Monday, December 24, 2012

Some End of Year Tweaks

This year I have not had much of a chance to drive my car due to a super busy schedule (work, school, family, etc.) however I did try to improve my car with interesting mods in my spare time.  It’s now December, with less than 8 days to the end of the year, just enough time to get a few more things done. Some things I’ll do myself, but other stuff, I need the help of a pro.

So I took the plunge and visited Kabe-san at RAPT (you may remember them, they tinted my rear windows) last Thursday night.  Luckily for me, he is so busy at the end of year, he’s been burning the midnight oil, so I was able to drop off my car at 10:30pm last night.

Not only does he do windows, but he’s pretty much a jack of all trades, or at least knows people who can inexpensively and efficiently fix things all things car-related.

Here’s one example - I’ve noticed that, as the car ages, certain things wear out. One noticeable bit is the rubber molding around the rear window.  Check this out, see how it’s separated? And this happened on both sides.  

It’s mostly just ugly, but I was beginning to worry about water seeping in, so decided to have it fixed. Stay tuned for how this turns out (removal of the rear window is necessary, apparently...)

I’ve also debated about what to do with my front lip spoiler. From the factory, it came molded in black ABS plastic – makes sense, as when you scrape, there is no paint to scrape or crack, it simply scrapes the plastic away. However as I bought my car used, I had discovered that the previous owner had painted (badly) the front lip spoiler black, which led me to not only repaint it black, but also to, in the end, cover it with 3M Din-oc fake carbon fiber material.  The Din-oc actually looks pretty good, except in complex areas such as the air intakes for brake cooling. But, I think the Din-oc trend is now a thing of the past – bring on the REAL carbon fiber, everywhere!

Of course I had always meant to fix this, but what a pain. So, I’ve asked Kabe-san to fix it, although at the moment I’m not sure whether to go with semi-flat black, or body color. Opinions, gentle readers?

And speaking of carbon fiber – allow me to save everyone out there some money. These Nismo “carbon” B-pillar covers are possibly the worst product that Nismo sells.

If you’ve never seen one in person, don’t bother. Yes, they may contain real carbon fiber, but since it’s essentially a gigantic sticker… well, like any sticker it will someday peel off - in my case, after only a year! So these will have to go, and I will either revert to the original side sills or find real carbon replacements.  The issue with real carbon is that, the weave should match other bits of carbon on the car. At the moment, with my rear spoiler blade/end caps in carbon fiber, I would want any other carbon product to have the same weave, for consistency’s sake.

Finally – a sneak peak. These were waiting for me at Kabe-san’s garage last night. Anyone care to guess this is? Hint, the OLD Nismo logo.

If I don't get the chance to say so - Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I DO have some car related projects to keep me busy during the break, we shall see how they go. In any case, see you all in 2013!


Skodajocky said...

Oh crap, i bought this NISMO carbon pillar too. I hope that they will stay a little longer on mine ...
If you find a correct replacement, i will be interested too :).

Adam said...

It was the same for me with the Nismo carbon wing caps. I thought I was getting replacement caps and was surprised to receive stickers. Looks a lot better but worries me that they might fall off.

I have a series 3 front lip on mine that is the natural black plastic which has unfortunately seen a bit of abuse in Japan and has now cracked at the right hand side mounting points just above the air ducts thanks to Australia's uneven roads and my bad driving :(

Looks as if I will have to order either a new Nissan one for $1200 which is the cheapest I can find a factory S3 lip or go with an aftermarket carbon fiber lip for about $700.

What brand carbon rear spoiler do you have Aki?

Aki said...

Skoda -just make sure that the surface you apply to is absolutely clean! That, and to take care when washing the car. That probably would have helped me.

Adam - $1200? Last I heard it was about 80,000 yen but yeah I guess with shipping it would come out to about that much. No wonder aftermarket is popular. Carbon is fine but if like me, become a stickler for weave matching, etc.

My rear spoiler is a Yahoo auction special (about $400) but is a replica of a Nismo one (not the dual blade but the one with Gurney flap). Eventually would like to get a real Nismo dry carbon one but that is $$$$$ LOL.

Skodajocky said...

Thanks for the tips. I will take care of that.

And happy new year :).

マット said...

That Nismo box... long and narrow, side skirts?

Unknown said...

Was going to purchase the Nismo carbon pillar myself but lucky for me I researched a bit. Gutted when you mentioned it was merely a gigantic sticker :O You saved me some money :)