THE V8 MK1 ESCORT

“Everything new is old.” Heard that one before? Well it’s true. When people moan about putting BBS wheels on a Golf, because they want to see something ‘different’, you know what? Chances are somebody did your ‘different’ thing a long time ago. I’m sure in the future there will be two distinctly recognisable eras of car modification: pre and post internet.

Karl Fiara’s Mk1 Escort is a trip back in time for me; sat here in the glorious sun of the recent Players Classic Show at Goodwood it transports me back around 20 years. To when you had to be at one of the big season-opening shows to see what everybody had been building during the winter, where you could catch up with friends without knowing how many laps of the Nurburgring they’d done the month before,when the excitement was tangible in the air and cars like this Escort two-door were more commonplace and that can only be a good thing.

There was something familiar about the Ford when I first saw it the previous weekend at the Classic Ford Show at Santa Pod in the UK. It was parked on the Wheel-Whores.com stand as the guys had decided to award it best wheels of the show. A quick conversation saw them invite Karl down to Goodwood for the following weekend, where the Escort did a great job of attracting the crowds.

The Players crowd rightly enjoyed the old Ford. Walking around it and then talking to owner Karl Fiara it still felt achingly familiar, but it was still no small surprise to find that the Escort was built over 20 years ago. Which places it slap bang in the middle of my ‘golden era’ for car modification in the UK. It’s an age thing y’see: I’d just started driving and anything seemed possible, regulations were slacker than they are now, the police didn’t run your plates from half a mile away through a computer and there was less traffic on the road.

Sure the Escort isn’t immaculate. It has proper patina though; it’s a survivor, unlike a lot of its contemporaries. The early ’90s were a time when half decent cars that weren’t overly complicated were cheap enough to chop up without really caring. You had sleek, simple, cool and sometimes boxy shapes from the ’60s and ’70s that could be built in a home workshop on a budget without looking like some vintage renegade that was about to fall apart. Pastel shades were popular, grunge music and rebellion were in the air and change was happening after the all-consuming hunger of the ’80s had exploded at the end of the decade.

Like I said, it was pre-internet and you’d make a scene by building something to go to a show, and using it until the annual inspection test ran out. Cutting the roof off and welding a four foot gearstick on it, roof chops that left a windscreen the size of a letter box, home built chassis with the abundant Rover V8 slotted in because there were plenty of them in the scrapyards and they sounded good. Splatter painting it at home, the louder the better; it was about having fun. That’s what this Escort reminds me of.

The V8 first went in around ’86/87, with the Escort being stripped down shortly after and the full build taking place. So what you’re looking at now is a 1969 Escort bodyshell mounted over a home-built, ladder style box section chassis. It was all built up by Warren Cole, who amazingly was here at Players Classic too. Karl bought the Escort complete as you see it in the late ’90s, tucking it up in his garage shortly after, only getting it back out very recently as Warren lives fairly locally and it seemed like a good opportunity for a reunion (also as he’d thought previously the Escort was long gone).

But it’s obviously very much alive. Nowadays any Mk1 Escort two door shell is worth big money to the right buyer. So to see one like this is unique. I know of a handful of V8-engined examples but all of them retain a very ‘enthusiast’ orientated look to them. This thing? It stands alone for me. What Warren wanted was a fairly simple, very low cruiser that he could use anywhere, any time.

He used everyday, affordable, mechanical parts that combined in the right way to make something that grabs your attention. It wasn’t long after the era of everybody naming show cars, so you used to add small phrases here or there, much like a well-placed sticker these days. Like the hand painted “Kin LOW” on the handbrake cable carrier. Did we mention it was low? Well maybe not as much as you might think.

That’s the beauty of channeling the body over a new chassis: everything is tucked up out of harm’s way. Airbags were still a decade away from becoming vaguely affordable or practical so this was the best way of keeping everything safe.

The reason why it was on the Wheel-Whores.com stand is because of these Revolution RFX wheels. We all know hot rods and drag cars run big and little combos, but one of the stand out, gutsy choices of this build has to be the 9x16s out back…

… and the skinny 5.5x13in same style on the front. Revolution are a traditional UK-based wheel company and the RFX is probably one of their most memorable wheels; it’s a real late ’80s/early ’90s choice. You can often date a build by wheel choice and these are spot on; remember again most factory cars were riding around on 14s or 15s maximum at this time. Many smaller cars still ran 13s, so the big 16s on the back were literally that. BIG.

No inner wings mean clearance isn’t a problem and the rear end has been tubbed to cover the 245/50x16in tyres. The pastel paint spills over to all the components and suspension parts; again this bright colour coding was really indicative of the time. Looking back I can only really think this was because body-coloured bumpers had been around for five to ten years on mainstream manufacturers cars, so the modified scene started to emulate this and add a little more.

Although of course the Escort has retained its factory standard chrome bumpers and oblong headlights, rarer than the usual round items and showing it’s now desirable 1300GT origins.

The body is largely stock, save for some stretched front arches, but there are a few extra holes around the place. The most obvious is for the standard SU carbs to poke through the bonnet, as clearance was needed and let’s face it, those two inches or 50mm would have meant more space under the sills… not an option.

The other one is for the top-mounted windscreen wiper, which although looking a little messy to some eyes is a clever solution to a problem that would otherwise thwart a builder with less imagination. There’s just no room above the back of the engine for a traditional set-up, although Karl and Warren were discussing the cable-driven wipers of a Mini that could be used now…

Inside you’ll find a period RS steering wheel and behind that a standard set of Rover P6 gauges that talk to the engine and gearbox easily.

There are no top-mounted pedals like standard, because of course Warren made the chassis, which means the hidden master cylinders are now activated by these.

Another blast from the past are the Huntmaster bucket seats. Sure they’re no Takatas but again these are twenty-five years old and you felt like a proper race driver when you bolted a set of these in.

Here you can see them reflected in the polished door panel; again, simple and stylish, it all helps to keep the Escort of the period yet timeless all the same.

This is probably the best view to see just how dramatic the difference in wheel size is, which just adds to the toy car effect I hear people mention when they see the Escort.

The chrome window trim on a Mk1 Escort has always been one of my favourite styling cues; it neatly encapsulates the glass in a bubble, making a very ordinary shape kind of special. You can also see the almost body colour, swage pinstripe line. Another ’90s favourite was extra locks and security devices, because you could ‘lift’ a Mk1 Escort as easy as a toilet seat.

So how does a car built on a budget in a home garage twenty five years ago keep turning heads today? To tell the truth I’m not sure, it could be a case of being ‘simply clever’.

There are no wild graphics, it’s just very well observed. Both Warren and now Karl wanted a very low Escort, itself a very popular car, that could be used any time. Add some instantly recognisable wheels in a slightly outrageous choice of sizes, a burbling V8, pastel bodywork and you tick a lot of boxes.

I’m just glad Wheel Whores spotted it and convinced Karl to come along to Players Classic, so now you guys get to see the Escort after all these years.

And yes, I know I’m perhaps being overly sentimental towards the time this was built, because of course, every generation has its favourites. That’s how the march of time works, but this simple Escort proves to me that good things never go out of fashion and now a whole new audience can appreciate it and be inspired.

 

Bryn Musselwhite
Instagram: brynem
bryn@speedhunters.com

 

Karl Fiala’s 1969 1300GT Ford Escort V8

Engine
Chassis mounted, Rover 3.5ltr V8 on standard SU carbs

Driveline
Rover four speed manual gearbox, narrowed Ford Capri 3.09 baby Atlas axle

Suspension/Brakes
Rack and pinion steering with modified arms, Cortina Mk4 independent front suspension, shortened springs, narrowed cross member, Cortina Mk4 front discs, Jaguar rear coilovers located on L brackets,  panhard rod, Competition Engineering ladder bars with solid rod ends, standard Capri drums

Chassis
Custom-made box section with narrow front end and kicked up rear, body channeled around 6in

Wheels/Tyres
Revolution RFX 5.5×13 with 135/80×13 tyres (front), 9×16 with 245/50×16 tyres (rear)

Exterior
All steel 1969 Ford Mk1 Escort, removable front end, stretched front arches, reformed bulkhead, raised tunnel and floor, tubbed rear, Citroen roof mounted wiper unit, enlarged radiator aperture in front panel, DZUS bonnet clipped at front, additional door locks

Interior
Two Huntmaster bucket seats, Rover P6 instrument panel, handmade pedals, underfloor clutch/brake cylinders, bespoke fuel tank in boot, battery fitted NSR, right hand side hand brake lever using Morris Minor cables

 

 

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source: speedhunters
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Technical : C-WEST/BC/Hankook S2000

The C-West S2000 first gained noto- riety in November 2005 when the dry- carbon Honda was freshly shipped in a container from Japan just a few days before its U.S. race debut. With minimal changes performed on the vehicle’s suspension, the car was quickly whisked off to Buttonwillow Speedway as it prepared to wage war in the Super Street and eurotuner Time Attack (Super Lap Battle). The S2000 competed in the Unlimited FR Class and was driven by Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada, using of all things a stock JDM 2.0L motor. The naturally aspirated S2000 ran an amazing 1:53.147 time and was named the Unlimited FR Champion that year. The win was a bittersweet victory for C-West and its S2000 because the car was immediately taken back to the U.S. facility, never to be seen again, sitting in storage for the next two and a half years.

When the ’05 champ seemed to have been forgotten, the car was surprisingly resurrected, with the help of Gary Castillo, owner of Design Craft Fabrication, in early 2008. Castillo just so happened to work in a shop adjacent to C-West, walking past the S2000 on a daily basis while the car sat around catching dust. Sympathetic of the car’s status, he knew something had to be done. With a ’08 season proposal to run the S2000, with C-West Japan’s approval, the car was given a basic tune-up before it was officially un-retired and trailed back out onto the tracks. Using an over-the-counter GReddy turbo kit on the factory engine, the car was taken to a local track event where the now-turbocharged powerplant and lightweight chassis seemed to work well for both driver Tyler Mcquarrie and the C-West S2000.

As time progressed, the S2000 went through numerous changes and picked up sponsors like BC (Brian Crower) and Hankook tires-lending a helping hand to improve its record-setting times at numerous tracks events. Follow along as Turbo magazine and Design Craft Fabrication prepares to swap out the tired 2.0L mill with a custom 2.4L powerplant. You can bet this team, with its new engine displacement and numerous upgrades, is eyeing the coveted track record of 1:43.523 that was set by HKS and its CT230R at Buttonwillow in 2007. Only time will tell before this carbon machine has what it takes to be crowned this year’s Super Lap Battle champion.

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Gary Castillo three days after the new engine was installed and the shakedown at Willow Springs Raceway during a Super Lap Battle qualifying event.

Honda S2000 Building New Engine

In building the new 2.4L engine, Castillo used a set of ACL flash-treated rod bearings. BC offers a full set of ACL flash-treated bearings with its stroker kit, which was used for this engine. The advantages of flash treating a bearing is a surface that is stronger, due to the similarities of being heat treated. Because the bearing is sold through BC, they can offer close-to-factory-spec clearances
Honda S2000 Measuring Ring Gaps

Ring gaps were measured per cylinder.
Honda S2000 Stock To New

Here’s an image comparing the stock Honda piston material sleeve to a Darton ductile iron sleeve. The Darton sleeve fortifies the sleeves while making it a closed-deck block. The sleeves were installed by Steve of Race Engine development in Oceanside, Calif.
Honda S2000 Cp Pistons

The newly acquired CP pistons were measured half an inch from the bottom of the skirt to get accurate bore size. A quick measurement of the piston revealed they were 88.91mm.
Honda S2000 Bc Rods

The BC rod uses the same center to center with the factory rod but pin location on the piston is modified to accept the larger 2.4L stroke.
Honda S2000 Preparing Ring Gap Clearance

Castillo prepares the ring gap clearance for the pistons. The CP pistons come with a ring gap spec sheet designed for street, strip, and race applications. The C-West/BC/Hankook S2000 went with a race application gap.
Honda S2000 Oil Ring Set

The oil ring set comes with a fourth oil ring expander, which compresses the oil ring to make up the difference of the pin height placement rather than using aluminum buttons.
Honda S2000 Stock Block Water Jackets

A close-up of the stock block water jackets.
Honda S2000 Iron Ductile Sleeves

The Darton iron ductile sleeves were machined for closed deck yet it allows coolant passage for extra cooling through the cylinder head.
Honda S2000 Arp Main Stud

ARP head studs come with Allen heads on top to tighten by hand and ensure install heights are correct.
Honda S2000 Aclmain Bearings

ARP main studs and head studs were used, along with ACLmain bearings.
Honda S2000 Different Size

A drawback when using ARP head studs is the bolt and stud protruding a little higher than the factory studs. Here’s a photo of the area we had to modify to give clearance for the oil pump.
Honda S2000 Main Girdle

The assembly shows the main girdle on the block using ARP studs.
Honda S2000 Die Grinder

Using a die grinder, the surface area was modified to make clearance.
Honda S2000 Removing Old Valve Seals

In order for the new BC spring seats to be installed, the old valve seals were removed and replaced.

