18th Jul2016

It’s Really Not a 240SX: Erik’s 180SX

by Michael Chandler

180SX feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

In a world full of real and fake, mislabeled things, and people trying to fake the funk, it’s rare we find someone with a real, correctly labeled, funky ass thing on their hands.  Sometimes it’s a guy with a rad, rare camera.  Other times it’s somebody with a copy of that movie you loved as a kid, but could never find in adulthood.  In this case, it’s Erik with a legitimate 180SX.  Right hand drive and all.

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Can we acknowledge the clear timing belt cover?

You can’t really see it, but the ID plate lists this car as a 180SX that came with an SR20DET.  And this car ran an SR for a very long time, then Erik got an itch, and BH Motorsports got crafty, and it has an RB25DET Neo under the hood.  It’s not crazily built, the only internal modifications are a set of Tomei Pon cams.  Everything else is a bolt on.  On the intake side is a Freddy intake manifold (Fake Greddy, keep up) with a set of R35 GTR fuel injectors and a Tomei fuel pressure regulator.

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On the fun side is a Garrett 3076r snail, bolted to a CX Racing manifold.  Cooling the compressed air before it gets to the Freddy manifold is a PBM intercooler.  Watching over this whole ordeal is a Haltech Platinum Pro Series ECU, which gets and sends information via a Wiring Specialties harness.  Tuning services were provided by D-Wreck.

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Or else what?

Getting that power to the driven wheels is an RB20 transmission, loving stuffed with an ACT 6 puck unsprung clutch.  In the back, between the driven wheels, is a NISMO two way limited slip differential.

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Doing the stopping is a set of S14 brake calipers up front, and the stock calipers in the rear.  Both have Project Mu pads in them, which seem to be doing the job.

Helping Erik get that sweet, sweet steering angle (which, as I’m told, translates to sweet, sweet street cred) is a whole mess of stuff that my feeble brain barely has a grasp of: PBM knuckles front and rear, lengthened and boxed lower control arms, Driftworks offset and bent tension rods, an GK Tech offset steering rack spacers.

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Helping to maximize grip, something a drift car actually needs) are a set of Gecko street coilovers.  Strut tower bars provided by JIC  (front) and Cusco (rear), and a Godspeed full rear suspension arm kit in the back help keep things planted.  Also some Stance subframe risers raise a subframe… Not sure which, but one of them is raised!

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The front and rear wheels and tires are different, for reasons.  Up front the 18×9 Rota G Forces are wrapped in 205/40 Federal 595s, and out back the 18×10.5 Vordovens turn 265/35 Achilles ATR Sports into white smoke.

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Ok, now that we’ve covered what makes this car go, we can get on to the miles of style this thing has.  In the back it has a set of JDM kouki tail lights, over which is a custom drag wing made by Team Orange.  Who is Team Orange?  They’re the drift team that ran RWD Evos and WRXs in D1GP.

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The car sports a replica Vertex body kit, and a real D Max hood vent.  It also has a one of ten Godai Elements: Earth windshield banner from Super Wow Factory.  The gray and deceptively purple two tone was done by Brandon over at D-Spare.

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Inside, on the driver’s side, is a Bride Vios Low Maxx 3 seat, on Planted seat rails.  The limited edition Jimmy Up steering wheel is mounted on a Works Bell quick release, and a NISMO shift knob tops the shifter.  180SX feature Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-6

On the passenger side is a Bride Zeta seat, also on Planted rails, and a set of Defi gauges mounted in the dash.  No such thing as too much information.

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And in the back, opposite the Sard surge tank, is a .50 caliber ammo box.  Inside that box is not ammunition, but his battery.

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This isn’t a 240SX with 180SX tail lights and center section.  This is the real deal.  It also hasn’t been dipped and deep fried in America either.  This is about as JDM as you’re gonna get until you hit the home islands.  It’s really authentic, and really a 180SX

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Nov2014

The Custom Touch: Time Attack Integra GSR

by Michael Chandler

Time Attack Acura Integra feature CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

What you see here is something we can all get behind.  Literally and figuratively.  This is an Integra GSR that has, to say the least, a lot of work done.  To say the most it’s had the custom touch applied to almost everything.

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We met Rhett at Miller Motorsports Park at a NASA event about a year ago.  He was there campaigning his GSR in  Time Trial.  We really dug the car, and Rhett.  He’s a humble, down to Earth guy.  We chatted with him for a little bit, then he loaded up the car and disappeared back to Idaho.  For a while.  We honestly thought he had disappeared  and was gone forever.  Thankfully that wasn’t the case, and he and the car reappeared .

