Friday 27 January 2012

Boot Lock replacement

Have been looking for an old style boot lock for a while now. When I did come across them they were pretty much showing their age and suffering from corrosion. Taking a look on Japan Dyno's web site I saw they had a boot lid going reasonably cheap, so a quick email to them and it was a done deal. I just wanted the lock (I expect they thought mad Englishman!) and very quickly I received this today in the post.
Original Cover

Old School Lock Cover
Fitting was going to be interesting as this would require removal of the lock (so my key would fit). However the rotating badge does not actually clear the lock face and as the barrel slides out the front, this would be a pretty important aspect! Looking at the face however I decided it may be as easy to remove this and swap that part over only, leaving the lock well alone.

The swivel face is held in place on a spigot with a groove cut into it this is held in place simply by a tight washer sitting in its groove. the only problem with this is that trying to get the washer off would mean destruction of the top of the spigot! I decided to use my Dremel hand held tool to cut the washer off and after a deft bit of handywork I had the cover in one piece.
E Clip in place
Refitting the cover to the other lock mechanism proved as fiddly and I employed the use of an 'E' clip (these are sprung and grip like devils, so when you remove them they go 'ping' vanish into the next county!).

So now with a complete boot lock I put the car back together and the job is a good one! I will add a better picture in the daylight as the flash does tend to make it look very grey (it's more gunmetal in colour).
Finished Job

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Steering Wheel removal and replacement

We have new laws coming out soon in the UK regarding our road worthiness test (MOT) which state the following:

The vehicle will fail the test if any airbag fitted as original equipment is obviously missing or defective.
(UK owners may want to look up all the changes Changes to MOT rules in 2012 - Are you ready?)

So I'm not sure what they mean by that? Personally I would take the view that if you have removed your steering wheel in favour of an aftermarket item without airbag, then you fail the test. This does not affect me too much as I still have my original item, although you have to wonder about airbags in general on an older car and as far as I'm aware they have a shelf life of about ten years. But as the best way to test this theory is to have a crash, I think that topic is best left alone!

Anyway if you have/are considering changing your steering wheel and removing the airbag leaves you full of apprehension, fear no more as a fellow blogger (Aki) has already done so, with a most excellent write up.

Read it here at One Man's Lonely Adventure In His R33 GT-R

Nismo Carbon B Pillar Garnish - fitting

As per my last post, I managed to get hold of a pair of new Nismo B Pillar Garnishes. These come with what looks like a carbon effect finish and small Nismo logo at the bottom. Probably an easy modification to the cars looks, although (naturally) I made a meal of it!

Fitting was not exactly straight forward and having wind deflectors on the car meant I had to remove these first. A lot of people make the mistake with wind deflectors of trying to remove the actual deflector. Don't, you will break the clips and make more work for yourself. Instead I prefer to remove the door runner and deflector as one unit, it is a bit more of a pain as you have to pull out the rubber seal and undo all the screws. The other thing to be aware of is be really careful when this is out not to scratch the car and not to step on it! 

One my deflectors were out of the way it is just a question of making sure your pillar is nice and clean, deciding on your right from your left, peeling off the backing paper and sticking them on! It's always at this stage I get stuck, is it straight, could it be .0005mm to the left a bit, up a bit, down a bit, that kind of thing.

Standard Pillar

Nismo Carbon Pillar

Happily the sticky back is 'super' sticky so it should not fall off as soon as I hit 30MPH.

They look reasonably good on, although the carbon effect.. I don't know. I think it would have probably been better to buy a much cheaper cover made from 'real' carbon and live without the prized 'Nismo' logo. As it would certainly have matched the rear spoiler carbon better and saved a considerable amount of cash. At the moment I am getting a feel for it and review it in a week or so.

Monday 23 January 2012

Nismo Carbon Pillar Garnish

Well after a lot of searching and a surprisingly short amount of waiting. I have got my hands on some genuine R33 Pillar Trims

Pillar garnish P/N 99993-RN593
It's bizarre but everything I have shipped from Japan seems to turn up in super fast time. I think if I lived in Japan and wanted a quick change of scenery I would just post myself somewhere!

I have not actually opened the packet yet as it is a little bit like having a fancy cake and seems a shame to spoil it. I know that fitting them will be a slight pain as I have wind deflectors sitting on top of the 'b' pillar as it is. As a rule I never try and remove the wind deflectors, it is much simpler in the long run to remove the whole frame they are connected to! Although this does mean pulling out the rubber door surround around the top (which can be a Devil to get back in correctly).

The thing that does catch my eye is that the carbon weave on these is a lot smaller than the other carbon items I have recently fitted (blade and end caps). I only hope that it isn't really noticeable in the cold hard light of day, especially after what I had to pay for them!

Speaking of payment I managed to get these for £99.99 (Including postage)which even I think is a ridiculous amount of money. However I have seen some of the specialist sites (they shall remain nameless) trying £150 Plus postage. In that case I have a bargain!

Sunday 22 January 2012

Center Console

Even though it's a drag to do I'm planning on replacing the center console as I managed to put a scratch in mine.. I'm not sure if I'm to blame actually (I certainly don't remember doing it!). However as my ignition key has a wicked point on it I kind of suspect it was me!

I have had the center console out before and like I say it is a pain to do (which is why I have not done it yet). Not hard as such, but it does require the gear stick surround removing etc. To be really honest it is a job for a warmer day than we have now!

New/second hand console
As it was I managed to get hold of a GTS-25t center console from a breaker. Note a GT-R console isn't much good as the box on top is much smaller in depth. The car itself had only done just over 50k miles and although not brand spanking new and suffering a few cosmetic scuffs. It's good enough for what I want. Yes, I know it's probably a bit over the top doing this but my 'scratch' annoyed me!
I will put it in the bath tonight and give it a good scrub!

