Fourtoes Blue 30 Two Building a Nurburgring Contendor

About Bob Fourtoes Blue Thirty Two

June 28, 2009...Blue 30 Two
I thought it about time im started documenting something to show the hours of blood, sweat and tears that myself and my bessy mate Fil have put into my car since I bought it 4 or 5 years ago from Sterte Garage in Poole Sterte Garage Poole.
Blue Nissan Skyline R32 GTR
Having owned an R34 GTT and the an R33 GTR, I decided to stop wasting time with cars that didnt come up to scratch and go for the one and only Skyline to own so Anthony, (at Sterte) kindly agreed to a swap for my beautiful Midnight Purple R33 GTR with my now owned Mitsibushi Fiji Blue R32 GTR.
(sorry no offensive its just my personal preference, they both really are fantastic cars! ).

On my way down to swap the cars and only 2 miles form his garage, my R33 had a massive electrical fault and basically every ECU in the car was blown, (the alternater was later found to be charging at over 20 volts). Anthony honoured the agreement, (even though I turned up with my car on a flat bed recovery truck). cheers Ant!!!

So anyway I had to get the 33 fixed, which took forever as we had to go through every part of the car to see what was effected. But in the end the deal was done and I would be the proud owner of a very clean R32 GTR 
So the plan was to get her to me in time to take to that years Le Mans but alas she wasnt ready to take and so ended up going in my Daewoo Nexia, that i hauled around in at the time.


So anyways as you do with any GTR i started with the messing!  Its a thing that is essential to true GTR ownership, and this wasnt to be an exceptional case!


The above pic is where my car spends every winter without fail. It doesnt get driven past the end of October. It gets tucked up in here and abused by me and Fil, we've both learnt so much about her in those very cold winter months, lying under her in minus degree's of winter snow, knuckles chocpped to bits, but boy oh boy has it been worth every single minute! (hope Fil's lovely wife and my ex agree!)

So the first thing we did in the long list of things was to drop the entire rear subframe with diff and hubs attached, everything as I had a noisy rear over pot holes. After stripping the subframe of everthing and having it shot blasted and then POR15 painted and fitted we then pressed in a set Nismo subframe bushes. A pleasant surprise was that written ontop of the diff housing in Japanese were some characters and the words Tomei, looks like the diff had been taken care of already!

HICAS Bar
So while we were down there we decided to remove the rear Hicas and fit a lockout bar from RB Motorsport, (really well made piece of kit).


All the diff bushes were replaced too and while the subframe was out we completely POR15'd the are around and above it, (the condition was amazing, so i was chuffed to bits!). 
Replaced the sus arm bushes too with Super Pro bushes

So after a good winter of grabbing time here and there when we could we finally finsihed the rear end of my car and it looked sweet!!!!

Getting the rear subframe on and off with all attached it no mean feat believe me but we managed it thanks to a couple of trolley jacks and a really great double garage at my foolks place.

So we got it all back on and took it for a spin down the lane up to my folks place and errrrrr  the noise was still there!!!! ooopss, oh well we had replaced everthing and it would give me a great piece of mind anyways!

I parked it up in the garage and came ou the next day and there seemed to be a large puddle of coolant under the front of my car!

I topped up the coolant, started the car, (carefully) and there was a fine jet of coolant coming front beneath the intake plenum! arse!!!!

Now for anyone who has had to take the plenum off will know its an absolute pain in the bum job to do, and the problem was once the plenum was off there was no was of knowing which of the coolant pipes was leaking, so we decided to do the only thing we could and replace every single hose with new Samco replacements, there is a coolant hose kit by Samco but its only got about 4 pieces and there are plenty of other types of hoses below the plenum which we also did as whilst we were down there and all that!
Next, again after realising how much of a headache it was to get below the plenum, never mind getting it off, i decide to fit a remote oil filter relocation kit, got one of the early Driftworks ones 
Bolted it all up and hoped for the best.


