Let me kick this off quick.. there's a very painful, depressing story regarding to my formerly-planned move to Argentina, but I'll cut it all down to this: "I sort of inherited an '03 Infiniti G35 after I sold my Jeep (my totally custom DD) and my dad leased a new car."
Given my financial and employment status it made more sense for me to buy my dad's 2003 G and roll with it than to buy a beater. So, I became the new owner of a NJ beater with 182k miles, a lot of rust and corrosion underneath, and a bunch of less-consequential mechanical fails.
*While everyone else seems to be waxing their G and making sleek mods, I have what I believe will be far less popular among the crowd
, so I expect harsh criticism (yeah, much worse than stick-on wood-paneling the interior).
What I started with:
Nothing worth showing off; minor dings and dents, fogged headlights, damaged front bumper, heavily abused windshield, and a couple spots where rust is forming (rear fender/bumper, anyone?). The G still had the original
spark plugs (burned to a crisp!), a low K-Sport coilover suspension, and a bunch of other items that need attention. Original clutch catches very late and low power (may be worth replacement soon if I can pick one up cheap enough). The lifters have a minor tick, nothing too concerning, slight exhaust leak probably at the manifold. My biggest concern is how much oil was getting through to the first spark plug (cylinder #2); the coil pack was DRENCHED and the rubber was soft. I guess I'll be installing a new valve cover gasket coming up.. that was he only coil with oil exposure.
I pressed and installed new rear bearings as one was literally falling apart.. the bearings came pouring out when I pulled it off. I was able to swap out the rear coilovers for stock shocks and Tein coils (H Tech, I seem to recall). I also swapped the rear toe arms to the adjustable SPCs, cut the aluminum frame mounts, and installed the toe bolts necessary to rid myself of the horrible camber that was eating the inner tires down to the belts. I did not replace any bushings, however I had an Eibach rear sway bar, which I bolted in place. I have a matching front Eibach anti-roll bar, but haven't gotten there yet. I really want to bring the front back up to stock height.
I bought a complete new set of poly bushings for the front subframe. When I got to the front I found the bushing sleeves were fused to the bolts holding the struts in place and was totally screwed.. I need to take it to a shop and have them do what I simply cannot. I hate having to succumb to paying someone to do what I should be able to accomplish. Damn NJ rust and corrosion. The passenger CV shaft needs to be replaced, as the threads are damn near stripped off the ends. I have two bolts holding it tight for now.
The bracket between the pipe (after the rear 45 degree bend) and the can and I was getting a lot of rattling for it, so I literally dropped it and fabricated a simple straight pipe replacement that bolted to the factory hanger. No rattles, the single exhaust pipe is centered in the driver's side bumper hole, and I cut it at an angle to match the bumper. Looks great from above, is practical, functional, and cost me about $8.
Sunroof motor/controls went wonky, so I disconnected the plug and left it sealed. Fine by me, I don't need a sunroof, and there are no leaks.
After the driver window motor completely crapped out on me, I replaced the DC brushes with some success (not really to my satisfaction, however). The driver's side internal door lock actuator failed, and I haven't yet bolted on the aftermarket actuator (eventually, but no rush). I am wired for it, tested and everything, but I need a pinch-clip to complete the job.
Given these two issues I decided against replacing the door panel and go with a less polished
look.. so I sprayed the metal door panels flat black, fabricated a couple simple mounts to hang an old army bag, and installed a bright red, round LED door-ajar light. The whole door concept is incomplete, but a start to a utilitarian interior. The lower door speaker is protected with a galvanized steel mesh guard.
I also snagged a diesel truck exhaust brake switch from the junkyard, extended my gear shifter (some modifications to an aluminum 3" extension required) and mounted that along with a new modified aluminum shifter.. I plan on using this switch to turn on/off my VDC/traction control (maybe, a relay to make it act as a momentary switch will be required). *I had one of these in my Jeep that controlled my auxiliary reverse lights, but that's not really an option here.
**You'll note I have a blue light propped up on the passenger dash.. it doesn't stay there
but I threw it up there for the novelty of the Road Warrior for this pic. If not for the passenger airbag, I would likely fabricate a simple shelf for it.
I was thinking about creating an external red light as a pulsing low fuel indicator, too. It would require running wire leads from the tiny yellow in-dash low fuel light out to a relay, then an LED light with a pulsing timer, but that shouldn't be a big job. We'll see what happens.. Hell, I could even incorporate a simple buzzer into it. I may play with that this weekend. I do have a tendency to overlook the little fuel indicator light and run it closer to dry than I should. So there would actually be some basic practicality for it, unlike the blue light propped up on the dash, which is just hinting the obvious homage to Mad Max.
I have not brought myself to strip out the interior more than necessary at this point. I can't bring myself to go total post-apocalyptic beast mode yet
. For what it's worth, I could cut a few zipties, unbolt the brackets I made, remove the red LED, and slap the original door interior right back in place and no one would be the wiser. Stripping out the carpet, panels, and fabricating a wire frame bench to replace the backseat is a whole 'nother level.
In my '07 Wrangler I had every reason to do all that: I rarely had doors on it, no floor plugs, the interior console looked like crap and served less purpose for me than my own custom builds, and I was always hauling junk from the junkyard. I made modifications as necessary and it worked well.
There is essentially nothing wrong inside the G except for a couple tears in the driver's seat, a faulty seat belt retractor and window/sunroof motor failures (like everyone else). Granted, there's a 0% probability that I will ever sell this thing; I'll drive it into the ground.
IDK.. thoughts? Thanks, guys.