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370z

  • THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

    Today is the day that we received our very own Snap-on tool box. But for the first time ever this really is our very own Snap-on tool box.

    Continue reading

  • VIDEO: SHANE LYNCH TALKS BDC1

    The team at British Drift Championship caught up with Team Japspeed driver and Boyzone member Shane Lynch to talk BDC Round 1 and the realisation of the supercharged V8 370z. You won't want to miss this one!
  • All The Way To The Top - 370z Story

    If you were able to make it down to Lydden Hill last weekend or tune in on the livestream you will likely already know that Team Japspeed driver Shane Lynch supercharged his way to 2nd place on the podium in the brand new Japspeed Nissan V8 370z! A car 18 months in the making and a journey which all started late 2014 culminating in the performance we saw at 8th-9th April at Lydden Hill. Here we look back at the build from the very beginning.

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    In the competitive drift scene it is all too easy to fall into the trap of constantly playing catch up. Our trio of S15s and Subaru have been hugely successful in competition over the past 10 years however in 2015 we felt the time had come to build a new flagship car ahead of the coming season.

    Fast forward and it wasn’t long before we had our base for the new car back at HQ – an extremely low mileage Z34 Nissan 370Z!

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    Unlike today drift cars weren't always stripped out track weapons but road cars modified for the track. As such we decided that retaining a sizeable portion of the original interior would be a neat little detail in an otherwise stripped-out car.

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    Following a thorough tear down and test fit of the forged VH45 V8 engine (which would later be supercharged rather than twin turbo as it was in the S15) along with the Quaife QBE69G sequential box it would be mated with.

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    With the V8 powerplant set to sit snugly within the available space it was time for the 370z to be thermally cleaned, rinsed, derusted, coated and baked to remove moisture before it was time for a pivotal part of any drift build – the rollcage, which would be taken care of by Shaun Woods at SW Motorsports.

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    We spent a great deal of time focusing on the small details with this build and key to this is the amount of time spent on ensuring the shell was up to the job. With the car returns from SW Motorsports; rollcage in place as well as engine, gearbox, rear subframe and radiator all test fitted we set about seam welding the body to further strengthen the shell and ensure optimum rigidity.

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    As with a number of elements on this build certain elements required a great deal more design and planning than you may otherwise anticipate….not to mention a whole host of specially fabricated custom parts. This is especially evident in the suspension setup of the car. Enter Robbie and Steven from the highly acclaimed Track Day Performance of Ireland who (using a highly complex 3D modelling arm) measured the space within the 370z’s wheel well to try and determine how much room there was to work with our chosen wheel and tyre size. These measurements would be used to specially develop a complete front steering package, similar to the highly competitive kits that they have produced for other Nissans in the past.

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    Meanwhile, having had the car electrostatically primered ready for painting it was time to decide on that all-important colour choice. We went with a nice silver for the interior and the underside - nothing too bright and in-your-face but not too dark so as to hide some of the finer qualities of the fabrication.

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    The build began almost as soon as the 2014 drift season came to a close and we’d been working tirelessly to build this car solidly from the ground up however it was always intended that the 370z would be unveiled at the Autosport International Show 2015. That deadline was fast approaching – With work on the shell complete and with the due date only a few weeks away we had to get to work on making the car look presentable.

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    One of the key features of this build is the modifications to the subframe. Most notably that the rear diff bushes don’t feature an upper collar – this allows up to raise the subframe a whole 15mm and press it right up against the underside of the car. Great for ensuring everything stays in check when we slam the car and Shane hits the power on track!

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    With function very much taking priority over form on this car as we start to prepare the look of the car it became important to spend time on the finer details – such as the front slam panel which is water cut from a single piece of 10mm thick aluminium!

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    Similarly Robbie and Steven have done an incredible job on the front suspension package they created for this car. Replacing both the front upper and lower arms along with the uprights and steering arms the suspension kit is a work of engineering art. CNC machined from billet aluminium the execution is flawless and the build quality second-to-none.

