Saturday, April 28, 2018

Project CRS Part 3 - Condition Check

As a first step in the process, before going ahead with the works, Ochiai-san suggested that I brought over the car for an inspection and overall condition check. Since I have ordered a full body restoration and respray, this is also required for them to issue a final quotation, as price will vary based on the condition of the car. So, I found myself en route to Omori Factory, quite excited for the afternoon ahead.

Once arrived I just had to take the routine photo in the parking area, this time next to a very yellow Fairlady Z.

Upon my arrival, I was greeted by Ochiai-san, who went ahead and began registering my GT-R on Omori Factory database: this way they can keep track of all the builds and modifications of road-going customer cars. This is a mandatory step, as the car will be tested on Japanese roads before delivery I was requested to provide all the necessary documentation that proves that it is compliant with Japanese laws, including tax receipts and the shakenshou (車検証 - Japanese automobile inspection certificate). Without these documents, they simply won’t work on the car. For good measure they even made a copy of my Japanese driver license!

Once all the paperwork was completed we could finally move to the fun part, so I handed my keys to Ochiai-san and let him move the car inside the workshop area. I know, I know - bit of a fanboy moment, but watching my car being driven inside the ultimate GT-R tuning facility was too cool not to go all out with the camera!

If you are OCD this is what workshops dreams are made of: this place is so clean and neat that makes you wonder if it is staged.

Back to my car, Ochiai-san has parked it inside one of the designated inspection bays equipped with an hydraulic lift, and got to work.

Again, I couldn’t help by notice the state of the art equipment. Nismo surely did not spare any expense when they designed this place and went all out, including ordering Omori Factory custom-branded air tanks!

In the meantime Ochiai-san had begun his inspection, starting from the wheel arches and front strut towers: two areas where the BNR34 is famously prone to rust and corrosion.

Since I already had my GT-R inspected several times by Yamada-san at NPTC, I wasn’t expecting any surprise; nonetheless, I was very happy to hear Ochiai-san’s positive remarks about its cleanliness. Big thanks to the previous owner, who had parked it indoor for 14 years!

Moving on, we lifted the car a bit more to address one of the most critical areas of the chassis: the underfloor. After the strut towers, this is the second Achilles’ tendon of the Nissan Skyline: old technology and a few cost-cutting shortcuts in the assembly process made this a very sensible area.

Again, no surprises here, as this was something that I carefully checked during my pre-purchase inspection, but Ochiai-san couldn’t find any trace of rust or corrosion. Interestingly enough he observing that perhaps ,since the car spent its whole life on stock suspensions, a higher ride-height might have helped a bit preserving both wheel arches and underfloor. Additionally, the previous owner had care to have the car treated with pre-delivery protective foam, which surely helped shielding those areas. 

So, good news: the car won’t need any special treatment. Nonetheless, and this might come as a surprise, I decided to also have the underfloor restored and resprayed. This is because, according to Ochiai-san, once major components like subframes and transmission are removed, there will surely be some hidden rust. I also thought that it wouldn’t make sense to come this far and leave this not cared for. I remember inspecting a customer car that underwent a complete body respray, looking absolutely stunning on the outside, just to find the worst corrosion possible spreading on the underfloor. Surely it adds up on the price, but I think it’s details like this that really make a difference.

In typical Japanese fashion, Ochiai-san was kind enough to keep his schedule open for the whole afternoon so that we could take our time: I tried my best not to sound like the typical annoying customer and bombard him with a ton of questions. Not sure if I succeeded.

We then lowered the car and opened the hood for the second part of the inspection.

Until next time.


  1. Do you know what kind of process is done for corrosion protection? Rust is fairly insidious especially because it compromises the unibody's rigidity and crashworthiness over time...

    1. This is something that I will need to clarify in more detail, but since the car presents no signs of corrosion, I guess we’ll just go for an anti-rust protective coat and a nice layer of fresh OEM paint. I never drive in the rain, so I’m sure that this will protect the car for many years to come.

    2. Electrogalvanizing or some comparable process would be very interesting if Nismo could pull it off. I have no plans of driving a Skyline in snow/ice conditions but I really don't want to worry about rain causing rust.

  2. great post! i am visiting your page more than Aki's as you update more! Please update more, your life and cars are very interesting!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the nice message, glad you appreciate the content! Will do my best to keep it up.