Steve finds that life with brand new wheels on the Nissan 350Z is not as easy as he’d hoped…
|Date acquired:||February 2015|
|Kilometres this month:||65|
|Costs this month:||$55|
|L/100km this month:||12.0|
Blood, sweat and more blood went into the 350Z this month. It was October 2013 when I originally ordered my KW Clubsport suspension, and last week they finally went onto the car. The install was very straightforward, the hardest part being the adjustment of the rear ride height and the end links.
Oh, sweet mother, those end links. Something that should be so simple turned into a nightmare (this process alone took nearly an hour). Had I had a car lift, things would have progressed more smoothly, but jacking up a car with a hand crank becomes a pain in the arse when you have to do it multiple times. Still, the ride height came out perfectly in the end. Now all that is needed is to corner balance the car and readjust the front camber.
And that brings me to my next topic: the wheel alignment. At the garage, I completely lost my cookies when ‘the new guy’, in attempting to put the wheel sensors on, managed to scratch the paint off the rear rim by installing it IN THE WRONG PLACE (my wheels have a second lip close to the edge of where the rim meets the tyre, which is where he decided was best). He then has a go at the front, managing in the process to leave a nice gaping hole where the claw digs into the rim and not seated itself properly.
Brand new wheels. Not even a month old and now I need to get them fixed. It was at this point I told him to take both off and call someone who knew what they were doing.
My new SPL mid-links allow toe to be adjusted without eccentric bolts, so my alignment at the rear was so easy a five-year old could have done it. The best part is that it will never move. Everything is locked down with eccentric lockout bolts and jam nuts (I used all the tools I bought specifically for my suspension at the shop). The front though was a different issue. I had previously pulled the chassis to get the wheelbase of the car within spec ahead of its inspection, and in doing so, hadn’t done the alignment. So the caster was out again, as well as the toe. Not by much but it was enough that it warranted a change.
The SPC Front camber arms are such a pain to remove and camber adjustment is basically guesswork. It requires removing the wheel, taking out the lower nut cotter pin and loosening it, then loosening the two inner nuts that hold the camber arm on, lowering the arm to loosen the top nut (torqued to 119lb ft and rusted) then adjusting camber and re-torquing everything. Suffice to say I will be switching to SPL as soon as possible. The camber is now 1.5 degrees at the front, which isn’t as much as I wanted but will work for now (there was just no way I was adjusting them twice in one day).
It’s been a very long, frustrating road but suspension-wise, the Nissan is finally how I want it. It seems like the front bumper’s paint has cracked in certain places, which means the next item on the cards will be a full car paint job.
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