samedi 5 octobre 2019

Still driving


Long time not posted anything, the car is still alive.

Refreshing still continue , some Hicas parts were replaced

New one vs Old done

There's still some other parts waiting for refreshing the rear  (Nismo silent block and Spoon rigid collars ) . I recently add Nismo rear Lower A-arm and upper link in the waiting parts following some remarks made during the annual mandatory technical controle.

If all goes well ( if my mechanics is available) the rear subframe will be taken out this winter, sanded,repainted and equipped with all the waiting parts for 2020.

In the meantime, I still drove it here and there:

At Spa with some friends during the meeting organised by "Les bruleurs de gommes"

From Left to right : R33 GTST, Toyota Supra, R33GTR and Mazda RX8

At Montlhéry (not far from Paris) for the second edition of the Japan car festival.
In France seeing more than 2 or three skyline side by side is pretty rare so it was a cool meeting from this point of view :)

Not a common sight on continental Europe

God, I love those wheels ^^

And then again back to Spa for the annual "Spa classic" event. As every year I joined the guys of the Datsun club (and being 50 years of the datsun Z, there was a lot of them :) ) .

At spa classic with members of  Datsun club

Last GTR and its older cousin Datsun 510

Skyline or not? In europe, it was sold as Datsun 240k.

That's all for today, let's hpe the next post will be in less than 2 years. 

samedi 23 septembre 2017

Beast reborn (second time)

So the rebuilding is complete and the beast is alive again :).

Still not sure about her future though ...Only time will tell.

For those who are curious, a list af the parts used for the rebuild :

Tomeï gaskets
NISSAN R32 crankcase
JUN crank long nose
EAGLE forged connecting rods
ARP bolts and studs
REIMAX oil pump rotor kit

samedi 19 août 2017

Still alive (sort of )

Hello all,

Yeah, the 33 still exist (sort of) even if fate struck again...
But more about that later, now it's time to speak about what had been done in February alongside the strut tower renovation.

Part 1 : Renovation

As I said in my previous spot, rust took its toll but now it's fixed. As the body shop seems to well know the R33 (for a continental Europe shop), I decided to do some others small fixes on the car.

  • Pillar gauges : Even if it was functionnal, I condamned the air vent with my previous installation and it was far from esthetically nice. So say hello to the pillar gauge mount.

  • Repainting the motor covers : Polished cover seems always cool on the internet but the result on mine was not pretty. So goodbye to polish and hello again the black paint. And just for the bling, I choose a vermiculous paint instead of a classical one.

  • Replacing the third light in the spoiler : It seems that some leds were dead on mine so I ask the body shop to repair that. When the guy take it out, it appeared that it was already repair once but not in the best way (a lot of sealant was used to cover the real state of the lights)
What really lies below a lot of sealant ....
So at this point I was pretty happy, the car was nicely refreshed and the only step that was left was a remapping of the ECU.

Part 2 : when fate strike again

So begin May, I went by Evolve performance to take car of the mapping part.
All goes well until the car suddenly shut down ...
We check the oil pressure, timing belt, etc ... All seems Ok but the car won't restart  or only a few seconds and with a rattle sound totally not reassuring ...

As the boss of Evolve perfomance is also a Skyline owner and had already work on some RB26 by himself, I decided to let him the car for repairi ...
At this moment, I was so upset that my only idea was to repair it and sell it as soon as possible.

 So what happened?

Basically, the bearing rod on piston n°5 welded with the crankshaft

It seems that Nissan crankshaft have not the same dimension everywhere. When I decided to go on reinforced bearings rods, I asked the motorist which dimension I must take but he replied that the standard will be enough.
He was wrong but given my driving style with the 33 (more often cool than angry driving), it took some time to make some damage to the motor.

I'm some sort of lucky that it happened on a dyno and that the pistons and chambers were intact.

So next step :

  • Forged connecting rods (OEM woudl be good be the forged ones are easier to get).
  • "New" crankcase (in fact a used R32 one but with the reinforced end).
  • New bearings (included crankcase bearings which following the motorist were in bad shape ...).
  • Replanification of the cylinder head.
  • Complete new joint sets.
 I don't go to forged piston partly for a question of budget and partly because I didn't seek for power.
Even if I kept it, I'd rather spend money on the chassis instead.

The work already begun and is now at this stage

 Part 3 : What's next ?

And here comes the question again. Just before part 2, I decide to keep the car regarding all the work done on it (and the stories that are connected to that car).

When the motor broke (again) , I must say that it was the last straw that breaks the camel back.
Since the begining it had been a love/hate story (or drive/repair).
I invested a lot of money (too much to be honest) in that car and the running costs/ upgrade costs are not low ( more if I look how much I really drive the car ) .
There's also two other things that I consider :
  • I always fear that fixing the next trouble will be beyond reach (budget speaking or will ).
  • I'm more and more tempted to make a restomod project on a Datsun 510 or a toyota Ke70 and the budget is not infinite (I always have my 1976 mazda 808 and my BRZ aside)
So the first reaction was : Fix it so you have something right to sell.
Six months later, I'm less decided to go to this route.
I suppose that I have to drive it a bit when it will be repaired before taking any decision.