The cooler that came with it was pretty substancial but an ARC one came on the market about the same time so, after allot of new dash 10 hoses and fittings got that fitted too
Anyway on my first outing Bath to where i live I popped in to see a lady friend who was interested in my GTR, and took her out for a spin, we stopped at a Shell garage to fill up and under the forecourt flood light i noticed oil on my front bumper,  what seemed to have happened was a small stone had flicked up off the road from a car in front and of all places hit one of the fins on my brand new, (to me) ARC oil cooler, it was knackered!!!!


Next thing to come whilst I was in the engine bay was a Greddy alloy rad from the lovely Matty32
And Greddy oil filter relocation kit and cooler again from Matty, to replace the broken ARC one. Turns out when i took the Driftworks one off there wasnt a very good seal with the block anyway and there was a slight oil leak so im sure it was fate that the stone hit the cooler! This time though we managed to ge the new sandwich plate on without the plenum comming off! Phew!
Also whilst i was in there i replaced the old R32 GTR powersteering pump with a nice lighter R33 GTR one, and fitted a 350Z power steering resevoir too to get it out of the way up front.
R32 Power Steering pump


R33 Power Steering pump
The brackets look look similar but aren't so you need to make sure you have that too!
I did have this dash dodger roll cage fitted to my car


You can just see it here in this pic of my car in Arnage high street


But it wouldnt fit with my new Recaro SPG XL's so it had to go, (making way for a bespoke weld in on in the future).
they wouldn't go back far enough for me to get behind the steering wheel!


About the same time I removed all of my dash and instrument surround and had it all flocked, here Thomas & Vines Ltd - UK's premier electrostatic flock coating company
In my mind it helps update the look of the old R32 GTR interior and also has obvious benefit of not reflecting in the windscreen when youre driving along.

it is black but because of its surface properties its not the easiest thing to photograph!
without carpets, and at the start of the interior strip!

I also painted my dash vents with Plasti-kote matt black to help them fit with the rest of the dash.

OK so with the interior and engine bay work mostly done for the year i started thinking about brakes. Mine was luckily fitted with R33 GTR Brembo's from when I bought it from Sterte but I never really felt that they were 100 % up to the job.
Anyway these Brembo F50's came up for sale on the forum with brakets and 343 discs with seperate bells.
Being a bit of a tart, and being a lover of restoring things I wasnt going to put them on my car as they were! 
First I stripped them back to the anodised surface that is below the original Brembo paint


Then luckily found some plastic caps, (think theyre off scaffolding or somthing) wich were the exact size of the piston seal holes on the calipers!
So no need for awkward masking around the piston bores. I then sprayed the caliper first with a gold high temp paint and then stuck them on gas mark 5 in my oven!  (was electric actually!)
Just to cure the paint before the top clear coat. Applied the high temp Brembo stickers and then applied the clear coat and popped them back i the oven! (be really careful doing this, im not recommending anyone else do it if your not sure, I take no responsibility for your safety either from oven miss use or your wife/better half when she finds out what you been up to!).
The final thing, not bad seeing how nasty they were when i got them after all those countless miles and track days!
In the end after trying them up next to my Gold/Bronze wheels i just thought the gold looked too similar to the wheels so stripped them again and painted them silver with red brembo stickers this time, (i will prob do them again when i get new wheels too).
I then replaced all of the inner and outer seals with STOPTECH seals from Zecckhausenhttps://store.zeckhausen.com/catalog/index.php, they were really great to deal with and the parts came nice and fast and well packaged too!
So with nice shiny brake calipers i went to fit them, too the old R33 Brembo's off and was faced with this!
Having addressed the rear suspension last winter i couldnt just bolt on and go! no way!
So i didnt a bit of a clean up on the whole lot!  And removed the backplates.
Thats much better!!! You can see here also im starting to trial fit the brake likes. I was lucky enough to have a spare set of F50's off an Jaguar XKR which i could use for test spacing etc and not scratch my newly painted calipers.
Oh I also got some brackets from my mate Al, (Lightspeed) to fit 355 rotors and managed to get some GTC ones fairly cheap! so decided to ditch the 343mm ones. (my mate Fil has bagged the spare F50's and the 343's for his Sil80 project).
So now with the F50's up front I'm fairly happy with the way she stops!