C-West/BC/Hankook S2000 Shatters Records Again On July 12, 2008The Super Lap Battle was another good shakedown session for the C-West/BC/Hankook S2000. After our win in Utah we were intent on getting even more power out of the car. The new BC 2.4L stroker engine and GReddy T618Z turbo should be able to handle horsepower levels in the 600-zone, but we are only at half that power. As happy as we were about finally finding the problem that led to a loss in power, it was the challenge of solving the issue that was killing us. We were able to get the power up but we had to rely on deactivating Honda’s VTEC control. This was a temporary fix because the car should jump up in power once the issue is resolved. We’re looking to make over 100-plus more horsepower out of the engine once we can solve the VTEC issues. Nevertheless, the boost was not falling off like it did in Utah, and power was pulling throughout the powerband so we were forced to run the car as is. Upon our first run session we decided to run the boost controller on low and also run the C91 Hankook tires at a moderate pressure. After our first three passes, race driver Tyler Mcquarrie explained that he had to battle a slight understeer issue at the high-speed turns as well as an aerodynamic drag issue in straight-line, high-speed performance. When the timing sheet was posted, it revealed that we broke last year’s track record time of 1:28.10 posted by HG Motorsports. On the S2000’s first run session it blasted a time of 1:25.05, shattering the record by over three seconds. For the next pass the decision was made to lower the wing by 10 degrees and reset the tires to a much lower pressure and change the rear shock adjustments. On the Honda’s second pass it was obvious the changes worked when a 1:23.50 time was announced. The next closest competitor was Tanner Foust in the Crawford Subaru with a 1:37.20. With two more runs left in the day, we were left with the one of two decisions: unload even more power in case one of the competing teams was holding back or play it safe or leave the car as is. The decision was made to try and get more power using a set of BC prototype cams for our third run. During the run it was obvious that we didn’t have the proper fueling and timing, so Mcquarrie decided to scratch session three. The original BC cams were reinstalled and boost was turned up 4-more psi for the fourth and final run session. With track temperatures cooled off, the S2000 stopped the clocks at a record 1:23.14. Due to traffic, the car was not able to get a clean third pass, and results have always shown us that with the Hankook tires the third pass always runs the fastest with the rubber up to temperature. While we did ended up winning the event with a record time for the Super Lap Battle, an interesting note about the time was that it is the only production car to run that fast at Willow Springs, compared to full-tube chassis cars and open-wheel cars. The time falls in Willow Springs record list at number 26 in the Top 65 cars fastest to run at the track. Keep in mind that this weekend’s win is all testing for the big race coming this weekend at California Speedway. Be sure to look out for upcoming magazine coverage in Super Street, Modified, Turbo, Import Tuner, and Sport Compact Car. Hope to see you all at Auto Club Speedway, formally known as California Speedway.Gary Castillo, Team Design Craft

Redline Time Attack, Buttonwillow, Mar. 22-23First Place Unlimited RWDFirst Place Unlimited ClassFirst Place OverallOne of five cars to run in the 1:48 timezone

Super Lap Battle, Long Beach Grand Prix, Apr. 19-20Second Place Unlimited RWD

Redline Time Attack, Utah, June 28-29First Place Unlimited RWDFirst Place Unlimited classFirst Place OverallFirst Place Super Session BattleTrack record

click HERE to read more

source: turbomagazine

Building an Engine Wiring Harness

23 Building Engine Wiring Harnessfire Wrap 3000
01 Building Engine Wiring Harness

Whether you need to customize your engine wiring harness or just want to improve its appearance, we offer an alternative to purchasing expensive aftermarket harnesses. Keep in mind that this is not a definitive guide on building wiring harnesses; rather, we show you some basic steps on how to properly restore/clean up your engine wire harness using a number of DEI products.

If you’ve noticed by now, the OE harness has been sheathed using electrical tape and plastic loom. Yes, it’s cost effective on their part, but in all honesty, it doesn’t look good. The factory-style split loom is an eye sore with its bulky appearance while electrical tape over time will “weep” adhesive and peel off, leaving a sticky residue that’s a nuisance to remove.

The most important thing to consider before tackling this particular DIY project is deciding if this is a full-blown rewire job or a simple clean up. The more time-consuming wiring jobs will take a few days to a week to complete, so if this is your daily driver plan accordingly. Upon spending some time researching different methods of making wiring harnesses more clean and subtle, we decided to loom the harness entirely in heat-shrink tubing (no seams). We began by spending some quality time peeling off about a roll of old, greasy sticky, electrical insulation tape from our Subaru STI engine harness.

  • 02 Building Engine Wiring Harness
  • 03 Building Engine Wiring Harness DEI Products
  • 04 Building Engine Wiring Harness Wiring

Wiring Harness Rebuild

06 Building Engine Wiring Harness Plug
05 Building Engine Wiring Harness Wiring Diagram

It’s important to use the proper tools: a good set of wire strippers and cutters, a soldering iron, a heat gun, shrink wrap, pick tools, and self-vulcanizing tape. Always keep an OE service manual handy to access the wiring diagrams for your vehicle’s exact year and model/sub-model due to wiring differences between models. Repair any frayed wires prior to rewrapping.

Document the current wiring/clips and routing with detailed pictures prior to de-pinning the harness. If necessary use masking tape and/or zip tie to separate the wires and label each connection prior to taking photos for future reference to keep track of your progress. Most importantly, don’t begin by simply tearing apart your engine harness! Carefully plan your route of attack while sorting through the tangled wires. Properly measure each wire length as well as how they are routed to ensure your finished harness will install properly without any issues.

07 Building Engine Wiring Harness Wiring

Heat shrink offers a clean, no seam look, and it will never peel off or break. The DEI heat-shrink tubing is mil-spec grade, withstands up to 275 degrees F of direct heat, and is flame retardant. This meets or exceeds the corrugated looming that you typically see on engine harnesses.

  • 08 Building Engine Wiring Harness Wiring
  • 09 Building Engine Wiring Harness Wiring Pick Tools
  • 10 Building Engine Wiring Harness Wiring Shrink Tubing

DEI Hi-Temp Shrink Tubes

DEI Hi-Temp Shrink Tubes can be used to insulate wires, wire splicing, connections, and terminals and meets the material functional properties of mil-spec DTL-23053/5C. Professional-grade mil-spec flexible polyolefin tubing provides excellent electrical insulation, protection from dirt, dust, solvents, and foreign materials as well as providing strain relief. With a 3:1 shrink ratio and temp resistant from -67 degrees F to 275 degrees F, DEI shrink tubes are an alternative to corrugated plastic, which over time will cause “chaffing” of wires inside the conduit. It is best to have your wires tightly wrapped with heat shrink so they do not rub against each other. A simple trick to speed up the process is to use a wire secured to tape holding the main wires to pull through the heat-shrink tubes.

  • 11 Building Engine Wiring Harness DEI Hi Temp Shrink Tube
  • 12 Building Engine Wiring Harness DEI Hi Temp Shrink Tube
  • 13 Building Engine Wiring Harness DEI Hi Temp Shrink Tube

DEI Fire Tape

14 Building Engine Wiring Harness DEI Fire Tape

Fire Tape is a nonadhesive silicone rubber tape that is self-bonding, self-curing, and forms a permanent watertight barrier that withstands 475 degrees F direct continuous heat. We like the fact that you’re not left with a sticky residue when unsheathing the wires. Combined with the DEI Fire Sleeve or hose protective sleeve products is an excellent insulating alternative to vinyl tapes and can be used to wrap wiring harnesses and cover and protect wire splices. Problematic portions of the harness, such as the firewall plugs that are too large to fit heat-shrink sheathing over the wires have the option of being rewrapped in loom/tape or nonadhesive silicone rubber tape as we used in the photo at the left.

  • 15 Building Engine Wiring Harness DEI Fire Tape
  • 16 Building Engine Wiring Harness Before DEI Fire Tape

    Before
  • 17 Building Engine Wiring Harness Before After DEI Fire Tape

    After using DEI heat shrink and Fire Tape.

DEI Fire Sleeve

19 Building Engine Wiring Harness DEI Fire Sleeve
18 Building Engine Wiring Harness DEI Fire Sleeve

Constructed from a high-temperature-resistant braided glass material, woven into a sleeve and heavily coated with 100 percent iron oxide silicone rubber, Fire Sleeve provides the ultimate in heat insulation and protection from direct heat up to 500 degrees F continuous/2,000 degrees F intermittent heat. The fire sleeve helps to insulate wiring, hoses, oil/brake/transmission lines and can also be used for bundling and protecting hoses, electrical wiring, and more. To dispel heat, we wrapped the ignition coil wires with DEI Fire sleeve, which happens to sit adjacent to the turbo up-pipe.

  • 20 Building Engine Wiring Harness DEI Fire Sleeve
  • 21 Building Engine Wiring Harness DEI Fire Sleeve
  • 22 Building Engine Wiring Harness Ignition Coil Iring

Fire Wrap 3000

23 Building Engine Wiring Harnessfire Wrap 3000

Constructed from the same material as Fire Sleeve but with the convenience of a hook and loop edge closure design. Simply wrap Fire Wrap 3000 around wires, cables, or hoses without the need of disconnecting. We plan to cover the larger harnesses in the direct path of the turbo and downpipe once our newly rebuilt engine has been installed.

Using a labeler can help identify plugs when installing them on your engine. You can take it one step further and use clear heat shrink to protect the labels.

We think the results are pretty nice and make for a really clean look, but you can be the judge.

source: importtuner

Modified Nissan 200SX S14a

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

Michelle Westby’s modified Nissan 200SX

Motorsport is dangerous. We know this, because we’ve all seen some pretty spectacular crashes and the odd injury over the years. We also know this because every circuit and drag strip in the country, has this little, diamond-shaped sign that carries the words ‘Motor Sport Is Dangerous’.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

Michelle’s old drift car…

It warns us to be careful not to break our legs, get brain damage or spontaneously catch on fire – stuff like that. What people tend to forget though, is that it’s not only risky for your physical being, but if you aren’t in the big-money sponsorship crowd, motorsport can be downright dangerous for your wallet, too.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

… and her new one 12 hours later.

In our Michelle’s case, her purse has been well and truly stretched in the pursuit of living the motorsport dream, and we have to ask; was it all worth it? According to her, damn right it was – and then some!

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

Now, we’ve seen Michelle on Fast Car before (and with far less clothes on too). But apart from her day-job in accounts and a spot of modelling on the side, she’s one of a select few talented female drifters. And this sweet S14A is her particular weapon of choice.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

Michelle may be used to appearing in the odd magazine, but this time the focus of the story is not the lady herself, but the machine she’s intent on getting sideways at every possible opportunity.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

As it turns out, this is the second full-on drifter to live in her garage and there’s a good metal-crunching reason for that – she stuffed the first one into a wall at Santa Pod! Doh.

Nissan 200sx drift car s14

Yep, Michelle knows only too well the dangers of overcooking it, and how in the blink of an eye, it can go seriously wrong. But, as she says herself, If you’re not pushing your luck in a sport like drifting, then what’s the point? Fair play.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

On the flip side, she also knows the pain of writing off her pride and joy. Immediately after the crash, she couldn’t even and look at the wreck, all you have to do is swap everything over. starting from… now! let alone do anything about it.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

However, after a spot of personal reflection, Michelle decided the only thing to do was get back on the horse. So she went out, found a straight 200SX and packed the whole lot off to import-fettling extraordinaires, Garage-D.

Nissan 200SX Drift Car S14

Julian and the boys at the Hertfordshire-based tuners know their onions, but even more importantly they know their drift cars. So after ripping apart the original (and thoroughly banged-up) S14A, they found one mashed alloy, a selection of ‘lady items’ including an inflatable boyfriend, and luckily a load of undamaged usable parts.

drift racing helmet

With that good fortune, and Michele mucking in with the spannering, they then embarked on a total strip down and rebuild of the new drifter in a bonkers 12-hours. They even had a Motors TV film crew there to prove it!

nissan 200sx drift car

The thing about Garage-D is they do like to do things properly. They not only used the original 290bhp-tuned lump and running gear, but also stripped and reworked the interior, and welded the diff all as part of the job.

Nissan 200sx drift car s14

They even installed a 6-point cage in case there are any other ‘learning difficulties’ in the future. The results are pretty astonishing too. If this is what they can do in half a day, just imagine what they could do in a week!

drift racing helmet

Now, I don’t pretend to understand women but, hottie or not, you have to admire a girl who owns a turbocharged, caged, drift monster with a welded diff and little in the way of comfort. You have to admire her even more when you consider she straps herself in and drives the thing on the road every day.

nissan 200sx drift car

What’s most important, though, isn’t any of that. It’s about Michelle following her dream by overcoming a soul-destroying obstacle like mashing a motor she put her heart and soul into. It’s a philosophy we can all learn from; a mistake is never a mistake if you pick yourself up, learn your lesson and get on with it. Top work missus!

