Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Nissan GT-R Themed Android Wear Watch Face

So I have been tinkering with Android coding for the last few weeks - finally a good use for the java that I learned 15 years ago and never used much. I received an "LG Watch R" last christmas and while the stock watch faces were nice, I thought I would create my own....I went for a GT-R carbon fiber theme with bright red tick marks inspired by the GT-R tail lights.
Then added in 2 useful pieces of information. Month, Day & Date and Battery %. Job Done.

In Ambient Mode, the second hand disappears and everything gets slighted toned to the darker side to save on battery. No extra options for now, maybe next version, if I get the time. The watch face can be downloaded from the Play Store here
                                                       Get it on Google Play
Black Straps on my LG Watch R.

Monday, February 9, 2015

DIY Nitrogen Tank Setup in Garage for GT-R

The Nisan GT-R is the first car I ever owned that came with Nitrogen filled tires from the factory. There are a lot of myths and urban legend about benefits nitrogen filled tires. This is also a very confusing topic for many car owners.

So what is the main reason for my N2 setup - CONSISTENCY!  and the second benefit I have found over the years is simply CONVENIENCE!

The typical advertised benefits of Nitrogen or N2 are often stated by greedy dealerships that will charge $6-8 per tire in an effort to turn N2 into a profit as: better mpg, doesn't leak, no low pressure warnings, longer tire life, etc. For everyday use all these are simply complete Bull$hit! Yes, in extreme cases each of these condition would apply true for using Nitrogen (e.g. better mpg because the tire pressure were correctly set with Nitrogen), but for the every day tire use, these are all false compared to just simply using air provided the proper pressure are maintained at all times. So why do I use N2 not only in my GT-R, but all cars and even bother? Read on....

Friday, January 30, 2015

Upgrading 2009 GT-R AV, Navigation System & Screen to 2014 Model using Legertas Harness, Screen & AV Unit

One of the features that constantly gave me new GT-R model envy was the continually upgraded AV NAV System and Screen. Back in 2008 when the GT-R was released the following were standard:

A non high-definition screen ,30 pin iPod connector in glove box if the ipod interface kit was purchased, Bluetooth V2 for phone calls only (no phonebook or music), No reverse Camera for US Models, Compact Flash Card Reader, No AUX Video Input or US models, No DVD Player for US Models, 20GB Music Box.

Using Legertas Upgrade Kit, my Gt-R can now enjoy the new technology from a 2014,complete with Bluetooth streaming Audio, Phonebook transfer, and updated maps, while keeping my custom front and rear camera kit.

First Test of 2014 A/V System in 2009 GT-R

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Headlights Conversion to 2015 LED Headlights with Manual ON/OFF for Lightning Bolt

This d-i-y is for GT-R owners who want to install the 2015 GT-R headlights that use LEDs for both low and high beams! and have the nice unique lightning bolt pattern for parking lights, or for what could be used as DRLs (abet weak ones!)

Lightning Bolt LED turned into a DRL without Parking Lights ON.
I have been running the new 2015 LED headlight for over a week now and have driven my GT-R through unlit country roads and the illumination is much better than older lights in many aspects. I had also previously upgraded the HID bulbs so I can safely say my comparison is not due to older HID bulbs. This upgrade is well worth the money first for the better illumination intensity, then the illumination pattern is more more comprehensive and wider, better color temperature, and finally the time to full power-up is much quicker then HID. The lightning bolt is just the icing on the cake :)

Thus the instructions in this post also go into modifying the lightning bolt LED power source to have it on whenever desired with no relation to headlights.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

DIY - How to Change the Battery in the GT-R

I am actually pretty surprised that my battery "lasted" almost 5 years. It finally could not hold a charge for a start after a week of sitting with no load. The polar vortices that brought days of -10F temperature may have helped finally killed the battery.

In retrospect, after installing the new battery, I came to realized that original battery had been at below ~70% capability for most of its life beyond probably 1 year. Let me explain. Even after a full overnight trickle charge the OEM battery would start the GT-R just fine, but the starting would be somewhat sluggish, almost as though the starter was not sufficient to crank the engine over. This behavior, to me became normal over time, but it was not until the new battery was installed that I realized how snappy the GT-R startup can actually be. So to those on stock GT-R battery, I urge you do a simple voltmeter test.
Topping off new battery.
I did not want to spend $50-60 to get a battery testing kit, considering that a new battery would be double that at about $100-120. I am not a battery expert, but I do have an EE background. So, I did some battery reading and found that low temperature does affect charge, but not as much as say when overall charge capacity is reduced. A healthy battery can survive at -50F (the freezing point of that concentration of sulphuric acid). As the battery charge holding capacity reduces, the freezing point increases very quickly!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Adding Bluetooth A2DP Interface to the 2009/2010 GT-R

Because I have a 2009 Nissan GT-R, I feel that I am slave to the iPhone/iPod. I have wanted to dump my iPhone for a while now, but the 2009 & 2010 models only came with the iPod interface (if added as an option). This was back in the day that every car manufacturer thought that Apple was going to take over the world as the standard for all music devices.

