Wednesday 19 February 2020

Japan Racing JR29

I had a desire for new wheels, nothing wrong with the old ones, but just fancied the change (like you do). 
Long story short, spoke to Driftworks about getting some nice Work wheels. It just was not happening though and there seemed to be a tremendous problem with getting the correct offset. Try a different offset and have all the risk myself? No, I don't think I like the word "risk"!

Que Japan Racing, a budget wheel manufacturer from Poland (not sure where Japan come into it). They have a clever business model manufacturing for many different brands of car with PCD, offsets, and diameters in many different sizes. I went with a spoke design (similar to a Works wheel). Not only could you have the offset machined but you also can have the PCD of your choosing. These were supplied through Auto Extreme

The downside to having the bolt holes machined is that Japan Racing machine the wheel blank after it has been finished painted so you end up with bare metal bolt holes. It's okay, but not ideal as in my opinion these will not weather as well as a fully finished wheel. 

The wheels I ordered were flat black, I used the term 'were' as after attaching one to the car it looked wrong and had zero aesthetic impact, also the exposed bolt holes would eventually drive my OCD into overdrive. 

JR29 fitted to the car, just wasn't working for me

By chance, I spoke to a friend of mine on Facebook who has the Work style wheels. These were in (I can't remember what it is called now) GT Silver (I think). This is a black base with silver overlay. Inspired that the wheel could look good, I decided to change colour.  

Friends Car 
There are various mixes based on this theme with names like Hyper Black which in turn is similar to Shadow Chrome etc. 

I spoke to the Wheel Specialist in Maidenhead and went with Shadow Chrome. They actually turned the wheels around in a couple of days (which took me by surprise!). Their attention to detail is lovely with black weights for balancing etc. The finish is flawless. Basically, my new wheels looked better than new ones (if that makes any sense). 

These were finished off with a set of TGR Motorsport wheel nuts. Did get some internal drive nuts from Japan Racing, which were serviceable, but uninspired.  

 Assorted musings.

The wheels were very tight on the spigots, it was a real wrestling job to get them on with the nuts. 

Use copper slip when fitting wheels, it will help get them off at a later date. 

The PCD holes are tight, especially deep on the front. Internal drive tuner style bolts are a must-have. 

Wheel sizes with a PCD of 114.3

18 x 9.5 et 35 rears 
18 x 8.5 et 30 fronts


Yokohama Advan AD08r 
265/35 R18 Rears
235/40 R18 Fronts

Friday 31 January 2020

Mishimoto R-Line Intercooler Vs Unbranded Bells Auto Services

Following on from my last post. When my tuner told me that my intercooler was inefficient I admit that I was skeptical. After all, I had a large 4" core intercooler from a respected brand and his proposal to fit something cheaper, unbranded and from China was not sitting well with me at all! 
However, the fact remained that intake temperatures were holding things back and on the dyno, the car was seeing significant rises. This would obviously have a knock-on effect when using the car, especially on hot sunny days.  

The intercooler I had chosen (for no other reason than I have one of their radiators and an intercooler is like a radiator? No?) was a Mishimoto R-Line Universal 100mm core in black. 
Its description reads as follows: 
"The Mishimoto R-Line intercooler provides the perfect cooling capacity needed for supercharged and turbo charged vehicles. Constructed of 6061 aircraft-quality aluminium for extreme durability, the Mishimoto R-Line intercooler will efficiently reduce induction air temperatures, while significantly improving engine output. Mishimoto front-mount intercoolers are precision TIG welded, offering an enhanced level of performance. The R-Line intercooler will provide the ideal cooling capacity, while safely increasing horsepower and giving that extra boost that every driver appreciates."

It sounds like it ticks all the right boxes for the average man on the street! Alas, it turned out not to be quite as advertised. 

Bells Auto Services in Ropley did a dyno run on the Mishimoto and then the replacement intercooler to see how temperatures compared. The results were pretty staggering. 

As you can see above, the blue line (Temp 1) represents the Mishimoto R-Line, The replacement unbranded intercooler is shown in orange (Temp 2). The Mishimoto not only starts out high but keeps climbing at an exponential rate to 43°C so it is massively inefficient and flys in the face of the advertising blurb. It should also be noted that for this test the bumper was off for the Mishimoto and back on for the replacement. So the Mishimoto had every advantage to shine! 

So in short, I brought badly and although it could be said I did not do my research, I can't say I have seen many comparisons on intercooler efficiency, in fact, I don't think that there are that many (probably a bit of a faff to be bolting and unbolting intercoolers). 

The only change I had made to the replacement intercooler was to have it powder coated in black, not that I believe this helps dissipate heat, I just prefer the stealth look.

