Project Laurel: Noooooooo!

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

Laurel Update

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!

Letty Blog 1 – Commitment Issues.

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

Farewell Land Rover!

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

The day I thought would never come

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.

TANDEMS AT TEESSIDE

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

20181104_154901

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.

20190422_082435

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?

IMG-20190423-WA0051

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.

IMG-20190423-WA0053

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?

20190422_151726

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.

DSC_0660

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.

DSC_0473

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.

DSC_0521

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.

IMG-20190423-WA0013

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

20190422_170311

If you want to see me shred here is my video

The Hauler gets hauled.

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

The road to Rogue Concept Continues

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.

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

The countdown to Rogue Concept 2019 begins

Things have been pretty quiet on the Skyline front recently.

Mostly because I’ve been busy keeping our dailies on the road (as you may have seen in my Land Rover posts.)

However, with Rogue Concept 2019 looming it was high time I started digging into that long list of tasks to make sure I have a running working drift car for the event. First thing on the list was the clutch. A couple years ago I fitted a stage 2 Competition clutch kit and a stock (brand new) RB25 flywheel. For the few drift events I’ve attended it had felt fine. However, while sitting on the driveway since my last drift day in November the clutch had stopped working.

I tried moving the car around on the driveway a few times and when I had the clutch pedal pressed the car wouldn’t come out of gear and in one case the car decided it wanted to keep moving even with the pedal fully pressed. So this was the first thing to look at.

I started by getting the car up on stands and then cracking off the bleed nipple on the slave cylinder, low and behold nothing came out! There was definitely fluid in the reservoir, so what was stopping it?

It’s strange to me that a car can sit untouched for a couple of months and you suddenly have air in the system, so there must be a blockage or something, I started removing the clutch lines moving from the slave cylinder back up to the master, and then just as I unfastened the last piece of hard line to the reservoir I hit fluid!

For a while now I had been thinking about simplifying the clutch lines and removing the damper so I had already bought a new line from GKTech so I fitted it in place of the mass of metal (although admittedly not as much metal as I was expecting!) Then started to bleed the line.

This was a straight forward process, first fill the reservoir on the master cylinder, then crack the bleed nipple on the master until you see fluid come out (at this point I had drained all the old fluid to make way for fresh). Next top up the reservoir and head under the car and crack off the nipple on the slave cylinder, and leave it open until you start to see clutch fluid dripping out it should only take a few seconds before you start seeing drip (gravity is a big help here!) Finally, get someone to sit in the car pumping the cutch pedal and occasionally holding it while you lay under the car cracking the bleed nipple to remove any remaining air in the system. Repeat this a few times checking the feel of the pedal regularly.

cylinder, then crack the bleed nipple on the master until you see fluid come out (at this point I had drained all the old fluid to make way for fresh). Next top up the reservoir and head under the car and crack off the nipple on the slave cylinder, and leave it open until you start to see clutch fluid dripping out it should only take a few seconds before you start seeing drip (gravity is a big help here!) Finally, get someone to sit in the car pumping the cutch pedal and occasionally holding it while you lay under the car cracking the bleed nipple to remove any remaining air in the system. Repeat this a few times checking the feel of the pedal regularly.

Hey presto! I now have a working clutch again!

Lee's Land Rover Discovery

Getting the Hauler (Discovery) through its MOT

Firstly if you’re from outside the UK and don’t know what an MOT is, its a series of checks that any vehicle thats on the UK roads must undergo every 12 months in order to ensure that the vehicle is still roadworthy.

If your vehicle fails for what ever reason you must get the issues fixed before the vehicle can go back on the road.

To drive on the UK roads without an MOT will result in you receiving a £1000 fine and your vehicle taken off you until you’ve paid the impound charges.

Recently it was time to put my new daily/hauler through its first MOT while in my possession. If you’re not sure of when the MOT on your vehicle is due and you live in the UK you can find out by going to the Gov.UK (here) website and entering your registration number.

