After having several pretty high spec drift cars like my current 180sx, I always seem to go one step too far and make the car too extreme or too clean until it’s got so much money invested that I feel myself holding back when I drift it. Not only that I find myself constantly changing cars so often that I never really get enough seat time to get a good feel for each car before changing!
I decided it was time to get something, stick with it and don’t go to0 crazy on mods! The main aim was to build something I could just use for fun, looked cool and most importantly was reliable.
After some searching on the auctions I ended up finding a really nice lightly track prepared r32 gtst with the legendary rb20, it was already running type m skirts, type m spats, a gtr style front bumper, r33 wheels, despoilered and a full respray in white so it looked perfect for a base! A lot of people slate the rb20 but it was actually my engine of choice for this car I passed up several rb25 powered vehicles for this. They are one of the shortest stroke production engines ever made and have the thickest cylinder walls of the rb variants. I actually owned a 400+bhp holset powered rb20 r32 not too long ago and it was unbelievably quick for what it was.
As far as mods I could from the auction pictures it obviously had coilovers, an intercooler, breather mods, a cage, bucket seat and a drift button (this made me assume it probably had a 2 way), the rest was a mystery until it arrived.
In preparation for the car arriving I ordered a Nissan oil filter and millers nanodrive oil as I use this in all my cars and have touch wood never had an engine failure!
Despite the car having aftermarket suspension, I ordered some driftworks cs2 coilovers. The main reason for this was I know I can get replacements easily instead of blowing one Japanese coilover and ruining the entire set. I also really rate cs2s as the best r/s body coilover I have ever used, they ride incredibly on the road and are perfect for hard track use too.
I then ordered a 350mm leather nardi deep corn wheel as these are my favorite to use and a red bride zeta 3 with the glitter back the same seat the Finalboss 180sx runs.
My awesome car transporter Khalil dropped the car off and it looked pretty much as expected, seemed to run well and it was REALLY REALLY clean. I took it a very quick drive around Finalboss HQ and it was quickly apparent it had a plated diff!
The next step was to get the car on the ramp to have a look at the spec and underside (my favorite part) it turns out its running apexi n1 pro spec coilovers, a high end unit which means they can be sold for a good amount. It was also running Kazama auto tension arms up front, a hicas delete kit (possibly tomei) and the diff looked like it had been apart further confirming it had been changed.
The plan was to use the car in the Scottish drift championship this year but the qualifying event was less than a week away!!!!!!!!! Having only just got the car I needed to spanner check it, do the fluids and give it a shake down before the sdc licence day.
I found out there was a practice day on the Thursday three days before the sdc day so I had two days to get the car ready for that! I brought it inside and dropped the engine oil which was nice and golden so the car had been serviced recently and proceeded to remove the easy to reach Nissan oil filter………….. such a pain in the ass if its been put on super tight. I then removed the fill plugs on the diff and gearbox to check the fluids which were both super clean and at the correct level so they were left. The next step was to check the car over to make sure there was no loose bolts and nothing obviously dangerous like damaged fuel or brake lines. My first port of call as with any s13 or r32 is to check the steering column rubber bush, as per usual it was literally hanging with a massive amount of play. By pure luck I remembered that I had one sitting in my box of bits I bought for my old r32 gtr, this bush is made by auto staff and is nice because most solid column bushes require you use some of the parts from the old rubber bush this is a complete replacement.
Once that was changed and the front was spanner checked I proceeded to jack up the rear of the car…. First big issue the rear wheels had pretty bad play in both sides, this was caused by play in the inner and outer hicas track rods and ends. Hicas is nissans version of rear wheel steering and even though this kit had a lockout bar which replaces the steering rack with a solid bar, it still uses the oem track rods and ends which in most cases are worn as they are a weak point. There was no time to replace this prior to a shake down so I decided to drift it like this and order a driftworks hicas eliminator kit which replaces the entire system with adjustable rose jointed toe arms.
It was time to take the car out a quick road test, everything was going fine although the gearbox was a little noisy but changed gear fine, this was until I let the car see some boost and it started to misfire, typical skyline ignition system………….
The practice day was tomorrow so there was no time to order any replacement bits but luckily I had a blue r32 gtst in stock which I robbed some bits from, it turned out the coilpacks were the cause so these were changed and all was good (these are so awkward to change on an rb20)! I had some r33 gtr wheels lying about the unit with drift tyres ready to go so I played tetris and managed to fit 6 wheels, 2 tyres, a jack, all my tools, and a helmet into the r32 and was ready to set off in the morning for the cars first shakedown!
To be continued…………