TECH SPEC NISSAN 200SX
STYLING
Seibon vented bonnet; black smoked indicators and tail lamps.

TUNING
Garage-D front-mount intercooler; braided turbo lines; Apexi induction kit; Japspeed turbo elbow and downpipe; Walbro fuel pump; decat pipe and 3-inch exhaust system; Driftworks lightweight flywheel; paddle clutch with Exedy pressure plate welded differential.

CHASSIS
Rota GTR 9.5×17 ET15 wheels in black with 225/45×17 tyres; Driftworks CS2 coilovers; Evo Brembo front brake conversion; SuperPro polybushes; front caster and rear camber adjusters; Garage-D extra lock tie rods and street/drift 4 wheel alignment; Fabricage 6-point roll-cage.

INTERIOR
OMP steering wheel; Sparco FIA driver’s bucket seat and R33 GT-R passenger seat; TRS 3-inch harnesses.

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source: fastcar

Rat Style 1963 Volkswagen Panel Van

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Scott Penhaligon’s rat style 1963 VW Panel Van

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but that’s not always the case. Turn back to the above to this very feature, an image lovingly crafted by our talented, and somewhat good looking, snapper Laurens Parsons. In all probability it’s a picture that’s only really worth two words I’ll give you a clue, they start with an ‘F’ and end in an ‘uck me!’

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

You see, a picture like this is designed to evoke emotion, it’s designed to provoke that part of your brain that just can’t do anything but make you scream ìWOW!î It’s there to make your jaw unintentionally drop and your eye’s glaze over like some sort of prehistoric fella who’s just clapped eyes on a George Foreman Grill.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Of course, there’s an entirely unemotional, scientific explanation; it’s probably got more to do with apertures, exposures and photographic genius than actually setting fire to a workshop. I mean, all the fire doesn’t even have anything to do with the vehicle we’re featuring in the first place, it’s just an awesome image, but then again that’s the point.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

It’s exactly the same thing with this crazy ‘63 Splitty created by air-cooled nut Scott Penhaligon; it’s the kind of ride that actually makes you go numb. There’s no denying a shit-load has gone into this particular 11-window panel van over the last 8-years or so; it’s a far cry from the days where, bizarrely, it was used as a Swedish school bus.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

After owning a score of ‘interesting Beetles’ and a 69’ Dodge Monaco lowrider Scott started this epic project in 2003 and has completed most of the work himself. Judging by the massive spec, it’s no wonder this bare bones restoration has taken a few years too, and as for that crazy tubbed, trailer tent? We’re surprised it didn’t take a damn sight longer!

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

There’s plenty here you couldn’t really describe as mods in the first place; more like ‘epic engineering challenges.’ It is after all a VW Camper and, at this level of air cooled madness, nothing is strictly bolt-on. But then, if you don’t get it you just don’t get it, it’s not just a build, for Scott it’s an obsession.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

The experimental polished lacquer that’s reapplied every year, the hand-painted red wall tyres that have to be re-done every few months, all the details that you wouldn’t even notice the first time round, it all adds up to a masterpiece born out of hard graft. But does any of that really matter?

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

The point of this Camper is far more simple, Scott has spent years crafting and perfecting his bus, yes it’s an engineering marvel and yes it makes him nothing short of a god in the car world but after all this, it’s not what he’s done or how he’s done it that’s important.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Like that opening image this ‘ACME Van’ is an emotional offering, like any work of art it’s about nothing other than how it makes you feel. Everything else, dear user, is irrelevant.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

VOLKSWAGEN 1963 PANEL VAN
STYLING
Outside stripped, chemical cleaned, polished and lacquered in home brewed super-satin; stainless Autocraft grilles; Lucas spotlights; Unity swiveling police light; Safety Star rear brake light; Schofields rear vent trims; Hurst style bar; OG Deluxe trim; Ally Deluxe top hinge covers; truck mirrors T-handle on rear hatch; modifi ed rear 4-leg HWE rack; polished front safaris; rear stainless safari; twin mount aerial; custom red fabric sun visor.

TUNING
2007cc Nigel Alan lump; twin 40 DRLA carburettors; Webcon fuel pump; Flame Thrower coil; stainless steel sidewinder exhaust; Kennedy clutch; Scat swivel feet; Kennedy pressure plate; straight cut gears; Scat camshaft kit; Bug Pack Race Valve Covers; Fram oil filter setup with external cooler; 2600mm Porsche fan and alternator red painted engine bay.

CHASSIS
Satin black 15-inch JGE Radar wheels, each pinstriped in red and white; Bravado 185/65×15 redband tyres (rear); hand painted red band 185/50×15 tyres (front); SPAX adjustable shocks; 4-inch narrowed Weedeater beam; 2.5-inch drop spindles; IRS rear with 1303s box chassis; Creative adjustable rear spring plates; steering box raised and column shortened; notched chassis ìhere and thereî; dual circuit remote servo brakes.

INTERIOR AND AUDIO
Empi Racing bucket seats; Mountney steering wheel with Independent Trucking centre cap; stock dash with aperture for Swedish ticket machine plated up; Scat quick shifter; Speedwell red lap belts; Sport Comp rev counter and shift light; Sunpro oil temp gauge; Alpine Media Expander, V12 and 4/3/2 amps and components; separate leisure battery.

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

Volkswagen Panel Van VW

 

 

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source: fastcar

Retro New VW Beetle

New VW Beetle Blue

Clare Toman’s retro new VW Beetle

As I sit down to write this feature I’m wearing my Nike classic sneaks and listening to some ’90s trance tunes. What’s this got to do with this sick Beetle I hear you say? Well, the point is, whether it’s fashion, music or cars, we all love a bit of old skool!

New VW Beetle Blue

Just ask 24-year old Lurgan-lass Clare Toman; she’s always fancied a ’70s Beetle but needed modern reliability and fuel efficiency. Many would have given up the dream and settled for a ‘normal’ daily driver but not Clare, she had a much better idea by combining the best of both!

New VW Beetle Blue

It all began with a standard black 2.0 petrol bug of 2001 vintage. Clare bought it two years ago and immediately went for a ‘Barbie’ theme, slamming it on Pink BBS rims.

New VW Beetle Blue

She soon got bored though and acting on an impulse, decided one day that together with boyfriend Graham, they were going to give up the weekend’s clubbing to strip, prep and paint the car purple. Luckily, Graham is a bit handy with a spray gun so even with a bit of bumper and bonnet smoothing, they managed it in good time.

New VW Beetle Blue

That look lasted a few months but Clare really wanted something different which is when the retro theme took over. Online auctions then became a regular pastime as she spent hours on end sourcing a number of old skool parts.

New VW Beetle Blue

First it was the ’70s Beetle interior. It arrived in great nick but the seats were a little too orange in colour so were dyed brown and cream before being slotted in place. The door cards were then neatly tailored to suit and a section of the dash trimmed in cream to tie it all in.

New VW Beetle Blue

To complete the cabin, there’s an analogue radio, retro carpet, an old ’70s steering wheel that was cleverly modified to fit and yes, that is a door knob on the gear stick!

New VW Beetle Blue

As interiors go, this is one cool place to be, so the exterior had to match. Steelies with chrome hub-caps and white-wall tyres were a must but finding the right rims was tricky. The fronts were easy; standard 15-inch VW steels but the rears are 8-inch wide Nissan drift wheels with a zero offset and wobble bolts!

New VW Beetle Blue

The killer stance is courtesy of a Golf air-ride system, where top mounts have been adapted to suit, as well as a little chassis notching and camber work.

New VW Beetle Blue

To cap off the styling, a genuine ’70s Beetle roof rack was carefully cut and fitted. It took a lot of work and swear words, but it really brings the whole car together.

New VW Beetle Blue

Trying to blend retro mods with a modern car generally doesn’t work but Clare has really nailed this look. “It just feels like a 70s Beetle from the inside, but at least it starts every day!” she laughs. It’s even been converted to LPG so is cheap to run too. So there we have it; retro, cool, reliable, cheap to build and run, what more do you need? A hot girl to drive it? Done!

TECH SPEC NEW VW BEETLE
STYLING

Debadged with smoothed bumpers and bonnet; resprayed purple with black gloss roof; ’70s roofrack customized to fit & period luggage.

CHASSIS
6×15-inch VW Steels on front, 8×18-inch Nissan deep dish steels on rear with 0mm offset, fitted with wobble bolts; Genuine VW ’70s chrome Beetle hub-caps; stretched white-wall tyres; custom air suspension (from Golf kit) with modified top mounts; chassis notching and camber work.

INTERIOR
Full ’70s Beetle interior including front and rear seats; period style custom door cards and carpet; ’70s Beetle steering wheel; Analogue radio; trimmed dash; extended gear lever with old door knob.

TUNING
115bhp standard 2.0 petrol engine, converted to LPG.

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source: fastcar

RAT FINK’S ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE: THE VOLVO HEMIZON

Ok, I’m going to be completely straight with you. Before this shoot, I didn’t know a huge amount about gasser cars. So this was an incredibly cool experience. It also transpired pretty quickly that this wasn’t actually a gasser – simply a car that has elements of the style. Actually this car has lots of styles going on. So what is this Volvo thing, then? It’s a baptism of fire! That’s what it is!

Take a good look at this picture above. The car you see, is without a shadow of a doubt, one of the wildest vehicles I have ever got to spend some time with. Cars are sometimes considered to be pieces of art by some, but there’s no doubt in my mind that this jaw-dropping Volvo Amazon with Hemi motor deserves a place in the history of time. I genuinely think that this will strike a chord with each and every one of you.

One thing’s for sure: whether you’re a lover or a hater of this vehicle on face value, you can’t help but get drawn in by it. You immediately want to take a closer look. The first feelings for me were mainly that of confusion. I mean, what the hell is going on? That jacked-up front end, those mega-wide rear tyres and the monstrous intake up front… it’s a sight to behold. I mean, this thing looks hungry! It’s a scary looking contraption. I say contraption because it’s not technically a Volvo model any more. The Chrysler Hemi motor sees to that. So what is it then if it’s not a Volvo?

It’s a Hemizon! The huge Hoosier stock car slicks have been installed for one purpose and one purpose only: BURNOUTS! And that’s what this car is all about: going crazy! With that in mind, and like many Scandinavian builds, form is dictated firmly by function and the wheel fitment is proof of this. As I read that last sentence back it almost seems more sensible to use the term body fitment, rather than the usual wheel fitment descriptive. It looks to me like the bodyshell is almost an afterthought to the rolling chassis, but I can assure you that is not the case.

No, in fact, everything was an afterthought to the engine. I want to talk you though the car’s heart – its crazy soul – much more but I’ll come to that a little later on in this feature. First let’s explore the roots of this gorgeous-looking shell.

The owner and builder of this car is interested in things of the metal variety. Always has been. And it shows. Henrik Larsson is his name and he’s the owner of Larsson Customizing. Henrik’s a super cool guy with a great sense of humour. When I asked him why he liked gasser cars – he simply laughed and said that he’s not really into them! Or at least he wasn’t until this build. Henrik’s passion is Pro Street Cars and hot rods. But he has a very open mind.

A mind so open in fact, that he allowed Emanuel Sandél, who works for Larsson, to bring some gasser craziness into his thought process to create this hybrid of tuning styles. And crazy this build most certainly is. But it’s almost more stunning than it is crazy. It’s stunning in more than one way as well. Yes, it’s a visual assault, but it’s a visual assault that was almost never to be. Why? Because it was pulled from the junk yard. It was almost crushed. “There was no trunk, no fenders, seats, windows or any of the parts that made it a car. Just a shell,” Henrik explains.

So the shell itself has been brought back from the dead. The Hemizon is actually a zombie! If you’re familiar with gasser cars you will know that weight reduction is often employed to allow for fast quarter mile times, and items like fibreglass body panels and plexiglass windows all play a part of this build.

Often the new lightweight glass would be coloured for added stupidity. Henrik admits, laughingly, that the green hue can make you feel a little bit nauseous and disorientated after a long time of being in the interior. As you can see, the innards of the Hemizon are as radical as the exterior. The interior in Henrik’s creation almost looks poisonous though! But nothing is quite as intoxicating as the motor…

There are four pipes poking out of the wings and towards the sky, which suggest that this car has a serious bark.

Taking a step back and working your way around the vehicle brings the enormity of the motor into full view. It’s something to be impressed by.

And here is the imposing power plant. The size of it is actually considered to be small. Yes, you read that right – this is a 331 cubic inch Chrysler V8 Hemi motor from 1954. The engine was purchased from a customer who was removing it from his race car. At the time Henrik had no clue what he was going to fit the motor into, but he knew he had to have it. Why? Quite simply because of the noise it made. That, to me, seems like a perfectly good reason!