Pro tip: If you’re relying on the Gov.UK website to notify you when your MOT is due, don’t it turns out that it isn’t working and it was only by fluke that I realised in time! Put a notifcation in the calendar of your mobile phone or laptop instead, much safer!

I had booked the Disco in for its MOT and initially all was going well, he was looking over the car commenting on how solid it was, it flew through the emissions, and even the brakes passed (There was no reason why they shouldn’t I had checked them before taking it in!) However there was one thing that I’d failed to spot and as a result the truck failed its MOT. This was the front passenger side upper and lower ball joints.

“Okay” I thought, “time to get my hands dirty again” so far owning the Land Rover had been an education if nothing else, so I was eager to get started! I ordered the parts and they arrived the next day. so I set to work stripping down the passenger side front, first removing the wheel and then the brakes until the hub and carrier were exposed.

Next I unfastended the four bolts holding the hub to the carrier and pulled the hub and shaft free. Next I unfastened the track rod and moved it out of the way but when I came to unfasten the drag link I found that whoever had last worked on this part of the car had managed to round off the hex key hole thats used to hold everything still while you wind off the nut. After much swearing (sorry neighbours) I managed to unfasten it but the ends were wrecked.

I looked on Euro Car parts and found that they had a new drag link bar and ends in stock so we went to pick it up, I set it to match the existing one as closely as possible and then put it out of the way.

The only thing left to do was to get the carrier off of the ball joints, it was clear these had not been changed since the day it rolled off the production line! They fought and clung on to the carrier for dear life, but after a lot of brute force, and cutting down two ball joint separators (it had to be done, they were just too long!)

The hub carrier finally fell off with a clunk. Then I pressed out the old knackered ball joints and cleaned everything up ready to install the new ones.

Yes, part of the ball joint is still attached to the hub... this had to be hammered out!

Re-installation is the reverse of removal… unless you’re working on this Land Rover, it had been a struggle up to this and it wasn’t about to get any easier, thankfully at this point my good friend and long time Land Rover owner Ste saw my head torch flashing around on the driveway as he drove past and thought he’d come and see what was going on.

He was immediately roped in to helping me fit the new ball joints and with a bit of team work and some persuassion with a hammer they were installed! But wait.. whats this?

After fitting the hub carrier again, I noticed that things weren’t moving as free as they should be, and after a bit of investigation I found that the upper ball joint I’d purchased from Euro Car Parts was faulty… (Thanks ECP!) Lucky for me I had bought two (they had sent me two different brands for some reason) so we pressed out the faulty one which resulted in it exploding into a billion pieces, pressed in the second one and we were back on the right track again.

Got everything bolted back together, gave it a quick test on the drive way and she was ready to go once more!

The re-test was booked in for the next day and I’m happy to say that she flew through!

Two things I learned from this, which I kind of already knew but undergoing this task reinforced in my mind:

  1. No matter how quick you think a job will be always allow at least twice as much time in case things go wrong. If you’re wondering why the photos for this post are in various states of daylight its because in total it took roughly three nights to do. Mostly due to bad weather.
  2. If you have friends who can help, don’t sit and stress, throwing tools at your car. Just call them and ask for help, in the long run its better to owe them a pint or two than still be sitting there feeling defeated.


Terri’s Blog 2 : Compensating Much?

Terri Blog 2

Compensating much Shorty?

 

