It’s now June 2017 and winter is well and truly here, two very important events have coincided this past month that have given me the best opportunity to really put 100% into this project.
The first is a financial boost with the approval of an exciting new marketing contract which you will hear about in the very near future.
The financial pressures on the completion of this project weren’t huge, I had most of the big ticket items checked off but I knew if I was to head flat out to the finish line I must be prepared with enough components so that I wouldn’t be held up and waiting.
With the approval of the marketing partnership I immediately hit the shops so to speak, as depicted in the last post I picked up an FRP Nissan Factory Aero option front bumper, 4.9 diff gears, canards, splitter and a host of smaller wiring related objects that I needed.
With the shopping done the parts started arriving, over the space of a few weeks my shopping list was almost completed, I use eBay a lot….. why? Because I can add a whole heap of items to my cart, chop and change, think about it, analyse if it will be the right fit, the right part, the right product from the right seller and then pull the trigger on everything at once as soon as I am convinced I need it.
In my preparation I wanted to completely remake my electrical system from scratch. I contacted Link ECU and they supplied me with their updated FURY ECU, I looked into a heap of other ECUs but the success I had with the Hilux made going with Link ECU an easy decision.
Being a very visual person I struggle with electronics, it’s been a demon I have needed to face for a long time now. I decided to educate myself and work through this car as a learning tool to develop a skill I have been missing for a very long time.
I sat down and started understanding what I really needed, I decided against running a PDM (solid state power distribution module) and started with the basics. Long story short I drew my wiring diagram and then refined it over the space three weeks. It took longer than the job itself but the job itself would have been impossible without it. Preparation is the key to wiring.
My preparation extended to the choice of materials and components for the electrical build, the backbone of it all is the Deutsch connector kit, the compactness and ease of crimping (with their crimp tool) made it an easy choice. The relays and wire are from Narva and the rest of it is just a lot of brain melting time and energy.
I started with some Carbon 2mm thick sheet and proceeded to layout the components in a similar fashion to my drawing, this is about as simple as it gets, one switch for one relay, the 12 pin plug runs the body loom, the 4 pins powers the ECU and accepts the switch wires for the fuel pump, tacho and fan.
This brings me to those two important events that happened earlier, one was the financial boost and two is the fact that my wife was off on a Europe summer vacation with her best friend for three weeks. Before the plane even took off I was planning an immense amount of shed time.
Let me tell you I needed it too, my normal day job starts at 7am, I get home at 5pm and work until I am too cold and too hungry to continue. The last two friday afternoon’s included grabbing enough supplies at the supermarket to last the entire weekend, up at 6am and in the garage till midnight. In the last 3 weeks I have spent over 150 hours getting this car to where it is today.
As I watched the weather forecast I began to formulate a plan, the front bumper, rear diffuser, front splitter, canards and dash were really just mocked up and sitting there, the diff was out of the car and the gears were ready to be installed, the Saturday forecast was for clear sky’s and sunlight, this car hadn’t seen that in a long time so I set myself the goal to get all of those mounted for good and rolling into the sun.
But before I go on I want to tell you about the mock up stage, I HATE THE MOCK UP STAGE!!! Why? Ok hang with me here, you get the part, you open up the garage, you do 10 minutes of rough cutting to get a shape worth looking at, you sit it on the car, step back and be stoked on the look.
Then reality sinks in and you realise that you should have kept the excitement till the end and built it up so that it drives you to complete the job in its entirety. That was me with the canards, the splitter and the front bumper, I peaked too early and then had to work for three days straight to get it all fitted up nicely.
Fitted up nicely is a little bit of an understatement, I toyed with the idea of getting a local composite shop to build a splitter for me, my fear of not having creative control drove me to take the harder/ cheaper option and I am glad I did. This is a $320 R32 GTR front valance, I added it to my eBay cart, took it away, added it again, thought about it for a week then decided to give it a try.
It didn’t exactly fit how I wanted it to (another 50mm wider each side would be nice) but I am happy with it and it gives the car a nice understated stockish appearance, it took a lot of work to fit as did the bumper and canards (I have another pair on their way) but after a lot of effort and alloy supports/ in fill panels it is stronger than I ever would have thought. That is a good thing because I want to be able to take this car well over 200kmh without having to worry about loosing anything.
With the front end complete and friday night fast approaching I needed to build the diff. I have a Sidchrome cordless impact tool and to be honest I would be lost without it. I had this diff setup with its 4.9 gears and ready to go within a few hours, fresh oil and wipe down later it was ready to go back into the car. Just behind it lies a small rear diffuser that will stop the air from underneath the car getting caught in the large cavity in-front of the bumper.
I worked late into friday night, bleeding the brakes, checking over everything while I had it on the hoist and preparing the front end for the ground.
Up at 6am it was a crisp morning, I opened up the garage, stacked a new roll of film in the camera (the digital ones in Europe) and prepared myself for a day of progress and a little Vitamin D for us both.
Rolling the car out of the garage re energized me beyond belief, tired, sore hands, a melted brain was all soothed by the realization of the progress I have made, a chance to sit back and appreciate where I had come from and where I am going.
A few minutes was enough, now back to work. During the week I stopped into Spotlight and grabbed some fabric for my dash, I really wanted to flock it but I would have had to get a flocking kit from the UK or get someone else to do it, I just couldn’t see the point in spending the time or the money completing something that seemed so simple, I had done the hard yards building the entire dash out of FRP and I just wanted it covered, so $9.00 of material and 20 minutes later with some spray adhesive I had it done.
I cant tell you how much I love the results, the shape and the way the dash, rollcage, chassis and extended steering column all work together hark back to my inspiration for the interior being a World Rally Car.
Minus some switches and a little wiring the interior is complete, I put in a crazy amount of effort to cut out the old roll cage, remake the floor, tunnel, firewall, steering column, seat mounts etc to accentuate what I love about this car and to really nail that ultimate interior that I always had in mind.
Since the sun on Saturday I rolled the car back into the garage and concentrated my efforts back to the wiring, as I write this I am half way through finishing off the body loom and about to start on the Link ECU engine loom.
So whats left to do? Still a lot……. Finish the wiring, vent the bonnet, fire up all the systems and setup the ECU, book in a time to tune this on the dyno, spend some quality time with a hammer and get the guards clearanced nicely for track work, then spend some time in the drivers seat ironing out any issues that I may have with it. It pleases me a lot that those are the only things on the to do list, when Spring arrives I will be one excited person and if all goes to plan I have some exciting things in store for the end of the year.
Thanks for reading!