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Messages - Ares Helix

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1
When I was a young Warthog,
(When HE was a young WartHOOOOOG)
I used to make things out of Lego. Lots of things.
Things I didn't even understand. Mainly out of spaceship Lego cos i'm a big
Sci-Fi geek. Giant space scorpion things, planetary bases, moon buggies
- i made a bunch of random crap.
When I look back on that i think that i had some amazing designs but
mechanically they didn't work well and would, in the instance of the ground
vehicles, lead to many trips to the chiropractor. I didn't understand that the
wheels were held on to the car through suspension, not just an axle. I couldn't
grasp things such as "engine bay" or interior layout. Looking back i guess they
were more drones or ai units and maybe i was ahead of my time (haha) or
more likely, i was a geeky little kid having fun with Lego.
Either way, my designs were cool (says me) but nowhere near perfect.

In the car world, engineers or designers will often come up with concept vehicles.
Flights of fancy brought to life by incredible, passionate people who often work
long hours outside of company time, on projects they WANT to see turned into
a reality. It's how some of the greats came into being; the Jaguar E-Type, Shelby
Cobra, various Ford GT's and more recently the Toyota FT1. It's even led to
Polyphony Digital's vision GT ideas in Gran Turismo games showing off some
seriously crazy ideas! This is where we get the term "Concept car" it's an idea,
a notion, an indication of not only what is possible but of things we can't even
conceive of, the cutting edge of motoring rendered into something tangible that
you can see, that you can touch, that you can experience.
In a world obsessed with SUV's and family motoring, i applaud any manufacturer
for daring to dream in this way.

The downside of this creative process is that, if the concept proof becomes a
manufacturing project at some point along the way physics will dictate the
shape will likely need changing to be more aerodynamic and potentially less
cool but it doesn't stop there.
Once physics has had its way, the accountants step in asking pesky things such
as: who will buy this? Does it really need all that? What about this stuff, could
we use this instead? It can be considered a bad thing BUT it's necessary to
make cars actually affordable in some sense. I point out the A90 Supra / BMW
Z4 fracas that's currently going on. Yes they're basically the same car but if
BMW and Toyota hadn't collaborated, we wouldn't have either of them which
to me is the bigger shame.

When the accountants got to the RB26 they really had a rough day. For all the
RB engines vaunted reliability, potential and the aftermarket support for them,
the engines have noticeable deficits when compared to other options.
I've previously mentioned the lack of variable timing that can be corrected by
aftermarket options only, there's also the oil pump's drive collar being a bit short
on first series R32's that had a nasty habit of stopping the oil pump, usually with
catastrophic results.
Less obvious is the CAS or Crank Angle Sensor which is responsible for providing
crankshaft position to the ECU to control ignition timing (making sure the spark
plugs fire when they're supposed to)
Nissan decided to base this information off a sensor mounted to the Exhaust
Camshaft which works well in theory, however as the Camshafts are run off belts
this can lead to issues.
Not only do belts stretch and deform over time but just in their operation they are
prone to movement both forward and back due to the belts being jerked suddenly
upon starting and shut down that can throw out their timing by a long way!
The long and the short - they aren't all that accurate.
Ross performance have the solution here, a new sensor setup that uses a timing
wheel installed on the crankshaft itself to more accurately control things.
It's one of those little things that improves efficiency and baseline accuracy, allowing
further improvements to be more effective.

So yeah, this is on the steadily lengthening modification list!
I can't wait to actually get things moving on these upgrades but first, a word from
our financial department!
"Oh, right, ahem, YOU BROKE"
Back to saving for me!

2
Planes, Trains & Automobiles / Re: New Car - New Life - New Challanges
« on: April 15, 2019, 06:02:40 pm »
Heh,
helps if i put the link in;
https://www.nismo.co.jp/heritage_parts/

3
Planes, Trains & Automobiles / Re: New Car - New Life - New Challanges
« on: April 10, 2019, 12:35:04 pm »
Our species, at least in more recent times, is obsessed with
the idea of time travel. It's a holy grail for science and a
cornerstone of science fiction writing.
Whether we need to know the future to predict the Weather or
the winning lottery numbers, to travelling back in time to
right wrongs, see past loved ones or MESS UP THE TIME STREAM,
as a race we're fascinated by it (causality be damned!)
What would you do given the chance?
Head back to the future to see what it's like?
Go ride a Dinosaur?
Flying deLorean?
Whilst time travel is out of reach for most of us, the team
at Nissan & more specifically, Nismo, have you covered in a
very specialized way.

Given the popularity of Nissan's RB engines - most notably the
Skyline GT-R's RB26-DETT - the aftermarket support has stayed
strong long after production of them finished in around 2002.
It's no secret that Japanese performance car enthusiasts put
the engine near the top of the food chain (if not at the top)
with Toyota's answer to it, the 2JZ-GTE, usually somewhere on
the same list!
"So if I want to time travel, i just use a Turbo straight six?"
"Well, kinda but not in the way you'd think"

If you went to a manufacturer of "things" and asked them to
make you a one off "thing" it will likely cost a lot.
If get together with a few people who also want that "thing"
and get a group buy going, it will likely cost less. Scale of
economy - the manufacturer can spread the costs of their work
across the units made, bringing the per unit cost down and
making the whole process more economical.

With this in mind, in 2017 Nissan announced the creation of the
Nismo Heritage Parts program - whereby Nissan would dust off the
original molds and get to making RB's again!
":O"
"IKR!!!"
The initial roll-out of the program just covered the original
Godzilla, the BNR32 (1989 - 1994) and in broad sweeps, covers
things like body panels, wiring looms and main engine components.
In short, they've had a look at what most people need but can't
get from aftermarket suppliers.
Following on from this, in 2018 they found some more of the old
dies and announced that they were expanding the lineup to the
R33 & 34.
Included in the list are two engine block options; Either the
standard block or the somewhat legendary N1 block (for significantly
more dinero!)
The N1, having been built specifically for race environments,
is significantly tougher than the standard block and is widely
regarded as the go to block for any really serious modification.
Surprisingly (especially to me) the pricing of these heritage parts
is in line with where other companies prices are for similar
parts. The difference? These are brand new and in terms of engines,
that's a massive bonus, as you never know the condition something
that's been sitting in the back of a storage room for years.