While loading up and towing Lily to Anglesay last year I noticed that the arse end of Terri was sagging a little.  She was not over loaded and the trailer and Lily are well under the towing capacity of Terri.  The decision was made to look into new suspension and refresh a few parts on the old girl to get her tip top and ready for another year supporting Lily and I at drift events all over the country.  Terri is the first proper 4×4 I have owned other than my classic Impreza, but that’s a story for another day.  So where to start?  What do I need? What make? What spec? What Quality? And where do I get it from?   All the questions.  After reading a handful of websites, things were no clearer.  One website simply listed my truck as an option, then asked you to fill in a form and they’d send you a quote??  Where other sites said they had the kit in stock, 1-2 days delivery and then in small print explains the kit comes from Germany and takes 2 weeks to arrive!   A friend recommended an Australian company called Pedders which he had used when kitting out his 4×4 while based out in Cyprus. With no one else being very helpful, I wasn’t holding out much hope but I emailed the info email on the Pedders website.  It couldn’t off been more than 15minutes later I get an email back from a gentleman called Phil asking for some more information about my truck, (age, spec, model, etc) but Phil also asked what I used the truck for and what I wanted from the suspension.   So I explained I was a drifter and used the truck mostly for towing and carrying wheels, spare parts and tools, but we also use the truck for road trips and weekends away with my girlfriend and our dog. He asked me to give him 1 hour to check his stock.  Sure enough, true to his word within the hour Phil had found a Pedders suspension kit trailered to my needs.  There was only one issue. Phil had everything in the UK other than the correct springs, which would need to come over from the main HQ…  in Australia.   Shipping would take up 2 weeks. I placed the order with him and 10 days later the kit was on my door step!  No shit!  I haven’t had service that professional and eager to please in a long time.  Phil you are a legend, thank you Sir.

 

The Pedders kit is a full suspension kit so its came with

2x front gas sport Ryder shocks

2x Trekryder torsion bars

2x rear Trekryder shocks

2x rear raised 4×4 heavy duty springs.

The kit bolts straight on and is a direct replacement of the OEM stuff.  Absolutely no modifications were needed.  The kit will give my truck an approximately 2 inches of lift. It also comes with heavier rated rear springs to deal with the added load weight in the cab as well as a trailer on the hitch.   How does Terri drive now? The difference is night and day. Without using the word sporty (because she’s still a big 2 ton truck) but she feels solid and planted on the road.  I was concerned about raising her and making her feel top heavy and “wobbly” but with the Pedders kit it’s the opposite she now feels a lot more stable in the corners. The only issue with the lift is, I now need to stand on a couple of books to climb into her haha.   For the Terrano owners out there, I measured from the bottom of my 15” Wheel (not the bottom of the tyre the wheel itself) to the beginning of the arch trim.  On a standard Terrano the measurements should be roughly (depending on age and wear of bushes etc, etc) 26” at the front and 28” at the rear.  Terri, with the Pedders kits fitted, measures 28” at the front and 30” at the rear.   It should be a bit higher at the back if the truck is empty.

Yes I bought something I didn’t need to modify before fitting!  New record! Well we can’t have that, so I decided to fit 15×8” ET0 modular steel wheels wrapped in 31×10.5” BF Goodrich KO2 all terrain tyres.  These of course hit the standard front mud guards and arch lining on full lock, so a handsaw, a hammer and pair of snips later, half the mud guard is gone and no more rubbing issues.

Oh and in case anyone was wondering, I did get an email back from the original UK based company about their suspension kit… 17 days after the I sent the email! By which time Phil had hand selected the correct kit for me, had a conversation about drift cars (always a winner!) and got my kit to my door, from Australia, a full week ahead of a UK company answering my original email!  I’m not usually one for advertising plugs but honestly, if you want great service and good quality products sold by people who are truly passionate about their product and know their stuff – Pedders are the way to go.
www.pedders.co.uk or info@pedders.co.uk

Also fitted what can only be described as a second sun to the front of my roof rack.  A 42” LED light bar that lights up literally everything at the flick of a switch.

 

Terri’s Blog 1 : Taxi Power

Progress with Lily has been slow over the past month due to taking some time and money to fix and maintain the Daily Trucks.  So I thought I would show you the other beast I have.

After fitting the JZ into Lily I very quickly found that I needed to start taking a lot more tyres and fuel with me to drift days and that’s when we got Terri.

