So here we go. I was lucky enough that [email protected] able to help me setup a tour for me to see Maruha motors during my 4 days and nights in Japan. Saiji-san is the younger boss of Maruha motors. He picked me up from Shizuoka station off the Shingensen (high speed bullet train) and drove roughly 20 minutes heading north of the station in his Mira k-car, which is often used for his customer as courtesy car. I stayed in Maruha motors and had a good chat with Saiji-san about the differences between the marketing of Japan and North America. In some sense, Saiji voiced they rather not sell the parts that don't really get enough support in other parts of the world that people didn't installed it and tuned it properly and claim Maruha products are rubbish. He also really thinks Miata/roadster is a car for balance on the track, not just straight away power for drag, so is the power band for the motors.
Recently, Maruha motors invest a lot of money (over 1.5M usd) to setup engine dyno room, so is hiring top guys from Japan for craftsmanship for their own products. Saiji introduce me to Isami, which Isami used to work for Tomei, HKS, Apexi, and a couple of race team. He worked as the main chief engineer in most of those company. The latest product from Maruha is the new header for BP engine. Saiji told me it's an all out product for performance and quality, then comes to cost. Maruha motors has been using Maxim works header on a lot of their customer's car back then, and consider they need to developed a better header than Maxim Work was very difficult to do so. When I go thru the pictures, I will explains more on the improvement later on.
Hundred one time attack car for Tsukuba engine was also assemble and built by Maruha motors, Saiji was the guy to built the motors and got it tuned within 3 days. I was told that the tuning on the engine dyno wasn't completely perfection yet, as saiji can probably squeeze out more power with the already very powerful engine.
Currently Maruha Motors have expanded to 3 garages now. All 3 are still in used for something. 1st garage was the original garage that papa san (saiji and his elder brother's dad) worked there as a technician back in the 70s. The garage itself is still in used for some minor service work. 2nd garage is used to store their 2 race car that they raced back in the 90s. And third garage is the latest garage including the engine dyno, chassis dyno, office building, resting room for workers, and the warehouse to store cars there until the car is ready to worked on. Many customer drove their car all the way from other prefecture just to come and let Maruha to worked on their car. That's why courtesy car was given until the work is finished.
To wrap up about my visit in Maruha motors. My impression of Maruha motors is all about quality and performance of their work and products. Saiji believes that good product will need good quality work to support it. Without either one, it'll never be a good product nor quality work. As I can see their equipment that they've spend just to R&D some of their products, then I can totally understand why their products is expensive (yes, they're to me...) but then what was the reason behind the price tag was justify to me. A couple more new products will be release by Maruha Motors later this year. As it's top secret, I've promised not to leak out any, nor photos were allow to be taken. B6 engine owners will be happy to see more products for them for sure!! that's all I can say for now, until then, we'll have to wait and see. I ask Saiji, what's so special about number 27, He told me it's a special number to them, as they're located on highway 27 there in Shizuoka, And on their race car, their drive insists to use number 27 and produce very good results back then. So since then, #27 is almost a number that can represent the Maruha brand, as Saiji said, when people thought about #27, they will remember it's Maruha Motors!!
This is where Maruha Motor starts, with 1/2 a century of history. This is the original garage, which including the office in the deeper part of the garage.
This is garage number 2, I bet lots of people probably thought this is what Maruha garage looks like. Indeed, it's now just a storage place for the 2 race cars.
This is one of the race car inside the garage 2, group N spec, without any modification to the engine internals, as it must be all stock specs.
It's running some RX7 caliper as the group N rules does not allow to run import (other than Japan made) calipers.
This is what inside looks like with full roll cage and completely striped interior.
Next, we've the N2 spec car, which Saiji told this car can scream at 10,000 rpm across fuji speedway at 240km/h +!! It's NA tuned, running FCR carburators, stock piston diameter, oh yes, it's a B6 engine too!! The power band is at 6k to 10k rpm, anything below, you will feel the car not moving at all according to Saiji. On the last picture of this car, you should be able to see a scoop that act as an air ram into the engine bay, Saiji said without the scoop, the car will never hit 240 km/h+, with that speed, it almost like force induction for this race car. Oh yes, Mr. Tamiya (model maker) help sponsor this car as Tamiya is located in south part of Shizuoka.
Garage number 3, which is the latest garage with all the goodies in there. Inside the garage is very bright to see, and very clean.
Up there on second floor, they have a storage for used parts, The white NC is their test car for brake lines, flywheel kit and their Maruha coilover kit for NC which is going to be release very soon.
This is the resting area for their workers.
This is the Chassis dyno room, Saiji told me that a lot of GT300 and GT500 race team in japan actually uses the same unit. It can do both 2wd and 4wd dyno and it's very accurate and repeatable for it's results.
Going straight thru the 3rd garage with 4 hoist on the left side is the Engine dyno room, which many of us saw it on maruha's website to see their BP Header. This is what it's looks like. They spend lots of money on the engine dyno room, mainly for lots of fancy equipment to recreate different scenario for the engine. Like the black container with a wire hanging on the right side is the blow-by sensor to detect any problems with the new piston. 2 different brand of knock sensor machine, as they will use both headphones to pick up any knocking that the other machine doesnt.
