08th Mar2016

4 Camshafts, 2 Cam Gears

by Michael Chandler

1UZ test fit in S13 Michael Chandler-6

That’s how the 1UZ, a four liter V8 that people shove into everything from 240SX’s to 4 Runners, is layed out.  Makes total sense, thanks Toyota!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
11th Sep2014

Boise Drift Day 2

by Michael Chandler

Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 2 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (1 of 56)

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

When last we left our brave travelers they were scrambling for cover from the sudden and violent storm that had rolled upon Magic Valley Speedway.  Chance, Mikey, Brandon, Hector and myself chose to sleep in Brandon’s trailer, while Jordan and Riley elected to sleep in Jordan’s and Hector’s trucks respectively.  And now for the conclusion of our tale…

The sudden storm lasted through the night, but had mercifully ended by morning.  We awoke to a beautiful, albeit a little chilly, sunny morning.  Those of us who slept in the trailer had has decent of a night as one can while sleeping on the floor of a trailer.  Meanwhile Jordan and Riley had learned why you don’t sleep in your vehicle in the cold.  While at least Jordan came prepared for camping, Riley only brought his hoodie.  Suffice it to say they were both happy to see the sun creep over the mountains.

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All over the makeshift camp grounds people were working on various things.  Brandon was mounting tires for the day, and Mike had begun to cook breakfast for himself and his crew of jolly pirates.  Zack was still working on his wheel studs, while Jordan was looking at what appeared to be a bent left rear wheel.  Chance took Brandon’s truck into town, and left Mikey with us.  Chance returned with breakfast for himself, Brandon, Mikey and Jordan.  I had a Clif Bar, and Hector managed to score a parfait from Brandon.

Hector, having eaten, and Zack, having replaced his wheel studs, were the first two out on track, and were both giving ride alongs.  Chance and myself made our way over to the track and were chatting about something inconsequential to this story while watching the two of them make their way through the infield.  Hector took his usual line through the last two turns, and Zack took a wider line…

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The rear quarter panel hit then end of the barrier, and spun the front of the car into it with a great deal of force.  Zack and his passenger were ok, however his car was finally dead.

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The car hit so hard it snapped the lower control arm, bent the coilover on that corner, dented the wheel well so deeply that the clutch pedal couldn’t be pushed in, sent the fender into the windshield and generally tweaked everything.  As it sat the car couldn’t move or be dragged off the course without leaving more parts in its wake.  So the plan was hatched to bring the trailer down, and drag the car on to it using ratchet straps, a jack and man power.

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A crowd gathered to watch the lifeless S13 get dragged on to the trailer.  It took some effort on the parts of everyone in the infield, but the car was on the trailer and secured.

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Although he had the worst weekend on paper, he had the best weekend because he went out there and said fuck it.  Blow out both tires? Finish the lap on the bare rims and swap them out.  A wheel goes flying? Throw that thing on the hatch and get to work fixing the studs.  Destroy the car? Jump on that hood, throw your arms to the sky and declare that you won’t be defeated by conventional means! It had cost him $75 to drive, and he got his money’s worth.

After clearing what was left of Zack’s car, the rest of the drivers came out to play.

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Everyone was having a good time, just sending one after another after another.  Things were moving like clock work.

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Smile! This is going on the internet!

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And then Brad spun out and knocked one of his battery connections loose. This brief pause in the action allowed for some other drivers to fire up their chariots and make their way on to the track.

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Crowd favorites Mikey, Brandon, Worm and Dennis all were out.  Things progressed as they do: one driver led to pairs of drivers.  Those pairs linked up with the other pairs and suddenly we had gridlock in the grid.

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Thankfully this traffic jam passed, everyone was sliding, and I climbed atop a gigantic planter.

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This continued for a few laps, then people started peeling off to grab tires or to let their car cool down.  This left me standing on top of the planter, and Dane in his 1UZ swapped Celica Supra taking laps. After passing me he stopped, backed up and asked “Hey, do you want me to just hit this corner?”

