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Twin flying wedges - 1983 DR30 Skyline coupe + sedan


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After seeing the calibre of some of the cars on this forum I finally felt compelled enough to post my rides up... but regrettably, being tied up with other projects means I can't devote as much time to these cars as other folks can with theirs :( Still, I try to do what I can.

So anyway, this is my 1983 Nissan Skyline RS-X. Genuine DR30 tekamen (iron mask) coupe, has the factory non intercooled early FJ20ET with a lower compression ratio and the big housing T03 turbo. Privately imported and complied by myself in 2005 with a shade over 119,000km on the clock and in the last two years it's only been driven a further 2000km. It's all stock standard except for a couple of things detailed below.

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The aforementioned non-factory items are the springs, the exhaust and the clutch, everything else is the way it left the factory. The former make the car sit rather low (TOO low for my tastes actually) but the downside is WAY too much stiffness, so the car's handling is lethally bad on our bumpy open roads. The standard adjustable dampers still work (shocks have been shortened to fit the springs), but your kidneys literally start to fail on anything other than the default "Soft" setting. The exhaust is just a simple 2.5" JASMA approved system with a fully functioning catalytic converter and a nice rear muffler, so the fumes smell like lollies :lol: and the clutch is a brand new heavy duty item, thanks to some idiot wharfie cunts who decided to take the car for a thrash up and down the ports prior to handing it over to MAF for inspection, they ended up wrecking the original clutch and put holes in both cylinders. The shipping agent who handled all the freight forwarding also reckon the wharfies stole some bits off it as well. Fags.

Had the car dynoed to see what the stocker output was like, it managed 114kW at the rear treads running a paltry 5.5psi of boost (again, standard). Not bad at all...

Future plans... the key word here is "standard". Being a bit of a collector's item I have no plans to outrageously modify this vehicle, but there are a few things in the works:

1. Replace torn trim - the wharfies weren't the only ones to defile my car, some overzealous cabbage at MAF got too eager when steam cleaning/fumigating the interior, and ripped one of the rear trim panels to shreds as well as putting a hole in the driver's seat :x :x But thanks to a mate with the right contacts I managed to score a replacement one direct off a wrecker in Japan.

2. Driver's seat - Easily fixed. Can just swap the mint one out of my sedan into the coupe, because the sedan needs a bit of upholstery work anyway.

3. Springs - at the moment I'm way too scared to drive the car any great distance because of the springs and their shithouse handling. Too much rebound and not enough dampening means every pothole and bump sends the car heading off in a random direction each time. but once again my mate managed to track down a new set of springs in Japan with the correct rating. Tradeoff is the car will sit about 25-30mm higher but I never really wanted it stupidly sacked to begin with anyway.

4. Rims - the stock DR30 wheels are O.G. and all, but I need to rax them temporarily for my sedan. So with a bit of effort I managed to find some 15" SSR gold reverse meshies going for cheaps on Yahoo Auctions Japan (love that site) through the same friend mentioned above. They're on their way now, should be here within the next month or so and will give the car a nice clean oldschool JDM look :)

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Anyway, enough prattle, here be a couple more photos

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Interior needs a vacuum boes :(

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Of course one DR30 should in theory be enough for most people, but I tend to do things in multiples (e.g. I also own two TX3 Laser turbos)

So I imported another one. Same year, same RS-X tekamen spec, same early FJ20 engine. Like the coupe I don't really want to mess around with it tooooo much as it would probably hurt the car's value in the long run, but when I saw that it was already slightly tickled I decided I could justify modding it further...

Towards the end of 2006 I spotted this "mild boso'd" 1983 DR30 sedan on a car yard during my daily trawl of all things oldschool and JDM. Made some inquiries and found out the place mainly dealt with pre-1990 classics (link: http://www.nostalgiccar.com for anyone interested) and yes, they were quite willing to sell to the right buyer.

Bonus: all of the OEM stuff came in the boot, so I could put it back to factory if I wanted. How's that for service!

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Goodies: 1980s-era GReddy intercooler and piping, Trust adjustable pressure relief valve, oldschool HKS blow off valve, remote oil filter setup, Cusco adjustable front strut tops, and some distinctive Work Ewing III deep-dish rims (15x7.5 front, 15x8.0 rear). The huge exhaust tip gives me the shits, and I might get it changed to a smaller one, but the system itself isn't overly loud nor droney thanks to the JASMA standard. Perhaps NZ should introduce similar rules, would sure as hell cut down on the number of bumble bees teggin' it up with their fartcans (that I can hear from 5km away)

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Now for some reason people in Japan love to sack out DR30s to the point of undrivability, and this car was no exception. Thing is, unlike the coupe which had proper springs (just with hardly any rebound), the sedan had MEAN CUTTIES BOE! Only 3 coils were left on each corner, naturally the workshop had a fit when I took it in to be complied :lol: In fact the car was so stupidly low I had to pay the Japanese agent an extra 5000 yen for a flatbed/kneeling transporter to pick it up from the point of sale and take it down to the wharf.

