Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tarzan G Box Digital G-Sensor from Do-Luck (Part 1)

So late last year after seeing some discussion on the GTROC forum about the new Do-Luck G-sensor, I went out and bought one. (See photo below)

And yes, it was everything that Orito-san, chief mechanic at Do-Luck explained to me over the phone. A 21st century digital g-sensor, one less thing that would degrade and possibly break on my car like the stock analog ones were known for. And, during the track day that followed  I DID feel a difference. As a reminder, here is an article on the track day by Dino, who was there that day.

Before, with the old stock G-sensor, engaging the front wheels was rare (I think) but when it did, very noticeable as I would see the torque meter needle shoot up, and hear and feel the front transaxle transfer power.  But for some reason I felt like it almost never activated, except on wet roads and the track, when there was noticeable slippage on the back wheels.  So a quick start off the line at a traffic light would do it, and at Fuji Speedway it was most noticeable beginning at Dunlop Corner (lowest speed corner) all the way up the hill to Panasonic Corner (right before the long straight) – you could hear the “hunting” and surging as the torque transfer to the front wheels would be on/off/on/off, and the torque needle going from zero to max and then back down, repeat – I had no idea why but it was just something I thought was normal for GT-Rs.

Once equipped with the standard Do-Luck Sensor, the first thing I noticed at Fuji was, the car did not hunt or surge as it did before. In fact this characteristic was gone. Also, strangely, the torque meter also seemed to not be as responsive. On the street, I noticed though that off the line acceleration would more consistently engage the front wheels (and torque meter respond slightly).  But that was about all – so was I satisfied? In summary yes (the modern technology aspect, digital consistency), although to be honest I was not completely convinced of its utility – it made sense as a replacement for the stock one if it broke, but not necessarily as a performance upgrade [Note: later, when talking to Ito-san at Do-Luck, did I realize what was happening - more on that later].  Perhaps I had been hasty in my decision to go with Do-Luck – and that I should have gone with the more aggressive “Midori-spec” G-sensor put out by Midori Seibi and featured in GT-R Magazine (I did a translation), to rave reviews. At the same time, back on the GTROC forum there was someone peddling a “stand alone” unit that would replace the G-sensor and ATTESA in its entirety. Hmmm…

But it was back on the original GTROC forum thread that “Narface,” a BNR32 owner in Hong Kong, posted that Do-Luck had come out with ANOTHER G-box, this one called the “Tarzan G-Box.”   Which I erroneously assumed was the same as the Midori-Spec G-sensor.

It wasn’t long before my friend Wouter in the Netherlands (his company -Co-ordsport B.V. - is a distributor for Do-luck and Rays, etc. in Europe) put me in touch with Ito-san, the president of Do-Luck (who ironically, is literally 10 minutes from where I live) and I had been invited to accompany Dino to a special event on Sunday at Honjo Circuit, where we would be allowed to experiment with the Tarzan G-Box! So thanks very much Wouter for arranging this!

So on Sunday, we (I had Allen Lorenzo from Tomei Powered in my car -thanks Allen for all the pictures!!) accompanied Dino up to Honjo Circuit. On the road, Dino is an amazingly conservative driver, so I enjoyed blasting past him like this.

We arrived, introductions were made, and technical talk ensued as I peppered Ito-san and Tarzan with questions about the Tarzan G Box vs. the standard Do-Luck digital G-sensor.

We then went off to get our cars prepped for the track towards the rear of the paddock area.

As you can see here below, Orito-san simply zip-tied the Tarzan box on top of my Do-Luck standard G-sensor – as the leads in are the same, it would literally take only a few seconds to swap over during my runs.

Somehow Dino was ready first, and beat me out to the track. Here he is about to get passed by Tarzan in the bone stock R32.

