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The ongoing history of my Z32 (and what led up to it)

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  • The ongoing history of my Z32 (and what led up to it)

    I started looking for a Z in January. I always wanted one, but they were expensive, and my background is in Hondas. I have owned a few Preludes and liked them. I still do like the ludes, but being a James May-ish kind of guy, I don't fit in with the majority of the Honda people anymore. I like clean, OEM/JDM, and that scene is shifting towards cheap and tacky. My car bores them, and theirs give me a headache. Time for a change.

    I'll do this in kind of a blog-ish way. I will give you the back story of what brought me to owning the Z that I have now. Its a lot of reading, and kind of depressing, when one considers the condition of some of the cars that I went to go see.

    First Z viewing: Saturday January 24, 2015:

    I was looking online and found a Z at a dealer for a decent price. It's not exactly what I had dreamed my Z would be, but it looks like a decent platform to start with.

    1992 300ZX NA 2+2. 134000 miles.

    + Clean
    + No rust that I can see
    + Leather
    + Price isn't bad for a daily
    + Carfax says: No accidents, no damage, no theft. Shows that the camshaft seals were replaced in 04.

    - Automatic (I hate automatics) Though perhaps it hasn't been abused as badly as a manual? I would definitely swap out the slushbox for a manual if I get this one.

    - Small dings on the hood and the roof rails (on the edges of the t-tops). Looks like hail damage.

    - Carfax says it has more often than not failed emissions (sniffer test) since it was first tested in 1999. It passes the very next day though. Why would that be?

    My biggest concern is the driver side front fender isn't aligned properly. The gaps along the hood are equal, and everything else lines up, but the fender bulges outward where it meets the door. Looking at it perpendicular, the gap between the door and the fender are good as well. Looking forward though, you can see right in to the door hinges. At the top, where it meets the a-pillar, it doesn't sit quite right either. I can push on the bottom of the fender where it meets the rocker panel, and it moves, almost back to perfect alignment. It feels as though someone took the fender off for some reason, and didn't bolt it back up properly.

    Here are a couple of pics of the fender issue:

    All four corners of the hood line up.

  • #2
    January 25, 2015:

    I went to go see the car again today. I drove it around for about half an hour. A couple of highway runs, and some tooling around on surface streets.

    This was my first time ever driving a Z.

    First impression was: WOW.

    Second, was "I am going to get into trouble with this car." In the blink of an eye I was doing 30 over on the highway!

    The car felt very solid, heavy, and small. The steering was very heavy, but felt connected to the road. I prefer the tactile feel of underboosted steering, and a clutch pedal that gives lots of feed back. None of this pinky finger steering BS in other cars.

    The tires are absolute garbage, and I think the alignment is a bit off. I found that at higher speeds 70MPH+ the car felt a bit floaty and squirrely, as though it had 4 wheel steering...and had been drinking.

    Is there really no tilt steering??? I looked everywhere, but I couldn't find a lever for it.

    There is no documentation with the car. So I'm going to have to assume the 120k service wasn't done. I really hope it was, but with no proof, who knows. I know on the H22 there are noises that are a sign of timing belt issues, are there any for the Z?

    Issues that I noted:

    - ABS light is on. I don't know what the code is.

    - s*** looking brake lines.

    - Fluid leak.

    - Strange rattling/scraping engine sound. Head shields? Timing belt?

    - Radio and clock have no power. (fuse issue?)

    - Antenna mast torn off completely. (Will generic replacements fit?)

    - The red reflective part where the third brake light is, has a crack. (Hard to find a replacement?)

    - Misc light bulbs burnt out.

    - Tires are crap.

    The car comes certified and emissions tested, so it has to have new tires, and the safety items fixed.

    The dealer has it on for $4000 CDN.


    • #3
      January 26, 2015:

      I will pass on the silver one. That rust looked pretty scary to me, and, to be honest, the dealer telling me he hasn't been able to sell it for three years is also kind of spooky. Surely some n00b (like me) would have bought it before. He did have it listed for 6k though. Either way, shes been a wall flower for three years, and I find it suspicious that no one has asked her to dance in that time. I think people are having a look up her skirt and want no part of it.

      I have spotted another one, that I hope is still available (you know how kijiji people are about taking their ads down). It is a 1990, NA, 2+0. Black leather, manual, imported from Las Vegas. Mileage is listed as 140, but I don't know if that is miles or KMs. The guy wants $5398 ($4300US) for it. Says it needs two back tires, and a strut.

