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Old 27th June 2019, 09:48 PM   #201 (permalink)
Red Duke is renovating and upgrading!
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Got a bit of a picture heavy update, again! The build has taken a massive turn and has escalated into a restoration of the front end, more upgrades have been ordered as well as many, many refurb parts.

Where to begin...

Firstly I got the new Nismo R1 turbos built, stripping all the old parts from the old ceramic turbos. There were actually in pretty good nick considering they've been run at 1bar for a long time now! HPI turbo elbows also fitted. New oil return line came included for the front turbo, but not the rear? I have the Nismo oil separator to go on anyway so installed the split oil return pipe.







I got the front turbo fitted, oil return and support bracket fitted, only to then find the nuts that came off the old turbos were actually 13mm, not 12mm as they should have been! It wouldn't fit properly and as the Tomei are bigger than OEM, the 13mm just wouldn't tighten properly on the rear two nuts, so it had to come off again. I wasn't 100% convinced I'd taken enough off of the new studs either, so I made sure to triple check the clearance between the rear collectors and studs, then ground more off anyway!

I fitted the turbo again today, I had removed it to change the manifold lock nuts as like a ****ing idiot, I'd previously torqued them up with a 13mm rather than a 12mm, so it had gnarled some of the heads slightly and looked utterly shit! Pleased to say everything went according to plan today, and the front turbo is finally in place, is all torqued up and the turbo nuts and studs are done up! I ordered new oil return hoses and clamps as the old ones just looked like shit and had to go. I'll fit that tomorrow along with the support bracket to the block.



Before I pulled the turbo, again, I couldn't resist lining a few parts up to see how they'd look once together. It was at this point I realised my Japspeed radiator would be too tall to fit the OEM scoop. Bollocks.



I felt pretty good about the direction the car will take, but there are always little niggly things, parts missing or wrong bolts, little bits of surface rust or clips broken or missing. I'm honestly developing OCD as I'm getting further down the rabbit hole of GTR ownership and now, restoration. For example, my airbox wouldn't fit right, it felt a bit loose... It was then I realised I had a bracket missing, yep, one of those bits you can't buy any more and nobody has as they've all gone for pod filters or single turbos! Turns out I'd removed it myself years ago (when I first got the car) and put it away in my "GTR bits box": More new OEM bolts & washers ordered for that too, because that is what is supposed to be there!



You may have noticed the Okuyama cooling panel, it has been modified to include an air scoop on the front, an idea I saw on Aki Itoh's R33 GTR blog - One I just had to use for my own build. It still needs slight work to take a little off the right side corner (to avoid the grille mesh) - this will be done before it goes away for paint.




Taking bits off and refitting just highlighted to me how dirty the bonnet catch and reinforcement bar was. Having a new lock ready to go on, I gave the area a clean and fitted the new lock. Much better! Well, until it highlighted more stuff I wasn't happy with. The rusty old horns are going, to replaced with the 370Z Nissan dealer option horns, again inspired by Aki's blog!



I bought a used radiator to replace my Japspeed. Like an idiot, I threw my original radiator away "because I wouldn't need it again" - UGH! Unfortunately, the quality of the (well)used part is shite. The included shroud has a broken tab, held together by a cable tie and half the right side enclosure is also snapped off, leaving a sharp piece sticking out! Oh, and it also has a reddy-brown sludge inside. For £115 delivered it is a joke, and will be going back to the seller. Pissed off, I trawled Google looking for a radiator that will work with the OEM scoop and found a few pictures of people using the Mishimoto radiator + airbox & scoop. A few clicks later and I'd bought myself one, £250 well spent! New Nissan radiator shroud ordered, all new rubbers and an Advance alternator because the postage was more than the bloody shroud so I wanted to make the most of it!



It was taking the used radiator back out that I noticed the surface rust coming up on the lower support bar. I got my wire brush out, cleaned it all up and treated, primed and painted it. I want to get a proper respray eventually, but it made sense to repair and protect what I can now, so save it getting worse.



