ARK Design GTR

ark design gtr engine Team America WTAC - ARK Design's BNR32 Skyline GT-R Part 9

 by Eric Hsu


I realize it's been a long ass time since the last update, but they'll start rolling out again somewhat regularly after the new year. The car arrived safely back to Design Craft in back in September from the giant shipping mishap to China. Progress has been slow with Team America members busy with the remainder of the Formula D season, SEMA, the holidays, and new jobs (for several of us ex-Cosworth people). I never did completely finish the coverage on what happened up until we rolled the car into the shipping container so part 9 will be a continuation from part 8.

The whole Team America World Time Attack series of stories are right here if you missed any of them:  ARK Design BNR32 Skyline GT-R Build Stories.

Things were pretty crazy in the final weeks preparing the ARK Design GT-R for WTAC 2012. Since the car had to take the slow boat to Sydney, we had to have the GT-R on the boat by July 1 at the absolute latest. That meant that we had to have the car packed into the shipping container at least five days before to process all of the paperwork with the Carnet (import bond), US Customs, and the freight forwarders. To clear Australian customs would take 3-4 days. Then of course to get the car finished, we would need at least two weeks before testing at Eastern Creek began (August 8). Since WTAC 2012 was on August 10-12, that meant  the car would have to arrive at the port of Sydney around July 22. Team America's plan was to arrive a little early (August 26ish) and then finish asssembly of the car over at Hypertune. Ian Baker from WTAC set me up with Mark Bissett of Hypertune who graciously offered a portion of his shop and any and all of his equipment to Team America to complete the GT-R. You may know Hypertune for their works of art they call intake manifolds, but they also do some high end race fabrication and have plenty of machinery, equipment, and tools at their shop which is located just five minutes from Eastern Creek. 


hypertune 2jz intake manifold
Hydroformed plenums, CNC machined parts, and CFD developed intake manifolds make for pretty nice and functional pieces. Hypertune offers intake manifolds for most popular import engines.


Of course if you've been keeping up with these build stories, then you'll know that none of the dates mattered for shit anyway, but at the time Team America was hell bent on getting the ARK GT-R on the boat no matter what. It was actually the container ship company's fault (or some crane operator who just hit the pipe) that the container got loaded on to the boat to China. The US and Australian freight forwarders and certainly not WTAC were to blame. In fact the freight forwarder in Sydney, Selsby Solutions, even offered to air freight the GT-R from Ningbo, China to Sydney. And that was were the entire problem lied:  to get the car and the equipment to the closest international airport in China, everything would need to be unloaded from the container and the car would have to enter China. For that to happen, that would either require some magical paper work or a shit ton of money to pay off the Chinese customs agents. Since neither one existed, all we could do was to wait until the boat arrived in Ningbo to weigh out the options. As fate would have it, the container ship was also late to Ningbo (that was the captain hitting the pipe). With all of these factors against us, we made the decision to put the container on the next boat back to Los Angeles a week after.

Going back to the last three weeks before the car had to be loaded into the container: I took two weeks off from work to get as much done as possible. Gary and his guys were on the GT-R full time. During the last week before the car had to get packed up in the container, the rest of Team America came right after work every day and worked well into the early morning. Even the guys from Bridges Racing were helping out well into the morning. The last week was an entire blur with plenty of junk food and very little sleep. It was actually quite painful, but we got what we could done. Some of these pictures were taken then so forgive any bad pictures and most of this is being retrieved from memory since there was no time to take any notes. There was barely enough time to take any pictures.


