It was finally time for paint and body, car was pretty solid with the new motor and the accusump seemed to be doing its job. So I got the car all prepped and loaded up to take to West Jones Auto in Rancho Cucamonga. Eric does amazing work and does a lot of tuner cars so he knows how to deal with fiberglass and custom paint. They spent a great deal of time making sure the already good quality fiberglass came back to me looking amazing. It’s insane how good the bodywork came out. It’s so straight when you look down the side of the car. Anyway on to the pics!
Sorry everyone I know I’ve been lagging on the updates! I’ve just gotten so lazy since instagram because it’s so easy to quick updates for everyone to see. I’ll try to keep this updated though because it’s more in depth with the build, my life and my travels. I left off with the car having rod knock at shakedown after 2 laps. So I started looking into all of the vh45 oiling issues. There is a lot of misinformation the Internet about the issues vh45 has with the oiling system. Some of it I have since disproven through research and testing and others from just plain common sense. When I put the new motor in I wanted it to be reliable. Something I can just drive and beat ok all day then pack up and go home. The solution was an accusump and simplifying some of the oil lines. I added an oil pressure gauge for the accusump as well so I can monitor it from inside the car and give me a real look at what’s going on. Also finalized some details on the car and got it ready for paint and body!
It’s official round 1 at the streets of long beach is in the books. It was a bittersweet weekend with the mechanical failure taking us out of the competition early. The car has been completely changed for this year with a boost in power coming from a cxracing custom turbo setup. The car now makes enough power to compete with the bigger teams but was defined for reliability going into rd. 1. With the added power it was up to me to make the chassis put that power to the ground. We sent out the cxracing Coilovers to Feal Suspension to have them custom valved to my spec, I’ve worked with Odi before and have 100% confidence in his ability. The knuckles were changed to my own (http://www.driftknuckles.com) knuckles to reduce Ackerman curve and help be competitive at FD speeds. Finally the car got my own corner balance and chassis setup.
We started the weekend out on a good note with Jeff shaking the car down and looking solid on his first couple of laps in practice. Then disaster strikes! Jeff came in complaining of no clutch disengagement and so we look into the cause of the problem and determine that the slave cylinder is shot. With very little time left in practice I had to make a decision wether we rush to change it and hope to get out for qualifying or practice with no clutch and try to put down a solid qualifying run with no clutch. With no real hope of having the parts in time Jeff goes back out to get a couple of laps under his belt with no clutch. Happy with the progression I was hopeful going into qualifying. I noticed scores were a little low in the field and we had a solid position after the first round of qualifying. Poised to put down a balls out run on the second lap of qualifying the ebrake slide was just a little too long coming into the first corner and the engine stalled with no way to disconnect the motor from the rear wheels. Even with the correction on the first corner Jeff finished out the run strong and it was good to see him comfortable in the car. Finished out with a 27th place qualifying run which put us in the big show matched up against JTP. Changed the slave cylinder and we got back out for the top 32 practice Friday night. Advise for Jeff in practice was to just have fun and get back on a positive vibe for the evening.
Saturday morning feeling good and having a game plan to work on corner speed we went into first practice with the advice that if he did decent with no clutch he should be killing it with a clutch. He did just that putting down some very solid runs and having some of the fastest runs of the practice session. Into top 32 we had witnessed JTP’s manji entry and did what we could to prepare for it but it still left a gap that was hard to overcome but even still Jeff put down a solid follow run even scraping the wall behind JTP. Switch places and Jeff takes off on his lead run with no JTP. JTP claimed a false start and didn’t even move from the starting line, Jeff finished up his lead run and when he came back on the radio I told him what JTP had done and he slowed down to hype up the crowd. A big clutch drop on the way back and bam broke an axle. We rushed to get it fixed and despite working great as a team we just missed the 5 minute mark. We were out. While I was happy with the car and the grip it had and I think we have a good base to build on it was tough to be out on a mechanical failure.
Yesterday I took the car up to Horse Thief Mile at Willow Springs Int.
