Clean, classy and cool

Published on August 25th, 2014

There’re ways to build a car properly… and then there’s this. Those in the business sector might be familiar with the 3 C’s of Kenichi Ohmae, that being the customer, the competitors and the corporation, but here we’re dealing with the automotive variant as the title professes; clean classy and cool.

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Having been acquainted with the man and machine, I will be the first to admit that Eu Jin; the man half of the equation, and his Nissan Skyline ER34 GTT deserve the accolade and so much more. That being said, he’s also one of the nicest and most helpful guys you could ever meet.

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I have to say that this is one of the tidiest and most menacing cars on the street. The extremities are not pushed to the limit here and that’s partially what makes this such a fantastic build. It was always meant to be a street build and in that sense, he’s simply nailed it.

ER34-GTNismo

Sometimes it’s not just about the final power figures but the amount of thought, effort and emotion that goes into the car to create a final product that ends up killing the game, so much so that everybody else can just call it quits and head home.

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Eu Jin has owned the car for a number of years now, slowly building it up to the current form it’s in now. He didn’t throw all the bits and pieces in at one go, instead choosing to carefully add in the necessary parts slowly over the course of his time with the car. This allowed him to really determine the imperative ones and not find himself with unnecessary mods under the hood.

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Quality was a cardinal aspect here, in case the extensive spec sheet didn’t already make that blatantly obvious. Only the best of the best was put into the car, as Eu Jin is a man of impeccable taste and nothing short of the best would do for his car.

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In fact, organising and formatting the spec sheet alone took 15 minutes; testament to the TLC put into the car.

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The heart of the beast is the RB25DET Neo mill. Although many assume the Neo version is similar to the regular RB25DET found mainly in the Skyline R33 GTS-t, there are a number of improvements in the Neo that put it quite ahead of its predecessor.

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For starters, the revised Neo head ensured it qualified as a low emissions vehicle while other improvements include solid lifters, revised cams, model specific coil packs, a revised inlet manifold and a hotter thermostat. Internally, it came with GT-R conrods and model specific pistons as well.

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All this meant that its internals could withstand quite a bit of abuse, so Eu Jin smartly left it be with the exception of a Cometic metal head gasket for a better seal. He did change almost everything surrounding the head and block though.

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On the intake side, a HKS Direct Drive Super Power Flow filter is attached to the Racing Suction Kit to channel air to the HKS GT-RS turbo. Along the way, a Z32 air-flow meter calculates the air flow rate for the ECU. A Trust MX front pipe improves the air flow to the turbo.

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The compressed air is then fed through the intercooler and into the intake manifold with a HKS Super Sequential blow-off valve preventing compressor surge when the throttle is shut.

Fuelling is handled by the collective force of the Sard 650cc injectors, Tomei Type-S fuel pressure regulator and Sard 265l/h fuel pump. Once the air-fuel mixture is compressed, it’s ignited by NGK Iriway 7 plugs that get juiced from Splitfire Direct Ignition System coil packs that provide a stronger current.

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Exhaust gases make their way through the turbine housing with a HKS actuator dumping excess gases out via the screamer pipe. A HKS Super Dragger exhaust system channels the remaining gases to the back and out.

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Cooling is an important factor that needs to be upgraded accordingly, especially with the soaring local temperatures. For that, an N1 water pump, Koyo aluminium radiator, Nismo low-temp thermostat, Nismo 1.3bar radiator cap, Samco Sport silicone radiator hoses and a carbon fibre air diversion plate all come together harmoniously to keep the engine running at its optimum temperature.

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Completing the ancillary equipment list is the GReddy oil cooler kit, Nismo oil filler cap, Nismo timing belt and JDM Auto Link carbon fibre engine cover that improves the cosmetic aspect of the engine bay.

The transmission is still the factory five-speed manual but a ORC Super Single clutch kit gives it more bite and reduces slip for some hard shifting. There’s also an Earl’s steel-braided clutch line for improved clutch pedal feel and response.

All the engine’s parameters and functions are handled by the Apexi Power FC ECU that comes with the handy Hand Commander for on-the-fly adjustments. Aiding the job of the Power FC is a HKS EVC IV Black Limited boost controller to keep boost pressure in check and a Blitz turbo timer.

