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2005 Nissan 350Z - The Right Wheel Drive

Oct 2, 2009

Jaspreet Virdee, or Jas as he likes to be called, started out as a die-hard Honda junkie. It was the platform of the times and he, like many others, spent his time and money on finding ways to get his Integra down the quarter-mile in the fastest way possible. He then moved onto building an RSX as well as purchasing a TL to cope with his commute in the Big Apple. But 13 years is a lot of time for a man to be doing the same front-wheel-drive, straight-line thing.

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The change wasn't sudden, though. In a logical move, Jas stepped up to a Mitsubishi EVO VIII for more traction and its higher power potential to get him closer to his quarter-mile goals. There was a side effect of having an all-wheel-drive car that could corner, though. Jas suddenly realized that the steering wheel wasn't much more than a general direction indicator to get down the dragstrip. He soon figured out just how much more rewarding the sensation of lateral acceleration was compared to longitudinal acceleration-even with a 10-second EVO.

So the gears started turning and Jas finally realized the need for a proper rear-wheel-drive sports car. He settled on an '05 Nissan 350Z, the epitome of the average man's everyday sports car: it was the best combination of size, power, handling and civility. The strategy this time was to find the right motorsport for the right car. Jas quickly got involved with his local SCCA chapter and dove into the world of autocrossing. Due to strict SCCA regulations, Jas started out in the Street Stock class with his unmodified Z. As good as the Z was, it was a little big and cumbersome for the tight autocross courses.

To take some of the factory understeer out, Jas' first move was to upgrade the car's footwork to make it rotate better and stick better. KW V2 coilovers, a Nismo 1.5-way LSD, better wheels and tires, Cusco antiroll bars and a few other chassis braces were added to add some cornering edge to the Z, which pushed him out of his original Street Stock class and moved the Z into a Street Prepared class. To be more competitive, Jas also added some power parts with new engine plumbing and a Turbo XS UTEC piggyback ECU. In his words, "The car barely fits into the Street Prepared class," but cornering isn't nearly as boring as the quarter-mile.

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Naturally, with SCCA autocross came the need for more speed. Jas has recently joined the ranks of NASA's High Performance Driving Experience (HPDE) program for a taste of high-speed track driving and seat time in preparation for time attacks. Now bitten by the autocross and road race bugs, Jas has found a new incarnation of his gearhead hobby and has plans to turn his Z into a true fire-breathing, lightweight racer.

Specifications & Details
'05 Nissan 350z

Engine

Nissan VQ35DE V-6

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Engine Modifications
K&N Intake, Motordyne plenum spacer, ported lower plenum, Strupp headers, Berks high-flow cats, JIC full titanium exhaust and Y-pipe, Unorthodox Racing crank pulley, Cusco catch can, Buddy Club ground cables and carbon-fiber cooling plate

Engine Management
Turbo XS UTEC piggyback ECU, WOT BOX (flat foot shifting)

Drivetrain
Competition Clutch 6-puck clutch and lightened flywheel, Nismo 1.5-way LSD

Suspension
KW V2 Coilovers, Cusco front and rear antiroll bars, SPL end links, GT Spec front and rear tie bars, Ingalls engine dampener

Wheels, Tires and Brakes
StopTech drilled and slotted rotors, lines and Axxis unlimited pads, Rota P45R 18X9.5 wheels, Toyo T1R 255/40R18 (f) and 275/40/18 tires

Exterior
Nismo V2 bumper, side skirts andrear skirts

Interior
Sparco Torino racing seat, Alpine head unit, carbon-fiber dash kit and a Nismo shift knob

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