ark design team america bnr32 part 9

Here's Katsu assembling and setting up the rear differential. We chose OS Giken Super Lock LSDs (limited slip differentials) for the front and rear of the GT-R. I like the OS LSDs because of their almost infinite tuneability. OS LSDs usually have a lot of plates (up to 28), but the number of active plates can be enabled/disabled, then there are springs that allow the full lock timing to be adjusted, then there are cone springs that allow the amount of preload to be adjusted, and the ramp angles can be adjusted by changing pressure rings. I learned a lot of how much these adjustments help when Richard at Sierra Sierra made changes to the EVO's rear OS Super Lock LSD. I'm sure Richard's many years of race car setup helped a bit of course. In the rear of the GT-R, we used the standard BNR32 GT-R 1.5 way OS LSD. The only catch with this was that the OS LSD uses the early BNR32 output shafts/stub axles/side flanges (whatever they're called) which are considerably bigger and stronger, but must be special ordered from Japan. Nissan used the ultra beefy output shafts for FIA Group A homologation purposes. Allen and Tomo from Tomei USA saved the day. I gave them the part numbers and the parts arrived the next week.


ark design team america bnr32 part 9

Of course all of the front, rear, and center differential plates were WPC treated. This smoothes the initial engagement of the clutches even with higher preloads and high angle ramp settings. OS says it is unnecessary with the degree of adjustments possible with their Super Lock LSDs, but I've had really good success with WPC treatment on the car's previous Nismo LSDs so I opted for the WPC treatment anyway. 
Page 1 of 10 Next Page
Bookmark and Share
Monday, December 03, 2012 5:10 AM
Great article, just what I needed to start my day off right!
Monday, December 03, 2012 5:10 AM
Good stuff Eric. Glad to see Peter carrying the torch for the old XS crew!!! Can't wait to see this car in action.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Monday, December 03, 2012 5:34 AM
So other than the small radiator and lack of alternator, what other things would need to be addressed if you wanted to race the car for more than a few laps at a time?
Monday, December 03, 2012 7:44 AM
Larger fuel cell.
Monday, December 03, 2012 10:32 AM
Aluminum exhaust.
Monday, December 03, 2012 1:34 PM
I would guess the turbos in the engine compartment might become a heat issue for more than a few laps, especially for the driver. Good looking car, though it's a shame it never got to compete. Definitely looking forward to ARK GT-R V1.5 with new suspension and more R&D time invested.
Monday, December 03, 2012 2:57 PM
Eric thanks for the update. Keep up the great work, cause I'm always learning something new! Thanks.
Monday, December 03, 2012 3:17 PM
I know it's hard to speculate but what lap times would you have hoped to achieve at Eastern Creek. Compared to the insane aero and setup of the Nemo Evo this car looks quite tame, and rushed, at least in this unfinished form. Has the success of the Nemo Evo, and to a lesser degree the Tilton Evo, changed the way you plan to approach 2013's WTAC? Your thought on your choice of platform? I know it's not all about winning but how competitive do you think this car can be whilst your competitors push the boundaries, and some would say the spirit, of the time attack rules with their vehicles designated and implementation.
black bnr32
black bnr32link
Monday, December 03, 2012 4:16 PM
Eric, the team's work ethic and dedication is astounding.
Monday, December 03, 2012 5:35 PM
A toast on account of the baddest r32 in the whole land
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Monday, December 03, 2012 9:01 PM
Greg: if we ever make it out the east coast, you better bust out those Mechanix gloves!

Dusty: this car will never need to run any more than three laps much like a drag car or Vin Diesel will never need to go more than a 1/4 mile at a time haha.

-01X: It is in fact very rushed in the images you see in this story. Some of that has already changed in real life, but there is some lag between the MotoIQ stories and real life.

No, the NEMO EVO has not caused us to change course suddenly, but it has taught me that I need to get an aero guy on board sooner than later. We do plan to address the aero before WTAC 2013. The aero on this car will never approach that of the NEMO EVO however. I do not believe we are willing to repackage the car to accommodate some of the extreme features found on NEMO. Or not yet anyway. We will continue to lighten the car and optimize mechcanical grip with aero enhancement in the short term. We will not be pushing the spirit either as far as tube framed sections either as the unibody will always remain intact (call me stubborn).

The Tilton EVO also has some untapped potential in it still since it was running with a dead center diff pump. It never hurts either that Eastern Creek is Garth's home track. With every lap he turns on EC in a Radical, he's going to drive the EVO that much quicker next year.

