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Thread: M35 STAGEA HAULER

  1. #1
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    M35 STAGEA HAULER

    I've had this car for a little while now and it's pretty much going in the direction like most of my cars end up, so I may as well start a thread.
    It was just supposed to be a quick, comfortable daily that I wouldn't have to modify much and had to be able to haul just the usual everyday things around in eg, MTB and Bunnings/IKEA trips!



    It had fucked coil packs so I picked it up cheap off some Indian guy, put a new set of coil packs in and all was sweet for the next 6 months . . .





    I noticed an oil leak from the passenger side that was slowly getting worse and traced it back to the turbo oil feed line. Ah well no biggy, just an easy fix or so I thought! Having not worked on a VQ engine before, it wasn't until half way through changing it out that I discovered you can't get the line off without pulling the whole turbo.
    The banjo bolt is too long and it hits on the manifold before it is fully unscrewed. Since the car wasn't far off 200k, the turbo had begun to sound like a Dyson and it's an almost two day job just to get the turbo off, I frantically searched for a new turbo as this is my daily.
    Scotty from SAU had a Billet Intense RS turbo spare and express posted it. This is an awesome turbo that is capable of 35psi of boost and sacrifices only a small amount of low end power and response.



    In the mean time while the car was off the road I set about fabbing up a 3" bellmouth dump pipe.




    Then followed it up with a 3"-2.5" intake pipe. (Still needed to weld on BOV return bung)




    To finish it all off I fabbed up a 3" mild steel catless exhaust system with HKS muffler. I picked up 7psi of boost with the new free flowing dump back, so it was sitting on 21psi with standard injectors and pump.



    I liaised with a guy over east called ITSRom who has cracked the factory ECU and is running the identical setup to mine. A few days later a reflashed ECU for my setup arrived and it was running safely on 19psi

    TLDR; Oil leak>Billet Turbo>Intake>Exhaust>Tune>Oil leak fixed!
    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

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  3. #2
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    I love a good escalation.

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  5. #3
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    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

  6. #4
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    Shame it's still a slow POS.

  7. #5
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    These are a good looking wagon.

  8. #6
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    After some power upgrades it was time for some handling upgrades. I prefer to make as much as I can as it keeps me occupied and I also made a bit of cash on the side making batches up.

    This is a rear, rear subframe brace to help reduce some flex as the "wings" are welded on pretty poorly from factory.


    Not long after I did the front, rear subframe brace


    Here is the trio of underbody braces all bolted up. (The front one is literally a straight bar)
    Last edited by Sack; 06-10-2018 at 08:02 PM.
    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

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  10. #7
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    Next was too address the headlight globes so I picked up some LED Nighteye ones off eBay.

    Fixed the dodgy wiring job obviously done by the compliance shop and also fixed the issue with the passenger side globe constantly dropping out. The H1 globes earth through the clip into the light body but the clip had been bent and contact was poor. The LED globes have earth through the harness, so crimped on some plugs and walla!

    They just fit in behind the cover luckily and beam spread is awesome. High beams are like having spotlights fitted.



    Last edited by Sack; 06-10-2018 at 08:03 PM.
    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

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  12. #8
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    To compliment the power upgrades, I made up a smaller reo bar so I can fit a FMIC in without having to change the condenser fan (known issue) and also make more room to fit in a trans cooler.

    From this gigantic piece of ali (NOT MY CAR BTW)


    To this small and unobtrusive one. Only mistake I made was not slotting the mounting holes so it's tight as fuck getting it on and off.

    Last edited by Sack; 06-10-2018 at 08:07 PM.
    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

  13. #9
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    Those Night eyes lights are awesome, iv got a set on my bike. pretty damn bright
    Daily:GQ Patrol SWB

  14. #10
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    Continuing on from above, to match the 3" outlets on the FMIC, I made up a 3" IC pipe to the throttle body.



    Wrapped it up in heat reflective tape as the engine bay gets stupidly hot

    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

  15. #11
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    Then it was onto the plastic under body engine guard that was looking pretty poor, so I decided to make a new one up out some ali sheet. I made up a template and cut out a simplified version of the factory one.



    But what do you do when you don't have a sheet metal bender?... You make your own one; and it works f**king mint. It's a heavy duty sucker that will do up to 3mm sheet and stores away nicely with removable handles.


    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

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  17. #12
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    Fast forward a few more months and I made up a bunch of brackets to mount the trans cooler I had sitting around. It's just a generic bar and plate one from Just Jap that it quite thick so should do the job nicely.


    Also started working on something else too as you can see but it's still in the "refinement" stage.



    Next on the list was to address the budget as factory brake on these things. Snapped up a cheap set of R34 GTT front calipers that bolt straight on. They just clear the 19's that I also acquired for the car.



