Jump to content
SAU Community
  • Welcome to SAU Community

    Welcome to SAU Community, like most online communities you must register to view or post in our community, but don't worry this is a simple free process that requires minimal information for you to signup. Be apart of SAU Community by signing in or creating an account.

    • Start new topics and reply to others
    • Subscribe to topics and forums to get email updates
    • Get your own profile page, build reputation and make new friends
    • Send personal messages to other members.
    • See fewer ads!

    Consider joining our newsletter for the latest content updates

    Click here to register


Mistakes were made, my R34 Story

Recommended Posts

So now that I had a legal car, with its wiring 'fixed' and nothing broke yet, I entered again for a day at the track, with Driver Dynamics at Sandown. Yay.

Unfortunately it would appear having a mic on a 30cm piece of wood hanging out the end of the car is WAY too loud for a mic, so everything is distorted sounding. I will try next time with an external mic for the camera perhaps inside the car cabin.

I also sadly found out that while I rebuilt the brakes, the rear really was locking up before the front, and pads quickly became squishy and not up to snuff giving me pretty bad confidence in stopping. This is kinda important at Sandown. I also found out all about that whole "Feels like it's rolling but isn't" characteristic of the shocks when attempting to actually push the car.

So it was all pretty unfamiliar. I also found out that my arms were sore as hell from the stiff steering and shifter. My left hand, it was bruised from that damn T56. I went a bit quicker than I did the first time I went at Sandown, but that was one of my first ever track days so it was hard to compare.

However the car didn't break! (other than some leaking AN fittings to the catch can) and um, I found out my rear pads looked like this at the end of the day.





So in short, there's much more in it in both terms of driver and car.

My front pads were pretty worn, so I bought a set of upgraded FR6's (as they never faded for me the first time I bought them) and finally took the plunge in having a road set of pads and a track set of pads and will swap them beforehand. This also makes me actually check my f**king pads so i don't end up driving home with the above and have no pads to put back into the car... again.

But yes, rear braking was always a headache for me and my Sandown trip did not instill confidence. It was time to upgrade the BMC to a BM57 from... this?





In any case the BM57 did go in - And it was immediately noticable with a much stronger pedal feel, and although I've only tested on the street on my new street pads, the ABS kicks in far more friendly at the front and doesn't pull the car all over the road tempting death, so I am very keen for my track pads to show up and hit the track again!

This was also where teh diff was changed, from my 1.5 way (which locks effectively like a 2 way)... and also had one of the superpro bushes do this




To a helical for the R34, the rarest of beautiful unicorns.


Will this act wildly different on the track because 2 ways are certain death? I don't know, I never thought it was that bad.... It certainly drives like a regular car on the street which was f**kin not bad at all if you ask me! And it locks up perfectly in a straight line, and works entirely fine with my traction control system. Definitely, 100%, Positively not-bad at all.

Something that WAS that bad however, was wiring which I noticed had started to get worn through on the driver side front arch. This was unacceptable and as much as I was annoyed to have to do it twice, as I had half ass attempted this before, it had to be re-done.



And after! Actually wasn't too bad and some bending of the lip enabled the wiring to go above it, and out of the way, and not being utterly destroyed if I say, hit a kerb at the track.


While we're there, there was one more horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible thing to address.





Various tools of the trade ready to go.

Several, Several, Several, Several hours of this:


And eventually a little bit of this:


We ended up with a lot less sanity and this:


Is it perfect? f**k no!. Is it a lot better than rusty metal lasagne that ran down the length of the entire car? yes, yes it is.

Then COVID-19 happened and I've driven the car long enough to have a plastic bag melt on the exhaust making me think holy shit what the f**k has broken now:




I'm still waiting on the track brake pads I ordered right after Sandown, but I'm planning on going to Broadford to see if I can do a reasonable back to back test of the car before and now.

This thread is now up to date.

Feel free to post whore to your hearts content!

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the video, there's a chunk of time to be had between braking into turn 1 and leaving turn 4. Rest of the lap seemed reasonable. Properly working brakes will help. 

