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Monday, April 28, 2014

Team America R32 GT-R


ARK Designs just posted a picture update of the Team America R32 GT-R. They say it will be back in action again soon. Looking forward to seeing it go. New engine, new suspension, new, lotsa things.



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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Is It Legal to Drive A Right Hand Drive Car in the USA?

Right hand drive NISMO R32 GT-R

Is it legal to drive a right hand drive car(RHD) in America?

 Yes

11. Importing a right-hand drive vehicle.

In order to be lawfully manufactured or imported for sale in the U.S., a motor vehicle must comply with all applicable FMVSS issued by NHTSA. It is possible for a right-hand drive (RHD) vehicle to be manufactured in compliance with the FMVSS.

There is nothing specifically in the FMVSS(Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) that talks about the position of the driver, they just say that there must be standardized controls and displays.  This is another one of those things I see repeated by people with no real knowledge of the US rules and regulations.

People get the import laws, title, registration, individual state regulations mixed up. It all is confusing.

 Some examples of vehicles manufactured in compliance with FMVSS are right hand drive garbage trucks, and mail cars.Vehicles over 25 years old are NHTSA exempt from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.



Cars sold in the US are left hand drive because that is the way it has been done since Ford in 1908.

"Early American motor vehicles, however, were right-hand drive, following the practice established by horse-drawn buggies. This changed in the early years of the 20th century: Ford changed to LHD production in 1908 with the Model T"

About 2/3's of the World uses left hand drive cars, and drives on the right.  "Today about 66.1% of the world's people live in right-hand traffic countries and 33.9% in left-hand traffic countries. About 72% of the world's total road distance carries traffic on the right, and 28% on the left." -Wikipedia

The NHTSA Import Eligibilty List, showing the stance on right hand drive cars.

11. Importing a right-hand drive vehicle.

In order to be lawfully manufactured or imported for sale in the U.S., a motor vehicle must comply with all applicable FMVSS issued by NHTSA. It is possible for a right-hand drive (RHD) vehicle to be manufactured in compliance with the FMVSS.

A motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable FMVSS, and/or was not so certified by its original manufacturer, in the form of a label permanently affixed to the vehicle, cannot be lawfully imported into the U.S. unless it is determined eligible for importation by NHTSA. The agency makes these decisions on the basis of a petition from an RI. These are business entities that are specifically approved by NHTSA to import nonconforming vehicles and to perform the necessary modifications on those vehicles so that they conform to all applicable FMVSS. The petitions must specify that the vehicle is substantially similar to a vehicle that was certified by its original manufacturer as conforming to all applicable FMVSS and is capable of being readily altered to conform to those standards, or, if there is no substantially similar U.S.-certified vehicle, that the vehicle has safety features that comply with, or are capable of being altered to comply with, the FMVSS based on destructive test information or other evidence the agency deems adequate.

As previously indicated, an import eligibility decision can be based on the substantial similarity of a non-U.S. certified vehicle to a vehicle manufactured for importation and sale in the United States, and so certified by its original manufacturer. If the vehicle you are seeking to import is a RHD, even if there were a U.S.-certified left-hand version of that vehicle, it might not be considered "substantially similar" for import eligibility purposes. Our experience has shown that the safety performance of RHD vehicles is not necessarily the same as that of apparently similar left-hand drive vehicles offered for sale in this country. However, NHTSA will consider the vehicles "substantially similar" if the manufacturer advises the agency in writing, on the manufacturer’s letterhead (and not that of an authorized dealership or other such entity affiliated with the manufacturer) that the RHD vehicle would perform the same as the U.S.-certified left-hand drive vehicle in crash tests. Absent such evidence, the petitioning RI would have to demonstrate that the vehicle, when modified, would comply. In this case, you might want to contact one or more of the RIs listed on our website to obtain their opinion on the feasibility of conforming the RHD vehicle to the FMVSS, and the costs involved in conforming the vehicle and petitioning NHTSA for a determination as to whether the vehicle is eligible for importation.




We have never seen anything in writing specifically regarding right hand drive in an individual states rules. If anyone knows of any, please put a link in the comments.