Whilst still too expensive for my meager earnings, it's heartening
to see large companies recognizing their own customers and a great
tip of the hat to the glories of the RB's illustrious history.

So if you're up for some time travel, check out the link below to
be transported back to the Mid-Nineties, non-translated webpage!
(yep, non-translated. Told you time travel was involved)

4
Planes, Trains & Automobiles / Re: New Car - New Life - New Challanges
« on: March 07, 2019, 09:17:43 am »
Gather 'round team, it's time for a story!
*GASP*
"A story within a story?!? How meta of you Ares!"
"Heh it's an inception kinda moment..."
Ok maybe not but pay attention, there's money to be made!

Back in the distant past of the 1990's the good people in charge of the
US of A changed some laws to help the environment - good call I say,
the environment needs some lovin'!
One of the laws they passed was to do with vehicle emissions, if you're
gonna save the environment may as well do it one exhaust at a time!
(being fair, this was many exhausts at a time) This law doesn't impact
us in lil ol NZ so i hope you'll forgive me for being a bit light on the
definitions but one part in particular would spell disaster for stateside
lovers of Datsun's. You see, in order to check the vehicle in question an
emission test device needed to be plugged in to the internal diagnostic
port, commonly called an OBD2 port. "Pretty straight forward - let's get
cracking!" i hear you shout but hold your hand-grenade there chief...

You see, by the 1990's most car manufacturers had agreed that OBD2
was THE standard to use moving forward. It would make it easier for
all automotive manufacturers and mechanics moving forward...
Nissan agreed to this as well but got there a bit late as they used their
own proprietary plug type (CONSULT) until about 2004.
This meant that, according to the new import laws in the USA and as no
adaptors were allowed to be used, Skyline GT-R's could not be emission
tested and were therefore not allowed to be imported to the states.
So those are the facts.
The supposition starts with the follow up to a small indie documentary
called The Fast And The Furious aptly titled;
2 Fast 2 Furious.
:p

Whilst later iterations of these movies have grown to an out of proportion
action movie, allbeit featuring some amazing vehicles, the first three had
a real focus on street racing and in so, brought the Skyline GT-R back into
the limelight 'states-side (if it was ever out of it).
The iconic circuit race from the beginning of the sequel featured some of
the greats from Japan; Toyota's MkIV Supra, Honda's S2000 with a supercharger
strapped to the FC20 motor, Mazda's RX7 (the same car used in the first
film if legend holds) and Nissan's R34 Gt-R (it was a GT-t with a kit, but hey,
it's a movie, hush!)
The race ending with Paul Walker sliding up to the crowd grinning like a cheshire
cat and that was that, the R34 was an instant icon.

"We know this, what about it"
Well, to explain that - have you heard about supply and demand? Countries the
world over have access to these cars, EXCEPT the USA who, let's face it, have
a fair few car collectors that have a lot of spare change.

My point?
If you have some spare money and want a good return on investment;
1: Hit up Trademe
2: buy a Skyline GT-R (preferably about six years ago)
3: ? ? ? ? ? ? (wait a few years)
4: export it to the USA
5: PROFIT!

Prices have risen in some instances by 100% some more than that!
So what are you waiting for, go go go!
Oh wait, the price rises are happening here too?
Well f**k.

5
Planes, Trains & Automobiles / Re: New Car - New Life - New Challanges
« on: February 15, 2019, 07:47:46 am »
So, should i stop posting?
Maybe I should start  blog - are those still a thing?

6
Planes, Trains & Automobiles / Re: New Car - New Life - New Challanges
« on: February 14, 2019, 11:46:00 am »
"Life is what happens when you're making other plans"
- Allen Saunders, 1957
- John Lennon, 1980 (ish)

So after a whirlwind of 2018 I find myself in a new job with a new company, working hard to
make a difference and to help out those clients who depend on me and my new company.
Whilst the road ahead will be challenging I'm pretty lucky to finally work somewhere that not
only values its customers but also its staff.

That said, as I mentioned 2018 was a hell of a busy year. Starting off with a new kitten, a second
Marriage and a visitor from the States. A few medical dramas, a few financial dramas, i turned 40
and a whole bunch of selling tools to amazing clients in Auckland as a mobile tools salesperson. I
learned a bunch from my time at that company, it wasn't all sunshine and roses but at least it's
lead me to the place where I am now.

"But what about the caaaaaarrrrrrr?"
Well, last year I think I drove the GT-R about 5 times in total.
Of those 5 times I was pulled over twice, once for a 110km offence just before Christmas (my
fault, but i was being overtaken at the time?) the other instacce I was pulled over for an expired
warrant - whilst on my way to renew it and actually making me miss the appointment. Now I'll
admit that driving a bright purple Skyline is a giant kick me sign to the boys in blue, however it
shouldn't be, as they should be fighting actual crime rather than harassing motorists.

So where does that leave things for 2019 and the GT-R?

Last year, in spite of a new job and a some great contacts in the auto industry, my finances didn't
allow for more than maintenance so I'm definitely wanting to push on with the build this year.
I'll fill you in on where to next in the next few weeks and, as I acknowledge how slack I've been, I'll
make an effort to do a few more updates.

In fact, we need to talk about a fabulous investment opportunity.
Have some capital? Want some financial gains? Just ask me how ;)

7
Planes, Trains & Automobiles / Re: New Car - New Life - New Challanges
« on: December 13, 2017, 12:41:09 pm »
Heading into another Christmas - some 3 years after the aforementioned highway 16 run,
(yeah, i got the year wrong, was 2014, the perils of writing in retrospect right?) - and once
again i find myself getting nostalgic and somewhat wistful...
Could be the fake snow...
Could be the Christmas music played everywhere...
Or maybe it's PTSD from a few too many Christmas carols as a Chorister all those years ago...
*SHUDDERS*
No matter the cause, this time of year is always one for reflection, not only for me but for many
in our (fast becoming non-secular) wee corner of the world.

