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Thread: Babalouie's Project Hakosuka

  1. #2681
    Moderator Babalouie's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Sydney Australia

    In the middle of last year, I had the pleasure of going to Sydney Motorsports Park with Nulon, to film their commercial for their terrific "Born This Way" advertising campaign.

    It was a lot of fun, and it was great to see the Hako play a bit part in the final big production, and you can find the story here:

    But after the commercial aired, Nulon went onto continue their "Born This Way" campaign, with a series of car/owner showcase videos on Youtube. They're really beautifully made by Motive DVD creators JetMedia and the Edge Agency:

    So when they asked if I'd like the Hako to be the subject of Episode 13, I eagerly accepted.

    Hence my Hako-owning friends Max and Dan and myself spent a day hooning around Sydney trying to look cool

    It was a great experience, everyone I've ever met at Nulon is a true car guy and I think it really shows.

    It was great fun to make, and the final video looks awesome
  2. #2682
    Moderator Babalouie's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Sydney Australia

    A few months ago, the Hako was idling in the queue, waiting for its turn on the Eastern Creek skidpan, when my good friend Mark Avramovic noticed a rattling noise from the front of the car. My initial comment was that it was probably just the noisy clutch usual gearbox rattle, but when I dipped the clutch, the noise didn't go away..

    Mark's immediate diagnosis was that the crank damper had delaminated, and when I got home, I removed the drive belt it was!

    Fixing it isn't the work of a moment, as it's not the easiest thing to remove and replace.'s not like we have any choice. So out comes the radiator, to make room at the front of the engine, and you can see the errant crank damper at the bottom of the block.

    It's fixed in place by a huge bolt done up very, very tight.

    So to remove it, I get my trusty 4ft long cheater bar, and slip it over my 28mm socket and breaker.

    Chock the rear wheels (in a rearward direction), put it in 5th gear and yank on the handbrake as hard as possible to lock the engine, enough for you to heave at the cheater bar and undo the crank bolt without the engine turning backwards. Even so, it took quite an indecent amount of effort to budge it, but off it came.

    Next step is to use a crank damper puller. The two main parts are a pigeon-foot shaped plate, and the long threaded rod. The rod is small enough in diameter to go down into the threaded hole in the crank snout, without touching the threads. At the bottom is a hardened point with a ballbearing in it.

    The puller is bolted to the crank damper by two really long M6 bolts (there are 2 threaded holes in the crank damper for just this reason), and as you turn the threaded rod, it pulls the pigeonfoot plate away from the block...

    ...pulling off the crank damper in the process. Actually it wasn't quite as simple as it sounds, and the old damper took a lot of effort to pull off (you can see the washers under the bolts bending in the puller). You'd crank the puller a quarter turn, and it would seem to really strain, before the damper moved an imperceptible amount....for reasons which will be evident pretty soon.

    Now that it's off, we can see that it is indeed...very slightly broken. The outer inertia ring (which also acts as the alternator/water pump belt pulley) is usually bonded to the hub via a layer of rubber, but it had totally failed.

    Worse yet...without the inertia ring attached, the hub hjd began to wobble, and had developed a crack.

    And the subsequent wobbling had worn gouges in the hub, but as there was nowhere for the metal particles to go, they ended up being welded to the crank snout in little blobs. Also here you can see the key that located the crank damper in place.

    The key is the softest part of the equation, and had taken one for the team, with a visible gouge taken out of one side.

    It's keyway in the crank doesn't look too's slightly enlarged, but a new key didn't wobble, so I think it's not too bad, and we caught it reasonably early.

    Apparently you can't get new oem crank dampers anymore, and any second hand one will be just as old (and prone to failure) as the one we just our options were limited to the rather expensive motorsport ones.

    Stewart Wilkins recommended an ATI crank damper, but out of the box, it comes with a downside. Being a motorsport item, it underdrives the alternator quite a bit, and at idle the alternator light will be on, and it won't go out until 1500rpm. Great if you're on the track and at high revs all the time, but not so much if you're going to be stuck in traffic.

    Stewart's solution was that he replaces the ATI hub with one of his own manufacture, that restores at least some of the stock pulley ratio. You can see here that it still does underdrive the alternator (and in fact the old pulley fits OVER the new one!) but Stewie assured me that it was perfectly streetable. Quality doesn't come cheap though...this was over $900, fully assembled and ready to go. Quite pricey for something that doesn't seem to have any moving parts

    So what does a crank damper actually do? Well, it's not hard to mentally picture that a crankshaft might have a degree of twist as it rails against the weight of the car. However, it's rather more complicated than that. If you picture yourself pedalling a bike...yes your feet are going around in a circle, but the power is delivered very lumpily. There is a power stroke as one leg pedals straight down, and then a bit of a lull until the other leg is at the top of its stroke.

