Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Wheels, at last!

Well, so here is the story. My friend Miguel was at my place, and we were casually looking at some items on Yahoo Auctions. I had spotted a nice set of RE30s - not my color, being the plain silver, but the bidding was way too low. So, in an effort to cause a bidding frenzy, he convinced me to put a bid in, expecting to be quickly outbid...

We went off to dinner...and when we got back, I had won!

Long story short, Miguel had kept the wheels and the tires that came on them, at his place for a few months. I ordered the glass coating which I had used on my standard rims, and after spending a few hours cleaning the wheels (they were already very clean), we applied the coating today and then mounted the wheels.

Here's one being coated:

(this glass coating stuff is amazing! It actually forms a hard coating that ends up so slick most brake dust can simply be washed off!)

Pretty wheel - but look at that tire! Bridgestone RE55S (S-tires!)

Ok - so what EXACTLY is the difference between the standard rims (17x9.0J, ET30?) and tires (245/45/17), and 18 inch, 9.5J with offset of 12 - wearing 265/35/18 tires?

Front left, before:

Front left, after:

Rear left, before:

Rear left, after:

No good shots of the car yet from the side... I personally am a bit disappointed, not sure if it's the color, but just doesn't look as good as I thought it would - makes the car look smaller than it actually is!

Although - there is a DEFINITE improvement in how the car accelerates and brakes. The front end gets light! and braking is like running into a brick wall now...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A long overdue update... success... and a close call!

Well friends, I am happy to report that Team Gaijin Racing came through with no problems. 12 hours of endurance racing, and no problems other than consuming some oil. Good car, great teammates, and lots of fun. Looking forward to the October 24 6 hour endurance race at Ebisu East again. Again, the details can be found here:

Ok - now back to R33 GT-R land. I've been avoiding driving my car, not only to save on gas, but because the weather has been terrible, and I'm trying to avoid putting unnecessary mileage on my car.

So last Saturday, I decide to drive down to Camp Zama to work on the Team Gaijin Prelude... the GT-R barely started (I really need to buy that Optima battery) and then I discovered that while driving down the expressway, the steering seemed to be a -bit- off, slightly to the left. There was a funny sound from the engine too, maybe a belt slipping a bit?

When I got back and parked - I looked down at where my car had been and discovered a reddish looking fluid. However, there were no leaks under the car, but when I checked, the power steering fluid level was low.

So the next day in between running errands I took the car to Nissan Shinagawa and explained the potential power steering fluid problem.

Well lo and behold, they found this:

Looks like the power steering fluid had accumalated in the boot, and was leaking out of a really small hole. Luckily not an expensive part, about 2000-3000 yen, so I ordered one for the other side as well, and will have them both installed by them when it comes in.

What was more of a problem, I think was this:

I believe that is part of the steel cord showing through! Uh, that's kinda dangerous - at the very least no more aggressive driving! But it lasted a good long time - almost 4 years - these RE01Rs were the first tires I bought for the car, replacing the crap Dunlops that were on the car when I bought it used. Well, I guess this means I'd better get some new tires quickly! I plan to do so this weekend. How? Stay tuned...

Friday, August 14, 2009