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My R32 GTR Restoration


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I had an R34 GTR about 15 years ago but sold it to raise a deposit for a house, Since then I've had a TT Supra, 2JZ 350Z, R33 GTR, Impreza STI, Twin Turbo 350Z and an S14a. Back in 2021, the S14a just wasn't scratching the itch and I wanted another GTR, I wanted a forever GTR. I couldn't afford to buy an R34. Ideally I wanted a 33 but as I had never owned a 32, I kind wanted one to complete the collection :)

I sold my S14 but couldn't afford a running GTR, especially when I was just going to rip it apart and spend a fortune building it my way. I also didn't want a 30K rust bucket that would need a fortune spending on it. I had the space, I had the time & with the wife soon to be restarting work after maternity leave & then redundancy - I had a bit more money. I found an R32 rolling shell in the midlands and it looked relatively clean so I dragged my dad along and went to look at it.

It was in decent condition, rear drivers side wheel arch had the worst of the rust along with a bit on both sills. Underneath was covered in underseal but it passed the "screwdriver test"

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Agreed a deal on what I thought was a good price & arranged for it to be picked up a couple of days later :)

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Part 2 :)

I've spent much of the past 3 years collecting parts to complete the build. I think the only OEM parts I need other than the odd bracket and nut/bolt are the ABS sensors. Progress has been slow, I've lost nearly a year of work on the car between having surgery to remove my gallbladder, a torn ACL & a couple of months where the car was away at a restoration "specialist" for sand blasting & welding.

I wont bore you with photos of parts bought, You can check my Instagram for those 😜

The first thing to do was to get the car up on the ramp and strip is completely to see exactly what I was working with, it turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting.

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I had been speaking with a couple of different restoration places before deciding on my choice who came very highly recommended by local enthusiasts. We agreed that I would strip the car completely (Windows, sound deadening & as much underseal as possible) before sending the car so them.

🤬 Happened on both sides, thankfully the seals were knackered anyway so needed to replace the whole thing anyway

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Sound deadening was a 🤬 of a job, never doing that again, took weeks to get it this clean

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Next up its off to the specialist who are going to media blast the car, repair any rust and weld in new patches of metal where needed & prime the car to protect it until I've decided what colour to paint it & whether I want to seam weld it or not. - Ignore the Honda wheels, it was all I had spare that fit to get it rolling 😛 

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Part 3 

My car was away for almost 3 months, mostly due to issues their end with compressors and the amount of work they had on. I'm not 100% happy with the work that was done and some of it will need redoing when it comes to the paint stage.

Car was blasted back to bare metal (Except roof, doors & rear quarters as the metal was too thin to blast), rust was repaired with new metal patched in & then it was etch primed to give it some protection.

I don't have as many photos of the strip down as I would have liked but there are some

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This is the part I am least happy with, I don't think the repair follows the lines of the rear arch as nicely as I would have liked. the majority is hidden away when the rear spats are fitted but I think I will probably end up replacing the rear quarter eventually just so that its perfect.

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Back home and into the garage

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That brings us up to October 23, I tore my ACL last September, so haven't done much since, its only the last 2 weeks that I have made any progress other than buying parts.

I still need to decide on a colour. OEM grey, CRS Grey, Pearl White or British Racing Green are my current choices although my daughter wants me to paint it yellow and as tempting as that is, I'm not sure the 32 suits it.

Until I decide on the colour, I am just bolting everything back on to make sure I have everything I need to complete, I also need to decided if I am going to seam weld it or not.

 

 

 

 

 

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Nice.

My 2c on colour.

The grey/white options are better than most others. The R32's shape (flared guards etc) look far better in light colours than in dark colours. Dark makes all the width go away, unless the car is hectically low, and hopefully no-one wants that any more. I think this rules out BRG, as much as I like that colour for almost any project. A compromise on BRG might be a much paler version of the green - perhaps with a generous metal flake in the clear. Something really surprising that would probably make the curves and shapes pop nicely.

Do not do the yellow. That would only look good as a track car with lots of other graphics over the top.