I have some Aston Martin rear 4 pot Brembo's which will be mated to the larger N1 R34 rear disc's (cheers Al) this year sometime. Al has done a few calculations and the brake balance with the F50's should be pretty much spot on!


The next thing, now i had a nice set of brakes and the engine bay supension felt pretty good and solid was to tidy up my rather messy interior. I had already stripped the carpet and sound proofing tar from the floor, (with a heat gun and white spirits, maybe not the safest or most recommended way to do it but it came out nice and clean, never again though!!!!)
(im pretty sure i used up one of my lives there!)
So i stripped everything out of the inside of the car and carfully masked off all of the windows, which took agaes, and i mean AGES!!!! the angels and all that from the inside are really trickey especially the rear one!

The following day i rolled it outside to find it had started to rain, only lightly but enough to make it awkward to spray the interior effectively! so......
My folks gazebo came in handy as an umbrella for my spraying antics! (actually looking at the pics i must have pushed it into the garage and then out agin the following day). Actually actually i remember now sitting on a car cover in its bag, instead of a seat and driving it back into the garage, what a hick!!!!


I used high build primer followed by a Mitsibushi Fiji Blue base coat and then finally a 2 pack clear coat, (in an aerosol  clever hey!
Think the results look much neater!


And much more in keeping with the Group A look i love!!! 

To protect the paint in the footwells i fabricated a couple of checker plate footplates. And used the existing holes that were in the floor below the tar and from when i removed my roll cage.



I felt like i could take her to Le Mans now and not be ashamed of the interior!


I managed to squeeze in a couple more cosmetic jobs before sailing to Le Mans! (for me and my mates its all about that weekend so its worth putting in the extra effort!)

I managed to grab some bargain genuine Nismo bumper vents off ebay to go with the Nismo side skirts and Greddy rear spat i had already fitted since buying the car, (not sure i have pics of that stage but i will look!).

The thing about the Nismo vents is if you fit them wrong they look terrible!

I sprayed them up to match my car again, high build followed by base cot and then 2 pack, (all rattle cans).

I also contacted the guy who i bought the vents off as i knew he had crashed his car and asked if i could buy the old bumper and the bumper bar off him?
He agreed and we exchanged some cash, (wont say how much! eeek!)
And the damaged parts arrived at work. At thsi point my DC2 was off the road and i was cycling/training it, to work so imagine the sight of me getting these home on my bike and on the train. Not to mention everyone asking why the hell id payed money for that crashed rubbish?????

The section out of the bumber i needed, the bumper bar was totalled but i could still take measurements from it!

After lots of masking and measuring and re measuring, i took my dremel to the bumper!
I wasnt too worried as the bumper and splitter have allot of tiny stone chips so i wasnt too precious as its prob the worst bit of the whole car if im honest


Think it turned out pretty good! and the paint match isnt too bad considering the paint has been on the car now for a good 5 or so years!
Next I had to tackle the bumper bar, which was a much more difficult job!
The metal is clearly much, much harder to cut and in the end i used a metal cutting attachment on my angle grider! The neighbours must hate me and my noisy car/hobby! thats another story!
Anyway in the end i got the job done and managed to get it all rust protected too! It was a big fingers crossed that it would all fit back together.

While i was there i replaced all the bumper mounting bolts with stainless ones. Its a little fettish of mine!  mmmm stainless nuts and bolts!


I also previously fitted my Aerocatches too, which look great but I still have issues to sort out with them and the pins in the crossmember, (im in discussions with another member about this to try and rectify it).
The stickers on my bumper are only there as when i bought it it had a large scratch on the passengers side so it was just to cover that up, but i actually don't mind them now!


So my final job before Le Mans O9 was to fit my Nitron Dampers, I work on a contract basis and when i got my last contract i decided it was one of the things i really wanted was new dampers, i looked into allot of different brands, but kept comming back to Nitron's. (Al and I have a thing about nice dampers and he seems to love Quatums as much as I love Nitron's) Its amazing in this day and age to actually want to buy somthing thats British made, the quality and design that has gone into these things is outstanding, and the best part is i was able to get just the fronts alone, (will get the rears on my next contract ) And they can do rebuilds/spares farely cheaply and easily and the lead times are pretty quick on them too, (oh and you can buy them straight from Nitron too!).
And the lovely Dora who sorts out all of the orders sounds very cute! nuff said!