Saiji said tuning engine in engine dyno is always 2 technician work. Supposingly the engine dyno suppose to be mounted directly to the actual dynometer, It was later machined a plate to connect the engine to the crank plate to bolt on to different kinds of engine (including nissan, toyota and other engine, as long as they can machine a new plate to hook it up). The transmission is 1:1 ratio, so the data is always accurate. Water bath is used to recreate real world scenario, like water temp, engine oil temp, transmission oil temp. The water bath will regulate the temperature inorder to tune the engine at that temperature hassle free. The 2 grey box on the wall is the air temp and CO level controller for the engine air intake. This is used to recreate real world scenario as well. Log box that they use was not shown as according to Saiji that log box is used for many F1 teams, and it cost over 1million USD.
Right beside it, is the room ready for 2nd engine dyno.
Some pictures of their 2nd level office. First picture, mahle piston for maruha got some kinda award that I didn't ask saiji about that...The guy wear white at the end is papa san, and the guy behind the computer on the left is saiji. The other 3 guys on the right, sorry, I've no clue. Ohhh, and of course, as a miata/roadster specilist company, they have tons of road&ster magazine on their book shelf for their customer to kill time with!
It's time to display some Maruha products, including their new BP header, Maruha 4 pot caliper kit, carbon fiber cam gear valve cover and Maruha coilovers.
CNC exhaust manifold flanges, most of the flanges are laser cut, but this is CNC, which offers lighter weight. If you can see closely to the center of the flanges, you see a cut line in the center. That is used to compress the header on the engine to seal it better, and for heat expansion, it wont crank the header as easy as it sound. Oh yes, it's another hand made header, with 304 Stainless steel materials. Even the springs to connect the 2 pcs header is 304.
More CNC flanges, and the flex pipe inside is a reducer tube, which is hand crafted. I'm not allow to take pictures of that reducer tube due to shop secrets. But then I can tell you that tube reduced it diamter without a hicup, It sooo smooth that I'm sure that it won't create any tubulence at all. Saiji had an idea to have adjustable downpipe for the header, which is patented already in japan. Let's say if you're able to make more power by changing cams, but the header doesn't match and restrict it's flow, changing the downpipe to a larger one on the header will give you more power at the end.
Saiji designed the mount to secure the header on the PPF, which it should be able to reduce the movement on the header, especially on LHD cars which the steering shaft always rubbing or hitting the header on hard turns or bumpy roads
Even the O2 flange is hand wielded, look at the colours of the header, It's just a piece of artwork there.
Maruha High flow cat
This is what it's looks like on a 2.1 stroker kit, with ITB, and CF valve cover
This is Isami, which I mention earlier about his career experiences. Saiji said he's able to do everything in their garage, from tuning, cad drawing, designs, improvement for engine parts, to craftmanship is all top notch. According to Ocean, Maruha do fire alot of mechanics every year, as long as they're not capable to do good quality work and not "smart" enough, they'll be gone. Talking about hell's kitchen, how about a Hell's garage? (j/k) Isami was kinda camera shy in the first place, but then Saiji told him I'm from Canada, and he said he don't wanted to be famous and everyone laughed. Some wielding that Isami does is the BP header, and the sample connecting pipe. It's so precise that those 2 pipes connects and in the runner, you barely see the seam between the 2 pipes.
This will be my last post about Maruha Motor garage, as most of the pictures are already shown. Just a couple more pictures of their customers' car
1.7L, with IRTB, This setup will be very closed to my 1.7 thread built. I wish I can have a ride in that car to feel the power. But my request got denial, as they don't abuse their customer's car without permission
Hachi-roku (yes, AE86) with IRTB waiting to get his tuning down by Maruha, as Maruha motors knows how to tune Freedom EMES well. Ocean was taught by the elder Maruha brothers.
Just regular service for oil change or so, but you can see how they like to mod their exterior for style
Interior from that 2.1L with new Maruha BP header, running maruha coilover and 4 pot caliper kit
Great... finally done... it's 5:30am here... Still jet laggin.... time for a good nap before I heading to Chikara later today at 930 to work on my car again. Hopefully everyone enjoy these pictures, and appreciates Maruha motors more after this. I promise Saiji that I will let the world see Maruha Motors, and here it is! Thanks for viewing this thread! Hopefully by some other time, someone else can post more update/picutres about Maruha motors! Cheers!
Great write up! Thanks for sharing so many pictures and telling the Maruha Motors story. The first paragraph is a little hard to read - it would be better if you broke it up into multiple paragraphs. But otherwise very well written. I would love to have a Maruha 2.1L!
Anyone know what bodykit is on that N2 Spec Silver NA in the first couple of posts? It almost looks like the east bear but I can't tell. It looks a little more square than the garage vary. Also those sideskirts and rear fenders are killer. Any help would be appreciated.