      Manual is definitely a plus, and leather.

      A red flag for me is that it needs rear tires. That says to me someone has been horsing around with the car. If I go see it, I will be looking hard for signs of abuse.

      I spotted another '90. White, manual, but it has that tan interior. Not a fan of that at all. If I ended up with one like that I would be changing that out for sure.


      • #4
        January 30, 2015:

        I'm beginning to think me owning one of these is a pipe dream. I have inquired about a couple more with higher asking prices, and, none of the people get back to me. They are either sold and the guys are too lazy to take the ads down, or, they are flakes, who think that they can keep prospective buyers danging on a string because they don't sell cars for a living. "Dude this isn't my full time job!"

        Even the silver one I went to go see, as much of a dog as it was, I practically had to threaten the dealer to show me the car. The first day I went, the place was open, but no one was around to show it. The second day I went down (Sunday), their website said they were open. I get there, closed. I had to drag the guy out of his bed (at 11am) to open the place up so I could see it. WTF? Do people want to make money these days? I remember years ago, if you even glanced at a car dealership, a salesman would chase you down like the borg cube just to give you a business card. These days I need Dog the bounty hunter to track down the bastards so I can force them to take my money.


        Maybe it's a sign... perhaps the world is telling me I should cash in my chips in on a hyundai accent and wait for the angels to take me in my sleep.


        • #5
          January 31, 2015:

          For Sale By: Dealer
          Year: 1993
          Trim: SPORT CAR (oh dear lord...)
          Make : Nissan
          Model: 300ZX
          Kilometers : 176000 (109361 miles)
          Body Type: Coupe (2 door)
          Transmission: Automatic (seems we only ever bought automatics, and convertibles up here)
          Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
          Fuel Type: Gasoline

          The description says it comes with new tires, certified and emissions tested. $6490CDN or $5100US.

          From the pictures the outside looks okay. The interior looks as though someone was redoing the fuzzy part of the dash and hashed it up. Or they took the pictures before the job was done.


          • #6
            January 31, 2015 (later that day...)

            I went out there today to have a look at that '93. Their site has two z's, one is the black one I went to see, and the other, for the same price is a white RHD TT. They'll never sell it. When I get there, theres three Z's! Two white and one black. The extra one was manual, stock wheels, tan leather, NA, with pretty big exhaust tips. Heres where the car buying experience gets weird again... apparently, that car is not for sale. It's sitting there between two cars that are for sale, with no plates. Is not sold, its just not for sale. Why? "Personal use." WTF. Are all car dealers like this these days? In the old days they'd sell you their tie just to make a buck. Now they fight to keep cars for their own personal use and enjoyment.

            Back over to the black one. The body was pretty good. No rust. Someone dinked up the passenger fender by jacking it up wrong. The interior was really clean. Some rough edges, but nothing that couldn't be fixed. Started right up, and idled so smooth and quiet, I had to check to see that it was still running. The engine bay was pretty clean, but I noticed two spots of rust that looked a little ominous. I'll use a picture of the other car to show where it was.

            The area outlined in yellow looked like black tree bark, or a tree covered with undercoating. I reached underneath, and pulled a piece of it right off (the jaggy yellow part).

            No sale!


            • #7
              February 16, 2015:

              status update:

              Still no Z.

              I went to look at a '90 last night. Red, manual, apparently it has "nismo" racing seats (I'm not a race seat expert so I do think know if those actually exist or not). The ad had ton's of pictures, and it seems as though the car has had a lot of work done to it. For $6700 it better have.

              The girlfriend and I go up to see it. It's 40 below outside. We get there, the car is in this makeshift hut, blocked in with a motorcycle and another car with a ton of front end damage. About 16 inches of room on the drivers side to walk around. Can't get to the front or passenger side.

              "So it runs...right?"

              "Yeah but the battery is dead so it won't start..."

              "...oh I see." I guess a weeks notice that I was coming was not sufficient to sort that out.

              I get in and notice a bunch of wires everywhere. Wires for speakers, subs, wires for the deck that wasn't really installed, more like placed into the dash. Oh, and the kicker..

              "What's this wire for? The one coming out of the glove box?"

              "That's for the lights under the car! They have 12 colours, and they can dance to the music!"

              (Heartburn begins)

              At this point I am taking stock of all the crap that I'll have to remove.

              The drivers seat was not hooked up properly so it was left side low, and the power adjustment was laying on the floor. The hazard switch popped off when I pushed it.

