Finally under the knife.

•July 31, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t had time to do any updates recently I apologize about that. I’ve been filling in tuning appointments for friends and haven’t had much time to update the blog on Kurama’s progress. I was able to take the old girl out for one last spin in her “version one” state before putting her in my workshop for some needed repairs, updates and upgrades. It was mandatory for me to take a gasoline station shot before going out on the drive.

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on the first weekend i got to spend with her i took every bit of interior upholstery and vanity panels out of her along with most of the sound isolating materials. reason behind most of it is that i kept some of that material around the transmission tunnel to help manage some of the heat from the exhaust and transmission. (quite honestly i was also dead beat tired and had taken everything else out already)  shortly after that i took her straight to a good friends shop so the chassis could be measured and pulled straight before undergoing any suspension or chassis stiffening work.

 

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I received my car back in about two weeks, with how busy his shop is all the time I am surprised it didn’t take longer than that however i wasted no time and brought her home. i pulled out the old factory twin turbo rear sub-frame along with the complete KYB damper and Eibach Spring combo.  I began preparation of the old suspension by pressing out all of the old bushings from the Spindle, rear traction rods, and lower control arms. all rubber parts just like the sub-frame were replaced by polyurethane counter parts. I pressed in new ball-joints on the rear lower control arms to eliminate any play and slack of the 25 year old factory Nissan units (which actually weren’t that bad)  also while transferring over all the control arms to the re-enforced and cleaned non-turbo sub-frame I pressed out my old factory wheel studs. reason behind that is because the factory units where developing rust and corrosion around the base of the wheel stud; knowing my luck the studs will break on my first track session. I’ve had the luck on previous build where the only things i don’t replace were the ones that failed. (most recent case radiator hoses)  however instead of going with traditional OEM Nissan studs, or the overly priced Nismo studs i altered for a set of ARP wheel studs. these studs are treated for strength and also convert my car to M12x1.5 thread pitch.  I pressed them in and proceeded to re assembling my rear sub-frame.

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Factory Studs VS ARP

Factory Studs VS ARP

this past Sunday my friend Franklin and Brandon came over in the morning to help me re-install my sub-frame being that guiding in a massive assembly back into the car by myself would be a huge challenge this took much load off my hands and we where able to have it all buttoned up in a few hours. this is how the car sits now. won’t have any time to work on my car this Sunday due to work activities and a scheduled Subaru tune. however i do plan to have my front suspension done this coming week so hopefully by the following weekend i can begin the stitch welding process of the Chassis.

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Suspension Progress

•May 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

My Subframe and differential have been sitting for a few weeks now, collecting dust waiting to be installed in my Z but my Coilover problem had still not been solved. I wanted a time attack oriented suspension system for my Z however most reputable Japanese manufactures had either discontinued their line for the Z or were special order. Normally i wouldn’t have a problem special ordering parts from japan (I actually prefer to order parts either from Japan, manufactured here in America or make them myself). However being that the dampers are a substantially important part of the suspension I do not want something that needs to be out of my hands for 4 months at a time to be serviced, at the same time i do not support suspension companies with little to no R&D in their products so i would never install their products on my car. I understand that not everyone can afford real name brand parts but that in itself is a completely different post and beating a dead horse.

that left only only one option, it was to build my own custom suspension and that is exactly what I did. I am a very creative guy so this wouldn’t be a problem, KONI shocks are very good they are used in many different types of racing and can pretty much be valved for any spring rate and racing style we want. I went ahead and ordered a set of Koni Racing shocks for my car along with a set of Koni Coilover perches and 60mm spring seats. To fix the mounting solution i went to Tein Japan for a set of BNR32 GT-R pillowball shock mounts. Koni had the shocks finished and in my hands in about 4 weeks (made to order) their coilover sleeves took a little bit longer (also made to order) the longest wait was the Tein pillowball mounts since they had to come via snail mail across the pacific. after receiving all the parts, I did some machine work on both the Koni spring perches and the pillowball mounts to make them sit exactly how i wanted them, these where the results.

 

Koni + Tein

 

With the dampers and mounting all assembled i was able to finally measure my spring length and figure out what springs i was going to use. I was bouncing between the best of the best; when it came to springs i was torn between Hyperco and Swift, being that I’m a privateer racer i was looking for the most reasonable option. I was originally going to go with Hyperco springs due to them being more affordable but my co-worker Scott insisted I gave SWIFT Springs a try. I was going to pay a little bit more but they are local which means if i am ever in a bind i would be able to drive to their facility in Chino Hills, CA rather than having to wait for Hyperco to ship me stuff. I gave Swift a call, with the part numbers of the springs i am going to begin my suspension tuning with,  I got confirmation that they are in stock and ready for me to pick up. When they found out the springs where for my personal race car i was actually given a sponsorship deal on the springs, so i promptly gave them my debit card information told them to take my money and was a very happy camper. now that the dampers are assembled I need to  test fit them, set the ride heights and figure out if I will need shorter springs to be able to squeeze the assist springs in there or if the ones i picked will be ok with the assist springs. This is what my custom Koni, Swift and Tein suspension looks like now all i need to order after i set the ride height is my Assist springs and hope i don’t have to switch to a shorter 6″ spring in the back.

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The Narita Dog Fighter

•May 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I believe on my last post i gave you guys a quick recap of what my life has consisted of for the past few months. unfortunately i have not done a very good job at documenting the builds i do until now due to time constraints. I do believe that now I will have a little more time to sit down once in a while snap a few pictures (I am no photographer by any means) and share with the world what i have been up to.