Just as Dino described in his write up for Speedhunters, my first time out on the track I went out with what I had, namely the standard Do-Luck G-sensor.  This was my first time driving Honjo Circuit, so it took a while to get used to the tight circuit, but it was akin to a half sized Tsukuba. Honjo Circuit Map

Which meant some tight corners that required slow going, slow that is until the tires warmed up, at which point I was almost drifting in two of the tightest corners…but this was an opportunity to test out the G-sensor, in that I had to recover, point the wheels straight ahead, and then shoot out, classic GT-R style.

Here are some awesome photos taken by Allen – as they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.  (there are many others but I will later post them all up on the R33 GT-R Facebook page, in my photo album)

Between runs, we let our cars cool off:

We then had a chance to explore what the Tarzan G Box could do. We also got to ride along with Tarzan himself in the white R32 that Do-Luck brought along.

But this blog post is getting long, so I will post the rest tomorrow! Seriously, there is lots to talk about, including what makes the Tarzan G Box so amazing, so I want to dedicate a proper page for that.

Stay tuned!


Raimie said...

Great read as always Aki, I'm looking forward to part 2. Some great pictures of the car out on track :) one question- is the Tarzan G box available through distributors yet or solely through Do Luck, I have seen their previous versions on, but not this box. Keep it up

Aki said...

I asked Ito-san about this. He told me they are currently working to expand their retail dealers. As of today, only Wouter (mentioned in the blog post) carries the unit in Europe. They are working on having Sumo Power in the UK as another distributor. And then of course you can buy from Do-Luck directly as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Aki,
didn't he mention what the price wil be? i am driving with the stock sensor in my serie 3 and the rear is a bit to happy at the moment. its not a v-spec so... so i think i wil get one, instead of bigger turbo's :)

cheers Tinoush

Aki said...

Hi Tinoush,

The price is as posted on the Do-Luck website. 58,000 yen.


Guilherme said...

Hello My friend.

Congratulations for you blog page.
My name is Guilherme, im from Brazil, and i´m also a GT-R 33 V-spec 1996 owner, but with one difference from all the other cars: My one is converted to LHD. That is for sure my dream car and im very pleased with it.
Tell me something my friend, when you install the Tarzan G- Sensor, does it make a good difference in traction matters and ABS braking, as it says at the Do-Luck web site? Between the Midori red color and The Tarzan G- sensor, wich one you think is the best one? I´m asking you that because im barely purchasing the Midori G-Sensor red color and i just want somebodys opinion.
Thank you for reading this and we keep in touch.

Best Regards from Brazil.

Guilherme Perizzollo

Aki said...

Hello Guilherme,

Sounds like you have an amazing car!

To answer your questions - yes, the Tarzan DOES make a noticeable difference, for me the difference was more noticeable on the braking than on traction (using ATTESSA), but that was because my old sensor wasn't really responsive enough to active ATTESA that much.

I would not get either the Midori or the Tarzan now, to be honest. Get the DTM II. Because that contains the Tarzan G box programming, as well as more aggressive programs. Why be limited to only one setting?

Guilherme said...

Hi Aki,

Yes, all GTR´S are amazing cars in a certain way, but I do love my car!!
I think that there is something that I forgot to mention. Since i´ve own my car, the Stock G Sensor is turned RED! But I´m truly sure that the FWD is working only in strait line, and the nedlee at the dash bosrd does moves. So, I think i never had a decent G sensor. So in your opinion, as you say before, it worth wait for this DTM II from Do - Luck? I would like to send a pictiure from my car as well.
Best regards

Guilherme Perizzollo

Aki said...


Well that definitely sounds like you need a new, digital G sensor.

I would say, it depends on how you see yourself using the car, as to whether to get a stand alone G sensor, or the DTM II.

Me personally, I live close enough to Do-Luck (and in the same country) to be able to call and complain if there is a problem. Also, as my recent post showed, the device is like a computer, as it has firmware upgrades.

If you are overseas, perhaps a standard one (like the Tarzan device) is better? But your choice. you can't go wrong with any of the choices out there!

And yes, would love to see your car (I can also post up onto the R33 GT-R Facebook page). Send me the photos to aitoh@hotmail dot com.

Looking forward to your pictures!