              I get out and close the door, that didn't work properly either. It took a couple of tries. Armed with the VIN we left and I ordered a carfax.

              2002: accident/damage
              2003: accident right rear damage $958.
              2009: accident left frontal and centre damage. $8950.00. <----!!!!!!

              No wonder it has so much work into it. New paint, transmission, exhaust etc.


              The next one I have lined up to go see is another 90, 225000kms. 2+0. Automatic (yuck) with a bum transmission. He says it slips and won't go into 4th...but it comes with a new transmission. He wants 4k for it.


              • #8
                February 20,2105:

                I inquired about another one the other day. 90, auto (bleh), cloth (bleh), and gold. The ad stated twice that it had 108000kms which is really low. They were asking $3750.

                The seller was really helpful, sent a ton of pictures, and the vin as I requested. I dropped another $70cdn On the carfax, and find that the car was reported to have 128000kms in December of 1998!!

                It had an accident on December 31, 2010, and as of September 2013 it has 304049kms!!! that's only 196000kms off what was advertised. Oops?


                • #9
                  February 22, 2015:

                  I went to go see another Z today. I was really excited about this one because it ticks most of my boxes. It was listed in December, but the guy didn't reply to me (seems like a common thing on kijiji these days). It popped up again the other day and I fired off another email.

                  "Hello I am selling an immaculate Only summer driven 300ZX.

                  I had this car for 4 years and never had any issue with it. Its time to let this beauty go as I am looking to get something more practical due to getting married.

                  - KROWN rust proofed every year
                  - new stainless steel CAT BAC exhause (Magnaflow) done last year
                  - Engine is bone stock, never been pampered with
                  - Solid engine and Transmission
                  - Mint interior and exterior 8/10 condition.
                  - simply drive off

                  Will be flexible with resaonable offers. Test drive it and give me your best offer...this car wont last long. selling AS IS.

                  email me directly...

                  thanks for looking"
                  Sounds okay, looks good in the pics. Not in love with the tan interior, but I can live with it for a while.

                  We we arrange to meet up today at 2:00PM. The car is about 20 miles from me. I only had a main intersection to navigate to. At 1:56PM I call the guy from that intersection to let him know I'm there.

                  "uhh hey me and my buddy went to walmart.. we should be back in 20 minutes."
                  Hm.. makes an appointment with someone, then goes shopping?? Now I'm really annoyed.

                  Half an hour later, I get a text, with the address. I plug it into the GPS and off I go. 90 seconds later, I get a call...

                  "hey today isnt a good day to see the car.. its covered with snow and you can't drive it... so you should come another day.."

                  COME?? I AM ALREADY HERE!!

                  I pull up to the house. The punk doesn't even have the gumption to be outside. The car is completely snowed in up to the door handles, under a tarp, with 3 feet of snow on top.

                  What boggles my mind is that HE advertised the car, HE told me to come on Sunday at 2PM to see it. Yet, he goes shopping at the arranged time, instead of preparing the car to be shown to a guy who is interested in buying it. Sometimes I think these people are lonely, and want the attention of people contacting them. No one who is serious about selling a car, and who claims wants it gone ASAP, would be so cavalier about a five thousand dollar appointment.

                  If I go back another day to see this car, his jerk around session today is going to cost him a few hundred off of what I was going to offer him today.


                  I have run into some real clowns in my time, but this crew I dealt with today takes the biscuit.

                  The guy, "Amir" (the owner of the car) that I spoke with on the phone... turns out wasn't "Amir" at all. According to the "real" Amir who emailed me later to say he was only showing me the car (as opposed to selling it to me), the person calling himself Amir was really his "brother". According to him, his brother was not allowed to sell the car (no s*** eh?) instead I was only allowed to look at the car, because the real Amir wasn't sure if he wanted to sell it, after listing it for sale "ASAP". He then agreed to sell it to his "buddy".

                  This is the first time in my life I have arranged to go see a car that was listed for sale, to be scolded by the real owner for having the audacity to bring money to buy the damn thing. And to be told that the appointment I made was just to look at its a car show.

                  I thanked them for allowing me to take part in their Marx Brothers reenactment, and told them to go f*** themselves. I received an email back, obviously written by some body else, agreeing to sell me the car


                  • #10
                    March 8, 2015:

                    I'm still in the game... well.. on the sidelines, watching the game. I'm in the stadium... lets leave it at that.

                    I found a Z that looks interesting.