Last time i went to Sandown, i had a box with 5 sets of half worn rear brake pads. All of them looked like yours by the end of the day and cracked rotors to top it off. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hahaha yeah, the video was terrible in terms of driving, especially T1, the spin was in the previous session over ATTEMPTING TO DOWNSHIFT while not knowing how braking was going to work, what rev matching was going to work, etc etc etc, so I was very much "fk this lets just make it around the corner"

The telemetry app had an optimal lap (of all sectors) in the ~1:23 region. But I did notice I didn't have to let nearly as much air out of my tyres, relative to other tracks so I know there's way more lateral grip available as well as punching out of turns. I know I can carry more through turn 6 etc as well, can do it in 4th instead of 3rd etc..

But it was rough trying to set a brake marker when you don't actually know if the car is going to pull up at the brake marker I was thinking of!

It was more to highlight the sound/garbling average/proof I went to a track day.

I have Forza FR6 pads on the way (the non working ones were FP3, which were okay). I was thinking about trying Raybestos or Elig's next time, the price I got quoted for Elig's in my size given Forzas take forever to get here/probably won't buy again was around the $375 region for the DB1933 full swept pad size.

Link to post
Share on other sites


Also at some point I OCD-recreated all of the stats for Assetto Corsa for my car (in both forms), down to weight and dyno sheet and alignment and tyres/wheels.

They do however, look like the R34 GTR. They definitely drive like I remember so I must have gotten it pretty close (especially if the TC is off).

Link to post
Share on other sites

COVID Sure is fun.

On the list of things as fun as COVID, I discovered I had an oil leak appearing from the bellhousing (or at least ending/dripping from there).

I then googled "Common ls1 oil leaks" and oh yes wow that sure is a lot.
I noticed there was oil at the top of the motor and oil always goes down. I checked both valve covers, and they looked to actually be fine and dry and nice and new.

One of the more common leaks on a LS is the factory oil pressure sender, which i don't actually use in my scenario. So I thought well lets spend many hours learning how to take the top of the motor apart to get to it.

The factory OEM Pressure sender looks like this. They are prone to leaking through the sensor.
They look like this:

Eventually I found this:


So the sensor, into an adapter, into a banjo adapter (with the port plugged off) into the motor.
All of which was not required.

I replaced it with this:

Because GM use a m16x1.5 thread in their oil pressure sender to seal it. So a sump plug should work in that space, which looked like this:


Simple, easy fix!

Well it would have been, if in doing so I didnt develop a new found rage and hatred for those braided lines going to the catch can. Space behind the manifold is at an absolute premium, and in pulling the line that went to the Driver side breather off, this happened:

So then I thought you know what, I am going back to rubber lines as they are more flexible, slimmer, fit easier, and at MOST would hold 1 atmosphere of pressure at sea level, so unless they are exploding while sitting on a shelf at repco they absolutely don't need to be braided.

So in doing so, I had to remove the braided hoses from other parts of the motor, like say the intake.
Being used to Skyline intakes, I was happy to pull the rubber hose off. Then predictably, this happened.


There's supposed to be a barb/nipple/whatever moulded into the intake there.

So now the intake had to come off, either to replace with another intake manifold, or buy an upgraded manifold (for $2000) or to see if this can actually be repaired. So off came coolant lines, fuel rails, fuel injectors out of the manifold as well as moving aircon lines out of the way and hours and hours of labor and learning about how this all goes together again.IMG_20200627_141231.thumb.jpg.f80d0f4b0e52bdc0a79b591d1df5f21f.jpg

This was the fix on a Saturday afternoon by a friend who owns a workshop and has a steady hand to actually tap and fit a fitting here.

I also noticed this vac port at the back of the manifold was just ... sitting there open. Nice:


When putting my injectors back in I noticed that some of them looked a little different to others, namely:



However one looked like this....


And most alarmingly, one looked like this!


In any case, I said a prayer, put it all back together (with suspect injectors being made VERY accessible) and went out for a test drive.

Car felt pretty good, and I came back and found that I didn't fix anything at all, and that I would have to do it all over again and dig a little deeper and find out where the oil up top was really coming from.