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In his absence from the track he did some work.  Some very custom work to the front end especially.   He didn’t really like any of the aftermarket bumpers on the market, but he liked some aspects of them.  So, he bought one and cut it apart.  He liked the Voltex bumper for the Lancer Evolution, so he grabbed some cans of spray foam and got to spraying.  He cut and trimmed, and shaped and formed, and he had a mold for a bumper.  But then he decided he didn’t like it, and started looking at cars closer to his Integra.  Specifically the Honda S2000, because both are long hood vehicles, as opposed to the stubby hooded Evo.  Out came the knife and the spray foam and, after filling the garage with foam shavings, he had the foam cored Carbon Fiber bumper you see before you.  It’s so strong you can stand on the inlet and only have to worry about scratching the finish. The canards are are also one off pieces, made by vacuum infusing utilizing carbon fiber with foam cores.

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Continuing the one off theme, the hood is also something Rhett and company fabricated.  No, he didn’t just cut a hole in the hood and slap on a set of DMax vents.  It’s vacuum infused carbon fiber with a foam core.  The fenders have been heavily modified with a mix of carbon fiber and fiberglass around foam cores.  The roof is also vacuum infused carbon fiber around a foam core.  Even the APR GTC 200 wing sits atop custom chassis mounted stands.  The only exterior parts that aren’t custom are the Pro Car Innovations side skirts, rear bumper and doors.

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The interior hasn’t received nearly as many custom touches as the exterior, but it does have some nice touches like the carbon fiber panel with Carlyle rocker switches.  Cobra Sebring Pro seats replace the factory chairs, with Crow five point harnesses holding the occupants in place.  A Tuner View II display has been custom mounted, and JDM arm rest and airbag deletes installed.  Gear changes are initiated with a Hybrid Racing adjustable shifter, and directional changes are made with a 330mm MOMO steering wheel on an NRG quick release.  And since he runs in NASA sanctioned events, and not some fly by night series, he has a 6 point certified roll cage.

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Rhett campaigns the Unlimited class, where his competition includes an R35 GTR and an Audi R8 LMS.  He couldn’t just roll out there with crazy aero and nothing more than an exhaust, so he got to work on making the B18C1 mill ready to handle the stout competition.  The block itself is stock and retains the OEM 81mm bore, but the pistons and rods have been tossed in favor of Wiseco Race shaped and prepped pistons atop Eagle rods.  ACL race bearings keep things spinning in an orderly manner.  The cylinder head has received plenty of love as well.  It’s been ported, polished and bowl matched and lovingly stuffed with GSC T1 camshafts and Supertech HD valve springs and retainers.

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Up top there’s a Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold with a 70mm Pro Series throttle body bringing in the air.  A Skunk2 composite fuel rail sends fuel to a quartet (…four) Injector Dynamics ID1000 injectors.  A 6 port B&R breather box keeps the air out of the oil, before sending it through the custom thermostatic oil cooler setup.  The cooler itself is almost the size of a stock Civic radiator! The 1.8 liter VTEC mill is held in place with Hasport billet mounts with 94a durometer inserts, and Avid billet torque mounts

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All of that oil cooling is necessary because there is a Turbo By Garrett GT3071 turbocharger hanging off of a LoveFab Mini EQ manifold. The manifold has been wrapped and the turbo itself sits under a blanket, both are from DEI. That hairdryer gets it’s fresh air from a custom, carbon fiber ram air air box and massive four inch piping.   Since this isn’t some old turbo Colt, there’s an intercooler.  A big one.  A big, custom dual back door piece.  The excess pressurized air is releived via a Synapse blow off valve.  Because of the increased thermal load, there has to be a big, custom radiator.  The spent air, after exiting the turbo, leaves the car through a custom three inch V-Band exhaust with a five inch, round, Magnaflow muffler.  Other custom parts include a custom electric power steering, and water pump system.  There’s also a custom transmission cooler and pump set up.

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Which is good, because there’s an Elite/Gear X Transmission straight-cut 1-5 dog box that needs to be kept cool.  Shoved in that transmission is an OS Giken 1 way plate differential, which sends power to Drive Shaft Shop 3.9 axles and hubs.  Massive StopTech four piston calipers clamp down on 12.9 inch rotors.  There are bronze and spherical bearings all over the car from Password:JDM, Pro Car Innovations and Special Motorsports Projects.

