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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I've been a member of this Forum making the most of it's wealth of information for sometime now and as I've pretty well completed the restoration of my R33 GT (N/A) Skyline I thought that while I'm laid up convalescing after an operation that It's about time I contributed and shared some it's journey for any that are interested or thinking of doing the same.

After seeing ?Naturally Aspirated? some of you may think the same as a few of my friends and wonder why restore something without a Turbo so maybe a bit about me and how I came to be doing this might help explain some of my perceived madness.

Being in my mid 50's it's likely I'm not the youngest member here although I like to hope I'm also not the eldest either...ha! Over the years in-between harder times and a few heaps of rubbish I've been lucky enough to have had a few half decent cars, well they were half decent at the time and have included both the Opel Manta A (1.9lt SR) and Manta B (1.9lt Berlinetta), Opel SR Kadett and a Nissan 200sx (S14) but ever since I was fortunate enough to have had a Datsun 240z in my early 20's I've always had a fondness for the Japanese straight 6 engine and have since had both the R33 GT and R34 GTT Skyline.

I acquired my first Skyline the R33 GT (n/a) after my 200SX was stolen around about October 2000 (good can come from bad), it was a fresh import so I was the first UK owner and it was all standard factory issue complete with the original 15? wheels etc plus a full Japanese service history, the fact that it was the non turbo version suited me after the 200SX as it was not only more reminiscent of the 240Z engine but also a lovely not mega thirsty, comfortable car to drive that delivered all I needed from a Grand Tourer.

It was used it as my daily car for just over 8yrs adding a further 80,000mls to the 34,000mls I acquired it with before the usual rust and rot in the rear arches, turret tops and a few other area's were getting the better of her so I decided it was time for a change and picked up a R34 GTT (Bayside Blue replica GTR).

Rather than dispose of the R33 and with the fact that at the time it really wasn't worth anything other than scrap value and after 8+yrs of trouble free motoring it certainly never owed me anything I decided to stick it away in a garage in the hope that one day I might be able to resurrect it and give it a new lease of life in some form or another.

About 8 years later with the R34 having long gone as well as a couple of other ?normal? boring cars I had to move the R33 from the garage it was stored in and make a decision to either get another storage garage or get rid of it. As I was now in a better position to have it looked at in regard to getting back to it's former glory I found another garage to keep it in while I started the checks on how deep my pockets needed to be. Of course they turned out needing to be a lot deeper than my hands could reach but as many of you will know once a mission has started it's impossible to stop and you just extend the mission end date.

Over the next few mails when I'm able to write more I will try and start from the point of retrieving it from storage, my intentions of what to do, what's been done and where it's at to date.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
2
I wasn't surprised to find that after about 7yrs of total neglect in a garage that when it came to starting it that it wouldn't, I quickly discovered that the fuel pump had literally blown itself apart in the tank but after sourcing another and replacing it the 2.5lts instantly roared back into life which was a relief. After leaving it to idle for a while and checking that everything was circulating as it should be it was time to reverse it out of the garage, I'd had the fore thought and sense to have parked it with the handbrake off and even though I had to give it a little rev just to free the pads from the corroded discs there wasn't much resistance and it soon rolled freely.

You can see from the pics below the years of dust and the dotted area's in the dust are from condensation drips off the roof of the garage as it was not completely sealed from all the elements. You'll also notice it doesn't have the original wheels on it any more as they were changed in 2004 (they weren't that pretty and even though I did keep them unfortunately after separating at a later date my ex disposed of them but I'll come back to them later)

The pics below were taken in October 2015
 

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Glad to see you putting a thread up mate.
I seen this car at kimbolton and it's bloody clean!

Great to see someone as mad as myself and not care what it costs to keep cars on road.
My Morris was in a much worse state than that when I found it mate :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Sparky, it's helping to pass the time while I'm laid up and unable to do any more to it.
Also having met you at Kimbolton I'd say I'm only half as mad as you...I've only the one car draining my pockets not 2 like yourself with both the Moggy and Skyline...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was quite amazed that after a wash the paint looked as shiny as it did the day I parked it up 8yrs previously but as you can see from the following pics the wheel arches obviously hadn't got any better and had actually deteriorated more.
Whilst getting the engine running again I'd already noticed that the not very well done repairs to the turret tops (done somewhere around 2006/7) had also deteriorated again and on further inspection the O/S one had blown itself apart down the side nearest to the bulkhead.

