Saturday 24 March 2012

All in a days work

Well the Sun has come up on us English and as we stagger blinking into the light. My thoughts turn to how much time I have put in at work, the fact that its Friday and the thought that I could have a couple of hours quality time in peace, working on the car!

Bulb replacements.
A while back I replaced both front wings (fenders) indicators (repeaters, winkers) with clear lens Nismo ones. For some odd reason Nissan supply the amber bulbs shown and naturally being a clear indicator you can see little amber bulbs. Who's bright idea was that!

 So having hunted around in my local motor factors shop I found a grand total of nothing! To eBay I went and turned up a plentiful supply! As you can see I have a 'chromed' bulb.

Fitting is simple when you know how and all you have to do to remove the indicator is pull forwards (towards the front of the car) and towards you. The unit simply pops out, which on reflection is a little alarming considering the cost of clear indicators!!
Pop in your new bulb, click the indicator back into place and the jobs a good one. All in all it takes all of a minute!

Replacing the Grill

The hardest part about replacing the grill is releasing the clips at the back. Ideally get yourself a pair of long nose pliers to compress the clips at the back, applying a small amount of forward force, pulling the grill towards you with your free hand.
As your aware I had already picked up and considerably reworked a Spec 2 grill. It was okay but not perfect, especially the logo and I strongly believe that the logo 'is' the car.
 As you can see the above shot is of my reworked grill, the S logo was damaged and the mesh was corroded when I obtained it originally. I replaced the mesh and cleaned up the logo as best I could. But as you can see, although still technically a Skyline logo, it has lost a lot of definition.

The above is a shot of the new grill in place. As you can see the mesh is larger and thicker. Made from steel it has a heavy, thick plastic coating, very similar to powder coat. The S logo is much more sharply defined and was in the original red colouring when I laid my hands on it. This was sprayed with enamel paint in gold leaf. It's quite interesting comparing the two different shades and effects of the Gold.

Re branding the Cusco Strut Brace
I obtained the logo from a place in Hong Kong, it is of very high quality and was difficult to apply. The decal came on it's own carrier sheet for positioning, although it was difficult removing the backing sheet without parts of the logo detaching themselves and I had to carefully peel back using a craft knife to keep all the component parts in place. Equally when positioning it in place again I had to employ the knife to remove the carrier film.

Although more difficult to do than first thought (its just a sticker right?) I was quite pleased with the end result.

Cleaning up the Intercooler.

Intercoolers are nasty.. they go dull, are dirt magnets and hard to get at. I got out the kitchen bowl and some 400 and 1200 grit sand paper. Laying on the ground, squatting and generally getting into all kinds of curious uncomfortable positions I cleaned it up, using the 400 and then 1200 to finish. Lastly some metal polish cleaned up the big sides.
 That job done, I had a quick wipe around the engine bay. Little and often works for me! Although it always amuses me when people say "duh, you must spend hours under the bonnet cleaning", really, it isn't that hard folks... Maybe getting to this point is a bit of work and a few hours!

Thursday 22 March 2012

muddle of bits

Well, been busy at work, very busy, well into the night work type stuff and I was getting more than a little 'punchy'. But then I have an expensive hobby that needs regular feeding (being poor from the car at least keeps me thin). So what do I have that's not been posted? Well tonight's entertainments were going to be spent in the garage, although that was delayed by yours truly getting stuck in a quality traffic jam on the way home for a couple of hours. A different kind of late night from the normal, in fact I think I would have preferred being at work!

So things I have been at.

New 'new' old grill. This has been sprayed and is going to be fitted tomorrow.
Ironically I broke all the spraying rules and got away with it. Sometimes less thought about what your doing seems to work!

You can just make out my Noodle Dinner in this shot.. Add Marmite for taste..

Replacement 'chromed' side indicator bulbs.
I have no idea how a silver bulb flashes orange.. But it does!

Replace the strut braces Cusco label. Way back when I first got my strut brace (before my blog even!), I think it's probably the first mod anyone does. Well it was a second hand purchase and very much looked second hand the aluminium being badly marked I attacked it with some 240 grit sandpaper etc. So the Cusco Logo (or what was left of it) was the first casualty of war!

Replace the bonnet.. Yes you heard right, Ms Skyline is getting some more carbon.