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Yes, yes I do.  As so he did until the time came for him to grab new tires and take a break.  Which it seemed liked we all decided to do.  I took this time to wander about, change lenses, and eventually jam a GoPro on to Jordan’s car before he went out in a four car group.  All was looking good.

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Until a small fuel leak caused a fire in his car.  Thankfully the fire was extinguished quickly, but not before his wiring harness was toasted.  Fear not though, there were still three of our group still running!  Sort of…

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So the trio went out, with various passengers who had GoPros on sticks.  Since this was a grassroots, just for fun kind of thing nobody could communicate with the cars while they were on track.  And car to car communication was primitive.

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And occasionally crude… It was during these runs a few of noticed that Mikey was smokey.  Really smokey.

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Catastrophically smokey.  There was an oil leak somewhere, and it was bad enough to send Mikey back to the trailer.  He wasn’t done though, he would take a few runs in Brandon’s car.  However, Hector was entirely done.  He bent a tie rod on one run, did an epic burnout and headed back to his trailer.

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Our crew may have been decimated, but there were still some people who hadn’t broken their cars! Mike and Worm were still out taking cuts.

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And then the track cleared, and the Previa rolled down the bank, and began its runs.

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Behind every good man is a strong woman, and Dennis & Katie literally demonstrated this.  They mounted the rear bench seat of the Previa in the van backwards, she strapped in and went for a ride!

And it is on that note that we end our story.  It was an awesome weekend, spent with awesome people and doing awesome things.  If there was a better way to spend Labor Day Weekend, and close out the summer, I can’t think of one.  This wasn’t an isolated trip either.  While I can’t make it to the next event, I will make it to a few more next year.  Until then, thank you Idaho!  GOODNIGHT!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

09th Sep2014

Boise Drift Day 1

by Michael Chandler

Boise Drift Labor Day Two Day event Day 1 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (43 of 84)

 Words and photos by Michael Chandler

 

“Who’s going to the Boise Drift two day event?” It was a simple question that was posed to the Drift Utah Facebook group.  I saw photos from the last event, poked fun at everyone who had broken (i.e. everyone), but never gave much thought to actually going to one.  I would have to drive, I had no idea what their photos rules were, or even where I was going.  Plus my arm was still in a sling.  With all that in mind, I posted “If I can find a ride I can.” And that’s when this went from poorly thought out idea to a reality.

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After some back and forth with Hector Jurado and Jordan Collier, I decided to hitch a ride up with Hector.  He, and his friend Riley, were going to pick me up at 5:45AM on Saturday and then we’d head up to the Common Cents gas station in Roy to gas up, procure things and meet up with Jordan and Zack Penman.  We made good time, gassed up Hector’s new Ford F350 and his old S13 coupe and waited for everyone.  Zack and his crew rolled in, and while they gassed up we continued to wait for Jordan.  And wait we did.  Hector called him, left a voice mail, and we decided to leave him.

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The drive up was pretty uneventful, aside from Jordan calling us around 8am to say he slept in and that he’d be coming up with Mike Fulkerson (hereafter known as Mikey) so I’ll introduce you to Hector a little bit.  Before he got into drifting he was a Honda kid.  He owned three EG Civics before buying a his first 240SX off of someone on the internet.  He over payed for it, but it was his!  And it was low.  Worryingly low.  On the drive home the rear struts blew out, so he had to have it towed.  Upon further inspection some interesting things were discovered.  First: the car was said to have “coilovers” and it did.  It had two, and they were in the rear.  The front had compressed stock struts with the upper and lower spring perches bolted to each other.  No springs, just that ridiculousness.  Second: the car was said to have an SR20DET, and it had most of one.  It was pretty clearly an SR20DET at one point in time, but someone pulled the turbo off at some point and welded a “downpipe” to the exhaust manifold and then to the exhaust.  He got rid of that nightmare, and into a friend’s cleaner (and cheaper) 240.  And now he has the teal coupe you’ll be seeing a lot of.

Also of note: the day before we left for this event, Hector did something a decent chunk of American citizens can’t do.  He passed the citizenship test and was rewarded with a tiny American flag!  Also citizenship in this country, but that flag is nothing to sneeze at.

