90% going to get a convertible!

Backstory:

In 2005, when we started f31club, most of us were coupe guys. We didn’t know much about the convertibles. The mentality was different as well. We wanted drifting and motorsports. So in many of us at the time, the convertible didn’t get attention.

It wasn’t until a few convertible members, who didn’t drift, were saying f31club didn’t encompass the convertibles.

We didn’t know how different the convertible is compared to the coupe as many of us didn’t know. Once we started to get more posts about it, Jacy made “Vertville” where people could post their vert related information/questions.

A few vert guys made that forum good. Since they had a better idea and known issues, they provided content. Zydeco, Sundowner, Drew and a few others held it down.

Now, I didn’t appreciate the verts as much back then, but now, I see how awesome they are.

I also think that the additional maintenance worried others. This had to do with the top motor, rear quarter windows motor, condition of the convertible top, struts in the trunk…


Over the years, I’ve gotten interested in the convertible. I was seeing many in bad condition that needed those additional repairs. But I realized how awesome they are and appreciated them even more so.

When I went to Hawaii, I was a treated to a ride in the Infiniti M30 convertible that Mark aka Strikevalk had. It was SR powered, but it was a dope ride!

We talked a bit and I told Mark and Renny I was trying to locate my old M30. After that conversation and inspiration, a week later, I was in Japan. I was even more inspired meeting the Japanese leopard owners and checking out their cars.

In a few of my conversations with the Japanese guys, They mentioned that how interesting the convertible. Their perspective on the M30 in general really made me appreciate American M30s. We always seen them as inferior to the Leopard, but they Japanese regard the M30 highly! Even the convertible is considered great!

After I came back from Japan, I had a renewed perspective. I needed to get an M30 and start rebuilding F31club. Which I followed through.

But Mark and I kept talking about convertibles. He then said, “It’s only natural you get one”. LOL. I then made a commitment to get one this year and hopefully after my current M30 was done.


Then I saw the perfect candidate. One of the guys was selling his white convertible, apparently the top and window motors worked. Timing belt snapped and possibly needs engine work. He offered the car for $400.

I then debated what to do if  get it. I wanted to go VG30DE and asked Naoki aka Driftday. He said the swap would be relatively cheap, but it depends on how much of the motor I want to rebuild and wiring.

So many thoughts are racing through my mind as of now. Since the motor has only 100k miles on it, I could go the cheaper route and have the head checked/ head gasket replaced  (timing belt and water pump too).

Or I could go with very mild rebuild with Naoki.

The 3rd option would to be do the repair of the VG30e that is currently there and start collecting parts for the VG30DE swap. Since J30s are plentiful in the Junkyard, it is getting the motor and parts I need. I also thought about changing the transmission to manual.

If I did go with option 3, it would give me time to gather parts, this includes

  • Complete engine
  • wiring harness
  • computer
  • water pump
  • timing belts
  • possible oil cam seals
  • possible transmission

 

So why go VG30DE? Simply put, the engine has parts readily available. It is also the natural motor in the Nissan leopards. The mild build is more maintenance than anything. I was to simply take have a “reliable” car.


 

 

My Black M30

 

My $100 M30… I drove it to Canada to San Francisco to Los Angeles.. was a solid car. Had some issues and it was not the best condition. Dents rear quarter panel, oxidized paint on the hood and roof.

Front was misaligned due to the previous owner hitting a deer.

 

But I rebuilt it to the best I could at the time. It carried me, It was my favorite car.

When I got busy with school and family, the M30 just sat there. I didn’t register in in California because I knew they would trip of the exhaust ( I did a custom full system) and I didn’t have the money set to redo it. I also lost focus on it. I didn’t improve my M30 by converting to 5spd or swapping in an RB20DET as planned.

When I started going to SF State University, I was rebuilding our family vehicle, Toyota Previa. I was building it from the ground up. Fully redone motor and transmission. The M30 was sitting in my car port and my wife said get rid of it since I had not time or space.

She had a distant relative and came by to check it out. He said he would like to buy it for $1500. I said it doesn’t come with the JDM parts and he was okay with it. My heart was torn that night. The next day, we talked and he said he was going to fix the body and repaint the car. I was happy. I also told him when I was ready, I would like to buy it back and he agreed to it. I told him I wouldn’t mind paying for the repairs. He agreed too.

I heard that he did fix the dents and was working on more body stuff. After awhile, I didn’t hear much of him. His phone was disconnected and nobody could get a hold of him.

The last story I heard from a mutual friend was that he had gotten into an accident and he was drunk. I was so pissed. I still wanted to see what happened to my old M30, but it is still am mystery and he got locked up for a few other violations.

 

I have sentimental value in that M30. I did so much in that M30, even though it wasn’t the prettiest, it was the car that people knew me for. I represented F31club in that car and

Serge and Alexander

Russia imports A TON of Japanese cars and so it was a matter of time til someone got a leopard and they searched for information.

Well, My first contact was with Serge. He owns a burgundy berry leopard. His brother Alexander owns a blue leopard. Alexander is part of a Skyline club, but since the leopard is a rarity, it is something they both love sporting.

 

Event – Nostalgic 2 days – February 18 – 19, 2017

When I visited Carshop Friend, Mr. Kanazawa invited to me to Nostalgic 2 Days. I had planned for it, but my schedule did not work with it. Additionally, Satoru told me that Carshop Friend is hosting a meeting this year, so that is important for me to attend.

This is the first day of the show and there are 13 Leopards on display. Carshop Friend has also had items for sale in their booth!


 

Day 2, my friend Takahiro N (God Save the GX) send me pictures. Then Kazunori sent me more pictures with loading and unloading of the F31s to Carshop Friend.

 

Saito had these pictures too.

 

Kazunori had his Leopards showing!

Looked like a very cool event! 13 Leopards on display and Leopard items for sale!

 

Credit – Satoru K, Takahiro N.,  Kazunori F. and Saito T.

S-T-S

Satoshi joined F31club a few years back before the hacks. He is one of the M30 owners in Japan. We have been conversing a lot lately. In fact, Satoshi has helped me a lot with information and parts. Satoshi also has a leopard that was styled low rider style.

Update: With that said, I had to meet him and I did. Check the Takamatsu meeting.

 

 

SimaSima

Our 1st Japanese member was Simasima or Shimanko (I think that was his name in Japan). He owned a white zenki with Blue stripes. He visited the Original M30 forums and we brought him to f31club. He also had the F31club sticker on his car!!!

In 2007, I was suppose to make my way to Japan and he would have brought me to the Leopard meeting. That did not happen as I moved and didn’t have money for traveling.

 

 

Simasima’s old HP was called “Love Leopard”.

Wuzz upp

Another solid member. I lost contact with him and I hope to get in touch soon.

Wuzz upp was helped out a ton of the forums.

Additionally, he did something I thought was amazing. He put on a 1st gen Acura Integra bumper on his M30.

 

JasterM5

Ivan swapped in an SR20DET and did a detailed write up as well as dyno. Unfortunately, before it could reach potential, it was T boned.

He then picked up a 2 tone M30.. and again it was in an accident.

His write ups and answering questions was awesome and I am hoping to reconnect with him soon!