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

So I went back again for more last week!

In good news, I found a way to remove the intake with the fuel rails and injectors still attached, so no need to sort that out again. This was a big win and I can get enough clearance under my coolant hoses and aircon hoses to get the thing off. WIN.

I also upon looking again, found oil all over under the intake, and the actual foam padding on the bottom of the intake was *soaked* and I found there was oil primarily coming out of one of the knock sensor holes, as well as oil smeared around both sides of the intake port gaskets (there's 8 o-rings instead of a gasket).

So oil over the valley cover, around the ports.


Picture this, but with oil fkin everywhere.

Removed Valley cover, and knock sensors, and the valley itself and found the root cause of the problem, the front one is first (fine) and the second one has the apparent issue:





That'll do it!

Luckily for me, I had pre-ordered supplies BEFORE I pulled it apart, as I had the intent to replace every gasket I could find next time it came apart:


Luckily for me, the grommets were included with the valley cover gasket, which looked in such good condition so I didn't replace it (and was actually visibly working fine).

But I replaced the grommets, both knock sensors, the knock sensor loom and the knock sensor "Caps" (shown as covers) and every seal felt nice and rubbery and new, and not violently hard and crispy. After some running aruond I also got replacement o-rings for all of the sensors that went into the top of the motor as well.

The box of valves has these in them: 


They cost $120.

But in the end, armed with gaskets it was surprisingly fun and wholesome to do, and really, really felt good replacing, old, hard, crap with nice new gaskets and it all went smoothly.

I even replaced the Varex with the original muffler I had (they have v-bands to swap) to see just how hard this would be in the real world for a track day. Also found my Varex had a pretty bad exhaust leak too initially. Car sounds signifigantly more meaty given other car people couldn't even hear it when it was on in the presence of other modded cars.

Test drive went great. Felt amazingly smooth, sounded great, so who knows if it was placebo or whether there were a large amount of seals that just.. weren't.. sealing.

Then I noticed this:

Ahhhh yes, toxic aircon gas.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites



I ruptured mine when fitting the intercooler to the GTR.


Guess how easy and cheap it is to get an R34 GTR aircon condenser....


In the end it was bloody Andrew Hawkins who hooked me up with a spare.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Would definitely run nicer without the extra air being sucked in.

isn't that the industry standard for evacuating an A/C system??

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

So the aircon is fixed for $0. That was nice of them.

I noticed however, the bellhousing looked a little oily.

I decided to idle my car stationary for 30 minutes, just to be sure. Because it was night, I checked back the following day.


Cool Andy Samberg GIF by Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Find & Share on GIPHY

Maybe 3rd time is the charm, and I found I could take my intake off and valley cover off in 30 mins, which is a big improvement from when I started... so yay?


Suspected my whole "Lets block off the sensor with a sump plug" idea may not have been the best plan.


These strips of oil are from the bottom of the intake, which has 2 "sponges" on the back which were utterly covered in oil.




Knock sensor 1, seems fine.


Knock sensor 2 though, that's some oil there.

Off with the valley cover again, and found that when I refit it.. it required a bit more force to 'seat' whereas when I did this the first 2 times it didn't seem to seat so well, and had to be 'bolted down'.

So for the sake of that, I was hopeful but decided to take a look at my sump plug over sensor solution.


It appeared to me that oil was definitely getting past that O-Ring.



Pictured above - The old sender.

Because the car is a LS, I went to repco and got a replacement oil pressure sender from the lovely people at Tridon, because f**k me I wasn't going to put a potentially leaky one back in there!



As pictured, it has some kind of sealant on the threads, and a crush washer.
I noticed it took a fair bit more effort to screw in (it just felt 'tighter) and while I hoped I wasn't cross threading or stripping out the actual engine block, it eventually went in pretty snug.

I then spent the next 30 minutes of my life doing this.
It was extremely hot and loud with a bellhousing and headers about 5mm from my face.


But after 30 minutes of very intense staring, everything was finally bone dry!