So, in conclusion, I am not saying don't but a Mishimoto Intercooler product at all. Do research your selection carefully though.   

Thursday 30 January 2020

Intercoolers - Not all are equal

Hi and welcome back!

Referencing back to the last upgrades that were done on the car (Garrett 3076 gen II) I had a problem with intake temperatures rising. This was obviously affecting the map and meant I wasn't running as efficiently as I could be. My tuners suggested the car be upgraded with a larger 4" core intercooler. This left me confused as I already had one, A Mishimoto Type R no less.
Before I could grab my wallet and order up something expensive my tuner suggested that he has had good results with an unbranded intercooler from China. Now, this did put me off a little but it was quite reasonably priced and would be a straight'ish swap.

I decided to also have the intercooler painted black, not because I think for one moment that it helps efficiency but more because it is aesthetically pleasing on the front of a black car.

Although I do not have the data logs yet (the tuner shall post them up later), the results were actually quite surprising. Approaching peak power intake temps of the Mishimoto was around 43 degrees centigrade. Compare this to the unbranded one which only went as high as 25 degrees. This is some difference not only releasing the potential of the car more freely but will be a bonus on particularly hot days (we do have them in the UK) when the car would be forced to hold itself back.

I obviously can't say that I am an expert in these things although in this case it certainly looks as though the Mishimoto is not all it claims to be. Physically the intercoolers may be the same dimensions although the unbranded one appears to have more bar and fin construction. Hence greater cooling. Apart from being able to say, Mishimoto = No! I would advise caution when buying and dearer is not always better! 

As for the outcome? 
I can't complain! 

Friday 17 January 2020

New Year - Same desire!

I started out this year and am already at the car thing again.

Fancy bonnet prop for shows.

New catch can/water bottle.

Fitted an ATOTO A6 Pro car stereo, Dash Cam and DAB+ receiver.

Fixed an issue with the passenger side headlight where one full-beam refused to turn on. Was actually me at fault as one of my soldered joints (was experimenting at the time with heat solder joints) had come apart.

I am booked in to change the Mishimoto Type R Intercooler for something a bit more efficient.

Lastly am looking towards a minor cosmetic change in wheels with a staggered set from Japan Racing JR11's.

So although been a little silent (busy with house build) I have not been quite idol about keeping the dream alive!
The long shot

Pesky headlights am an expert on fixing hids now! 

Good view of the Garrett 3076R Gen 2 with a carbon inlet fitted. 

Not being one for stickering I couldn't resist Nengun's badge on the fuse box. Will it stay there? Probably not! 

Shipped a DEi turbo blanket in from the USA to the UK. It worked out a lot cheaper than buying here! 

Had to have the throttle body pipe fabricated to fit around the new catch can. 
Will try and put some order back into things and get posting again as much has been done. Some of it is actually of interest! I do have to say that the ATOTO A6 is full of win. It is one of the better Android units from China. It is an irony that I rarely play music in the car but for its sat-nav alone it is worth it to me. The unexpected bonus is that it looks really good (that is my opinion) and fits perfectly with a few cheats to get it 'just right'.

So, I'll be back! 

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Forums are dead? Long live the Forum!

Is social media the new, new coming of age?

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I last shared my infinite pearls of wisdom as I (sometimes foolishly) pick apart my Skyline into a bazzilion unrecognisable bits and then in a rather haphazard way suggest that you all have a go at it on here.
This is in part to do with the fact that there is not an awful lot left of the car for me to improve (vandalise) on. It is pretty much where it needs to be (even if it is having some work right now, that is the end of it I swear!).
I have actually been quite busy with Facebook... Now you may say that social media is the Devils work, that you don't want to be looked at or look at endless pictures of someones dinner, child, right or left wing ideals and even helping to rig US elections. But there is another side to it and three years ago four chaps started a group page the Skyline Owners Forum, with the vague idea that a few people in the UK may enjoy an independent, non sponsored place to post their thoughts. Well it kind of took off and is now hitting at 23k members and has a team of enthusiasts looking after it.

Lets face it anyone with half a clue can start a Facebook group for whatever they like and quickly build a community of like minded people. Although it is something else again to start a group, keep it active and topical. Just by searching the Skyline name you will find dozens.

Now I am sure that you are all saying this is very commendable, well done and all that (if you have not switched to something much more entertaining by now).

Groups for Facebook may have started sometime ago. But before smartphones were in everyone's hot little hands and back at that time if you had a passing interest in a Skyline, you would probably have to join one of the forums on the internet. These were strange places where it wasn't always easy to post, especially pictures and other regular users seemed to be in some little private club all of their own. These cliques never to be penetrated by the average man on the street. It never suited forums to have a proper Facebook presence and comments were often discouraged or deleted.

