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View Full Version : Laguna Seca and the Pohleece *PICS ADDED!!!*



Eagle1
12-02-2005, 02:08 PM
Great day of running the G at Laguna Seca. Five sessions of perfect conditions and weather of about 25 minutes each, this Wednesday the 30th. Turning laps in the mid 1 minute and forty seconds range in the Advanced Intermediates...got passed twice all day (an Evo and a turbo charged awd Porsche). Took corvettes, carreras, M5 bimmers, a Peter Brock custom, an STI Subie, you name it. The car just ran beautifully and the Nitto NT-01 tires provided lots of grip and braking adhesion, helping haul the car down from around 125-130mph in fifth gear going down hill into the Andretti Hairpin (Turn 2), trail braking slightly to drift the rear into the second apex of that turn. Had to dodge around a 914-6 Porsche that spun out at the top of the corkscrew, again braking and going to the left at the top of that Turn 8, then cutting around him below and to the right. He was only 25 feet in front of me when he lost it, and was looking head on to my front bumper with the engine stalled and drifting backwards, eyes wide like an owl as I was making the turn in to dip outside. Soggy underwear time for him. Fortunately they got the yellow flag out quick so the next person could slow down because he was invisible to a car coming into the turn by that time. Way cool.

Had dinner with the other drivers afterwards at a little Italian place called Joe Rombi's in Pacific Grove (Joe drives so when you go to town there do give him some business--the food was excellent), and half the drivers were Porshephiles. Nobody would be willing to give up the German car, but everybody wanted to know about the Infiniti that lapped the 911 on the third session. Then hit the sack, got up at 5am and rumbled down to LA to start work. Gave the car to the lads in the tower to clean her up and give her a coat of wax (they gave me 20% off just because they were excited about the car and I shared pics with them and spent some time talking about mods, busy day of work and no hassle about showing up at 10am, and drove home.

Getting close to home the Pasadena Police pull up next to me, with both his windows down so the supercharger whine is definitely audible, and he motions to pull over. Rats. The car has no front license plate, is riding WAY TOO LOW on the race rubber, which has "not recommended for street" in raised lettering on the sidewall, and the radar detector is blinking, the 03 number decal is still on the side quarter panel...as are my two little window decals for being a platinum contributor to the local police and firefighters associations. I get the light in the eyes, a look at the car.....and a big smile and he says..."man, that is the tightest G I have ever seen and I just had to get a closer look. Sorry to slow you down on you commute. Drive safely, now."

Does a day get any better than that, my friends?!!!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v226/riffster/Other%20G35s/_G3D0146_4_rev_edited.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v226/riffster/Other%20G35s/_G3D0066_rev_edited.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v226/riffster/Other%20G35s/_G3D0041_6_rev_edited.jpg

Eagle1 asked me to add these pics as he couldn't do that right away. I hope he doesn't mind that I resized them (they were huge high-res fotos!) and did a little retouching with the Starter Edition of Adobe Photo Shop. - Riff

cardriver
12-02-2005, 02:37 PM
you should of asked him if he wanted to see you go. http://forums.freshalloy.com/images/graemlins/grin.gif

al503
12-02-2005, 02:49 PM
Hey Ed,
Sounds like you had a great time. I get the itch to get back to the track and continue to mod the coupe when I read these threads. Too bad I don't have the time/funds to enjoy both of my hobbies at the same time.

Thanks for holding up the flag for the G as competently as you do.

helldorado
12-02-2005, 04:11 PM
Ahh... I'll have to settle for still hitting that track in GT4 with the steering wheel a bit longer. It'll be a while before I get a chance to head out to the west coast for any track events. Too bad there are no pics of the guy in front of you losing it!

Eagle1
12-02-2005, 04:44 PM
Ahh... I'll have to settle for still hitting that track in GT4 with the steering wheel a bit longer. It'll be a while before I get a chance to head out to the west coast for any track events. Too bad there are no pics of the guy in front of you losing it!