So in the end, yeah use somekind of thread sealant on something that sees pressurized oil, (that isnt a sealing thread pitch from the factory...) and make sure your gaskets are seated correctly.

All ready to not drive!


  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, iruvyouskyrine said:

Loctite 577 is the answer you seek

Thank you!

I did think about sealing up the old sensor and putting it back into service, but for $80 and something on a shelf on Autobarn I figured I'd replace the sensor too, as they are known to fail ..and may have failed initially in my case causing some/all of the issues initially.

I thought in lieu of knowing exactly what to use to seal with at the time, surely an o-ring for a sump plug would do it. Right? Guess not.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So.... somethings have happened since August, Covid, and the likes for me down in melbourne. Also bought, and sold a house while not being able to leave the house, so that's fun. So here's some updates.

In short, the car sat outside and had a lot of spiders. I cleaned it, then went into all the nooks and crannies with a can of RAID and found all the spiders I had missed. "Good" times when about 8-10 of the medium sinister looking crawlies came out of said nooks and crannies, quite upset.

Sound deadening/heat insulation
I sold my Renault recently, so immediately had to use this as the Daily, and while it's 'okay' as a daily, I also immediately contacted www.carbuilders.com.au and decided to spend quite a lot of money on their stuff to soundproof/heat insulate the interior of this car, including under the bonnet. This is booked in for Dec 7. I have always secretly enjoyed their stuff with their videos on how to make a car more livable, the fact they do infact offer to fit their stuff was really good! (I thought). So yay!. Stay tuned for my novel on the difference *that* makes if you're dumb enough to add a set of long headers directly infront of the driver, then directly under the drivers seat.

I also finally got the Accusump fitted. Sometimes things just work out well. Good karma, and all that!




Connected that up, pressurized the accusump, no leaks (that I know of... yet) and hunky dory! Just don't drive into anything, and we'll all be fine.

Also noticed due to COVID the car liked to... overheat when driving around with Aircon on now. Joy.
Given it didn't do this last summer, and it wasn't even that hot (30C), and literally nothing had changed, I was a bit stumped by this. The only variable was the fact my battery was 'white' instead of 'green' and I could only imagine that maybe the alternator isn't doing enough work at low RPM and the battery can't keep up or something?

I don't know how thermos work, clearly.

Anyway after a decent (1hr drive) this no longer happened, but I was unsatisfied with my 13.5V at idle.

I went out and bought this -> One Wire Alternator #8242NB - TUFF STUFF Performance Accessories

It is a 175 amp LS1 alternator.

I buy it, guy is like "This is for a Camaro..." but I buy it anyway cause dumb.
I find out shortly after that the Commodore Alternator I have has an entirely different 2 pin plug, instead of the new one which wants a 4 pin plug.

I am dismayed and start the google process, to find that that "4 pin plug" can be setup with a variety of American cars with 1, 2, 3, or even 4 pins of that plug in use, which is different amongst the various cars this alternator plug comes with.

I am dismayed more.

I then find a mysterious loom plug that looks like it will fit directly into the alternator, with *2* wires in said plug. I find out the maker of the loom is a USA company, and it looks like this new loom was optioned for this style of alternator, and my loom in my car was modified/added to to work with the Australian alternator.

Kudos to BP Performance for replying to me at 10PM USA time. Turns out you can get those looms with an option for the Bosch/Commodore alternator, but for some reason that wasn't chosen for my loom, not entirely sure why, at all. I even went back to the supplier of said loom and mentioned it, as they were helping me with 'what did you do to my loom exactly' questions.

Turns out I could infact, just plug the alternator in, and now I have 14.4V at idle, and 175amps of juice, now that it is correctly being driven by the ECU. Turns out non ECU driven Alternators only put out ... 13.8v maximum in failsafe mode.


Then driving the car home to my new house, I was seeing how close I could park to its new parking spot in the carport, as you do.

Then when I was happy with it, I just took my foot off the clutch with the car running, in gear.

I am god damned buffoon:



I cannot have nice things. Please send F's in chat and/or sympathetic paint/dent fixers in Melbourne.

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites



Should have put it in neutral before taking foot off the clutch.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...