Unfortunately, most parts that MINE'S once made for the 33 are no longer being sold. Or, some of the parts they still offer for the Skyline GT-R, like the brakes and suspension... well let's just say they aren't as cutting edge as they could be. Tower bar, yes it's cool but the one I have is an original NISMO piece.
There ARE a few other items I'm still thinking about, but this post isn't about those. Thanks to the power of the internet (specifically Facebook), late last year I stumbled upon someone in the UK who imports crashed cars for dismantling, and who was offering this for very reasonable money:
|Sharp eyed readers will see that the front torque gauge is an OEM one|
First order of business was to have the odometer reading changed to match my car's. Not that it really matters too much (in Japan people DO take their cars to dealerships to receive a written work order showing when, and at what mileage, the odometers were swapped out) as I intend to keep the car, but in any case I wanted to have a seamless transition.
It took me a few months of research (ok I was lazy), but I finally found a guy that resets odometers to the mileage you want. I won't go into too much detail here, except to say that it works!
So I sent it out to him, and got it back two days later, and yes it looked perfect!
Alas, it wasn't as simple as this. I first had to remove the OEM speedometer from my gauge panel, then remove the MINE'S one from the gauge panel it came in, and swap them out. This is as easy as removing the clear plastic and carbon (or printed carbon) bezel, exposing the gauges fully, and then unscrewing 4 screws in the back.
That was easy enough, but then, when I plugged the gauge panel in, and turned the key - the speedo needle moved slowly up to indicate "40" even though we were not moving! Damn, a problem...
Luckily for me, I found this this shop, DigitechProService, who after a phone call, told me to send the unit to them to see what they could do, but no guarantees. Seeing that I had no choice, I sent the MINE'S gauge cluster to them and waited.
Meanwhile, I went ahead and swapped out the NISMO sub gauges for MINE'S ones. Actually, upon closer inspection I realized that the front torque gauge was an OEM piece, not a MINE'S part.
|We can see that the NISMO ones actually label what the gauge is for; |
the MINE'S ones start and go higher (for temp) and are graded more finely (boost)
|This confirmed that the left most gauge was OEM.|
|Three or four screws in the back, and each gauge falls out|
|This was interesting - the NISMO sub gauge cluster uses stainless bolts, and the Mine's/OEM one uses brass bolts!|
|Not bad - not perfect, but will have to do for now|
A few days later, I received the MINE'S main gauge panel back from DigitechProService. I immediately replaced the OEM speedometer with the MINE'S one (mileage had gone up 28km but they had warned me that this would happen during testing - I actually drove my car around 25km earlier in the day so I am off by 3 km...I can live with this, I think).
|A twist of the key and... PERFECT!!!|
The end result:
|The sub gauges look blurry but this is due to my iPhone's camera I think. I love this photo!|
Anyone care to guess the one other last MINE'S part I am searching for? It's not the coil-overs, I am pretty sure the Ohlins DFVs I run now are better technology (although what do you all say?), and next time I get them rebuilt I might just have the spring rate increased to MINE'S spec, although I'm not convinced these are the best settings for a car that is mostly street/mountain driving. Off to do some more hunting on Yahoo Auctions....