Monday, August 29, 2011

R33 GT-R Update: 493 whp / 551.15 N·m of torque

After 12 months of collecting engine parts and prepping a spare RB26 for the rebuild, this is the end result. And boy was it worth it.

At the dyno, my car put out 500.84 PS (493 whp) at 1.6 bar, displaying a good power band and a very healthy max torque of 56.24 kgm (551.15 N·m of torque). Full boost at 4000 rpm. That's the equivalent of how much power and torque a BMW E60 M5's 5.0L V10 engine makes when the "M" power button is switched on (Power: 507 PS; 500 bhp at 7750 rpm / Torque: 520 N·m at 6100 rpm).

Loving my 'new' R33 GT-R :).

So anyway folks, thank you so much for following my rebuild and for your continued support.

I'd like to wish our Muslim readers a Selamat Hari Raya and Maaf Zahir dan Batin. To everyone, please drive safe during this festive period and do take care.

- Loki

Parts Installed

* ARP Bolt and Studs
* ATI Super Harmonic Damper 1000hp
* BCNR33 4 and 2 Pot Brembo Calipers
* Billion Super Solid Coolant Line
* Blitz Nur Spec R Exhaust Full System
* Bridgestone Potenza S001 UHP Tyres
* Carbing Air Diversion Plate
* Cusco Adjustable Pillow Tension Rods
* Cusco Rear Adjustable Upper Arms
* Defi-Link BF Boost Meter
* Defi-Link Control Unit II
* Defi-Link Display
* Endless Racing CCR Brake Pads
* Exedy Twin Plate Racing Clutch
* Goodridge Braided Brake Hose
* GTROC R33 GT-R Stainless Steel Etched Fuse Box Cover
* GTROC R33 GT-R Stainless Steel ABS Box Cover
* Haltech Platinum Pro R33 Plug & Play EMS
* HKS 88mm Forged Pistons
* HKS GT-SS Twin Turbo Kit
* HKS Oil Cooler Kit
* HKS Kansai Service Twin Tube Alloy Strut Brace
* HKS Kansai Service Floor Mats
* HKS Special GT-R Piping Kit
* JVC KD-R816
* Koyo Radiator Type Z
* Motul 300V Le Mans 20W-60
* Motul Gear Competition 75W140
* NGK Iridium IX Spark Plugs
* Nismo 320km/h Speedometer
* Nismo Aluminium Shift Knob 10mm
* Nismo Engine Mounts
* Nismo Gearbox Mount
* Nismo Strengthened Rear Lower A-Arm Set
* Nismo Intake Collector RB26DETT
* Nismo Main and Conrod Bearings
* Nissan Factory Series III Xenon Headlights
* Nissan N1 Water Pump
* Pitwork Service Kit / Belts
* R34 GT-R Rocker Panel Emblem
* Rays Volk Racing RE30 18 x 9.5 + 12
* Red Stitched Leather Gearshift & Handbrake Trim
* Series III R33 GT-R Bumper
* Splitfire Super Direct DI Ignition
* Sun Line Racing Front Pillow Camber Arms
* Superpro Castor Rod Bushes
* TEIN Mono Flex Suspension with EDFC
* Tomei Forged H-Beam Conrods
* Tomei Fuel Pump (output 590PS 276 L/h)
* Tomei Fuel Regulator Type L
* Tomei Metal Head Gasket 88mm Bore
* Tomei Pon Camshafts + Pulley Set (260, EX 252, Lift 9.15)
* Tomei Oversized Oil Pump
* Top Secret R33 Oil Catch / Water Reservoir Tank
* Trust Extended Sump
* Whiteline Arm-adj upper radius-camber/toe
* Whiteline Arm-adj upper radius-camber/toe
* Whiteline Camber adj kit - front upper c/arm
* Whiteline Camber adj kit - rear upper c/arm
* Whiteline Front Swaybar-h/duty Blade adjustable
* Whiteline Rear Swaybar-h/duty Blade adjustable

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What not to do to a BMW 1-Series Coupe

Some Singaporeans have REALLY bad taste when it comes to doing up their cars. This isn't the first time that I've seen a disaster on wheels surfacing from the island down south. To make thing worse, this is a genuine BMW 1 Series M Coupe.

