Tuesday 22 March 2011

Automotive hottie! Dodge Challenger

Spotted a Dodge today quietly growling to itself, being all mean and moody. Carefully, risking life and limb (plus people passing by looking at me oddly). I sneaked up on it to snap these shots for your education and delight!

Sits low and looks like a tank

I love it's heavy and aggresive styling

The hood hides a whopping 6.1 liter Hemi Engine, stuff of legend! Note the big Brembo calipers to stop the thing.
 It does not matter if you say these cars don't handle or that they do not create and use the power effectively. The world needs works of art like this and people with really deep pockets. To keep them fuelled and on the road!

Friday 18 March 2011

G3 Compound

After creating a lovely big dent in the car and it being a week or so before I could get to the garage. I thought I would 'cover up' the dented, nasty looking, paint missing, dirty great gouge in the 'A' pillar, just so that people would not stop and point at me in the street! This was going to be very much a 'quick' repair just to mask it a bit, however as it turned out I think maybe I missed my calling and should be a body shop man.. lol maybe not!

Naturally being the 'A' pillar, my main concern was a decent paint match with the rest of the roof of the car. After 'biting the bullet', filling, sanding and priming the affected area, I switched to the gloss paint. For this I used the 'Hicoat' brand of readily available spray paint, as this seems to go on smoother and be a better match for Kuro KH1 black.

Spraying from the bottom up, I covered a much larger area than originally needed and did a couple of coats. Leaving this to dry hard overnight, I then applied a couple more coats on the affected area, about half way up that of the day before, making a thicker going to lighter build up of paint. Again I left overnight to harden.

At this point I had good coverage, with some over spray or feathering at the end of my paint strokes.

Now the tricky bit was always going to be the blending, however in the end it was very simple and I used Farecla G3 Cutting Compound Liquid. This is a very gritty paste which I applied liberally by hand all the way up the A pillar and onto the raised section of the roof. Ideally it has to be machined off with plenty of water and I used my machine polisher set at 2.5, dipping the sponge into a bucket of water regullarly so as to avoid 'burning' the paint.

Suffice to say, a very wet sponge on the end of a rotary tool was messy and nasty! However the result was almost instant the overspray gone and a perfect blend. As per normal it being my first attempt I may have done things differently and did not apprieciate quite how fast it would cut away the new paint. happily I got away with it though! All that was required was some final polishing and a light wax.

G3 compound is wicked stuff and I can see how it would be a most excellent solution to 'flat' paintwork on cars. However I really think it should be used with great caution and am not convinced it would work at all on a metallic finish.

Now once more Ms Skyline is attractive again, although after the machine polishing phase, rather in desperate need of a wash!

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Freaky Accident!

A dark cloud descends on the Skyline household...

Whilst fiddling about with a new speedo surround, I had a requirement for a screwdriver. I reached up and took one from the rack. The rack then promptly fell off the wall, making me flinch and somehow I managed to throw the screwdriver I was holding over my shoulder, straight towards Ms Skyline.

Naturally I scored a direct hit on the A pillar, with the pointy end of the large flat bladed screwdriver. I left a lovely dent and took a chunk of black paint with it.

I think I was so amazed I didn't even swear!

Now we all know from my previous blogs how I love to paint! However I could not leave the dent as it was, without at least sticking some grey primer on it. That said I thought I would whack some filler in whilst at it and will go as far as attempting to blend it in along the pillar.

No its not the end of the world and am sure somehow it will be fixed. It's just a real annoyance and expense that I will not be able to live with unless I get it repaired IMMEDIATELY!

Still was lucky I missed the wind deflector and the windscreen. Ohhh I will look back on this and laugh... meh!

Thursday 10 March 2011

Stevenage trip art work

In reply to the owners club recent visit to a special needs school in Stevenage. We had the following couple of items posted by the Event's organiser on the owners forum.

Two rather nice drawings

Al_Star's R33

Yours truly
I say 'yours truly' hehe As it could be any ones, such a fine rendition of a Skyline it is too!

And a great letter as follows.

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Couple of snaps

Taken at recent Hampshire meet in West Meon UK. As remarkably the Sun came out to play that day I am just sticking these two pics up for my own gratification!

She had not even had a clean!
Ms Skyline Woo hoo

Monday 7 March 2011

R33 Power Steering Reservoir and rocker cover fitted

Rocker Cover

Well lets start with the rocker cover. As my previous post I was having some difficulty with hole locations and although I had left one screw out, felt that it would be an easy fit. This was wrong. No way would the screw go into the last hole and considering I was not overly happy with the others I decided to remove the cover and open up the holes on one side to allow a little more clearance.

The main reason why this was important to do is naturally because as the actual metal rocker covers are made from Aluminium it would be very easy to cross thread them with the harder stainless steel screws. Not that I would do this, but a garage mechanic probably would not be as careful as I!
Being stainless steel the holes were difficult to open up, at first I used a reamer tool to attack them and then switched to a HSS drill to 'ream' out the hole.

Although the fit is much improved now I am considering sourcing some plastic 'cups' for the screws to sit in, this would allow me to drill out the fixing holes a size larger, curing all fitting problems.

Power Steering Reservoir

This was somewhat easier (as are most of EFL's parts) to fit. The actual fitment being, remove the reservoir cap, drop the cover into place and refit cap. A child of five could do it! The actual fitment over the reservoir itself is super tight.
As you can see from the picture it sits very tidy just above the heat shield of the air inlet.

Front view
Shame there isn't a cap to go with the cover!

