Thursday 7 August 2014

Boot (where I keep my gold)

Far from enjoying a bit of open road pleasure the other evening, I found myself home alone with my plans of entertainment dashed! So instead of driving, I thought I would invest a little effort in tidying up the boot! 

One thing that had been annoying me, was having relocated the washer to the boot, the smelly screen clean who's sent would entwine and creep through the cab, was not a sent conducive to joyous motoring generally getting up my nose. 

Naturally this is mostly my fault having fitted a aluminum cap (badly) to the water bottle, which in turn was filled with some glow in the dark green fluid from the local motor factors. The main problem would I think, have been the rear screen washer pipe, which now is connected to nothing and venting into the car.

So out it all came, pipes flushed and water cleaned. I think I may invest in a correct fitting plastic cap again (I probably still have the old one somewhere). Still in the short term a bit of food wrap cling film, a rubber band and my metal cap shoved on top will do!

So having sorted the washer I thought it a good idea to sort the actual boot carpet as well. This had a huge stain on it that no matter how many attempts (thinking about it this would be two) I had, it just would not shift. It is strange but having seen a fair few boot spaces now, how often this carpet is in a poor condition! I suppose Skyline owners transport a lot of fluids!  

I did look for internal carpets in the usual places (Ebay/breakers etc) although everything available was probably worse that what I already had. Never ceases to amaze me what a breaker considers a good clean part. So I simply brought a roll of car carpet from Ebay for £10 (actually £9.95).

Cutting to size was pretty easy and I simply used masking tape on top of the new carpet to draw the template from the old. Because I thought the fit could be a little better than the original Nissan, I enlarged the  cut out area by around 12 mm all round. 

Hardest part was simply cutting out with a good pair of scissors. The results speak for themselves, this was a cheap and effective tidy up to the boot area. Additionally I still have enough carpet left over to do another two cars! 

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Painting (as an art form) motor cars..

Just this past weekend I attended a car show (of sorts) at historic Beaulieu House and motor museum's simply Japanese event (more of which later). During the day I had several people look at the car all thoughtful and come up to me saying 'you do that blog' which was the first surprise, the second being that they then would tell me off for not having kept it up to date with the end of the respray!

Okay, so I'm busted for being a bit.. tardy. But you all knew that anyway.

Sooo, I suppose it's like picture time, better that than my mumbling muses on the subject.

Steve @ Skylinespares4uessex Popped up in my Facebook feed with a set of original Nismo Skirts, bumper and spats for a R33. Naturally they were reasonably expensive although the price seemed (what I thought) fair, so I snapped them up!

They actually look quite nice on the donor car, however the paint was awful! One side had been repaired and sprayed in the damp. So the paint was 'bubbly'. There was also stone protect film at the ends of the skirts and spats which had been painted over. 

This was all crammed into a VW Golf where my glamorous assistant then spent the next two hours preventing it from sliding around and clobbering our heads! 

This is what it's all about, the 'NISMO' sticker. Mmm, lovely... I then proceeded to blast them off with a jet washer as I cleaned the thousand years of muck off! 

My sanding station, a bench in the back garden. It could be said that this is therapeutic, but anyone saying this would be wrong. It all starts off well enough but then after a few hours it starts to dawn on you how big an area it is! Of course there is the added delight of finding all the cracks and old repairs that have to be done again as well.

Initial test fit, just bolted straight on.. I knew this would be good! 

As Ms Skyline is getting more 'mature' you would expect her butt to get big! 
I had been laboring under the impression that the body kit was that of a 400R, although this confused me, as as far as I was aware this didn't exist! A good friend James in Australia who also blogs on
came up with the goods.  
Turns out Nissan made a NISMO R33 GTST

Although not convinced about the Supra looking rear spoiler, I was delighted to see that a tiny bit of Skyline folk art would live on! 

 And onto the meat.

I would have loved to have got busy sanding, for about five minutes and then walked away. Never to sand again! That ghastly hole for the terrible Nissan branding was soon to go!  

Getting ready for underseal, near the front bonnet hinges was the dreaded rust beginning to form! 

Rust in the wing... Arrgh!
Gooey underseal time, inside the wings.

All the inner wings

In fact under seal everywhere! (Which is a good thing). 

Sanded down and cleaned up ready for paint (my favorite picture) 

Boot Lock now deleted and a view of the new titanium rear box.

Base coat

I kinda liked the satin finish! 

On with the lacquer

The hard part has to be polishing! 

A nice shot of Marco at Fully Loaded Cars 

So was it worth all the effort? You bet it was! Although I have found the usual amount of resentment, fear and loathing to be evident from my peers. I have also had a lot of very positive feedback, this was 'my' vision after all.

 Roll of honor

Sarah who made it fun, drove me around, helped and generally did a 1001 things (all with a smile).
RT Autobodies for the supply of the rear 400R spoiler blade
Fully Loaded Cars long may they continue to build dreams! 0208 4930440
Skyline Spares Essex - Steve
Project Modified for all modified cars

And all the countless people who have since just randomly stopped me and said 'I like it... What is it?'

Thursday 10 July 2014

Rear Wiper Delete

Whilst the car was at the paint shop one of the tasks was to remove the rear glass. This meant also removing the Rear Wiper Assembly, for which the external nut holding it in place had unfortunately corroded beyond a point of saving it. So faced with the option of finding a new nut I decided it would be as easy to bin the whole assembly and do away with the rear wiper arm altogether.

