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!

1 comment:

King_Rat said...

Hi Loki, Oh, I do like your blog! It's so good to read your comment about the age of the car and difficulty in getting parts. I will take a stroll though your postings and see what I have been missing! I thought I was one of the last nuts left!