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Hella_GTR

California and new Turbos?

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Hi all,

I live in Japan for now and plan to return to California in the next couple years.  While I'm here, I thought i'd enjoy my series 1 bcnr33 and the tuners here.  I got my car full normal so I have all the original parts, and as you know, once you want to increase the power of our cars, needing new turbos is recommended.  Do you California guys think I can pass CA compliance with a set of HKS GT3-RS (or SS...not sure yet) on the car?  I would swap back in all the original fuel and ecu equipment before going through the lab work.  If anyone knows for sure, don't touch the turbos or fuel equipment, I may stay away or just swap it all back before moving back to California.  I just think it'd be awesome to get my car tuned and worked on by some of the legendary shops here while I had the opportunity.

Thank you

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9 hours ago, Hella_GTR said:

Hi all,

I live in Japan for now and plan to return to California in the next couple years.  While I'm here, I thought i'd enjoy my series 1 bcnr33 and the tuners here.  I got my car full normal so I have all the original parts, and as you know, once you want to increase the power of our cars, needing new turbos is recommended.  Do you California guys think I can pass CA compliance with a set of HKS GT3-RS (or SS...not sure yet) on the car?  I would swap back in all the original fuel and ecu equipment before going through the lab work.  If anyone knows for sure, don't touch the turbos or fuel equipment, I may stay away or just swap it all back before moving back to California.  I just think it'd be awesome to get my car tuned and worked on by some of the legendary shops here while I had the opportunity.

Thank you

Also forgot to mention but there is definitely a lot of skepticism around the new HKS turbos. Do your research, don't just go by the marketing literature.

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1 hour ago, joshuaho96 said:

Also forgot to mention but there is definitely a lot of skepticism around the new HKS turbos. Do your research, don't just go by the marketing literature.

Appreciate both of what you said.  I know people on here say why get the HKS when you can get the -7s or -9's but I'm also living here in Japan and there's some sentimental value to it for me, e.g. going to HKS and getting the car worked on by some of the legendary shops here like JUN, Mines, and Midori.  Definitely not the most cost effective, I know.  But I also have always like HKS and like how they further engineered the turbos specifically for the car versus off the shelf turbos.  I'm sure that's subjective and i'm not mechanical engineer (I'm a civil lol). 

Knowing that you're going through it with the GT3-SS's is givng me hope!  I was debating SS or RS, but I don't want crazy power so am leaning towards the SS and also feel they'd be best to get through CA compliance.  What did you do about your ecu, running the OEM one for compliance with the GT3-SS's?  I give you mad props.  You must be one of the first to go through this with a BCNR33.  I appreciate your wisdom and what you share. 

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, Hella_GTR said:

Appreciate both of what you said.  I know people on here say why get the HKS when you can get the -7s or -9's but I'm also living here in Japan and there's some sentimental value to it for me, e.g. going to HKS and getting the car worked on by some of the legendary shops here like JUN, Mines, and Midori.  Definitely not the most cost effective, I know.  But I also have always like HKS and like how they further engineered the turbos specifically for the car versus off the shelf turbos.  I'm sure that's subjective and i'm not mechanical engineer (I'm a civil lol). 

Knowing that you're going through it with the GT3-SS's is givng me hope!  I was debating SS or RS, but I don't want crazy power so am leaning towards the SS and also feel they'd be best to get through CA compliance.  What did you do about your ecu, running the OEM one for compliance with the GT3-SS's?  I give you mad props.  You must be one of the first to go through this with a BCNR33.  I appreciate your wisdom and what you share. 

Thanks!

My choice for the GT3-SS was basically purely a gamble that it would do better in mid-range power than -7s or -9s for the relatively low boost I'm targeting (18-20 psi tops). The original HKS GT-SS are actually just Garrett -9s which HKS got some kind of exclusivity deal on for quite some time. I figure I'll just take the leap and post back results so others don't have to suffer through the general decision paralysis I did.

