Nissan C33 Laurel with SR20

Thread in 'Project Cars and Builds Threads' started by ali303, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. ali303

    ali303 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Posts:
    790
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Manchester
    After getting thoroughly fed up with my PS13 and being tired of having a car that I only used if and when I had to, I decided to break it and consider my options. I wanted something I could still take to the track and have a blast in, but also something I could happily drive on the road and enjoy when I fancied. I picked up a cheap and cheerful S14 locally but after staring at it for a few days, decided it wasn’t really for me. Then while at a round of the BDC, Fan Dango aka Karl Farrar told me he was heading to the docks after the event to pick up yet another C33 Laurel – he showed me some photos and then asked if I’d like to buy it.

    IMG_4663.

    IMG_4662.

    IMG_4665.

    Here are the pics of it at the docks in Japan. Nice bodywork, some must-have JDM trinkets and, most importantly, a manual Straight Cam SR20 swap. 35,000 miles on the clock – delightful.

    IMG_4722.

    Once Karl had picked up the car I went to his house to check it out. On the drive back from Southampton it had developed a pretty weird metallic rattling noise but I could tell straight away this was an ancillary issue so nothing to worry about (it turned out to be the air con pump – cutting the belt sorted that out).

    IMG_4770.

    IMG_4774.

    IMG_4767.

    IMG_4777.

    IMG_4776.

    The leather interior and roll cage combo won me over – I was never aware of this as a factory option for Laurels so I’m not sure if it was a custom retrim or not?

    IMG_4773.

    The aero was all in perfect condition so has since been taken away to be replicated before I damage it all. Karl delivered the car to me looking a lot more naked but with a spare kit off Sid’s old BDC C33, so I had something to work with for the time being at least.

    IMG_4941.

    IMG_4935.

    The first job was to investigate what lay underneath the car to see what work had been done and what needed to be done, with the very worn PAS pump being the first port of call (which I swapped out for the one off my PS).

    IMG_4945.

    Nismo extended lower arms (S13 +15mm I’m led to believe).

    IMG_4946.

    Decent looking monotube Cuso coilovers.

    IMG_4947.

    Well put-together intercooler setup (worn and cracked hoses have since been replaced with Mishimoto items).

    IMG_4953.

    PS13 ECU running a Viper chip (not sure what this is but am assuming it’s similar to Nistune, or maybe Horsham?). The car’s running a T28R with 550cc Sard injectors and Skyline Green Label MAF, so hopefully this is coping ok with it.

    IMG_4950.

    Oh and of course, Japanese-spec wiring (which was swiftly dealt with).

    IMG_4958.

    And a Winnie the Pooh shifter.

    IMG_4962.

    First things first of course was to wind the coilovers down, chuck my T7Rs on (and a borrowed pair of CR Kais from Phil’s black S15), wedge the kit on and see how it looked.

    IMG_5127.

    It seemed ok, but the rears definitely wouldn’t go low enough in standard trim. I ended up removing one of the really thick locking collars along with all of the preload from both front and rear coilies.

    IMG_5023.

    Huxley popped in to grab some bits so I test fitted one of the VS-KFs off the front of his PS13. It sat pretty well and my VS-KF feels came flooding back (along with regret for selling mine).

    IMG_5169.

    The drivers seat was a Bride Brix recliner which, as awesomely-JDM tyte as they are, are absolutely useless for support (the one I had in my white S13 was pretty awful on track to say the least). I took it out and replaced it with my OMP Champ bucket seat.

    IMG_5167.

    Upon seeing the classic Momo wheel, Bon demanded that he must have it for his home gaming setup, so I removed it and replaced it with a Nardi Deep Corn 350mm, perforated leather with red stitching. While I was at it I also removed the random steering wheel spacer and fitted a Driftworks 60mm snap-off boss.

    In its current spec the car would have been fine to take to a drift day, but while I had the time before Drift Matsuri I decided to take care of a handful of jobs that are always worth doing to help improve drivability and of course, the ever-fabled reliability.

