Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A New Project – An R33 GT-R Toolkit, Part 1

When I happened to be at Nissan HQ the other day, I saw that the gift shop downstairs carried this – The Nissan GT-R Snap-On Toolkit:
Nissan GT-R Snap-On Toolkit - note nifty GT-R logo!
Talk about a "GT-R Tax" - This compact set yours for only 60,000 yen! 
(Thank you to for the photos)

Actually, there is also an even more exclusive Limited Edition version (only 1000 sets made), that adds a socket set and ratchet, and a ratcheting screwdriver:
Only 160,650 yen! This one is still available to purchase from Nissan, by the way.  

Here is a very well written review, along with close up pictures of the tools themselves.

This reminded me that in fact, I had been thinking about putting together a tool kit specifically for the R33 GT-R.  And for a price that wasn’t going to be ridiculously expensive, but at the same time, I wanted the tool kit to have top quality tools. 

The R35 kit is comprised of Snap-On tools. Yes, I have some and they are gorgeous, well made… but oh so expensive. Is there an alternative?

Some research and I discovered these line of tools – the NePros series by KTC (Kyoto Tool Company).  For some reason they are not listed on the KTC English website but the entire NePros lineup is on the Japanese KTC website.  (I think “NePros” stands for New Professional Satisfaction??) Strange name, but top quality tools from Japan’s most famous and well regarded tool manufacturer.  These are some beautiful tools – for example their top of the line Nepros ratchet has a leather handle, and chrome mirror finish:

Perhaps a bit overkill, but nice nonetheless. Such a beautiful and quality tool BELONGS in my beautiful and quality R33 GT-R, right??

Oh, and here is a review by some tool nerds on the NePros brand:

Seems pretty well received, even by American tool freaks!

So I began to research exactly what sizes of sockets, wrenches, etc. I would need for my GT-R.  I opened up the engine hood, and started to see what kind of bolts were used in the engine bay. Then took notes on fasteners inside the car as well.

Turns out, that I really only need the following:
1)    Socket wrench with extension
2)    8,10,12,14 mm sockets
3)    Standard and Phillips screwdrivers (medium size head, 1 each)
4)    Standard/needle nose pliers
5)    Adjustable wrench
6)    8,10,12,14mm spanners

Also, to truly make this R33 SPECIFIC – that means that I would need to include the one tool that all R33 GT-Rs carry – and that would be the Allen wrench key to adjust the rear spoiler.  I wonder if I can find a chrome finish one, to match the NePros tools? 

In addition, I suppose you could try to match what the R35 kit has – an LED flashlight, white cotton gloves… but those I can get anywhere, really.

More importantly, I need a nice tool bag, ideally with the R33 GT-R logo, but as that doesn’t exist (yet) for the legacy Skyline GT-Rs, this soft sided KTC tool bag will have to do.

There IS a Nismo toolbag, actually, but it is not as compact as this KTC bag.

Anyway, with this project in mind several months ago, I had ordered the bag, but had not gotten around to begin ordering the actual tools... until the other day.

So here it is, this is what arrived in the mail the other day:
All Mirror Finish!
Simply Gorgeous!
So, in the following Parts I will add the remaining "required" tools and then explore what I can do to make this tool kit truly R33 unique, but also look like it came with the car! (Just thinking out loud - I wonder if there is someone who can make a custom R33 tool case? LOL).

Also, what other cars have a custom tool kit? I don’t mean those rudimentary tools that every car comes with, I am talking about ones with nice, expensive tools designed just for that particular (usually very expensive) car. It would be nice to see what they contain, as well. Does anyone know?

Would appreciate if someone can share their knowledge, in my question for the ultimate R33 GT-R Tool Kit!

Thanks in advance and stay tuned for more soon!


マット said...

Interesting! After reading about your plan to put together a toolkit for your BCNR33, I was really interested in what you would come up with.

I also wanted to invest in some quality tools, and did some research myself. And guess what, I ended up purchasing KTC tools as well! As much as I liked Snap On tools, it was just too expensive. For similar quality, KTC is priced reasonably. However, instead of a handy toolkit, I bought a 53 piece tool set together with a toolbox. I later added more tools, amounting to 63 now.

Whenever I need to work on my car, I transport my tools with the Nismo tool bag you mentioned. The Nismo tool bag can carry plenty of tools and is very sturdy! (I can't keep my toolbox next to my car as I live in an apartment and don't have my own garage.) Speaking of tool bags, do you think Robson Leather will be able to make a custom tool bag for you? Together with GT-R logo and all? I think it would look fantastic!

I have some recommendations: for the LED, you can get the Nissan or Nismo rechargeable LED flashlight that plugs into the cigarette lighter. And personally, I wouldn't use white cotton gloves, they will get dirty too easily. I'd go for Mechanix gloves!

I think Ferrari and McLaren cars come with exquisite toolkits. Some with leather gloves too! But I've only seen pictures on magazines/internet, so I don't know too much about them.

Jason Carver said...

Is the material for the tool bag thin enough that you could have a heavy duty embroiderer add the GT-R logo to it? You could also look into making a patch or badge and adding one on easily enough.

Personally I'm curious to hear what this has set you back cost wise. Once you're done assembling your toolkit it would be great to see a cost comparison between Nissan/Nismo offerings and you're setup. Since that seems to be one of the reasons for you building a tool bag from scratch.

As always thanks for the great read!

Aki said...

Hi Jason - you read my mind! Actually I was looking for an R33 GT-R pin - Nissan sells them in a set, but something standalone, and cheap so if it gets banged up, not a big deal - that's what I am looking for. Will have to continue trolling Yahoo Auctions and Ebay I guess... but great idea!

Cost-wise - well I actually DO have an Excel sheet that lays out the retail costs - except I look out for sales and discounts. So I hope to end up WAY less than the limited edition R35 kit, with MORE tools and functionality.

BUT, it actually turns out it is cheaper to buy NePros tools in the US than here in Japan - the socket wrench alone cost 11,760 yen, this is normal retail at over 15,000 yen!

So I do plan to take a few months to collect these tools, but will try to finish before year end.

Thanks for reading and commenting! Always open to new ideas so please don't hesitate comment!


Aki said...

Hi Matt,

Good to know great minds think alike! I guess if it was a German car, I would seek out the best German tools, Italian car, Italian tools, etc. But for a Japanese car, I think KTC/Nepros is the way to go.

Fortunately I do have a garage, so have my regular tools there - these would simply be the "bling" BUT functional tools on board the car. One thing I DO like about the R35 kit is its compactness - something to shoot for I guess.

I've seen the plug in LED lights, not a bad idea except I have my iPhone plugged into the cigarette lighter now...hmm...

Robson is a good idea - but first thanks for your ideas on the McLarern/Ferrari tool bags, I will check those out first to get some ideas.

This is getting to be fun - keep the ideas coming!


マット said...
Perfect addition to your toolkit!

Aki said...

LOL マット、

Nice find, thanks! I haven't viewed the Nismo site in a while.

Actually I have a couple of updates on the toolkit front, but haven't had time to do a write up... will do one once I'm done with the Okada write up!

Thanks again,