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RH9 R32 GTR Build Thread

OST Micah

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22 hours ago, Ben C34 said:

Im talking about inside the wire, along the conductors.

Maybe. The connections in the tank are sealed as are the connections outside the tank so even if that were the case the fuel would have a hard time getting into the wire and out of the wire. Having wires pass through the fuel hat is common even in high end aftermarket systems that we use all the time. I have yet to smell fuel vapors on those systems.

Got back to work on the suspension. One of the HICAS ball joints was toast and the other only had a rotted boot but I decided to replace them both. Got the bad one out first to test fit the new one.


However the new one was about 25 thou too small to press in. After spending a few hours on the phone with multiple sources all telling me I had the right part number I got ahold of a Nissan dealer that had two potential part numbers in stock. They pulled both and measured for me. Turns out I had ordered the right part number and the right number was on the bag but the part in the bag was the wrong number and for a GTST! What a royal pain in the butt.

Ball joint from the car

Ball joint I recieved


Once that was all sorted and new joints were ordered and installed I compressed the suspension and reduced (increased?) the negative camber as much as I could until the tire just kissed the quarter lip. I don't want to roll the quarters on this car so this is as far as I can go. 



Once that was sorted I moved to adjusting the tension/traction/trailing arm to reduce toe change under compression. After some playing I ended up with just 1mm of toe change from ride height to 3" of compression. With the car on the ground I have much closer to 0 camber than I thought I would. Really happy about this. I'll get the car strung up next week and we'll see where we end up. 


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Got the car on a set of scales we borrowed. Tried to get the corner balance sorted but there's something screwy going on with the front right corner that I didn't have time to figure out. But the car weighs 3428lb with me in it an 1/4 tank of fuel. No lightweight!



Then got the Smart Strings out to dial in the alignment. Really happy I could get 0 degrees camber in the rear. Anxious to see the improvements this season.


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  • 2 weeks later...

The transmission crossmember bushings were completely shot. Rather than buy a new set or aftermarket set I tried my hand at making some. Drew these up and printed them out. 100% infill so a solid piece. We'll see what happens!






Next item on the list was a clutch pedal position sensor. This was something I've wanted to do for a while for a couple reasons. The first was to use pedal position to activate the hydraulic slipper on launch. Without it I had to find the slip point at the line and then put the car on the 2-step. With the position sensor I planned to keep the pedal on the floor and dump the clutch at launch. The slipper would activate at a set pedal position. Much less to do at the line and makes the car easier to drive and more consistent. The other reason was to use it to active a flat shift cut. I had a flat shift cut before but found that I slightly rode the clutch pedal just before a gear change which would activate the cut. With the position sensor I could activate the cut once the clutch was pushed to a certain point.

This is what I came up with. It's a bolt on bracket to keep fab work under the dash to a minimum and uses a brake pedal position sensor from our 2015 Challenger parts car.




The last item on the list was larger injectors. I saved this for last in case I couldn't get everything done before our race day I could still take the car and dial in the launch and run the car. The ID1050s were at 98% in Maryland at around 37psi of boost on 60psi base fuel pressure.

Got a really good deal on a set of refreshed by ID ID2000s. While I was swapping the injector connectors I decided to redo the upper section of the engine harness. Pulled it all apart, depinned the connectors, and used heat shrink instead of the electrical tape I had on there and made proper breakouts for each injector. Much cleaner and far more durable. I made the coolant pressure sensor wiring too short but that will be addressed soon. I need to stop rushing when working late after work. I'm still teaching myself wiring but I'm happy with how it turned out. The next one will be better.








Got the car on the dyno and tweaked the tune for the new injectors. I dropped the base fuel pressure down to 30lbs to aid in getting the car to idle at 800rpm and at stoich on pump gas/race fuel. It may or may not have been needed but the car does idle how I want. 

Went to the track on Friday. Lots to play with and adjust in terms of launch and shifts. However I spent most of the day fighting fuel slosh which has not been a real issue until now. With the drag coilovers set up for weight transfer the angle of the car changed so much. I intended for that but didn't think about fuel slosh. Even with over twice the amount of fuel I normally run it was still going into engine protection. Made three partial passes that all got aborted. 60' was looking promising though. Car launches very differently and I'm excited to tweak the power application in the tune to get it sorted. The pedal position sensor worked flawlessly for the launch as well! Big help there. Still needs some playing with in the tune for the flat shift though. Takes too long to come out of flat shift. I think I'll switch to a time-based cut activated by an initial pedal position rather than on and off by pedal position. 

