What Have I been up to? – Major Update

Ok, I’ll have to admit, its been a very long time, since I have posted on this site, mostly because of laziness, but also because I have very little time to myself and a LOT of things to do, like completely destroying other players in World of Warcraft.

To be honest, I had to skim through my last few posts to see where I left off blog-wise as to build updates. And from since the last “build update” – if you can even call it that, a LOT has happened to the car.

Lets start off first with where I left off. The body kit.

Thought winter 2017, I had still been ordering various parts of the body kit, and finally piecing the full kit together. I had finally received the GT-1 Front bumper this time in not broken condition haha, which was very exciting and I had also managed to score a Garage Seigo hood in carbon – after a LONG search for one (over a year daily). I had also changed my mind with the Ganadors, as almost everyone runs these, and my build is about being unique, so I sold them off, and picked up a set of EC works type 94C mirrors which are as cool if not cooler.

Unfortunately, when I received the hood, it was in much worse condition than anticipated. Cracks everywhere, patches with random strips of fiberglass, the whole support frame was completely detached, and there was a ton of resin that was bubbling. But, I was still going to find a way to fix it up, and use it.
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A few of the other parts that had also rolled in, and I had finally scored a red bride ergo, to match the red bride maxis. DSC03135.JPG

Cute PairDSC02941.JPGphsopppff.jpg

Really Wanted to see how they looked installed, so I threw them in. DSC03139.JPG

Got lucky and scooped another set of MINT AbflugsDSC03123.JPG

 

Wile I was messing with the interior, I decided to finally revisit the rear quarter interior panels, and cut nicely fitted holes for the saito roll cage. The first time around the holes were terrible, so I decided to buy new panels for the car, to make the holes perfect. This was probably the 3rd or 4th time removing the cage from the car and it was getting really annoying, as mostly everything is a very tight fit. Finally got the holes perfect, thanks to the preexisting door cards I was now able to use as templates, and had the cage back installed.  DSC03153.JPGDSC03154.JPG

Sike! Decided the cage needed paint (silver) to match the rest of the interior theme (black and silver – minus the red seats), so I removed the cage again after a few days of persuading myself to do it. – Its not something I enjoy at all.

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I thought about the time I last drove the car, to get the fenders welded at my friends place, and all I could remember, was how painfully LOUD the car was, especially after installing the works9 exhaust. I know dynamat is a mainly used to eliminate vibration, but also has some sound deadening properties, so i started to apply it, overtop the original oem sound deadening. I started first by removing the surface rust from the spare tire hole, and just rattle canning the freshly exposed metal. Then laid dyna mat from the front mirrors, all the way to the tail lights.

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Also found out about luxer1 lighting, and bought the interior lighting kit. Photos are kinda crap and dont do it justice, but I was after a bright white glow, most kits offered are really cheap and ricey looking, the luxer1 lighting really has that premium feel.

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The setup:
Gt – 1 Front Bumper
Car Modify Wonder Side skirts
Koguchi power front and rear fenders
Ridgeback Wing (not what its actually called)
Garage Seigo Carbon Hood
Oem rear bumper
Rocket bunny rear diffuser
Attain Carbon exhaust rear bumper heat shield
Abflug Grim Headlights

So eventually, when summer came, I was able to test fit the aero and see how the car looked with the bumper and the headlights, and the hood. I was in love, the testosterone emanating from the car was nauseating.  The aero pieced together, had a very aggressive look, and the vision had officially come to life – the time attack styled car – .

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The fitment on all the parts were great, the skirts were flawless, the bumper lined up nicely as you can see in the picture, there is really nothing more than 4 bolts holding the bumper on the car, only problem was the hood was quite beat up, and required some attention. I also took some time to get rid of the narva range power bulbs (supposedly best bulb out there), and swapped them out for led’s, which was a slight improvement in the light output of the Abflug headlights.

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So just sitting around waiting for paint, I’m taking a look at the disaster of an engine bay I have, and starting to brainstorm ideas on how to clean it up.

