Beater Infiniti G35 influenced by The Road Warrior

Like the name says...

Beater Infiniti G35 influenced by The Road Warrior

Postby Jpl3k » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:16 pm

Buenos días!

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). You'll have to excuse some of this thread, as I have copied from my post on the Infiniti forum, but modified it for you guys. There's a lot of details specific to this car, but just skim over it and you'll soon get to the fun stuff.

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 headers or 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.
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Getting started: 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.

Exhaust: 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.

Interior: 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. This is where I changed my approach toward repairing this vehicle.
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.
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Next steps: 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.

Justification?: 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.
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There is essentially nothing wrong inside the G35 except for a couple tears in the driver's seat, a faulty seat belt retractor and window/sunroof motor failures (all very common). Granted, there's a 0% probability that I will ever sell this thing; it's not worth much, so I'll drive it into the ground.

IDK.. thoughts? Thanks, guys.
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"...and someone called the cops on me and I had to take the bodies off. Somehow my machine was scaring someone's kids" -HUMVEE Driver
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Re: Beater Infiniti G35 influenced by The Road Warrior

Postby themanw/oaname » Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:28 am

unless cops use infiniti's where you're from i'd take the light out and put something else in it's place.

BECAUSE:
in max's world his mfp unit was using falcons, so it was natural that the interceptor would be a better model falcon than their regular patrol cars.

you could leather wrap your sunroof window if you dont care for the light coming in, does it have that "plate" that you pull out to cover it when not in use? you could take that out? (my old stanza had one, my parents maxima did, i think my fiance's crv has one)

i have a buddy that owns his own car shop where he does a crap load of different mods from paint to performance, you mentioned exhaust in the tl;dr and i thought you might like this for an idea for your rear if you REALLY want to go all in and tear up the outside of the car:
Image

you could look at it like you want a post apocalyptic car but, like going the "luxury" route/style too. good luck.
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Re: Beater Infiniti G35 influenced by The Road Warrior

Postby Jpl3k » Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:25 am

Hey, thanks, Clint.

Like I said, the blue light does not remain on the dash. I have it in a box in the backseat, only for the tongue-in-cheek homage to MM. I figured any diehard fans would get it. If you look close at that pic I posted, you'll see the light is just kind of balancing on the upper dash console door. Here in NJ no one would bother me for having that light, though. I used to have one in the Jeep for a while. Blue lights are for volunteer fire fighters, and this one might not even work anymore - I haven't tried it in ages. Basically just a prop.

I do have a sunroof slider, so that doesn't bother me. I keep it shut 95% of the time. The G35 is largely windowed, so to speak, so there' plenty of light. I may very well strip the interior soon.. I miss the ability to haul unique junkyard goodies home; that near-pristine leather interior kind of dissuades such behavior.

That is some wild exhaust on the Mini; your buddy does some amazing work! I'm just a hobbyist with basic tools at my disposal. Kind of a "I'll make it work" guy. For the time being I'm going to stick with what I fabricated since it works and sounds good. I guess my intent is not to go "Fury Road" with this thing, but simple Road Warrior. Practical, basic, useful, and crude. I don't have the ability to do anything extreme, but I want to balance the crudity of the whole thing, too. My interpretation of Max's Interceptor wasn't "let me make this thing as frightening as possible" it was more like "let me make use of what I have and be efficient in doing so". He was a scavenger with practicality in mind. That's my intent. As I see it, stripping the interior gave Max storage and living room. It was also effective in that he had no rear window and moisture when it did eventually rain would not benefit him. I don't quite have that need, other than for hauling junkyard finds (which I tend to do a lot). I'm a scavenger, even at recycling centers. If I find bed-frame along the road, you better believe it's coming home with me! As a cheap welder and hobbyist, it's what I do. Without coming across as a garbage hoarder, I find other uses for what people toss.
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"...and someone called the cops on me and I had to take the bodies off. Somehow my machine was scaring someone's kids" -HUMVEE Driver
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Re: Beater Infiniti G35 influenced by The Road Warrior

Postby Jpl3k » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:13 pm

Ok, so I now have an external low fuel light (not just a little amber light below the fuel gauge)!
I wired together a simple flashing light circuit with a 555 timer, a capacitor, 2 resistors and a super bright red LED, so when my fuel is low it pulses on/off as seen in the video attached (because... why not?). This did involve pulling the dash apart again, tracing two leads and soldering wires to the back of the dash cluster.
[url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdr-f3MZgqo"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdr-f3MZgqo[/url]

Added an external, flashing low fuel light in front of the dash console.
The only thing I don't yet have wired up is a buzzer that corresponds with the pulsing light. The voltage is sufficient to run both the LED and buzzer in tandem, but not the amperage. I don't get the 'buzz' I need. I may come back to this later and approach the solution with a relay.
Image
Video here: (I don't know if Facebook will allow me to share this video externally, but worth a shot.
https://www.facebook.com/689684680/videos/10153825029439681/