I mean, whats with the horrible over-the-top paint / wrap job? And those mis-matched colored rims - a poor tribute to BMW's M Division ? Or that ludicrous roof mounted spoiler? Perhaps the owner uses it dry his or her clothes? After all, landed property is a luxury in the island metropolis that is Singapore, so most folks live in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. Is that even an aftermarket spoiler or did the owner ask a bodykit shop to cook one up? Aerodynamic properties anyone? Going back to the paint / wrap job, is the owner trying to achieve the 'liquid paper' look? 'Whited' front and rear tail lights instead of the more conventional 'Smoked' lights? And won't those wrapped brake lights, now somewhat dimmed, confuse other motorists?

I'm a fan of white cars but this is just crude and vulgar. And the sad thing is, that Singaporean registration plate is not cheap! Guess money really can't buy you class.

Before you view the following pictures, please make sure that you've not eaten anything heavy recently... Courtesy of and

To read more on this head on over to:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

S13 Update: Late Model S13 Front Bumper & Side Skirt

I'll say it again - stock is best. 

I wasn't too pleased with the bodykit that came with the S13. The Origin Widebody 20mm kit is great but the URAS body parts on the car are just a tad bit too loud, and the overhangs are excessive. For example, its really difficult to jack the car up bacause of the flaring URAS sideskirts. Now, if you were going to be actively driving at Sepang's International Circuit, your going to have a hard time changing tyres or making small corrections to the car's suspension. I don't know how drifters do it but the URAS bodykit had to go!

Another thing that needed to be removed was the rear bootlip spoiler, which doesn't really compliment the car. It also doesn't have that much aerodynamic properties. I've always been a fan of the S13 hellaflush look anyway.

Although I have to admit, I did have some moments where I thought to myself "Hmmm, it doesn't look actually that bad..."

I even had some Fatlace / Stance:Nation moments, which was 50/50 at best, in terms of how I felt about the car's looks.

But unfortunately, the URAS kit still had to go and I proceeded to google up some alternatives. Now since I've always been a fan of the stock look, I decided to search for a late model S13 front halfcut. Thanks to Ben Jamin, a good friend of mine, I managed to find one:

A front halfcut like this is quite rare in Malaysia and normally we don't get a lot of S13 bodyparts. There seems to be a general preference for the 180SX and thus, hatchbacks greatly outnumber S13 Coupes. Thats good for me because that makes my car that much rarer and unique.

With the front bumper procured, the next step was to find matching sideskirts. Thanks to Joe-Han from Drifthouse, I managed to get a pair of Trust Gracer (GReddy) S13 sideskirts :). I decided to leave the URAS rear bumper skirting as it matches well with the new bodyparts.

With the necessary ingredients in hand, the S13 was sent to the paint shop and this was the end result! Thanks to Chris from Exquisite Auto Haus for the great job on colour coding the bodyparts and putting them on the car :).

Shes looking mighty fine now, eh? If that was not enough, I removed the bootlip spoiler too and now its sporting the hellaflush look! You can't beat a S13 when it comes to carrying off the clean look! Just superb and I'm very happy with how things turned out!

R33 GT-R Update: Carbing Air Diversion Plate

A radiator cooling plate is a device that helps direct air to flow from a car's grille straight to it's radiator. This promotes better cooling as more air flows through the radiator fins. The plate is installed between the front grille and the top section of the radiator. They are normally made out of aluminium but you do get some carbon fibres ones as well.

What normally happens is that, air escapes from the top of radiator instead of going through the radiator. Cooling plates help restrict the escaping air and divert it to where it really needs to go.

The results? It actually works! I've noticed that when the engine is fully warmed up, the water temperature reading is lower by 10% - 20% and this was after the Carbing Air Diversion Plate had been installed. Its amazing how something so small can have a positive effect on a car. Plus it makes the engine bay look that much nicer!

Why Carbing you might ask? Well...

Since the establishment of OKUYAMA Co.,Ltd. as an After-Market Auto Parts Manufacturer in 1977, Carbing has been developing various parts including Roll Bars, Strut Bars and Body Reinforcement Parts.

The company has their own motor sports team, “TEAM OKUYAMA”, that has been aggressively participating in Japanese domestic motor sport competitions like JAPAN NATIONAL DIRT TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIP as well as JAPAN GYMKHANA CHAMPIONSHIP. Team Okuyama became Champions in Class D (unlimited modifications) at the JAPAN GYMKHANA CHAMPIONSHIP for 3 consecutive years (1988-1990).

They also became the Series Champion in 1993 with their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution I at JAPAN NATIONAL DIRT TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIP. And in 2003 they were Champions again with their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III.

