I realized recently that I didn’t have an ongoing list of modifications for the 350z. So I figured I should create one. The idea is that this will be continually updated, with the list of current parts. If I end up removing parts I’ll strike them through on the list.
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El Toro ProSolo Day 1

Chris Hammond

I just don’t have the energy to do a full writeup for the ProSolo today, and to be honest, it won’t happen Sunday, and likely not Monday either Open-mouthed smile

So what happened? Well, I’m sitting in 5th out of 8, 2nd in the Kumho class. I’m still hoping to get up to first in the K Class Smile With the contingency available that would mean a set of tires.

Jodi Fordahl is driving with me as well. She’s doing great, I have a feeling she’ll be faster than me on Sunday.

Random note: This car really needs a diff!  I am going to try to find the OS Giken guys if they are at the Pro tomorrow and talk to them a bit.

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So I experienced something while driving the 350z yesterday that I haven’t experienced in quite a while. Typically the 350z comes with a staggered tire setup, meaning that the front tires are usually a smaller size than the rears. A week or two ago I got some new street tires put on the car, the new tires are “square” meaning the fronts are the same size as the rear.

This actually gives you the ability to rotate the wheels/tires (assuming the wheels are the same size), which can go a long way in making your tires last longer. The old set I had taken off were actually okay in the front, but the rears were bald, being able to rotate could have helped prevent that.

The downfall of having a square setup, at least with a 350z, is that the computer isn’t setup for that, not having the stagger causes the front tires to run at a different speed in relation to the rear tires. This causes the computer to freak out, though most of the time it is fine, where it will freak out is typically when you are accelerating on an onramp.

I had this happen for the first time since some time in 2006 (when I sold my first 350z) last night. It wasn’t a huge shocker, but it was a bit of a surprise. You can avoid the computer issue, but it requires turning off the traction control, something you can’t do when it is activated by the differing speeds. So for now, I will continue to turn off the traction control (tcs) when I get in the car.

I’m curious to see if there are any ways to disable the TCS by default, and only have it turn on when you press the button. That would be extremely useful in autocross as you NEVER want traction control in a 350z enabled when autocrossing.

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So with all the blogging I’ve done over the years I have been unable to find any posts where I mentioned tire pressures!

So here it is, a thread that I will continually update with tire pressure information for my 350z. As I change configurations I will move settings to an archive down below.

Current Tires

Kumho V710 305/30R18
(as of 2/20/2011)

Current Pressures

Front: 25psi
Rear: 23psi
(as of 2/20/2011)

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How was today?

COLD AND WET!

Hard to see but there is snow on them thar hills #autocrossBeyond that? Very cold and very wet. I went to Great America today for the SFRSCCA Divisional Autocross. I got there around 7am and put the Kumho tires on the car, big mistake! I was sort of drying out, the sky was almost clear, but the drive down there was rainy, and there was snow! You can’t see it very well in this picture, but yes, there was snow in the “hills” around the Bay Area.

So I installed the wheels/tires and walked the course a few times. The driver’s meeting got delayed, then the start of the event got delayed. Then the rain started back up Sad smile

Let me tell you this, Kumho V710s don’t work well when it is <40 degrees and raining. My first run I went out and it felt horrible, I turned a 66.*, I wasn’t too thrilled about that. Here’s a video of that run.

But I was too lazy to go get my street tires (freshly mounted the previous night mind you). Big mistake, I went out on my second run and decided I would take things slower, expecting to actually go around the course faster. I slowed down and ran a 69.*. That broke this camel’s back, I ran off to get my street wheels, drill, and jack so that I could swap to the Falken Azenis RT-615s.

Thankfully Grant (in a Nismo 370z) followed me over and helped me bring 2 of the tires back to my grid spot. I don’t think I would have gotten them changed in time had he not helped! Thanks for the help Grant!

The Falkens were MUCH better, not perfect, but way better than the V710s in the rain. I managed to run a 60.*, a big improvement over the first two runs, though I just wish I had put them on before my second run, or even to begin with!

Here’s a video of the third run

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So today was a busy day, I had a lot to catch up on at work, training to provide internally, and a final to take this afternoon. After that I ran home and grabbed the set of Falken Azenis RT-615s that were sitting in the garage and ran to Les Schwab (the same place I bitched about a few weeks ago) to get them mounted.
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So as I try to get ready for the 2011 autocross season I stopped into a tire shop the other day, the Les Schwab on El Camino in San Carlos, California. I was curious how much they would charge to mount and balance for 18” tires. For those of you who don’t autocross, it is very common for autocrossers to need a local tire changing service, while not purchasing the tires from that location as well.
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My initial intentions with this new (to me) 350z is to run in the newly formed STR class. This is a street tire class, meaning 140 treadwear or greater, which differs from the Stock Classes, which technically run “street legal” tires, but are often treadwear 50 or less
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