Thursday, March 6, 2014

First Post for 2014... and the mod is...Clean Air??


Apologies for the vacation I took from updating the blog. Truth be told, it's been too cold here in Japan and with the occasional snowstorm, until today I'd only driven the car once this year.  That, and a new job for me means little free time to be tinkering. But, I'm settling in now and so it's time for some new mods.

Anyway, it's now March and FINALLY a nice day, without rain or snow. Just a little cold. So, I took the day off and got some mods I've been wanting to get done, as well as take the car for a spin to Do-Luck, which is only a 5 minute drive away from where I live (more on what I did there in my next post).

March in Japan also means the beginning of hay fever season. I had always assumed that for a "modern" car like the R33 GT-R, the HVAC system would have come from the factory with filters. But it turns out that, only from about midway through the production cycle did Nissan offer filters as a dealer installed option for the R33 Skyline, as this Minkara user explained.

A quick search and I found that even though not widely known, these filters made by PMC work with the R33 Skyline:

Part number EB-205, for select Nissan cars

The EB-205 is listed for the "R34" Skyline, however for model years January 1996-November 1998.  In other words, a typo which may be why these don't pop up when you do a search online.  In any case, with a Series 2 or 3 GT-R, should be good to go, right?

I selected the EB series over their PC205C series which appear to be more premium, because the small print in the PC description states that the model 205 which fits certain Nissans lacks some of the qualities that make the PC a supposedly better design than the EB! That is, it has activated charcoal, but lacks the anti-static, anti-bacterial, anti-mold, anti-allergen, and anti-virus (!) properties otherwise found in the PC series filters. (So why even bother I wonder?)  The EB series at least has the anti-mold and anti-bacterial, anti-smell, anti-dust, and anti-pollen, and while maybe not as effective as the PC series, it at least has these features which are lacking in the PC model.

Here's what the filters (there are two in the package, as one stacks on top of the other) look like

And here is how it looks close up (note I am holding it UPSIDE DOWN, the arrow points UP!)

Installation was a lot easier than I thought:

Step 1 - remove the glove box. This can be done simply by removing two pins on the bottom hinge.
Note this is the RIGHT side, I am taking the photo shooting up.
Step 2 - you will see that there is a wall behind the glove box that needs to be removed.
There are 4 screws, one in each corner, as well as 2 screws holding the tongue for the latch in. Remove all of these.
Step 3 - you will end up with this.
I could not believe how much dust had collected behind the wall and in this general area

Step 4 - using a sharp craft knife, you will cut away some of the plastic, as I am pointing to.  You will essentially cut this entire vertical strip of plastic between these two raised "rails" away.
Hard to tell from the photo, but there are actually TWO raised rails on either side of my finger.  
No need to remove either or both.
Step 5 - let the cutting begin

Step 6 - Having cut away the bottom first (below the raised horizontal ridge), I notice something interesting. What appear to be "rails" for a filter element to slide onto...(Note: there are similar tracks on the top of the filter box as well, although reversed (they stick out) in pattern).

Oh my, how dirty is that???
Step 7 - a knife does not work to cut away the horizontal rib. You need this:
Or some kind of saw in general. Made short work of the horizontal rib.

Step 8 - once that middle section is all cut out, you will then have to use the saw to further cut the top portion of the bottom ledge that sticks out. Once that is cut away as shown below, the filters should BOTH snugly fit.  Note:  make sure that the filters go in with the ARROW POINTING UP!
Remember those tracks in Step 6 above? This is how the filters fit.

Step 9 - Done! No need for any external clips or tape to hold the filters in. They fit perfectly!

Step 10 - Reassemble the glove box and then clean up! All that sawing resulted in lots of plastic dust, which gets everywhere. Have a shop vacuum handy!

Conclusion: So a very easy and inexpensive mod, the filters cost less than 2000 yen for the pair. The work itself took me less than 30 minutes. And even if these aren't the most effective filters on the market, better than driving around with NO filters. I'm not too optimistic that these will help lessen the symptoms of hay fever, but it has to be better than nothing, and it's one more thing that can be done to "modernize" the 33 GT-R.

Check back soon, will have another modernizing mod posted I think.


Speedingpanther said...

Great to see you back at it Aki - I've been waiting for months ;-)

Aki said...

Thanks man! Good to be back... hopefully 2014 will have some interesting mods... stay tuned!

Lindsay-S15 said...

Like Speedingpanther I've also been waiting for an update!
I Read your blog from start to finish over the christmas break & really love it & your GTR :)

Looking forward to more updates!


Aki said...

Thank you Lindsay! Tell me, anything you guys want to see more of? And I'm sure you saw how much of an amateur I was back in 2007...

Lindsay-S15 said...

For me personally, I really enjoyed your write-ups of track days & day to day things like going for drives & meets etc

But really it's your personal blog & it's an enjoyable read regardless of what the post is about :)


Unknown said...
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Nick said...

This is very interesting!

Are you aware of any other brands/distributors Aki? I'd like to grab these in Australia but after some searching can't find any PMC suppliers.


Aki said...

Hi Nick,

Well... I think you may want to try your Nissan dealer, then. The filter I got works not only for the R33 Skyline, but also for the following Nissan cars:
01/96 - 09/01 Bluebird
06/97 - 08/02 Terrano/Regulus
09/97 - 01/01 Primera
08/98 - 10/05 Avenir
08/97 - 10/01 Stagea
01/96 - 11/98 Skyline
06/95 - 09/98 Cedric/Gloria
03/96 - 09/98 Leopard/Cima

Other brands I've seen are AP, Denso, and Toyo, but I have no idea if any of them make one that fits the R33.

Good luck and let me know!