    Picture a crankshaft, with multiple cylinders and a certain firing order, and you can see that the crank doesn't just get a constant degree of twist, but rather is twisted this way and that, in a staccato fashion. At certain rpm points, the crank will develop a resonance, and the twisting will be amplified. In an L6, there are a few resonant moments between idle and redline, with the big one being the crank-killing resonance point at 8300rpm.

    So what the crank damper does (both the ATI and the stock one), is have a weighty outer inertia ring, that at speed, develops a lot of momentum. It's attached to the hub by a rubber element, which means that the crank can twist against the inertia ring...but the inertia ring will dampen and limit the amount of twist, and hence keep the crank from snapping and happily aligned with its bearings. Geddit?

    Back to business.

    Getting the ATI on, took a bit of head scratching, as you'll see. To make installation a bit easier, I remove the bumper and grille.

    This allows me to reach through the grille opening to install the new damper, but crucially, I can also look through the ventilation holes behind the bumper to line things up.

    First things first...prise out the old oil seal.

    Then I wedge a clean rag under the crank...

    ...because I'll be filing and sanding off the blobs of old hub metal off the crank snout, and I don't want the shavings to end up in the sump.

    The blobs of metal were quite work-hardened, so it took a bit of elbow grease to get the snout smooth again, and I ran a straight edge across the crank snout, to make sure it was perfectly smooth again. Stewie said that I was quite lucky, in that sometimes it gets so bad that a whole ring of metal builds up around the crank snout, making it almost impossible to remove the old damper. The blobs of metal were why the old damper took so much effort to come off; the blobs of metal on the crank were gouging the hub as it came off.

    Now the next part, is why installing it is harder than removing it. The key is a very, very tight fit in the groove of the new hub. There is no wriggle room at all.

    It would actually be a lot easier to line things up, if the key was at the edge of the crank snout, and not quite a long way back. It means you can't just offer up the new hub and line it up with the key straight away.

    In fact, it's such a tight fit that you can only get the new hub onto the crank a couple of mm, before it will go no further. So to help me align it, I mask up some straight lines from the keyway to the crank edge, and then colour it in with black marker.

    Then, fit up the new oil seal...

    And to help me get the new damper further onto the crank snout (and closer to the key), I resort to boiling the ATI damper for 20mins on the stove...

    Then, with oven mitts on ...quickly grab the red hot damper, and...while looking through the holes behind the bumper...quickly jam it on, using the black mark to align it with the groove.

    Boiling the damper got it further onto the crank snout, but not far enough to actually contact the key, as you can see. And there is no way of visually seeing if the key is lined up with the groove.

    To get the damper on the rest of the way, I cut up some M16x1.5 threaded rod, and team it up with a 3/4 drive socket and some nuts.

    Unlike the threaded rod in the puller, this one actually does screw into the crank. Stripping the threads in the crank would be a disaster, so rather than try to pull on the ATI by tightening the bolt (btw it was too short to reach anyway)...this way the threaded rod screws into the crank threads instead. As you tighten the nut closest to that big washer, the socket pushes the ATI onto the crank. If there are any threads being stressed, it's the threads on the rod...not the threads in the crank. I figured it's safer this way.

    And as you tighten the nut, it'll force the ATI onto the crank. The ATI is meant to be an interference fit (better for transmitting crank vibrations to the damper) so it takes quite a lot of effort to get it on, a quarter turn at a time.

    But eventually you feel it bottom out, and there is a crisp point where it won't tighten any more. I measure the gap between the lip of the hub to the crank snout; the crank sticks out 26mm and the hub is 44mm deep, so the resulting 18mm gap meant that it was perfectly seated. It's important to measure this, as if the key was not aligned and it's actually all jammed up halfway, then you have to start again.

    With all that done...take a short break by rocking back and forth in the foetal position and quietly sobbing, before chocking the rear wheels in a forward direction, putting the gearbox in 5th, handbrake up and tightening the newly supplied longer bolt to Stewie's recommended 140ft/lbs.

    Stewie supplied a new pointer, and I used a straight edge to mark TDC on it, relative to the stock timing marker, and the cut and filed it to a point.