Out with the old, (but great HKS shocks)



And in with the new!
After talking to Nitron and finding out how rediculously easy it is to strip these bad boys, i decided for piece of mind id fit some sock boots, (nitron dont do them so i had to find some custom ones and modify them to fit, but they worked out great!)

After all the uk roads arent the cleanest of places in the world! (I generally avoid driving my car in the rain if i can but you never know! )

Mmmmmmm Nitron Quality!



The only other problem now, was when fitting the dampers. Where do i fit the remote reservoirs????? I posted on here but there seemed to be very few if any other R32 GTR's using these dampers so i first off tried a few different positions with the coil springs in place.


But just couldnt be 100% sure so in the end I took tham apart took the springs off and tested the damper under full, or nealy full compression to see if there were any contact/fouling issues.
In the end i went for the remote resevoirs sitting inside the strut tower recesses, as although there wasnt miles of clearance between them and the inner wings they did seem to clear with about 7mm gaps all around the resevoirs. And under compression the dont seem to move from side to side more than a mm or so.
So watch this space!



Ooops forgot to mention i also fitted my Greddy hard pipe and Filter kit prior to leaving for Le mans, which was a bonus, and seems to go with my Blue, Yellow, polished colour scheme on the car pretty well too!

before, (i do miss those Apex'i filters)



After (cheers Matty for the nice shiny pipes!)
Took about a day with a very bad back to fit, but it was sunny and we had lots of tea and biscuits so all was very pleasant! (Cheers Fil/Izzie)


So whats next for the love of my life? ahem i mean my GTR? And my parents lovely double garage? (cheers Baz and Babs
Well even though a while ago i fitted adjustable suspension ares front and rear, to my nicely painted rear subframe
I recently got these from Andy W (cheers fella)


Ive just bought a new front and rear subframe off a nice chap off here and i intend to get them both stripped and galvonised and then get together my ultimate chasis setup next!

Oh and Fil and I bought this 4 post lift so it should make life a bit easier too!

And then once the car is good and totally solid as a base car, Im going to start on the engine rebuild to match the rest of it.
Hopefully in the region of 600bhp depending on what my mentor Al, (Lightspeed), Chris and I come up with.
Big thanks to Fil, Al, Baz and Babs and Helen, (my ex) for all your help and support with my passion for this absolutely wonderful car.



Just to show how worth while it has been doing all this stuff to my car here's a parting shot for now.
This was the day we had set up camp at Le Mans this year. We had parked up and my bonnet was open, then suddenly out of nowhere this happened!!!!My mate Rob who had driven down with us has a 50 grand 06 Porsche 997 Carrera 4 S, he just couldnt belive it!  not one look at his sleek black beast, not one photo, not so much as a second glance did he get for his Porsche!
But oh boy do they love the GTR at Le mans!!!!!
If i had put a collection tin next to my car for every pic i had taken of it id be able to afford that engine rebuild right now!

(Rob was the one in the chair with his head cut off he was not amused!)


November 30, 2009... Winter work
So work begins for another winter, the GTR is up in my folks garage again til it warms up and there's no sign of salt on the roads!

The first thing im going to be working on is my new rear suspension/subframe setup! I bought a spare front and rear subframe from interloper393 on here and they are in really great condition, no rust, cheers buddy!

Thought id put some casters on a wooden palette so once my car is in the air and the wheels are off i can shove the whole lot underneath inbetween times where im working on it.

First thing was to get the old subframe bushes taken out, never an easy job, but they're out without distortion/damage to the subframe sections. (ready for my nice new blue Noltec SF bushes like Chris, Sub Boy, has in his).



Now I wanted to reinforce the flexible suspension arm mountings of the rear subframe, which are designed to aid the rear wheel steering by having some flex in them, (seeing as I dont have my Hicas anymore  ). Thanks to Al again for his advice on this subject. This I believe is what the Group A GTR's had done to them.

