Reinstalling Controls | LS-Powered 350Z Project

We ended our last installment staring at the freshly painted interior of our Nissan 350Z. After its birth as an LS1-swapped street car at the LOJ Conversions shop, we were on the home stretch of turning it into a (theoretically competitive) time trial car.

Painting the interior was a big accomplishment, but it only paved the way for more hard work. Before we could get on track, we needed to replace everything we’d removed in order to paint, then add more gear to keep us safe and comfortable on track. Let’s get to work.

First on the list: our controls. We’d removed the steering column and pedals for paint, and they wouldn’t do us much good left sitting on the bench. We cleaned and painted each part satin black, then carefully bolted them back into the car.

We thought about swapping out the factory steering column for an aftermarket unit in order to save some weight, but instead settled on just trimming some of its extra steel off and living with its 8.1-pound weight. We also disassembled and removed the OEM steering lock to avoid any on-track catastrophe. We left about five pounds on the table here compared to an aftermarket column, but saved some cash and some time waiting on the UPS truck. We figured that was a fair tradeoff for now; especially since we still have tilt steering! We topped the column with our AEM CD-7L digital dash, which we’d already built a mount for a few updates back.

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