    The last step, is to refit the belt, but as the crank pulley is smaller, the belt has to be somewhat shorter. The stock belt was 890mm, this one is 860mm.

    And then button it up!

    The ATI is huge, and comes close enough to the thermofan that I had to reroute the wiring, lest it snag on those protruding boltheads on the ATI.

    And fingers crossed the ATI doesn't detach itself and kill someone...but it seems to be fine.

    The markings on the circumference mean that it can act as a degree wheel of sorts, but as I'm not 100% certain of my TDC marker accuracy, I don't think that I'll be using it for cam timing or anything like that. Just the same, the ignition timing seems to register the same 12BTDC as it did before, so maybe it's close enough.

    So far, so good (touch wood). I've put about 5hrs of running on the engine, and the ATI still runs visibly straight, and the bolt is still tight, so fingers crossed this will be fine. And Stewie's hub is well judged. At 550rpm the alternator light is on, but at the usual 800rpm idle, the battery is charging at 12.5V, so it should be fine. And in terms of driving, it does seem smoother, but then so it should, given that the old crank damper wasn't doing anything. It is slightly zingier too, like a lighter flywheel, I guess that's probably from fewer losses from underdriving the alternator and water pump.

  3. #2683
    Moderator Babalouie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Sydney Australia

    Sorry guys, but after almost 10 years, I will no longer be updating the build thread on this forum. Every time I log on, as a moderator I have to spend an hour cleaning out the spam posts, and ain't nobody got time for that no 'mo.

    If you'd like to follow the ongoing Hakosuka Build Thread, you'll find it'll pick up here:
  4. #2684
    Member one more chance's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Bugeye WRX Wagon
    2nd Car

    It's a real shame the forums have come to this. Seem like the site owner is too busy taking pics of half naked chicks to give a sh*t! Can't blame him.
  5. #2685
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    01 s2k
    Todd Higgins

    Forums are dead now. Everything is on fb
    Will have to remember to check onto jnc from time to time to check it out.
  6. #2686
    Member ATMOSR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Sydney/Central Coast

    Sad to hear that the forums have turned into a ghost town full of spam bots. FB just isn't the same man...
    Will follow over on JNC.
  7. #2687
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    2nd Car
    AP1 & DC5S

    shame about jdmst ;/ used to be the best thing about the internet. now only Babs threads are the sole decent thing to read on this forum. now there is nothing else for me here. *jumps to JNC*
  8. #2688
    Member crbn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Hills District NSW
    Pushy until coppas say so

    pretty sad that forums like this that people have devoted so much time to have almost died out completely awesome build anyways and will follow on the other forum.
  9. #2689
    Moderator Babalouie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Sydney Australia

    Since the forum seems to be good again, I'll post up all the posts that we've missed in the past year

    It's been a while since the last update, but it's been a busy few months with the car. (pic by my mate Jo at

    When I bought the car in 2007, the Tokyo dealer said that it was painted in 2004, which was also when it was last registered in Japan. However, judging by the heavy swirling and light scratches on the paint, this seemed pretty unlikely and I think it's fairer to say that the paint dated back to the late 90s at least. But it occurred to me that I'd never done a proper paint correction on the Hako, so it was as good a time as any to break out my newly minted machine polisher. The process starts with Iron-X, which I spritz all over the car, and it removes baked-on iron deposits which make the pain feel sandy to the touch.

    After that, the car is rinsed and them covered all over with the foam lance and my pressure washer.

    After a few minutes for the foam to do its thing, the suds are sponged off with the 2-bucket method.

    ...first you rinse off the suds in one bucket, and then you dip it in the clean-water bucket, before going back to the car to wash off more suds. This way, any grit picked up on the wash mitt isn't redistributed around the car, and you cut down on fine swirls.

    That done, and the car dried, the next step is to clay.

    Spritz on the detailer fluid, and glide he claybar back and forth on the paint.

    And any baked on bits of dirt are picked up by the clay. I find that the Iron-X does half the work of the clay, which stays reasonably clean.

    Now the paint is squeaky clean to the touch and the car is ready for paint correction.

    The Hako is actually covered in fine swirls, and here and there, there are some heavier scratches.

    So the first polishing step is to hit the whole car with Menzerna Heavy Cut, and a cutting pad for the polisher.

    The heavier scratches need a few applications, but it really does make them less visible.

    Then we swap to a Medium Cut polish, and a finer polishing pad.

