(Updated Install Instructions, see below)
So after selling a few things on Yahoo Auctions, I realized I had saved up enough to spend some money on something which normally I would write off as complete bling. Nismo's carbon fiber airbox for the BCNR33/BNR34, originally introduced on the BNR34 Clubman Race Spec demo car back in June 2017.
What a great way to make money for Nismo, right? With an eye-watering retail price of 612,150 yen including tax!
But Omori Factory claims that their airbox actually has design improvements over the OEM airbox. For example, not only does their airbox have more volume, but it uses velocity stacks which in theory increase the air flow so much that the ECU has to be remapped! Further, their supplier is apparently a takumi who has supplied Nismo and Nissan with carbon fiber parts for their Group C and other racing cars over the past 20 years...in other words, these are not mass produced but carefully handcrafted items by someone who probably knows what he is doing...
Of course, if you simply want the carbon look, I have seen others who have created their own carbon fiber air boxes which appear to be copies of the OEM box, just in carbon fiber and priced much less.
But as it happened I was able to get my hands on one of the Nismo ones - I figured what would I have to lose by installing one in my car? Improve the looks, at the very least right? It would be a good match for the Nismo carbon fiber air inlet pipes and the Omori Factory air inlet snorkel I recently had installed.
Ok so first thing is to open up the box.
|For those interested, here is the parts number for the 33/34|
Fairly standard wrapping given the price...
Wow! Very nice. Almost blinded by this beautiful carbon fiber!So here is the bit that costs an extra 500,000 yen...(the Nismo plaque inside!)
|Exactly how? Keep reading!|
Next step was to remove the OEM air box in order to do a proper side by side comparison. A few clips and bolts and don't forget the side vent, and it is a pretty easy job. The only trick is to loosen the bands connecting to the MAFs, and remove the airbox with the MAFs still attached.
Here is photo of both airboxes in the engine bay:
|If OCD like me, you can see that the carbon is different for each piece...|
So here is the inward side of the airbox, after the MAFs have been removed.
|Before installation of the velocity/venturi stacks|
|After installation - shame the velocity stacks are hidden because they are gorgeous to look at!|
|Close up - oops forgot to remove the tape there...|
|In comparison, the OEM airbox simply has these rings with the nuts for attaching the MAF bolts|
|So yes, a weight savings of 197 gms!|
|Ok this is strange. CFRP is heavier by 67 gms!|
OK, so it seems like there is more volume, slightly less weight, and then possibly some increased air flow due to the velocity stacks.
Not surprisingly, installation is fairly simple, the only care point is to make sure that the MAFs are bolted on tightly to the carbon airbox and therefore also the velocity stacks inside (also watch out for the very thin O-rings on the MAFs side).
|See, all 3 carbon pieces look different...why...??|
So will this carbon airbox actually make a difference in the car's performance? In my next blog I will reveal my findings, as I took a quick road trip down to Yokosuka to visit some old friends. Stay tuned!
UPDATED INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS!
So Nismo Omori Factory contacted me this morning with apologies - after viewing this blog, they realized they had neglected to inform me about one VERY IMPORTANT STEP.
Which is, to RE-USE the rubber and steel spacers on the OEM airbox:
So of course, I complained to Nismo as well - for something costing this much, why not throw in some new rubber washers? I am ok with re-using the metal cores, but honestly how much does 3 rubber washers cost? Their response was that this is technically NOT a Nismo part, but an Omori Factory limited production run (they apparently don't make much of a profit on these). Hence no instructions, nor the extra bits one can expect to find in an official kit. Still, I wonder...
Anyway, for anyone out there who might get this kit, I hope these FULL instructions are useful!
Could be interesting if the airbox actually does improve performance more than measuring error. My airbox has a broken mount so one of the clips falls off when you go to release it.
I always assumed the BNR34 airbox was exclusive to that car. Time to add this to the list then...
BTW, a long time ago you mentioned wondering why the oil coolant heat exchanger was kept in your car even though it was a street car and you had the HKS oil cooler. After driving this car and monitoring the oil/coolant temperatures I think the answer there is that most of the time that heat exchanger is actually heating up the engine oil, not cooling it down. For the first 10 minutes or so of driving these cars the engine oil is colder than the coolant. For ideal engine protection you want to get the oil to 70C on the gauge before you start to rev it to high RPM and high throttle opening. I try to stay below 3000 rpm and stay out of boost until then.
Once the engine oil is hotter than the coolant then you will start to see some cooling effect, but from what I have seen this heat exchanger is not very good at cooling the oil off, hence the need for supplemental oil cooling.
If you could do it all again, would you still have gotten the HKS oil cooler or something else? I'm thinking of putting one in as I'm taking off the plenum and throttle bodies to get access to the oil cooler and all the hoses under the plenum to prepare my car for California emissions compliance. I would probably just install the sandwich plate and all the stuff under the plenum but leave the actual cooler lines + core install for later.
Wow! That looks amazing! Congratulations~
I want one too.
Is there a carbon piece for the side vent? Or is the stock plastic piece reused?
Hey everyone, thanks for all the comments! Let me answer all of them.
1. Improving performance - stay tuned in my next post as I give my impressions.
2. Yep. Save up or bust out the credit card...
3. Wow, thanks for this, makes total sense! I think the HKS one works, as well as the Nismo one. Key is to use the space behind the bumper.. One negative of the HKS is the excessive hose length, which if installed per directions means it is visible snaking its way in front of the engine. Have to think of a way to clean that up!
4. Matt - yes they have one for the 32. Not, the stock plastic piece that goes into the fender is still used.
Here's a neat way to organise the oil cooler hose:
JDM Masters published this interesting short, I didn't know that someone actually did a test with a production car and found the series 3 R33 to be quite impressive even without the press car modifications.
The Nismo kit looks nice but the "Nismo bumper only" requirement definitely bothers me, I don't think I want the 400R bumper.
The one thing that gives me pause for the HKS oil cooler kit is that I have a series 1 car, I'm not really sure how the intake side of things would work. It appears to me that the turn signal finisher has a grille design to it that would allow air in while catching any major rocks.
I was thinking about some way to relocate the oil filter, but so far other than the part where half the oil filter spills all over the front differential every oil change I haven't actually had issues with the placement. Obviously it will suck much more if you don't have the appropriate oil filter wrench but I haven't had big issues with it.
Re: Matt, that's a really interesting kit. A lot better than my idea of just zip-tying the oil lines lightly to guide them into less visible areas at least.
Matt - very nice, thanks! How do you find such cool stuff?
Anon - wow, thanks! Maybe I should offer Ken at JDM Masters an opportunity to check out my car lol. Re oil cooler, yeah at first I was more about function over form, but now I want both...
Congrats, it looks beautiful!
Now the question, what are you going to do with the stock air box? I’ve been trying to source one to reinstall on my s3 r33 (when I got it, it had a pod kit installed). Any suggestions??
Wow thats a eye watering price for air box. Looks amazing though!
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