    I was determined that this car was not going to be “hardcore” and be fitted with things that would make it an awesome track toy, but thoroughly annoying on the road. It had stock bushes throughout, mated to Nismo engine and gearbox mounts, and I didn’t want to make it any less forgiving than this!

    IMG_5207.
     
  2. ali303

    ali303 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Posts:
    790
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Manchester
    I wanted to swap my Superstyle knuckles on to help with lock and steering response, so I started to get everything in place. First up was the subframe with relocated steering rack that lived on both my S13 and PS13.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    While I had the original subframe off I noticed the rack bushes were absolutely shot, so I swapped in the SuperPro items off my PS. I also downsized the front tyres from 235/40 to 215/40 Nankang NS2s.

    [​IMG]

    The rear alignment was not exaclty ideal either (especially at my new ride height) so I swapped the standard arms out for some Driftworks Camber & Geomaster Toe rods. The standard traction rods can remain for now.

    [​IMG]

    Geomaster tie rods were also fitted with non-offset rack spacers to help make up the length for them to suit. I also fitted Geomaster tension rods.

    Mo from Superstyle also made me some new V2 versions of his kncukle design, which I installed with the intention of testing them at Matsuri.

    [​IMG]

    The loom obviously needed taking care of as well – the passenger side had been dealt with already but the drivers side was still sitting way too low, and even if I tried to wedge it above the upper leg seam it wasn’t secure enough for my liking.

    [​IMG]

    I considered doing what I did on my PS (dismantling the fusebox, pulling the loom back through the dash, drilling a hole in the side of the wing and routing it through the upper leg into the bay) but decided that that was a bit too keen for fairly basic car. Instead, i just cut and shut the entire thing and wired it over the strup top in the bay.

    [​IMG]

    The small bit of loom left exposed at the back of the wheel bay was tied right up out the way and wrapped in a Monster can to help with some additional shielding should the worst happen.

    [​IMG]

    With all of this done and a quick eye-lignment I took the car for a quick run to see how it was on the road – delightful was the answer!

    I drove it over to Dan Joyce’s the following day where we rattle canned the bodykit on his driveway in a makeshift spray booth and then threw everything on the car.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In all fairness it was way too low to be practical, but it looked awesome so I vowed to leave the car this way until after Matsuri. Couldn’t help but take some pics with my Cedric while I was at it (I really should sell that car soon...)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One thing I did notice while testing everything out was that the clutch was very high up on the pedal and was also slipping slightly during third gear clutch kicks. With Anglesey being a track that requires a lot of third gear I thought it’d be a waste of time not to change the clutch before going.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I used the three-puck Stage 2 clutch out of my PS (this has been in both of my S13s since the beginning of 2013 and hasn’t let me down once and still has plenty of life left). I also fitted my Driftworks Superfly flywheel from the PS as this was such an awesome improvement when clutch kicking in a lesser powered car. Again Dan Joyce saved the day with more help in the workshop getting this done rapidly.

    [​IMG]

    I thought I’d best chuck a Driftworks harness in there as well while I was at it – I managed to do so without losing any of the seat belts, so I can leave the harness untouched unless I need to put it on when at the track. There were already harness eyelets under the rear seat bench, so I can only assume the previous owner in Japan had fitted one at some point in the past.

    [​IMG]

    I also tackled the head unit situation so I could fit a more basic one with Aux capability to replace the incredibly confusing one that was fitted (that was also linked to a TV in the glovebox, a receiver box under the passenger seat and a DVD player on top of the transmission tunnel!). There was some great wiring back there...

    [​IMG]

    With alignment being the next job on the cards I decided the 225/45s were too balloon-like for the 17x9s on the back, so downsized to 215/40 Sailuns (cheap and cheerful). This allowed me to dial out the rear camber to 2deg with no need for any additional archwork/abuse. I’d like less camber in the future but this will do for now.