Every old style forum has its politics, what is allowed, what isn't. The local troll, the local keyboard warrior, that one new user who keeps asking seemingly stupid questions. There will also be a group who feel over moderated.
With Facebook, Groups are run by 'benevolent dictatorships' It isn't always fair but it can just about work. It is almost the wild west of the old style forum in some regards. Alas there is not a 'one fit' solution to groups and there are difficulties in running one. Negatives include (apart from the human condition) limited posting ability (no book writing) and searching out topical items, not to mention Facebook themselves constantly changing how things work!

It was by chance that I became an Admin early on in proceedings. I thought (quite wrongly) that everyone would be mad for car shows and meets. If I knew the truth of organising these things I would never have done it! There have been many 'bad' times with disgruntled users wanting to do physically impossible things and people who want to humiliate in public. However it can also be amazingly good fun with friendships made indulging in a hobby/way of life! In 2019 at Japfest Silverstone the Skyline Owners Forum won Best Club Stand. Possibly more significant as a breakthrough from the old style forums and showing that things have now pretty much come full circle.
A rare picture of 'yours truly' 
   Where things are going in the future I don't know. A lot of old style forums have already given up either making the transition or just dying a death. There is a new updated platform version of V-Bulletin coming, which old school Administrators/owners are excited about. However it may be a case of too little, too late? Lets face it, even blogging is a dead art now (who wants to read stuff?!?). The advent of Drive Tribe was trumpeted from the rooftops and immediately dropped down deader than flared trousers. Looking at the socials we like fast consumption of 'things', people want to be Instagram hero's or tweeting maniacs and have people who love and adore their photos or 'blip' vert comments.

I dunno about any thing.
This isn't true...
I know what I like, basically keep doing what you like. If it makes you unhappy, stop doing it.

Spit and polish

Well less spit and more polish please.

Having changed the Garrett GTX3076r core on the turbo it comes complete with a new front housing. The general finish is shot blast rough matt.
Horsepower: 400 - 750HP
Displacement: 1.8 - 3.0L

- Gen2 Aerodynamics feature increased horsepower range.
- Improved ported shroud design for surge resistance.
- New compressor housing aesthetics.
- Integrated speed sensor port.
- Standard rotation.
- Compressor side: TRIM 58 A/R 0.60
- Compressor Air Inlet: Hose 4,00" (101.60mm)
- Compressor Air Outlet: Hose 2.00" (50.80mm)
- Turbine side: TRIM 84 A/R 0.82
- Turbine Inlet: T3
- Turbine Outlet: V-band 3.55" (90.20mm)
- Bearing housing: Water and Oil cooled system.

Turbo in place

Sand blast finish

I have to confess that this would be more of a vanity project than one of urgent necessity! The photos are taken for my reference, as I have found (often to my cost) that weeks later when you come back to bolting things up, the distant memory does not serve well!
I used to work in the casting industry and a fine blast finish is great, it hides a multitude of sins and casting marks, but it is also a magnet for dirt and crud that is impossible to remove (let alone dirty finger prints!).

So I had a word with Johnathan @ Basingstoke Metal Finishers to take a look. Polishing is something I have done before, but for a true quality finish it is always best to speak to the pro's.

So will be back next week sometime to show how it turned out! The fun will be in trying to bolt the thing back on I suspect!

Monday 23 September 2019

Flight of Fancy

I mean c'mon! There can't be anything left can there?

I swear my money talks, it mostly says goodbye. Especially when it comes to old cars which have way too much power for their own good. The current trend seems to be more and more these days not to modify a Skyline and leave it as standard as possible. Apparently that is where the value is!

Yes, yes I wish my car were like that, boring and predictable!

So what I been at this time? Well will tell you.

Kept on hearing about the startling results of the Garrett Turbo GTX3076 2nd generation (I have the original). It started out simple, like all I need to do to upgrade my setup is replace the core on my current Garrett. Now not that I need to, but may as well unlock the potential.... Nice cheap mod...

Actually no, I would also need to upgrade the wategate from a 44mm to a 50mm. This means chopping off the old one and welding on new. Obviously this is to the manifold which also would need to be removed and reattached. Not to mention once the whole is reassembled the car would require mapping.

Now considering I can't weld or map that adds 'garage services' to the mix.

Should have said no. In fact I thought, no. But my voice said yeesssss
Not only did it say yes to changing the turbo and wastegate but it also said "hey, lets fit a crank trigger kit as well!"

Updates coming soon...