Sunday, February 18, 2018

First Drive of 2018

After enjoying over two months of hibernation today felt like the right day to wake the GT-R up. It’s still quite cold by Tokyo standards, which means denser air and happier turbos, but clear skies and nice sun to warm the atmosphere around created the perfect opportunity for a quick blast down the Shuto Expressway.

While I am conscious about driving in optimal road and weather conditions (and I do enjoy the wait between each drive), two months is the maximum that I allow the car to sit, as anything longer would probably do more bad than good.

I’m very happy with the Optima battery that I had fitted at Nismo last year: the RB26 cranked up right away with no hesitation and, after letting it idle for a while, waiting for oil and water to reach optimal temperature, I finally hit the road. After a quick stop at Daikoku Parking area I headed towards Omori Factory for a chat with the staff.

It might seems like I do visit the place a lot...and it’s actually true. Truth to be told I actually live about 25 minutes away from Nismo headquarters and the short expressway run is always enjoyable.

I also do love watching the mechanics working on the cars in such a pristine environment, I find it very relaxing and it appeals to my OCD.

The new carbon brake air guides were also on display and, yes, they do look very well crafted, but also smaller than in photos, which does make you wonder how can they cost 200,000¥.

Oh well, I’ll let you be the judges.

The rear tow hook for BNR34 will also be back in stock soon, this time offered in two different colors: anodized black and a champagne shade of gold that seems to match perfectly the cam cover of Nür-spec cars. Will need to look into this one.

This time there were plenty of tasty machines on display.

Including a good number of BNR34s.

Besides the usual parts the staff also put on display a not-for-sale, fully restored Group A engine.

Racing engines were originally assembled and tuned by REINIK, a special division of Nissan that was in charge of developing power plants for racing and rally competitions.

Needless to say, it looked like it just rolled out of the assembly line.

How cool would it be to fit this into a road-going car?

This time I didn’t really stay too long, so after a quick chat with some of the staff I headed back to Tokyo, where I met some friends at Tatsumi PA and ran into some pretty special cars. Believe it or not, this Aventador SV is not wrapped, and is owned by lady who had her chihuahua riding shotgun in the passenger seat: welcome to Japan.

Until next time.


  1. Nice photos! Especially the Group A engine.
    Regarding your long idling time to let oil & water temperature to warm up, I'll share the following video:

    1. Hi Matt,

      Thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the photos.

      I might be wrong on this, but I think the video is addressed to people who idle their daily rides in the morning during winter to let them “warm up” rather than post-storage start-ups. Of course, all points make sense, especially for modern cars, but I just find something very wrong about driving off with the Getrag gears grinding away completely deprived of oil. Few minutes to let the car stabilize and check for potential warning signals give me a bit more peace of mind to be honest.

    2. Shouldn’t take more than a minute or so of idling in neutral before the oil is distributed in the engine and the transmission. After that you should just drive gently until the engine oil is fully up to temperature. At which point you can drive as hard as you’d like.

      The transmission won’t get any heat into it if you just sit there in neutral, you have to drive to get real heat into the differentials/transfer case/transmission.

    3. You really only need about a minute of idle before setting off. General rule of thumb is once you stop hearing high idle it's fine to start driving. That's enough to get the transmission lubricated.

      From there you want to drive gently (max of 2500-3000 rpm, gentle throttle) until engine oil gets up to temp. This method helps to properly warm up the differential and transmission and reduces the amount of time spent running rich in low coolant temperatures, which increases the amount of cylinder bore wash and gasoline dilution of oil. If you can get a used oil analysis you can check for things like this.

      If you're concerned about the transmission it's best to regularly change the fluid. If you don't drive very much you can change it by time instead of by mileage. I believe Royal Purple Synchromax is a common choice with additional anti-wear additives and synthetic base oil.

    4. Thanks, makes a lot of sense and very useful. Will keep this in mind next time I’ll start the car!


  2. Its great to see them reproducing another patch of the tow hooks as these were in high demand. As for the carbon brake guide, I think it will make more sense to the track focused owners, but not for me as I would hate to see such a beautifully crafted parts gets beaten up by small stones. Great post as usual !