The last year in particular has been a literal pain in the ass (yes, literal, no you don't want details)
and I've found very few chances to get out into the silly purple car and just drive. Fewer still to
find money for upgrades and modifications!

The new Ohlins DFV suspension has now settled and the brakes have bedded in well.
I'm contemplating slightly softer springs as the car rides a little hard at the moment, though i've
not made any further setting changes after my initial tweaks. I'm contemplating different springs
to complement the shocks if i cant get the balance between filling loosening stiffness vs sticky
date pudding softness quite right. At the moment my partner is reticent to come for drives as her
girl pillows get mighty sore mighty fast when we're out on runs!

I've started getting ready for a few things which will need to be attended to in 2018 as well.
Primarily a belt, seal and water-pump change. Once that's sorted i imagine i'll be needing new
Tyres as well - if the charity drive over the weekend was anything to go by!
The other thing on my immediate list comes from an acquaintance in Hong Kong.
A few years ago i replaced the cracked and UV damaged Multi-Function Display the 34's interior
was renown for. The new unit arrived only about two days after ordering and thanks to his
friendly instructions, took me, a muppet with tools by any standard, only about half an hour
to install and was a massive positive change to the interior.
The clever cookie he is has been working with the displays from 34's and 35's making kits to
retrofit them into older 32's and 33's, complete with custom trim to match. The thought of a
35 display in my 34 is tempting, what's of more interest is the plug in kit he does to give my
beastie a much needed reversing camera! As the rear window from factory is stupidly dark,
this little plug in unit will add a whole bunch more usability, especially for parking and reversing
at night, which is a total PITA even in well lit areas!

Once i've got those not so little bits sorted then it'll be the biggie.
As the RB26DETT is getting quite long in the tooth it's due for some freshening up. If money
were no object, a new single turbo setup would be on the cards, with the Borg Warner EFR
range leading the charge. Also on the cards would be an engine rebuild featuring HKS forged
pistons, crank, rods, cylinder sleeves and pins, all correctly balanced and blueprinted - yum!
More realistically, i'm looking at a refresh of the valve train featuring the HKS VCam system,
new valves/springs/retainers etc...
This is definitely a long term goal but is something I'm quite serious about.

The step beyond this involves lightening the bodywork - The 34r V-Spec is the second heaviest
in the entire RB powered GT-R series, outweighed only by the M-Spec (heated leather seats
anyone?) A point made clear by the fact the M & V-Spec II both featured carbon fibre bonnets
and several other clever weight reduction techniques.
Of course all of this comes with very hefty price tags - not eased by the fact Nismo have started
a heritage parts program, where they've started to manufacture new parts for older R's. Whilst
many thought this would ease the prices of parts, the opposite is true with part prices beginning
to head the way of NZ's 98 octane fuel (OUCH!)

Anyhow, i hope this post finds you all well and please, do remember to take care on the roads
over Christmas and New Year! I hope it's an epic summer for you all! XD

PS:
Just a random thought:
Do Atheists and Agnostics work through the break? :p

8
Planes, Trains & Automobiles / Re: New Car - New Life - New Challanges
« on: September 15, 2017, 02:00:25 pm »
I should update this...
;)

Wonder if anyone's still reading it...
hmmmmmm.........

9
Life in all its glory teaches us that, by and large, victory requires sacrifice.
Staying away from the lofty heights of this weeks Hollywood blockbuster or endless other pop-culture
tropes, we can see examples of this in every day life;
Yeah, i want to stay home, watching shows and playing PC games all day but if i do that i won't be able
to pay the rent/ get a new graphics card/pay off the car/ eat so i suppose i better go to work.
I suppose if Descent Freespace's mission designer taught me anything (rather than just giving me headaches)
i believe we can call this a boolean statement of types - no real point here, i just like the term boolean,
it's also fun to say - yay for algebra!

To get to a point, this is a theory you always consider with any performance modification;
This exhaust will help my car go faster but it'll be really loud...
This bigger turbo will make more power up top but i'll lose some down low response...
I really like these chrome spinners but can i be bothered cleaning them?

I finally took delivery of the long awaited brakes and got the car into a workshop on the shore to
get things on the go.
First off was the trade up from the squishy Tein Comfort Sport shocks. As previously mentioned,
i was never able to set them to a stiffness that worked for the car. When set at their hardest,
the bump steer was terrible and at their softest the car seemed to wobble around the corners,
not to mention that regardless of the setting the car would bottom out, scraping the bolts holding
the rear diffuser.
The Ohlins DFV shocks are recognised globally as top tier suspension and off the shelf they provide
a kit specifically for the 34r aptly named "Road and Track"
The shocks themselves have a unique twin valve system and are height and damper adjustable,
which the car is already complied for as you know :)

I chose to add Cusco adjustable upper camber arms front and rear as well, replacing the fixed
factory arms. This would allow for better alignments, meaning more Tyre on the road through corners
or massive negative camber should i ever go insane. Though cheaper options were available here,
nightmares abound of issues caused by cheap suspension.

Though not considered grade a product, i couldn't fault the combination of DBA rotors and Endless
pads that worked so well on Blue. If i had to knitpick they would sometimes get squeaky when
hot, not something i cared about. The setup i'd be running in the GT-r was the same paring,
though newer generations; Endless MX72 brake pads and DBA 4000 series rotors with the
factory fitted Brembo calipers. Combine these with a Cusco brake stopper, to reduce the brake
master cylinder moving under pressure, brand new steel braided Goodrich brake lines and new
Motul high performance fluid and i was expecting to see some real improvements!