Why the sudden panic? Well she is getting her photo taken! Now personally I really disapprove of people shouting and waving about their cars and most of them want something for nothing (well we would all like that). But as she is about as good as she will be for a long time and has no need for photo touch up (I have seen a well tatty R32 made to look new!) its time for me to get something to hang on the wall!

So providing everything goes to plan or not, read about it here... See, it's an adventure!

Monday 12 March 2012

How to remove the door cards

Well as mentioned previously I replaced the internal door handles. Here is a quick run down on how to remove the door cards.

Passenger side.

1. Three screws along the bottom edge - remove
2. Lever up the cover in the 'hand pull' by the handle remove screw
3. Remove the internal handle surrounds. These are the most awkward as they slot over the back of the internal mechanism and clip to the front of it. Slide a small screwdriver in to release.
4. Lever off the lower cover of the door pull (where the electric window switch is) and remove screw
5. Lever out the electric window switch cover carefully and remove screw.
6. With a hand at the bottom edge and sides pull card towards you.
7. Lift door card up and off.
8. Remove electrical plug to window switch (very stiff)

Replacement handle is slotted into position and held with a screw
Drivers side.

1. Three screws along the bottom edge - remove
2. Lever up the cover in the 'hand pull' by the handle remove screw
3. Remove the internal handle surrounds. These are the most awkward as they slot over the back of the internal mechanism and clip to the front of it. Slide a small screwdriver in to release.
4. Remove the electric window switch panel. There are metal clips holding this in place, one in the centre near the door pull and one at the very end (dash end). Be careful when levering out!
5. With a hand at the bottom edge and sides pull card towards you.
6. Lift door card up and off.
8. Remove electrical plug to window switch (very stiff)

Original handle being removed

Finished job with all parts back where they belong
Conclusion: It's actually very easy to remove the door cards in comparison to other makes. You may want to do this just simply to cure an annoying rattle or to replace old door speakers. The only words of caution are don't try and force anything off! However the electric window switches on the drivers door are a bit tricky and it is hard to lever off without marking the surrounding panel (although it can be done). Also the surrounds of the door handles are a pain to slot a screwdriver in. If you look at the finished job picture, the best way to release the cover from the handle is to slot a thin blade screw driver in about 10/15 mm from the end of the handle. The actual clip is located in the centre of the lock end.

Hopefully this all makes some sense and each panel can be removed in about 10/15 minutes.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Small jobs make the detail

Chrome Door Handles

My new handles have been sitting in my kitchen for the best part of a month now and today the Sun shone warmly, the car was about as clean as it was going to get and I had started to 'tinker'.

Well it was no good, the job had been ignored enough, it was time to fit the new internal chrome handles to the car.
Having removed the door cards at various times it is now an easy job to take them off and the whole job, both sides took about thirty minutes. I had been toying with Aki's modification of interior lighting, although as I think that this probably needs a little more thought (on my part), I decided to just get on with fitting the handles first.
Naturally I took various shots with my mobile phone, alas I do not seem to possess the correct lead for it at my house! Never fear, posh camera was brought into play!

Passenger Side

Drivers Door
 As mentioned in my last post, these handles were original equipment on the four door model. Interestingly most of the four door levels of trim were of a slightly higher, more refined standard to that of the two door. Having this small amount of chrome actually looks quite nice though and ties together well with the stainless Skyline door sills and the chrome dial rings.. More of them next.

Rev Counter GTS Logo

A fellow Skyline owner created a rather nice logo to go on his rev counter. Much in the style of the GTR logo, his was white with a red 'S' detail. Well as the old saying goes 'if you don't ask, you don't get' so I asked if it would be possible to knock me up one, rather generously he said yes, just to muddy the water a little I then further asked if I could have black on red (as my dials are white).
GTS Logo (resting on my knee!)
 So quickly fast forward the passage of time and my new best friend Paul (Nitros on the Skyline Owners Club forum) made this up for me, dropping it off when he was up my neck of the woods.
Naturally I was not going to wait and stripped out the dash this afternoon.

GTS Logo Up Close
 Naturally sticking it on was easy and it almost gives a 3D effect when in position.
GTS Logo (How it looks 'normal')
Happily doing this little job helped me kill a few birds with one stone, as I wanted to 'adjust' my speedo by a factor of a couple of MPH and I had a plastic on plastic rattle on the right hand side by the vent. Now I can drive within the speed limit, no rattle and have a reminder of what car I'm in.. Just in case I forget...