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Paul456

HR engine worth the extra cost?

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I've been keeping my eye on 350z prices for a little while now, it's a dream car for me that I've wanted since I was 15 but never been in a position to buy one, until now.

 

What I've noticed is that there is a sharp increase in price for a HR engine (presumably any car with an 07 plate is HR?) because of the small increase in power and apparent increase in reliability. Which makes sense.

 

My question is though, are them increases worth that extra money (it seems to be an extra £2kish, sometimes more sometimes less)?  

 

The extra power doesn't bother me, I'm unlikely to go on many track days and I'm coming from a much less powerful car (mini cooper s) so any of them will be an improvement there. 

 

But the reliability does, I've seen the most common issue is oil usage, which concerns me a little but I guess not the worst thing as long as it's not a ridiculous amount or too regular. These are obviously 15 year old cars at this point, which in my mind isn't so old I'd be worried about it not starting, but old enough youd expect the odd issue. What sort of issues could I expect? My research points to nothing too serious being overly common. This will likely be my main car, I'll probably get a shed to throw the miles on after a while, but there will definitely be weeks where it gets 250 miles thrown at it.

 

Is a 350z still a good choice for a daily at this point? The general usability doesn't bother me, I had a mk2 mx5 for 6 years as my only car, it's just reliability that concerns me. I'm not bothered about small things breaking, just the sort of thing that stops me being able to drive to work.

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The HR IMHO is the better car, however it can be more expensive to maintain: ie Gallery Gaskets, Clutch and Flywheel, CSC etc

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I use my 350z (DE Rev-up) as a daily and its one of the most reliable cars I've ever owned and a pleasure to drive.

 

As with any 10+ year old car you've gotta expect the odd perishable (battery, suspension bushes, exhaust etc) to need replacing, but other than that I think the only thing I've had fail was the radiator fans (which were easy to replace/refurb). 

 

If you decide to go for a HR check if it's had the oil gallery gaskets replaced, if not they will need doing as some point which costs the best part of a grand.

 

Whichever spec you decide to go for they're all great cars, just make sure you get a well looked after, rust free example and you can't go wrong :thumbs:

 

 

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There are in effect three versions the DE the DE Revup and the HR. The HR is very different engine, its not just an evolution. Also note that between the DE and the HR there was a facelift, the interior was tidied up a bit, a few other cosmetics too. In terms of reliability, aside from the famous Gallery Gaskets mentioned above, all 350z's are very reliable cars on the whole considering what you get for the money.

 

I think if you are going to be going in on a budget go for a nicely maintained DE and have money left over for perishables. Don't underestimate the cost of 'stuff' on these cars, just because you can buy a leggy one for £4k don't be surprised that if the clutch goes and the brake discs/pads need replacing you are nearly £1.5k down already.  

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I went for the HR and didnt regret it. The HR engine was 80% new over the old engines, Nissan spent a lot of time improving things. Even things like having the engine lower in the chasis to improve handling etc. You could go for a non HR car which would be cheaper, but by the time you have spent a few grand on exhaust, plendum, air filter, remap etc etc you will only have the same power as an HR.

 

Dont assume any 07 onwards car is an HR, there were quite a few late registered non HR cars. The bonnet bulge is a good sign, but people do fit them to older cars. If you look under the bonnet an HR will have 2 air boxes, one each side at the front.

 

As above, make sure you have enough cash left over for maintenance etc, as costs can soon add up - but then thats the same with any car of this sort of age now.

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As Rabbitstew mentioned, you need to check for the 2 airboxes under the bonnet (or the 7500rpm redline) rather than assuming anything '07 or later is HR.

 

I believe the oil burning issue was on the RevUp engines. The oil gallery gasket issue is one to look out for - that affects oil pressure rather than usage though. The gauge should be near the top when the engine is started from cold. I didn't realise this affected all HRs though - can anyone else confirm?

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building on the above, each engine revision also raised the red line, roughly 6.5, then 7, then 7.5. the dipstick on the DE is a pain to get to, it was moved in the HR. the OEM oil gallery gasket for all HRs and the early 370z engines were paper and over time crack. the new OEM part is reinforced and should be good for life. with the 350z you can tell if the gasket has gone as the oil pressure will drop. a warm idle is normally about 30psi, though nissan specs do let that go down to 15ish before it's dangerous. with the 370z they get a oil temp instead of pressure so there is no clear sign the gasket has cracked, scary stuff! when it goes oil is leaking inside the engine then back down to the sump, so checking oil level does nothing.

 

the HR has 308hp from the factory, at about 140K miles with a new gallery gasket i had mine dynoed, it has the invidia gemini exhaust and stock intake. first run was just over 300hp and after a tune 313! now that needs a large pinch of salt as all dynos are different, but just being that close to 300 after so many miles shows you how good these nissan engines are.

 

for me the biggest pull was just the red line, cos there is no way my butt is going to notice the difference between 280hp and 308hp after 5 years of what every was left of 130hp on my mazda mx3. but the mx3 had a high red line for a 1.8L engine of 7K, and i just didn't fancy having to shift earlier. also 40mph in 1st and 70mph in 2nd is a wonderful thing on the slip roads! i don't know what the gearing is like for the DEs though

 

also when i got mine it was my daily and i racked up 30K miles in the first year. i now have a volvo too because the zed is not a practical car with a big dog and a wife who loves camping! but it was perfect when i was single and didn't need to haul stuff about.  

