Friday, August 31, 2007

BCNR33 TV CM! BCNR33のTVコマーシャル!

Many thanks to YouTube member nao55akita, who found my Tsukuba Circuit videos and put one on his favorites list. He also had these BCNR33 GT-R TV Commercials.


初期BCNR33 (Series 1)

BCNR33, IRON CHEF style! 料理の鉄人がBCNR33CM!

後期version of BCNR (Series 3)

Here is the longer version!

this really isn't a commercial for the R33 GTR, per se, but...

This is a Nissan car...

ほかにありませんでしょうか?Any others out there??

Thursday, August 30, 2007

R33 vs R34 GT-Rs by pro racer Kinoshita 木下選手がR33とR34GT-Rを比較

Yes, well, I suppose I miss my car. Here is an article (in Japanese) comparing the R33 and R34 GT-Rs by, race driver Kinoshita

some more videos of the R33 GT-R! 33 GT-R関連ビデオ

thought I would add some BCNR33 specific videos here.

Motoharu Gan-san driving at Nurburgring・元春ガンさんがヌルで8分をきれるか?

0-400 meter sprint in the wet. See how the Mine's car is the fastest?・ぬれた路面で0-400対決。ほかの車に比べてパワーはトップではないが、マインズは一番早い!

Famous top secret run at 328kph・トップシークレットBCNR33が湾岸で。。。

RX-7 vs R33 GTR・0-400対決

Mine'S R33 GT-R vs SARD Supra - GTR does Tsukuba in 58.75 seconds!とにかくマインズ33GT-Rは早い!

Tsukuba Battle of Tuner R33 GTRs - watch Mine's car kick ass. 筑波でのチューナーBCNR33対決。やはりマインズが一番早い!

R33 GT-R and NISMO 400R

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back from Tokachi! 十勝から無事戻りました!

Well, that was a LOT of fun. Will fill in post with more pix later, when I have time.
For now, here are some off my camcorder


講習はここで:There is a reason for everything! (全てには理由がある!)



僕だ!That's me!*



*Copyright HCCウメさん(有難うございます):

Saturday, August 25, 2007

First Day!! 十勝初日!

Here are some pix from the first day


Friday, August 24, 2007

Sunako-san, no license? 塾長、運転免許なし?

So I got a call from him this morning, asking me to bring my driver's license tomorrow, as we will be renting a car from the airport.


I'm curious, does he not have one, and how many others are coming?

Stay tuned, will try to post on both days while I am in Hokkaido...


Thursday, August 23, 2007

What is PBB?

So I called Mine's today for an update. I spoke with Nakayama-san, the takumi.  Apparently, the block has been bored out, with the dummy head attached, and the head is being polished.

I was looking at Nick's new website (see previous post) and it occurred to me that, while my engine is NEAR Mine's Stage 1, what EXACTLY am I missing?

Actually, it turns out only three things: 1) the N1 block, 2) the PBB valve guides, and 3) the lightened crankshaft. So what effect will not having these items have on my engine?

Recall that I told Nakayama-san that I would spend 80% on the street, and 20% on the track, and that I wanted about 500ps. The engine thus has to be durable and flexible for street use, but also powerful enough for the occasional track day.

N1 Block:
The N1 block differs from the regular block not in the materials used to make the block, but in the cooling channels around each cylinder sleeve. In the N1 block, the channels are a bit wider. That's it. The normal block is good for about (conservatively) 600 ps, which I will not have, so not that big of an issue for me. N1 block alone costs about 120,000 yen. If I decide I want to spend more money on the car for even more horsepower, I will think about lightening the car. Plus, I think I need better brakes first, as well as structural rigidity improvements, plus new alloy wheels, plus a Robson Leather interior... the wish list goes on.

PBB Valve Guides:
I did some research on the web, and it appeared that PBB is a lead alloy which, when used as valve guides, gives more durability and at higher engine revs. Some sites claim that, due to this increased durability, modern automakers are now putting this into their production engines. Nakayama-san agreed with this - except that he claims Japanese engine makers do not use PBB, it's mostly a European thing - so then I asked him, how much do the Stage 2 engines rev, and how much will my engine be able to rev. Stage 2 - up to 8500 rpm safely, and my engine, up to 8000 rpm safely. In other words, only a 500 rpm difference. And, as he pointed out, the car's power will peak  before 8000 rpm, so as long as I don't overrev, I should be safe (I am pretty sure I have learned my lesson). He noted that one weakness in the RB26 engines was revving between the 8000 and 8500 rpm threshold.