The plan is OEM ECU + OEM map, the entire car is stock other than the turbos. The one big question for me right now is what will happen with OEM boost control hooked up to a turbo with a stronger wastegate spring. I'm pretty sure that the ECU is just dumb and uses a fixed duty cycle on the solenoid. It might go to wastegate pressure if knock is detected like the 300ZX TT but that's probably it. If the stock boost restrictor doesn't cause wild overboost (more than 1 bar) I'll leave it, otherwise I have to start figuring out what size restrictor to use to get it to not overboost.

After registration I'm probably going to toss a Haltech at it to be able to adjust fueling/timing and to run a more intelligent boost control strategy.

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Nice man, agree with everything you said.  I'm after the same thing you are, mid-range and quick spool.  I didn't consider the boost issue you brought up...hmmm do let me know how that goes.  Can you hide a profec-b in there to control boost or would that be a red flag?  If I swap the turbos on my car I plan do put it all back to stock as well, minus the turbos.  Man so crazy what we have to do...

Haltech would be sick too and that's the way i'd like to go. Keep me posted on your progress! You're leading the way!

Thanks for the information sharing!

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15 hours ago, Hella_GTR said:

Nice man, agree with everything you said.  I'm after the same thing you are, mid-range and quick spool.  I didn't consider the boost issue you brought up...hmmm do let me know how that goes.  Can you hide a profec-b in there to control boost or would that be a red flag?  If I swap the turbos on my car I plan do put it all back to stock as well, minus the turbos.  Man so crazy what we have to do...

Haltech would be sick too and that's the way i'd like to go. Keep me posted on your progress! You're leading the way!

Thanks for the information sharing!

If you’re after better midrange definitely go for the smallest turbos, there’s no free lunch here.

I personally don’t like the idea of using another controller for boost control. It seems popular in the Japanese tuner market but I really want OEM levels of integration so I want a single ECU running everything. A boost controller would also be a major red flag for smog tests.

I did a lot of research into all the ECUs on the market and pretty much every stand-alone is speed density only. If you want MAF based load on a Motec you need to write your own firmware. I already write enough code at my day job, I don’t want to be doing more of it in my free time. Basically the only vendor that even tries to support stock ECU functionality is Haltech.

I’ll see what I can do about getting a halfway decent ECU tune on an Elite 2500. That remains one of the big unknowns for me. 

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Wait so you're going through CA emissions with your haltech? I was just thinking for the compliance process we gotta use the OEM ecu and then if you were worried about controlling boost, hide a boost controller somewhere. I obviously have no idea the extent the BAR goes through the car though. After California compliance work for sure I want an ecu with boost control capability. I like an all inclusive system like OEM as well. 

 

There's some places here like Midori, JUN, Mines, Tomei, and Garage Saurus that reprogram the OEM ecu. I was thinking of that but don't like having to go back to them for adjustments and it's like $2,500 for the service with tune and ecu. 

 

Definitely good luck man and hope it goes well. Stay safe from the fires too. Crazy. 

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1 hour ago, Hella_GTR said:

Wait so you're going through CA emissions with your haltech? I was just thinking for the compliance process we gotta use the OEM ecu and then if you were worried about controlling boost, hide a boost controller somewhere. I obviously have no idea the extent the BAR goes through the car though. After California compliance work for sure I want an ecu with boost control capability. I like an all inclusive system like OEM as well. 

 

There's some places here like Midori, JUN, Mines, Tomei, and Garage Saurus that reprogram the OEM ecu. I was thinking of that but don't like having to go back to them for adjustments and it's like $2,500 for the service with tune and ecu. 

 

Definitely good luck man and hope it goes well. Stay safe from the fires too. Crazy. 

Smog referee checks the ECU in many cases, I would get it to pass with OEM ECU + map. For initial emissions my plan is to use the stock boost control system to get it to 0.9 bar stable and call it a day. Maybe it means OEM boost restrictor, or a completely blocked boost restrictor to run wastegate pressure. Hard to say at this time.

