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Ost Dyno Gets A Skyline

Now, I know you are all Mopar muscle car guys so this post may not be of interest to the majority of you, but some of you may think it’s cool. This has been a dream of mine for a long time.


I have always been a huge fan of classic Japanese cars; specifically ones that we never got here in the States. You always want what you can’t have I suppose. A car must be 25 years old to legally import into the country and even still, the import process was said to be grueling and a huge headache. However, with one of the most iconic cars turning 25 a few years ago I had to get my hands on one. Not only is this an iconic car but, being the drag racing enthusiasts we are, it fit the bill for my next project. The hunt was on for a Series 2 R32 Nissan Skyline GTR in black. No other colors would be considered. For those unaware, these cars are equipped with AWD and a twin turbo 2.6L inline 6-cylinder. We already have a BW S475 sitting on the shelf to replace the twins down the road. 


There are many places to pick up a Skyline: Canada, Australia, the UK, Japan, and even America with the few that have trickled in already. I really wanted to try my hand at importing one from the Motherland as prices were much lower and it has a certain excitement factor to it. I did keep my eye out for any in the Great North and the US just in case.


After researching the cars themselves and different exporters for many months I finally decided I was ready around November of 2016. I sent in my security deposit to Pacific Coast Auto. They are a Japan-based exporter run by a Canadian. This was a big plus for me as there would be no language barrier. After many midnight emails about the details of what I was looking for we began hunting for cars on the Japanese car auctions.


Bids were placed and auctions lost until we finally scored a win around the end of January 2017. The car was definitely a “roll the dice” car. When you bid on a car at auction in a country on the other side of the world you get four crappy pictures accompanied by an auction sheet that may or may not be totally correct. The sheet showed the car had higher Km’s than people are typically interested in. There was also a line showing an unknown amount of corrosion on the rear wheel arch, and the wrong color listed for the cars VIN and pictures. It sounded pretty rough but there was something that stood out; the one and only note the seller wrote about the car was “HKS V-Cam System”. Everyone knows that HKS is the top of the line in the import world and a quick Google search showed this aftermarket VVT system retails at $4,000 for the base level kit. We took a chance that the car was owned by a wealthy individual and chose not to trust the auction sheet about the condition. I had the hope he took good care of a car he obviously spared no expense on.

When PCA received the car they took about 100 pictures and several videos for me. I was floored. This car was MINT! And that rust spot? Only the size of a nickel with no other rust to speak of anywhere.  That’s pretty rare for a 25-year old Japanese car from an island. The car also had HKS turbochargers, an HKS PCM, HKS turbo piping, HKS boost controller, a 4” thick and massive intercooler, stainless exhaust, equal-length downpipes, multi-plate clutch, and many other bits. Everything was top tier brands. It's also clear from the workmanship that the previous owner took care of this car. What a blessing!


The car then went through Japanese Customs and deregistration. From there it sat at port in Japan until late-February. During its shipment all I could do was cross my fingers as I tracked its path across the Pacific, through the Panama Canal, up through the Caribbean, and finally up the East coast. The car finally arrived at the Port of Baltimore on April 5th and cleared Customs without a hitch a few days later. On April 10th my dad and I bombed our way to Baltimore, loaded up the car, and flew home the same day. The workload at the shop with CF8 around the corner didn’t allow for any poking!


I’m so happy with the car. Ecstatic. I’ve gone over every inch of the car and I’m confident that it is one of the cleanest examples you will find without spending $40k for a time capsule car. Sure, it needs some TLC and the OST treatment but that’s the fun of it! We’ll get it cleaned, up to OST standards, and hauling down the drag strip in no time. Enjoy the pictures!


Auction sheet:




At the port:








Our first ever view of the car in person:






Loading up!






Finally home:




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"Classic Japanese Car" - now that's an oxymoron! :)


The guys at Oracle (the Halo guys) have one in their HQ office, it's very cool. Gonna be fun driving a Right hander. Hope you can shift leftie!

