Keeping Cool On-Track – Upgrading the Radiator, Braking, Wheels & Tires

Keeping Cool On-Track – Upgrading the Radiator, Braking, Wheels & Tires


Today on PowerNation Garage it’s our spec
350Z project and we’re upgrading the cooling, the braking, and shoe-ing our ride with some racing wheels and tires. Hey I’m Gannon Pritchard welcome back to
PowerNation Garage. Our spec 350 Z racecar is back we have a roll cage, suspension,
and a differential. Now we’re going to work on the cars cooling system. We’re
also going to install some high performance brake pads and some wheels
and tires to keep this thing sticking on the track. Once your car is off the
ground go ahead and remove the wheels and tires. You also want to pull out the
wheel wells and unscrew the screws and the bolts that hold on the front bumper. Next work your way under the hood and
remove the air breather box completely from the car. This might take a few
wiggles here and there but it will pop out. Detach the overflow hose from the
reservoir and then remove the plastic engine dress cover. There will be four
screws, two up front that you can see and two in the rear underneath the strut bar.
Pull that off and then go ahead and remove your electric fan shroud behind
the radiator. Using a wrench remove the bolts holding your radiator in place and
remove it carefully in case you want to sell it or you need it for a backup on
the racetrack. Follow that by removing the a/c condenser which is nothing but
added weight and it takes away valuable horsepower. Keeping our spec Z racecar cool is
obviously important especially at the racetrack. And Nismo has it under control
with this all aluminum, high-performance radiator that actually fits right in the
stock location so you don’t have to modify anything, and that is super nice.
Now check this out also an oil cooler is important to have if you like road
racing or just driving hard because if you don’t finish the race, you’re never
gonna win a race! And the best news is Nismo has you covered on that as well. While it’s out of the car it’s easier to
install the petcock so take some teflon tape wrap it around the threads and snug
the petcock down into the radiator. But don’t strip it because it is aluminum.
Snug is good. Now since we’re removing our AC system we had it drained by a
professional and that’s the only safe and smart way to do it. Don’t just cut
the line and let the harmful refrigerant drain into the air. That’s just not a
good way to do it. It’s not good for you and it’s not good for the environment.
Loosen your belt tensioner and remove the main belt from the front of the
engine. Followed by your AC compressor belt. Completely remove the AC tensioner
followed by the entire AC compressor itself. Once removed go ahead and
reinstall the engine belt and adjust it back to the proper tightness. Take the rubber grommets off the old OEM
radiator and put them on the pegs of the new radiator. Carefully slide the
radiator down into place and make sure that you don’t damage it by banging it
off the side of the engine. Slide the pegs of the radiator down into
place into the holes and attach your bottom hose and then attach your top
radiator hose. Followed by your hose clamps making sure everything is tight.
Finally secure the radiator in place by locking it with the fasteners on both
sides of the radiator. Attach your overflow hose to the overflow reservoir
and make sure it’s nice and tight. Finish up the job by reinstalling the electric
fan shroud. Then you are done! Now moving on to the brake pads. Pop up
that plastic lid and open up the master cylinder brake reservoir cap. Remove the
main pin bolt followed by removing the bottom pin bolt. Pull the caliper and
hang it out of your way so you’re not damaging the brake lines.
I used a coat hanger, you could use zip ties or whatever you have handy. Remove
your old brake pads and reinstall the new ones the same way you took them out. Next you want to compress the pistons
and your calipers so the caliper will fit over the fatter brake pads. The new
brake pads are probably going to be a little thicker and that’s the reason why
it’s a compressive. Tighten your pins up nice and snug and
now you’re done and moving to the rear. Loosen and remove the top pin in the
caliper. The rear calipers fold down and out of your way so it’s easy access
to the brake pads. Pop out your old pads that are worn out and compress your
piston calipers once again. Install the new pads the same way you took out the old pads. Tighten up the top pin and the bottom
pin making sure that it’s nice and snug. Close your cap on your master brake
cylinder and you are now finished changing the brake pads. And for your drivers out there who like
to use wheel spacers to get your set up just right Nismo has you covered with
these two and a half inch wheel studs. Let’s try them out. For wheels we went with
BBS’ RGR wheels. It’s a one-piece dive forged wheel that is extremely
durable. It’s very stiff and it’s also extremely lightweight which is great for
racing. And it’s also tested to equal standards as original equipment. Wrapped
around those wheels are Toyo tires. They’re 275/35 18s and these tires will
make this car stick to the racetrack like glue.

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