    [​IMG]

    With the alignment done it was time to head to Matsuri – it was quite nice to be able to load up six tyres (two on rims), tools, spares and two people’s stuff without having to strap anything on top of the bootlid or lose the use of the front seat.

    [​IMG]

    I was only drifting on the Sunday so tried not to get too pissed on the Saturday night – my first session out resulted in mega tyre/front wing rubbing with hilarious smoke everywhere, so I whipped the 5mm slip-on spacers off and carried on.

    [​IMG]
     
    #2 ali303, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  3. ali303

    ali303 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Posts:
    790
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Manchester
    [​IMG]

    The car felt pretty good to be honest – overall traction was nowhere near what I was used to with the PS and on angle it tended to want to carry on sliding in the direction it was pointing rather than slowing down and gripping up, so a fair amount of foot braking and a bit of handbrake was required.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Everything was going well until I chucked on a pair of tyres I got fitted by the tyre van – silly me forgot the check the pressures before going out. A pretty ambitious entry on the fast track and I soon realised I wasn’t going to make it and the last thing I wanted to do was twat one of the massive truck tyres littering the outside of the track, so I straightened up and aimed for the grass. This ripped my front bumper under the wheels which wasn’t the end of the world...until I noticed the oil pressure warning light on the dash and promptly shut the car down and rolled it back onto the grass.

    Turned out the hefty and weighty bumper and ripped one of the oil cooler outlets off, great! I knew the placement of the cooler that the Japanese dudes had used wasn’t ideal but there wasn’t really anywhere else to put it until I remove the air con rad. I knew I’d have to be careful when twinning but I wasn’t expecting this!

    Thankfully between Dan Joyce, Huxley and Mo from Superstyle and a borrowed male to male AN fitting from Daze, we looped the lines together and eliminated the cooler. Off I went again, still not aware that my tyre pressures were wildly out...

    [​IMG]

    ...and then did this with Paul Howard chasing me. Third gear opposite flick over a blind crest, not ideal with tyres with the best part of 50psi in them! Thankfully my damage was just a dented wing and smashed corner light. Paul managed to rip a corner off his car – less than ideal!

    I got it all sorted (and realised the error of my tyre-pressure forgetfulness) and just spent the rest of the day hurtling round the fast track as by this point seat time was virtually limitless with no queue. I loved having some decent power for once – not too much to make the car overly wild and abusive on tyres, but just enough to bring big, fast sweeping corners into reach with enough commitment. Check out some on-board footage in the video below - foot to the floor from the hairpin to the fast sweeper to stop bogging down (makes me laugh watching the speedo going round that corner). Apologies for not filming more on the touge track - I was pretty comfortable on there last year but couldn't find a good rhythm this time round.

    [video]https://youtu.be/yj8v7lSr79E[/video]

    It was all going well until the last lap of the day where the 2nd > 3rd upshift caused the box to lock inbetween two gears...no idea how I managed that while driving but I’ve done it before when building a box (as have plenty of others I’m told). Put the car in neutral when sat in the queue to leave the track and it stalled – put it in first and couldn’t set off...it was stuck in 5th. Big thanks to Freddie Sharvell for freeing it up with some mega strength and leaving me able to drive home with four gears.

    [​IMG]

    So yeah, all in all pretty happy as, even with a slightly battered front wing , the lack of a front bumper and no third gear, I was still able to drive home in relative comfort while still being able to hold a conversation at normal talking volume. What a wonderful car!
     
    #3 ali303, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  4. Filthy Animal

    Filthy Animal Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Posts:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Car looked really good at matsuri, and it's always a pleasure reading through your projects :)
     
  5. mad.matt

    mad.matt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Posts:
    1,260
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Alloa. Scotland
    Loved this thread, man :)

    Got a bit of a sweet spot for C33 Laurels. The SR makes it a little more interesting.
    I think I'm with you on the Roll Cage and Leather mix, looks a bit polarising.

    Hope you enjoy it!
     