ER34-Interior

One of the most interesting additions has to be the Tommy Kaira 25R digital meter cluster that sees the analogue speedo replaced with a digital one for that cool factor. There’s also a pair of warning lights for “Peak Torque” and “Shift-Up Point”.

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Eu Jin loves to put his ER34 through its paces on some twisty black asphalt ribbons and thus, handling was a key concern. The four corners now ride on Trust GReddy Type-S performance dampers that offer a fine balance between grip and enough comfort for the daily grind.

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Up front, the Okuyama Carbing front lower arms add some strength and reduce flex to the alignment. Tightening up the whole front suspension setup is a Tein Performance Bar strut brace and Nismo S-Tune front stabilizer bar. At the aft, a Nismo S-Tune rear stabilizer bar and Cusco rear brace keep the towers connected top and bottom.

ER34-Bar

Eu Jin has a knack for getting his grubby hands on stuff rarer than hens’ teeth, the bees knees if you will. You would be forgiven for thinking that his car has a roll-cage based on some of the shots but in actuality, the chrome bar you see next to the B-pillar is actually a Do-Luck rear tension set, something that resembles a half-cage and completely bolts into factory holes, meaning no cutting required. There’s a Do-Luck rear cross bar that’s the Queen’s English for a room bar.

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Wheels make or break the car and there’s really nothing as timely and classic as a set of Nismo LM-GT4’s on a modern Nissan sports car. The 18-inch staggered setup sees a width of 8.5J up front and a wider 9.5J at the rear. Wrapped in sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 rubbers, this wheel and tyre combo has proven to be a winning piece for the car.

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Those familiar with Nissans might have already noticed the trademark golden Brembos peeking out behind the wheels but for the unfamiliar, those brakes originally call the Nissan GT-R R35 home.

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Massive six-piston calipers clamp down on 380mm rotors in the front with smaller four-piston pieces biting down on 380mm rotors in the rear. The squishy rubber brake hoses were binned in favour of steel-braided Nismo units for a more consistent brake pedal feel and response. To make the most of the larger brakes, a master cylinder from the BNR34 was employed.

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Once again, only the best was used in the cabin because not only is Eu Jin a man of good taste, he also daily drives the ER34. The driver plonks his ass down in a Recaro RS-G full-bucket seat and straps in with a Willans four-point safety harness.

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The seat is equipped with a Recaro Side Protector, something not many are familiar with. It’s basically a cover for the edges of the seat to protect them from tearing during ingress and egress, something I’ve experienced often.

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A host of interior trim parts from a BNR34 were installed as well, such as the audio panel, transmission surround, AC vents, AC controller and steering wheel. Eu Jin’s also managed to somehow fit in a Multi Function Display from the BNR34 and hook it up to all the relevant readouts, negating the need for aftermarket gauges.

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Other pieces that conclude the interior mods are a gear knob and Fashion cigarette lighter from Nismo, a carbon-printed gear boot, handbrake boot and brake handle cover from Superior Auto Creative.

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One of the biggest problems faced by the ER34 was that it was always in the shadow of its bigger and more ferocious sibling, the BNR34. Hence, styling options were quite limited for it, with almost all owners opting to go with a BNR34 facelift.

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Fortunately, Eu Jin managed to; once again, get his hands some hard-to-come-by bits. The Impul 534S front bumper, rear bumper and side skirts give the ER34 a very distinct look that sets it apart from all the other ones on the road.

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Out back, a BNR34 rear spoiler was bolted on with a wing-up kit that raises the spoiler by 10cm for increased downforce. Nismo donates some parts as well, such as the carbon fibre pillar garnish, side winker lamps and front winker lamps with side view mirrors from Ganador.

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JDM Auto Link provides the LED treatment for the taillights, third brake light and indicators as well as the reverse and fog lamps. The hood is a carbon fibre Veilside unit that reduces weight and improves cooling with the huge vents to channel out hot air.

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After all is said and done, the ER34 pumps out 352whp and 490Nm of torque. Those are some extremely respectable figures as firstly, the horsepower is at the wheels and secondly, that’s a massive amount of torque so it will pull like a freight train.

