Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Written up by Nissan Prince Tokyo!

Discovered this at the Minkara blog for Nissan Prince Tokyo Motorsports Division.
It's quite an honor - being one of their first customers to be featured.

Here is a link to the post:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Daikoku Futo gathering

Wednesday night, last gathering of the year. Here's a photo, courtesy of my friend Thomas:

In addition, my friend came out in his S15 Silvia. As Thomas was complaining about some weird handling issues, we had my friend the suspension expert drive his car, and then mine.

I'm still working on the translation, but here is my friend's report:

You can find the original blog entry here:

Today, I was able to drive and compare 2 BCNR33s. That is, was entrusted with two beloved cars (by their owners).

“A” car (Midnight Purple)
This was car was fundamentally “normal” (not tuned).
A recently purchased used car.

Tires were front/rear standard size 245/45/17
Fr. Yokohama DNA GP, Rears: Bridgestone RE711

The suspension on the car is an Ohlins unit, probably from around 10 years ago, but the attenuation (damping) adjustment dial is on located on the front tower part (the upper suspension mounts)
This seems upside down?

The springs also are not the standard specification part, but something close to the standard configuration, at the very least not the Eibach models available then.

Straight line performance:
The acceleration upon stepping on the throttle was very good.
The engine felt good.
The ETS works well, easily and quickly controlling wheel spin, and so driving is fun.

The braking performance is completely lacking.
Have to step on the brake pedal hard to get deceleration, and it takes time to decelerate.
Made me think - Hmm? Is that brake fade?
But it’s too early for that (fade).
I think the brake pads should be immediately changed to a name branded street pad
I recommend Nismo’s S-tune (pads)
If we will be using on the track as well then the R-tune is good.

Although I think this wobble problem may have something to do with how the Yokohama tires has a less rigid and softer casing, overall, I strongly feel that the front suspension rigidity is lacking.
Upper mount rigidity (pillow ball, maybe?)

Even though the shock absorbers's damping is sluggish (even though it's expensive the springs don't suppress.
The low level of the tire's casing rigidity is strikingly felt.

And, I think that there must be a difference between left and right here.
Although we won't be able to tell unless the tire pressures are well managed, I think the reason for the left/right different lies in the front suspension.

as a temporary solution, as the tires have lots of tread left, may want to try switching the highly rigid Bridgestones to the front, and put the Yokohamas on the rear.

The attenuation is high but,
Why doesn't the spring resonance stop?
I may not be feeling bounce, it could be pitching.

Because there wasn't a wide area (to test) in terms of cornering, and so I wasn't able to generate lots of side-ways acceleration, the front yaw was sharp, and so for a moment the direction of the car changes but, the attenuation in the shock absorber area is high, and the duration of the rolling is long.
Was not able to experience the one-ness feeling of a roll beginning and ending.

Feels like “ro~ll~ing~”

As the front is Yokohama, and the rears are Bridgestone, I sense excessive cornering power. It may be a good idea on this point, to change the front/rear tire brands.

This is one car I'm looking forward to as it's upgraded.

“B” car (silver). This car runs well on the circuit. It's akasakaBCNR33's car.
Is equipped magnificently.

Engine is Mine’s Complete Engine Stage 1(rev), over 500ps.
Suspension links are Nismo
The dampers are Nismo S-tune
Tires are BS’ RE01R
Brake pads are PFC
Rotors are PFC
Clutch is Nismo’s Super Coppermix Twin

Straight line
A bit slow going at low revs, but above 4000rpm the engine sound suddenly changes.
Feel tremendous power.
As the ETS firmly stops wheel spin, can step on the gas with reassurance.

The response and the actual deceleration G is wonderful, can brake with reassurance.
Even though there is initial bite, there is high controllability.
Even though it’s different in character to the R-tune, it’s an interesting characteristic.
However, the rear brakes feel weak, think that it is necessary to upgrade to larger diameter rotors later.
The sinking down time is short and the feeling of attenuation is low and so it’s easy to use.

Because they are S-tunes, in the beginning I thought they would be like the standard ones, but it was sportier than I thought.
The compliance of the Roll associated with steering in is fast, making it easy to drive.

