Entries for 'Mike Kojima'

06

A Look Inside the Mackin Industries/Turn 14 Distribution FR-S Pikes Peak Car

by Mike Kojima

The Evasive FR-S with its wild aero and wide body had been shipped to Japan for a time attack battle at Tskuba Circuit leaving the team without a car to compete in.  Instead, for this years Pikes Peak Effort, Evasive teamed up the Mackin Industries to run their FR-S up the mountain in the Time Attack 1 class. We had previously worked with Evasive and Mackin on setting up this car at Super Lap Battle so it was reasonably dialed in.  However, it needed another round of upgrades to tackle Pikes Peak. The work was done on a super low budget in quick order.  Turn 14 Distribution was an essential part of the effort donating many parts and helping with the budget. 

Lets take a look at what was done to the car prior to the event!


 

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05

Project Mustang 5.0 (White)- Reducing Understeer  with Ford Racing

by Mike Kojima

The McPherson strut suspension found in our Mustang has some good and bad points.  The good points are that it is simple, lightweight, inexpensive to produce and takes up minimal space in the car. This in turn allows room for more narrow shock towers so the wider DOHC Coyote engine can fit. The bad points are few but perhaps the worse is that strut type suspension has some compromises when it comes to geometry, particularly when lowered.

The benefits of lowering a car can be nullified in a strut car if the car is lowered by more than just a little.  Often lowering a strut equipped car makes the car handle worse, particularity in the front of a strut equipped car where over lowering manifests itself as increased understeer.  Some lucky owners of cars where there is a healthy aftermarket have off the shelf solutions to fix the front suspension geometry.  If you are a Mustang owner you are in luck as Ford Racing has a well engineered geometry correction solution available for you right at your local dealership's parts counter.


 

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18

Evaluating the HKS Max GT R35 GT-R Coilover Suspension System

by Mike Kojima

Not so long ago we evaluated HKS's new Max ST coil over suspension system on a Honda AP2 S2000.  The S2000 is a pretty decent handling car from the factory that is pretty suspension sensitive, the AP1 in particular has a lot of toe change with suspension moment and some wonky suspension can make it quite a handful.  

For our next evaluation we decided to try the other HKS coilover in the lineup the Max GT damper. While the Max ST is calibrated for the serious driver being set up like a hard core street and or weekend warrior track day shock, the GT is made for a mildly performance oriented driver that wants to lower their vehicle with a decent ride and have handling that is a step up from stock but with little sacrificed in the way of ride comfort.


 

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11

Extreme Engine Tech: Building the Ultimate K24 Part 3 - The Finished Goods!

by Mike Kojima

We have been working with Motovicity for the last few weeks to demonstrate the building of a potent Honda K24Z7 motor, built completely from in stock and off the shelf parts available from Motovicity themselves. We chose the K24Z7 as it is currently the OEM engine for the Civic Si and is relatively difficult to modify due to it's emissions bound cylinder head.  Our goal is not to build a dyno queen or a drag motor but to build a strong K motor all from off the shelf parts with the intention of getting the most power possible on pump gas with the widest most useable powerband. 

In the last two editions of our series we focused on the cylinder head and bottom end of our K24Z7. We swapped to an earlier model K20Z3 head  to get Vtec on the exhaust side and and removable exhaust manifold and installed Skunk2 camshafts, Kelford valvesprings and Supertech valves better suited for turbocharged use. For the bottom end we added lower compression JE pistons and stronger K1 rods, removing the problematic balance shafts while we were in there.  

Now it's time to finish off our motor. 


 

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01

Extreme Engine Tech, Building the Ultimate K24 Part 2 The Bottom End!

By Mike Kojima

In the last edition of our series, we had focused on the engines top end switching to a an earlier model K20Z3 head with Vtec on both the intake and exhaust sides of the engine and a removable exhaust manifold all big steps in getting more performance.

Now We will be turning our attention to the engine bottom end, fortifying it for turbo power! Like the head, our goal will be to use off the shelf parts available in stock at Motovicity in the build. This engine is not some super esoteric custom build but one anyone could easily duplicate. 


 

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24

Extreme Engine Tech: Building the Ultimate K24 Part 1 The Cylinder Head!

by Mike Kojima

Modding late model Honda/Acura engines is somewhat problematic lately.  Take for instance the late model K series engine.  Once probably the best naturally aspirated inline four cylinder production engine by far, the K motor in it's latest variant, the K24Z7, is a neutered, decontented version of its former self.  Found in the current 2012 and up Honda Civic Si and the Acura ILX, the K24Z7 still boasts a decent 205 hp and 174 lb ft of torque. This is slightly better power and much better torque than the much acclaimed bone stock K20A2 that everyone knows and loves.