Sunday 6 March 2011

Finish post in sight

Had my favourite garage message me the other day, the last big chunk of work is going to require 12 hours labour and a further 4 hours tuning time at Abbey. Additionally the wheel alignment will help push up the bill!

So not content with breaking the bank, I asked about getting the rear windows tinted. I have resisted the urge to just do it as am convinced it is a bit 'common' looking. What changed my mind? Standing back and looking at the car!

No! Ms Skyline is still a sexy lady, perhaps like all stars she wants some shades eh?

The law in the UK is currently that you can tint rear sides and the back windows only now, this changed due to accidents being blamed on tinted windows, where young people would have Limo black tints in the front of cars and be unable to see out at night. The law now being that a Police officer can actually make you remove tinted film at the side of the road.

Hampshire Group Meet - West Meon UK

Went out to a Local Owners Club meet today (Sunday). We were treated to a bright sunny (but cold) start to the day, ideal for a drive in the country. In fact as I was running early I took the slightly longer route via Basignstoke to enjoy the scenery.

The car was running wonderfully, perhaps it was the bends in the road, the Sun or a combination of both, but she felt like she wanted to run away all the time, free revving and pulling like crazy.

Admittedly I was in two minds about attending a local group meet as I know that they can be a bit of a closed affair, upon arrival I parked up in the wrong car park as neither where to park or for that matter, where the pub was located were posted on the Owners Forum before hand.

It is always a bit difficult for a 'stranger' to meet new faces for the fist time, although the common bond of belonging to the same group and being owners of the same make of car should of helped me through! However I knew things were not going to go well when the few other owners that were already there, rather than saying hello to this strange interloper, actually turned their backs to me, making my feeble 'hello' a tad embarrassing! So I returned to the bar where I had left my friend enjoying a Coke. Being the optimist I knew things could only improve as after all I met one of the group at Stevenage. So when another five cars turned up, the group entered the bar, only to select a long table for them to sit at, no introductions from the one that I knew just a wave and mouthed hello from across the room.

I did however meet a friend of mine who lives in the area and was curious to see these crazy jap cars. So at least that salvaged something from the day. I also met a nice lady with a green and black Skyline R33, a real enthusiast, she had just got a nice shiny Skyline for her Birthday and didn't seem at all bothered that we were from outside the area. As a grand finale we were ignored one last time and made our way back to Berkshire from where we dare not venture to Hampshire again!

Where are the pictures... Well I didn't feel like I wanted to skunk about in the car park with a camera!

I took a slightly faster route home, which consisted of many dual lane stretches. What can I say, very entertaining! Rounding the day off I washed Ms Skyline. Taking a break to blog!

Thursday 3 March 2011

Stevenage Skyline Invasion Pictures

I'm seeing pictures all over the internet of the Owners group recent visit to Stevenage. So have collected them all together here for you all to enjoy.

Automotive Porn!
Will continue to add to this folder as I stumble across them!

R33 Power Steering Reservoir - Dress up

Okay, a few posts ago I asked for votes against the washer bottle. I remain unconvinced about covering it in stainless steel, after all it has been done to death.. May still come back to it yet when I'm bored.

What I have investigated though is the power steering reservoir 'container/bottle'.
Fresh out of the box and no fingerprints.. yet
A pretty simple to do modification this one, as the cover is simply held in place by the screw on cap of the reservoir. The cover is of two piece construction, made of stainless steel. Inside the top cover there are three rubber strips for it to rest against the actual reservoir.

The supplier of most of the aftermarket stainless parts are Evolution Foundry who are a company dedicated to the development and supply of high quality performance, tuning and styling products for Japanese import vehicles. Since starting in 2005, the company has been building a range of parts designed and manufactured on site. Evolution Foundry try to offer the customer the best possible service in terms of quick dispatch of parts, returns policy and high end quality.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Stevenage Special Needs School

Now it's not often you get a group of Japan's finest all getting together in a school play ground but when the owners club made this special plea, there were too many owners willing to join in.

'we have had a plea from a special needs school in stevenage, herts for some of our members to attend their school for one of their pupils, an 18 year old lad who is Skyline mad but has had a very troubled and difficult year and the school would like to do something special for him.'

Even though it was a work day twelve Skyline's of all shapes and sizes. From all over the UK descended on Stevenage.

Meeting up

Meeting up (my what a nice black car!)

'Skyline Girl'


Pupsy's Owner Mandy

At the School

Flaming Exhausts pleased all!

The cousins

Probably the two best R33's in the UK

As you can see from the pictures, the turn out and quality of these cars was great. What is particularly impressive is that some of them are pushing on fifteen/sixteen years old now and look as fresh as they had just come off the production line.

The man we were all there to see was Nick, who I think will be smiling for weeks on this. All of the younger kids made a beeline for Ms Skyline and had great fun sitting in her honking the horn and pressing... well everything! Nick was torn between the owners group 'star' and Ms Skyline for who to have a ride in. To my relief, he chose the bright orange heavily body kitted star of the owners group... Probably a good thing as I am in no way responsible enough to take out young adults and would have 'hooned' it around. Probably smoking the tires and doing all things that kids love!

Nick had drawn a rather lovely picture of a Skyline, which he presented to the owners group. It had a big scull and crossbones on the bonnet. I asked Nick if maybe we should paint one on mine to which he was greatly enthusiastic! Visit here for the owners group posts of the day.

We were treated to a tour of the school and met many pupils. It was a real eye opener into another world for me to see. It does bring home the stupidity of my one track putting the car before everything else, don't worry though dear reader, my memory is short and there is a stainless steel power steering reservoir cover that is urgently needed!
Special thanks' should goto the school itself for putting up with us and giving us such a warm welcome.