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things I learned while rebuilding the rb post header

If you’ve seen any of my previous posts, you will more than likely know that since taking ownership of the Laurel, I’ve been struggling with getting it in a running state. First it turned out the turbo was in need of some TLC, which Midlands Turbo rebuilt and upgraded for me. Then it seemed like I had head gasket failure… I say seemed, I might go into that later in this post.

After running a bunch of compression and leak tests I decided that the head gasket needed changing. Was I going to send the car off somewhere to get it done? Or tackle it myself? Ever since I’ve started messing around with cars I was always of the mindset of “it’s always worth having a go yourself first” the reason being that its a learning experience, you might succeed and have the satisfaction of knowing you did all that work yourself, or you might fail and have to send it somewhere to get it repaired professionally, safe in the knowledge that you at least tried.

Before I continue this isn’t going to be a step by step guide to replacing the head gasket on an RB so if thats what you’re looking for I’m afraid you’re in the wrong place.

I thought it would be good as someone who tackled something as big as this and succeeded to go over some of the things that helped me get through it and eventually succeed.

1. A garage or unit will always help.

This seems pretty self explanatory, but as someone who just did this job on his driveway I can say first hand that I would more than likely have had this done a lot sooner if I’d had shelter to work under, the car had been on axle stands since last November.

The only reason for this was because just as I was ready to start tearing down the engine the weather turned rubbish. So naturally I had to wait for good weather before I could do anything.

2. Take lots of photos.

I’m not talking about updating your instagram or Facebook here, although you could use them for that. Taking photos as you take everything apart will help you remember how things go back together when you come to the rebuild.

It may be that you have to wait a couple of weeks (or if the weather turns rubbish, months) to do the rebuild by which time unless you’re mega mind you’re probably not going to remember all the little bits and pieces.

I think there were at least three occasions during the rebuild that I had found I had either left over bolts or a piece that was supposed to be put in before something else and had to back track.

3. Label and bag EVERYTHING!!

This might seem self explanatory, but it was a real big help to me. Get a bunch of ziplock sandwich bags and a sharpie and as you take bolts or brackets off write on the bag where they came from and put them inside. When going this far down into an engine you’ll find that the same size and thread pitch of bolts can possibly fit in different places but might not be long enough or short enough. It might seem a bit anal to label everything but trust me, its worth it!

4. Friends are key.

Again this one might sound like something you should already know, but its thanks to the advice of people who had done this job before (not necessarily on the same engine) that made me feel like I could even attempt it. You may pick up some little tips or tricks along the way, in my case I had a local long time friend who had rebuilt a number of engines including his Pinto engine in his MK2 Escort, so he was my first port of call. I also had some advice from guy who wasn’t local to me but I knew from the drift scene who was well versed in the ways of the RB who gave me some handy tips and tricks as well as invaluable knowledge of the different components on the engine. There was always one eagle eyed guy that spotted I was missing a dowel in the block of the engine when I posted a photo of me starting to put it back together.

5. The internet doesn’t always know best.

This point sounds like it might go against what I said in my previous point but go with me on this one. Along the way I must have had countless comments and messages from people telling me I should do this and that, or upgrade X or Y while I was stripping down the engine. Before you even start to attempt something like this make sure you have a clear game plan in your head of what you want to achieve.

For me the main and only goal was to rebuild the engine with a better head gasket and better studs, the turbo was already solid after a rebuild and I was adamant that I wasn’t chasing a horsepower figure. I just wanted to be able to get back out on the road, get a feel for the car (since I’ve only had a couple of goes in it while my wife owned it!) and get some seat time on track!

Yet various people seemed to think that I should be replacing injectors, fuel pumps, cams, valve springs, and even the freshly rebuilt turbo while I had the engine apart, if I had done these things at the same time not only would I have had to re-mortgage my house in order to pay for it all, I most likely wouldn’t have had the car finished this side of Christmas!

The only people I did listen to in the end on social media, was a certain Mr. Drift Crash (go check out his YouTube channel) who actually saved me money by persuading me to stick with a two piece propshaft instead of going to a one piece, and a couple of guys (sorry I can’t remember your names) who recommended tools to me.

5. Don’t set yourself unreasonable deadlines.

I see it on the internet all the time, someone breaks something on their car and instead of focussing on fixing it and making sure its fixed they focus on getting it to the next drift day, meet, or car show. So what if you’re going to miss an event or two because you’re fixing something that broke. The only reason you would do this is because you want to be seen and made popular on social media.

All you’re doing by going down this route is putting unnecessary stress on yourself. Focus on the task at hand and don’t give yourself a due date.

6. Support.

This kind of harks back to my previous point about friends. But this time I’m talking about your loved ones.

In my case my wife was super supportive through out she helped where she could, and was always on hand to pick me up when I felt defeated, granted I might have thrown a few tools around the garden too, but her words and help gave me the the confidence to carry on and not give up, even when I thought I was in over my head.

Death or Glory! COVID-19 update

TLDR: THERE WILL BE DELAYS ON ALL ORDERS, UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED.

As you are probably aware from all of the news coverage over the last few weeks we are currently in the midst of a pandemic. This has already affected many businesses and in coming months is likely to affect many more.

Early last year I changed the way I run Death or Glory! I decided to start using a print on demand service to print all of my clothing. This has helped me to keep the cost of my clothing to a minimum as well as only ever print what you order. Until recently this has been working well, the only things that get printed in bulk are the stickers, I get them printed and them send them to the printing company so that they can ship your orders as one.

This does however mean I am working symbiotically with another company, which means should anything happen to the printing company during these testing times I am also affected.

I am regularly checking their status to see if they are still open for business and so far they are, but with a skeleton crew, however they recently updated their
status to reflect that one of their biggest suppliers of clothing has had to close down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, so while they currently have stocks of clothing in their warehouse if those deplete they will be forced to close down until other businesses start back up again.

What does this mean for my business?

At present I can still take orders however due to limited staff at the printers your orders may take longer than usual to be shipped.

I truly appreciate any and all of your support whether you’ve bought one sticker or you have collected every design I’ve released.

If I am forced to stop taking orders I will update the website accordingly. This does not mean that I will be closing up shop all together, in the mean time I will be working hard on new designs for the brand ready for when I can re-open again.

If you want to keep up to date with what designs will be coming you can do so on my social media chanels:

Twitter
Instagram
Facebook

I am forever grateful for all of your support so far and I hope we can all get through this.

Thank you!

Lee (Death or Glory!)

Death or Glory! C33 Laurel

Since the weather turned wintery it has been difficult to get outside and figure out why the RB is still mixing coolant and oil.

Thankfully, last weekend a chance finally arose as the skies stayed clear, so I got out there and after bolting the turbo back on (so that none of the coolant or oil lines were left open!) I did a pressure test on the engine.