Yes, I am sorry not to have the pictures as well. Normally I have a video, but I loaned the camera to my son for a high school project and they proceeded to jam up the cassette ejection and drive wheels on the Canon GL-2. Have to send it in for repairs. But replacing all of my son's front teeth has to come before that.

trebien
12-02-2005, 10:21 PM
Quick question - how do you like the Tein EDFC (and I assume Flex) suspension? How soft is the softest setting for daily street use?

Thanks.

helldorado
12-03-2005, 12:42 AM
Ahh... I'll have to settle for still hitting that track in GT4 with the steering wheel a bit longer. It'll be a while before I get a chance to head out to the west coast for any track events. Too bad there are no pics of the guy in front of you losing it!



Yes, I am sorry not to have the pictures as well. Normally I have a video, but I loaned the camera to my son for a high school project and they proceeded to jam up the cassette ejection and drive wheels on the Canon GL-2. Have to send it in for repairs. But replacing all of my son's front teeth has to come before that.



I just hope the new teeth aren't related to the broken camera! http://forums.freshalloy.com/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Gimme a couple years, with a little luck I'll get on track with the track time and I hope to eventually hit some of the west coast locations for a little fun down the line! http://forums.freshalloy.com/images/graemlins/cool.gif And I had no idea your coupe was white, I always thought it was Silver or Blue for some reason.

Eagle1
12-03-2005, 08:18 AM
Trebien:
The Tein Flex with EDFC is a nice compromise for street and track. You can certainly do better with a dedicated track springs and dampers set up, but the livability becomes quite problematic for every day driver use. Most folks donot appreciate that the surface of most well groomed raceways are as smooth as a newly top coated parking lot, and their widths are about three to five lanes of interstate highway. Tons of surface contact for grip...but also for shake rattle and roll with wide wheels and tires. Thus, even on stiff settings, the car glides around the track. One of the more noticeable features is the absence of that "undulation" or wave effect that streets and highways get from settling under the weight of massive truck traffic. At high speeds that is very noticeable. Take that stiff setting off the track and on to the street.....and after a long day of racing I certainly have forgotten to do that and popped onto the roads outside the track with a 3 front 5 rear setting, and just about lost every filling in my teeth in the first two hundred yards!
If you go to full soft (16 on the EDFC if you use the full steps, or 32 if you want smaller "half" steps) the ride is pretty close to stock, using the 12kg springs. It might be a tad stiffer, but close enough.
The real issue arises when you add to that stiffer sways, which as bang for the buck are the best mod you can make to the car imho, and then wider wheels and tires....and more importantly LIGHTER wheels. The stock rollers at 24.5 pounds are pigs. You can get a one piece forged replacement that weighs 18 pounds, and for unsprung weight reduction...that is HUGE and you will definitely feel it, especially if you mate those to a lightweight high performance compound tire like the Michelin or the Toyo (each is about three pounds lighter than the heavier offerings, like the Bridgestones. The "stones" are excellent tires, and I have a set myself...but they are really heavy). Now with those changes, even at stock softest settings for the edfc, (remember the car will be about an inch lower all around on the coilovers) the turn in response is very noticeably crisper and faster, and the adhesion to the road is startlingly tighter...the car really "sticks". But the wider tread a lighter unsprung weight will really transmit more feel to surface imperfections and noise to the cabin. Also, with wider wheels you will have lower aspect ratios on the sidewall, with stiffer reinforcement and thus less "flex" to absorb the little stuff. Concrete "ridges" on the highway that normally are only noticed as an audio thump become mini jolts. Also note that with lighter unsprung weight you will be getting some increased acceleration and braking performance, because the inertial mass of the unsprung weight that you have to speed up or slow down is so materially reduced. If you want to really let the bad dog out of the cage you put a mechanical or quaife torsen type limited slip differential in it and experience what that does when you accelerate out of a turn!