I would suggest a solid white rather than a pearl white. I really like the white that my car is painted, which is not the original Nissan white, it was repainted in Japan. The white is just really really white. Not cold, not warm. Although, now that many white cars have that pearl/metal in them to make them pop, those whites tend to look really cold, and makes my car's white seem warm by comparison. Anyway, solid is good, and it is much easier to repair and match if needed. One of our Swifts had the tailgate and rear bumper redone recently and the shop.....simply failed to get the pearled white white to match. Apparently the sun was blowing in the wrong direction or the birds were facing the wrong way on the power line outside while they were gunning it on.

Greys.... I'm a bit meh on those. Especially with all the modern solid greys that are around now that look like they dipped the shell in the E-coat tank and then forgot to put the top coat on. Just yucky. Even if the original grey was to my taste, I'd be put off by that association!

Reds can be hot on R32s. The red that was on the various racing cars in the 90s in Australia and Japan works (like the Winfield and GIO sponsored cars). If it wasn't a case that is on every 2nd car on the road, I'd consider Mazda Soul Red, as it is a really amazing colour for cars with curves also. Just sad that it is so oversubscribed.

I'd also be tempted to put a colour that Holden used on the Toranas back in the late 60s/early 70s. Called Linamint. An absolutely excellent green. And those Toranas were GTRs too, so you can say it's a GTR colour. There's another from the same set called Strike Me Pink. Probably a bit much for a Jap car though.

 

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I'm actually a fan of a bright yellow R32

http://www.rbmotoring.com/blog/nissan-skyline-r32-yellow-color-available-to-source

But then I like colours that aren't black, white, silver or grey for sporty/fun cars, those colours seem to blend into the background, I'm looking into a carpark right now with about 100 cars in it, and the only cars that stand out amongst the sheep are yellow, orange, red, blue and this weird yellowish greenish HQ ute

 

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4 minutes ago, The Bogan said:

I'm actually a fan of a bright yellow R32

Yeah I gotta agree. While white is my fave colour for an R32, this type of yellow is very cool.

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"and you might possibly never see another yellow GTR in your lifetime" hahah I see one every time I look in the shed, the race car is a commodore yellow, I think it looks great in pics etc.

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Ian, it looks like you are going for a very serious rebuild here, great to see the attention to detail 

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I've always wanted to do this to mine, Jap flag styleez. I just suspect that the boot is too short cf the bonnet for it to come out looking right. Ignore the graphics on the side and the bodgy edit to the front corner of the bonnet where I had to get rid of some other graphics. (And ignore the fact that it's a scale model!)

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19 minutes ago, GTSBoy said:

I've always wanted to do this to mine, Jap flag styleez. I just suspect that the boot is too short cf the bonnet for it to come out looking right. Ignore the graphics on the side and the bodgy edit to the front corner of the bonnet where I had to get rid of some other graphics. (And ignore the fact that it's a scale model!)

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I like it....pretty sure Russ went with the Aussie flag on the roof when he shipped his car to race at Tsukuba

19 minutes ago, PranK said:

@Duncan is yours the VS GTS colour? 

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 Yeah pretty sure that is the one.....hurts the eyes :)

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8 hours ago, Duncan said:

"and you might possibly never see another yellow GTR in your lifetime" hahah I see one every time I look in the shed, the race car is a commodore yellow, I think it looks great in pics etc.

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Ian, it looks like you are going for a very serious rebuild here, great to see the attention to detail 

That looks incredible 😍

I like yellow, The wife says its stupid and that I'm nearly 40 and too old to drive bright yellow cars 🤣

All good feedback on the colours and certainly some interesting options! 

Rebuild is pretty deep but if your gonna do it, do it right the first time - besides, I'll never sell this car so might as well do it right :)

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15 hours ago, ianp said:

I like yellow, The wife says its stupid and that I'm nearly 40 and too old to drive bright yellow cars 🤣

Oof, that hurts a little. Please tell your wife that she delivered a widespread burn to probably at least half of the forum population :D

Being in that age range I feel I'm only just getting to a point in life where I can even consider purchasing and driving a yellow fun car.

 

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On 04/04/2024 at 8:09 PM, ianp said:

I like yellow, The wife says its stupid and that I'm nearly 40 and too old to drive bright yellow cars 🤣

My wife says stuff like that too, it becomes my sole motivation to do it. :D 

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