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A Preview of Matt Powers Formula D 2011 Rebuild

A Preview of Matt Powers Formula D 2011 Rebuild

By Mike Kojima

Our Friend Matt Powers has been rebuilding his S14 Nissan 240SX for the 2011 Formula D season.  If you don't know Matt, he was one of the top seeded guys in the 2010 Formula D points standings without huge dollar backing and our favorite underdog. Matt is solidly backed by Need For Speed and Nitto Tires but his yearly budget is still a fraction of what some of the other top teams spend.

A Preview of Matt Powers Formula D 2011 Rebuild
An exotic Chevy LS7 is fitted between the frame rails of the S14 at GTI Technical Inovations.

Due to his underdog status and colorful persona, Matt is a big favorite with the fans.  Matt has also been the poster child of the "Keeping it Real" soul camp of drifting.  This group of fans prefers traditional drift cars using Japanese 4 cylinder engines or at least a swapped engine from the same manufacturer.  With his Turbo Jim Wolf Technology KA24DE Matt was the second 4 cylinder in ranking only to Scion’s Ken Gushi in Formula D. Matt was also a fan of those who love the Hella Flush look as his car’s previous incarnation was slammed to the ground with low offset wheels.

A Preview of Matt Powers Formula D 2011 Rebuild
What we like about the LS engine family is that its "crude and dated" OHV valvetrain allows for a very compact engine to be built.  Look how physically small the engine is, it fits in there better than a VQ35.  Not bad for a something packing 427 cubic inches.  Look how low and far back the engine can be mounted with a dry sump system.

For 2011 Matt is abandoning fashion trends and upping his game to become more competitive, adopting Hella Functional, hella essential for being competitive on a professional level.  Matt’s upping his game and changing his hardware, causing a lot of angst among some of his fans from the styling and soul camps.  The amount of BS we see posted on Facebook and Speedhunters is prompting us to write about his in process car build. 

A Preview of Matt Powers Formula D 2011 Rebuild
The Dailey Engineering drysump pump installs very cleanly on the LS.  The LS7 has a semi dry sump from the factory but it was decided to invest in a full dry sump for reliability and engine mounting advantages.

 

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Comments
bigdave
bigdavelink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:06 AM
Ive said this a hundred times and ill keep saying it until the day Matt stops drifting; theres nobody in FD as dedicated as this guy and he is HUNGRY like Mike says. Ive seen this guy tow his car to FD using an Expedition with blown out rear air shocks, tear the car down in between sessions BY HIMSELF, and make a valiant effort to put it all back together and run again. Its been an honor to watch the guy grow through the sport and see him really focusing on the technical side a little more, because i always thought it was his setup that was limiting his success in FD.

Heres to Matts success in 2011....with a really nice frikin car.
czubaka
czubakalink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 5:01 AM
All I can say is WOW! Very impressive! I haven't been a big fan of drifting, but you guys are changing my mind. Although, I've always appreciated the drivers' skills.

That clutch blows my mind. Probably not very (or at all!) streetable. That might be why it's going in a race car (duh!).
8695Beaters
8695Beaterslink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 6:13 AM
That is a nice looking car. I like how FD is forcing the teams to use more of the stock car. Otherwise they just all turn into NASCARs. Sounds like the field is getting even more competitive this year, it should be fun to watch.

I personally prefer the old 4 banger cars. To me they sound a lot better. But progress is progress and racing is always an arms race. I'd like to see better coverage of the Pro-Am division which I think would help balance out the series.
OMG Its Weasel
OMG Its Weasellink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 7:36 AM
ive always like matt, hes got the right attitude. hearing about his dedication to the sport when hes off-track is inspirational. im glad hes got support and a proper car now. that KA was pretty beat by the end of last season.

cant get away from that purple hue, can ya matt? green wheels this year too? its your signature, you have to!
this is going to be one of the most colorful cars in FD, not just on the body panels, but underneath it too, thats for sure.

