Friday , October 29 2021
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Where to Now with Fridge the R33 Skyline?

As per the title, where to now with ‘Fridge’ the R33 Skyline? Well this post isn’t so much about where it’s heading but where it is currently at and the uncertainty I have for the old JDM car scene. As you guys may have known, last year was the last time Fridge went out to Wakefield in one piece – she didn’t break anything other than her Personal Best (PB) with basic Nitto NT01’s that were about 3 track days old.

NT01 – 3x Track Days Old!

Coming in a 1m9.3s was the best time this car has ever done, and sadly the last she may ever do.

Years of track abuse, numerous anti-lag launches, countless hours spent at the rev limiter takes its toll and in this case the motor decided to let go, albeit not the usual way. Things seem to always go in spectacular fashion for me, in many of my life’s adventures, however this one would probably be a good one to recite at BBQs.
So long story short, the turbo exploded first (luckily near home) which initially was thought to be an intercooler hose coming off however it was a little more severe than that. The turbo imploded as the turbine wheel snapped off from the shaft and decided to mill itself into the housing as well. Surely enough, my first thoughts were over-sped turbo, no use of BOV, constant ignition retard to induce pops and bang and an ignition only rev limiter caused it’s premature death. It was at this point where things got hazy and somewhat a bit messy – always in spectacular fashion as I’ve mentioned before.

So it’s just a matter of turbo off, get it replaced and we’re back online for a whole year of more serious track thrashing right? It could have played out like that but nope.

Moving on from that laughable ordeal, I packaged up the humble Hypergear SS2 with optional Ceramic Ball Bearing centre and sent it back to Tao at Hypergear HQ to get it repaired on warranty (yes I destroyed the turbo and Tao said he’ll repair it under warranty no questions asked – even though I told him it ran at 1.85bar most of it’s life instead of the recommended 1.5bar), service with a smile I would say. Off it went on it’s adventures on Australia Post’s snail mail system and a few days later when Tao and the team received the turbo I get a message from Tao himself with the question “How is your motor?” followed by a smiley face. I said “it’s pretty good, last been going strong for 4 years (I still knew it was a ticking time bomb, but she’ll be right)”. Tao then sends me a photo with the message “That’s not turbo bits in your turbine housing”.

Yep…. it was in fact, bits of piston ring lands and appears to be bits of compressed/shaven piston rings too – oh the joys of knowing you’re about to throw wads of cash on a car that’s well… worth nothing. I manage to take out a motor, and also a turbo at the same time – the odds!

Time for motor out and an inspection and oh look, free metal shavings – bonus!

I knew this day was coming, but didn’t realise that soon! Luckily I had some money stashed aside in the stock market for this day, I always like to have a contingency plan for most things. The contingency plans I have for most things are probably due to my line of work, I always have to envisage worse case scenarios in all IT systems so it’s natural I plan for things that most don’t plan for in life.

Time to order parts!

Unfortunately that never happened, certain things in life aren’t always planned for – being the person that’s always a step ahead or in fact planned for all scenarios this time I failed, I failed with the fact that things closer to me didn’t go to plan. With personal issues from my late father departing to my beloved family dog Panda passing I had to overcome and manage a fair amount of financial stress, emotional stress and so it turns out your car ends up being last priority. As I write this post, perhaps maybe the last for Fridge this is where she sits today with no motor, no gearbox attached and being weathered. The easiest and simplest option right is to just give up and get rid of the lot, we’ll go our own ways and the Fridge the R33 Skyline and I are no more, but with my life there isn’t an easy option or is there anything easy per se – well in my case.

So the other option, do I go full retard or half retard?

Decisions are hard, but let’s see how this ends up in March as I’m attending a track day with a borrowed car!

Who knows, we might see Fridge v4.0 or something else v1.0 or even it’s good bye to the car scene forever.


About Johnny

A typical car nutter that likes to get his hands dirty. Skyline and Silvia fanatic not to mention trak-life's own personal tuner and mechanic. Doesn't mind sparing a few days at the gym to stay fit and definitely likes to eat to keep the balance right.

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  1. Sorry to hear about your loss (not just the car). Sometimes in life there are different priorities. Take a break for a while, there is more to life than just cars (like family)

    No need to rush a decision, take 4-6 months off from cars and enjoy life a while….


  2. My 33 is similar to your. Has had years of fun times and abuse. Eventually I started to get blow by on my original block. I opted to get the head resfreshed and managed to find another stock complete engine and used the block from that. I didn’t want to go down the forged route. Maybe if this block goes eventually I might then.
    Don’t sell up though. You’ll regret it. 😉

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