Lightened Crankshaft:
Common sense says that the lightened crankshaft will improve engine response. It does, but one drawback is that, with reduced mass, the lightened crankshaft is weaker. Most of the difference in improved engine response comes from lightened pistons and conrods, which I have, so again, not necessary for me.

Everything else is the same as the Stage 1 engine as listed on their website, with two important changes that are not listed. Different Mine's cams, and a better oil pump than the N1 I was going to get originally.

Super Camshaft Shore Pro II:
When Mine's developed their Nur car, they found that they could get better lower and mid range response by sticking in cams with a 252 degree and 10.05 lift (for both in/ex) profile than they could with their previous arrangement. This new product is unique to Mine's, and is called the Super Camshaft Shore Pro II.

This is what it looks like - much like most other cams.

Nismo Oil Pump:
And, while I was content for awhile with the N1 oil pump, after doing some research I learned that the N1 oil pump was only marginally stronger and provided marginal better oil flow than the stock pump - the Nismo oil pump (btw Nakayama-san said that the HKS and the Reimax pumps were made by the same manufacturer and were the same) has strengthened internals - which should allow it to survive an overrev better than the stock or N1 unit. The Tomei, HKS, JUN and other pumps also have higher capacity, essentially doubling the oil capacity of the engine. I think it's overkill, and further, adds weight to the car, so I passed on the other pumps.

Nismo Intake Plenum:
Oh, and I also ordered the Nismo plenum (surge tank), as it has very noticeable affect on low and midrange torque. Modern day computer simulations were used to help design this plenum - such computer analysis was not available when the RB was first designed, so Nakayama-san said that the original plenum, while ok for its day, has its limits.  One that is well known is how the #6 cylinder runs lean compared to the other cylinders.

This is what it looks like:

Lastly, my car should be ready to go by September 25... one more month! (any earlier - a week or two doesn't matter, as I will be out of the country first on a business trip and then on vacation).

Argghh - forgot to ask two questions:
1) the "twin turbo" pipe - I have seen vendors split that and claim better exhaust gas flow. True or false? (edit: 10/17 - MINE'S doesn't use this on their demo cars. Some cars they work on use the hard pipe kit, though)

2) confirm that my engine will be mounted on the Nismo strengthened engine mounts. (edit - 10/17 - yes)

Argghh again - also forgot to ask him to remove the Nismo oil separator on the old engine and install on new one... (edit: 10/17 - Nakayama-san said no problem)

Argghh again, again - forgot to ask about trading in an old ECU for the new one...(edit: 10/17 - as mine is currently a Tomei Powered - they will try to swap for standard ECU, which they can then reprogram).

another - forgot to ask about engine mounts. and low temp thermostat (edit: 10/17 - was told later that engine will have the stronger Nismo mounts, and yes the low temp thermostat).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I miss my car... やはり車がないとさびしい。

Photos only.写真のみですが…

I love this ad photo. 後期型の宣伝広告で使われた写真、すごく好きです。

and this one too. これもいいね。

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Improved Car needs Improved Driver, so...車だけ改善するんじゃなく、自分の腕も磨きましょう

I got a call from Sunako-jukucho last weekend, offering to teach me race driving techniques in a semi-private setting during the weekend of August 25-26. The catch? The track he is teaching at is in Tokachi, Hokkaido. So I have to fly up there, and the airfare isn't cheap, with JAL having a monopoly on the flight from Haneda to Tokachi.

The cost of the class is a relative bargain, at only 100,000 yen for two full days, food and lodging included. (I think when I attended the Skip Barber school last year at Laguna Seca, the one day course cost $1600, with only lunch included). When I asked about how many students were attending, he said "there was lots of space" and normally a class is 8 students max, so I am figuring there will only be 2-3 of us.

Here is a link to Tokachi Speedway.  We will be using the "Junior Course" and the cars will be supplied. Looks like a nice track.

I think we will be using these cars:

I told Sunako-san that I am looking to learn more about controlling and using oversteer. This should be fun!!

Here is the link I found to the racing school itself:

And the course which I will be taking:

Other links:

Monday, August 6, 2007

My Decision - Mine's for the Engine. 決断 - マインズにお願いしました。

After much deliberation and thought, I have decided to go with MINE'S for my new engine.  I visited MINE'S yesterday and placed my order. Although I was very impressed with Tanaka-san at EXAGE - he spent 3 hours talking to me about the engine, parts, and GT-Rs in general, and his depth of knowledge is incredible, I have to go with the experience that Nakayama-san at MINE'S offers.

I DO plan to go to EXAGE later on, to get other bits taken care of. Good price, great service, and really friendly people are what did it for me.

