As eager as we are to do big upgrades to Project DC2, a good amount of basic maintenance was required. Since our goal was to drive the car regularly on the street, we wanted the confidence of knowing we wouldn't be left stranded because of an avoidable failure. Some of the items on the list of such upgrades were the brakes and wheel bearings. The pads and rotors on the car were not necessarily in poor shape, but they were of unknown origin and brand. There were no familiar markings present on the brake pads and the previous owner had no idea either. We decided to start fresh with brake related parts, since it's the most important safety item on any car. The left rear wheel bearing was making a very audible humming noise so we knew it was on its way out. Erring on the side of caution, we will be replacing all four wheel bearings with new Centric Parts bearings.
The Ford GT was in our opinion America's first true exotic supercar. Inspired by Ford's GT40 race cars from the 60's, the Ford GT's performance as a street car easily eclipsed the race cars of yore. Produced from 2005 to 2006, only 4038 of the cars were ever built making the Ford GT a desirable collectors car that fetches several hundred thousand dollars on the used car market, up from the original asking price of $139,000.
I get this question about once a week these days, “Are the Skylines really going to be legal when they are 25 years old?” It’s a loaded question. The answer is actually yes, and no, as it all depends where you live. In North America, Canada is an exception, but even in the United States the rules have some variance. Since I live in California, the answer is actually yes, but no. Yes, because the 1989 Nissan Skyline will be federally legal to import once it’s 25 years old in 2014, but no because vehicles 1975 or newer are subject to direct import laws in California. These direct import laws make it very expensive to bring a car into California compliance. However, for the purposes of this article, I won’t get too far into the downside of the upside of 25 year old vehicle import.
We knew it was coming. The first sign was the Porsche Macan with its twin-turbo V6s. The European emission requirements of reduced CO2 output made it happen. That and Porsche’s European counterparts at BMW, Audi, and Mercedes all had extensive use of turbos in their performance vehicles. Whether you like it or not, the new 911 Carreras and Boxster/Cayman twins are coming with smaller displacement turbo engines in place of the old larger naturally aspirated engines.
Vince, our FNG, drives a Honda S2000 that serves as his daily driver. The S2K takes him to work and school day in and day out. However the Honda also serves as a track day vehicle seeing duty at Willow Springs, Buttonwillow and Cal Speedway. After serving reliably for 80,000 miles the clutch suddenly went out on Vince on his way to work.
We’re doing it people. The impossible is becoming possible. We’re taking a car that I don’t own or insure and slowly turning it into a track vehicle that is someone else’s day-to-day responsibility. That being said, in order to keep up this ruse, I can’t screw up its daily manners too much or the girlfriend might catch on to my plan. This was a big concern for me when I was planning one of the most important systems for the track, the brakes!
If you are a fan of drifting, then you know all about Forrest Wang, who is renowned for his spectacular high angle and smoky driving style. His car builds have a lot of style as well and we have been trying to catch up with him for a year to be able to capture one of his masterpieces in a story.
One of the reasons we bought a VehiCross, on top of its coolness, was the ability to tow another car. See, the VehiCross is not my only car. I have two others that are both in various states of disrepair and both are in Delaware, where I was born and raised. Currently, my two real projects are 650 miles from where I make my home in Kentucky and if I ever intend to drive these toys again I will need to get them here and get to wrenching. Now, we could hire a delivery service to pick up the cars and drag them down here, but that’s a) very expensive, and b) difficult since, while both cars start, they barely run. So we decided to do the towing ourselves. First we installed a hitch, then we hooked up a car.
A few years ago, this ridiculous trend swept the drifting community after the introduction of what us drifters call a “missile car”. During a track day a few months ago I was doing some tandem runs in my missile car and ended up getting hit after I spun out and went off course by the follow car.
If I hadn’t already proved it to you after Part 1, drifters destroy everything – side skirts, fenders, doors, bumpers, and more. Unlike other forms of racing, it isn’t necessarily about the lightest, most aerodynamic parts – it’s about the most durable parts! For that reason, I decided to go with KBD Body Kits, owned by parent company American Plastic Technologies.
It's been a long time between updates on Project Evo X GSR. It hasn't been for lack of trying, the car has been through a couple of different owners and it's been hard to catch up with it. Well we have caught up with it at last and it's time for some long awaited parts to go in.
It's a good thing too, Whiteline has come out with some new parts for the Evo X in the meanwhile. When the project was more active, the only parts available were swaybars but since then they have come out with a roll center and bump steer correction kit, a kit to reduce front lift and add positive caster, an adjustable camber link and a full bushing set.
As usual, racecars rarely get finished on schedule when you’ve got a day job, but that hasn’t stopped us from burning up weekends (and a little midnight oil on weeknights as well). When we last looked at the Polystrand CRX GT-Lite car, we had just finished creating the new rear framework for the trick IRS assembly. For those of you who haven’t been following the project so far, you can click here to catch up on the first 5 installments of this crazy journey. Without much fanfare, we’re going to jump right back in, since we’ve made a lot of progress since then.
After some impressive gains from intake work in Part 4, we now turn our attention to the opposite side of the engine to improve the evacuation of exhaust gasses as well as reduce the cabin temperature of our notoriously hot viper. For as outlandish and attention grabbing the Viper’s style was, the exhaust note did not have the same head-turning appeal. To remedy this we reached out to our friends at Corsa Performance for their 3” cat-back exhaust to give our viper a more sporty and refined tone. To further boost the volume and greatly knock down the calf-burning side sill heat, we installed a pair of compact Kooks Green Cats which are both environmentally and power friendly.
It’s hard to believe that nearly an entire year has gone by since we’ve last updated Project E46 M3. The car's been running great, and the 320-plus WHP normally-aspirated S54 six-cylinder never ceases to amaze. This time we enlisted Whiteline for its drop-in, lower inner rear bushings for the front control arms, and performed a quick fix to the steering column. We also got an alignment at a very unassuming shop with interesting machines inside! Take a look.
Hopefully you’ve already read our Turbo Tech: Size Matters article which gave a crude cheat sheet for sizing a turbocharger depending on your engine size and intended application. No real engine data is required to get you into the ballpark turbo size you would need. What if we do have some data though? A bit of simple math can let us plot compressor operating points more accurately on a compressor map.