Tuesday, May 26, 2020

CRS Maintenance Log

The GT-R is back! Hard to believe, but it’s been 3 months since I left it in the capable hands of the guys at Omori Factory. So, why did it take so long, and wasn’t it supposed to be just regular maintenance? Well, sort of.

Besides a mandatory fluid and oil change, Ochiai-san expressed the desire to have a more through check to make sure that everything was holding up as the day it left the factory - an important process for a car that has been entirely hand built without the aid of industrial machines. This is where the Japanese attention to detail really shines, with 70 components individually checked and 6km of road test by one of the best GT-R mechanics in the world. 

My car was given a clean bill of health, but there were issues. For starter, my Optima battery had reached the end of its life, struggling to hold charge, so a new one went in. Additionally the tires had lost a bit of pressure and Ochiai-san scolded me for not driving it enough. However the biggest issue of them all was the invisible to any mentally sane person’s eye, but oh-so-annoying to me stone chip on the carbon front lip that I collected on the expressway. Finished in clear carbon it wasn’t going to be an easy fix.

After one attempt to fix it in a way that likely would have been deemed acceptable by any reasonable person, my OCD took over: I took the plunge and decided to redo the whole splitter. This is when things got interesting. Several texts and two weeks later the paint shop came back with the idea of mixing just a tiny bit of color in the new clear, giving the carbon a deeper, glossier finish with a slight metal sheen. I liked it so much that I decided to redo the rear carbon flap to match. As a final surprise they even painted free of charge the Jabroc (wood) protection guard that sits in front of the lip - an idea that I had thrown at Ochiai-san during a previous conversation. 

Needless to say, I am incredibly happy with the result, although less ecstatic about the bill that was handed to me. But in the end it’s all worth it: every visit I learn something new, discover details that can be improved or touches to make the car more unique and bespoke to me. Many people asked why I service my GT-R here, but if you had the opportunity, where else would you do it? Driving on the Shutoku to the factory, chatting with the staff, looking at other customers cars: simple maintenance is an experience in itself and doing it here surely adds to the vehicle history. After all, how many BNR34s are regularly maintained at Omori Factory?

Now, I know that some of you will be disappointed by the lack of driving comments and photos, but after a 3 months process for some fresh lacquer on the front splitter and rear wing that costed like a new set of LM GT4s there was no way I was going to take any chances. So I hired this fantastic flatbed waiting for me at the back entrance of the factory. 

You know you hired the right company when they tell you that the flatbed is never rain driven and on air suspension to preserve customer cars alignment. I let Ochiai-san carefully load the GT-R and took a couple of photos to commemorate the event. If you follow the paint/clear coat theme of this post you will probably easily guess what’s coming next.

I then got behind the wheel of the Fairlady and drove along on the expressway; there is something nerve wrecking about watching your car bouncing on the top of a flatbed as it goes through curves and elevation changes! Once in Tokyo I caught another only-in-Japan kind of moment as we approached a gunmetal grey R35 riding just next to my car with Skytree in the background: how cool is that!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Until next time.

3 comments:

  1. Have you considered full body PPF? I think it would help you to no longer live in fear of stone chips.

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    1. Keep an eye on the upcoming posts! ; )

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    2. Interested to see future updates on that front, I'm thinking of doing full body PPF on my R33 right now. It'll be some time before I get to that bridge but I want to have a clear plan in place before then.

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