It’s gone. Yes, finally. I’ve always disliked 2nd generation Q45s and I don’t see that ever changing. I jumped at the first opportunity to work on one, feeling experience on the platform was necessary. What followed was many months of regret. Mistakes were made, lessons were (hopefully) learned. I’m not saying that this particular car is responsible for all of my problems. What I’m saying is I didn’t like them then, I like them even less now, and this particular car will always remind me of a dark period in my professional career and personal life. That being said, I am happy to see it go, happy that Jamie got some quality work done, and hopeful that I can turn things around. How very manic-depressive…
I didn’t take any pics of the entire car because, frankly, there isn’t anything to see. The car came directly off a shady cash lot in horrible condition. Some may say it’s future only got dimmer as it sat in the shop for almost 2 years, some may say Jaime got a great deal on some quality work at the expense of time. What’s for sure is if this car is going to be a top caliber build it is going to bring a lot more headaches to someone, just not me.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? The setup was initially pulled from the once famous brown Refined Elegance LS430. The wiring was a mess, not worth recovering, so I dug into my stash and snaked Stinger Pro Series 4 gauge power wire wrapped in TechFlex Clean Cut through the bay. A generic fuse block was also donated to the cause.
Universal Air Suspension Aero Sport bags were carried over from the UCF31. They were applied to BC Racing Type BR coilovers using the correct UAS supplied brackets. This was the first full spindle set imported and the caliper mounting holes had to be drilled out to US spec. The original suspension was worn/seized so Moog ball joints and tie rod ends were installed. Nismo extended studs were pressed in place of the boogered up stocks, as a BBK/spacers are in the future plans. After wasting time/money with a “mock-up” set of adjustable arms a full set of Battle Version arms were eventually ordered. Do it right the first time right? Well on this car everything was done at least twice.
Moving toward the rear (no homo) there is an Easystreet Auto Pilot controller molded in place of the cup holders, under the factory console hatch. I find the air management fitting for the car. Outdated, just enough features, just enough function, looks just “OK”. Fortunately, there was a near complete second setup at my disposal. The original controller was pried from a less than impressive molding job and plastic welded into place. Cleaned up and worked in, missing/damaged parts were borrowed from a second controller.
For rear suspension you’ll find more of the same: BC, UAS, Battle Version. Slight trimming was needed to get sufficient clearance for the bags. I find it strange that I have never heard anyone mention the extreme bind in the lower coilover bracket, due to the stud type mount. I suggested a G50/Z32 fork style swap to allow articulation on the limited axis, but was shot down. So much for camber adjustment. I expect bushing failure in the future. And to think, the clowns at 9K Racing intentionally swapped TO this type of spindle on their G50 build. *Hack*
If you’ve been paying attention to FB/IG you were probably expecting to see a stainless hardline setup in the trunk. Unfortunately, stainless is much harder to work with than aluminum or copper and the parts to make it work are relatively expensive. Hours of work was scrapped along with the out-of-pocket cost of trial and error. The birch trunk floor was raised 3 inches. New compressors were installed after one of the transplants quickly failed. Both valve manifolds were replaced because they were partially seized due to corrosion. All pressure senders were installed and then later replaced due to the same reason. A 75 amp relay from AccuAir was used to clean up the install under the press fit cover. The ECU was swapped out with a new unit just because there was one on hand. Against the back wall of the trunk you’ll see the surviving brown painted steel tank from the original build. Unfortunately it’s just as brown on the inside, which will surely have the same effect down the line.
Third times a charm…
As far as bang for the buck goes sometimes it’s hard to beat a hybrid BC Racing coilover/Universal Air Suspension bag combo. This setup, even completed with top of the line management from Accuair, comes in under the cost of some of the other brands’ less featured offerings.
While not ideal for every platform because of the universal nature of the bags; for some chassis, like the LS460 shown, the combo does everything you need.
Shown with custom wrinkle black powdercoated brackets.