A pressure test is pretty much as it states, you pressurise the cooling system of your engine and if the pressure stays constant you’re more than likely okay (or looking in the wrong place), but if you see pressure loss you have a leak somewhere.

The coolant pressure test kit comes with a variety of different radiator caps and fittings as well as a hand pump, I found the correct sized cap for my radiator, fitted it, connected the pump and then started pumping to the required pressure.

I left everything for long enough to make a brew and when I came back, sure enough, I had lost pressure.

After leaving it a bit longer it continued to lose pressure after double-checking all of the lines to make sure there were no leaks.

This confirmed my suspicion that the head gasket was probably due for replacing (or worse that there may be a crack in the head somewhere.)

RB20DET refurbished turbo for the C33 Laurel

Following on from my last post you might remember that after finding the turbo had started spewing fluids I had sent it off to Midland Turbo for a rebuild.

The turn around by these guys was epic! it took them just 4 days to inspect, rebuild and send the unit back to me. As part of the rebuild I had requested that the internals be upgraded to steel instead of the stock ceramics. This meant that in order or run the turbo safely after the rebuild I would need to ensure more oil flow to the turbo, this meant either drilling out the restrictor in the banjo bolt that mounts the oil feed to the block, or buying a kit from Conceptua Tuning that replaces the stock oil line and fittings. I opted to buy the kit as I didn’t really want to run the risk of not making a decent job of drilling out the bolt.

Re-installing the turbo felt pretty straight forward, first loosely fitting the water lines, then the oil return line, then the down pipe and finally bolting the whole lot up to the manifold. However there was one problem… In my wisdom I thought it was a good idea to bolt the oil feed to the block before doing anything else. This meant that when it came to bolting and tightening the line on the turbo it got a bit tangled. the only option was to unbolt it from the block unravel it and then bolt it back up again.

However when I went to unbolt the banjo bolt, it snapped!

All I can think is that I must have over tightened it for worrying about it leaking. I tried getting it out without having to take everything off again but it was just too tight, its possible the new banjo bolt supplied with the kit was longer and so when I wound it in, it bottomed out on the block. thankfully after messaging a few people my good friend Ste appeared on the driveway (a bit like a mechanic genie!) and after welding a nut to the end of the bit of the bolt sticking out he managed to wind it all out.

Then, we set to work putting everything back together again, this time however we had to drill out the restrictor in one of the stock banjo bolts… the one thing I was trying to avoid by purchasing the kit!

Thankfully Ste has a steady hand for stuff like this and managed it pretty easily.

Once everything was back together it was time to start priming the system by un plugging the ignitor block and turning the key so that the engine turned over and pumped oil around everything without actually firing.

This also helped us see that in being wary about overtightening the oil feed again, I had not tightened it enough, so I nipped it up again.

After that there was just one thing to do… start it! She fired first time and aside from a noise coming from the timing belt (next job on the list!) she sounded mint, there was no smoke from the exhaust but a fair bit of the remaining milkshake from the turbo dying did get ejected. I can’t wait to test it out properly at the next drift day, I’m actually getting excited for November!!

I would like to say a massive thank you to Midland Turbo for all their hard work with rebuilding the turbo, the guys were extremely helpful and answered any questions I had. If you’re in the UK and in need of a turbo rebuild or even an upgrade, I would definitely recommend these guys!

Also a huge thanks to my better half Lucy for all her help and for being quick enough to dodge flying spanners when I realised I’d snapped that bolt! And finally again a massive thanks to Ste for turning up when he did and helping to fix my mess!

Classic Car meet at the Woolpack, Esholt September 2019

First lets get something out of the way, if you’re wondering why the name “The Woolpack” sounds familiar, its probably because you’ve been brought up watching a program on TV by the name of Emmerdale or Emmerdale Farm.

In the early days, before a puprose built village set was built, the program was filmed in and around a small village in West Yorkshire called Esholt. The pub in the village is the same pub that was used in the program and this was the location for tonights classic car meet.

I had known for a while that they held regular car meets here but had never ventured to one, but when a friend of mine phoned to ask if I fancied going I thought “Sure, why not?”

We got down there just after 7pm and it was already in full swing, the rear car park was packed out, and the late arrivals were filling up the street in front of the pub. The variety of cars on display was really something! Especially in such a small area!

There were classic VW Beetles, Mini’s, Ford’s, Morgan’s, Land Rover’s and even a couple of classic American cars in the form of one 1930’s Cadillac V16 and a 70’s Dodge Charger…

even a few more modern cars had managed to sneak in!

My good friend Ste even brought his Escort along:

I’m hoping to do a bit of a feature on this car soon!

The atmoshpere was relaxed, and the pub had even laid on a barbecue overall it was a great way to spend a few hours out of the house.

If you read my last post, I was rushing to make the Laurel ready for the August bank holiday drift day at Teesside. Sadly all my effort was in vain, We got the to the drift day just fine, but no sooner had I paid up and signed on, than I was getting my money back and packing up again.

What happened? Well, it started just as we were unloading the car from the trailer, I backed it off with no issues, parked the Laurel up next to the trailer in readiness to set up my pit area. I’d left the car idling so as to get it warmed up, when I noticed something, there was an unusual amount of smoke coming from the exhaust. I gave the engine a few blips and sure enough I created a smoke screen that engulfed the road behind where I had set up my pit. Not good!!

What do I do now? Run it anyway and risk plunging all of Teesside Autodrome into a dense fog?

While there are many out there that would probably have sent it regardless, I’m not that way inclined, the thought of ruining a drift day for others is not something I ever want to do.

So, feeling slightly dejected I headed to the office, got my money back (thankfully there was a queue of reserves waiting!), loaded the car back onto trailer and headed home.

Once home and unloaded it was time to try and diagnose the problem. The first thing I checked was whether there was mayo forming, if you haven’t done this before its a pretty simple test all you need to do is remove the oil filler cap and check it, if you have something that looks like mayonnaise on it, this is usually a sign that coolant is making its way into the engine and mixing with the oil.

the next thing I decided to do was a compression test, this proved inconclusive as all 6 cylinders results were very close (around 150psi).

Then I decided to drop the engine oil and coolant from the engine to see if there were any signs of the two mixing, both looked fine, dirty, but otherwise fine.

However I hadn’t yet done a sniff test, so this meant I had to fill the engine with oil and coolant again (don’t worry I put fresh in just to be sure!)

The sniff test also proved inconclusive the fluid didn’t change colour. Finally after talking with a friend I decided to pull the intercooler piping off to see if there was any sign of oil or coolant in the pipes. It was just as I popped the coupler for the pipe going from the turbo to the intercooler off that this happened…

Sure enough there was fluid in the piping! As I took the rest of the piping and the intercooler off, the extent of the problem became clearer. Every piece of pipe I removed dribbled fluid from it, then I finally looked at the turbo itself. It was easy to see where all this fluid had come from:

So now I know what the problem is, what now?