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    In standard form the 370z is a reasonably heavy car, which is why we’ve paid attention to reduce the overall weight as much as possible during this build. One such opportunity was the windows which allowed us to easily remove some excess weight by replacing them with polycarbonate items from Plastics4Performance.

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    With weight loss on our minds we turned our attention to the body panels and specifically the bonnet and bootlid which were soon replaced with carbon fibre equivalents – thanks to the team at Seibon Carbon.

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    With aftermarket parts thin on the ground here in the UK and with strict criteria for the spec of this car we found it difficult to source coilovers which would be suitable for our needs. Enter AST Suspension – a specialist performance suspension company based in the Netherlands. With all of their products designed and manufactured in-house, they were the perfect guys to go to with our specific requirements.

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    Featuring three-way adjustment (single speed compression control and high and low speed rebound control) and external reservoirs they offer a lot more adjustment than the majority of coilovers used in the drift scene, features that will no doubt prove invaluable when dialling in the car to suit the tricky track conditions we see all so often in the UK.

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    With the suspension and bodywork starting to take shape it was time to address another key area: the wiring loom. We could have all the fancy parts in the world but they wouldn't mean a thing if the electronics controlling them won't talk to each other and, due to some of the complex features we wanted to include (along with the MoTeC M130 ECU) we employed the services of the guys at HCI Systems.

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    HCI contacted us early on during the build process and came to visit our workshop to assess our needs for the car. They suggested the use of their HCI Powerbox, a unique piece of kit that sees use in many performance cars (including all production Pagani Zondas along with an array of race teams running Ferraris, Porsches and Audis) that does away with the need for any fuses or relays in the car. This has been located below the false floor where the rear seat bench once sat.

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    With the car assembled it was time for paint we'd chosen a subtle and classy shade of gun metal grey with which to form the backdrop for the vinyl that will soon adorn the car.

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    With the need for the fuel tank to sit in the rear seat bench we contacted AH Fabrications to make us up a bespoke item to suit the car. We've used AH in the past for the fuel tank that we installed in the V8 S15 during last year's rebuild and, having been mightily impressed with their work last time round, it was a no-brainer to get in touch with them once again. The downside of locating the tank where we had chosen was that it'd be incredibly difficult to top up in a hurry at an event.

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    Enter an ATL Fast Fuel Coupling - a fitting that would allow us to fuel up the 370 from the outside without having to clamber inside to reach the tank.

    At this stage the Autosport deadline was looming heavily over us and while we were disappointed to learn that we wouldn't have the time to have the car running under its own steam in time for the event, we were determined to have it looking its best and make that all important first impression.

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    With the fully forged VH45 that is destined for the 370Z still located at TDP's headquarters as it endures a massive overhaul, for display purposes we fitted one of our older VH45s in order to test-fit the new components and so visitors at Autosport could get a glimpse of how the finished product was going to look.

    With the car now in one piece and looking presentable, it was time to roll it around the workshop and take some quality pictures before treating it to an array of sponsor stickers.

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    With the shoot complete we set about applying the necessary sponsor vinyls for Autosport, all of which were supplied by our friends at Voodoo Vinyls.

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    While the car was to be treated to a much more extensive wrap and livery before it saw competition use, with the limited time we had we were left with little choice but to leave the car looking relatively saner for the show.

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    With the stickers applied there was nothing left to do other than load up the car the following morning and head of to the Birmingham NEC where it would be officially unveiled by Shane Lynch on the Maxxis Tyres stand the following day.

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    If you were at Autosport International we hope you enjoyed checking the car out - judging by the overwhelming response a lot of you were very impressed!

    Although the car was now technically complete we didn’t feel it right to rush things forward in order to be able to get the car out competing at the British Drift Championship and throughout 2015 our engineering team at HQ spent many a long day fine tuning and adjusting small details.

