Weekend progress on the 350z

It was a good weekend on the 350z, I made progress on pretty much everything I needed/wanted to do to start the 2016 season, with only the corner balance and wheel alignment remaining. Those are scheduled for Monday at Solo Performance.

Here’s a rundown of what I was able to accomplish this weekend:

  • Oil/Filter Change
  • Plenum Spacer Removal
  • Upper and Lower intake manifold cleaning
  • Lower engine splash guard installed
  • Passenger front fender liner replaced
  • Replaced bolts for strut tower brace
  • PlastiDip’d strut tower brace
  • Replaced missing plastic clips all around the front end, top and bottom

When I removed the upper intake, to remove the Plenum spacer I found that the inside was a disgusting mess. I sprayed it with some carb cleaner before seeing “not recommended on fuel injected vehicles” on the can, so I headed off to pick up some throttle body/intake cleaner. Ideally, I would have taken the entire lower manifold off and cleaned it, but I didn’t have the lower gasket and after spending all day on the car I was anxious to finish up for the evening. I cleaned it up, but it still could be better (See photos below). After getting it all back together, I wasn’t able to start the car, initially it started and ran for a moment, but after that it wouldn’t fire.

I went to bed dejected, worried I had done something to damage the car. While laying in bed I started to question if I had reconnected the throttle body, so first thing in the morning when I awoke I went out to the garage to check, and sure enough, I hadn’t fully connected the throttle body. I connected that up, and later in the morning after grabbing the keys I was able to start the car up without any problems.

In addition to the work on the 2003 350z, I also spent a bit of time working on a friend’s 2014 Corvette Stingray. He’s had it for 2 years now, with just over 6k miles on it, and after the brakes get warmed up it has a pretty annoying squeal/squeak that happens during low speed stops. He’s had the service bulletin for ‘14s done but that didn’t help with the brake noise, so I have the car for a week or two to try and correct it. After being able to reproduce the problem, I determined that it appeared to be coming from the rear of the car. I took the rear pads off, applied some anti-squeal to the back of the pads and then drove it 100 miles this weekend around town, so far it appears that the problem has been resolved, but I’ll drive it a few more times before he returns to see if it is truly fixed.

350z Parts before Unboxing 350z Splash Guard Installed Lower intake manifold Lower intake manifold after cleaning Strut tower bar getting plasti-dipped Strut tower bar installed after getting plasti-dipped


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