Terri is a 1999 Nissan Terrano 2.7 TDi 7 seater LWB With 48k mileage !! I have probably waked further that haha.  She was absolutely mint and didn’t need anything done so of course I started modifying her! The Engine is the same engine that’s used in the London Taxi so 48k mileage is barely run in and a good power plant not the most powerful but reliable and more than enough torque to tow Lily’s Trailer.

First thing we did is throw away the 5 rear seats.  Yes we instantly made our big practical truck a 2 seater.  So to summarise I own 2 4 door vehicles and both only have 2 seats in them. HAHA

The main reasons for stripping out the back of the truck is that you can fit a lot more wheels, tool boxes, jerry cans, gazebo, etc etc in  and also we use the truck as a bedroom when we wild camp at Drift events, holidays.

I have big plans of a lift kit, and 31” tyres, and many other modifications etc.  Yep iI need 2 projects because over commitment is under rated.  I started off with a few small mods so I fitted LED rear lights, re-wired trailer plug, fitted front bull bars and 12” light bar, roof rails and then I bought a van Roof rack that needed shorted and narrowed quite a lot.   I have the world’s worse habit of buying perfectly good parts just to cut them up and modify to make what I want.

We liked my truck so much that we got Caz the SWB version of Terri who we named Tiny Terri or Tiny for short.

Im not sure how interesting you guys are in the Trucks so let me know if you want to read more about them or not.

Custom rocker cover change and wiring tuck on the…

After the last drift day I noticed a very strong smell of burning oil, panic set in. thankfully the panic was very short lived as I found the oil leak from the rocker cover half-moons. This was a very annoying find as I have replaced these several times but the high temps in the bay seem to make them go hard. After some digging on eBay I came across some alloy inserts to eliminate the issue for good.

20190207_112657

As the rocker cover was going to have to come off I thought I may as well do a different design as the ghost flower pink cover was getting a bit tatty. As a massive fan of MCR factory in japan I wanted to try to for a candy affect. Just to clear it up I am NOT a professional painter by any means I just do it for fun and a challenge. After some Instagram skimming I came across a very cool affect where you polish patterns into the alloy and then paint the candy straight to the surface.

20190204_100244

I polished a flame style pattern and then took to the booth to have a go at candy, well candy with pearl and metal flake ohhh and a pink to purple fade. Why do I never start easy……..

20190205_162422

My unusual blend of paint was mixed and spraying was well underway. Something I should warn anyone wanting to do it themselves is that the candy additive makes the paint very thin and prone to run so don’t rush (like I did).

20190206_082932

The end result was amazing and i was so happy i couldn’t wait to fit it.

When I installed the covers I very quickly noticed that the breathers and wiring covered most of the covers so the battle to hide stuff started. I moved the harness for the intake and injectors down as low as I could and rewrapped them, moved the plugs back so they would tuck down behind the engine and started from scratch with the breathers. Before you know it the whole thing was looking a lot cleaner.

20190207_152542

This had given me the bug and something that had been on my mind for a while was next on my list the passenger side front inner arch wiring. It was routed stupidly and was covered in unused plugs. The wiring was stripped back and extra plugs remover then I moved some of the components and routes the wiring along the chassis leg out of sight.

It was time consuming but well worth the effort I will be trying to tuck more wiring in the future and going for a more organised engine bay.

Thanks for reading

Craig

Follow my instagram @project_sthirteen and @deathorgloryco

For updated on the projects

20190207_092102

Fitting a JZ to a Lexus F.A.Qs

I get a lot of questions regarding fitting my JZ engine onto my Lexus so I thought I would type up the answers to the most common questions asked.

Engine:

What engine do you have? I have a 2001 1jz-gte Vvti single turbo from an Automatic Toyota Crown Athlete.

Does it fit ? Yes perfectly because the engine has front facing sump so its clears the IS200 subframe.

What engine mounts are you using? I’m using the crown metal engine mounts with IS300 subframe mounts.  You can’t use the is200 mounts as they are too short and the chaser/ crown don’t have correct studs on the bottom. (I have attached a pic that shows the different size between the IS200 and the IS300 mounts.)

