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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Does Your HICAS Light Turn On After Five Minutes of Driving?

This is a super common issue, that we see more and more the older these cars get.  The more DIY guys with not a lot of knowledge in how the systems in the cars work.  We would suspect about 95% of the time, the HICAS light is on of these two simple problems.

R32 GT-R HICAS system


Early steering wheel on the left. Late steering wheel on the right

Yes seriously, the wrong steering wheel will cause your HICAS to fault.  There are two versions of the R32 steering wheel. Putting the wrong steering wheel, putting the wrong steering wheel boss into your GT-R will make it fault. We see this quiet often. Even in cars coming from Japan.  If your car starts up, no fault. But then about 5 minutes after driving down the road, you MOST LIKELY, have the wrong steering wheel or wrong aftermarket steering wheel boss on the car.  Pull the steering wheel off, and check the position.

Early steering wheel, notice the position of the cutouts. About 1 o'clock

Late steering wheel, Cutouts around 12 o'clock
The Nissan Data Scan tool can check to make sure the steering wheel is in the proper position. If you own a GT-R you should own this tool and cable.

If the steering angle is 0, the boss is correct, and you are still getting the light, then a horrible alignment could possibly cause a light, but you should notice that. Then next...


Relocated power steering reservoir

Fluid. If the fluid in the reservoir under the hood is low, or the electrical connector to the float is damaged, then it can throw a HICAS fault light.

How to read HICAS self diagnostic codes, and put it in test mode. 

More HICAS information : GT-R USA Blog

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

R's Day Meeting at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

R's Day Meeting picture from Frank

The first R's Day meeting was held at a wet and cold Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on November 26, 2016.  We took a Bayside blue R32 GT-R to the event, along with a black R32.  In addition to our two cars, there were about 23 more cars making it a total of approximately 25 GT-R's. Mostly R32 GT-R, with one R34, several R33, one R32 4 door, and several R35 GT-R.

Putting some 101 octane VP unleaded gas in the car. 

The first session was very wet, and very slick. Many of the owners was the first time on track in a car, or first time at Laguna Seca, first time on track in a GT-R. The rivers flowing across the track made it interesting.  Any tip in of the throttle in other than a straight line resulted in big oversteer.  Several cars went around.  A few cars grazed the walls.  Luckily with all wheel drive, no one got stuck.

 Laguna Seca has some pretty shity neighbors. They complain about the track that has been there since 1957.  The neighbors moved in last year, and don't want to hear the noise. So on days like yesterday, the noise limit was 90 dB. This means that lots of cars have to come up with creative ways to stay under that limit.  If you Google Laguna Exhaust, you will see some very creative solutions.  Since the GT-R are turbocharged, they generally aren't as loud as a normally aspirated car, but they can still get loud, right Jacko, Grant, Aki, etc, etc....  We might have got spoken to as a group once about noise.

Blue R32 on track. 
R's Meeting owners. Pic by Victor

The rain died down in the middle of the day, so there was at least one somewhat dry session, with just a few small rivers running across the track.  On the dry session, we took out Takeshi's R32, and he had to keep reminding us that he had to drive it home.

Takeshi adding some air to the tires
At the end of the day, there was a raffle for lots of goodies from sponsors. Yokohama tires, Cusco umbrellas, Tomei exhaust, GT-R badges, keychains, and keys from us, and much more.

Was a great fun day at a historic track. Looking forward to seeing more GT-R's on track, not hard parked in front of the boba shop.

Buy USA Legal R32 Skylines at! for Nissan Skyline GT-R and GT-R parts.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

R's Day at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Prep : #bluecar

R's Day at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Prep

There is never enough time in the day to get everything you want done.  At least if you properly prioritize what you need to do, you can get those things done. The "must" get done. The "nice" to get done.

For R's Day, we are bringing this Bayside Blue R32 GT-R.  It has some modifications that make it pretty well suited to a track day. We have checked it over, and it will be a good candidate.

On the cooling side, the radiator is stock, but it has a Greddy/Trust oil filter relocation and oil cooler. Not a huge fan of the location, but it will work. We added some Redline Water Wetter, and burped the system. Should be GTG.

AD08R onto the 18 x 10 +20 BBS wheels. 

Tires. We are running Yokohama AD08R tires 265/35/18. These are a great street tire, and should provide good grip, and tire life. Especially since it looks like rain is in the cards for the event.

Wheels are BBS 18 x 10 +20. One of our favorite wheels, in a great GT-R fit.

Brakes. This car runs a 4 piston Brembo front caliper. The funny part is looking at it, seemed very familiar. Turns out the Stoptech ST40 is a knock off of this caliper. The same we used on the Scion tC when we raced it. So Dan at DG Spec had a ton of pads. We picked up a nearly new set of Hawk DTC60 pads.  On the rear, the car has factory R34 Brembos, and looks like it has Endless or Mu pads. Stainless lines. BM50 brake master (?)  Fluid is Castrol SRF. We have some Vspec brake deflectors, but instead of installing them, we are writing this.

