Summary of this week’s magazine contents:
1) R35 GT-R Story
New GT-R Presented at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show!
The time had finally come! October 24, 2007, at 1350. That’s what the media was told. By 1300 at Makuhari Messe where the Motor Show was held, it was standing room only around the Nissan display.
While the crowd waited, large overhead monitors displayed the record setting 7 minute 38 second Nur run… and then as that was ending Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn drove on stage with the new Nissan GT-R. No black mask, the new GT-R was in plain view for all to see.
While the second generation Skyline evolution GT-R models had proud roots in their motorsport racing heritage, how was the new GT-R to make its mark?
Mr. Ghosn gave his speech, which contained the now famous phrase, “Anyone, Anywhere, and Anytime.” In his speech, he noted that the “Nissan GT-R is a super car that showcases Nissan’s technology” – in other words, in an age of environmental concerns, come out with an environmentally friendly, high power and large engine capacity car.
The new GT-R was no longer constrained by the now defunct gentlemens agreement that proclaimed 280ps – it bragged 480ps on par with other supercars like Porsche and Ferrari. And for a price kept low by modern production line methods.
So while everyone was surprised at this new supercar that ripped apart what had been taken for granted, the true surprise was to come – the Nur Time Attack sessions that other supercar manufacturers, who had been coolly watching the GT-R’s debut, would bring.
2) Mechanism & Factory
Cylinder heads are attached to the engine blocks. Subassembly work is begun on the left bank. Camshafts are inserted, the magnesium oil pain is affixed to the bottom of the block.
Valves and valve springs are inserted, with shim adjustment in the clean room. When the head is attached, no dirt or scratches are tolerated on the gaskets, so this process requires special care. As before the head bolts are torqued up individually, slowly with special electric tools.
Once the head is affixed, then the oilpan is attached. Made of magnesium to be lightweight. Extra care is taken to ensure no scratches to the magnesium. If by chance the pan is scratched, it cannot be reused. Finally, the chain case goes on…
Upper left – care is taken to ensure no damage to the gasket and the gasket surface.
Lower left – before the camshafts are inserted, lubricated with regular engine oil. Extra sensitive torque wrench used to tighten the bolts.
Lower right – the timing chain case, containing the water pump, is attached to the front of the engine. Two different gaskets, one for oil and the other for cooling water, are applied. This can only be done accurately by a robot.
Upper right photos – the magnesium oil pan is attached, and then the oil pump is inserted. Finally the lower oil pan (black alum) is attached.
3) Racing Legend
A transaxle type, 5.5 liter FR Machine. Different from the production car, with wide high grip tires, the layout is the front engine rear drive FIA GT Super GT layout, corresponding to the 2010 regulations.
This car was developed pursuant to the 2010 season new technical regulations, which were restrained compared to the 2009 regulations. It would have been easier to seek more performance under the 2009 rules, but Nismo was already looking to the 2010 season and beyond.
Some details of the 2010 regulations: the car had to be based on a car model that , in the last 12 consecutive months, at least 300 units were made. Further, if the car was a “mass produced car” (ie over 1000 units made in the past 12 consecutive months), then any engine by the same manufacturer could be used so long as there were over 5000 of those engine produced in the last 12 months.
The FIA GT1 GTR used the 5552cc V8, VK56DE unit, which is used in the Infiniti QX SUV and Nissan Pathfinder. While an “SUV engine” the VK45DE in the VK family was used successfully in the 2008 and 2009 Super GT GT-Rs.
While technical regulations required the engines to be naturally aspirated, the chassis were also tweaked. Most noticeable is the drivetrain layout – not AWD like the production cars, rear wheel drive only.
The over-fenders appear large, but the car uses the same tire sizes as the Super GT (GT500) cars. The racing tires themselves have improved grip, and with the massive downforce, the rear wheel drive drivetrain is fully capable of getting the power (actually the torque) to the ground. The transmission is a modified Ricardo 6 speed transaxle type, and the clutch is a triple plate carbon.
Front suspension is double wishbone, rears are multilink, the same as the production car pursuant to the regulations. However the geometry is different – with tires twice as wide as the road car’s, appropriate geometry settings are important. Brakes are CC (carbon rotors) with 6 pot calipers.
4) How to Build
This week: Assembling the Left Rear Suspension.
Quote from Mizuno-san: “The GT-R utilizes a multi link setup in the rear. Shocks are 3 way adjustable and can be controlled by a switch by the driver.”
Note: Upon completion of assembling these parts – brakes will be added in Vol 19, and the rear wheel and tire in Vol 20.
5) History of Nissan
This week: 1947 Datsun Truck Type 2225
When the war came to an end on August 15, 1945, Japan could begin reconstruction. While GHQ finally eliminated restrictions on passenger car production in 1949, that year, 26,000 trucks, 28,000 motortrikes, 2000 buses, and only 1000 cars, were built, and most of these were for cargo hauling.
Datsun was mostly producing passenger cars in the early 1930s, but had established Datsun Truck in 1935, and with 45 dealers across Japan, sales of trucks had increased. Post war in 1945, with materials, labor and electricity scarce, priority was placed on the production of trucks by reusing frames and engines from before the war. Alternative fuels (e.g. charcoal for buses) and electricity were used.
One can see the effort that it took to make this Datsun Truck. The cabin is wood, with metal sheet overlays. The door glass slides front/rear, and the grill, fenders, bumpers an doors are pressed sheet metal. However, with good gas mileage, the truck was exempt from the use of alternative fuels. The truck was produced, with some minor changes, for the next 10 years until the New Datsun Truck Type 120 was introduced in 1955.
Next Week’s Part – Rear suspension member assembly