The car upon arrival in NZ, at my friend's car yard:

and yep those are 195/60/15s on the rear 15x8s, mean stretch stz.

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jesus

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I took it for a drive on the day it arrived, and I now know why people say chopped springs are dangerous as hell. First hurdle was clearing the very slight angle on the driveway at the yard, then avoiding any and all potholes/drains/manhole covers/speed bumps. The steering was even more unpredictable than in the coupe, and the left front shock was making all sorts of horrible clunking noises. Finally got it back to the yard in one piece and booked it in for compliance that same afternoon...

Got it back a month later, fully road-legal and looking like this:

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Hilux as, lol. Cobra R30 "lowering" springs are rubbish, just so everyone knows. The super stretched 195 tyres on the rear were binned in favour of some 215s, which are still stretched but not as badly. The clunck in the left front shock hasn't gone away, so I think it may be fubar... with the car sitting tall, the Ewings no longer look good as they now stick out a full 2cm from each rear guard.

So they'll be coming off - and will be for sale soon - in favour of some RS-Watanabe F8s :D Gotta thank my mate who can get just about anything shipped off Yahoo Auctions - and he might be keen to start advertising his services for the benefit of oldschool members...

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Have to get them painted up and polished first etc, so I'll be fitting my standard DR30 rims off the coupe while that's in progress.

So... other future plans?

1. Replace optical CAS in the dizzy - a common fault on all Nissans supposedly, makes the car cut out and stall when warm and then you can't start it again for an hour. Didn't do it when I drove to Taupo at the start of the year for the A1GP (thank god) but since then the problem's progressed to the point where I can't drive anywhere without breaking down. So I'm still waiting for my regular mechanic's auto sparky friend to source a replacement.

2. Reupholster tops of rear seats - yeah, sun-baked and perished FTL. As stated earlier I'll swap the ripped driver's seat from the coupe over and get it all done in one go. I'm almost too scared of the cost though, have heard it can be uber expensive :(

3. Fix clunky left front shock and fit new springs - a new pair of fronts would be good actually, and I can still adapt my Cusco strut tops. Springs are easy, sourcing another identical set to the ones that are going on the coupe will be a piece of cake, or alternately I can get some custom-made - whichever option is ultimately cheaper I suppose.

4. Turbo/engine work - my arm has been twisted into doing this by some over-eager friends of mine who reckon FJ20 + forgies + disco potato GT28 + 18psi = HUGE POWAARRR. Unfortunately I still have two other projects to finish first, so this won't be happening for a while yet. Basically for the foreseeable future (i.e. end of this year - hopefully) I'll at least have all of the teething problems ironed out so I can use the car as it was originally intended, as a comfy weekend/evening cruiser with the capability of carrying more people than my TX3... 4 doors = practical etc.

So yeah, there you have it. Given the amount of money I've spent so far, if it wasn't for these two Skylines I'd probably be the proud owner of a nice 3-bedroom house instead... and paying off a mortgage for the next 40 years. Lesser of two evils perhaps? :twisted:

and some final photos to round off this mini essay!

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Fuckin' mean as red/black striping, makes it go faster :wink:

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  • 4 weeks later...

oh hey boes, finally an update on the wedges... Got a chance to finish work a tad early today - I've been itching to give the SSRs a good inspection and clean, so dropped by the local Repco on the way home to pick up some wheel cleaning stz. arrived home with just over an hour of daylight to spare, got straight into it.

Final step is to drop them off at Arrow tomorrow, get all the gari scars and random bends repaired/tidied up, then throw on a set of 205/60s and it'll be time to bolt them onto the coupe and fit my new mackdaddy springs. Pwn :D

also it was a good opportunity to test out the camera I bought for taking photos of random stuff and documenting projects etc. Way less hassle to lug it around and take photos on the fly, compared to my high-end digital SLR.

filth! :(

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Rear - 15x6.5"

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Front - 15x6"

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dish on rears :D

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dish on fronts

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minter, gotta <3 staggered sets

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  • 2 weeks later...