I got an HTC One recently, and it works great in my Frontier Pro-4X with an aftermarket Pioneer stereo and also in my wife's new Q50; leaving the GT-R as the old dog. Well no more! There is a way to some freedom.
My Bluetooth A2DP Setup

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Upgrading/Changing the Headlight Bulbs on the GT-R

My GT-R is now about 5 years old. While I have not been driving it at night as much, I recently did and the lights seemed dim. Also, compared to the LED headlight on out new Infiniti Q50, the retrofit job of HID I did on my Frontier Pro 4-X, the GT-R simply seemed dimmest and oldest. I am guessing after 5 years of time and usage Xenon HID bulbs do dim. Also,  the GT-R lights are more ~4300K and the newer lights are closer to 5000K.

The GT-R uses D2S 35W bulbs. As replacements, I considered 5000K bulbs, Phillips, Sylvania, Morimoto (which are in my truck) but finally settled on MaxLux based on the Amazon User reviews an the fact that the cost $35 for a pair with Prime shipping. After having Sylvania and Morimoto one's I'd say keep away from them as I have had issues with both of them. The Morimoto ones started flickering after 2 weeks. With Maxlux, at the cost, even if they burn out in 1 year, that is super cheap.

They came and I installed them. So here are the instructions on how to change the HID bulbs on the GT-R.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hunter Alignment Specs for GT-R

My Nissan GT-R Master Technician told me that the Hunter guys updated the software on the alignment machines and the 2012+ models get a new setting for "Reduced Tire Wear". Interesting that the new setting is actually very close to the 2009 sport setting and 2011 normal setting.

Anyways here are the alignment specs as loaded into the machine. I know you can get a set from the ESM, but this is what the Tech's get to use when they put your GT-R on the rack.

2009 & 2010 Normal Driving

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Transmission Pan Air Cooling Scoop DIY

I order to help the transmission get a little better cooling and a little better air flow to hit the bottom of the transmission pan, but at the cost of increasing drag slightly and possibly reducing downforce slightly, I decided to fashion a little scoop to add to the rear diffuser (rear panel that covers the transmission, diff, etc).

The next option was to add a proper HKS cooler, but that is a big step. My objective and exceptions were minimal for the amount of work put into this - Lower the transmission temperature by a few degree F during normal driving and allow for quicker cool down during track time.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Symphony of Sounds of the GT-R - Part #4 of 4


Ever encounter a vehicle with bad or worn out CV joints. When a full lock low speed turn is made, a horrid click-click-click sound emanates from the front wheels. This sound is very similar to what is heard from the GT-R under similar conditions i.e. full steering wheel lock turns at slow speeds e.g. pulling in and out of a parking spot or maneuvering around a parking lot. Personally this is the worst of the noises covered thus far. I can live with #1-3, but not this one. This is not the attention I want. It never seems to happen on high speed turns.

Rust on the Hubs

To re-create this noise...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Symphony of Sounds of the GT-R - Part #3 of 4


You pull up to a stop light in your freshly detailed shiny GT-R, with a nice long fierce brake squeal. Everyone parked at the stop lights looks side to side expecting to see a crapy old beater minivan, instead they have to do a double take when they realize it some kind of fancy new sports car. How embarrassing!

To eliminate this noise we have to understand what causes it.

Most average modern cars today use ceramic compound based brake pads, with low metallic composition.

Pad Material Transfer But Fading after 3 weeks of daily Driving

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Symphony of Sounds of the GT-R - Part #2 of 4


This is the second sound that I observed after many months of ownership of the GT-R.  

To re-create this sound, repeat the same procedure as above at the back of building i.e. windows down, ~5-10mph in Manual Mode - Gear 2, except go over as many bumps as possible in a straight line this time around.

Now while going over the same bumps, apply slight brake pressure. With pressure to the brakes, you should notice that the clanking sound is completely eliminated while on the brakes. If you were listening for something else, repeat the procedure and identify the the sound that is eliminated by pressing the brakes. This is it.
Rear  Brake Pad Cross Spring Comparisons

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Symphony of Sounds of the GT-R - Part #1 of 4


This is the first sound that I observed on my GT-R very soon after I purchased it and drove me nuts. It seemed to be very prevalent when driving over a moderately bumpy road and most noticeable at lower speeds, due to reduced wind noise. Although my local GTR master technician tried very hard to fix it, there was no resolution from him or NNA. The important thing was that it was not a suspension component issue, thus I started to troubleshoot it myself.