  6. jay-young

    jay-young Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Posts:
    308
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    Isle of Man
    Looks great, I'd love a big four door bus in a few years when I can actually skid well. Full interior and cage is a good combo.
     
  7. SHIZNT

    SHIZNT Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Posts:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Awesome read man, still got love for L Doggs.

    There is a model called a Club L that comes with cream leather interior
     
  8. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Posts:
    1,748
    Likes Received:
    289
    Location:
    Mt Maunganui, New Zealand
    So rad, looks like a ball of fun. T7R's really suit it too.
     
  9. CrossOverPics

    CrossOverPics Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Posts:
    532
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Essex/Cheltenham
    Awesome car and nicely put together opening thread! Love the wheels + aero combo.
     
  10. jeepy

    jeepy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    Posts:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Qc,Canada
    love this chassis!
     
  11. C35Rob

    C35Rob Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Posts:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gateshead
    I really like this, nice to see more Laurels being bought/used over here!
     
  12. Joss

    Joss Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2014
    Posts:
    226
    Likes Received:
    1
    Keep saying it but this was by far my favourite motor of the weekend. Did you get footage of our gnarly excursion on the fast track?
     
  13. jimmy crowley

    jimmy crowley Rouge Dori s15

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Posts:
    1,771
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    osaka (i wish)
    Rediculous amount of cool ....
     
  14. nissanr34cal

    nissanr34cal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Posts:
    3,404
    Likes Received:
    264
    Location:
    mundford, norfolk
    Lots of approval hahah
     
  15. ali303

    ali303 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Posts:
    790
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Manchester
    [​IMG]

    Glad you all like it! I got sent this pic confirming that it is indeed a Club L model, pretty hilarious.

    [​IMG]

    Had loads to do after Matsuri so didn't get too many pics but I swapped out the majority of the silicone joiners as most of them were torn (still think the intercooler core is leaking slightly), replaced the Cusco coilovers with S13 HSD MonoPros (as if I broke something on one of the Cuscos I'd have no chance of sourcing spares) and also decided to try Geomasters on the front.

    The headlight casings had also cracked slightly from the front bumper banging against the floor and putting pressure on them, so I bonded them back together. This was too brittle though so I tracked down some more on Yahoo JP along with spare corner lights and indicator lenses. Decided I'd have to run without any aero after destroying most of it at Anglesey, sigh.

    [​IMG]

    I also want to replace the trio of temp/pressure gauges with this Defi one-piece read out display that I picked up from Craig at DynoTorque next door - the main reason for wanting to do this was just so I could pop my double DIN TV in the radio slot, haha.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Gave the car a quick alignment and then headed up to Three Sisters for the drift day there. It was really damp and moist all day but this made for some awesome twinning/train practice with the lads - four/five car trains. Mounted my GoPro on my helmet but completely messed up the placement so totally ruined the footage, gutted. Some cool pics appearing though:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Didn't go off track, yet still muddy as hell.

    [​IMG]

    Also, Alex took this sweet video of me chasing him down through the last section of the track. Slippy fun times!

    https://www.instagram.com/p/91iLfzCe-0/
     
  16. urchy107

    urchy107 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Posts:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    somerset
    Sweet motor mate, I love these cars. I just got a c34 planning to do similar thing.
     
  17. driftdog

    driftdog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Posts:
    335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    stoke on trent
    Man that sits well, such a rad car.
    love it:thumbs:
     
  18. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Posts:
    1,748
    Likes Received:
    289
    Location:
    Mt Maunganui, New Zealand
    If you decide to go ahead let me know, i had an SR20 powered C34 a few years ago
     
  19. ali303

    ali303 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Posts:
    790
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Manchester
    A mate sent me some chase cam footage from Three Sisters so chopped together this clip - gutted the first initiation and flick was ruined by rain on the camera, was pretty happy with that bit of driving. Track was seriously slippy that day

     
  20. sukhy96

    sukhy96 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Posts:
    727
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Wolves
    Great driving man!

    Love the Laurel
     

Share This Page