Then after letting the car sit in the pits to cool I got back in for another hit. Unfortunately the clutch would not disengage and I could not get into any gear with the car running. In gear and clutch pressed I could turn the motor over with the starter but not fast enough to fire up. I think the disks may have locked up on the input shaft when everything cooled down because the car shifted fine down the track and down the return road so I don't believe the floaters or friction material is damaged. Clutch pedal feels great and the slave moves the fork. Got to get it apart and have a look. First one for me!



Edited by OST Micah
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  • 4 weeks later...

Alright, so the day after the track I unloaded the car and bump started it down the driveway. Kicked the clutch a couple times on the way down to free it up. I then drove around using the clutch for a few miles. This gave me the clutch back but it was still slightly difficult to get into gear while sitting. 

Pulled the trans the following week after work and to my surprise the input slid right out of the clutch plates. Okay, so not locked on the input shaft. Pulled the clutch apart and right away saw gold friction material bonded to the floaters, pressure plate, and flywheel. This raised material must have been keeping the clutch from disengaging.

Cleaned all the material off, scuffed down all surfaces, and reinstalled. Drove the car around for a week and the clutch is back to normal. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

So these past couple weeks have been a bit of a hair puller. At the track the car was acting odd on the two-step and would take forever to build boost. Never had this issue before. I had a look over all the piping and turbo when the trans was out and all seemed well. Once back on the street the car would drop 2-3lbs of boost around 6800rpm when rolling into second gear. The same would happen in 3rd but at a higher boost level. After this boost drop the boost level would jump around and would not be a smooth incline like it had been or should be. I took the wastegate, BOVs, and charge pipe apart as well as made a lot of tuning changes to troubleshoot. Nothing made a difference. Finally I ran a line from a boost source into the cabin to the pressure sensor on the Elite. Problem solved! So apparently a MAP sensor can partially go bad and slowly get worse over time as this did. Now I know. New sensor ordered. When it goes in I'll test the wiring but in my experience wiring doesn't fail at the same time every time so I'm pretty confident it's the sensor.

Here is what the two signals looks like; on-board sensor vs. intake mounted sensor. The generic sensor is the intake sensor and the Manifold Pressure is the on-board sensor.


Edited by OST Micah
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  • 3 weeks later...

What a bugger this all was. Ended up being a bad oil pressure sensor. The sensor read just fine and accurately but was somehow grounding out the 5v reference after 7200rpm. This caused the MAP signal issue at that RPM. 

Lots of testing, troubleshooting, and laying awake at night wondering what was going on. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Talked with Drew from Direct Clutch Service and he was able to make me a custom clutch. 9" twin, billet cover, heavy flywheel, and sintered iron friction material. This material is what the guys here use when putting a lot of heat into the clutch. Excited to install and test. It's bully looking! Very heavy, very thick floaters and disks. Should handle the heat well.



Edited by OST Micah
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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally got a chance to install the new clutch. Took some pictures next to the OS Giken TS3B. The DCS 9" dwarfs the OSG. 

Found the TOB clearance to be within spec with the recommended 18mm sleeve. Measured finger height on the cover for future reference. 

Not sure when I'll be able to go to the track next but I'll be using the time to break in the clutch as much as possible.

All laid out on the table

OSG disk on top of a DCS disk

Thickness compare


Holes in the floater and in the pressure plate


In the car! Love the OS Giken alignment tool.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A while back I purchased a lot of aluminum exhaust parts to one day put a full time full exhaust on the car. The main reason was safety. I had seen a couple open header cars at the track put oil under the tires from engine damage and wreck. Now that I'm going to start pushing this motor harder I would rather eat the power loss for the sake of safety. The reason for choosing aluminum was for the weight and the low cost compared to stainless. The Promod guys use aluminum and I've done an aluminum downpipe on another car before and it worked well.

The downpipe material is all schedule 11 and the exhaust portion will be schedule 14. The schedule 14 will start where the factory cat normally sits. This is to make all significant bends from schedule 11. The downpipe is 5" and tapers to 4" for the exhaust.

A couple things I wanted to change from my last design: wideband sensor must be accessible from the engine bay for quick changes on the roadside or at the track. Downpipe needs to come out for turbo removal so this must also be able to be done from the engine bay with no jacks/lift. I want to be able to remove the turbo quickly at any location should the need arise. This is the reason for the v-band partway down the downpipe. The exhaust will be mounted to the mounting ear on the transmission and hopefully that will hold it well enough to R&R the upper downpipe section without getting under the car.

