Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I'm currently saving up for a 350z as my next project car. I had some questions to ask on here and wanted to join a forum for owners and enthusiasts. Hopefully you can help. Firstly, I was planning on a budget of around £7500 and will be looking to buy a car with less than 60k miles on the clock, a maximum of 3 owners and FSH, or even full dealership history.

 

I know the cars from 2006 onwards are charged higher road tax. Are there any changes to later model 350z's that make it worth getting a newer example, or would it be best to stick with an earlier model to save £240 or so a year on tax?

 

For a car with less than 60k miles on the clock - what should I ensure has been done on the car before considering buying? Clutch, water pump, brakes etc.

 

Nissan service costs - are they worth the extra money, or is a reputable garage just as good to go for? In terms of costs for major services, parts etc - is this quite high? I've had a lot of cars over the years, but for the most part they've been European hatchbacks and nothing too sporty, so I'm not sure if I'll be paying a premium for servicing or repairing a Japanese sports car. How long do tyres last, and what sort of cost are they for good brand tyres?

 

MPG - I imagine it'll be mid-teens to mid-20's depending how I drive? For the most part I drive sensibly and don't have a heavy foot. What's the higher MPG people have seen on motorways out of interest? Does the car have a MPG feature so I can regularly check the figures? How does the car behave when driven sensibly? How is the clutch on this car? How long does the clutch last when driven sensibly (most of the time).

 

Entertainment - I'm looking to get one with the Bose speaker upgrade. I wanted to know how many speakers this comes with? Are they good quality? Can the car fit a double DIN head unit if I wished to upgrade?

 

Handling and comfort - This will be my first RWD car. Is it unruly to drive or does it feel user friendly with fast road driving? I'm 6'4 - how is it for taller drivers in terms of space and visibility or blind spots? I've heard good things about the comfort of the car. Is this both the seats and ride smoothness? Does the car have a happy medium between comfort and handling? If I wanted to sharpen up the handling, would getting full poly bushings ruin ride comfort?

 

Modifications - I'm a fan of the sleeper car, and all modifications will be engine and handling related - no gaudy body kits, stickers or stancing. Similar to my last project car, I'd be wanting a custom inlet manifold, cold air induction, sports cams, larger throttle body, sports exhaust manifold and high flow cat (with standard back boxes). With these sorts of modifications and a remap what sort of figures could I hope to achieve?

 

Shortfalls - are there any gremlins I may encounter which are common issues? Any problems with corrosion or electrical shortcomings? Is the road noise bad? Is the cabin prone to interior rattles? Are the headlights decent or is it worth investing in better quality bulbs?

 

As I'm currently saving, I'll be buying this car in late summer. With this in mind, how is the car in autumn/winter? Is it tail happy but controllable? Or a little unruly if you give it some beans and the roads are wet?

 

Finally - presence on the road. I assume it draws attention to itself at times? Do you find you ever get many boy racers trying to prove themselves when they see you on the road? I always found traffic light racing dull, I always prefer to leave them behind in the corners. 

 

Any advice would be much appreciated.

 

Ed

 

 

Edited by Raggamuffin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the cars from 2006 onwards are charged higher road tax. Are there any changes to later model 350z's that make it worth getting a newer example, or would it be best to stick with an earlier model to save £240 or so a year on tax?

 

You'll struggle to get an early car with less than 60K. Go for an HR (2007 onwards with bonnet bulge). You should get a nice one for your £7500 budget.

 

For a car with less than 60k miles on the clock - what should I ensure has been done on the car before considering buying? Clutch, water pump, brakes etc.

 

Clutches last over 60K if the car has been treated properly. Spark plugs should be changed at 54K. Car should have been run on premium fuel and serviced every 9K or 12 months. Compression rods (suspension) start knocking around 50k and should have been replaced with genuine Nissan items. Make sure the car doesn't use oil. (ask owner and check pressure at idle when hot etc.).