Tune and engine. This car has a set of HKS turbos on it, ARC twin entry intercooler. Hard HKS inlet piping. We swapped the HKS mushroom filters for some OLD AEM dry flow filters. These are prototype one off style filters, but they fit on the ends of the Z32 MAF.  The tune on this car is really good. We have boost turned down to 1.1 bar on 91 octane. Pulls strong to 9000 rpm, probably has some cams in it.

This is an old NASCAR dry sump breather tank. They can be picked up on eBay very in-expensively. Had a -12 fitting on the bottom. The car had just the breather dumping on the ground. We tried another type of can first, but then the carbon tank seemed to just be the right one for the job.

Dry carbon catch can installed. With some more time, we would clean it up a bit. Also notice Mr. Justin Bieber protecting our battery terminals. Normally of course the only one you need to cover is the negative, but we got into an argument once with a tech guy over putting tape over the negative. Not necessary, they wanted it. Easier just to do it than argue with someone that doesn't understand electricity.

Wheel weights
Don't forget to tape the wheel weights.

Wheel weights taped

The car has a Japanese roll cage setup. Nothing I am much a fan of, but it stiffens up the chassis.

Temporary wheels when swapping to the AD08R
Suspension wise, the car is on Buddy Club coil overs, with Swift Springs. Has NISMO, and other parts in the suspension, so looks capable. Would have liked to corner balance, and string the car, but as we said in the start, only so many hours in the day.  The NISMO strut tower brace isn't installed in the pics, but it is on for the event.

Exhaust has a resonator and muffler. We bought a turndown, but it is not big enough to go around the muffler tip. Also too big to fit inside. Modifying that now.

Getrag.  This car has a 6 speed Getrag transmission, with what feels like OEM R32/R33 4.111 gears. How to install a Getrag V160 into an R32/R33 GT-R.

Finishing up prep today, with Victor from Emergency Hookers Towing picking the car up on Friday.

  Buy USA Legal R32 Nissan Skylines at! for Nissan Skyline GT-R and GT-R parts.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

RB26 : RB25 : RB20 MAF : Nissan Skyline GT-R Mass Airflow Meters : Troubleshooting and Repair

Group A R32 GT-R with OEM MAF
The stock RB26dett has a pretty unique arrangement for measuring the amount of air that comes into the engine. It has a dual MAF, or mass airflow meter. Most production cars have a single MAF, but for the RB26 Nissan decided to double up. The way they work, there is a heated element in a tube. Air passes over that heated element, and from the change in resistance, the amount of voltage varies.  Since they can put out anywhere from 0-5 volts, it is not often that you will see a "CODE" or Check Engine Light if it is faulty. Watch out for cheap knock off MAF. There are many out there on the internet. You are better fixing your OEM sensor, or buying a used OEM than a new aftermarket MAF. If you car has what seems like a 2500 rpm limiter, it might have a MAF going bad.

Code 11 - crank angle sensor signal system
Code 12 - Air flow meter signal system
Code 13 - Engine temperature signal system
Code 21 - Ignition signal system
Code 34 - Detonation sensor signal system
Code 41 - Intake temperature sensor signal system
Code 43- Throttle sensor signal system
Code 51 - No error

MAF - OEM part number:  22680-05U00 .The stock RB26 65mm(2.55 inches) MAF(Mass Air Flow) sensors are good for about 400 wheel horsepower. Above then they run out of range and max out their voltage. A popular replacement(in 2000) is the Nissan 300ZX meters. A 300ZX uses one MAF - we double up for the GT-R.They are physically larger(80 mm). More recently the R35 blade style MAF have become popular. With most stand alone engine management, cars generally go to a MAP(Manifold absolute pressure) sensor. The thing about MAP based tuning is that the density of air is dependent on temperature and pressure. Some ECU's swap over to MAP based load, but with the ITB's, it can be a difficult thing to tune for part throttle.

The thing is, the mass air flow meter are probably 25 years old, or older now. Since they are one of the main inputs into the ECU to schedule fuel and timing, what they have to say is very important.  Often we see the solder joints inside the MAF go bad. In this case, it is possible to open up the top, resolder, and you are back on the road. Check out these links below.

65 mm = 2.55 inches
70 mm = 2.75 inches
80 mm = 3.15 inches
90 mm = 3.5 inches

How to repair RB26 MAF - Skylines Australia

OEM MAF metering ranges

------ ---- OD ---- RWKW ---- RWKW ---- BHP ------ BHP
No of AFM's ---- ------- 1 -------- 2 -------- 1 -------- 2
RB26 ------ 65 ------ 149 ------ 299 ------ 271 ------ 474
RB20/25 --- 80 ------ 226 ------ 453 ------ 376 ------ 683
Z32 ------- 80 ------ 255 ------ 511 ------ 415 ------ 763
Q45 ------- 90 ------ 302 ------ 605 ------ 479 ------ 890

Upgrades or Aftermarket

OEM RB26 MAF, CAS, and Consult cable. Part of a Roadtrip Tool spares kit

OEM - Don't use non Nissan parts

300ZX - Z32 MAF, 80 mm (3.15 inches). You need a new connector, you need tuning. Not plug and play unless you have a Power FC, or NISTUNE. They will do about 400 hp each, so will meter about 800 hp of air.

