Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A Rookie Mistake

If you have read my previous post you probably noticed the visible cracks on the (original) Bridgestone tires that my Fairlady was delivered with. A quick knock on the tire wall would confirm that the rubber had basically turned into plastic. In circumstances like this common sense would suggest either immediate replacing or to cover absolutely minimal distance before the worst will happen. And so I thought I did, but you can probably guess where this is going.

While I did enjoy a couple of drives around the Shutoku loop and a few stops at Tatsumi, I really did keep the distance covered to a minimum and at very moderate speed. During my visit at Omori Factory I enquired right away about tire replacement and new wheels (I really don’t like the stock Rays), but after a few weeks of wait I was told that the Rays TE37 SL that I wanted to order wouldn’t become available until October. Sure, I could have just bought new tires first and then swap the rubber, but as I planned to upgrade the front size this would have meant buying a set of new fronts again just after few months. 

The TE37 SL also weren’t my first choice of wheel as what I really wanted was long out of production. In short I was about to spend quite a bit of money and time just to settle with something that I wasn’t really convinced with in the first place. And so I took a few days to think my options over and paid a visit to Nismo Performance Center in search of alternatives when, on my way back and just a few kilometers from home, the steering wheel started to vibrate in a way that surely wasn’t normal. I knew right away what had happened and pulled over.

My front left tire had literally crumbled under the weight of the car, forcing me to stop in the middle of a pretty dangerous junction on the expressway. Both the police and highway patrol arrived right away and let’s just say that they weren’t exactly stoked to see me and my car “parked” in such an unsafe place. From there, however, the famous Japanese efficiency took over: the highway patrol towed my car to the nearest exit and just 20 minutes later a flatbed provided by my insurance company showed up.

Yes, I should have known better, but the most important thing is that nobody got hurt and the car was left unscathed. The following weekend the insurance company offered to deliver my car to NPCT where Yamada-san and Yamazaki-san got to work right away with their usual professionalism in front of some amused customers.

Oh well, it’s a lesson learned for the future and, for once, there was a silver lining: not only this gave me the perfect opportunity to put the car through its first serious maintenance cycle, but, in an incredible turn of events I also managed to come across something special.

The car will be ready just in time for my return from the Nürburgring. Where should I take it for the first proper shakedown?

Until next time.

2 comments:

  1. Woah, we had a similar looking tire before in our BNR32, it didn’t do that though, it was a Direzza Star Specs. Glad to hear your safe.

    By the way man, this issue has been bugging us for quite a while, I know you can help. �� Not all BNR34s have black engine bays right? If so what are those selected models? And are the hoods of those Gtrs black underneath too? Hope to hear from you Ale! ��

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