 

Nissan service costs - are they worth the extra money, or is a reputable garage just as good to go for? In terms of costs for major services, parts etc - is this quite high? I've had a lot of cars over the years, but for the most part they've been European hatchbacks and nothing too sporty, so I'm not sure if I'll be paying a premium for servicing or repairing a Japanese sports car. How long do tyres last, and what sort of cost are they for good brand tyres?

 

Forget Nissan service, use a trusted independent - costs are just over £200.00. Tyres last quite a while dependant on how you drive of course. 20K per set is not unheard of. Go for MPS tyres.

 

MPG - I imagine it'll be mid-teens to mid-20's depending how I drive? For the most part I drive sensibly and don't have a heavy foot. What's the higher MPG people have seen on motorways out of interest? Does the car have a MPG feature so I can regularly check the figures? How does the car behave when driven sensibly? How is the clutch on this car? How long does the clutch last when driven sensibly (most of the time).

 

Most average 24 mpg, you may see 30 on a long motorway journey. 

 

Entertainment - I'm looking to get one with the Bose speaker upgrade. I wanted to know how many speakers this comes with? Are they good quality? Can the car fit a double DIN head unit if I wished to upgrade?

 

Bose is adequate but there is a common  problem with the player - it skips

 

Handling and comfort - This will be my first RWD car. Is it unruly to drive or does it feel user friendly with fast road driving? I'm 6'4 - how is it for taller drivers in terms of space and visibility or blind spots? I've heard good things about the comfort of the car. Is this both the seats and ride smoothness? Does the car have a happy medium between comfort and handling? If I wanted to sharpen up the handling, would getting full poly bushings ruin ride comfort?

 

Drive it sensibly and you will be rewarded. You have to be stupid to override the electronics. I'm 6' 8" and I had no problem fitting into the car. (That last sentence is a lie ;) )

 

Modifications - I'm a fan of the sleeper car, and all modifications will be engine and handling related - no gaudy body kits, stickers or stancing. Similar to my last project car, I'd be wanting a custom inlet manifold, cold air induction, sports cams, larger throttle body, sports exhaust manifold and high flow cat (with standard back boxes). With these sorts of modifications and a remap what sort of figures could I hope to achieve?

 

Can't comment except more performance on a 350Z is expensive for small gains. If you want a faster car buy a 911 B)

 

Shortfalls - are there any gremlins I may encounter which are common issues? Any problems with corrosion or electrical shortcomings? Is the road noise bad? Is the cabin prone to interior rattles? Are the headlights decent or is it worth investing in better quality bulbs?

 

As previously stated check for suspension knocks, oil consumption and corrosion around rear wheel arches.

 

As I'm currently saving, I'll be buying this car in late summer. With this in mind, how is the car in autumn/winter? Is it tail happy but controllable? Or a little unruly if you give it some beans and the roads are wet?

 

Winter driving is good fun !

 

Welcome to our club and good luck finding the right car :thumbs: 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a helluva list bud lol, Attak Z has covered a fair few but if I was you I'd take at least 3 test drives on all the models, and make your choice. Also well worth spending an evening searching through the mountains of historic posts and info members have given out over the years before you arrange test drives. My one and only real piece of advice would be is ....buy a well known car off a member here. It'll have a lot of info on here on this OC forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all for the prompt and informative replies. I'll do some more reading up on things whilst I continue to save up. :wiggle:

 

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Raggamuffin said:
 

 

Handling and comfort - This will be my first RWD car. Is it unruly to drive or does it feel user friendly with fast road driving? I'm 6'4 - how is it for taller drivers in terms of space and visibility or blind spots? I've heard good things about the comfort of the car. Is this both the seats and ride smoothness? Does the car have a happy medium between comfort and handling? If I wanted to sharpen up the handling, would getting full poly bushings ruin ride comfort?

 

Modifications - I'm a fan of the sleeper car, and all modifications will be engine and handling related - no gaudy body kits, stickers or stancing. Similar to my last project car, I'd be wanting a custom inlet manifold, cold air induction, sports cams, larger throttle body, sports exhaust manifold and high flow cat (with standard back boxes). With these sorts of modifications and a remap what sort of figures could I hope to achieve?

