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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Driving the Legend

Edmunds Inside Line
"And in this 1971 Nissan Skyline GT-R, you can see where the story began. It might look like a boxy Japanese car from a particularly unimpressive era, but you'll notice the impressive badging and wide tires. And under the hood you'll find a souped-up engine from a pedigree racing car.

This is Skyline GT-R KPGC10, the place where the Skyline GT-R legend began."

"Under the hood, we find the Prince-engineered, iron-block 1,989cc inline-6. This S20 engine made 160 hp with its 40mm Solex carburetors, but three 40mm DCOE Webers were optional and Lucas fuel injection became standard shortly afterward. Yasuhito has installed larger 45mm DCOE45 Webers, the setup used for racing. The original red airbox has disappeared in the course of time, but everything else is original, right down to the Elephant Oil sticker. Thanks to the high-lift camshaft and advanced ignition timing, this engine makes 210 hp."

"Overall, the Skyline listens obediently to your steering commands and its handling is free of any dirty tricks. It's an honest, transparent machine. Because all the power is bundled at the top of the rpm range, it's best to apply the power pretty early in the corners and wait for the acceleration to begin.

If you approach the 1971 Nissan Skyline GT-R with an open mind, you cannot but conclude that this car deserves your full admiration. The car is not a poor mirror image of European sport sedans, but instead a cleverly developed car that will fuel your passion for the concept of a sport sedan.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nissan Skyline GT-R : California Legal R32

Nissan Skyline GT-R : California Legal R32

Top Gear , USA

Yesterday , Saturday 26th, July, I went to the taping of the pilot for Top Gear for the USA. The hosts were Adam Corolla, Tanner Foust , and Eric Stromer.

First off, I went in with pretty low expectations. I am a pretty big fan of the English show. The videography of the English show is awesome. I was pleasantly surprised at the US shots. There was a producer/director from the BBC version of Top Gear, which I think helped out hugely. It really had the right feel.

If you are a hard core Top Gear , Jeremy Clarkson or die kind of fan, I think you might not like the US version. If you come into it with an open mind, US guys doing the same kinds of things as the English guys, I think you will enjoy it. I think it might do well.

For most people, that have not seen the BBC Top Gear should really enjoy the show . It was entertaining. Adam Corolla was great. He pulled no punches on the celebrity in the reasonably priced car. Adam is a car guy, and it shows. He looked pretty comfortable out there. No photos, no cameras, no cell phones for the taping. Merritt wrote a post for Autoblog already, you might want to check that out and make some comments.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Top Gear USA

Top Gear USA Pilot

Come see your favorite radio and TV host, Adam Carolla, as he hosts the in-studio shoot of the "Top Gear" pilot for NBC! Joining him, to co-host, are champion rally and drift racer Tanner Foust and TV construction guru Eric Stromer.

"Top Gear" will feature irreverent humor and camaraderie, epic races, outrageous stunts and challenges, unique celebrity guest participation and eccentric methods of testing cars.
Coming up really soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cobb R35 GT-R vs FAS R34 GT-R at Time Attack

The Cobb Tuning R35 GT-R was out at the Redline Time Attack / Livesockets Battle today. I took a few photos of the car and talked with Trey from Cobb for a little while. They have got a bit of weight out of the car. It is down to 3570 lbs without driver on the 20 inch wheels. We guessed at the weight might be down to around 3500 even with the 19" wheels and tires. They have the Sparco seats in it, have removed the A/C. Added an additional oil cooler. They said boost for this event was just under a bar.

They were matched up with the Focus Auto Sales R34 GT-R. The FAS R34 GT-R is a pretty serious street car. 580 whp, driven by Billy Johnson, setup by Steve Mitchell from M-Workz.

I know who won, and who was fastest, and its not the same. Its for you guys to guess, or if you were there, you might know already.

Both cars had plenty of practice and time on the track. In practice they were very nearly even, both running in the 1:51 range. For the head to head battle, both cars pulled out the hardcore soft tires to run on. Cobb on Hooisers, FAS on Hancooks.

R34 GTRs Time Attack

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Bomb Squad

Is it a good thing..or a bad thing to see three of them parked in front of your terminal at the airport.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Import Tuner - Sudden Rush - R34

Import Tuner

That's not completely true; he didn't have the right car. He previously built an R34 Skyline that he competed in D1, but after consulting the Formula D rulebook, it became clear that the car couldn't be made to comply. The entire suspension had been revamped with one-off components for the Japanese series. So he procured a new machine-an '01 ER34 Nissan Skyline, and then went crazy.
I might have heard of this highly controversial car before.

