Just in case anyone had thought that I'd forgotten about this car..
I haven't been doing much work on it lately, but it is getting driven a lot, so don't worry I haven't forgotten about it
One recent little project I had was to replace the rather patinated old Omori oil pressure gauge. Sure, it still worked fine, but was looking a little beaten up, and having had the Omori water temp gauge (that came with the car) fail on me, I thought I'd do an upgrade.
Being an Omori, it's a mechanical gauge, which means that there is a tube that runs from the engine block...
...inside the car and right to the back of the gauge. The oil inside the tube pushes on a diaphragm, which then pushes the needle around the gauge. Very simple and interestingly, the tube doesn't get hot at all, even though there is a small amount of engine oil inside it.
The replacement is this, an electronic VDO gauge, which doesn't use the oil-tube system, but rather has an electronic sender.
The sender screws to the side of the block, and you wire it up to the back of the gauge.
Wiring up the gauge was pretty easy, a long time ago I fitted one of these Narva mini fuseboxes. I run a main power wire to it that's switched to ACC on the key, and whenever you need an accessory power source, you just pop in a blade fuse and plug in a wire. Very convenient for things like wiring up gauges, wideband sensors and stuff.
And without further ado, the VDO gauge burst into life!
The elation was short-lived though, because as the oil got hot, the idle oil pressure began to drop to zero. And the oil pressure on the move dropped from a max of 55psi to 35psi.
This had never happened before, so I suspected that the VDO sender was a dud....sure enough, with the old Omori re-fitted, hot idle oil pressure returned to 15psi (as it should be for an L-series) and on the move, max pressure was 55psi, whether hot or cold.
From chatting with our esteemed Technical Editor John, it seems that electronic pressure gauges aren't as accurate as mechanical ones like the Omori, but this sender was clearly a dud, and VDO seems to have a problem with their stock. This dud one is actually the second sender I bought. The first one was new and boxed, but was obviously used, since the threads were oily and it had bits of thread tape on it
I handed that back to the shop straight away, and they ordered me a new one, but I get the feeling that someone is playing silly buggers, and is replacing bad ones for good and returning them to the shop. Oh well, I guess this is a sign from the resto-gods that the Omori is meant to stay
The other thing that I did recently was something I had wanted for a long time. A real 2000GT-R looks like this inside (I took this pic at the Tokyo Nostalgic Show a few years ago):
The 2000GT-R, even though it was twice as expensive as the most expensive "normal" Skyline of the day, was a real stripped out, basic motorsport homologation car. It had no heater, no carpets (just the taxi-pack vinyl mat)...and no radio. It just had this plate over where the Hitachi radio normally lives. When I fitted the Becker Europa stereo last year, I was pretty stoked with how it looked...but it always grated on me that I had this redundant radio at the top of the dash, too. The slot at the top of the dash wasn't DIN-sized, so moving the Becker up there wasn't an option.
Now when I first bought my car in 2007, I remember that all the restoration shops offered the 2000GT-R radio blanking plate as a repro. But by the time I realised I wanted one, they were all gone. Luckily, the repros are being made again, and I snapped one up from Yahoo Auctions, thanks to my friend Ryan. And what a beautiful looking thing it is.
Fitting it isn't the work of a moment though. First you have to remove the old radio, which means that the centre stack has to come out. So it begins with delicately removing all the knobs from the ventilation controls and radio.
Remove a few retaining nuts from the radio and fan knobs..
Undo the cables that run from the ventilation controls to the heater box, remove a few screws and the centre stack can slide off
Then the radio has to be removed (it's located by a single screw on the side, which you can just about access from under the dash)
And out that comes too.
The radio plate just screws in place through the holes left by the radio controls, and it looks just great!
No Kev, you are eating a duck fetus.