Tuesday 13 September 2011

Once more unto the breach, dear friends...

'Once more unto the breach' - is from the 'Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!' speech of Shakespeare's Henry V, Act III
Why? You may ask is yours truly quoting from a battle where
the breach in question is the gap in the wall of the city of Harfleur, which the English army held under siege. Henry was encouraging his troops to attack the city again, even if they have to 'close the wall with English dead'.

Well it has been a long old expensive road that me and Ms Skyline have battled along. She is after all a lump of metal, not capable of independent thought, just a concept perhaps in my own minds eye. Now we reach the end game, final modifications to her engine. After this there can be no more internal jiggery pokery and she will be all she can be.

Lets look at the bits that are going to be fitted.

Tomei Pon Camshafts

Originally I would have gone for HKS, although for some strange reason HKS UK don't seem to sell parts as such. Just key rings and basically dumb parts. Pointless in my opinion and am not sure why they have a presence in the UK at all.

Changing camshafts help to modify the torque characteristics of an engine by changing cam duration timing and height of the cam lift, there by gaining maximum torque and horse power.
However, when tuning the engine strictly, it should be carried out with the idea of securing effective area of the valve not only by duration timing and height of the cam lift, but also by through improvement of its intake efficiency.
High valve lift will allow huge amounts of air to flow in, yet it can mechanically damage the system and will gain friction loss. Also, wide cam duration will deliver great power at high RPM, but it gives rough engine character at low RPM too.
Tomei have worked to get an ideal well-balanced profile of camshaft and succeeded to give it 1.3 to 1.5 times more effective area than regular camshafts.

Nissan - Skyline - ECR33 - 8/1993-9/1997 - Duration: IN,EX 256 Lift: IN,EX 8.5mm

Reading a few sites I wonder if this modification is really going to make a hell of a difference. Although the user forums usually all conflict with each other on just about every subject, so it has been rare for me to ever take the advice given and usually go my own way (as in this case).

Nettie @ Serious Performance Autos
tel 01323 760076
This is the only car modelling that interests me, a lovely lady holding an interesting lump of metal!
HKS Turbine - GT2835 Pro S

The HKS GT Series Turbos are based on ball-bearing Garrett units and have re-engineered compressor and turbine wheels along with specific A/R and trim levels.
All GT Series Turbos are designed to be a perfect blend of power and response. HKS achieved this balance by first choosing to use a ball-bearing center cartridge to reduce friction along with an off-center turbo design for improved efficiency and flow.
HKS carefully tested Trim and A/R levels along with different inlet and outlet diameters to achieve optimal power. The results of this combination are turbos that not only deliver amazing power, but also spool incredibly fast.
HKS GT Series Turbos are offered with a GT25 (T25) and/or T3 footprint and the turbine wheel is constructed of inconel. Inconel is a very expensive material that can withstand extremely high temperatures and is typically only used in the aero-space industry and on race cars.

HEL Performance Automotive Brake Lines & Hoses

HEL Performance specialise in the manufacture of all stainless steel  brake lines and hoses in over 65 countries around the world.

With over 5,400 stainless steel automotive brake line kits and a large range of oil cooler and stainless steel oil line kits we are sure there will be something in our range for your car.

The most powerful part of your motorcycle is not the engine - it's the brakes. That's a fact! By fitting HEL Performance Stainless Steel Brake Lines you can make them even more powerful!

Can't beat a 'real' photo!

So, there you have it. Camshafts and Turbo. And brake lines thrown in just for the hell of it (or hel of it! lol...).
The car will be in the garage from the 30th September. Not long now...

Monday 12 September 2011

Nismo Oil and Radiator Caps

Well not a lot to report on these... Will call them screw on mods!

The oil cap came with a nice protective plastic cover over the NISMO badge, which also had a sticky back so it could be placed correctly.

I don't quite know why, but I hesitated before going down the Nismo route for an oil cap. Now it's fitted I don't quite know why I was bothered! I think it may have had to do with seeing such ugly (yes I earned the right to say it) engine bays with this random bit of bling attached.. And judging by the quality of this to those that I have seen I have to say it, I have seen a lot of fakes!

