Part 2. Rebuilding

I reconnected with some of my brothers on the M30 facebook page. Mmokm30, Strikevalk, J, Onevia and thehillbilly off the top of my head. I was mainly an observer and occasionally, I’d be drawn into conversations that were more than the normal “for sale” or “part out” posts.

People did urge me to get F31club back up. People were even hashtagging #f31club and have never been on it. Jacy did give me the account, but I didn’t know how things worked and I didn’t know where to start. That was the hardest thing, trying to figure a starting point. Jacy said he had a crude back up from 2014 and I wanted  to go off that. No pictures and lost current content… but it gave me something. It was rough, but my friend Jonatan got the back up going. I tried to rebuild the forums by uploading pictures and getting on people’s linked photos on photobucket. I even took a wordpress class, which wasn’t intended for F31club.


What upset me was that someone told me:

Forums are irrelevant and hard to use.

The most technologically advantaged generation can’t work a basic forum.. or they are lazy to learn it.

As for forums being irrelevant, maybe for instant responses or gratification, that’s true. When you’re on facebook, you can be on hundreds of car specific groups at once.

I said it before, the forums are documented builds, theories and ideas, write ups on various topics, confirmed information, solved issues, maint. and repairs. It is organized. It is only relevant to those that are willing to do research and read through posts. Yes, READ.


Now I took offense to that. Reason being:

  1. I, along with many others, built F31club out of pure enthusiasm for the Infiniti M30 and Nissan Leopard.
  2. Many of my friends pioneered information in the early 2000s, that is prominent and now common knowledge today.
  3. With that time, effort and dedication, we built something unique for the Infiniti M30.
  4. When you sacrifice for something and are truly passionate about it, you take pride in it.
  5. When something is of value, you protect and defend it.

Since many people didn’t sacrifice the time or effort, or have the dedication to build something, or didn’t really contribute anything new, of course you are not going to have that dedication and devotion. Often times, they are part of the bandwagon or trend. They even act like they discovered the M30 and don’t want to help others. The problem is, you can’t rediscover an M30 in 2017.

So when you have a group of people that are like this, you don’t have Unity and without unity, you don’t have a community. In part 1, I mentioned that the core members of F31club, was a brotherhood. We helped each other out and there was little to no competition between us.


One of the facebook page members said,

Why don’t you sell F31club to NICOclub (who offered to buy it).

The answer is the same 5 aforementioned reasons. But also this:

It is not about the profit when it comes to F31club. It never was. We built this out of enthusiasm and LOVE for the Infiniti M30 and Nissan Leopard. 

 

Part 1. Deep apologies to F31club

A lot of people asked “what happened” (to me and F31club)?

In the mid 2000s, I had motivation, time, space, and money on my side (not too much though). I didn’t have responsibilities like I do now (family, work and even school).

After the meetings in Northern and Southern California, F31club as a whole was a tight knit community. The members were proud and also represented F31club outside of the forums, whether that be on other forums or car events. Anything M30 related, lead back to F31club.

My company laid off and I had to make a choice of either find another manufacturing job or go back to school to change careers. I chose school. This would lead me to move to California.

This transition was very hard for me, I left my comfort zone. I left behind my support structure (family and friends) to start over. I got a job getting paid $12 an hour and living in Burlingame, CA which took a lot of my money to pay rent. I was making $16 an hour in Seattle with cheap rent and 2 car garage.

This lead to my hobbies taking a hit. Since I had no space (as in a garage), I couldn’t do what I wanted to on my car. Even changing oil was a big issue because neighbors complained. I also had to give up my other cars. My RX7, My Cressida, my Vigor. While in California, my EG civic got stolen in Washington at my parent’s house.

My M30 couldn’t pass emissions and I didn’t have money to fix it. So it sat for years (I would drive it occasionally).

Chris Philips also gave me his RB20DET on a pallet. I just had to go pick it up in Southern California. But I had no place to store it or to even swap it.


This took a toll on my motivation. I then started focusing on school and family. I became distant to F31club. I’d jump on here and there. But I posted this in 2009:

 

might be hard to read, but let me quote it

Few years back, i had a ton of cars, going to japan, posting shit i could find on the m30, building models…. i had so much free time… now i dont have as much as it seems like i got deadlines to meet, classes to complete and responsibilities to keep up since things are more expensive here in Cali.

in a way, i felt that i had nothing to give to f31club as far as car building. i was seeing all these great builds and it was like i’m gettin hella surpassed, when i should be up there (I felt I should have done more mods). F31club was never about competition or to say who’s better.. i personally wanted my car to be there mod wise with my brethren. While moving to Cali was the best move for my life/career, it has also hampered alot of my hobbies (limited space to work on cars) and time.
So modding my car was put on hold while i take care of alot of my main priorities.