All of Carbing's modification parts have been developed/manufactured using the practical data that had been acquired in the above-mentioned competitions.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

R33 GT-R Update: Defi-Link Display, Defi-Link Control Unit II & Defi-Link BF Boost Meter

Stock is best in my book. Thats the reason why I've been very conservative thus far with GT-R's outward appearance.

The same principle applies to the interior, as I'm not one to go bonkers on flashy gauges and large display LCDs. Nonetheless, I need to know whats going in the engine bay, in light of the car's new power output. Things like having an accurate reading of the RB26's oil temperature, water temperature, oil pressure and so forth, are crucial to ensure the longevity of the newly rebuilt 2.6L engine. But how do we avoid the problem of having too many gauges cluttering up the dashboard? Not only do they attract the unwanted attention of thieves, by having too many sensors drilled into your engines bits, it will create unnecessary stress points all over the block.

Enter the Defi-Link Display.

Defi-Link Display is a multipurpose monitor which provides information on speed, oil temperature, water temperature, oil pressure, fuel pressure, and exhaust temperature by connecting to the Defi-Link Control Unit II or the Defi-Link Control Unit.

Real-time digital information includes speed, oil temperature, water temperature, oil pressure, fuel pressure and exhaust temperature. Sensor sets need to be purchased separately to display the information on pressures and temperatures.

Vehicle performance data and peak values are placed in memory for 3 minutes, allowing examination of data after running the vehicle.
*Defi-Link Control Unit II has a 3 minute memory. Defi-Link Control Unit has a 40 second memory.

The Warning LED lights when the set warning value is exceeded for oil temperature, water temperature, exhaust temperature and engine RPM. The Warning LED lights when measured value drops below the set warning value for oil pressure and fuel pressure.

Defi stopped producing this particular display in 2010, so I was fortunate that my tuner sourced a unit along with some goodies; a Defi-Link Control Unit II and a Defi-Link BF Boost Meter. All three were in good condition and we got them for a steal. Even though Defi now offers a more advanced display, which is the Defi-Link Meter ADVANCE ZD, I don't really fancy the new look (garish gold backlight), it's is too big (awkward to mount) and I'm fine with having only two readings on display at any one time. The rev counter is a nice feature but not necessary and there's standalone products like Shift-I's Progressive Shift Indicator, which does the exact same thing.

Defi-Link Control Unit II is a necessary controller to install Defi-Link Meters, Defi-Link Meter BFs, and Defi-Link Displays. Up to 7 gauges and displays can be connected and controlled by one Control Unit II. Defi-Link System allows gauges and displays to be attached to Defi-Link Control Unit II with a single daisy chain wiring system. Driving data can be stored and can be replayed up to 3 minutes. Pause, speed play, forward, and rewind function can be applied during playback.

As for the Defi-Link BF Boost Meter, press the play button in the flash animation below and you'll be able to see how the unit activates once the ignition key is switched on:

And here is the end result :). Quite pleased with how things turned out as I hate the look of gauges scattered all over the interior. However, as I had mentioned earlier, it is necessary to know the parameters of your engine and the Defi device helps with this. So to reiterate, I've found the Defi-Link Display to be convenient since it's small and more importantly, allows me to monitor the GT-R's 'health' through a series of readings. They are essentially; water temp, oil temp, fuel pressure, oil pressure and exhaust gas temperature. Imagine if you had to get gauges for all of those things .That would be one heck of a lot of gauges. Also, peak / warning settings are a breeze to configure, and with the built-in warning feature, trouble parameters can also be set easily. 

Oh and lastly, it looks pretty darn good too, especially at night.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vimeo and the GT-R Family

I never get tired of watching this vid, especially the part where all four GT-R generations are cruising down the street in line abreast formation.

And big up to Vimeo for the following reasons:

1. No spam

2. Professional content

3. Professional contacts

4. Sleek video player

5. Higher quality video in HD

“Vimeo is for people with a passion.
Youtube is for people who want fame and popularity.” – DoubleFilms

R33 GT-R Update: TEIN Mono Flex Suspension with EDFC

What can I say about the Tein Mono Flexes and the Electronic Damping Force Controller (EDFC)? Since that was quite a mouthful, to sum them up in one simple word - just plain AWESOME!

