so been doing a little maintenance work on the s15 last weekend and today.
last weekend, decided to fit the fujitsubo exhaust i picked up back in march. it was actually originally an R33 skyline exhaust, shortened to fit an S14, and i was fitting it to an s15.
jacked up the car and placed support stands. unbolted the stock catback. was going to do the full turbo back replacement, but had a look at the dump pipe - to my surprise, there was already an aftermarket split dump there. still looks like the factory front pipe though, so i may swap the front section out for a one-piece dump/front pipe I have lying around anyway.
the factory exhaust is a puny little thing, maybe 2" with press bends making big restrictions. good to get rid of it!
fujitsubo 3" bolted up no problem. new exhaust gaskets and everything lines up perfectly. kinda loud though, but at least it's matt black and (kinda) stealthy.
while the exhaust was off, was a good opportunity to replace the rear diff fluid. too. old oil black and muddy, brand new penrite stuff :)
wired up (another) boost gauge - old owner had three gauges on the passenger side of the dash, this one i've now mounted onto a jdm a-pillar. it's a "greddy d/a" gauge replica, but despite this it's a pretty good bit of gear - displays voltage, as well as boost analog and digital. let's see how long it lasts!
and this morning, knocked up a custom shift boot out of some black velvet to use with a carbon fibre shift surround i bought a while back. sweeet.... and it matches closely with the fabric trim on the driver's recaro seat.
haven't been to the track or motorkhana circuits for a while - need to get out there again!
so the nice thing about having a dashcam is that you can capture fuckwit drivers being dickheads, like this moronic cock hooning around bell st preston in his shitbox ute reg ZOY661.
racing up the side lane on the left, then virtually running into me - i brake hard to allow him in, and he reacts by giving me the finger. continues to drive like a tool crossing over lanes and using slip lanes to duck ahead of traffic.
keep driving like that mate, you'll do the world a favour by killing yourself.
so i needed to replace my driver's side wheel bearing as the wheel was a bit loose - after a bit of research I figured it'd be a lot easier just to swap in a whole bearing and hub, since I wouldn't have to go out to a mechanic to press the bearing in.
after shopping on facebook groups, I picked up a pair of R33 skyline GTS-T rear hub/bearings for $50 - good deal!
1) jack up car and make safe with car stands.
2) remove wheel using your impact gun (or plain old hand tools)
3) remove cotter pin from axle, and a 32mm impact socket to remove axle nut. Many other writeups have the S15 rear as having a 36mm axle nut, but mine just happened to be 32mm. It's a 2000 build ADM S15 in case that makes any difference.
4) Remove rear brake caliper - there's a couple of bolts on the back of the caliper, 19mm socket I think i was. This is a pic with the axle nut removed and caliper removed and set aside. Support the caliper so the brake lines aren't under tension. i used a brick.
5) Remove brake disc. Mine was rusted on pretty tight so I skipped to the next step...
6) Remove 4 x 17mm bolts holding in bearing assembly. It's a bitch to get back there and you need a small headed ratchet for your socket, plus you need to rotate the driveshaft to get access to all 4 bolts.
7) Everything was all rusted together, brake rotor/hub/bearing to driveshaft... so I grabbed my spare wheel, bolted it back onto the hub back-to-front (so the inner wheel rim wouldn't hit the removed caliper), gave it a few whacks from the inside with a mallet and that pulled off the hub/bearing and brake disc all together for me. It took me ages to figure this out, when it was pretty obvious from the beginning... anyway lesson learnt for next time!
8) Tap out brake rotor from old hub. Below is a pic of the original S15 hub/bearing on the left (with a bit of play in the bearing, hence the looseness), and the R33 skyline hub/bearing on the right. The extra projection with the hole is for the skyline rear handbrake line, however it's still a direct fit for the S15.
9) Reinstall in reverse order. I really should've ordered some replacement rear brake rotors as they're both a bit borderline, but a relatively easy job for next time.
10) Test drive and recheck fit of all parts. You don't want your hub falling off anytime!