                    - 1990 (apparently Canada didn't do business with Nissan after 1990)
                    - 2+2 (meh)
                    - manual (yay)
                    - black
                    - cloth interior (meh)
                    - swapped TT from a '97. (I'm gonna go out on a limb and put that in the "yay" column)
                    - 150000kms (93000 miles)
                    - $6400CDN ($5100US)

                    Ad: "300zx 4 seater , with Swap Twin Turbo newer 1997 engine with 90.000km that runs perfect , Full exhaust from turbos to the back , SKS Bov's , stage 4 clutch , light flywheel , chipped and tuned computer so it's ready to install Boost controller , 3" high flow rad , 17" light wheels ,boost gauge reading stock 10psi boost , new rear tires , needs front tires.
                    Clean title , Quebec plated and mechanical I don't think it needs anything , no leaks or smoke, it pulls very hard "


                    I was thinking about going to see it next weekend. It's about 4 hours from were I live. The only thing that sticks out at me is that stage 4 clutch. What is that going to be like to live with on a daily basis?

                    I found something a little off about the ad. I googled those BOVs and in the results came up the picture of the engine bay. Turns out it's a screen grab from a video. The video is of a black Z, but it isn't a 2+2, nor is it in Canada. I am a little put off by the use of someone else's engine bay in their ad. What else has he borrowed from other people? I'm back on the fence about this one now.

                    You can see it at 0:22 in the video:



                    • #11
                      March 15, 2015:

                      Curiosity got the best of me and I went to go see that TT yesterday.

                      The outside:

                      - Looked decent. The paint was nice.
                      - The underside was in pretty good shape. Only rust on the improper jacking points.

                      - The drivers side fender was out of alignment and as it got closer to the a-pillar there was a noticeable gap. The passenger side was even.

                      - The drivers door was causing me some concern also. The gap from the back of the fender to the front of the door was a bit wider than the passenger side, but, the joint from the back of the door to the quarter panel was almost non-existent. So something is awry with that area of the car.

                      - The trunk hatch won't stay up on its own. The lever to open it and the gas door is also ruined.

                      - The splash guards on the front are missing completely.

                      The engine:

                      - Started right up. No smoke, no smells. Idled beautifully. The picture in the ad is fake, and the bay isn't nearly as clean. BOVs are in roughly the same location, and, I couldn't even hear them.

                      - Looking around for areas of structural repair but everything looked factory.

                      The interior:

                      - Smelled like gasoline.

                      - Trunk and gas door release were just sort of hanging there.

                      - Seat adjustment knobs were snapped off.

                      - Climate control pod was missing a button and was loose.

                      - Door panels were worn pretty badly.

                      - Sun shades and steering wheel emblem were missing.

                      - Drivers door window switch panel was broken in two and taped together.

                      - Speedometer was reading 300 while parked. According to him a wire came loose and made the speedo go out. Possible? I thought cars of this vintage had cable driven speedos and odometers.

                      - Mileage is way off. Carfax shows two mileage rollbacks as soon as it entered Quebec. Apparently Quebec is notorious for doing this. It went from 200000kms to 180, to 169999kms, to 159000 when I was there yesterday.

                      Overall the interior is "tired", and shows that this car has a lot more than 150k on it.

                      I didn't drive it.


                      • #12
                        March 21, 2015:

                        MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

                        1990 2+0. NA. Manual. Red, black leather interior.

                        All documents from new. The car was brought up from Las Vegas (YES THAT CAR). Zero rust! Drives like a dream.

                        107000 miles. $5400CAN.


                        • #13
                          The first Z that piqued my interest was a red 1990, 2 seater, from Las Vegas. It was listed for sale in December, for $5398 (a weird number for a private sale). The ad said the car needed a strut and rear tires. Price was negotiable if I safety it. I messaged the seller, and waited. And waited. And waited. Not a word. Annoyed, I went to go see other Z's...

                          A while later, the ad disappeared, and I figured the d!ck had sold the car, and hadn't bothered to take down the ad. A couple of days later, the ad popped up again! I sent another e-mail. Still no reply.

                          I wondered if the ad was a scam, phishing for deposits. When I wrote the seller, I had about ten questions, all technical. I figured, this might be scaring the scammer off. I had my girlfriend Connie aka Stancie, write, essentially pretending to be a blonde bimbo; "Hey I want a lil red sports car, and yours looks like the one for me!" She got a reply!

