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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Lost Nissan Skylines, A $335,000 Lawsuit, An Empty Warehouse: Has A Well-Known JDM Importer Skipped Town?

We can warn people until we are blue in the face. We can tell them to watch out for Florida, and Florida based importers and cars, but again and again, the same things happen.  Jalopnik writes an article on Steve McCarty and Rivsu Imports.

The allegations against Rivsu come at a precarious time for America’s import scene. For years many of the most desirable Japanese imports were totally illegal to import, barred (with a few exceptions) by our archaic 25-Year Import Rule. It helps explain why this scene is so private, so reliant on word-of-mouth communications, so willing to give a long leash to businesses running with very little communication. The complex legalities and expensive nature of importing lended to the scene a lot of sketchy businesses, fraudsters, outright liars and fly-by-night shops.

Four years ago we warned people about their business actions. When we pointed out they didn't have a dealer license, they went dark for a few months, and came back with one. Then they went through a revolving door of suppliers of cars.  No inventory, trying to sell and store cars that were not legal for years.  They basically had no clue on how to run a car importing business, and this proves it.

Watch out for clueless importers!

Back in 2011 Steve had his illegally imported R33 seized by ICE.  At that time, he asked us for advice, which he failed to heed.  Since he had his car seized, we called him and "his boys" idiots. They didn't like that much.  Years later, Steve tried to deny ever asking for my help. Screenshots even existed in 2011, Steve.

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The next shitstorm is the Midnight Purple R34 GT-R's that are currently tied up at JK. The owners of the vehicles as far as we know, have the title documents to the cars. However money is owed to JK, and based on passed experiences with JK, they may never actually get the OBD II working on the cars.  We have a functioning system that we are currently in the final stages of testing. Our prices aren't cheap. We don't give things away. We plan on being in business a while.

Functioning OBD II on an R34 GT-R. 
As they say, those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.  Too many illegal car importers out there in Florida, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere that will get that hard life lesson soon enough.

Transfer case Internal Parts R32, R33, R34 GT-R. How the ATTESA System Works to Split Power

R32 GT-R ATTESA system Transfer case internals

Transfer Assembly 33100-23U00 (Alt 33100-05U00)
Chain- Front Drive, transfer 33152-05U00
Shaft-Drive, Center - 33120-05U25 (Alt 33120-05U00)
Hub Assy- Clutch, transfer - 31550-23U00 (Alt 31550-05U00)
Shaft-Drive, front - 33151-1P400 (Alt 33151-05U00)
Pump Assy-Oil, transfer 31340-05U02 (Alt 31340-05U01)
Plate assy-drive, transfer (7 per car) 31532-05U00
Plate- driven, transfer (12 per car) 31536-1P400 (Alt 31536-05U00)

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Nissan Skyline GT-R ATTESA All Wheel Drive System Transfercase FX35 and FX45, and RB25 Auto

The R32 and R33 Transmission and transfercase are very similar.  The R34 transfercase while looking and functioning similar is actually a little weaker than the R32/R33 transfercase.

So at one time, after looking and thinking about the GR6 in the R35, and being underneath my Infiniti FX45, I decided that putting a newer transfer case on an R32/R33/R34 might be possible.  I bought a used FX transfer case. I had R32/R33, R34, and RB25 Auto all wheel drive transfercases as we do when we work on these cars for nearly 20 years.

The reason for trying it was pretty simple. Eliminate the electrical to hydraulic to mechanical that is the ATTESA system in the R32/R33?R34.  By using the direct control of a solenoid you could speed the reaction time of the system up significantly.  However once I got the transfers apart, there were a few challenges that I didn't feel like tackling at that time.

I haven't revisited this again, but it is something I would like to revisit.   I have some ideas on how to make it work, and help modernize the ATTESA system.

More write up coming ...

Mechanical speedometer drive. You can tell this trans came from an R32 GT-R

Clutch pack assembly and chain

When I was growing transfercases in my garage. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

18 x 10.5 +22 Wheels with Staggered Tires on a Nissan Skyline GT-R

18 x 10.5 +22 front and rear. 275/35/18 front and 295/30/18 rear tire

This would be a non standard setup for a Nissan Skyline GT-R. We generally don't like to see a staggered tire setup on an all wheel drive car.  This car is running a 18x 10.5 +22 wheel front and rear. The front and rear fenders are rolled. The car runs an adjustable upper control arm in the front and in the rear.  In the rear there is a lot of room, in the front not much room to the upright. Even some telltales of it making contact. 275/35/18 in the front, and a 295/30/18 in the back. The front tires/wheels already stick out further than we would like in the front, sorry we don't do the "poke." Terrible for aerodynamics, a look for kids and their Hondas. Adults try and keep the wheel and tire within the bodylines.