MINE'S Nakayama-san has built/rebuilt over 1000 engines, and further, my engine will be a near Stage 1 MINE'S engine.  The engine will be identical to the MINE'S stage 1 except that it will not have a lightened crankshaft, the PBB [phosphorous bronze] on the valve guides, and the N1 block as in Stage 1. The necessity for these items is minimal with my kind of driving, while the cost savings are enormous. However, it will be using forged and lightened pistons and all bits will be blueprinted and balanced.

Can expect about 500 hp, and with the durability and responsiveness that MINE'S is famous for.

A completely custom MINE'S VX ROM will be used. While MINE'S does offer VX ROMs for various model cars, these are the ones that fit the general profile of each car model. However, without the customization, the engine still isn't responding as well as it could. Thus, when I pick up the car, I will be required to put on 1000kms, during which time the ROM will be in learning mode.  Afterwards, the permanent ROM will be installed.

So, they will be picking up my car tomorrow on Tuesday. Nakayama-san will store my car and work on the new engine, taking photos along the way, which I hope to post once I get them along with the final specs of the engine. Once the engine is built, they will remove the old one and replace with the new one. Stay tuned!

Here are the specs as I recall from last night - see the Stage 1 engine specs for more details.

HKS GT-SS turbos:


Balanced and blueprinted interior parts - valve cut, head polishing, etc. MINE'S oil baffle, forged lightweight pistons and conrods:

TOMEI Headgasket (1.2mm):

MINE'S intake/exhaust cams - 252 with 10.05 lift for in/ex:

MINE'S air element:

MINE'S triple flow cam cover buffer plate:

MINE'S high capacity fuel pump:

NISMO strengthened engine mounts:

Nissan N1 oil pump (Nakayama-san personally guaranteed the reliability of this item, as he disassembles and inspects each one, when I told him I had read about recent failures):

Nissan N1 water pump:

NISMO Strengthened (Kevlar) timing belt:


High capacity injectors - 600 (MINE'S made by Unisia JECS)

Standard rubber hoses for fluids, silicon hoses for air hoses

NGK #8 racing plugs

There are also optional parts that I have ordered alongside the engine itself: the double plate NISMO clutch, the TOMEI EXPREME exhaust manifold, and the MINE'S turbo elbows (their "Super Outlet Pro II").

The double plate NISMO clutch is needed to handle the extra horsepower - the single plate NISMO clutch I have now can only handle up to 400 hp.

The TOMEI EXPREME increases the flow of exhaust gases, thus allowing the turbos to spool up even faster - and the construction of the EXPREME, with no gaps between each outlet, prevents compression that occassionally happens with the stock manifold.
Looks like this:

Lastly, the MINE'S Super Outlet Pro II turbo elbows keep separate the exhaust gas from the main and bypass manifolds. This reduces exhaust gas interference preventing a decrease in the induction flow, thereby  preventing a loss of power.

Anything else...??

Saturday, August 4, 2007

First visit to MINE'S and EXAGE 初めてのマインズとエクサージュ訪問

In order to find a tuner from whom to order a new engine, I have been doing research all week.  A fellow GT-R afficionado offered to and then took me to visit MINE'S this morning in Yokosuka, Kanagawa prefecture.  I could go on, but will let the pictures do the talking.


THE MINE'S R34 GT-R! Tsukuba 57 seconds!
Link to YouTube clip which shows the car lapping Tsukuba in 59 seconds.

This is the also car which Keiichi Tsuchiya said, "this is too fast!" "So fast it will make a dead man scream!"

R32 and R34 from GT-R Magazine! The magazine editor Yamamoto-san was also there. Some of the MINE'S crew went out and started spot cleaning the cars.

Engine bay of the GT-R Magazine BNR34 Nur:

In the afternoon, I then went to EXAGE in Sayamagaoka, in Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo. Didn't take any pictures, but here is a link to their webpage:

Also - maybe the people at MINE'S were busy - with their event and the GT-R Magazine visit, but I was totally impressed by EXAGE president Tanaka-san, who over the course of nearly 3 hours, patiently explained all the ins and outs of various components I was contemplating for the engine rebuild.

Whatever the outcome of my decision, I will have some work done at EXAGE in the future. I am particularly impressed by how they are obsessed with making the machines they work on as clean as possible - for example with a new engine, not only does the engine come back clean, but so does the engine bay, and the underside of the hood. As well as the inside of the transmission.
結果を別として、エクサージュで何かをやってもらいたいと思ってます。かれらの作業に感動しました。完璧主義者であり、部品を治す・取り替えるだけじゃなくて、徹底的に洗って、新車並みに戻すのがテーマです。 ボンネットの裏とか、ミッションのなかまで、きれいにするんです。