dimanche 15 décembre 2013

Winter is coming ...

… and my OEM wheels came back from painting, with their Nokian tires (and the new center caps I bought some months ago).

In my father's garage, waiting to be clean up ...
After a (very) quick wash, in the winter last daylight.
In my last post, i was talking about pursuing the upgrade of the skyline or buying an "oldie" aside.
Since then I thought more and more about it and then came the opportunity to buy a 1976 Mazda 818 coupé (known as "Grand Familia" in Japan, 808 in US, ...) in very good condition.

My new toy. A 1976 Mazda 818 Coupé "Deluxe".
Thanks to my friend Eric for the picture.
So I took it : I didn't want to miss such an opportunity to find a clean old japanese car.
On the european market, it is everyday more difficult for a reasonable budget to find a pearl like that.

I will keep the skyline but i think that I'm done with upgrade/modification part .
Now that the car is stable from a mechanic point of view, I just want to enjoy it (and replace/renewed the older/most worn parts).

Some hours ago, in the already black night, I was quietly driving back to my flat, listening the soundtrack of Format67's documentary "We write the streets". 
The blue lights from the dashboard (again thanks to AKI for the idea) and gauges were slighty glowing in the car and I thought "That's it".

 It's difficult to explain but this simple moment was one of those which nearly erase all the difficulties that happened before.

I really do appreciate sport cars (as photographic subject and from a technical point of view) and I still want to test my R33 on a track but I'm not sure that I will really appreciate it so much.

Of course, speed and power are generally the first thought that comes at mind, when you look at documentaries such "We write the streets" or internet sites as "Speedhunters", but you can also just enjoy the car for what it is and the whole story within it.

As I already said it before; I was not a huge fan of the Skyline at first. It was, for me, just a rare (on european scene) japanese sport car. That’s all. 
But, after all the time I spent working on it, it slowly became my car (and not just "a" car).
Even if I didn't exploit it to its maximum potential, I appreciate being behind the wheel and that's all that matter.

For those who did'nt know Format67 yet, I recommand Daniel Michaelis's channel on you tube :
And the soundtrack I was talking about:

dimanche 20 octobre 2013

Some thoughts about the future

Hi everyone,

Some news about the car itself :
  • The OEM wheels had been repainted and received new OEM center cap for the winter. (picture when the car will come back in winter mode)
  • The oil relocation kit is back with more reliable fastening system. 
  • There's still has some tiny oil leakage in the system to be checked (though, the oil level stay  stable)
  • I didn't have find yet why my air conditionning isn't working (There's gas in the system and the ECU send the order)
  • Sealing of ATTESA system (near the gearbox) still need some checking and renewal.
  • I still have to put thermal tape on elbows and te downpipe.
So, the car is fine and rides well but ther's still some work to do to make it back to a clean state.

Since my last post, i have the opportunity to take part in a large meeting organised by a french magazine dedicated to japanese cars ( Autoworks : http://www.autoworks-mag.net/ ).
There also was a round of the French championship drift and i must admit that it was great to see that.
I hope that i can see more rounds next year (so some road trip in sight given where the rounds took places).

Anyway, back to my car,  here's some pictures taken during the event that I found on the web.
Courtesy of Arret sur garage

Courtesy of "MAT photography" 
Courtesy of "All cars photography"

Now that the meetings season is nearly done, it's time to wonder a little about the future.
When I first decided to bought a skyline it was more to have something different from the rest of the european automotive scene rather than because i was a skyline fan.
From this point of view, it is a succes when you see how people react when they see the car.
I must admit that some reactions still surprised me even if i'm aware that the skyline is pretty rare in Europe.
On the other side with the biggest problems solved, I start to realise that such great could be this car, it's very difficult to take pleasure with it on the open roads that i have without exceeding legal speed limits.
Compare to my ex old mini, it's a very frustrating situation.
Given the time and money that i put into it, i will keep it some years (still have to do some road triping with it) but i'm still wonder what to do next :
  1. Just fixing the last problems and drive it like it is (more as a GT for long road trips) and maybe looking for a japanese oldtimer car for fun on open road.
  2. Continuing with equipping it with more fancy stuff (oil radiator, metal water radiator, NISMO suspension parts, etc ...) .
I don't have any answers right now. I think that some tests on a closed track would be needed to take a decision.

