Sunday, March 25, 2012

An Article Comparing the R33 and R34 GT-Rs...Newer is Not Always Better?

In the Japanese press at the time of the R34 GT-R's launch, the praise was almost universally in favor of the R34 over the R33... in fact so much that to this day, people still think the R34 is a better car.

Mind you, technology-wise, the R34 SHOULD have been a better car. Then again, the chassis and the engine were essentially the same. And yes of course there are things in the car that make R32 and R33 owners envious, most obviously the MFD (multi-function display) and the revised seats.  Then there are the Gundam/Robot/sharply creased looks, which people (I am guessing mostly juveniles, or juveniles at heart? LOL) prefer over the prior two generations.  Not sure if the looks of the R34 have aged as well as the R33 or R32 though.

And I would be the first to admit that body rigidity-wise, a stock r34 will be better than a stock r33.

So it was nice to stumble across this English language article which, for whatever reason, did not have the writer drinking the R34 Kool-Aid.

Enjoy, here it is: Chris Harris on the R34 GT-R

The comments from readers are interesting as well.

I'd also love to hear your comments on this...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

R33 GT-R - Cold Climate Region Spec Option

Well with the continuing cold weather... this is still timely...

So how many of you R33 fans knew that, when Nissan sold the R33, they offered a "cold climate region spec" option? (in Japanese, 寒冷地仕様). Actually, not just the R33 GT-R, but all R33s were offered with this option.

Not sure if it was a box you checked on the order sheet, but I HAVE been able to research and find that the option was comprised of at least the following items:

1) A larger standard battery
2) Heated door mirrors
3) Trunk liner

There is not much else to be found, however. The only other interesting tidbit I learned is that all 422 of the 4-door R33 GT-Rs built were "cold climate region spec" models. I could not find any information whether these spec cars had any mechanical differences, however. I was looking for, but could not find information on the typical "cold weather" improvements such as different coolant, better anti-rust protection, larger alternator, de-icing wipers, etc. So if anyone has any info on this, please let me know!

Anyway, assuming it's only the three items I listed above, then modifying your R33 to become a "cold climate region spec" car is not too hard. In my case, I have already installed a huge Optima Yellow Top battery, and so I just had to find the other two.

As for the heated mirrors, a happy accident - a while back when I lived in Tokyo and suffered the curse of mechanical parking, I damaged my left side mirror when backing in (I clipped it... Enough to crack the housing!). No matter, I just went on Yahoo Auctions and picked up something the same color. Wasn't paying too much attention then, but now when I had the doors apart for the sound deadening, I realized that I had gotten one with a 7 pin connector. The standard model is 5 pin, the extra 2 (blue connector) are used for the heating element. Lucky me!

So now, I have to find one for the right side, and THEN figure out how to wire it to the defogger switch, which activates the mirror heating elements.

(both of the above photos courtesy of

Honestly, while not urgent for me to have, as I live in Yokohama, it would still be cool to have my car fully accessorized this way (never mind that I almost never take my car out in the rain, and of course never when it's snowing). So, if anyone out there has the right side one in KR4 color, let me know! Thanks!

Finally, in keeping with my recent theme of trying to make my car more "comfortable" I found that you can still order the trunk liner and the 16 clips you need, so I did. (Parts number 84966-22U00 for the liner and 01553-04941 for the gray clips- thanks Matt!).

Here is the liner:

Here are the clips:

The trunk lid before (note the sound deadening I put on):

The trunk lid after installing the liner:

Is it just me, or doesn't the trunk lid look WAY better with this liner?

BTW - as I am updating, on an occasional basis, the R33 GT-R Technical page, please check back once in awhile. New entries are in green.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

R33 Night on Speedhunters

So a cold March night... but no rain, so ok, that means I can drive out to join the guys at Daikoku... except I get an MMS from Dino and Thomas that Daikoku was closed! So, a 35 minute "commute" to Shibaura PA.

Dino writes that he's been waiting 3 years to shoot my car...But c'mon, do any of you out there really think my car will ever be finished? (I don't!!) Maybe I'll let my blog readers decide when it's finished! LOL.

Over the next few days, I think I will create a page on this blog with my car specs (thanks to Karl for this idea!) and maybe it will give me an idea of how much more I need to do?

I've told Dino I really think the interior needs to be spruced up a bit, but he told me that most people don't care! I don't know...

(due to new Speedhunters format, link below has been revised):