between Matts build and the teaser story i saw for 2 minutes (lol, woops?) on Dais new car, Aasbo being sponsored too.. my three favorite drivers all getting proper cars this year? im freakin stoked for FD '11
JDMized
JDMizedlink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 9:46 AM
I don't follow much drifting these days; mainly because of the huge amount of SPE (aka, idiots) found in this venue. I used to, and enjoyed it, then it became mainstream and every JDM wannabes jumped on the bandwagon and spoiled the fun.
With that said, I appreciate seeing someone like Matt doing his thing and moving away from the ever-so sickening Hellaflush crap and get serious !
Few key elements on his S Chassis help making the car very reliable and potent.
The dry sump, the harmonic-balanced pulley, and a set of proven cams are all is needed to keep Matt competitive. Simple and effective.
It is unlikely I will be following the Formula D, but I wish Matt luck and success.
Thanks Mike for sharing his buildup process.
As usual, great stuff.
spdu4ea
spdu4ealink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 10:18 AM
I could do without the jabs towards those not deemed "real drift fans." To me, competitive drifting makes about as much sense as competitive Yoga, but I still enjoy a build writeup as much as the next guy...
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 10:36 AM
If you read any of the stuff on Facebook and Speedhunters where they tear Matt up and read the stupidity of the comments you would know that a lot of people actually know nothing about drifting and are just bandwagon jumping wannabes. Its super annoying. It was the inspiration behind this article.
spdracerut
spdracerutlink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:34 AM
I remember at PRI two years ago, I ran into a guy that was absolutley dead set on running a SR. He came up to me and said he wanted maximum throttle response and ~500hp or so. I asked him what application? Drifting... so I said drop in a LS. No....... He wanted to prove a 4-banger could still be competitive. So I was like... uh, well, stroker kit, twin-scroll turbo kit and anti-lag. He'd already gotten a TODA stroker kit (about $6k I think), go with an expensive twin-scroll turbo kit, and he would need anti-lag to really get that V8 throttle response which means the turbo becomes a wear item? So how much would that all cost? My guess is a lot more than a V8 swap and be less reliable too.
2_Liter_Turbo
2_Liter_Turbolink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 12:01 PM
Mistake on page 1 says "Matt was also a fan of those who love the Hella Flush look as his car’s previous incarnation was slammed to the ground with high offset wheels.". Shouldn't it be "low offset wheels"? lol

Awesome article though!
Shifter Kart
Shifter Kartlink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 12:20 PM
I dont follow drifting, so forgive my ignorance, but is the reason Formula D is moving towards V8s the increased throttle response vs. a turbocharged engine? any other reason?
JDMized
JDMizedlink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:08 PM
Mike, sometime (and I am dead serious when I say this), sometime I feel like you are the Che Guevara of the Motorsport industry....lol.....and I love it.
I know exactly what you mean when a bunch of high school hyspter jump on your throat assaulting you because you tell them that their slammed cars aint working right.
bigdave
bigdavelink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:11 PM
FD isnt moving toward anything, its the drivers NEEDING a V8 to even think about being competitive. Run what you want, but dont expect to be running in the great 8.
bigdave
bigdavelink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:11 PM
^ with a 4 cylinder!
Fabrik8
Fabrik8link
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:19 PM
@Shifter Kart:
THrottle response is one of the key advantages, but there is also the issue of engine stress. Because of the big difference in displacement and number of cylinders, a V8 will be much less stressed for any given power output than a turbo 4-cyl with the same power output. And, if a V8 slots right in the chassis with barely any weight penalty, what's not to like...?
2_Liter_Turbo
2_Liter_Turbolink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:42 PM
Lol at the thread on Zilvia: http://zilvia.net/f/tech-talk/373209-preview-matt-powers-formula-d-2011-rebuild.html
Fabrik8
Fabrik8link
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:59 PM
Yes, people get defensive when you speak out against the stupid trendiness that they hold dear. No surprise there.
Oddly, it appears that Matt is seen as the latest sellout by moving to the next level of performance, which is slightly disturbing. If I actually understood the HellaStupid trends, I'd probably be able to understand why stepping up your game makes people angry, so I'll just stay confused.
bigdave
bigdavelink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4:01 PM
MOST of the die hard 4 cylinder fan boys are just broke ass kids who cant afford to do things right all at the same time. They are stuck saving money for a piece here, a piece there, and are more than likely frail white boys who think they are Japanese. Truth be told.
OMG Its Weasel
OMG Its Weasellink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4:04 PM
@Fabrik8:
some people are so hopeless that they feel like they can relate with a famous person by mimicking them and taking on as much of their "coolness" as possible.

i think the bitching is more because drifter-joe in his busted S-chassis cant just swap in a V8 like their hero has done.
so instead of dreaming of just bolting a turbo on your beat-ass KA motor and being just like Matt Powers (who was THE HELLAFLUSH DRIFT GOD, apparently), they have to actually spend some of their trust fund money.
so instead of dropping 5k on a V8 swap, they just hate him and "disown" him so they can feel better about not having to totally ditch the bandwagon over broken dreams.
humans are inherently stupid. there is only a select handful of people that can see progress through drastic change, most of those people are not hellatrendsters.
bigdave
bigdavelink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4:08 PM
They are all kids who dont drive competitively. You can see how Matt has gone from leisure to competition. These are steps that NEED to be made.