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    Perhaps the most instantly noticeable change took place on the exterior ahead of unveiling the finished build on the world stage amongst some of the biggest names in the drifting community. That could only mean one thing – our supercharged VH45 V8 370Z was going to Gatebil 2015!

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    Its fair to say the 370z was attracting plenty of attention throughout 2015 despite not being in competition just yet. Our friends at Banzai Magazine paid a visit to HQ to check out the car up close and feature the car in the magazine.

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    Although the car didn’t make an appearance in BDC until 2016 Shane was keen to return to an event he’d always been fond of – Gymkhana Grid! Making the journey down to Santa Pod Raceway the 370z would compete alongside an impressive grid of highly skilled drivers (with a fair few famous faces amongst them) including the Hoonigan MK2 Escort.

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    With the car still very much under development and adjustments being made to the setup constantly, the 370z still travelled up and down the UK primarily as show car throughout 2015. Such events included the famous CarFest North event hosted by BBC’s Chris Evans to the slightly more modest Ultimate Stance show towards the end of the year.

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    Returning to the Autosport International Show 2016 – 12 months after its original unveiling the Team Japspeed 370z wowed crowds once again on the Maxxis Tyres stand before taking to the track only a few months later.

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  • ALL SET FOR STANCE

    The 2015 drift season may be over but that doesn’t mean we should be retiring our cars into the garage and hiding them under covers for the winter just yet…just last week saw the Japspeed supercharged V8 370z finally break cover on UK soil and compete in the Gymkhana Grid finals and we’re not done yet!

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    The indoor event for the ultimate slammed and stanced vehicles from the UK & beyond takes place on the 1st November at the Telford International Centre. Widely regarded as the premium indoor event for all slammed & stanced vehicles across the UK and the continent, we are proud to announce the Team Japspeed V8 370z will be there for the static show.

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    Not only will there be over 250 of the best stanced show cars available for you to admire indoors but there will also be over 200 awesome stanced creations on display outside! Alongside this there'll be a whole host of demonstrations and displays including everything from RC drifting to BMX freestyle and Detailing…as well as a host of Ultimate Stance merchandise to get your hands on.

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    With all the action accompanied by a live DJ set we can’t think of a better way to spend your Sunday.

    Celebrating all things stance and featuring the wheelwhores showcase and swap meet this is one event you won't want to miss!

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    Advanced ticket sales have closed but are still available on the gate. For more information check out www.ultimate-stance.co.uk

  • LOCKED & LOADED AT GYMKHANA

    As the drifting season for 2015 begins to draw to a close we were incredibly excited to be invited to take part in the 2015 Gymkhana Grid finals
  • SPIN UP NORTH - CARFEST 2015

    Every year self-confessed car fanatic Chris Evans raises hundreds of thousands of pounds for BBC Children in Need putting on a spectacular celebration of everything automotive with the annual Carfest events. In previous years the Carfest North and Carfest South events have raised over £750,000 for the charity. Building on successful demos in previous years, we were delighted to be invited back for 2015 to put on a smoke show for the 40,000 people descending on Oulton Park for the 3 day Carfest North event.

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    The events give attendees the chance to get up close and personal with hundreds of classic and exotic cars, along with Chris' very own extensive collection of rare pieces of automotive history.

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    Of course, it wouldn't be a car show without some decent on track action, and Team Japspeed drivers Shane Lynch and Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith alongside guest driver and Monster Energy athlete Luke Woodham were only too happy to oblige when it came to putting on a brace of thrilling drift demonstrations on the Oulton Park circuit.

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    The crowds lapped up the smoke and noise from the 1JZ powered S15 and 600bhp IS200, the drift action being a welcome addition to the day's proceedings that included a display from the legendary Paul Swift stunt team.

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    Due to Boyzone commitments Shane was unable to attend the event on the Friday and Saturday however the V8 370z still attracted a number of admiring looks from the gathered crowd. With Shane’s arrival on the final day of the event, this presented a great opportunity to finally give the supercharged beast a shakedown on track!

