Entries for January 2008


Piggyback ECUs are Bad for Your Health

I took apart an engine last weekend from an IS300 that literally torched a piston. It had a turbo on a stock engine (2JZ) with a piggyback ecu (engine control unit). No names, but it starts with a big "E" and it can't really manage. If you haven't figured it out, the brand starts with a big "G". If you still can't figure it out, then just add "reddy" to the end. I usually define a piggyback ecu as anything that does not control ALL fuel and timing outputs.

Piggyback ecus (SHIT) by nature are incapable of controlling a modern day OBD2 ecu with highly adaptive fuel and ignition correction routines. SHIT ecus generally attempt to enrich or enlean the final fuel output by tricki...

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R35 GT-R Showroom in Ginza

When I was cruising Tokyo on January 3, I got dropped off in Ginza to do some last minute shopping before I had to head back to the states. Right across the street was a Nissan showroom. It's sole purpose was to showcase the R35 GT-R. You would figure that prime real estate in Ginza is super expensive so you know Nissan is spending some big money marketing the R35 GT-R. Why? I don't know since Nissan claims that they make absolutely no profit. Yes, I know - that's probably a big crock of shit...


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Random Thought & Rants @ 10:15 on a Saturday Night

A nod to The Cure.

  1. The Toyota 2ZZ-GE is a piece of shit compared to the Honda K20A. Really. Don't deny it. Just accept it if you own a 2ZZ.

  2. Why are people such bitches and sell when slightly negative news gets released for a stock? (AAPL on Monday 1/21 - earnings reduction of 19 cents/share)

  3. Import Tuner magazine just gave me a monthly column called "Question It". It's like Dr. Ruth for cars. The questions that people ask are pretty fucking lame though.

  4. It's kind of nice when your girlfriend can give you manicures and pedicures.

  5. Why don't more people click on the google ads you see on the right? A lot of them seem pretty ...

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Cosworth UK

I have visited many factories: Apexi Japan (I used to work there), Greddy Japan, HKS Japan, and a couple of other tuning parts manufacturer factories in Japan. I was impressed with each one for their manufacturing facilities, R&D equipment, and general success. Just seeing the sheer quantity of parts being produced and the level of technology also impressed me. However, nothing really prepared me for my visit to Cosworth (where I now work).

Cosworth's UK office is located in Northampton about 50 minutes north of London in the United Kingdom. For those of you who have never heard of Cosworth, it is the winningest engine supplier in Formula 1 of all time. This of course led ...

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Safety is Job #1

I'm glad to be back in southern California. The UK was great and I wish I had a bit more time there, but it was FUCKING COLD! It's so windy and wet in the winter that it's actually colder than northern Japan. I'd like to go back and check out the tourist spots and night life soon though. It's also nice to be caught up on sleep since I've been traveling for almost a month straight.

My co-worker, Justin at Cosworth sent me this dope email. They need to step up safety in 3rd world countries. Enjoy:

Face protection in Africa:

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Twin Turbo Subaru STI engine at XS Engineering

I was reviewing some random pictures and found this. The car is currently being completed by Koji at XS, but the turbo system was fabricated by Greg Profeta before he defected to Toyota (tuning V-8's for emissions). I thought it was a pretty cool picture. The engine currently making 504hp to 4 wheels at 9000rpm on 91 octane and only 17psi with a Motec M800 controlling the engine. The engine is a Cosworth short block with heavily ported big valve heads and BIG fucking cams (288/290). It also sports twin Tial/Garrett GT30s, twin Tial 44mm wastegates, hand fabricated intake manifold, enlarged VQ35 drive by wire throttle body, and twin 3" downpipes to a 90mm exhaust. I can't wait to see...

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Random Pics from Super Lap Battle 2007

I was digging through my files and found some random pics from November's Super Lap Battle at Buttonwillow, CA. They're kind of behind the scenes:


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prodrive Aston Martin DB9 Vantage

Hello from the UK. It is raining and cold as fuck here. People who live here tell me its the same here 9 months out of the year. That really sucks.