NOPI Cancels Summer and Fall Events


It is with great regret that NOPI Motorsports, LLC has suspended operations for the summer and fall 2008. This will include NOPI Drag Racing Series, NOPI Drift Series and the NOPI NATIONALS Motorsports Supershow. The company is undergoing an organizational restructuring in light of severe adverse affects of a disappointing spring season. The economy and unfavorable weather resulted in underperformance of all spring events. Michael Meyers, president of NOPI Motorsports, reports that NOPI Motorsports is working with its clients and sponsors to minimize the uncertainty going forward. This is a reflection of the economic times in which we currently live. The countrywide economic and industry downturn has caused a slowdown and tightening of belts. This affects everyone and companies, at all levels, and NOPI Motorsports is no different.

We understand the position this puts everyone in and we hope you can find in your heart to work with us through this terrible time. All of you are our friends and we have felt for many years that we were all a big family.

NOPI Motorsports hates this more than anyone as the many years of hard work, tradition and an industry we helped to shape would come to this.

Please watch for future announcements.

Drag Racer contact:

Is this it ? Is it really that bad ? First they partnered up with NHRA. Now they are out. The only Import Drag Racing is Battle of the Imports. Back to where it started....

Nissan Skyline GT-R : ATTESA Code 18

Troubleshooting. ATTESA unit. Code 18. They got the code after they dropped the subframe. They might have pulled a wire a bit, or crushed something on the way back up. The codes help us to isolate the problem.

Yes, they actually mis-spelled ATTESA in the R32 manual.

When I have seen a code 18 recently - 2018, to 2019 it was not actually the pressure switch. Rather the pressure switch code was an indicator of low pressure in the nitrogen accumulator.  The accumulator helps provide system pressure.  

If the accumulator pressure is low, normally the ATTESA pump runs a little longer than normal prime on startup.   The next indicator would be a clicking sound from the ATTESA relay in the trunk. You will hear it click, click, click, click.   This is also a good indication of the Accumulator pressure being low. 

Sean Kirby over at Poor People Racing has made a special tool, to make Accumulator replacement, in car possible. 

ATTESA Accumulator at Poor People Racing

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
24 ETS control unit, ground or circuit

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bye bye GTR

GTR's at the Hotel in Beverly Hills

Four of the eight R35 GT-R's that we purchased for a customer in Dubai. 

Driving an R35 GT-R


Saturday, July 12, 2008

First "Real" Nissan GT-R on Ebay

Already $110,000 and 5 bids

Thursday, July 10, 2008

R35 GT-R following an R35 GT-R

Driving my first R35 GT-R

If you are wondering about the picture, its one of the first GT-Rs sold in the US. When the cars were released, we had a customer from Dubai, that we purchased a number of cars for.  It was fun. Great to hunt them down and buy them.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

R35 GTR looks like moving

Pink Mustang

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Formula Drift Announces New Judge

July 8, 2008

Formula DRIFT Announces New Judge;
One of the Original American Drifters, Ernie Fixmer

LONG BEACH, Calif. – July 8, 2008 – Formula DRIFT has selected Ernie Fixmer, one of the original American drifters, as their new judge for the Series. Fixmer will begin his duties at Formula DRIFT Round 4: High Stakes on July 11-12 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“Formula DRIFT would like to welcome Ernie to the judging panel and are confident with our decision,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Ernie has over 9 years experience with drifting and we look forward to his expertise in elevating the competition in our Series.”

Fixmer first grew his passion for drifting while enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Okinawa, Japan during the late 90’s. Upon his arrival back to the U.S., Fixmer picked up one of the first major sponsorships of the industry while building his own Nissan 240SX. Fixmer was one of the first Americans to gain a D1 license and continued to hold that license from 2004-2006. He also competed in the Formula DRIFT series in 2004 & 2005. In 2005, Formula DRIFT competitors awarded Fixmer with the “Hardest Working Drifter,” award for his dedication to drifting.

“I am very excited and honored to have been chosen to fulfill this responsibility as a Formula DRIFT judge, and hope that my contributions will help the development of this motorsport, not only in the United States, but internationally,” said Ernie Fixmer, Formula DRIFT judge. “I believe that my experience will help guide my input so that we, as a collective panel of judges, continue to make fair and unbiased decisions.”

Fixmer makes his debut as the new Formula DRIFT judge on July 11-12 for Round 4: High Stakes at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

For more information visit: www.formuladrift.comF Hey, I know that dude.

Mines R34 at Streets of Willow Springs

Mine's Skyline GT-R R34 Willow Springs Time Attack 1:21 is fast, however it really didn't look that quick. There were a few places he braked, where he should have been flat.