So as they say

samedi 31 août 2013

Some last issues and first mountainous ride

 Hello everyone
Long time i didn't post anything new here.
So since last time, the boost controller, gauges and NISMO carpets were installed:
Gauges installed :
AFR one replace the ash tray 
Greddy one (oil, water, EGT) replace the right vent (but still need some cosmetic adaptation)

Some week after that i must go to the annual "technical check" mandatory in Belgium.
The car was rejected because the CO percentage was to high.
After replacing the sensors and the catalyst (by a sport one with 76mm entry and exit), the problem was still there.

The new "sport" catalyst and mounting of AFR and EGT sensor

After some internet research and help from an french skyline owner, i found the origin of the problem. As I choose a "generic" mapped 32 ECU for SP98 use instead of full mapping, there was some conflict with the R33 harness.
Eventually, the solution was pretty simple (two wires to switch on one sensor and a link between two pin to make on the ECU). (fro more details, see : See also : http://nistune.com/docs/R32%20GTR%20ECU%20on%20R33%20GTR.pdf )

Situation before and after the mods.
I know that remapping or not for SP98 is always source of conflict in the european GTR owners community and ok may be I didn't choose the best way to solve it but I didn't (and still don't) have a unlimited budget so I could'nt afford a "new" motor and a full appropriate mapping.
Remapped 32 ECU seems the best and fastest way at the time.

Anyway, problem solved, technical check OK, i eventually can enjoy riding my 33.

So last week-end I decided to take a right south to make a visit to some friends in Alsace and enjoy the mountainous roads there.

As it was a first one for me and the weather was not the brightest one (it was literally a drive into the clouds some times), it was a very calm ride .
Anyway, I enjoyed this "first mountainous" experience et hope that i could do it again with better weather next year.
Monument on "Le vieil Armand" dedicated to the memory of the soldiers who fought and died during WWI.

My passenger of the day and my 33 in the clouds near the top of "Le grand ballon d'Alsace"
Seems that I was not the only one who wants to enjoy a drive that day.
Out of the clouds and on the road down to the town of  Guebwiller

mardi 21 mai 2013

Mods summary so far / Résumé des modifications

Hello everybody/ Bonjour tout le monde

Comme on me demande de plus en plus souvent les modifications qui ont été faites sur la voiture, je pense qu'il est temps de faire un petit résumé des modifications réalisées jusqu'ici (jespère ne rien oublier)
En bleu les pièces en cours d'arrivage

As I am asked more and more often the mods that have been made on the car, I think it is time to do a quick summary of those made so far (hope forget nothing))
In blue, parts that will arrive very soon.

1995 Nissan Skyline R33 GTR std (+/- 76000km)

Engine/Moteur :
  • second hand RB26 std dismantled, checked and rebuild with / démonté, vérifié et reconstruit avec :
    • NISMO 1.2mm metal headgasket (joint de culasse metal)
    • NISSAN new gaskets set (autres joints moteur nissan neufs)
    • New piston rings (nouveaux segments)
    • TOMEI oil baffle plate (cloissonnement de carter)
    • TOMEI oil restrictor (restricteur d'huile)
    • MINES Triple baffle plate cam cover (système de récupération d'huile dans les couvre culasse)
    • NISSAN new coils (nouvelles bobines)
    • ACL bearings (coussinets)
    • ARP rods and studs (boulonnerie)
    • NISMO thermostat
    • NISMO oil cap (bouchon d'huile)
    • NISMO timing belt (courroie de distribution)
    • NISSAN N1 water pump
    • NISSAN N1 oil pump
  • GARRET GT2860Rs turbos
  • KINUGAWA turbo hoses (durite turbos style aviation)
  • Reinforced hoses (durites renforcées)
  • GREDDY oil relocation kit (kit de relocalisation du filtre à huile)
  • NISMO water cap (bouchon de radiateur)
Intake & Exhaust / Aspiration & Echappement
  • HKS mushroom filter (admission directe HKS)
  • TOMEI turbo outlet pipe (pipes de sortie de turbo)
  • KAKIMOTO type R exhaust ( ligne d'échappement)