Once again the car's ability to highlight the results of work done were evident when i picked
it up a few days later. For a start the car was sitting slightly higher than previously; at my
request we went with about 2 mm lower than Ohlins' recommendations.
The gearbox felt a bit tighter with the fresh oil and the re-alignment was noticeable straight
away. The first big wow moment came in applying the brake at the top of the garage's drive.
WOW.
The pedal was much more firm and even under light braking the car pulled up in a much
shorter distance. I was stoked!
The new coilovers were also on point, though they'd need some tweaking over the following
months, they were far better suited to harder driving than the Tein but as i mentioned,
there's a trade off here. Whilst amazing whilst rolling on the motorway and for giving it the
beans on a track, but down a couple of ill maintained side streets the ride could be considered
too hard.

So i made the choice to sacrifice a bit of comfort in the pursuit of better handling into and
out of corners.
And i'm damn glad i did. ;)

10
With the Winter months here it can sometimes get difficult to
remember that we live in one of the most beautiful places on
Earth.
Sure, those of us born here do tend to take it for granted and
yes, there are amazing sights to be seen all over the globe but
that shouldn't diminish lil ol NZ.
It saddens me a little to think that when people do talk about
our country's scenery they generally tend to overlook the North
Island in favour of the South when truthfully, both have their
good and bad qualities.

Heading into Christmas 2015, with a busy year behind me of selling
a house, moving house twice, changing jobs, developing a new
relationship, fighting off what escalated to be a very nasty
divorce and dealing with a company who, after taking my money
were making every excuse to not deliver the parts i'd ordered,
i was in dire need of blowing off some steam.
I got together with some friends for a bit of a shakedown cruise
and catch up meet.
I met up with Buddy, a friend of mine with a fairly worked 32,
at my place near central Auckland and we cruised out to Westgate
to "collect" another friend, Rider and his 650cc sport Bike.
From there we headed across to the North Shore to meet our friends
at the Park and Ride carpark, Silverdale.
On our way we came across a Legacy Wagon who decided to take us
on, so we each had a go, from a rolling start, lining up and
putting the boot in. Sadly for the Legacy, it wasn't even a contest
and though he kept up with us at motorway speeds, he wasn't able
to when we let rip, poor chap!

It wasn't until Silverdale, where we met up with some more of
our group, that Buddy and Rider told me about the fireball that
emerged from the exhaust when I downshifted.
"Dude, your exhaust was glowing afterwards!"
So seems the de-Cat had already paid dividends (i always wanted
a fire breathing exhaust!)
We were joined on our journey by a 350z and RX7 (series six)
both in various states of non-stock but incomplete tune.

We headed through Silverdale and up over the hill heading north
via the old coast road, eventually joining up with highway 1
at Puhoi. Our plan was a nice quiet drive up to Welsford where
we'd grab a bite and catch up.
We made good time and soon we pulled in and hunkered around a
table to shoot the breeze and chow down on some Maccas.
With food in our stomaches and fuel in the tank, we headed back
south via the almost deserted state highway 16.

Heading out from Welsford, it starts out as a section of 70km
ridgeline running before an uphill right hander launches into
about 45km of roller-coaster like highway.
Taking point, I flicked on to high boost, dropped a couple of
cogs and thundered down the road.
After a few turns and straights I lost sight of my group but I
didn't have time to think about it.
Corner, brake, turn, feed on throttle whilst straightening the
wheel, nail it, repeat.
By the time the 50km at Kaukapakapa came into view i was running
solo, so decided to pull over at the Hotel/Pub to regroup with
the team, who arrived a few minutes later.

We took a breather for a moment or three, letting brakes and
engines cool for a few minutes before we continued on our way.
We carried on South through Kaukap, continuing on to head along
Peak and the Old North Roads. After a blast through the hills
we then connected up to Riverhead Highway, where the group split
up, the RX7 and 350z both heading East to get home whilst we
headed west to link back up to the North-western motorway back
through town which we took at a leisurely pace.

The run had really given me a taste of the potential of the car,
which was still hampered somewhat by its less than ideal suspension
and brakes.

Here's a pic of us at Silverdale :)

11
Here's some Dyno charts!
:)

Additional -

Sorry, been a crazy week and wanted to put these up for you guys.
The two Dyno charts show the initial tune on the Link G4+ ECU - Will have a look
to see if we did a print of the initial run, pretty sure we did, will be in a box somewhere
:)

Page two, by comparison, is after the work done to where we're up to in the story.

The date states the 31st of July (though a little hard to read!) almost exactly a year after
the previous tune.
Whilst the step up of power wasn't huge, notice that it's all happening to a bigger scale
but more importantly, lower down the rev range - not to mention a decent chunk of bottom
end torque on low boost!

Engine wise I'm calling stage one complete - i'm almost exactly where i wanted to be HP
wise and the car's engine is running really well.

If only the damn suspension and brakes would show up...

12
Many years ago, someone from Electronic Arts went to the movies.
Maybe they were wanting a Soap Opera and didn't read the title?
Maybe they went along fully aware of 'car culture' as it's now termed?
Maybe the took the left turn at Albequerky?

For whatever reason, EA shortly released Need For Speed: Underground.
It was a colossal success and as we've seen with so many IP's,
spawned Underground 2 - to this day still considered one of the
best underground racing and street culture games of all time.

My tricked out Miata was awesome!

Since then, EA's efforts have been met with mixed success and
criticism, with the likes of NFS Shift and Pro street. With fans
of the franchise the world over crying out for a re-make of the
classic NFSU2, EA has to date, tried several times to get back
to this winning formula in all but re-skinning the original, but
has consistantly fallen short with the dismal Need For Speed (2015)
and the addictive but still lacking No Limits on iOS and Android.
Friends of mine ask - why don't you stop wasting your time with
NFS, GT (PS) and Forza (XBox) and play some real stuff like Corsa Asetti etc?
I still by and large find them fun enjoy the package of gameplay
and music offered by the more arcadey sims with less of the headaches
continually losing by 0.000002 of a second.
Really not my bag.