Anyway, working arse about face. I first took the car out for a spirited drive.. So I could get the Oil cap nice and hot. Plus the water well up to boiling... Am sure sensation will return to my fingers any day now :)

Check out the photo's, I think fitting directions are not needed.

Sunday 11 September 2011

It's dark and I'm wearing sunglasses

Well today it started out with me thinking I would clean my wheels and then get on with housework.. This great plan soon got forgotten as I washed the whole car and pampered it with cloths soft and gentle!

I compounded this flaw in my character by then taking the car out for a drive with no direction in mind. I ended up in town and tried a couple of photographs by candle light. It is very difficult to get a decent result with a crappy small digital camera as the flash bounces off everything!

Here are my results...

Nice British Lamp Post

Well it kind of works!

Flash is hopeless.. Will stick to my day job
Anyway, as a result of cleaning up my kitchen I managed to liberate a 'trolly' or interesting set of shelves on wheels. This was left by a previous Mrs Ratt and was home for all the things you use to wash clothes...

Now it is much better used and I keep my few meagre cleaning products on it.

Not as much as most people think!

As you can see I like a bit of Auto Gylm for polishing and waxing. Although like most people I use combinations and won't even begin to bore you with details. Having a black car I naturally have further travel to get what I call a decent shine. Again, car cleaning is personal, it's what works for you.

Saturday 10 September 2011

Iron Tusk Fitted Side Skirts and Rear Spoiler

As alluded to the other day. My good friend aka 'Iron Tusk' has been a busy bee..Not content with changing his front grille for a lovely rare version, he has also been modifying the bodywork, fittings skirts and spoilers.

It was in the early days when I myself fitted skirts, spats and a front splitter to Ms Skyline. Although I did so many things all at once I was practically non stop in those days (and loving every minute). So it's refreshing to see others being bitten by the bug!

As it was so fresh for him I asked if he would provide me with a little info on the snags and problems or otherwise of doing the job..

Interestingly he did provide a narrative of sorts and probably an honest reflection of Skyline ownership in the UK. I provide it here unchanged for you all to enjoy...

Quoted from Iron Tusk

It would consist of;

•Get ripped off by a breakers

•lots of swearing, splitting boot lid from spoiler

•Pay through the nose for paint

•get angry when the original spoiler takes like 2 seconds to remove

•Fit with some difficulty in the impending darkness

•not be able to photograph\appreciate your hard work...

lol :-)

To be brutally honest I think probably we all have felt this after major work, although it is later that we start to appreciate how good the car looks and what an achievement that has been made.

Type M Skirts

Original GTR Spoiler

Bragging Rights in the dark
Without doubt, currently and without an ugly overblown FRP monstrosity bolted on the front and sides. This has to rate as one of the better looking R33's on the road. Many congratulations to Iron Tusk for creating 'Automotive art' its a thing of true beauty!

Thursday 8 September 2011

Skyline Battery

Skyline R33's come with the worlds smallest battery which is located in the boot of the car.
I confess that with my considerable lack of knowledge starting out, it took me a while to figure out where the battery was and even then when I did locate it I thought 'huh? That isn't right. Is it?'
The battery itself is the same as that fitted to a Nissan Micra, noting that this is the small terminal version. For UK Replacement click HERE for the Halfords site.

Naturally you can replace the battery 100% and go for something a bit bigger, although do bear in mind that not only must it fit the space available, but you will need to change the terminal connectors for bigger ones.

I have not gone down the road of changing mine as yet. I may do it when the existing battery gives up the ghost, although I do not have a huge amount of in car entertainment to really suck the power out of the car and we shall just have to see what the winter chucks at it.

Originally my battery was starting to play up though. It would hold a charge for about a week, after which you really needed her to start 'first go' and even then it was a bit of a struggle to turn her over. As this was before I had looked up what battery to buy etc. I wasn't sure on what to get.