Ride Quality
It looked like it would be good in the corners, thought the ride quality might be harsh, but surprise, it’s very good, quickly soaking up bounces.
The cornering ability and ride quality is balanced.

The difference with the “A” car is especially here.
It’s quick to soak up the impact harshness.
However, the roll rate in corners is fast.
I thought that, it’s a pretty good feeling suspension.

Although I would like to have a bit more spring rate…

In conclusion:
The Skyline GT-R is definitely a heavy car.
It’s heavy, but you won’t be disappointed because it’s “heavy.”
Different than the Silvia, the roll quality is very good, and one can plunge into corners with reassurance.
That’s the kind of car it is.

Both of you, thank you very much for letting me drive your precious cars.

You can find the original blog entry here:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lightning Strikes Twice?

Last week going to the Nismo Festival, my car developed an oil leak from one oil lines going to/from the turbos. Turned out to be the front one this time, last year going to the Nismo Festival, the car developed an oil leak from the oil feed line for the rear turbo. Nissan Shinagawa Motorsports called me yesterday to tell me the bad news - that this would necessitate removal of the rear turbo to access the front side tubes. And thus more money and time.

Ok, so here's my rant - as you all know I had a new engine put in by Mine's last year. Why didn't they bother to switch out those lines then? They don't cost much, the engine was out of the car, and these oil lines are considered to be consumables. Instead, they re-used the old ones - which are 10 years old... it's common sense that this kind of thing would happen.

I have other rants about Mine's as well, including their spectacularly bad (even by US or European standards, I think) customer service, but I'll save those for another date. The car won't be ready until next Wednesday - I'm hoping to be able to drive myself to Daikoku for the last gathering of the year, but we'll see.

PS - this is my first post on Blogger - I'm going to try to transfer all of my entries from my old account to this blogspace. This may take awhile, so in the meanwhile see

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Daikoku PA, Wednesday November 13

I was too excited to see my friends, both old and new, so forgot to take pictures.

However, a couple of entries from that evening, enjoy.

from my friend -

from the GTROC forum -

Monday, November 3, 2008

New Brake Rotor Pads... and some paint

After a week, finally got my car back. In the shop for new front brake rotors, as the original ones were pretty much gone. The pads had ground so much of the rotor away that you could feel a "lip" rising out of the edge, perhaps about 1mm tall. Anyway, the rotor was cracked, and the calipers also were somewhat burnt...

So the menu was - PFC Direct Drive rotors, overhaulled original Brembo calipers, including a repaint and new o-rings. New pads are PFC's racing spec.

Before (Nissan shot):

Check out the burnt lettering:

After replacement:

Will take awhile to break-in... then next step are the rear brakes...after which I'll have to get serious about upgrading the wheels and tires...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

BM video with short review of 97 R33 GT-R

Look what I found on YouTube...
Kei-ichi Tsuchiya on the Impreza vs. NSX vs. R33 GT-R... all after some minor changes in their model cycles.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Nice Gathering at Daikoku Futo

Last night, towards the end of the evening, we took some photos.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Photos of the bumper damage

While waiting for Nakayama-san at Mine's to check on what might be a crack in the block (turned out to be a leak in the turbine water line, whew! And they fixed for free - thanks guys!!), a delivery van backed into my car, resulting in the following damage:

The good news is that the van's insurance company paid for repairs and a rental (V36 Nissan Skyline sedan, which we used like a van to haul things around!) Repair-wise, I got a new bumper which was repainted, and a new left rear tail light cluster. They also went ahead and repainted the front bumper, so the car is actually looking pretty good, although I found a few flaws that they have promised to fix (they did not repair the tip of the rear wing).

Will post new pics soon of the repair, once everything is fixed!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Update - possible engine block crack?

Apparently not. All a false alarm. Mine's Nakayama-san found a turbo water line that was leaking coolant. It was underneath the rear turbocharger. He's replaced it with a new part, hopefully no further issues... and hopefully, he was right about no crack in the block!!!

