Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A Nice Gesture from a Friend...

So for the last post of the year... here is something that I did not buy, nor was I really even thinking about getting.  My friend "M" knows that I have pretty much all the Nismo/Nissan parts that I could find already installed on my car, so he had to be creative in finding and sending me a small gift. I believe he even consulted "Q" but this was the best the TK department could come up with at short notice.

And here it is:

Thanks to Hannah-chan at TrustKikaku for sending this along...

So I am not sure if I have ever shown you blog readers this, but this Nismo (note, old logo) fuel filler cap is something I installed a long time ago. I recall it was hard to find back then, and I am sure it is super rare now:

For comparison, this is how the one I got sent would look. 
Have to admit it looks better than I thought. More modern, definitely.

Major difference is, the old one used screws to attach to the OEM plastic fuel filler cap, but this new one uses double stick tape only.

Here is another comparison:

So which would you choose? Now, I am tempted to buy another OEM plastic fuel filler cap and install the new one...and swap back and forth just for variety's sake. Unfortunately Blogger doesn't seem to have a polling function, so please leave your thoughts below in the comments section on which one I should use! the last post of the year... thank you to everyone who read this blog, and especially so for those who were kind enough to leave a comment or two.  2020 was definitely a year to remember - I hope everyone and their family and friends are safe and healthy. I am sure I am not alone in hoping that 2021 will be a much better year.  With Tokyo Auto Salon cancelled, not sure what I will be posting first in January, but I have a few ideas.

I hope you all have a nice end of year and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

One More Item Back to Normal

In this case, I am talking about the control module for the Defi heads up display (no longer available, sadly).

I originally installed this gadget because I had initially kept the original speedometer, which only displays up to 180kph, per the old Japanese rules (and I think I did so when I first got the car, even before I started this blog!), rather than swapping out for a Nismo 320kph one. But I was literally seeing the needle go past the 180 mark and almost complete a full revolution every time I took the car to a track day at Fuji speedway. However, I didn't want the bother of swapping out the speedometer cluster because of the hassle in having it all re-registered with the new mileage (assuming you do it legally here in Japan).

As long as long time readers know, I eventually swapped out to a Mine's 320kph speedometer cluster I found, for which I had the mileage readjusted to be accurate to the car's accurate mileage.  And since I doubt I'll be selling the car to an unknown buyer later, paperwork to record that didn't seem that essential. Plus the photos on this blog serve as proof anyway. 

In this previous post, I found that Nakamura the owner of Worx Auto Alarm (stay away!) had HIDDEN the Defi control module OUT OF SIGHT so it could not be operated. In the kickpanel, people! Obviously another example of brain fart.

What an IDIOT.

At that time, because the dashboard was completely leather, and I didn't want to damage the leather, I found a makeshift way to mount the Defi control module back in the spot where it was originally mounted when first installed. 

The gigantic rubber band method, basically.

This time around, I had found my original fuse box cover, and I have now decided I can live without the leather covered fuse box cover, in order to securely attach the Defi module.

I am holding the leather covered one, and the OEM plastic one in the background.

Did I mention that my old plastic one (right) ALSO has the newer looking fuse diagram too? Bonus!

So the question was, how to mount the Defi module back on.  The module had the softer side of velcro attached to it. So instead of peeling it off, I went out and bought some velcro tape, then cleaned the fuse box cover to ensure the velcro tape would stick.

Dirtier than I expected!

Unfortunately, when I tried to mount it...

Way too much gap

Not only was there too much of a gap, it felt like the first big bump in the road and this would fall off.  It was then I remembered that Worx Nakamura had used velcro to mount to the INSIDE of the kick panel. Oh yeah...

So it was back to tried and true double stick tape. The 3M-Scotch kind, made for external automotive use. 

I took this photo to show how the plastic looks versus the leather:
Weird how the plastic has the "leather" lines but real doesn't, huh.

Anyway, here is how the Defi module looks attached with the double stick tape.
Good enough!

After that, it was a matter of hooking up these wires to the back of the unit.

And then making sure the heads up display was working properly and aimed onto the little dark plastic screen attached to the backside of the windshield.

This was actually the toughest part, to make sure it was EXACTLY right in my line of sight

Sharp eyed readers may have also spotted this:

Yep, back to OEM plastic

That's right - I also decided I could live without the leather covered kick panel!

Look how dirty it gets!

And you can see the temporary solution to hold the Defi controller in place

Luckily it's mostly just surface dirt, easily removed.

For car shows only?

I mean, it is very beautiful, but to keep it that way I decided to take it off. Because it was bothering me that everytime I drove my right foot would bump into it, and for sure during heel and toe application my heel would kick into it.  Not enough to damage but enough to get it dirty or maybe slightly scratched.

So, I'll keep it handy for car shows where people might have an excuse to climb into the car.  Or take photos.  Most of the time however I think I will leave the OEM plastic less thing to worry about!

So I'm not sure if this is my last post for 2020, it will depend on my energy level the last week of December during the holidays...if so Happy Holidays everyone...

Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Other Thing I Put on the Wall (Garage Series)

 So as I mentioned in my last post, the official Nissan poster wasn't the only piece of art I put on my garage wall.

