Mids pulled out (Wow, these are terrible!) -- Had to cut them out of their spacer to reuse it with the new Components I bought.

[Image: 11889999266_2a323043e7.jpg]

New JBL Components successfully in factory spacers (one heck of a job fabricating those spacers to put these JBL mids!) -- And put the 1" tweeter in stock location (had to cut/fab behind that sail panel quite a bit to get them to fit.. but they fit perfect)

[Image: 11912075985_6df0e74046.jpg]

I Used Rattle Trap Extreme to deaden doors -- Am running out of deadener, and the doors were A LOT better sealed by factory than I anticipated.

If you have some recommendations of where else to put the deadener on these doors let me know.. I have a little left.

[Image: 11921687595_6eb26fae56.jpg]

[Image: 11922142294_83e9e7f141.jpg]

Slot where the Custom stealth Sub box is going,.. Used a ton of sound deadener in this spot.. picture just shows bottom, but it's done up top, sides , etc. Plus there is a 1" rubber mat that is on top of this material, not shown in pic.

[Image: 11921955843_108fa6a0c1.jpg]

Rear 6.5" (Late 90's German) MB Quarts installed with X-overs. [I used 5+ sq ft. of sound deadener just up in this area.. that stuff goes fast!]

[Image: 11922141224_7a13d015e5.jpg]

Yes,.. I opted to wire and install a Bass Knob. I KNOW many of you go against the notion of using one,.. but I plan on adjusting it on the fly quite often. So here it is mounted in a discreet "Invisible" location in the center console pop up box (top comes down and covers this). Used Industrial Velcro to mount it (worked fantastic!).. and dremeled below it for the phone cord to come through properly. I think it turned out pretty good:

[Image: 11922558236_fa3efa406b.jpg]

The Custom Sub Box installed (It's downward firing). [This thing was a beast to get installed,.. 3 of the 12 bolts lined up Sad .. So more dremel work with a light sanding bit being very careful with that MDF.] Turned out well though.

[Image: 11922553716_9a808b06e2.jpg]

I'd say I'm 90% done now.

I have (not pictured) a carpeted amp rack built to go in the left "glove box" behind passenger seat (which when closed won't be seen).. that's drying right now.

Tomorrow I wire the amp up,.. plug in the headunit,.. and pray. If all works, I dial in the amp, then start re-assembling the vehicle. (This was back in Early 2014)

Wish me luck!
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#3
Today was the big day to see if all my hard work .. well ... worked!

First I decided I should put more sound deadener in the car.. I deadened this entire area and bulk heads.. Plus other areas I didn't bother to take pictures of.

[Image: 11941583574_3ff93c991b.jpg]


And.. it's ALIVE! -- Setting Gains!

[Image: 11941415513_59f213e5fc.jpg]

And.. only other shot I took was of the headunit,.. as I tuned the system in after Gains were set properly.

[Image: 11941981696_83d879f9df.jpg]


Fired right up! Everything worked flawlessly.. I couldn't believe it Smile

It sounds phenomenal,.. way better than anticipated.

To get proper voltages for speakers,.. I ended up at 50% on gains for front,.. 50% on gains for rear.. and 60% on gain for Sub. Not too bad.

One thing I DID notice was not only did my 90's MB Quarts work,.. but they sounded at least 5 times better than the JBL's. This isn't knocking the JBL components I put up front,.. but Germany did something right with this old set of MB Quarts I have. WOW! To adjust for the MB Quarts being a greater SQ and tone.. I faded to front about 50%.. thus dropping the quarts down about half way,.. this set things up very well for sound positioning.

For ME,.. Putting rears in the car does sound better. I dropped the rears, then added them.. over an over..

The sub is absolutely DEAD on perfect,.. It's not too much.. but if I WANT it to be ridiculous .. It's right there,.. with my Bass knob next to me.

All in all, I couldn't have done a better job myself... oh wait. Wink -- I'm just being a smart a.ss.. Seriously, I'm a very happy guy right now.

Tomorrow is put the interior back in day,.. no more worries of if all my work is going to work! Straight forward job on panels, trim, et al. Wonder what it's going to sound like with the interior back in? **Update -- It sounds phenomenal,.. totally worth the effort!
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#4
Well,.. The amp was getting too hot for my comfort in that Glove Box due to not having any air to circulate. So given the prospect of not being able to really utilize any of the space for anything other than the amp (box is smaller than it seems). I decided to go ahead and drill holes and put an Intake Fan to draw in cool cabin air to rectify the issue.

Intake Holes (Not perfection here.. but not finished):
[Image: 12062012894_6ef06bcaf5.jpg]

Fan Wired via Relay - mounted on spacers Pulling Cabin Air:
[Image: 12061615715_f2450be372.jpg]

Cleaned this Up: Those holes were not going to cut it,,.. and were just to provide adequate intake aperature for airflow.