Drivetrain:

What gearbox are you using? W58 from a Supra MK4 non turbo  I did have to trim the tunnel to make room for the shifter.

What Clutch are you using? Supra Mk4

What prop shaft and Diff are you using? IS200 prop shaft, is200 Automatic Diff and Drive shafts (no modification needed to any of the IS200 parts)

 

Wiring:

What body Wiring Are you using? Standard Lexus body wiring

What engine Wiring? Standard JZ wiring

Do the Plugs fit? Because Lexus and Toyota are the same company and the body and the engine are both the same generation (2001) the Lexus body plugs physically fitted into the JZ ecu but we did have re pin a few wires so the ecu would send the correct signals to the dials, fuel pump, diagnostic plug, etc

Do all your dials work?  Yes by re-pining the ecu wires into the correct body plugs we got all the dials working.  The Diagnostic plug also worked but due to the engine being an imported engine we had to use an expensive snap code reader as the cheaper small hand held ones wouldn’t read the codes.

What wires did you bridge?  The Crown ecu has 2 fuel pump wires because apparently the ecu has 2 speeds on the fuel pump for the kick down and cruise control.  We bridged these 2 wires so that the fuel was feed the full 12v constantly.

What engine codes came up? Yes the engine management light came on.  Of course it did we wired in an automatic ecu into a manual car.  Every code for the gearbox came up because the ecu thinks the gearbox has been dis-connect.

Do you need to modify the auto wiring?  Yes. We need to make the ecu think the gearbox was in park so the engine would start but we also made the ecu think the gearbox is in 2nd gear because apparently the give’s the engine the most torque when in 2nd gear (Im not sure how true this is thou)

We did this by giving a 12v volt feed to the correct wiring on gearbox plugs.

 

Fueling:

Do you need to modify the fueling system?  Yes you need to fit a bigger fuel pump and a return fuel line as the IS200 doesn’t have a return line.   In order to fit a return line you need to modify the plastic fuel cover to feed the fuel back into the tank.  We also needed to replace the Jet pump which controls the follow of the fuel between the 2 chambers of the fuel tank.  I managed to source a SARD one.

 

Cooling System:

Did you have to modify the Cooling system?  No I ran with an Alloy IS200 radiator using chaser radiator hoses that I had to cut down a little.  The radiator worked well and I had no overheating issues.  Yes she got hot while drifting but never while driving normally.  I did need to fit slim line electric fans to replace the IS200 fans and shroud was too close to the JZ pulleys they didn’t touch but there was only millimetres of a gap.

 

Power steering:

I’m using the JZ PAS pump but because it lives on the opposite of the engine from the IS200 one I had to get a new longer high pressure Pas Line made.  I used a company called Hydraquip that were very helpful.

Exhaust:

I had to make my own exhaust system as I local company quoted me £2,000 to make a full system so we bought a TIG welder and piping and made our own.  It’s not pretty but its sealed and makes.

 

Costs involved:

How much did it cost to fit the JZ?   Without putting a figure on my labour as I did all the work in my workshop at evenings and weekends then I probably spent about £4,000 in total buying all the parts needed to get the engine in and running, including engine, gearbox, exhaust piping, fuel pump, lines, etc, etc.

Let there be light!

In my previous post you might remember I mentioned that Lucy and I went on a road trip up to Shildon to pick up a welded diff. What I didn’t mention was what happened when we set off to head home. As we hopped back in the Discovery to come home, I turned on the headlights, first click everything was working normally, the dash lit up and the sidelights came on but when I moved the switch to the second position the headlights came on but the dash lights went out so did the rear lights!

At this point you’re probably thinking “Big deal! just get it home and look at it in the daylight!” This was the plan however not only could I not see what speed I was travelling at, but anyone coming up behind me couldn’t see me until it was too late. Eventually I decided to drive anyway using the rear fog light to illuminate the rear and occasionally using the interior light to check my speed.