Downpipe all welded. I'm not a pro at welding but certainly seem to be improving. 


In the car


From underneath

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  • 1 month later...

Finally got the exhaust welded up and finished. Here's some progress pictures and final pictures. I haven't weighed it yet but the tubing and downpipe are likely in the 5-10lb range. The resonator is probably another 10lbs. 

However I can not take my downpipe off without getting under the car! This means the turbo can come off without getting under the car. Fantastic.

Love the way the car sounds and looks. Drove the car to and from work for a week with lots of WOT through the gears and no issues yet.

Mocking up different ways to sit the resonator. Adding an extension like this and lots of angle did it for me. Used aluminum to get the extension length right as it cuts quickly.

Plugging away

Tucks up nicely

Resonator on

To make the extension I needed some polished 4" SS. Well I couldn't find just a 1ft section anywhere and I wasn't paying for a 4ft stick to use 8 inches. So I gave polishing up some raw 4" SS I had sitting around. Turned out well enough for me. I then cut the edge in the lathe to give it a clean look.


All done. Hangers are this wall stainless tube. Two are attached to the aluminum by t-bolt clamps to prevent the aluminum from tearing and one is welded to the resonator. 






I may try to get a WOT clip soon but this is all I have for now.



Edited by OST Micah
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  • 2 months later...

Took the car to the track a few weeks ago after driving to and from work for nearly the entire summer. We were focusing on our chassis car at the shop and at the track so I didn't play with the car much after getting the exhaust finished.

As I always seem to do, I changed a few things in the days leading up to the track day in effort to make the car "better". You'd think I'd have learned my lesson by this point. I added Full Throttle Shift activated off clutch pedal position and on for a set time for each gear. Tested on the street to get the right cut time and percentage and it worked great and shifts were smooth as butter - much smoother than before. I also tested at what clutch position the new clutch engaged and set my hydraulic slipper to start the delay at launch at that point. Couldn't really test this on the street - need a prepped surface.

Things did not go well at the track. I couldn't put much thought into the car throughout the day as we were helping customers with their cars and we had the chassis car there which sucks up a lot of my time. 

The car would not leave the line at all. I would release the clutch which would instantly lock up and bog the car. I turned the hydraulic delay valve to completely closed (no flow) and got the car to launch a few times like this but changing nothing and the car would bog next pass. Couldn't figure this one out at the track. When I did get a good launch with successful slip the car would roll through the beams and start the timer showing a terrible 60'. All of these passed were then shut down by engine protection as soon as I shifted into second gear. ECU showed a lean condition due to FTS being engaged partway through first gear and finally hitting the time limit for my lean condition. This was because my FTS clutch position was before the pedal slipper started its delay and the FTS would remain activated by the delayed clutch pedal. I cranked up the FTS active time but oddly this had no effect. 

So no 60' data even though the butt dyno says it was launching way harder than before. The logs show a 1.31 60' when the time the car was rolling through the lights is subtracted. The car did bog one pass but I ran it out anyway to get data on the shifting. This was the only positive for the day - nearly 153mph!


One of the launches that did work only to be shut off in second gear.



Looked over the logs the next few evenings and found the car was rolling through the lights because Launch Control (which is deactivated by MPH) was remaining active after the car started moving (as determined by the RPM drop). MPH would occasionally go negative at launch. Likely a software bug and I didn't feel like troubleshooting that one. I added a clutch switch which was just splitting the clutch position sensor signal wire to another input. Set this up to deactivate launch control at the point the clutch starts to engage. Problem solved.

Next was the clutch not slipping at the launch ... sometimes. I found that the rate at which I released the clutch made a big difference. When releasing it more slowly, the clutch would slip nicely. When releasing it quickly the clutch would not slip. I had set the slip to start when the clutch pedal was at the point the clutch started to slip but I had not accounted for the time it took the solenoid on the slipper valve to activate. Apparently this was a lot longer than I thought. I played with this in the driveway and found I needed to activate the slipper valve 17% pedal position over when the clutch actually begins to engage. Okay, that one figured out. This percentage was really touchy though and changes to a tenth of a percent were what I was playing with.

The following week I went back to the track thinking it would be the day to go 8s now that the issues were at least very close to sorted and the MPH was there.