As I write this, I’ve already removed the turbo and sent it off for a rebuild with Midland Turbo. They will be refreshing all seals and upgrading the ceramic internals with steel. I’ve also booked myself onto the next drift day at Teesside on 4th November, as I’m determined to get at least one full drift day before the end of the year!

Will I make it? Will I get to do a skid in the Laurel this year? Watch this space!

Death or Glory! C33 Laurel

So Since taking ownership of the Laurel, what’s been happening?

Well, I wanted to get it to a drift day ASAP, I’m not one for hanging around but at the same time there were a few things that needed adressing before I could take it out on track.

Following the coilpack issues with the Skyline I decided to treat the RB in the Laurel to some new coil packs in the form of Yellow Jackets coilpacks. The installation was extremely simple, just unbolt the old ones and bolt in these, I also replaced the spark plugs for good measure.

While I was working in the engine bay I decided to do a little bit of tidying up starting with addressing the tatty looking rocker covers, they looked like they’d had something spill on them removing most of the paint at some point in the past, so while the engine is apart why not!

I had some spray paint knocking around in the shed so after a good clean and scuff I hit them with a few coats of high temp paint, followed by some fancy sparkle flake stuff I had knocking around and finally a few coats of clear lacquer before replacing the gaskets with new and re-fitting them.

Once the rocker covers had been refitted I realised that the cam cover now looked scruffier than ever, so that was the next thing to get the tidy up treatment.

Then it was time to do a bit of simplifying, as when we initially fitted a catch can there were a bunch of pipes that needed plugging, one of these pipes no longer went anywhere and so could be removed, it was weleded to another pipe that’s still needed so I broke out the angle grinder and got choppy! Sadly I forgot to take photos of this bit!

Since we first got the car it had had an aftermarket grounding kit fitted to it, this thing looked messy but at the time we didn’t want to touch it, it was working ant thats all that mattered. Sadly as time went on we found that were coming up against other problems that could be caused by bad grounding.

After a bunch of fixes that worked temporarily I decided it was time to remove the grounding kit (which by the way had two out of five of the ground wires going back to the negative terminal on the battery!) and try to find the source of the issue.

It didn’t take long, while I was working on the hot side of the engine I found the remains of a factory ground strap going from the top of the manifold to the chassis it had snapped near the manifold, I jumped online and bought a replacement and that sorted it.

It made sense while I was working in that area to finally delete the charcoal cannister too, doing this seems to be common on most drift and performance Jap cars and its a surprisingly easy job to do.

Now that the engine was back together, it was time to turn my attention to the interior. At the last drift day the gauges for oil temp, water temp and oil pressure stopped working, I was initially hoping that that sorting the grounding issues on the car would fix this too but it didn’t! Thankfully this was another issue where it didn’t take long to find the root cause.

The power for these gauges was taken from the switched power on the cigarette lighter, and the fuse for the lighter had blown so replacing the fuse fixed the gauges too. At some point I will find a better location to get switched power for these gauges but for now at least until after I’ve been to the track I’ll leave things as they are.

I also tried to get the stereo working again but sadly this wasn’t happening, I’m not sure why it isn’t working as its getting power so must be a grounding issue but all my attempts to ground it were a failure. Thankfully having music isn’t a must for a drift day.

After a bit of tidying up it was time to fit the new seats, I’d had these sitting around since they had first been released, I was originally going to fit them to the Skyline but when I decided to let that go I just HAD to keep them for the Laurel instead. I’m talking of course about my Shirts Tucked In (https://store.shirtstuckedin.com/) bucket seats.

I don’t think I need to talk about how I fitted the seats as most have fitted a bucket seat at some point. I was surprised, however at just how much these brightened up the interior! Coupled with my Yashio Factory harness bought from Otaku Garage they look amazing!! I really need to get a second one of these harnesses at some point for the passenger side!

So now the car is ready to take to the track, it doesn’t have a body kit yet, so to some its going to look a bit like a missile car but thats only temporary! The main thing is I start getting to grips with driving this thing hard!

Back to basics

Those who know me will know I tend to do over commit and don’t do things by halves.

Lily my JZ lexus is still in a million pieces and needing lots of work so I have decided to take my time rebuilding Lily so she probably won’t be ready until next year now. 

The thought of taking a year out from drifting and not crashing into my friends or walls, or bankings, makes me break out in a cold sweat.  Living like normal people for a year that shit is scary.  I mean imagine my friends feeling safe on track knowing I can’t crash into them.  Now we can’t have that.

I’d like to introduce you to Letty. She is a 2003 Lexus IS200 and I’ll only be going half mental with her.

Why buy another car rather than spend money on finishing Lily?  There are a few reasons behind.

  1. I don’t have an unlimited budget or unlimited spare time so rebuilding lily the way I want her will take me both a fair about of time and money and I don’t want to rush it.
  2. The best investment any drifter can make is SEAT TIME.  
  3. I became a drifter because I love drifting. Building my own cars because I love building cars and now with 2 cars I can do both.  Passion is what fuels life if you’re not passionate and enjoying what you’re doing then don’t bother. 
  4. Letty was a very good price and built mostly from spare parts I had lying about my workshop so letty cost me  in total £800
  5. I now have a spare drift car to test out new developments, techniques, products on.
  6. More cars equals more FUN………

Letty’s Specs at the moment

Steering = Lengthened lower arms made by Millermods Garage, Minty Fresh Rega Rox knuckles, 5 mm steering rack spacers, shortened corolla tie rods. Cheap ebay coilovers there were on the car when she arrived but I have replaced the springs to 20kg HSD Springs. Front Geometry settings are 6 degrees negative camber, 8 degrees positive caster, 1mm toed out.

Braking = Standard calipers all round with a cheap hydro handle and a 0.625 cylinder fitted in the standard brake system. ABS unit unplugged (you don’t need to remove any fuses or relays just unplug the Abs unit in the engine bay and that will disable ABS and the traction control system)

Wheels = Front 17×9 ET25 XXRs with 215/40/17 Federal 595 RSRs. Running 20/25psi

 Rear = 17×9.5 et 25 Rotas with 225/45/17 El Cheapo tyres running 35/40psi in the dry. 25/30 psi in the wet.

Engine = 1G-FE with Induction Kit, Decat stainless steel exhaust system.

Transmission = Standard manual gearbox and a welded Automatic Diff.

Manual diff is 3.9/1 ratio  Automatic diffs are 4.3/1 ratio so easier to spin and skid with but due to the different ratio your speedo will not read correctly.  

Bodykit = Vertex front, sides and rear lip.  Which I have ran over and destroyed already.

It was a bit of a Baptism of fire for letty’s first shake down. It was a private day set up and organise by a local drifter Briony for the sole purpose of practising the track layout for the Scottish Drift Championship that was being held that weekend which happened to be the same layout as the British Drift Championship run this time. 