Can the late model K motor be saved?  We will give it a shot with help from the guys at Motovicity Distribution!


 

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18

Lessons in Turbo Technology with Garrett!  Lesson 1 - The Compressor Wheel

by Mike Kojima

Recently we were privileged to be able to take a look behind the walls of Garrett Turbochargers' research and development facilities.  We were able to get an insider view of the intensive engineering inside a Garrett Turbo and viewed first hand what differentiates it from your typical aftermarket fare.  We were very impressed by what we saw and we would like to share it with you by breaking some of what a World Class OEM supplier puts into the performance turbos any consumer can buy into easily digestible lessons that we will be presenting to you periodically. Perhaps the key part of any turbo is the compressor wheel.  Let's look at what Garrett does to bring you one of the best compressor wheels on the market. 


 

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17

Help For Yukio Taira!

Industry News (please share): This Thursday a good friend of MotoIQ and a well known face in the industy, Yukio Taira the Aftermarket Marketing Manager at Turbo By Garrett, had a stroke on his flight to Road Atlanta where he was headed to handle race support. If you're someone that Yukio has helped with sponsorship or just a caring person please show your support as the medical and family expenses will be piling up during his recovery time.

Please visit Yukio's Go Fund Me page and help out.  Every little bit counts.

MotoIQ has in its thoughts the Taira family, Yukio's friends and everyone in the industry that is impacted by this tragic incident.

God Speed.


 

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03

Sneak Peek- Matt Coffman's 2015 Formula Drift Nissan S13

by Mike Kojima

21 year old Matt Coffman is currently in his second year of Formula D competition.  The second youngest driver on the Formula D circuit, in his freshman year Matt campaigned his S13 to 33rd in points.  Lacking experience Matt had a tough time on his first Formula D tour and didn't qualify for 3 of the 7 rounds.  For his second time around, Matt and his team have attacked the season with renewed vigor, building a new car and having an aggressive pre season test schedule to enable Matt to become more familiar with his new ride.


 

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26

Sneak Peak-Tanner Foust's 2015 VW Passat Formula Drift Machine! 

by Mike Kojima

Tanner Foust is returning to Formula D and he bringing his GRC sponsors VW and Rockstar energy drinks with him. Unfortunately, Tanner is only going to be at selected events on the FD schedule that don't conflict with his other professional commitments.  Tanner's return to drifting is also significant as he is  teamed up with Star Driver Fredric Aasbo making a Rockstar dream team of drifting.


 

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23

Extreme Engine Tech, Technosquare's Monster Naturally Aspirated Toyota 4AG - Part 3 (VIDEO INSIDE!

by Mike Kojima, Photos & Video by Jeff Naeyaert

Way back when the third and final installment of this build was part of our best of 2010 series. It's still a great article presented here for you to check out one more time. Follow the links, read all three parts and enjoy!

When we last left the Technosquare crew, they had completed the stroker 4AG engine's bottom end and assembled the cylinder head.  Now it was time for the engine's final assembly and installation into an AE86 time attack car.

Click Here for Part One

Click Here for Part Two


 

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19

Project Ford Fiesta ST- Making the Jump to a Race Car with SPD Motorsports Part 2!

by Mike Kojima

When we last left our Project Ford Fiesta ST it was being converted into a race car by the capable hands of SPD Motorsports.  As progress continues, SPD  is working on installing a crash resistant fuel system using components from Fuel Safe, Deatschwerks, and Aeromotive. Other details like Lexan windows, brake ducting and the interior are coming together as well.


 

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16
Extreme Engine Tech: Technosquare's Monster Naturally Aspirated Toyota 4AG - Part 2

Extreme Engine Tech: Technosquare's Monster Naturally Aspirated Toyota 4AG - Part 2

by Mike Kojima

In our last edition of the building of Technosquare's monster Toyota 4AG, we mainly looked at the details of the bottom end.  Now we will finish our tour of the bottom end and delve into the engine's cylinder head which is the heart of any high performance engine.

The 83mm x 83 mm stroker motor gives 1800cc.  The 200 extra cc's makes a huge difference, fortifying the 4AG's notoriously narrow power band. The engine cranks out over 250 crank hp, more than the most highly developed Formula Atlantic engines of yore and 30 more hp than the previous 1600 cc version of this motor. Here it is, re released again for your reading pleasure!