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While high horsepower might have fooled its way to the top of the prerequisites list for the delusional petrol heads, the real ones know that big horsepower numbers sans a wide powerband is as effective as a preaching abstinence at spring break.

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The 352whp is here extremely useable, kicking in low in the powerband and pulling consistently to near the redline. That torque curve is very much like a table top as well, so you don’t always have to be in the right gear to pull away. A big part of that usability is due to the GT-RS turbo that has characteristics suited for the street.

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This ER34 without doubt takes things to the next level. Not only was every single modification here carefully installed for a finished product that’s best described as clean, only the best parts were selected to make ooze class and the focus on keeping it streetable resulted in form following function to keep it cool.

So there you have it, the three C’s of car-building… clean, classy and cool.

SPEC CHECK: Nissan Skyline ER34 GTT

Engine: RB25DET Neo, HKS Direct Drive Super Power Flow, HKS Racing Suction Kit, Trust MX front pipe, Z32 AFM, HKS GT-RS turbo, HKS actuator, HKS Super Sequential blow-off valve, Splitfire Super Direct Ignition System coil packs, NGK Iriway 7 spark plugs, Cometic 87mm metal head gasket, Sard 265l/hr fuel pump, Sard 650cc injectors, Tomei Type-S fuel pressure regulator, Kakimoto straight pipe, screamer pipe, HKS Super Dragger exhaust, GReddy oil cooler kit, N1 water pump, Koyo aluminium radiator, Nismo 1.3bar radiator cap, Nismo oil filler cap, Nismo timing belt, Nismo low-temp thermostat, Samco Sport radiator hoses, carbon fibre air diversion plate, JDM Auto Link carbon fibre engine cover

Electronics: Apexi Power FC with Hand Commander, Blitz Full Auto turbo timer Digital Compact DCIV, HKS EVC IV Black Limited, Tommy Kaira 25R Digital Meter Cluster

Transmission: RB25DET Neo five-speed manual, ORC 409D Super Single clutch kit, EARL’s stee-braided clutch line

Chassis & Handling: Okuyama Carbing front lower arm, Tein Performance Bar strut brace, Trust GReddy Performance Damper Type S, Nismo S-Tune front stabilizer bar, Nismo S-Tune rear stabilizer bar, Cusco rear brace, Do-Luck rear tension set, Do-Luck rear cross bar

Rolling Stocks: Nismo LM-GT4 18×8.5J offset +30 (front), 18×9.5J offset +38 (rear), Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric II 225/40/18 (front), Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric II 255/35/18 (rear), Volk Racing Duraluminum lug nuts

Brakes: R35 GT-R Front Brake Kit (6-pot Brembo with 380mm rotors), R35 GT-R Rear Brake Kit (4-pot Brembo with 380mm rotors), Nismo Stainless Steel Braided Brake Hoses, BNR34 brake master cylinder

Interior: Nismo gear knob, Recaro RS-G, Recaro Side Protector, Willians 4-point harness, BNR34 audio panel, BNR34 transmission surround, BNR34 AC vents, BNR34 AC controller, Nismo Fashion cigarette lighter, Superior Auto Creative carbon-look gear boot, Superior Auto Creative carbon-look handbrake boot, Superior Auto Creative carbon-look side brake handle cover, BNR34 Multi Function Display (MFD), BNR34 V-Spec II Nur Steering Wheel, carbon fibre rear view mirror cover

Bodyworks: Impul 534S front bumper, Impul 534S rear bumper, Impul 534S side skirts, BNR34 rear spoiler, carbon fibre 10cm Wing-Up Kit, Nismo carbon fibre pillar garnish, Nismo side winker lamps, Nismo front winker lamps, Ganador Super Mirror, JDM Auto Link LED taillights with LED signal indicators, JDM Auto Link LED reverse and fog lights, JDM Auto Link LED third brake lights, Veilside VS D1-GT carbon fibre hood, Aerocatch hood locks, Impul emblem, Eclipse head unit, Epsilon FR speakers, Epsilon crossovers, Epsilon tweeters, Epsilon 4-channel amp

Power: 352whp and 490Nm of torque

Words: Dinesh | Photos: Haznajims

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