They've totally changed the whole feel of the car, and having the EDFC controller at your finger tips is just such a joy. They have once again made me fall in love with the R33 and I can't help but look forward to the next time that I'm behind the steering wheel. The feeling that you get is actually is quite similar to Audi's Drive Select in terms of damping and traction (Comfort / Sport / Dynamic). This very positive experience came as a pleasant surprise, as prior to purchasing the TEINs, I've never sat in a car that was equipped with TEIN Mono Flex and EDFC.

PIMPIN, a fellow Skyliner who owns a BNR34, is an ardent supporter of these two TEIN products... so much so that he has installed the Mono Flex / EDFC combo in all of his previous rides (including the R34 GT-R)! Even with that sort of endorsement by a close friend, I was still a bit sceptical. I was worried that the TEINs would be stiffer than my old HKS Hiper-Ds - even at it's softest EDFC setting. As for the HKS suspension, I've never been happy with them because the Hiper-Ds are VERY bouncy on less than perfect roads (poor damping) and they don't inspire confidence when taking sharp bends or corners (very floaty to say the least).

Now my main concern was that at first glance, the spring rate on the MonoFlexes are EXTREMELY high. So one would immediatly assume that the ride would be harsher (case in point, the side by side pic found above). Before I go any further, lets have TEIN explain a little bit more about their Mono Flex and EDFC:

The MONO FLEX coilover kit has been developed for entry-level competition motorsports and advanced street driving. Features include 16-way damping force adjustability (combined compression and rebound), a mono-tube internal design, pillowball upper mounts, and EDFC compatibility. There are independent adjustments for ride-height and spring pre-load settings for increased suspension tuning. The new Mono Flex also includes TEIN's latest technological innovation, Micro Speed Valving (MSV) system, which allows the driver to feel a greater difference in damping force adjustments. Designed and developed for consumers seeking aggressive handling on the street and at the track.

The EDFC (Electronic Damping Force Controller) makes it possible for the driver to control the damping force at the touch of a button while in the driver's seat. This is accomplished by controlling stepping motors installed on each shock absorber. Because the damping force can be controlled with such ease, the driver can adjust the suspension to suit all road/track conditions. Thus allowing the driver to fully enjoy the driving experience.

By inputing your preferences into the controller, the new setting will be transmitted instantaneously to those little small boxes that you see on top of all four of the TEIN suspension mounts.

I found out very quickly that setting the EDFC to 0 Front, and 0 Rear resulted in you feeling EVERYTHING on the road surface. Sort of like dragging yourself naked across the street. This prompted me to increase the settings to 12/14. Immediately, the harshness subsided. TEIN did an unbelievable job with their spring and damper design, which resulted in the production of the MonoFlex. With the settings at their softest (16/16) I was able to experience a near stock like ride quality at low speeds. Of course, the same is not true when I bumped the EDFC up to 0/0 once again. You felt everything, and it hurt. Definitely not the sort of setting that one would want when cruising down inner city roads. On smooth highway asphalt though, the 0 / 0 literally blew me away. I could easily carve corners at significantly higher speeds than I ever did with the HKS Hiper-Ds. The TEINS seem to make the car that bit more predictable and gave me the confidence to push the car slightly closer to the limits. They also help in the traction department especially when launching the GT-R, as the rear is squats easily due to the softer damper.  I reckon 0 / 0 would be superb on a track like Sepang, where you really get to test the TEINs to the maximum of their ability.

HIGHLY recommended.

Rainbow tyre well thanks to the yellow of Whiteline and Goodridge, blue of Cusco and green of TEIN. Soon to be joined the matt silver of Nismo (strengthened lower rear A-Arm).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

R33 GT-R Upgrade: Cusco Adjustable Rear Upper Arms

Suspension upgrades are like a bowl of delicious french fries. Once you start, you can't stop consuming / installing them. Seriously addictive. 

This isn't an act of superflous spending on my part, for as I have said in my previous entry, the rubber bushing on most of the GT-R's factory mounts are in a poor state and therefore need to be replaced. They have after all been on the car for the past 15 years! Hence, this is more of an exercise in necessity instead of greed.

Once I had swapped in the Sun Line Racing Front Pillow Camber Arms and felt an instant improvement in the GT-R's handling, I decided to plunk down some more moola on a used set of Cusco Adjustable Rear Upper Arms. Thanks to Eu Jin from JDM Auto Link for supplying the said item which looked near brand new.