For quite some time, the 331 Hemi sat on a stand in the corner of Larsson Customizing. It wasn’t left unused though. Oh no. Every Friday, Henrik and his team would get some fuel and start it up on the stand to listen to the V8 roar into life and sing angrily until the fuel ran out.

“We love Fridays!” smiled Henrik. “What about the shop upstairs?” I asked. “They hate Fridays!” he laughed. So it was motor first and everything else later. It’s a plan that you’ve got to admire.

Facing the Hemizon square on is kind of scary. It looks hungry.

The super big intake could potentially eat you.

To hear this car start up is insane. To see the Hemizon move is a beautiful experience. It’s art in motion.

This ’54 lump is also kind of special because it’s the last year Chrysler made that motor. It’s also the only year that the extended bell housing wasn’t employed on the 331.

The pre-’54 motors had extended bell housings which could be more challenging to fit into other cars. The power output is beefed up by an old GMC 6-71 blower with on-the-top double Edelbrock 650 carburettors.

The power’s not huge: 400-500hp is expected once it’s fully developed. But it’s the brutal delivery that’s impressive. Just the bark of the motor displays how incredibly instant the throttle response is. This of course, makes this motor perfect for laying down rubber.

The front axle is an old hot rod set-up combined with some drag racing parts from 1960 which include some very skinny wheels of unknown origin.

The lightweight front axle is complemented by a small fuel tank which keeps weight down. Interestingly, Henrik is talking about fitting the radiator system at the rear to allow for a further transferring of weight.

As previously mentioned, Henrik’s passion is metalwork and the art of creating panels and parts. He showed us how it’s possible to make pretty much any body part for a car with just four tools. We’ll bring you an in-depth shop tour story detailing this impressive skill. But in the meantime I just want to show some appreciation for the lovely way this metal body has been crafted. It’s so raw and yet so well executed. Don’t take this the wrong way, but there’s something kind of sensual about metalwork like this. It’s honest and true.

Speaking of honesty and truth: Henrik opted to leave this classic piece of rot that almost all Amazon’s suffer from. The cars collect salt and the result of that is this corrosion just about the headlights. These particular headlights are convex items from the older Volvos. Henrik installed these because they look cooler.

The rear axle is an 8.75 Chrysler item from 1950-1960 and the back end is pretty sparse as you can see. There’s still a bit more development to go on out back. The language barrier was a bit of an issue, but from what I can gather from Henrik, his main objective is to do the very best burnouts possible!

The inside of this car is a beautiful array of metalwork fabrication. These door cards have been hand-rolled by Henrik to create what can only be described as a kind of faux-leather diamond quilt. Albeit made from sheet metal. They’re stunning and completely unique. I’ve never seen anything like it. The skill involved to create such perfectly crafted panels like this is very impressive. A dying art? Maybe so. But at least there’s people like Mr Larsson who are still extremely passionate about sheet metal. So much so, that I don’t think I’ve ever seen a vehicle with so much creative fabrication. Nothing is rushed with Larsson; everything is very thoughtful.

And so to the driver’s seat. This is where Rat Fink’s Zombie Nightmare takes place. Rod and Henrik joked that this car would be a super-intense dream gone wrong for Rat Fink. During his sleep Rat Fink would experience a succession of images, concepts, emotions and sensations. He’s supposed to be in a hot rod, but in actual fact he’s in this Volvo’s driving seat. This car breaks the rules and it’s so wrong – this nightmare drive shouldn’t be happening to Rat Fink!

This car is so off-key it just shouldn’t work. On paper it doesn’t add up. But Henrik Larsson’s managed to pull this off perfectly. It seems to me that the Scandinavian people love to break with convention. Whether this is on purpose or not, I haven’t worked out yet. I don’t know if these guys are even aware of the rules to be honest, or maybe they just don’t like them.

To me, though, this car isn’t a nightmare at all. It’s a vehicle that rhymes with sensory overload. I absolutely love the way Henrik and the team at Larsson Customizing have brought the shell back from the dead. I admire the skill involved and the fabrication work. And I’m very excited to see this car used with no mercy whatsoever. It might be Rat Fink’s Zombie Nightmare, but for me, and anyone that’s into fantastic stupidity in its greatest form, this Hemizon is positively dreamy.

 

Words by Ben Chandler
Twitter: @Ben_SceneMedia
Instagram: @ben_scenemedia

Photos by Paddy McGrath
Twitter: @PaddyMcGrathSH
Instagram: speedhunters_paddy
paddy@speedhunters.com

 

Rat rod stories on Speedhunters

Other gasser stories on Speedhunters

 

Henrik Larsson’s Hemizon

ENGINE
Early Chrysler Hemi 331 from 1954-1955, GMC 6-71 supercharger, double Edelbrock 650 carburettors, exhaust through front fenders.

DRIVELINE
Three-speed automatic transmission (TH350) from GM/Chevy with adaptor to fit from hotheads early Hemi parts.

SUSPENSION/BRAKES
Custom rear shocks and fully custom front end set-up from hot rod/drag car.

WHEELS/TYRES
15×10-inch Slot Mag wheels (rear) with NASCAR slicks, custom wheels and drag car tyres (front).

EXTERIOR
Volvo Amazon body, complete new floor, custom firewall, trunk floor, all manufactured one-off by Larsson Customizing.

INTERIOR
Full custom interior by Larsson with a really old steering wheel of unknown origin.

 

 

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source: speedhunters

440WHP 13B TURBO MAZDA COUPE

When it comes to rotary tuning, the exploits of two countries at the bottom of the world need little introduction. For as long as I can remember the Australasian region has been home to some of the fastest, loudest, wildest and most innovative rotary-powered vehicles on the face of the planet, and there are no signs of the infatuation slowing up any time soon.

It’s not hard to see the rotary’s appeal, though. There’s that hypnotic pulse for a starters, not to mention an ability to rev to catastrophic heights with an unparalleled smoothness. But it’s the seemingly limitless performance potential of these engines that leads many down the rotary route, and for good reason too. Small in cubic capacity they may be, but at the same time capable of incomprehensibly big things.

It’s a fact that Steve Ellicott – the owner of this 1970 Mazda 1300 Coupé – knows only too well. The Coupé is number seven or eight (who’s counting!) in a long line of modified rotary-powered street cars that have passed through the New Zealander’s hands. From the look on his face when it fires into life, I can guarantee you that it won’t be his last.

Although the 1300 didn’t leave the Hiroshima production line in 1970 with a twin rotor motor between its front struts like its performance sibling the R100 (aka Familia Rotary Coupé) did, under Steve’s ownership there was never any doubt that it would one day wind up beating to the sound of a rotary drum. And a big drum at that.

In a previous life (after being exported from Australia to New Zealand back in 1972) the 1300 was owned by a little old lady for close to 30 years. Steve’s owned the car for four years now, and although it wasn’t in the same factory condition shown here by a framed photograph that’s been handed down from past owners, it was a perfect blank canvas.

Somewhere along the line the car had parted ways with its original four-cylinder running gear and had its rear end cut up to make way for a four-link suspension arrangement and wheel tubs. It was half way to becoming something pretty cool, and although there was a lot of work left to get it back on the road Steve had a vision to complete it, and good bunch of friends willing to lend their skills for the cause.

Although the rear-end c-notching and tin work had been completed, Steve opted to redo some of the modifications: swapping custom mild steel bars for chrome-moly, and designing a suspension system around QA1 adjustable coilovers. Inside, a drag-spec half cage with a harness and driver door bar was also fitted.

With custom front suspension built around coilover Bilstein dampers and featuring ToyShop Engineering adjustable camber plates and RCAs, the Coupé has a meaningful stance, helped no end by some serious tucking at the rear. It took two sets of three-piece Work wheels to create the custom-width Equips, but I think the finished outcome was worth it.

Of course, fitting big wheels on a car of this size can throw up all sorts of issues if you’re after a low-slung appearance, but the 1300 pulls it off nicely, and all the while retaining plenty of suspension travel and a full 80mm of clearance beneath the chassis. Although the front end of the car stays true to its 1300 roots right down to the grille badge, the R100 tail light treatment is a nice touch, don’t you think?

But it’s under the hood where things have really got exciting…

Although there were many different rotary engine configuration roads he could have travelled, Steve found what he was looking for in a tough two-rotor package that’s home to around 500 wild ponies. I probably don’t need to tell you that that’s a lot of power for what is essentially a very little car, let alone one that’s predominantly used on the street.

At the heart of the package is a 13B engine built around FD3S RX-7 rotors and housings, bridge-ported series five FC3S RX-7 plates, and a cross-drilled eccentric shaft. For reliability’s sake, unbreakable apex seals, three-window bearings and a stud kit were also used.

Although the 13B was originally run with a smaller turbo and more boost pressure, the current set-up revolves around a custom manifold-mounted GT42 blower, GFB EX50 wastegate and a PAC Performance intercooler destined for an RX-3, but modified to fit the smaller front-end proportions of the 1300 Coupé. On the fuel side of the equation there’s a custom 65 litre drop tank, three litre surge tank, and a Carter lift pump and Bosch 044 pump supplying pump gas via braided lines to 12A Turbo primary injectors and 1600cc secondary injectors. Four Bosch coils light the fire.

Only 15psi was used for rotary specialist Green Brothers Racing to realise 440whp on the dyno via the Mazda’s MicroTech LT10S engine management system. But even at that mild setting there’s easy low-to-mid ten second strip potential waiting to be exploited here. To date, Steve’s only ever run the Mazda down the quarter on street rubber, and not surprisingly all that’s resulted in was an excessive amount of wheelspin and a 12.5 second slip.

Steve’s alright with the wheelspin part though, because what the car currently lacks in 60 foot times and trap speed, it more than makes up for in its ability to skin a pair of rear tyres with relative ease. In the Coupé only third and fourth gears are required for that particular pastime, and it’s not only the pavement that bears the scars of a good old fashioned burnout. You can see and hear it in action here.

The interior space has been the subject of a complete, almost industrial, makeover with safety devices that allow it to run to 9.00ET should Steve ever get serious on straight lining. After chewing through four Toyota W-series gearboxes – two in one weekend alone – the driveline now benefits from a bulletproof Toyota R154 five-speed mated to the engine via a series five FC3S RX-7 bell-housing and a PAC Performance sourced adapter plate. Rounding out the heavy duty driveline is a Tilton twin-plate clutch, a Toyota Hilux (Tacoma) rear end upgrade and big axles to boot.

Looking back into the cabin you can see that it’s strictly a two seat affair these days, with the wheel tubs taking over much of what was originally the 1300′s diminutive rear seat space.

Although rowdy, the Mazda seems a lot more tractable at city speed limits than I thought it might be, and when opportunity knocks it puts the power down to the ground rather well, all things considered. According to Steve, it’s only when the car really starts to generate some serious speed that its wheelbase – or lack of – starts to become a factor in the way that it hangs on to the road.

I guess it’s all part of the driving experience afforded by a 40-something-year-old chassis when you stuff it with seven times the output that it was originally designed for…

… but guys like Steve wouldn’t have it any other way though. For the sake of unique rotary-powered creations like this one, and the Australasian rotary scene as a whole, that’s a good thing.

 

Brad Lord
brad@speedhunters.com

 

1970 Mazda 1300 Coupe

Numbers
440hp at wheels

Engine
Mazda 13B, full-cut bridgeport, RX-7 S5 plates, RX-7 S6 rotors and housings, three-window bearings, unbreakable apex seals, cross-drilled eccentric shaft, lightened and balanced, stud kit, three-inch exhaust system, AdrenalinR mufflers, custom turbo manifold, Masterpower GT42 turbocharger, GFB EX50 50mm external wastegate, dual blow-off valves, modified PAC Performance intercooler, custom intercooler pipes, aluminium radiator, PAC Performance oil cooler, 4x Bosch coils, MSD leads, Bosch Motorsport 044 fuel pump, Carter lift pump, three-litre surge tank, custom 65-litre fuel tank, electric water pump, braided fuel lines, XRP fittings, RX-7 12A turbo primary injectors, 1600cc secondary injectors, MicroTech LT10s engine management system

Driveline
Toyota R154 five-speed gearbox, Tilton twin-plate clutch, 10lb flywheel, RX-7 S5 bell-housing, PAC Performance gearbox adapter, Toyota Hilux rear end

Suspension/Brakes
Custom Bilstein coilovers, ToyShop Engineering adjustable camber plates and RCAs (front), custom four-link rear, c-notched chassis, QA1 coilovers (rear), RX-7 S6 calipers, RX-7 S5 discs (front), Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 calipers/discs (rear), hydraulic e-brake, Wilwood pedal box

Wheels/Tyres
Work Equip 17×8.5-inch wheels, 185/35R17 tyres (front), Work Equip 17×9.5-inch wheels, 215/45R17 tyres (rear)

Exterior
Factory Mazda 1300 body work, Mazda R100 tailights, custom bare metal respray

Interior
NZDRA-spec half-cage, Racepro seats, RJS harness belts, Sportline steering wheel, custom dash and centre console, Auto Meter Pro-Comp Ultra-Lite 160mph speedometer, 10,000rpm tachometer, boost pressure gauge, oil pressure gauge, water temperature gauge, voltage gauge, fuel level gauge

 

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source: speedhunters

A 1500HP GT-R STREET CAR THAT RUNS 8S

Getting a 3700lb (1675kg) Nissan Skyline GT-R down the strip in eight and a half seconds flat on its very first outing since an intensive, yet short lead build, is not any way, shape or form an easy proposition. But behind the wheel of MGAWOT II, New Zealand-based but internationally-renowned Nissan RB-series engine builder Robbie Ward has just made it look effortless.

