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350z Dealer StickerSo the time has come, I am currently car shopping again. I’ve been threatening it for a while now, but with the 2015 Solo National Championships going on this week, and a few other life things figured out, it is time to make the 2016 autocross season happen!

So a few details. I’m once again looking at early 350z’s, this time around I’m not looking for a daily driver, this next car will be built specifically for autocross and a fun weekend toy, with some daily driving here and there (thankful I have a short commute). I am looking for the perfect car, how do you define that? Well, in an ideal world the perfect 350z for me would be


The time is nearing for when the 350z must be sold, so if you are interested hit me up 2004 350z Enthusiast, <75k miles, currently sits stock other than a K&N CAI and a Plenum spacer, and a grounding kit (installed by previous owner).

Also has a receiver mounted to the rear bumper that I use for a bike rack.

The car is well maintained, looks great with lower than usual wear and tear of an 8 year old car.

I also have the suspension still in boxes, see previous posts for more details, but TrueChoice Koni DAs up front and SA Koni Sports in the rear with springs/perches for the rear. This will be sold separate from the car, unless the buyer wants it for additional $$.

Car is located in Half Moon Bay, CA, and available for purchase at $9,000, if you want the suspension throw in another grand and you can have it all.

Alright the time has come to part with the parts. I took some time this evening to take photographs of what I have and what I am trying to sell. Right now I am trying to sell everything locally so prices don’t include any shipping. If I don’t have any interest locally I’m willing to ship the coilovers/springs/shocks but only as a package.

I was looking around at Flickr today and happened to check out my "photo stats". The most viewed photo for the day (having just started according to the Flickr servers) was this photo

350z with the white stripe

I kind of liked the white stripe on my old 350z. I’m still thinking I will wrap this one, but the stripe got me reminiscing.

What do you think of the stripe? Yay or nay? Add a comment below and let me know!

You can find a number of photos of the car during the striping process at 350z White Stripe

So the time finally came, or I finally got around to it, the hitch is now on our 2004 Nissan 350z.

The hitch is a Curt Hitch for the 350z, available via Amazon. I purchased it quite a while ago, but haven’t taken the time to get the car apart and install it. Today that all changed.

To get the hitch on the car, you first have to remove the rear bumper fascia from the car, that’s fairly simple to do, remove the rear tail lights, remove 6 or so screws, 4 clips, and pull. The 350z Service Manual is helpful for this.

I’ve been doing some work on SOLO2.ORG the past two evenings, working on restoring a bunch of my old blog posts from over there from the early days of the site. There was a lot of content that went missing over the various conversions of the site the past 4-5 years. I managed to bring a number of the posts back, and found a lot of old posts about my original 2003 350z (the current one I have is a 2004), at which point in time I just called it Project Z (rather than Project350z).

So I finally had it with listening to my Motorola Droid (Google Music and Pandora) for my commute. Why don’t I have a stereo? Well back in February I ripped it all out. Not exactly the best choice, but hey, I was in the hear of the moment thinking I was prepping the car for a fully competitive 2011 season. That has changed, (more on that later).

This evening, after work and taking Pylon to the vet (he’s got a ulcer or something in his eye) I took 40 minutes to put the new hitch on the Mazda CX-7. I ordered a Curt trailer hitch for our 2010 Mazda CX-7 from Amazon on Thursday, it arrived today.

Why would we need a trailer hitch on the Mazda? Bicycles of course! A couple of weeks ago we got Natalie a new bike, a hybrid, a Cannondale Quick CX-3. I wanted to get one as well, but we decided to hold off a bit as we planned for the move. Well, my wonderful Auntie Carol sent me a graduation gift! Which I am going to use to buy myself a bike!

The problem we have is that the Mazda isn’t big enough to put a bike, at least comfortably inside, much less two of them. Of course we could get a roof rack for the CX-7, but I really didn’t want to stick a rack on top, for the aesthetics and the noise. I also want to be able to take a bike or two behind the 350z, and I sure as hell couldn’t (wouldn’t) put a roof rack on it! So a trailer hitch attachment is our best option.

I’ve got a trailer hitch for the 350z (though it is not installed yet), so it was just a matter of getting the hitch for the Mazda. The installation was super easy, basically the process was to. 1) Remove the 4 rubber hangers for the exhaust to let it move out of the way (resting it up a jack stand as to not put too much pressure up stream. 2) File a frame hole on each side of the car to be side enough for the bolts and spacers to fit into the frame. 3) Fish the bolts and spacers in. 4) Tighten the nuts (75 ft/lbs) 5) Reattach the exhaust.

Pretty simple, I didn’t clock myself, but I can’t imaging it took more than 40 minutes. to get on.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to go get the bike and a trailer hitch bike rack. I’ll post more when that happens.