Remapping the OEM ECU is dangerous IMO, mostly because the emissions lab tests on CA certification fuel, not Japanese pump gas. It will very likely knock itself to death on CA 91 AKI, which is like Japanese 95-96 RON. You really don't want to deviate from stock if you can help it.

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My bad dude I was talking about how they like to use reprogrammed ecu's here in Japan for tuning purposes rather than a standalone, not for CA compliance work. I would only run an OEM ecu for that. If you don't mind me asking how long is the compliance work taking in CA? If it's gonna take 6+ months and $10k just for compliance I need to think about this... 

 

Thanks man! 

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14 hours ago, Hella_GTR said:

My bad dude I was talking about how they like to use reprogrammed ecu's here in Japan for tuning purposes rather than a standalone, not for CA compliance work. I would only run an OEM ecu for that. If you don't mind me asking how long is the compliance work taking in CA? If it's gonna take 6+ months and $10k just for compliance I need to think about this... 

 

Thanks man! 

I wouldn't bother with using the OEM ECU but that's mostly because I want to be able to do things like install a crank trigger, possibly go E85, VCAM control, dynamic boost control based on knock count/flex fuel, etc. There's a lot of barriers to tuning with the OEM R33/R34 ECU too, there's no Nistune board available so you have to find one of the discontinued Techtom ECUs or something comparable to use for live tuning, then find a discontinued Hitachi H8/534 chip that is blank, burn it, then replace the chip on the ECU. Japanese tuners have all of this down but their tunes are all for higher quality gas than I can easily buy. So if you move to CA then you're going to have to retune unless you want to knock your engine to death. Mine's ECUs are pretty notorious for doing this. They depend on Japanese 100 RON. I'm pretty sure most tuners also pour epoxy over the chip once they're done to keep people from reverse-engineering their tune, but it also makes it very difficult to reuse the ECU.

My car is still in Japan, I'll post my time to get through emissions compliance when it happens though. Should be able to get the car started on that process before the end of the year. It'll definitely be a while, but probably not 6 months. Probably.

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Man this all sounds depressing lol. 6 months... And I assume your car is still here because it must have first been registered in late 1995.  It takes a good couple months I think to get from Japan to the US (at least for military). 

I went to Nissan prince over the weekend and they recommended the Mines VX-ROM but they are all about OEM stuff.  I was thinking to just get a plug and play Mines ecu and keep my original one then swap in the original one for CA stuff along with swapping back my original bolt-ons. But I really gotta think about this. Maybe we can lobby our state senators enough to make 25+ year old cars exempt from California ARB... Thanks for the info man and I'll keep watching your progress! 

 

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11 hours ago, Hella_GTR said:

Man this all sounds depressing lol. 6 months... And I assume your car is still here because it must have first been registered in late 1995.  It takes a good couple months I think to get from Japan to the US (at least for military). 

I went to Nissan prince over the weekend and they recommended the Mines VX-ROM but they are all about OEM stuff.  I was thinking to just get a plug and play Mines ecu and keep my original one then swap in the original one for CA stuff along with swapping back my original bolt-ons. But I really gotta think about this. Maybe we can lobby our state senators enough to make 25+ year old cars exempt from California ARB... Thanks for the info man and I'll keep watching your progress! 

 

My car is still being restored, it will be some time until it makes it to the US, then more time for registration.

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Got it.  I recommend Kanazawa Body Repair for restoration work and it's not too far from Tokyo!  Good luck man and hope all goes well.  I'll follow your lead.

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Honestly crossed my mind many times. I love the GTR support here too. Getting a chassis refresh done at the legendary Nissan Prince next. I also won't get car jacked here lol. Legally drinking (when not driving) in public is a nice perk too. Would need to find a new job though cause the one I have won't let me stay. The good news is my year bcnr33 is the only doable in California since it's pre-obd2 required so I do have some options, mind you $10k ones. UK and Australia sound good too... 

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