As I already said some months ago , to be followed ...


jeudi 9 février 2017

From metal sheet to ... something better

Hello everyone,

As I said before , both front shock towers show some sign of rust so it was time to take care of it

The left front strut was the most hit by rust

but the other side was not spared :(

After some search and personnal hesitation, I found a body shop which can take care of it.
The body shop's owner has a passion for japanese sports cars and had some gold in his hands.
He was kind enough to send me pictures of every step of his work so I'll let them here.
No words needed, the pictures will do the talk :


If you want to see the other side, you can see the pictures on my google picture album (just click).

The strut towers are not the only task planned  but it will be for another post in a few weeks (when all will be done).

jeudi 4 août 2016

Adventure will go on :) (Personnal chatting and future plan)

Hi everyone,

After much thought and some up and down about the GTR, I finally decided to go on with it.

After some fixing on the exhaust line (consequence of my previous offroad adventure ath the beginning of this year), I was able to drive it again.

As foreseen, I went to "Le Mans classique" with it and enjoy the 500km ride even with my still non working aircon (Ok, I admit that it will be more pleaseant with a working one).
Concerning the event itself it was huge and full of beautiful cars but I'm must admit that I 'm always a bit sad that there is so few old japanese cars outside the "Z"

Thanks again to the Datsun france Club that allow me to take part with them

But much more that 2x500km trip that's the small rides were I enjoy the car back. What I think finally decide me is some chating with during a photoshoot we made with two members of  Okutan 102 facebook page.

Even those two guys are more honda fan, they've a lot of passion for all japanese cars. I already helped them with my two other toys ( My 1976 Mazda 818 and my daily BRZ ) and it's always a pleasure to chat with them.
So speaking with them I realize that I only focused on the weak points of my cars and forget how lucky I was to drive such a car in continental Europe.

So enough sentimental chatting, let's take a look on what we'll come next.

First : front turret rust problem. It's a well known problem of our Nissan and my car was unfortunatly not spare by it.

I'll try to find someone who could solve this AND my aircon problem in the same time during winter so I can enjoy my car fully next summer.

In the list of other jobs to do, there's also :
  1. front headlights replacement. The conversion (for LHD drive) was not perfectly done and the plastic had worn a lot inside...
  2. Find a beter/proper placement for the gauges as their actual position have too much  taste of unfinished business.
  3. Check the pressure regulator. As it's probably still the original one, I wonder if I'll go for a new OEM one (still wait news from My Nissan dealer if we could get one in EU) or directly use a BORDER(tm) Fuel delivery kit (replacing the rail in the same time). If anyone and an advice on this part, I'm listening  
Once those change will be made, I will take care of the chassis with (in mid/longterm depending of the budget):
  • replacement of all the old bushings
  • installation of front brace
  • Installation of Nismo link set front and rear
I did'nt abandon the idea of making a S-tune replica with my car but the price of those "simple pieces of plastic" vs real benefit of it made bumpers and side skirt replacement go down to the very bottom of the list.

So still a lot of things to do but decision is made to go further so  let's roll (and may be start playing lottery too :p )


samedi 23 avril 2016

Still alive ... and driving (sort of...)

Long time I didn't post here.

The 33 is still alive but I must admit that since the "Spa classic", I didn't drive it a lot.

Last summer, I let it to my brother-in-law's garage for a complete check of the underneath and treatment of some rust points (mainly on the rear section).

Then, my back problems came back and I prefer to drive more my BRZ instead.
Not really because it's a way more comfortable (it's lower, less accessible, and quite as "harsh" as the GTR) but rather beacause it's more modern (with heater seats which help a little with the back, less consumption, working airco ...), more agile and it allow me to come a way lot closer to "fun within legal limits" than with the GTR to be honnest.

To add more doubt in my mind, start of the year with the skyline was bad

Cold and wet condition with summer tyres (and possible addition of some oil on the road) and the rear decided to suddenly go first at the exit of a roundabout to end up like this.

Seeing the picture today, I realize that I had a lot of luck to be stopped by the ditch were the rear fall. Some meters sooner or later (into the small woods) and damages could be lot worse.

Mechanic wasn't affected (except a lot of mud in the exhaust), the front lip was destroyed and rear and driver car door sill need some repairs

I must admit that at this moment, I was very tempted to put it on sale as it was.
I was still in the same state of mind that in my post from october 2013 and this incident was sort of " the drop of water that has made the vase overflow"...
But after some thoughts, I decided to repair it  (at least to be able to take part at "Le Mans classic" this year) and see later what to do ...

So some weeks ago, the Skyline was finally repaired and the old front lip was replaced door a new Greddy version. 

 So it's back (in her box at least). As I said before, I intended to take part at the "Le Mans classic"  and some other events in the next few weeks but after that ...

It is a formidable car (and it allows me to meet a lot of people with some of them who became good friends) but I still have the feeling of walking on the edge with it.

I think that all the drawbacks (and to be honnest the costs/driven kilometers) are too close of overflowing the good memories it brings.

Only future will tell what will come next ...

lundi 25 mai 2015

First track

Hello all,

This week-end I had the opportunity to take the GTR for a spin on the SPa francorchamps track during the 2015 edition of Spa classics  ( More info here ).
When I speak of "take it for a spin", I didn't intend to take the expression by the word but as it was my first  "wheel on track", the risk stood there.

But besides the small spin, it was a lot of fun. I hope that I could make other track sessions later during this year.

So enough talkin, let's the video speak

P.S.: I also had the opportunity to meet a very rare machine in Europe, ancestor of my skyline