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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Getaway Movie Trailer - Watch it HERE!

Its a Mustang, and they crash it. Always fun to see how much they get right and wrong technically in this stuff. forum for discussion about importing vehicles over 25 years old to the US.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

RB26DETT Ignition System Troubleshooting

The RB26 is a coil on plug ignition system. This allows for the individual coil to send more voltage/current to a plug, with less duty cycle than the old school single coil setup. The R32 and R33 have a separate transistor/ignitor unit while the R34 has a built in transistor in the coils.  On the RB, the ignition coils and coil harness are located in the valley of the engine. Over time, the coils and the harness are slowly cooked in the harsh environment of the engine valley.  The connectors to the coils crack, and the terminals get loose.  The crimped connections inside the harness get corroded. Do Luck Direct Power Ignition Strengthening Kit. 
RB26 ignition system
RB26DETT ignition coils

Ignition system troubleshooting flowchart

Back to the ignition, coils, wires, etc. The first thing to do, if you think you have a misfire, or problem with your ignition system is to observe.

1) Does the car have a noticeable miss? Shaking a little, won't rev up correctly? An RB26 should idle pretty smoothly at 950-1050 rpm. 

2)Can you rule out anything obvious? Aka vacuum noise, vacuum lines off, intercooler hose popped off, electrical connections disconnected?

3) Remove center plate from engine - finishing plate, so you can access coils.

4) Reconnect igniter. Start engine. Disconnect one coil at a time, to isolate cylinder that is misfiring. If you notice no difference, then double check them all. There is another way to do this with Consult software, but standing in front of the engine, its normally very obvious which cylinder has little to no change when disconnected. 

5)When you locate the misfire, turn off engine. Pull that coil and plug. Double check all connections. Is the connector damaged? Any signs of overheating on the coil? Is it dirty? Do you see a large amount of carbon? Check the wiring harness. Any loose or broken connectors?

Missing part of the connector

6)Pull the coil boot off, look at the contact. There are two styles of contact, a carbon, and a spring. The carbons wear, the springs can also fall out. Make sure something is there, and doesn't look corroded, or damaged. 
Notice anything missing? High boost, and RPM misfire identified!

7)Pull the spark plug out and look at it. Does it look normal? Does it have wet fuel on it? Is it missing an electrode? 

8) Clean or replace spark plug. Recommend replace, but that isn't always practical

9) Clean and put dielectric grease on the boots

10) Fire it up, see if that fixed it.

11) If it fixed it, then you are golden. If not, then continue

12) If the car is an R32/R33 then it has coil, igniter, wiring harness, ECU, power to fire the coils. If the car is running, the power is good, so don't bother look at the main power. That narrows it down to coil, igniter, wiring harness, ECU.

13) Next thing to try, is figure out if the coil is bad. Take the coil that showed as misfiring, and move it to another cylinder. AKA #2 was bad, move it to #3, or #1. Doesn't matter where. Did the misfire follow that coil, or is it still showing same hole as bad?

14) If the misfire followed the coil, then its probably a bad coil, replace, test again.

15) If the misfire stayed in the same location, then its either wiring harness, igniter, or ECU. Could also possibly be bad plug. Swap plug, test again.

Check out the center pin on this connector. Wiring harness

16) The last two cars I had this issue with, turned out to be fixed by removing the wiring harness from the ECU in the passenger side kickpanel, and reseating the ECU connector. It was that simple. Both cars started firing on six cylinders again

17) If this doesn't fix it, the next step is isolating the wiring harness, the igniter,and the ECU to figure out which component isn't working.

Missing a contact spring from one of the coils.  Always have a look at the contacts/springs when taking the coils off an RB. 
  • Coils - Ignition
    • Coil on plug. R32/R33 are the same.
      • The front two ignition coils on each side of the V in a early 90's Infiniti Q45 are the same  
      • 22433-60U01 
    •  R34s have the igniter built in. 
      • 22448-25U00 (coil assy)
      • 22465-59S00 (boot)
    • How to clean/repair misfires. 
Setting ignition timing and checking TDC on the RB26 in the Nissan Skyline GT-R.
Buy USA legal 25 year old JDM, European, and Australian cars here. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Nissan Skyline GT-R Buyers Guide 1957-2002