Quite pleased with myself (despite some paint on the back of my nicely refurbed AC radiator!) I thought I'd get the bumper off to fit the Nismo intercooler hard pipes, which is also when things took a rather dramatic turn, lol. Basically, I've taken the front of the car off, found more surface rust and bits I'm not happy with and have started renovating pretty much everything in sight.

I was greeted by this when I took the bumper off:




I was happy with the restoration and removal of the surface rust (it wasn't as bad / deep as it looked) but the inside was also showing signs of rust, the broken bolt that has annoyed me for years refuses to budge and the whole thing was just in a bit of a sorry state.







So I've ordered a brand new one from Japan.

Having had shit used parts in the past and the cost of a USED crash bar (with rust and all!) at £400+ vs. £268 for a brand new one, I knew what I had to do. Ok, so postage is about £200 (plus tax) but I've also ordered all the rubbers to replace the lot on the radiator, intercooler, AC and a new support bracket I couldn't salvage (snapped bolt) Oh, and a nice Greddy oil filter relocation kit. And Nagisa Auto fender braces... That's all. I think.

I've pulled the AC radiator out and resprayed the overspray and a few bits that needed touching up and went to town on the lower rail now I could get to everything and see what else needed to be sorted out. It is scary just how much corrosion is hiding in places you don't normally see! Once again, I want a full respray but I can't afford it yet, so I'm having a go at restoration myself! None of the rust was major, thankfully! It came off pretty easily with a good wire brushing, I then treated it with Kurust, primed and painted it. The lower part is only done in white Hammerite spray as a tester to see how it would come out. I've got proper QM1 white, primer and lacquer for the bits you can see in the bay.









The intercooler inlet has had a spruce up, I need to do the pipes next though! I've also fitted my new coolant expansion tank at last, the awesome PRP R35 GTR coil kit, removed the engine covers for paint, fitted new NGK Iridium spark plugs and started refurbing pretty much anything I could unbolt. Oh, I gave the heatshields a spruce up too! Baked in the BBQ as I wasn't allowed to use the oven.



Too many pictures! To be continued...
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Old 27th June 2019, 10:11 PM   #202 (permalink)
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More pictures:


















New decat pipe bought as both my old ones have stuck bits in them. One has the cat temperature sensor rusted in (cut off and a replacement bought!) and the other has a bolt rusted in. This new one has a bung welded in for my AEM wideband though, joy! Oh yes, turbo and inlet parts sent off for vapour blasting and zinc plating, should be back late next week or week after. Lots of bits on order from Japan and had some from the UK too. Plenty of tools, paint, parts...

And that is where I am at the moment! Who'd have thought a gasket leak would have lead to this!?

No, me either!!!



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Old 27th June 2019, 11:56 PM   #203 (permalink)
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Pulling the front end off and seeing that rust would be a harrowing sight but glad to see it is all getting dealt with!
I like the cooling panel mod, I hope to do the same one day!
Good read, thanks.
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Old 28th June 2019, 11:24 AM   #204 (permalink)
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Pulling the front end off and seeing that rust would be a harrowing sight but glad to see it is all getting dealt with!
I like the cooling panel mod, I hope to do the same one day!
Good read, thanks.
Thanks Profaine

Yes it was a bit of a shock, it was mostly in the corners where there is little to no protection from the factory, having been in the UK for over a decade now I'm glad it wasn't worse! Inside the driver side chassis opening was actually a greasy dirt build up! Cleaning that away revealed little to no rust at all, the passenger side was worse as it had little covering of anything. I do wonder if the hole in the passenger wheel arch liner (for the oil cooler) has made it worse. Just had my new lambda sensors arrive so I can get on with those and the rear turbo install, at last!
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Old 28th June 2019, 03:01 PM   #205 (permalink)
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That looks great. Coming on nicely. What scoop is the cooling panel modded for? I need to buy/make a cooling panel for mine.
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Old 28th June 2019, 04:18 PM   #206 (permalink)
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Thanks Jim, I just got the rear turbo and manifold installed, what a ****! I'm sure if I had a swear jar I could have bought Richard's entire fleet of R34 GTR's!