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After a pit stop at the Garden of Eden truck stop, we pulled into Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls and unloaded.  Zack and Hector brought a fair amount of tires, all mounted on different wheels for easy swapping between sessions.  We all made our way to the little shed that housed the almighty waiver sheet, exchanged money for wristbands and signed our lives away.  And then we had a driver’s meeting.  And then Hector and Zack went out.

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They gave ride alongs to whomever wanted one, and they were eventually joined on track by a fellow named Worm.  He proceeded to make some serious runs in his bone stock 350Z, while being chased by his friend in the camera car.  That camera car happened to be a turbo single cam Civic hatchback, and it kept up with everyone fairly well.  And well is how things were going, and then Zack’s problems began.

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In the course of the day his car decided to stop working entirely (top photo) and then shed a wheel.  Also along the way he managed to hurt his wrist, but he wasn’t too torn up about any of it.  His car started up again, and he got his wheel back on and went out to give more rides and play a fun little game with Hector.

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And that game was “Who can touch the wall on the front straight?” As we can see here, Hector was the victor.

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At this point you’ve seen Hector, Zack and Worm taking cuts.  They weren’t the only ones doing so! From the top down we have Jason in the multicolor Rustang, David (one of our gracious hosts) in his SR20DET swapped Corolla, Brad and the little Miata that tried, and Mike in his missiled out S13 coupe.  In a previous post I referred to Mike’s car as the “community” car because I saw many people who weren’t Mike drifting in it.  It’s not wrong, or weird.  Just pointing out Mike’s trust and generosity.

All was fun and well, and fairly normal for a drift event.  Then two fairly unique Toyotas appeared.

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First was Dennis Niedrich’s Previa.  It had a roll cage (sort of) and no doors aft of the front ones.  The bench seat was hanging around, and it was eventually mounted back in the van… Backwards.  If someone like myself (but obviously not me because I can’t be trusted to do so) were to give out awards, Dennis would get one because that looked like the most fun.  This is why I don’t give out awards anymore.

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Parked next to Dennis in the paddock was this black Celica Supra.  Seeing one out and about, and ready to shred tires is a hoot in and of itself; however, this one became the biggest hoot when I saw the 1UZ-FE sitting under the hood.  Dane, the fellow who built this, barely finished it in time to come down from Boise to Twin Falls.  He said that that drive was basically the big shakedown run.  The drive served its purpose, because (from what I could see) the car ran flawlessly.  Speaking of 1UZs…

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Guess who finally showed up. The trio of Jordan, Mikey and Brandon Wicknick (America’s Favorite Drifting Ginger! TM.  In your face Forsberg!) pulled in around 5pm, and were mostly unloaded by 5:30.  I say mostly because Jordan’s transmission got caught on the trailer as he was backing off of it, and the car kept dying.  Eventually he got off the trailer, and along with Mikey and Brandon, put on a show:

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The mere sight of Brandon’s Formula D car drew a small crowd, even before it was fired up.  It drew a massive one when he hit the track.  He even took me for a ride in it! I learned a few things while riding with him:

  • How fast a pro level drift car moves and changes direction is mind boggling.  His car is the fastest car I’ve been in.
  • His passenger seat is clearly designer for a child, or a very slim human being.  I barely managed to wedge myself in there.
  • I have no idea how to work a five point harness, let alone do it with one good arm.

After a while we (Mikey, Brandon, Jordan, Chance Behunin, Hector, Riley and myself) piled into Brandon’s truck and went into town for dinner.  Since Brandon was driving, we were going to a La Fiesta, a Mexican restaurant where the give you chips and salsa.  The chips and salsa was a big selling point for Brandon.  After dinner, we filled up some gas cans, trolled the local populace and returned to the track just in time for the weather to take a dramatic turn.  Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of what the wind did, but I can tell you it blew people’s tents over and almost away and it threw a pop up canopy over 75 feet into a crowd of people huddled around a fire pit.