Sadly, again, no dice. The car blew the tires off on the first (and only) hit but I ran it out because I wanted to test my FTS changes (bumped up the activation percentage to be outside the pedal slipper delay). I got out of the throttle as soon as I shifted into fourth. As I turned onto the return road an enormous cloud of white smoke caught up with me. The motor was still running on all cylinders although a bit poorly. I drove it back to our pit as I didn't hear any noises or feel the car was down a cylinder. Got back to the pits and pulled the radiator cap. No fluid. Pulled the plugs and cylinders #3 and 4 had water in them with #3 being pretty bad. Turned the motor over with the plugs out and water shot out of #3. Great, lifted the head again this time with a Nitto stopper gasket. Only 39lbs and 18° of timing at 7800rpm (where coolant pressure says it lifted) on race fuel. Coolant pressure shows a 20psi spike about a second before I got out of it in 4th. 

Got the motor out and apart because I figured I'd refresh it over winter. Had a nice surprise when I removed the head.





Block is toast. Piston at BDTC. Crack goes all the way from the bottom to the top of the bore and out into the deck. Bore is about 4.2mm thick in the crack area which is more than enough I should think. Had a close look at the head gasket and the underside of the head and it clearly lifted on 3 and 4 towards the intake. I am guessing it sucked in water and that cracked the cylinder. Going to tear down the shortblock and make sure the rod isn't bent (piston comes up as high as the others by visual check). Going back together with a spare block I have and will be stainless wire o-ringing the block and using a normal MLS gasket. Going to try to scrape up the money for some 625+ studs as well. They're expensive but I'm tired of lifting the head. The silver lining to all this is that if I still had the open downpipe the water may have put the car into the wall. The exhaust served its purpose already. Until next year!

Edited by OST Micah
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  • 3 weeks later...

Well the plus side is that now I have a mock up block for the shop that I won't mind bashing around like I would a good block. Threw the cracked block back in the car and a spare head. I wasn't totally happy with the turbo position and the manifold was my first one ever and there was room for improvement. Mocked up where I want the turbo this season. Still keeping ABS, AC, and PS. Not sure why I didn't do this in the first place.



Next was the wiring harness. I had been adding in sensors as I needed them and planned to one day integrate everything into the engine harness. I'm out of inputs now and I feel that I have all the sensors I should need. Removed the harness and stripped it down. Started by removing the wires for the MAFs, factory O2s, second TPS, and a few others. Added in the wires for my aftermarket sensors, outputs, and solenoids. All pressure sensors will now be on a block up by the battery to keep wiring and servicing easy. I also added in wires for an exhaust backpressure sensor and DBW should I ever get an IO expander. Going to throw a few spare wires in as well.





Modified the jumper harness to be removable from the main harness and the two sensors I have in the interior.





Ran all inputs, outputs, voltage supplies, and grounds through the firewall grommet and to the jumper harness. First time doing this as well and learned a lot. I'm happy with the result and the next one will be nicer. All crimped though! No more solder for this guy.





Edited by OST Micah
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  • 2 weeks later...

Started some fabrication while between other jobs in the shop. Added a cutout to the expansion tank to allow the throttle cable to pass through. Currently it bends sharply coming out of the firewall against the tank. The pedal feel was choppy because of this (I assume).



Next I started on the collector as I figured that's the hardest part of a manifold. I've never done this before so go easy. It's not perfect but I learned a lot. 

I made a template with some math, CAD and my printer.


All pieces tacked together.



Welded. Going to smooth out the inside a bit but couldn't find my long steel die grinder burr when these were taken.




Tacked on to v-bands and a short radius sch10 3.5" 90. I won't be using thin wall on a manifold again. Too many issues with the wastegate area getting cracks. 




Currently waiting on the turbo to come back from getting refreshed and I'll get the manifold completed. Then the bay ill get prepped and painted. It's pretty much stripped right now, just don't want to paint it and then be working in it fabbing.

Edited by OST Micah
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On 12/16/2021 at 10:36 PM, hattori hanzo said:

love the effort you put into that collector! 

Thank you!

I ended up removing the fist vband to gain some space for the downpipe. Gained me about 2". 

First runner tacked together. Did this one in the car because it will be my space limit towards the rear.




Bolted the manifold up to a spare block and head in the newly sorted fab room. Really happy to be doing it this way. Making the last one in the car without a welder was miserable. Made up a couple more runners. Coming out decently so far.



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