This was working fine until we got out into the back end of nowhere and I went to put on the full beams… Everything went black! I couldn’t even see 2 inches in front of my face, whats more I had cars behind me that probably couldn’t see me and were more than likely wondering what the hell I was playing at!

After a bit of fiddling and hoping I was still on the road and not in a field I managed to get the headlights back on long enough to find somewhere to pull over and start investigating. Low and behold after much swearing, checking fuses (none were blown!), and fiddling with the switch I finally managed to get all lights (including the dash) working and we finished our journey home. After a bit more investigating and thinking about the problem, I decided it must be the switch that was the issue, since I managed to get all lights working again eventually just by fiddling with it. So I found a new replacement online and the following weekend I set about fitting it.

The process was relatively straight forward:

First disconnect the battery and leave everything for about 5 minutes. This is to ensure theres no charge still going to the airbag, you don’t want that going off in your face!

Next Remove the trim around the steering column, this can be done by first turning the two plastic screws in the bottom dash panel 1/4 of a turn, folding it down and then unscrewing the three cross head screws in the bottom of the steering column cowling.

Next you will need to turn the steering wheel 90 degrees this is so that you can access the first of the two T30 Torx bolts holding the airbag in place by going in underneath the steering wheel, Once you have unfastened this bolt then rotate the wheel through 180 degrees and do the same for the second bolt. Now put the steering wheel straight again.

Carefully remove the airbag unit and set it down somewhere safe, you don’t want this going off!

Next unfasten the 19mm bolt holding the steering wheel on, trying to make sure your steering wheel stays straight. Then you can unfasten the plastic connector for the wiring in the steering wheel you will need to pop this from its holding bracket first.

Once you’ve done this wind the nut back on a couple of turns and start to pull on the steering wheel. Having the nut in place will stop you from smashing yourself in the face with the wheel (unless you like the broken nose look!) Now you can start to pull on the steering wheel until it comes free, once it gets up to the nut you can then unfasten it completely and move the steering wheel out of the way.

The Switch is held in with two screws and a plastic tang, Remove the screws first then pop the tang with a small, flat screw driver the switch will then pull free and you can unfasten the two electrical connectors on the back.

To fit the new switch simply follow these steps in reverse and you are done. Now you can test your lights.

(The rear wiper will be fixed soon!)

Preparing the Laurel

Over the weekend Lucy and I spent some time prepping her C33 Nissan Laurel for its first EVER drift day.

This wasn’t as difficult as you might think. There are far too many people who think that in order to start drifting you need a million horsepowers, Wisefab all of the things, a full competition spec roll cage and a super expensive LSD among other things. But the truth is you don’t. The only things you really need are:

  1. A bucket seat and harness to hold you in place, there’s nothing worse than trying to maintain control of your car while being thrown around in the seat.
  2. Some coilovers, you probably could use lowering springs but if you’re going to do it you may as well do it right the first time.
  3. A rear wheel drive car, you probably can “drift” your front wheel drive Corsa with the aid of some freshly liberated serving trays from your local Maccies (MacDonalds) but lets be honest, it’s not the same!
  4. A Welded diff.

The Laurel already had most of these things, even though the car came with coilovers already on it we decided to put some fresh HSD coilovers on. We’d already fitted a bucket seat and harness for the driver, the only thing that was missing was the welded diff. After quite a bit of searching we found one for sale on Facebook Marketplace and headed to deepest darkest Shildon to pick it up. We could have welded up the diff that was in the car but since its harder (if not impossible) to get an MOT on a welded diff we decided it would be best to keep the open diff as a spare.

Then the weekend came and it was time to fit it.

This was pretty done pretty much as you would do anything on the underside of a car on your driveway, first chock the front wheels to make sure the car can’t move and crush you, next jack the back of the car up as high as you can get it (in our case we had to take the front bumper off as the car has many lows!) finally secure your car in the air with some axle stands, I placed these under the front bolting points of the rear subframe, the main reason being to keep the car secure but still give me as much room for manoeuvre as possible.