This afternoon Ken and I went to Prodrive in Warwickshire, England. This is the road car side of Prodrive that is located on an old Royal Air Force base. Here Prodrive builds and engineers road cars, drivetrain, and some other good stuff. There were many Aston Martins since the Aston Martin and Prodrive owner = David Richards.

Prodrive has a engine, suspension, and aero kit for the V-8 Vantage that...

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Shibuya 109

Rewinding back to January 2, 2008, Yaya and I went to 109 in Shibuya, Tokyo. For those of you not familiar with 109, it is 9 stories of female fashion boutiques. 109 primarily caters to various types of Shibuya "gyarus". I think primarily ko-gyarus and b-gyarus. That's Japlish for "girls" if you didn't figure that one out. The term "b-gyaru" is derived from "b-boy" if you know your hip hop terminology. There is an entire subculture of hip hop influenced Japanese chicks and dude...

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EVO Meet - Ace Cafe, London

Ken and I went to the world famous Ace Cafe in London this morning to check out a local EVO meet. If you've ever heard the term "Cafe Racer" which refers to motorcycles from the 60's, then maybe you know that the owners of these motorcyles used to meet at the Ace Cafe and then race up and down the street before the song on the jukebox would end. That's pretty nuts since some of the songs back in the day were less than 2 minutes long. So that's how they earned the name "Cafe Racer".

Anyhow, over here in the UK, they hav...

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Ricer Wings on F1 Cars

I've never really had the chance to look at an F1 car up close. Here at the Autosport show in the UK, I did get to see multiple F1 cars up close. They are probably just show cars, but they are faithful representations of the current 2008 cars. Boy, I have to say that F1 has definitely gone ricer. Allow me to show you what I mean.


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United Kingdom

I just got into the UK this morning. Or was it afternoon? Jetlag and timezones got me all screwed up. I haven't even recovered from the Japan jet lag yet. The flight on United's Economy Plus wasn't too bad. No Tokyo Auto Salon for me this year (it's going on right now).

I met my boss Ken at his hotel after landing at Heathrow. There I got a cup of coffee for $6 and sat down. I stared at the menu and saw this:

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First Crashed R35 GT-R

Stolen from the Jalopnik blog (which is a really good blog site BTW):


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XS Clearance & Specials

I just heard from Troy that the XS Engineering website's clearance section is picking up some serious steam. Some of the parts are really starting to move. If you've been thinking about buying something from the site, you should do it now because everything is limited in quantity. I wish I had time to build multiple cars are use all these parts, but time is always on short supply. There is literally almost something for every popular Japanese car from the mid 80's to present day. Anyhow, check it out and score the deal you've been waiting for today.

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Option Magazine - R35 GT-R Exhaust Test

You should go and pick up a copy of the February 2008 copy of Option Magazine. Hiro the editor in chief just sent me a copy because there's a feature of Cosworth in it. Aside from the fact that there's a bitchin feature of Cosworth in it (and a picture of yours truly with a stupid ass smile), the main focus of this issue is the R35 GT-R. There's also a R35 GT-R catback exhaust test in it where some shop fabricated a titanium catback exhaust and the car made 507.9ps (500.95hp) at the flywheel. Granted, this test was conducted on a Dynapack so it probably read 5% or higher than any other dyno, but the gain of 22ps is for real. If you can't do the math, that's 485ps from the factory whi...

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Leah Dizon

At a party on new year's eve in Tokyo the TV was on in the background. On this NHK TV special that was this smoking hot chick that couldn't sing for shit. Sure I just described about 85% of the female J-pop "artists", but this one looked familiar. Sure enough it was Leah Dizon. She was singing her heart out, but she could BARELY stay in key. I mean she straight out sucked at singing. That's ok in asia though where pop stars are popular simply because they look good. If you search google for images of her, you can see...

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Happy New Year, 2008

Happy New Year and good luck in 2008! Now stop cruising blogs and go spend some time with your ...

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