(Readers: For a car build thread this guy talks a lot of...)

In Forza, GT or NFS (to a lesser extent i suppose) before opening
the hood and trying to get more ponies from your straight six,
flat four, V10 or EV, i will generally up the Tyre quality and
look to the suspension for gains.
Better brakes mean braking later.
Better suspension means sharper turn ins and early apexes.
Less weight allows factory power to be brought to its full potential.

Amongst the engine side of things i had been able to squirrel
away some mods in these areas - with many more on their way.

It's an area of the vehicle that i always consider vital as far
as performance goes and it's staggering the number of vehicles
i've seen where every dollar has been spent in the pursuit of
power, with no thought to how to translate that to the road.
Adjustable Coilover suspension has become a standard on most
performance cars out there but when mated to a poor set of Tyres
the results can be, at best, lack lustre and at worst, outright
dangerous.

With all this weighing in heavily in the back of my mind, here i
was at the Temple, yet again to fix the on-going tuning issue.
Dyno runs are a mixed bag of emotions. It's cool to see what your
car can do but you need to be working with someone who knows their
stuff as a few wrong numbers in the wrong area of the fuel map and
things start going very wrong.
Thankfully the Guru produced the goods.
With the new pipes in, the Tomei fuel pressure regulator installed
and the boost leak fixed, we now had a GT-r on our hands.
We reset the system to the correct pressures (9psi low, 15psi high)
and saw a gain of a massive 24kw power and 18lbft torque gained.
The main bonus was the fact boost pressures were now holding up better
later in the rev range allowing the car more solid feel at higher
RPM.

All up it was a massive result!

Now to get on with the handling!

13
I struggle with mathematics, fractions, integers quadratics (SHUDDER)
can't stand it.
It's useful to know some of the basics though and, as much as people
will tell you it's largely a waste of time, not a day has gone by in
my career where i haven't used some form of basic maths to solve a given
problem.
Whether it's a raw calculation we consciously make: if my customer orders
72 units of something and there are 12 in a box how many boxezzzzz...
Or more obscure uses like the on the fly vector calculations we all make
when driving but aren't consciously aware we're doing so.

As far as anything performance car wise goes, maths is key to almost
every step of the way, especially when it comes to working out what's
gone wrong and where.
In my case; i'd expected a shift of about 15% up in power by selecting
high boost over low. As previously mentioned, my boost gauge had shown
far more than that, but in the back of my head i knew the gauge was
somewhat inaccurate with a tendency to show more boost than the car is
actually generating.
Regardless of this, the resulting 22 or so PSI (about a 40-50% increase)
was definitely not something i'd been expecting.

So the main fault had been found but now I needed yet another re-tune.
The Guru had a busy schedule but I managed to get a time squared away
and at least this time would be a faster turn around.

So I sat back and waited to get the re-tune squared away. Not one to spend
time idly, i formulated a plan to make the most of the dyno time. With
the lack of restrictions due to the Special Interest Vehicle permit, i
decided to open the exhaust and intake a bit.

Firtly i found a second-hand Apex'i front pipe on Trademe for a very reasonable
$250.00 which I picked up quickly from Cambridge, the owner having recently
upgraded his Turbos and to a new Trust/Greddy pipe for his R32 GT-r rebuild
project. The new Apexi pipe is a fair way larger than the stock item and as
such, allows more air flow out of the Turbo's and into the exhaust. Enlarging
it should allow more flow up top and a slight increase of initial torque,
not to mention a subtle change in exhaust note.

Second, when i swapped to the Link G4+ ECU the car was converted from the
factory twin air flow meter (AFM) system to a manifold absolute pressure
(MAP) system. In doing so it rendered the factory AFM's useless and causing
a minor blockage on the intake side of things. After some digging around,
i contacted RIPS in Rotorua and was able to get two AFM delete pipes made
and shipped up to me for another $250.00

I attempted to install the AFM delete pipes on my lonesome, corrected by
Dave, who kindly installed the new front pipe for me as well, since i don't
trust myself when it comes to mechanical work and we were working in my
garage with very limited facilities.
With the new (and used) parts installed it was time for yet another trip
to see the Guru, hopefully for the last time for this phase of my end goal.

14
Planes, Trains & Automobiles / Re: Post your rides!
« on: July 02, 2016, 07:42:06 pm »
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOICE!

15
Planes, Trains & Automobiles / Re: Post your rides!
« on: July 02, 2016, 03:17:36 pm »
NICE!!!

How many KM?

16
Sometimes life throws us curve balls.
Usually when we're at our most comfortable and complacent life/God/The Universe seems
all too ready with a snowball to our metaphorical faces.
It can come in many forms.
Your wife of many years up and leaving you for a Toilet salesman.
Getting to work on a Monday to find your operations manager has resigned.
Going to a New Year party last minute, when you're down and out, and meeting someone
amazing.
The main thing in these situations is to accept that this is your new reality.
Make the adjustments you need to, get used to the new way of being, change what you're
able to and learn accept the parts you can't.
This isn't a revelation, we've all been through this in some form or other; regardless of the
circumstances and scale of the issue, it's the surprise that has the potential to catch us off
guard.

So it was that, within a minute of leaving the Temple i was in for a game changing surprise.
I've said on multiple occasions that, so far, whilst every step of the way the car was feeling
more and more like a GT-r, there was still something missing.
Leaving the Temple we headed along the sweeping left hand corner along the edge of his
property, into a tightening right hander up to and over the crest of a small ridge, then down
the other side onto a decent little straight where I decided to flex the car's muscle.
I switched the display to boost level and front torque and flicked on to high boost at the top
of the ridge, just as we were straightening out, putting the foot down, expecting 15psi.

