Monday, January 18, 2021

Thank You Trust Kikaku! And Anonymous Fan!

So before the end of the year, a good friend had contacted Trust Kikaku and asked Hannah-chan (who speaks, reads, and writes English!) there to send me the one Nismo part I did not have - the latest fuel cap cover - as I posted in my last post of 2020


As you might have seen from the post, I wasn't sure if I would bother installing this, since the older one was working (and looking) just fine!

Well, looks like one of my readers figured out a way to incentivize me to change out the old cap for the new one.  Because, just 2 days ago, I got this in the mail:

Oh wow, another package from Trust Kikaku!!

And my guess is...

HA! I knew it!! Thanks!!!

Of course, don't want to disappoint the person who sent it. Unfortunately Trust Kikaku did not send me a letter to explain who and how this was being sent. Oh well. 

In any case, I immediately decided to see how the new Nismo gas cap would properly installed on the car.

First, I had to make sure the fuel cap fit!

This was a surprise. I guess 24 years of gas/petrol turns white plastic brown...

No problems at all fitting it!
Actually, this looks pretty good as is. Functional for sure!

Anyway, back to putting the Nismo part on. Look closely and there are these two rubber strips in the box, with adhesive backings, to place on the inside of the handle grip (see green arrow pointing at instructions).

What was strange was, even when using the black strips, there was still a bit of play between the plastic cap and the Nismo cap cover. Not sure if you can see it here as I try to show how it looks centered before attachment using the 3M VHB tape on the sides of the Nismo cap cover.

I think I got it on pretty much on-center!
And then when I put the whole thing on:

Decided to turn it a bit ("click-click") and then compared against the old one.

So my deepest thanks to those who arranged for this, I am very happy with now having the option to switch back and forth!

Now I am pretty sure there are no more Nismo parts I need. But, maybe I should double check the catalog...

Friday, January 15, 2021

Happy New Year! Calendars, a Japanese Tradition!

Friends, I hope that 2021 is a much better year for all of us than 2020, both collectively and individually.

So at the moment I am working on something on my car, but not quite ready to post yet. But soon!

Meanwhile, I want to share a Japanese tradition... at the end of the year, companies send important customers and clients their next year corporate calendar.  These calendars are usually made to be as non-offensive as possible, with landscape sceneries and oil paintings as a common motif.  Hence, usually the ones I get from my insurance companies and banks are opened and then quietly put in a corner/trash... useful, but boring, I guess.

Some companies, however, choose to be a bit more interesting. It used to be Japan Airlines, for example, would pick 12 gorgeous flight attendants from among the ranks of their global staff, and have one (always female) pose in front of some nice scenery. Miss January, Miss June, etc.  It has likely been toned down a bit but I see that JAL still maintains some of that tradition. Although yes the ones with their different airplanes are cool too. I guess.

Anyway, as you can tell I have never been one for calendars, especially the ones from banks and insurance companies.  Until now, when I got a follow up package from Hannah at Trust Kikaku (on behalf of the mysterious M) which included TWO CAR-THEMED 2021 Calendars! 

Here is the first one - from Fujitsubo, the famed exhaust manufacturer. Blake Jones from Speedhunters did a nice write up a couple years ago of what these guys are all about.  Indeed, the first exhaust I had my car (before it served as the R33 jig for the Tomei Expreme Ti titanium exhaust) was a Fujitsubo Super Legalis R, upon recommendations from the guys at Nissan Prince Tokyo Motorsports when they were still located in Shinagawa.  It was steel and heavy, but it sure sounded mature compared to the race car loud Tomei!


The second calendar came in this cardboard tube.  This being Japan of course:


Yep, it has perforations in two places so you don't have to use a knife or scissors to open the tube. No accidents!


WOW, simply WOW! I heard that these are really hard to get, so I am super happy with this. Beats nature scenes and fine art, anytime! (Let's not talk about the flight attendants...:). Everyone knows HKS, but just in case, here is Dino's latest post on what HKS is up to.

The Fujitsubo calendar also came with a plastic clip on mount, so I immediately put that on the wall above the wall in my office:

Uh yeah, all Nissan Skyline stuff... on the other hand when taking Zoom/Teams calls for work, always good to have a Nissan background!

As for the HKS calendar, looking for a good home now. Maybe the garage, or maybe a bedroom. 

Again, thanks to M and Hannah for these very nice gifts! I feel very lucky and hope you both have a great 2021!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A Nice Gesture from a Friend...

So for the last post of the year... here is something that I did not buy, nor was I really even thinking about getting.  My friend "M" knows that I have pretty much all the Nismo/Nissan parts that I could find already installed on my car, so he had to be creative in finding and sending me a small gift. I believe he even consulted "Q" but this was the best the TK department could come up with at short notice.

And here it is:

Thanks to Hannah-chan at TrustKikaku for sending this along...

So I am not sure if I have ever shown you blog readers this, but this Nismo (note, old logo) fuel filler cap is something I installed a long time ago. I recall it was hard to find back then, and I am sure it is super rare now:

For comparison, this is how the one I got sent would look. 
Have to admit it looks better than I thought. More modern, definitely.

Major difference is, the old one used screws to attach to the OEM plastic fuel filler cap, but this new one uses double stick tape only.


Here is another comparison:

So which would you choose? Now, I am tempted to buy another OEM plastic fuel filler cap and install the new one...and swap back and forth just for variety's sake. Unfortunately Blogger doesn't seem to have a polling function, so please leave your thoughts below in the comments section on which one I should use!