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Password:JDM also provided the rear camber and lower control arms, and Hard Race provides front camber A arms.  There are Eibach Multi Pro R2 coilovers at all four corners, because adjust-ability is crucial when you’re chasing fractions of a second.  An ASR subframe brace  and Integra Type-R rear sway bar are, well, in the rear. Rhett has two sets of wheels for the car, and three sets of tires.  Variety is the spice of life, and being well prepared for most situations is pretty awesome.  Depending on the day the car is either on a set of 17×9 Rota Grids, or 17×9.75 XXR 527s.  His choices for rubber are 235/40 Toyo R888s, 225/40 Hoosier R6s, and finally 255/40 Hankook RS3s.

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As we were shooting the photos, Rhett told me his car was invited to compete in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational and also have a spot in the SEMA show.  This was an awesome thing to hear, and really cool to see his car at the show and roll out.  How did Rhett do? Well, much like the day we shot the car he was having issues.  The fuel pump went out, so a stock one had to be used.  This meant 30% throttle, no more than 6500rpm, and no VTEC.  Suddenly becoming the lowest horsepower vehicle sounds like it would have been a disaster, but Rhett managed to finish twenty-eighth out of  ninety-two competitors.  Not too bad for something built in a garage in Idaho.

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

 

 

17th Oct2013

Reader’s Ride: Randy Reed’s v7 WRX STi

by Michael Chandler

Randy Reed v7 WRX-4

We’ve known for years that the home markets for certain manufacturers have been getting far cooler things than we get here in the land of freedom and bald eagles and deep fried bacon.  But what if you, between pieces of said bacon, decided you wanted one of those not available rides?  For a while, you did nothing but deep fry more bacon and be content with what you had.  Randy Reed of Greensboro, NC did not do that.  He wanted a bug-eye STi, so he made one.

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He slapped a JDM v7 front end on, and a front lip as well.  The headlights were upgraded with a Morimoto projector HID kit, so as to see better.  ChargeSpeed air ducts replaced the fog lights and a pair of carbon fiber STi side markers were popped in.  The 4.5″ carbon fiber hood scoop brings in much more air and the occasional bird.  Out back a wingless trunk from a 2.5RS was painted matte black, fitted with a STi badge, then installed.  Keeping flying debris in check are a set of Rally Armor mudflaps.

Ahead of those mudflaps are a set of 18×10 Rota SVNs wrapped in Nexen rubber.  Well, most of the time they’re there.  With winter approaching Randy picked up a set of Enkei Evo 6s.  Yes, they have winter in North Carolina.  Yeah, I was surprised too!

The suspension and brakes on this bug-eye are pretty straightforward: ISC N1 coilovers with camber plates and STi brakes and hubs.

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Inside is pretty simple as well.  Full USDM STi interior, JDM floor mats, SPT boost gauge and a Blitz turbo timer.  He sticker bombed the dash insert around the stereo, and he chucked the OEM head unit for a pop out unit with a 7″ screen.  When he’s not changing radio stations, he’s changing gears via the short throw shifter toped by a Blox neochrome shift knob.

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And now on to the good stuff!  Here is the V7 STi motor, sitting comfortably in it’s natural habitat.  For those unfamiliar, it’s a 2 liter motor with forged internals from the factory and a bigger turbo.  In this case it’s a VF30 to go with the bigger top mount intercooler.  Getting fuel to this home market masterpiece are a set of 750cc injectors.  Getting the exhaust gasses away from the motor are a 4″ bellmouth down pipe feeding into a DC Sports exhaust.  Sitting almost out of sight is a Grimmspeed 3 port boost solenoid.  The car received an open source tune via a Tactrix setup and put down a very healthy 307whp and 300lb/ft.

Making that power useful is the drivetrain, which received its fair share of upgrades.  A USDM six speed transmission pulled from a 2005 STi was fitted with the two liter starter and works like a dream.  A Clutch Masters stage 2 competition clutch and an Exedy lightweight flywheel were thrown into the mix for added driving pleasure.  Because a transmission swap in a Subaru isn’t as straightforward as it seems, the axles have been swapped out for a set from The Driveshaft Shop and a R-180 rear end had to be installed as well.

Randy Reed’s STi sits as a testament to what a motivated man can do when he wants something you can’t just run out and buy.

Want to see your car on here?  Send us some decent photos and a list of the modifications and we’ll get something going!

Words by Michael Chandler, Photos by Randy Reed.