 

 

 

 

 

Its a GT car, not really a sports car. Its built for comfort rather than out and out corner hugging performance. Most people go for a respected brand of coilovers (available from the traders on here) and get a set to their ride expectations.

 

On the modification front, best go in with your eyes wide open. CAI as far as I believe, really adds little to the car, if anything many of them are warmer than the stock box. Most people just buy a decent performance drop in panel filter. HFCs are a good addition, note most will rasp. The maps you can get for these cars are by UPREV or ECUTEK again reference the traders on here all experts in this. For reference my 2004 DE when I had it back in 2010 had plenum spacer, milltek cat back exhaust, Berks HFCs and a stillen intake (only on because I got it pretty much for peanuts)  resulted in an additional 16bhp - the drive however was much improved with flat spots removed. You are going to be wasting a lot of money chasing numbers with these cars unless you go FI. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's some great info, thanks for that. I wouldn't have expected massive gains tbh, but it's nice to see how it adds small touches to the overall performance of the car. 

 

I'd have the car a while before modifying it, much like I did with my Ford Puma. I spent thousands on parts and mods, but the gains were minimal. It didn't deter me enjoying the project as a whole as its a fun hobby for me to have project cars. 

 

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and to be honest I wouldnt even consider the VED cost in your decision, buy the best car you can get for the money. The extra cost is equivalent to a pint of beer in the pub per week, so just cut back a touch :teeth: honestly, if you are spending thousands on a sports car, dont worry about the VED, especially if you are planning on spending a fair amount on modification which will cost an arm and a leg anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow what a list, think you forgot to mention the kitchen sink :lol:

 

Early 350z's have the DE engine, the car was facelifted in 2006 (different front bumper, bi xenon headlights, LED tail lights & revised interior and the engine was tweaked to the rev-up which makes a little more power. In 2007 the engine was majorly revised to the HR and new (bulged) bonnet to accommodate it. 

 

Personally I think it's worth paying the extra tax for the facelift but that's personal preference. 

 

Definitely don't go to Nissan for servicing, any of the reputable independents on here will do a much better job for a fairer price. 

 

Swapping the headunit to a double din is straight forward (and also a great idea because the original one is ancient and lacks aux, Bluetooth streaming etc). 

 

Like others have said, in terms of handling its more of a GT car rather than outright sports car but can be tightened up a lot with various suspension upgrades (anti-roll bars, coilovers, polybushes etc). 

 

They're a brilliant car all round (I'm probably biased) but are starting to suffer from rust in their old age, make sure you have a good look around all the arches and underneath if you go for a viewing. 

 

They're not particularly tail happy if you're sensible with your right foot and have traction control to reign you back in if you misjudge it. 

 

Happy hunting :thumbs:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if you are looking for a project car, go for the early DE, get a good one well documented i.e. off here and start your mods. The facelift had more power but less torque so very little in it performance wise as far as I remember. There are guys I believe on the US forum driving zeds with 250k on the clock, so wouldnt get too hung up on miles (unless you have plans to sell it after a year or two the UK market is a fickle place) and make sure you get one with all the work done. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Raggamuffin said:

Firstly, I was planning on a budget of around £7500 and will be looking to buy a car with less than 60k miles on the clock, a maximum of 3 owners and FSH, or even full dealership history.

 

I paid £7500 for an '07 HR, 25k miles one owner, Nissan history although gaps where it hadn't been driven.  I did go over to NI to get it tho' (!)

Quote

 

I know the cars from 2006 onwards are charged higher road tax. Are there any changes to later model 350z's that make it worth getting a newer example, or would it be best to stick with an earlier model to save £240 or so a year on tax?


2006 Facelift changes:


2007 HR changes:

Up to you if you consider them worth the extra tax.

 

Quote

 

For a car with less than 60k miles on the clock - what should I ensure has been done on the car before considering buying? Clutch, water pump, brakes etc.

I had to fit new brake discs (rusty) and pads and tyres (off-brand and a bit old) on mine shortly after purchase.  Look for rust esp. on the leading edge of the rear arches.  Also stone chips on the nose and general dents along the sides.