    Just a few dabs of polish will do a whole panel.

    Dab the pad all over the panel to distribute the polish...

    And then whizz the polisher all over the panel on the very lowest speed, to distribute the polish evenly (it should look like an even haze). Once you've done that, speed up the polisher to max speed, and work it back and forth slowly all over the panel. You should only apply very light downward pressure (only so much that you hear a very slight drop in polisher speed) and each spot of the panel should be worked about 3-5 times.

    Then buff with a polishing cloth

    And you get a really nice, mellow, (largely) swirl free finish.

    Last step is to add some gloss with the fine polish...

    And the paint correction is done.

    Final step is to seal the polish in with a wax.

    Which goes on like a greasy film, and is wiped off a panel at a time.

    And we're ready to cruise! It's not a Pebble Beach paint job, and no amount of polishing will make it one...but it's shiny and reasonably presentable.

    First event was the Nissan/Datsun Nationals, which were held over the Easter long weekend. Sunday was the car show

    Which was a great show, but it was also a good opportunity for all the vintage Skyline guys to get together. This is the first event for my friend Peter's lovely Kenmeri, fresh from a very thorough restoration.

    Monday was at Sydney Motorsport Park, where a gymkhana was held on the skidpan.

    This was heaps of fun (pics by my friend Jaz at

    We didn't do that great as far as times were concerned...I think maybe there was a little too much sideways. There were also event on the racetrack, but I didn't enter those.

    The next event was Cars and Coffee On the Wharf, which I think is summed up very well like so

    Set up on a pier on Sydney Harbour, it was a really long line up of supercars...

    Including not one...but FIVE 911 GTS RS's (and I thought these things were rare)

    ...and about six Mclarens

    458 Speciale...and yes, another 911 GT3 RS

    My favourite was the Lexus LFA, the holiest of the holies as far as my wish list is concerned

    I think there were two Avendators, five Huracans...three AMG Black Series CLKs parked in a row...

    AM Vantage was one of my faves...sounded wicked driving off too.

    As a Lexus-sponsored event, the new LC500 was on display, and what a gorgeous creature it is.

    Being Cars & Coffee, naturally there is a huge crowd at the exit brandishing camera phones, and yes, everyone can't resist giving it a hit on leaving the event. And oh yes...the most squirelly looking car was...a Mustang.

    ...supercars, great weather, lovely harbour view, a leisurely buffet breakfast and I think a certain aspect of Sydney's car culture is captured in a very neat nutshell

    The most recent event was the GTR Festival, at Sydney Motorsport Park...a celebration of everything Skyline

    The Hako was in the Heritage display, parked right opposite event sponsors Nismo.

    Who had a couple of GT3 cars on of which even had a go at the gymkhana!

    There were driving events in the offing, and it was a great opportunity to let the hako stretch its legs. The first event was the gymkhana, which was held on some access roads at the bottom of the dragstrip car park.

    It was a short and tight course which suited the grunty Hako really well!

    Next, we lined up at the dragstrip. Sydney GTR culture really has a strong drag racing element, so there was a packed field, with some contenders packing 2000hp.

    Hmm...maybe I can take him

    In the end, the Hako managed a best of 14.6 at 100mph, with a 60ft of 2.4. I found it really hard to get a neat launch; too many revs and it would break out in axle tramp, and too few and it would bog off the line.

    The least-worst method seemed to be to baby it off the line and then floor it once it got moving.

    I think the problem is that, at its very low ride height, the Hako's rear suspension arms are above horizontal, so on launching it gets a ton of rear end squat. I'm thinking a taller rear ride height would get the suspension sitting at better angles, and I might be able to get a better launch. We'll be back...with a more 70s look with a low nose and jacked up tail (pic by my mate Jo at

    The driving events done and dusted, the rest of the show was about drinking in the huge numbers of GT-Rs on display, separated into generational order.

    All the vintage guys came out in force, and I'm glad to say that we had eight Hakos and Kenmeris on the day. (pic by my mate Jo at

    GTR Festival is one of my favourite events, and we'll certainly be back next year!
  10. #2690
    Moderator Babalouie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Sydney Australia

    There's been a great article on Speedhunters by my mate Matthew Everingham on the GTR Festival:

    And the event will be featured by sponsors Motive DVD, and here's the trailer (Hako makes a small cameo):

    One of the highlights of GTR Festival was the JUNII R32 GT-R making a world record 7.66 quarter mile pass, and you can see the video here:

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