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 Post subject: C10 Rare/Difficult to source parts
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:17 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:47 pm
Posts: 43
Location: South West, UK
I was lucky enough to see Alans KPGC10 at the Retro Rides Gathering 2012 last weekend at the Prescott Hill Climb, Gloucestershire, England. I really appreciate the time he took to show me around the car inside and out. Gives me a much better understanding of the size of the car, somewhat of the driving position, visibility and general feel of the car.

A question that comes to mind based on this viewing is the variety of interiors/trims I have seen in C10's people have bought/advertised for sale. My own search continues, slowly, but is continuing.

This questions stretches further a field to other models, but mainly sticking with C10's for help with my own/others search. What do you feel you should have got with the car/another example at the time that you dont have now. I dont mean mod cons that weren't available at the time. I mean for most who want the GTR clone look, would you sacrifice these trims and accessories in favor of a car with a different spec engine? Or is the cost/desirability of the trims larger than the want for more power?

A side note to this is the variation in dash consoles I think i've seen or optional extras, manual windows in favor of electric windows, radio's, wheels that came with your own car, steering wheels, replacement panels/sections or parts you should have bought at the time and had shipped with the car (assuming you are outside Japan). Or is there anything you have since found you are now hunting for that may have been easier to find already fitted to another car you saw advertised. Even badges can be pricey or an alternative set of wheels. Maybe even service items.

Very interested to know.

Thanks all,
Conor.


Oh, here is a shot of Alans example at the event last Sunday:
Image

Those of you interested should really catch up with the show reports elsewhere people have made. A great mix of 'retro' cars turned out from Austin mini's and Fiestas through to Drag mustangs, a 24litre 1929 bentley Napier W12, S1 Quattro, VW stuff etc etc.


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 Post subject: Re: C10 Rare/Difficult to source parts
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:32 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:27 am
Posts: 222
Location: UK.
would you be interested in our C110?

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 Post subject: Re: C10 Rare/Difficult to source parts
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:45 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:47 pm
Posts: 43
Location: South West, UK
Hi Dave, thanks or the offer but it's not for me. Too many doors, too 'new' and i'd want to source my own. Cheers for the offer though.


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 Post subject: Re: C10 Rare/Difficult to source parts
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:37 am
Posts: 525
Location: SoCal
Hi Connor

What exactly are you asking? I'm confused by your initial post...


Are you asking if the presence / lack of certain optional trim pieces affected our decision to buy / not buy a specific C10 model Skyline ?? Or are you asking something else?

I myself have wanted a 2door (KGC10) hardtop for quite sometime.
I always imagined it would be white or silver.
But the first one I ever laid eyes upon (and which happened to be modified with a 3L six) was red.
The moment I was ready to buy one and had saved up enough funds, the first one that really got my heart racing was red and is the car I own today... I guess you never forget your first...

Yes my car is missing some trim pieces which I'm still looking for... But there lack did not affect my choice to buy this car... Everything else about the car far outweighed the fact that it was missing some bits and bobs...

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 Post subject: Re: C10 Rare/Difficult to source parts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:02 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:47 pm
Posts: 43
Location: South West, UK
Eric, Thanks for your reply.

Apologies for my above confusion. It was basically what you said, Why that particular one. Colour aside, did the GTR look of it or engine spec win you over compared to other ones you may have considered. As you have said, it did it for you initially so that is a major factor. Also as you mentioned, the trim peices that are missing weren't a major factor in the car winning you over or not. I notice some people may want a GTR clone but buy an example with a strong engine rebuild, but then the cost of said parts to make a GTR clone ended up being more than the engine work could have been done by themselves. Or maybe a GTR clone but with a smaller standard engine and now are on the hunt for uprated engine parts. Or possibly a solid 4dr shell and now tracking down rubber bushes, perished seals or interior trims means they could have considered a rougher shell with newer bushes etc and welded that up rather than spending their time sourcing parts that can't be 'fabricated' at home. Do they regret going one way over the other?