So I worked out with various pieces of card a good size of plate to reinforce the rear top suspension mounting point first.
Once I was happy with this i used a angle grinder with a cutting attachment to cut out the shape from 1.5mm steel plate. (same as gauge the suspension arms). cost me 2 quid from the local farming fabricator).

I used a stepper drill to make the holes for the handbrake cable routing and then again a grinder to join up the two holes. 

Cleaned up the subframe where it would be welded in place with one of those weird composite drill attachment that are designed to just take the paint off and not damage the metal.
Then clamped it all up together ready for MIG welding.
December 1, 2009... Welding
Ok so 2 christmas's ago i got a MIG welder from my ex! cheers me dear!  (wasnt an ex at the time mind).
Anyway never got round to even taking it out of the box i was soooo busy!
So last Sat night for some reason i woke up at 4am and just could get to sleep, so i thought im gonna get that welder out of the cupboard, out of the box and put it together! So that took me all of 30 mins, right what to do now, learn to weld, how, on Youtube!!!!
Spend 3 hours going through all of the MIG welding videos i could find at the end of it felt sure id be able to give it a go!

So after about another 3 hours of prep and set up i decided to have a go, (bare in mind this is the very first time i have even held a welder never mind used one in anger!)
Had a quick 20 min practice on a scrap of steel plate and then did this.

I might grind some of the bottom ones and not so tidy ones off and do them again just because i was kind of getting into it by the time i started doing the neater ones at the sides but i had to pack up for the day and travel back from my folks to my place.


The other thing i started doing was giving my full set of Ikeya Formula arms a re paint.
When i got them off Andy H they were in fantastic condition,(cheers buddy ) but I like things to be as new, and im prob only ever going to have this chance to have them all off in one go so i thought sod it re paint them all while im there!
So i carefully heated the stickers with a heat gun and then used a blunt scalpel blade to peel them off.

Before



I put the stickers on some grease proof paper, (sounds like bloody blue peter this!  ) and put them in the middle of the pages of a chunky book to keep them flat.


I gave them a quick light sand to give the primer a good key.
Then used various things to mask them off:-
I used the tops of coke bottles (trademark of Coca-cola enterprises ltd) 
And double sided sticky tape to mask off the spherical bearing on the rear lower arms

And a combination of masking tape and water colour masking fluid, (paint it on with a brush) to mask off the rubber seals of the front top camber arms.
I spent ages trying to get a good colour match for the Ikeya arms, they're a weird greeny/gold pearl colour. In the end i looked at about a 80 different manufacturers swatches at car paint warehouse in Bristol before finding one thats about 95% right, its a peugeot colour, (i'll post the code when im back home again).
Then once this had all hardened, (used a heat gun to help bake the paint slightly between coats) I gave the whole lot a few coats of 2 Pack clear. (will re apply the ikeya Formula stickers once they've properly hardened).
Theyre now hanging up in my folks loft out of the way to dry/harden for a few weeks while i get on with the rest of the subframe reinforcement welding.

Oh just a sneak preview of my new Aston Martin mono block Brembo stoppers, which will of course be getting a complete refurb with the same treatment as the Brembo F50's i did last year. (there's nouwt wrong with the F50's just found these at a very good price!). And i like a good project!


6 pot fronts
4 pot rears
January 19, 2010... minor updates
OK as previously mentioned, black subframes dont photograph too well! especially in winter light! (flash photography just looks horrible).
So here goes.
Hopefully you can get an idea of the reinforcement points of my subframe from the pics below.





Gave them a coat of Halfords Satin Black just to protect the new metal from the elements!

Oh by the way, Al advised me to have the suspension arms in place and roughly tightened before welding the plates on, good call Al!

Once I've coated the subframe to protect it all im going to fit these beauties! Cheers Chris for the heads up on these!

Lovely Noltec main subframe bushes.
Hopefully updates will speed up a bit now im under way with my winter build!

Cheers for all the kind comments. Miguel glad you approve buddy means allot!

January 26, 2010...  near finished the subframe
A little more progress today with my rear subframe.
I dropped it off at a plastic coaters in Bristol on Friday to get the whole thing and the Diff bracket shot blasted after fitting the eight reinforcement plates.

