Finally, An Update!

After a few months of one big commitment or project segueing into another in a seemingly endless conga line of hecticness, I finally had a chance to sit in front of the computer and make an update post. Yes, I've tossed up some quick posts with racing videos shared on the YouTube channel but my last post that I was truly able to properly devote some time to was the one on the Nissan USA Heritage Collection – which had already been considerably delayed, and that I still need to do some follow-up articles for. That was way back in the halcyon days of four months ago.

What's been keeping me busy? Well, I'll try to keep this to a short summary but that may be about as easy as keeping a project car on a tight budget. In other words, next to impossible, so buckle up, peeps!

Let's begin with the natural starting point for a car blog: my cars. I made some upgrades to my R34 that I'll detail later on but what kept me really busy was trying to track down the source of annoying misfires on both my RB26-powered GT-Rs. Yup, just my luck that both of them would get sick at the same time. And I thought COVID was the only contagious thing I had to worry about.

First the R32 developed a misfire that would only occur after the engine had been running for some time and was warm. Then a few weeks later the R34 got an intermittent misfire that eventually became consistent. The causes were different and thankfully both have been fixed now but it took copious amounts of hard labor and no small amount of swearing on my part and my friends to get both cars sorted.

The R35 also developed a minor niggle in the form of a recurrent airbag light fault that I thought was just down to a bad resistor from when I replaced the stock seats years ago but eventually it turned out to be due to the 12V battery needing replacement because it wasn't holding sufficient charge consistently anymore. Not a big issue but it still ate up a decent amount of time tracking down.

Getting back to the R34, one of the upgrades was a new set of wheels – a big change I'd been planning ever since I bought the car. That turned out to be a saga in itself as the first set of wheels I bought – and waited nine months for – didn't quite fit. Definitely not fun to be told you now have a nice set of 18-inch diameter forged aluminum paperweights instead of some swanky new rollers. More on that in another post.

Once that all got sorted I also had a major upheaval in my stable of vehicles. After over a year of waiting Nissan finally delivered the Ariya EV I made a reservation for way back in November 2021. Since the Ariya would now be my daily driver I agonized over what to do about my faithful Scion FR-S that had been performing those duties ever since I bought her new 10 years ago. Silly old me was tempted to keep her and turn her into a dedicated track car despite not having any place to park her where she'd be safe and protected from the raging Arizona sun. Eventually, practical considerations won and I sold her – or rather a good friend sold her and got me quite a bit more than my asking price. Which is good because I had to spend a bunch of money and time on important stuff for the Ariya like a level 2 charger for my garage and an urgent renewal of my Man Card so that my car nut friends wouldn't give me so much grief over going electric.

Actually my friends were cool with my new alternative automotive lifestyle since I still kept my far less “woke” GT-Rs. Besides, most car nuts with a modified, vintage, or project car – or three, or five, or thirty-two – know you have to have at least one reliable stock-ish car so why not a golf cart, err, I mean, an EV? Expect some future posts about what it's like for a die-hard modified import car nut to become a first-time EV owner.

As if all of that stuff weren't enough I was committed to three major trips in a row. First was going back to my old home country of the Philippines in October – although I'd gone back in the summer already I was making up for lost traveling time thanks to the bug-that-shall-not-be-named. Even one of the all-too-common tropical storms couldn't keep my family and I from hitting up some nice resorts during that trip.

Barely a month after that it was my mom's turn to come visit the US from the old country so that meant a family road trip over here – this time to Tucson, Arizona where we dodged cacti, drove up a mountain for some snow, and squeed over a bunch of friendly capybaras.

And then after the holiday season passed it was time for the big trip I'd been waiting forever for! Ten days back in the great land of Nippon! I was supposed to meet a friend there but sadly that didn't pan out. Luckily however, I was able to join the Dsport TAS Tour group again. Just like my first time with the Dsport crew in 2017 it was an amazing time so look forward to another write-up about that in the future! Yes, I mean it, I plan to keep updating this blog as long as I'm able to type and as long as we still own cars instead of personal anti-gravity units so I hope you'll check back and I'll try not to keep the wait too long between posts!


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