Man, I forgot how much work is involved skidding a standard lexus especially on big long sweeping corners but none the less we had some awesome fun and many many clutch kicks.

The weekend after that I have done a public practice day where we ran the reverse shift lock set up at Driftland.  This set up is full of tight corners and flick entries and so much fun.

Lees Land Rover Discovery II being loaded up

You may have seen a few of my previous blog posts about my Land Rover Discovery.

I originally bought this vehicle as my daily/tow vehicle. In order for a vehicle to be a good daily/towing vehicle in my eyes it needs to be reliable, and it turns out that this particular one wasn’t, with the transmission needing replacing after just a month of ownership, strangely the only trips the vehicle ever managed to make without issue was when it was towing my car to the track! Every other long journey bar a couple it has let me down in some way, leaving me, Lucy and our poor dog stranded at the side of the UK’s motorways.

Another quality I was looking for at least as far as being a tow car was it being strong, it certainly was that with a towing capacity of 3500kg it had no trouble at all towing a car and trailer.

One thing I didn’t want from a daily was something that was going to take my already limited time away from the drift car, and as mentioned this definitely demanded far more attention than it should have, resulting in me and in some cases my friends working into the night just to get this thing back on the road!

The final strike for the Discovery came recently while visiting family, we were 5 hours into a 6 hour drive to the south coast for the weekend when suddenly it started overheating and losing power. Thankfully I was coming up to a petrol station so I pulled in to investigate the problem. It didn’t take long before I realised that all of the coolant in the engine had decided it was going to exit, not out of a radiator hose or anything simple like that, but out of a hole where the head gasket should have been!

This was the last straw for me, if you have to call recovery for a vehicle four times in twelve months I do not class it as reliable. I had always liked them but after this I won’t be using one again or at least not an old one.

So as you can probably imagine at this point, it’s time to say goodbye to the Disco, and start the search for something to replace it.

NIssan R32 Skyline and Nissan C33 Laurel

Firstly apologies, I have been quiet on the blog lately. This has been for a number of reasons, some are website and product related (new stuff coming soon!), the main reason is what I am about to discuss.

Following the Rogue Concept as you may remember from my previous blog post, the Skyline had developed a misfire. This turned out to be a coil pack issue, and mostly my own fault. Since I had started drifting nobody ever told me that it’s a good idea to remove the coil pack cover to make sure the coils don’t overheat. I did often wonder why so many drift cars had their coils exposed but I guess it just never clicked.

facepalm

Anyway the coils have now been replaced and the Skyline is working well again, good time!

While I was working on fixing the Skyline, Lucy asked me if I wanted the Laurel, I knew instantly why she was asking this… she was thinking about getting a new project.

We have a rule in our house that neither of us is allowed more than one project car at a time, mainly because we don’t want our home looking like a scrap yard. So what would this mean if I did take the Laurel? after discussing it with her the deal was that if I took the Laurel I would need to sell the Skyline, and the money from the sale of the Skyline would go towards Lucy’s next project. That’s fair, I mean neither of us have money coming out of our ears.

But did I want to sell the Skyline? When I first got this car it was a learning curve, both in terms of drifting and spannering on it. In the (almost) five years I’ve owned it, it has been amazing and has taken everything I have thrown at it. It has helped me understand how the changes I make affect how the car handles, in some cases how they have improved things and in other cases where I have made things worse and as a result had to revert them. The big thing for me though was that I always wanted one of these cars (but not an NA).

Death or Glory! R32 Skyline

When I first bought this car, it was between this one and a four door GTST that was in Ireland for the same price! I did kind of have my heart set on the four door as it was everything I was looking for, but the guy selling it took 6 months to come back to me about whether or not it was still up for sale (it was!!) by which time I’d settled on this NA beauty. Yes it was NA but at the time turbo engines were still reasonably priced so had I levelled up quick enough I could save and do a turbo upgrade at a later date.

As time went on the prices of RB’s started to increase and as a result I decided to just focus on pushing myself as far as I could with the NA, until I could go no further.

Then at the beginning of this year, Lucy decided she wanted to learn to drift… with the Laurel, so we got it ready and took it to Santa Pod so she should start off using the play pens. I had a few goes in the Laurel too and immediately fell in love with how amazing the turbo RB felt, and how well the Laurel skidded, so much so that when I was struggling to get the Skyline ready for Rouge Concept, Lucy was trying to get me to take the Laurel in its place if I couldn’t get the skyline ready.

So did I want the Laurel? Well, from the first day Lucy brought it home, I said to her that if she ever decided to get something else I would take it off her. Now I was in a position to do so it was a lot to consider. Yet there was something extremely inviting about having a project I could pretty much start from scratch.

Granted it had already had some mods done, for instance we updated the suspension to HSD’s and we’d fitted a welded diff, but other than that there hadn’t been a huge amount done. It also had some interesting… niggles that needed addressing, such as some bad earthing issues that caused the gauges mounted on the dash to stop working at random points.

There is also the fact that the Laurel is a four door, and the Skyline I wanted before the one I actually bought was a four door! What’s more it’s a bit different, there aren’t many Laurel’s in the UK at the moment and it’s always nice to have something interesting.

So it is, that the time has come for me to let the Skyline go. At the time of writing this post I have done what’s needed to prepare the car for sale, and have even accepted a deposit on the car, pending an MOT.

As dumb as it sounds I will be sad to see the Skyline go, but I know it’s going to a good home, and it will free up my time to focus on making the Laurel everything I want it to be and more.

Day 1.

When I wrote the last blog about round 1 I was also very excited at the thought of seeing the championship land in Sunderland for round 3 but there was a catch.

As the date crept in closer a worry set in, no venue was announced would the event get cancelled? Then as if they could read my mind the post came up….. BDC would now be held at Teesside for round 3. I love Teesside for drifting and in my eyes it is the home of British drifting so although it’s further away I couldn’t complain.

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I now had a chance to see if there was progress in the future for BDC. I would see how much had changed since round 1.

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Where do I start, well I guess from the start, sadly I didn’t make it to the practiced day but I was up bright and early on Saturday for pro Am. when I arrived it was clear someone had been reading the last post the trade section was full of life and well actually, it was full in general. It had a variety of stalls including Driftnuts/Project touge, Walton motorsport (which felt like a real shop this time), Ratrap and BDC merch. That wasn’t all the trade area had many cars on display which filled the voids and made it feel like it flowed well. The music from the RC track and the live stream playing at Walton motorsport stall made the area seem more alive.

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So overall the improvement hadn’t been drastic but it was a big step in the right direction.

Right down to the action

It’s no secret I was hoping to see Ian Rutherford do well and I was in for a treat but before that we had the pleasure of seeing some drivers put it all on the line.

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The day wasn’t without its victims Jolene was one of the first to fall from grace after putting in excellent runs during practice and fighting gearbox issues it seemed she was going to be a worthy contender but it all went downhill with a bang on Southbank as her diff give up the go (insert hello darkness my old friend song).