 

there is one negative for the HR, they tend to kick like a mule when you're slowly changing speed, like in stop start traffic. there are various explanations but a common one is a bad factory ecu map, which was my excuse to get it dynoed in the first place

 

and finally, if you want to mod the DE is sooo much cheaper. there are a lot more of them on the roads and the after market parts are often half the price for DE stuff than HR stuff. so if that is a passion then the DE might be the better choice.

 

but if you do decide on the HR then have a moment of weakness and snap up a DE, you're still gonna love it :)

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Wow, thanks for all the help guys.  Seems like a HR would be nice, but so far the only ones I've seen in my budget either have starship miles or a rough history of MOT failures, but still worth keeping an eye out.  I hadn't really seen the oil gallery gasket issue, but something I'll definitely bare in mind when looking.

 

Some good points about modding too, I was thinking of modding this a little.  Only basics like exhaust, inlet, simple visual stuff.

 

But i might just aim at getting a nice rev-up, seems like the oil leak problem isn't every car, and I suspect it's probably got a little to do with how the car's been treated and maintained.

 

Hopefully not long after all this Covid 19 stuff is over I'll be able to go and start looking at a few.  Just need to convince the misses that her and the dog will be alright in one seat.

 

Does anyone have any tips on where to look for buying?  So far I've mostly been on Ebay, but there's only really a slow trickle of cars on there (and I guess with the virus at the moment not many are being added right now) and there's a couple of local garages with one that I've seen.

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Have a look at the Zeds For Sale section on this forum. There's also a guide/thread on known suspect dealerships. 

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What is your budget?

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we got a CSV in the front, it was cramped and she was a lot happier when she had a back seat, but it did work. so i guess it depends on the size of your 4 legged friend

 

random google result for scale

 

https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/gallery-czechoslovakian-wolfdog-trained-to-search-for-missing-dogs-1-3684513

 

also i got mine on autotrader and searched the nation not just locally, would up driving from kent to wales.

 

oh and make sure you get good tyres, mine came with a set of no-names that were so slippy in the wet a ford fiesta on a safety tyre left me for dust on a slip road! now i'll never get anything less than A rated wet braking.

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Go for the HR... looks slightly better than DE's, easier clutch to use (avoid the middle-ground rev-up ones) lol

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Posted (edited)
On 10/04/2020 at 10:10, Umster said:

Have a look at the Zeds For Sale section on this forum. There's also a guide/thread on known suspect dealerships. 

I will be keeping an eye out there for sure but not much in there at the moment.  I guess anyone likely to be selling there will at least have been passionate about their car and looked after it properly which seems to be the main thing to look for.

On 10/04/2020 at 11:31, ZMANALEX said:

What is your budget?

About £6-7k.  Ideally as mentioned more towards the 6, so I've got a little left for mods/fixes.

23 hours ago, HiddenWomble said:

we got a CSV in the front, it was cramped and she was a lot happier when she had a back seat, but it did work. so i guess it depends on the size of your 4 legged friend

 

random google result for scale

 

https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/gallery-czechoslovakian-wolfdog-trained-to-search-for-missing-dogs-1-3684513

 

also i got mine on autotrader and searched the nation not just locally, would up driving from kent to wales.

 

oh and make sure you get good tyres, mine came with a set of no-names that were so slippy in the wet a ford fiesta on a safety tyre left me for dust on a slip road! now i'll never get anything less than A rated wet braking.

He's a greyhound, so pretty long and not very bendy.  I'm fairly sure they'd fit (she's pretty small), but I don't imagine it would be good on a long journey, and fairly sure it's illegal to travel like that now unless you can find a way of strapping them in.

 

I've come to the conclusions I'll likely have to travel a bit.  Never had to go more than 20 miles for a car before so has me a little worried about the logistics and wasting time driving somewhere to see a car which isn't as it seemed, but I guess its part of the experience.

Edited by Paul456

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20 miles is nothing. I drove from south London to Coventry to buy mine! Train there and :drive1 on the way home! 
 

Its  worth the extra miles to get the right car.

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Have a look here:  

 

Always worth paying a bit more for a known members car which will eliminate all the unnecessary traveling that you mention.

 

I know that the proposed sale has been withdrawn, however may well be worth a PM.

 

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FYI, the Nissan UK press release with the 2007 HR model changes is copied here

and 2006 Revup here

 

Autotrader has the most cars, I found mine there.  I think if you want a car with a few mods, the for sale section here is probably best; standard cars seem to be most on AT, but check Pistonheads, Gumtree also.

 

It's worth being aware that cars registered after 23rd March pay the higher rate of road tax, £580 as opposed to £330 annually.  I decided the HR was worth that, but if you don't get an HR then IMHO you may as well buy a car on the lower tax rate, as nearly all DEs are.

 

As far as I could discover doing my research, the 350Z - all versions - are about the most reliable sports car out there; so while I'm not going to promise you perfect reliability, I do think if reliability is your concern then you are looking at the right car.  As an older car it'll likely need a few things - brake discs, clutch, etc - from time to time, but you'd be very unlucky to suffer major failures or expenses.  Do check for rust before buying.

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