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nismo kid

My Turbo LSX Z31 Builld

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I explored several different front brake caliper solutions. Many were just larger factory calipers from other . I.E. Evo 8/9 calipers, 350z (Z33) Brembos, Akebono style calipers. On my previous car I had Z32 (90-96 300zx) brake calipers. I also already had a set of Z32 calipers & Z33 Brembos. But I decided to go another route for this car/to try something "new" to me. Wilwood Superlites grabbed my attention immediately. Their main selling points IMO were the calipers piston size,  weight savings & variety of different brake pads compounds to choose from. Luckily my buddy Adam had already shared what was all needed with The Z31 community. He even held a group buy for the brackets needed for the install. The Wilwoods I purchased were part# 120-11133.  

Intrigued by how light Wilwoods felt. I broke out my scale so I can do a weight comparison between the 4 different calipers in my possession. This comparison covered 84 N/A, 88 Turbo, 30mm aluminum Z32, & Willwood Superlite. Unfortunately I forgot to include the Z33 Brembos for what ever reason. By the time realised This I had already sold them.  Here's some comparison photos.  
These were weights from lightest to heaviest. All weights are for an individual caliper that was fully drained. 
 
1) Wilwood Superlite 4 piston caliper @ 4LB 15.5OZ
 
2) 84 N/A Z31 single piston caliper @ 5LB 15OZ
 
3) 30mm aluminum Z32 4 piston caliper @ 6LB 3OZ
 
4) 88 Turbo Z31 2 piston caliper @ 7LB 11OZ 
 
Going into this I already knew the brake dust shields would need to be slightly trimmed to accommodate the Willwoods. Once the shield modifications concluded they were powder coated & installed. Followed by the newly "refurbished" wheel hubs. 
Next the brake caliper brackets were installed.  Followed by the 2 peice rotors & calipers.  For the brake pads the Willwood BP-10 High Performance Street Compound pads were chosen.( Part # 150-8854K ) 

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Picked up a Hurst line lock for the car too. Part# 174 5000.  The installation of it could start after removing all the factory brake hard  lines & rubber hoses. I wanted to keep it as close to the brake master as possible. So I made bracket that would locate the solenoid directly under the brake master.  It would be secured using the same studs used to mount the brake master to the booster. This keeps it away from all heat sources & the amount of hardline down too. Construction of the brake hard lines could start with lock location officially set.  3/16 stainless steel hard line was used to make every brake line in the entire system. To minimize the amount of clutter on the firewall I ran the rear brake line down the drivers frame rail instead of the passenger side. Only hard line that runs along the firewall is for the passenger front caliper. After all the hard lines were made the line lock bracket was painted for a cleaner look.  With stainless steel hard lines knocked out Wilwood stainless steel braid brake lines were installed for the front calipers.  Wilwood hose part # 220-9199

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Stainless steel braided Goodridge hoses were used to replace the rear rubber hoses. For the rear brakes there's nothing too exciting going on. Just some freshly painted remanufactured calipers. Along with replacement factory pads & rotors. I was considering doing a 5 lug swap with vented rotors but decided tart would be a waste of $. Especially when I'll be swapping to the s13 subframe in the coming months.  At this point I was fed up with not driving the car aka being a member of the "Jack Stand Mafia". Here's a couple photos. 

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I installed Z1 Motorsports' short shifter paired with the Z Speed Solid Shifter bracket. The carbon shift knob is from my previous build from years ago.  Next I got a few quotes locally to make my driveshaft & was given some pretty steep numbers. Even with reusing my a driveshaft yoke & flange. So I made a call to Shaftmasters to explain my needs.  They emailed me measurement forms to fill out while I was on the phone. He literally began to make my shaft right after our conversion. It was actually shipped within 3hrs of my phone call.  I ordered it on a Friday & received it Monday morning.  With the Willwood setup in the front my stock wheels would no longer fit. The fronts would need a 17in wheel for proper clearance. Not wanting to spend a bunch of $ on what would be temporary wheels, I took my search to craiglist. Ended up scoring 3 Motegi Touge wheels for 10$. Couldn't beat that deal with a stick.  The wheel specs are 17x9 with 24 offset. They're not any where near perfect condition but they'll work for me. I wrapped them with 235/40ZR17 90W Frederal 595 RS-R tires. The rear tires are just factory size Ohtsu  all season tires. This wheel & tire combo aren't my long term solution. They're just meant to last through my clutch break in.