                          A-HA! SCAM!! I said! They want a deposit right? Nope. "The car is in storage until April, contact me then if you want to see it." WTF??? Why list it for sale in December, and again in February, if you aren't showing it until April?? I did a full investigation on the e-mail address, and found everything there was to find about this person online. Everything seemed to check out. Why so flaky though?

                          Out of the blue, Stancie says to me, "I got a reply about that red Z. She says if I want to see it, I can come on the weekend." A couple minutes later, my phone beeps, and I got the same e-mail. Turns out Stancie had to work, so I jumped at the opportunity. Saturday morning, I headed over to Mississauga (about an hour from where I live), and there she was, parked in the driveway.

                          A quick glance revealed some door dings and stone chips, but no rust. The interior looked immaculate as well. I became giddy. The lady came out and fired it up. It started up right away, and idled smooth and quiet. The engine was clean, with no mods. The interior was phenomenal. I expected the seats to be hard and dried out, having spent 25 years in Nevada, but they weren't. Soft as butter, they were. The interior was clean, and stock, except for what looks like an ancient aftermarket radio. The tweed is spotless, with no wear.

                          The car had with it, a folder of receipts going back to 1990. Timing belt, AC compressor replaced, brakes, oil changes, transmission servicing, you name it. It also came with a heavy carpet dash pad, the covers for the t-tops, and, a full car cover. I'd never seen anything like it. It turns out, that the original owner of the car is a friend of the lady I bought it from. He was looking to sell it, and she jumped at it. She drove it back to Canada in May. She had some concerns over practicality (winter driving), and decided to put it in storage, and sell it.

                          I took it for a test drive, and, it drove as good as it looked. My mind was made up. This was my car.

                          We made a deal on the car, but she wouldn't take a deposit. I was worried she might flake on me. The whole way home I was on pins and needles. When I got home, I called her up and told her, I'd give her the asking price for the car "as is" as long as I could pick it up that night. She agreed, and, I waited for Stancie to finish work so she could drive me down there in her car. In the meantime, a fellow showed up to look at my Prelude. We took it for a spin, and he gave me $1200 for it. I was asking $1500 (Which is what I paid for it two years ago), so I didn't lose much on it. Most importantly, it freed up a parking spot!

                          As it happens, the car didn't need tires or a strut. Granted the rear tires are in the twilight of their legality (and usefulness), they were good enough to pass safety. Cost me nothing but the inspection price to get her on the road! :woot:


                          - 1990
                          - Nissan 300ZX
                          - NA
                          - 2+0
                          - Manual
                          - Built 12/89
                          - Aztec Red (heeding the warning to not call it 'just' red)
                          - Leather interior
                          - 107000 Miles.

                          Stock except for an aftermarket radio, and Chip Foose F115 18" rims.

                          The night I picked her up. It was a bit dirty under the light. You wouldn't guess to look, but it was about -20 degrees outside when that was taken. I froze my arse off snapping pics on my phone.

                          March 30, 2015:

                          The next day it was lamentably cold again: -13 with a windchill of -20. Did that stop me? Hell no. The bumpers were a bit faded, which was pissing me off, so I set to cleaning them up. Because I was parked on the boulevard, my buffer wouldn't reach, so I had to compound by hand.

                          Cleaning and waxing the nether regions.

                          On Friday the weather wasn't as bad, so I took it to the car wash and sprayed off the crud. No leaks! I took it home and gave her a quick once over with some compound, and a coat of wax.

                          Then it rained.

                          My plans for this car are to keep it pretty much as it is. To me the Z was a perfect car right out of the box. A testament to "less is more". Clean and classy. No body kits or wings for me.

                          What I would like to add:

                          - TT spoiler. The TT front lip with those little vents on the corners would be nice too.
                          - Climate control swap. I have the early automatic one that has no vent selection (that I can find).
                          - Short shifter with a new stock knob (maybe red stitch, maybe not)
                          - Yellow fog light capsules (if possible), or the yellowest bulbs ever created. I like the clear lenses, but not the white light.
                          - A working antenna.
                          - A new radio. Stock? Aftermarket? Double din nav? (I am a tech noob so advice is welcomed)
                          - Wheels. I'm on the fence about the Foose wheels. They're big and I'm paranoid about bumps. Tires are a b**** to get. Stock are nice, but if I can find a nice set of aftermarket (not too blingy or boy racerish) I'd change them out.

                          Job 1 is (and always will be) maintenance though. All of the frills can wait.