The engine roared and the car shot forward accellerating far faster than i'd expected as the
boost meter instantly read close to 2 bar (29psi) and ATTESA desperately shunted power
forward to keep us heading in the same direction.
I instantly backed off the gas and switched to the main display to show temperatures,
throttle usage and more importantly injector duty (in a percentage of maximum).
Thankfully everything was in the green - a welcome sight as GT-r turbos do very bad things
when overboosted.
The upgraded fuel system had also helped, ensuring that even though the car was was
overboosting in a big way, at least the injectors had been able to keep up with the fuel
demand.

I flicked over to low boost and we cruised home but even low pressure was a good five
or six psi over where it should have been.

As soon as we got in i called the Guru and booked in for a re-tune at earliest convenience
and had a wee bit of a sit-down to calm my nerves.

17
Do you participate in any kind of show or competition yourself?
Or do you find the tuning process and the road driving does enough for you?

I'm itching to get back to Pukekohe again, now the car's in a much better state - just
finding the money is difficult at the moment.
In general though I'm more than happy to go for a run on quiet evenings and early
mornings but usually on back roads.

As for shows and competitions - not really entered in anything major, though was at
big boys toys with it in 2014 (McGuiars car products) but it's not something i'd do
regularly.
The attached pic was taken just after we'd left BBT. :)

So looks like i might be attending the Greenlane Speed Show.
I'll update you guys regarding this as soon as everything's confirmed :)

18
When we were young we were often warned of peer pressure and how perilous it
can be to bow down to its influence.
Whilst it's great advice for young and more impressionable minds, it's something,
that i personally think, a lot of adults would do well to remember too.
It's a fine line to draw between tagging along to try something new and substituting
someone else's values/lifestyle for your own.
Oddly enough, i've seen this happen in some of the strongest people i've met, where
those, seemingly more inclined to follow other's leads have stood fast to what they
believe.
Regardless of any personal feeling on the subject, it can be a good thing to get out
of your comfort zone from time to time as long as we don't allow this to re-shape
our own dreams or goals and we learn from the experience...
Well, you get the idea :)

So with the parts ordered whe wait began.
The first to arrive, about six weeks later, were the new mounts for the engine and
gearbox, which were shipped straight to the Temple. With my aim to freshen things
up and improve the feel of the car overall, the new, stiffer Nismo mounts would
help keep the engine in place and translate more power (albeit not much more)
through to the drivetrain. The improved gearbox mount would also help to relieve
some of the nasty gear stick wobble.

I found some time (and money) to get the car back up to the Guru in the first few
months of 2015 and left it with him for a day to get the mounts sorted, which went
very smoothly at his end of things but did lead to a revelation.

When I picked up the car in the evening of the next day the Guru advised me that,
during their installation, he'd found an issue with the Intercooler outlet pipe.
For those not familiar with Turbo setups, they use exhaust gasses to spin one end
of an impeller. This is linked to a turbine on the intake side of the unit, via a (usually)
steel shaft. Simple principle really - exhaust gas spins one end on its way out of the
engine which in turn spins the turbine on the intake side, which forces more air into
the engine (aka BOOOOOOOOST)
Because the Turbo is being fed by HOT exhaust the charged air gets very hot as well,
which isn't good for combustion! So in between the turbo and intake manifold we
usually find an Intercooler which is designed to dissipate some of this heat.

Phew, techy talk done!

The Guru informed me that the outlet pipe from the Intercooler was mis-aligned and
had been all along! This meant that whilst on low pressure (9psi) there hadn't been
any noticeable difference, on high boost (15psi) it had been enough to cause a boost
leak.
I didn't think much of it at the time and given we were cutting into his rare and
valuable family time, we said our goodbyes and went on our way, prepared for an
uneventful drive home...

19
Do you participate in any kind of show or competition yourself?
Or do you find the tuning process and the road driving does enough for you?

I'm itching to get back to Pukekohe again, now the car's in a much better state - just
finding the money is difficult at the moment.
In general though I'm more than happy to go for a run on quiet evenings and early
mornings but usually on back roads.

As for shows and competitions - not really entered in anything major, though was at
big boys toys with it in 2014 (McGuiars car products) but it's not something i'd do
regularly.
The attached pic was taken just after we'd left BBT. :)

20
Horsepower or kilowatts?
Pounds per foot or Newton meters?
Millimeters or fractions of an inch?

In the end, how you measure things is as much a personal
preference as to how much power and torque you're making.
It's a simple way for our heads to make sense of a vehicle's
performance but comes from a purely mathematical place and,
aside from bragging rights and wow factor, bigger isn't
always better.
As I've mentioned before, when it comes to modifying cars,
my standards and reasons for doing things are quite removed
from the standard 1200hp drag strip monsters that it seems
most Skyline owners are after. After seeing the Guru's 1600hp+
monster R32 GT-R run a few events I can certainly see the
appeal but how often do I run the drag strip?
Never.
I've never been the type for it.
So what about the car?

A few months back I saw a post on social media requesting
"a 1000hp GT-R for an article and photo shoot"
On any other day I may not have given two hoots but for
whatever reason I piped up and asked why? Wouldn't people
be more interested in cars that were built for more than
simple straight line speed? I mean, there's always going
to be something faster out there (AMS Alpha anyone?)
No, for me, I'm not going to chase down that sort of a build.
First off it's expensive but more importantly i want to be
able to drive around town and on open roads without any real
difficulty. I feel too much power would hinder that.

With the engine running well (ish) I began to look at ways
to improve the already formidable handling.

First on my list were new, stiffer Nismo engine and gearbox
mounts, to reduce engine flex and replace the 15 year old,
factory mounts. The Tein comfort sport suspension was to be
replaced and i managed to get a great deal on a set of Ohlins
coilovers and some Cusco front and rear camber arms to allow
for a more full adjustment.
The other area in need of attention were the brakes, which
were in need of both new pads and discs. Having had great
success with blue's breaks, i went for a similar setup with
DBA rotors and Endless pads.
I also placed an order for a new front limited slip differential
(LSD) but the supplier really let me down here and after
waiting eleven months i cancelled the order as he wasn't able
to get the product to me.