William Hanna was soon to follow retiring for unknown reasons it was a real shame to not see these drivers in battle.

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Another return for this round was team battles. As a spectator this was a nice addition, hopefully in time more teams will take part. Sadly although the team runs were fun to watch they held a heavy price for Nerijus Voliukevicius seeing his skyline burst into flames at the end of the run. Thankfully the fire was put out fast but meant he wouldn’t make it to his battle with Maciek Blazejewski.DSC_0892

Throughout the day the new comer Maciek ran a nice high line round southbank which helped see off the competition and put him in contention for his first podium. Veterans of the sport would not make the fight easy as Ian Rutherford and karl Farrar also landed into in the battle for a podium.

The day ended seeing new comer Maciek land in a well deserved 3rd, Ian 2nd and karl 1st. It was fantastic to see Ian end the day on the podium as a regular at Teesside.

Day 2.

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After an impressive day 1 it seemed the bar had well and truly been stepped up. Practice went well and was rather uneventful seeing most drivers take a safe approach. The weather had been fantastic up until qualifying then it all went wrong…………….

The track turned into a pool and most people ran for cover in the driftnuts tent.DSC_0860

Thankfully the rain was short lived and action was back underway after using the drift cars to dry the track.

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As the drifting got back underway we had the pleasure of seeing drivers of days gone including Sweeps the founder of BDC, the king of style Alex Law and fast and furious Scotty. Although there weren’t many returning faces it defiantly gave BDC the feeling that a void had been filled. Hopefully the team at BDC will continue to invite drivers back.

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The real heroes of drifting.

The staff at BDC had kindly gave me pit access for this event so as qualifying wrapped up I headed to the pits to see what was happening. Something that is overlooked by many is the people that keep the cars on track and I wanted to catch a small look into the hard work of the teams.

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As teams ran to each others aid many cars sat in what appeared to be a state of disrepair.DSC_0334

Sadly no matter how good the team were some cars sadly did not manage to make it back out but in amazing fashion some seemed to perform miracles bringing the monsters back from the dead.

Time for war

Onto battles it went sadly the low origin got bumped out in qualifying but the battles had some heavy hitters paired up early on. Sadly one of my favourites Martin Wonnacott got knocked out prematurely after a tough battle and destroying the rear of he car on the final wall …. again, poor car

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I think it is fair to say something had happened since round 1 the level of driving had really hit another level, at the start of the year I thought it would be a walk in the park for Aurimas but many driver had really brought the fight

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The man on a mission was Ricky Lawrence fighting off many big names and eventually battling it out in the final to see off Aurimas for first place.

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Redemption?

Well many companies ask their customers what they need to change and they clearly don’t listen was BDC the same?

As amazing as it seems the staff at BDC really had stepped up and cover absolutely everything mentioned in the previous blog.

Everything from the trade area, old school drivers and even the commentators had all been stepped up.

If the BDC keeps up this standard and still builds on it there will be a promising future.

Driver spotlight

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How can you not love this car really? With a real JDM feel and a nice reminder of Ken Nomura’s D1GP car Lee Barker has been around for a few years and is a big fan favourite and I must admit having a death or glory sticker on his car defo makes me love it more.

Sadly Lee was knocked out earlier on in the day but with a consistent driving style and the confidence to run the wall he is a driver to watch in the future.

Go follow his drifting https://www.facebook.com/leebarkerdrifting/

Big thanks to the BDC for the pit pass and see you all at another event keep up the good work

Words and pictures by Craig (Project Thirteen)

Thanks for reading

In a sea of clapped out missiles and bangers flooding the drift scene it is really hard to find a unique car on a drift day. That being said there is potential in every car and Robert has proved he is the master of rising the phoenix from the ashes.

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This story started back in 2017, as a regular at Teesside I tend to recognise the cars but I saw Roberts mx5 for the first time in all its glory……… or lack of it.

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The mx5 is a fantastic first/budget drift car so they tend too look a bit rough but Roberts really did set the bar pretty low, having said that with an initial price tag of £400 you get what you pay for. The plan was clear get as much seat time as possible and it was going well.59680870_2364119227155428_1901051309457408000_n

Roberts regular appearance at Teesside and googly eyes were boosting popularity of the happy looking MX. Every drift day Robert progressed making upgrades and tidying up the little car. Most just drive their cars into the ground but Robert seemed to have developed a love for this car and that’s when the money started to flow into it.

Robert was kind enough to share the spec of his car

Engine: 1.8 standard motor.

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Engine mods: air filter, big radiator, 2.5″ exhaust, stage 3 clutch and erm 1 silicone hose ……….

Suspension: HSD mono, rack spacers and Destroy or Die hubs.

Diff : standard ratio welded.

Wheels: Rota Grid V’s front and Japan Racing rear.

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Body kit: Duce aero, BGW, custom hardtop and neons.

Interior: 1 x bucket seat + harness, hydro, Kode steering wheel and 6 point cage with door bars.

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As you can see the make over paid off the once jolly MX is now an angry little monster!DSC_0273.jpg

I have a lot of respect for Robert and his car as he has built this car himself don’t get me wrong it has little flaws but I think it suits them and when Robert talks about the car he uses the little things to bring back fond memories like the shortened bash bar from the reverse Teesside day and the paint job he did the day before an event.

Part of drifting is the enjoyment you have building your car and enjoying it with friends, Robert has this down to a tee and you very rarely see him without a smile.

As Robert has shown you can have a total blast of a time in one of these plucky little cars without totally destroying your bank.

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What does the future hold for the angry mx5? As the car stands it would benefit from a little boost well Robert has that covered he has a turbo conversion and is just awaiting time to start the change over from n/a to turbo this is fun car to keep an eye on.

Robert would like to thank:

Brad and Chantelle at Driftnuts

Teesside Autodrome (for many toes out of the gravel)

and the whole drift fam Owen, Pete, Martin and Chris and of course my fiancé Katie that helps out and keep the dream alive.

This is my first feature car I hope to do more in the future so keep an eye on the blog.

Photo credit:

Craig Johnston (project thirteen)

Laura Johnson

C Whites photography (image supplied by Robert hall)

Death or Glory 32 in the pits

Ever since I first started drifting, Driftland had been a bit of a goal for me.

I knew I had to drift there at some point and in 2018 I was offered a chance to do just that by taking part in the Rogue Concept charity event organised by good friend Ewan Stark. Sadly this didn’t end up happening as a couple of days before the event the engine of my beloved Skyline started to get a bit “tappy”. Thankfully it turned out to only be the water pump, however this was only discovered after the event.

So as you can imagine when he asked me earlier this year if I’d like to take part again I jumped at the chance!

