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...