Progress Bar: R32 Part 11 – It Won't Be Soon Before Long

Finally my Nismo R32's restoration slash build has hit an important milestone – we've actually put the new engine in the car for the first time! WOOHOO! TIME TO PARTY, BOYS!
Nice to see the engine bay with an actual engine again after all these months.

Ahem. Well, maybe it's not quite champagne and hookers time since as you'll note I said we put the new engine in for the first time. Since there's a lot of new parts going into this freshly-painted engine bay, most importantly a brand new motor with an enlarged oil pan and a Full Race turbo kit that uses very different routing compared to the stock turbos, test fitting things to ensure everything can go where it needs to be is important. So, as you can see from the pics the engine was quickly chucked into the car by my friend Dan and his assistant and just as quickly plucked out again to finish up assembly.
What goes in...

...had to come out again unfortunately.
The biggest holdup recently was installing the new Nismo front LSD together with the gearing from my old motor to ensure we had the proper R32 4.11:1 ratio instead of the 3.54:1 ratio the R34-spec Nismo motor came with. To do it properly meant some pretty fiddly work on Dan's part. First problem was that the shims needed to install the front diff are no longer available to order from Nissan so we had to have a machine shop make some for us to our needed specs. Keep that tidbit in mind if any of you guys out there want to do a front diff swap in the future. If you need help getting the shims email me and I can probably help you get sorted. Next he had to order a very precise Snap On torque wrench that took ages to get. The tolerances for setting the preload on a GT-R front diff were obviously not designed to be handled by a 20 buck Harbor Freight torque wrench and taking the time to get it right is far more welcome to me than ending up with a lunched diff.

Finally some of the bits and bobs are going back in rather than coming out.

Now that that's done though Dan can do his magic and start working on getting all the peripheral bits installed that are needed for a properly working car. You know, little things like the alternator, power steering pump, a/c compressor, the exhaust – minor things really.
Making sure these nice new turbos fit will be important.

Test fitting that Y-pipe I (sloppily) wrapped.

Speaking of little things, my original plan was to ditch the tiny stock battery and put a proper 100% all-meat, all-American, bigger-than-Donald Trump's ego battery but keep it in the stock engine bay location. However that all changed when we realized that now that I'm going to be running a Tein electronically adjustable coilover setup we'd need to find a power source in the trunk for the rear shocks' stepper motors. Well, why tap into random lines when you can have the power right there? And so into the trunk will be going an Optima Yellow Top battery in a billet mount for maximum slickness – and this time we'll do the wiring routing right instead of the slapdash job the previous owner did of running it under the car for every random rat, raccoon, and crazy Japanese drug addict to gnaw on and mildly electrocute themselves with. We're putting the wires through the cabin this time 'cause I like my wires to be where I can simply reach down, give them a reassuring pat once in a while, and tell them “Good job!” after every successful startup.
The trunk's starting to come together nicely.

Oh, and we chucked a Cusco CF strut bar in there while we were at it.

Now's a good time for me to reveal the slick new look of my refurbished brake calipers:

Now my stoppers will be in a lovely shade of copper to match my R35's Brembos. You can also see all the shiny Nismo suspension bits as well as the brand new DBA brake rotors. I can't wait until all four corners are reassembled with my TE37s back on. Clean? Son, they'll make a nun's cotton undies look darker than midnight by comparison when it's all done :)

The interior hasn't been neglected either. Remember my posts about freshening up my tatty-looking door cards? Well they're back in now and what a sight they are to see compared to how they looked before when I first got the car.
Looks new almost :)

In addition the center console is going back together. Note the new, blemish free panels and the shiny new CF bin cover. The parking brake now has supple new Italian cow skin instead of the old worn pseudo-leather it had before. Also the AC controls and center gauges are back in and getting acquainted with their new neighbor: a brand new Kenwood Excelon head unit that will be far nicer looking and useful than the utterly hopeless Minidisc player that used to be in there. My unf*cked instrument cluster has also been reunited with the car and now I just need to wait until we can run power again to test the electricals work before buttoning everything back up to have a proper interior again. Oh that will be awesome when that happens!
The interior is finally starting to resemble an actual car again.

The new, non-useless Kenwood head unit is in. Watch out in the future for my plans to spiffy up those triple gauges on top.

My Nismo S-tune sway bars also arrived - and here you can see the huge difference between the stock front and the new Nismo piece.

And that sums up the current status of my pet Nismo. As the post title implies (with apologies to Maroon 5 for stealing their album title) we're still a ways away from completion but now the end is finally looking closer than ever!