Monday, January 5, 2009

Some repairs and more parts!

Over a two day period, I was able to fix:

1) a small leak in the rear tail lamp cluster that was causing some condensation,

2) a couple of scratches made on the car by some careless buffoon,

3) and my scraped up front lip spoiler.

I also had installed some aerodynamic bits and some other odds and ends.

This last week being the holiday season, I went over to Hyrev's place on Friday, where he got out his PorterCable 7424 and, using some reducing compound, was able to buff out a couple of scratches on the car. Obviously, where the paint was gone (lower plastic bit on left panel after the door, and the bumper), we could not restore, but got out many scuffs. Also, on the other side, someone had made a very long scratch - but it was thin, so Hyrev was able to buff out most of it. Hard to see now, but no photos, sorry.

Hyrev, having been previously an R33 owner himself, also showed me/did most of the work in restoring the sealant surrounding the right rear brake lamp/turn signal cluster. It was a real witch to remove - after removing the 5 bolts, we had to use a hair dryer to soften the sealant. The sealant, applied at the factory, isn't very well applied, as it turns out. The lamp cluster itself while sealed on the top side, is NOT sealed on the bottom. So, if the sealant used to mount the cluster to the body isn't perfect, this allows moisture to creep in from the bottom. Hence, my turn signal and rear foglight were fogging up.

Here are some photos.

Chopsticks skills are handy here...

This is what we used to clean off the mess, before the reseal -
Silicon remover

The next day, I wandered over to my friend Thomas' place, he lives out near Camp Zama. And we proceed TO Camp Zama, where I got to use their Auto Shop - it's a building with all the tools and gadgets necessary for hobbyists to fix their own cars, they even have tire mounting and balancing equipment, even welding stuff!

Anyway - we got the car up, and proceed to take off the HKS Kansai undercover, as it was not properly secured. Then took off the front lip spoiler, which I resanded down, used some putty to refill some holes, and then resprayed black and then a top coat of flat clearcoat. Looks great now!

We also experimented with taking apart the right front headlamp, mainly to see if we could, and also to see if we could polish the lens from the inside. Well, you can polish, but it won't do any good on my car, as the lens plastic itself has some weird internal scratching/pitting that no amount of polishing would remove. So we put that back together.

Thomas was also kind enough to clean up some of the oilly mess that had stained my exhaust pipes, with some machine assisted sanding. Looks great now, thanks!

Finally, we installed this - the Daytona Ground Effector GE1. Stupid name, it's essentially a pair of metal and rubber strips that are supposed to move air away from the car, reducing the amount of turbulence under the car, and hence result in a more stable ride. It even comes with a "feel the difference" guarantee.

Here is a link to what I installed:
See the picture of the Integra?

Here in gadget loving Japan, you can get a motorized version, too!

Photos -

Conclusion - well, the car DID feel a bit more planted on the expressway, but I'm wondering it's psychological??
Most parts reviews on this product on the Minkara car blog - very popular here in Japan - have good things to say about this product. The effect is probably more noticeable in smaller, lighter cars to begin with.

Oh well, will update with more impressions after my next run at Fuji.