  • R32 ECU with stage 1 mod (boost pressure 1bar, no more speed limit and some other mods to drive with SP98)
  • HKS EVC boost controller 

  • NISMO sport coppermix clutch kit
  • TEIN short springs

  • NISMO speedometer (compteur de vitesse)
  • NISMO triple gauge (triple manos)
  • DEFI racer turbo boost gauge (mano turbo)
  • GREDDY multi D/A gauge (oil pressure, oil & water temp) / (jauge pour pression & température d'huile et température d'eau)
  • NISMO floor mat set ( set de tapis de sol nismo)
  • ALPINE CDA-117Ri
  • DLS 125 front speakers (HP avant)
  • ROCKFORD-FOSGATE Punch series amplifier
  • KAPPA Infinity 62.9i rear speakers
  • ROTA GTR 18" wheels
  • NISMO S-Tune Side Winker/Marker Set (clignotants latéraux blanc)

vendredi 10 mai 2013

Aesthetic change

Some weeks ago, I bought a 1/18 autoart R33 S-tune and I thought that it could be a nice inspiration to complete the look of my 1/1 model.

So I look for some specialists to realise this idea.
I found one ( http://www.mikedsign.be/ )  not far from home and after some phone and mail exchanges, we agree on a project.

And here is the result.

Autoart R33 S-tune 1/18 and my R33 1/1
My 33 project from rear left
My 33 project from front right
I still have a "Format67" to place to finish it but it's almost done. I must say, i'm really happy with this project. It gives the car a nicer look without being "too much".
May be some people will think that the look doesn't completely match the performance but I'm happy with the result.
What do you think?

jeudi 18 avril 2013

A week of mechanical

Hello everyone,

Last week my brother-in-law let me access his garage and tools for a week to work on the 33.
Let's go with what have been done during this week :

1) Painting the center of brake discs 
Mines had a rusty aspect that was not very beautiful so i decided to change that.

Brake disc before
Brake disc after treatment and painting

2) Installing NISMO carbon pillar garnish

I had those since a long time but didn't had time to install it. Now it's done and that will fit perfectly with the future aesthetic change that I imagine.

3) Oil, Gearbox oil and front transferbox oil change.

4) Replacing of the OEM turbo outlet pipe with TOMEI ones 
One of the toughest job because those pipe are not the most accessible part in the car.
I had to remove all the intakes part and need to disconnect the rear turbo to gain some space to work.
Admission out, rear turbo disconnected and OEM outlet pipe down
The second problem was that I realised to late that the pipes I received were R34 one's (TOMEI has two reference 421201for R34 and 421101 for R32/33).
The problem is that I had a reprogrammed 32 ECU with 32 sensors (to allow me to drive with SP98 that we found in Europe). Those sensors don't have the same dimension than 33/34 ones.
As I don't have time to exchange the pipes or order adaptators for 32, we were forced to do some welding to modify the pipes I had.
I felt really sorry to modify such perfect parts but I thank the welder who works with my brother-in-law to allow me to go further.

Modified TOMEI outlet pipe
5) Cleaning the front strut bar
No picture, just give a little refreshment to the bar and put a new "skyline GTR" sticker on it. 