As it turned out I 'stumbled' across one of these CTEK Zafir 90. Alas this has since been replaced by the 3600 version, although at time of writing both are readily available on the open market. Personally I can't see much difference between the two and would go for whatever floats your boat.. or is cheaper ;)

charger can be located anywhere

Handy battery connect means no messing about
The unit is quite small in comparison to 'traditional' battery chargers. When you first see it you think 'that isn't going to do anything!'. But hey I'm an optimist so thought I would give it a go.
Naturally all you do is plug the charger into the mains and off you go. You have a handy plug connector that fits to the battery terminals, this makes connecting a breeze which means no more fiddling about with clips and sparks!
The unit not only charges but also conditions the battery. It can be left plugged in for weeks without damaging the battery and it actually has made my battery come back to life! Being able to leave it plugged in also means that the alarm can be set etc. The setting of the unit is also simplicity, press the mode button, highlight the 'car' logo and your done. the unit will show an amber light for charge and a yellow light for fully charged.

A manual is available from here

Having used this unit for a while now I can confirm that it does 'what it says on the box' and I have not had any issues with low charge since.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Rear Spare Wheel Cover and Extinguisher

As mentioned, I have been keen lately to have a fire extinguisher in the car and I have seen too many infernos this year to let it alone anymore. It may be that I'm a bit superstitious but to ignore what is a simple modification would be heart breaking if the worst happened.

Fire Extinguishers come in a few flavours. Most are too small to be of any real use, having less than thirty seconds of powder. I decided to invest in as best I could and obtained a 50 kg unit, suitable for all fires.
The only problem with this is that it is going to be a Devil to actually mount in the car.

Naturally my first and only choice of location was the rear boot area. It was not feasable really, to stand it on end upright and would have to lay on the floor. Screwing into the soft carpet would simply not hold it in position and I didn't want it to cause access problems for the spare wheel.

As posted previously I had already decided to make a new cover for the spare wheel using the left over from when I made the speaker housings. As this simply drops into place I also made an additional shape to sit to the left of the cover.
To hold this in place I used some velcro. Strong enough to hold in place and yet removable with ease.

Plate made for fitting Extinguisher

This was simple enough and keyed perfectly with the new shelf. Finishing was not really a problem as this part will never actualy be seen.

New spare wheel cover in a leather cover.

The shape for the wheel cover I 'covered' in leatherette with some spray on glue. I really could not be buggered to make an immaculate job of it and confess I tided up the edges with Duck Tape.

Spare wheel cover drops in

The most ideal thing about my terrible covering of the bare wood is that it cushions the shelf perfectly eliminating rattles.

Finished product with extinguisher fitted

After dropping the cover back in, it was just a question of dropping the carpet into place.

Job done!

Iron Tusk's (project?) Car

Iron Tusk's GTST Sporting a new nose
here is a shot of a friend of mines Spec one GTST. He has made slow but steady progress on it. As the car looks so good it would be almost criminal not to celebrate it here. This is after fitting one of the more highly sought after mesh front grills. It is amazing how on Skylines (especially all GTST's) the grill is the most important part of the car. Nissan (in my humble opinion) got the standard grills soooo wrong and then tortured us by getting it right. Only for them to say 'nope, we don't make them anymore'.

Oh and by the way, I am still in the market for a Spec 2 mesh grill S badge. If by some chance you have one of these items (standard colour they came in red). I would dearly love to make a mould of it to reproduce it for my car. Or better still buy it from you.

Current Project that no one will ever see!

Ms Skyline came complete with a hardboard spare wheel cover in the boot. At some point, something... nasty has leaked in there. Be it cooking oil or I don't like to think what. Anyway as you can see it is a most unpleasant piece of bent old wood. I have now commenced making a new one from the left overs of the MDF I used for making the speaker surrounds.
Naturally the humour in doing so is that most people remove weight from their cars whereas I always seem to be adding it! :) I will be attacking this mini project this week and hope to post the finished product shortly... Also there is a more practical reason why I'm doing this, which is that I need somewhere to mount a fire extinquisher (I have seen three Skylines burn this year and don't plan on being the fourth!)

Manky old Nissan offering.

Jap Bash 2011 Bentley Wildfowl Trust

Held on the 4th September in the wilds of West Sussex UK.

After an early start I actually went out to Eastbourne in West Sussex to meet up with other members of the Skyline Owners Club at Serious Performance Autos. Alas they were all locked out of the unit and standing around waiting for someone to open up. As always no one was really talking to one another so I decided not to hang about and made my way off to the show.

