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Old 04-26-2016, 08:08 AM   #1
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Default Buying a modded car?

Good day everyone;

Been on the market to buy a used car, through private party. Several things I have learned, APRs go through the roof on older cars, and the less the amount that is financed the higher they are.
On the positive side, insurance is low.

The purpose to open this thread is to ask how does it go on testing a "performance" modded vehicle.

It has a turbo, LSD, WP rotors/calipers, complete exhaust ... let me just copy paste.


*Jim Wolf 530BB Twin Turbo Kit
*WP PRO BBK 8piston caliper front/6 piston rear
*19 Rays Engineering RE30 wheels in blue
*OS Giken limited slip differential
*Sound Performance differential brace
*Nismo finned differential cover
*Setrab oil cooler kit
*Custom 3in down pipes
*Motordyne true 3in turbo exhaust
*Jim Wolf clutch and flywheel
*Jim Wolf Oil pan spacer kit
*SPC Camber kits front & rear
*Stainless braided brake lines front & rear
*Greddy Boost controller & turbo timer
*A pillar mounted boost gauge & AEM air fuel gauge
*Greddy SSQV blow off valve
*Genuine OEM NISMO Body kit
*Voltex rear diffuser (carbon fiber)
*TWM short shifter and weighted shift ****

I test drove it yesterday and he would not let me keep it in boost all the way to redline. Telling me its his car, he does not let anyone drive it bla bla...
I even offered him money for his time and gasoline but he did not accept.
During the drive I smell maybe oil or fuel, could not really tell, and got off real quick to see the exhaust. Some smoke was coming out, he said it was from condensation as the car he does not drive anymore.
We are making arrangements to take the car to his shop this week if possible. The shop is charging 110 to perform the test.

::: I just granny drove it, easy shifting, etc. I would like to go through the gears at least 2nd 3rd 4th and see how it engages and does not miss or its hard to shift, pops out of gear.
He seemed frustrated on my request and would look down and scratch his head. I had to ask him several times if he was selling it or not kind of reminding him.
Its a 2003 350z w 75k on the odo. Tuned using UpRev.
He is standing firm on 12k.

Attached Thumbnails
Buying a modded car?-80-2003_350z_1_zpsxpwme2pw_4d7cbcc3ef562dd4abccfe32b35feba0fce2a527.jpg   Buying a modded car?-80-2003_350z_3_zpsygvrap1r_bb5cd7ed894ecb154b09b120aa76319c70b92286.jpg  

Last edited by mazpr; 04-26-2016 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:18 AM   #2
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You have him produce all the receipts the car ever had for all modifications. Also you have him drive it ringing it out while you sit as passenger so you know it can perform. Have a leakdown test run, get oil analyzed, have him remove the transmission to inspect the clutch, open the gearbox to check out the metal chunks in it, accept that modded cars may have small oil leaks here and there and you may have to chase these forever. Then prepare to go **** yourself when anything wrong happens and you can't figure out his goofy *** wiring job, and have no other support for the hack job modifications he made just to get it running one evening on the side of a bridge, at night, in the rain.

Or just trust him fully on his word and have him take your money and disappear for you to open up that can of worms.

Or just build your own car, so you actually know everything about it.

Or just buy my car.
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:22 AM   #3
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On one hand I can completely understand him wanting you not to abuse it, because if something were to go wrong, you certainly are not going to fit the bill for repairs, however if you build a car like that, it should be capable of performing as intended. If there is something wrong, and he knows it, then that could be a possibility of why he does not want you beating on it, ie, possible slipping clutch.

In regards to the smoke, or condensation as he calls it. How long had the car been driven before you noticed that? Was it at normal op temp? The oil smell could simply be crank case evac, does it have a catch can? Could also be from the oil cooler.

All in all, if you get a sketchy vibe from him or the car, steer clear of it. There is no reason to get involved with it if you dont get good vibes from the deal. Also, ask him to drive the dog **** out of it since he wont let you do so, then you can see if there's anything he is attempting to hide. And see if you can find him on any Z forums, find his build thread, or any posts he may have made about issues with the car, ect
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:24 AM   #4
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Get out of my head psybr_optix
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:25 AM   #5
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<3
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:27 AM   #6
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Wait a second, where is this car located?

Last edited by Downmented; 04-26-2016 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:46 AM   #7
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lol when I sold my WRX i was encouraging the guy to beat the **** out of it...
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:46 AM   #8
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After reading this a second time, I think you're just asking us to confirm for you what you conscience is telling you. Steer away from this guy. Your post as it is isn't objective and outlines red flag behavior for a sell. Or get him in writing for the bill of sale, that he agrees that everything will be mechanically sound for 30 days under normal use and have it notarized. He should be comfortable doing that if he trusts is own car. Why hasn't it been used in a while? Why is he selling it? Why is he babying it? Why is he afraid to expose any flaws?
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:58 AM   #9
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The only wiring hack job done is UpRev which is none intrusive, just plug and reflash the stock ECU.