A little work this afternoon:
Image

Not painted, but you're starting to see where I'm headed with this..
Everything I carry has a purpose, so I'm not just hauling a bunch of junk (the exception is the blue light, which I explained earlier). It's hard to see, but I used some galvanized mesh chicken-wire to protect the speakers. Also need to fabricate a new 3rd brake light housing. I will be fabbing a wire shelf, too.
Image
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"...and someone called the cops on me and I had to take the bodies off. Somehow my machine was scaring someone's kids" -HUMVEE Driver
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Re: Beater Infiniti G35 influenced by The Road Warrior

Postby Jpl3k » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:48 pm

A bit more "progress" this weekend, though I was limited in the time I had.
A couple friends stopped by for a while and I had to tackle some home rewiring in the kitchen for a while today. I did not get to begin fabricating the rear shelf yet, but I think I know what material I am going to use. I need to fab a couple brackets/support, then cut the shelf tray and weld it to the brackets. Everything will be removable via several stock bolts. That's often one of the trademarks to my projects (unless completely unavoidable). No sheet metal was cut, no holes drilled, no direct welding, no major "un-doable" mods. So far the worse of it is that I painted a little past where the interior door panels go; I doubt anyone would ever notice since I cleanly painted to the rubber door seal/gasket.
All speakers (except those on the rear deck lid) are protected with mesh wire guard.

Passenger door was stripped and painted. Door handle is temporarily zip-tied in place with a rag to minimize rattling. That saddle bag is just along for the ride right now, taking up space. I bought another red LED that I'll wire up and mount to this panel, mimicking the driver's door. This door looks pretty naked right now, so I expect I'll alter it in some fashion in the near future.

*sorry about the images being links.. if I used <img> codes the images cut off half way across, as they are 2000 pixels wide.
http://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/g35driver.com-vbulletin/2000x1124/80-20160424_191902_62f210e276bf5b742b701da240d57e79d7b72822.jpg


The passenger seat was removed.. that center console has got to go and I'm going to have to fabricate something more utilitarian.. I may need to add an old ammo canister for storage and fab a cup-holder or something. I'll do some digging around and see what I can find. Another junkyard run is immanent- this weekend, likely. Carpet also needs to come out (maybe tomorrow?). My only real concern is how uneven the floor will be once the carpet and all the leveling styrofoam pieces are removed. I will say this; I'm loving all the room I have in here now! A couple friends [independent of one another] commented on how much room I have now for long road trips and sleeping in the G35. True indeed!
Also fabbed a simple metal bracket to house the exposed 3rd brake light.
http://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/g35driver.com-vbulletin/2000x1124/80-20160424_191936_08c6eeb71dc0d0fd32ef0849c66f3e4efefaff19.jpg


A view from the back 'seat'. Also note the headliner and surrounding trim was removed, all metal was painted flat black. I'm not crazy about the tan sunvisors and sunroof slider, so those may require some attention. So far I haven't modified any of the original hardware, everything could be unbolted and reinstalled to stock (kind of a safety net).
http://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/g35driver.com-vbulletin/2000x1124/80-20160424_192010_a39f8d2b3d51092ae3742d3e4a50bfb9fa4b7f15.jpg


I decided to relocate my low fuel warning lamp to the A-pillar (instead of in front of the dash cluster). It is temporarily zip-tied in place -my default mock-up technique. I'm much happier with this placement, and the sun doesn't hit it so it doesn't appear illuminated when it's not.
http://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/g35driver.com-vbulletin/2000x1124/80-20160424_192028_afab6e4398896a6837dad61d8255a4674c4ac103.jpg


Peaking in from the driver's window. *Note the novelty of a 20L (Euro) fuel tank in the back. This setup would look so much better with a small fiberglass child's seat mounted to the door (aka: dog bed), but I don't think that's going to happen. The stock seats are so bulky, too.. I'd love to replace them with a more streamlined (and inexpensive) aftermarket bucket seat.
http://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/g35driver.com-vbulletin/2000x1124/80-20160424_192442_e792db7b2d61126da2425ba4dd6e9aa44ce63f30.jpg
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Re: Beater Infiniti G35 influenced by The Road Warrior

Postby aussie muscle » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:45 am

It's an interesting project, but probably won't be 'maxxed' until you hit it with matt black paintjob. Perhaps you could mount your fuel light at the bottom of the a-pillar instead, it'd be easier to see.
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Re: Beater Infiniti G35 influenced by The Road Warrior

Postby Jpl3k » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:39 am

aussie muscle wrote:It's an interesting project, but probably won't be 'maxxed' until you hit it with matt black paintjob. Perhaps you could mount your fuel light at the bottom of the a-pillar instead, it'd be easier to see.