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    When we weren’t out on track there was plenty of opportunity to check out the other displays and demos going on at the event.

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    There was no shortage of exotic cars including 1 of 2 La Ferraris alongside other iconic models including the legendary F50!

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    With a lot of interest shown in the drift cars from other disciplines of motorsport, we had the opportunity to take a seat in some impressive machines including this Honda Yuasa Racing British Touring Car.

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    With 3 Crazy Carts in the paddock, we couldn’t help but put on a little show the passing crowds. We even managed to get 2014 European Le Mans Series Champion Oliver Webb to join us.

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    We'd like to thank Chris Evans and the whole of the CarFest organising team for inviting us to take part in such a fun and chilled out event - it made a change to be drifting without any of the pressures that come with competition. We can't wait to come back next year and smoke up some Maxxis Tyres again!

    Finally we’d also like to offer our condolences to the friends and family Kevin Whyman following the tragic events on the Saturday.

    That’s all set to change this weekend as we head to Lydden Hill for King of Europe Pro Series Round 4 on 8th-9th August. Click here for more information on this weekend’s event.

  • JAPSPEED V8 370Z IN BANZAI!

    Following the digital download release earlier this week it is with great excitement we can tell you that the August issue of Banzai magazine is in stores NOW!

    Packed full of the usual top quality JDM features and show reports we're particularly excited to see a comprehensive and frankly awesome feature on our very own supercharged V8 Nissan 370z drift car.

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    Make sure you grab your copy today for the full lowdown on this ballistic drift weapon!
    Printed copies are available from most newagents and supermarkets while the digital copy can be purchased directly from Banzai here.

  • Japspeed VH45 Nissan 370Z: Part 7!

    Following part 6 of our V8 370Z build which saw final preparations ahead of the 2015 Autosport International Show part 7 will bring this build right up to date including coilovers, interior, rear window ducting system and air jacks!

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    With suspension performance becoming ever more important within drifting as the sport moves forward it is paramount we select what we considered to be the best suspension setup on the market. With this in mind choosing AST-Suspension became the obvious choice with their 3-way adjustable external reservoir Nissan 370z coilover kit.

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    These coilovers have been entirely custom designed to suit the unique setup within the 370z. This includes custom length of damper, diameter of shocker, spring rates, valving rates, adjustability and reservoir location.

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    Running a four car team in the BDC means that the seemingly long, five minute rule for wheel changes has to be distributed between all of the cars. With this in mind we decided to decrease the pitting time of the 370z as much as possible. Lifting the stock filler cap on this car reveals the air jack operation valve. This allows us to raise the rear end of the car in seconds for significantly faster wheel changes and a more streamlined operation within the pits.

    Next up – the all-important interior details with Corbeau Pro Series Race Seats a top priority! Accompanied by a set of awesome 6 point camo Luke harnesses our seats provide the ideal environment for any racing driver – giving the perfect mix between safety, control and comfort.

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    A feature of this build that sets it aside from the competition in the world of drifting is the electronics within the cabin. Most notably of which is perhaps the Motec C127 datalogging dash. Designed to log several hundred parameters from the Motec M1 ECU this combination allows our engineers to not only diagnose any potential faults quickly but help work with the driver to go ever faster!

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    Replacing every fuse and relay within the car is our HP Electronik Power Distribution Module so as to increase the reliability of the electronics tenfold. Where a fuse would pop and shut down the electrical system, the Powerbox maintains the electrical feed which keeps the system running and flag an error for the engineers to diagnose upon the car’s return to the pit. Similar systems can be found in high performance cars such as the Pagani Zonda as well as a range of Le Mans competition vehicles.

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    Working in conjunction with the powerbox unit is the HP Electronik Membrane Switch Panel. This adds an almost factory look to the interior of our car, giving a sleek and sophisticated race feel as opposed to the more conventional flick switches.