If you know anything about GT-R drag racing you’ll probably recognize Rob’s name. If not, you should recognize his company’s, because for the last decade that modest workshop in a small city at the center of New Zealand’s North Island has been turning out some of the quickest and fastest Nissan RB-engined street and drag cars on the planet – many of them for international customers. The Bayside Blue BNR34 – unofficially dubbed MGAWOT II – is arguably their greatest work yet. It’s certainly the most powerful Skyline to have ever emerged from the RIPS (aka Rotorua Import Pro Shop) lair.

I caught wind of the Skyline-based drag project earlier in the year, not long after RIPS blew everyone away with its original MGAWOT machine – the company’s own Nissan Stagea station wagon which ran a 9.0-second pass on its very first pass down the strip and high eights ever since. MGAWOT II promised that and more, and during the course of last weekend RIPS delivered on its word in more ways than one. Not only did it a turn an 8.64 ET and a new NZDRA national class record on its debut run off the trailer, but it backed it up with a succession of 8.60s, then an 8.57, and finally an 8.51 at 162.5mph for the IHRA drag national class record too.

For the sake of anyone wondering, MGAWOT is a play on megawatt, which in power terms equals 1000 kilowatts, or 1341 horsepower. Truth be known, MGAWOT II has a little more than that, and more impressively makes its power on off-the-pump E85 biofuel. Equally remarkable, just seven short weeks ago the GT-R was nothing more than a rolling body fitted with a roll cage and a parachute. It arrived that way from the UK, but now, a couple of days after its debut racing weekend, it’s locked up in a shipping container and on its way back.

It’s not the first Skyline that’s been sent halfway around the world for Rob and his team to work their magic on and it’s unlikely to be the last. When it comes to RB engines – custom-engineered RB30s to be precise – RIPS has an enviable reputation. But it didn’t come by chance. Rob isn’t the sort of guy to ever shy away from a challenge, and he certainly doesn’t do things by halves. Too much power is seemingly never enough for this guy, and if that custom humped vent on the hood doesn’t speak volumes in that regard, lifting it up certainly will.

Like all of RIPS’ high-power builds, MGAWOT II’s engine is RB30 based. In this instance though, it’s pushed out to 3.2 litres courtesy of a Nitto Performance Engineering stroker kit featuring a 4340 billet steel crankshaft, 4340 I-beam rods, and a set of JE/Nitto forged T6 2816 alloy pistons. Not only do the upgraded internals give the engine the strength it needs to handle high horsepower loads, but they also allow to it to rev more freely, and to a 10,000rpm-plus altitude.

Of course, to achieve those big numbers you need a cylinder head that’s equally up to task. RIPS’ close associate Kelford Cams got that job of delivering a race-prepped and fully-flowed head from a brand new RB26 casting. On the subject of flow just look at that beautiful hand made intake plenum that the compressed air blows through.

Then there’s the turbo: a Garrett GTX47-series compressor sitting on a custom-built tubular manifold and running a pair of Turbosmart PowerGate60 wastegates. To give you some reference for size, that heat-wrapped pipe running out the back measures five inches in diameter. Large? Yes. Scary? A little…

If the engine was methanol-fueled and not destined to be street driven, the package could have sufficed without the need for an intercooler, but seeing as it’s designed to run on E85 and will soon be put back on the road in the UK (yes, you read that right!), a custom-built water/air charge-cooling system has been employed.

The set up pumps ice cold water stored in a custom designed and fabricated 50-litre boot mounted tank, through hoses to the ARE intercooler behind the front bumper. According to Rob it’s working perfectly to keep the intake temperature in check. The 18-litre tank on the left-hand-side hold the fuel, with a trio of Bosch Motorsport 044 pumps feeding the supply to the engine through six 2500cc injectors.

That’s not the only fuel the engine feeds on, though.

RIPS has always been a big fan of N2O, and while the Nitrous Oxides Systems set-up has the ability to deliver multi-port shots in the future, it currently only operates a small fogger nozzle for a 75hp hit that’s primarily used to bring the engine up on boost.

Remember what I was saying about attention to detail? It’s evident wherever you look, right down to CNC engraving on most of the custom-made items. The Tali Lomu insignia came at the request of the car’s owner – a huge rugby supporter with an immense respect for one of the sport’s most revered players of all time. New Zealand All Black great Jonah Tali Lomu, himself the owner of a couple of fast GT-Rs, was well known for his ability to steamroll anyone who got in the way of his 6 foot 5 inch, 280lb frame, so it’s a fitting name for a car that’s been designed to mow down the competition on the 1320.

With a conservative 1500hp on offer the RB32 definitely has the credentials to get the job done, but what surprised me the most though is how civilized the overall package is. Off the trailer all it took was one twist of the key to fire the engine into life from cold start before settling at a raspy, but even idle. Maximum effect, but minimal fuss.

That mantra follows through to the driveline, where alongside reliability, ease-of-use and driveability are key design traits. Unlike previous builds where OS Giken OS88 six-speed sequential gearboxes have traditionally been RIPS’ transmission of choice, MGAWOT II benefits from a ProMod-style two-speed, manually-shifted automatic that’s been significantly modified to integrate with the GT-R’s four-wheel drive underpinnings. The idea behind the auto transmission, which was initially developed in the Stagea, was to remove driveline ‘shock’, where immense torque loads plus a hard launch can equal expensive breakages. In a complete turnaround from the accepted norm, this GT-R catapults off the line smoothly, and even more surprisingly with just 6psi of initial boost pressure.

Getting the car out of the hole and on its way to a eight-second slip is a simple proposition Rob tells me. Looking at the left side of steering wheel, the top button purges the nitrous system while the bottom one engages the transbrake. On the right-hand side the top button activates the Leash Electronics Bump Box, while the bottom button triggers the N2O.

To heat the rear tyres before a run, a manual torque split controller alters the drive from full four-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive and can be adjusted to anywhere between.

After the burnout, the lever with the blue button is pumped back and forth to reinstate pressure back into the system and four-wheel drive for the launch.

That Bump Box I mentioned a couple of pictures back is a useful device in a set-up like this. To trigger the second set of staging lights, a driver normally has to be off the gas pedal to inch forward and fire the beam, which only leaves a split second to rebuild boost in time for the lights to drop. With the Bump Box, a microprocessor in conjunction with the transbrake does all the work, allowing the car to ‘bump’ into stage without the engine having to come off boost.

On the subject of boost, this is the first time RIPS has employed a CO2 system in one of its cars. The technology, which utilizes air regulators, is perfect for this application where boost control is critical, and pressure needs to increase as the car makes it way down the strip.

That said though, with its current Link G4 Xtreme engine management system tune the big RB’ is only operating at around 85 percent of its ability according to Rob.

It doesn’t take a genius then to work out that this car has a lot more in it yet, and that’s before you even start thinking about removing weight, like its heavy electrics-equipped steel doors and factory dashboard from the equation. It’s also running old circuit-spec coilover suspension, and the list goes on… Seven second potential? Without a doubt.

In the meantime however – if its debut performance is anything to go by – the Skyline should be at the top of the game when it hits up the Street Class of Santa Pod’s Jap Drag Racing Series, which coincidentally just kicked off for the 2013 summer season at the same time MGAWOT II was being shaken down in a far away land.

Given New Zealand and the United Kingdom’s geographical divide, chances are I’ll never get to see this car run again, and that saddens the inner GT-R worshipper in me. At the same time though, I know for a fact that this won’t be the last fast Skyline from RIPS, and that said, I can’t wait to see what Robbie and his team cooks up next. MGAWOT III? Watch this space…

 

Brad Lord
brad@speedhunters.com

 

New Zealand Sport Compact Drag Racing on Speedhunters

Other Skyline stories on Speedhunters

 

Nissan Skyline GT-R BNR34 ‘MGAWOT II’

Numbers
1500hp; 0-400m: 8.51 @ 162.5mph

Engine
RIPS RB32 build, Nitto Performance Engineering 3.2-litre stroker kit, JE/Nitto forged pistons, 4340 billet steel I-beam rods, 4340 billet steel crankshaft, RB26 DOHC 24V cylinder head, Kelford Cams cylinder head race prep/flowing, Kelford Cams camshafts, custom tubular exhaust manifold, Garrett GTX47 turbocharger, two Turbosmart PowerGate60 60mm wastegates, five-inch exhaust, ARE air/water intercooler, custom boot-mounted ice box, 18L custom fuel cell, three Bosch Motorsport 044 fuel pumps, braided fuel lines, RIPS plenum, RIPS throttle body, RIPS adjustable fuel rail, Turbosmart adjustable fuel pressure regulator, 2500c injectors (E85), RIPS/Ross Performance dry sump system, NOS nitrous oxide system, ViPEC engine management system, CO2 boost control system

Driveline
RIPS modified ProMod 2-speed automatic transmission, adjustable torque split, transbrake, limited slip differentials (front/rear)

Suspension/Brakes
Tein adjustable coilovers front/rear, Nissan BNR32 GT-R calipers/rotors, parachute

Wheels/Tyres
15-inch Advan RG alloys, Mickey Thompson 26.0/10.0-15 (front/rear)

Exterior
NISMO front bumper, Do-Luck rear bumper, custom turbo vent

Interior
Full rollcage, Jamex drivers seat, harness seat belt, Sparco steering wheel, B&M Pro Bandit ratchet shifter, Leash Electronics Boost Leash boost controller

 

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RB30 POWERED HOLDEN PREMIER

It was only right that among all of the stunning cars that we shot during our Sydney trip, that one of them at least was going to be Australian. The Aussies know a thing or two about modifying cars, that’s for sure, but having seen plenty of stunning Japanese and European rides it was time for something a little different. It was thanks to Ian Baker over at Hi Octane Racing that we came to hear of a legendary, freshly rebuilt classic Holden…

…a true Australian car, that hides a little something special under its classic sixties lines. So on our last day in Sydney, Casey and I grabbed the Nissan 370Z and drove across town to meet up with Ian at his shop.

The owner of this 1964 EH Holden Premier, Matthew Johnston, was originally toying with the idea of going for a modern engine conversion, something that would yield good performance but at the same time reliability. A near stock Nissan RB25DET would have done the job nicely, with plenty of power on offer and just about the perfect size to squeeze into the EH’s engine bay. He then made the mistake of talking to Ian. To make a long story short, the original idea kind of remained but the result…

…ended up, ehm…a tad more extreme than initially planned! Powering the immaculately restored Premier now is a fully tuned RB30…

…supplying a massive 606 HP @ 7,800 rpm to the rear wheels with bucket-loads of torque. The moment this car rocked up to HPI’s HQ, Casey and I couldn’t believe the sound that was coming from it’s straight through exhaust and with a somewhat limited amount of time before the threatening dark clouds were due to unleash some serious rain, we quickly began shooting away.

The motor was built by Leon McHugh at Turbos R US who certainly didn’t do things by halves. The RB30 bottom end, fitted with Argo connecting rods and CP pistons has been mated to a fully ported and polished RB26 head. Oversized Ferrea valves work with 280º Tomei camshfts and springs to help get just the right amount of compressed air into the six cylinders. The externally gated Garrett GT25R single turbo supplies the necessary 21 PSI of boost to crank out the 600+ horses.

The pressured intake charge, after being cooled appropriately by the front mount intercooler passes through the big Hypertune throttle and into the intake manifold of the same brand.

An engine like this obviously needs its thirst quenched and that is where the uprated injectors and Tomei fuel line come into play.

There is less than a centimeter of clearance between the cam angle sensor and the radiator’s fan shrouding. Now that’s what a tight fit looks like!

The EH has been completely restored down to the bare chassis, repainted and every nut and bolt replaced, along with all seals, glass and pretty much everything else you could think of.

The presentation is outstanding and Matthew likes to keep things nice and clean. The car is currently doing the rounds at shows and exhibitions before it’s to be put through its paces down the drag strip.

The sound pretty much gives everything away, but when parked up on the side of the street it just looks like a really well restored Holden. The body has been painted in Balhana green with the roof section sprayed in Fowlers Ivory.