I have thought for a while now that I should do some SiteMap integration for a couple of modules, but I honestly never got around to getting it done.

Something triggered my need yesterday, and I got rolling with things rather quickly. Chris Paterra has a great post on how to implement a sitemap for your modules, I ended up implementing one for the DNNSimpleArticle module which powers the homepage of Solo2.org and SCCAForums.com. I also implemented it for the module that powers ChrisHammond.com, Project350z.com and DomoticsBlog.com

The basics are pretty straight forward for getting a SiteMap integrated with your custom modules. I won’t recreate Chris’ blog post here, but basically you need to create a new class, and populate a list of SiteMapUrls. Depending on your module, and it’s content, that may or may not be difficult.

I think I’m going to implement the sitemap for the next release of the Wiki module, should be fairly straight forward.

I realized recently that I didn’t have an ongoing list of modifications for the 350z. So I figured I should create one. The idea is that this will be continually updated, with the list of current parts. If I end up removing parts I’ll strike them through on the list.

A week ago I posted a “question” on Facebook to see what color we should wrap the 350z in.

Well it looks like the final tally is 31/13/13

31 for Matte Black
13 for Matte Green
13 for Don't Do It!

So Matte Black it will be! Time to order the vinyl! I would hope to have it done by the end of the month, but realizing we are moving before then, we’ll set a goal of the end of June to have this completed. Of course we’ll have a time lapse video of the process!

I took all of this stuff out of my car a few months ago and am just now getting around to selling. To the best of my knowledge here is what I have, you can find all the pictures from below (and more) at a higher resolution at https://www.flickr.com/photos/chammond/sets/72157626520108688/with/5628927973/ All equipment is used, but was in working order when removed from the car.

So the car is naked, well about as naked as it can be.

Saturday evening I took it to the car wash and removed all of the vinyl. I plan to put it back on, but it’ll be a while before that happens. I figured it was a little too much right now to attract attention. I’d post photos, but there really isn’t much point, right now the car is just a blue 350z that is a little lower than normal.

In honor of the occasion here’s some President’s of the United States of America, with Naked and Famous

I just don’t have the energy to do a full writeup for the ProSolo today, and to be honest, it won’t happen Sunday, and likely not Monday either Open-mouthed smile

So what happened? Well, I’m sitting in 5th out of 8, 2nd in the Kumho class. I’m still hoping to get up to first in the K Class Smile With the contingency available that would mean a set of tires.

Jodi Fordahl is driving with me as well. She’s doing great, I have a feeling she’ll be faster than me on Sunday.

Random note: This car really needs a diff!  I am going to try to find the OS Giken guys if they are at the Pro tomorrow and talk to them a bit.

So if you read my postings a month or two ago you know I had trouble with the GoPro firmware last time around. Ended up bricking the camera and having to send it in.

Much better luck tonight! I got V 1.1.5 upgraded without any trouble. I wasn’t sure what the camera had on it that they sent me in exchange for my repair, so I wanted to make sure I was on the latest firmware for the trip to San Diego. I’m hoping to timelapse the drive.

We’ll see if the batteries (2 of them) last the trip, I doubt it, but we’ll see. I have the camera set for shooting every 5 seconds and plan to mount it facing out the windshield.

Thanks for all of you who “like” Project350z on Facebook! We’ve seen some good growth the past couple of days!

So I didn’t figure I was going to have time to do the alignment on the 350z over the next couple of days, and I wasn’t sure that I really wanted to do an alignment myself after just lowering the car. I mean, I want to do it, but driving down to San Diego on Thursday isn’t the time I need to press my alignment skills.

So today I took the car to the local Firestone dealer to get an alignment done today. Here’s what I told them.

“I want to know what the specs are, and I want the toe to be within factory specifications.”

No problem they said, then they upsold me on the lifetime alignment. I told them, oh that won’t work for me, I’m gonna be making lots of changes, you guys won’t honor it. He assured me that they would, and even double checked with the manager. We’ll see how it works out, but I’m hoping they will honor it going forward! Really I will just want to use them here or there to verify that what I do when I make adjustments and try to align it myself.

Less than an hour later I got a phone call saying that the car was ready to go. Here are the specs that I came away with.

  Left F/R (in degrees) Right F/R(in degrees)
Camber -2.3/-2.4 -2.5/-2
Toe .05/.12 .07/.09


Friday I plan to do some adjustment to the Toe, getting some toe out in front and toe in in the rear. We’ll see if I can get that adjustment squared away using my longacre toe plates.

If I come up with some additional settings for autocross alignment I’ll create a new blog post for the specs.

