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Hertz Donut

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    New Zealand

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    PNM35, 4L, AP1
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  1. I know, I searched, which is pointing towards what I suspect but I need validation. Validate me, folks, please. After all these years my Stag (VQ35DE) has now been relegated to farm hack and general waste carrier. It's performed near-faultlessly, and is a well-loved, albeit neglected, part of the collection. Then a couple of months ago or so the exhaust rusted through, with the rear muffler left hanging by the rubber. It was loud af but hilarious to drive around in while I waited for an exhaust shop appointment a few days later. I live in a rural area so not too many people around to annoy. Then after a while on the beans it suddenly dropped into limp mode with a CEL. No worries I thought, I'll sort it after the exhaust is fixed. Got the shop to clear the CEL and away we went, sweet as a nut. A few days later it went into limp mode again. I gave up and took it into my local Nissan dealer to get it diagnosed. They're possibly the worst dealer in all of humanity and said the air filter was blocked, we tapped it out and cleared the CEL, here's your several-hundred-dollar bill. I swore twice - once at them, and once to never return to them. Naturally a couple of days after that the CEL was back on. Fuel smell in the car, stalling when engaging D after a cold start, unsteady idle when cold, in and out of limp mode, CEL, the whole works. Left-side exhaust tip (standard dual tip muffler) is black. SO... I'm guessing most likely candidate is O2 sensor, otherwise airflow sensor? The latter was replaced a few years ago (unnecessarily) but I guess it could have failed. I have an OBDII scanner but it's not good enough to find out exactly what the issue is - it says the AFR is 16384 (i.e. high values) and can't detect the fault code, although it will clear the CEL. if I pull the O2 sensor out can I test it somehow? Run a current through it and check for a reading? I've never had to deal with this side of an engine before. As I say, this is now a farm hack that spends most of its time being driven into garden walls and paddock ditches by my son so I'd rather not throw a bunch of money at it, but best guess backyard mechanic suggestions will be gratefully accepted. Cheers.
  2. Hi, I'm back. No one missed me. We went looking for something to use as a tow vehicle and general family wagon, and ended up with a Q7. I really, really wanted to like a Prado but after test driving them back to back there was only one choice my wife could live with (she has a chronic back injury). The Prado (a year newer than the Q7) was like being back in our old VS Commodore by comparison. My 13yo son is also over 6ft tall and hitting another growth spurt, and the Q7 was the first car we've found he can sit in the back of for 800km+ a day and not feel crippled when he gets out. Naturally we got a 3 year warranty with it. Somewhat not-surprisingly the boot space with the third row seats down is much the same depth and height as our PNM35 Stagea, and only 100mm wider. I've always thought M35s were a hidden gem of the automotive world, if they could tow 3,000kg+ and had more rear legroom we'd probably just keep buying them until they couldn't be found any more. Oh, this also replaced our Leaf, which also couldn't tow 3,000kg+. We're holding out for decent EV tow wagons to show up but all the manufacturers are taking their sweet time in releasing them.
  3. That could be right, it's several years since I looked so it's more likely my memory that's added 60kg.
  4. I believe the R32 Skyline GXi (came with a CA18) was about 1180kg, but then you have to consider weight added by upgrading brakes etc.
  5. Personally I'd take the opportunity to check over and replace worn suspension bushes while I was under there.
  6. Update: SOMEONE (not giving anything away but you can bet she's going to cook me some eggs*) left the dome light on, hence the drained battery. *NZ in-joke.
  7. Bought mine another battery, it was fine on Friday but dead today. It hardly moves since we got the Leaf, and the battery was churning out a massive 0.03V this morning when I checked it. Not ideal considering I'm off on a 600km business trip on Friday. I think one of the bonnet hinges has collapsed as the bonnet is catching on the left-side quarter panel when I open it, takes quite an effort to get past the point of resistance but eventually it goes "BANG!" and everything moves freely again. The tip of the quarter panel is rusting now after all the rubbing but meh, it's just the beater these days. One day maybe I'll show it some love. Maybe.
  8. IMO it's not as bad as the good old VX-kit-on-a-VN travesty, but it's a bit too rounded for the boxier lines of the R32. It's almost there, but I'm going to have to say no.
  9. Yeah the illegal scene is still a thing here, unfortunately kids are killing themselves to get into it lately. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/109902537/three-dead-in-christchurch-crash
  10. These days I wouldn't do much past bolt-ons, and even then they'd be subtle. I've done the whole "replace everything on/in the car" trick but I have other priorities these days. If ever I go wild on a car again it'll track-dedicated, I'm in my mid-40s now and running a heavily-modded street car is too much like hard work.
  11. Next move is to flick the Stagea off for...something, undecided at the moment. It'll have to be big, 4WD and able to tow a lot. Hopefully the Rivian EVs come to fruition so I have an electric option. Leaf will be traded for...something. Maybe 62kWh Leaf or even a Porsche Taycan if they're available at the time. I've also picked up a stock NZ-new Honda S2000 as a fun car/long term speculative investment. Since I do my own wrenching I wanted something fun that'd be reliable enough to not need a lot of work, and simple enough to fix if it does break. I'm mortgage-free now, which is weird but awesome, but looking to buy a decent chunk of land, so the Stagea and Leaf replacement will be determined by how much land and how far out of town it is. In the meantime I'm saving like mad.
  12. Not sure really, the guy who brought it into the country was a mechanic and worked on it himself but there was one other owner between us so I didn't get the chance to ask him. It may have been as simple as different trans fluid (which isn't always a good idea) but there was a definite difference between the two cars. Whatever he did to it was just enough to take the soft edges off the stock vehicle while still keeping it comfortable. A decent set of wheels and tyres and it would have been great fun I was flat out last year so I never had the time to crawl under it and have a good look at what had been changed. All I can say is the springs were red, so probably just a set of Cobras although I'd like to pretend they were Nismo.
  13. Both ours are/were 350RX Fours, they're great for long-distance and general load-lugging, excellent grip even on mediocre tyres. We bought the '05 because I was doing runs to and from Wellington every week and we needed a backup car as our old Commodore (RIP) wasn't reliable enough any more. It may still be around Napier/Hastings, it's black and lowered on some fake 17in Work Euroline DHs, plate is JSN***. It handled quite differently to our 100% stock '04, much flatter cornering and the trans was more...decisive on shifts. Only reason we sold it is the '04 is in better interior condition, although the kids are doing their best to change that. Can't speak for the ARX, sorry, but they're essentially a jacked up 350RX Four with a body kit so they'll be much the same. You'll find a whole lot more aftermarket parts for the VQ35 than you can for your current VQ30 though.
  14. We sent our 2005 350RX Four with 127K on the odo, modded suspension, brakes and trans to Turners about 6 months ago for $3,000. We could have got more for it if we'd sold privately but we didn't want the hassle of dealing with munters. We still have an '04 350RX Four (we had two at one point) and it's done us fine going up muddy goat tracks in the hills of Hawkes Bay no trouble at all. It loves a good gravel run too. They're awesome wagons but they can be found cheap as chips because few people know about them and can't see past Subarus for AWD wagons. I'd say just find the best condition one with moderate kms on the odo and you'll be fine for a number of years.
  15. Nothing handy, but imagine a slightly portly, balding, middle-aged bloke saying "oof!" as he attempts to wedge himself behind the non-adjustable steering wheel of a small, red roadster. That's meeeeeeee! PS: All the rpms work. I checked. A few times.
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