I picked up a trailer from Rothwell Trailers early Friday morning, and headed home. When I arrived the Land Rover started to die and wouldn’t start up again. After some discussion with a friend of mine and a close examination of the fuel receipt from the petrol station that morning. I realised in my half asleep state I had picked up the wrong pump nozzle and filled the truck with petrol instead of diesel. At this point I started getting a strange sense of deja vu, was I ever going to get up to one of these events?!?

Thankfully my friend Ste came round and helped me drain the tank before filling it with Diesel after which, the truck fired right up! Crisis averted!

I then got the car loaded on the trailer, and got the Disco packed with all the necessary tools, wheels etc. and I along with my better half Lucy and our dog Benji were on our way.

There’s no denying the journey up to our hotel for the night was long but nevertheless it was so picturesque, and the roads were so quiet!

The next morning we had an early start, albeit not as early as other drift day mornings! We arrived at the track for 8:30am and got straight to work preparing the car for the day ahead.

Death or Glory 32 in the pits at Rogue Concept 2019

Shortly after briefing, where we learned the layout for the morning ahead, it was time to hit the track!

Track time was split into 5 minute sessions for a maximum of 6 cars at a time. As it was my first time driving here I wanted to get straight out and get a feel for the track. My first session didn’t quite go to plan, Somehow, even though I had checked them before going out I had way more pressure in the tyres than I wanted so I spent the majority of the first session spinning! Although I did manage a couple of half decent skids despite holding up those on track with me!

After I’d been back to the pits to correct my tyre pressures (and a quick pep talk from Ewan), I headed back out for my second session, this time the car felt much better as far as grip was concerned, and I managed a few more decent skids (as well as the car stalling on one spin out and not start for what felt like forever!, this caused me to get a telling off by the marshals when I got off track.)

After this run I had a better understanding of what I was doing wrong and what I needed to do for my next session so I headed straight back out. Sadly this time, it seemed everyone else’s turn to impede me, every time I got ready for the big corner, someone had already spun just in front so I only managed a few skids on the tighter corners at the bottom of the track.

After a break and a drink I headed back out determined to push myself harder than ever! Sadly the Skyline had other ideas and as I initiated for the big corner… nothing happened, I just carried on driving straight on!

What was wrong? I tried a skid on the tight corners and it felt like either the clutch was slipping or I was only spinning one wheel (impossible unless my diff had become an open diff again??)

I headed back to the pits and it was making a number of strange noises, from a ticking noise that sounded like it was coming from the back of the engine when revved (which disappeared shortly after!) to the engine sounding lumpy at best. I let it cool for a bit as it was nearly lunch time.

During the lunch break all cars were due to be out on the track for a meet and greet type thing/photoshoot. I drove the Skyline down and it sounded okay again… strange! So I thought well I’ve got a trailer so if the worst happens I can still get it home, so as soon as lunch was over and afternoon briefing was over I headed straight back out!

I tried initiating in the tight turns and as I was expecting it to still not be working I spun! “Great!” I thought, “it’s working again, lets go!” so I accelerated towards the big turn initiated and …. nothing.

I took myself off track and as I sat in the pit talking to Lucy, the car started to idle really lumpy! Sadly this was the end of my day, I wasn’t prepared to keep going out, knowing full well that I was just getting in people way and if I hadn’t fixed it I would just be a moving roadblock for them. So I packed up and hung out with Lucy and Benji for a bit watching everyone else smashing it around the track.

You might think that after so much effort and preparation I would be feeling down hearted about the whole thing, and I will say there have been times in the past where I have come away from a drift day feeling frustrated and beating myself up for various things, but this time it’s the complete opposite!

For the first time I have come away from a drift day with a clear idea of where I was going wrong, and what I can do to improve. But what about the car? Well as a drifter its an occupational hazard, cars break some times especially when you’re beating on them at the track, thats exactly why I got my trailer license, so that if it did happen I was safe, As soon as I get a dry day I will diagnose the issue with the car and fix it, if it needs a new engine so be it, it will take longer before I can get back on track but, if thats what it takes. I’m fine with that!

The other thing that has stopped me from having a downer on the whole thing was the fact that I actually felt like I was part of something for a change! In the past I’ve gone to drift days and for what ever reason I’ve been on my own, I tried talking to people but they were either busy or just didn’t want to know. This time I had people coming up to me, chatting about the car, and how I was doing on track, and I chatted to them about their cars and had a bit of a joke with them.

Now let’s get this pig fixed and get back on track!

Photos by:

Feckless Media https://www.facebook.com/FecklessMedia/ and Lucy Richmond

The day started pretty much like any drift day, get up at an insanely early hour and head to the track.

This time Lucy would be taking the Laurel for it’s first proper turn around an actual track, and I would be there to offer advice/ have a go in her car too!

We arrived at the track just after 8:30am and fellow Death or Glory member Craig had saved us a space in the pits, being local he got there before us. The sun was already beating down as we set up ready for her first session.

Briefing took place and after a couple more checks on the car she was ready to go!

We focussed on the West course, being tighter and more technical we felt it offered a better place for Lucy to learn how to control the car around the corners. If you’ve only ever done donuts and figure eights around cones, moving to a track changes things completely!

We started out just driving around getting a feel for the layout, and getting her back in the mindset of her previous drift day (at Santa Pod) or at least this was the intention… To my surprise on her first run she was already trying to get the feel of those clutch kicks again.

Over the course of the morning she managed some good skids and also worked on undoing some of the habits she’d got into at Pod. Nothing major, just little things, for instance, when you start out by learning donuts you can often get the backend to break loose by turning in tighter, however if you do this on a race track one of two things happen:

  1. If you don’t have enough speed you either end up cutting the corner and coming off track (and smashing aero, the front bumper was the first to go!)
  2. If you have enough speed but don’t quite get your clutch kick right, turning in tighter causes you to understeer and the car to go straight on (I did this a lot on my first few times out and its a real pain to get out of the habit of doing!)

Having said that it didn’t take her long at all to realise this and start to correct herself. She put in run after run, pushing herself every time, some times getting frustrated at not getting something right, other times getting hyped when she held a good skid!

If you’re thinking of starting out drifting, or you’re new to it and you’re reading this asking yourself “is it common to get frustrated in the early stages?” I would say yes, it is especially for those who don’t start out using the handbrake but instead opt for the clutch kick.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that initiating with the handbrake is the easy option but out of these two ways to get the car sliding it is definitely the option with the least to remember.

I know I went through that phase (probably several times) and others I have spoken to also agreed that feeling frustrated plays a big part in the early days, its all part of the learning process! But keep at it and things will eventually fall into place!

As the day wore on I watched from the passenger seat as Lucy progressed more and more, each run thinking about what she did in the last time and where she might need to improve or change tack.

Overall I thought she did amazingly for her second ever time out! On my second drift day I was still piddling around in the playpens at Pod (big mistake on my part!)

The first corner of West course did prove an issue for her, but after speaking to a few other people who have driven Teesside they all said that they had issues with that corner too early on.

