Tuesday, January 15, 2013

First Ever Visit to Midori Seibi (and dropping into Do-Luck)

So the day after a freak snowstorm hit Tokyo/Yokohama, I found myself using my car as a snowplow...most of the roads were clear, but some side streets (like the street I live on) still had snow in the middle of the road, so I drove slowly, praying that Kabe-san at Rapt did a good job on painting my front lip spoiler...

Anyway, the UK GTROC guys are in town, and since Midori Seibi is only a few kilometers where I live, I drove out there to meet them.  I arrived a few minutes before they did, so took the opportunity to take a few pictures.


When the guys arrived, they checked out the requisite Midori demo cars - both the R35 and R34 were there. But I started to chat with the senior person there (both Uchinaga-san and his wife were not there), who turned out to be their son! AND, it turns out he is a quite a fan of the R33 GT-R... in fact, he owns one and gets asked all the time about why R33 vs the others as he's well known in the industry. He knows more than me, and immediately pointed that the criticism about the longer wheelbase of the R33 was nonsense (the R35 is longer than any of them, and its performance is superlative) and the sad fact that when the R34 was introduced, these new and "better" cars apparently were not successful in the N1 series races and the teams had to revert back to the faster R33s. He was also kind enough to show me a couple of unique one-of-a-kind mods he did to his car:

1) Replacing two of the three gauges in the center 3 gauge (Nismo) cluster with modern (i.e. digital) replacements! Uchinaga-san told me that he did this himself in his spare time.  What do people think? Note he kept the front torque meter but replaced the oil and boost gauge with two temp gauges. His goal was that, if you knew nothing about R33 GT-Rs, you would believe this was stock equipment. I have to agree, it is very slick...


2) He also did the same to the main instrument panel (I apologize for the blurred picture, I was so excited) where he replaced the stock oil pressure gauge with a modern Trust one in white.

He also was kind enough to check out my car, and give me a few pointers, which I will have to work on in my spare time.  Just to save you the suspense, he recommended one way to freshen up the engine bay (such a pretty engine, those faded XXXXX really detract from the clean look), and also taught me a bit about how to properly ground the car.

So two new projects just by visiting Midori Seibi! Awesome!

Also, I am pleased to report that Midori Seibi continues to work on a couple of new parts for our second generation GT-Rs.  Not sure when they will be released, but he said to check GT-R Magazine for details.

As Do-Luck is on the way home, after the GTROC guys and I parted company, I stopped by Do-Luck to just say hello to Ito-san - which of course turned into a couple hours discussion about various car stuff. Turns out he too is working on some new stuff for the second generation GT-Rs, so we will have to wait to see what develops. Ito-san also gave me some suggestions on what I should do next on my car - both in the handling and the engine department.

So stay tuned, this will keep me busy this year...

12 comments:

マット said...

Wow~ I'm glad to hear both Midori and Do-Luck are still developing parts for 2nd generation GT-Rs!

Raimie said...

so jealous that tuning shops just happen to be around the corner from you. Keep up the good work, keen to see what unfolds next!

Aki said...

Hi guys,

Thanks as always for the comments. Well, I WILL wait for what these tuners are developing, that's for sure. I do have some other "modernization" projects in store, as well. (just too cold to go into the garage at night to work on it right now...yes I am a wimp LOL).

Aki

Sam Lehmann said...

loving that gauge treatment, that's given me some ideas for my car!!

Aki said...

LOL except Sam - probably in color, huh!

Karl Donovan said...

Liked the digital gauges a lot, although 'to me' the mix of gauges left me cold and I have to have stuff that matches. I have not gone down the gauge route yet, mainly because I don't know how to actually fit them! Perhaps I will take some inspiration from this and investigate some more.
Best regards,

Aki said...

Karl - I know exactly what you mean. I am a stickler for that too (matching). So it's really hard to improve on the interior... I've seen, for example, all three gauges by DEFI (to replace the OEM ones) and that actually works ok. Anyway for me it was the creativity that was impressive... not necessarily the execution. Let us know what you do with your car!

Aki

Karl Donovan said...

Re-reading what I said, it looks like a critique.. I need to add the comment 'they look well cool!' hehe I am just tinkering with the dashboard 'now' and I don't seem able to stop giving thoughts to some dials.. Oh ho, another adventure... I certainly need one for boost as my dash one went off the scale long ago!

Aki said...

No worries Karl! I know what you meant. Just gotta keep the ideas flowing... good luck!

David said...

Hi Aki,

Awesome read!

I'm visiting Japan shortly. If I were to drop by Do-Luck, any chance they would speak any English? And would I be able to buy it from them on the spot (or is there a lead time)?

Thanks in advance,
David

Aki said...

David, thanks for the comment! Much appreciated.

As for Do-Luck - probably best to send Ito-san an email and tell him when you will be in town. Although, his English is not that good. And, while I am sure you can buy stuff from him, best tell him what you need first. I'll tell him to expect an email from you and will offer to translate the message if necessary. Let me know when you send it out!

Aki

David said...

Thanks Aki, that's very kind of you.

I will be in touch with you shortly.

David