 

 

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12

Project Tundra: Leveling it out with a Hellwig Big Wig Air Lift

by Mike Kojima

In the last edition of Project Tundra, we had installed Hellwig's adjustable rear antisway bar in an effort to improve our truck's balance and limit body body roll to help keep our stability control from activating prematurely. 

Now to finish up our chassis tuning we wanted to address a problem all trucks that tow have. With tongue weight in place the back of a trucks sags lower and the front lifts higher.  This makes the handling a little squirrely at times, the steering getting light a lot due to the geometry changes of the front end when under droop. The heavily loaded rear suspension is also prone to bottom out with bigger enclosed trailers which can make things interesting and possibly damage the trailer jack.

To fix this by leveling out our truck without hurting our ride, we decided to go with a set of Hellwig Big Wig air bags.  The air bags can increase the rear suspension's capacity by 2700 lbs and restore the proper ride height improving stability and laden ride.  When finished towing, the bags can be depressurized for a stock ride height. and smooth ride.


 

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09
Technosquare Howard Watanabe 4AG Engine Build

Extreme Engine Tech:  Technosquare's Monster Naturally Aspirated Toyota 4AG - Part I

by Mike Kojima

The Toyota 4AG is a historic engine, one that was essential in launching sport compact car culture in the USA.  In 1985 the 4AG first rocked the automotive world.  It was the standard engine in the Toyota Corolla GTS, the famed Hachi Roku AE86.  The AE86 was the last of the RWD Corollas and Toyota made history by equipping it with the revolutionary 4AG engine.  Not to be forgotten, the AW11 MR2 mid engine sports car was also powered by the 4AG.


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06

Project VA WRX, Upgrading the Bushings and Swaybars with Superpro Part 1

by Mike Kojima

We decided to be different and tackle the Subaru WRX as our latest Project Car because it's big sister, the STI has been always getting all the attention.  More people can afford the WRX which we consider to be a performance bargain and more enthusiasts drive them.  We will be working with ARK Design to get this car going and make it more fun to drive. 

One of the first things we did as is typical on most of our project cars is to work on the suspension first.   Since we are still deciding on what to do for dampers on our project, we decided to start with changing the soft rubber suspension bushings with some polyurethane parts by Superpro.


 

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05

Project Tundra, Getting More Cornering Power (and less stability control activation) with a Hellwig Adjustable Rear Antisway Bar

by Mike Kojima

If you have been following Project Tundra, you know we have been struggling with excessive activation of our truck's stability and traction control systems.  The improved power of our supercharged engine and additional traction of our larger tires have been driving the electronic nannys of the truck's OEM systems crazy.  We were hopeful that a new adjustable rear antisway bar from Hellwig would help.


 

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30

Evaluating the HKS Max IV SP S2000 Coilover Suspension System

by Mike Kojima

The guys at Motovicity have been singing the praises of HKS's new Max IV coilover systems to us for a while.  While we have generally always been impressed with HKS's tidy OEM like engineering, it was a while since we had experienced their coilovers.  In the early 2000's we had tried some of the original Hipermax suspensions on a few of our cars and although we found them to be of high quality and smooth riding, they did not have enough spring rate and damping for serious performance with big sticky tires and especially track use.  We sort of regulated the brand as nice for street use only and looked toward other places for suspension for our projects.

Fast forward 10 years and 4 generations of Hipermax suspension later, plus Motovicity's raving about them made us eager to get our hands on the Hipermax or Max 4 suspension system for another review.


 

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29

Spotted: The New 2016 Sixth Generation Chevy Camaro!

by Mike Kojima

Our government connection West Virginia Legislator Delegate Gary Howell sent us these pictures today.  Apparently Gary was eating at a Chick-Fil-A and noticed that a disguised vehicle was sitting in the parking lot.  He managed to snap a few pictures before the car's driver sped off in it. If you look close you can see his reflection in the glass! We think that the heavily disguised vehicle is the new 2016 Camaro.  In fact, we're just about sure it is.


 

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22

Project SEMA Scion Tuner Challenge FR-S, Working on the Cosmetics

by Mike Kojima

In our previous installments of Project SEMA Scion Tuner Challenge FR-S we have been working on getting the performance of our sports coupe up to snuff.  Now it's time to look at stuff that we usually don't care that much about: the looks stuff and cool JDM bits needed for car show points!

Since we figured that every FR-S at the SEMA show was going to sport the new Rocket Bunny wide body kit, we decided to do something completely different. We came up with a theme of restraint.  At the risk that no one would get it, we decided to go MotoIQ style and come up with a look of a practical daily driver car, one that would look trick with a few high quality parts but not something that would scream look at me.  Would the judges get it?  Probably not but we had to do something radically different. 


 

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