* UPDATE 2022:
This article has been updated to reflect the 2.5 years of waiting and begging to get my engine done and my car back to the SR20store to get finished. It never happened.
*There is also a Phase2 and Skyo Performance component as well.
I wanted to post this back in December, but I was waiting to see how Marco felt about his website at the time. I was telling Marco I wouldn’t mind getting the SR20 Store’s website back up, he seemed to not think of it as a big deal and then he told me the reason why.
Now that I know his reasoning (it’s not bad or anything), I can post some of it here.
Back story – If you look at a few of Primedia’s magazines (this was the conglomerate magazine company) such as Super Street, Project Car Magazine and others, you will find Marco/ SR20 Store in a few articles/builds.
Obviously a big part of Project Leopard (Project Car Magazine’s M30 build). Marco has been part of the Datsun/Nissan community for a long time, so his insight,expertise and experience puts out one hell of a resume. His shop has been around since the early 2000s.
As I said about Project Leopard, I didn’t even know what to do with the car, I just agreed to save it. If it wasn’t for Roger V. (who talked to Roberto – Marco’s son), I wouldn’t have talked to Marco himself. It was a great sign of relief when he said he would help me out… but made me anxious because I didn’t know what to expect.
The reason why I was excited for Project Leopard to go to the SR20 Store is because it is kind of a full circle deal. The car was built there, now it’s returning home, damaged. Now it’s getting revived there as well.
The Importance of Quality is a huge thing for me. Especially nowadays, tons of parts can be had for cheap. One thing Marco said was that he only wants to use quality parts.
There are some pretty sick cars in the shop personal collection.
And with that collection, you can see the work done to them and how amazing they are!
The importance of Quality with Marco will lead to the reason why the magazines worked with him. At that standard, you would also have to have a good network. There is the importance of having a good network and with cars, that means quality parts.
When I started to figure which route to go with, 2 companies that had a big hand in the original build were Syko Performance and Phase 2 Motortrend. I saw quite a few things from Phase 2 Motortrend and asked Marco if he could get them and he said he would.
I didn’t know the dynamics until he told me that they were all friends and have known each other for 20+ years. When you look into both companies, they are local and established businesses and have endured since the early/mid 2000s. Also quality companies on the US end. I wanted to make sure these 2 companies were part of the revival build.
On top of that, Marco has other resources whether it is getting OEM Nissan parts, sourcing up JDM stuff or machine shop work.. he has a connection somewhere.
I am grateful that Marco has been a huge help for Project Leopard, but I also wanted to make sure that this isn’t just for Project Leopard. I wanted him to become a resource for F31club. So I asked him about future projects and if M30 owners came to the SR20 store, could help and he said yes.
I tell this to anyone that asks me about M30s or resources… I always push contacting Marco or visiting the SR20 Store. Project Leopard was to reestablish that connection. That is the importance of the SR20 Store in general.
DONE PATIENTLY WAITING 2022
Project Leopard (the car) has moved a couple times waiting for it to be accepted at the SR20store. The RB25det is “90%” as I was told, but that hasn’t changed for months. I kept asking my builder when can I bring my car there, but I kept getting a <em>moving goal post.</em>
The car came back from Arizona (after 16 months) in November 2021. It was stored at Hung’s until he had to move at the end of March 2022.
May 2022 –
I had stopped by the SR20store and talked to my builder. Here is how the conversation went:
“Marco, Do you still want to work on my motor? If not, just tell me and I’ll get this out of here. If you don’t want to keep working on it, I’m fine with that. Just tell me what you want me to do. Reference me to anyone.”
“Roger, I promise you, I will help you. I just don’t want to stress over cars.
“Marco, I have never given you a hard time or pressured you. I’m not trying to give you grief or stress.”
“I know, you are good. I just don’t want your car sitting here for months.”
“Anytime you ask for something, I don’t mind paying for it, but some of the stuff that I can’t get, I only know about alternatives (such as – AN fittings). But I am a nobody in the car scene. I don’t have resources like you.”
“Give me 2 weeks, I am waiting for the Syko Engine mounts. They are 3-4 weeks out. I will go to Guatemala for 3 weeks.”
July 2022 – I had mentioned I will go to LA at the end of the month. I asked one last time if he could take my car and it was denied. The engine build has also stalled. It hasn’t been touched since May.
Finally, I decided I can’t be patient anymore. 2.5 years of waiting and this slow progress and constant delay of my car, while other cars/projects come and go out the shop.
While I respect my builder, never gave him a hard time and always paid when asked for money, It was time to move forward. I don’t and didn’t want this car to take a few years to complete, especially when I have the budget for it and anything I need I am willing to to buy right away.
Phase 2 Motortrend
My whole hope was to use as many P2M parts as much as possible. But things just never worked out. I never asked for FREE STUFF, but when I wanted to get parts, it was never available.
- Blue fuel rail – P2M wasn’t sure it would fit the Greddy intake manifold, so the plan was Marco was suppose to get it and fit it. NEVER HAPPENED.
- Injectors – I was trying to use P2M injectors and both 550cc and 740cc was out of stock.
- Blue pulleys – Marco said it didn’t work.
- Blue cam gears – Didn’t work and would cancel VCT. (Plus I am using Tomei Poncams)
I was so frustrated, I went with a better upgrade, Radium Fuel rail (top feed conversion) and Bosch 1000cc injectors new. Pulley and cam gears are OEM, but I will eventually change them out.
Another company I was trying to stay loyal to and use their parts. Elbow was hugely important as it was designed to go around the M30’s steering shaft. Syko also made adjustable mounts.
Well, the mounts were never available when Marco asked (which he is best friends with the owner) and when I got the elbow, Jason found out that the internal wastegate hit the elbow. I contacted Syko.. but NEVER got a response. So anyways, we gotta cut and reweld.