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Project Gr33Dd

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Hey Peeps,

I have decided to create a build thread for my R33 GTST Series 2, or “GR33DD” as she is affectionately called as I thought it may help others on these forums who have maybe wanted to modify their car but have not started because they feel they have a lack of mechanical knowledge needed in undertaking some of the work associated with modifying cars.

Whilst not a complete rebuild, more of a never ending overhaul of sorts, my car has changed a LOT over the last 11 years and all work other than tuning has been done myself and I am far from a mechanic so with a bit of patience and asking questions anyone can do this kind of project. The aim of the build is to have a nice alrounder package in a car, something that I can comfortably drive around town in and also tear it up at the track when the mood strikes.

Ill start by giving a history of how I came to own my ride, I have always wanted to one day own a Skyline after going to see the 32 GTR’s dominate Bathurst back when I was teenager in the early 90’s.

After owning many V8 bogan machines I decided to try a turbo car so the only choice of course wise a Skyline. I did not want a 32 as I liked the look of the 33’s more but back in 2000 a R33 GTR was around $130,000 so way out of my price range. Back then there were only mainly series 1 R33 GTST’s around and very very few Series 2’s.

I was almost ready to give up the search when I was flicking through a Unique Cars Magazine one day and I spotted an absolutely immaculate completely standard 1997/98 Series 2 Nismo Red (Super Clear Red II) with white Nismo (Rays) LMGT2 Rims and 24,000 Log booked k’s and a full Japanese service history (Not that I could read it!)The only downside was the car was in Brisbane and I was in Sydney.

So I decided to have a weekend holiday and fly up to have a look and ended up buying it on the spot and drove it home to Sydney (Managing to get 2 speeding fines on the way)


The earliest photo I can find (Love the 4WD spec ride hieght :D )

I promised my wife that I would not modify this car and I would just leave it alone and enjoy it for what it is and I managed to keep my word for almost six years until I was off of work for 5 weeks with pneumonia and stumbled across a website called “Skylines Australia” :worship: and I couldn’t believe my eyes, all this information about Skylines and how to get the most out of them and a group of people that helped each other with little problems etc etc. (My wife is still not happy I found SAU......hehehehe)

So I signed up, became a paid member of SAU NSW and spent the next few weeks reading and reading and reading all about things to do with R33’s.

I introduced myself on the forums and spoke with few people that had already modified their cars (I think the first two people I spoke with on here were evil-weevil and Goldzilla) and the bug bit me.

At first I was only going to get an exhaust, FMIC and up the boost a bit, that would be all I need to just get a little more out the car and a nice note. I contacted a Trader on these forums (Paul from Performance Wise) and got a 3.5” HKS Silent High-Power exhaust, a 5” Catco Race Cat and a Batmbl Split front/dump pipe. I mate of mine sold me a Hybrid FMIC and I got a Turbosmart Boost Tee from Unique Autosports, put all the parts on and thought the car went fantastic with ALL these parts on them.

I managed to stay content with these mods for about nine months and then thought about getting an ECU but I couldn’t afford it at the time so I got a HKS Fuel Cut Defender, hooked it up and had my first dyno run which netted me a whopping 201rwkw @15psi.

Whilst putting all of these parts onto the car I started toying with the idea of dressing up the engine bay a bit so I fabbed up a custom airbox out of aluminium sheeting for some old crappy pod I had put on the car and used the standard intercooler piping hole to make a cold air intake that came from the front bumper. I also tried my hand at polishing the crossover pipe (something I will never do again) and painted the front engine cover red to see how things would look.



And the Modifications start

Needless to say the fuel pump gave out so in went a walbro. (If I had my time again I would have went with a bosch in tank)

Then about 6 weeks later the stock turbo cried enough and the car was off the road for a couple of months while I went away with work.

When I got back I got in touch with Hypergear and got one of his ATR28G2 profile highflows and thought its about time I started getting some better parts for my pride and joy, so back to Performance Wise for an Apexi Super Suction Intake Kit with pod filter, a set of Nismo 555 Injectors, a Greddy Exhaust Side Adjustable Cam gear, a Greddy E-manage Ultimate piggy back ECU and a Greddy Profec Spec B boost controller.

That’s when the Engine detailing side of things started going a bit crazy, I bought a heap of metalcast paint from supercheap auto and got in touch with Chris from Craved Coatings and we came up with a really good colour scheme using a kind of chrome looking powdercoat for the plenum and intercooler piping, and a dark grey for little bits and pieces like the injector hats and my strut tower brace. These two colours matched up with the metalcast red nicely and it all came together really well, I’m still very proud of how it turned out. I then got a custom catch can/washerbottle welded up for me and bought a bunch of braided hose and proflow fittings to connect it all together.









It all comes together


At the SAU Show n Shine 2009

I then went to CRD for a dyno tune as they are the only people that seem to want to work with an EMU and managed to get 238rwkw @ 18 psi with full boost by 3200rpm.

That’s how things stayed for a year or so until I decided I wanted to try my hand at the track so I got in contact with Sydneykid and got hold of the full SK Group buy Bilstein/Whiteline suspension setup with all the adjustable bushes, pineapples and some Selby adjustable swaybars.