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I finally gathered all the parts to finish my 87-89 front end conversion. This had literally taken me until now to get all the components required to do so. Every part expect the 2 fenders are from different cars. There was some slight modifications needed to accommodate the later style headlight buckets. The hood required modification as well. The factory hood latch was removed to clear my charge pipe. Then locking Aerocatch latches were installed to secure the hood. (Part #  120-2100 ) For additional  support came in the form of 1/4in plates for the pins & Password JDM billet mounting plates for the hood. With headlight bucket(s) & hood modification tackled, everything else was a bolt on affair. Sadly the most satisfying part of this front end conversion was the installion of new hood struts. Normally these are completely blown out on Z31's. Meaning you'd have to resort to keeping a stick in the car to use as a hood prop or use visegrips. Which is just a big inconvenience.  As you can tell some of the photos are from different time periods of my build. I also included a video of the Aerocatch latches in action.

 

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At this point the only things that needed to be taken care of before the 1st drive was the bleeding of my clutch & brakes. With the help of my lovely girlfriend that was quickly knocked out. My goal was to drive my car before 2018 came. Motul 8068HL RBF 600 DOT-4 was used for my brakes & clutch. I also with switched my transmission fluid out to 50305 MT-90 75W90 GL-4. Now its the day of Christmas Eve. After double checking every nut & bolt I lowered the car down from the jack stands. Then I warmed the car up & began to adjust the tune. So I could actually attempt it's 1st drive. With the tune roughly adjusted, the car was ready to take out. Would it drive?..... or will I fail to meet my goal?....... Well I places my phone on a tripod & to record it either way...... Thankfully for me the car ACTUALLY DROVE!!!!  There's still a ton of tuning left to do but I finally was able to DRIVE my car for the 1st time!  I'm by NO means a tuner but I'm gong to give a try. I understand the drive isn't a very exciting for most but this was a huge accomplishment for me. I've included the videos below. This was a huge update! Sorry I wasn't able to release this update done than I did.  It should be well worth the wait IMO. Thanks to everybodyfor all support & following the build! Stay tuned.

 

 

 
 
 

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On 5/31/2018 at 11:50 AM, BluDestiny said:

Love this thread, I saw your video on youtube and thought you had done this all years ago. 

Thanks for checking the build out. There should be a another update in the near future. I'm just button a few things up. 

 

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Long time no post huh? Don't you guys & gals think I've forgotten about updating this build. I've been super busy but we'll let you be the judge. This is 7th major update entry in this build thread. As any other good read this update is filled with plenty of ups & downs. To kick it off the realization several switches were going to be required to activate/trigger devices that were to be installed. Originally I wanted to repurpose the factory headlight wash, heated mirror, & adjustable suspension switches but my shifter location axed that idea. I chose rocker switches with built in LED’s. Then determined how many switches & how much real estate was required. These were functions/devices that would need switches data log, 2step, Line lock, & boost control. A AEM 12 position trim pot switch was selected for boost control. This way many different boost levels could be achieved with just a twist of a knob. 7 Rocker switches would suffice for the rest & leave extras for future use. The A/C control panel is easily accessible by the driver & wasn't needed. It's location was perfect. With all my switches chosen, I disassembled the A/C control panel saving just the "case". Which was trimmed down to accommodate the switch wires. 1/4 inch ABS plastic was used to make a faceplate that would hold the switches. I drilled holes into the faceplate after the orientation of all switches were determined. To attach the faceplate & case blind holes were made on back of the faceplate. So screws could secure them together. The trim pot switch came with stickers that numbered all 12 positions. A area the same size as said stickers was routed smooth to prevent them peeling from the faceplate. Then switches were installed into the faceplate. 
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I felt my previous breaker & relay setup looked too "busy". This was easily cleaned up by making a new panel for them to mount to. The panel also has extra room for future breakers.