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On 4/17/2017 at 8:22 PM, StevoHemi said:

Oh boy.... HANG ON.... you gonna be screaming through the gears in no time! Nice ride Micah. Congratulations. Mani used to own one of those.



Thanks, buddy!

On 4/17/2017 at 8:38 PM, no1special said:

That is SO freakin cool!!! A real car guy appreciates all makes of impressive cars...this is defininrly up there!!!! Nice pick up!!!

Agreed. Thank you, sir!

On 4/17/2017 at 9:19 PM, AvantSrt8 said:

Very cool! Can't wait to see what you guys have in store.

Thank you. Me neither!

On 4/17/2017 at 9:31 PM, JJhamitlon said:

Micah in its current form what kind of power does or could this car make now...350, 400 rwhp??

I have no idea. I'm very anxious to get it on the dyno but I am still waiting to hear back from the state about my plates and registration.

On 4/18/2017 at 0:34 AM, BayouTiger said:

"Classic Japanese Car" - now that's an oxymoron! :)


The guys at Oracle (the Halo guys) have one in their HQ office, it's very cool. Gonna be fun driving a Right hander. Hope you can shift leftie!

I've been practicing WOT shifts in the garage. It'll take some getting used to for sure.

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Thank you, guys!

So I have to apologize for the following pictures. I have been working on the car in my poorly lit personal garage because there is no room in the shop for personal stuff right now.

The wiring under the dash was horrible but not at all irreversible. The turbo timer and toll collector were removed and everything else was rerouted. I hate poor wiring.






Next on the list was the poor fuel pump wiring. A previous owner had bypassed the factory voltage booster (yes, they utilized these back in '90s Japan) and wired in an external relay in a very backyard manner. Not gonna fly here. Everything was returned to stock.





After the wiring was cleaned up I dug into the tank to see what sort of pump we were running half expecting it to be an aftermarket unit. Nope! Stock. Out it went for a Walbro 450lph pump.



Now, I'm not a fan of these ricer-esque air filters but they came on the car and rather than buy new filters or try to remake this piping for a more subtle filter, I decided to simply rebuild what I have. The twin turbos won't be on the car long anyway.

New elements for the HKS "Super Power Flow" filters run about $90 and entire new units are $180 each. And I need two! Thankfully Uni makes filter element sheets which worked out perfectly.


Now that the car is all cleaned up, oil changed, and all necessary drivetrain fluids on standby I pulled the trigger on an EMS we could actually tune. Unfortunately, the HKS unit the car came with can only be tuned by an elite group of HKS certified tuners of which we are not. 

A few phone calls later and we are Haltech dealers and a Haltech Elite 2000 Plug 'n' Play is ordered. I've never had anything this nice and this new as far tech goes so I'm extremely excited!



After installation the car will go on the dyno for what is undoubtedly going to be a very in depth tuning session. With the HKS turbos, exhaust, massive intercooler, and newly discovered HKS 600cc injectors I'm hoping to crack the 500 awhp mark. According to our calcs, this is the amount needed to put the car into the high 10s which is my goal for this year.

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Thanks, guys.


I finally have some more updates that are post-worthy.

A few months ago I got a chance to squeeze the car on the dyno schedule between customer cars. An empty dyno is a rare occurrence so I took it. Things were going well but after we crossed the 17-18psi mark we noticed a lot of high RPM misfires that sounded like plug blowout. We cranked up the dwell and tightened the plug gap with only minor effects. The stock coils were done. At the same time, the Haltech was telling us the 600cc injectors had reached over 90% duty cycle. I decided to replace the injectors and coils with something I knew would work and keep working long after this stock bottom end reaches its limits.

A log if the high RPM misfires.


The car on the dyno and sitting in front of the shop.





I also had to address the nasty aftermarket front bumper on the car. Thankfully, Nissan Japan still stocks OEM bumpers and lips and I was able to have one shipped to the States for the same price I sold the aftermarket bumper for. Free parts! I also repainted the tops of the headlights as they were peeling and nasty. A common issue with these cars.