As you mentioned, some parts on your example are still not sourced, sometimes this can be quite satisfying tracking them down! But when the car was imported, do you feel you may have benefitted from spending a little extra and loading the boot up with spares/shiney bits/service items back then.

Or is there ever a time where you thought 'oh I should have got....' as it's now proving difficult to track that part down.

The question is not really directed at an individual, but more so everyone with a C10 and the variety of experiences they have had now living with them for a while and realising you still need part 'XYZ'. I'm just curious that when the time comes and i look to import one. Should there be some parts that may seem trivial but end up being difficult to source. Or like the consideration of engine work over bolt on upgrades. The availability of L-series engine products outside of japan makes me think that a standard/lower spec engine car is not a bad thing as it's easier to source upgrades/internals for that rather than trying to source compatible suspension, wheels, trims, brakes etc.

Thank again.


***Oh I must point out I wouldn;t sacrifice a solid car for one with bolt on bits. But there must be some parts you would have given up, in favor of other parts.


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 Post subject: Re: C10 Rare/Difficult to source parts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:51 pm
Posts: 2200
Location: Sydney, Australia
I'll try to answer this. My case is a little different, in that I had to source my car from Japan sight unseen (except for pictures that the broker would procure from the selling dealer in Japan). Anyway, my shortlist came down to these cars:

Image

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Now, obviously I picked the silver one but why? Well....just look at it :D It just seems to have that certain "something" and I guess I led with my heart rather than my head. To be perfectly honest, that gunmetal car would have been a more honest car that would have needed less restoration. But say what you like about my car's previous Japanese owner, he certainly had a good eye, and in terms of external appearance, I've had to do nothing in the 5yrs I've owned my car, I think he did a great job speccing the car out.

At the time, I was not after a hot rod, more a nice unstressed cruiser, so a hot motor and suspension mods were not high on the list of priorities. If you trawl the various Hako specialists in Japan, http://www.rubber-soul.net and http://www.victory50.com (as well as RS Start, Spirit Garage, Revive-Jalopy etc) you will quickly get an idea of what parts are, and what isn't available. For example, the chrome gearshift surround and boot, c-pillar trims and window winders are available cheaply, to name a few. Centre consoles are only available second hand, and will be expensive to ship, exterior doorhandles are available new but expensive...and things like tail light bezels and headlight surrounds are only available used, and at a price. And if your car has some rust, then it's important to know what repair panels are available.

So I'd say that it's a good idea to do your homework (it's easy and fun!) before you start choosing a car, so that if you're presented with a car that is missing some hard to find parts, then at least you know what you're up against. In my case, I could tell by the dealer-supplied pictures, that my car wasn't missing anything rare or unavailable, so that was a factor, and over the years I've managed to find pretty much everything I need to complete the car.

One thing that you cannot bank on, is that paying more gets you a more solid car. Filler and duct tape can hide a multitude of sins, and these cars are so damn sexy looking that it can be easy to give a car the benefit of the doubt and assume that because it's shiny and low, that it's also sound. It's also my experience that paying more in Japan, can mean just paying more for appearance or flashiness, rather than solidity. I really have no solution for this, except to say that you have to deal with people who are well connected and know their stuff, and it's good that you are acquainted with DaveW.

But you're right about the mechanicals. L-series upgrades are widely available pretty much anywhere, and in terms of suspension and brakes, there really are only a few items (like front balljoints and rear shocks) which are unique to C10 and aren't shared with other Nissans. And even for parts that are C10-specific, good ppl like Adam from Feast Japan can help you source those. So the mechanical side is one aspect which you can take a bit of a punt on, and that is one thing which makes these cars quite practical from a restoration point of view.