7.48 @189 mph. RIPS R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R Gets Into the 40's


The quickest and fastest Nissan Skyline GT-R in the world has been the Heat Treatments R32 GT-R.  March of 2013, Heat Treatments and Reece McGregor went 7.41@193 mph.   Since 2007, when Heat Treatments beat the HKS R33 GT-R, it has been the top dog.  The HKS car held the top spot for nearly 5 years, but Heat Treatments brought the title to New Zealand.

The HKS R33 Drag GT-R has long been one of the most recognized symbols of the HKS global brand, and held the title to world's fastest AWD Drag car for almost five years with its remarkable 7.671 second
pass at Japan's Sendai circuit in October 2001. 
Now RIPS Racing, from New Zealand, is nibbling at the heels of the Heat Treatments car.  Yesterday, they went 7.48@189 mph in their RB30 powered, powerglide equipped R32. Check out some of the videos, several views below.

7.48 @ 189mph. Man I can't wait to get some decent sized tyres on this thing so we can hit it harder off the line

Finally into the 7.4s. Done on 26 x 10in tyres, E85 fuel at 1300kg with a pretty gentle 60ft of 1.23. Can't wait to see what we can do with 28in tyres, methanol, a decent turbo and some weight out of the car. Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us this season, we've had a blast!!!
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The Heat Treatments car hasn't been real active, as they were only pushing their own record down. Now they have  another New Zealand car close to their record. RIPS sounds like they might want to push the car into the 6 second range all wheel drive. 7.48 isn't bad on the tracks in New Zealand. The prep is not as good as the prep in some other countries. So if this car travels, even in the current setup, who knows how fast it might go. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Nissan GTR R32 1990 ATCC Preview : Group A


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The Nissan Skyline GT-R's that Gibson Racing ran in the Australian Touring Car Championship, were not exactly Group A cars, but they were based off the Group A cars or NISMO R32.

Check out this video preview of the 1990 season.


Interviews with Fred Gibson, Jim Richards & Mark Skaife about the Nissan Skyline GTR R32


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Worlds Quickest Nissan GT-R : Slow Motion Video


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This video gives you a great view of how much tire wrap there is on a 7 second pass from the Heat Treatments R32 GT-R.




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

XJ220 Powered Ford Transit Van



Vehicle development in secret is a real thing. Manufacturers don't want to tip their cards too early on some vehicles. In this case the Jaguar XJ220 engine and driveline was installed in this lowly Ford Transit van, complete with rack and ladders. Originally the XJ220 was to be all wheel drive and a V12, but the actual car was rear wheel drive and a V6 twin turbo. Read some more about the controversy at Show or Display.  The 1992-1994 Jaguar XJ220 was approved for Show or Display, and we have seen several at the emissions testing labs. They say the van will do 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds, which would make it into a pretty fun van. It really looks the part. If you didn't notice the wheels, no way to tell what lives inside. 



The Transit was transformed by Jaguar into a secret test vehicle for the XJ220’s engine and running gear early on in the development of the XJ220. The van even had a ladder and roof rack fitted as part of its disguise. Unless you noticed the big ZR high speed tyres and XJ220 alloys, there are few clues to the 542bhp engine lurking underneath.


Source: http://www.greatbritishsportscars.net/xj220-transit-van/

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

GTR RB26 Misfire Under Boost and Coil Pack Fix



Clint found this great video showing how one guy tested and repaired a misfire he was having with his R33 GT-R.  Most of the time when I have seen misfire issues, simple fixes can make it all work. Along with the boot leakage as shown in this video, the coil harness itself, living in the RB26 engine valley gets crispy, and will occasionally come apart in your hands.  Also the right spark plugs, can make it easier for the arc to jump in the combustion chamber. I like the fine wire iridium plugs, they are expensive but when you have a misfire you lose between 50 to 100+ horsepower.

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Watch the video, try it out on your car. A clean car is a happy car.

RB26DETT Spark Plug Recommendations
DoLuck Coil Harness (provides direct battery power to coils)

Coils are visible with left side valve cover removed to fix a small oil leak. 

I like using a t handle to remove and install spark plugs. 

This coil showed signs of water leaking down inside the valley. This was cleaned up

This spark plug showed signs of water accumulating around the spark plug. 