The advantages our car will have over most other 4 cylinder cars is greater torque, a wider powerband, and greater engine reliability at any given power level with only a slight sacrifice in weight (hopefully). If all goes well, we may even find ourselves at a weight advantage over all of the others except NEMO.

All others: thanks for the props. Team America needs to hurry up though as I'm tired of writing about the build. I'd rather be writing about how the car is being developed and improved. It's a delicate balance though with none of the team members on the car full time. Wish us luck!
Monday, December 03, 2012 11:54 PM
Eric, quick question, you guys went all out with the plumbing, A/N fitting, DR-25 Raychem Mil-Spec harness, the whole 9 yard.
Have you guys thought about using Staubli connectors? (yes the shit's expensive), but I'm sure you know they're worth gold, especially when rushing in the pit and time is limited.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 12:09 AM
Yes, take a look at the picture behind the Design Craft S2000 header tank on page 8 and you'll see on on the fuel return line. The front brakes and turbo plumbing have them as well.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 2:57 AM
Eric, I just have one word for those hours. METH. Ha ha ha!
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 5:15 AM
You know, I'd been thinking about it... it's not like Eastern Creek is that fast of a course is it? Maybe focusing on mechanical grip first isn't a bad idea.

Or you could get a giant wing from a world of outlaws car and crank up the boost...
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 12:36 PM
Oh hell yes! I have not even read this yet, but I am crazy pumped to have any type of news on this build again!
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 1:40 PM
Wow, what a journey this car has made, lol, I am always on the edge of my seat for more.

I have faith the Team Merica build will be competitive at the WTAC, and I can't wait to see/hear it turn its first lap.

Anyone know if the CyberEvo is 100% done competing, or will it make another appearance in 2013??? There was a lot of work done to it for 2012, and to not turn a timed lap was crushing, for a few reasons.

Are there going to be any class specific rule changes for the WTAC before 2013??
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 12:56 AM
Alex: Just to clarify, we didn't use Staubli fittingsbecause they were the most expensive. We used them because I had them. I probably would have used something less expensive like Jiffy Tite if I had to actually buy QD fittings.

Jim: To old for that now!

Kenku: Eastern Creek just has the long ass straight and turn 1 and 2 are pretty fast. Otherwise the other turns are not terribly fast.

eeeen: I've heard that the CyberEVO is retired, but the Cyber team will be building something else for 2014. I've heard R35. We'll have to wait and see on the rule changes, but if there are, they will be released really soon I'm told.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 2:43 PM
Great read, shame it wasn't able to compete.

Any info on that BW spool valve? I recall you mentioning something about it in earlier series.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 11:48 PM
I see. Yeah I know they're expensive, but also super easy to use and convenient (if you guys are in the pit and have to do swaps really fast).
Anyway, thanks for sharing as usual!
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 11:49 PM

Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 1:55 PM
Eric - Have you been communicating with the Time Attack sanctioning bodies to make sure that no one is having a problem with the floor "adjustments"? I'm really hoping you guys compete at Buttonwillow and a few other Locales to break some American records as well!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:23 PM
Any update on this car? No WTAC entry? Has the project been scrapped?
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 6:19 AM
Not scrapped. There's no time for updates. When I get a moment to come up for air, I'll do an update.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 10:04 PM
Eric, are you too busy building killer product line for Cobb? Now, that's some article material!
Sub Boy
Sub Boylink
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 9:00 PM
PLEASE tell me you are coming to WTAC this this year!!
Monday, September 09, 2013 9:52 AM
12/3/12 "I realize it's been a long ass time since the last update, but they'll start rolling out again somewhat regularly after the new year"

WHOA! THAT was from last year, lol. It has been a very long time. I am hoping the car is still being worked on, just no updates maybe.... Is this still a project that is planning to attend the WTAC and take a win?

Hey Eric, any Cobb solution for the sub-par cam driven fp on the MZR??? If I buy a bunch of Cobb stuff, can we get a short wtac update? j/k
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 4:38 AM
It seems it's time to wake this build thread to live again according to the latest WTAC news :)
Post Comment Login or register to post a comment.

MotoIQ Proudly Presents Our Partners:

© 2018