f31club is fam to me though, so i will be on here more often and trying to help people out.

i think we hit another slump as far as modding goes, but i think everything right now is in a slump. there are more pressing issues for people that thier rides and that is understandable.

it also seems that people are starting to realize that m30 can only take you so far with out dumping a shitload of money or time in. i was eager to see some krazy builds, dynastyf31’s v8 m30…etc..
I also think people are starting to get occupied with other projects (cars) that seem to be way easier to build and have more fun with.

i’ve always said this, the m30 is a car you have to like for what it is. Each year that passes, we get further away from the era that the f31 was a part of. you wont see parts that were available 5, 10 yrs ago… so its gettin more scarce (and its not just aftermarket parts in japan) and i dont know if the f31 will ever have the renaissance that the 240, fc3s or 86 corolla has, bekuz it was never a car of that magnitude.
——————————-
Does this mean the end of f31club? No. There is still work to do and alot of modding that needs to be documented. We might never have a vg30dett or v8 write up.. but we will have “how to fixes”, “what to look fors”, and simple appreciation for the F31.
And really, that is how f31club started. Just appreciation for the f31.. no mods, no swaps, and jdm pictures to look at.

 

That last part was what I always fell back on. Just the simple appreciation for the F31.

 

F31club got hacked once. Which we lost the write ups and front page. Jacy would get the forums up again. I think slowly people moved on. M30s became a huge maintenance deal for them, some needed more reliable cars, others just gave up.

Facebook started group pages, and since many people were on facebook, it just made sense to talk in one place. Many forums fell due to this. This also made many people lazy in a sense they did not want to search forums or websites and read. It was more for that instant gratification and getting answers then and there.

Forums might have slowed down, but the INFORMATION, organization, the build threads, the historic and even nostalgic component of forums. The DOCUMENTATION, write ups, the pictures, the camaraderie the forums (at least F31club) build was amazing.


I was seeing all these swaps happening, guys going out drifting, M30s were getting built.. the theories turned into realities. But, since I was not evolving, I felt I didn’t have anything else to contribute. My M30 sat.

2010 – Jacy and I met up. He was moving and wanted to give me some stuff. Jacy was going back to school to get his MBA and was moving to Michigan. We talked for a bit and he offered me to take over F31club.

I was reluctant to take it because I didn’t know anything about the back end of the computer stuff. But I agreed with a soft, “yeah, sure”. I would soon also get back to school. I got back into school for a 2 year medical program. Additionally, my 1st son was born.

2012 – I graduated and started working in pediatric cardiology. Jacy would hit me up and again offer me f31club. He said he wanted to give it to someone he trusted and it was Scourge, Jason or me. I again gave him a hesitant “yeah man, I’ll get it”.

At this time, I decided to go back to school and get my 4 year degree at San Francisco State University.

 

2014 – F31club got hacked again and Jacy kept it down.

My 2nd son was coming and that is when my wife convinced me to give up the M30 to build the Previa (http://reactionprevia.blogspot.com/2014/08/parts-list.html).

That unforgettable/regrettable night, I took pictures of my son next to the M30. I took it for one last drive and spent all night taking all the jdm parts off the car.

I uploaded those pictures on Instagram and hash tag #f31club . I typically didn’t do hash tags, but I did this time for some reason.


Fate would have it as MMokM30 would found my pictures and ask “Roger from F31club”. It was surreal. He then invited me to the M30 FB page.

That night, my M30 love was re-sparked. But it was after I got rid of my car. I had to financially focus on the Previa and school. But I always thought to myself I want to get my M30 back.

Stanford University Mini meet (with Jacy)

Throughout my F31 journey and crossing over to my personal journey in life, Jacy has always been part of that. It is funny that we have so much in common.

If you don’t know, read up on the F31 History. Jacy started an M30 forum because there was no information on the M30. He put his own money to make f31club. He trusted me to be moderator on the forums, we collaborated on getting information and f31club to be something.

We then went bought a parts M30 together, when we didn’t know each other. I then brought the bumper down to him and had the Northern California meeting.

It was just catalyst after catalyst and it was cool. Then families came and school came. He moved to Michigan to get his MBA and I went back to school to change careers.

F31club started to fall apart with the hacks, people not being active and everyone getting new cars and ignoring f31club, including me.

Jacy kept f31club registration in his name and while I’m glad he kept it for me until I could commit to f31club again.

Jacy was also at my SFSU graduation party last year. We talked about van dwelling and camping.