KPG10(clone), R32, R33, R33 GT-R's
The Nissan Skyline GT-R is one of those iconic cars, because it was never really(other than in limited numbers) sold outside of Japan. Its something that a lot of people have seen on videos, played in video games, and seen in magazines. Now that the "modern" Nissan Skyline GT-R, the 1989 R32 turns 25 years old in 2014, we will probably see a few more of them here in the on the roads. However California still requires smog on anything newer than 1976(direct import cars 1975 or newer need FTP, 1968 to 1974 need to meet EPA requirements). I have been working on the modern cars(R32,R33,R34) since 1999, and done a few things with them. I will try and make a guide of what to look for, and some of the differences in the cars.  It might all not make much sense right now, but it will eventually. I have a Buyers Guide for the R35 GT-R that I keep updated. Its one of the most popular posts on It also actually helps me as a reference.
1957 ALSID-1 Prince Skyline

The first "Skyline" was actually a Prince Skyline the ALSID-1 that debuted in April 1957. Nissan and Prince merged in 1966, with the first Nissan Skyline GT-R debuting in 1969.

PGC10 aka Hakosuka

The Hakosuka or "Box Skyline" had the 2.0 liter, 160 horsepower DOHC, S20 engine.  The PGC10 showed up in 1969. A total of 539 cars were sold. In 1970 293 cars were sold.

Its much more likely that you will come across a "GT-R clone"


KPGC10 Clone in the US

The KPCG10 was the 2 door version of the PGC10. In 1971 the KPGC10 hit the roads with 682 sold. 1972 had a total of 515 cars sold.

Driving the Legend from Edmunds.

Paint Codes

While doing some research I came across this chart. Not sure if its complete, or even correct.

#905 - Red
#831 - White
#920 - Gold
#970 - Metallic Lavendar(?)
#913 - Metallic Brown
#700 - Silver

Some Z- Car Color codes. 
1972 Nissan Touch Up Color Codes

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gucci Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham For Sale

The Gucci Cadillac is up for sale. I actually helped drive this car from LA to Chicago. The thing rides and drives how you expect a Cadillac should.  Its unique, its different, its not for everyone.  Fuck em if they can't handle that.  He is selling it, so he has space for the NISMO #383 Show or Display R32 GT-R.

From 2008. forum for discussion about importing vehicles over 25 years old to the US.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Direct Import Vehicles : Health and Safety Codes : California

Used direct import vehicles are cars that were never originally sold in the US. They are often called "grey market" cars. To many this is sort of a dirty term, but it just has to do with specifics on importing procedures.  Every car legally imported to the US, less than 21 years old, needs to either have a certificate of conformance (Code A), or go though a procedure called "mod and test." (Code C ) on the 3520-1. Code C is for vehicles over 6 years old. 40 CFR 1509.  

Now with the 1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R reaching 25 years old (August 2014), the car will be NHTSA, or exempt from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. It is over 21 years old, and it gets to fill in Code E if in original configuration. 

However, if you are in California, you can import cars over 25 years old legally, but getting them registered with the California DMV is another issue. Once you get the car, get a VIN verification, pay the fees, and turn in the foreign title, they will place the car in "suspense". They place it in suspense so they can investigate everything related to the car. If you want to get anything more than a "Title Only", then you have to go though Health and Safety Code 44202 to get a certificate of conformance.  To get that, you need to find an emissions testing lab that has the capability to test to California standards. There are very few places that can test to California standards, even less that want to do it, and the procedure itself is expensive.   Shortly I am working with someone on some California testing with a federally imported R33, as the last time I was involved was back in 2006. I will keep everyone updated on the procedure and figure out some current costs. The costs in 2006, were around $8,000 per car for parts, and required testing.  

Direct Import Used Motor Vehicles

44200.  For purposes of this chapter, "used direct import vehicle" means any 1975 or later model-year direct import vehicle not required to be certified as a new direct import vehicle pursuant to this part.
For purposes of this section, the age of a motor vehicle shall be determined by the following, in descending order of preference:
(a) From the first calendar day of the model year as indicated in the vehicle identification number.
(b) From the last calendar day of the month the vehicle was delivered by the manufacturer as shown on the foreign title document.
(c) From January 1 of the same calendar year as the model year shown on the foreign title document.
(d) From the last calendar day of the month the foreign title document was issued.
(Amended Ch. 859, Stats. 1989. Effective January 1, 1990.)

