Sunday, January 7, 2018

Tribute Videos! Thank you!

Well I don't know whether to be thankful or freaked out, but I stumbled upon two very cool videos of my car when searching on YouTube for R33 related material. Take a look, enjoy and like both of these videos to let this guy Angeloti that his efforts are appreciated!





Sunday, December 31, 2017

Interior Modernization Project at WORX... Random Photos and My Honest Thoughts

So I'm done writing the next Project 33 post for Speedhunters, where I talk about picking up my car from Worx where I had the dashboard installed.  And I explain, in a nice way, why the work took so long.  But due to the year end rush there are apparently a couple dozen posts ahead of mine, and since some of you can't wait until next week, I've decided to, for my last blog post of the year, go ahead and publish here some of the photos which didn't make it into the Speedhunters story.

Even though I wanted to publish some of these photos, in the end I decided not to either because they did not match the story, or more likely the quality of the photos was extremely low. Most photos in fact were sent to me by Nakamura-san at Worx AutoAlarm.

I'm grouping then in different themes and not necessarily the order they were sent to me, to make this all easier to understand. I think you will see that the mess Nakamura-san had to fix, was quite extensive. Although, I am not convinced that it all NEEDED to be fixed, except as noted below.

Photo of the leather covered dash
Can't believe how good this looks!
The rear seat insulation was apparently degraded too much for his liking
Looked fine to me, but...
new custom rear seat insulation - both for heat and sound
Made from this stuff, which appears to be a closed cell polyethylene foam product. Perhaps from the same StP company that did the door panel dampening material
Showing progress in taking the interior apart
Yikes! See that rust on the steel support bar? Should I be worried?


The mess from the old Navi
Showing how it's done
And he uses this special shrink wrap covering
more shrink wrapped wiring
This is how it looked before
all cleaned up
DTMII Wiring
Cleaned up the DTMII wiring
An example of my horrible DIY work.
Some more he found. Some of this is for the motorized exhaust valve, the large black on the left is the OEM harness

OK yes not very neat. 
Pretty sure this is something I did as well, in an effort to try to tidy up.

Custom made bracket

Wrapped in Alcantara

For the old Blitz SBC boost controller.
The custom bracket for the SBC boost controller was a good idea, EXCEPT he decided to bolt it to the inside of the glovebox. Which resulted in two holes in the Alcantara lining, AND two visible bumps on the outside of the glovebox.  NOT HAPPY. I'll post about this soon in a forthcoming post.

So basically replaced the snap-locks for proper male/female connectors
Custom fuse box arrangement for new stereo and navi
Mounted on this metal plate
Right next to the battery in the trunk area
A new battery. 
I was not happy with this. He threw out my old yellow top Optima, claiming it wasn't very good and replacing with this battery which he claims is the cold climate spec one for the BNR34.  WITHOUT asking me. I guess I will just have to see if this holds up...

Ok so I'm an amateur at this too. Thought it did a decent job actually though.

Problem was, the servo motor used to remote lock this side was broken. So it had to all come off anyway.

Removing the insulation revealed more sloppy DIY. 

Which he decided to fix. (I say, if it ain't broke...)

New servo installed

and my interior courtesy light LED wiring was cleaned up!
On this side as well!

And then he laid on the StP and some foam, and rehooked up the LED
Have to admit this was AWESOME. By using the OEM door/frame connectors, the wiring between the body and doors is now 

I now have a remote trunk opener!
And can recharge my battery without opening the trunk lid!

Oh, and here are parts I absolutely dislike:
Why this color? Doesn't match the OEM piece, which matches the B and C pillars which are BLACK
Also, to my ear, the tweeters appear to be aimed improperly. At least the angle. This is a topic for another post but I've spent time trying to adjust the delay and such but my conclusion is that the tweeters are simply aimed improperly, in FRONT of the head of the driver. I don't understand how that builds a proper soundstage.
My old gauge surround panel. 
I'm glad I rescued this when I picked up my car. Again another topic for another post but let's just say it was in better shape than the secondhand one he installed in my car.

And there are other photos of interesting things, one which in particular I ended up rejecting but I will discuss in a following post.

I guess, I am grateful to Nakamura-san for all the rewiring he did, but I am not happy with his arbitrary decisions which resulted in a non-matching A-pillar, tweeters that don't seem to be aimed properly, a damaged glovebox door which I will have to get redone in both leather and Alcantara, the car having lost the Optima for a battery which I know nothing about, and a gauge surround panel which as it is old and scratched up clashes with the newly leather lined dashboard.

If you read the Speedhunters article, you will see that the car also now has a 2-DIN stereo/Navi unit, and to be honest I'm a bit split on that as well. I'll discuss the audio set up in a follow on post as well, but suffice to say the new Morel speakers DO sound warmer but they are clearly not as sensitive as the Pioneer separate I had before.

Anyway, stay tuned for a full review of the stereo as well as a discussion on what I rejected, as well as what I had to fix. Promise it will be interesting!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Interior Modernization Project, Part 23. Parts Arrive in Japan!

So in my last Interior Modernization Post, we talked about the finishing touches and details.  So what happened next?




Well as you can see from these photos he sent me he was pretty much done.  And just as he was preparing to send all the parts to me the carbon fiber pieces that Marc had worked on also arrived, and so I asked Cesar to send me everything except for the left over leather. Just in case and also because I was worried that Japan Customs might tax raw leather, as opposed to finished leather parts which I had confirmed they would not.

Thanks again to Correos de Mexico as well as Japan Post, the pieces arrived quickly, within a week. Because I did not have the space nor the confidence to install the main dashboard, I decided to have that piece sent to Worx AutoAlarm in Chiba, where I would ask Nakamura-san to install the dashboard while he also installed a new car alarm as my old Clifford one had died.  Everything else, I asked Cesar to send to me directly.


Let me say it was very nice getting these boxes. Felt like Christmas even though this was on February 4 of this year.

Of course I first opened the biggest boxes, which were obviously the front doors.
And the leather smelled absolutely incredible!
Wow. So nice, looks even better in person!
















Couldn't resist. Installed immediately!!!


Found the carbon pieces that had arrived just in time at Cesar's. These will replace the triangular bits covering the side mirrors.

Like this.
If you take a close look, the weave is off. But, as soon as I mentioned this, Marc sent me a PERFECT replacement for free
And then of course the smaller boxes:
Looks like a lot of stuff in there...
Very well wrapped. Thanks Cesar!
Quite a mess of parts. But all wrapped up nicely in bubble wrap!
Was really looking forward to these pieces. Something for me to fondle as I drive...
The scratched up shift surround is only for reference. I would be taking the leather piece out.
And of course the rear panels:
Wow, just wow!
Oh and check this out too:



The green arrows points to a dilemma. In order for me to take this piece off, I had to cut this section to allow the seat belt to be slipped off. Cesar sent it back with just enough extra leather so that I could reinstall the seatbelt and then wrap the extra leather to form a fairly secure joint.

This was the BEFORE picture, if you recall. 

Remind me to take a better photo to show how the seat belt guide was done. Basically, it's not noticeable.
Yes, even the overhead grip handles were wrapped! Trust me it feels 200% more luxurious this way.

So what's next? Well in the upcoming Speedhunters article I describe going to Worx and dropping the car off, and then waiting... and waiting... and waiting...

But as I was waiting, Nakamura-san DID send me some photos.  As I understand my article on Speedhunters might take a while to publish (at least another week from today), in my next blog entry I'll see about posting some photos that didn't make the Speedhunters article. Stay tuned!