Raceway. I ran a couple of grip groups to get some heat into all the new components and make sure the chassis was solid. After that I hit up the drift group to get some real shakedown. First run out, I was playing around with angle and making sure there was no rubbing I was able to bomb the course with 100% confidence in the car. Same deal on the 2nd run. On the 3rd run, I started working on getting on the correct line and tracing the outside of the track and then I noticed the engine felt a little sluggish. By the 4th run it had terrible rod knock and low oil pressure and my day was done. Overall I’m not surprised it was a high mileage motor and I’m glad it went in shakedown and not in competition but now I have a long couple of weeks ahead of me to prep for top drift rd 1. Here’s some pics of the car leading up to and at shakedown.
Been working mornings and nights before and after work to try and get the VH45DE powered coupe finished up before shakedown. Unfortunately my trailer was stolen from a locked facility at work and so I missed JustDrift season opener at horse thief mile. But setback or not I’m still pushing forward. Cage is almost done and just the passenger side door bar is left. I’ll add gussets and dimple die plates later when time allows but we are getting down to the wire now so I have to prioritize. Also got the trans tunnel reinforced and welded up my powered by max hydro handle with wilwood standalone reservoir to actuate my 2nd set of z32 rear calipers. A lot of other little things buttoned up and just received my tuned ecu today which should make the car noticeably more powerful. More updates after shakedown.
With the season coming to an end and the vert running great I’ve decided to switch gears a little but and revisit an old project with a new goal. Most of you know my VH45DE powered Nissan 240sx Coupe. The engine swap was finished up and running 2+years ago and then I got busy and it went on the back burner, it was originally supposed to be a street car which made the whole project a lot more work than a dedicated track car would be. So with the off season here it was time to make a decisions about what car I wanted to drive for 2014 and plans for a build for this season of top drift. The vert has since become a street car and the coupe project was revisited with a new goal. Dedicated track car! Even though it sounded like a great idea and most people think the car was already “built” it was far from where it needed to be in order to be competitive. Since the rebuild has started I’ve put my knuckles on and modified the front suspension completely in order to get maximum angle this season with no rubbing or binding, the rear subframe was removed for Powered by Max (pbm) subframe risers and pbm drop knuckles, also a full set of battleversion arms and modified stock lower control arms. The oil cooler setup was simplified with no thermostat as well as going over every line and tank to simplify and eliminate any problem areas before I go to shake down. The chassis is all worked out now and back on the ground with the initial setup done and the car running and driving on it’s own. Next up is to cage this thing up.
It’s been a while since an update on the vert project. Not too long but a lot has happened! Took the car out for another test day at Grange to test with the bigger injectors and new tune. The car felt down on power at the first test but I just figured it was stockish sr20 power to blame and I wanted more. Turns out the motor was low compression and it ran better with more boost thrown at it but the blow by got worse throughout the day and eventually was too much for the catch can to handle. Got it back to the shop and did a compression test. 80-90-150-150 sure enough the motor was toast. With only a couple of weeks till ASB 2013 and no time to pickup a motor until the Sunday before ASB it was crunch time. I sourced a long block in good shape with head gaskets and studs in Northern California. To save time my Mother who lives in te Bay Area picked it up and met me halfway. Then it was a weeklong rush to get the car back together and ready for All Star Bash 2013. Even though it was a long week made especially long by being slammed at work I got it all done and loaded up around 2:00am Saturday morning. Straight up to Willow with no sleep and drove all day Saturday with only one small problem. The ecu hasn’t ever been bolted down and it started shorting against the chassis on some turns. Cleaned everything up and mounted the ecu and it ripped all weekend with no hiccups. Couldn’t be happier with the car. Then for my birthday a couple of weeks later I took it to Grange again a couple weeks later. Guess the newly found power on the new motor was too much for my street disc rated at 350 ft/lbs because it started slipping at high boost. Time for a 6 puck! Cars awesome though and super fun to drive.