The smart thing for us to do on this car is to square it up with a 265/35 or a 275/35 tire. The 15 mm in diameter difference is more than we want to see with an all wheel drive car.

Diameter inches (mm)25.58 (649.7)24.97 (634.2)-0.61 (-15.5) -2.4%
Width inches (mm)10.83 (275)11.61 (295)0.79 (20) 7.3%
Circum. inches (mm)80.36 (2041.09)78.44 (1992.4)-1.92 (-48.69) -2.4%
Sidewall Height inches (mm)3.79 (96.25)3.48 (88.5)-0.31 (-7.75) -8.1%
Revolutions per mile (km)788.47 (489.93)807.74 (501.91)19.27 (11.97) 2.4%

What wheels fit on my R32 Skyline GT-R?

Can I run different sized tires on my Nissan Skyline GT-R? 

So, can you do it?  The answer I like to give people is - NO.  The reason is because I don't want them to do something wrong, and screw up their transfer case or ATTESA system, and blame it on me.

The real answer is, if the overall heights/diameters are similar enough, you can get away with different sized front and rear wheels, tires, etc.

There are no specs in the R32 Service manual, but the R35 service manual says

Diameter difference front/rear
0-4 mm STOCK
4-8 mm OK
8mm- and greater NO GOOD

I have seen worn tires throw an ATTESA code. You could get a code running tire pressures way wacky ie 40 psi in 3 tires, and 20 psi in one.

Most often people try and do some kind of staggered setup, don't do the calculations before they purchase tires, and now end up with a 2wd Nissan Skyline GT-R.  Which may sound like fun, until you want/need the all wheel drive.   So always check the diameters, make sure before you buy anything.  The safe way is stay square. Lets you rotate the wheels and tires around the car.
Front 25.58 inches (649.7 mm tall) 10.83 inches (275 mm) wide

Rear 24.97 inches (634.2 mm) tall. 11.61 inches (295mm) wide

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18 x 10.5+22

Tire clearance to front upright. This tire shows a lot of toe wear. 

Tire clearance to front upright. 275/35/18. This tire shows a lot of toe wear

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Nissan Skyline GT-R Intercoolers

No intercooler in this Nissan
The OEM intercoolers in the R32 and R33 GT-R are the same. The mounting, the size, all the same.  The R34 is a little different as the end tanks are crimped on vs welded on the R32 and R33.

R34 GT-R Race car with stock intercooler. ARC oil cooler under the intercooler. C-West front bumper
The stock intercooler on a Nissan Skyline isn't bad as far as factory parts go. They are 3 inch inlet and outlet. The OEM core is 24 inches x 10 3/4 inches x 2 1/2 inches. They are mounted in a great spot. Try and make sure they have good ducting for air through the core. Through is the key. Air is lazy takes the path of least resistance. If air can pass over, around or under the core, it will. On the R34 race car, it ran an OEM intercooler up to and beyond 580 whp.

OEM R32/R33 intercooler with the paint stripped off.  We like them black. 
There is a sweet spot for intercooler size The larger it is, the more airflow required to fill it up before air goes into the engine. The larger it is, the more likely it blocks cooling airflow to the radiator/engine. Since the intercooler is a heat sink, it needs to have the capacity to cool the heated compressed air out of the turbocharger/turbochargers. Cooler air is better. Don't go overboard.
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May be discontinued

Thi is a ARC twin entry intercooler. These are very cool pieces
If you ever get a chance to see an ARC intercooler up close, compare it to most of the rest of the intercoolers in the world. There are some very interesting features on them. The bars are wedge shape. Both increasing their surface area, and making them slightly aerodynamic.  Then on the backside, the fins extend through the core.  They are expensive, hard to find, I have three of them for my cars.

Have several sizes and styles of intercooler. They used to make one of the largest available for GT-R at 6 inches thick.