Thanks Aussie; I could move it just about anywhere, but I think I'm fairly pleased with it up higher, even considering the obvious inconsistency to the film. I'll have to get a pic of it at night, its very bright, you can't miss it. I've got about a 1/4 tank (5 gallons) as it is.. I think the light illuminates at ~3 gallons remaining, unless I'm parked nose-up.
I do still want to wire a buzzer to correspond with the light.. I need to give that some more thought and figure a relay into the circuit.

Unfortunately I just don't have the money to paint or vinyl wrap it, and there's too much rust (underneath, forming in corners around fenders, etc) to justify it, anyway.
It's no replica.. can't even call it an attempt at a replica. In fact, I would go on a limb and call the US Ford Torino Cobra replicas 'non-replicas'.. if it's not a RHD XB GT, it's just not what we pretend it is. From the start, the idea with this was to hint at it, to give passing fans a chuckle, and to have fun with a minor project car. People who don't know the movie won't get it at all, and it will just be a stripped Infiniti with a bunch of crap in it.

Back to stripping the driver's seat and carpet out now....
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"...and someone called the cops on me and I had to take the bodies off. Somehow my machine was scaring someone's kids" -HUMVEE Driver
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Re: Beater Infiniti G35 influenced by The Road Warrior

Postby TheDarkOne#1 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:31 am

Interesting to say the least. Madmaxed modern cars often end up looking very wrong very fast so i wouldn't take it too far.

For an '03 car you'd expect some better rust-protection.
A fella, a quick fella, might have a weapon under there.
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Re: Beater Infiniti G35 influenced by The Road Warrior

Postby Jpl3k » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:01 pm

Yeah, I decided against pulling the carpet out today, but did pull the console. I will fabricate a new console soon. Pics to come later.
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"...and someone called the cops on me and I had to take the bodies off. Somehow my machine was scaring someone's kids" -HUMVEE Driver
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Re: Beater Infiniti G35 influenced by The Road Warrior

Postby Jpl3k » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:24 pm

Today I pulled the carpet completely, thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed a ton of crap out of all the nooks and crannies, found another pocket-full of spare change (still some in the seat I just couldn't knock free), and decided that I am NOT going to be permanently removing the carpet. The floor is far too intricate with cavities and between the braces and whatnot, so screw it. There's no water damage anywhere, nothing to concern myself with. The carpet lining is surprisingly near waterproof given it is basically laminated on the bottom.

Again, I apologize for having links to the images instead of thumbnails, but they are too large and cut off halfway on this forum.

Here's the video I took last week of my low fuel lamp.. as I stated earlier, I relocated the light to the top of the A pillar.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHMsZdyU-Ck

Both seats out, time to vacuum again.
http://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/g35driver.com-vbulletin/1024x576/80-13087087_10153833716454681_5813589679543506295_o_a50a2a8603579d4602cd0025b13e41ab62dce8ce.jpg


Carpet out (passenger side view).
http://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/g35driver.com-vbulletin/1024x576/80-13071768_10153833722004681_7711798907144017385_o_b03b51eff0ab4debeb5b0a8ba637a14b77d1324d.jpg


No more console, so I painted the silver metal black, relocated the seat heater switches (ziptied securely in place), and the hazard button (also secured with a ziptie). I masked off the label on the airbag sensor, obviously. You guys may appreciate that I swapped the exhaust brake switch clamp/bracket to a movie-correct style and spun the switch to the back, as seen in TRW. I think this looks better without the console and all the metal painted black.
http://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/g35driver.com-vbulletin/1024x576/80-13072647_10153833726064681_1438027064403235052_o_8d522ad727d8aea5732bd43fe4f3c4c870e42b88.jpg


Top-down view of the same. All switches and wires tightly secured.
http://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/g35driver.com-vbulletin/576x1024/80-13063129_10153833730444681_7001928184212038728_o_12854953e9b5cdc3cbffb6fafb96135c49b34f18.jpg


So now I needed a simple cup holder and console. this old Milwaukee power tool box fits snug in place and the stock removable Infiniti cup holder fits in it perfectly. I tested it tonight with a run to Dunkin Donuts and works great, though it is temporary until I can fabricate a new console over the airbag sensor. In my Jeep I used a heavy gauge military surplus ammo box, but I want something lower for this setup. I'm not leaving that tool box there, and I expect I'll have a passenger seat again in the near future..
http://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/g35driver.com-vbulletin/1024x576/80-13047987_10153833748129681_1095433432634987611_o_489f3e994dd7fcf8b09071700e153262ee4137a5.jpg

Video of same:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVuiXCvbTrU

Random shot. Don't ask about the bandanna.. it's something I've had in the Jeep for a long time. Those big, ugly seats have got to get swapped out for something less bulky.
http://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/g35driver.com-vbulletin/1024x576/80-13055142_10153833749449681_2507073991587763677_o_c0f61cb165a048ee7a4be67dc420075f5e61a030.jpg
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"...and someone called the cops on me and I had to take the bodies off. Somehow my machine was scaring someone's kids" -HUMVEE Driver
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