These were obviously going to need some serious work doing to them or if possible replacing, so with that in mind and with some family stuff now taking up a lot of my time I decided that as I now had other storage I'd park it back up until I had the time to have a much more detailed inspection of the whole car, preferably on a ramp to see if there were any further age related issues or other problems created from it's long period of storage.



Below is one of the suspension turret tops, the blown out side, it's new storage garage all painted and ready, plus it being parked back up with a new cover for additional protection from condensation etc.



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Discussion Starter #9
Over the next year my mechanic friend picked it up with his wrecker truck and got it on his ramp to have a good look at it and compile a list of the things that would need doing mechanically as well as check over the body to see if there was anything else on top of what I already knew.

We ended up with the following but had to bear in mind that there could always be other things once the work was started, particularly with the body.


Track rod end's and dust covers.
Top suspension link bushes and bolts.
Steering rack bushes.
Brake lines.
Flexi brake lines.
Possible master brake cylinder kit.
Cambelt kit.
Water pump.
Rear shock absorbers
Service filters.
Radiator flushing fluid.
4 x New tyres.
New number plates. (Both cracked)


Body work:

Both rear arches.
Both suspension turrets.
Both sills.
Rear bumper (to eliminate horrid fog light and melted area from exhaust - see pic's)
Deep scratch on rear N/S wing by boot edge.
Lacquer in two area's on roof de-laminating.
Various stone chips on front and bonnet.
Rust patch in center of N/S door.
N/S door rubber.





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Discussion Starter #11
Interesting read.

Hope you get well soon and can give her some attention
Thanks Die$eL that's very kind of you, I'm on the mend and hope to be up and about again in a few days although it might be another week or so before I can get back out in the skyline.
Bring this up to date is helping pass the time and more mind stimulating than daytime Tv...ha.

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Discussion Starter #12
Having returned it back to my garage and knowing what parts I needed I spent the best part of the next year trying to get them.

After phoning and speaking to them I knew that when I was ready for the mechanical parts they could all be supplied by Robin and the rest of the great team at Conceptua Tuning (I'd really like to thank them for all their help in getting everything I needed and no doubt any other bits I might need in the future).


The body parts would prove to be more difficult and time consuming in locating but I eventually ended up with:

Another N/S door rubber.

3 excellent condition and rot free suspension turrets – 2 x O/S and 1 x N/S (thanks go to KarlosR33 for a pair of those which the were the ones I ended up using - I'll sell the spare later)

A full lower section of a N/S wing that had been cut to include the inner and outer wheel arch but couldn't get a O/S section.

And as I couldn't decide at the time whether to restore to original (difficult without the wheels) or make some changes I also acquired a spec 2 rear spoiler and front grille (I got these mainly because I'd always preferred the look of the spec 2 and also because the high level brake light in my spec 1 spoiler isn't working and I've yet to be able to find a replacement so if anyone has one please give me a shout as I am still looking).

Another rear Skyline Plinth (it was cheap, almost a freebie and gave me ideas about illuminating it if I wasn't keeping the car original)

And finally another rear bumper after figuring that I'd have to have the bumper painted anyway and it was cheap enough to be less expensive than the labor time spent repairing the existing one.

Whilst I was accumulating the above I made the most of the free time I was able to get and make a start on getting rid of some of the grim under the bonnet and the aluminum oxidization that had built up on various parts of the engine during it's long hibernation. There was no point in trying to make the engine like new again just yet with all the dirt from the future works but just making a start on it made me feel better about why I was trying to do all this.








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Discussion Starter #13
Just a quick aside here, after going through some pics I was quite impressed at how well on the surface at least it looked to have stood the test of time.

My friends kids having a play in 2004



After retrieving from the garage in 2015



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Back to the restoration, in June 2016 I had it transported down to the body shop and left it with them while I went on holiday.

Below is what greeted me when I returned.



In this next one if you use the wheel as a clock, at 3 o'clock on the body work just above the sill you can see the first unknown problem and a dark area of rot that had been hidden by the wing.





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Discussion Starter #15
The rot mentioned above turned out to be very poorly repaired accident damage and they found some further signs of this damage under the carpet at the front of the passenger foot well.
The two were most likely from the same accident which must have occurred in Japan as I'm the only UK owner and know it never happened here, the foot well damage was only slight (sorry no pic) and wasn't a problem to put right.



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Follow by the sill, exposing some holes along it towards the front wheel plus a previous repair done approx 2007/8 which wasn't only not as good as I thought but it now also had some holes around the welding at the front nearest to the door.







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