In spite of this it didn’t put Lucy off and she continued to push herself on turns two, three and four, showing some real signs of promise!

Towards the end of the day we did have one fight with a tyre wall. This led to the rear bumper being smashed, however we knew this might happen so we were (sort of) prepared for it.

It was down to not having the car in the right place for the transition and running too wide as she went into the uphill section after turn three, hitting the tyre wall, pushing the rear bumper out of line, and creating a new exhaust hole on the opposite side of the bumper as well as adding a few tyre marks up the rear drivers side 1/4 of the car.

It was great to see her out there, it was as much a learning experience for me as it was for her. I definitely think she will be back on track again, however next time she will more likely be using my Skyline as we have since decided that the Laurel is in far too good shape to use as for skids.

What’s next for the Laurel? The damaged bodykit will be replaced, and much more, but you will have to wait for my future posts to find out more.

Photo Credit:

Laura Johnson and Andz Smith of Aperture Arts Photography.

So I went back to my second home again, Teesside.

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This time I was not there to watch but to take part. It felt like a lifetime since New Year’s Eve and I was craving the smell of tortured tyres again. Money being tight I had to find a way to get myself back out there. A quick check of the car showed only minor repairs were needed ready for the event, that being said the biggest cost of drifting for me is TYRES. so a few of you are thinking just use part worn, now that’s a great idea if you work in a garage and have a constant supply of worn tyres but I am a teacher and that means complaining teens rather than a supply of free tyres. Luck landed on me this time with a good friend Craig Brown donating 4 tyres it looked like I was all set and my plan to keep drifting cheap was going great.

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As always the night before was a mad dash to load my car but my mind was elsewhere as I had the pre drift blues. I had a big worry in my mind that everything had come together too good and my engine was 28 years old, would it hold up? As if I wasn’t stressing enough a lot of friends and family had confirmed they were coming to watch, what if they travel all the way there and I crash or the car dies? All these questions plagued my mind but then to top it all off the founder of DEATH OR GLORY was also coming along!…….. Now to most that’s not a big deal but for me it meant a lot, over the years I have had many brands on my car and I love them for supporting me but no company has ever been as good to me as DEATH OR GLORY so I really wanted to put on a good show for them and do the brand proud.20190422_115605 (1)

Most of you reading this will be more than aware that I have access to Death or Glory’s Facebook and Instagram and like a true idiot I agreed prior to the event on a Facebook post to drift with a 500+bhp ex BDC skyline in my 1.8 s13 that makes about 260bhp at a push. What could go wrong really?

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Up at 5am raring to go i picked up my friend and sole pit crew Connor and set off. Amazingly my car made it in one piece and we prepped the car and headed to the driver brief.

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Before I even got my car up to temp to go the first victims of excessive ambition had been out and returned to the pits in a battered state. I didn’t let it faze me I threw on my helmet and went to pit lane ready to go. For some strange reason I always say “I am going to do a few calm laps to start with” and for some reason as soon as I set off that all goes out the window. 2 laps in and my exciting first lap had a very negative affect on the car, I lost drive and my car was just revving I rolled into the pits had I killed a clutch or shaft?

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On inspection everything looked ok, I let the car cool down and then went back out what did I have to loose. I have no idea what had caused the issue (driver error) but it was working so away we went.

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With the car performing better than ever I tried several different lines and entries on west track some worked well some not so great but with the car working well I decided it was time for the national track.


A few solo laps in and my power steering started to play up but I just took the car to the pits and cooled the pump and then it was back to business. I lined up waiting for my turn and who should be sat across from me none other than Ryan Miller in his r33 skyline(yep that’s right it was time to twin). We lined up ready to roll and my heart was pounding, the marshal gave us the signal and away we went I smashed through the gearbox giving it absolutely everything to try to stay with him by the first corner he had pulled a heavy gap but I pedalled the hell out of the car and reduced the gap through the tighter section.

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Coming off a chase lap Ryan gave me the signal to lead now little did he know I was totally crapping myself I had never done a lead lap before and I knew that skyline was fast I turned up the boost I knew I would need it. Shaking like a dog sh***** peach seeds I set off focusing on the track I couldn’t hear the skyline theN I initiated and the roar could be heard loud and clear sadly the nerves had put me on a shallow line into the hairpin making it hard for Ryan to follow. Ryan tried his best but due to my error he had to straighten.

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After surviving the first lead I felt better and went for it again this time I put my 13 on a much better line only missing 2 of the BDC clip points Ryan put in a much better chase when I was in the right place on the track.
The twinning had warmed my car a lot ……. time to cool off. We went in the pits had a chat with Ryan cooled off and relaxed a little.

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But that’s not the end of the day for us back out we went continuing to slide around Teesside up until 5pm

Time for a budget check:

Track fee: £80

Pre track repairs:£0

Post track repairs£45

Tyres:£0

Fuel:£50

Total cost:£175

No surprise that the drift day and good weather brought out some awesome cars and bike so here are a few of my favourites

Big thanks to my girlfriend Laura Johnson and Connor Ord for the pictures for this blog

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If you want to see me shred here is my video

Rogue Concept 2018 Poster

With Rogue Concept 2019 being just around the corner, and the Skyline is more or less ready to attend. I thought I would share Driftland’s video from last years event.

If you are in the area this Saturday (4th May) or fancy a drive up to Driftland for the day, please do come along as all proceeds are going to charity and the more people we get in attendance the more money we can raise for a great cause!

For more information check out the Rouge Concept Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rogueconcept/ or the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/786000548403414/

Or check out the Rogue Concept Instagram for updates on the day @rogueconceptuk

Rogue Concept 2018 video by Driftland UK

So by the time this blog goes live you will have seen the many posts saying how good British Drift Championship is under new management. Now, the question is was it really that good? Was it really that much better?

I have been a big fan of drifting for a long time and remember a time before Dave Egan, I watched the sport grow under his ownership and draw in huge crowds. It’s fair to say Matt Stevenson had some big shoes to fill.DSC_0288.jpg

So round one very quickly came around after the new ownership was announced and before I knew it I was throwing my car back together to drive down for PRO AM on the Saturday.

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Time for change!

First things first the biggest change of all, the track is in reverse. I had reservations that this would slow the action but how wrong I was! A wild entry really pushed the drivers to their limits seeing many drives having fast paced offs. I have driven Teesside and enjoy the standard layout but this new layout pushed drivers and made the track longer something that was well overdue after damage to the barrier. A very noticeable thing with this layout was that the lower powered cars were having trouble keeping up on the south bank which in turn saw the demise of the underpowered heroes but none the less I enjoyed the battles.

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Along with a new layout the Bdc had several other promising additions favourite of all was the massive improvement in technology. Anyone that has attended an event before will remember the shocking PA system, well that has gone and a super clear sound system has you covered from all areas of the track (I could even hear it clearly in the car park).

