OW, MY FINGER: Fixing the Skyline

December 19, 2008 12:30 am Published by

The ‘Line and I were back at Nikko again yesterday for another crack at the place that claimed first blood on the car. Everything is more-or-less looking the way it used to, apart from the obvious white front bumper. About six hours earlier though, the poor thing was being pounded on with a very big mallet.

Here’s what I had to work with. A second-hand headlight, indicator and front guard (the same metallic black colour was available, luckily) had arrived earlier that day at the workshop, so it should have been a simple job, but you know how it is with cars.

The “fixit” list was:
Get the bumper support out of the way of the headlight mount.
Put the new headlight on.
Bash stuff with a hammer so the radiator overflow tank and battery sit properly again.
Fix the indicator.
Put the new guard on.
Put the new front bar on.

The first puzzle was wondering what happened to the indicator loom. I was looking everywhere for a couple of stripped pieces of wire, but it wasn’t until the radiator overflow tank was removed until this was found. A tiny little nub of positive wire sticking out of the main loom.

After a bit of surgery, the earth was located and I used some old wire to make a new loom. In case you’re wondering, no I didn’t just twist and tape the wires. All the connections were done (messily, because I still suck at soldering) with a butane iron and solder. There are a couple of push connectors on there though, so it’s still possible to take off the indicator.

Success! The indicators don’t match left to right though, as the original indicators were the clear kouki model, and this is the orange (and much cheaper) zenki. Doesn’t really matter though, does it? It’s a drift car after all.

The next fun part was realising that the new headlight took a different headlight bulb.

I took the mounting plate from the broken beadlight, and swapped it over, and used the spring retainer from the broken high-beam housing to keep the bulb in place.

The next part of this story has no pictures, but you can use your imagination. It involved large mallets and a lot of noise. I might add at this point that I’m typing without full use of my left index finger.

As with every other part so far, the front bumper needed a bit of work to fit properly. At least the fender went on without any hassle.

Done. All nice and legal and safe again. A big thanks to Nobu at Amazement and Shino from Shino Kouba for letting me use their tools and workshop space after hours.

The reason I was so keen to finish was because I had won in a game of rock-paper-scissors a free entry to a track day at Nikko Circuit run by D1 driver Tomohiro Murayama, and it was on the following day. I didn’t know Koguchi Power was on the same road on the way to the track, so I might have to visit there next time.

Nikko is a lot of fun. This was my second time in a week at the track, and second time driving too. After about 10:30 in the morning, it started to gently rain, and didn’t stop all day. This was fine with me though, as it made the car feel like it had huge horsepower and made linking the top corner and back straight (the same place I had crashed) much easier, just like in the first shot of this legendary video of Koguchi. I remember watching a downloaded version of that endlessly on repeat about five years ago when I first bought my 180SX back in Australia.

Fuji Speedway Drift Course this Saturday!

Tags: , ,

Categorised in:

This post was written by Alexi


  • s0apgun says:


    “I remember watching a downloaded version of that endlessly on repeat”

    i did the same exact thing and i still have to watch it a couple times every now and then

  • Rob_180sx says:

    Ahhh, such a classic clip 😀

    Good work on fixing up the car so quickly. I guess that’s the difference between Aus and Japan. You have a lot more time to fix your car between events! Good thing or a bad things… I’m not sure?

  • Warren says:

    I still witch it tough I have seen it hundred times.

  • Paul says:

    Are you going to leave the bumper unpainted for 6 months. Then matte black it. Then paint it a week before you sell it?

  • Alexi says:

    Are you trying to say “history has a way of repeating itself”? 😀

  • PU#1 says:

    Are you telling me that you did all that work yourself?
    I am amazementised that you would know which end of a screwdriver to hold in your hand.
    I would have expected you to try to drink a screwdriver! Not use it to fix a broke car.
    I’ll be damned!
    I dips me lid!

  • Alexi says:

    Yeah, thanks Dad.