Next we decided to remove the drivers side rear wheel this was just to give us more space to get under the car and move around.

Now that the car was in the air the first thing to do is loosen the bolts holding the driveshaft in place, to do this it helps if you have someone with you otherwise you’ll be getting out from under the car a lot! Get them to put the handbrake on, this helps to keep the shafts from spinning. Unfasten the driveshaft bolts that you can see on either side of the diff, and keep working around, getting your helper to take off and set the handbrake again as you move the shafts around to the next bolt.

Once you’ve got all of the bolts free you should be able to pop the driveshafts out with a bit of force and move them out of the way.

Next is the turn of the prop shaft, there were four bolts here this time we also put the car in gear to stop any movement while getting these unfastened, finally you just have the bolts holding your diff in place and its ready to come out.

Since I already had one I decided to use a transmission jack to take the weight of the diff while I manoeuvred it out of the car, this made it much easier but if you don’t have one you can use a trolley jack, just remember that it isn’t going to be as stable so keep a close eye on it.

Finally, came the fitting of the welded diff, and fitting is quite literally the reverse of the removal, Where possible we used some thread lock on the bolts to ensure they didn’t start working themselves free.

So now the Laurel, and Lucy are ready for their first drift outing!

Lily’s Blog 6 : Caging the Animal

I have decided to go full commitment.

The 4th of January marks first time ever I let someone else work on my car.  Yes the 4th of January that’s how excited Alan was to start work on Lily’s cage which should explain everything you need to know about Alan.

That someone was Alan Miller owner of Millermods in Tillicoultry.

He has been working his magic building what can only be described as a master piece shaped in steel tubing.

Alan has created a full multi point cage made using 42mm tubing with double door bars. Cross in the roof, rear cross, harness bar, dash bar, and many many sexy gussets.

Why Millermods?  Well I first heard of Alan at Millermods when he put an S13 front end on to a S14 body for a friend of mine.  Alan has so much passion for cars and extreme ideas and for his workmanship is almost unbelievable.  Every time I speak to Alan we end up losing an hour just talking about cars, engines and stories from the past just a genuine great guy human.  When Alan isn’t working on cars he is out on his trails bike winning trophies so you know that only the extreme and exciting ideas excite Alan.  When Alan heard about the Matsuri accident and that I was rebuild Lily he messaged and told me he wanted to help me and then explained his idea for a cage he wanted to make for my car.  So I instead put my MX5 project car up for sale to free up cash and gave Alan my car.

This is the point it has finally hit home that Lily is going to be the build of my life.

Now she is back home it’s time to continue building her up.

So Drop Alan a message for anything from basic mechanical work to full fabrication.  he can tailor things to meet your budget where possible.

www.facebook.com/MillermodsGarage/

main pic

Lily’s Blog 5: He touched the BUTT

Well basically I have just cut it all out.

At the rear I will be using 42mm od 3mm wall thickness tubing as the main inner frame work that will hold the radiator and piping as well as a jacking point then use 22mm od tubing as removable outer frame work to hold the rear panels, lights, boot lid, etc in place.

With the 42mm tubing I made a little long and slid it inside the chassis legs where I have welded inner plates into them welded outer plates to the chassis legs and tubing.  The theory behind this double plate welding is that it should be more secure when jacking on this frame work as it’s welded to the chassis leg in 4 places and it’s not pivoting on a single weld between the tubing and the mating plate at the each end of the tubing.

I have decided to stick with an Alloy IS200 radiator at the moment I don’t see a need in going for anything bigger.  I’m using an old OEM rad during the fabrication work purely so the alloy one doesn’t get damaged.

Because I do run Lily pretty low the pipework for radiator and fuel system will be running through the car in order to keep things off the ground and avoid damaged.  The path of the ducting I’m still trying to work out.  I have a few ideas running through my head and as things stands it will be coming in through the rear window.  I don’t like the look of ducts and piping going through rear doors and side windows.  I don’t want it being ducted from under nether as all the shit of the day will hit the radiator from the track.