Jacy has been a huge impact in my personal life. Such a good guy. We’ve been trying to meet up for almost a year…

For me, this year is super important and it’s important I document and show that this isn’t a superficial thing to me. People are focused on the car, it’s always been personal for me and I like to keep my friends and brothers close regardless if the M30 is in the picture or not.


I met up with Jacy and we talked car culture and caught up. Plan a camping trip and all in the future! LOL.

That’s my dude!

Hunter’s Point Mini meet (with Ricky and GillyGil)

It’s 2017. Last time we hung out was 2007 http://www.f31club.com/2017/01/10/san-francisco-mini-meet-2007/

That was 10 years ago when I first moved to San Francisco. We met up and we took pix at the Millbrae BART station.

 

We got busy, we started families, school, work, kids… the whole 9 yards.

When I got f31club back up and many pictures were missing, Gil logged on and we reconnected. He also sent me a pdf of the shocks write up and I was able to dissect pictures from that for the write up. Thanks brother!

Ricky and I were friends on IG and FB. He has moved on to a Q50s. We always talked about linking up.

Well this past weekend, I hit both them up and said even for a few minutes, I’d like to meet with them. We did.

 

Ricky gave me directions to his house and when i got there, we talked for a bit and really caught up. Then we headed to Gil’s place.

Gil was hammered LOL. He was also bbqing on his steps and we just hung out there and ate.

It was good to just hang out with them and catch up.

 

Now we are reconnected and locked in. That is what’s up. Thanks brothers!

Write up: Pocket/cup holder din

If you seen my previous posts, I already have cup holders, Stagea and legend. The reason why I decided to put this pocket din is because I absolutely find the OEM M30 open din useless. Anything I put in there goes flying out once I drive. The pocket din gives me comfort of being able to put stuff in there. It is also retractable too.

 

MarkJCM (MMokm30) reignited the cup holder issue. Hachiboy (Roger V.) also did some research with the Taurus cup holders as well.

MarkjCM posted the information and said he was gonna do a write up. Obviously he’s busy. After his post, I went to the junkyards and tried to find the Pocket din. He mentioned he got one from the Maxima. So I looked at many Maximas, Altimas and Sentras and I only seen the simple cup holder din, not the pocket.

 

Then I came up on a P10 G20.

 

and it had one.

 

So I pulled it out.

I kept the brackets on the Pocket din because you never know if you need them. You don’t, but you need the flat screws that hold the brackets to the pocket din.

 

I removed the whole 2 din set up in order to access the open din compartment. The open din mounting screws are diagonal.

 

The G20 is horizonal and lines up perfectly. You won’t need the G20 bracket, but you need those flat head screws.

Simple Install. As an option to have a closed/retractable compartment and cup holder. I like it.

Ash tray clearance (picture speaks for itself). I don’t smoke, so its no big deal to me.

Shifter clearance is good.

Sacrifice – A din spot… for now, my radio isn’t installed.

 

 

Write up: Acura Legend armrest cup holder

While exploring cup holder options, one that I thought would be interesting would be the Acura Legend armrest cup holder.

Everytime I look at these in the junkyard, they are broken or the armrest is destroyed akin to the M30’s passenger side vent. I always pick up parts that I think will be something to sell in the future or put in a car I might get (let’s say a Legend).

I came upon a decent conditioned one and picked it up for $3.

I also picked up a M30 convertible center console/armrest and decided to just see how they line up and compared the 2.

  1. they very similar in width and length with the Legend being slightly thicker and wider than the M30.
  2. The Legend armrest opened up from the side, the M30 from the front.
  3. With that said, the hinge points are different.

The cool thing is when I looked where to mount the M30 hinge on to the Legend armrest, there is a screw in the location where the hinge would be and it lined up perfectly.

Legend armrest back portion.

M30 armrest where the hinge is attached.

 

After some measuring and test fitting, I decided to commit to the install. A couple things had to happen:

  1. The bracket needed to be drilled out to match the screw from the Legend.
  2. The magnetic piece that held the armrest tight had to be cut out.

I installed the top of it and it aligned perfectly. I wondered if the cup holder would have clearance, so I checked and it was perfect.

The issue is stabilizing the bracket and the armrest. The M30 bracket has 3 mounts, while the Legend armrest has to be modified (drill out holes). One of the mounting holes for the bracket is actually where the cut out magnetic piece was.

I just JB weld the piece and it is stable.

Clearance?

 

Final Test:

 

While it is not OEM perfect, it works. The M30 had a latch in the front, this Legend pieced does not. But it is heavier because of the mechanical components for the cup holder that it doesn’t catapult open. I does pop up and down if you are on a bumpy road.

In all, I was happy with this result and I liked it’s option.

F31 Leopards in Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania)

Oceania – the region where Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and other countries in that vicinity are located.

