Thursday 19 May 2016

R33 Rear Fog Lights

There was a time before I started recording my thoughts and musings (Sometimes even tidbits of information that actually are useful (but only by accident)). Forums were much bigger back in the day but now social media 'is where it is at'.
Not got Facebook? Then your stranger than me! The only problem I find with Facebook is that people answer with half the information, it could be that they are on their phone, but answers like "buy some diodes" just ain't going to cut it.

Whilst I am on my hobby horse, will gallop it around a bit.. People, if your drunk or just plain stupid, don't post!

Anyway, I saw a few questions popping up about rear fog lights on a R33 (this is a British orientated thing, "cor blimey Guv' it's a real pea souper") Ahem.. Anyway.. In the UK we have to have a bright rear fog light... for when it's errm foggy oddly enough. True, it's one of those strange items that seemingly few people actually know how to actually use, a magical switch that once turned on never gets turned off (a real pleasure to drive behind). As a legal requirement all imported Skylines have to have them. Usually as part of the SVA test (Single Vehicle Approval) a cheap lens is bolted to the back of the car.

Not that there is anything wrong with this as such, but it does look a little odd. When I first had my car I physically removed it and would bolt it back on when it came time to MOT. However hardly a permanent fix and a bit of a pain in the butt remembering where I had left it.
There are options for a more permanent solution, these include simply wiring a switch to your reversing light and painting the bulb red, or wiring to the inner brake lights so that they come on at the flick of a switch.
Obviously painting a bulb and loosing a reversing light is far too simple and just not cricket. So lets look at the other more complex and satisfying version. Doing this modification does not affect how the brake lights function (you still have all four). It is also the more aesthetically pleasing, does not interfere with any other function or look out of place.

Ok my blathering is over, onto the main course...

Skyling R33 GTS - GTR Rear Fog Light Guide. 

You will need
4 x 1N5400 3A Silicon Rectifiers (Maplins part) at £0.59 each
1n5400 diode

Solder or blue crimp connectors (and a decent crimper)
A screwdriver (to stab your hands with)
I am not going to be all clever with wiring diagrams, those are for people that want the rest of the world to see how jolly clever they are.
Instead I shall delight you with the basics on how it is actually done. With thanks to D.O.A. who originally shared this information.
Remove trim, you should be able to work this out yourself. However be careful when pulling out the plastic surround around the latch area as it is fragile and will crack. there are two push clips located centrally each side of the latch and they don't let go easily (you have been warned). Everything else you should be able to cope with.
So get hold of your diodes, you will need two for each side (remember we are wiring both inner brake lights, you could do one.. but that would be pants). Assuming you are using crimp connectors, crimp one end of two diodes into a connector making sure that the silver band on the diode is closest to the connector ( If you get it round the wrong way it will not work as the diode is a one way 'valve' which electricity flows). Crimp two more connectors on to the other ends of the diode ( These will be the feeds in ).
Now we can connect the wires to the diodes. On the car, cut the green/yellow brake light wire to the inner brake light making sure you leave a good length to play with . Connect the green /yellow wire coming from the light bulb holder to the crimp with both diodes in it , Then connect the other end of the cut green/yellow wire to one of the diodes ( This will power up the brake light as per normal). You will be left with one more connection to diode to be made, this is the feed from the fog light switch. For this you will need to run a joining wire from the left hand light unit to the right and then on up through the car to the dash (if you don't already have a switch wired).

Autographs are extra

If you need a switch in the dash, make sure its a 'tell tale' (one that lights up to say it is on) All you need to do is find a good 12v feed to power up the switch and connect it to the power in pin, connect the wire you have run through the car from the rear clusters to the power out pin then run a wire from a good ground up to the earth pin on the back of the switch.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

GTST Bonnet Dampers - Lifters

UPDATE: The bonnet lifters need the ram extensions removing (see TOP PRESS below). However this will complicate things as the ball fittings in the end of the lifters (that you still need) are M8 threads and not M6. This means you will have to obtain some more ball fittings. It is not the end of the world (just a bit of a pain). In the UK and Europe they can be obtained here
STOP PRESS! These kits do come with ram extensions. Do not fit these, if they are fitted remove them and throw in bin! The fitting of rams with the extensions in place will increase the angle of bonnet too much, this will put strain on the bonnet or ram causing either a broken ram or bent bonnet. I was unaware that some packs shipped with these already fitted in place on the ram (they simply unscrew). 


Latest update: This post certainly caused a stir in the world of Skyline's I must say. Here are the facts now the post has been in the wild for a few weeks. 
These kits do work on R34 GTT's as well as 33's, the kits are unsuitable for GTR's, they do lift and hold steel bonnets on both 33's and 34's without a problem. People with bonnet raisers (the bonnets lifted at the rear style) can use the extensions as the increase in angle is cancelled by the spacers on the back of the bonnet (although I personally would still not recommend it). 

It is fun to see the post take on it's own life in social media, although I have come across one wag attempting to profit from fitting these lifters, posting on Facebook,  they claimed they had come up with bonnet lifters. I assume the plan was to simply sell the kits on for a profit. The world is full of people, some good, some less so. 

Original posting

The mind bogglingly big lump of metal that it is the R33 Bonnet for the GTS range, is probably one of the most chopped about and changed items on the modifying scene. However it does not matter if you have a steel, carbon or FRP version without doubt the biggest pain in the posterior and easiest way of loosing 'cool' points, is the lifting of the bonnet and the rickety old bonnet stay.

There are kits available for the GTR (at hugely expensive prices) but nothing for the forgotten and often maligned GTS.

No, for our ownership we have the lovely bonnet stay that we erect like a tent pole every time we want to poke about in the engine bay. Numerous are the times I have personally wacked my head, bumped it or even watched it fall out in a gust of wind!

One of the things (among many) I could never understand is just why Nissan chose to manufacture this magnificent 'stick' out of their trade mark 'instant rust' material. Many are the cars with magnificent engine bays and manky old rusty or badly painted bonnet stays (which is why I had mine chromed.... but then I would....).

I think that ever since owning mine I have been looking to fit lifters (dampers). Maybe try a GTR one out... Although the fenders on a GTR are slightly different which messes up the brackets so it just wouldn't work.

Brackets... Brackets are the problem here. Figure that out and you are well on the way, trouble is I could never be focused enough to figure it out.

I did get there in the end though and armed with the basic idea, sizes and sketches was about to set out to find someone to fabricate the hinge brackets for me.

However at this point I changed direction and decided to see what the automotive world had to offer. Was there something bespoke that I could use out there?

As it turned out, there was!

I purchased a kit for (of all things) a Sus-Tec kit for a Honda Civic (eBay Link) at a cheap price of just £32 including post.

Que the pictures!

The standard look

Front View with gas strut installed.

Side View (apologies for sun)


You will see from the second picture I decided that the plain struts with 'SUS-TEC' written on them just would not do. It would not be hard to remove the lettering and have them plain, substitute your own letters, paint or wrap them. 

Although my bonnet is made from Hybrid carbon, these have also been tested on steel and work better than my own (which is probably a bit light).

The kit comes with two struts, two M6 threaded ball ends to fit in the wing and two brackets for the hinges. The balls are held in place with pins that push through and clip onto the ball holder. 
Ideally I would like to have seen a bracket that could be secured by both the bolt holes, although this does work 'as is' perhaps some enterprising soul out there will latch onto this and knock something up.

There you are, secret shared. The rest is up to you!