My whole attitude with modifying the car, is modifying it in different components, focusing on one aera or aspect at a time (aero, suspension, drivetrain, interior etc). First I did interior, and was fairly happy with the parts I’ve collected, second was picking up exterior parts, which I was now finished with, apart from waiting for paint, and now it was time to start attacking the engine bay. But where to start hahahah. Look at this disaster! – Gatorade windshield wiper reservoir, and random headlight wiring all over the car – credit to that shop that sucks that I have mentioned. Don’t really want to go off topic too much, but after my experience with shops, I’ll never entrust my car to a shop for any sort of mechanical work ever again.

One of the first engine bay parts I got, outside of rare collection trinkets like oil caps and strut bars, was an odyssey pc680 battery, as the original Japanese one could not hold a charge. Small battery, relatively cheap, light, and has a decent cca rating.

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Now the bay still wasn’t looking much better, so I figured there is some more work to be done. I had noticed one day after driving home from work, my exhaust was producing a bit more smoke than usual, I wasn’t completely sure what it was because there was really no unusual color or smell, just more smoke than usual, perhaps it it was just the very cool morning weather that was messing with me, but I bought myself a compression tester, and this is when all the fun happened.

For the longest time, my car had a consistent misfire, which only happened under load, I brought it to a few shops before to address the issue, but no-one could figure it out, or wanted to figure out the issue. The misfire happened only while under heavy sudden load, so if i slowly accelerated there was no misfire, but if i just hammered the gas, it misfired like crazy. The car had been like that ever since I picked it up after it arrived in Canada. At one point, a year earlier I almost had an engine fire, when i was pulling out onto the highway when #2 coil pack lit on fire and melted.

So, I ran the compression test finally after receiving my tester  and number two cylinder was a little bit lower than all the others. dropped in some oil, and there wasn’t much of a change, just a slight improvement. Whatever, I thought, put the spark plugs back in, tightening each one to the recommended torque spec, except 1 problem, number 2 kept spinning. You don’t have to be an automotive mechanic to know you have a really bad situation on your hands when a bolt, especially a spark plug keeps spinning as you are trying to catch the first few threads. Just raw terror.

Well, back to the drawing board for me, as an inexperienced mechanic, first reaction is to go to the computer, research as much as possible the different solutions, and pick the best one while trying to be cost effective.
I had come to the conclusion, that in my case, the time-sert kit would be the best option. I cant remember what I paid, but it was not cheap (somewhere around $200) for the kit, but I wanted something of quality, with a good reputation, as this is a pretty important part/fix/repair. The whole idea of the kit being “over the fender” was very appealing to me, as I wouldn’t have to really remove anything, and it could be done fairly quickly. I didn’t really want to pull the motor, for a few reasons, I don’t have an engine hoist, don’t have an engine stand, and didn’t have much automotive mechanical experience.

One skill I’ve learned with building this car is patience. I used to always dive into something completely blind, and end up with more problems, so for me the better approach to something is simply to take my time with it, do all the research, think about it a little, plan it out, consider alternatives, or problems I may encounter, and then finally commit to doing it. I had started to prepare the bay for the task at hand by removing some parts that would get in the way:

 

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The whole concept behind the over the fender idea with the time sert repair kit, is you grease the flutes of the tap, and they are supposed to catch the shavings of aluminum you cut from the block to accommodate the insert. After thinking about it, I began to play out bad scenarios where some shavings accidentally didn’t get caught by grease in the flues, and the possible further damage inflicted by small aluminum shavings dancing on top of my pistons after the car was ready to fire up. So at this point I began to consider the option of just removing the head while the motor remained in the car.

 

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Ultimately after a lot of internal debate, and a whole lot of “may as wells”, and “fuck it” this happened:

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I bought myself an engine hoist, and a motor stand, and figured, since the car was going for paint, I had to repair the spark plug hole, might as well pull the motor, get the bay painted, and while I’m at it, would be a good opportunity to swap the fresh transmission that is just waiting to go in, the current one has a worn 2nd gear syncro.

