Believe it or not I have never been for a drive in the Skyline since i bought it in September 2017. I finally got it through the MOT near the end of last year but ever since then I have either been too busy with work, it has been raining or the roads have been covered in salt. So I just kept it shut up in the workshop.
I finally got to drive the skyline GC10 last saturday afternoon, a day that I was starting to think wouldn’t come. I was in, working, and managed to get finished by lunchtime. The sun was out and I had no other plans……..the chance i had been waiting for! After giving the car a check over, loading it up with bottles of water, some tools, a fire extinguisher………..and my two border terriers (Sid and Jeff) I was all set to go for a decent drive. The Hako fired up straight away, with its lovely smooth L6 burble, and we were off! I was taking it steady and not revving it too much until everything was up to temperature and the oil pressure was looking good (there is not really any reason for this, the L6 is such an awesome engine, but best to be safe). At the point where i decided to open it up a bit I noticed that it was struggling to rev past 3500/4000rpm and when I pushed a bit more it started making some pretty worrying noises and jerking, i had a momentary panic that the engine was seizing up but oil pressure and water temp were both bang on……..so back to work we went. The engine continued to behave the same on the way back and with some time to get a feel for it I guessed it was probably just fuelling related.
Back at the workshop I took the air filter assembly off so I could get easy access to the carb. I figured the two likely causes were either the mixture being too lean or the secondary butterfly and jet not operating properly (which would kind of make sense why it didn’t want to rev). First step was to re check and tweak the mixture, as it happens it did seem a bit lean so that was one possibility. The second step was to check the function of the second butterfly and jet on the carb. This one is vacuum operated and opens up when driving under load. It did look dry down the barrel so with the engine idling quite fast I manually pumped the diaphragm and after a few good pumps the jet started to come on line again.
So in we all got again and set of for a test run. What a transformation! This time it ran absolutely beautifully and I had a silly grin replacing the miserable face of someone who had convinced themselves the engine was coming back out. What an emotional rollercoaster classic cars are!
I drove the car for a good hour or so and am completely in love with it, OK the suspension needs sorting as it feels like a pogo stick…it has no damping at all. But I can forgive that, it just needs a better set up. Other than that it is a class act, that Nissan L6 is just so sweet and yet when you push it it really revs nicely. It is only the standard L20 in there at the moment, which at best will be producing around 100BHP now, but due to the relatively light weight of the car it actually goes really well.
I really enjoyed just driving it, it reminded me of what is so great about classic cars. I spend some much time craving angry race and rally inspired classics that I forget the simple joy of just driving for the sake of it, driving to relax and enjoy the experience……its not the same as driving hard to get rid of stress of for the rush of speed. I had that same feeling as when I drive the Sunny pick up truck around….it just makes you smile and people see the car and smile too, its a happy place to be…….
And yet i am back at work, thinking about making up a set of Ohlins dampers for it to sort the ride and convincing myself that if my L30 race engine is not in the 240Z by winter (with all the will in the world, it won’t be) then i may as well put it in the GC10 just to ‘run it in’ until i need it for the Z……