It was very interesting when F31club started to go international. Jacy started f31club with the idea of getting information for M30s and Leopards. We started to get Leopard owners from Europe and even Oceania (Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand in particular). When those owners started to ask about the leopard, we were limited on info. All we could do was compare. At this time, I decided to buy the Zenki and Kouki Leopard manuals as I wanted those Leopard owners to know we were trying to help them out and that we were about everything F31. It was a good investment for many of them as they were able to print out the diagrams and what not. I found it interesting that the Nissan Leopard reached those regions, but it wasn’t a surprise as many of those countries actually import Japanese cars.

 

Yotis (Alex) was from Australia and was the first leopard that registered with F31club. When we were transitioning from the old forums to f31club, I would occasionally go back and email people that were on there. Yotis being one of them. He picked up a JDM leopard and had no idea of what to do with it, so he found the old forums. After getting on f31club, he would also give us some basic ideas of the Leopard as we would only see the Japanese pages and pictures, but didn’t know how to communicate. Alex eventually sold his leopard. Since the Leopard was similar to the R31 skyline, which is big in Australia, someone on the R31 Skyline down under forums picked it up.

Yotis also represented F31club at a few local events and cruises.

 

 

ARE31 (Carl) picked up the leopard and joined our forums. He gave us more info and pictures for us to dissect and compare. Since he was part of the Skyline community, he made some basic observations about the 2 as well. He gave us more pictures and permission to use his leopard as a banner for the website. Carl would eventually give it up as well and move on with an R34 Skyline. As of 2017, James Hollis owns this and is also searching for info and parts.

 

JC was from New Zealand. He jumped on the forums and was excited. He was kind of an interesting young guy. His leopard started to have issues and the problem of having an obscure car eventually caught up to him. He started to have engine problems. So parts and information was tough. Even with the manual, it was still difficult for him because he didn’t know Japanese or could get someone to translate. Also being young and possibly not much money, his leopard sat next to his house for a couple years. He took it apart, but I don’t think he ever reassembled it. That was the last we heard of it.

 

 

 

During this time, cardomain was prominent as a virtual garage/ car social media platform. One guy we found there was Andy. He lived in New Zealand with a light blue Nissan Leopard. I emailed him and told him about F31club. He signed up, but told us he sold the car. He did provide some additional information and pictures. This car became available on various local for sale sites and one guy (zefaaa) tried to buy it and showed the condition of it (below this post)

zed280NZ (Andy) from New Zealand

 

 

JC’s friend zefaaa said there were possibly 2 F31 leopards in New Zealand, and JC being one of them. He then posted on the one he was trying to buy. For some reason, he he did not get the Leopard.

 

 

 

I often jumped on many regional forums. I’ve always loved going on to European and Oceania sites and forums because my personal interests in those areas in general. One forum I jumped on was D1NZ.org. I believe this was a pretty big regional forum at the time. Besides Boostcruising.au, this was one I frequented.

I was surprised to see another Leopard, but this time, it was in Tasmania. He posted as Yakuza. He drag raced and went drifting in his Leopard. It was a VG20DET.

 

Jason eventually sold it and Here are some extra pictures of this Tasmanian Leopard.

 

 

 

ARE31 (Carl) was somewhat of our representative in Australia. So when he saw another Nissan leopard, he talked to the owner and mentioned F31club. Unfortunately, that person did not jump on the forums. Carl did take pictures which was important for us documenting.

 

While I was searching for ARE31’s old Leopard, I found another leopard. I initially thought I solved it, but this was a zenki. The owner, bpietrala, was picked it up missing the rear glass. He did a good job of rebuilding it in a sense he took everything out and cleaned/repainted/welded many things. He got the SR20DET in. The post did not go any further besides he wanted to sell it after.

 

 

Boostbitz’s (Chad) Blue Grey storm Leopard in 2010. I found it on a the SAU forums for sale.

 

Came across this on the antilag.com forums.

A guy named Jaffa was selling a VG20DET. Had a few pixs, but this was in the mid 2000s. He was located in Perth.

 

There was another member named sungmu. He lived in Sydney and owned a Kouki Leopard ultima, but he never posted pictures of his car. He only posted 15 times asking about a front lip and engine electrical issues.

 

 

While these are the documented Nissan Leopards in Oceania, I’m sure there could be a few more and I hope to connect with those owners.

 

LEOPARDS IN OCEANIA 2018 UPDATE

Nissan ashtrays

Just another one off item that Nissan did for promotional reasons. Not particular F31 Leopard, but F30 Leopard related.

Looks like the Nissan labeled one is the base and the Vanette Largo, Bluebird and leopard are the ones to set up.