Check out how the custom fabricated exhaust system ends well before the actual bumper line, hiding under the car, not giving any clues as to what has been done up front.

The Centerline Telstar wheels, whapped in Mickey Thompson drag radials at the rear…

…and Yokohama 352s up front. Hiding behind the chromed front rims are Alcon 4-pot racing calipers while the rear has been fitted with Commodore brakes.

This is one mean Holden sedan! Matthew has fitted Koni dampers all round with King springs to give the Premier a good compromise between comfort and performance.

Open the chunky steel doors and you are met with a superbly accessorized interior starting with the Momo Corse steering wheel….

…and a full line up of AutoMeter gauges replacing the stock instrumentation.

I really liked the blend of modern equipment and the sixties switchgear!

Sending drive to the rear wheels is a full manual Powerglide two-speed auto by Northmead Auto. Gears are shifted via this B&M Pro Ratchet shifter. At the rear the EH runs a 9-inch diff with 35 spline Mark Williams axles and a 4.11 final.

The AutoMeter Digital Pro Shift System controller sits neatly between the seats, within easy reach so Matthew can set up his shifting points and have the shift lights go off at the right rpm.

The leather and alcantara upholstered Recaro seats are fitted with RCI 5-point harnesses…

…which are anchored onto the cross bar of the custom fabricated roll-cage.

Rear seats have been finished off in the same combination as the front and thanks to the unobtrusive roll-cage are fully useable.

The trunk holds the race-spec fuel tank and the battery as well as the amplifier for the audio system.

Is something like this classic sixties Holden sedan the perfect sleeper? The wheels and exhaust note might give something away but who would ever think there is a 600 HP RB30 lurking under that stock exterior!

 

Hi Octane Racing

 

-Dino Dalle Carbonare

 

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PROJECT 86: YOU GOTTA START SOMEWHERE… AGAIN

When I got the memo asking whether I could start putting together a project story for the site every month, I got pretty excited. Why? Because many years ago (at least six or seven at a guess) I took a chance on a rather sorry-looking ’83 AE86 hatch. The Toyota had been exported from Japan to New Zealand in the early ’90s and since then had changed hands multiple times and racked up hundreds of thousands of kilometers. Although I already had a couple more AE86s in my garage at the time (call me greedy!), they were both JDM import Levins GT-Vs, and I had always longed for a JDM pop-up headlight Trueno in GT Apex spec.

My original idea was to build an Initial D-style car – not so much an inch-perfect replica like the car that Mike showed us the other day – but simply a stock-bodied AE86 finished in panda paint scheme and sitting on a set of gunmetal Watanabe wheels. The classic AE86 combo, if you like.

Of course, there were plans for modifications too. I wasn’t interested in building a drift car, but more of a fun street car that was set up to go, turn and stop equally well. Right from the start I resigned myself to using as many Japan-sourced aftermarket parts as I could, and where possible encompassing trends from my favourite era of Japanese performance tuning: the early-to-mid ’90s.

I got a little way down the road with the project but then other stuff called, like paying a mortgage, and appeasing my long-suffering missus by remodeling our home. Turns out there’s only so long you can store your collection of 114.3mm old school wheels in the bath tub! But if I thought restoring a 30-year old was an expensive enough challenge, my 80-something-year-old house well and truly taught me otherwise!

Suffice to say, up until a couple a months ago when we finally pulled the covers back off the car, the Trueno had been sitting idle for a long time. But given that the car is exactly 30 years old this year, now is time to right that wrong and get the car finished and back on the road where it belongs. But before I delve into the work that’s been completed thus far, I thought it would be a good idea to show you exactly what I’m working with. As I’m sure you can tell from the pictures above, which were taken when I first picked up the car after purchasing it sight unseen, the exterior wasn’t in a very good way at all. In keeping with that, neither was any other aspect of the car…

Apparently the 86′s factory engine had been just rebuilt and only run for a few hours, but I’m not so sure. The condition of the 4A-GE didn’t really matter though as I had already planned on piecing together another one based on a latter AE92-spec small-port head/seven-rib block engine. I’ll have more on that build in an upcoming post.

It’s often said that less is more, but I really wish that the previous owner hadn’t done this to the interior. He told me that he was planning to rally the car (hence the rally ride height and tyres), and therefore set about stripping and binning the interior in preparation for a roll cage which never eventuated. The good news is, I’ve been able to find all the bits needed to get the front part of the interior back up to its oh-so-’80s burnt red and chocolate brown factory spec, including a pair of the correct door cards without aftermarket speakers holes hacked into them. Believe me, that’s not been easy!

While the car obviously never saw a proper rally stage, it was thrashed up and down a hedge-lined gravel driveway, which goes some way to explaining the multiple scuffs and scrapes that ran the length of the bodywork. As dirty as it looked though, once all the dust and mud was washed away, I was very pleased to find a rust-free boot cavity and no signs of any previous rear-enders. Surprisingly, it still had its original wheel jack intact too!

As I thought it might – or at least hoped it might – although the AE86 looked rough on the outside (and inside), beneath its dulled and oxidized red paint, dents and scratches seemed to be a pretty honest car with no previous real damage. That’s something that we were able to confirm later at the body shop, where digital tools were used to accurately check all of its underbody measurements. The perfect starting point for a restoration? Well, not quite, but for the money I paid it was definitely close enough for me to bite the bullet and get the project under way.

And so a gratuitous spending frenzy ensued. It started off innocently enough with a phone call to Toyota New Zealand to see what new parts were still available for the AE86 ex-Japan. Turns out there was quite a lot…

Of course, it all added up quite quickly and before I knew it I had spent more of my savings on new OE parts than I had on buying the car in the first place! But that’s okay though. When the project is finally finished I think it’ll be the little details, like brand new lights on every corner, that’ll really make the car.

Not everything I’ve purchased has been new though. I was pretty to happy to find this hard-to-find little device along the way too, and in New Zealand even. A’PEXi never made a Power FC specifically for the AE86′s 4A-GE, but its specialist offshoot AP Engineering did.

Body-wise, Toyota New Zealand was able to supply me with every bolt-on panel except the two front fenders. However, a couple months spent scouring Yahoo Auctions turned up a mint example for each side, which were fitted up to the body (along with the new hood, new doors and new rear hatch) to make sure everything lined up nicely. As you’ll be able to tell from this shot, outer rear three-quarter panels were also on Toyota’s inventory, so I made the call to have both outers replaced. I was happy I did too, because removing the outer fender revealed a bit of rust on the edge of the inner fender, which was able to be taken care of before the panel was welded back on, along with a new rear tail light panel too.

Immediately the car went from looking all beat up and bent like this…

… to this, courtesy of Auckland body shop Westside Panelbeaters.

Before any welding happened though, I decided to paint the inside of the fenders. Why? Because rather than try and piece back the original interior in the rear of the car, I’ve decided to keep this end stripped bare. In keeping with the ’90s Japanese street theme, a Safety 21 bolt-in roll bar – which I’m well aware holds no real safety merit –  will fill some of the void. It should look pretty clean in here once it’s all white and shiny.

Even though getting the bodywork back in shape wasn’t a cheap exercise, I definitely feel that it was money well spent. Japanese cars from the early ’80s aren’t renowned for their resistance to rust – at least where I live anyway – so knowing that there’ll be no horrible surprises in that department any time soon is good peace of mind.

So this is what I’m working with, or at least it was a month or so back. Although I think the Trueno will end up largely the way that I first envisaged it would, some of my ideas have changed along the way, and some details are still yet to be decided. So I’m kind of excited to see how it all pans out in the end. What would you do if you were in my shoes?

There’s a bit more primer to lay and some final prep work to be done before I drop out the front crossmember and suspension, and detach the entire rear end. Then it’ll be off into the booth. I know it’ll be a good feeling to finally have it back home and wearing a brand new coat of paint. But more on that next month!

 

Brad Lord

 

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How A Coilover Works

Making your car handle better isn’t easy. Camber, caster, toe, roll centers, motion ratios-suddenly building a show car sounds like a pretty good idea. Aside from tires, your coilover shocks are the single most critical component to your car not handling like a turd. But if selecting the right coilovers were easy, show cars would be in short supply. Besides the more conventional type of coilover shocks that are standard equipment on most cars, there are also high-performance versions, slip-fit coilovers and full-bodied coilovers. The choices don’t end there, either: preload, material options, damping adjustability and the whole mono-tube versus twin-tube enigma is enough to make anyone care more about stuffed animals dangling from purple tow hooks than going fast.

More Than One Coilover Exists!

Coilovers Threaded Body Design

All adjustable coilovers feature a threaded body design that allows spring height and prel

Not all coilovers are created equal. In fact, there are three kinds: OEM-style spring-over-shock assemblies, slip-fit coilovers and full-bodied coilovers. OEM-style spring-over-shock assemblies are based off of a conventional shock, or strut assembly, that’s surrounded by its own coil spring. Such all-in-one coilovers are typically non-adjustable, feature fixed-length bodies and are precisely what you have no interest in reading about. Slip-fit coilovers are marginally more exciting and only slightly more complex. These consist of a hollow, threaded (usually aluminum) tube that slips over and sits on an existing shock’s perch and, with the help of a series of jam nuts, compresses or decompresses its spring to alter ride height. There’s virtually no performance gain to slip-fit coilovers, but they can be a quick and inexpensive way of dumping your car.

Full-bodied coilovers are what you’ve been thinking of since paragraph one. Full-bodied coilovers replace the entire factory spring and shock assembly and feature a threaded shock body for easy ride-height adjustments and, often times, adjustable damping. Similar to slip-fit coilovers, ride height adjustments are made through a series of jam nuts and by compressing or decompressing their springs. Higher-end coilovers also feature threaded lower bodies and lower mounts that can be screwed in and out for further ride height adjustments, essentially shortening the shock without altering spring compression. Another characteristic of higher-end, full-bodied coilovers is a shortened shock body, which allow for an even lower ride height without the risk of bottoming out.

Aside from the shock body, spring, jam nuts, and lower mount, the full-bodied coilover assembly may also include bump stops, dust boots and an upper mount assembly. Upper mount configurations vary depending on whether or not the suspension is based upon a double wishbone or MacPherson strut layout. Double wishbone layouts typically feature fixed upper mounts with rubber or polyurethane bushings while upper mounts designed for MacPherson setups typically include pillow-ball assemblies with camber and caster adjustability.

The Shock Body

Coilovers Full Body

Full-bodied coilovers typically feature two-way height adjustment by means of spring compr

At the heart of the full-bodied coilover is the shock. Like any shock, the coilover’s upper mount connects directly to the chassis while its lower mount connects to its lower A-arm in double wishbone layouts or the knuckle itself in MacPherson strut configurations.

Shocks control unwanted spring oscillations and reduce vibrations caused by the wheels and chassis. When you hit a bump, the suspension’s springs compress and decompress, absorb vibrations and transfer energy to the shocks through their upper mounts, into their pistons. As a result, the shocks dampen the vibrations, making that bump virtually unnoticeable. The degree to which all of this happens depends on the shock’s internals: stiffer shocks slow spring movement while softer shocks do the opposite.

Shocks do more than just reduce vibrations and control spring movement, though; they also eliminate rocking, pitching, dipping, wheel spinning and all sorts of other things that aren’t supposed to happen when turning or stepping on the gas or brake.

Inside the shock lies a hydraulic fluid-filled tube and piston. The piston pushes high-pressure fluid through the shock’s valves, controlling how it responds against the spring. Kinetic energy harnessed through suspension movement turns into heat energy that ultimately dissipates within the shock’s fluid. Valving is based upon small orifices perforated into the shock’s piston that allow hydraulic fluid to bleed through as the piston travels up and down.

Mono-Tube vs Twin-Tube

Modern coilover shocks are offered in two configurations: mono-tube and twin-tube. Mono-tube shocks feature a piston and rod assembly housed within the damping case where both compression and rebound duties occur.

Coilovers Bushings Nuts Collars

Full-bodied coilovers are made up of several components, including the shock body itself,

Twin-tube shocks feature two cylinders-the inner cylinder where the piston and shaft move up and down, and the outer cylinder, which serves as the hydraulic fluid reservoir. Twin-tube shocks allow for increased piston stroke, which can benefit ride quality and handling, but seldom overshadow the mono-tube design. Compared to twin-tube shocks, larger-diameter mono-tube shocks have the ability to displace more fluid, resulting in increased sensitivity to small suspension movements at low shaft speeds. The increased flow also allows for more consistent damping forces when compared to less expensive, twin-tube shocks. Most mono-tube shocks also run cooler than twin-tube designs because of their missing outer tubes.

Shock Travel

When selecting coilovers, making sure you’ve got enough shock travel is key and will help prevent bottoming out. In case you didn’t know: bottoming out is bad and defeats just about every single suspension modification you’ve made. The more travel, the better a shock can do its job. Spring choice also determines how much travel you’ll need. Stiffer springs require less travel since the shock won’t be able to compress as much.