Ok, so what needs replacing next? Brakes, transmission, tires/wheels, all in the foreseeable future...

There was also a minor incident while the car was parked at Mine's - a delivery van backed into the car, causing damage to the rear bumper. Luckily, his insurance company paid for a new rear bumper, and a paint job. And the paint shop went ahead and repainted the front bumper too, so the car looks pretty good... except that they forgot to repair the top of the rear wing, which is still scratched from the impact... will post pictures soon.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Another photo from the SSCT Track Day (July 21, 2008)

Found this on the SSCT Official website today:

Having passed that R34, get on the R35's tail...

ALMOST had him!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Photos from SSCT Track Day at Fuji Speedway July 21 2008

will provide commentary later. But first, the pictures, all courtesy of Paul "Hyrev" C.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Video made by Hyrev

look for me at 2:46, 3:00, 3:12, 3:50, and 4:20.

Thanks Paul!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Photos from Sunako-juku LAST LESSON at SportsLand Yamanashi

Belated, yes. But these photos (taken by our new friend Ville) are absolutely worth it.


Click, then click again on this photo to enjoy in full size - my new PC desktop background!

Backside - nice angle!

Blue painter's tape. Thanks Paul! (but it looks like a Cylon) Yokohama A050 S-tire.

Check out how the front splitter is ALMOST touching the tarmac. Well, Sunako-san DID say we should brake into the corners...I need new springs, S-Tune is too soft!

How I took the last corner:

How Sunako-san took it:

Coming up the straight:

This photograph is awesome in my opinion. Shows the speed!

Thanks Ville! All Photos Copyright 2008, Ville V.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunako-juku LAST LESSON @ SportsLand Yamanashi

Will update later with more information and videos, but fundamentally a great day - many thanks to everyone for coming and to Sunako-san and his staff for making it a great day!

Here is my friend Paul (aka "Hyrev") learning what it's like to be driven around by a pro at this small track. Wise man, didn't think his own car could take the abuse...

Was that screaming I hear??

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Time for some (real) CARBON BLING

First, began prying off the center plastic housing:

Remove the center plastic hosing

after removing many electrical clips, finally got the gauge cluster out:


Here is the gauge cluster, with the clear cover off:

The carbon overlay is held in by double stick tape:

After re-installation.

Now I have to remove all those scratches I made...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More Parts!

This being the last Sunday before we moved, I decided to get some more parts work done.

First, begn by removing the rear seat cushion.

This only requires removing two bolts, albeit they are TORX bolts.

Lift up, and presto. Seat bottom comes off. And hey, what do you know - Nissan already drilled out a hole for one anchor bolt.

Bolt installed.

Mounted one of these adapter clips to the bolt used to mount the retracting seat belt.

And here is how the two look installed.

Installed the lap belts by finding bolts next to the seat - one mounted on the railing, one attached to the body sidesill.

How it looks with the shoulder harnesses threaded through the seat.

I know have to figure out how to prevent wear and tear to the seat where the harness passes through. Clearly, another trip to Tokyu Hands is in order.

The old one looked great, it was subtle, but I wanted it to stand out a bit more.

And, Nori-san at Mine's did send me some, but really, this design is somewhat long!

But I'm not complaining, I set about removing the old stickers.

And here is how it looks now! Yes, it does make it much more noticeable!

I wonder if I should keep the blue and grey part on the left side of the Mine's lettering. Might look better without it?


I managed to use glass fiber cloth and resin to patch up some cracks and add material to replace what had broken off.

Here is the undercover before repair - using the other side, I created a template for the broken side. This was all done a few weeks ago.

I then drilled holes, through which I passed fiberglass string which I figured would provide more support to the soon to be added cloth

With string passed through:

After application of the cloth and resin. Then let it dry for about 2 weeks.

So, Before:


After a test fitting, I had to saw off some excess:

Here is how the standard undercover part looks:

I managed to install the HKS part, and realized that the reason it had cracked and broken before was that after a power check at car store, the techs had failed to reinstall properly - with the lip spoiler being larger on the series 3 R33 GTR, this necessitates some spacers - and it fits much better, yes.