So it then becomes a matter of personal choice in the trade off between comfort and performance. Do I care....the answer clearly is yes and I choose performance. But I have several elements to the choice that have to be considered fairly....first among them the fact that this is not my only car. So if I am running low on Preparation H (j/k) I don't have to use it, I jump in the little sedan or my truck instead. The second is that I do not have a gal that is going to give me an earful about how terrible the car rides and why is it so loud and don't turn so hard and why do I spend all that time with the car instead of her. (My gal buys me race driver lessons, and I just use a different car to go places together and there is detente'.....find one of those and your car life will be in peaceful co-existence with your significant other). I was racing with a guy in a beautiful Carrera this week and he said that his wife actually came to him and said she was going to get a Porsche tatoo on her ass. He knew she did not like him running the car on the track (18 times this year so far) and was taken aback and asked why? And her response was that if having a Porsche decal on her seat was the only way she was going to get ridden that hard that often she was going to do it. The end of the conversation however was that this was his last event for the year. Given the quality of his car and his driving skill.......I can only conclude that is going to be one happy wife this holiday season.

So, I would get a ride in a couple of different after market suspension set ups, paying careful attention to what they have done, and then make your choices. And, make the mods one at a time, so you understand what both the performance and comfort changes are from each, for this and future cars. If you do a batch at once you won't really understand how each is impacting the performance, and then you cannot tweak it to move it to the ideal for your own personal preferences. And ultimately, this is what it is about...YOUR car, YOUR choice, YOUR satisfaction.

And when your gal comes and says she is thinking about an Infiniti logo on her trunk......you have proof you are doing it right.

Cheers

Ed.

Riffster
12-03-2005, 11:09 AM
LOL! Good story about 'trunk emblems'!

The other 'negative' about the Flex is that they can also become a bit noisy - especially when the weather gets cold. You can hear them knocking about a bit, particularly in tunnels and parking garages. This is normal and doesn't indicate any problems - my tuner uses Flexs' on his 300+ HP he has setup for drifting and they also will make a bit of noise - on a far lighter car (lighter driver too! http://forums.freshalloy.com/images/graemlins/tongue.gif )

Outside of that and the occasional stretch of bad road - the coupe with Flex/EDFC set to the softest (I use the half-steps so it's 32/32 front/rear) is hardly noticeable - to me at least. Other G drivers notice it immediately and other drivers in general notice how 'tight' the car is.

I would expect Eagle1's is tighter still what with the roll cage helping to stiffen the chassis another order of magnitude. When my coupe gets back from it's roll cage install it imagine it will also acquire some more stiffness. But I already have some loose rules about where I will drive - there are portions of Chicago that I avoid due to the horrid nature of the roadways, but if I have to I can drive there as well - no danger to the car, just a bit of shaking.

Eagle1 - I would be more interested in your views on how much of a difference a mechanical clutch-driven LSD like the NISMO one you have on your coupe has made? I have been considering either the NISMO and wanted to compare it to the Quaife (which is IIRC a slightly different approach to an LSD and also if and when they come with one for the G/Z!)

- Riff

trebien
12-03-2005, 01:37 PM
Eagle1 -

Thank you for the very informative post. I have experience in the performance industry, so know most of this information. But I wanted real-world opinion on the Flex setup. I'm not about bling, I'm about performance. I already have my eye on some nice 17" wheels (17 lbs.) that will fit a 14" BBK... what size tire do you run on the track? I'm still fighting with myself over a staggered setup or not... 05 sedan. Not FI now... but you never know... I might need that traction later on. Rest assured, as we speak there is a set of Stillen sways on a UPS truck with my name on them...

Like many, I want something I can live with and have fun with on a day to day basis, but at the same time, not feel "underequipped" at the track. Sure, there will always be compromises, but an adjustable suspension can go a long way to filling both needs. The new Tanabe setup looks nice, with an even wider range of adjustments than the Flex. Been keeping my eye on that one. It's only fitted for the coupe officially, but I wonder if it would fit the sedan. I'm not aware of suspension differences between the 2 vehicles that would cause problems.

I'm at that point now trying to think long term. (D'oh). The G35 ain't cheap to modify - we all know that. A dedicated track car might be a better option; been kind of thinking about an older 240sx project to play around with, instead.

