Custom Interior Instrument Cluster and Dash Console Gauges Racing Seats and Steering Wheel and Electronics Controllers
We start by removing the gear shift knob and the shifter boot, this gives you access to 4 screws, which when removed will allow the center console trim to come off. From there, depending on your own set up, you can remove the triple gauges, the stereo, the climate control, all the brackets, and ashtray and cigarette lighter.
|Defi wiring for control unit|
|Greddy timer harness|
Then it's down under the driver side dashboard to connect the ignition harness for the turbo timer. I extended the harness to reach the center console, having this little optional harness makes life a lot easier than having to splice into the ignition wires. It's far safer, and much quicker too. It also allowed me to pick up the power, accessory and ignition wiring for the Defi control unit as well, again rather than splicing into the wiring of the car itself.
I'd decided to change out all of the old white and green light globes for new red LED's, which I'd ordered from a member on the Australian forum. I started with the instrument cluster, as this was only a matter of swapping the bulbs directly and didn't require any customization at all. The end result of this swap was quite nice I think, pictured below:
|Veilside 340 km/h instrument cluster with red LED's|
|Dismantling the AC unit|
|Replacing bulbs with LED's|
Then, using some sheet metal, I fabricated some mounting brackets, bent them to hold the unit in place, and secured it down with screws. I'd only seen this done on a few cars from the U.K. prior to my attempt, so I didn't have much to go on, but in the end it turned out to fit really nicely in it's new location:
I quickly snapped on the face plate and the console surround, it looked pretty good, and would require maybe a piece of rubber along the bottom to make it look less custom and more factory.
With the center console plans coming together nicely, I needed to put the oil pressure and boost pressure gauges somewhere. I ordered a Greddy A-Pillar dual gauge pod and fitted it to my A-pillar. Installing the Greddy gauge holder is simply a matter of positioning it where you like on the A-pillar, and securing it with the 3 screws provided.
Installation required me to run the gauge wiring from the center console, back through the dashboard and up into the A-pillar, but once it was all installed, I think it turned out quite nice.
Now, with the cluster finished and the A-pillar looking sharp and clean, I focused my attention back to the center console itself. The climate control unit was working out well, but I had nothing to hold the 2 temperature gauges, and the control unit.
A friend of mine fabricated a Carbon fiber-Kevlar red and black weave for me to use as a center consoler backing plate. So I trimmed it to the exact shape of 3 DIN units, and then traced out a template for the gauges and the Defi control unit. I cut the holes for each, and secured the gauges in place. Then I fabricated 2 brackets to hold the Defi controller, secured them in place with rivets and the finished product was rather sharp looking.
Through all this, I decided I did want a stereo installed later on, so I would need to leave exactly one DIN unit to fit the stereo in at the bottom, which meant I needed to fins a new place to mount the Greddy turbo timer. The timer had a blue screen which didn't match my theme of red lightning, and I felt it would be an eye sore to have one blue screen against all that red.
My solution was to move the Greddy unit to the notched area just after the center arm rest. It would sit low, and out of primary eye-sight but would still be easily accessible when I wanted to use it, which might be frequently on track days seeing as it has a tonne of other features like; volt meter, time attack meter 0-100, 0-200 etc...
So I extended the Greddy wiring harness myself, and lifted the center console out completely to run the wires for it, I also needed to tap into the brown wire to give it the signal for the hand brake being up or down, and another wire needed to tap into the ECU wiring loom to pick up vehicle speed, as this unit can automatically choose a cool down time based on how long you drove the car and how fast you drove it. The finished result of that can be seen in the photo below, that blue light in the center console is the Greddy unit all wired up and working properly:
It's a very elegant designed interior now, with a lot of functionality built into it, and I didn't sacrifice much in the way of comfort, if anything. Next I had to find a stereo and install it into the remaining DIN slot.
I picked up this Pioneer unit as it met all my requirements for what I wanted in a stereo, 50 watts for each speaker, and the lighting display was red, a perfect match for my theme.
The installation of the radio is pretty straight forward following the users manual included. If you're lucky enough to find a wiring harness that will work in the Skyline then use that by all means. In my case I decided to run new speaker wires for all 4 speakers, one set of heavy gauge to each door panel, and a pair to the rear. Soldering together all the speaker wire connections, it only leaves the ignition switch power (0 Volts when car is off and 12 Volts when car is on), the constant 12V supply line, and a ground, easy enough. Using the standard oem radio brackets the new radio should bolt right in.
From there I trimmed the CF panel and finish it off with a bit or rubber molding to clean up the edges.
The night display is really nice, I like the way it turned out. The reason I'd chosen all red as a theme is because red is the least distracting color to a driver, and will insure I keep my eyes on the road, where they should be. If a problem should ever arise the Defi management system has pre-programmed alerts and bells if the oil pressure should fall too low, or temperatures get too high.
|Defi gauges on full illumination|
|Defi gauges on dim illumination|
After noticing my drivers' seat was starting to deteriorate, I inquired on a few local forums for people selling Bride, and Sparco seats, but I really liked the comfort of oem seats, a friend has R34 GTR seats in his R32, and I sat in them a few times and really loved the way they felt and looked. Then I happened to come across a set of R34 seats for sale, in the city, not too far away, and at a very hard to refuse price too. I took in my old R32 seats, and traded them in towards these new R34 seats.
I had asked a few people if R34 seats were direct swap and they all told me yes. Unfortunately when I got them home I realized the seat belt buckles were different, and the r32 clip would not fit into the r34 buckle. So I asked on GTRCanada, and someone was kind enough to send me a set of R32 buckles within the week. Then I swapped the buckles over, and all fit nicely...
But thats not the only thing that wasn't direct fit, there was one other very minor detail. The bracket for the driver side, front right hand bolt, where it attaches to the floor, is actually flat on the R34, but bent down on the R32. This is quite easy to compensate for with one quick tap from a hammer, the metal folds over and the bolt holes line up perfectly.
So, if anyone ever asks you if R34 seats are a direct swap into an R32, the REAL answer is no... But, it's pretty easy to make them fit. The full install of these took me no more than one hour, not including wait time for R32 buckles...
Finally with the new leather boots on the shifter and e-brake;