Monday, January 9, 2017

Visit to NPCT, New Parts and Nissan FAST

Earlier in December I ordered some additional parts from Nissan Prince Motorsportbut never had the chance to pick them up due to a busy work schedule. In Japan the second Monday of January is Coming Of Age Day (成人の日 Seijin no Hi), which also means a much welcome longer weekend right after the holiday break and a chance for me to go visit Yamazaki-san and the guys at Nissan to pick up my parts and exchange New Years greetings (very important in Japanese culture).
While Yamada-san and the rest of the mechanics were having a normal busy day, Yamazaki-san (as the Tuner Advisor) didn't have lots of customer visits booked, which meant that I ended up spending two hours at the Factory and...ordered few more parts! This is becoming a bit of an addiction, but the reality is that parts are disappearing so quickly that I rather see it more as a worthy investment. 

So, how does ordering fresh OEM parts in Japan work? First of all, you will need to find an authorized dealer where you can register your car. Each chassis number and VIN can be cross referenced on FAST (a humongous digital directory of all parts that every Nissan model is composed of), which guarantee that the parts you order are the correct ones for your model. 
Nissan FAST
While same parts are interchangeable, many differ based on the spec (zenki, kouki, V-spec, V-spec II, M-spec, Nür): this is crucial to get right if you want to maintain your car factory true. Items can be ordered either based on their number alone or the one assigned to your model through a cross referencing matching system. In my case, my car being a Nür spec, parts are coded GTR/V2. Some online version of FAST (limited to the parts catalog only, not connected to the ordering system) are available on the Internet, but can be quite a headache if you can't read Japanese.
Register your VIN (not my car)
The catalog is truly amazing and contains all the CAD schemes of the car, each broken down by category (interior, engine, transmission, etch), allowing you to track down every single nut and bolt of your model.
Choose a part group, in this case "Engine, Fuel"
Choose your part
The second step is the more thrilling (or frightening) one: checking availability! 
Yamazaki-san's system is connected to Nissan warehouse network, which means that he can check in a matter of seconds whether the part you are after is still available and how many pieces are left in stock. Sometimes parts are out of stock, but still in production: in this case the system will display the release date of the new batch. This, unfortunately is becoming less common, especially for interior parts, as they are both out of stock and no longer in production. Yesterday I was lucky enough to order the very last piece available in the whole Nissan stock of a rather rare part!
Part number and price confirmation
So, what happens if there is strong demand for a part that is no longer available with no plans of further production? Yamazaki-san explained that, in same cases, if they receive enough orders, they can submit a request of production to the manufacturers, a sort of petition to analyze the feasibly of producing a limited amount of pieces. The factories are able to provide an answer after two weeks of research, however this is usually the very last resort and, unfortunately, rarely successful as the molds of many parts have been dismantled. 

Sounds very complicated, right? It actually is, which is why I did recommend in my guide to buy cars with clean interiors and as close as possible to their stock form. On the other hand, I must confess that the excitement of finally sourcing that hard to find, last-in-stock part is rather addictive! 

Time flew by, and what was supposed to be a quick "pick and go" visit turned into a two hours chat, coffee and my usual sneaking around the workshop. 

This time they had a BCNR33 and a R35 in (almost) matching shades of blue being serviced next to each other.
Choose one
Or BCNR33?
A Fairlady Z 380RS was undergoing some serious engine work as well.
Japanese craftmanship at work
More cars rolled in, including this R32 sitting on a set of BNR34 wheels.

It was a rainy day, but that didn't stop the owner from taking the car out.
Gun metal grey + raindrops = awesomness
So, what did I buy? Well, all in due time, but I'll leave you with the picture below (2017 Nissan calendar courtesy of Yamazaki-san).
My new parts
I also have 3 more parts coming next week, so stay tuned!
I couldn't resist and had to take an extra shot
Until next time.

1 comment:

  1. These are simply incredible cars, probably the best of their generation. Not so long ago I wanted to buy the same copy for my good friend, I was looking for a very long time suitable car, but finally with the help of I was able to buy a great car.