Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Sunny Three Day Weekend means...

Being able to detail and tinker with my car to my heart's content.

As many of you know, for detailing I use the Zaino line of products. http://www.zainostore.com/

The weekend before, as I mentioned in my previous post, there was one sunny day, so I took my time and washed and claybarred the car. Then followed up with the Zaino AIO (Z-AIO) product, applied and removed by Porter Cable.

This past weekend, I used the Zaino instant detailer spray (Z-6) and cleaned the car (there was only some dust on the car anyway, as I had not driven it). I then followed with another coat of the Z-AIO (applied by PC again) and then some hand application as below:

Here, I'm using a toothbrush to remove some old built up polish on the "Skyline" lettering on the rear valance:

And of course - the details - here I am attacking the license plate too - both the front and rear were dirty.

Don't have any action pictures of me removing the Z-AIO (again by PC), which was followed by a coat of the Z-5 product , followed after removing it by PC by a gloss enhancer/instant detail spray, Z-8 , then followed by another coat of Z-5, again on and off by PC. So that's 2 coats of Z-5 - each coat enhances the shine, and the effect is additive! (someday, I will have 4-5 coats on... someday!)

I then sealed this all with their new one step sealant - Z-CS

Hard to tell from these photos, but the car looks amazingly better - so good in fact that the defects - stone chips, etc. are even MORE noticeable...

I also took a couple of hours to remove the dry carbon exhaust surround, which not only was dirty but was applied somewhat off by the bodyshop (when they fixed my rear bumper). I then cleaned it the best I could, and put it back on, this time straight.

I like this photo the best - really brings out the shine and the definition of the car!

But that wasn't all - I then decided to put on some carbon bling that I had taken off before - the side panels to the rear wing - when the clips fell off.

Here is the wet carbon blade compared to the stock plastic insert:

And here is the solution - those metal clips designed to route wire, with the adhesive tape on the backside (I think the carbon items had something similar originally, except the tape was much weaker):

But that wasn't all! I kept going - and this time installed the Optima yellow top that I had lying around as well.

But getting to the battery wasn't easy - not only did I have to remove the trunk wall (black steel), but also the standard tower bar!

And check out the size of this thing!
From the top:

Here it is, I finally got it sitting in snugly in the bay (note - not for the weak of arm, hoisting it up into the bay requires some muscle!)

Apologies for the bad picture - but here it is, done!

The result - I can't believe how easily the engine starts now! There is not only no loss of power, but the starter seems to be a bit more eager in how it cranks! Nice!

Next project - start figuring out ways to reduce the car's weight it gained from the Optima! Seriously, thinking of some titanium bolts, maybe some anodized washers (yes, BLING) for the engine bay... stay tuned!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Little Trip Down to Nissan Prince Shinagawa Today

Ever since my track day at Tsukuba with SSCT on the 5th, had not had a chance to properly wash the car, or have the OS Giken gear oil replaced. In fact, as of today I had not only done the track day with the brand new LSD, but had also driven another 300kms or so.

Consider the LSD broken in! (and yes, it was making more noise at low speed than before).

So, as we had some nice day today, parked the car outside, got out my claybar and PorterCable, and proceeded to do a quick detail on my car.

A couple of hours later, I found myself driving down to Nissan Shinagawa. It had been awhile, and something I saw when I did my oil change at Zama had given me cause for concern.

What is this? Why, it's a stripped bolt - the filler bolt for the rear LSD in fact. I was planning on doing my own diff oil swap at Zama last week, but decided against it when I saw this. And, given that Hiro had installed the LSD and the cover, but did not mention this, I am a bit upset as to why he did not. Anyway, it was worth paying a bit extra to have my car checked once over by people I trust.

Here is my car being worked on by the best mechanics at Nissan Shinagawa, Yamada-san and Sugimoto-san (check out this month's GT-R Magazine - November issue - if you don't believe me)

An interesting Z-Tune look R34 was being worked on before they kicked it off to work on mine (sorry, whoever it was).

I also spotted this interesting specimen in the back:

As well as this:

Don't know much about R34 coupes (this was an auto), but I did like the way they spelled out "SKYLINE" on the lip spoiler! (ok, a bit cheesy, but heck it was something I had not noticed before).

And when I arrived, the SSCT had just finished a director meeting - with one of them (Tobe-san) driving this!

I guess his UNISIA JECS replica R32 is just a bit too noticeable as a daily driver, so he drives this toned down "Lexus" iQ.

I also had Yamada-san and Sugimoto-san check out the rest of the car for any problems, as well as raise the front by 1 cm - car has been scraping a bit too much lately. They also installed a new diff filler bolt at no charge - throwing away the mangled one above. (they remarked that it looked like someone didn't have the proper tool and had tried to remove it using pliers...I'm not pointing fingers though. I'm just happy we fixed the problem!)

Driving back home - no noise coming from the rear, and the car livelier. Whatever it is, it's a relief to know everything is working perfectly.

PS - SSCT tells me that on the next track day on November 23rd, they will be arranging to have ALL of the Group A R32 racecar replicas there... should be interesting.