It’s been about a year since I completed V1 of Project Kouki. Over the New Years break, I decided to start buying up parts to refresh the car. With the snow in Japan, it’s hard to run the car low, therefore I had it at monster truck height and had some snow tyres on. Come December 2017, I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do, it was just that I hadn’t put it in motion yet. When I came back from New Zealand, I bit the bullet and jumped straight on Yahoo Japan.
There are 3 major upgrades I did over the winter to Project Kouki, can you guess what they were? The first, and the most difficult was the Blitz fmic kit. This is something I’ve never done before, I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge installing it. I did my research, purchased a new battery, cut a hole in the battery tray, and found a 2nd hand grinder on Yahoo.
It took me 2 days to install it with the help of a friend for the 2nd day. I had to remove the fog lights to fit the core, but that’s okay, no sweat. Under the hood, I actually took off the exhaust heat shield and fan cover to make some room. While I was there I decided to also replace the fan with a new GP Sports one, it’s a cheap and easy mod that helps get more air flow to the radiator.
Modification number two, the most obvious one, is the wheels. I was getting bored of the R33 GT-R wheels, I wanted something a little different, while still buying legit wheels. The goal was to find something 2nd hand that wasn’t going to break that bank. I came across a set of Work VS-KF wheels on Yahoo.
My heart was attached straight away. The white on white colour combo that I used to hate, was now constantly on my mind. I had to buy them. They measure a nice 18×9.5 +26 up front with a 25mm spacer and 18×9 +38 down back with a 15mm spacer. The reason I have the bigger wheels on the front, is that I wanted to keep the rear wheels as close to spec as the R33 wheels as possible so I don’t have to change the camber and toe settings when I go drifting.
Another reason for getting bigger wheels, 18 inch instead of 17, was to have the car sitting at a better height. On the 17s, to have the tyres in the guards, the car was much too low. Going up an inch to 18s meant I could run the tyres flush with the guards, but still be off the ground enough that I don’t scrape on every leaf.
While I was changing the wheels over, I thought it was a good time to clean the 326power coilovers that I had purchased last August. They were looking a bit worse for wear, nothing a quick clean wouldn’t fix. It also made lowering the car back down to summer height a little bit easier.
In these photos the car sits a little bit too low. The rear was touching the inner guard and so was the front. I’ve raised the rear 40mm and the front 10mm since to give it a much better daily driving height. Thankfully there are no such things as speed bumps in Japan, so it’s smooth sailing with a car only a few cms off the ground.
One day in the future, I’ll take the wheels off, pull the 3-pieces apart and refresh them, and turn the rear wheels into 10inch from 9. But for now, I think they look so good, the white on white really sets it off.
The Blitz fmic, the new Work VS-KF wheels, whats the 3rd thing? It’s actually inside the car. I’ve had a rather shocking aftermarket wheels for close to 2 years now. I needed a change! The Nardi had been calling my name ever since I purchased the car. It was finally time I thought to myself.
I went straight on Yahoo to purchase a brand new Nardi 330mm and a Works Bell quick release kit. It is amazing. I’ve never had a legit new wheel before. The quality is out of this world, the quick release is so smooth, everything I could have wanted in a steering wheel set-up.
As summer now approaches in Japan, I can finally hug the pavement in this fresh Silvia, and try to break some necks in my little country town. What’s next for Project Kouki you might ask? The list is being built at the moment. For extra content, you can view our new Youtube series about Project Kouki to see what I get up to during 2018!
Photos: Shaun Constable | Words: Shaun Constable
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