Interestingly enough I read somewhere on the internet that the rear wiper was an option. Although I do put this down to the 'don't believe everything you read on the internet' scenario.

So with the rear wiper assembly removed, there are a couple of holes left to fill. One for the wiper arm itself and one for the washer jet. The wiper arm hole is about 30mm and the washer jet hole about 10mm (Shamefully I never measured them!).

Many of my contemporaries out there in the UK Skyline world, have solved the plugging of the hole by latching onto a firm sending out free samples, which just so happens to be the exact fit required for the rear window! You would think that the firm would get suspicious of all these free samples flying out of the door!

However I wanted something a little more permanent that didn't look like a rubber grommet pushed in the hole which some miscreant would just as likely remove from the hole!

After a bit of hunting I came across the ideal solution (for me) in the good old US of A. This was in the form of a 'Password JDM Rear Wiper Delete Kit' (well of course it would be, wouldn't it?).
I was taking a little bit of a leap of faith on this kit, as being an American supplier in a land where R33 Skylines do not actually exist in abundance, it was not listed on the fitment guide. In fact the only cars that were listed were the Acura Integra, RSX and Civic Si.

Hardly needs instruction! 

So I surfed my way to Vex Motorsports (they also sell on eBay). Including postage it actually worked out at just over £30 so an expensive gamble if the part didn't fit!

The exciting range of colours.. Bleegh! 

Interestingly they come in many exciting colours, I not being easily excited opted for black. However the part that arrived I would describe as more grey than black (although I'm being picky now).

Delete kit in place with mystery trim plug for washer. 
Fitting the part is pretty simple, you can use sealant or the o-rings provided, tighten up the nut and your done!

For the washer hole, I was not sure what I was going to do and did look up rubber grommets again. The old washer jet fitting simply unscrewed from a nut, leaving me a small 10mm hole. I mooched around in the garage looking for something suitable, that like a cowboy I could 'silicone into place'. However I got lucky and found what I think was a push fit trim clip for the rear bumper. On trying it for size and giving it a tentative 'push', it went home with a reassuring 'click' and it was just as well it looked good as it is never coming out and is in there solid.
So basically if your removing the rear washer... I'm no help at all!

So cross one more item off the list and we are yet another step closer to the finish!

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Body Work

There are some interesting paint job's out there in the world of cars, flip, chip, flake, bare, even rust is a finish of sorts that seems popular with certain types.

However the suspicion had been growing with me of late that apart from the analogy of 'spanking down the road' my ride may have more in common with the tome '50 Shades of Grey' than I might like to think. With a touch up here, a lick of paint there (in one case a complete bolt on bumper). High time to consider a respray, although even this is a bit fraught, some just having a general 'blow over' to all glass out, sand down and do it 'proper'.

I decided on the latter, however it is normally at this point, if your going to go to all the trouble (and expense) of a glass out fully primed spray job, that thoughts turn to changing colour, else what would be the point of going to all the trouble (and expense) if no one knew you had done it? It is usually at this point that all the candy, flip, flake extreme colours start to sneak in.
Them that know me would agree that I don't have an over active imagination when it comes to actual colour, in fact some may say I prefer the absence of colour, which apparently black is (Although I still don't understand why I had to buy the paint then?!).

Authors note: I have always had a thing for black cars and (in part) blame Zaphod Beeblebrox who when seeing Hotblack Desiato's Sun Dive stunt ship commented "Its the wild colour (spelled colour as Zaphod was an Englishman.. Sorry Googles insistence on USA spelling is grinding) scheme that freaks me out, every time you try and operate these weird black controls that are labeled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up in black to let you know you've done it".
Lets try to drag this post back on track..

So the car will be black then... In the absence of a colour change what else can I do to make it worth doing. Well the side skirts were annoying me a bit, even though they were original Nissan and made of fine ABS plastic, the little rubber finishing strip was.. well, finished and starting to come away. I also needed a rear bumper which as a replacement for the original rear bumper was a bit of a poor spray job. Note I melted the original back bumper on the exhaust, which I then covered with a heat shield, which got melted with the exhaust, which I then replaced... I have since had a new back box made.

At this point step in SkylineSpares Essex, or Steve, a breaker of cars and purveyor of spares at reasonable cost. He turned up a FRP 400R style Nismo body kit for a GTST.
Ghastly paint.. no not that it's silver! Just bad! 

It Does say NISMO honest guv'

Consisting of Rear Bumper, Skirts and Rear Spats. The overall condition was not perfect but is repairable and preferable to that of a aftermarket 'copy' which would never fit in a month of Sunday's! 

A friend of mine in Australia also came up with the following article about the NISMO GTS-t which was a brilliant find. 

Obviously on a pre 97 spec 1 model (judging by the front lights). what is notable on this car has to be that rear spoiler! It has a real 'Supra' feel to it and probably in these enlightened times is a bit borderline ugly!

One other fascinating thing about the body parts in my possession is that sanding down the layers of paint at the very bottom layer I found red! Who knows, maybe I have this very body kit! 

That will do for now, see the next post as we move inexorably towards paint.