He did drive it on the highway for about 15 minutes and gave it a few punch of the throttle and felt strong.
The AEM boost gauge sensor was bad so it was stuck on 30psi all the time, but the AEM wideband did work. At a stop light it was at 15 and under boost to 11.5. He did drive it spiritedly but I wanted to get a feel, because there is a lot one can detect when been behind the wheel, I guess that wont happen.

The car had been driven for about 10 minutes and it was warm, nice sunny day in the 70s high. He let the car idle at a parking lot for 5 minutes, the fans kick in, no creeping temps, good idle.
He drove it back to his house which was about 5 minutes away, and I followed on my car. Sometimes when he was coming out of a stop light or at a slow turn left or right a little bit puff of smoke, something silly, would come out the exhaust at low rpms.


He had to admit the AC was bad, no cold air blowing out, remote key not working, on board factory navigation not working, which I care less. The Panasonic radio has nav and besides I always use my android.

Last edited by mazpr; 04-26-2016 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:12 AM   #10
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If it has all the problems you mentioned, why are you even still interested?

Sounds like he is trying to off load his headache on someone else. Walk, no run the other direction.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:21 AM   #11
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I've owned a 350z a year ago or so.

Holy crap you couldn't pay me to own another one.

And mine was completely perfect mechanically. I can't imagine even considering that piece of garbage you posted up there. Run from it like the plague.

I seriously wouldn't pay more than about 6-7 grand if you were foolish enough to actually buy it.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:21 AM   #12
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Buy it, you've convinced yourself. Be sure to crosslink to your troubleshoot thread on the z forums so we can laugh.
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyber_0ptix View Post
Buy it, you've convinced yourself. Be sure to crosslink to your troubleshoot thread on the z forums so we can laugh.
I will crosslink.

And no I will not buy it.

That is the reason I opened the thread. And also to see how it goes on this private party deal on testing cars. Because on a dealership wtf, but with people they are more hesitant about it, they see it as joyrides, most.

I went to see a 370z SC, beautiful, the guy would not let me even drive it before showing proof of funds. I walked away.
We are just talking, and every now and then a slap in the face dont hurt. I have also seen on this forums significant amount of builds w gazillions gremlins, and the numbers dont come down.

I am looking at 135is, Evos, Subis and Miatas of course, none in the area MD. Have seen some on VA, but its some drive.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
I've owned a 350z a year ago or so.

Holy crap you couldn't pay me to own another one.

And mine was completely perfect mechanically. I can't imagine even considering that piece of garbage you posted up there. Run from it like the plague.

I seriously wouldn't pay more than about 6-7 grand if you were foolish enough to actually buy it.
Yep, years ago 2010ish I think, I bought a PERFECT 2006 350Z Touring (BOSE/leather/etc) only had 19k miles on it.

I sold it in 3 months. Such an uninspiring car.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:13 PM   #15
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haha yep, I think we already talked about this in another thread too: it literally did nothing well.

I can only imagine how bad a molested/hacked up one is.l
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:42 PM   #16
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If 135s are in the list of possibilities, then I would go with one of those over any of the other options you listed. Im assuming you already have a Miata so that is out of the question.

The N54 in the 135s (assuming you are buying an older model) are extremely stout, Theres really no attainable power level with those that would every require you to pull the engine and build. Full bolt ons, e85 and Cobb AP with custom tune will be a total WIN in the 135. And you get the creature comforts of a BMW that the EVO/ STI will never have.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:47 PM   #17
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what about the fuel pumps failing?
what about the turbo's failing?

I love the 135/335, but those two going out when car is outside of warranty and you'll need to lighten the wallet quite a bit to fix.
Otherwise I like those cars a lot.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
what about the fuel pumps failing?
what about the turbo's failing?

I love the 135/335, but those two going out when car is outside of warranty and you'll need to lighten the wallet quite a bit to fix.
Otherwise I like those cars a lot.
Agreed, however my logic is to find one with proper maintenance history and low-er milage, odds are one of the two mentioned failures has already been addressed, and if it hasnt, then when the turbos fail its perfect time to go single turbo or upgraded turbos Every make/ model performance oriented car is going to have a common failure of some sort, none of which are usually very cheap to resolve. I would certainly rather have to replace the turbos in a 135 than replace the entire engine in an STI due to ringlands, or a trans in an EVO X.

Just my .02 though.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:03 PM   #19
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Fair enough. One thing is certain though: Nissan Z is even worse yet
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Fair enough. One thing is certain though: Nissan Z is even worse yet
Fact!
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