Final Complete "Cosmetic" Fabrication "Cleanup":

[Image: 12267497166_31a2aac998.jpg]


Amp runs considerably cooler now.

I decided to wire the Fan up "properly" so if anything did occur with the electrical system it wouldn't have a chance to mess up the Head unit, as the Remote isn't meant to power anything and is around 250mA give or take. (Yes, I know many people just power stuff off their remote wire,.. but doing things right is worth it in the long run.)

So I wired the fan up off a SPST Relay,.. and Fused the power going to the relay with a 3amp Fuse in-line.

[Image: 5-pin-12V-automotive-relay.jpg]

Essentially it's wired,..

Terminal 85 --> Ground.

Terminal 86 --> Remote from Head-unit

Terminal 30 --> In-line 3amp Fuse from Power

Terminal 87 --> To Positive of Fan

The Ground of the fan is wired into the Ground with the other grounds.

Didn't anticipate thermal issues with the amp in that location, and even with the Amp getting hotter than it should being Class D,.. it most likely would have been ok in there without this addition, but might as well do something since it's relatively simple.
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#5
Added a Reverse Camera to the Vehicle.

Ran a Dedicated ground to the factory wiring harness, so the Headunit would have a proper ground (It was grounding through the Antenna,.. which also had a side effect of giving me a shock randomly when I touched the car (ie: opening the door). )

Plus I removed the Pioneer Sirius XM boxes, magnetic antenna, and all wires - And did a slew of wire cleanup behind the headunit and wired in other things that I didn't do the first go around; to name a few : Ran power to the Antenna Amplifier (so FM signal was clear again),.. Wired in the Illumination Wire, .. and other small things like that.

To keep it brief, here is the Reverse Camera:

Put the Reverse Camera on the Driver side -- It's super "stealth" ... I like it, really no need for brighter tag lights, but I have them on the way anyways.

[Image: 12148949215_506105b914.jpg]

Then here's the image from the $24 Camera -- (Keep in mind it's at night)

[Image: 12149197123_bae7027a74.jpg]
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#6
I ended up Buying a new piece for that area for about $70'ish.. that's made differently (not white under the "paint"/finish.. so any nicks won't show up ) -- And while I had the old piece off I bought a black paint marker.. and used it to touch up the lower piece that I couldn't justify replacing for a half inch spot of scratches. -- Turned out well.

For reference.. Here's what it DID look like:

[Image: 11690101876_c659f9e0c3.jpg]

and...

Here's how it looks now:

[Image: 11746624194_a3df190335.jpg]

Yeah the picture was at night... but it looks great. Looks brand new (as it is lol) -- but the touch up under it was perfect. Huge cosmetic fix for an otherwise 99 percent perfect interior.

Highly recommend people replace it if you can get the part cheap enough.. just easier imo. But pulling it, sanding, priming, painting, clear coat (maybe not).. and wet-sanding if needed can obviously look just as good.
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#7
Took forever to get here.. But my LED Reverse Lights and Tag Lights arrived.

The Reverse lights weren't the best design.. I had to dissassemble them and pull all the pins and resolder them.. as when I plugged them in they would only work when you "jiggled them".. and with a light in a moving car that's not gonna fly lol. Wasn't a big deal though, took maybe 3-4 minutes .. after the solder fix they are great! The tag lights just plugged right in no issues.

I always try to take at least one or two pictures for the heck of it if anyone is interested in these lights (hey there are only a few dollars)..

Pictures don't do it justice, especially on lights.. but they look much "cooler" something I didn't really expect .. but they are 10 times brighter.

Here's a picture where I left the Driver side reverse light in with the normal OEM bulb. You can tell how much different the color/shades of the lights are.

*The Tag LED's are in of course in this picture as well.

[Image: 12233298703_ed62a9c16f.jpg]

And one final shot of them all in.. Again, they are much brighter than the old bulbs,.. I highly recommend installing these bulbs even if you aren't putting in a Reverse Camera.

[Image: 12233528414_681eae2795.jpg]

Just in case you are wondering.. The tag lights take 2-3 minutes (remove tag) -- use screw driver to push in clip on right side (on my car) and the whole thing comes down.. pull bulb, put new bulb in.. done.

For the reverse lights, they are to the inside of the blinker bulbs.

Easiest way to do this is to pop the hatch.. and look on each side.. you'll see 3 plastic pop off round "covers" of bolts. Pop those 3 off on left side, then 3 on right side. Use 10mm socket.. remove bolts,.. and remove the taillights/brakelight housings.