Zilvia dorks.
2_Liter_Turbo
2_Liter_Turbolink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4:27 PM
Ha ha. I agree. There is nothing wrong with liking the 4 cylinder nissan motors (I myself have a built SR20), but the LS1 is just a much better choice for formula D. The idiots who think otherwise are just...... well idiots. Ha ha

When my current car is done, I'd like to do an LSx powered car as well. Money is tight (as always), so it'll be awhile... lol
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4:46 PM
Steve-
High offset in the way I used it is the same as a high numerical gear ratio is actualy a low gear ratio.

V8's offer reliabilty and a wide and responsive powerband in a simple package that is just as light as a smaller displacement turbo engine.

The LSX isnt the engine of choice because its iron block is heavy. I wish that GM would make an aluminum block with the tall deck of the LSX.

Didnt Che Guevara get killed by the CIA in Bolivia? I hope that doesnt happen to me. Agents of the Stance Nation are plotting....
Shifter Kart
Shifter Kartlink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4:53 PM
@Fabrik8
thanks for the info, and you're right, nothing to hate about the v8.

*reads Zilvia thread and shakes head in disbelief*
Shifter Kart
Shifter Kartlink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4:55 PM
at least some people over there have sense. this thread is pretty informative
http://zilvia.net/f/tech-talk/296725-roll-center-suspension-pickup-steering-angle-modification-thread.html
2_Liter_Turbo
2_Liter_Turbolink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 6:13 PM
Mike: I said LSx as in LS(x) put a number in where the "x" is, ha ha. I should have used LS* or something.
Fabrik8
Fabrik8link
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 6:24 PM
LOL, I've had to un-confuse a number of people over LSx versus LSX. Usually people are aware of only one usage but not the other, then really confusing arguments start between people aware of the other usage, then heads explode.
bigdave
bigdavelink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:07 PM
Make sure you guys see Matt's final run of the FD 2010 season. Its totally completely obvious that his setup was holding him back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XJ_g7Tkoyc
mattycakes
mattycakeslink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:56 PM
Thanks for the support guys. Trying to bring you some kick ass articles and coverage this year! Dyno tuning next wednesday (hopefully), stay tuned!
brainrush
brainrushlink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 9:56 PM
As always, a great article. How do you think the new tire width rules are going to affect competition this year?
Scott Helmer
Scott Helmerlink
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:57 PM
Hot damn! Seems the aftermarket for the S-chassis suspension has changed a bit since I was in my early teens looking at buying an S13. I'll have to keep those Drift Works knuckles in mind when I do the Z32 suspension swap in my 280ZX (need the 5 bolt so I can mount some TE37's on there, and have an actual choice of brake options; getting rid of the semi-trailing arm suspension and adding an R230 differential's always nice, too).

I must admit that normally I am not that big of a fan of the OHV V8's, but I do have a soft spot for the BBC and LS motors (BBC for Muscle Car's/Hot Rods, LS series for cars that need gobs of power in relatively small/light packages, such as drift cars). That being said, I'll still probably go with a 1UZ for my Corolla; I just like to keep my brands pure for some reason.

Also, I wanna live in a garage with my cars like Matt. Snuggle up with my tool set :D. Maybe some giant blue Mechanix-branded footie pajama's to go with my gloves.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 4:42 AM
I wonder if I can convince my wife to move out of our house and into a large, heated garage...
darooda
daroodalink
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 6:19 AM
Thanks for the great build article. Very interested to see the progress.

Speaking of awesome V8 Swaps, when are we going to see an update on Project V8 RX-7?
OMG Its Weasel
OMG Its Weasellink
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 8:10 AM
when you kick ass this year matt, you should silence all the fanboys with a proper soul drifter missile for the off-season.

looking forward to following your story.
Jeff Naeyaert
Jeff Naeyaertlink
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 3:27 PM
Soon Darooda! We recently received a bunch of parts we were waiting on for the swap--expect an update in the next few weeks! :)
bigdave
bigdavelink
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 3:55 PM
422 likes, oh my.
Turbo Shangbanger
Turbo Shangbangerlink
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 11:08 PM
Zilvia.com is full of wankers. Stopped going there LONG ago.
Umai Kakudo
Umai Kakudolink
Thursday, March 17, 2011 6:42 PM
On page 4 and 5 is the device on the bottom of the front springs a Seals-It coil spring compensator?