So today I went back at the suspension of the car.

Time lapse of lowering the suspension, in reverse

The problem with the video is that I did the time lapse in reverse! I mistakenly sorted the photos in descending order instead of ascending. You really can’t tell on the time lapse though, it just looks like another time lapse!

See the full post for more photos
If you've read the latest article from Michael Ramsey in the Wall Street Journal you may have noticed that LeafOwner.com was mentioned! Big thanks to Michael for taking the time to setup a phone call and interview me (Chris Hammond) for his article.

I don't know if the article will be made public or not, right now it's available to subscribers only unless you find it through Google News (though that only works some of the time apparently based on my testing).

Here's a screenshot of the original article (only the section mentioning LeafOwner as I don't want to reproduce the entire article).

And a link to the article itself


If you are interested in purchasing LeafOwner.com, shoot me an email info at leafowner.com

The night before an autocross, and I’m stoked for tomorrow, even if it rains (as forecasted). I got a replacement GoPro HD camera today in the mail.

For those of you who don’t know, I had a problem with my GoPro camera, which I use a LOT! I use it for autocross videos, and time lapse videos of working on the car. A few weeks ago I was working on the car doing a standard time lapse, but the camera freaked out. I came to find out that there was a bug in the camera software that would show up with time lapse mode after 10k (I think) photos were taken. It was a known bug though, and there was a firmware update for the camera to fix the bug.

So I applied the firmware update, but something during the process failed and the camera ended up “bricking” which basically means it wouldn’t work. You couldn’t power it on, you couldn’t use it, nothing, it was as useful as a brick. Since I got the camera for xmas it was still under warranty so I contacted GoPro about getting it fixed, while it took a bit of back and forth via email with their customer service reps, they provided me with an RMA number to send it in.

This was a couple of weeks ago, right before a 2 day autocross and right before we were heading out of town for vacation, so I didn’t get the camera mailed out until Tuesday of this week. On Thursday I got an email from them saying that they had a replacement camera ready to mail out, but I hadn’t included a return address. I replied with our address, and then on Friday I got an email saying it would go out. It is nice that we live about 15 miles from their headquarters because the camera showed up today via USPS.

I’m not positive that the firmware fix has been applied to this camera yet, but I’m going to leave it as is for now. I want to use it at the autocross tomorrow, so I don’t want to run the risk of bricking it again!

So I experienced something while driving the 350z yesterday that I haven’t experienced in quite a while. Typically the 350z comes with a staggered tire setup, meaning that the front tires are usually a smaller size than the rears. A week or two ago I got some new street tires put on the car, the new tires are “square” meaning the fronts are the same size as the rear.

This actually gives you the ability to rotate the wheels/tires (assuming the wheels are the same size), which can go a long way in making your tires last longer. The old set I had taken off were actually okay in the front, but the rears were bald, being able to rotate could have helped prevent that.

The downfall of having a square setup, at least with a 350z, is that the computer isn’t setup for that, not having the stagger causes the front tires to run at a different speed in relation to the rear tires. This causes the computer to freak out, though most of the time it is fine, where it will freak out is typically when you are accelerating on an onramp.

I had this happen for the first time since some time in 2006 (when I sold my first 350z) last night. It wasn’t a huge shocker, but it was a bit of a surprise. You can avoid the computer issue, but it requires turning off the traction control, something you can’t do when it is activated by the differing speeds. So for now, I will continue to turn off the traction control (tcs) when I get in the car.

I’m curious to see if there are any ways to disable the TCS by default, and only have it turn on when you press the button. That would be extremely useful in autocross as you NEVER want traction control in a 350z enabled when autocrossing.

So with all the blogging I’ve done over the years I have been unable to find any posts where I mentioned tire pressures!

So here it is, a thread that I will continually update with tire pressure information for my 350z. As I change configurations I will move settings to an archive down below.

Current Tires

Kumho V710 305/30R18
(as of 2/20/2011)

Current Pressures

Front: 25psi
Rear: 23psi
(as of 2/20/2011)

So today was a busy day, I had a lot to catch up on at work, training to provide internally, and a final to take this afternoon. After that I ran home and grabbed the set of Falken Azenis RT-615s that were sitting in the garage and ran to Les Schwab (the same place I bitched about a few weeks ago) to get them mounted.

Chris Hammond

Chris Hammond is a father, husband, leader, software developer, photographer and car guy. Chris focuses on the latest in technology including artificial intelligence (AI) and has spent decades becoming an expert in ASP.NET and DotNetNuke (DNN) development. You will find a variety of posts relating to those topics here on the website. For more information check out the about Chris Hammond page.

Find me on Twitter, GitHub and LinkedIn.