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2006 Infiniti G35


car_fan
10-31-2007, 10:26 AM
http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/06infiniti.jpg

Fresh from the dealer

http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/06infinitib.jpg

After a few, subtle mods (can you spot them?).

When I bought this car I wanted all the toys so I got her loaded: 6 speed manual, sports tune suspension, 19" forged wheels, rear steering, aero body kit, tinted windows, 3M clear bra, navigation system, Bose sound system, satellite radio, Bluetooth wireless phone interface, etc etc etc. Luckily for me, Infiniti offered many of these features as a couple of different option packages so it was easy to just say "I want it all!".


Before buying this ride I had looked at the Nissan 350Z since both that and the G35 are basically the same under the skin... or so they say. The Nissan to me just seemed like a lower quality car and seemed to be a more "in your face sports car". The G35 on the other hand felt more refined and sleeker, a little less assuming; until you drive it!
I really love the all black look of the car... tinting the windows and installing black turn signals (OEM came with silly, bright, safety orange reflectors) just makes it all the better in my book. It's quite the head turner and I've gotten lots of comments and looks when I roll up.

Modifications

Even though this car is pretty incredible in stock form, I wouldn't be a true car guy unless I made a few alterations. The following are some of the mods I've done so far...

Side Marker Lens

As mentioned already, I've installed black side reflectors. I opted not for the clear lenses since I think that look has been done to death. I really liked the way the black lenses work with the black body.
Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: NOT!
http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/sig1.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/sig2.jpg

"Black" side marker lenses



Side Markers as Turn Indicators

Since the side markers do not blink from the factory (what were you thinking, Infiniti???), I wired the markers to the front turn signals as detailed here (http://www.6mt.net/mod-g35-sidemarker.php).
Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty: Pulling all the tabs out of the wheel well panel was a pain, but otherwise this was not that difficult. The details on the link above are well done and easy to follow.

Cross Drilled Rotors

Installed cross drilled/slotted rotors on all 4 corners for more efficient brake cooling (and 'cause it looks cool, too)
Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Not very hard at all. Most of the time was just to raise each corner, remove the wheel, remove the caliper, swap rotor, reinstall caliper, reinstall wheel, go to next corner, rinse, repeat. BTW, the lug nuts on those damn wheels suck! My fingers are too big and fat to easily start the threads on those. I'd say this part was the "most difficult" aspect.
http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/rotors.jpg

Cross drilled and slotted rotors. Note the rust ring on the inside of the rotors where the brake pads don't make contact... if this sort of thing bothers you then take the brake pad/calipers into consideration as the rotors WILL rust over time.



Cold Air Intake


Found an incredible deal on eBay for an aftermarket cold air intake kit. I paid $11 (yes ELEVEN dollars!) plus $18 for shipping and I was blown away when I got it since I half expected a crappy little plastic z-tube type of thing. In actuality, I received a complete aluminum intake with air filter, adapter plate, mounting bracket, and all hardware! This changed the throttle note slightly and my fuel economy instantly went up by a full 1 MPG (according to the nav system computer).
Installation note: I had to remove the entire stock intake as well as a foam block located behind the driver's-side lower bumper grill since that's where the new air filter is positioned.
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Pretty straight forward, but somewhat difficult to remove the lower foam block. Also, had the kit come with instructions it would have made installing much easier; I spent some time "trial fitting" parts before I knew which ones went where. If you have no idea what to do, please refer to this link (http://www.6mt.net/mod-g35-350z-intake.php) for some good general information on how to get part of the intake out.

http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/intake1.jpg

http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/intake2.jpg

(A) Stock sensor body that must be re-used. You kit will likely have a mounting flange to make this easy to do.
(B) Intake pipe leading to the throttle body.
(C) Intake pipe leading up from the air cleaner.

http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/intake3.jpg

Factory intake parts removed from the engine.



Brand/Logo Debadging

This is one of those things that a person might ask "why?". There is a fair bit of discussion on this topic on other websites so I won't really comment on the "should" or "should not"s. I'll just say that I really like the much cleaner look. I think if I were to also remove the Infiniti logo then the rear end would look much too large. So, I just removed the lettering. I really liked the results. Before I did anything however, I took several digital pictures of the rear and modified them on my PC to "fake" the final look... I just wanted to make sure I would like this before I started. I just used MS Paint and tweaked the image.