Double fine wire iridium plug
* R7238-7, 8,9,10.
o Replaced by R7436-7,8,9,10
+ Hand made fine wire racing plug
+ 14mm, 3/4 reach, 5/8 hex, JIS length , fine wire iridium center electrode
R7436-10 part number 4900 $ 38.81 each JIS - I like
R7116-10 part number 3179 $22.34 each ISO - I have used
R7119-10 $33.12 each ISO - Not used - should work
BKR8EIX $7.60 each ISO - Not used - should work
IFR8H-11 $11.71 each ISO - Not used - should work
NGK Racing plug 4898 R7436-8 $41.52
NGK Racing plug 4899 R7436-9 $41.52
NGK Racing plug 4900 R7436-10 $41.52

Stock Spark Plug for an RB26DETT

NGK PFR6A-11
* P = Premium platinum
* F = 14, 19mm(3/4") reach, 16mm (5/8") hex
* R = Resistor
* 6 = Heat range 6
* A = Firing end construction
* -11 = 1.1mm gap (0.044")
Heat range for NGK plugs 2 HOT - 11 Cold

A good stock replacement spark plug for an RB26 is a BCPR7EIX. Its an NGK Iridium plug. Heat range is 7 which is one heat range cooler than stock. Its readily available in the US. I would use them up to about 500 horsepower on an RB26. Above that I would look at an 8 for a street car, cooler if its a track car.  I have had good luck with NGK plugs, I insist on them, on the race cars I work on. One less thing I ever have to worry about.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

1971 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R - Hakosuka First Drive



This 1971 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R KPGC-10, or Hakosuka is one of about 500 left in the world. This car and owner have a unique story. The old owner sold it to the current owner for about 1/2 its value, but the new owner had to maintain his garden, something he has been doing the last 25 years.

First launched in 1969, the "Hakosuka" GT-R ("hako" meaning boxy, "suka" coming from the Japanese pronunciation of Skyline) was a rare sight. Nissan only built 1945 of them. And today, estimates put the number of original GT-Rs remaining on Japan's streets at about 500.

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/1404_1971_nissan_skyline_2000_gt_r_first_drive/#ixzz2zMpLCWLn


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The real GT-R is distinguishable from its "run of the mill" Hakosuka 2000GT brothers by the S20 engine. Dual over head cams, with a huge flat valve cover.

S20 engine. 

Before taking the car for a spin, we asked him to open the hood. Perched in his engine bay was one of Nissan's prettiest-ever powerplants, the so-called S20. With its polished triple Weber carburetors and six shiny pipes, not to mention that bright red rocker cover sporting a Nissan 2000 insignia, the car's pedigree is evident. Essentially the same specification as that of the 1966 Nissan/Prince R380 race car, this 2.0-litre straight-six develops 160 hp at 7000 rpm and 130 lb-ft of torque at 5600 rpm.

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/1404_1971_nissan_skyline_2000_gt_r_first_drive/#ixzz2zMpTKpdP


These Hakosuka's are the cars that eventually paved the way for the R32,R33,R34,and R35 GT-R.  A 1971 Hakosuka would be legal to import to the US, and even register in California. Over 25 years old for the NHTSA, over 21 for the EPA, and older than 1975 for California. More information -

And what about the car itself? As you might expect, given its racing history and rarity, this GT-R is not cheap. He says it's currently worth around $100,000, but the potential sales price means nothing to him. "I wouldn't sell for double that amount," he said. "Because you just can't find impeccably maintained GT-Rs anymore." And no 43-year-old car handles or sounds like this anyway."

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/1404_1971_nissan_skyline_2000_gt_r_first_drive/#ixzz2zMpeI0g7
 

El Toro R32 GT-R : Austria's Fastest and Quickest


Super Street Magazine covered the El Toro R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R this month.  With only 6 cars in Austria, it is definitely not Australia. There are quiet a few more GT-R's in Australia than Austria.

It's true that only six Nissan Skyline call the country of Austria home—only two of which are R32—but no other Western European tuning house knows the iconic platform better than them. "The whole weekend we spent together sharing thoughts on the car," Keresztesi says of that first meeting. "I realized these were the guys to bring my R32 to."

Read more: http://www.superstreetonline.com/features/1405_nissan_r32_skyline_gtr/#ixzz2zLohhCoG

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With a 3.2 liter RB30, this car makes a ton of horsepower- over 1250 horsepower, which should make it scoot.  Anything over 1000 horsepower, no matter how they make it sound in the article, is a very big deal. You have to make sure everything works correctly, or you end up with a very expensive pile of parts. All it takes is one failure in the chain, and you have a bad day. Such are mechanical devices.