Accidentally bent a water line, oh well.

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Got her on a stand, started to clean off the old gasket material with a dremel with a felt tip and some adhesive remover, and a plastic razor.

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almost done cleaning, just didnt take any photos of it fully cleaned.

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Ordered a fesh new oem headgasket, and some arp studs, and after using the time sert kit and repairing the spark plug thread on cylinder two, and replacing valve stem seals, I  got the head back on.

Took a dremel to the motor, and decided to try to clean it up a bit with scotch brite attachments, and whatever other attachments worked. Also replaced the oem oil pan with an ARC one. DSC03351.JPG

 

Wasnt completely satisfied with how the motor cleaned up, so I got some titanium blue paint, and sprayed it.

 

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Now, it was time to pull the rest of the parts from the engine bay, and prepare the bay for paint. Started disassembling the fuse boxesDSC03377.JPGDSC03369.JPG

got a cool shift pattern light

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Finally once everything was removed from the engine bay, another “might as well” idea led me to start shaving the bay, because why not? Might as well go full out and make the bay look as nice as possible since I’m paying all this money to get the car painted. So, I started welding up any holes that I no longer need, and ground them flat. There was also a decent amount of work, that went into the battery tray area. Got a little eager with trying to tear out the old battery tray, and instead ordered a spot weld drill bit before I did too much damage.

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I went on, de-greasing the bay, then sanding everything down, cleaning again, and started to focus on laying down some ever coat metal glaze ontop of welded aeras to smooth them out. It was a nightmare grinding down welds between the firewall and fenders, very tight, and many holes there meant I had to use a dremel with a grinding bit on the end instead of a grinding disc (which i was able to use for a majority of the welds).

With only days to spare, before my paint appointment, I tried to focus most of my energy on preparing the car now for paint, with a main focus on the engine bay. I flushed out the battery tray fairly well, flushed out the seams on the rad support, and smoothed out most of the welds with filler, and put the car on a trailer, and hauled it a few hundred kilometers to the paint shop.

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little welding repair had to be done on the rockers, the rear left lower quarter also had evidence of some previous damage.

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Remember that shitty condition Garage-Seigo hood? Some serious repair time $$$ went into this hood (~65 hours just in the hood)

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Car was hit with an epoxy primer first22790699_10155263280508772_862372090_o.jpg

Then three coats of polyester primer, a bunch of sanding and further body work, then base coat, and three coats of clear. Really like the color of this white, was an excellent choice, and looks very different depending on the lighting its in, which is exactly what I wanted. 23484661_10155310058143772_1472684751_o.jpg

 

Painter, and the body guys did an absolutely great job, pure glass. Hubeny_589.JPG

The only problem was, the paint job took so long, my car was at the shop for almost two months, and living in Canada, it was winter time, and winter time means snow, which means I couldn’t bring my car 300 km back home the same  I brought there, especially with snow on the road, which equates to salt on the road, which equates to a big no-no for fresh paint on an open uhaul trailer.

So, instead, I just hired a guy to come from a different city, pick the car up for me, and deliver it to me with his enclosed trailer.  It was totally worth it.

Finally the car was back at home (Mid November 2017) and I could continue modifying it further.

 

Look how great the hood looks now!20171129_201034.jpg

 

I recently picked up a mid tier full frame DSLR camera, I enjoy taking pictures, and have always wanted better equipment, to get higher quality images, and to be able to mess around with different light settings.

So heres a picture. Here is also where the pictures in the blog get better, and also the note I will end on 🙂

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I just have to get around to posting the most recent 4 months of what I’ve been up to, which is I guess a lot more exciting and easier to put in smaller frequent posts with very nice image quality, unlike this chapter book.

Its 5AM, so I really can’t be bothered to read and check for mistakes, I’d be surprised if anyone actually reads the whole thing anyways, but if you did,

Thanks for reading

– Mike

 

 

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