Unlike the previous year there was little of interest (apart from the cars) to do this time around. There were no traders present or interesting displays. I myself was directed to park, prepared the car, opened the bonnet etc. Only to be told that where I was told to park I should not be parked.. Hmm, it would not have been so bad but the chap telling me to move was the one that told me to park there in the first place.

Anyway once that was sorted it was time to relax and enjoy the show 'proper'. Ah yes but what about the weather? Well the sky's opened up and we had a sustained downpour from 12:30 to 13:30.

A lot of people started to clear off early at this point which was a real shame as it killed the show.

Bentley do have a motor museum, although perhaps its me, but I found the presentation and exhibits a bit of a joke. The only cars of real note to me were a Dino and a Audi Quattro.
As for the 'wildfowl' part. I did not actually look at any birds so I can't comment. I'm sure that they were lovely.

I spent some time on the Mazda MX5 Owners Club stand. They are a remarkably friendly bunch and this group went under the name of 'Bucaneers'. I have always liked the MX5 as a car, perhaps the social side will tempt me even more, as it can be a lonely life owning a Skyline (awwww).

Lets do the picture thing!

The depleted ranks after the rain
Mandy's car AKA Pupsy

Pupsy and PK GTR's You can just catch a glimpse of Peter cleaning away in the back.

Sticker blitz on this one, apparently not a genuine Transformer though.

Nicely done R34

Interesting cutting for the Front Mount Intercooler.. What can you say!
This GTR was a perfect clean example. Note the driving/fog lights. These are genuine Nissan items and wire straight into the loom. Love them? Loath them?
This is a 'new' owners ride. He took the car out of the body shop especially to come along to the show. What a lovely clean example of a Spec 1 GTST.
You can see our bonnets are still undone as we waited for the worlds longest passing shower to blow away.
Taken at the road services along the M25. I thought I better snap her in her glory as she may never look this good again!

Never really seen her with her lights on!

Becky's R34 this is undergoing body work shortly and will flare the rear arches for that GTR look. Interestingly all being well my current Hybrid turbo will be going into this car.
I had some abuse for my engine bay. Usual stuff like 'why bother, no one See's it' to 'I would spend the money on performance'. I just smile at them and wonder why then are they taking photo's of it and what do they actually know about Ms Skylines performance.

Included because I could...
See other caption hehe
My Angry Bird Mascot. I even had a minor amount of abuse to there not being any reason to do this... But then is there a real burning reason I need the car in the first place?
Sexy bum?
I would have taken more of the MX5's as they had some really good examples. However the guys there were just too friendly and kept me chatting!
Parting shot :)
And that was Japbash 2011!

HKS Logo

Having fitted and not to mention invested a plentiful amount of my hard earned cash into HKS products only to have them hidden away in the depths of my engine. I have purchased a rather nice badge.

90x22mm in size
As you can see it is of the HKS logo (well duh!) and comes with a sticky backing. the only thing to decide now is exactly where to stick it (no rude suggestions please!).

It even comes with some excellent instructions which I will share as follows.

1. Clean be posted on the surface of the stains
2. Separate off back plastic film and
3. Select the right location and paste

Thank goodness they included these or I could have been in trouble! I wonder if their turbo kits are as easy and concise! Happily that isn't me who is fitting.

Skyline Nismo Oil Filler Cap

To make the world a more beautiful place under my bonnet I have decided to invest in a NISMO oil filler cap. Currently Ms Skyline wears a HKS styled one and although I like it a lot I decided that I could probably do with a spare just in case when at a show someone steals it! Yes these people do exist!

I was surprised at how expensive a NISMO oil cap is actually and they retail around the £70 mark (€80 US$113)
Rather Sexy?
I was 'lucky' and managed to find a fine fellow who was abandoning his project build, selling off all his parts and picked this up for a not inconsiderable (but a bit cheaper) £50.00 I can justify this spend under the 'I need one' category!

The part is PN 15255-RN012. It is made from machined aluminum, polished to a very high standard. The blue tag you can see in the picture is to peel off the backing from the actual Nismo badge so that you can position it correctly when actually fitted to the car (you won't want the badge upside down now!). The logo/top face is also protected by plastic film and although tempting I will not peel this off until it is fitted to the car!.

All in all a very good purchase which I hope will go well with the chromed internals on the car.

Will just have to wait and see on the next post!