Previous setup

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New Setup

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Another fuse box was added to the mix. Knowing more devices would inevitably find their way into the build & would need a fused power source. I wanted all my additional fuse boxes to be in the same general area (above passenger foot well). Space was an issue. 1/4 inch ABS plastic was used to create a panel for the additional fuse box & ground distribution block. A stainless steel piano hinge was attached to the panel. Which allowed it swing down from underneath the glove box. The breaker & relay for the fuse box was also be mounted to this panel. A magnet prevented this panel from swinging down unexpectedly. With swing down panel completed, power & ground wires were ran to the rocker switches. Additional LED's were installed for the line lock, 2 step & data log switch. The line lock LED is solid red when active. The 2 step LED flashes red when active. As for the datalog LED it flashes blue when active. To make the leds flash, I used CEC Industries EF32RL Electronic LED Turn Signal Flasher Relays. 

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While tuning my car one day, I ran out of fuel due to the lack of a fuel gauge. The factory sending unit & gauge cluster in my car were inoperative when I purchased the car. So a Intellitronix LED analog bargraph gauge was added. Intellitronix appealed to me because it's made in the USA, they have good customer service, I liked it's appearance & price point. As for a fuel sending unit a Bosch unit (part# SP0F000013) was chosen. The factory sending unit was stripped down & the Bosch unit was modified to fit it. I even retained the factory plug. A yellow w/red stripe wire was used for the fuel gauge signal wire. This wire can be found on the left(driver) harness near the dead pedal. 
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Fuel level wasn't the only thing my dash was missing. The factory gauge cluster leaves very much to be desired IMO. I began investigating & pricing out different gauge solutions. Speedhut, Autometer, & Racepak setups would've been a small fortune. My search ended when I stubbled upon Nick Pahls & few others using displays backed with Raspberry Pi 3B's as gauge clusters. Until this moment I had been using a laptop to monitor everything while driving the car. These Pi setups could be built for relatively cheap especially if you code everything yourself. Unfortunately my heavily congested work schedule wouldn't allow me enough time for learning how to code. Luckily Nick Pahls ran a site/group called Raspberry Pi dashboard aka Pidash. Which offered plug & play solution for only 275$. It's a little more expensive than building it yourself but it's convenient & still very affordable honestly. The PiDash uses Tunerstudio so you can view gauges, make changes to your tune, Datalog, & view datalogs. It's touch screen, supports gps speedometer, endlessly configurable, has built in WiFi, has built in Bluetooth so you can wirelessly upload/download files & connect to the internet. This was my solution. He also partnered with Custom Instrument Panels that was offering 3D printed clusters for just 50$(what a deal!) The pidash was accompanied by GlobalSat BU-353-S4-5Hz USB GPS Receiver & back lit Rii i8+ Mini Wireless Keyboard with built in Touchpad Mouse. I recieved the pidash & accessories lightning quick. Then sent my original gauge cluster out to Custom Instrument Panels. While waiting for the 3D cluster, I setup the Pidash. A word of advice, use a desktop when designing your guage cluster for the Pidash. Use a cellphone charger to power the Pidash so you can test your gauges. This would've made things SOOOOO much easier & faster. Apparently I prefer to do things the hard way, aka doing it in the car with my mini keyboard. A 5v power supply was hardwired to supply power to the Pidash. I opted to have it on a switch instead of it powering on with 12v switched. That way I can have it on without the car being on. A spare usb cord was also connected to the Pidash & installed inside my ash tray so thumb drives could easily be connected. I've got to give mad props & thanks to Nick Pahls for badass customer service. This man answered every dumbass question I’ve had & provided tech support at all times of day/night even at 4am sometimes. I couldn't be happier with his product & support! 

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Easy access USB extension

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A few short months later a new Raspberry Pi 3B+ was released. Intrigued with it's added potential & faster boot times, I upgraded from my Raspberry Pi 3B to 3B+. This upgrade granted me much faster boot times. Here's a comparison video that shows how long it takes to go from off to fully booted. 

https://youtu.be/KzA18WQRo2M

Raspberry Pi 3B

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Raspberry Pi 3B+

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As the weeks & months went by I never heard anything about my 3d printed cluster. My order was placed 1/12/18. After 2 months I decided to make a temporary solution with parts from a spare gauge cluster & ABS plastic. The spare cluster donated by my good friend Matt (Thanks!). This temporary solution actually didn't turn out too bad IMO. Unfortunately I've yet to hear anything about my 3D printed cluster to this very day. This shitty experience is by NO means Nick Pahls fault. He's waiting on clusters himself. It's purely Custom Instrument Panels fault. He hasn't responded a single time, not even 1 word. 

