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350 z/ 370z owners, track ability of stockish platforms?

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  • 350 z/ 370z owners, track ability of stockish platforms?

    My 240 is a blast but after every long weekend, I wonder if all the effort is worth it. I like the size of a 350 and 370, the new mustang is cool but just too big. The FRS handling is great but no power. Everyone I know owns a S2000. I have been thinking a 350 or 370 might be the low maintenance track capable car of choice. Let me know what you have faced tracking them. I've heard oil cooling was an issue at track days. I appreciate your honest input. Thanks!

    Sent from my SM-P600 using Tapatalk
    Chicago Region SCCA SM # 688 http://www.scca-chicago.com
    TSSCC SM # 688 http://www.tsscc.org

  • #2
    I've heard diffs can get hot. Other than that, they're pretty handy on the track. I drive with about 7 guys and gals with 350's. they seem to be ridiculously solid and fast. Seems like a no-brainer to go to that unless you want to dig a little deeper and get a vette

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    • #3
      Originally posted by eye-5 View Post
      My 240 is a blast but after every long weekend, I wonder if all the effort is worth it.
      Ummm.. This x10000 for me too, lol. at the conclusion of every event, I consider selling the car for something "nicer". Wait about a week and repeat the vicious cycle again (fixing/buying parts). Rinse and repeat for 8+ years.

      Oil temps are an issue I believe. The 2014+ has a beefier oil cooler IIRC but still isn't sufficient for serious track duty. I've driven one on basic coilovers and they feel big (heavy/long) and "rolly" to me. The double A arm suspension is much more modern than what we've got on the S chassis though. I believe E36 M3s are at a similar price point and seem to be quicker at less HP.
      Last edited by gawdzilla; 06-08-2015, 02:28 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jfryjfry View Post
        I've heard diffs can get hot. Other than that, they're pretty handy on the track. I drive with about 7 guys and gals with 350's. they seem to be ridiculously solid and fast. Seems like a no-brainer to go to that unless you want to dig a little deeper and get a vette
        I've driven Vettes and they are great but I just don't like them. I hate the looks of them.
        Chicago Region SCCA SM # 688 http://www.scca-chicago.com
        TSSCC SM # 688 http://www.tsscc.org

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gawdzilla View Post
          Ummm.. This x10000 for me too, lol. at the conclusion of every event, I consider selling the car for something "nicer". Wait about a week and repeat the vicious cycle again (fixing/buying parts). Rinse and repeat for 8+ years.

          Oil temps are an issue I believe. The 2014+ has a beefier oil cooler IIRC but still isn't sufficient for serious track duty. I've driven one on basic coilovers and they feel big (heavy/long) and "rolly" to me. The double A arm suspension is much more modern than what we've got on the S chassis though. I believe E36 M3s are at a similar price point and seem to be quicker at less HP.
          Yup. Especially since I started hauling on a trailer. I have to pickup the trailer, drive it to my place, load up the car and all the goodies then at the end of the event repeat. It makes for really long days.

          I started thinking what I want in a second autocross/trackday car and two seats is fine, not too big, not miata small, RWD and some power. The 350 really fit the bill.

          After some thought, I took a ride along in a stock 350 with a front swaybar. The torque and acceleration were excellent. It felt like it handled pretty well for autocross, and I could be competitive in CS. The power seems appropriate for the car.
          Chicago Region SCCA SM # 688 http://www.scca-chicago.com
          TSSCC SM # 688 http://www.tsscc.org

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          • #6
            This is why I almost refuse to trailer my 240 -- I don't want it to become a hassle.

            As far as 2nd autox car, I just built another s13 haha.

            Z's strike me as easy to drive and decent all-around package that don't take a lot of money to not suck.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by e1_griego View Post
              This is why I almost refuse to trailer my 240 -- I don't want it to become a hassle.

              As far as 2nd autox car, I just built another s13 haha.

              Z's strike me as easy to drive and decent all-around package that don't take a lot of money to not suck.
              I was towed home from the track by friends 3 times. After that I started to feel like a mooch and had to get a setup of my own.
              Chicago Region SCCA SM # 688 http://www.scca-chicago.com
              TSSCC SM # 688 http://www.tsscc.org

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              • #8
                2015 Mustang GT

                /Thread

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                • #9
                  Vette is the answer, just dat Silverado interior tho

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                  • #10
                    Depends on your idea of a track car..

                    my 240 is dead-nuts reliable with the stock KA, but it's just not that fast.. consumables are cheap, and it's spec miata fast so I have plenty of people to play with.

                    A Z with bolt-ons will cost 2x as much for buy-in and will only net you a couple seconds on the track..

                    I also have my trailer at the house and the 240 lives in it since my garage houses the RX7. so loading up is as difficult as checking air in the trailer tires, backing up the truck, and lowering the trailer onto the hitch. voila- track ready.

                    If I stored my trailer somewhere away from the house and had to spend half a day loading/unloading after each event, that would be completely different.