The decision was made to sleep in Brandon’s 45′ enclosed trailer.  Only problem is the people sized door on the side doesn’t open from inside the trailer.  To ensure we’d be able to get out of the trailer without kicking a hole in the side of it, Brandon attached a bungie cord to the door, and then to a conduit inside the trailer.  Bundled in our sleeping bags, Brandon then turned off the lights, and we slept.

Did we survive the night? Does Brandon’s trailer have a new “door”? If Train A, traveling at 70mph, leaves Westford heading towards Eastford, 260 miles away.  At the same time Train B, traveling at 60mph, leaves Eastford heading towards Westford.  When do the two trains meet? How far from each city do they meet? Find out the answers to those burning questions in tomorrow’s dramatic conclusion!

 

 *Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
19th Mar2014

Bad Decisions: Jordan’s 1UZ S13

by Michael Chandler

Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (7 of 33)

If you know someone who is passionate about anything, then you know what they go through to prepare for an event or show or whatever it may be. You see what it looks like when they have all the time in the world to prepare; however, you also see what happens when things don’t go according to plan and the window for preparation is quickly closing. Jordan Collier, the owner and driver of a 1UZ swapped 240SX, was facing the latter. He invited me over to watch/document/occasionally lend a hand while he and his room-mate Trent Dortzbach tried to sort out the idle of the little V8. What happened after that is the stuff of Facebook legend…

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (5 of 33)

When I arrived the guys were figuring out the idle. It was either high, or bounced around. I, for one, was a fan of the bouncing idle, but I was overruled. Eventually the idle was set at “high”, and Trent fired up the car so I could grab some shots of the car shooting fire out of its open headers. Then he stepped on the clutch…

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (8 of 33)

Let me back up. First, you’ve seen this car in this garage before. AND it ran! It was using a broken in clutch disc, until some other things broke and Jordan had to shelve his season. This year he has new things, including a new clutch disc which was VASTLY thicker than his old one. This led to the problem we found.

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (9 of 33)

“It’s not disengaging” Jordan uttered. Trent was on the clutch, the car was in first, and the wheels were not turning freely. Not enough throw with the new disc? That’s the idea we all settled on. This problem led to a series of decisions that became sketchier and sketchier as the night progressed.

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (4 of 33)

DECISION THE FIRST! Does Jordan let the car be, with the new clutch disc in, and hope it gets better with use? Nope, old one has to go in.

DECISION THE SECOND! Do we pull the engine AND transmission, requiring us to drain the gallon of stuff from the 350Z transmission and unhook all the electrics OR do we pull the driveshaft, unbolt the trans from the motor, and just go at it that way? If you know us, then you already know where this goes. With option B selected we went to YouTube to get some direction. And then we faced another decision…

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“Change a U Joint with a Hammer” Clarkson would be proud

DECISION THE THIRD! How do we get the car high enough to do all the crap we just said that we were gonna do? We can’t use the engine hoist, because we need that to swing the engine out of the way. The jack stands aren’t high enough. Jordan and Trent drift, so there’s an abundance of mounted tires…

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DECISION THE FOURTH! How are we going to explain this to family members, paramedics and the police? Mercifully it didn’t come to that, but Christ almighty was this a sketchy set up. The front of the car was up on three wheels (a stack of three under each front wheel of the car) and the rear was up on one wheel. Both Jordan and Trent were under the car trying to free that driveshaft, then the transmission.

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A few times Jordan got out from under that car, took a walk to the back of it and muttered “We should’ve just pulled the motor.” In hindsight, we probably should have. But if we did then there wouldn’t have been much of a story.

After fighting with snap rings, pulling the steering column, pulling the engine forward AND tilting it up, and somehow pulling the passenger side header off (which normally requires the engine to come out) the trans was ready to come off.

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At this point we had been working on it for three hours. We had crossed the point of no return, which led to some self doubt from Jordan. “We should’ve just taken the whole engine out” he muttered. “I have a sneaking suspicion that the trans will come off and never go back on.” With that enthusiastic quote we reached what would be the final decision of the night.

