350z with XXR 531 18x11 wheelsEarlier today I took the leaking wheel/tire to Solo Performance Specialties to take the tire off the rim and take a look at the wheel and see what the damage really was. After popping the tire off the wheel we quickly found that the wheel had a repair attempted both inside and outside of the wheel, it actually looked like someone had taken JB Weld to it.
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Asking $1600 local (delivery extra, I have small vehicles so transport is a pain). Currently located in Half Moon Bay, California, just south of San Francisco. It looks like 2012 will be a no go for me (no budget to get the car where it needs to be) so I am going to part ways with my beautiful 18x10" +38 Enkei RPF1s. The wheels currently have 18" 305 Kumho 710s mounted, plenty of tread left, though not competitive nationally, great for local/regional events.
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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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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 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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This evening after work I came home and cleared out the garage so that I could get the new wheels test fitted to see what all I was going to need to do on Saturday.

Here are the details, the wheels are Enkei RPF1 18”x10” +38 (offset). The tires are Kumho Ecsta V710 305/30/18s. The car currently sits on a stock suspension (2004 350z Enthusiast)

With that in mind, I wanted to see what I was going to need to do to make them fit on the car so I can run them at the SCCA Autocross this weekend. The good news is that the wheels/tires fit on the rear perfectly, no changes necessary (at least as of right now on the stock suspension).

The wheels and tires unfortunately do not fit on the front, but I kind of expected that, and was surprised they fit on the rear without any trouble. So in order to get the wheels on the front of the car I’m going to need to do a few things.

  1. I need spacers up front, I test fitted a single and double 5mm spacer, 5mm wasn’t enough, but 10mm looks to be right. So in the front I’ll need 10mm at minimum, though I may order a few different spacers for future needs.
  2. Longer studs, I ended up ordering some ARP Studs (part number 100-7717) from www.soloperformance.com via special order. They should be here Friday, in time for me to install them on Saturday. I ordered rear studs as well, but may not put those on immediately.
  3. New lug nuts, with the longer studs I’ll need an open lug nut, I’ll pick those up at autozone or kragen.

I think, and we’ll see in a few months, that I can probably get 315s all the way around on these wheels, and with appropriate spacers, that 315 will fit.

Here’s a video from the time in the garage tonight.

350z Tire Fitment


You can also check out some of the photos I took of the rear wheel on the car.

Enkei RPF1Enkei RPF1Rear shockRear SuspensionRear SuspensionRear SuspensionRear SuspensionRear TireRear TireRear tire and a huge gap

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So I’m slowly starting to figure out what I need to do to get the car ready for the 2010 Autocross season. I’ve been looking around, reading the 2010 SCCA Solo rules, covering the details of the class. I’ve got some more research to do, but for now I’m starting to figure out which wheels I am going to run on the car.
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So the 2010 Autocross season is starting up soon, and here in Colorado the winter series is running strong. I had a little incident with the projectquattro a few weeks ago, which also has spurred along the motivation to get a 350z.
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