 

My Skyline, the story so far … (part eleven)

So after a while of drifting the Skyline with its new look, using and abusing the car on a daily basis (about 18 months), the fibreglass parts had gone through various breakages and fixes, and the paint was starting to look really scruffy. It was time to start thinking about a new look. I could of course go out and buy a new full BN kit, fit it, and paint it purple again, but I wanted to try something a bit different. There were also a number of things that I did the first time around that I wanted to make sure I fixed and did better this time.

So I started looking at options the first thing I wanted was to go back to using metal wings on the front, I did love the look of the fibreglass wings, however they turned out to be not as strong as I first thought they would be, and on several occasions the tyre had caught them and eaten a huge chunk out of them meaning they needed repairing. This could have been down to wheel fitment issues or it could have been down to how the wings were made, who knows? I was foolish enough to give my metal wings away when I took them off so now I had to hunt down some more. After some searching on Facebook and Ebay, I finally found some for sale and arranged to pick them up.

Next I wanted to look at options for new rear over fenders, after some searching I realised that (at the time of looking) I was severely limited on options, as many companies over seas will not ship fibreglass parts since they can sometimes get damaged, so I decided just to cut the destroyed bits off for the time being.

Next was the side skirts, I would have liked some Type M skirts but they’re rarer than rocking horse poop, and the ones that are available either need too much work to make them useable again, or have been hit hard with the scene tax bat! So I decided to go down the aftermarket route again, I really liked the Vertex side skirts, however, it soon became clear that nobody had any for sale and many places that did previously sell them were not stocking them anymore.

In fact it seemed that the only aftermarket skirts you could find in the UK at this point were BN. Thankfully there was a glimmer of hope for something a little bit different, I had emailed EPR about some Vertex side skirts and when they replied they as expected did not have any were not getting anymore in stock, but they did have one pair of DMAX side skirts left in stock. So after some discussion I agreed to buy them.

But what about the front and rear bumpers? You can find out about those and more that happened next, here.

Lily’s Blog 4: No strippers but plenty of flashing.

“Needs must when the Devil shits in your kettle”

Basically everyone heard about the crash at the Matsuri.  I have been totally blown away by the level of support, encouragement and offers of help I have had from everyone.  It has totally cemented the reasons why I absolutely love the drift community.  I mean even Matt Denham drove alongside us in the middle of a contraflow on the dual carriageway on the way home to ask if we were ok and to tell us he looks forward to seeing the car back out on track next year.

So probably better explain my evil plan now. Muhahaha!

I’m fully committing to latest vision I have for Lily.  I did have 2 other Lexus IS200’s and a wee Mazda MX5 I was building as a practise cars/ toys.  All of them have been sold to make space, time and money for Lily.

It’s a full strip down and rebuild. In a nutshell we are going full commitment. Tubing framing front and rear, Rear mounted Radiator, full BDC Spec roll cage, standalone ECU and budget allowing fuel cell and inline pumps.

We will be doing the majority of the work in house.  So this will be my first attempt at tubing framing, fabrication, plumbing, building, etc.  I will out sourcing for the Cage.  Alan from Millermods in Tillicoultry  (I’ll put the link below) has offered his expert skills to make lily something special and you can’t put a value on safety so thought it best to get a professional to do this part.

I started at the front of the car with some chassis reinforcement because the OEM A pillar braces were damaged. Low car big lock problems. I have always wanted to make a removable tube frame front end.  So having never made a tube frame for a car before, I bought a tube bender and went for it.

The tube I used is 22mm outside diameter with a 3mm wall thickness.  I picked this bar because Driftland SDC drift series spec won’t allow anything thicker than 25mm but they have now changed the rules so I could have used something thicker now but I have bought all the materials now so fuck it.

I haven’t finished the framework yet as I’m waiting on the body kit arriving so I can line up lights, bonnet, bumper, etc before finalising it.