 

Quote

 

Does the car have a MPG feature so I can regularly check the figures?

Yes, there's a multi-function display that includes MPG.

Quote

 

How does the car behave when driven sensibly? How is the clutch on this car? How long does the clutch last when driven sensibly (most of the time).

Tbh I found the clutch took quite a bit of getting used to, the feel is a bit weird - but it's not heavy or anything and it's fine now I'm used to it.  Unless you buy a car with a receipt for a recent clutch, then I feel there's a fair chance you'll have to change it at some point, but a new one will be fine for years unless abused.

 

Quote

 

Handling and comfort - This will be my first RWD car. Is it unruly to drive or does it feel user friendly with fast road driving? I'm 6'4 - how is it for taller drivers in terms of space and visibility or blind spots? I've heard good things about the comfort of the car. Is this both the seats and ride smoothness? Does the car have a happy medium between comfort and handling? If I wanted to sharpen up the handling, would getting full poly bushings ruin ride comfort?

 

I think it's pretty user-friendly as long as you fit good tyres (like MPS4) and leave the traction/stability control on.  It's probably the least unruly (the ruliest?) of all the FR cars I've had (Silvia, 180SX, RX-7).  I think it's a decent first RWD car.

 

I'm 6'1, I think you'd be ok but it's something you'd need to check.  I'm fairly sure the cloth seats sit you a tad lower than the electric leather seats in GT pack cars.

 

I find the 350 pretty comfortable on long distances, I find the seats comfortable, the ride is generally good although it can be a little bit bumpy around town.

 

Quote

 

Shortfalls - are there any gremlins I may encounter which are common issues? Any problems with corrosion or electrical shortcomings? Is the road noise bad? Is the cabin prone to interior rattles? Are the headlights decent or is it worth investing in better quality bulbs?

 

Yes rust is becoming a bit of an issue, AFAIK it's mostly visible from the surface, no major gotchas in terms of hidden rust.  Generally electrical fine.  I have no rattles even after disassembling my interior to fit a new head unit, really solid.  I find the Xenon headlights on my HR really good tbh, night and day better than my previous '90s cars.

 

Quote

 

As I'm currently saving, I'll be buying this car in late summer. With this in mind, how is the car in autumn/winter? Is it tail happy but controllable? Or a little unruly if you give it some beans and the roads are wet?

Mine is fine with the stability/traction control on and good tyres.

 

Quote

 

Finally - presence on the road. I assume it draws attention to itself at times? Do you find you ever get many boy racers trying to prove themselves when they see you on the road? I always found traffic light racing dull, I always prefer to leave them behind in the corners. 

I've not drawn any attention in my dark blue car yet.  Also I think Cambridge area no-one cares about cars (!)  If you get a bright orange one you may have a different experience.

 

I'm in Cambridge, message me if you want to meet up and have a look at my 07 HR and see how you fit in, can try and meet up sometime.

 

PS: 350Z Buying guides:

 

https://www.350z-uk.com/topic/56870-guide-for-new-memberspotential-buyers/

https://www.pistonheads.com/news/general/nissan-350z-ph-buying-guide/32601

https://www.evo.co.uk/nissan/350z/20359/nissan-350z-2003-2009-review-specs-and-buying-guide

https://www.classicandsportscar.com/features/buyers-guide-nissan-350z

Edited by Samoht
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the OC :wave:

At this age, many Zeds have had a new exhaust due to corrosion at the flange just behind the backbox that joins it to the midpipe.

Saying that, I've cleaned there regularly over the past 14 years on my zed and the original exhaust is still fine!

If it is falling apart here you could use it to haggle a little off.

It's no biggy as you can either get a stainless system from Scorpion, Cobra, Miltek, invidia etc or just pay a shop to weld a piece of pipe in to replace the flange.

Mine's just gone over 60k and needed new banana arms as I was getting a knocking noise from front wheels going over bumps at slow speed.

Can't remember how much these were but better searching for Mooge aftermarket ones than Nissan OEM as they are about half the price.