The scoop is the OEM Nissan one, I'm going to ditch the Blitz air filters and run airbox with S-Tune air filter instead, the panel is an Okuyama Carbing, cost about £70? Can't remember what postage was as I got it a couple of years ago. Went for that rather than the GT carbon one as you can't really mod that very easily. JDR did the mod for me and have welded up across the top to smooth air flow, sides will be done during paint.

Now, to fit turbo supports, lambda sensors again (removed to get the turbo in!) and the oil return lines. Maybe a cup of tea too...
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Old 28th June 2019, 10:17 PM   #207 (permalink)
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Have a few cups of tea! Just take as much time as you need! Doing a great job
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Old 28th June 2019, 11:43 PM   #208 (permalink)
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Thanks mate, had tea and a beer tonight!

I've been trying to get the old Mocal oil cooler off, the block to the engine has a nut in the middle (taken the oil filter off) which isn't as big as a 30mm, but is bigger than a 27mm. I bought a 28mm socket, but surprise surprise, it is also too small! Aside from buying a 29mm socket I don't know what else to try, without removing the plenum to be able to see properly or have more space for an adjustable, I'm stuck. I've checked online for any info on Mocal oil coolers for an R33 GTR and found bugger all of any use! I don't want to refit the old cooler as I need this one off to fit the Nismo cooler and Greddy oil filter relocation kit when it arrives.
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Old 29th June 2019, 06:59 AM   #209 (permalink)
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I believe the size is imperial 1-1/8 is what I use to do mine. You don’t get much purchase on the nut as it’s very thin so I ground my socket flat at the end to get rid of the small taper .Might be worth a punt.
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Old 29th June 2019, 09:18 AM   #210 (permalink)
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Aah legend, thank you! I was reading about 5/8th UNF fittings and all sorts, the 1-1/8th makes sense as that is about 28.575mm. I'll have a look for a spanner and a thin walled socket, thank you again! The ground down 12mm was invaluable, I owe you a beer for that too.
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Old 29th June 2019, 12:45 PM   #211 (permalink)
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No probs at all. Keep us posted on the progress!
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Old 29th June 2019, 02:37 PM   #212 (permalink)
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No probs at all. Keep us posted on the progress!
Definitely I had Reimax cam baffles arrive yesterday with some mounting rubbers, next week should see the Advance alternator and radiator shroud plus some more mounts and stuff. I've got a week or two to wait for the main bumper support bar to arrive, estimated 10/7 from Nissan. I'd like to get some of the front rubbed down and primed on Monday, just waiting on some plastic sheeting from Amazon!

I'll get some pics up of the turbos too.
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Old 30th June 2019, 11:27 AM   #213 (permalink)
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And just like that I've spent my whole sunday reading your thread

awesome work and keep us up to date! The build process is almost as fun as being able to enjoy the car when it's done!
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Old 2nd July 2019, 03:41 PM   #214 (permalink)
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Thanks RB28, it was a bit more of a "things I've bought" diary for a while, glad to say I've started doing more myself! Currently putting the Nismo oil cooler shroud together, I had to move everything so my wife could also sit at the dining room table last night and I ended up riveting a piece on back to front. I can't blame her as between the Japanese instructions, pictures that make zero sense and not checking I'd put the pieces back the right way around it was bound to happen! It has left me short a few rivets which I think we have at work, so I'll blag a few for the last couple of bits that need doing.

Had great news from RHD Japan, everything is ready for dispatch already! Should see the new bumper bar, etc. this week! I'm getting excited now, my water & oil lines got collected by the platers yesterday and I dropped the engine covers & Nismo plenum off for paint too. The car should start going back together soon, few bits I want to blast and paint and I'll be good to go!