My friend Sean of Narita Dog Fight asked me about building him a custom roll cage for his 2000 Honda Civic SI sometime last year and i finally got around to it this year. it wasn’t a very fancy or complicated roll cage by any means but it is exactly what Sean wanted to i did my best to give him something as close to what he had pictured.

Narita Dog Fighter

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Sean really wanted his roll cage to be TIG welded, most fabricators MIG weld their roll cages because it’s faster and much easier. I wanted to make sure Sean was completely satisfied with his roll cage so I agreed to TIG weld his entire cage for him; one of the pictures above was captured by my friend Jay. It’s the of me doing the initial welding for the roll cage at about 2AM on a random Friday night (see what i mean about my social life?). The rest of the cage is pretty standard, nothing extraordinary but Sean is a happy customer and the cage will do it’s job perfectly fine. follow (if you don’t already do) for better pictures and more details on the Narita Dog Fight Civic build along with a ton of other cool cars.

-Juan

Rear subframe and differential

•May 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

So as some of you know I’ll be installing a non turbo rear subframe in my TT Z32, over the last few weeks I have taken little progress in between jobs. I pretty much stripped the rear subframe , addressed the weak points of the subframe & braced it for the additional track abuse. I also took the liberty of getting rid of the worn out factory rubber bushings in favor of some polyurethane units. This would ensure the Z wouldn’t have any funny business in the rear suspension at the track .

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With the frame finished I went ahead and pressed in some fresh bushings into the rear differential as well. Removed the ABS rings from the rear half shafts and installed into my rear subframe. This is pretty much as far as I’ll be able to go until I can give the car it’s own turn in the garage for the full overhaul.

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Hopefully within the next month I’ll be able to get her in the garage for her full teardown and refreshment that she is in dying need of.

-Juan

Long Absence

•April 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

So as of this past November I was offered a job over at Fontana Nissan as the Motorsports specialist / Scott’s right hand man (I guess that makes me the assistant Motorsports director?) anyway. With me wanting to get back to school focus on finishing my engineering degree and getting back to racing It was a tough offer to turn down. With the new job I have been playing catchup now more than ever, working at Nissan full time, and finishing all the scheduled jobs has been leaving me with very little to almost no time for myself. Then again being busy is usually good right?

Anyway, I was able to finish Steve’s RB25 build which made an awesome 448whp on 91 octane with a full stock cylinder head and a GTX3076R at only 16 pounds of boost by 7750 rpm. That build followed shortly by Miguel’s RB25 with A GTX3071R that ended up making close to Mikes numbers at ~420whp on a completely stock block and head. With those two cars out and on the road I was able to roll on my good friend Luis’ H22 accord and do a coil on plug conversion using K20 ignition coils, an AEM EPM and an AEM EMS (series 2) followed by a complete street tune. With his car dialed in I was able to move on to Mr. Sean “Narita Dog Fight” Lucas’ cage for his time attack civic. I was still hurt and not quite me yet since my accident in December but I was able to hammer it out and did a half way decent job. With his cage finished he took his car back to the NORUSH shop to put the finishing touches and details while I now work on Jay’s cage for his S13 which will be making it’s way home hopefully this coming weekend.

In the middle of all of those jobs I also managed to get rear ended in my 4 door civic, (totaled) buy my old s13 back from my brother-Inlaw, remember why an s13 is not the best car for a guy my size,  sell that to one of my best friends little brother as his first car. I also managed to score a 4 door integra GSR off a friend. Tune a few subaru Wrx’s; street tune a few RB and SR cars, sit shotgun as my frend threw a rod on his 271k mile old WRX (I legitimately attempted to talk him out of it) all in the mean time my Z32 has been sitting collecting dust and parts.

I really cant can’t wait to finish my friend Jay’s car and Cody’s legacy. Once I am finished with those cars I will be able to legitimately start working on my Z32. I don’t think I have the right word for the feelings I have just thinking about being back at the Circuit. It has been well over 6 years almost 7 years since I’ve  driven a Circuit, I hadn’t felt this lost and out of touch with myself…. Ever. I can’t wait to go racing, actually I can’t wait to be alive again; to feel in touch with myself and be whole again.

-Juan

 

 

Coming together.

•May 12, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Almost done with the SR20 Z32, check out the rest of the build me and Franklin are doing.

Franklin N' Friends

Forgot to get a good amount of pictures of what we did on Friday/Saturday. I’ll get them when I go back to Bardabe’s place tomorrow.

We got all the exhaust finished up, motor/trans sealed and mated together, turbo lines, and fuel pump in.

Here’s all the fittings/lines we picked up friday morning. These are for the turbo and power steering.

Turbo lines on.

 

Before putting on all the lines I resealed up a majority of the motor. Upper/lower oil pan, rear main seal, new water pump, and some other stuff I can’t remember off the top of my head.


Bolted/torqued down the clutch (way to stoked to use this thing)

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Racking parts

•February 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Adding more parts to the suspension build, things are coming together pretty quickly. This week was good, i received my SPL V3 Toe arms for the N/A rear subframe I will be installing and to complement the new suspension arms I also received my Energy Suspension master bushing kit with rear control arm bushing kit. gotta keep  playing the waiting game got a few more things to order before the overhaul.

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if all goes well come spring the Z will get it’s suspension’s spa treatment and then i can move on the the Engine management.