Project STurdteen:  Building the Competitive Drift Car from a Pile

by Mike Kojima

Rathyna Gomer is MotoIQ's sales manager but in her other life she is a Pro-Am drifter.  We are in the process of rebuilding her 350Z competition car and due to its complexity the process is taking a while.  In order for her to have a ride for the 2016 season, we decided to do some upgrades to her practice car, an S13 with the venerable SR20DET. 

For a practice missile car, her S13 is pretty decently built but since it is a missile car, it has seen better days.  The car has been worked over by a conveniently placed practice lot pole and by doing tandem with a random on a drift day.  That and Rathyna's habit of doing body repairs by backing her car into the wall at balcony has left the old S13 in a state of ugly.

The car has a decent set of basic drift mods already but we are going to take the car to the next level and rework the engine, suspension and brakes.


The poor Sturdteen has a bad case of butt fungus. Lesson, don't do intimate things with strangers.
Look out for those pesky short, hard to see yellow poles in parking lots too!
Be careful Mr Pickles, I think this is mistletoe!  Come here little boy, want some candy?
Our security cameras spotted what we think is a documented photo of Sasquatch in back of MotoIQ HQ.  Here is the original picture on the left and the same image after computer enhancement.  This is the southernmost documented sighting of Sasquatch in North America.
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Monday, March 07, 2016 2:12 AM
If you have not yet, you should check if these exhaust manifold flanges are flat, too.
Good thing you ditched the gaskets. Bad thing you didn't go oem on bolts, in my experience only higher grade or oem bolts stay in place (even then ... ).

And these bolts are such a pain to change, you don't want to redo it all the time.

Think of a flex on the downpipe if there isn't one already, it will prevent tons of troubles.
Monday, March 07, 2016 5:27 AM
Is extrude honing worth the effort and cost on a stock intake manifold? I picked up a second manifold for my own S13 just for extrude honing and haven't done it yet. It seems like it would be worth some good gains, but the price is pretty high these days.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, March 07, 2016 7:17 AM
I extrude honed a stock high port manifold and gained something like 5 hp. Getting a Greddy manifold is better.
Monday, March 07, 2016 1:00 PM
I always drilled and then lockwired the turbo flange nuts, never trusted that upside down hangy business
Monday, March 07, 2016 1:08 PM
just curious, are you guys gonna do anything to improve the appearance of this thing? if you guys are taking suggestions, I vote leave it as is and make it awesome under the skin
Monday, March 07, 2016 2:07 PM
Awesome project! What it looks like is irrelevant!
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, March 07, 2016 3:46 PM
We need to make the body wider for more angle and a better wheel tire combo. So it's going to get all cut out and overfenders so all of the ugly stuff will get cut away or replaced.
Monday, March 07, 2016 6:36 PM
It's actually in better shape than most of the 240s that I see around town that have had 57 different owners and all of the available shades of primer. Yours is going to smoke a lot less too.
Tuesday, March 08, 2016 10:57 AM
Be careful, you dont want it turn out better than her 350Z.
Tuesday, March 08, 2016 12:48 PM
All that money on the motor and those harnesses go untouched? She must be determined to destroy her collar bone. I just can't get over how rampant improper harness installation is and how tech seems to just let it fly.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, March 08, 2016 1:00 PM
That will get fixed!
Thursday, March 10, 2016 11:29 PM
Cheap trick. RB26DET studs. cheap upgrade. reliable. factory inconel.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, March 10, 2016 11:59 PM
I use Z32 probably the same thing.
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