                    Consumable cost for the Z would also be something to look at. The cars are heavier and more powerful, so you're going to be using more tires, gas, and brakes.

                    IMHO, I'm happy with the 240 for a track toy. it's 'fast enough' and low maintenance. and I'm damn near the only one on this side of the state that tracks an S-chassis. I know Def is in town, but we run with different groups and I've only seen another 240 on track a couple of times in the 10 years I've been doing this.

                    show up when there's a 350 on track and say "yeah, that's my black Z over there". "Uhhhh which one? there's like 6 of 'em."
                    Originally posted by SoSideways
                    I don't care what color they are as long as they are LONG AND HARD.
                    '04 G35 Sedan 6MT- The DD
                    '96 240SX- The Track Toy

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                    • #11
                      My bigest issue with the 350Z is weight and inherent consumables.

                      My next track day weapon after the 240 is going to weight 2700 lbs with me in it and have A/C and power accessories. If I am going to have a trackday vehicle than can only be trailered to the event, I would just take the next hobble and go full door-door racing.

                      Parts and consumables for my 240 is pretty cheap. Going to a car which weights 500+ may have dimishing results.

                      Other than what smentioned (power steering overheating and the gearbox/transmission needing a proper cooler), the Z makes a fairly bomb proof trackday or dual pupose vehicle.

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                      • #12
                        The 240 is pretty cheap. But with the extent it is modified, and 20 year old chassis, there is a decent amount of labor involved. My girlfriend actually asked me if there was a car I could get that I could still do my hobby in but take less time. She is getting jealous of the 240 :P
                        Chicago Region SCCA SM # 688 http://www.scca-chicago.com
                        TSSCC SM # 688 http://www.tsscc.org

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by eye-5 View Post
                          The 240 is pretty cheap. But with the extent it is modified, and 20 year old chassis, there is a decent amount of labor involved. My girlfriend actually asked me if there was a car I could get that I could still do my hobby in but take less time. She is getting jealous of the 240 :P
                          I've thought the same thing... but I honestly cause myself lots of work because I like to tinker. Sometimes I enjoy it more than going out on track with the same old setup and just running around. I enjoy testing out something new on track just as much as finding a group that's my exact speed and dicing with them for the whole day.


                          As for the 370Z - they're a nice package for speed, and a Nismo 370Z actually feels pretty nice out of the box (just needs more front camber and brake pads really), but they have a few big issues.

                          1. Fuel starvation - when you put some moderate R-comps like NT01s on them, they will fuel starve 25 mins out on track on right handers. If your buddy's doesn't do it at the track, it's because he's slow. Over 1 G = fuel starvation unless you fill up every session.

                          2. Ice mode on ABS. This is downright frightening, but you get into some part of the ABS mapping with sticky tires and braking on track and it will think you're on ice and lock your ass out of the brake pedal. Nearly flying off the track at 100 mph into T1 at COTA was a very puckering experience in my buddy's 370Z Nismo.

                          3. Not a huge deal, as most cars this vintage have it, but the e-throttle mapping sucks for track driving. It actually felt different to me based on what gear I was in, so that was really distracting. It's way overboosted in neutral, so I couldn't heel and toe worth a crap with a 40 lb flywheel and near no throttle modulation. I guess that's why they did the rev match thing...


                          350Z's seem a little bit better, but honestly, I'm not super thrilled about them. They're bigger, heavier than a 370Z, not nearly as fast in stock form (down about 40-50 rwhp on a 370), and they've got A LOT of rubber in the suspension that just doesn't make them feel that great in stock form IMO.



                          Honestly - comfortable drive to track car = BMW IMO. You can pick up a 135i the same year as a 370z for cheaper than the 370z last I looked. A few bolt-ons, some camber up front - fun car. Only negative is the diff situation...
                          '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!


                          DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!
                          http://www.nissanroadracing.com/showthread.php?t=5902

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                          • #14
                            I figured I'd add some feedback I got other places.

                            The 370s have a fuel starve issue that can be solved with a fuel pump that apparantly $1100. If you want to run in a stock Autocross class with it, that will boot you out. Def mentioned this as well.

                            The later model 350s, 2006 & up, from what I'm told are good to go stock for reliability on track days. If you can find a track model, they come with the brembos and light wheels.

                            Nismo models put you in impossible class for SCCA Solo.
                            Chicago Region SCCA SM # 688 http://www.scca-chicago.com
                            TSSCC SM # 688 http://www.tsscc.org

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                            • #15
                              06 is the rev-up VQ not the HR. I thought they had some notable oil consumption issues. I had an 08 and it was ok. The stock clutch and concentric slave feel weird when driving hard. Other than that, I'd rather get a base model (like I had) and add better brakes and an OSGiken LSD than pay for a track edition with heavy Brembos and VLSD.

                              I'm not one to build for a specific class though. A permanent vert with cage is on my list though, haha.

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