Jimbo, 1 1/8th socket was spot on, thank you for that! I just need to modify the old water to oil cooler slightly now to fit the Nismo oil block in its place, Greddy relocation should screw straight onto the oil filter OEM location then too.
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Old 2nd July 2019, 03:53 PM   #215 (permalink)
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Those pictures with rust made me gulp. Awesome to see you attacked it properly, removing the front end really does reveal a lot.

But awesome work bud and the finished result looks great too.

The air con fan shroud came out really well, mine is in a real sorry state. Looking to pulling it off and doing the same as you.

Keep the pics coming! Love threads like this, really makes me feel satisfied and it's not even my car.
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Old 4th July 2019, 01:27 AM   #216 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Thanks RB28, it was a bit more of a "things I've bought" diary for a while, glad to say I've started doing more myself! Currently putting the Nismo oil cooler shroud together, I had to move everything so my wife could also sit at the dining room table last night and I ended up riveting a piece on back to front. I can't blame her as between the Japanese instructions, pictures that make zero sense and not checking I'd put the pieces back the right way around it was bound to happen! It has left me short a few rivets which I think we have at work, so I'll blag a few for the last couple of bits that need doing.

Had great news from RHD Japan, everything is ready for dispatch already! Should see the new bumper bar, etc. this week! I'm getting excited now, my water & oil lines got collected by the platers yesterday and I dropped the engine covers & Nismo plenum off for paint too. The car should start going back together soon, few bits I want to blast and paint and I'll be good to go!

Jimbo, 1 1/8th socket was spot on, thank you for that! I just need to modify the old water to oil cooler slightly now to fit the Nismo oil block in its place, Greddy relocation should screw straight onto the oil filter OEM location then too.
Doing all that stuff yourself does give you peace of mind knowing you've sorted things out!

Ive just got to the stage of having ALMOST everything either on the car or sold haha. I still have an extra set of TE37's and Coilovers but considering i Had 2 cars in pieces a few months ago I think I've done alright.

Nismo plenum will look the goods! My Nismo plenum arrived a bit late and it's a bit of a misson doing the installation after the motor is in. Definitely get that fitted while the motor is out. Mine still isnt in

Exciting times ahead!
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Old 25th July 2019, 03:48 PM   #217 (permalink)
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Thanks for the positive comments, it does feel good to just go and do a bit on the car at my leisure! It has been too bloody hot to do much of anything this week though! I did attack the 86 yesterday to replace my front brake pads as they were squealing. I assumed that the noise was to say they need replacing, but no... The OEM do make noise apparently and my fronts were only 50% worn! Argh! A couple of hours turning into a stinking sweat pile for no reason. Bugger.

I have, however been doing a lot with the GTR lately. Seeing as today is meant to be 38*c or more, I'm staying safe in my games room with an icy drink in hand, typing up an overdue update!

Let us start with the turbos:

Everything is now in, torqued up and tightened where I can't torque. I literally spent 2 hours trying (and failing) to get the nut on the back right stud of the rear turbo. What an utter bastard!! I danced a little jig when that went on! I'm sure if I had a swear box I could have bought a small island in the Caribbean... Refurbed heatshields fitted, the silver marks are anti-seize paste and have now been cleaned off.





Fan refurb:

I have new sponge tape to fit onto the housing when it gets fitted to the AC radiator.



Intercooler refurb:

Cleaned up and resprayed the intercooler, it was black originally and had some overspray on it, so needed to be done!




The next job is to use my Nismo stencil from America to spray on the logo. I may mask up and do that today if it isn't too hot. I want a genuine (larger) Nismo intercooler at some point, but £20 on a stencil & paint vs £2000 delivered on a genuine one, well, what would you do?

Speaking of paint...