Compression & Rebound

Full-bodied coilovers are available with three types of damping adjustability: manufacturer pre-set, single and double adjustable. Manufacturer pre-set coilovers are, not surprisingly, pre-set according to what the manufacturer thinks you need. Coilovers like these are typically valved for whatever springs they’re paired with.

Before looking at coilovers with adjustable damping, it’s important to understand what’s being adjusted: compression and rebound. Compression occurs when the shock’s piston moves into its body, compressing the hydraulic fluid in its chamber below. Rebound happens when it’s pulled away, again compressing its hydraulic fluid. Generally speaking, compression controls the motion of the car’s unsprung weight while rebound controls the motion of its sprung weight. In other words, compression controls how fast weight is applied toward the tire while rebound controls how fast weight moves away.

Coilovers Skunk2

A shock’s innter workings are fairly complicated and include a series of passages and valv

Shaft speed-the rate at which a shock’s valves perform-is also important. Low and medium speeds typically influence handling while higher speeds contribute to better performance when traveling over bumps. A good shock is designed with various speeds and situations accounted for.

Single-adjustable damping controls both compression and rebound strokes together while higher-end, double-adjustable, or split level control, systems manage compression and rebound independently. Depending on the manufacturer, adjustments can range from eight all the way up to 32 different user-set positions. Single-adjustable damping typically affects low-speed rebound and only slightly affects compression, if at all. Still, these changes can improve cornering provided the rest of the suspension wasn’t found on Craigslist. Adjustments are made with an externally mounted knob attached to a shaft that adjusts preload to a spring-loaded needle valve, which controls internal fluid flow. If you’re looking for dramatic changes, be sure to explore proper tires, shock and spring rates, and anti-roll bar options first. Damping adjustments are typically best left for fine tuning and specific chassis balance.

The Spring

It’s the springs that absorb bumps and control body roll, not the shocks. They do so by compressing and expanding to absorb individual wheel motion. It’s the springs’ job to prevent the chassis from bottoming out, control the tires when traveling over bumps, and manage body roll when cornering. They control squat while accelerating and reduce diving while braking. Springs also establish the car’s ride height and center of gravity, which directly affects handling. Spring rates should be selected carefully. If they’re too soft, the shocks will bottom out. If they’re too stiff, any given tire’s contact patch won’t be fully utilized when cornering.

Preload

Coilovers Inner Shock

A shock’s inner workings are fairly complicated and include a series of passages and valve

Preload is the amount of pressure applied to the springs based on how far they’re compressed. Generally, a given amount is required to achieve specific operating characteristics. Adding preload can help mechanical grip by improving tire contact when turning, but excessive amounts will hurt performance. The problem with slip-fit coilovers and full-bodied coilovers that don’t feature adjustable lower mounts is that ride height is adjusted dependent on preload. You can’t change one without the other. If your car is mainly driven on the street or sees the occasional track day, then this is likely an acceptable tradeoff.

The Set Up

Installing and properly setting up full-bodied coilovers to best take advantage of their benefits requires a bit more foresight than a simple shock and spring installation. Before placing them on the vehicle, each spring should be slightly and equally preloaded-just enough to keep them from bouncing around within their assemblies. Next, thread the lower shock mounts onto their bodies in equal amounts. Refer to your installation instructions, but you’ll typically want to make sure that the shock body threads into its lower mount at least one full inch. This is your maximum ride height. Install the coilovers, set the car on the ground, and assess its ride height. Reduce ride height as necessary using each shock’s lower mount. Avoid pre-loading the springs further to achieve an even lower ride height unless the lower mounts have completely maxed out.

Coilovers might seem mysterious, but keep in mind that all shocks try to accomplish the same thing. The major differences can be found in their design, materials, wear, reliability and rebuilding potential. No matter how much adjustability a given coilover offers, if they weren’t designed properly from the beginning, no amount of knob turning or spring compressing will help. In fact, a cruddy set of coilovers can bring out the worst in an otherwise good suspension. Unless you’ve studied suspension dynamics, you’re better off choosing a brand you trust and hope somebody there does know a thing or two about all of this…and doesn’t have a stuffed animal dangling from a purple tow hook.

source: superstreet

STYLE MAKER: NAGANO KOUBOU

Ever since running across Nagano-san and his creations at past Nagoya Exciting Car Showdowns, I’ve been wanting to drop by his workshop in the outskirts of Kyoto for quite some time. It’s hard to put a finger on it all but Paint & Cutting Make Nagano Koubou has been extremely influential in creating the very unique Kansai drift flavor we have seen over the last few years on a lot of cars.

Nagano Koubou primarily deals with the aesthetics of a car, so the selection and preparation of body parts, the fitting and molding or modifying, and finally the painting of course. But for a one-manned body shop this little garage has churned out some pretty wild and recognizable cars…

…some of which happened to be parked outside when we stopped by. The Rose Bud Onevia…

…and the green S13 next to it are two dorisha that we are all very familiar with, built to not only showcase the unique style of Nagano-san…

…but to be used hard at local drift tracks like Meihan.  Sitting extremely low and sporting riveted on overfenders they both manage to exhibit a very 90′s inspired style spiced up with some modern stylistic touches.

Nagano-san lifted the hood open on the Onevia to give an idea of the amount of work that has gone into turning this into a very capable slider. But we won’t get into all of that quite yet, you will have to wait for a feature on the car to indulge in its rough yet purposeful drift set up. It’s the shop we are here to see now…

…so let’s continue on with our little tour. Outside the garage, which is located right at the bottom of a dead-end street, there are countless cars sitting there either waiting for a full make over or in to get a little bit of touch up work done. There are tons of used tires stacked up along with old and damaged bits of aero, all waiting to be picked up and disposed of.

As I head inside the actual workshop itself, it’s the details that I am drawn to like the old pictures on the walls of the old projects that Nagano-san worked on which include his old Civic kanjo racer, one of the most popular cars to race back years ago in this particular area of Kansai. Actually TRA Kyoto and Miura-san, another ex-kanjo racer, is only a five-minute drive from Nagano Koubou.

No self-respecting workshop would be without a sticker bombed fridge…

…or tool cabinet!

During our visit Nagano-san was in the process of prepping an aero kit for a customer’s Soarer…

…which would soon be receiving a bit of a make over.

A souped up Radio Flyer always comes in handy!

For any painter and creator of new styles his workbench is probably the most important are of his shop. This is where custom colors and finishes get mixed and devised…

…before being applied by hand with one of these little gadgets.

Nagano-san of course doesn’t limit himself to any particular style, in fact as of late – like a lot of shops in Japan – has begun embracing the more USDM influence that has been steadily flowing into Japan, from the whole stance movement to its various interpretations.

He actually had a customer’s imported Scion bB in for some work…

…serving as a good example of what other type of projects he is involved in.

But there is only so much one can take in from visiting a body shop like Paint & Cutting Make Nagano Koubou, as his creations would speak far louder than any behind the scenes look into his activity. So, to do just that…

…you can expect a feature on one of his latest projects, a Onevia that perfectly illustrates the continuous fusion of styles that is occurring right now in Japan.  So I leave you with a few desktops for now, but don’t forget to check back shortly for a detailed look at this very pink S13!

 

Paint & Cutting Make Nagano Koubou

Nagoya Exciting Car Showdown Coverage 2013

 

Dino Dalle Carbonare

 

 

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5 Ways To Make Your Subaru Impreza STi Better

Subaru-Impreza-STi-Tuning

Subaru’s legendary Classic Impreza STi has been at the top of the tuning scene for a long time, and rightly so. Here’s how you can build your very own 400bhp daily driver

1. STYLING
True Impreza fans tend to shy away from overly-styled rides, and for good reason – there’s no need to change what’s already a superb-looking car. Instead, we’d recommend that unless you’re the proud owner of a later-spec model, you upgrade your vehicle to a V5 (Version 5) or V6 spec. Between 1996 and 1997 the Classic was face-lifted, so owners of early models often upgrade their cars to match the later iterations. Deeper front grilles, crystal headlights and indicators and higher-level rear spoilers are all common but great-looking mods. Consider a P1 front splitter if you want to create an aggressive-looking front-end, or look at some of the composite splitters and spoilers from Seibon if you’re more of a carbon junkie. Just bear in mind the standard STi aluminium bonnet is lighter than most carbon items! The car pictured has a front-mounted intercooler, so the bonnet scoop has been reversed to dissipate heat, rather than suck air in to the intercooler.

 

 

2. ENGINE TUNING
The EJ20 2.0ltr unit in the STi is a great base for further tuning and has proven itself at the highest levels of motorsport over the years. In terms of building a capable daily driver, there’s no real benefit to be had from upgrading the bottom end at this sort of power level – it comes with forged internals as standard, a higher rev limit than the UK models and will be happy kicking out 400bhp if it’s mapped properly. We’d advise you to fit a higher-flowing RCM oil pump as your first priority, as this is a part that commonly leads to engine failure. To achieve 400bhp, you should be looking at upgrading to a TD05-20G, MD321H or GT2871r turbo, all of which are capable of doing the desired figures. On top of that, you’ll also be looking at bigger injectors, an upgraded fuel pump, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, front-mounted intercooler, tubular headers and a full decat exhaust system from the likes of Hayward & Scott, Scoobysport, HKS or RCM. There are various ECUs and boost controllers on the market, but we’d advise that you take it to a mapping specialist such as Zen Performance to get the car dialled in. The clutch will also need upgrading to handle the power, so check out items from Exedy or OS Giken. Elsewhere, it’s worth fitting a lightweight flywheel while you’re there!

 

3. INTERIOR
As with the exterior, there’s no real benefit in making drastic changes to the interior if your car is used daily, but it’s worth considering upgrading to match the spec of the later model Imprezas. Pre-1997 Classics came with a different dash to later cars, but the main change we’d make is to fit some late-model STi seats. It’s worth fitting some aftermarket gauges to keep an eye on the important bits – in particular oil pressure and temperature, and water temperature. There are various triple-gauge mounting kits available for the centre of the dash, which enable you to fit the gauges of your choice. A KnockLink meter is another Impreza favourite worth considering to monitor for harmful detonation. Aside from that – fit a tidy double DIN headunit and some upgraded component speakers and you’ve done all you need to do.

4. SUSPENSION & HANDLING 

There are a plethora of suspension upgrade choices available for the Classic, designed for anything from the daily commuter right through to the dedicated track car. But for a daily-driven car that needs to retain some degree of comfort, we’d recommend Tein’s Type Flex coilovers with adjustable top mounts. They provide a firm but supple ride and create a car that can be driven in the real world, especially where your Impreza excels – on B-roads and country lanes. If you’re looking at doing the occasional trackday in addition, consider a slightly firmer set-up from the likes of AST, or for the ultimate in WRC-derived suspension porn, Exe-tc is the way forward. But expect to pay for it! It’s also worth looking into the range of Whiteline suspension components you can buy for your Classic – anything from uprated anti-roll bars through to anti-lift kits, heavy duty drop links and bump-steer kits. These elements will further enhance the suspension set- up of your car, but wouldn’t be absolutely critical on a daily driver.

 

5. WHEELS & BRAKES
It’s generally accepted that on a Classic, a 17in wheel is the limit if you want to retain the car’s nimble characteristics and great point-to-point abilities. If you choose 17in rims with good clearance, you’ll have space to upgrade to later-model Brembo four-pots from a newer Impreza, or a 330mm AP six-pot kit, which will provide you with eyeball-wrenching stopping power. We’d recommend a super- lightweight classy wheel, such as OZ Ultraleggeras.

 

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source: fastcar.co.uk

1993 Honda Civic CX – Hard White

To be completely honest with you, there isn’t very much we know about the owner of this Championship White 1993 Civic CX. We know that his name is Joshua Antolin and he hails from the great state of Hawaii-and that’s about it. Instead of going the traditional route of telling you a story behind an enthusiast’s build, we’re going to try something a little different. Let’s break the “fourth wall”, so to speak, for a different twist on what you’re used to reading. If you don’t know what the hell the “fourth wall” is, try to remember an episode of Saved by the Bell when Zach Morris freezes time, turns to the audience and speaks directly to them-that’s what’s considered “breaking the fourth wall”. (Still clueless? Clearly you’re too young to know what SBTB or who Kelly Kapowski is.) What I’m trying to do today is something similar-sort of. Breaking the fourth wall usually means that you’re being pulled out of an imaginary scenario but in the world of automotive publication, what you’re seeing and reading is very real.