    Whilst doing the 3D printed catch can, I designed and 3D printed a pistol grip style shifter. Unlike the generic ones you can buy, this one slides on like the factory one and uses the cir-clip to hold it on snug. The cover at the base fits like a glove but I was limited to how much radius I could put on the shifter to match the cover.
    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

  18. #13
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    Feel like bending up a metal splash guard for my Falcoon????

  19. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboknapp View Post
    Feel like bending up a metal splash guard for my Falcoon????
    I can do as long as it's not wider than 800mm
    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

  20. #15
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    Final brace made up and fitted. Acts like a floor bar tieing the ends of the frame rails together half way down the chassis.




    These motors run pretty hot so knocked up a cooling mod, but mine uses an SOS fitting as the bleed point. If your're familiar with Caterpillar mining equipment then you'll know why I chose this!



    To go along with that I bought a generic breather tank setup that will most likely go above the passenger cam cover. This is the highest point in the engine bay, has the most room and is easier to tap into the bottom rad hose.



    Then after changing the rear rotors I saw that the subframe was cracked on both sides pretty badly, also another reason why I bought the TIG welder. I made up a cardboard template and the aluminium I transfer that to will get welded in for more strength.

    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

  21. #16
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    More time passed by with just general maintenance and a few curve balls thrown in, but managed to knock a few more things out.

    I fitted the 3D printed catch can but I wasn't 100% sure I liked this location, as the lines are just clearing the bonnet as they are sitting on top of the overflow bottle.



    PCV delete and hose fitting just have enough room with a 3" intake



    I will need to beef up the lid bracket and slightly adjust it as it snapped when moving it around. You can also just see the breather hidden away under the guard. I will move this too as it fouls on the guard liner.




    I then replaced the stock front rotors and pads with some RDA R34 GTT front slotted and dimpled rotors with RDA Extreme pads, 20mm wheel spacers and some genuine D1 Spec wheel nuts.



    And fitted a genuine Nismo radiator cap

    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

  22. #17
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    So the following posts pretty much bring this build up to where I am currently. The motor started to produce a lot of white smoke at idle and was filling the catch can weekly. I knew it wasn't healthy and put a plan in motion and had faith in the engine that it would last a few more months with the help of some Rislone engine compression repair el oh el . . .
    Bought a motor that said "required rebuild" from SA off ebay for $400 shipped and stripped it down.



    I also purchased another engine harness as mine had connectors falling apart from heat. I plan on redoing the whole thing, Chasebays/Rywire and also want to relocate some things.

    All marked out on a board so I know how long each connector sub harness needs to be and when to tee off. The bits in red are what is getting relocated.


    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

  23. #18
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    Sent the block and heads out to get skimmed by Danny at Performance Modifications, who do stellar work as always. The only thing I found with the motor I tore down was a possible blown head gasket, no damage to the bores, crank, rods and normal wear on the bearings. What a score!



    Whilst waiting for the machining to be done I did a headlight restore as they had the classic JDM yellow to them. (Restored on the left and old on the right)



    I removed the whole front end then dropped the front subframe, engine and gearbox down as a whole. First time I've done it like this and makes it's so much easier to access everything on install.



    Ripped a whole bunch of shit off and confirmed the worst. So much blowby that the plumb back BOV is filling the turbo outlet pipe and the turbo also has blown the turbine seal as it has oil residue in there.



    But on a side note I had a score with the subframe bushes being Superpro items!

    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

  24. #19
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    Did some restoring over the weekend. While the parts are off I thought I may as well make them look factory new again.

    200,000km old


    Like new and sealed in clear.


    Passenger side assembled with new wheel bearing


    Channelled my inner Daveo and did the bonnet latch too!



    Also whipped up a new oil drain to help it to not back up with having more oil supply to the high flow turbo.
    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

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  26. #20
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    Slowly making progress with the parts trickling in

    ACL Race Series mains ready for crank install. Still waiting on rod bearings as I ordered the wrong ones. Rings and rod bolts still in transit from Nissan.


    ARP head studs awaiting install once I buy some Supertech valve stem seals to build the heads.


    Modified a China special power steering reservoir as the OEM rubber hoses keep leaking. This mounts up to the factory bracket and will use braided line with JIC fittings so no more leaks



    Re wired the knock sensor sub harness and slipped some basalt heat sleeve over it.


    This is the new injector plug as they share a common earth and made it impossible to sleeve each individual injector. It still has a single earth on the harness side but the sub harness now has 6 earths. All i'm waiting on to finish the loom is some more heat sleeving which is another 2 weeks away.
    2003 NISSAN STAGEA ARX
    VQ25DET - Billet Intense RS Turbo - 3" Dump back - 3" Intake - ITSrom Stage 1 Flash tune - Custom FMIC

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