 Bad Decisions S13 CAMautoMag (28 of 33)

DECISION THE FIFTH! How exactly are we going to support the transmission? The 4×4 and 2×4 blocks are a bit short and narrow, jack doesn’t really reach that high and there wasn’t a transmission jack available. What we did have was Jordan’s manly strength! Soon enough he was cradling the transmission and carefully getting it out from under the car.

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With that finally done it was time to switch clutch discs and revel in all the room for activities there was under the car! And then we called it a night. The transmission did go back on (eventually), and Jordan took the car for some testing… and sprung an oil leak. At least the transmission was fine.

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Come see Jordan, and maybe his car, this Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park for the first Salt City Drift event.  $6 to get in, $5 for a single ride along in one of the cars OR $20 for an all day ride along pass.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
29th May2013

iDrift Round 3

by Michael Chandler

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Memorial Day Weekend brought tire smoke, friends and a contest to Miller Motorsports Park.  For what?  iDrift Round 3 of course!  The focus shifted back to the West Paddock where the barriers were placed, James Dean and Darth Vader were propped up (and subsequently blown down.  Damn wind…), and rides were given.  And look!  Jordan’s 1UZ powered S13 was alive and kicking!

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Jordan approved of his vehicle’s performance.  Some of the drivers had to work the course, much like at an autocross event.  However, they got a golf cart which served many purposes.

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Jordan used it as a chariot to spear cones, while Trent sat in judgement while at the helm.  What was he judging?

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Jason Smith in O.P. Anderson’s car for one!  After some *ahem* difficulties, Jason started whipping the E36 around like an old hand.  He even took second in the competition!  Was it rigged?  Doubtful.  If it was he would have won.  Although, this would be the best cover for any sort of rigging…

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Hey Nick, your thing is dragging…  He also blew up his rear diff, which is amazing because the former diff was a weak 1.6L piece that lasted years with the power he’s putting down.  Those usually break at slightly higher or sometimes even stock power levels.  He has a 1.8L diff now, and a new bumper on the way.

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This guy took third.  I don’t know who he is, but the primered coupe was consistent all day.  Also, James blew over long before I got there and lost his head somewhere along the way.  A tragedy, I know.  But hey, he does approve of what is going on here.

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Here’s your winner ladies and gentlemen.  Smoke?  Plenty.  Smoothness?  And how!  Fancy colors?  YOU BET!  His entries were also on point, and he wasn’t afraid to approach the barriers or clipping points.  He deserved the win.

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There was also this: Brent Cheney’s old S14!  No longer Brent’s and no longer SR powered.  It belongs to Rob, and it’s packing a LSx.  How he did in the contest I don’t know, but it did sound good.

It was a good day for everyone who made it out.  Missed out?  Don’t worry!  THERE ARE MORE COMING!!!  Next one is June 22 in the Midway.  Don’t worry about not having a car, or astronomical ticket prices.  I haven’t had a car to drive for any of these, and tickets are only $6 at the door.  And those tickets let you watch whatever is going on at the track that day.  That’s a lot of entertainment for $6.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.
31st Jan2013

Will It Fit? Lexus V8 Into a S13!

by Michael Chandler

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Last night I went over to Jordan Collier’s frigid garage and watched him put together an engine hoist and then test fit his shiny new 1UZ V8.  Did it actually go in?

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Jordan decided to bolt up a few things before dropping it into the bay.  First was this spacer.  Gotta have it so the whole transmission and shifting thing work.  Looks odd, but it works.

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Then this beefy QuarterMaster clutch went on.  They use it in NASCAR, and that’s good enough for Jordan!

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With the clutch set up on, and the exhaust manifolds bolted up she began her journey down…

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Well whataya know?!?  She fits!!!  Not without a few minor issues, but nothing a cutting torch and a welder can’t fix.  Next time you see this thing out in the wild you’re gonna be seeing these under the hood:

1UZ test fit in S13 Michael Chandler-6

 

Words and photos by Michael Chandler.

 

 

*Article, photos and video are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.com