So now I have one S15 hub/bearing that I can potentially refurbish with a new bearing, plus a spare R33 hub/bearing - two spares if/when the other bearing goes.
so finally managed to get the silvia out for a bit of fun the other weekend.
motorkhana = autocross = solo for those of you not in australia.
did a little prep beforehand - oil and filter change, installed a cusco front strut brace and nismo rear strut brace and a spare recaro seat.
beautiful day out at the toyota factory where the motorkhana was being held.
best thing about motorkhana is that horsepower often isn't the deciding factor - you dont need a supercar or even a fast car to have fun here. one of my favourite cars was an old honda civic ED hatch that was getting up on 3 wheels at every cone and pulling mad handbrake corners. other favourite cars was a purple onevia that was totally sideways every opportunity, as well as an old soarer that was fluttering and boosting every second. there was another S15 there which had plenty of power - my times were a second or two behind (and sometimes in front) so i'm reasonably happy with that.
had a gopro mounted for this event, will see if i can be bothered uploading a huge file to youtube. my main problem? too much grip on sticky bridgestone RE003s on the rear tyres, so I've grabbed some old S14 wheels with crappy tyres on them to make the next event a little more... fun... sideways.
unfortunately i need to replace a rear wheel hub/bearing for the next event as it's really starting to let go. i've already sourced a couple of R33 rear hub/bearing combos that i need to swap in, just need a big 36mm socket to get the axle nut off - this is next weekend's project.
wish i had a bigger garage... you can barely fit two silvias in it :(
left one is my pewter spec r, right one is my brother's blue spec s. his specs? 240kw at the wheels, big turbo, front mount intercooler, exhaust, powerfc, ebc, pump, injectors etc. can't wait for us both to get sideways on the track :)
sometimes I wonder if i deliberately buy cars with lots of problems so i can spend all my free time fixing them.
for example, the abs pump was not sitting in its bracket correctly, and the brake lines were too fixed in position to put it in the proper place. plus the bracket was bent out of shape.
anyway, since it seemed to be working in the current position, just not well secured, i made a new bracket out of aluminium bar and bent it around to resecure the abs pump. cost - about $4.50 - I used leftover aluminium bar from the fire extinguisher bracket and some spares nuts & boilts lying about, but bought a couple of rubber bungs from the store to act as antivibration mounts.
so i awoke today to the sound of pelting rain, thought i'd check that i fixed my sunroof leak from before. and while the front of the headliner was nice and dry, it was sopping wet in the right rear corner - so i figured i'd go hunting for another sunroof drain leak.
unbolted the driver and rear driver side seatbelt top bracket, pulled down the plastic trim and yep... this hose shouldn't be hanging clear.
but the good news, this time the plastic nozzle/nipple hadn't broken off the sunroof drain. Reconnected the sunroof drain pipe, picked up a hose clamp for good luck and resecured everything.
cost to fix... a small hose clamp and 20 minutes.
so in a few days (we're predicted a solid week of rain) i'll feel up the headlining again, and hope like mad there' no more leaks. i've already fixed up 2 of the 4 drains, i know the front passenger side drain is connected, the only one i haven't visualised is the passenger rear side drain.
wonder what's left to break on the car... oh hang on - I do know. the other day i drove it to work and back, and noticed a fair bit of condensation in the driver's headlight. funny enough, the passenger headlight (which has definitely been opened and resealed) has no condensation, but the mint condition driver's headlight does. *sigh*
so after picking up the s15 over a month ago, it's finally got its rwc and transferred into my name - with all the troubles i've had registering cars in the past, it's amazing how smooth today went.
but it wasnt all easy - on the weekend i had a look in the s15 and wondered why it was so... wet...
pretty sure cars arent meant to have that much water floating around under the drivers side carpet. pulled out the door seals, mirror and dropped the headliner down to find this...
yeah, the front right drain to the sunroof clearly broken, and the loose drain tube just hanging around there.
so, to fix it... a 20c 10mm hose joiner, a spare hose clamp, $5 worth of epoxy - and a spare picture hangar, opened up flat and used as reinforcement under the connection. poured a cup of water through the sunroof drain - and now no leak. i checked the other drains for good measure but they were all connected and draining properly. also grabbed some door seal from clark rubber and added extra door seals on the drivers side, just in case.
so, the next thing (now the car is registered) is to prep for track. item#1 - fire extinguisher. make sure the unit meets cams spec (cams regulations) and make up your bracket. i could reuse the extinguisher from last year's wrx but need new mounting brackets.
so, with the point of this car being a budget friendly track/club car, and me learning how to wrench on things, i figured a $100 ebay bracket was not the way to go.
get yourself some aluminium flat bar from your local hardware shop, a hacksaw and drill, and some M6 high tensile bolts with locking nuts.
cut bar to size and join, attach your metal fire extinguisher bracket...
and because you haven't got good eyes, mount it at a weird angle just behind the passenger seat. one end attaches to the stock rear seat bolt, the other verticle angle attaches to a bolt under the seat - so no new holes in the car.