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The Pidash was followed by installing interior. This meant converting to black interior pieces, new carpet & replacing the padless factory seats (field mice ate all the padding). Before the carpet could be installed a couple panels would be needed. One to cover the surge tank & fuel cooler. Another to seal off the factory shifter hole. The foam tool tray was shaved down to level floor above the surge tank & fuel cooler panel. This maintained a flat floor in the hatch area. Then the shifter hole was blocked off by another panel. 

Tool tray panel

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Shifter panel

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The brown ebrake made its way into the trash & was replaced with a black unit. When I purchased this car the factory carpet had already been removed. The previous owner "installed" old house carpet in its place. American Custom Carpets Molded Mass backed Essex black carpet was ordered. It's super plush & far more superior when compared to factory carpet. Of course factory carpet has a little better fit especially in the corners & tool tray area. ACC offerings are the only option(s) available for the Z31. Factory carpet is NLA (No Longer Available) good luck finding BNIB (Brand New In Box) carpet now days. A old socket was heated with a torch to create nice clean holes for bolts. This will keep the carpet from fraying while creating a perfect circular hole. I salvaged plastic carpet clips from the junk yard & stapled them onto the new carpet. These clips hold the carpet tight to the door sill area. 

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With carpet installation complete, the hunt was on for a functional seating solution. I wanted something lightweight & fixed back. Z31's don't really accommodate most aftermarket race seats too well. Shoulder pads of most seats will hit the door panel or window when installed. Some seats even touch the roof. Many of my friends had fading issues with entry level Sparcos & knock off seats. My decision was quickly made after sitting in my friends car equipped with Kirkey Pro Street Drag seats. Little did I know these seats & covers were on back order. Several weeks went by but none of the major suppliers had received their shipment. Summit Racing got me in direct contact with Kirkey. Kirkey drop shipped the seats to me once they were completed. The seats arrived here all the way from Canada to Texas within 48hrs! The same for the seat covers. But those weren't completed for another 11 days. My foamless factory manual seats weighed over 37lbs each! That's without the rails. The Kirkey's only weigh 11.6lbs each. That's over a 25lb weight savings per seat. The Kirkey's were mounted to the factory manual rails using Kirkey side mounts. Factory manual Z31 seat brackets are double locking. It's crazy how similar Sparco & Corbeau rails are to my factory rails. These seats were pretty comfortable even without the padded covers installed.


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The remaining items required more work than I had perceived. Obviously the Z31 coupe is different from the 2+2 version. I assumed the only difference between the slick top & t-top versions was only headliner & weather stripping. You know what they say happens when you assume. You make an ass out of you and me. The following parts are different between the slick top & t-top versions. A pillar panels, B pillar panels, rear quarter window panels, headliner, weather stripping, & coat hooks. Luckily for me I saved my original slick top panels. Black interior pieces are hard to find, so are slick top pieces, but black slick top pieces are even harder to find. My original Panels were brown but I changed them to black thanks to SEM products. First the panels were all cleaned with hot water & Dawn dish soap. The panels were then scrubbed clean with SEM 39362 Soap. SEM 38353 Plastic Prep was used to clean any oils & contaminants from the panels. Not wanting to chance the color coat flaking off over time SEM 39863 Plastic Adhesion Promoter was applied. Now the SEM 15013 Landau Black Color Coat could be applied. The results are amazing. You can't even tell what is factory black or what's painted. I opted to install rivnuts to secure the door sills instead of using the factory "fastening system".  A brain fart came when I went to install my black door panels. I totally forgot the interior door handle is high up 84-85 models vs "centered" on 86-89 models. Everything previously covered was in preparation of attending my 1st car show/event with my Z31. It was just 24hrs away. I was dead set on having the interior as complete as possible. Luckily I was able to score a spare set of doors from my local pick-n-pull. I quickly swapped the doors out. My original door lock cylinders were then swapped into the "new" doors prior to installing the black door panels. New door switch covers were also installed. 

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Reupholstering the badly damaged & faded brown headliner was next. I gently peeled backed the factory material. Which left glue residue & foam behind. That was removed using a soft brass wire wheel attached to a drill. The cardboard backing was repaired & thoroughly cleaned. Then foam backed black suede was attached with 3m headliner adhesive. The headliner install was finished off by the dome light paired & a brand new dome light cover.

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