Even more cubic inches were wrung out of the 3.0L engine with the help of a Nitto 3.2L stroker assembly. Boost is made possible with a single, albeit large, Garrett GTX42 turbo that helps generate more than 1,050 lb-ft of torque without nitrous oxide. None of that means that Keresztesi has any reservations against chemical horsepower, though; a 150hp-shot of nitrous remains on tap in the event 1,400hp is ever needed.

Read more: http://www.superstreetonline.com/features/1405_nissan_r32_skyline_gtr/#ixzz2zLpNSpKz

Check out the full article and pictures over at Super Street.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Long Beach Grand Prix 2014

A few pictures from Long Beach Grand Prix.

Thunder on Pine. Wednesday

Naples Island in Long Beach

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Mazda diesel LMP2 car

Hot Rod in the C300 Paddock






Looks like Hawk Racing gave up on the Nissan GT-R


Thursday, April 03, 2014

How To Title and Register a 1989 Nissan Skyline In the USA : 25 Year Old Car Importation


Its April 2014, well past April Fools Day, so don't be a fool when it comes to your Nissan Skyline. If you are looking to either import, or buy a Nissan Skyline there are a few things you should know about the title and registration process. In the United States vehicles over twenty five years old are Department of Transportation (DOT) exempt from meeting Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards(FMVSS). At over twenty one years old cars are Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)exempt in original configuration.  If the car is newer than 25 years old, it still might be possible to import it under the Show or Display exemption, but check out that page for more information.To meet California direct import requirements, the car must be older than 1975. To have a newer car meet California DMV requirements, it is very expensive, and sometimes near impossible to comply.



The first things are always to look for documentation on the vehicle. Without documentation, you don't want the car. It is the sellers responsibility to have documents. If they don't have them, the best thing is to pass, and find the next seller that has all the required documents. If you buy a car without proper documentation, you may not be able to title and register it in your state. If someone is selling you a car, you also want to see if they are legally allowed to sell cars. There are importers out there, selling cars, that aren't legal car dealers. Florida has the most shady importers of all. If a car has a Florida title, you should about run away from it. It was probably done wrong. Probably illegally imported, and subject to seizure. No one wants to lose their car, so know what to look for.

If you need help legally importing cars then check out - Importavehicle.com or on Facebook - Facebook.com/importavehicle




Every state has its own requirements to register a vehicle. Normal requirements for title/registration are:

  • Dereg/Export Certificate
    • Translated copy
  • HS7 (NHTSA entry document)
    • Now days, with paperless entries, you might find that this document is not stamped by US customs
  • 3520-1 (EPA entry document)
    • Now days, with paperless entries, you might find that this document is not stamped by US customs
  • 7501 (Customs Entry Summary)
    • Shows tariff paid
    • More than one vehicle can be listed on one document
  • 3461 (Entry/Immediate Delivery)
    • More than one vehicle can be listed on one document

  • Bill of sale/invoice
  • Application
  • Some states require an inspection/VIN verification

The best thing to do, if you are trying to register a foreign titled/25 year old car is to use a Department of Motor Vehicles service similar to AAA. A service wants to help you get your car registered and titled. The state run DMV's, often do not know how to handle US Customs, and Foreign titling documents. If you are at the DMV take notes on exactly what they want. Get their name. Get their supervisors name. There are times they ask for documents that customs has, or takes. Occasionally they ask for things that can't be produced. Normally with the specific requirements, and the regulations, the error of what they are asking for can be corrected.

California can figure out how to use the chassis number, so can your state

A 25 year old Japanese car doesn't have a 17 digit VIN/Chassis number.  This short VIN, can give some DMV's troubles as they don't know how to handle it. Vehicles over 25 years old are not required to meet FMVSS standards, so they aren't required to have a 17 digit VIN. Some states may have some specific title requirements, but please read this newsletter from the NHTSA before they "assign" a VIN to your vehicle.

NHTSA Newsletter - Can my vehicle have two VIN numbers. 

Even Ebay has problems with vehicles 1981 or newer and short VIN/Chassis numbers.

More resources:







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