Another great improvement was the live stream footage on the big screen on both days not just the pro day, this would not have come cheap but gave the people at the track a better view of the action.

Although drones have been used many times in drifting the live stream drones really do bring a whole new level to the viewers at home but truthfully hold very little improvement to spectators at the even as you don’t want to take your eyes of the action to look at the screen if you dont have too.

Trading up.

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Another new feature to the day was the addition of a “trade village”. The idea is fantastic probably the best new feature yet but……… it lacked content with only 4 stalls(Walton motorsport, Bdc merch, xite, ratrap RC and a burger van) it felt empty. I really hope Matt hangs on to this idea and builds on it as I really think with the right brands at the event it will push people off the couch and to the event.

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The Bdc merch stall also introduced a program which really helped identify drivers and cars (great idea) and its only £2.50 nice keep safe to remember an event.

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Back to business.

Overall the two days saw many top-level drivers fall from grace. The second clip seemed to really have the drivers pushed to breaking point, it was very rare to see it done perfect with many drivers dropping wheels or cutting the track. When it went well it really did go well though, if both drivers hit it just right it created an artwork of exciting driving styles.

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One of the biggest victims of the new layout was none other than championship favourite Martin Wonnacott. After several good laps it all went down the drain the freshly built chaser took a heavy blow damaging most of the suspension. In true drifting style Martin came back out and pushed hard but the car seemed off its earlier pre-crash form which would later see him knocked out.

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As the day went on it really did start to hit home truly how many big name drifter had not returned after the winter break. A huge miss from the grid was the Irish in general, seeing no more than 3 in the battles it felt like something was missing, was it their skill, wild driving style or their energy who knows but they were a big miss. Not only were the Irish a miss but the big names of the past seemed to have vanished crowd favourites like Simon Perry and his son Brett, Driftworks, Richard Dalby Smith, Matt Carter and many more really left the grid feeling a little incomplete. Another real loss for the sport in a way was Matt Stevenson himself one of the very few that would truly destroy his car to please the crowd.

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Regardless of the fact I missed the presence these drivers brought to these events, the fresh looking grid did step up and put on a good display of driving. Will this fresh grid grow and win over the fans? Only time will tell but to me it’s looking very promising.

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Both days saw strict judging and close call battles even several “one more times” but Aurimas Vaskelis showed dominance throughout and took home first place in his 1000hp e46 bmw.

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Would I recommend attending?

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OFCOURSE I WOULD! Don’t get me wrong it did seem to feel like something wasn’t quite there yet but this is all new Matt has started totally from the ground up and I am sure that as the year goes on this will start to become one of the best in the world but support is key, show your support and it will grow.

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Outstanding moment!

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Tomas Falvey threw his beautiful s15 off track and onto the grass as flames curled around the bonnet, marshals ran to his aid but so did Matt Stevenson he could have easily stood back and hoped his team had it covered but instead sprinted to the car. This does show the Bdc is truly in good hands and I look forward to seeing the promising future of BDC and of this sport in the uk.

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Thanks for taking the time to read this blog keep an eye out for more in the future but until the go give our facebook and instagram a follow

https://www.facebook.com/deathorgloryco/

@deathorgloryco

Photo credit:

Death or glory photographer :Craig Johnston (project thirteen)

intagram @project_sthirteen

Aperture arts photography: Andrew Smith

https://www.facebook.com/ApertureArtsPhotographyBusiness/

instagram @andz_smith

BDC images from facebook not property of death or glory

Words by

Craig Johnston

Just over a week ago Lucy and I went to visit family, and we decided to take the Discovery.

All was going well until we were driving home and I swore that I could hear a high pitched whining. I tried pointing it out to Lucy and initially she said she couldn’t hear it, but eventually she did hear it. Shortly after that the noise stopped, then a few minutes after that the battery light came on. I knew instantly what the problem was! The fan belt had snapped!

We pulled over into a lay-by and waited for a tow truck to pick us up. It was a long night and by the time we got home I was too knackered, and it was too dark to investigate what exactly had caused the belt to snap.

I ordered a new (second hand) pump… and set about fixing the issue.

Thankfully a Land Rover engine bay is pretty easy to work on all I had to do was remove the viscous fan, pull out the remaining bits of old belt, remove the air box and then unbolt and remove the ACE pump.

As I was removing the two lines from the pump I noticed that there was no fluid. I checked the feed line and everything looked fine. Then I remove both ends of the return line to find a AA battery wrapped in tape jammed into the reservoir inlet!

After speaking to some other Land Rover owners on the forums, it was agreed that this had probably been done as a quick fix to sell the vehicle. Apparently when the ACE pump dies it usually pumps foam into the reservoir, so rather than fix the issue they plugged it and left it for the next owner to fix…. me!

I removed the battery bung and continued putting the car back together with the new pump. Priming the system seemed to take forever but this was most likely because it had not had any fluid in there for some time. But once my friend Ste and I made a nice big ATF puddle on my driveway we knew the system had been fully primed. Now all that was left was to take it for a test drive.

Having obviously been driving it without the ACE assistance for some time it was surprising to see just how much of a difference it made! Going through corners where it previously felt like it was going to tip over, it now feels much flatter.

The Death or Glory R32 Skyline is being fixed and made ready for the track

One of the things the Skyline had been suffering with for a while was play in the steering, it was initially noted by the MOT tester last year, and while I did have the parts to fix this, it had to sit on the back burner when the gearbox failed on the Discovery.

However, now that I need to make sure the car is good for Rogue Concept 2019, now is the time to tackle my wobbly front end, and boy is it wobbly! When its on the ground you can see a bit of play by shaking the wheels but now that its up in the air the extent of the problem is REALLY obvious!

A couple of years back, thinking I was being cool I fitted a set of adjustable lower control arms, but as I mentioned here unless you’re ONLY using the car on track or have a large maintenance budget they’re not so good.

Thankfully I had got myself on a pair of 25mm extended stock lower control arms with good ball joints and bushes. So I set about swapping the adjustable LCA’s out for the stock LCA’s but there was a problem…

Despite being only two years old and that I had greased everything before fitting them the castle nuts/bolts that hold the hub in place, and the bolts/nuts that attach the tension rods had literally fused themselves together, making them almost impossible to remove them. However with some brute force and a breaker bar, they finally succumbed to my will… and snapped (I did say ALMOST impossible to remove!)

Then it was just a case of bolting on the extended LCA’s, a relatively straight forward process although the tension rods no longer had their bolts pressed in and I couldn’t find any that I could press in their place. However a couple of M12 x 40mm high tensile bolts and nyloc nuts did the trick.

Now that everything was bolted together the only thing left to do was give the hub a good wobble to make sure nothing had been missed and that the play was no longer there.

The extended LCA’s do need a bit of a clean up, however I plan to do this after RC19 as I have a lot to get done before then.

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