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    Injecting some technology into the instrument cluster is the JT Innovations Toucan Touch Screen Display which maps every sensor within the ECU and displays a live feed of each as a visual graph. This allows our engineers to monitor the performance of the car in minute detail. Such monitoring enables us to pinpoint and tweak small details in combination to provide significant gains run after run.

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    Tying this all together is the wiring loom designed and manufactured from Raychem wiring and supplied by our friends over at HCI Systems. As any auto electrician can tell you this is no small feat considering the intricate custom detailing and technical challenges presented by such a unique car.

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    Throughout the majority of this build, including our latest video you will only have seen our prototype handbrake installed. Due to the limitations in space on the centre console combined with a designed to keep the factory look as much as possible the handbrake is floor mounted in the driver’s footwell.  The angle at which the handbrake is mounted and operated at is designed to be ergonomic with the driver.

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    Finishing off the interior it is important to note that the design of the handbrake is a key feature in that with the near OEM look of the interior the handbrake brings the statement making feel of the exterior to the interior of the car!

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    Moving to the exterior of the car this build features a unique rear window ducting system designed to aid cooling of the rear-mounted radiator. The difficult aspect of this window was keeping the smooth, sleek look of the exterior which prevented the use of more conventional large scoops and ducting. We overcame this by designing a folded rear window oversized ducting system.

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    By folding the top section of the rear window, creates a smoother airflow across the car; packing more air at any given speed through the radiator. Within drifting the car is rarely straight with the airflow directed conventionally over the car from front to rear. To combat this we have oversized the lower half of the rear window so when bolted into place this forms a sleek scoop at the base of the window.

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    Stay tuned for the next instalment of our 370z build as we delve deeper under the bonnet and make the final push to get the car ready for smoking up some Maxxis MA-Z1 tyres!

  • Japspeed VH45 Nissan 370Z: Part 6!

    Part 6 of our 370Z build thread sees us making the final push to get the car ready for Autosport. While we were disappointed to learn that we wouldn't have the time to have the car running under its own steam in time for the event, we were determined to have it looking its best and make that all important first impression.

    First things first was to get the boot and bonnet pins in place - the last thing we'd want is for either of the carbon fibre Seibon items to fly off at high speed. We used Quick Latches at either end - these are different to the more traditional Aerocatches in that they use a push-button release in order to operate them. They are also a lot smaller and more discreet.

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    Moving onto the more critical aspects of the build and our Kenny Bell supercharger had arrived back from the guys at TDP, complete with its new adapter plate and inlet manifolds.

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    The supercharger in question was originally specced for a Ford F150 truck, with a peak power output of around 950bhp. While that might be a tad more than what we're hoping for right now, there's no harm in future-proofing what is a critical part of the engine setup.

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    With the fully forged VH45 that is destined for the 370Z still located at the aforementioned TDP's headquarters as it endures a massive overhaul, for display purposes we fitted one of our older VH45s in order to test-fit the new components and so visitors at Autosport could get a glimpse of how the finished product was going to look.

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    We also rigged up some test pipework to mock up how the boost piping will eventually sit. As you might have noticed, no throttle bodies were fitted at this stage (these will be custom made and fitted by the guys at TDP when the time comes) and the silicone joiners were ones that we had lying around the workshop, fitted purely so we could take some measurements and set our friends at Samco onto the case of making up a full hose kit for the car.

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    We also procured another piece of the puzzle that was required to complete our air jack setup. This valve and fitting were supplied to us by our friends at SPD and will allow us to feed compressed air to the air jack pump from outside the car, clipping it onto the valve and letting the pump do the rest of the work.

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    With the car now in one piece and looking presentable, it was time to roll it around the workshop and take some quality pictures before treating it to an array of sponsor stickers.

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    In this state we don't think the 370Z looks too far removed from a modified street car at all. In fact, we'd absolutely love to fire it up looking like this and pop to the shops in it.

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    However, it is a purpose-built competition drift car at the end of the day, so sponsor stickers and in-your-face graphics will always remain.