But having an FI G35 as a daily driver would sure be nice.

http://forums.freshalloy.com/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Riffster
12-03-2005, 04:22 PM
Answered my own question - Quaife now has a differential for the coupe. But they say 'additional parts may be required' - I wonder what that means?

I did not know Tanabe had a coilover kit either - looked at it now and it looks nice, especially with the TEAS controller. But it's more expensive than the Tein - it runs about 2600 (list) for the kit and another 600 for the controller (again list.) But it does something the Flex with EDFC does not do - there is 'Active Mode' where the damping rates are constantly adjusted (I hope I am correctly noting this so I won't get spanked by someone! http://forums.freshalloy.com/images/graemlins/smirk.gif ) according to speed. Very cool!

- Riff

helldorado
12-03-2005, 09:50 PM
Answered my own question - Quaife now has a differential for the coupe. But they say 'additional parts may be required' - I wonder what that means?

I did not know Tanabe had a coilover kit either - looked at it now and it looks nice, especially with the TEAS controller. But it's more expensive than the Tein - it runs about 2600 (list) for the kit and another 600 for the controller (again list.) But it does something the Flex with EDFC does not do - there is 'Active Mode' where the damping rates are constantly adjusted (I hope I am correctly noting this so I won't get spanked by someone! http://forums.freshalloy.com/images/graemlins/smirk.gif ) according to speed. Very cool!

- Riff



The Quaife works on the G and Z, but its only a drop in if you have the open differential. If you have the VLSD, it requires new axle stubs. This actually works well in my quest for a new final drive. If I get a base model 350z open diff rear end geared for a 6MT, both the Quaife and 3.9 final drive gear ratio are complete drop-ins for the rear transmission assembly. http://forums.freshalloy.com/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

The Tanabe is intriguing, that might steal my FLEX dollars!

Eagle1
12-04-2005, 11:48 PM
Eagle1 -

Thank you for the very informative post. I have experience in the performance industry, so know most of this information. But I wanted real-world opinion on the Flex setup. I'm not about bling, I'm about performance. I already have my eye on some nice 17" wheels (17 lbs.) that will fit a 14" BBK... what size tire do you run on the track? I'm still fighting with myself over a staggered setup or not... 05 sedan. Not FI now... but you never know... I might need that traction later on. Rest assured, as we speak there is a set of Stillen sways on a UPS truck with my name on them...

Like many, I want something I can live with and have fun with on a day to day basis, but at the same time, not feel "underequipped" at the track. Sure, there will always be compromises, but an adjustable suspension can go a long way to filling both needs. The new Tanabe setup looks nice, with an even wider range of adjustments than the Flex. Been keeping my eye on that one. It's only fitted for the coupe officially, but I wonder if it would fit the sedan. I'm not aware of suspension differences between the 2 vehicles that would cause problems.

I'm at that point now trying to think long term. (D'oh). The G35 ain't cheap to modify - we all know that. A dedicated track car might be a better option; been kind of thinking about an older 240sx project to play around with, instead.

But having an FI G35 as a daily driver would sure be nice.

http://forums.freshalloy.com/images/graemlins/wink.gif



Trebien:
I am running 18" wheels. Two different sets depending on the situation. The primary set is Nismo wheels with 245/40 in the front and 275/35 in the rear, using Nitto NT-01 tires (VERY grippy in the dry but a complete "no-no" in the wet). The secondary set is 275/35 all around, with 3mm spacers on the front wheels to keep them from rubbing on the UCA, using Toyo RA-1 tires.

The nismo lsd works just fine. But without question the quaife would be superior, and I think that if the Tanabe works as advertised, that would also be a step up from the Tein Flex Coils with EDFC. Neither of them were available when I did the suspension changes (and I did use Stillen sways) back in October-November of 2003. But sometimes one has to step up and keep modding. I used the Nismo clutch and flywheel, and immediately came to the conclusion that is how the car should have come "stock". Since then the performance driving that I want to do pushed me to take out the Nismo and put in the carbon Exedy clutch and flywheel. Now that is not for comfy everyday driving in stop and go traffic in LA, but it is sweet on the track and performance driving. It is a change I would make all over again in a heartbeat.