This wasn't a hard project to do but you must work slowly and patiently. I just used the old trick of zapping a letter with a hair dryer for about 30 seconds and then while the adhesive is still warm "floss" off the letter using dental floss (I've also read someone using fishing line, but I have not tried this myself).
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Pretty easy to get the letters off but it takes some time to carefully remove the glue. Care must be taken to not scratch the paint... just take your time! This is not a project that you want to do if you are in a hurry.

http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/debadge.jpg

New cleaner look of the back of my G (please excuse the dirt... it needs a wash!)


Sept '07 Update: The look of the "fuji" logo all by itself was fine, but seemed too high on the trunk lid. Took a couple of months to finally get on my nerves enough to invest another 90 minutes and move the logo down. Did the same routine with the hair dryer/floss, but used some double sided emblem tape (found at Napa) to stick the logo back on. I moved it down only two or so inches, but I like it visually much better now. The only advice I would offer with this is before removing the logo, carefully and lightly apply some masking tape to create reference points of where the logo had been and where it is to be relocated to. Also used a small hand level and tape measure to make sure it was being reapplied straight and centered.

http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/debadge2.jpg

Infiniti (Mt. Fuji) logo lowered by two inches




Billet Grill


I had wondered what one of the Stillen billet grills would look like on the G. I had seen a red G35 buzzing around town with a billet grill and thought it looked pretty good. Got lots of feedback from the 2 camps: either you love the stock grill, or you love the aftermarket look. Well, as "luck" would have it, a tracker trailer unfortunately backed right into me at a light. As if by destiny the freaking grill (only) was smashed into little bitty pieces. Off to eBay I go.....


I ended up selecting a matching set of upper grill and the 2 lower grill covers. I figured the lower grills would tie the whole front end together since the single billet grill wasn't as "strong" as the factory grill. Besides, I thought the stock molded, plastic vents in the bumper of the G's look like crap. The billet bumper covers might just be the ticket. I paid only $50 for the entire set, but shipping cost another $50+ insurance, etc. Total out of pocket was $115... pretty silly for an item only costing 50 clams but the typical angle of selling cheap and over charging for shipping was very much in play with this item.

In the end, got the product, had a few minor flaws, but was ultimately impressed with the all-metal (albeit cheap) construction. Time will tell if the lower bumper grills stay in place since they are held on by tiny, non-locking nuts and bolts.
Time: 90 mins
Difficulty: Top grill was easy. Had to carefully bend the grill's mounting tabs (cracking one of the welds), but it lined up well. The bumper grills were more difficult. The inner bolts were easy to get to.... the outers were nearly impossible. Since I had already installed the cold air intake, there was a lot of room to work on the driver's side. The passenger's side however was not accessible so I just ran a black drywall screw into the foam block behind. Time will tell if this stays put.

http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/stockgrill.jpg

Stock grill

http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/billetgrill.jpg

Billet Grill!


Cat-back Exhaust

http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/artshot.jpg

Artsy, fartsy shot of the mufflers and resonators




Time for a rumble!

The stock exhaust on the G isn't bad. You get a reasonable sound, especially when you accelerate and the sound echos back off buildings. But, I wanted more; something a little louder that you didn't have to find a building to hear "what you sound like". Also didn't want something that was a rice-sounding resonator, but rather more of a deep-toned rumble.

After doing some research on the web I found lots of youtube videos of guys capturing their exhaust sounds.... HKS, Stillen, GReady, etc. They all roughly sounded the same over my computer speakers. I'm sure they have different qualities, but I wasn't getting enough of a difference to justify spending, in some cases, well over a grand. So, again off to eBay.

I ended up going with the stainless exhaust (from the catalytic converters, back [aka "cat-back"] ) from CX Racing out of El Monte, CA (www.cxracing.com (http://www.cxracing.com/) ). Their auction had a cool video of stock versus their exhaust. Sounded good to me! And after "or best offering" a measly 400 clams (with an additional $135 shipping + insurance) I feel like I got a great deal. Even at their suggested price this is a real bargain.
Received the 55lb box really quickly. Anxiously tore it open and found a lot of shiny stainless parts, including bolts and gaskets.


http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/bothexhausts.jpg

The new exhaust on the left, old on the right. Note pipes I'm calling "intermediates"; flipping the direction of their rise helped fix the drive line rubbing issue.




It all went in as advertised with only a slight hiccup due to the intermediate tubes requiring inverting. Not doing so caused the exhaust to rub on the driveline. Unfortunately I didn't know this until after the G was back on the ground and I tried to drive it but heard a speed-based "tick-tick-tick". After going back under the car for another couple hours (and a lot of struggling) I got everything in place nicely.
When I started the car for the first time I was surprised by the "excuse me.... this isn't your father's G anymore"-sound. It causes the car to have a happy vibration even at idle. Not obnoxious mind you, only more "serious" sounding. Time will tell if this will become annoying on long drives but for now this will be a blast buzzing around town and on the occasional all-out dash down the road.