so the regulations state the extinguisher must be accessible from the driver's seat while belted in - would you believe in an s15, it's actually easier to grab the fire extinguisher when mounted here, rather than if it was in front of the front seats on the floor? if you decide to go for full harnesses where you can't lean forward, this is the best spot to mount your gear.
though maybe you'll mount it on horizontally. if it shits me enough i'll take that bracket off, redrill another hole an inch higher and have it level.
probably too late for this weekend's track day at sandown with ndsoc, but maybe next weekend with aroca/msca? haven't done sandown in about a dozen years, which makes me feel... old.
so the car hasn't even been transferred into my name yet - but there's always parts to buy.
the great thing about silvias is there's always someone who's crashed their one and are parting it out.
so why not buy... most of the interior, bootlid, dash, engine bay plastics, entire carpet?
plus we have to get rid of the terrible 19" chrome wheels that the car came on. let's go with stock wheels and bridgestone RE003s while we decide exactly which jdm wheels to put on. thank god for a big daily driver to cart around all this crap.
and since we're in the mood, some nismo s-tune suspension and a fujitsubo exhaust?
would be nice to actually register the car and start driving it one day. already joined up with the nissan/datsun owners club for entry into msca competition events - again, even though the car is still in pieces.
so when i bought the s15, it only had one key - a bit of a problem, since there's a transponder in it (NATS) that means the car won't start if the transponder is missing. Ordered a nice looking Nissan key with space for transponder off ebay and then set about looking for a locksmith.
first tried wynn locksmith in preston. Big mistake. Went in on a saturday morning, since i work the rest of the week. They had one guy working and a queue of people.
After waiting an hour, he cut my key for me and sold me a transponder for $30. This key was cut off my original key. Didn't work.
Waited in line for another 30 minutes. Now he said he'll sell me one of their keys. Charged me $50. This one worked.
For a day.
having had enough, i went to Bond Locksmiths in Springfield Road,Nunawading. The blokes here actually know their stuff. Took one look at my "new" old key and basically said whoever cut that key was pretty #$$#@@$#$% for using a 15 year old worn key as a basis for a new key.
ho, based on the code from the manufacturer, Bond Locksmith cut me a brand new key - that actually works! The only thing they could salvage from the f@#$$ed key was the transponder.
Bond Locksmith can also replicate transponder keys, and unlike other locksmiths, actually know what they're talking about. so in future, clearly I'll only be using and recommending them. i'm going back this week to get another spare key made. don't bother with anyone else in melbourne.
so, spent some spare time just trying to tidy up the car before taking it for a rwc (safety certificate).
this car had been pretty neglected - i don't think it had been washed in a year, smoked inside, and dirt everywhere under the bonnet.
so just grab a spray of generic "black stuff"
and a couple of minutes later things are starting to look a bit nicer. Also took a microfibre towel to anything I could to mop up dust.
and more recently, i've reinstalled the stock diverter valve ("blow off" valve) and airbox with snorkel. one thing about S15s, there's always plenty of them being wrecked and spare parts are pretty common to come by.
why? well it probably wouldn't pass RWC with the bov blocked at the throttle inlet - plenty of stupid "SuTuutoottuutoooo" for the idiots out these but pretty immature. plus a big exposed pod sucking up engine bay heat is never going to do anything but add more noise and less power.
so back in the late 90s, the subaru impreza wrx was one of the best bargain performance cars available in australia. while nissan did have a limnited release of r32 GTRs, they didn't have anything that could really compete against the wrx - until they decided to release the s15 silvia locally as the 200sx.
with a turbocharged, 2.0l 4 cylinder engine, a 6 speed manual driving the rear wheels with LSD and a very sexy coupe body, the s15 has become a cult car in australia and holds its value incredibly well!
so yesterday, my brother sends me a text message saying - "buy this s15, it's a bargain" - and 7 hours later i did.
this is jdmtune.com's new 200sx spec r.
it comes with some godawful 19" chrome wheels and broken suspension.
plus the recirculating valve (BOV) has been blocked off so you get stupid flutter everytime you step off the accelerator.
it needs a lot of love & care to restore her to proper jdm spec, but at least it has some good points - a great gearbox & clutch, rare sunroof, and potential.
if i can remember to update this blog, hopefully keep track of the restoration process. today was mainly a massive exterior clean, involving a snow foam gun, 2 bucket wash, clay bar, rewash, wax. polish of the headlights, though i think i might need to replace them as they've previously been opened. a little tidy of the engine bay too, to restore the factory shine on most plastics. overall in pretty tidy condition for a 15 year olf car.