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    That's not to say that we won't be registering it and using it on the road at some point though...

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    With the 'shoot complete we set about applying the necessary sponsor vinyls for Autosport, all of which were supplied by our friends at Voodoo Vinyls.

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    While the car will be treated to a much more extensive wrap and livery before it sees competition use, with the limited time we had we were left with little choice but to leave the car looking relatively more sane for the show.

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    With the stickers applied there was nothing left to do other than load up the car the following morning and head of to the Birmingham NEC where it would be officially unveiled by Shane Lynch on the Maxxis Tyres stand the following day.

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    If you were at Autosport International we hope you enjoyed checking the car out - judging by the overwhelming response a lot of you were very impressed!

    We can't wait to fire her up for the first time and set about destroying some Maxxis rubber but, before we can do any of that, the car will need mapping by our friends at TDP. Stay tuned for the next instalment.

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  • Japspeed VH45 Nissan 370Z: Part 4!

    With the Autosport International show deadline looming ever closer we had to pull out all the stops to get the car to a presentable state prior to it being unveiled on the Maxxis Tyres stand!

    One of the first areas to address was the door cards, or rather the lack of them. With the NASCAR style door bars almost resting on the outer door skin when closed, the available space was minimal.

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    After a few measurements and a bit of experimenting we came up with a pair of one-piece door cards that both looked the part and left adequate space for the door bars.

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    While the car was in the bare state that it was in we also made a start on laying the new copper brake lines to and from the master cylinder.

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    There's no shying away from the fact that, in standard form, the 370Z is a heavy car. As a result, we've done our best to trim off as much excess fat as possible during the build process. The windows were another area where we could easily remove some weight by replacing them with polycarbonate items which were supplied by our friends at Plastics4Performance.

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    Continuing the weight saving theme was this beautiful carbon fibre bonnet and bootlid combination from our friends at Seibon. The fit and finish were both impeccable and we knew the natural carbon look would sit great against our chosen colour for the 370.

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    The bootlid was then also fitted with a polycarbonate rear windscreen to continue that weight saving theme, although in this case the screen is split to direct cooling onto the rear mounted radiator.

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    A critically important area of the build that we were yet to cover was what coilovers we were going to run. As we have previously stated, 370Z's aren't the most highly supported cars by the aftermarket and finding coilovers that met our strict criteria was proving to be extremely difficult.

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    Enter AST: a specialist performance suspension company based in the Netherlands. With all of their products designed and manufactured in-house, they were the perfect guys to go to with our specific requirements.

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    Featuring three-way adjustment (single speed compression control and high and low speed rebound control) and external reservoirs they offer a lot more adjustment than the majority of coilovers used in the drift scene, features that will no doubt prove invaluable when dialling in the car to suit the tricky track conditions we see all so often in the UK.

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    With the suspension and bodywork starting to take shape it was time to address another key area: the wiring loom. We could have all the fancy parts in the world but they wouldn't mean a thing if the electronics controlling them won't talk to each other and, due to some of the complex features we wanted to include (along with the Syvecs ECU) we employed the services of the guys at HCI Systems.

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    HCI contacted us early on during the build process and came to visit our workshop to assess our needs for the car. They suggested the use of their HCI Powerbox, a unique piece of kit that sees use in many performance cars (including all production Pagani Zondas along with an array of race teams running Ferraris, Porsches and Audis) that does away with the need for any fuses or relays in the car. This has been located below the false floor where the rear seat bench once sat.

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    Another piece of technology we wanted to include on the car was HCI's membrane panel, a one piece solution that replaces clumsy and complicated switch panels. This links directly to the Powerbox, greatly reducing the amount of wiring required.

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    After a few weeks of drawing up wiring diagrams and figuring out how best to tie in the loom with the Toucan touchscreen display and OEM clocks, HCI were back to install their handiwork into the 370.

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    With the loom installed and the bodywork prepped it was time to load up the car and take it for paint. Stay tuned for the next installment!

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