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

 

07th Nov2011

One of a Kind: Mitsubishi Galant

by Michael Chandler

If you ask most people what kind of Mitsubishi they would like you’ll hear a lot of Evolution and Eclipse responses, and a few Galant VR4 responses. You’ll get a few Starion responses, but that’s neither here nor there. The reason you’ll only get a few Galant VR4 responses is because they only sent around 3000 of the AWD turbocharged sedans to North America and because of that only the hardcore Mitsu fan boys and rally geeks know about them. This is not a turbocharged AWD rally special. This Galant is a lot cooler.

 

We’ve known of Broderick, the owner of this daily driven Galant, for a little bit. We’ve known his car longer. For a while this was unofficially the first 3.5L swapped Galant in the country. That made it special. The fact that it’s now packing a 3.9L stroker motor puts it up there with the AWD Galants.

The 3.9L 6G7X motor is all self built. A set of 1mm overbore 6G75 pistons are pumped by stock, forged 6G74 connecting rods attached to a stock 6G75 forged crankshaft. JE file to fit rings hug the pistons and ACL bearings keep everything moving smoothly. All that is stuffed into a .010 decked block, topped with ported and polished and shaved 6G75 non-MIVEC cylinder heads filled with stock 6G75 non-MIVEC camshafts topped with Fidanza adjustable cam gears. ARP main studs keep everything together.

A custom 3.5 inch short ram intake feeds air into a 90mm throttle body lifted from an Infiniti Q45. That is bolted to a 90mm Xcessive Manufacturing surge tank manifold with a port matched lower intake manifold. The fresh air is mixed with 91 octane; which finds it way to the combustion chamber through AeroQuip Starlite -6AN fuel lines, an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator and Disturbing Motorsports billet -6AN fuel rails. It is ignited by a spark provided 8.5mm Magnacore spark plug wires via an 11.5 pound Braille daily use battery. The spent gasses exit through self made long tube headers, with 1 7/8 inch primaries, and a modified Greddy Ti-C cat back exhaust intended for a 3rd generation Eclipse.

The whole one off motor is held in a tucked and shaved engine bay (which Broderick did himself) by Prothane solid engine mounts. Untuned it put down 241 wheel horsepower and 239 lb/ft of torque.

 

An engine is useless if it can’t put the power down, and this thing can. A SPEC stage 2 carbon kevlar full face clutch and Fidanza 9 pound flywheel (held together by ARP flywheel bolts) transfer the power to the wheels via a 2003 Dodge Stratus R/T manual transaxle. A Megan short shifter connects the USDM trans to the JDM cabin (complete with a Greddy counterweight shift knob!), and Zaklee shifter base bushings and under hood shifter bushings keep the gear changes crisp.

The power physically contacts the ground through whatever rubber is wrapped around the big 18×9.5 Rota Torque wheels. Behind those split five spoke wheels are some Stoptech slotted rotors… For an Evo 8. That seems a little weird, but those calipers are the OEM Brembo Evo 8 units stuffed with PFC carbon metallic pads up front and Axxis pads in the rear. Technafit braided lines move the fluid that provides the squeeze.

 

The car sits very nicely. This stance comes courtesy of a set of KSport Kontrol Pro coilovers. It also handles very nicely thanks to said coilovers and a Suspension Techniques 24mm rear sway bar with Kartboy end links intended for use on a WRX STi front sway bar. The end links for the front sway bar are custom adjustable units, as is the rear tie bar. A Carbing front strut tower bar provides some stiffness in the front, along with some more under hood bling.

 

Outside are a lot of JDM and other assorted goodies. A Pre-facelift JDM front bumper and grill join with JDM headlights and a Monster FRP hood to create a face that looks all sorts of scary when it’s bearing down on you. A trunk spoiler from an M3, along with some carbon fiber trunk garnishments and JDM 3rd generation tail lights keep the rear end looking good as it pulls away. Apexcone 6000k HID’s light the way, and Redline hood struts keep the hood from falling on Broderick or anyone else who’s poking around under it.

 

The cabin is rather straightforward. A dry carbon fiber dash bezel, and regular carbon fiber shifter and center dash bezels add a bit of flare while AEM digital water temperature and oil pressure gauges and UEGO wideband display all pertinent information one would need.

When you ask people what kind of Mitsubishi they’d like, you probably won’t hear a lot of Galant answers but maybe this car will change that.


Words and photos by Michael Chandler, Video by Trent Bray

 

*Article, Video, 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