This was to be my full upgrade handling wise but i also managed
to pick up some Goodrich braided brake lines, a Cusco master
cylinder stopper to reduce wasted hydraulic movement of the
brake cylinder in the engine bay and brand new Motul fluid.
Further unforeseen circumstances were also afoot, but hey, let's
not get ahead of ourselves now...
;)

21
Let off some steam.
At some point we've all heard someone say some variation of this.
They should go...
We need to...
This boiler should... ...or it might explode.
You get the drift, to effectively manage our lives, we need to relieve stress.
For some, this could be as simple as going for a run, having a coffee or a smoke,
playing some TDM or CTF or watching a movie.
For a fair few people across the globe, it involves getting into a car and getting their
drive on.
Whether you're popping tyres drifting, shaving .02 off a lap time, getting the volume
up into the red without noticeable distortion or simply going for a drive, the calming
clarity that comes after such is usually a massive relief.

With time running out on my residence in Manurewa, issues with flatmates, my employer
at the time and of course an ex-wife and her family making things difficult for me at every
turn, having a car that was finally fit to drive was critical to my survival and sanity.
Aside from the odd run to Tauranga or Whangarei to visit friends there were (and generally
are still) three main runs i'd find myself gravitating to.

1: Whitford / Ardmore / Maraetai

2: Kaukapakapa / Welsford / SH16

3: Waitakere Ranges / Muriwai / Piha

4: Bombay / Miranda / Kawakawa Bay

Each route holds different challenges to tackle, from the long straights out on the West
Coast to the technical, clench inducing roads around Miranda.
Regardless of the terrain, the car performed well but to be fair, i had a lot of doubts about
its abilities.
Whilst it was still a vast improvement from where i had started, something still wasn't right.
The car struggled to get to 200kph, which even in factory form shouldn't have been too
difficult to achieve. Thinking back, you could have described its performance as asthmatic.
Along with this was a cramp-inducing vibration through the gear shift, a tendency to bottom
out on dips in the road and very poor fuel economy overall.

Time to call the parts guys...

22
So coming up on a year's worth of ownership and I was slowly making my way through
some carefully selected modifications and a lot of basic tidy ups that were desperately
needed. With a few Km's under the belt and a bit more of a feel for the car I took some
time to get used to what had been done and began planning for a few more choice
selections and improvements.

So let's look at things, leaving out oil and filters:

Certified,
SIV permit,
VIN Tagged,
Registered,
INSURED!!!!

Reverted from HKS F-Con IS to factory ECU
Removed Japanese toll Credit Card reader
Removed Turbo Timer
Removed Japanese GPS
Removed single DIN A/C and Stereo
Installed S2 large A/C panel (from GT-t)
Installed double DIN DVD unit
Removed previously mounted Pioneer stereo speakers
Removed factory 6 disc cd changer (boot mounted)
Installed speakers, sub, capacitor and amp
Replace lap start/stop button

Replace g-sensor (Midori Seibi spec Digital)

Replace worn clutch & release bearing
Remove catylitic convertor

Replace fuel pump (copy/fake AEM, lesson learned)
Break HICAS :(

Fix HICAS :)

Spoon rigid collars,
Front castor bushes,
Tyres (Falken FK453)

NISMO Fuel pump

HKS EVC boost controller removed,
Link MAP sensor installed,
Re-wire and replace lap start/stop button (second one died),
Siemens "body control module" removed,
High/Low boost switch installed (9psi / 15Psi),
Link G4+ ECU fitted and dynotuned (239kw / 305kw)

With a significant amount of progress made I can say that the difference to the car was
night and day but i still had a long way to go to get the damn thing working as it should.

One thing I'll stop and fill you in on are the Spoon collars, an amazing upgrade for such a
small and simple thing.
During the production process of all mass produced cars, tolerances must be allowed for
the robots involved with vehicle assembly to be considered accurate. Where a hand built
car allows time for every bolt and screw to be precision fitted and torqued, on an assembly
line we need to allow for errors.
This means that a bolt hole will generally be much much larger than the bolt that holds things
in place, not an issue in some areas but some of these bolts include the sub frame and chassis,
potentially leading to issues with wheel alignment.

The rigid collars from Spoon fulfill two important roles then.

First they properly align the bolt in the hole, allowing for a more correctly centered fit and
second they create a smoother surface for contact, forming a crush flat surface between
the two areas being bolted together.
Phew!

With this amount of work completed it was time to do some testing - rude not to really...

23
There are times where things go right, in life, that by in large we all take for granted.
Though i try to remember to be thankful when things go well, i'm very much guilty of just
taking it as read that things are going well.
It's usually when we're in our moment of calm that life throws a spanner in the works to
keep us on our toes - to serve as a reminder not to get too comfortable.
When s**t goes sideways, we need to take a moment to process things, get to grips with
whatever has us stymied and do our best to find a solution.
This is where I get a bit stuck.
Too often i come down on myself too hard, beating myself up over my own glaring (to me)
ineptitude and incompetence, leaving me grumpy and depressed. The worst thing is when my
friends think i'm angry at them which simply isn't the case.
I try to reign some of this in but it seems ingrained in me from a young age...

So, i arrived the next day in my work car (Toyota FunCargo) once again with a very heavy heart
expecting to be in for a day of much cursing and little progress however i was to be in for a bit of
a pleasant surprise.
The Guru had narrowed down the problem to the newly fitted injectors simply not doing what
they should after the Link had been fitted but he'd never had this issue previously. The issue was
quickly identified after a few calls to Link NZ.
They suggested that the biggest difference between the 32, 33 and 34 (for tuning at least) is the
fact that the 34 uses a series of micro-controllers to individually control various components,
commonly called a CAN (Controller Area Network) bus, wheras the 32 and 33 are more traditional
in their component setups.
What this meant was that the injectors were isolated on a specific controller sub-section which
was tied into the factory installed Siemens security module. As it would turn out, the previous
intermittent starting issues, experienced with the car since its arrival in NZ were caused because
of this security unit totally disabling the injectors.