                          • #14
                            April 4, 2015:

                            I have on order/on the way:

                            - Short shifter
                            - Red stitch shift knob, boot, and, e-brake boot.
                            - Fog light conversion so I can run 55w yellow bulbs
                            - Yellow fog light capsules (I don't know if they will work with the Z fog lights, if not, I'll put them in my lude)

                            What I need:

                            - To go from this climate control:

                            To this one (in LHD obviously)

                            I also need one of these door vent shrouds:

                            I'll put this down to bad gas (from being stored), and probably needing a tune up:

                            I started cleaning up the interior/trunk and door jambs today. It snowed a bit while I was working, but no biggie. It has this alpine amp bolted in the little tray just behind the seats. I have no idea what it does (I have never been a car audio guy). It sounds like a standard car radio to me. It isn't loud at all. I don't mind, I'd rather listen to the car anyways. All I seem to get on the radio is commercials.

                            I'm not quite sure wat to do with it. I don't like where it is. To me it screams "HEY! YOU!! Yeah you.. punkass lowlife! Smash this guys windows and steal me!"

                            Right now I hide it with the bags for the t-tops.

                            I love the paint on this car. They didn't skimp on the areas that you wouldn't normally see.

                            I dumped a bit of seafoam into the crank case in preparation for an oil change (probably next weekend). I thought I heard some lifter tick, and I read that seafoam can un-tick ticking lifters. I'm interested to see how she does with a full seafoam treatment. I know it made all of the other cars I used it on run like scalded cats.

                            I also picked up two new tires for the rear. $420 installed.


                            • #15
                              Since the 4th, I installed the short shifter, which was a total pain in the backside. The lower dust boot is no longer. I lubed it up and tried to get it around the shifter, but it ripped. I had to buy a new one. I ordered a pop charger intake to go with it. Hey, they wanted $27 to ship a $6 part! I had to make the shipping worth it!

                              I installed my yellow fog lights, which don't look too bad in my opinion.

                              When taking the console apart for the short shifter, I found that the radio shroud is pretty much trash. The screw holes for the clock are long gone, so it kind of dangles. I'll need a new one of those. I'd love a double din set up, so I'm holding off on purchasing anything that I won't be able to use later on. The cigarette lighter is also in bad shape.

                              I made a spirited start from a stop sign, and I found out that the centre Bose speaker isn't really there. The grille popped out and fell into my lap. Concealed sunglasses cubby anyone?

                              My t-tops are starting to leak

                              I was experiencing a pretty unnerving hesitation at low RPMs. One time I thought I actually stalled the car! I searched all over and found causes for this, and tracked down all the remedies (I'm not the average "newbie"). I decided I was going to go through and clean all the connections, replace the spark plugs, fuel filter, and change out the oil, transmission, and differential fluid.

                              I picked up an OEM filter a, crush washer from Nissan, and, some Royal Purple. I wanted to use Redline MT90 for the transmission, but it seems there are onely a couple of places that carry it (or advertise that they carry it) in this wonderful country of ours. Everywhere I called was sold out.

                              Spark plugs? "They're special order... 2 weeks." I had to go to Nissan for them. $18 each.

                              Fuel filter? Nissan didn't have one.

                              Annoyed, I set to seafoaming, and then changing out the spark plugs. The technique outlined on another forum didn't work. Well, it half worked. I could only get the seafoam to be slurped on one side. It wasn't a very impressive smoke show.

                              Next was the spark plugs. Almost every connector for the coil packs is held on by good intentions. Most are missing the snap that holds them on. Taking the balance tube off, the hose in the middle spit.

                              The spark plugs:

                              1, 3, 5;

                              2, 4, 6;

                              Wrong plugs, and differing in their condition from one cylinder bank to the other. As soon as those were changed out, there was a huge difference in performance. I am hoping my fuel economy will improve a bit as well. I got 261 miles out of my last tank =/

                              Now for the oil change. This is the first oil change by me on this car. I always dread these. When I do work on a car, I'm kind to future me. Anti seize, cleaning parts, threads, etc. Anything I can do to make future work easier. This includes oil filters. Among the receipts that came with the car, were quite a few from lube shops. Great...

                              Yup, Mr. level D, part time technician at the lube shop this car was last at, torqued it on there to about 400 foot pounds, then proceeded to rivet it in place, before finishing the job off with a tig welder. Attempts to take the filter off were fruitless, and resulted in a crushed pop can effect.

                              In the mail I have a new titanium key, a master key, and a valet key on the way, as well as a new red stitched shift knob.