HKS have had many bolt on intercoolers available for the GT-R

From Australia. No real experience with them. A few customers with them.

Also from Australia

Cheaper is always better! Sorry, we just don't do them. They fit like crap, the welds are crap. If you don't know any better then it might be acceptable. Once you have played with properly built parts, you won't cheap out on them.

What other intercoolers are people running on their R32,R33, or R34 GT-R

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Garage Active Carbon Fiber R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R Bodykit

Normally we aren't too into body kits. Most of the time they ruin the lines of the car. There are some that look decent, most do not. However this Garage Active widebody kit for the R32 GT-R, accentuates the factory lines.  They run a 12 inch wide wheel on their demo car up from an 8 inch wide stock, and about max of 10.5 inch wide on stock fenders.   Prices range from 1 million yen (~$9000) up to 3.5 million yen(~$35,000).

Check out the build here!
Prices and parts

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

GT-R Magazine : July 2016

This article from GT-R Magazine was from July 2016. It was shot at Toprank in Japan. Was cool to be featured.

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GT-R Magazine 1994 Nissan Skyline GT-R Vspec II

Monday, June 11, 2018

NISMO R32 GT-R ATTESA Code 8 and 9

No light on the dash for ATTESA, or the Nissan Skyline GT-R all wheel drive. However...

Always learning something new. DS asked me today about a code 8 and 9 on a NISMO R32 that he was working on.  The NISMO R32 came without ABS from the factory.  The delete always looked like an afterthought. Wires just hanging in the engine compartment.  Turns out they came from the factory with ATTESA codes. #8 and #9 which are for the ABS system.  Which if you were paying attention, know that Nissan did not install in these 560 cars.


1 Right front wheel speed sensor or circuit
2 Left front wheel speed sensor or circuit
3 Right rear wheel speed sensor or circuit
4 Left rear wheel speed sensor or circuit

5 ABS right front wheel actuator solenoid or circuit
6 ABS front front wheel actuator solenoid or circuit
7 ABS rear wheel actuator solenoid or circuit
8 ABS actuator motor, motor relay or circuit
9 ABS actuator relay or circuit

10 ETS control unit power supply or circuit
11 Fore-and-aft G sensor 1 or circuit
12 Fore-and-aft G sensor 2 or circuit
13 Fore-and-aft G sensor 1, fore-and-aft G sensor 2
14 G sensor power supply 1 or circuit
15 G sensor power supply 2 or circuit
16 Lateral G sensor or circuit

17 Air bleed connector or circuit
18 ETS pressure switch or circuit
           Troubleshooting Code 18 R32 GT-R
19 ETS motor, motor relay or circuit
20 ETS solenoid or circuit
21 Throttle sensor or circuit
22 ETS oil level switch or circuit

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Friday, June 08, 2018

Tommykaira Edition R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R Brochure

Buy a Tommykaira R32 GT-R in the US here!

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Seats : Nissan Skyline GT-R : R32 : R33 : R34

Tommykaira branded Recaro seats in an R32 GT-R
Seats. Where your ass goes.  R32, R33, and R34 GT-R all can use the same seats. That is the bolt pattern, for the four bolts that hold them in place are the same.  The seat belt clips are different.  They are non-power so pretty basic.

Skyline GT-R seats can also be used in S13, S14, or S15 with modifications to one of the seat bolts.

The OEM seats use a M10 x 1.25 bolt on 3 of the holes, and a nut on the other. It is fairly easy to strip a bolt as they generally are under tension. So if it feels like it is coming out, or going in weird, stop and check what is going on. M10x 1.25 is also an odd size bolt, and tap, or helicoil. So if you deal with these cars a bit, you should have one on hand.

Late or Vspec II black R34 GT-R seats in an R33 GT-R
Recovered factory R32 GT-R seats

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Factory R32 GT-R seat on passenger side of a GTS-t. Notice the color on the seat. This is due to sun fade. The seats should be near black. However finding non-faded seats is very, very rare. 

This is the OEM color of the R32 GT-R seats. Notice the difference to the ones above. 
OEM rear seats R32 GT-R
R33 GT-R Seats in an R32. These are 1995, or 1996. Later seats have red inserts

R33 GT-R Seats in an R32. These are 1995, or 1996. Later seats have red inserts

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