Overnight Parts From Japan: Where To Get Parts For Your R32 Skyline Part 2 of 2
Let's continue from part 1 with some harder-to-find items.
For BIG stuff (i.e. body panels)
I'm listing this store separately because although they also carry some OEM replacement and aftermarket parts like the ones in the previous section, this shop is your best bet if you need something big like in my case - a replacement OEM bumper cover to swap for the original one the previous owner had cut into.
- RightDriveParts – based in Canada so if you need a bigger part they can save you a lot on shipping because they'll have the piece shipped to them from Japan by container first together with their regular shipment (they also bring in used JDM cars and parts) and then just bill you shipping from them to the US. Also has some OEM parts like moldings and badges (and their prices can be much better than getting direct from Japan) plus some aftermarket parts and useful items like the license plate adapters I mentioned in a previous post. Very helpful if you email them for parts you need that aren't listed on their site but can sometimes take a while to respond. Have made several orders with them including the bumper cover I mentioned and have had no problems at all.
|Want a big box like this of your own to play with? Give RightDriveParts a call!|
Discontinued, used, and rare parts
Being 25 years old there are quite a few parts for the R32 Skyline that are out of production now ranging from the Nismo intercooler upgrade to the super rare hentai mudflaps from SOX Speed Factory that supposedly add 15 horsepower (and I may or may not have entirely made up). If you're the kind of hardcore enthusiast (or sick perv) that wants those kinds of items you'll need patience and be willing to do a lot of internet searching. Sites like these are your best bet:
- Yahoo Auctions Japan – like eBay but far more inscrutable to us Westerners and only allows you to ship to a Japanese address so you'll probably need a proxy service to place a bid and then have the item shipped to you. Haven't bought anything from it yet myself but have been looking around – cause those hentai mudflaps are super, mega, ultra, platinum rare I tell ya.
- Ebay – not as many rare JDM parts but still worth checking of course. Good for finding common used parts. You can also find more common new parts like timing belts, aero parts, and so on but of course buyer beware of cheap knock-off parts.
- Online forum ads – since markets like the UK, Canada, and Australia have been lucky enough to have these cars for far longer than us it pays to keep an eye out on forums like Skylineowners.com and SAU if there's a part you seek in case someone decides to let it go - such as when they realize that ARC airbox in the garage is now a rodent's nest or an old titanium strut bar has squashed the family cat.
Here's another separate section for one shop because there's really only one place I've found for OEM fitment carpet that ships to the US. I know of one other place that sells replacement carpet but they specifically say they don't ship outside of Australia (what is this, the 19th century? It's a global economy now people!)
- Allcarcarpet – eBay seller based in Australia. Offers newly manufactured replacement carpet based on molds of the OEM floorpan. Available in different colors and types of carpet. Took about a month to get my carpet and won't give updates unless you pester them with an email but the carpet is good quality. Note that the carpet is in two pieces rather than the single OEM piece but the seam is located in a logical place that shouldn't be noticeable. Also it isn't pre-cut with holes for the shifter, console, etc. so you need your original carpet as a template. I haven't put mine in yet so I'll update with more impressions once my car gets back from paint and we do the install.
A Word On Shipping
If you do decide to order from the Japanese stores that I've mentioned you'll often be given a choice of different shipping methods – the most common three are DHL, FedEx Express, and EMS. Though price might seem like the major deciding factor there are certain things to consider.
FedEx is usually the fastest way to go – items can arrive within 3-4 days of the seller shipping. The price is also often much cheaper than EMS and as cheap or only slightly more than DHL. However, almost every package I've used FedEx on has resulted in a call or email from one of their agents for clarification on the contents for customs purposes and then about a week or two after receiving the shipment I've gotten a bill from them for customs duties. Added costs are never fun.
EMS is airmail through the regular post – it's often the most expensive of the three especially for larger shipments from my experience. Also may take the longest (up to a week from the shop posting the package but usually less) but still fast considering it's coming from across the Pacific. I've yet to get a bill for customs duties on EMS packages - most EMS shipments are for individuals (unlike FedEx which has many commercial recipients) so customs rarely holds them or levies customs duties unless the package is declared above a certain dollar value ($2000 I beleive).
DHL is like FedEx. Just as fast but I've only used them once so far. Usually a bit cheaper than FedEx and much cheaper than EMS. No customs duties on that one shipment.
Those are just some things to consider since you should be aware of the extra costs of customs duties so you don't get caught out later on.
That's it for now. I'm always looking out for more sources of parts for my car so I'll update this list as I find more places. Note that I haven't listed any scrapyards – of which there are many overseas that are recycling Skylines – since I've yet to buy anything from them.
If you have a Skyline parts source you recommend that I haven't listed please feel free to put it in the comments and I'll check it out for possible inclusion.