You see, at last year's Nismo Festival, one of the vendors there grabbed my eye - Kusaka Engineering, who are known mainly for their scale model RB26DETT engines!

Scale model of a Mine's tuned engine, anyone?

But in addition to making scale model cars and engines, they also introduced something else, which is made to order. So a few months after ordering it, it arrived in this box, which I had left stored in my office downstairs as I wondered what to do with it.

So Kusaka Engineering makes these LED lit Skyline GT-R displays:
Obviously from the font you can see this is for the BNR32.

And yes they make them in the appropriate font for each GT-R model. So of course I ordered the larger size for the BCNR33.

Looks better in person.
And they threw in a 5 meter extension cord... which came in very handy 

So I went ahead and plugged it in to make sure it worked. Looks awesome, huh? 

Just not sure where to mount it.  Initially I thought maybe next to the poster but that would create an unbalanced look. On the other hand, hanging on that wall would mean I could see it from my office.  But in the end, I decided the opposite wall would do nicely (and my good friend Dino agreed as well).  And it JUST fit, too.

Green arrow pointing to the extended power lead

To hide the power lead, I routed it below the window sill, using these clips, made to hold electrical cords in place.

And that really cleaned it up! Can't tell how it's powered!

So how does it look with the car parked? Well the photo does not do it justice...

Maybe the garage is too bright? To the naked eye the glow is very nice.

Oh, and here is a photo just to show how it looks from this angle. I guess a wider angle lens could capture both?

In any case, I am thrilled to finally have two pieces of R33 art finally up on the garage wall. There are a couple more items I am thinking about wall mounting, but I am in no hurry to add to these at the moment. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

One More for the Collection! (Garage Series)

So I think it's obvious, but in addition to being OCD about my car, I DO collect other things R33 GT-R.  And the more unique and rare, the better.  Hope to highlight some of the better ones here on the blog. 

Anyway here is my latest... kind of.  Yahoo Auctions here in Japan can be a treasure trove of interesting stuff, if you know how to look.  So a few years ago, I stumbled upon and successfully bid on what seemed to be an official poster for the R33 GT-R - and more specifically, the poster that was issued by Nissan when the Kohki (Series 3) model came out. And "kind of" because I did nothing with it until just a few weeks ago.

Not having lived in Japan during that period (early 1997) I never saw how Nissan displayed the poster - I have to assume probably at dealerships - but I AM aware of this most awesome commercial:

The narration in summary states how we, in our country of Japan, should be proud to have the GT-R. In addition, I know some people have located this poster and displayed in their homes (although this guy had to fold it in half to get it home...). Plus this same moon image can be found on the back of some of the Mooks, and I always thought it would be too cool to have this as a poster.

Flash forward a few years, and now I have a rebuilt house with a proper garage. And yeah, the walls are bare.  So why not start decorating.  But first I had to make sure that I spent the money for a proper frame, and not just tape it up (that would be... SACRILEGE!).  But it was so large I just couldn't find a universal frame that would work.

I found that a speciality art store called Sekaido was located in the Lumine shopping complex at Yokohama Station, about a 5 minute walk from Nissan Global Headquarters and Gallery.  So when I stopped by after work, luckily these guys were up to the challenge.

Turns out the guy at Sekaido loves GT-Rs as well! And was totally excited about this project. He started asking me about my car, and we engaged in some nerd car talk. Refreshing!  And then at the end, he said, "awesome to talk to an owner... I thought you might just be a Nissan employee or something." Of course I told him I was, which then got him even more excited.  

So I knew the poster was in good hands when I left it with him.

A few weeks later he calls and tells me it's ready, and that he will send it by courier.  So this past Thursday I get it delivered and it appears larger than I remembered:

So in between virtual meetings I go out and begin unwrapping.  One thing about Japan, people sure don't mess around with wrapping!
Felt like 10 minutes to get this all off... I gave up on trying to be orderly, I was too excited!

This was like one of those Christmas presents in multiple boxes... luckily this was the last box, with just another layer of bubble wrap on the framed poster.

Well actually, there was a layer of protective film on top of the clear acrylic (glass would have been too heavy).

And finally:

This is ENORMOUS. See how it basically covers the enter front end of my Lexus?

So now the challenge was to mount this somewhere.  The package came with these wall mounts...

But given how heavy this framed poster was, I wasn't placing my confidence in these mounts (10kg weight bearing each) and their skinny little nails.  Because the walls in my garage are ALC (aerated lightweight concrete)... and I have several of these specialty designed for ALC screws left over from my slatwall project, I decided to see I might be able to use these screws along with the mounts.

But first I had to figure out where to mount this poster.  I wanted it near the car but also visible from my home office.
Perfect! (But wow this is HEAVY!)

So I moved the car forward, got my drill and ladder to make sure it was all done safely.

And the final result...

Ok, you say - but how does it look when the car is parked in its spot?  Well actually I decided to go ahead and take advantage of the car not in its space, and installed another cool item.  I'll post on that one next, give me a couple of days... and sorry about the recent lack of posts, it has been VERY busy for me at work lately...

Check back later this week!