It’s that time again. Time to remove my usual Skyline GT-R R33 wheels and put on my fancy shoes. They have been hiding in my house for the past winter, and I’ve been waiting for the snow to go home before I took off my casual clothes and put my suit on. The goal for this weekend was simply to change the wheels, lower the car a rough 40mm, and do a wheel alignment. Easy right??? Yea, na…
I went outside on Saturday morning to put the car on jack stands and get to work. Knowing that the rear wheels wouldn’t fit without adjusting the camber, I started on the front. You may be wondering, ‘Hmm, why doesn’t it look any lower?’ Because it isn’t!
THIS LOCKING RING, what a b!tch. I started with my c spanner, trying to undo it. Wasn’t working. So I tried the c spanner with a hammer. No movement. At that point, I realised that my c spanner was missing the little hook in it to grab on to the collar. I lent it out once, never again… Next was a screwdriver and hammer, but no matter how hard I hit it, it didn’t move.
I ended up taking out the coilover so I could hit the collar. This only moved the collar and base together, in the smallest of increments. Not getting any progress here, I decided to put the coilover back in and call it a day. It didn’t fit back in.. I was hitting the base where it bolts to the hub, and it became smaller, so it wouldn’t fit on the hub anymore. At this point I was close to a fit. About 3 hours, with backwards progress. With a bit of fiddling, it finally fit back in. This is why the car was still at the same height back in the first photo. Frustrating indeed.
Fast forward to the next week. I had purchased a new c spanner from 326power, and a new locking collar because I knew I was going to f@ck up the one on their trying to get it off. As you can see the black one (which is the new one), has a notch on the end. The silver one is missing it, and isn’t in the shape of a c anymore because I hit it so much! Whoops… The new spanner and locking collar set me back $120nzd. A costly mistake.
The collar is getting very destroyed. BUT, as you can see I managed to move it. Well that’s what I thought. It was still stuck, I was actually moving the whole shock up. Progress nevertheless.
With the base free from the shock, I decided it would be easier to remove the coilover and the base to get better access at the collar.
To cut it off! I didn’t want to use an angle grinder because I didn’t want to hit the strut, which I assumed has compressed gas in it. I sat there for a good hour, using little files to cut this off.
What a mission that was. At least it was off, and I had a new collar to go back on!
The wheels are Work VS-KFs. 18 inch. Fronts are 9.5 inch with +26 offset and rears are 10 inch with +13 offset. Very good sizing for a Silvia.
I dropped the front about 40mm. Easy enough to do. Just unlock the locking collar (which should be easy to unlock!) and then turn the top collar to the left. 326power coilovers are a bit different here. Usually there is a locking collar on the top and bottom. The top one locks the collar holding the spring in place. 326power coilovers have a bolt in the collar, which when tightened, locks the spring collar in place. This makes it possible to get even lower because there are less collars in the way.
New front ride height looks good. I use 25mm spacers to fill out the guards more. Also, the brakes would most likely hit the wheels without these spacers.
My other wheels are these GT-R wheels. I have 2 sets for drifting mainly. 17 inch, 9 inch wide, and an offset of +30. They fit very nicely, with lots of space for movement up front!
Alright, on to the back. As I push the locking collar left to release it. I feel some strong tension. In my head I say ‘please, please, please don’t be stuck’. The c spanner and hammer didn’t work. So out came the screwdriver and hammer. After many big bangs and one destroyed hole, it came loose! (And yes, I soaked everything in CRC for days).
The rear was also dropped by 40mm and the 15mm spacers were removed. The wheels didn’t fit. They were rubbing on the guards majorly. That’s no problem though, as I have adjustable suspension arms hiding behind.
Loosening up the camber arm adjustment is easily. A big spanner unlocks the locking nut on the right. You can then use another spanner on the middle to adjust the camber. I brought the camber in until the wheels fit under the guard. No alignment yet.
It’s low! Much lower than last year when I used these wheels. Doesn’t it look so good though! Nice wheels, low, factory aero is a win for sure. Time to take it for a test drive to the port.
The port is only a short drive away, so even if it did rub, I’d be able to return home very quickly. And sadly it did. The front was fine. But the rear was rubbing, not on the guard, but on the upper part of the wheel tub. The wheels are just too big for being this low.
And to be totally honest I wasn’t really a fan of the rear wheels tucking so much. I like to see tyres touching the guard. Not wheel.
The front height is perfect. Although it rubs on full lock, that doesn’t bother me much as I’ll just raise it a bit when I hit the track. The next day I’d have to raise the rear, because it was actually undriveable with how much rubbing both rear wheels were doing.
A new day, and so much rain. What was I going to do?
I didn’t want to sit on the ground and get wet while adjusting the height. No thank you.
Thankfully, there is a covered parking area just by the port. I figured I could use this since it’s never full.
Now that all the collars are loose, changing the height only takes minutes.
All you have to do is jack the car up. Remove the wheel. Loosen the locking collar. Then rotate the top collar. Done. I adjusted both sides by 20mm to start with. Drove around the car park, and no more rubbing. However it still looked too low at the rear.
Again, I did the same process. Raising both sides by about 10-15mm. Didn’t really need to drop the rear in the first place did I? Ah well, good to get everything moving and clean once in a while.
This new height is much better. Love it. Feels like a new car altogether. Since I drive this everyday, sometimes It can get boring. It’s nice to be able to change it up so quickly.
And to photograph it in places like this. Where in Osaka you’d never find a shopping area like this, empty. But in my small city, it’s always empty. That’s a wrap. All there is to do now is a quick wheel alignment. But not before…
A sunset photoshoot. I’m so lucky to have such a nice port where the sunsets are day in and day out breathtaking. And a massive mountain in the background which you can see in a photo further down.
Could you believe someone painted these white? I ran them white for a while, then decided to peel back all the paint. Oh boy, was I happy when I found perfect chrome wheels underneath.
Oh and there is that mountain I promised. It’s called Mt Daisen and the peak is 1,729m high. It’s a horribly steep mountain to climb, so I suggest not doing that. Instead go to the port and watch the sunset.
It’s about to say goodbye. Only a few more minutes before it disappears behind the hills.
Quite often the outline of the sun is vividly visible. Amazing. Over 3 years, and I’m still not sick of this port. That’s it for the sunset photoshoot, all there is to do now is a wheel alignment.
As wheel alignments are expensive, I bought this kit which gives me the ability to check camber and toe by myself. I found another covered car park, this time because they are particularly flat, and my carpark is not. Here you can see the camber being checked. I only adjust the left side a little bit to match the right. Ending up with 4-5 negative degrees of camber.
I have 2 of these, one for each side. They bolt onto your wheel studs and a string connects them. It only takes 5 minutes to set up, and maybe 10 minutes or so to adjust camber and toe.
To check the toe, all you have to do is turn the yellow plate flat. This checks toe by using the front wheels as an anchor. Which to me isn’t the best strategy because the front wheels might not be set correctly. But it’s all I’ve got, so it’s good enough. I adjusted only the right side for the toe, making it match the left. Now both sides point a little bit inwards.
Drives good after a quick alignment. I hope you enjoyed this post, and keep safe everyone! Until next time 🙂
Photos: Shaun Constable | Words: Shaun Constable
Ambition Works 2012 – 2020