I ditched the EMU and managed to get a Power FC and moved on to Unigroup Engineering for all my tuning needs and although Yavuz dropped my peak power level down to 230rwkw @ 15psi the car was faster in every way and is a dream to drive. The tune makes or breaks a car and Yavuz’s tuning abilities are un paralleled in my opinion, I think most people who use him on these forums would agree with me.

So I finally got to a track day and went to last years SAU Wakefield day and I had a ball, managed a 1:14 on street tires by the end of it which I think is not too bad for a first outing. It was without a doubt the most fun day I have had in my car since I bought it all them years ago. I realised after that day that I want to do as many track days as I can manage without annoying the mrs and daughter too much. I came off the track a million times but still had great fun and everybody at these events just tries to give you advice and help you improve which is nice.



Managing to stay on the track


Whoooooops :blush:

Which brings us to the current stage of GR33DD’s modification journey, the old girl is starting to show her age a bit so she is off the road again.

So to date the current Mods list on GR33DD is:

Hybrid FMIC

APEXi Super Suction Kit with pod

Custom Air box with CAI(Home Made)

JJR Dump and 5” Catco Race Cat

3.5" HKS Cat back Silent High Power exhaust

Exedy 5puk Clutch

Greddy Ex Cam Gear

Power FC

Hypergear HighFlow (ATR28 G2 Profile)

Nismo 555 Injectors and Walbro fuel pump


Yellowjacket Coils

Full SK Group buy Bilstein/Whiteline kit

Alpine stereo system with 6.5” splits front and 6.5” 2 ways rear and a 600watt Amp

Fully Detailed and Powdercoated engine bay

And probably a few other things I’ve long forgotten


This time I am working on cooling, stopping, comfort and a few little styling improvements. On the exterior I will be getting a vented Carbon Fibre Bonnet and some Ganador Mirrors, and then I will get the car resprayed in the same colour to do away with some stone chips and just general wear and tear scratches on the body.

On the interior I have found a really nice R33 Series 3 GTR interior, front and rear seats and front and rear skins, I will also be fixing an annoying buzzing stereo and doing some sound proofing while im at it, also a little upgrade of the dash lights to LED’s






In the engine department I have decided to stick with the RB25 and have purchased a new HKS 2835 Pro S kit, Plazmaman forward facing Plenum, Fenix Radiator , 19 row Oil cooler and filter relocation kit and a Carbon Fibre full length radiator shroud.


HKS 2835 Pro S Kit, I dont want to open it yet it may get dirty

I have also picked up a GTR brake upgrade kit which will change my disc rotor size from the standard 296mm to 2 piece 324mm rotors for a little better braking performance. I will be retaining the standard callipers for now but using a billet adapter plate which moves the callipers out 30mm.



So anyway just thought I’d share my build journey with you all and hope you enjoy watching the progress as things take shape, I will try to update this thread as much as I can but this will not be a quick overhaul unfortunately due to work and a young family so most of my time on the car is on the weekends only.

This is how the poor thing sits as I type this thread





So there you have it, sometimes I think the whole process is not worth it but no matter how long it takes the end result is always very rewarding.

If you see me doing something that you think could be done better along the way please feel free to mention it, I’m always open to suggestions and constructive criticism. It will never be at the standard of some of the cars that grace SAU but I love my car and considering all of it has been done by myself in my garage late over many late naights I am very happy with it.


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Bout time this thing turned up..

You are really showing your age with this pesky sound deadening, i think old spice suits you well :P

Off to a great start, Might I suggest a new steering wheel to replace that badly weighted 33 steering wheel.

Look forward to doing all the hard stuff while u sit there drinking.

One day ill do my own thread.. one day!

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Yeah Dave getting old mate:( I'm hoping by using the foam it won't add any noticeable weight, the whole roll only weighs a couple of kilos.

I've got a few more pics and updates to add but I just got into Newcastle for work and will be her till Friday so I'll add the pics then.

Should see the dodgy wiring I found for the sound system, no wonder it was buzzing like a bee.

Hopefully the plazmaman will turn up this week then off the craved for some coating

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Thanks Ryan,

You know you had a lot to do with the choice mate!

Won't ever be a full tracker like yours though, just a tidy streeter that can handle a bit of track work a few times a year

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Thanks for the kind words guys, it is a long story but that's how they all are when comes to modding cars.

I nearly sold it to get a gtr but after sooooo many years of ownership and doing all the work myself it's kind of a part of me know if that makes sense.

I'll add some updates asap, work is flogging me at the moment so haven't spent much time on it this week.

It will be a slow build me thinks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haven't spent much time on the car over the last couple of weeks cause of work but I've managed to replace all the dash cluster, A/C display and buttons, clock display and window switches with LED's (thanks 666DAN) and ive rewired the entire sound system and started on the sound proofing.

Parts are slowly turning up so its getting there. Now have the radiator and the plazmaman plenum at home. Found out today it will be at least a five week wait for the bonnet which is a bit of a bummer but so be it.

A proper update post to come soon guys, heaps of photos on the camera but not on the computer yet. I need to spend a week or two at home so I can get right into it

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Sh1t Dave I forgot all about it sorry mate!!!!

I've been home a total of 4 (not together) days since I told you I'd give you a buzz. The change of position at work has meant many days on the road, driving me a bit crazy at the moment but it's meant to calm down in march.

Looks like I wouldn't make it to wakie anyhow, filled up quick eh???

Sorry again 2.0

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