Front support bar:

Sandblasted, primered, painted in factory QM1, lacquered.




Repainted the front end in factory QM1 white.













I didn't wet sand it in the end so the finish isn't 100% smooth, but for my time, £25 on a factory QM1 paint, pro primer and lacquer, I'm more than happy with the finish! It'll certainly protect the car until I can afford a full-on belt and braces respray! I've also ordered the rubber light seals as mine were dry as buggery, cracked and fell apart when I tried to remove them. Not cheap at £70+ a side, but better than allowing any water or crap passed the lights! Few clips that were missing, broken or old ordered too.

Air inlet pipe refurb:





Nismo 2018 Oil Cooler:





I won't be fitting this yet as I'll need to remove the plenum to fit it (and fit the Greddy oil filter relocation kit at the same time) I want to make sure the car starts and runs before I start pulling off more bits! The Nismo inlet manifold will be replacing this one anyway.

More parts have arrived: Greddy oil filter relocation kit, Nagissa Auto Garrichi fender braces, Nissan OEM crash bar and many, many screws, rubbers, bolts, etc. Still waiting on more parts to arrive too...





I finally used my Dulux tester to see what colour the garage will (eventually) be:



Very pleased with it! There are a few areas I want to redo in the garage before I get to paint, but that is a future project when I can move the GTR out of the way.

Ok. The bit you've (probably) been waiting for...

Plated parts and painted engine covers! Any guesses on the colour? No, it isn't black.







1

To be continued...
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Old 25th July 2019, 04:00 PM   #218 (permalink)
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More build progress:



I had trouble with getting the PRP R35 kit loom installed correctly, the valley cover just wouldn’t sit properly. I emailed Herman who was awesome as usual! I just had to make sure I routed the loom below coil #6 so it came out the bottom of the cover. (You don’t need to cut it then, I had just had them painted to wasn’t about to cut anything!) I removed #6 and installed the loom first, replaced #6 and everything does indeed fit. I trimmed the heatshrink thinking it would give me a bit more play, it didn’t and I didn’t need to do it. Doh… I only removed the one section so I’ll rewrap it in the future.





Test fit of Nismo and KTS hardpipes, blue hoses & Nismo air separator installed:



I also installed a new ADVANCE alternator:

Only the one picture as I forgot to take any before I started the paint process!



Rebuild progress:

New Mishimoto radiator, new OEM radiator shroud, AC reinstalled, new radiator mounts, new rubbers, new bonnet stay & grommet.





And that, is where I am up to now! I’m debating whether or not to paint the crash bar white, or leave it black. You won’t see it anyway… Having fresh paint and new / refurbed parts also shows up how old and tired looking other parts of the car are, something I really want to address as it just looks a bit rubbish next to the lovely new stuff. Few ideas on what to do and how as an interim tidy up, bonnet needs to come off so I can remove the front wipers and scuttle, treat and paint all that and reinstall my new scuttle, wipers and trim.

Oh, new blue hoses for vacuum lines to be cut and fitted, some of the OEM ones are starting to perish and crack. Blue Samco power steering hoses also ordered - "6-8 weeks" - I'll believe that when they arrive! Power steering reservoir will be coming out and refurbished too, you can't buy them anymore! Blue hoses for the wiper jets to go in too, and be properly routed under the bonnet liner. New belts to go on too, remnants of AC gas / fluid got on them and has stained them yellow-green (and they look shit, lol)
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Old 25th July 2019, 05:55 PM   #219 (permalink)
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Awesome update with great parts.
Does the kts pipes not foul the nismo pipes
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Old 25th July 2019, 06:05 PM   #220 (permalink)
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Awesome update with great parts.
Does the kts pipes not foul the nismo pipes
Thanks Sam

It doesn't at the moment, whether it will once the airbox and AFM's are fitted? I don't know. I've got the HPI adaptors for R35 air flow sensors too, hoping everything goes together ok! Lol
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