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Thread: A whole new Z8 experience....

  1. #1

    A whole new Z8 experience....

    on an old and familiar set of roads.

    This is the kind of drive I want to own a Z8 to do, and the kind of drive that makes us all love driving. This is a combined review of all the mods that have been put on my car in one drive. Many of these mods were done together over the last two months, so its hard to separate what each one piece brings to the whole, but the whole is perfectly complete, a revelation even!

    Here is a quick run down of everything on my car that isn't stock:

    Performance Package (in chrome)
    Alpina suspension (EU spec)
    Dinan Swaybars
    Dinan Caster Plates
    Quaife LSD
    Solid transmission bushing from Dave Zeckhausen
    CDV delete from Dave Zeckhausen
    Axxis dust-free brake pads
    UUC Short Shifter kit
    Heel/Toe Pedals from Ultimate Pedals
    Hamann 20" rims
    Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires

    The biggest single addition over the last two months is the EU spec Alpina suspension, and the PP. These in combination with the Dinan parts I already had, and the wider 20" rims has achieved my own personal motoring nirvana. My Z8 now rides, handles, and steers like a dream. Gone are the shudders and judders of road joins or bridge seems, no tramlining, no skittering over rough back roads under power, no more 'pendulum momentum' feel tracking out of fast corners. The car is more complaint, more comfortable, more sure footed, better balanced and simply more delightful in every way to drive.

    A quick recap of my day :- 4.30am - alarm // 4.45am car to LAX // 6.00am flight to SFO // 7.30am arrive Peter Pan.

    Dana at Peter Pan had my car for a couple of months for several things, warranty related, PP and the other upgrades, so I was excited to be getting her back, and this was the only day in the next three weeks I had to go get her. I don't in anyway wish to fuel the north/south divide, but I saw a crystal clear dawn break over SoCal from 30,000ft. As soon as the plane started to descend we slipped over a thick veil of rain clouds. I knew my beautifully prepared baby was going to get a soaking, and I wasn't happy!

    After getting some last minute tweaks I left Peter Pan at 9am, and headed south under grey and drizzly San Francisco skies. I wasn't expecting to notice any difference in the car until I got onto the fast back roads, but the revelation began on the 280 freeway. The car rode as if floating on air, it was so smooth over cats eyes and road joins that I really started to worry that I might have crossed a bridge too far, and compromised the car's athletic ability on the back roads.

    By the time I got to Big Sur I had the road to myself, wintertime attracts little traffic and no police to Highway 1. On the way south I used the tighter corners to try to upset the car under breaking, throwing the weight around to see how easily it would be unsettled, but it took everything in its stride with complete composure. The DSC only winked on twice, so I guess that means the Quaife is doing it's business too. The biggest surprise was that over the really rough parts of the weathered tarmac the tires maintained a much more definite grip, and had none of the skip that I am used to on that road. So far so good, on the freeway and Highway 1 the 'upgraded' Z8 passed with flying colors, but now for the real acid test, Highway 58, the fastest and most exciting driving road in Southern California.

    The Z8 will run happily between 60-130 on the 58, but you are always fighting it's weight, and its steering can feel a little dead at these speeds on this endless chain of fast open sweepers that cavort across the coastal range. Not now, the car has a new found poise that translates into a really precise turn in, and track out that also allows you to gun hard while unwinding the wheel early from every apex. It is so much better on this road that I'm now lost for words.

    The Z8 now feels as sure-footed my GT3 did on that same road. I have to confess I have no understanding of how a car can ride more compliantly, be easier to drive, and yet handle more like an out and out sportscar!

    Of course this is an entirely subjective, non-scientific reflection based on a wonderful 450 mile dream drive. To really know what this all adds up to we'd need to do some side by side testing at the track so we could really quantify what I'm feeling, but what I'm feeling is sheer delight, it is love all over again!!

    Below are some snaps, starting with Highway 1 and the stunning Pacific coast.
    A shot of my lovely new UUC gear knob, the short shift kit was one of my favorite mods on my original Z8, and the new and improved version really is excellent.
    The new set up really is a revelation!
    Maricopa, and finally back in LA with not a cloud in the sky - sorry to rub it in!
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  2. #2
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    2,471

    Thanks Andrew

    Amazing how much you feel a change. And the car looks so different too. Glad you had what sounds like yet another spectacular drive. Makes it all worth it eh?

    Cheers, Ian

  3. #3
    Welcome back Andrew,
    You have such a way with words. I'm glad to hear that you like the EU Alpina package too. Can't wait to hear your assesment on the track.
    My understanding is that Dana has put together a special package for others who might want to install the Alpina suspension pieces.

  4. #4
    Yes indeed, if anyone else wants to do this upgrade contact Dana Caldwellat Peter Pan - 650 294 2123.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  5. #5
    Andrew,

    I'm so glad the changes we made to your Z8 have made the car even more enjoyable for you. Your way with words is eclipsed only by your excellence with the camera.

    Happy Motoring!

    Dana

  6. #6
    Z8Mania
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    Welcome, as we like to say, to "Z8 Mania"

  7. #7
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Robert Linton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    223
    Wish you could use our new titanium springs which increase the rate:

    +10% spring front
    +15% spring rear

    As this, combined with an approximately +1° increase in front camber from the Cartridge front monoball damper mounts and
    a 15% increase in the stiffness of the rear anti roll bar, should produce even more neutral handling. Unfortunately, however, the titanium springs will not fit the stock dampers as, in particular the front springs, are significantly smaller in diameter and the monoball front (and rear) damper mounts will not fit with the stock dampers either.
    Last edited by Robert Linton; March 10th 2007 at 17:22.

  8. #8
    I would love to try them, even more I would love a full Cartridge Z8, but she who wants a Birkin, new floors and windows would not be impressed!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.