Monday, August 23, 2010

Preparing, Cleaning, Painting, Cleaning...

Ok people - I have to say I am sorry for not posting as much lately. In between trips to Hong Kong (to eat, mainly) and Hawaii (to eat, and sunburn) I haven't had time to do anything with the car.

I did manage to order THIS between my trips:

This being Japan, came with an (optional) GT-R fitting kit...

Of course - Murphy's law. Once I ordered it, had NO MORE PROBLEMS with the standard battery. Recently it had begun to not be able to hold a charge, so after a week or two I'd be nervous starting the car. Maybe it's the summer heat, but lately no such problems?

So the Optima remains uninstalled. Will do a post when I do put it in, though. Supposedly just having a better battery does wonders for the electrical system. So we shall see.

I DO have an SSCT Track Day, this time at Tsukuba Circuit, coming up September 5. So, as I had been pretty lazy about cleaning my track wheels, and figuring out why the "glass coating" I applied wasn't working as well as it had in the past, these past 2 weekends, I've spent some free time cleaning the RE30s.

As you can see from this first picture, the wheels never got properly cleaned after my last track day at Fuji.

I think what happened is, I applied the "glass coating" too thick - you can see the excess dried up in a line (looks almost like a crack). The consistency is like sap - slightly sticky, I can remove it with my fingernail, no problem. So I have been finding droplets of these all over, and tediously inspecting each wheel, in an effort to get the wheels as clean as possible.

The plan is, if the glass coating is still on the wheel, to improve its protection and slickness by applying a thin coat of Zaino, which I use on my car's body and also happens to be pretty tough against brake dust (apparently, from what I have seen on the internet forums). So I have 2 more weekends to finish the wheels and put them to the test!

The end result of course should look like this!

Meanwhile of course, I decided to detail my car again - went over with a fresh claybar on the flat surfaces, found some dirt, then used Zaino again to do a final cleaning and protect. Then applied a final protective coat. Took me all day, but I think the end result was worth it!

If I have time, will apply at least one more coat of Zaino before the track day!

Meanwhile, an experiment of sorts - my friend Miguel challenged me to paint some RB26 engine covers, claiming it was "easy" - and even sent me some instructions from the GT-R forum to show me how!

Well, it wasn't easy. The items first had to be stripped of the existing paint, and the previous owner of the panels had used, I swear, Navy aircraft quality paint that DID NOT want to come off!

Then several sprays later, I got some beautifully painted covers - but no or uneven wrinkling. Despite sticking them into a plastic oven I created, and ruining my wife's hair dryer!

Eventually, my friend Russ came to the rescue - just spray it on thicker than you might imagine, he said - and he was right! And I did NOT require an oven! So I just waited for a really hot sunny day, left the items out in the hot sun, as well as the spray can of VHT wrinkle paint, then sprayed a faily thick layer as Russ suggested instead of the usual thin coats one normally does to paint with a spray can. Let it dry for a few hours - and the result is as below!

Anyway, I screwed up on the inlet plenum, so last weekend I stripped the paint off that (again) and if this next weekend is hot and sunny (should be), will spray this, and I will be done! Will post pictures then!

Oh, and as for the upcoming track day - yeah, got a few things left. Oil change, brake fluid change, installation of a new OS Giken LSD (!!!) and re-installation of a cooling hose for one of the front rotors!

Don't know if I have time, but will certainly try to get it all done! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Driving the Skyline on the Izu Skyline Road!

This past Sunday, got together with some friends to enjoy the pristine roads of Izu.

Amongst us, we had an R34 GT-R, a new BMW M3, R35 GT-R, a crazy FC (Mazda), and an interesting S13.

My friend DCD did a write up at Speedhunters (with better pictures, of course):

Here are some pics my friend Jun took.