First drive in STR trim

Did a lightweight “toe-only” alignment last night with the car down at its initial ride heights. With the rear eccentrics all maxed for minimum camber and toe, the rear toe was exactly zero, perfect. I don’t have the tools to do a proper camber measurement, but it looks to be in the -2 to -2.5 degree range.

The front had moved to about 1/4″ toe out with the lowering, roughly one turn of each adjuster brought it to zero. Again didn’t measure camber but it should be around -4. Even with its double wishbone suspension, the car needs a lot of static negative to work well. At least, the Z33’s (350z’s) do…sure wouldn’t mind it if I find the car can work with less. Some of these silly camber numbers are driven by the soft-sidewall street tires used in the Street Touring category. While their rubber tread compounds are very advanced providing fantastic helpings of dry grip, life, and wet weather ability – sidewall construction hasn’t made the same strides.


Of note, the rear toe measurements indicated 74.5″ width – pretty wide. There’s room to go inboard 2″ per side, but I hate the “sunken battleship” look. By some good fortune, these wheels worked out great, their offsets are right where I’d want them, using only the adapting spacer need to make these Camaro bolt pattern wheels fit the Z. For comparison, the Viper was about 77″ and a stock C5 Z06 is about 74″.

The front measurement was 74 7/8″ – a touch wider. With equivalent camber they’d probably be equal. The car looks soo wide in the rear, but is just as big in front.


Drove the car to work today, its maiden voyage in this initial STR trim.

On cold startup it’s pretty loud at high idle, but settles down within a few seconds. Thankfully it is not loud once settled down, and around town at part throttle. Above half throttle, it really starts to get noisy though. Doesn’t sound much like the “Chewbacca” of the Z33’s from inside, not sure how it sounds outside. I’m a little worried about San Diego’s 92db limit, guess we’ll see how it goes.

With the big oil cooler, it took a long time for the oil to get up to temp. Coolant was up to its normal spot before oil temp came off the peg (@140 degrees). That’s with the thermostatic oil cooler sandwich plate.

Car rode comfy and smooth even with the big spring rates and wasn’t really any louder inside at light throttle. There’s a little bit more mechanical noise/feeling with the rear subframe and diff being locked in so well, but it’s really not bad.

The only problem – it scraped EVERYWHERE! Could not believe how low it ended up. If you’ve ever seen a hardcore autocrosser driving around the paddock with a hardcore splitter scraping over everything…that’s what this car is doing with its factory front air dam pieces. The little air deflectors in front of the front tires are 1.25″ inches above the ground. 🙂

A lot of that comes from the wheels/tires – these are over 1.5″ shorter than stock. That means .75″ less ground clearance, and .75″ extra fender gap. There are big advantages in gearing, CG, unsprung weight, but there’s an inability to go over speedbumps that comes with those advantages.


If I end up looking at other wheels/tires, I might consider something taller (like 19’s) if need be. The short gearing means the car will be revving higher and when it gets tuned it should still be good for mid 60’s in 2nd…but I don’t want to be revving it that high any more than I have to.

Signed up for a practice Saturday, will try to get it dyno tuned before then.

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