Monday, January 16, 2017

Some Increased Publicity... Plus Photos From the Cutting Room Floor

As most of you probably noticed, during the last couple of weeks I did a Speedhunters post where I described my multi-month "clean-up" of the engine bay.  Also, my friend Alessandro did a very nice post on the car as he had come over to help during the light bulb replacement project.

But there were several photos that didn't make the cut. So, I decided to post them here.

First, in preparation for the Speedhunters article, I actually had considered re-wrapping the HKS oil cooler hoses in black plastic spiral wrap.

First, I had to cut this zip tie away.
You can also see the SAMCO radiator hose on the bottom and the weird white spots on it that eventually convinced me to replace it!
It's too bad I couldn't use this in the end. Cheap and easy!
Here's how it looked after I finished the re-wrap. Looks OK, but a bit odd at the same time...
So what do you think? Should I have stuck with the black wrap or did I do the right thing with the clamps?

Speaking of clamps:
Mysterious package from China. And yes, Japan Customs opened to inspect it!
Since I wasn't sure if I should go for anodized silver or black, I ordered both!
 Did I make the right choice by going with the black clamps in the end?

Yes, that is probably 20 years of accumulated gunk!
 As mentioned earlier, when I had Alessandro come over to help, the first thing we decided to do was to replace the silicon SAMCO radiator hose with a new one.

But, SAMCO pricing in Japan is ridiculous, so I went ahead with this one from SARD
Here is Alessandro helping with the clamps.
Incidentally, he later went crazy with metal polish on the Koyo radiator. Thanks Ale!
I was researching new clamps for the radiator hose and a friend told me about some good ones made by Mikalor. So, I went ahead and ordered some.
While nice Stainless Steel, the ones that arrived were scratched up.
They also seemed to not be as shiny as they should be.
Maybe I need to polish them in my free time?
So yes, I gave up on these and went ahead with the ones included in the SARD kit.  We then turned our attention to trying to remove the front bumper, for the headlamp bulb article I did recently.

Here is a close up, looking up from inside the turn signal space, one we removed it.
You can see the ballast for the Xenons.
And of course, having removed the undertray I had to clean it. Simple Green is the bomb!
Rusted license plate stay
 In removing the bumper I thought we might have to remove the license plate stay. So off it came, and we noticed it was quite rusty.

I've resprayed it with anti-rust paint, this will have to do until I get a new one.
So that is one more new part to have to reorder!  Anyway, I am now working on my next Speedhunters post, and will of course provide some more behind the scenes coverage to appear here on the blog. Stay tuned! And thanks everyone for the comments made on the Speedhunters post!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Modernizing the Front Lights (Part 2)

Happy New Year everyone! Hope 2017 is a better year for all.

Anyway, as you recall in my last post I swapped out a first generation T10 LED parking lamp, as well as the OEM D2S Xenon bulb on the left front headlamp, for new units from Philips - both rated at 6200K in color and supposedly brighter than the norm.   

The results were promising
So, next on the list was to access the hi-beams and replace those too.

Wouldn't it be nice if all three bulbs gave off the same color?
Unfortunately, in order to access the hi-beam bulbs, the front bumper had to come off (by design - as reader Sam T commented in the previous post) because each of the headlamp housings are secured on the side by a bolt that is located directed directly under the upper side part of the bumper.  My friend (and BNR34 owner - check out his excellent blog HERE) Alessandro kindly offered to come by and help - I know from past experience that this task, while relatively simple, goes by much faster with two people.

See how compact Japanese garages are? 
So after driving it up onto ramps, I jacked the car up.
Safety first! Placed jack stands under the car.
Then I crawled underneath to unbolt the 3 piece undertray.

Truth be told, this was AFTER I cleaned it up, there was a lot of grease and oil on it! (see next photo)
Meanwhile Alessandro was busy removing the front grill and the two turn signal assemblies. And while I was under the car, I went ahead and removed the front lip spoiler as well.

Note, only the right side air duct came off. A rusted bolt prevented me from removing the one on the left in similar fashion. Something to resolve in the future!
So after removing the front undertray and the front lip spoiler, we realized that we did not have to remove the entire front bumper cover. This was because I have small hands and fingers which allowed me to access each of the single bolts on the sides of the headlamp housings. So instead of removing the bumper cover entirely, we only had to undo the two bolts on the left side to loosen the bumper cover in that area.
Green points to where that single troublesome bolt resides for the left side headlamp assembly.
 Orange is where I reached into to access that same bolt on the right side.
Then, all we had to do was to remove the nuts and 1 bolt holding the assemblies onto the frame of the car.
Green arrows point to the bolts and nuts that were removed.
On the left side, all that was left to be done was to replace the high beam H1 bulb.
You can see the base of the H1 bulb.
The OEM H1 bulb.
And here are the OSRAMs. Compared to OEM they are blue tipped.

And so how did these compare? Given it was still dusk, it was a bit hard to tell initially, but the photos show the difference (which admittedly is not drastic):
Without OSRAM

Being winter time, the light quickly faded soon after and I was able to get the following photos:
The left front (right on photo) has been changed out, and is whiter than the OEM on the right (left on photo)

In the dark, the difference is more distinct - whiter, and more crisp with less distortion.
So, while not really close to the white of the Xenons or the parking lamps, you can see there IS a difference between the bulbs. First, the OSRAMs appear to be slightly whiter; second, the glow of the light given off was crisper, if that makes sense.

At night, to be honest I could not really tell much of a difference - the biggest difference was how bright the parking lights are now - with the garage door closed there was hardly a difference between them and the Xenons!

In any case - there is still room for improvement. So, I will continue to monitor light bulbs in the hope that one day, I can get an H1 bulb that is whiter AND brighter...