Project Nissan 350Z- Making the Chassis fully Adjustable and Getting Rid of Flex with SPL and Whiteline
By Mike Kojima
We had last left our Project 350Z with much improved braking at the track with a big brake kit and other parts from Stoptech. After her last on track foray at Buttonwillow, Sera reported to us that her 350Z was having trouble laying down power out of the turns. On the gas her car wanted to drift immediately which was limiting how hard she could apply the throttle on corner exit. The corner exit drift was not smooth but twitchy as well. When drifting with stock tires, her car was not so bad but with the forces generated by big sticky NT01’s the suspension’s bushings were getting overworked causing toe changes, hurting the car's stability.
|The first thing to do was to remove the rear crossmember.|
With the sticky tires the car was also exhibiting a tendency to hop on corner exit, particularly on slower turns. None of this was particularly consistent so it was an annoyance that was contributing to slower lap times and made the car harder to drive.
There was also some vagueness of steering feel and understeer during turn in, although the car would feel OK in mid turn. Our mods so far had improved her car quite a bit, but she told us her daily driver 370Z still handled a little better.
|Howard Watanabe of Technosquare breaks the subframe bushings loose in a press.|
To complete our suspension build, we had to make her car’s suspension fully adjustable so we could do a precision performance alignment to the chassis. We also had to get rid of the flex so the wheels would remain pointed in the direction intended even with the larger than intended loads generated by the sticky Nitto NT01 rubber.
|An airchisel is used to remove the bushings the rest of the way.|
The first thing we did to accomplish these goals was to install some polyurethane bushings from Whiteline. We had looked at the underside of Sera’s car and saw that her rear subframe bushings were pretty shot from years of street and track driving and heavy loading from drifting. The deteriorated condition of the subframe bushings was allowing the subframe to shift around quite a bit. By witness marks, this looked like over ¼” at the bushings which could translate to over ½” of alignment change at the wheels due to the subframe bushings by themselves!