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Ralph Kneale

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About Ralph Kneale

  • Rank
    1st GEN (S30)

Profile Information

  • Gender Male
  • Location Melbourne
  • Car Renault Clio RS Sport

Ralph Kneale's Activity

  1. Ralph Kneale added a post in a topic Best project car: Regular 370Z or NISMO?   

    Hi, 370Cal.
    Thanks for replying to my post.
    I can see it'll be pricey to turn my 370z into an M2 beater, but I think it's worth it. I like the looks, old-school layout, and classic Japanese tuner's dream aura. I think it'll be a blast to get it up to speed. As for return on investment, I'm not concerned about that. I just need to turn-over my cars every four years to continue to benefit from depreciation at tax time. I might keep this one, after four years, and write something else off.
    Hi, Marsh.
    Thanks for the specific details regarding tuning.
    I like your approach: everything other than the engine first. That's always been mine too. The first things I would do are to tighten and tie-down the body, which I know isn't light. I also like what you said about a mechanical LSD. Those things are the best additions to a car's performance parts, in most cases.
    It's good to hear your car's on rails. I have struggled to find anything by car reviewers that goes into the inherent balance of the car. I just want to avoid  a car that understeers. For example, an Audi RS3, which has loads of power, a short wheel base, and isn't very heavy (although also not light). It understeers like a boat, and that handling flaw just can't be fully corrected by street legal suspension changes. 
    As far as the engine is concerned, I'd be very interested to see what the 370z can do short of forced induction. If I go down that route, I'll get a supercharger because I want to retain sharp throttle response.
    I checked-out the link you provided; it looks like your car goes where it's pointed.
  2. Ralph Kneale added a topic in Introductions   

    Best project car: Regular 370Z or NISMO?
    Hello, one and all!
    It's nice to be posting on this forum for the first time. I'll introduce myself, and then get to the reason I've joined this forum.
    I am a 45 year old man with a love of old-school performance cars. I've owned numerous Honda Type Rs and an S2000, as well as a couple of Renault Clio RS models. I like cars that handle like go-karts, rev like crazy, and are as close as possible to analogue motoring.
    My job requires me to have a new car every four years, and I am looking to trade-in my four year old Renault Clio RS Sport for the kind of car that is almost extinct: a manual, rear wheel drive coupe; just because I still can. I do a lot of country driving, and I take my cars to the track, so I want a car that will be a proper and entertaining machine at the limit. I have looked at the current options for a new RWD, manual coupe, and there aren't many that come in under $100,000. In fact, the only cars still being made that aren't tanks from America are the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ and the Nissan 370Z. The BMW M2 is $110,00 plus, and then we come to Porsche Cayman and Lotus Evora ($150,000 to $200,000+).
    So, I am looking to spend no more than $60,000 on a Nissan 370Z, and add some serious coilovers, brakes, exhaust and tuning to the package so as to turn it into an M2-beater.
    My questions are these:
    1. What are the differences between the regular 370Z and the NISMO, and could those differences be improved upon if I bought a regular 370Z and got it properly suspended and tuned?
    2. How does the 370Z respond to suspension upgrades? I want a car that I can throw into corners, and be confident it will stick. I'm used to Honda Type R and RenaultSport models that turn in as if they're on rails. Does the 370Z chassis respond well to coilovers and camber change? I'm looking at KW Clubsport or something similar.
    3. What is the best option for tuning the 3.7 litre V6? Can much be gained from lightened flywheel, upgraded exhaust, remapped ECU, cams, etc., or is supercharging or turboing the best way to liberate the engine? I like a free-revving engine, and I've read the 3.7 litre V6 is quite lazy. If so, can this be significantly improved upon?
    Okay, I'll leave it there for now. Any advice would be much appreciated.
    Cheers, everyone.
    • 3 replies