Saturday 21 January 2012

Skyline Carbon Fibre spoiler blade and end caps

I had not explicitly started out thinking this was an item I needed. However as with most things I do to the old girl one thing leads to another! Originally I was just thinking that maybe it would be nice to stick a NISMO Carbon B pillar on. It was at this point I stayed stuck for a while looking to find one! One did appear on an auction site although I didn't have much luck with a very half hearted bidding attempt. As I thought I would be chucking money away and not be impressed by what I received, especially it being an old tatty second hand part. So I decided to bite the bullet and order from Japan. I have yet to receive these yet, although I have purchased from the seller before and look forwards to receiving my items soon'ish. So will not dwell on what I don't have at the moment, suffice to say that when I ordered these my thoughts turned to the End Caps on the GT-R Spoiler. They also need to be carbon 'for balance' (well any excuse). These were a little easier to obtain and due to the seller receiving a shipment from China the very day I was on the hunt I managed to get them at a reduction in price! Whilst on the phone to the seller I also asked 'if you have had a delivery, are you doing carbon blades for the GT-R spoiler cheaper as well?' .... So in seconds I went from no carbon, to much carbon!

Carbon GT-R Blade
 I got these from Knight Racer here in the UK. I would always recommend calling Albert at Knight Racer about any parts you need to check stock and to 'do a deal' as I found him quite flexible. Delivery time was great with me receiving parts next day and on this occasion they had 'free delivery' in the UK.

The parts are of a pretty good quality and fit. Getting the existing spoiler blade was not fun as these are fitted with a Torx headed bolt.
Stupid Bolts!
Naturally I didn't have the right bit to fit these (ironically next day I saw some!) so with my trusty Dremel I cut a small slot in the head and whacked the bolt round with a hammer. Brute force and ignorance always wins the day!
The carbon blade itself doesn't have the same fittings as that of the original and is only held in place by two M6 bolts and washers.
For the Carbon End Caps you have to do some more work to get them to fit and make up the clips that slot in the opposite end to the bolt holes. Oh, you also have to drill out the bolt holes as well!
I did toy with the idea of being quite artistic but after hunting around the garage I simply straightened a couple of fuel hose clips, chopped them up and bent them to shape.

Home made clips
I then used a hot glue gun to glue them into place, although am sure an Epoxy or similar would do. Make the clips nice and tight to the face as you want them to help pull the back of the end cap in. A floppy loose fit will look ugly and be useless!

Nervously I drilled a couple of holes, amazingly I got them in the right place first go. Clipped on the caps, tightened the screws and job done.

GT-R End Caps (No Logo)

Because one picture is never enough!

Alas as you can see from the photo's, reflections on a back car make it difficult to get a good shot, especially without getting my own reflection in the picture as well!

I did see a fellow blogger had also fitted end caps and made clips... Alas my stupid computer crashed and you think I can find that page again. If I stumble back across it I will be sure to post it here.

Friday 13 January 2012

Tegiwa SP Gear Shift Knob

Starting the year off with a bit of a wet raspberry is a TEGIWA 'SP' shift knob
It is precision CNC machined right here in the UK from Duracon (Thermoplastic). 
The properties of Duracon mean it will not get too hot or too cold and it is very easy to keep clean.

It feels lovely to the touch and is very tactile. However all did not run smooth, as a mail order item it seemed to take forever for me to get my hands on it and when I did the 'stick on' shift pattern for the top of the knob was missing. A few emails and a week later the small but vital part turned up.
Tegiwa 'SP' Shift Knob
The shift has an M10 internal thread, so is the right fitting for a Skyline GTS-25t and screws on without a problem. After all the effort involved in getting it I am not actually going to use this item at the moment. One problem with it is that it sits very high on the gear stick so that there is a space between the knob and the leather gaitor. I suppose with a bit of mucking about you could get the gaitor to fit snug against it, requiring the neck of the gaitor to be really tight against that of the shaft of the gear stick. However as I already have a leather Nismo gear shift knob which I like, I didn't feel the pressure to try and muck about!
I may revisit this later 'just because I can'.

So a bit of a mixed review. I think in general it is a good product (probably great on a Honda), but I really wish I hadn't bothered!

New Years Resolutions

Well here we are  2012 already and although I expect that there are many exciting things coming in the UK, such as the Olympics, um and more austerity. I myself will (naturally) amuse myself with my best girl Ms Skyline. So what's the plan, she's finished isn't she? No, not quite, in as much as the engine is 'done' I have a couple of niggles I would like to sort out. Immediately I am looking to obtain some carbon end caps for the rear spoiler, I'm not 100% sure that I will leave them carbon or paint them and will decide on this when I have screwed them into place. Having a black car means that they will not exactly 'stand out' being carbon, I have never really understood the carbon look as such and it always looks 'unfinished' to me!
Having said that I am also chasing after some 'B' pillars in the NISMO style. These are shockingly expensive, especially considering that they are nothing more than stick on items. However the joys of eBay have come through and I have seen some available second hand, still attached to the plastic covers. With a bit of luck I will nab these and achieve a balance with the B pillars and End caps both being carbon items.

The main modification that I am giving some serious thought to is bigger front brakes. Okay so the actual top end speed isn't any faster but the potential for getting there is, which I have found means that I go a lot quicker in a shorter distance, requiring much more right foot brake action!
There are already issues in this as how will my wheels fit, how big are the callipers etc. Ahh heaven!