Some comparisions

1. Nissan GT-R 1:25.68 ´08 479 / 1740 Edmunds
2. Audi R8 1:26.92 ´06 420 / 1560 Edmunds
3. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X MR 1:29.02 ´08 291 / 1640 Edmunds
4. Porsche 997 Carrera 1:29.25 ´04 325 / 1395 Edmunds
5. Lotus 111 SC 1:29.49 ´08 217 / 913 Edmunds
6. Subaru Impreza WRX STI (2.5l) 1:30.05 ´07 300 / 1527 Edmunds

Monday, July 07, 2008

Multimedia message

Sunday, July 06, 2008

0-60 Magazine article on the GT-R Scandal

From 0-60 Magazine

The Summer 0-60 Magazine has an article on the GT-R Scandal that was Motorex. Written by Richard Chang the story covers pages 85-92.Richard talked to a lot of people involved with Motorex, and tries to explain what happened with Motorex and the Nissan Skyline GT-R importation to the US. Wiki Scans of the full article and text.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fueling Alternatives - Rebate Program in California

Fueling Alternatives is funded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), offered throughout the State of California and administered by the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE). A total of $1.8 million was appropriated and directed toward vehicle incentive rebates to promote the use and production of alternative fuel vehicles.

Rebates of up to $5,000 are available for consumers who purchase or lease new eligible alternative fuel vehicles between May 24, 2007 and March 31, 2009 or until funding runs out*. Applicant and vehicle eligibility requirements are specified in the CARB Alternative Fuel Vehicle Incentive Program (AFVIP) guidelines (Guidelines).

You can get $5000 off a Tesla Roadster.I still have yet to see one on the road yet. Considering I am in Southern California, and I drive quiet a bit, its a little surprising. I wonder how many of them are actually on the road?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Formula Drift Doesn't Like Skylines

Super Autobacs is fielding a Nissan Skyline in Formula Drift this year. At the first event in Long Beach, it was pointed out to the Chief Steward that the front suspension of the R34 Skyline had been modified. Originally it had a multi link front suspension, and it had been changed, with OEM parts , to a strut type front suspension.

I mistakenly thought at first that Formula D had changed their rules. I made a posting to to see if anyone had heard anything about the issues that the SA Team was having.

After I made the post, I took the time then to sit down and really look at the rules. I found a few sections interesting. Vehicles that do not meet the above eligibility criteria must petition for Approval from Formula Drift.

8.3.1 The basic OEM suspension design must remain. Any changes to design type suspension must be preaproved by Formula Drift.

8.3.3 Modified or aftermarket suspension parts are only allowed if pre-approved by Formula Drift.

Most of what I think about each section is posted on the thread.

Team SA Press Release after the jump.
The Team SA R34 has recently been deemed ineligible for the Formula DRIFT series in it's current state. The team has been accessed several fines, penalties, and faces possible removal from the series if the issues are not remedied.

The main issue stems from the vehicle's current OEM front strut suspension setup. The setup, being OEM, is in compliance with the Japanese version of the rulebook but apparently not with the English version according to the current interpretation. Despite the suspension setup remaining OEM and from the same chassis, Formula D currently has deemed it ineligible. The decision has come as quite a shock to many in the series as a decision to allow the Scion tC to compete in the series seemingly put to rest the same issue at the start of the season. The decision effectively made the chassis, not the model, the deciding factor in vehicle eligibility. (a decision we are very much in agreement with) Unfortunately, for Team SA, consistency with this ruling is not being seen, leaving many to wonder how level the playing field is when what applies to one vehicle, does not apply to another.

The other question that has been left unanswered at this point is why, if the model of the car is now the deciding factor instead of the chassis, the current OEM suspension setup on the R34 has not been allowed. Considering that it is using OEM parts and does not give the vehicle an unfair advantage, the question remains. We must also note that several other vehicles in the series have more drastic changes in suspension design. Are these suspension changes unapproved and deemed ineligible now as well? At this point, we cannot comment on the situation as we have more unanswered questions than answers.

Formula DRIFT has yet to respond to requests for a description of the appeal process to this decision, or a detailed list of previously given rule exemptions. We fear that neither exist, and the series is unprepared for this type of action. The lack of both puts several vehicles in the series in question. Formula DRIFT Chief Steward has already stated that "we have several other actions pending with other competitors," leaving us to wonder if they will be subject to the same fines and penalties.

Despite the rulebook's lack of a appeal process, or a list of previously allowed exemptions for specific vehicles, and TIME, Team SA is continuing to explore options to have this decision overturned, seeking a sense of consistency, balance and fairness to be restored to the series.