In the years that I’ve been writing for Super Street, we’ve seen it all; all types of cars, different styles of tuning and getting to know each personality that makes up our crazy world. How these features come together before they hit print is pretty predictable. We see a car, find the owner, arrange for the car to be shot and have them fill out various forms, one of them being the ‘tech sheet’. These tech sheets open the lines of communication between the owner and the writers for the magazine, and usually includes every important piece of info you’ll need, from knowing which parts were used, right up to the entire back story on how the car came together. Some tech sheets are filled out in an incredibly detailed fashion, with every important aspect of the build documented, but sometimes you get little to no information at all, with the questions we ask responded to in one or two words. In those instances, it is our job to get in touch with them to see if they can give us some sort of story about their build. If for whatever reason we can’t get a hold of the owner, we then have to proceed to use the power of the worldwide web to dig up any information we can on the owner and their car-(begin sarcasm) the part we love most (end sarcasm).

If Joshua was planning on living off the grid, he’s done an incredible job of it because there is little to no information on his Civic. He doesn’t peruse any internet forums, doesn’t have a cool internet nickname that people would immediately recognize, and (gasp) the guy is non-existent on any social media outlet. A decade ago, it would be considered “normal” but in the information-age, the guy is practically a ghost. The age-old phone call and email were also extended but with no response. We noticed his car was spotlighted one other time on a popular car website but after a thorough reading, they, too, weren’t able to squeeze a whole lot of information out of the guy. To offer you a better understanding, one of the main questions on the tech sheet was “Why did you build this vehicle?” Joshua’s response was simply, “To be cool.” We agree that his Civic is indeed cool but it would have been great had he tossed us that proverbial bone.

The only other tidbit of info is that he’s from Hawaii, and let’s not kid ourselves, you’ve read plenty features about vehicle builds from Hawaii. Let’s not forget the cliché play on words to try to manipulate something Hawaiian into the opening title. All you need to know about Hawaii is that they produce some great cars and that they’ve been doing so for years now. Some of the most inspirational and memorable Hondas from the past have been from the 808. The island may be small but buried in all that beautiful scenery are some true gems-you just have to find them.

Devoid of any sort of backstory, all we are left with are visual depictions of a story left untold. The Civic itself is a very well-executed build that represents the clean and simple style that Hawaiian enthusiasts have come to be known for. You’ll rarely find extensive race-bred Hondas there because it’s not what they are about. Hondas assembled on the island are built to be clean street cruisers and Joshua’s is just that. Outside, the entire 19 year-old chassis has been massaged, door dings and minor damage repaired before being sprayed the ever-classic Honda Championship White. A BackYard Special front lip and rear duckbill spoiler serve as the only aftermarket additions to the body while OEM J-spec lighting all-around give it some Japanese chic. Both front and rear fenders have been significantly altered to house an aggressive set of staggered 16×8/9.5-inch JLine wheels. Fitting the wheels required some trickery and a lot of help from negative camber adjustments. Providing the appropriate ride height is essential to pulling of this type of wheel fitment so Function & Form was called upon for their Type 2 adjustable dampers.

As stated, an everyday street Honda in Hawaii is rarely built with a full track car appeal in mind, it just has to function and look good doing so. Joshua’s engine bay reflects that. Under the hood, you won’t find any forced induction components or custom oil catch cans and breathers. There isn’t anything but the bare necessities like your typical air intake, header, and exhaust. The rest has been stripped down and the only major addition other than the 2000 ITR motor is negative space. Helping to free this space is a custom radiator that hides beneath the core support. On the firewall, the factory brake booster has been eliminated and mounted in its place is a Wilwood brake master cylinder. The bay was then shaved smooth and color-matched to the rest of the shell. All electrical connections deemed unnecessary are disregarded by utilizing a Rywire engine harness. The cockpit of this CX hatchback mirrors the exterior and engine bay’s minimalism. Besides the MOMO steering wheel and NEXT Miracle X bar, there isn’t much to go nuts about. A near complete JDM SiR interior has been supplemented but only the Honda-lover with a keen eye would catch that.

While the info for Josh’s Civic is sparse, perhaps this story doesn’t need to be about a car that’s been stuffed to the brim with as many parts as a given tech sheet can handle. Its overall simplicity speaks volumes on its own. I’d drop another random Saved By the Bell reference but my sleep deprivation is starting to kick in; I’d better end it here.

Tuning Menu

1993 Honda Civic CX

Owner Joshua Antolin

Hometown Honolulu, HI

Occupation Painter

Engine 2000 Honda 1.8L B18C5; Innovative engine mounts; Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold; AEM fuel rail; PLM header; Password:JDM dry carbon fiber Power Chamber intake; All-In Fab radiator, coolant lines; shaved engine bay; Rywire engine harness; Odyssey battery

Drivetrain Honda S80 manual transmission; Exedy clutch

Engine Management Chipped P28 ECU

Footwork & Chassis Function & Form Type 2 coilovers; Wicked Tuning front camber plates; Blox rear camber plates; Function7 rear lower control arms; ASR subframe brace; NEXT Miracle X bar

Brakes Chasebays brake line tuck; OEM 2000 Civic Si brake proportioning valve; Wilwood brake master cylinder, cluster master cylinder reservoir

Wheels & Tires 16×8″ +5/16×9 +0 JLine SDMSL2; 205/40R16 Falken Ziex 912; Blox lug nuts

Exterior PPG Championship White paint; BackYard Special front lip, rear spoiler; Vision TC side mirrors; JDM OEM window visors, headlights, corner lights, taillights; rolled and pulled front/rear fenders

Interior JDM EG6 SiR front seats, rear seats, interior panels, instrument cluster; MOMO steering wheel; JDM OEM Gathers head unit

Thanks You New City Fender, Jake, Chang, Marc, Dexter, Alex, John, Guillermo, Roger, uncle Herbert, and my dad

A 900WHP DATSUN DRAG UTE

Big engines and big cars are kind of obvious huh? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good V8 and have owned more than a few. An Audi R8 with that V10 sat behind my head? All day, every day my friend. Yet if I’m honest I think my ego gets in the way sometimes. For years I craved big engined hot rods and large capacity BMWs, but often they were unsatisfying – aurally muscular but lacking in go. So when I see a diminutive truck like Brad McIlroy’s Datsun, I get a kick. It’s inoffensive, approachable yet devastatingly effective. Can you imagine covering the quarter mile in seven seconds in a handyman’s runaround? The deeper and wider I delve in to car culture I think it’s the unexpected that now attracts me. This Ute eats tarmac like a vacuum cleaner sucks up a piece string, and it cannot be ignored…

It always makes me smile when I talk to a drag racer like Brad McIlroy, because it’s usually the same story you hear. He never meant to go this fast – it kind of got out of hand. It’s like going out for a kick around with a football and ending up at the Superbowl, almost without realising exactly how you got there. Except this is all about going fast, really fast, and there’s something very pure and honest about that.

At Willowbank Raceway Brad is pitted alongside the Mazfix 6 that I featured last month. His Datsun ute runs on methanol and I’m sat right in the wash of the fumes as the guys fire it up. It’s a rookie error. As my eyes start to stream a little it strikes me that this kind of sums up drag racing itself – you do things that might hurt a little because the rewards are so temptingly close.

My reward for today is denied though. The rain that’s been looming starts to spatter the track by lunchtime, and I don’t get to see Brad and the Datsun run. As achingly annoying as it is for me, for a crew like Brad’s with days and months of dedication and hard work in this build it’s very frustrating, but all part of the process. Thankfully for me, fellow Speedhunter Brad Lord was stood exactly where I am now for the Brisbane Jamboree last September and got some shots of Brad and the truck in action.

So a couple of days later I find myself at the Mazfix workshop to take a closer look at the little truck. The basic facts? Small and powerful, the wheelbase is a factory-stock 90 inches and it has around 900hp at the rear wheels thanks to an extended port 20B rotary motor.

As ever, the real story is Brad’s though. The parts are laid out for us to see but I want to know why we’re not looking at a Ford or a V8 or even talking about train spotting? So it comes as a surprise when Brad tells me he got in to drag racing through a neighbour when he was a kid. Not the usual route, no parental input aside from ‘yeah you can go to the drags’, just a healthy interest that grew and grew.

For Brad it always had to be a Datsun Ute though, and the ute part I get. This is Australia and I swear they’d use one for a state funeral if the opportunity arose. They are such an integral part of the culture it was a natural choice. The design is a classic choice, beloved as much in South America and Africa as it is here, although the single headlight grille is relativly clean it’s got a hint of aggression to it when you look at how the centre tucks in at the top either side.

Brad was attracted to the clean look they have, which he’s kept with some simple debumpering but incredibly no aero aids at the front given the potential it has.

It’s a different story at the back though, the game is up. I personally like the detail where the cab joins the rear bed, it looks considered and not separated like so many others. According to Brad they’re a great base to start with, as you can do so much with them. Small and compact, they can be made fast with off-the-shelf conversion parts for not much money given great aftermarket support.

He also said something about them being cheap and keeping it road legal… Yeah, I didn’t believe that bit either, Brad.

Sure a few of the modifications could be true for a road car. But it’s gone way beyond that now.

Through heading to the track to get his straighline fix, Brad met up with a whole crew of guys. Drag racing the world-over has always shown me a healthy social scene, because when so much rides on so little time spent doing the actual racing, everything around it grows.

Buying a bare Datsun 1200 shell, Brad met ‘Jerry, Dan and all the boys’ as he calls them. These guys then guided, helped and pushed him through the build, with the original plan being for a 10-second legal street car with a 13B. So what happened? “Build it once, build it right,” states Brad.

Because like I said, Brad is the same as every other normal-on-the-surface-methanol-burning-drag-racer. They just want to go fast. Pure, unadulterated speed delivered in a kick-to-the-brain kind of way.

No prolonged endurance racing here. Explosive forces, combined with friction and propulsion, designed to get the job done as quick as is possible.

It’s a real pleasure taking a look around the truck as it all looks so methodical, which Brad puts down the experienced team and thinking four or five steps ahead in the build stage.

I love the Liberty shifter atop the Lenco transmission; it’s almost reason enough in itself to get a drag specific car. You can show me stripped down quickshifts or VW Motorsport shifters, but this bad boy will win every time.

Just as I saw on Mazfix’s six-second drag car last month, the Weld Racing rims have that gorgeous anodised and machined finish to them.

A skinny 4.5 inches up front…

… And an almost square 15×12 inches at the back.

Twin parachutes mean that stopping really isn’t a problem, which is good because since I was with Brad he’s set a new personal best of 7.79 seconds at 178mph. Talking to him you can hear it hasn’t quite sunk in. “It just felt good off the line, I listened and it went straight. Everything fell in to place.”

 

That time is well-deserved with Brad having raced the Ute for roughly two years now. Although there’s been a few mishaps along the way, hopefully the good times are here to stay.

Just stop for a second and imagine how that must feel? That’s a crazy-quick time for a vehicle of this size, surely? Well maybe not, but I for one love it that it’s even possible.

Maybe better times are yet to come, because Brad wants the Datsun to run reliable and consistent 7.30-second quarter mile times.

Ultimately though the Ute’s days might be numbered with Brad. Like all of us he just wants to go fast. Really fast. So a six-second, full chassis car like Mazfix’s 6 might well be on the cards. One thing is for sure, my eyes are being opened small car after small car by their potential.

I don’t how this is going to end up for Brad or I, but I need to shake it up a bit and smaller, harder, faster is the way forward.

 

Bryn Musselwhite
bryn@speedhunters.com

 

Brad McIlroy’s Rotary powered Datsun 1200 Ute

Numbers:
Max Power (current) – 900whp / potential for 1500bhp
Engine:
20B, extended port, dowelled and drilled, bolted through ports, Series 4 rotors/balanced and lightened & CNC machined, Garrett 55R turbo, MoTeC M84 with Racepak dash, M&W Pro Drag 6 ECU to control ignition x2 (one for trailing and one leading sparks), PWR 600x300mm radiator, one boost pipe straight to intake from turbo, 60mm blow-off valves plus wastegate in front of boost pipe 60mm Turbosmart, one 45mm wastegate on each exhaust outlet for turbo manifold (three in total), 12 x ID2000 injectors
Driveline:
Lenco ST1200 5-speed air-shifted transmission, Direct Clutch twin plate cltuch, full-floated rear end, Race Products fabricated 9-inch case, Race Products chromoly axle 35-spline shafts, Strange diff centre, 5.1:4 ratio
Suspension/Brakes:
Koni double adjustable rear shocks, ‘Mad Dat’ front strut conversion kit for 1200 Ute, Wilwood brakes all round, 4-pot callipers
Wheels/Tyres:
Weld Racing 15×4.5-inch front with 22×4.5-inch Mickey Thompson tyres, Weld Racing 15×12-inch rear with 31×13-inch Mickey Thompson tyres
Exterior:
All steel panels with carbon rear deck cover, de-bumpered, custom mix colour based on standard RX8 hue
Interior:
Kirkey alloy seat, Stroud Safety harness
Chassis
Three-quarter drag chassis (standard from firewall forward, tube back from this point)
Thanks
Dan from ProMods, Jerry for the extended guidance, Brad for the wiring, Archie and the boys from Mazfix, Justin from HPS

 

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source: speedhunters