Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Retired an old friend

This was is the steering wheel I've been using for the last 9 years. I bought this on Ebay, in 2003 for $50. It is from a special edition Saab 900, made by Momo, from 1983. I've seen one other person with this wheel in my life, and it was in a magazine.

It has lasted me for quite some time. The steering wheel is almost as old as I am! Anyhow the leather was getting really torn, and wasn't really working too well with my gloves. I began to search for a replacement.

I started searching on Craigslist, and found this. Its a 5Zigen N1R. It is supposed to be a pretty rare piece. The kid I bought it from wasn't too knowledgeable and probably wanted to get rid of it because he bought a Chinese copy Nardi. Anyhow, I bought it for $50. It was worth driving far and speaking with him (he wasn't very pleasant) just to score this deal! Anyhow I felt good about putting this wheel on my car, since its pretty vintage in itself. It is stamped "1993".
I found a great place for my now retired piece though. It took its rightful place in my man-cave among some of my other automotive treasures!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Using fire to bond metal to metal

I welded for the first time ever! Made my  new battery tray, and in the process Mr. Pfeiffer had me do most of it my myself. Also fixed the exhaust hanger, because for some reason I break a lot of exhausts. I'm pretty proud of myself because it doesn't look like one of Mark E's welds (think boogers) and I didn't hurt myself. Of course, Alex has a very expensive welder, and he set it up for me.
Third exhaust I've broken. Its not cracking here ever again.

Battery bracket!

Cooling Blues

The last track outing I had was a blast, but wasn't without its setbacks. Leaving my car in storage for the past 2  years definitely took its toll, and showed me what I needed to fix/improve on. It was my first time with my new suspension components, engine tune, and brakes.
 The issue with open track event was with my cooling system. I always bought parts that were overkill for the car, so that I could beat on it without any worries of breaking anything. My cooling system (minus the massive oil cooler) has always been "adequate" but for some reason, the car was overheating after about  3 consecutive laps at the Streets of Willow.

I was using an OEM 2-row, which up till this point, has been great. I still recommend one to anyone with an AE86. However, since the fluid was brown I wasn't sure if its condition or the fluid in the car. I decided to do a full flush on the system, and at the same time hunt for a new radiator
OEM 2-Row AE86 radiator, brass, with my Flex-A-Lite fans
There are actually several choices for performance radiators for the AE86. I specifically looked at 4 different ones: Griffin, Koyo, Chinese copies of Koyo (including Mishimoto), and OEM rebuilt.

The Griffin, as explored by this article (http://www.driftday.com/Griffin%20test.htm) seemed like the top choice for me. However, Griffin apparently doesn't stock this radiator, and I heard some horror stories about them sending out multiple radiators that simply didn't fit at all.

I considered an OEM rebuilt, from a local radiator shop. These shops seem to be dying, since most radiators these days are plastic. The one I spoke with has been around for a while, but the guy was kind of a jerk. He quoted me $80-$120 depending on what needed to be done. I always love customer stuff, so this stayed on my radar.

The Chinese copies have come a long way. You can find them on Ebay now for around $100. I've always stayed away from these though, as I always felt a bit uneasy about putting my car's safety as well as my own in their hands.

The last choice, the Koyo, was something I had pondered in the past. Luckily I found one for the right price. It wasn't my first choice, but considering their racing history and their attention to detail and quality, it became my choice.
Koyo, so fresh and so clean, right out of the box.
The radiator itself is pretty thick. Its 2-row, all aluminum. The first thing I noticed was the weight. It was a lot lighter than my brass 2-row. The construction was top notch. Fitment was a bit tight, but still went in without any real problems. I had to trim the upper radiator hose since the radiator neck is a tad bit closer to the engine due to the increased width. I installed my fans, and also noticed they are a lot closer to the water pump pulley than before.
OEM 2-row out...

New 2-row Koyo in!
After flushing the system the prior day with Johnny Mac (thanks again!), we found that a lot of the water was totally brown. We flushed out all the nasty brown water and replaced it with clean distilled water with some water wetter. With fresh water and a new radiator, I hope everything is now going to be alright. There's an Extreme Speed track event this weekend, so hopefully I'll get to test everything out!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

After 3 weeks of long nights, coercing friends to help me by rewarding them with beer and pizza, the car got finished.

What got done:
Battle Version front tension rods with heim jointed lower control arm (Alex Pfeiffer)
Battle Version steering spacer with manual steering rack
Battle Version 50/50 4-link
Battle Version Alignment (Alex P again)
Hawk Blue racing pads, new brake master (Mark English)
Cusco RCA
New engine tune by SR Motorcars, thanks to Eric Rhee and Matt Perkins
New rear axle, bearing thanks to Blue Moon performance
New vinyl job, thanks to Matt Perkins and SR Motorcars (I'm sure Eric helped too)
New hatch paint job by R.Rabe body and paint

The car runs fantastic. Had it at auto-X and it was fine, but I'd really like to take it to a drift event. That will come soon.

Who wants to rent the balcony for a test day?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ok so, I'm getting back into the swing of things. I haven't posted in soooo long, partially because the car has been down. But now its back, and in a big way. New transmission, new suspension parts, and new vinyl on the way. I'm going to begin updating this with everything I've done since two years ago, so for the 3 of you who are still reading this, there are a lot of updates coming!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Food Truck Meet

The new hot trendy trend appears to be food trucks. The idea is to sample new, tasty cuisine without the stuffy restraunt environment. Lately, some organizers have gotten together to combine the fanboy antics of import car meets with the fat kid antics of greasy food-off-trucks to make the latest craze in what to do on weeknights, the food truck meet.
Looks pretty tasty doesn't it? Well, you're going to have to wait in line.....

But if you're lucky, you run into old friends, like drifting Kat!

What my living room table usually looks like.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cars and Coffee

Ok, so its been over a year since I've posted. A lot has happed since then, some good, some bad, and some life changing. One of those things is my addiction to Call of Duty but that's an entirely different story. Anyhow for years, I've been wanting to attend "Cars and Coffee" but could never drag myself out of bed early enough to do so. I finally was able to drag myself out of bed, and met up with Johny Mac to check this local favorite out. Needless to say, it was a lot of fun. I'll try to keep my photos of a slightly different variety, as people tend to post the same cars over and over again. Hopefully, my eye for car flavor isn't the norm.

Oh, and thanks to May I got a new camera for my birthday!

Mini. Very mini. the owner literally brought exactly what he needed for the meet, and that's it. Mostly because nothing else will fit inside the trunk.

I keep telling myself that someday, I'll own a 911. When I see fine examples like this 70's Carrera, I feel that day can't come soon enough. The hue of green, the classic lines, oh how have I survived without one?

I'm sure you've all seen Viper ACR's. Yes they're badass. Yes they have over 600 horsepower. What's more interesting is this cool sticker the owner had on the rear wing.

In my fantasy garage, I'm a private investigator. I've got a moustache. I've got an endless collection of Hawaiian shirts, and I basically cruise Hawaii all day chasin' tail and solving crimes. The last accessory needed for this lifestyle is the 308 GTS above.

I'm sure you see E46 M3's every day, but very few have the nice wheel fittment and heigh as this one.

Aother classic Carrerra, AC Cobra (kit car?) and an S2000. Such a nice variety.

I leave you with one of the nices restored interiors I saw that day.This was from inside a 1969 Shelby Cobra GT500, signed by the man himself. I guess I should have had Keiichi sign my dash when D1 still came here. Maybe next time!