Then you can easily reach in and pull the reverse lights out and put new ones in.
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#8
Cat Back Exhaust - Invidia Gemini

Exhaust arrived.. lugged it inside.. And just for reference here it is in Box next to me.. I'm 6 Ft. Tall (1.83m):
[url="http://www.flickr.com/photos/111739693@N04/12355758214/"][Image: 12355758214_3d908e1178.jpg][/url]

Box opened without touching anything:

[Image: 12355147625_4d68b79d90.jpg]

Box with some packing removed: (decided to not take it off so it doesn't get nicked up while moving it around before installing).

[Image: 12355324363_abf444b905.jpg]

The Tips (one of them anyway) Smile : (Titanium Rolled Lip)

[Image: 12355594094_c2ce0a2d8f.jpg]


Very well protected.. as I already said MUCH larger than I expected from the picture that was shown.. But this is about what I expected when I ordered it.. An exhaust is large.. especially a dual exhaust.. I'm surprised they could pack it in this box, but it's not overly packed.. it fits well with a lot of room to move around.
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#9
Well,.. Exhaust is on!

......and,.. I ended up doing it myself,.. that keeps happening.. Wink

I went down to my Mechanic first thing,.. and he wasn't there! He was going to be there in an hour,.. BUT, they had 8 jobs in front of me and there was no way they could get to my car today at all. I was bummed out to say the least,..

So I went and grabbed 2 more jack stands, some PB Lube.. and drove home.

The removal of the stock exhaust went as easy as it possibly could have gone! I guess I got lucky to some degree,.. but instead of just wrenching the nuts by the Cats and Y pipe.. I decided instead to hold the Ratchet on them tightly and use a hammer to hit the wrench with hard quick knocks.. (Nothing hurting anything.. just I figured it gave me a shot to break the nuts first try..)... And it worked. Every single nut broke on the 2nd or 3rd hit .. Then I just Ratched them off. No stripping of the nuts,.. Once I got the Cat bolts and Y pipe bolts loose I wasn't worried about the bolts further towards the rear of the car.

I got the factory exhaust off in 20 minutes! Hardest part for me was getting it out of the hangers (I didn't unbolt the hangers.. ).

Then of course the Invidia Gemini Exhaust went on beautifully as expected.

Did notice one thing,.. either I was missing a set of Gaskets from Invidia.. OR,.. they mean for you to re-use the gaskets that go to the Cats. Either way I re-used one "set" of gaskets.

Checked for leaks,.. tight as it can be. In fact,.. my factory exhaust had a little "rasp/gurgle" when you let off the gas -- That is now gone.. it's 100% smooth, so there must have been some sort of small leak with the stock exhaust?

The Invidia Gemini catback took me about an Hour.. I was really taking my time with it.. And the tips took longer than I expected, but got them lined up to my liking.

Here's the car with exhaust on.. bolts "hand tight" and before I put the tips on.
[Image: 12367738654_750d5c3732.jpg]

A few views of the Exhaust.. mainly to show the Passenger side pipe going Under (or over.. however you want to say it) the sway bar.

[Image: 12367469153_6b7ac7cf3f.jpg]

[Image: 12367458833_e6f5f1d330.jpg]

Some random Pics of the Tips/Back of the exhaust:

[Image: 12367461443_c56bd151a3.jpg]
[Image: 12367465023_7d39aaea19.jpg]
[Image: 12367454843_b54051c4cc.jpg]

I love it!

Sounds SO deep.. Under 2500 RPM it sounds the loudest.. maybe that will change as it "breaks in".. I don't know.

And,.. yes.. I want it louder. lol.. Don't get me wrong I love this , perfect sound -- But I need just a bit more ,.. so I wonder if I should go with HFC's or Test pipes.. (I just don't want the Light to come on..) And not sure which will keep the great sound but maybe open up the sound once you pass 2500 Rpm to 5500rpm (Very quiet in this range).
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#10
Berk Technology High Flow Cats:



I'm at the exhaust shop.. It's literally called "The Exhaust Shop" lol.. Guy has my car on the rack right now.. I sprayed the bolts last night (jacked the car up got under there and coated them with PB Blaster  and the O2 Sensors (just the nut Smile ) ) -- So maybe they will come off with ease. (Knock on wood).


[Image: 12930365143_ec1c2afd72.jpg]

I'll definitely get some sound video of how these Berk HFC's change the sound. Big Grin

This did NOT go quickly.. I got in there and started working with him.. This took 5 Hours!  

I'll go ahead and put the Video's up first.. I know it's not top notch quality but I was busy working most of the time,.. there is NO WAY in hell I could have done this at home without an Acetylene Torch,.. and considering I've never used one, nor have one.. I would have certainly caused a mess with this project.

The Car Up on the Lift,.. let the fun begin.








Mechanic probably wondering why I'm videoing him lol.. But this is about 1 hour into the first "demon Bolt" on Driver side,.. And out comes the Acetylene Torch.





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