No fuel, no go. Pretty straight forward really!

With a whole bunch of stuff making much more sense, the Guru isolated the issue with the Link
and all of a sudden the car started.
After a bit more tweaking we corrected the incredibly advanced timing (geared more towards top
end RPM) removed the somewhat over-protective security module (the new alarm was taking care
of things anyhow) and re-routed the injector control.

Things proceeded quickly and after a few Dyno runs we had a fully tuned and operational BNR34.
We settled on a high/low boost option, similar to that in Blue, a simple toggle switch to change
between 9PSI low boost and 15PSI high with the redline pulled down from the factory 8,000rpm
to 7,000rpm on account of the old valve springs. The difference was night and day and we ended
up with 305kw at the engine. A few other little bits were taken care of at the same time, like
tidying up the NISMO installed lap timer button next to the gear shift but the fact the injectors
were now getting to around 50% duty on high boost was a massive improvement for reliability.

Half a day later and i finally had a GT-R that wasn't totally sluggish and problematic!
YAY!

24
It's easy to get caught up with what other people are doing, how they're doing it and why,
peer pressure and all that.
The problem being is that you loose focus. You get pulled into what the neighbors are doing
with their lawns, what your family are doing with their relationships, what the cat is doing
with the ball of yarn...
It seems that as a species, we work in a pack (or herd if you're a fan of the Ice-Age movies)
for the betterment of our'society' and for the sake of human advancement.

Of course this isn't without its pitfalls.
Whilst it's beneficial to work together for a common goal, working in close proximity with
others will generally lead to issues, tall poppy syndrome is a very real and very detrimental
thing not only in social circles but in work and home life too as is falling into the same
'groove' as people content to coast along putting in the bare minimum of efforts.
Also and more importantly, this leads us to loose sight of our own goals and ambitions,
over time substituting them for the the goals of others around us, which can lead to the
abandonment of our own dreams.

Woah, heavy stuff for a Friday morning indeed!

In car circles, keeping up with the Jones's is a terrible idea.
For a start, what works well on one vehicle is potentially terrible for another - even if
they're the same make and model, no two vehicles are the same. Even from factory,
whilst very similar, there will be subtle differences, not to mention its service history or
wear and tear. Further to this, and to the point - what one person wants out of car can
sometimes be very different to what someone else wants.

Recently I've had a few off hand comments about HP figures heading my way.
I won't go into the specifics about where the car's at (SPOILERS MUCH!) but what i can
share is that i have no interest in building my car to a billiontymillion horse power.
To me balance has always and will always be my main priority and i don't believe that's
achievable with that sort of power under the hood.
Thinking about where I drive MOST of the time, a solid responsive tune and decent money
spent on handling will win out over big numbers any day of the week - absolute power
and all that.

With a couple of basics handled, the collars fitted and new Tyres on, it was time to get to
the Guru and sure up the tune.
The weekend prior to heading up we ripped into the fuel tank and got a genuine Nismo
fuel pump in, after the success of the unit i installed in Blue, this was always going to be
my first pick (let's not mention the dodgy AEM unit, ahem) and the difference between
the two was night and day. Much, much louder than the stock, but flowing much, much
more - the injectors were now no longer starved of their go-go-juice. HUZZAH!

Whilst at the Temple, new siemens injectors were fitted, wiring was done and MAP sensor
mounted. Things were progressing well over the course of the day at the temple, even the
Guru was in a great mood!
"Wait," I hear you cry, "You said it's a cursed car!"

We got the Link G4+ into the car aaaaaaaaaaaaaand it decided to bust out it's not starting
routine.
Cue Shatner:
"KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN"

I arranged a lift home with Dave, who'd very kindly picked me up from the Temple and
arranged to head back up to collect it the next day - fingers crossed and all that.

25
Issues issues issues.
Unless you're a magazine company, people in general have issues with having issues.
Could be something easy: My toe nails are too long, i should clip them.
Could be something hard: Hmmmm, seems i should have stuck to meters for programming,
maybe the next Mars lander will do better.
Either way, we all deal with them in our own way.

Though i'm not a superstitious person, when it comes to my stupid purple car i'm slowly being
convinced that it's cursed. Fixing one issue has generally led to something else, which has led
to something else, leading eventually back to the first issue.
Circle chases, gotta love 'em!

After a largely fruitless search for assistance and a couple of Diagnostic readouts that confirmed
that there was an issue with HICAS but annoyingly didn't give any description of where the issue
was.
In desperation, I called Bob and he agreed to get the car in.
A nervous day was spent waiting and hoping but I got the call at around 4:30pm advising that
they'd fixed the issue and that i could collect the beastie.
After a quick chat to Bob and his team, they showed me the rear wheels doing their thing whilst
the car was up on a hoist and I drove away with a now working 4 wheel steering system.

One thing down, many many more to go!

The next week I had the car in to the team at Pit Stop botany to get my collars fitted and a couple
of bushes replaced. A day's worth of in and out and they were sorted as well.
Sadly though with funds being very tight and the car in desperate need of new Tyres and an
alignment the difference wasn't totally apparent afterwards but thankfully I wouldn't have to wait
long!

That Friday I had the car in to Discount Tyres, once again at Botany Downs, for the new Falkens
and an alignment. The whole process went quickly and smoothly and upon picking the car up I
was once again amazed at the difference.
I'd gone from a very benign, almost sterile driving experience - a friend of mine described it as
"dead" feeling - to a more responsive steering feel with far more feedback through the seat and
steering wheel, thanks largely to the new bushes and Spoon collars. The tyres were (and still are)
a great blend of performance and economy but they do tend to get pretty loud on coarse chip seal.

It still wasn't perfect, but it was a massive improvement!

If only there was a way to change other areas too... ;)

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