Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Project CRS Part 10 - Final Chapter

Weeks before sending the car over for frame cleaning and painting I paid one last visit to Omori Factory to check out some final bits and pieces, including the engine.

This was actually one of the very first parts that was taken out, but since it took me a few months to decide on the spec it had been sitting for a while. Interestingly, it was in very good company as you can tell from the photo below.

Restoring and building the car from scratch has been the experience of a lifetime, but I tend to get attached to things and the N1 engine is such a defining part of the Nür spec that I’m sad to see it go. This was far more than a light tune and a new badge as Nissan developed dedicated block, pistons, turbochargers, oil and water pumps and few more bits to create a more robust engine, all while testing them in my favorite race in the world: the Nürburgring 24 hours. I’ll make sure to pay it a worthy tribute in my build.

Besides a bit of dirt and gunk the engine appeared to be in pretty good conditions as previously tested at NPTC. I must admit that for a while I contemplated the idea of either overhauling or replacing the engine with a brand new, fully original N1 one, but eventually decided that the car deserved more power.

All components remained unchanged, including the stock clutch and it was good to get up and close with it for the very first and last time!

As for the rest of the car, it was still sitting on its original Unisia Jecs suspensions which, again, were slightly firmer than the ones on zenki models.

The exhaust is also one other item that won’t be compatible with the new build; my trusty Nismo Pro-spec was sitting in a corner in the storage area. This was a dealer option that the previous owner had fitted to the car before taking delivery and surely added a touch more character to it.

I could also inspect other minor parts that would usually go unnoticed from afar, like the back up light: I never realized how much the plastic on the main cover had yellowed until it was taken off the car. The difference between the main surface parallel to the bumper and the “inside” that bends towards the number plate is night and day.

So, we have been adding this and other items to the menu on my folder that the mechanics have been updating step by step as we go through the build.

In order to make improvements we often used their own CRS democar to cross reference parts and think about new ideas. After all the original CRS project is now 6 years old and, not only new Nismo parts have been released in the meantime, but Omori Factory has also been experimenting with new restoration techniques for the chassis and individual components.

For those of you who have been asking the CRS package can roughly be broken down in 7 different main areas: engine (S2 or R2), powertrain (clutch, LSD, ETS unit, etc), suspensions, brakes, aero, interior options and optional color. These packages can then be individually customized as in the owner can choose (where possible) to use Nismo parts, Nissan OEM, refurbish the existing items or, if deemed as still useable, leave them untouched. 

The end result is that each car is true to the owner’s vision and preference. One of the best examples I can think of is the CRS inspired model based on a white zenki V-spec car that was delivered in June. This is the first and only BNR34 officially finished in the signature Dark Metallic Grey color and was built with street and touring use in mind, sporting an S2 Engine, standard suspension arms, stock brakes and R-tune bumper.

This is the main reason behind my almost weekly visits to the Factory: we have been able to take individual components, like bolts, brackets, mounts, hoses and chassis parts and analyze the best way to improve them. Lots of them are not necessarily expensive or fancy, but I always thought that in projects like this the value of a car is bigger than the sum of its components. As we are approaching the end of the spec list, we eventually came up with almost 500 new parts over the original CRS democar.

As the car will be built from scratch we have also opted for ditching the standard Chassis Refresh menu. This is because most of the components that the menu consists of (engine & transmission mounts, bushes, suspension, brake mounts, wheel hubs) are already included in the individual options that I chose for the spec. Instead, the tuning advisors came up with three separate mini menus for suspension, flywheel and subframe. This means that the parts that weren’t included in the packages originally ordered (like refreshed steering racks for example) will be added, and items that are not part of the Chassis Refresh menu (like the Yamaha Performance dampers, flywheel, etc) will be added as separate options. Finally, some of the standard parts that are usually just swapped with brand new OEM will be treated to additional powder coating for added resistance to the elements. 

There was also one custom ordered modification that will require to have the car to be re-approved by the authorities and additional paperwork to be submitted to the Road Transport Bureau. The car will be re-registered as a “BNR34-改” (“BNR34-kai” from kaizo,  改造 - modified) as this is a change that the Omori Factory mechanics will need to prove to be safe and roadworthy despite changing some of the original engineering of the car. Lastly, one final, small surprise that Nagatsuru-san announced me during Nismo Festival will involve the engine build. This was something that the mechanics and staff had decided and one I’m very excited about; hopefully I will be able to make one dedicated post for it.

This process has taken almost double the time originally forecasted and we eventually set last week as the deadline to define the final spec of the car so that it will be ready for delivery in Spring 2019. It was supposed to be ready by September, then pushed back to November/December and eventually we were looking at March, just to realize that my shaken will be coming up that month, so realistically it will be April. This is largely my fault as I have kept changing my mind and adding new parts, but eventually I think that everybody enjoyed seeing how far we could push things and we are now excited to see what the final product will look like. And who knows, I might take it back for a step-2 upgrade sometimes in 2020?

As for this series, this is the final official post: it’s now time to let the mechanics and staff work with calm. Originally I thought I’d cover the build process step by step, but this is not possible as cameras are not allowed in certain areas (the paint shop, for example, was absolutely off limits and they wouldn’t even take me for a tour, nor send any photo). There are also certain parts that I thought it would be cool to keep under wraps for a little longer.

I hope you enjoyed the posts so far and I will keep sharing other GT-R related content in the coming weeks. I have been off to an early Christmas break since last Friday and will make sure to release a few more posts before New Years.

Until next time.

3 comments:

  1. great post man. i really enjoy reading your blog.

    please post more often.

    merry Christmas

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  2. I just drooled man. LOL. I wish we had a similar Nismo headquarter here in our country. Damn, that's like gonna be a new freakin GT-R after! Around how much do they charge on a basic refresh? There are multiple restore packages right? If you want, we can PM or email the figures. Hehe. I think pricing will be like a new nice car. But by the looks it, with their signature Nismo craftsmanship, it's sooo worth it.

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  3. Last update on your car and deadline set for spring 2019. Wow, can't believe this will be on the road again in 4 months.

    Looking forward to it, although not as much as you do probably ;)

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