Finally all my performance-oriented parts arrived: an adjustable boost referenced FPR, ID1050Xs, D585 LS coils, fittings, and lines.


I had to get creative and come up with a mount for the coils. I drew up a mount in CAD and had it water jetted at a local machine shop. One revision later and it's in the car. I've actually been selling these kits like hotcakes too! All the hardware is custom and makes these coils a bolt-on affair. Additionally, and most importantly, everything fits under the factory coil cover.








Next I installed a lock-bar for the rear steering hydraulics. Deleting this system not only makes the car easier to align but its removes a lot of weight. I also installed adjustable rear camber arms, solid cradle collars, and replaced a couple of worn bushings. I'm doing everything I can to make sure I have no traction or wheel hop issues.



Lastly, I sourced a set of OEM wheels. I've been hunting these down for ages; looking in the US, Japan, Canada, and even the UK. I finally found a set 3 hours away in Ohio! I mounted them up with some Mickey Thompson ET Street S/Ss at all four corners. I also removed the old coilovers the car came with and installed factory suspension from a 300ZX. This will help immensely with weight transfer and also allow the front end to lift up more.





The car then went back on the dyno for some testing. The coil packs cured the misfire issues and we were able to crank the boost us to 22psi. We left it there while we played with ignition timing. We stayed conservative on the tune because I wanted to enjoy the car before breaking anything. I was sure some issues would pop up as well and would rather them pop up on a less aggressive tune that a hot one. 

We're always down to the wire with our personal cars and with the goal of attending the Flashlight Drags at 2:00, we finally unstrapped the car from the dyno around 2:30. I drove the car to the event and with no need to change tires, simply waited my turn. This is what I wanted. I hated changing tires and fuel with my Civic only to have to change everything back at the end of a long day. 

I made about four passes and the car performed flawlessly. I'm extremely impressed for a stock everything 25 year old car. Japan really knows how to build some cool stuff. Below are two videos of the same run against my friend's ProCharged 5.0L Mustang on ET Street S/Ss. AWD is a pretty handy thing on an unprepped track ;)


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16 hours ago, Speedy said:

Good stuff!  I dig the coil pack solution.

That thing took off like a rocket.  What do you think it runs in the 1/4?

Thank you sir! My favorite part about that is I have more than recouped my investment in the bracket and I'm already making profit off it. Capitalism is great.

I'm hoping for 10's but we'll know next weekend. That Mustang has run a 10.92 and wasn't catching back up once he got traction.


4 hours ago, StevoHemi said:

That is one sexy beast.....

Thanks, Stevo :)

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We finally made it to the track. The DA was hovering around 2200-3200 all night. All the Skyline internet heros swore vehemently that this car would never run 10s and would only be capable of mid 12s to low 13s because "I didn't have extensive headwork/I needed at least 30psi of boost/I would need to spray it with these turbos" or simply gave no reason at all and claimed their 25 years of experience dictated it was so. Well, in typical OST Dyno fashion, we shut up the naysayers on our third pass of the night. This was also my third pass in this car ever. I knew it had 10s!

Left lane:



I plan on going back to the track one more time before the season is over to see if I can crack off a 10.7. Keep in mind, this car is completely stock with the exception of a set of bolt on upgraded turbos at 21psi, clutch, fuel mods, and tuning. I've never even had the valve covers off! Not bad for a first outing :)

I can't wait for winter. The plan is to get this massive hairdryer stuffed into the engine bay and keep all accessories (PS, AC, etc). Should be a fun challenge.


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Seeing what you did to Howie’s car making it fit should be easy for you. Very impressive run. How does it feel being a right hand driver going down the track. It must take some getting used

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thank you, sir. We shall see!

Shifting really didn't take much getting used to. I watched a bunch of old Japanese drag videos to see how they shifted and it came very naturally.

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