So whats so great about the Cusco unit? Well, the overall benefits are very similar to the Sun Line Racing arms but I'll let RHD Japan explain further:

"The CUSCO Adjustable Rear Upper Arm Links Nissan will provide proper camber angle and improve you cars movement in hard turns on the track. Prevents irregular tire wear and holds tire to the asphalt, improving traction. The good alignment will enable better traction as well". 

 The Cusco rear upper arm and the factory Nissan unit - the bushing too was pretty worn out
    The Cusco unit installed on the driver side rear wheel well

    Remember what I said about suspension upgrades and how its hard to stop oneself from installing more? Well, I've ordered the following items and they'll be arriving some time soon from Japan :).

    NISMO Strengthened Rear Lower A-Arm Set

    "The NISMO Rear Lower A-Arm Set - Strengthened R33 is part of the NISMO Suspension Link Series and were created by NISMO to provide true suspension performance for Nissan drivers. Included are the strengthened bushings to provide better feedback through cornering to make the vehicle more predictable. These are for true suspension performance, and are recommended to anyone using sport suspension and tires. The Nismo Strengthened Rear Lower A-Arms are a great way to refresh your vehicle`s suspension components by removing the aged arms that came stock from the factory. All units come in the Nismo silver color. These are stronger than the standard Nismo units because of an added plate on the underside to provide more strength against pressure and stress". - RHD Japan

    CUSCO Adjustable Pillow Ball Tension Rods

    "The CUSCO Adjustable Pillow Ball Tension Rods Nissan stop the movement and flex that change the geometry on the front suspension under hard braking and cornering and drifting. These Cusco Adjustable Pillow Ball Tension Rods help with stability and predictability when drifting or racing the car hard. They also improving initial turn-in response. They are designed to work with stock suspension or nearly every aftermarket system available". - RHD Japan

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    R33 GT-R Update: Sun Line Racing Front Pillow Camber Arms

    In preparation for a drive up Fraser's Hill, a former colonial-era hill station in the state of Pahang (more info here via Wikipedia Travel), I sent the GT-R in for a suspension realignment.

    I had noticed that the car would slowly veer off to the left when running in a straightline, in the absence of any steering wheel input. It turns out that my front upper camber arms were out of whack. The realignment guy said that the bushings on the factory arms were probably worn out and I believed him, seeing as they've been on the car since it left the factory in 1996! Thats some 15 years ago!

    So the task for that day was to look for a replacement front upper camber arms, preferably adjustable ones. Why adjustable you might ask? Well for one, it allows you to set the car up for more negative camber and this is always good for track days. It makes it easier for the car to go around corners and it promotes better tyre wear. Some of you might recall that I changed all of my old factory suspension bushings to Whiteline ones, when I first got the GT-R. I should have looked at replacing the arms too, both front and rear. Chalk it up to inexperience!

    Now I live in Malaysia, so GT-R parts are not that easy to come by. According to my tuner, the golden age of GT-R ownership in our fair country was some 5 years or so back, when parts were readily available. The R35 GT-R had not arrived yet and vendors heavily stocked up on BNR34 parts, which mostly are plug and play for BCNR33s. So without some effort, I managed to source a pair of used Sun Line Racing Front Pillow Camber Arms. Least I think they are Sun Line Racing units... After inspecting the arms, my tuner said that they were clearly of Japanese make and hence, were worth buying. Anyway, one can't be choosy when supply is short and time is of the essence. What was important was that the arms were adjustable, the rubbers bushing looked pristine and the pair were clearly of superior make.

    Now whats so great about the Sun Line unit?

     Heres an excerpt from Nengun:
    • R33/R34 model includes four stage camber adjustment, ranging from standard to about -2 degrees
    • Camber adjustable highly accurate specific pillow ball
    The alignment guy was spot on. These are my old, non-adjustable front upper camber arms. Note the very poor state of the rubber bushing:

    Side by side comparison between the new and the old:

    The GT-R was sent back in for another round of suspension realigment after the Sun Line arms were installed. Upon taking delivery of the vehicle, I immediately noticed that the car would no longer slowly veer off to the left. Turn in and cornering had also improved - not really surprised, as the dilapidated factory ones were probably slipping, due to the very poor state of the rubber bushings. 

    So I was very happy with how things turned out. So happy in fact, that I decided to get Cusco Adjustable Rear Upper Arms and Tein Tension Rods after the Fraser's Hill drive. Will write about these two mods in my next R33 GT-R update.

    I've been officially bitten by the aftermarket suspension mod bug!