Help! Please: My 350z and epic bad luck

I recently purchased a 2006 Nissan 350z. This is my first major car purchase, and that being the case, I, of course, had full coverage. The first week I had it, I had some problems with my insurance when someone flung debris at my hood on the road. They did make good, you would figure State Farm and 10 year tenure would suffice, when I wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, but I was left annoyed enough by the experience to bump down to liability only. My thinking was, having never been in a major accident, if anything happens, I’ll just pay out of pocket and not pay my full premium every month. Just my luck, famous last words and thoughts… Long story short, I was in a major accident in which the responsible party cut me off and left the scene. My car is completely totalled body and undercarriage-wise, but the engine and transmission are perfectly fine. Our mechanic said that we are better off just writing the whole thing off, but, at this point, dumping the better part 20k is not an option I am going to take brashly. I asked him if I could have the engine/transmission placed in another “shell” if I were to find it, and he informed me that the car would not only have to be the same year, but the same month as well because of the ECU. First query, is this accurate? Second query, what if I found any “shell” and got the correct year/month ECU? He didn’t really say this wasn’t an option when I asked, but he didn’t like the idea and said that when you start looking into solutions of this type “things never end up the same/right.” Could I possibly buy a 2003-2008, same body style years, and the correct ECU, and proceed from there? has several options for me in this regard, but when I narrow the search down to a very specific production month, it severly limits my options and time for them. I need to know soon, because he was nice enough to allow me to keep it there a week thus far, but he is growing impatient.

I think you are in deep on this. It seems your mechanic is well informed. The 350z was not a high volume car and changes could be made within a model year on this car. You might be able to use a different year “shell” but the results could be disappointing. Electronics on these cars is now so integrated it isn’t just the ECU anymore. All the sensors would have to be either compatible or switched from one car to the other. Lots of labor, and then lots of troubleshooting time without certainty of success.

The labor involved to do this would exceed the value of the patched together car…Today, half the drivers on the road have no insurance and are certain to leave the scene if they are able to…So if you own a $20,000 car, maintaining full-coverage insurance is a must…Only when the value of the vehicle drops below $4-5K dollars is it “safe” to drop collision insurance…

You’re better off just parting out what’s left of the car, taking the money you get in order to purchase a different car.

A functional drivetrain, interior components, and lots of other bits do bring in a bit of money.
Maybe not $20k’s worth, but its better than nothing at all.

Next time, when you get upset with your insurance company, just change insurance companies, don’t drop insurance levels.



True in hindsight. :confused: But I also didn’t want to loose my 10 year standing with them, which is the weight I through around to get my initial problem remedied in the first place.

I think sticking to the correct year is close enough but the reason for the mechanic mentioning month specific is that because sometimes changes are made on the production line even on a 1 year run of a specific make and model.
In other words, a 2006 350Z manufactured in Nov. of 2005 may be slightly different in a fw areas as cmpared to one manufactured in Aug. of 2005. It just all depends.

The reason the mechanic is hesitant about this is that because sometimes a can of worms can be opened up on something like this. He does not want to be the bad guy if problems crop up and any estimate about doing the swap has to go out the window.

Offhand, it’s feasible if you find the same year model but still debateable as to whether it’s worth it or not.
The sticky issue in my opinion would be finding a clean rolling chassis of the same year at the right price; as in cheap.

Your chances of finding a clean rolling chassis for this car are somewhere very close to absolute zero. These are low volume cars to begin with, and if one blows a motor in a car ilke this they replace the motor, they don;t scrap the car.

Your best bet might be to try to sell the motor and drivetrain and scrap the rest.

Or put the motor and drivetrain into something else. . .Something that looks slow, maybe. >:)

Dropping full coverage on an almost $20,000 dollar car isn’t bad luck, just a bad decision. The next time you get mad at your insurance company, change companies, not coverage.

Agree with oldtimer. AND the 10 year tenure with any insurance company is/was not really worth much. Each state has an insurance commissioner, so when they give you the runaround, you have someone to go to and complain.

I’m of the opinion that the longer you are with an insurance company the more they take you for granted. I end up switching every four or five years because the agents can get very lax after they figure out you have some bizarre sense of loyalty to them. To go with only liability on a 20k car to spite the insurance company was extremely foolish, as you found out.

While I understand your mechanics point, I strongly disagree as you have your complete car at the ready with ECM, wireharness, etc. Since you have all the parts, it should make the swap much simpler. What is a shell going to cost you??