SSRs are back from Arrow Wheels with the lips all repaired, so next week is crunch time for the coupe... they'll get fitted, along with my new Japanese highering springs, wheel alignment will be done, steering box will get fixed to remove all the slop, then hopefully I should be all G for a warrant and the car will be fully road legal again.

this is the last time anyone sees the car at its present ride height :( but the springs that are in it now will HOPEFULLY continue to live on, in StageFumer's HR30 coupe :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

And heres the coupe at its new height, raised 30mm but you probably wouldn't pick it at all... looks just about perfect now. Ride quality and drivability is much improved, however still on the firm side and still a bit twitchy on crappy road surfaces (though manageable).

Took it for a couple of victory laps around Taupo track and it handled fine - just that the steering box really hampers responsiveness; feels sloppy and vague compared to all the rack-and-pinion cars I've ever owned, but there's nothing much I can do about that :?

Adjustable dampers no longer work as the OE shocks were removed and new shortened Tokicos fitted all round... small price to pay though. Definitely gonna be decking the sedan out with the same gear, which should also take care of that buggered front shock at the same time. Awesome :D

Anyone got hookups on decent quality 205/60R15 rubber? Got dicked around on tyres :( so it's still rolling on the stock DR rims as you can see.

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  • 2 months later...

Sedan all clean again.

Thanks to the SLIPWAY guys for letting me use their back yard as a photo studio :D and the use of the garage to see if I could get the dizzy off without resorting to a hoist and removing half the intake manifold (sadly, the answer was no - so I'll be getting the car towed to my mate's workshop next week)

btw, it broke down on the way home. I live 1km from the slipway house :evil:

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

New springs for the sedan have arrived hot off the plane from Japan :D

these are identical to the ones I fitted to the coupe. you can see why the shocks need to be shortened - here they are compared with the old (super hard/super low) ones I'm selling

Rear:

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Front:

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also scored this neat keyring holder for the princely sum of 800 Yen. At 1:72 it's slightly smaller than my 1:64 Kyosho model, and really nicely detailed, but pity the seller had run out of red ones :(

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next stage of fun: fit the springs/shorten shocks (or possibly replace them, as the front left is knocking), and rip the dizzy off so I can get a new optical CAS shoehorned in.

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swapped the standy rims onto the sedan, so the 15x8 Ewings have ended up on the back of the coupe instead. just a temporary solution until I can get the tyres swapped onto the 15x6.5 SSRs before trackday, but 215/60/15 might be a tad too tall for my liking...

If I wanted to keep the Ewings on, the guards need to be rolled a bit more than they already are - both sides scrape heinously, but the LH side more so than RH.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Sedan's xmas mini update...

exhibit A: new shocks and springs fitted all round. rear wheel camber amount = comical

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exhibit B: the stupid little part which has been causing me grief all year. as it turned out, Hart Auto Electrical in Papakura did have some Bosch aftermarket units to suit Nissan FJ20ET sitting on their shelf after all.

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feels liek a whole new car to drive, amazing the amount of power it now has on-tap and it's still only running ~0.4 bar. Quite tempted to hike up the boost a bit while I save up for big turbo goodness.

but now that that's out of the way it's back to finishing my TX3 track car project.

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  • 1 month later...

happy new year, etc. went for the first decent road trip since A1GP 2007 in the sedan, and it passed with flying colours.

Tauranga over New Years = so many monkeys. Avoided the mount like the plague and managed to stay out of trouble for the most part.

No the stocko wheels aren't on the rear for skids... I've sent the Ewings away for repairs. When they come back I'll stretch some 205s on :D springs have finally settled too, so it's time for a wheel alignment. Tramlines like all hell at the moment, and the rear tread is a bit sketchy.

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  • 1 month later...

Fuck I'm slack. I threw the SSRs on teh coupe before trackday last year, but I haven't even got around to taking photos of them fitted.

and it's now March, so here they are:

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look mint in teh photos, but could honestly do with a hearty sand-down and respray. Just another thing to add to the bottom of the ever growing list

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  • 5 weeks later...

rear Ewings are back from repair. will get before/after pics up soon.

cliffs: one of them was pretty well bent, the other just needed a lipping to clean up some gari scars. Now I just need to stick some good tyres on and we're away chortling.

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  • 3 months later...