 

Rear boot may not stay up as the struts age......so careful when checking the boot in case it falls on your neck like a guillotine!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome along. 
 

my answer to the entertainment system is aftermarket exhaust , windows down and :drive1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, coldel said:

I think if you are looking for a project car, go for the early DE, get a good one well documented i.e. off here and start your mods. The facelift had more power but less torque so very little in it performance wise as far as I remember. There are guys I believe on the US forum driving zeds with 250k on the clock, so wouldnt get too hung up on miles (unless you have plans to sell it after a year or two the UK market is a fickle place) and make sure you get one with all the work done. 

There was a part of me considering a higher mileage and cheaper car. There's a fair few around the 5-5500 mark which might be suitable. Even with project cars I find myself keeping them 1-2 years at most and I drive around 12k miles a year. So a low mileage one might not be justified.

 

I have to say, I can't get over the amount of replies in such a short space of time. It means a lot. Got a lot of reading material now too. If I aim for a cheaper car I could enjoy it over summer.

 

With regards to rust, has anyone undertaken and rust prevention for the arches etc? Having owned 3 Ford Pumas I know all too well about how these issues can progress.

 

15 hours ago, Samoht said:

I paid £7500 for an '07 HR, 25k miles one owner, Nissan history although gaps where it hadn't been driven.  I did go over to NI to get it tho' (!)

 

That's awesome dedication. I do enjoy a road trip to get a car, but NI? Hats off to you - I bet that was amazing. My mum's side of the family is from Ireland - wonderful country and some amazing roads and scenery.

 

I worked a fair few jobs in Cambridge - the commute was awful. So much traffic in that city. I enjoyed going to school and college there. It's a nice city - but very busy. I'm living in March these days (it was the closest to Cambridge I could afford to buy a house, lol). There's a fair few boy racers in March, not many of them have nice cars. My last job I worked in Kings Lynn and every night there'd be a convoy of boy racers who'd park up on the road I worked on. Back then I did an evening shift and the building was in an industrial estate. Every night they'd be drag racing down one of the roads. Huge variety of cars - from asthmatic hatchbacks to Audi RS's and even an i8.

 

I'm going to get some of these articles read some more. This is all giving me a lot more enthusiasm to get this project started sooner. In recent years I've reigned in my spending to fund project cars - so I should be saving £5-600 a month. I bought my current car for £4500 last July - so I should be able to net £4k or high 3000's when I come to P/X or sell it. I reckon it'd be worth putting in some overtime over the next few months and get some money faster. With enough dedication I'd be able to this car sooner than expected.

 

Thanks again for all the replies. I'll start a forum project post when I get the car. Looking forward to sharing a new project/story.

 

Ed

Edited by Raggamuffin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This OC is one of the reasons I think I've kept the zed nearly 15 years.

It's a great place with fantastic members some of which are still actively helping members long after they've sold up and moved onto other cars.

 

I'd try not to pigeon hole your search.

Over the years I've seen zeds advertised with a very wide variation in quality.

From the early DE models with well over 60k and 10 years under their belt, looking pristine and we'll maintained, to zeds that are under 60k and 10 years old with leather seats worn to buggery, rusted arches and undercarriages, with slipping clutches.

 

So buy on history and condition and don't rule out the older ones. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good advice. I think I'll be shopping around and test driving a fair few before buying.

 

In the past I tended to finance or take loans out for cars. It made the process a bit more rushed. Spending months saving will make me less eager to part with my cash. I'll make sure I get a nice example for a solid foundation for my next project car. 

 

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are going to see one, let people on here know some will go along with you in exchange for some beer tokens :thumbs:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My brother has his for sale on ebay with 37,000 miles 2004 at around £7500. Was garaged a lot so no rust. DE road tax should be around £325 and going up each year by £10 I think. Id be tempted if I didnt already have a 370Z. I definitely want a later HR after im done with the Nismo

 

Yes they do draw attention from boy racers and police. Just dont rise to it. My Nismo got people breaking necks. Ive got tints so its okay.

Edited by GranTurismoEra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

350z-uk.com

370z-uk.com

350z-uk.com

370z-uk.com

×
×
  • Create New...