Picked it up today and was very pleased with the finished article, things always look so nice when theyre freshly blasted.
A bit easier to see the plating now its not black anymore.
So ive decided to get the whole lot Galvanized  There is a risk of metal distortion due to the heat but the guy who does this every day said it shouldn't be a problem on the subframe. They had a TVR chassis in the yard which had been done and wasnt a problem. 

"Hot-dip galvanizing is a form of galvanization. It is the process of coating iron, steel, or aluminum with a thin zinc layer, by passing the metal through a molten bath of zinc at a temperature of around 860 °F (460 °C). When exposed to the atmosphere, the pure zinc (Zn) reacts with oxygen (O2) to form zinc oxide (ZnO), which further reacts with carbon dioxide (CO2) to form zinc carbonate (ZnCO3), a usually dull grey, fairly strong material that stops further corrosion in many circumstances, protecting the steel below from the elements."

This hopefully should give a good base layer, (even inside the hollow tubing)for whatever top protection coat I go for, (probably powder coating, but still looking into it), Open to ideas/suggestions? 

Here it was on the pallette at the galvanizers, they leave it outside for a bit apparently a bit of surface rust helps the process!  Maybe it helps with the first stage of the process, acid dipping (to finally clean it all back again) prior to it being zinc coated? 
I'll get some more pics up as soon as I get it back from the Galvanizer on Friday. 

January 27, 2010... Polished pipes
While I am waiting for my subframe to be done and having a nasty dose of man flu, I decided to give the last piece of hardpipe i needed a polish, cheers Leo, (Austrian GTR) for the pipe buddy! . Never done any polishing before, well apart from a bit of brasso on ready polished pipes so thought id give it a go.

Here's the pipe as I got it from Leo. In great condition but as Leo had said not polished.
I first got rid of all of the orange peel on the casting with some fairly coarse wet and dry paper 240 i think. Then when i was happy it was fairly flat, i started on 400 grit to take out the larger scratches left by the fisrt step. Then repeated with 600, 800 and then finally 1200. All done in my washing up bowl in my sink. I kept looking to see if all the scratches had gone and if not kept working on that area. 
The casting has a few black specs if you look close, (HKS casting doesnt seem quite as good as Greddy stuff).
But is came up ok.

Then i used one of those long drill attachments and a polishing wheel and some brown polish from my local motorcycle restoration store.
Using a little polish at a time until it came up like this,
Should match the rest of my hard pipes a bit better now.

As promised pics of the rear subframe after a trip to the galvanizers. It came out pretty good, took me a few hours to carefully clean it all up, (its an industrial process so you get the odd drip etc). Used a small grinding tool on my dremel.
Doesnt look as if theres any distortion but i guess until I try and bolt it all back together I wont truely know! 




Luckily i had time to work on it last night before taking it to the powder coaters today, Id defo recommend allowing yourself time for clean up between the two processes if you're going to be doing this. 

The subframe is now at the powder coaters and ive chosen a rather fetching turquoise colour for it.
Should look pretty trick with the gold of the Ikeya Formula arms.

February 14, 2010... Love!
Just a small update specially for Scotty!
Ive modded my SARD, STACK dash surround to accept a 52mm gauge either side of the main unit, Ive gone for a STACK boost gauge on the right and am either going for an oil pressure, EGT or wideband gauge on the left.
Ive also moved the warning lights to allow for the new gauges.
Once ive fitted the other gauge I just need to work out which warning light does what and apply the decals that come with the SARD dash before i can start thinking about installing it, (which im sure is gonna be fun!!!)

Next Day
So this may not be everyones taste, but I quite like the way the Japanese use strong random unusual colours for their parts, (that dont necessarily go with the cars theyre fitted to) Takata Green, HKS Pink/Purple, Tein Green etc etc. (so anyway enough of my excuses).

Here's the powder coated turquoise subframe next to some of the Ikeya arms and the Noltec bushes. (just placd on top).
Nobodies ever gonna see it day to day but when its up on a ramp its gonna be a joy to behold!!! (hopefully). Well to me anyways!!!
Been a bit too busy to get them all fitted so its going on the back burner for a few weeks whilst I sort the other stuff out. Engine plans/thoughts are beginning!

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