6) Replacing the OEM 17" wheels with my 18" ones
As the winter is finally gone, I decided to come back to the 18" wheels with "summer" tires

I nearly done all what I planned to do but i must admit that there were some moments when I curse myself from wanting to do it (nearly) by myself (i'm not mechanical at all for remembrance)
Anyway, the job is finally done and I think I don't will make any other "big work" on the car before a while (except solving my airbag/horn trouble and finding someone to install a boost controller).

Next step: a few cosmetic changes. More photos early May I hope.

Thanks for reading

dimanche 17 mars 2013

Kakimoto exhaust installed


So last Friday I received a package from Japan (thanks to Suruga performance for that)

So my new exhaust arrived with some other useful things (new Nissan coils and harness EGI, some Gaskets  and the Tomeï outlet turbos pipes) to comeback on the road.

As I was on holiday and my brother-in-law had some place in his garage for me to work, I didn't wait and change my coils, harness and the spark plugs immediately (ok, actually, it took me 2 hours but i'm far from being a mechanic).

Result : the misfires were gone \o/.
I didn't stop there and replace my Japspeed(tm) exhaust with the Kakimoto(tm) R one.
The mid-silencer section of the Kakimoto R exhaust

End section of the Kakimoto R (still with his protective sheet)
Beside being a beautiful piece (from my point of view), this new exhaust with his mid silencer is really quieter than the Japseed. 
What a change! And a good one.

As the misfires were gone, I was able to tack my car back even if I must still replace the turbo outlet pipes. It was a real pleasure to drive it again.
Next step, replacement of the turbo pipes during second week of april.
I'll try to make some pictures of the work.

To end this post, two shots of my precious (:p) after a quick wash (it needs it ...).

dimanche 24 février 2013

Back to the garage

Some fresh news.

So the run in continue but not as smooth than at the beginning.

As I come close to the 2000km, i start to push the car a little higher in the rev.

I discover that the car has some trouble around 5000rpm ( when i reached 5000, the indicator jumped between 4800 and 5200 rpm).
As turbo pressure stood stable, we thought that i had some misfires.
Beside that, when we check the car with my brother-in-law, we also discovered that there was a crack in the turbo outelt pipe (front turbo).

So the car is back to the garage waiting for my last order :

-) Tomeï outlet turbo pipes

-) New gaskets for the turbo outlet

-) New coils (and harness for the coils). I choose OEM ones because 
  1. I found some feedbacks with durability trouble on Spitfire ones (and if something can go wrong in a car. I'll have the problem)
  2. As tempting as the Okada plasma option is, my budget does not stretch.
-) New Kakimodo Type R exhaust system. As I intend to use my 33 to make some "long" distance, the kakimoto one will be better with his intermediate silencer than the noisy Japseed one I curently had.

-) New Iridium BKR7EIX spark plugs.

Hope to receive the whole lot quickly (and find some time to fix all).

samedi 2 février 2013

Small things

Hello everyone,

No big news today, just received some little OEM parts to have a "proper" car.
  • New sticker for front bar
  • New center caps for OEM wheels  (as i will keep the original wheels to drive in winter/autumn with Nokian winter tyres, they will be reconditionned this summer) 
  • Emblems (Not sure i took the right ref.)
  • Grommet screw (mine is nearly completely away)
  • I also received some clips to fix back inside the rear boot and new seals for the decat (not on the pics)

I hope that good weather will come back soon so I can install all this stuff.

dimanche 13 janvier 2013

Back on the road

Hi everyone,

I continue to run in the car, nearly 1100 km (and a oil change at 500) had been done so far.
Everything run smooth for the moment.

Still a little problem with the new airbag but soon i'll go to the official GTR (R35) belgian dealer who should have all the necessary to check and fix that.

 I 'll try to post pictures of the different places I go during the run in (even if the weather is not very good for the moment).

Lac du Val Joly, France

Barrage de l'Eau d'heure, Belgique

First snow :) (Just leave the car two hours outside in front of my flat and found it like that)