R35 to RB26 MAF adaptor from

R35 - There are drop in adaptors available. Even in black so they look near stock.

NISTUNE MAF adaptors

OEM Nissan sensor
Part number 22680-7S000. This is used on most current Nissan engines. Commonly referred to as the R35 GTR sensor but they’re actually used on everything from the GTR to the VK56 powered trucks and down to the lowly Tiida 4 cylinder. Nissan simply adjust the housing diameter to give them the required airflow range for the different engine sizes. Larger engines often use twin sensors. They’re good for around the same horsepower range as the Z32 MAF in a similar diameter housing but this can be adjusted by using different diameter housings. 

  • 3″ housing 350 WHP
  • 3.5″ housing 500 WHP

PMAS “HPX” sensor
These are a custom sensor developed by Precision Mass Airflow Sensors in USA. More expensive than the Nissan sensor but good for big horsepower. New connectors are available for these and they come with a generous length of wire attached. More details below.

Much more information at NISTUNE forum. 

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

LA Auto Show 2016 - NISMO Sentra R32 GT-R
NISMO Sentra

 We started our LA Auto Show week at the NISMO Sentra Press event on Tuesday. brought out two R32 GT-R, and a Hakosuka.
2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO

BRE John Morton 510 racecar

Interior 2017 NISMO Nissan GT-R. A nice upgrade from 2016. 

Waiting for the reveal

Nissan/NISMO press details for NISMO Sentra

Available with a 6 speed manual transmission

Friday, November 18, 2016

7.87@177 mph : Street Radial, Street Car RH7 Nissan Skyline GT-R


Records falling all this week in the GT-R world. From 7.16, to 7.14 to 7.01 in the R35 World. From 7.89 to 7.87 in the R32 GT-R "street car" World.  John's R32 GT-R sports a 3.2 liter RB based engine on a billet block. Twin turbos, and a two speed Powerglide transmission. Tires are a 255/50/16 Hooiser on stock 16 inch R32 wheels.

Buy USA Legal R32 Skylines at! for Nissan Skyline GT-R and GT-R parts.

Rs Day Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca November 26,2016

Buy USA Legal R32 Skylines at! for Nissan Skyline GT-R and GT-R parts.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fast and Furious Nissan Skyline GT-R R32, R33, R34

edit - 11/14/20 - some pictures may not work. Checking permissions

Back in 1999 sometime, we get a call from our good friend Victor Reyes. This guy named Craig Lieberman was having an audition for cars. A new import scene related movie called Redline was getting ready to shoot, and some of the actors, director, producers were wanting to see some cars. The audition was going to be at Universal Studios, Victor asked what we could take. This set into motion what would be lots of great times, and fun working on these movies. I am really appreciative of my time working on and in the movies. Some people love the movies, some people hate them. Some say they ruined the scene. I take it for what it is worth. Entertainment, not a documentary. There are plenty of documentary's, and reality shows on TV, if you want that, then watch those. If you want a couple hours of movie and car action, then Fast and Furious is a fun time.

Paul Walker sitting in an R32 GT-R
Paul Walker sitting in an R32 GT-R

Fast and Furious poster
Fast and Furious

White R33 GT-R on a trailer
Audition at Universal with Big Bird post
One Lap of America
Notice any of the vehicles in here?

R33 at Universal Studios
Towing R33 to audition

R33 GT-R - Aka Big Bird

A lot of people ask, why the R33 had such a small role in the movie. Why was it a minor character car?  We had brought the R33 GT-R on a trailer. It had run in the One Lap of America, and had hurt a turbo during the trip. Borrowed a truck and trailer from Signal Auto, and set off with the R33 on a trailer, plus driving two R32 GT-R with Ken and James.

Sean Morris and Paul Walker talking
about Nissan Skyline GT-R

At some point during the audition, I ended up giving Paul a ride around the Universal lot in an R32.  If you ever heard of an R32 GT-R sideways around the clock tower, probably never happened.

A group of producers, and assistants were going around checking out the cars. When they came up to the R33, they asked what it was, and a little bit of why it was there, and how it compared to the Toyota Supra. I went into my best salesmans pitch ever.  I let them know why the Nissan Skyline was such a significant car in Japan, the long history of the car in Japan, and how it was idolized, and perhaps put on a high pedestal here in the US.  They liked the car, and they asked how many I could get.  Now you have to understand this was a unknown quantity then. MotoRex was small, and we really didn't have many cars or customers.  One other R33 that I could think of, was owned by Mike Ferrara. Since Mike and Craig ran competing drag racing series, it was unlikely to get that car.  Getting more cars to the US, in the short amount of time they wanted, was near impossible without flying them, and we were not going to foot that expense. So the one car, an R33 was loaned to the movie. Big Bird.  It is the "Streets closed pizza boy" car.
After the movie we added direct port nitrous, with the help of SoCal Speed Shop and NOS.  Eventually drag racing it in the street tire class at IDRC. It was a 10 second car in Palmdale, so it got down decently.

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