Taking the car out for it's first test spin was great and the exhaust note reminded me of an old Porsche 904/906 (or what I imagine a 70's GT car) would sound like.

So far, I only have a couple of complaints: for $135 in shipping, I feel like they could have packed the items better. I got a huge box full of parts. Though individually bubble wrapped, they were all floating around loose in the box. This ended up scuffing one of the chrome exhaust tips. Would have been better if the parts were taped in place or maybe back-filled with peanuts.

Another issue is with seemingly inexpensive exhaust tips themselves. I haven't compared these with any other brands so maybe this is the norm, but these seem to yell "after thought and after market" to me. I also don't care much for the way you jam them on and hold them in place with 2 bolts each. I'd rather see these welded on, or perhaps the true ends be chrome tipped/finished.

Lastly, although everything lined up fine and installation wasn't overly complicated, instructions of any kind would have been helpful since my re-visit to correct the drive-line issue was a PITA. I don't know if flipping over a couple of extension tubes was a requirement, but it's the only way I was able to get everything clear. Maybe I have the entire thing upside down? With no instructions/diagrams I have no way to know. Furthermore flipping these over caused the tailpipes/chrome tips to be forced skyward right into the lower body plastic and the first time the exhaust was up to temperature it melted slightly into the body right where the stock exhaust cutouts are (guess the cut outs should have been larger for this exhaust)! I'm going to wait and let the pipes "settle" and meltout as much room as it needs which shouldn't be much, then I will take off the rear of the exhaust and sand/paint the cut-outs in the body to give it a finished look. Easy fix, but an unfortunate side affect.

Time: 5 or 6 hours
Difficulty: Probably one of the more time consuming projects on this car thus far. I've certainly had more difficult automotive projects to be sure but instructions would have helped. Likely one of the hardest steps was just getting the G up on all 4's. Not sure if this is ultimately a requirement, but I can't imagine removing the exhaust without full access in all different directions.

http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/monsterg.jpg

Ready to take the G on a little 4 wheelin' through a bog!


As far as tools, all you really need for the installation is a couple of 17 mm box end wrenches. Might need an impact wrench with a 14 mm for removal (depending on how rusty your pipes are) or maybe a cheater bar. I used both but with only 4k miles on the car it wasn't really necessary.

http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/exhausted.jpg

New exhaust installed (prior to "melt out")



Painted Brake Calipers

One of those alterations that is purely aesthetic. I just thought that the stock calipers/rotors/wheels were a little too metallic and shiny for my "stealth" G. I had thought of painting them red, but thought that would be a little too "ricey", so instead simply went with black.

Time: about 4 to 6 hours total (including time to remove the wheels and mask everything)
Difficulty: Not much to say really as this is an obvious project. I did this one side at a time over the course of 2 evenings. No primer was used and my calipers were very clean in the first place (older, dirty, or pitted parts likely would need primered first). I applied 3 coats of "Dupli-Color Engine Enamel Gloss Black DE1613" which has a max temp of 500 degrees so I figured this was safe. After that, I applied 2 coats of clear using the same Dupli-Color product line. Before painting, be sure and mask everything off really well including the rotor, wheel well, pads, and the little rubber boots that allow the caliper halves to float.
http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/caliper1.jpg OEM appearance



http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/caliper2.jpg
OEM appearance, wheel removed



http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/caliper3.jpg
Mask carefully all the parts you don't want painted!



http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/caliper4.jpg
All done with painting and the masking removed



http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/caliper5.jpg
What the painted caliper looks like through the wheel.... pretty subtle really



http://www.geocities.com/kevinmatlock/cars/06infiniti/pics/caliper6.jpg
Final product

adnasium
11-08-2007, 09:53 PM
That car is SIC! Great job on everything. I would love to have that car!

ByThaBay
04-23-2008, 05:52 AM
Nice mods, however, I noticed that in one of the photos where you have your G raised up, it is supported by jack stands in the wrong place.

http://sfplayers.com/forums/g35driver/jackPoints.jpg

you're supposed to lift the car at points A & B and support it at the safety stand points in the middle.

ByThaBay
04-23-2008, 05:54 AM
Maybe you should go for a plenum spacer mod next ;)

http://www.infinitihelp.com/diy/gsedan/projects/motordyne_plenum_spacer_install.htm

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