Constant Evolution

This car has come a long way in it's lifetime, it is been in a constant state of upgrade since it was purchased.

The car started its life in sunny Florida, where it was purchased new for about $19K. I am unsure how many owners it has had over the years, however it was obviously well cared for by all but the owner before myself. One of those owners brought the car to Michigan, where I live. Then the previous owner, who happened to be one of my brothers friends, smashed the car into the back of a pickup truck. The trucks rear end ended up on the hood, but the car was perfectly drivable. His insurance eventually wrote it off as a total loss (after he had to sue them) and allowed him to buy the salvage rights, however they never totaled the car "legally" on the title. My father and I decided to buy it as a project, most of the damage was cosmetic and we knew it could be fixed. On top of that the car had 60,000 miles and no rust at all, it was a prime candidate for restoration.

We ordered parts from a salvage yard in Florida (oddly enough where the car came from). We had to replace the hood, headlight buckets, front bumper cover and drivers side fender. Unfortunately UPS utterly destroyed the hood, however we got the $100 insurance money for it. We ended up going to a local junkyard to find a hood once the car was ready to be painted. We did all the prep-work ourselves and had the car sprayed the OEM red for a rather good deal.

I finished paying off the money I owed to my father on the car itself and restoration parts in about 2000, at which point it became completely my car. I was relatively satisfied with the car as it was until the transmission began grinding badly into second gear, the synchros were worn out. I tried using Redline MT-90 and although it did help a little bit, it was not enough. On top of that my clutch started slipping (it had probably been abused by the owner before me). My brother had a rusty old 1985 300ZX Turbo that I used for some small parts, it had a fairly nice Borg-Warner T5 manual transmission in it. This transmission had about 130,000 miles on it when it was put in, but worked quite nicely. Also included with this transmission was a brand new Centerforce clutch, and the price was right.

Over time I did the basic modifications, all that is really worth while on a non-turbo 300ZX: intake, exhaust and timing. I grew tired of the car being relatively slow and numb in stock trim. Modified 300ZX's have amazing potential that most people have no idea even exists. In 2003 I began collecting the parts I needed in order to convert my N/A into a Turbo, and I did so that winter. This covers my experience in that project.

Needless to say I kept going on the modification train; that's what most of this site is devoted to. Keeping in mind there is not a ton of information (and pictures? HA) out there on the modifications I have done, I decided to make little write-ups with pictures for other people to see and hopefully benefit from. Enjoy.

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