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Misadventures of a Drift Newbie, Part 4: Chizuru Awakens.

Thanks for that access panel, Nissan.

Last Sunday my teammate Nate came over, and we set about rousing Chizuru from her slumber with the help of a new fuel pump. We thought it was going to be just a matter of removing 2 screws and popping off that access panel in the trunk floor to get at the pump, only to be victims of a cruel joke by Nissan… that access panel was for the fuel gauge sending unit, not the pump. Begrudgingly, we set about dropping the tank from the car and finally got the pump out.

There’s your problem.

There was no mistaking that we’d found our problem at this point! I love when it’s obvious what the issue is in a project. We got the new pump in in the housing and ready to plop it into the tank.

That’s better!

Once the tank was buttoned up and foisted back into place underneath the car, it was time to try to start it. The moment of truth! It took a minute to get the fuel system primed, but finally she barked! Not quite there, but we’d definitely made a good deal of progress. We turned our attention to under the hood, and threw in a new set of spark plugs. Once again I nervously turned the key, and she immediately roared to life!!! After the WHOO HOOS and high fives we finished up under the hood, and it was time to see what she’d do. We climbed in and put it in reverse for the first time, and she moved just fine. And stopped when I hit the brakes! I carefully backed her into the street and shifted into first gear. I um, completely accidentally let the clutch out too quickly and the rear tires squealed and the whole back end scooted to the left as we roared up the road for the first time! I guess Chizuru is eager to drift.

Oops! That hydraulic clutch is gonna take some getting used to.

We only went to the corner and turned back around, but I feel pretty confident in the old Z31 now. She sounded good, the brakes felt good, and the transmission shifts are buttery smooth. Satisfied with our progress, we called it a day. Once again, huge thanks to Nate for all his help! I couldn’t do it without him. There are still a couple things we’re going to address under the hood, but after that comes a good shakedown run! I’m looking forward to cruising around and putting some miles on it. My goal is for Chizuru to make her formal debut in the VIP parking section of the Soukoukai Practice event on 5/19/19 at RIR. We hope to see you there!

Finally mobile under her own power!

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