Friday, September 23, 2016

Hakone Run with Friends... and What I Learned

By now you've likely seen my latest Speedhunters post of my trip to Hakone with friends following getting the car protected with paint protection film; to me in addition to having fun, I was appreciative that my friend Dino showed me how to "shake down" the car and analyze its driving dynamics.

Thanks to his experience and skill, as I mentioned in the Speedhunters article, I now know how the Mine's VX-Rom tune is old school - there is the flat spot upon acceleration, lack of ignition retardation when coming off throttle, and too much turbo drop between shifts. Never mind the excess fueling that causes everything to run rich, for the sake of cooling off the cylinders.

The Ohlins DFVs are superb; with Speedhunters being sponsored by another damper manufacturer obviously I couldn't list the brand, but those of you who also read this blog know how good these DFVs are.

There was one other item I didn't mention in the article due to space.  The brakes felt like there was a lack of vacuum assist - both when cold and after warmed up - so I am wondering if there is either a fluid problem, excessive brake pad wear, or if a larger master cylinder is required after all. This, I will have to investigate further.

Obviously I did take some photos, but since I'm generally a terrible photographer, most of the good ones I took ended up on the Speedhunters article.  Luckily, my friend Russ is a naturally talented photographer and he was kind enough to share the following photos.

So taking photos from different angles (like on your stomach) can be good I guess!

Here I had just noticed one of my backup cameras dangling due to double stick tape failure.

Here is Miguel's 2002 Honda VTR SP2. Simply awesome, many tasty bits!

And yes, the sound was phenomenal! LOL.

Also, be sure to check out the other photos Russ took during the road trip, on HIS blog.  Thanks again Russ, it was great to see you and catch up!

Anyway, in my article I hinted at dealing with something that had always bothered me ever since I bought the car. I do have some other stuff I need to do first, but stay tuned as I may decide to jump right into this big mod!

(actually, truth be told I drive my IS-F more, and having just been given a GS-F for the day I'm itching to do some mods immediately to the Lexus... uh oh...)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Can There Ever Be Enough Protection (OCD Goes Extreme)?

Although my most recent post on Speedhunters gives a more concise story, I thought I'd show in detail the effort made by Ishiguro-san from Yes!PPF in the application of paint protection film to my car.

Background: A few months ago I had washed my car to clean up the salt and rain that had gotten onto my car during my trip out to Worx Auto Alarm.

After washing, I decided to take a quick drive to "air dry" what water I couldn't reach.  Since I had just picked up my Lexus from Yes!PPF at CREF and was happy with the work they did in installing a clear bra on the car, I stopped by to see what they could do for the GT-R.

Unlike the Lexus IS-F, (which is sold in the USA and thus data on the bumper shape, etc. is readily available), this GT-R, not having been sold overseas (with limited exceptions), would require a custom job, as the worldwide Xpel database does not contain pre-measured templates by which the film is cut to shape.

Having called ahead, Ishiguro-san was ready with his clipboard, tape measure and sticky paper as soon as I arrived.  Since the bumper and the bonnet are in near perfect shape, these two are the areas I asked for an estimate.

Apparently not many Japanese cars park where I did.
Interestingly, the number and size of inlet scoops didn't really seem to matter.
Sticky paper to get an accurate reading of how much film area is needed

I have to admire how he squats and keeps his balance there...

Amazingly, we agreed on a very reasonable price.  So then it was just a matter of arranging for me to drop off the car...

Flash forward a few months, and I finally have some time to drop the car off in the morning.
WOW. That DR30 sure is gorgeous...although I was told that most R30 owners aren't too keen about the RB26 Skylines lol
So the plan is to have the newly painted front bumper and bonnet (hood) protected.

And here is their booth - they had just come back from some show, so they were embarrassed by the mess.

I was pleased to learn that, they used the top line Xpel Ultimate film, which apparently has some self-healing qualities! Unfortunately, they would not let me go full Speedhunters-mode while they installed the clear film, however they were kind enough to take some photos FOR me during the process, as here (so ALL photos below are Copyright Yes!PPF):

Looks like an initial clean/wetdown

I was particularly happy with how this hood lip was covered -
 frankly it looks BETTER now, with more gloss, than before

I bet getting all that water solution out is satisfying...

Love the attention to detail, how the curves were handled!

This bumper has GOT to be a nightmare, with all those holes...

You can see the precision cut where the intercooler cut out is.

Love the way some extra is left, to wrap around the inside of the bumper's wheelwell

This has got to be the toughest part...

Lining up the two cuts, just perfectly!

This was unexpected, how they decided to go ahead on the black part of the intercooler surround!

Look! Can't tell the film is there!

So now, except for the front lip spoiler (which has some cracks and chips; although there was film applied to the center, I'll eventually get repainted to perfection), the front end is protected from the inevitable road debris and rock chips... yes it happens even here in Japan!

Whether this means I actually drive my car more, remains to be seen, but for now, a little bit of protection makes me feel better!