Adding Cross Spring to Upper Pad Pin

To re-ceate this sound distinctly, here is what I recommend:

Conducting the Symphony of Sounds on the GT-R

As most GT-R owners are aware by now, there is a complex symphony of sounds that is produced by the front of your GT-R in addition to the wonderful orchestra of the VR38DETT engine, and hopefully by now, joined by a non-stock mid-pipe and/or exhaust.

Over the years, I have researched, investigated, and tried to solve every one of the annoying sounds by removing them from the orchestra. Unfortunately, the typical response from Nissan North America has been that these sounds are part and parcel of the package, which I frankly refuse to live with, at least some of them. As more owners experience these annoying sounds, it makes sense to identify and solve each one with or without the help of the dealership.

Therefore, I am going to cover each type of sounds that comes from the front wheel area of the GT-R, how to distinguish each one, and if you are willing and able, show how to solve them permanently or at least for an extended period of time.

Click Here for the Full Read. 

Warning, If you ruin something on your GT-R I cannot be held responsible for a duration of 100 years and on while on planet Earth.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Refreshing the Interior Look of my GT-R

After so many years with my GT-R, I am resisting the urge to go to a newer year model with all the little tweaks, in anticipation of an R36 in a few years. So I decided to give a refreshed look to the interior of my GT-R. 

I ordered some 3M 1080 Carbon Print wrap from Amazon. It had been sitting around for a few months now and I finally decided to give it a try. I tried to practice on other things as I have never done any wrapping before and that was of no help.
I must just be one of those people that needs to just go in head first and just do it. I only had to redo 1 side panel, but everything turn out satisfactorily.

Center Console Finisher Wrapped.

I started by removing the center console pieces and when

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How to DIY Change Spark Plugs on the Nissan GT-R (No Coolant Draining)

The GT-R service manual in the scheduled maintenance section states spark plugs should be changed at every 60K miles or 5 years. My '09 GT-R is approaching 5 years at about 33K miles on the odometer, so I decided to change the spark plugs since I had free weekend and it was raining outside. 
Other reasons to change the spark plugs early are:
  • Upgrading plugs type
  • Avoiding plugs getting seized in the engine block
  • Checking the health of the engine
  • Simply keeping the engine run at peak efficiency
After changing the plugs on my GT-R, I have noticed is that the car is slightly more responsive to accelerator pressing. The best way I can describe the change is ... in the old school days before drive-by-wire,

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Kid Friendlily & Safe GT-R Car Seat Setup

When I was anticipating the delivery of my 2009 GT-R (some of the first R35's in the USA at the time) back in September of 2008, my wife was also expecting another first...our first child.
It was rather interesting race to see which one would be delivered first. 

In anticipation of being a dad and a new GT-R owner, I was concerned about how I would merge the two loves of my new family and my new car.

My Kid Friendly GT-R
So for those who want their kids to share in the joy of riding in their GT-R, it can be a reality.

Monday, June 17, 2013

How to Make and Install an Auxiliary Video Interface in the 2009/2010 GT-R

Warning: It is recommended to disconnect the negative battery terminal before beginning. Also make sure that the passenger’s seat is in its most rear position before you do that. Also, do not attempt to disconnect any yellow colored connectors as those are for the SRS/Air Bag System.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Modifying '09 & '10 Front Spoiler to Match +11' Model - No More Front Lip Removal for Oil Changes

It becomes a pain to remove front spoiler every time an oil change needs to be done. For the +11' year models Nissan changed the design of the front lip to allow for this. The GT-R owner community performed this modification before Nissan :)

Simply drilling 4 holes in the front spoiler allows to access the front 4 screws of middle shield/panel that covers the  oil filter and oil drain plug.

Remove the front lower spoiler using the instruction in the oil change blog.
Remove the middle panel.

Place the middle panel into the front panel while the 2 are laying flat on the ground. and make marks of the 4 holes on the front spoiler.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2009 GT-R DIY Engine Oil Change (Front Lip/Chin Spoiler Removal Required)

Warning: If you are not mechanically inclined or do not have the appropriate tools and/or appropriate safety equipment, please do not attempt this. I will not be held responsible if your GT-R damages you.

Step 1: Buy Necessary Items:

You will need:
  • 6 qt (car takes 5 1/4 to 5 3/4qt or 5.5L) of Mobil 1 Synthetic 0W40 Engine Oil. I picked up mine at Checker Auto for $6.60 per qt.
  • 1x Nissan Engine Oil Filter Part # 15208-9E01A(This filter is made in Mexico and supersedes 15208-9E000 that had a cardboard backing inside and was Made in China), that ranges anywhere from $6 to $8. I prefer using the OEM Nissan one to ensure warranty, and also because it contains the relief valve inside.
  • 1x drain plug crush washer part # 11026-01M02