But if I had a magic DeLorean that could take me back 5yrs, would I have made a different choice? Probably not....I mean....look at it :D
Image

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 Post subject: Re: C10 Rare/Difficult to source parts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:05 pm
Posts: 177
Location: Las Vegas
Conor,

I will try to give you some insight as well… I was fortunate enough to be able to search for a car while living Japan, so I had ample time and a much larger pallet to chose from and see the different levels that a C10 can be finished off. However, from my point view the options are endless. I've seen a complete GT-R w/ Watanabe wheels makeover done to a C10 that still has a bone stock single carb L20 with a 4 speed(!) tranny. On the other end of the spectrum I've seen complete stock GT-X makeovers (all chrome trim, badges, standard height, hubcaps, factory fog lights, mud flaps, A/C, power windows and a single turbo RB26 under the hood! So it's a blessing and a curse. The variety is so endless but it all depends really on you, time, and money.

In general (unlike the U.S.) the more that has been done to a vehicle means added value. This is due to the incredible second hand market in Japan. Places like UpGarage, Parts Off, Autobacs 2nd Hand, etc. etc. make it a reality there. It is very easy to barter the price of a car in Japan because most sellers are willing to take something off if it will produce a sale. They can easily sell the item later on. Obviously though this normally cannot be applied to labor intensive/irreversible items such as rust removal, repainting, engine swapping/overhauling, rewiring etc.

So for my dollar (Yen) I would want my money to go towards what I can't handle personally. I can't paint and I'm not a tear down an engine guy. So I chose a car (within my budget) that had a full chassis restore and had at least an L28 dropped in that had triple carbs, idled well and had no issues. Details I can handle, it may be hard to find certain items, but it's what I KNOW I can do.

So really you should base your decision on your capabilities or what your willing to deal with. :tu:

As for data, specifically for building a GT-R "clone" keep in mind that a base GT is an easier chassis to start from as they share many of the same aesthetic components. The GT-X model has many extra chrome bits, power windows, different door panels, etc. So trying to achieve "the look" will be easier with a GT as there will be less need to replace parts. These days however it is quite hard to find Skylines that have maintained there "factory" look as many owners of GT's and GT-X's were already modding the Skylines to look like GT-R's as early as the came out!

I'm only going to go over aesthetics, mechanical parts I always feel it is better to replace with something more modern to keep up with the times (brake components, tranny parts, engine parts, lines, battery, bushings, etc. etc.)

Common parts specific for the GT-R "look" are as follows:

GT-R spec headlight trim, 2nd hand only/expensive
Front grill with mesh, 2nd hand only/expensive
Red "N" center badge for grill (I hear contradictions if this is true however I have seen an example of a red "N" that was a clear red plastic)
Dual "box" taillight bezel, you can use the bezel from the GT and GT-X models
Tailight bezel end cap, repro now available(!), I had to hunt for mine :td:
"GT-R" badges front and rear, repro available
Red "GT" badges, repro available
Red "Skyline" trunk badge repro available/expensive
Matt black wing mirrors, 2nd hand however chrome versions are the same shape and can be repainted
And most importantly modified rear fenders that cut into the "Surf" line, rear tubs modded and sealed and of course the unmistakable "rear only" over fenders. Front over fenders are aftermarket. Contrary to popular belief the front lip and rear wing were optional, but was almost always purchased, very rare examples of GT-R without addition "Aero" however do exist.

Uncommon little known bits are as follows:

Front glass with graduated blue tint line, repro available/expensive
No rear defogger lines, Clear glass is available/expensive
100L gas tank, repro available/expensive
Rain gutter should be the same thickness from front to rear(!):
Image
Ironic that the owner of this car had this done considering the low quality of his paint job (quite common in Japan) If you look carefully in the picture you can see where the gutter thickness reduces just after the tip of the vent window and increases back to the original thickness of the roof as it goes down the A-pillar. I would have never know about the gutter if it were not for a fellow Skyline owner in Japan that pointed it out to me. He went out of his way to have it done to his car, the process of simply adding new metal to the exhausting rain gutter prior to painting. :mrgreen:

As for the interior, that's a whole other project in itself:

Non-reclining front bucket seats with tilting seat rail for the passenger side, no repro, rare, and very expensive!

