Progress Bar: R32 Part 12 - Going Full Race

The past few weeks have seen both good news and bad news for my R32. The bad news is that my friend Dan had to stop working on the car at his shop because he decided he was tired of working on cars and the rape of the environment they embodied so he was going to adopt the life of an ascetic monk and retreat to a wilderness cave where he'll try to reach enlightenment by running around naked and chewing on wild berries and shrooms.

Or his wife got reassigned to California and so he had to skip town too. It was one of the two. Minor details.

The good news however is that the car has made the transfer to some good hands and hopefully we're in the homestretch of my Nismo's restoration to fitness. Before getting out of Dodge (ironic because he's a Mopar guy) Dan dropped off my car at Full Race Motorsports in Phoenix who were very gracious in helping us with some last-minute turbo fitting tweaks before turning the car over to a tuner shop up there to finish the build.
At Full Race's workshop.

As much of a hassle as it is to have moved the car three hours away it was always in the plan anyway because we would have needed a shop there to do the final tuning on the ProEFI ECU. Besides, a city named Phoenix doesn't sound like a bad place for my car to complete its resurrection.

Having mentioned Full Race, I can't say enough about the huge help they've been with my car. We ran into some fitment issues with the turbo kit which Full Race found were due to some peculiar mods done to it by the previous owner. Another company might have brushed us off and left us to figure it out for ourselves but Brett Mayes, the manager of Full Race, and his staff have been really helpful and took my car in to check it out and fixed the issue really quickly. Brett personally gave the car a once over himself and offered some very useful advice to help finish the build based on his years of experience and then introduced me to the shop owner he recommended to take care of the rest. More on this great group of guys in a future post.

So, where are we at? As much as I'd like to say all that's left to do is to put some good old pureed dinosaur juice in the tank and give a size 9 shove to the gas pedal, there's still quite a lot of work remaining but thankfully the biggest task has been done: ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my Nismo R32's engine bay with the new Nismo Fine Spec motor in place (for keeps hopefully this time):
Can't wait to hear this thing fire up!
Having to make two turbos and all the associated paraphernalia fit inside an engine bay makes you appreciate why some people worship at the temple of NA. Too bad I'm not in that camp :)

In the intervening time since my last post the new Tomei oil pump was installed, the Nismo twin-plate clutch put in, and the transmission has been shoved back under the car.
This should help keep everything oily and happy.

And since we found the original engine harness looked like it had gotten into a fistfight with Edward Scissorhands' Japanese cousin it was quickly chucked out in favor of a brand-new one from Wiring Specialties. All you fellow R32 owners out there should seriously consider picking up one of their excellent replacements if your babies have been subjected to the Scotchlok attack that's all too common on these cars.
If you see this in your R32 run away real fast and get one of these...

...a nice new Wiring Specialties harness to make the bad stuff go away.

Now, the car still doesn't have much go but it will stop now since all the brakes are back together and working. Really love the copper color on the calipers!
Red is so '90s, girlfriend. Copper is all the rage in Paris this season.

Oh, and there's also the little thing of the interior being almost finished. It would have been all done except the car couldn't be turned on yet so I couldn't test the lights and meters and I'd rather not tear apart trim panels twice if I can help it. In case you're wondering what the metal plate in the passenger footwell is, that's a Sparco navigator's footplate that we used to secure the ProEFI ECU. The ProEFI 128 is a very well-built unit and is much more powerful than the old OEM ECU but unfortunately it's a bit of a chunky monkey so rather than trying to shove it somewhere it didn't like and would be hard to get to we adopted Brett's suggestion and made effectively a false floor with the Sparco plate. Yes it cuts down on the legroom a little but anyone who wants to complain about a few inches of lost legroom while riding in my built Nismo R32 gets the ejecto seato treatment.
Just a little bit more!
Here you can see why we did the false floor. That grey box on the left is the stock Nissan ECU and that big foil wrapped brick on the right is the ProEFI 128. I hear half the space in it is taken up by military grade ECM for avoiding speed traps and jamming SAM batteries but my source couldn't tell me more because some black helicopters showed up all of a sudden. Weird.

Having the seats back in and the interior mostly done meant I could sit in the car again and make “vroom, vroom” sounds at least. Hopefully next time I get to sit my ass back in the drivers seat I won't have to fake noises like an amateur porn star anymore.

Real driving sounds will have to wait a little bit longer though since there's still a load of detail work to do but hopefully Progress Bar number 13 will be more auspicious than the supposedly unlucky number it'll be getting. Until that time comes, thanks again for reading!


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