And...as the last post of the year... thank you to everyone who read this blog, and especially so for those who were kind enough to leave a comment or two.  2020 was definitely a year to remember - I hope everyone and their family and friends are safe and healthy. I am sure I am not alone in hoping that 2021 will be a much better year.  With Tokyo Auto Salon cancelled, not sure what I will be posting first in January, but I have a few ideas.

I hope you all have a nice end of year and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

One More Item Back to Normal

In this case, I am talking about the control module for the Defi heads up display (no longer available, sadly).

I originally installed this gadget because I had initially kept the original speedometer, which only displays up to 180kph, per the old Japanese rules (and I think I did so when I first got the car, even before I started this blog!), rather than swapping out for a Nismo 320kph one. But I was literally seeing the needle go past the 180 mark and almost complete a full revolution every time I took the car to a track day at Fuji speedway. However, I didn't want the bother of swapping out the speedometer cluster because of the hassle in having it all re-registered with the new mileage (assuming you do it legally here in Japan).

As long as long time readers know, I eventually swapped out to a Mine's 320kph speedometer cluster I found, for which I had the mileage readjusted to be accurate to the car's accurate mileage.  And since I doubt I'll be selling the car to an unknown buyer later, paperwork to record that didn't seem that essential. Plus the photos on this blog serve as proof anyway. 

In this previous post, I found that Nakamura the owner of Worx Auto Alarm (stay away!) had HIDDEN the Defi control module OUT OF SIGHT so it could not be operated. In the kickpanel, people! Obviously another example of brain fart.

What an IDIOT.

At that time, because the dashboard was completely leather, and I didn't want to damage the leather, I found a makeshift way to mount the Defi control module back in the spot where it was originally mounted when first installed. 

The gigantic rubber band method, basically.

This time around, I had found my original fuse box cover, and I have now decided I can live without the leather covered fuse box cover, in order to securely attach the Defi module.

I am holding the leather covered one, and the OEM plastic one in the background.

Did I mention that my old plastic one (right) ALSO has the newer looking fuse diagram too? Bonus!

So the question was, how to mount the Defi module back on.  The module had the softer side of velcro attached to it. So instead of peeling it off, I went out and bought some velcro tape, then cleaned the fuse box cover to ensure the velcro tape would stick.



Dirtier than I expected!

Unfortunately, when I tried to mount it...

Way too much gap

Not only was there too much of a gap, it felt like the first big bump in the road and this would fall off.  It was then I remembered that Worx Nakamura had used velcro to mount to the INSIDE of the kick panel. Oh yeah...

So it was back to tried and true double stick tape. The 3M-Scotch kind, made for external automotive use. 


I took this photo to show how the plastic looks versus the leather:
Weird how the plastic has the "leather" lines but real doesn't, huh.

Anyway, here is how the Defi module looks attached with the double stick tape.
Good enough!

After that, it was a matter of hooking up these wires to the back of the unit.


And then making sure the heads up display was working properly and aimed onto the little dark plastic screen attached to the backside of the windshield.

This was actually the toughest part, to make sure it was EXACTLY right in my line of sight

Sharp eyed readers may have also spotted this:

Yep, back to OEM plastic

That's right - I also decided I could live without the leather covered kick panel!

Look how dirty it gets!

And you can see the temporary solution to hold the Defi controller in place

Luckily it's mostly just surface dirt, easily removed.

For car shows only?

I mean, it is very beautiful, but to keep it that way I decided to take it off. Because it was bothering me that everytime I drove my right foot would bump into it, and for sure during heel and toe application my heel would kick into it.  Not enough to damage but enough to get it dirty or maybe slightly scratched.

So, I'll keep it handy for car shows where people might have an excuse to climb into the car.  Or take photos.  Most of the time however I think I will leave the OEM plastic in...one less thing to worry about!

So I'm not sure if this is my last post for 2020, it will depend on my energy level the last week of December during the holidays...if so Happy Holidays everyone...

Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Other Thing I Put on the Wall (Garage Series)

 So as I mentioned in my last post, the official Nissan poster wasn't the only piece of art I put on my garage wall.

You see, at last year's Nismo Festival, one of the vendors there grabbed my eye - Kusaka Engineering, who are known mainly for their scale model RB26DETT engines!

Scale model of a Mine's tuned engine, anyone?

But in addition to making scale model cars and engines, they also introduced something else, which is made to order. So a few months after ordering it, it arrived in this box, which I had left stored in my office downstairs as I wondered what to do with it.


So Kusaka Engineering makes these LED lit Skyline GT-R displays:
Obviously from the font you can see this is for the BNR32. https://kusaka-eng.com/led.html

And yes they make them in the appropriate font for each GT-R model. So of course I ordered the larger size for the BCNR33.

Looks better in person.
And they threw in a 5 meter extension cord... which came in very handy 

So I went ahead and plugged it in to make sure it worked. Looks awesome, huh? 

Just not sure where to mount it.  Initially I thought maybe next to the poster but that would create an unbalanced look. On the other hand, hanging on that wall would mean I could see it from my office.  But in the end, I decided the opposite wall would do nicely (and my good friend Dino agreed as well).  And it JUST fit, too.

Green arrow pointing to the extended power lead

To hide the power lead, I routed it below the window sill, using these clips, made to hold electrical cords in place.

And that really cleaned it up! Can't tell how it's powered!

So how does it look with the car parked? Well the photo does not do it justice...

Maybe the garage is too bright? To the naked eye the glow is very nice.

Oh, and here is a photo just to show how it looks from this angle. I guess a wider angle lens could capture both?

In any case, I am thrilled to finally have two pieces of R33 art finally up on the garage wall. There are a couple more items I am thinking about wall mounting, but I am in no hurry to add to these at the moment.