Leather split 3 spoke steering wheel, no repro/very rare, 2nd hand very expensive, up to $1000 or more for NOS (New Old Stock)
Image
This example, AS IS, could easily go for $400-$500!!!

Red "Prince" logo inspired "N" horn button (repro available)
Wide rear view mirror, repro available/expensive
Red "2000GT" emblem for center console, no repro available, however easily modded, 2nd hand can be found at JNC meets

Red capped wood shift knob with "OD" (bottom knob) for 5th gear (I have heard contradicting stories on this as well, some have and actual number "5", however I think it may be based on year), repro available/expensive
Image

"RD" switch delete, repro available/expensive
"F" switch delete, repro available/expensive
Radio delete panel, repro available, this is not necessary though as a radio was one of the few options for a GT-R
"Free box" (storage box with wood grain door for center console just forward of shift boot) no repro, quite rare, very expensive
Cigarette lighter delete, no repro however could be easily duplicated from other older Nissan NOS, again the lighter was an option for the GT-R
Black rubberized plastic floor coverings, no carpet, repro available
GT and GT-R share the same door panels and door release latches, GT-X's have chrome handles and different door panel/pulls

This list is not inclusive, It's everything that I believe to be true from personal experiences in Japan with owners, shops and friends. I'm sure someone will point out I missed something :D But that's okay the more info out there the better!

Many other parts are reproduced like door lock pulls, door lock pull bases, dashboards, seat material etc. The C10 is very popular in Japan so many parts are even reproduced by Nissan. Many parts are also reproduced by independent shops like Rubber Soul, RS Start and Victory50. Of course JNC swap meets at the New Year Meeting in Odaiba and the NISMO Festival and Time Machine Festival at Fuji Speedway will have abundant "mom and pop" booths with hoarded junkyard and NOS parts (I've seen a NOS center console in the box go for $1000!!!), if aesthetics really mean something to you, I would want a good condition center console. I had to replace mine, but was very very lucky thanks to another Skyline owner…thanks Leroy…

Another critical interior part is the center stack under the dashboard. It houses the radio, parking light switch, fan controls ash tray and lighter. In many examples I've seen this is almost always cut for aftermarket gauges. This item is very rare as one piece, even rarer if the original Hitachi radio is in it (mad bonus if it still works!)

…And of course there's also Yahoo Auctions Japan! for parts as well.

So happy hunting! I hope this helps out for you to decide what route you want to take! :tu:

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 Post subject: Re: C10 Rare/Difficult to source parts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:51 pm
Posts: 2200
Location: Sydney, Australia
Great post, Roy :)

One thing I would add, is that if you go to any classic car event in Japan, it'll be 90% Nissan. Typically, things like Celicas and Corollas will be in the tiny minority and if you're lucky, you'll see a Mazda rotary every now and then :)

So I'd say that while the parts support is not as good as say a Mustang or MGB, it's probably much better than you might expect it to be.

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 Post subject: Re: C10 Rare/Difficult to source parts
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:05 pm
Posts: 177
Location: Las Vegas
kev wrote:
Great post, Roy :)

One thing I would add, is that if you go to any classic car event in Japan, it'll be 90% Nissan. Typically, things like Celicas and Corollas will be in the tiny minority and if you're lucky, you'll see a Mazda rotary every now and then :)

So I'd say that while the parts support is not as good as say a Mustang or MGB, it's probably much better than you might expect it to be.


Thanks Kev! :D

I would agree that Nissan is King in the Land of the Rising Sun…
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But I wouldn't say the Toyota crowd is tiny…I've never seen this many Corollas at one time
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And even a fare share of rotary love!
Image

But don't get me wrong, support is much more vast for Nissan (especially Skylines) compared to other marques! Good for us! :tu:

(Pics taken at the 2009 Time Machine Festival, Fuji Speedway, Japan)

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