http://www.sealsit.com/coil_sc.asp

MotoIQ needs to test one of these things! They are $70 less than the Hyperco IPC and are bearing based with seals so they could be used on a street car and not have the "rebuild every race" deal of Hyperco.
the shocker
the shockerlink
Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:16 PM
Thanks to the U.S you have made another sport gay as fuck. Formula D is boring as fuck to watch, that is why i rather watch D1. Not because im a JDM fanboy; because it's actually fun to watch. Thank you and go fuck yourself Mike Kojima
Fabrik8
Fabrik8link
Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:35 PM
Who knew a top-level drift car build would piss so many drift fans off...?
Fabrik8
Fabrik8link
Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:37 PM
Actually, I'll modify that. You aren't a drift fan if this top-level drift car build pisses you off.
Matt
Mattlink
Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:41 PM
There is a time and place for stance and strung out 4 cylinders, but pro drifting it is not.

I love Matt's dedication, but isn't it illegal to live in a garage?
bigdave
bigdavelink
Thursday, March 17, 2011 9:39 PM
# the shocker is a 100 pound white boy with an emo haircut, and lives and breathes everything JDM, and lusts after Japanese women. Lives at home with his mom and dad though. Spends all day buying parts from japan for his S13 with his mom and dads credit card, because he does his chores on time.
Daewoo Of Death
Daewoo Of Deathlink
Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:33 PM
Since the new rules change tire size based on weight, I wonder if the new trend might not be toward very low stressed engines, weight be damned. Stuff like old Chevy big blocks, 1-2jz, rb motors, maybe even diesels.
Daewoo Of Death
Daewoo Of Deathlink
Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:34 PM
I would fully support an S14 with a Cummins, just saying ...
the shocker
the shockerlink
Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:40 PM
not mad about this build, just how this whole article was written.
big dave, you could be so much more wrong, thanks for trying though. No S13 in my garage, no i do not weigh 100lbs or use my mom and dads credit car and don't live with them. Emo= not me. Those are the people i throw things at. I don't live and dream everything JDM. Drifting is supposed to be a style sport and I don't believe there is much left for style left in Fomula D
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:40 PM
The Shocker- You are awesome, keep it coming!

Matt- don't call Cal OSHA on Matt, he will be bummed.

Death- the new tire rules don't affect cars like Matt, Dai Yoshihara, Mike Essa and Joon Maneg very much. They affect cars like Ryan Tureck and Darren McNamara who have a lot of power in very light cars.

They help heavy and powerful cars like Conrad and Hubunette.
destrux
destruxlink
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 5:13 AM
Cool car, but I can't help disliking the engine. It's not that it's a V8, it's that it's a GM V8. After working on GM trucks and SUVs daily at work... I've grown to have a strong hatred for the GM V8. The "pedestrian" version of the LS motor is garbage. You would think after GM refining something for so many years they would be able to build a V8 truck motor that doesn't have problems with cracked cylinder heads and defective hydraulic lifters.

The rest of the car is nice though, and I wish him luck with the new setup. Hopefully that GM lump doesn't let him down.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:04 AM
The Gen VI L92 truck cylinder head is the basis of the LS3 and LS7 higher performance heads. We use the L92 head on Dai Yoshihara's car.

I find the LS motor really easy to work on and well thought out. They seem to have fixed all the lame stuff in the SBC.
Umai Kakudo
Umai Kakudolink
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:15 AM
Mike - Can you comment on this? Thanks!

On page 4 and 5 is the device on the bottom of the front springs a Seals-It coil spring compensator?

http://www.sealsit.com/coil_sc.asp

MotoIQ needs to test one of these things! They are $70 less than the Hyperco IPC and are bearing based with seals so they could be used on a street car and not have the "rebuild every race" deal of Hyperco.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:23 PM
No, but I want to try the sealit device on my race car. IPC's make a big difference.
BenFenner
BenFennerlink
Monday, March 28, 2011 2:25 PM
I'm a full page behind in my MotoIQ reading! That's what I get for being busy at work.

Page 2, first sentence: "This is to all of you form is < function folk."

You've used the "less than" symbol. Did you mean to use the "greater than" symbol?
econobox
econoboxlink
Sunday, May 29, 2011 12:34 AM
*FFF*

I love the engineering that goes into these cars nowadays.
Not surprised to see Drift works suspension pieces in this car either, top notch suspension no doubt.

@Daewoo Of Death
*coughs* Duramax
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