Having a bit of a rough time with the skylines at the moment.

took the squid to an invitational dyno day at Torque on saturday, and it ran mega lean above 2500rpm (even on low boost) so I suspect some weird fueling issues (pump, pressure or injectors)

And then this morning I went to start the coupe so I could drive it to work (after killing the clutch on my MR2) and it seems as though the fuel pump on that car has decided to cark itself in a rather uncanny/untimely fashion. Those two cars must be soul linked, I swear.

So I now have two fuel system related issues to fix. Fun times, etc.

dyno plot of sedan, it made 127.8kW at 4000rpm on 8psi - operators backed off as soon as the AFR rose above 14:1.

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  • 1 year later...

Sooooo....

during the time I've spent in self-imposed exile both DR30s haven't seen much activity - spent most of 2009 finishing the restoration of my BFMRF Laser TX3, and am currently getting the banana road legal. once that's out of the way I can finally start on the "terror squid" build :twisted:

in the meantime, the KDR30 coupe soldiers on quietly, as grandad-spec as the day it left the factory. Things haven't exactly been smooth sailing though, keeping a car in stock condition gets difficult as bits get older and crap starts failing. I'm still plagued by the same fuel pump problem from 2008 except that it's started to get progressively worse - the car is hesitating and surging whilst driving, and is incredibly hard to start when warm. Re-soldering the contacts on the pump controller module did help, but not for very long. I guess you can't really expect 25+ year old electrics to keep going forever!

The first sign of other trouble was when the oil pressure gauge started reading ridiculously low. Compared it with a proper gauge reading and found the pressure at the engine was still OK, so all signs pointed to a sender fault. Eventually that failed altogether which in turn has now knocked out the factory cruise control. Who would have figured the two were interlinked??!! Finding a new sender in NZ has been a bit of a chore as nothing else suitable has twin outputs like the factory one does.

Then I decided one day to flush and re-fill the cooling system. Turns out running the hose through the radiator creates enough force to break the ends off both radiator temp senders :( have had to re-wire the radiator fans to run all the time as a stop-gap solution, since without the sender outputs they no longer get a signal to switch on automatically. Fun times.

And now, to add insult to injury, the car failed its first WOF ever this week, for excessive play in the front left balljoint. Have managed to buy a new one for a very reasonable price though, so that's been one bright spot in a sea of darkness :doubt:

On the flip side the incessant FJ20 chain rattle on startup has now been cured with a Mazda ratchet tensioner fix. Didn't take nearly as long and wasn't quite as fiddly as I was expecting so that was a relief.

anyway, the fuel pump was behaving well enough for me to take the car for a leisurely drive recently, so with camera in hand, I set off on a journey.

The SSR Meshies are also on the market now; am quite willing to strike a deal with OS boes if anyone is interested in them :) I'm amping to get my Watanabes fitted as soon as they're gone.

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yup, those are new plates, and if you look closely you can see the NISSAN PRINCE TOKYO dealer sticker (thanks to old man southern!)

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Meanwhile, back at the batcave...

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Garrett GT3071R twinscroll special, Bosch Motorsport fuel pump, 42mm Tial gate with 0.8bar spring, and not in the photo are four Denso 840cc injectors.

No prizes for guessing where all this junk will ultimately end up.

:twisted::twisted::twisted::shock:

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  • 4 months later...

sold the SSRs, finally.

Which meant I needed some temporary get-around wheels for the coupe. Fortunately I had the foresight to buy some standard DR30 rims a couple of months ago for next to nothing off trademe (after a fortuitous tipoff from old man southern). As disgusting as they look, I actually like 'em :lol: if I wasn't in the process of getting my Watanabes prepped 'n' painted, I would consider just leaving the car as-is and buying new tyres, the ones on there now are rubbish!

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can you guess why they're nicknamed "telephones"?

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cheers to Irving for sorting out the wheel swap :D

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  • 1 month later...

apropos of trackday in exactly ten days' time, I decided to give squid a quick shakedown to ensure things still werked. Topped up the brake fluid and checked oil/coolant etc. Went for a quick burn down the road and yup, the grin-inducing surge of power when the thing finally comes on boost is still there :D

things which require doing before then:

- Fit reconditioned alternator

- Change chain tensioner to get rid of notorious FJ20 startup rattle

- New tyres for the 15x8.0s ;)

- Bash out sump and check the oil pickup isn't too badly munted (this could be the soul-destroying moment if it turns out that it has)

I ran out of things to do, so decided I would waste some time by fitting the sweet Pioneer shelf speakers I scored off tardme the other week:

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which required about 15 minutes of pissing around in the boot removing wingnuts, re-aligning brackets and re-crimping bullet terminals etc.

Success!

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