44201.  The state board shall adopt, by regulation, a certification program for used direct import vehicles. The state board shall issue a certificate of conformance to each used direct import vehicle which meets the requirements of this program.
(Amended Ch. 859, Stats. 1989. Effective January 1, 1990.)

44202.  A used direct import vehicle which was not registered in this state prior to the adoption of regulations adopted pursuant to Section 44201, may not be registered in this state unless it has received a certificate of conformance from the state board, except as provided in Section 44210.

(Amended Ch. 859, Stats. 1989. Effective January 1, 1990.)

44210.  The requirements of Section 44202 do not apply to any motor vehicle having a certificate of conformity issued by the federal Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Section 7401, et seq.) and originally registered in another state by a person who was a resident of that state for at least one year prior to the original registration, who subsequently establishes residence in this state and who, upon registration of the vehicle in California, provides evidence satisfactory to the Department of Motor Vehicles of that previous residence and registration. forum for discussion about importing vehicles over 25 years old to the US.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach September 28 from 9 am to 3 pm

The JCCS is coming up 28th of September at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The ShoworDisplay Nismo R32 GT-R will be at the show, and we will be there answering any questions you have about importing vehicles that are over 25 years old, Show or Display, and any other importing or exporting questions you have. 

The show takes place next to the Queen Mary, opposite this spot

9th Annual Japanese Classic Car Show
Date: Sep.28th, Saturday 2013
Time:9 to 3pm
Event Address: Queen Mary Events Park (Harry Bridges Memorial Park)
1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802
The 9th Annual Japanese Classic Car Show will be held 9am-3pm on Saturday, September 28, 2013, along side the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.
In Japan, the number nine is pronounced "Ku"; the number is linked to hardships, or "kurou". The truth is, JCCS could not exist without tales of hardship. Anyone who has worked to put an old car together will know it's not easy. Finding cars. Finding parts. Making those parts fit. Getting everything running, on budget and on time. Even making it to the event--people come from far and wide, traveling hundreds of miles (and even across an ocean) to share in the annual kyu-sha celebration that is JCCS. Sacrifices must be made, always. Yet at the same time, the tougher the struggle, the sweeter the celebration. Our goal is to make the 9th JCCS the sweetest event yet for all who attend.
Also, the number 9 has a degree of finality to it--it means "the last." But it does not mean the end ... the number 9 is seen as the final stage to achieve before moving on to the next step, the next level. (Witness the Datsun Maxima, known as the Bluebird 910 ... it was the Bluebird generation used as a stepping stone to the ultra-luxury Maxima--a name and a concept of sporting luxury that continues even today. Or the Honda Coupe 9, which never made it Stateside but was a final evolution of its automotive vision at home, before Honda decided to export cars to America.) Next year will be JCCS' 10th anniversary--a milestone--but this year we're going to party like it's JCCS Number Nine. We remain grateful for the opportunity to show the world that Japanese cars and classic cars need not be mutually exclusive; with dedication and perseverance, the idea has taken hold.
We are very happy to welcome our newest auto manufacturer sponsor, American Honda. This is significant for several reasons. First, the popularity of Honda cars has been increasing rapidly in the last couple of years at JCCS. More owners are bringing out their restored or original Honda cars for the crowd to enjoy, and with Honda's participation, we can only expect this enthusiasm to increase. Second, and just as importantly, Honda is the only company that manufactures and imports both cars and motorcycles; indeed, Honda started as a bike company, and moved into cars in the early 1960s. The first Honda cars officially came to the US in 1970. Though they are relative newcomers compared to some other manufacturers, their cars quickly became the vehicles of a generation, leaving a deep and lasting impact on their owners--and the young passengers in back, many of whom have warm memories. We look forward to collaborating with American Honda, in order to show their rich and continuing history in the American market, on both two wheels and four. They join Toyota's and Mazda's continuing manufacturer-level support of JCCS.
Everyone here at JCCS looks forward to seeing you at the Queen Merry.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

NASA Auto Club Speedway 8-3-13

NASA Auto Club Speedway 8-3-13

Lotus at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA
Headed out to NASA at Auto Club Speedway with Dave and Dan from DG-Spec early on Saturday morning.  Along with HPDE, there were several time trial and race classes that I grabbed photos of. Check out the pictures. A few videos coming soon.

 View this entire album: NASA SoCal Auto Club Speedway 8-3-2013 forum for discussion about importing vehicles over 25 years old to the US.